This article is a bit of a repeat from one we wrote last year, but it's key this time of year, when it seems like every day a client is getting ready to take on an MBA interview.
This particular piece is about a harsh reality of that process, which is that every interview is going to take a dip, or hit a rough patch, at some point ... through no fault of anyone involved. Why is this? And how can you address it? Let's dive into it.
Today's post is one that can be used by just about any MBA applicant, as it has to do with rounding out your list of schools to which you are applying. So let's dive into how to finalize selecting what MBA programs to which you should apply.
This post is going to feel like its about Wharton, but its not - not really. I'm prompted to write it because of Wharton, but it is about a larger issue, which is whether or not you should have a takeaway when you see that an MBA program is going all in on its marketing. Should you read into it or ignore it? And if you do search out some meaning, is it is good or bad thing when a business school suddenly seems to have hired a new marketing whiz who knows how to game the headlines? Let's dive in.
Every so often, we like to put an excerpt out there from one of our school-specific Strategy Memos. Full disclosure, the main reason to do this is to show off how we approach the process and to give potential clients a sense of what they might get (across the board, with all their schools and all the questions) if they become clients. But we also try to coordinate these with moments where we can get some really helpful strategy out there - basic, core ideas that will help people avoid pitfalls, even if they don't have help in executing perfectly. In this instance, Columbia Business School's Essay Question 2 is a nice overlap that allows us to do both. So let's dive in.
I have been getting a lot of emails lately that center on the same basic idea: "I got feedback directly from the admissions office and they told me X." Sometimes the feedback is ultra specific ("you should seriously consider retaking your GMAT") and other times it is extremely vague ("there were elements of your application that just weren't quite where they needed to be"), usually somewhere in between. The question is: should you put stock in what they are saying?
Today's blog post builds on a post I've been working on for years, where I continue to add thought about the art of negotiating your MBA offer of admission. I've long said that "negotiation" is not what you do when it comes to securing more financial aid from a business school. The term of art for what you are going to be doing is "asking." Let me explain and try to add clarity around questions that often come up.
This Wednesday (October 12) is one of those days on the calendar that tend to stop everyone in their tracks and dominate the headlines. Nevermind that the Duke Fuqua or Dartmouth Tuck deadlines are right around the corner - no, it's all about the final HBS Round 1 notification deadline. Interview or ding? Rather, interview or ding or deferral, as that appears to be a popular option this year as well. Let's make sense of things and offer some advice on how to respond from here. We'll group it result-by-result.
To all MBA Candidates out there, especially those of you racing to hit the HBS deadline on September 9th ... please, for the love, know when to set your essay down, put your hands in the air, and say "time." I borrow from Top Chef and call it "put your knives down!" It's that moment in the show when the buzzer has sounded and they have no choice but to put the chef's knife down, put their hands in the air, and accept that their dish is finished. In our situation, there isn't a buzzer (yet), but we can still use the principle. In fact, one of the great ironies of the Top Chef "quick fire" challenge that gave me this expression is that some of the best dishes on that show come because there IS a buzzer - it keeps the contestants from noodling and tweaking and, basically, ruining a great plate of food. So ... how can we use this for our MBA apps?