Tag Archives: Admissions tips

Are you looking to attend a top-ranked business school? For MBA candidates in most of the world, if you want to go to a world-class b-school, you’re going to have to travel.

The top 10 MBA programs, according to the Financial Times, are all in the United States or Western Europe. Of the top 20 programs, eleven are in the US, two in the UK, five in Europe (read: France or Spain), and two in China. So unless you live in a few select areas, you’re almost certain to have to pack your bags and move when…

The Wharton School has released a profile of its latest MBA cohort, the Class of 2019. Wharton’s data paints a picture of a class with diverse backgrounds and experiences, comprised of people from 65 different countries.

As you’d expect, competition to gain a spot in the Class of 2019 was fierce. The school received 6,692 applications for a final enrolled class of 863 students.

Accordingly, those who were accepted tended to have strong stats. Overall, enrolled students had an average GMAT of 730. Those who took the GRE had 163 as their typical verbal score and 162…

Year after year, one of the most common questions I get about MBA admissions is “What GMAT score do I need to get into business school?”

Of course, you already know there’s no magic number. And that your GMAT score, while important, is not the only factor that admissions committees look at when they decide which candidates to move forward.


But the reality is, GMAT scores are important – and they’re on the rise. The days when you could reasonably expect to get into business school with a low GMAT score are long…

If you think of B-school applications as a trial, your recommendations are the part where you call witnesses to testify. And every lawyer knows that an unreliable witness can sink a whole trial.

Letters of recommendation are no different. Lining up recommendations that reinforce your personal brand is essential. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid making with your B-school recommendations.


– Choosing title over substance

 Of course it’s nice to have a letter of recommendation from a CEO, managing director or partner, but what’s much more important is that the letter is…

Being an effective MBA admissions consultant is about more than knowing the ins and outs of business school admissions. It requires being able to work with each applicant to bring out their personal brand and showcase the best they have to offer.

When MBA consultants don’t handle this process thoughtfully, they can end up hurting more than they help. Here are five common ways MBA consultants damage B-school applications.


– Not getting to know the applicant

In B-school admissions, the small details can make a big difference. But MBA consultants never learn…

Fall is here, and that can mean only one thing: Round one MBA admissions deadlines are nearly upon us. Most top MBA programs have their round one deadlines in mid-to-late September, but some (like Harvard Business School) are even earlier than that.

Every year at about this time, we are flooded with prospective MBA candidates who are searching the internet for answers as to whether or not they should apply in round one.


There’s a lot of information out there, but much of it is confusing, and it’s only made…

When you’re applying to business school, it’s natural to want to dedicate your energy to your applications. After all, B-school applications can feel like a full-time job!

So the temptation is to quit your job and dive into researching schools, studying for the GMAT, and writing your application essays.


I talk about this all the time with people. For example, I had one client who was going to quit their job in September to concentrate on studying for the GMAT. They then planned on taking the GMAT in October and finding…

The most important advice I have for applicants when it comes to preparing for the Columbia GSB 2017-2018 MBA essays is to invest in knowing the school before you begin writing your essay.

Many applicants are aware of the importance of taking the time to really understand a school before tackling their application essay, yet many make the fundamental mistake of ignoring this important step. The result is weak essays that do a poor job to show how you are a fit for the business school.


Visit Columbia Business School and…

There are plenty of myths surrounding the business school application process. The problem with myths, however, is that they are not true. Yet many applicants rely on them and set themselves up for failure as a result.

Here are some of the popular myths on applying to top MBA programs:


Myth 1: You can’t get into a top school if  you are past the average age

With business schools publishing data on the average age of their incoming class, there is a lot of pressure on applicants to compare themselves to…

Harvard Business School has announced a new fellowship called the Forward Fellowship, for students from lower-income backgrounds. Rather than looking only at a student’s current financial situation, the Forward Fellowship takes into account financial history and family background.

Applicants who are awarded a Forward Fellowship will receive between $10,000 and $20,000 per year, on top of any need-based aid given by HBS. The fellowship is designed to help students who have additional financial commitments as a result of their backgrounds.


According to HBS, an ideal Forward Fellowship applicant might…

A client of ours had brainstormed her essay with her consultant and come up with a strong outline based on her brand and overall profile.

