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Consultant Roundtable: Advice for Future MBA Applicants

December 03, 2019 :: Admissionado Team

Knights of the Round Table

B-Schools are dropping their deadlines and essays faster than Shia LaBeouf can get arrested, which means it’s ON for all you MBA applicants.

To help you out, we polled four of our consultants from the top schools (Stern, HBS, Haas, and CBS) and asked them one simple question:

If you could give one piece of advice to future MBA applicants, what would it be?

“I had the audacity to apply to b-school fresh out of undergrad when I was only 19. Stern deferred me for two years so that I could get that crucial work experience.

My best advice goes out to younger applicants. Don’t be afraid to apply!

If you can express your passion, problem-solving skills and maturity in your written work and interview, you have a great shot no matter your age. If you have had no direct reports in your career to date, then let the admissions committee know how you managed upward or managed a client. There’s always a way to showcase the impact you have made.”
— Stefanie Barlow, Stern

“While your stats (read GMAT score and GPA) are certainly important, they are only part of the battle. In my opinion, the best MBA programs don’t just want a number… they want a sure thing.

The best way to prove you’re a sure thing is to clearly articulate YOUR MBA story (why MBA, why now, what are your career goals, what have you done so far that proves you are uniquely qualified to achieve those career goals, and how will an MBA fill any gaps and propel you to that next level).

The beauty of this part of the application is that it’s never too early to start… even if you know you want to apply two years from now, you can start thinking about this story TODAY.. and don’t be afraid to discuss with friends, family, or co-workers so that by the time actually putting pen to paper on the application comes around (and trust me, “career goals” WILL be one of the application questions), you’ll nearly be there!”

— Dominic Dragisich, HBS

“Do everything you can to research the schools you’re interested in. Talk to current students and alumni, visit if you can, and go to any events in your area.

One of the biggest benefits of business school is the network and you want to make sure that you genuinely like and connect with the students at that school and with the school’s culture.

Plus all that homework will pay off when you write your essays or are in an interview. Showing that you really made an effort to get to know the school will show them that you’re serious when you say it’s your dream school!”
— Julie Bowman, Haas

“My best advice to future MBA applicants would be to first make a decision on where they would like to live post MBA. If they want to live on the west coast, than they really need to focus on west coast schools. If they want to live in the Midwest, than they really need to focus on Midwestern schools, etc..

Most of the firms that will be recruiting from each MBA program will be locally based because the human resources department of most firms do not have the means or resources to send their people to schools across the nation to look for candidates, only local MBA programs.”
— Phillip Herring, CBS

Ready to get that MBA? Get some more tips from our successful peeps: