Tag Archives: Business Insider

Six Steps to Acing Your Stanford GSB Interview

If you’ve made it to the interview stage at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), congratulations are in order. As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the school has the most …

Stanford GSB interview tipsIf you’ve made it to the interview stage at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), congratulations are in order. As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the school has the most competitive admission stats in the world, and with only an eight percent admissions rate, receiving an invite proves that Stanford already considers you an exceptionally strong candidate.

Arguably more than any other program, Stanford looks for applicants who have formulated a worldview and understand who they are and what matters most to them. According to admissions officers, Stanford seeks out candidates who have “excelled by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

While you can never know exactly which specific questions you will encounter during your interview, you can anticipate that the types of questions will fall into one of the following categories representing the key attributes that Stanford values: intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions.

As you prepare for the interview, focus on the life experiences, anecdotes, and answers that will showcase your strengths in six specific areas. Wondering just what those areas are? Click on over to Business Insider to continue reading my article with the best GSB interview tips, and you’ll learn exactly how to successfully wow your interviewer for a shot of admission at this ultra-elite school.

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Stanford GSB Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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Advice for the Harvard Business School Admissions Essay

This probably comes as no surprise to many of you, but Harvard Business School has notoriously low acceptance rates, which is why applicants to HBS must answer the required essay question both thoughtfully and strategically. Business …

HBS essay tips

This probably comes as no surprise to many of you, but Harvard Business School has notoriously low acceptance rates, which is why applicants to HBS must answer the required essay question both thoughtfully and strategically.

Business Insider recently shared my tips for this season’s crop of candidates, who, quite honestly, will probably have an easier time compared to last year’s simply because HBS decided to forgo the creative prompt for a simple, straightforward question.

It’s interesting to note how the essay at this top b-school has morphed over the past three years. Two seasons ago, there was an optional essay question that threw many applicants into a tailspin. Realizing applicants didn’t really want “optional,” the school posed this question for the Class of 2018 application essay:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

I think that the more ‘creative’ format of the introduction may have muddied some of the answers, wasting word count being cute, setting up a conversation, etc., prompting the admissions team to look toward something vastly more streamlined for this year. This is the question for the Class of 2019 application essay:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

The most challenging part of this essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as those who deserve the chance to move into the interview round. Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities and this essay is your chance to display those qualities through the stories you choose and the voice coming through your writing.

Is Harvard Business School on your list of target schools this season? If so, follow the link above to the full article on Business Insider to read more of my HBS essay tips!

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No. 1 Trait HBS Looks for in MBA Applicants

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7 Qualities of the Ideal Wharton MBA

What does it take to land a seat at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? As one of the top MBA programs in the world, Wharton is very selective about who it accepts—just 20% of …

What Wharton looks for in MBA applicants

What does it take to land a seat at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? As one of the top MBA programs in the world, Wharton is very selective about who it accepts—just 20% of applicants in 2015—and the admissions team has some specific traits in mind when it assesses candidates.

Reflecting on my 15 years of experience helping clients get into Wharton, I recently shared my take on the seven characteristics Wharton is looking for in MBA applicants with Business Insider.

1. Global awareness is key.  

Candidates must show they are able to adapt, accept, and understand in a diverse environment. Wharton graduates will compete in a global marketplace, so experience with the challenges of doing business globally and a natural curiosity for learning more about other countries and cultures will be valued by the admissions committee and should therefore be emphasized during your interview.

2. Entrepreneurial abilities are a must.

Being entrepreneurial means knowing how to recognize and capture opportunity, minimize risk, make the most of limited resources, and make excellent decisions even with inadequate or incomplete information. You can demonstrate an entrepreneurial mindset if you have identified opportunities to make an impact above and beyond the call of duty.

3. Community involvement is paramount.

Finding time to do community service can demonstrate your devotion to making your community better. The hours required for a Wharton MBA are comparable to your current job, so you have to prove the ability to manage your time and energy and put it toward a good cause.

But admissions officers at Wharton aren’t only interested in whether you’ve done community service. They are also interested in the character revelations that come with the projects you took on.

To read four more traits Wharton looks for in the ideal MBA candidate, follow the link to the original post on Business Insider. 

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Wharton School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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August ‘To Do’ List for MBA Applicants

The summer may be winding down, but MBA admissions season is just ramping up. By August, all of the top MBA programs have announced their deadlines and essay questions, and applicants should have a solid set …

MBA interviewThe summer may be winding down, but MBA admissions season is just ramping up. By August, all of the top MBA programs have announced their deadlines and essay questions, and applicants should have a solid set of schools they plan to target.

If you’re ready to start your application, one of your first decisions is whether to try for Round 1 deadlines, which are in September and October, or aim for Round 2 in early 2017. After you’ve made that decision, the two heavy-duty areas applicants need to focus on right now are prepping recommenders and brainstorming and drafting essays.

Ready to learn more? To read the rest of my August “To Do List” for applicants, click on over to Business Insider!

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Targeted Advice for MIT Sloan Applicants

Is MIT Sloan School of Management on your short list of target schools for this fall’s MBA application season? It’s a phenomenal, highly academic program that draws on the MIT culture at large to offer …

MIT Sloan application advice

Is MIT Sloan School of Management on your short list of target schools for this fall’s MBA application season? It’s a phenomenal, highly academic program that draws on the MIT culture at large to offer cutting-edge classes and services, recruit acclaimed faculty, and foster collaborative and educational efforts that involve students, alumni and business partners.

Even among world-class MBA programs, MIT Sloan is in an elite group, with extremely high GMAT scores and GPAs higher than many other top programs. So how can applicants stand out with such a competitive applicant pool?

I recently shared my take with Business Insider readers on the three qualities MIT Sloan looks for in MBA candidates—innovation, global awareness, and analytical abilities—and offer the inside scoop on how you can concretely demonstrate you possess those stellar qualities. Take a look at the original article for my tips.

If you can show that you’d thrive in a program that is international in perspective, highly quantitative, and grounded in innovative approaches, you’ll have a good chance of demonstrating to the admissions team that you’d be an ideal candidate for MIT Sloan’s rigorous — and rewarding — program.

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What Does Columbia Business School Look for in Applicants?

Just like people, each MBA program has its own unique personality — and each has its own idea of a perfect match. Knowing what a business school is looking for in potential students can help …

applying to columbia business school

Just like people, each MBA program has its own unique personality — and each has its own idea of a perfect match. Knowing what a business school is looking for in potential students can help you frame your skills, experience, and personality around the qualities they most value.

I recently shared my insights with Business Insider on the six characteristics that Columbia Business School looks for in its MBA applicants. CBS is known for its intellectually driven students who come from a wide array of educational, economic, social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

While the student body is certainly diverse, students do have a number of qualities in common, including strong leadership skills, a record of achievement, and the ability to work in teams.

Follow the link above and you’ll find out exactly what are the qualities Columbia admissions committee members seek out in potential students to ensure they’re cultivating the learning community that’s unique to their top-rated MBA program.

Image credit: Columbia Business School

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