However, when she went away to write the first draft of the essay she gave in to the pressure that many applicants endure—copying the format of an existing essay that someone else had written.


The draft she came up with was extremely boring and not memorable!

The popular B-School book, 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, has been dissected by many business school hopefuls with the…

Recommendation letters are an important part of the MBA application. They give the admissions committee an outside perspective of your candidacy, and represent a “vote of confidence” from someone with first-hand knowledge about your ability to handle the rigors of business school.

However, for early-career MBA applicants who are newer to the workforce – with correspondingly fewer accomplishments to discuss – it can be challenging for recommenders to write the type of specific, detailed responses that are most effective in impressing admissions committees.


I get asked a lot about…

As a business school admissions consultant for more than a decade, and a former member of the admissions committee at Harvard Business School, I get a lot of questions from MBA applicants about whether or not they’ll be able to get into b-school based on their background.

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what the ideal MBA applicant looks like: perfect test score, great work experience with significant time in a leadership role, stellar recommendation letters, strong post-MBA goals with a clear path of how to get there, and accustomed to working internationally or with…

I just read an interesting blog written by Amit Somani, Managing Partner at Prime Ventures, where he shared about the importance of reading.


He started his blog with this interesting quote from Charlie Munger, the co-founder of Berkshire Hathaway:

In my life I have known no wise people who don’t read all the time. None.Zero.

I’d like to add to this.

When it comes to the MBA application process, those who read have a natural outlet that can help them in the application process.

Here are five reasons why MBA applicants should take up…

Are you thinking about applying for an MBA? This is the time of year when application deadlines are rolling out and MBA candidates start to really think in depth about the application process. On paper, each of the MBA application elements are pretty simple: take a test or two, fill out an application, write some essays, get a recommendation or two, and do an interview.

But of course, with top business schools receiving thousands of applicants each year, the process is far less simple than it seems. For a truly effective MBA application, you need to think about what the…

Michigan Ross School of Business Releases 2017-2018 MBA Admissions Deadlines 


The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students to its standard daytime MBA program in three rounds:

Round one:

Application deadline – Oct. 2, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 15, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 2, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 15, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Mar. 19, 2018

Decision posted – May 11, 2018

Michigan Ross is a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which has a separate application…


NYU Stern School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students to its standard daytime MBA program in three rounds. MBA candidates will receive one of three notifications by the Initial Notification date: a denial of admission, a waitlist offer, or an invitation to interview.

Round one:

Application deadline – Oct. 15, 2017

Initial notification – Jan. 1, 2018

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 15, 2018

Initial notification – Apr. 1, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Mar. 15, 2018

Initial notification – Jun. 1, 2018

All applications are due by 11:59…


INSEAD has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students twice per year, in both January and September. Each intake period has four application rounds. The application window for January 2018 intake is nearly closed, with the Round four deadline coming up on July 26, 2017, but the deadlines for September 2018 intake are as follows:

Round one:

Application deadline – Sept. 20, 2017

Interview notification – Oct. 20, 2017

Decision posted – Nov. 24, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Nov. 29, 2017

Interview notification – Jan. 12, 2018

Decision posted – Feb….


Harvard Business School has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. HBS considers applicants for their regular MBA program in three rounds, with a separate deadline for applicants to the 2+2 program:

Round one:

Application deadline – Sept. 6, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 12, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 3, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 21, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Apr. 2, 2018

Decision posted – May 9, 2018

2+2 program:

Application deadline – Apr. 10, 2018

Decision posted – May 30, 2018

Harvard MBA candidates are encouraged to apply in rounds one and two whenever…

Columbia Business School has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018.

Due to their rolling admissions and unique “J-Term” scheduling, Columbia does not do the typical multi-round deadlines. Instead, the school has one deadline for January-entry students (who skip the summer internship and complete their degree in 16 months) and two deadlines for August-entry students.


