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Welcome to the MBA & EMBA business school admissions blog: MBA IVY LEAGUE. I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and my firm is one of the top MBA & EMBA admission consulting firms in the U.S. Contact me for a free consultation today and get into the business school of your dreams! Phone: (646) 276-7042 Email: MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com Website: www.MBAIvyLeague.com
9 06, 2016

Your Odds Of Getting In To A “Top Ten” Business School

By |2016-06-09T14:42:43+00:00June 9th, 2016|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, HBS, Kellogg, MBA, MBA Admissions, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

What does your MBA profile look like, and how will MBA adcom really see your MBA or EMBA application?

That is always the question. For starters, know that your MBA profile is composed of a variety of things:  Your GMAT score, your work experience, your application essays (demonstrating your leadership and management skills), and your admissions interview (if you get that far in the MBA application process).

So, given the above, what are things that can help you hit a home run with some of the most elite business school programs around like HBS, Wharton, or Stanford? In other words, THE top business schools.

First, your GMAT score is going to be the most important thing, in my professional opinion.  A high score, and by high I mean 730+, can get an applicant in to one of the top MBA programs, who perhaps didn’t have as stellar work experience as the applicant standing next to him (or her). A high GMAT score, in other words, makes everything possible.

Second: work experience.  The adcoms at the most competitive schools tend to value experience at “known-name” companies over lesser known ones:  a.k.a. companies that are leaders in their industry and/or Fortune 500 firms.

Working at one of these firms will help you get attention in the admissions office, as it is a competitive game and working at a top firm not only means you had what it takes to get there and gain some footing in your career at an ambitions level, but more importantly, that you made it through these firms highly selective screening process.

In other words, they vetted you first so the adcom basically highly weighs that silent and unspoken recommendation.

On this same line of thought, working “for-profit” organizations will skew higher on the adcom’s radar than those applicants who might work in the non-profit sector.  I’m not saying one can’t in from the non-profit side, because that isn’t true at all, I am just saying that as these elite MBA programs value drive and ambition at the highest level, they are attracted to applicants who are already demonstrating they can play on the field.

The area of the country you work in also matters.  An MBA applicant who works for Morgan Stanley or Deloitte in NYC, and has a 730 GMAT and can demonstrate both strong leadership and management ability through the examples they choose to speak about in their essays, is going to have an easier time than the guy (or woman) sitting in Indiana who’s working for a unknown firm.

Location matters, because again, the adcom sees this as an example of DRIVE, as they perhaps not even consciously believe that if you can success in a large city (whether it be New York or Houston) and compete in such a competitive marketplace for your job, it lends just a little more weight.

So, what are your odds of getting in?  Check back next time when I’ll profile three actual MBA applicants, so you can clearly see what is required to gain acceptance to the top MBA business schools around!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm www.MBAIvyLeague.com Check out my website and request a free evaluation today!]

 

3 06, 2016

4 Ways to Pay For Your Business School MBA!

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00June 3rd, 2016|Ivy League, MBA, MBA Admissions|0 Comments

So, you did it!  You got in to your dream MBA program and are on your way to business school…or, are you?  Like many people who applied this year, you may have thought, “I’ll just get in first, and then I’ll worry about how in the world I am going to pay for it.”

As many of you already know, business school is quite expensive, with the top schools tuition tipping into six figures a year!  So, how is one to pay for something like this, and what are your options?

