If you’ve been following along, you’re probably already familiar with the handy MBA application checklist we gave you a few weeks back. For you underclassmen out there, don’t go thinking that your business school application days are so far ahead of you that you casually file those tips away and forget about them … until it’s too late to really for you to affect your GPA, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, GMAT score, and more.
Applying for your MBA is a long-term process, and to be fully prepared, you need to start thinking early. Even if you are currently a freshman or a sophomore in college, you can begin taking steps toward becoming a competitive applicant and getting into the top MBA programs.
Here are five things that you need to start focusing on now. Doing so will help you build up the credentials you need to gain admission to … Read full post
Most business schools will ask an applicant’s recommenders to describe a weakness of yours, or a time when they offered you constructive feedback. You may face great temptation to ask your recommenders to avoid writing anything critical or to present a “disguised strength” as a weakness. Your recommender might write something like one of the following entirely disingenuous statements, believing that he/she is helping you, when in fact he/she is not:
- “John needs to learn to balance his work and home life better—he is always at work, making sure that he stays on top of every detail.”
- “Mary is a perfectionist and holds others, who just may not be capable, to the same high standard that she holds herself.”
Alternatively, a recommender who is afraid of hurting your candidacy may write about a “professional development” weakness, focusing on a business skill that you have not yet had the opportunity to … Read full post
Writing your own recommendation letters for your business school applications can seem like a blessing. Suddenly, you have the power to control an aspect of the application process that was previously beyond you. So, your downside risk in these letters is mitigated and your upside is infinite, right? Well, it does not quite work that way.
Admissions committees are not seeking blustery rave reviews, but are seeking recommendations that are detailed and personal, intimate and sincere. Can you really write about yourself with a dispassionate sincerity? And, even if you are a master of “dispassionate sincerity,” are you able to capture the subtleties that enable you to standout? For example, let’s say that among the many important things that you do, you also do something thoughtful, which you do not even perceive to be significant – you take new team members to lunch. While you regard “closing the big deal” … Read full post