21 05, 2017

Columbia MBA & EMBA Essay Questions for 2018

By | 2017-05-22T15:48:39+00:00 May 21st, 2017|Columbia, EMBA, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays|0 Comments

Columbia Business School has announced the MBA & EMBA essay questions for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle.

2018 ESSAY PROMPTS:

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3 – 5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School? (250 words)

EMBA Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA will challenge you by offering a rigorous academic experience, global exposure through the international seminar, and the opportunity to immediately apply what you learn to your career. How will you approach balancing the demands of the program with your professional and personal life while you are in school? (250 words)

Essay #3: Please select and answer one of the following essay questions: (250 words)
a: Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life.
b: If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 words)

The MBA application to Columbia Business School is now live! Please visit the CBS admissions website for more information, and also look at the article: The GMAT Score You Need to Get Into a Top Ten Business School.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE.  Contact me for a free consultation today!]

17 04, 2017

Stand Out From The Pack: Making Your MBA Application Even More Competitive

By | 2017-04-17T19:07:43+00:00 April 17th, 2017|MBA Admissions|0 Comments

Business schools like leaders. High GMAT scores are great, pedigree experience at well known-name firms will get you attention, but business schools…especially if you’re looking at the famed  ‘Top Ten’ and targeting places like HBS, Wharton, Kellogg or Chicago Booth for your MBA or EMBA degree, want to see that you also bring something actively interesting to the table.

What do I mean by “actively interesting?”  Something that demonstrates you are ambitious, innovative and using every ounce of your time to creatively push your career forward.

The best way to do this?  In my opinion, it’s to start your own side business, and/or not-for-profit organization.

It doesn’t matter how big it is, it doesn’t matter how successful.  What matters is that you ACTIVELY decided to take a step forward and tried something perhaps outside your comfort zone. Even while working a full-time job.

For example:

  1. I worked with an applicant who started a humanitarian organization raising just a mere $1,000 USD initially to buy school supplies for girls in India. This non-profit is now bringing in over $250k annually, and its founder, who really didn’t have much truly outstanding on her resume to begin with that would get her noticed, got into HBS, Stanford, and MIT.  She thought of an idea, built a website, enacted a marketing plan using nothing but social media, and MADE A DIFFERENCE in other people’s lives and her own.  All while working a “regular” job. This shows leadership, and is exactly what the top MBA programs want to see.

This strategy of building your own side project or business, and just putting it out there, also works particular well for those MBA business school applicants who might be straddling the fence in terms of not quite breaking a 720 on the GMAT, or not quite having “known name” firms on your resume, or not having enough years of what the MBA committee would deem “significant” industry experience…in other words, your MBA application could use a little boost to the next level.

Time and time again, I’ve had clients who decided to push forward by starting something new — however small it might be!  It doesn’t need to be this great big thing.  Really.  They put it on the web, took the necessary steps to market their new idea, maybe wrote a business plan, and regardless of profitability…did you read that?  If not, read it again to make sure you really get it… regardless of profitability, they demonstrated to admissions that they were willing to stretch, to take a risk with their time outside of work, to be ambitions, to try out their ideas even if they failed, because even failing could lead to the next great idea, and no experience in terms of MBA admissions is ever really wasted.

So, build a website, no matter how simple.  Think of an idea. Profit or non-profit. Create a landing page, or create something larger. Start something, anything, work on it, improve it as you go along, and just get it out there.  This will give you something else to talk about in terms of your business experience in your essays and in your MBA admissions interview. It will add color and interest to your entire MBA or EMBA application. It will make you more original, and original leaders are who the top schools want.

So far, the best site I’ve seen in terms of tech support and  minimum investment is: BLUEHOST:


For only $5.95 a month (and sometimes they have monthly specials that bring the cost down even lower) the company will host your site, and more importantly, provide tech support in helping you get your site up and running.