  1. Company Sponsorship:  Obviously, this is not offered to everyone, or even most people who end up going into an MBA program, however, it is always something to look into.  This is especially true if you work at a large well-known (Fortune 500) company, as these are the companies that very often will sponsor MBA applicants, though often they recruit you, and not the other way around.  However, if you have been with the same company for a number of years, have done good work, and believe you are on the executive track (or want to to be), it can never hurt to have a discussion and inquire.  Full sponsorship from a large, well-known company?  This is your best option.
  2. Loans: This is what most people do.  If you don’t have enough savings (to be discussed more below), personal educational loans are the most common way people fund their business education.  If you are going to take out educational loans though, be sure you know what you’re getting into in terms of student debt.  Yes, hopefully upon graduation with an MBA you will be able to get a good job, pay off the loans quickly, and the interest and balance won’t be a problem, but an MBA degree is never a guarantee of a high-paying job, the degree simply provides you with better opportunity and likelihood of getting a high-paying job, post-degree, but it’s only an opportunity.  Just know what you’re getting in to with any loan, educational or otherwise.
  3. Savings: For the handful of you who can self-fund your education, congratulations as you don’t really need to be reading this article. However, you may want to question if self-funding $100k a year for 2 years, is really the best strategy for your cash.  I would say to anyone looking to self-fund the cost of an MBA or EMBA program, to make sure they examine the “sponsorship” option above.  If you’ve made enough in your career to self-fund business school, I bet others have noticed your expertise in business too, and there just may be more options on the table.
  4. Outside scholarships: Alongside loans, scholarships are your best way to fund your education, especially if you don’t have savings and no one in your family is offering (or able) to help you fund your b-school pursuit.  One of the best websites I’ve ever found for scholarships is Foundation Grants For Individuals Online, or http://gtionline.foundationcenter.org/ .  This is an excellent resource listing over 6,000 grants one can apply for, based on a slew of differing criteria.  Some grants won’t fit your story or background and goals at all, but others will, and for anyone seriously looking for money for school, this is the place to look first.

Overall, business school is expensive, but there are ways to manage the cost.  I will be adding other articles in the coming weeks expanding on what I have started here, and in the meantime encourage you to explore these options.  The more creative you are now, the more money you’ll save later, and your MBA will be your key to your future dreams.

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm www.MBAIvyLeague.com  Contact us for a free consultation, today!]

1 06, 2016

The GMAT Score You Need to be a Competitive MBA Candidate!

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00June 1st, 2016|GMAT, MBA|3 Comments

As a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, people are always asking me about their GMAT scores and “if I think they’ll get in.”  Test scores are certainly one large aspect of the entire MBA admissions process, although allow me to stress that many other things including, most importantly, your professional experience, your future goals, your internships, and how an MBA degree now logically and purposefully ties in to everything, as well as your rec letters and resume all matter a lot, too. That said, what score DOES it take to get in? In my view, one needs a GMAT score between 680- –> 720 to be considered competitive at the “Top Ten” and Ivy League schools, and anything over 720 will put you in a completely different (i.e. read: excellent) ballpark and that is what you should shoot for in terms of really making a great impression with the ad com. I have also found that in working with my own MBA clients over the years, that those who actually take an organized 6-8 week class do slightly better than those who study alone with a book or online.  I have also found that scores tend to weigh just a little bit more for international candidates, as it is the best way to evaluate skills across cultural boundaries (i.e. we may not know the name of your undergraduate college in India and how that really compares, so tend to lean just a little more on scores for non-U.S applicants). However, in terms of taking the test more than once — go for it!  Two times, certainly.  A top score will place you in a top school…especially if you have the strong corporate work experience at a known-name company to back it up.  The overall goal is to make you an extremely strong candidate and not give them a reason to say no.  A high score will make that even harder.

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE, out of New York.  Like more information?  Check out my website, and fill out my contact form today! www.MBAIvyLeague.com]Students

8 05, 2016

Applying For A Round 1 MBA or EMBA? Make Your Resume Shine!

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00May 8th, 2016|MBA Admissions|2 Comments

Are you applying for Round 1 MBA or EMBA this year?  One of the best things you can do to stand out from all the rest,  is to make sure your MBA resume shines!  You absolutely must get your professional resume in the best possible condition before you submit, and by following these simple tips, you’ll already be ahead of the game (and the competition) in this year’s MBA & EMBA business school admissions process:

1.  MBA TIP #1 – DO SOME RESEARCH:  Take the time to google a few sample resumes in your field and for the particular school you’re applying to, so you know what a professional resume actually looks like for that program.

Some of the MBA programs (like Chicago Booth, for instance, have their own preferred format, and the preferred format is the one I strongly recommend you follow).

