Here are our list of best tips and practices before tapping submit on your apps, so you don't get caught with your pants down an hour to go before the deadline.
We always tell our clients, do not wait until only a few days before the deadline to begin completing your online app, because you just may have an "oh-snap" type moment.
If you read our editions of our “How to Apply to Harvard Business School” and "How to Apply to Stanford GSB" guides, you already know that cultivating a real reason for applying to an elite MBA goes week beyond the school's name, rank, and prestige. But more than any other MBA program in the world (yes, even HBS), GSB looks beyond having a great GMAT score, a summa cum laude GPA and a blue chip name as your employer. While these are respectable measures of a person’s perceived worth, they are not good enough reasons to apply to GSB.
Why is this?
Simply put, you could someone with a mis-calibrated moral compass or worse, what your colleagues might call an "asshole" (more on the asshole test here and the true cost of being an asshole here). That's right - more than any other school in the world, Stanford has a visceral aversion to those who define themselves by their accomplishments, as opposed to the innate values and beliefs that drive those accolades. Apparently, Stanford has their pick of the litter and they can afford to stand absolutely resolute in their aversion to those whose moral compass points true south.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite HBS featuring the most publicized changing of the guard in admissions that I can remember, they are basically keeping their "open-ended" question style intact. In fact, more than keeping it intact, they have reverted to the more straight forward version they used in 2013 and 2014, rather than the more clever (but probably ultimately less effective) "introduction" prompt from last year.
And because they are staying in this lane, it means that my three thoughts need to stay in the same lane they have been in for years - because understanding the psychology behind this essay goes a long way to explaining how you might solve it.
Like last year, we are going to use a little running device of "three key thoughts" for each essay release. If you want to get a deep dive into these essay sets, of course, the answer is probably obvious: sign up for our services and become a client, at which point we can guide you every step of the way.
Now, on to some thoughts from the new Columbia essays!
If you are going to apply to the most selective MBA program in the world, you should recognize the impact that Professor-turned-Dean Garth Saloner has had at GSB. Stanford’s gatekeeper is long-time Dean of Admissions and GSB graduate Derek Bolton. In our opinion, his intimate knowledge of the Stanford Dynamic, along with his high-level of emotional intelligence has granted Bolton a better bullshit detector than any other admissions director in the business.
Forget Star Wars. The MBA talent wars are coming to a b-school near you, according to a recent survey by Poets & Quants.
With admissions officers more active than ever in recruiting today’s best and brightest, P&Q asked a group of leading MBA consultants where their top clients are heading for their graduate educations. And their answers may surprise you.
Today's blog post something we run every year about this time because we honestly get overrun with requests on this subject. It is about negotiating your offer of admission ... except that it's not. Because "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 us explain. Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this context automatically means we're dealing with some good news: you've been accepted. So congrats on that! However, with the news that a b-school wants you to enroll comes the sobering reality that they also want you to *pay* for that privilege. Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but the amount left in the "you" column is almost always going to be the bigger number. And that fact tends to bring up the following question: "How can I negotiate my offer?"
Today's blog post is a follow up to our Best MBA Programs in Finance ranking. It's also our attempt at ranking top MBA programs by industry and based on publicly available data. We've never felt completely comfortable with the rankings because (to our knowledge) the raw data that drives the rankings has never been fully disclosed. So we decided to start over and with the very numbers that the school's career centers are reporting via their respective employment reporting.
Rankings: Best MBA Programs for Finance Jobs (2015) - Amerasia's attempt at ranking top MBA programs by industry and based on publicly available data. Our motivation for doing this is quite simple - business school rankings differ quite drastically from publication to publication. We started with the very numbers that the school's career centers are reporting via their respective employment reporting. You need to see the end result first. In other words, what industries are hiring MBA graduates and from what schools?
We've been running a lot of Round 3 strategies on this space the last few weeks. Why? It is timely, obviously. But also, Round three is just so misunderstood that we find every conversation leads to new epiphanies for our clients. In turn, we pass along the broadest and most helpful of those pieces of information to the general public. Today, we're talking about a specific school that you might want to consider if you are firing off Round 3 bullets.
The common myth surrounding Round 3 of the MBA application process is that you can't, or shouldn't, apply late in the admission cycle. "The class is pretty much full" is one refrain. "You have to be a truly unique applicant" is another. "Only European programs admit people that late" is yet another. As with anything, there are bits of truth in these sound bites ... but only bits.
It is not often that we make any major strategic adjustments from Rd 1 to Rd 2 with any of the schools, because once we have them pegged, they don't tend to move around that much. However, we are issuing a Public Service Announcement today to Wharton Round 2 applicants: proceed with caution when it comes to laying out your post-MBA plans. If your goal is even remotely hard to achieve, we strongly advise reconsidering that goal as it relates to your Wharton application. Let us explain.
Today is one of those days on the calendar that tend to stop everyone in their tracks and dominate the headlines. Nevermind that the Kellogg Round 1 deadline is tomorrow or that some people found out today that they were admitted to MIT - no, it's all about the 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.
This time of year, we get a huge number of inquiries from students gearing up for the reapplication process. This makes sense, as this subset of students is often driven to succeed, still hurting from the sting of getting rejection letters, and aware that going at it alone all over again might not make much sense. Here are a few techniques and things we have discovered that can help all reapplicants, not just those who become our clients:
Our clients are reporting to us that during their visits to MIT a number of admissions committee members are "strongly encouraging" applicants to submit Sloan's Supplemental (Optional) essay. This is advice that should definitely be considered, but only if you really have something to say - not just a rehash of prior content or an ill-advised attempt at a goals statement. At a high-level, the supplemental essay is a test of your ability to deal with ambiguity. So consider this a de facto requirement, but (again) only if you have a different dimension of your character to bring to the table. If you can pass that sniff test - read on.