So, no matter if you choose to go the humanitarian route with a non-profit, or if your idea is a money making business that could be the next big thing, adding something “extra” and on-the-side to your MBA & EMBA business school application can make all the difference between an MBA admissions committee seeing you as just an average so-so applicant who doesn’t really stand out from the pack, to someone who has initiative, takes charge of their own future by actively DOING, and wants to make things happen.

So, want to get in to HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, or MIT Sloan this year?  THIS is the type applicant you need to be.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions consulting firm MBA IVY LEAGUE.  My firm specializes in helping students get in to the Top Ten business schools. Contact us today at www.MBAIvyLeague.com and get into the school of your dreams!]

27 01, 2017

Your EMBA Strategy: Should You Apply for an Executive MBA?

By | 2017-04-17T17:05:52+00:00 January 27th, 2017|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, INSEAD, Kellogg, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Uncategorized, Wharton|0 Comments

The Executive MBA (or, as it’s more commonly know, EMBA) is for those professionals applying to business school who already have more than a few years experience under your belt.  You’ve graduated from good college, you have a strong job, and you’ve been working in your career now, on average 8-10+ years.

You’ve also probably reached a level in your specific industry where you know you want more out of your career.  Or, perhaps you simply want to go in a completely new direction, and you know you need to first reinforce your skill-set, knowledge base, contacts and networking in order to get you to the next credentialed level.

This is exactly what the EMBA was designed for: people like you who have already achieved a level of professional success: whether that’s on the corporate side, in entrepreneurship, the finance industry, energy industry, or whatever your cup of tea is.  You simply know you now want to take your career someplace even more interesting.

There are a few thing you need to know first though, about applying to this type of executive business school program, in order to make sure you first have all your ducks in a row:

  • EMBA programs usually work on rolling admissions.  That means research your schools early, and know their deadlines.  Then, map out a game plan that gets your applications in earlier rather than later, as spots in EMBA programs (versus the regular MBA) start to fill up (and thereby get more competitive) as the deadline nears.
  • You may not need a GMAT or GRE score!  This is great news to some, and at times the #1 reason for applying for the EMBA over the regular, full-time MBA.  Each school is different though, and some programs (like Wharton) still require it, so as with the above point, do your research on your schools and check early.
  • EMBA programs are usually almost always part-time.  This is usually a plus for busy, successful professionals who fully intend to keep working full-time while they attend school — and for most people who are at the EMBA level, that’s a work week that’s already pretty darn full, so this is good news.
  • The EMBA program is slightly easier to get into than the full-time MBA.  Not really true.  You have to be qualified, and of course, it will depend on the school.  Wharton’s EMBA program, in my opinion, (and I have been working as a top MBA & EMBA admissions consultant now for a very long time), is that it is just as difficult to get into as their regular, full-time MBA program, and is one of the most competitive EMBA programs around.  Not to discourage anyone, but if you are going to apply, just make sure you don’t skimp on anything: your resume, the essays, your interview.  You simply always want to put forth your absolutely best.
  • They’re not going to care about your undergraduate grades. Probably true!  Of course everything always matters and counts when admissions is evaluating your overall profile, and you want to make sure you’re as competitive as possible, in every given area, to give yourself the best chance, but that “C” you got 10 years ago now in Chemistry or Advanced Calculus while you were an undergrad…not going to make much of a difference!
  • The EMBA is all about now:  what are you doing in your career now?  Today? What does your resume look like? How many people do you manage?  Do you have any direct reports?  What level of responsibility do you have within your department, or perhaps this is your own company! How do your application essays, your interview, your profile, and your resume add up?  And what about your rec letters?  Do people speak highly of you, and do you present yourself as a natural innovator and leader? These are the things that will get you in!

The Executive EMBA is all about helping today’s business leaders and visionaries move higher by giving them the tools and relationships they need, and some of the best schools out there for today’s top EMBA include: Wharton, Columbia, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, and Kellogg on top of many more.