Linked In is a great resource for the industry examples, and the school’s own website is often a good resource for samples that match what they want (Most schools will give you samples if their format at all differs from industry standard.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people with strong, good experience, but their resume is just not formatted properly, or it’s formatted in a way that just doesn’t look professional and competitive in terms of the other applicants in their industry – and that is the one things that will get you dinged fast.

Your resume matters.  It’s actually the very first thing an admissions committee will look at when reviewing your MBA or EMBA application, so do your homework and try to get it right.

2. MBA TIP #2 – KEEP IT TO 1 PAGE:  Two pages if you have more than 8-10 years experience (usually more relevant for the EMBA), as most of you applying to full-time MBA programs will, and should,  have less than that.  It doesn’t matter how many different facets of the business day you are in charge of at your job, what matters if you can succinctly summarize this experience in a way that comes across as being professional, focused, and to the point, while also highlighting your accomplishments.

The MBA admissions committee is trying to get an overview of your professional background, not read a manifesto.  Keep it streamlined, tight, focused and NEAT, which by the way, usually means justified margins.  Then, if your experience warrants it, your resume will get attention.  In other words, don’t ever give them a reason to say no.

3. MBA TIP #3 – MENTION NUMBERS: The top MBA and especially EMBA programs love to see numbers. That means numbers of employees you manage, number of projects that come through your department, average number of sales, budget you handle, etc.  Admissions officers also like financial or monetary numbers, even if you’re just giving a general estimate, as it helps them gauge not only the size of the company you work for, and where you fit in their hierarchy, but more importantly, it reveals your level of responsibility.

Do you manage $1.2 million in assets for your investment bank employer? Or, perhaps you oversee $750K in current active contracts for your operations department? Mention these facts, and you’ve suddenly raised the admission committees’ awareness of your level of experience.  If you have numbers like these at your disposal (even if their just averages), AND you can freely share, make sure you mention them as this will only help.

4. In summary, the MBA resume is slightly different from a regular resume you might use to using when you apply for a job.  The MBA resume is all about highlighting your experience in a way that focuses on your ability to be a leader.

In this regard, it is better to create a resume that’s more general than “tech” or “niche” specific. The MBA admissions officer reading through your application, may not necessarily know the technical language of your field, but by following all of the above tips and not giving them a reason to say no, they will certainly know a competitive resume – and candidate – when they see one!

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York. I specialize in helping clients get in to the most competitive ‘Top Ten’ MBA & EMBA programs in the U.S and abroad, including HBS, Wharton, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Columbia and LBS (just to name a few!)  Contact me to set up a free consultation today!   www.MBAIvyLeague.com 

12 03, 2016

The Hail Mary MBA Pass! Final Deadlines Still Exist!

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00March 12th, 2016|Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, IE, INSEAD, Ivy League, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, Ross, Wharton|0 Comments

So, let’s say you applied to business school this year and…you didn’t get in.  Yet, you really, really want to start an MBA program in September of THIS year, and not have to wait an entire full year before even being able to begin. However, it’s late in the game.  Really late as most of you know: most deadlines have passed…but noticed I used the word “MOST” = as of today’s date (March 12, 2016) there are still schools out there – top schools – top MBA programs, with deadlines you can still make if you start now.

So, what are these schools, and should you even really bother?  Most will be surprised to learn that some of the Round 3 deadlines still out there, are at some of the most competitive MBA programs around, and even though most of these schools have already compiled their incoming class list there is still room for “adjustments.”

People will decide to go to other schools, saying yes to one means saying “no” to others and that leaves OPENINGS.  Schools will also “hold” spots until the very last date of the admission process, and even if you are wait-listed, getting in off the wait-list and not having to wait an entire FULL YEAR just to be able to begin the MBA program of your dreams that you would rather start THIS September than next…makes an MBA application now a “Hail Mary” end-of-game pass into the endzone, but a pass that I recommend.

It’s like this: if waiting another year is going to be more annoying to you than anything, if you can’t stand having to put your life on hold, then throw that ball and take the chance that maybe, just maybe you can actually get in.  All you stand to lose is the price of the application.  What you can gain could save you TIME, a lot of time, by putting your career and education right on track, and we all know that time and opportunity is something you can’t exactly get back.

