Tag Archives: Application Preparation

New York 2006 Rank: 10 Tuition and Fees: $94,104 Applicants Accepted: 15% Pre-MBA/Post-MBA Pay in $ Thousands: 75.0/110.0 In Brief: Finance focus and access to Wall Street are pluses—or used to be before the investment banking industry collapsed. Columbia Profile Columbia on Business ExchangeThe Columbia GSB application dates for the 2015-2016 application cycle are out. Here are the facts of Columbia GSB you need to know:

All applications must be submitted by…

Stanford CampusThe Stanford Graduate School of Business application deadlines for the 2015-2016 application cycle are out. Here’s what you need to know.

There are three rounds. All materials must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Stanford MBA

The school will notify applicants of decisions by 5:00 p.m. Pacific on the date listed below for the three rounds.

Application Deadline Notification Date

Columbia Graduate School of Business ProfileColumbia Business School’s Morningside Campus sits at the heart of New York City, in one of the greatest centers for business in the world. If you’re a person who likes to jump right in and be surrounded by all the action, Columbia may be a great fit for you.

Columbia Business School

The MBA program at Columbia has a strong career focus, with several career-focused…

Are you wondering how much time to spend on your MBA application?

Do you know how much time you should dedicate to your


With the recent changes to the admissions process at HBS and Wharton, it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to develop your best MBA application.

In this video, we give you a few tips on how much time you’ll want to spend preparing and developing your MBA application.

So, click here to watch the video now.

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MBA recommendation letterSo who’s writing your MBA recommendation letters?

Are they so busy that they’ve asked you to write the letter yourself?

Do your recommenders like you and support your reasons for going to b-school?

MBA recommendations  are important in the application evaluation process.

So I’ve put together a video that’ill help you get the best MBA recommendation letter.

But before we get to the video….

Why Are MBA Recommendation Letters So Important?

MBA recommendation letters  allow the MBA admissions board to get a first hand…

“Is it worth the time and resources to visit MBA programs before I apply?”

“Does it really matter if I visit my target schools?”

“Will it make a difference in my application if I attend an on-campus admissions seminar?”

These are some of the questions I’m often asked by applicants regarding campus visits.

The simple answer to these questions is yes.

But simply visiting a school is not enough.

You need to maximize your visit to make sure that you extract the right information about the program so you can decide whether it is indeed a good fit for you.

Do your dreams include obtaining a MBA from a top school?  If so, you know that admission competition is fierce.

More applications are being submitted now than ever before and the candidate pool is highly qualified.  This means that achieving your dream will require advanced preparation on your part.

Specifically, there are four areas on which you can focus today to better your chances when you do apply to business school.

1)  Power-Up Your Profile.

Business schools admit candidates who have previously shown leadership skills, entrepreneurial interest, quantitative ability, civic-mindedness, and global awareness.

Keeping these qualities in mind, what have your existing experiences been?  In…

Are you a college junior or senior looking to apply for an MBA right out of college?

Are you a recent college grad with less than three years

of work experience, looking to apply for an MBA?

Applying for an MBA as an early career applicant is gaining in popularity.

For many early career applicants, the decision to apply early is based on cost.

(Read my blog post How Much Work Experience Do You Need to learn what happens when you make your decision to apply for an MBA based on the cost.)

Whether you are applying to business school in a few months or you are still a few years away from applying, it is important to consider how you can engage in a socially-driven project to make a meaningful difference that you can feel proud of, and strengthen your profile for your MBA application.

I came across a great organization, Catchafire, that matches volunteers with nonprofits in search of practical business skills.

This eharmony.com-like organization is not your standard volunteer opportunity; you do not have to build a house for Habit for Humanity and neither do you have to move to Latin…

Three Mistakes that Can Derail Your MBA Application

Mistake One: Too Little Preparatory Research

Between the excitement of confronting a new challenge and the crazy schedule of trying to balance work, activities and the application process, I’ve seen more than one MBA candidate jump too quickly into their application writing only to flounder later when they realized that their target school isn’t a good fit for their background and expertise or that they are unprepared to tackle the essays and interviews successfully.

Not doing enough research at the onset will backfire on you, causing you to undo and rework, and…

Three Mistakes That Can Derail Your MBA Application

Mistake Two: Skipping Over Self-Reflection

reflectionIf you are applying to top MBA programs, schools know you write well.  Evaluating writing ability is NOT why they require essays as part of your MBA application.