Thinking about applying for your EMBA and want more information?  Feel free to contact me before for an initial consultation. Current EMBA deadlines for Fall 2017 matriculation are coming up, depending on your school, but there is still ample time to apply! Happy to take your calls:

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm: MBA Ivy League. Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the business school of your dreams: www.MBAIvyLeague.com  / MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com / (646) 276-7042 ]

11 08, 2016

The 10 Best MBA Business School Programs for Entrepreneurs

By | 2016-08-13T14:03:37+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Babson, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, IE, IE Business School, IESE Business School, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, Stanford, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Wharton|0 Comments

MBA business school admissions is up this year, and one of the strongest MBA & EMBA admission categories is for those interested in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners know it takes more than just a good idea to build a strong company.  Success is built on networking, forming strong business connections, knowing how to raise capital, as well as how to properly plan, research, brand, and strategize your company and product, and only THEN launch your business…all while protecting your idea.

And what better place to do this than within a top MBA or EMBA business school where you will be able to access all the support you need for both a successful launch AND future growth!

Staying ahead of the game is what gives you an advantage, and what some of the most successful business leaders, MBA students  and entrepreneurs already know is that the elite innovation labs at some of the best MBA business school programs in the country (and around the world) can certainly give you and your new business a great start in the process of becoming successful.

These MBA programs WORK, and they work because they strive to give you the exact tools and advisory support you need to put your idea out there and succeed.

As one of the top MBA admissions consultants in the U.S., let me advise you that there is nothing better than taking the opportunity to learn from the best.   This means not just from the other entrepreneurs who are your classmates, but from your professors and industry lecturers as well who are often the top leaders and experts in their field.

So, if you’re looking for the best MBA business school programs for entrepreneurship look no further, as they are as follows:

  1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  2. Babson College’s Olin Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  4. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  5. UCLA Anderson School of Management
  6. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  7. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  8. IE Business School
  9. London Business School
  10. IESE Business School

Taken from the Financial Times ranking of the Top 25 Business School MBA Programs for entrepreneurship, these MBA business schools can really put you ahead of the crowd.

More importantly though, they teach you how to get that very same crowd behind you and your company by teaching you how to develop the skills you need to launch and sustain your business well into the future!

Looking for MBA or EMBA admissions consulting?  MBA IVY LEAGUE is run by a Harvard graduate as well as a former Harvard admissions interviewer. Contact us for a free profile evaluation today and get into the bschool of your dreams! MBAIvyLeague.com * (646) 276-7042 * MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com 

19 06, 2016

GMAT Score Averages for the Top Ten MBA Business Schools

By | 2017-04-17T17:05:52+00:00 June 19th, 2016|EMBA, GMAT, MBA Admissions, Wharton|2 Comments

Are your GMAT scores good enough to get you in to a ‘Top Ten’ MBA business school?  How about if you’re interested in getting your EMBA? Do you even know what the average GMAT score for your target school IS?  You should.

That is the magic question after all, and what everyone wants to know: is my GMAT even competitive for the programs I’m targeting?  What if I’m targeting Stanford, MIT, or Harvard and the Ivy League?  Can I even get in?

Obviously, the higher your GMAT or GRE score the better chance you have of gaining admission to a strong MBA or Executive EMBA program, and crossing over that 720 GMAT line truly does put you in a different league with MBA business school ad com around the world.

The highest score of any client I ever personally worked with as an MBA admissions consultant was a 780.  The applicant, a young man in his mid-twenties from NYC, didn’t have much in terms of professional experience.  In fact, due to downsizing at his company after the last economic downturn, he was forced to take a job, just to survive, in an entirely unrelated career!  He had been in finance and now he was in straight tech.

In other words, though very smart, this guy’s resume was a mess.

BUT…he took the GMAT and got a 780.  With that alone, regardless of his professional experience, regardless of a career that seemed pretty disjointed and fragmented and not too stable right from the start, our 26 year old guy in point got in to all 3 of his target schools:  Columbia, Kellogg, and Booth.

