The strong work ethic associated with investment bankers and money managers and the prestige that comes with working for a big brand are attributes that business schools such as Harvard, Wharton and Stanford covet, as they demonstrate readiness for the rigors of the MBA classroom. In my recent article for eFinancial Careers, I note that MBA admissions officers used to look more favorably upon applicants with financial services experience.
These days, finance candidates have to take a more critical approach to MBA application strategy, as they represent the largest pool of incoming students at top business schools. And while MBA admissions committees do accept applications from oversubscribed populations, they are now focusing more on diversity of profession, gender and nationality, because it enriches peer-to-peer learning and contributes to their success in the rankings. With finance an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession, men in particular have a higher bar to reach in the current MBA admissions climate.
So, how do you rise to the top of a competitive pool when you’re a common commodity? Every element of the MBA application should be optimized if you are to set yourself apart from the financial herd. Here’s how to leverage your banking resume to get an MBA at Harvard, Wharton or Stanford.