What Does it Take to Get Into America’s Best B-Schools?

why business school

This is the age-old question in MBA admissions, and one every applicant wishes they had the inside scoop on. BusinessInsider recently ran two articles attempting to answer multiple facets of this very question, and I shared my thoughts with them based on SBC’s more than 15 years of experience in MBA admissions.

For instance, one often overlooked way for candidates to improve their application is by paying much closer attention to how they manage their MBA recommenders. A lot of people think they can just hand off their recommendations and off you go, but you really need to manage that process – that’s part of management, which is the type of school they’re applying to.

Educating your recommender and letting them know your strategy and reminding them accomplishments and things you’ve done that back up your branding themes of your application is really important!

Don’t expect your recommenders to remember every great thing you’ve done, and definitely don’t leave this process to chance. If you haven’t yet done so explicitly, remind them of the strengths you would like the letter to vouch for – such as leadership skills, teamwork, passion – as well as anecdotes that support those characteristics.

In fact, proven leadership is another non-negotiable when it comes to applying at the top business schools. Candidates need to show how they went a step farther than the expected to actively lead and attract other members to their groups.

At Stacy Blackman Consulting, we do a lot of thinking about leadership – what is leadership, how best to showcase it, why it matters, and more. After all these schools are grooming overall leaders, not just number-crunchers, marketers or statisticians.

The admissions team also wants to see a wide array of experiences, so that means applicants should demonstrate their leadership qualities in whatever drives their passions, whether that be in their friendships, in the classroom, or in their athletic endeavors.

If you’d like to learn more, just follow the links above to read the articles in BusinessInsider.

You may also be interested in:

Ace Your Harvard Business School Interview
Six Steps to Acing Your Stanford GSB Interview
7 Qualities of the Ideal Wharton MBA

Image credit: inertia NC (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


(323) 934-3936

Latest Blog Post

B-Schooled Podcast Episode #145: Waitlist Advice

MBA candidates who’ve been waitlisted can feel like they’re in some sort of admissions purgatory. In this replay of a previous episode, our host Erika and her fellow SBC consultant and former MBA admissions ...