My point?  A high score can mean an awful lot.

So, what are the average GMAT scores of the Top Ten MBA programs in the U.S.?  This great chart put together by the website Poets & Quant shows the average GMAT’s from the most competitive business schools around, including HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Berkeley Haas, along with many more.

Remember though, these are GMAT averages.  That means there were GMAT scores both above and below what you see here, which means people got in with higher scores than this, and people got in with lower GMAT’s than this.  Not hitting this exact score in other words doesn’t mean you can’t get in,

So, take a look below and see how your own GMAT scores compares!  Do you make it on the list?

GMAT-MBA-Ivy-League

In terms of the non-U.S. schools, I did the following research, and came up with these, again average, GMAT’s for the top non-U.S. schools:

  • INSEAD    704
  • LBS    700
  • Cambridge (Judge)  690
  • Oxford (Said)  690

Slightly lower than the U.S. schools, but still breaking 680 (in averages).

So, what does all this mean?  Overall, if you want to go to a highly competitive MBA program, you want to be hitting around 680+ on your practice tests and the higher the score the better, so studying and preparing truly helps and there are a lot of good online GMAT courses and books out there.

So, do your best, take the test, and get the GMAT score of your dreams!

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard grad and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions consulting firm www.MBAIvyLeague.com. Contact me for a free consultation today and get into the business school of your dreams! MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com ]

13 06, 2016

The Best Test for Your MBA: GMAT or GRE?

By | 2017-04-17T17:05:52+00:00 June 13th, 2016|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, IE, INSEAD, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

If you’re applying for your MBA this year, you’re probably in the midst of starting to study for the GMAT – the traditional test needed to apply to U.S. business schools.

However, what you may not be aware of, is that more and more business schools are now using the GRE and valuing it just as equally within the MBA admissions process.

So, what’s the difference between the GMAT and the GRE, and does taking one over the other have any benefits or disadvantages?

In the U.S., having a GMAT score is going to be more common than an GRE score in terms of MBA admissions.  However, the GMAT is very heavy on quant and math skills, and if you’re interested in getting your MBA so you can continue to excel in your career in an industry like communications, social media management, strategy consulting, HR, advertising, entrepreneurship, or something that requires strong verbal and written skills OVER mathematical ability to succeed, then you seriously may want to consider if taking the GRE instead of the GMAT is the better test for you.

That’s right:  the GRE is the stronger test to take if you think you can score very high on verbal.

In this same vein, the GMAT is the test to take if you’re a financial analyst, use numbers in your everyday role at work, or are working or planning to work in the investment banking industry on Wall Street, or in anything related to finance.

Need a good GMAT to GRE score converter? Or simply want to see how your scores measure up?  Try this chart here:

Your GRE verbal scores run across the top of the chart, and your GRE quantitative scores run down the left-hand side. This chart can be used backwards too, so if you know what you got on the GMAT you can find that number first and find out how it compares to the GRE, and then make the best choice from there!

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart-MBA-Ivy-LeagueGMAT-GRE-Conversion Chart-2-MBA-Ivy-League

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart 3-MBA-Ivy-League

I will also say that the GMAT is still the most common business school test for U.S. business schools, including HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia but that’s starting to change, while the GRE is still the more common of the two tests in the U.K., Canada, Asia, and Europe.  

So, if you’re living overseas, or thinking of applying to a non-U.S. MBA or EMBA program, INSEAD, Said (Oxford), and Judge (Cambridge) with the exception of The London School of Business (because it draws so heavily from the financial industry in terms of its applicants) all prefer the GRE.

The “Top Ten” though in the U.S. is making the change, and depending upon where your skill set lies, consider which test – the GMAT or the GRE –  is going to give you the best possibilities!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate and run the MBA & EMBA business school admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE.  Contact us for a free profile evaluation today, and get into the school of your dreams!]

7 12, 2015

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

By | 2015-12-07T14:22:30+00:00 December 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 ]