So, the schools with deadlines still open as of today’s date (March 12, 2016):

Round 3_1

Round 3_2

Screen shot 2016-01-27 at 11.27.03 AM

So. again, let me stress, there are still spots. Every admissions officer I’ve ever talked to tells me, year after year, that they always hold at least “a few” spaces for the student who comes to them late, yet who they know would make a strong contribution to the class.  If the admission committees didn’t believe this, and put action behind their words, there would be no “Round 3!”  The schools would have a Round 1 and Round 2 and that would be it. Round 3 is there for a reason, and yes, people do actually get in.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if that was YOU?  Remember: it’s not over until it’s over. So, if you’re depressed about not getting in this year and the idea of having to spend yet another year at your current job before you can even BEGIN to make headway into your future, then just look at the list, choose your schools, and take the step and apply.  Throw another hat into the ring. Make that pass into the end zone. Take your application, give it your best shot in these weeks to come and you may just be pleasantly surprised.  Sometimes that pass wins the game!

And, worst case scenario, you that much ahead for a serious start to your MBA future next year.

[Considering an MBA or EMBA? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the most competitive students and professionals get into the business school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

27 01, 2016

The Round 3 MBA: Should You Apply?

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00January 27th, 2016|EMBA, GMAT, HBS, INSEAD, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, Ross, Wharton|0 Comments

The Round 3 MBA: is it worth it?  Whereas most of you think it’s probably too late in the game to apply for your MBA at a top school if you’re even looking at Round 3, and that you would just be wasting your time, I’m here to say that isn’t necessarily true. While most students have in fact already submitted their MBA applications and got them in either right before or right after Christmas, applying for a Round 3 MBA can still work and actually be a valuable strategy and course of action in certain situations.

The biggest deterrent here is that, yes, most of the top business schools have already made a large chunk of their admission decisions, so by the pure math alone, the smaller number of spaces left for Round 3 students are going to make admission in this round more cut-throat and harder, BUT there are still spots left at every single one of the schools, and if you’re qualified, have strong professional experience, a viable GMAT score for the school you’re targeting, and perhaps just didn’t apply Round 1 or 2 because of various time-intensive projects you were involved in at work, excessive business travel for a global client, finishing up your time in the military, or were in the process of switching jobs…a Round 3 MBA can and does make perfect sense, and will to the admissions committee too.

In other words, there are still spots, and if your reasons for waiting seem perfectly professionally understandable and valid then wouldn’t it be so much better to apply now and get your life going in the direction you want it to go in (a Fall 2016 admission to a solid MBA program) versus waiting an entire full year in order to even begin the process and try again.

There is a lot to strategy in this too – if for some reason you don’t get in this Round, you will have something to examine and go over for months (and at that point, I would recommend a consultant who can help you fortify your application as well as analyze what happened and what perhaps went wrong) before you then apply again. In other words,  if needed, it gives you a second chance to make the best application possible.

Again though, let me stress, there are spots. Every admissions officer I’ve talked to tells me, year after year, that they always hold spaces for the student who comes in late, yet they know would make a strong contribution to the class.  If the admission committees didn’t believe this, and put action behind their words, there would be no “Round 3.”  Everyone would apply Round 1 and Round 2 and that would be it. It’s there for a reason, and yes, people do actually get in.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if it was you?  Don’t delay another year.  Worst case scenario, all you lose is your application fee, but what you can gain by taking the challenge is a serious start to your future THIS year.

Remaining MBA deadlines for 2016:

Header

Round 3_a,jpg

Round 3_1

Round 3_2

Screen shot 2016-01-27 at 11.27.03 AM

[Considering an MBA or EMBA program? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York City.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the best students and professionals get into the business school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

 

7 12, 2015

EMBA Business School Programs That No Longer Require the GMAT or GRE

By |2015-12-07T14:22:30+00:00December 7th, 2015|EMBA, GMAT|0 Comments

If you’re applying to a top EMBA program this year (and, if you’ve been out of college for perhaps more than a while) you know the stress of even thinking that you have to take the GMAT or GRE in order to get into a Top Ten  or Ivy League b-school and advance towards your Executive MBA goals.  However, what you may not know is that some of the most competitive EMBA programs no longer require the GMAT or other test scores, and The Stern School of Business at New York University is one of the best of them! 