Rather, schools pose their questions out of a genuine interest in getting to know candidates on a personal level: they seek to understand who a candidate is, what they value, how they learn, and how self-aware they are.

They want to understand your personal brand.  Your personal brand is your life story, tied together by various themes to…

A friend and I were talking about the importance of networking and how it often can yield great results…think that new job, a potential deal, even a new dynamic friendship.

I was reminded of the fact that this friend was able to start his hedge fund based on having gone to a dinner and meeting with a business woman who would later become a friend and mentor.

Long story short, she would eventually become his first investor in his fund.

But the value of networking extends also to applying to business school. What do I mean by that?

I’m not suggesting that candidates…

We can dissect the data of who gets admitted into top MBA programs and we will see that the majority have strong academic backgrounds and work experiences.

But what’s often interesting is to look at many of those, the more than 80% of the successful MBA applicants, who are unsuccessful in their bid to land an admission offer at a top business school.

On the surface many of the rejected candidates also have worked for similar firms and have strong academic records comprised of strong G.P.A. and GMAT/GRE scores.

So what gives? There are key characteristics and behaviours that successful applicants exhibit…

Risk and the MBA Application: Risk. A four letter word that has a major role this year in the MBA application process. The admission climate is such today that candidates who remotely look too risky are likely not to be admitted to a top school.

Everyone’s appetite for risk has been curtailed. Gone are the days when candidates with top scores and grades but sketchy career plan are admitted.

The same holds true for candidates who think they can slip in despite GMAT scores that are below the range published by the school.

Even weak grades will get an additional scrutiny and…

The decisions applicants make today can drastically impact their business school admission outcome.

I spoke with an applicant who had applied to a top business school and was ultimately denied admission.

Academically, she was a strong candidate (above 730 GMAT and 3.6 GPA from an Ivy League University).

She had pursued an unusual major and had interesting work experience in the developing world earning her some solid points on the diversity/unique perspective category.

The weakest aspect of her application was her work experience and leadership track record.

She had done a one year stint at a Hedge Fund then followed it up with two…

The Value of Diversity in the MBA Admission Process:

In The National, the first English-language publication in Abu Dhabi, incoming Insead Dean, Dipak Jain signals where his key attention will be: expanding the cultural diversity of Insead.

During his visit to Abu Dhabi, Dean Jain stressed the fact that Insead is a school that values diversity across the globe.

He highlighted plans to leverage the program’s innovative approach towards helping to develop the Middle East.

Dean Jain went on to say: “We don’t want a room where 70 per cent of the students are from China because people learn together.

“When people are…

Volunteering Can Do More than Land You a Coveted Admission Offer! It is true that leadership involvement in community service is an important ingredient to securing an admission offer to a top business school.

But there are other benefits to volunteer work besides demonstrating to the admissions committee that you are a well-rounded, multi-dimensional leader who cares about society.

Researchers have been investigating the “Helper’s High”, a phrase that describes the energized feeling and excitement followed by a sense of calmness that individuals who are involved in helping others report, for a long time.

Allan Luks and Peggy Payne, authors of The…

Getting a pink slip shouldn’t derail your admission plans. In fact, it can serve as a catalyst for moving forward with the application you may have been putting off for so long.

There are some practical things you can do immediately to mitigate any negative impact a pink slip can have on your MBA admission outcome.

Don’t stay home and mop around. It is important that you use the time wisely. You will not be able to get away with saying that you spent the last 6 months looking for a job.

Vacationing for more than a few weeks also would be…

MBA Applicants,

I’m excited that my book, The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets, is finally out. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful in guiding you through the challenging admission process.

I welcome your feedback and ideas for a future edition. I’ll share pics from the New York book launch and info on future book events soon.

I just found out that BusinessWeek.com did a review of my book in an article titled Prose from the Pros.

Coincidentally, my colleague, Stacy Blackman just came out with a book,  The MBA Application Roadmap, recently, which she  co-authored with…

Applicants to business school often make mistakes that make it easy for the MBA Board to reject their application. Below are some of the usual suspect MBA application mistakes that many applicants make:

1. Lack of passion: Do not sacrifice your passion in an attempt to spin a story you think the admissions board wants to hear. Focus on what gets you excited professionally?

Applications without passion are bland and no one wants accomplished but boring students. The admissions board can see through contrived stories.

So be authentic and talk about what matters to you and how the MBA will help you…