Writing a Powerful MBA Essay: Part 1 – The Essentials

Your business school essays are about bringing your story to life and providing context to your application by connecting the dots. You’ll want to capture an admissions reviewer’s attention with your story and authenticity, persuading them to learn more by inviting you to interview. To get there, your essays should convey a strong sense of who you are as a person and what makes you … [ Read more ]

4 DON’Ts For Your MBA Essay

When you sit down to write your MBA essay, there are certain things you should aim for: a clear, realistic goal; examples from your experience to show your skills and personal qualities in action; a personable tone that makes the adcom want to get to know you better.
 
But I really want to discuss common essay writing mistakes that you should stay away from! Here they … [ Read more ]

Three Ways to Distinguish Yourself in Your MBA Essays

Here are three key writing strategies that will immediately improve your writing and help you highlight what is distinctive about you.

What You Need To Know To Prep For Your MBA Interview

Getting an interview invitation is exciting – you’re a step closer to pursuing your MBA at your top choice program! Now you need to prepare for your interview with the same focus that has gotten you this far in the application process. Here are some areas to help you focus your preparation

What To Do If You Have Been Waitlisted

Being in this limbo state between acceptance and rejection can undoubtedly be stressful, given the uncertainty involved. But hope is far from lost, and the underlying message is a positive one. Being waitlisted means that your target school feels your application is solid and that you could make a good addition to the next incoming class. However, the admissions committee needs more time to see … [ Read more ]

One Action That Will Dramatically Improve Your Application

Having reviewed thousands of applications during my career in business school admissions, including as head of Admissions at INSEAD, I believe that the single most important action you can take is to spend significant time on self-reflection. Business schools don’t just want to hear about your academic excellence and professional triumphs. They want to know who you are, what you care about and what makes … [ Read more ]

The Optional MBA Essay, Explained

Confused about optional essays? If so, you are not alone. Here are some guidelines about the optional MBA application essay.

6 Tips for Acing the MBA Interview

If you’ve recently received an interview invite, it’s a clear signal the school believes in your potential. At the same time, competition is fierce, and the interview has never been more important. Among M7 schools, your prospects of admission are generally between 1 in 10 and 1 in 18. But secure an interview and your shot at acceptance has just improved to about 1 in … [ Read more ]

Mistakes To Avoid In Your MBA Application

The seasoned Admissions Director has shrewd instincts for discerning your commitment, confidence or any hint of discrepancy across your MBA application. Just as they know what they’re looking for in an candidate to their program, they’re also savvy at spotting common mistakes. Here are seven top tips directly from MBA Admissions Directors at Stanford GSB, INSEAD, Kellogg, Booth and IMD on the most common mistakes … [ Read more ]

A Recipe For Rejection: Reasons MBA Applications Are Rejected

Why are so many candidates, with seemingly excellent credentials, rejected from MBA programs? Let’s examine eight reasons admissions directors site for rejection.

Three Crucial Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Admissions Consultant

Are you considering working with an admissions consultant? If so, you are probably discovering that there are significant differences between firms, and wondering how to choose the best match for you. Here are three crucial questions to ask before hiring an admissions consultant.

Rejected By Business Schools? A Former Admissions Committee Member’s Perspective

Having recently received a business school rejection letter, you may believe that this is the end of the road with the school(s) that rejected you. It is understandable to think this way, but once you’ve had a chance to digest the outcome, if you still have your heart set on a particular school, you really should consider applying again. Before you go down the road … [ Read more ]

Why the MBA Admissions Committee Said No

When I was the Associate Director of Admissions for Tuck, I was often really excited about candidates who I would meet on the road or at events. We would have great conversations, and I would start to envision them as part of the Tuck community. Unfortunately, when I finally reviewed their applications there were often avoidable but fatal mistakes that precluded the MBA admissions committee … [ Read more ]

A Look Into The MBA Essay Process

First impressions matter…especially in an MBA application essay. They frame a picture and set a tone. And they quickly reveal whether a candidate brings a unique perspective to the class and fit with the carefully-crafted culture of the school.

Every application goes through a rigorous vetting process, however. These processes can be as different as the schools themselves. That’s why the Financial Times recently looked … [ Read more ]

What MBA Admissions Really Want: Tips From Top Schools

The 2017 CentreCourt MBA Festival was a three-city tour that featured panel discussions with Deans and Admissions Directors from the world’s top business schools, including Stanford GSB, Chicago Booth, INSEAD, Kellogg, Berkeley Haas and others. I had the privilege of moderating these panels in New York, London and San Francisco, probing Admissions Directors for insights and industry trends that would support MBA candidates in the … [ Read more ]

Sample MBA Application Essays: A Really Bad Idea

I firmly believe that reading other people’s essays before writing your own is a huge, detrimental mistake. Here are three reasons why I never give my clients templates or sample application essays.

How To Ask For Business School Recommendations

It’s an honor to be asked to write business school recommendations, and also a big responsibility. Taking these steps will help you get great results, and also shows your recommenders that you appreciate their support.

Should Women Apply for the MBA Differently than Men?

What did we observe when we ran the admissions offices at Wharton and INSEAD? Without falling into clumsy stereotypes, we often perceived a difference in how men and women told their personal stories. We’ve summarized a few reflections and insights for women who want to secure their place at a top business school.

What Business Schools Really Think When You Ask For A Deferral

For some of you, despite having been admitted to one or more schools, you may not feel sure that are ready to matriculate – at least not to those programs. If this sounds familiar, you might be considering asking for a deferral. Here is insight into what business schools really think when you ask for a deferral.

Should You Apply To Business School In the First Round?

Every year I am asked whether or not it’s strategic to apply to business school in the first round. In the vast majority of cases, the answer is clearly yes.