Don’t believe me and want proof for yourself?  Check out NYU Stern’s press release here that states that they are no longer requiring EMBA or executive MBA candidates to take the GMAT or GRE.  Now, that doesn’t apply to full-time MBA candidates, just EMBA’s (sorry MBA candidates!), as the school decided to drop the GMAT or GRE requirement due to its applicants’ usually stellar level of professional credentials and experience. That said,  EMBA b-school candidates will still have the option to submit their GMAT or GRE scores if they’d like (and a high score can never hurt), but the scores are no longer a requirement, and if you’re looking for a highly respected EMBA program in the center of New York City and the NY business world that lets you continue to work while you participate in a strong  executive MBA environment, NYU Stern just might be for you.

The NYU Stern Executive MBA program is known world-wide for its excellence in business, management, experience and professionalism. The program maintains a strong global initiative and prepares students for nothing but international excellence and success.  Given that they no longer require the GMAT/GRE, NYU Stern executive MBA admissions has also developed a highly individualized approach to each applicant, and the application essays, admissions interview, and level of professional experience and leadership as detailed on the resume and in one’s essays, are paramount to  making a strong impression and getting in.

Again though, applicants to NYU Stern’s full-time MBA program are still required to submit test scores, and because EMBA applicants often submit to both types of business school programs anyway, you may already have scores you’ll want to use.  For those who don’t though, not having to take the GMAT or GRE is huge, and dropping the GMAT/GRE requirement for EMBA candidates is gaining popularity at some of the best and most competitive schools in the U.S.  To date, other highly competitive EMBA programs that currently do not require the GMAT or GRE include: Chicago Booth School of Business, Kellogg School of ManagementSloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  So, plan accordingly and, as always, GOOD LUCK!

[Applying for an EMBA  or full-time MBA program? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the best students and professionals get into the school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

16 11, 2015

Top MBA Interview Questions – What Can You Expect?

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00November 16th, 2015|MBA Admissions|0 Comments

Are you one of the lucky ones?  Have you been invited to interview at one of the top-tier MBA programs you applied to in Round 2?  Even if you’re now just applying Round 3, the below can help you learn what kinds of questions admission officers are asking this year, and what tips can help you give the best impression possible!

1. “Tell me about your career choices since leaving college?”

What interviewers are looking for here, is what I call a “logical progression.”  They’re looking to see a focused path regarding both how and why you moved from point A to point B, to point C, and if you don’t have a focused path (which accounts for a large amount of applicants, so don’t worry) they simply want to see and understand the reasons you jumped around.  It has to sound LOGICAL.  It has to add up to who and where you are NOW.

The main thing that will get you dinged here?  Impulsiveness – that’s what this question is trying to screen out.  They want to make sure you’re just not all over the place and flaky, because then, you know, you may leave the program, too.

2. “What accomplishment are you most proud of at your current job?”

Here, the interviewer is trying to get a sense of the amount of responsibility you hold in your current position, as the thing you are most proud of will not only (most likely) show off your best strength as an employee, but will show what character trait you actually value most – and that gives them great information about YOU.

The main thing that will get you dinged with this question? Not speaking up with confidence or failing to explain or back up your answer.

3. “When have you strongly differed in opinion from someone at work?”

Give your best example that had a positive outcome!  Admissions is trying to see if you have what it takes to speak up and make a serious difference in your workplace, but also are looking for you to describe how there was a positive solution to the difference that ended up working in your favor.  If your example didn’t work out in your favor – choose another example!

4. “What is an example of something really difficult you’ve had to go through, or important event in the last 5-7 years?”

