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MBA Application

For a $200,000 MBA program, statements like ‘find your true passion’ has no particular meaning. Life experience has shown that chasing happiness has a financial cost. Less stressful and happy jobs have a low pay. So we take the pressures of the ‘popular’ job on the chin and assume that it is normal to feel down in our daily routine. This is a myth that has been propagated by previous generations, masking it in the form of ‘paying one’s dues’ and ‘you have to put in the work’ and ’10,000 hours of BS’. You won’t become great spending hours in a job that you hate.

Weekend Retreat: Soul Searching

Planning for a post-MBA career requires solitude that you are unlikely to get in your daily grind. Dedicate a weekend to get out of the routine. Preferably, travel to the countryside where the cues for obsessively checking your email and social media alerts are at a minimum.

Carry a notebook and book a room with an inviting view. That would encourage you to get out. Go for a walk. Spend most of your time outside and dedicate 3-4 hours in the evening for planning.

Categories : MBA Application

As the R3 deadlines come to a conclusion, it is time to reflect on the previous admission season and share some nuggets of wisdom with you. Hopefully, the observations would help you plan better for the next season if you are re-applying or focus on the Winning MBA application elements.

1) Belief

When applicants approach me with their initial list of schools, I ask them why the school is a good match. Almost no one quotes the curriculum or the reputed professor in the program. Most of you are eyeing to be part of the ‘brand’ or switch career or seek the jump in post-MBA salary that you are desperately seeking. The reasons are all fair, but when I highlight the competition or rephrase why the admission team should consider you as unique, some back down, others stick on to a false sense of hope with mediocre narrative, while the most successful – reflect and come back with at least 3-5 points on why they are different.

Not a single successful candidate had a blind belief in their ability. They were confident but not delusional. This attitude of humbleness with...
Categories : MBA Application

Even as someone who has been writing and helping MBA applicants for over 10 years, the process of allowing the most innermost fears, hope and dreams, to guide the writing process would have never materialized if there wasn’t an easy process. The diary and categorization of thoughts into subjects are pushing me to write more.

The process will change the quality of your writing.

P.S: The idea is inspired from Derek Sivers (https://sivers.org/dj)

Why Diary is Important for MBA Application

One of the toughest parts of improving an MBA Applicant’s writing is at letting go of their pre-conceived notion of what an essay should be. Some despite several nudging stick to a bland and formal narrative - a facade driven by the fear that the admission team would see their weakness. Some don’t know what to share and what to leave out. Some don’t have the skills. We are not suggesting that you share the most private information, but...

MBA Re-application is a painful process. The wounds are not fully healed, and you are back at evaluating profile weakness, re-taking the GMAT, and talking to new recommenders. Although the number of re-applicants accepted to top MBA programs varies, and most schools have not revealed the numbers, close to 10% of all applications are from re-applicants. The volume is so consistent that some schools have begun offering the option to apply as a fresh applicant.

Here are 10 winning strategies for MBA Re-application

1) Class Size

The first metric that should interest the re-applicant is the class size. With Harvard explicitly mentioning that "Of the 900+ students in the Class of 2017, 94 of us were reapplicants.", the class size makes the whole difference. For smaller class size, the percentage of re-applicants decreases as applicants tend to apply where the odds are better. Re-applicants, taking advantage of this trend, should target smaller but reputed MBA programs

Cities define the experience of an MBA class. Columbia, NYU Stern and Cornell, all hosted in New York, want to hear how you would take advantage of the location. Even London Business School fearing the repercussion of Brexit have focused internally on London. HEC Paris taunts the vicinity to the world’s fashion capital as a defining characteristic. The only school that avoids mentioning the host city as a plague are economies that are not doing particularly well but have excellent Business Schools (IESE and IE in Spain).

Understanding the positioning strategies of Business Schools would help you position your essays accordingly. Seek help here with our Essay Review Service.

Blindly reusing the brilliant turn of phrases for all top MBA programs or about New York’s brilliance for Stern’s goals and Columbia’s NYU essay rarely works although anecdotally the testimonial from those who successfully implemented such strategy are shared the most in social media and forums.


Most applicants don’t have continuous involvement with one non-profit. When they learn that the spike in activity, 1 year before admissions would be judged as manipulation by the US schools, the geographic spread of their target schools widens. European schools don't have such heavy emphasis on volunteering and extra-curricular. However, if you were among those who had decent involvement (3-4 months each) in a non-profit while managing an impressive career progression, positioning the extra-curricular experience is necessary for a Winning MBA Application.

Here are 5 ways to position your volunteering/extra-curricular experience

1) Choice of Organization

Although schools don't openly share this uncomfortable trend, applicants from Fortune 100 companies have a clear advantage over applicants building their multi-functional skills in a start-up or performing above their peers in a 200 to 500 ranked Fortune company. When you have 3-4 years of experience in one organization, the sub-conscious question that admission team would have is - can the applicant excel in a highly...
Categories : MBA Application

When clients share their post-MBA goals, I first evaluate their resume, volunteering experience, motivation, and career progression. The combination of the evaluation factors almost always determines the feasibility of the goal.

The follow-up questions are primarily skewed towards understanding six factors:

1) Motivation for Post-MBA Goals

An MBA should not be the first attempt at upgrading your skills or experiencing cross-cultural learning opportunities. Most successful applicants demonstrate the initiative to gain additional experience by taking on projects that require them to come out of their comfort zone. Marketers and Finance professionals learning a new technology to complement their core skills is a typical but effective example. Technologists and consultants taking certification in Finance or Marketing courses to develop an in-depth understanding of Businesses and using the newly acquired knowledge in designing systems, software or campaigns are some of the other examples we...

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