Being Thankful

Being Thankful

This time of year is all about Thanksgiving.  Well, and Christmas, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Giving thanks is an important part of everyone’s lives, but the busy schedules we all lead can leave us skipping over thankfulness altogether.  Similarly, when it comes to business school applications, clients often fail to remember to give appropriate thanks too.  Are you one of them?

Owning Your MBA Career Goals in 5 Easy Steps

Owning Your MBA Career Goals in 5 Easy Steps

Let's talk about Career Goals for a minute.  This is always a good topic, honestly, because whatever time of year it is and whatever stage of the application process we are all encountering, the narrative of a candidate's career goals will always be paramount.  

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

If you applied during round one, you are hopefully by now receiving interview invitations from some of your target schools.  While preparing for this stage can certainly be a stressful time, most applicants find excitement and take comfort in being identified as someone the schools want to talk to.  Some of the most common questions you will likely face will be about your strengths and weaknesses.  Are you ready to answer them?

Tell Me About Yourself

Tell Me About Yourself

The most common interview question is often the interviewers opening line, so it almost seems like an ice-breaker instead of a serious interview question.  While “Tell me about yourself,” sounds simple enough on the surface, the way you answer this seemingly innocuous question can make or break the rest of the interview---and possibly your chances of admission altogether.

What's the Deal with Work Experience?

What's the Deal with Work Experience?

I met with an MBA applicant last week who is still working her way through a top ten undergrad program.  She is dead-set on matriculating into an MBA program immediately after she graduates and wanted my advice.  In short, I told her to wait.  Want to know why?  Read on…

Rules of Thumb for Word Limits

Rules of Thumb for Word Limits

Two good rules of thumb when writing application essays for b-school is to 1) answer the question and 2) stick to the word limits.  If you have tried your hand yet at writing these essays, however, you have probably noticed it’s a bit difficult to hit that word limit precisely.  What to do?

Rejected? The Ding Analysis "Triangle" for MBA Applicants

Rejected? The Ding Analysis "Triangle" for MBA Applicants

These days, in addition to helping our clients navigate financial aid decisions and a few waitlist scenarios, we also meet a lot of new folks who didn't use admissions consulting services to apply - but now are wondering if perhaps they should have.  Most often, they are asking for "ding analysis," which is basically "please tell me if I did something wrong and whether I can fix it for next time."  We are happy to oblige, of course, and so we see a lot (we mean A LOT) of rejected applications, to a lot of schools.  In giving feedback time and again, we naturally are starting to see some of the same issues cropping up.

Always Waive Your Right to View Your MBA Recommendation

Always Waive Your Right to View Your MBA Recommendation

I tell my clients up front that they have to waive their right to view their recommendation, and that it is not really an option to not do so.

Not waiving your right could tell the admissions committee that you don’t trust your recommenders.  It could tell them that you are paranoid or overly anxious. It opens up a pandora's box of possibilities, none of which are that great. 

5 Reasons Elite MBA Applicants Fail the Failure Essay

5 Reasons Elite MBA Applicants Fail the Failure Essay

Today, we are going to be breaking down the failure essay and the biggest reasons why everyone blows it.  

We are going to walk through the 5 biggest reasons why people fail on this essay. 

How to Get Into Chicago Booth - Essay Analysis and Q&A Discussion

How to Get Into Chicago Booth - Essay Analysis and Q&A Discussion

Paul Lanzillotti presents his analysis of the Chicago Booth business school application, Booth Moments "picture essay", and strategies for getting into the MBA program. 

The Hard Part of the MBA Interview - How to Survive It

The Hard Part of the MBA Interview - How to Survive It

This article is a bit of a repeat from one we wrote last year, but it's key this time of year, when it seems like every day a client is getting ready to take on an MBA interview.  

This particular piece is about a harsh reality of that process, which is that every interview is going to take a dip, or hit a rough patch, at some point ... through no fault of anyone involved. Why is this? And how can you address it? Let's dive into it.

Alternatives to Fan Favorite Programs

Alternatives to Fan Favorite Programs

Choosing the right business school can be a lot of work.  Between research, self-assessment and in-person visits, you have likely realized that much time is spent to decide where you might fit well even before you begin actually writing applications.  Why not leverage that effort by applying to clone programs to give yourself more options?

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

The MBA Round 2 Advantage

It's the time of year where I start having the "Round 2 conversation" a lot with individual clients. Basically, the idea is that Round 2 might be offering a slight advantage, based on theories of market inefficiencies and so forth.  For years, the prevailing belief is that Round 1 is the best round to apply to business school. While there is no hard-core evidence to suggest otherwise, some common sense may point to a different result.

Harvard and Kellogg: a tale of two business schools?

Harvard and Kellogg: a tale of two business schools?

Very rarely do we get caught up in trying to spot trends in terms of which schools are "hot" at any given moment.

This is mainly because narratives tend to overreact in the moment, only to fade over time ("Wharton is going off the rails" - 2013 .. "Stanford is mired in sexual harassment scandal!" - 2015), but also because so much of trying to spot these trends is about reacting to anecdotal evidence from a small sample size.  Put another way: you are just hearing your clients buzz about schools and express their opinions.  Is that enough to go all-in on?  No, definitely not.  But can you sometimes spot an interesting new trend or pattern?  I think yes, sometimes you can. 

Where Are All the International Applicants?

Where Are All the International Applicants?

There has historically never been a shortage of international applicants to US business schools, but the recent political shift in the area of immigration coupled with burdensome financial requirements has sent applications plummeting this year.  Perhaps it’s a good time to apply?

How to Finish Selecting the MBA Programs to Which You Will Apply

How to Finish Selecting the MBA Programs to Which You Will Apply

Today's post is one that can be used by just about any MBA applicant, as it has to do with rounding out your list of schools to which you are applying. So let's dive into how to finalize selecting what MBA programs to which you should apply.

How to Act Like a Leader Part II

How to Act Like a Leader Part II

In the last blog post, we talked about how to exude leadership qualities by following a few rules of the road.  Even if you are not the person in charge at the office, you can begin now to do things which position you for leadership opportunities.  Here are some more tips which will help you appear more leader-like in the workplace and ultimately, to your b-school admissions committees

Act Like a Leader and You Might Become One

Act Like a Leader and You Might Become One

Business schools are looking for leaders and expect applicants to have demonstrated leadership in their work and school history.  Being a leader is so much a part of the MBA framework, in fact that you might be putting too much thought into what you have done and not enough into what you are doing.