Again, here the committee is trying to get a sense of your professional journey and what stands out in your mind, which is going to parallel highly with what you most value.  They are simply trying to understand who you are professionally, and how you see yourself in relation to others.

The one thing that will get you dinged on this question?  Not having a strong and solid answer.  It’s really not so much what you say, but how you say it.  Always speak with confidence as the fastest thing to get you dinged on all of your questions is a wishy-washy, weak, one-word response.

5. “Why an MBA now,  and why our school?”

Most likely, you already wrote an essay for this question, so just review all of your essays before going into your interview.  Your answer to the first part, “Why an MBA now?” should really take into consideration why NOW is, in fact, the most logical time to get your degree. The word “now” is key.  They want to see the logic behind your decision.

The second part, “Why HBS, Wharton, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg, MIT Sloan or NYU Stern?” just to name a few, should focus on the particular program’s attributes that are specific to your career.

What they are trying to screen for in this question, is again, impulsiveness = they don’t like it.  Everything you do, even if your career so far hasn’t been as smooth or uninterrupted as you would like, should still have a reason, an explanation, an arc, a journey as if everything you’ve done to get you where you are still has value – value that can be used and drawn upon now in your current career.

In the end, your interview should be conversational, dynamic, and engaging!  In other words, just try to have a very real and engaging conversation.  If you’ve gotten this far, it’s a very good sign that you are already on your way!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate.  I currently run the MBA admissions firm: MBA IVY LEAGUE out of NYC.  I provide expert advice on MBA essays and applications to students all over the world, and offer free initial consultations, so please contact me today! http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com]
28 08, 2015

How Important is the Letter of Recommendation for Your MBA Application?

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00August 28th, 2015|MBA Admissions|0 Comments

If you’re applying to an MBA or EMBA program this year, you may be wondering just how much your recommendation letters really mean in terms of a successful business school application. – and this is an even more pertinent question to ask if you’re applying to any of the “Top Ten” or Ivy League MBA programs out there like HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Stanford, or NYU Stern.

You may have spent a little time trying to figure out which manager or supervisor to ask at work, or you may have spent a lot of time trying to deduce who truly knows you the best and has the best credentials. Well, I am here to tell you the recommendation letters actually mean a lot.  I’ve seen them turn the tide.  A good rec letter can make the difference between getting in to a top school like Wharton or Booth, and NOT getting in to a school at all.

I’ve seen good letters make up for poor GMAT scores, an “unpleasant” undergraduate GPA, or the fact that you may have gaps in your professional work experience.

In other words, a strong rec letter is golden.  It gives the MBA committee the confidence to believe that you can handle not only the work load in business school, but become a valuable, contributing, active part of their incoming class. It’s someone “vouching” for you, and putting their own professional reputation on the line, to make a public and very vocal claim for yours.

So, what can you do to maximize your chances and make sure that you are asking the right person for a letter? Sometimes you don’t have a choice and the MBA admissions comittees are simply asking you to get a letter from your direct supervisor, but when you can submit additional letters, or have other options, below are the key characteristics that can make an average MBA recommendation letter GREAT, trump any “bad” scores or grades on your former transcripts, explain personality traits that work in your favor and show off your professional goals and accomplishments…making a very strong case for getting you in to the MBA or EMBA program of your dreams:

  • CREDIBILITY  – Ideally, you want to pick the recommender who knows you best, and also has impressive credentials themselves.  The admissions committee is not only looking at your background, but the background of the people you know (in terms of who you ask to write a letter).  They do this in order to “leverage” where they think you fit on the hierarchy in terms of other MBA & EMBA applicants, as they form a professional opinion of you in their mind.  Getting someone who has impressive credentials themselves, is always going to be better than asking a colleague who has the same job description as you, no matter how well he/she knows you, and how supportive they can be.
  • NETWORKING – How well have you networked?  Are you already at a big firm, and if yes, how much access do you appear to have to the top?  Does your choice of recommender show this?  How high can you get? Does the recommender obviously know you well, or is this just the type of perfunctory letter they are obviously frequently asked to write simply because of who they are, and they really don’t know you much at all? If they really don’t know you, don’t ask.  It will be obvious to the MBA committee and only count against you.
  • SINCERITY – it is always better to have someone who knows you well write your letter than a person “higher up” who may not know enough about you to convey your experience to the committee (or even take the time). The MBA committee is looking for this type of information to place you in their mind.  In other words, you’re either someone to be taken seriously via your letter, or you’re not. It makes a difference.  Choose wisely.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm: www.MBAIvyLeague.com out of New York.  I specialize in helping clients get in to the ‘Top Ten’ MBA programs worldwide.  Contact me for a free consultation today]