January 2018 entry application deadline:

Oct. 4, 2017

August 2018 entry application deadline: 

Oct. 4, 2017 (early decision)

April 11, 2018 (regular decision) 

All applications are due by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Early decision applicants…

Berkeley Haas School of Business Releases 2017-2018 MBA Admissions Deadlines 

Haas School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. Haas considers applicants in three rounds: 


Round one: 

Application deadline – Sept. 21, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 14, 2017 

Round two: 

Application deadline – Jan. 4, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 22, 2018 

Round three: 

Application deadline – Apr. 5, 2018

Decision posted – May 10, 2018 

All applications are due by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on the day of the deadline. Berkeley Haas is also a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management,…

When it comes to applying for an MBA, there are a lot of different ways to fail: You could complete your application and essays entirely in the Klingon language. You could accidentally set your suit on fire during your MBA interview. You could respond to all inquiries by saying, “I’ll do whatever I want, because I’m the boss of this place!”

However, most people who don’t get into business school on their first attempt fail in slightly less spectacular ways. To be clear, business school admissions are incredibly competitive: it’s entirely possible to do everything right and still not get…

For most people who are thinking about applying to business school, the admissions test is the first hurdle. The GMAT has long been the “default” test of MBA admissions, but the last decade has seen that perception shift rapidly.

MBA candidates know that if you want to get into a great business school, you (usually) need to get a great test score. That means studying early, studying often, and choosing the right test for your needs.


To some extent, the old advice still holds true: if you know you can get…

There are a lot of benefits to attending business school early in your career, especially when you consider the increased salary and additional time in your chosen career field post graduation. But the drawbacks are real, too. With so little time in the workforce, it can be challenging to build an effective case for your candidacy. Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to leadership.


We’ve talked about the importance of demonstrating leadership for a successful b-school application – even when schools aren’t asking explicitly for your leadership bonafides…

The Harvard Business School application essay for this year is the same as last year’s essay question:

“As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?”

HBS-2017-2018-Essay-and-Admissions-DeadlinesClick here for essay tips on how to tackle the HBS application essay.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for Harvard Business School 2017-2018 application deadlines has been announced. There are three rounds and the application deadlines are as follows:

Round 1 Deadline: September 6, 2017

Round 2 Deadline: January 3, 2017

Round 3 Deadline: TBD…

Are you a mid-career professional thinking about going to business school? For many people who consider returning for a business degree after spending some time in the workforce, getting an MBA is the default choice. Many candidates don’t realize that an EMBA program is an option for them.

That shouldn’t completely come as a surprise; MBA programs do tend to be significantly larger than EMBA programs. For example, Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA graduating class of 2016 consisted of 483 students, more than twice as many as the 195-member EMBA class of 2016.


At Yale…

Are you planning to apply to an MBA program this year? Over the next couple of months, most business schools will be releasing their MBA application essay questions for the 2017-2018 application season. And while round one deadlines won’t start hitting until September and October, it’s always better to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare.

This is especially true now, as there’s a current trend in MBA essay questions that is proving tricky for many applicants. Top business schools have been continually working on streamlining their essay process. While this does have many benefits for applicants…

Stanford GSB admissions has hired Kirsten Moss as the new assistant dean of admissions to replace Derrick Bolton.

Despite this change in leadership at Stanford GSB admissions, there will not be much changes made to the Stanford GSB application this year. The essays and recommendations will remain the same from the 2016-2017 application cycle.


Essay Tips for Stanford GSB

Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when tackling the Stanford MBA essay questions:

1. There are two required essays still. Essay one is the “what matters to you” essay and essay two is…

Let’s face it: landing on the wait list at one of your target business schools can be frustrating. Even if you applied to several other schools – and even if you were accepted at one or more of your alternates! – the fact is that for most MBA candidates who find themselves on the wait list, their main goal is getting off.

There are a couple of ways for an MBA applicant to get off of a business school wait list. Most commonly, as we have discussed before, applicants do well by carefully and objectively assessing their application for weaknesses,…

Our previous blog looked at dual degree options at eight top business schools: Booth, Columbia, Fuqua, Haas, Harvard, IE, INSEAD, and Kellogg. This week, we’re covering nine more.

Is an MBA dual-degree program the right choice for you?

When it comes to dual-degree programs (also referred to as joint degrees at some schools), the key takeaway is “more”.

Pursing a joint degree gives you more flexibility to pursue a career path you’re interested in, more field-specific knowledge than a general management degree alone, and more credibility to employers within your target industry.


There is…