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Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s 2014-2015 Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis

June 9, 2014 by

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) became the second top MBA program to release its essay questions this year, and the school follows a trend in application essays—“less is more.” Stanford has dropped its third essay question this season and stuck with two standbys, which we can summarize as “What matters most to you?” and “Why us?” The GSB’s choice to stick with the “Why us?” question is an interesting one, considering how selective the program is (the Princeton Review ranks it number one for Toughest to Get Into). Maybe one reason the school is so strong is that it still focuses on fit and does not take its desirability for granted (?).

Another big change in the Stanford application this year is that the number of recommendations required has dropped from three to two, leaving the candidate to make the vexing choice between a professional recommender or a … Read full post

What Type of Candidate is Harvard Business School Looking For?

November 28, 2012 by

One of the most common questions we hear from applicants is “What type of candidate is HBS/Stanford/Wharton/Chicago Booth/etc. looking for?” Of course, the answer to that question is that schools do not want only one type of applicant. Instead, each school is seeking to assemble a diverse class and thus wants to be able to identify distinct qualities in each candidate.

Although trying to simplify a school’s approach to admissions (“Kellogg wants team players!”) can be appealing, you should avoid trying to fit some perceived mold, because doing so will only mask your true distinct qualities. Rather than pandering to a stereotype with regard to your personal/professional experiences or changing your stated goals to match an imagined bias on the part of an MBA admissions committee, you should spend a great deal of time brainstorming to best understand how you can showcase your … Read full post

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