28 07, 2015

Applying For A Round 1 MBA or EMBA? Make Your Resume Shine!

By |2017-04-17T17:05:53+00:00July 28th, 2015|MBA Admissions, resume|1 Comment

Are you applying for Round 1 MBA or EMBA this year?  One of the best things you can do to stand out from all the rest,  is to make sure your MBA resume shines!  You absolutely must get your professional resume in the best possible condition before you submit, and by following these simple tips, you’ll already be ahead of the game (and the competition) in this year’s MBA & EMBA business school admissions process:

1.  MBA TIP #1 – DO SOME RESEARCH:  Take the time to google a few sample resumes in your field and for the particular school you’re applying to, so you know what a professional resume actually looks like for that program.

Some of the MBA programs (like Chicago Booth, for instance, have their own preferred format, and the preferred format is the one I strongly recommend you follow).

Linked In is a great resource for the industry examples, and the school’s own website is often a good resource for samples that match what they want (Most schools will give you samples if their format at all differs from industry standard.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people with strong, good experience, but their resume is just not formatted properly, or it’s formatted in a way that just doesn’t look professional and competitive in terms of the other applicants in their industry – and that is the one things that will get you dinged fast.

Your resume matters.  It’s actually the very first thing an admissions committee will look at when reviewing your MBA or EMBA application, so do your homework and try to get it right.

2. MBA TIP #2 – KEEP IT TO 1 PAGE:  Two pages if you have more than 8-10 years experience (usually more relevant for the EMBA), as most of you applying to full-time MBA programs will, and should,  have less than that.  It doesn’t matter how many different facets of the business day you are in charge of at your job, what matters if you can succinctly summarize this experience in a way that comes across as being professional, focused, and to the point, while also highlighting your accomplishments.

The MBA admissions committee is trying to get an overview of your professional background, not read a manifesto.  Keep it streamlined, tight, focused and NEAT, which by the way, usually means justified margins.  Then, if your experience warrants it, your resume will get attention.  In other words, don’t ever give them a reason to say no.

3. MBA TIP #3 – MENTION NUMBERS: The top MBA and especially EMBA programs love to see numbers. That means numbers of employees you manage, number of projects that come through your department, average number of sales, budget you handle, etc.  Admissions officers also like financial or monetary numbers, even if you’re just giving a general estimate, as it helps them gauge not only the size of the company you work for, and where you fit in their hierarchy, but more importantly, it reveals your level of responsibility.

Do you manage $1.2 million in assets for your investment bank employer? Or, perhaps you oversee $750K in current active contracts for your operations department? Mention these facts, and you’ve suddenly raised the admission committees’ awareness of your level of experience.  If you have numbers like these at your disposal (even if their just averages), AND you can freely share, make sure you mention them as this will only help.

4. In summary, the MBA resume is slightly different from a regular resume you might use to using when you apply for a job.  The MBA resume is all about highlighting your experience in a way that focuses on your ability to be a leader.

In this regard, it is better to create a resume that’s more general than “tech” or “niche” specific. The MBA admissions officer reading through your application, may not necessarily know the technical language of your field, but by following all of the above tips and not giving them a reason to say no, they will certainly know a competitive resume – and candidate – when they see one!

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York. I specialize in helping clients get in to the most competitive ‘Top Ten’ MBA & EMBA programs in the U.S and abroad, including HBS, Wharton, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Columbia and LBS (just to name a few!)  Contact me to set up a free consultation today!   www.MBAIvyLeague.com