31 01, 2020

EMBA Deadlines: Should You Apply? The Answer is YES!

By |2020-01-31T22:19:32-05:00January 31st, 2020|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, Kellogg, LBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Wharton|0 Comments

EMBA’s work on rolling admissions, versus the more concrete deadlines we usually associate with straight MBA programs. However, if you have more than 6 years professional experience in your particular field, the EMBA might just be a better fit for you, and more than help your career.

Furthermore, EMBA programs don’t usually require a GMAT score!  Yes, you heard that correctly and I know it made your day!  A high GMAT could still help you, but it isn’t necessary, and often you can get a waiver, take the EA (Executive Assessment) test instead, or depending on the particular  school selected, not even take any standerized test at all!

EMBA admissions is all about your resume, what you’ve currently done with your career, and where you want to go: your goals and dreams.  Not only that, but really how you want to use your degree to get there.

Are you looking for networking?  Building your knowledge base?  Exploring certain aspects of a parallel field to help you or your company’s growth?  All of those answers are ones the EMBA admissions committee will like, and are good reason for wanting to continue your business education.

All that said, if you’re looking to get in to a top EMBA program, like those offered at Columbia Business School, Wharton, Duke Fuqua, Kellogg (Northwestern), NYU Stern, MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth, UVA Darden, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Yale + MORE, take a look below!

The 2020 deadlines for the EMBA are stated here, and if you’d like help with your EMBA application and essays, please contact me for a FREE consultation, and I’ll help you determine your best strategy, and if the EMBA is right for you:   www.MBAIvy.com

And, now, without further delay:

EMBA Deadlines, 2020

*NOTE: Many top EMBA programs start admitting candidates for programs that begin in the summer and fall of 2020 NOW, given their policy of rolling admissions.

There is still plenty of time though before final deadlines, and I just recommend that you try to get your applications in earlier than later, as the competition for spots gets tighter and tighter the closer you get towards the end.

202 EMBA DEADLINES:

Wharton EMBA
February 5, 2020

Chicago Booth EMBA
Early: Feb 3, 2020
Final: April 1, 2020

Columbia EMBA, May 2020 Start Date
Early: January 8, 2020
Final: February 19, 2020

Columbia EMBA, August 2020 Start Date
Early: March 18, 2020
Final: May 27, 2020

Columbia EMBA-Global (Dual degree w/ LBS): May 2020 Start Date
Early: January 21, 2020
Late: March 10, 2020

Columbia EMBA-Global Asia (London Business School and University of Hong Kong): May 2020 Start Date
Round 2: January 19, 2020
Round 3: February 23, 2020
Round 4: March 26, 2020

Duke Fuqua Global EMBA
Round 3: Jan. 22, 2020
Round 4: Mar. 11, 2020
Round 5: April 29, 2020
Round 6: May 27, 2020

Duke Fuqua Weekened EMBA
Round 4: Jan. 22, 2020
Round 5: Mar. 11, 2020

Kellogg EMBA: September 2020 Start Date
Round 1: April 22, 2020
Round 2: June 3, 2020

MIT Sloan EMBA
Early Deadline: January 7, 2020
Round 1: March 12, 2020
Round 2: May 28, 2020

NYU Stern EMBA: August Start Date
Early Deadline: March 1, 2020
Final Deadline: May 1, 2020

NYU Stern EMBA Washington, DC: August Start Date
Early Deadline: March 1, 2020
Final Deadline: May 1, 2020

UC Berkeley Haas EMBA
Round 2: February 5, 2020

UCLA Anderson EMBA
Round 2: February 1, 2020
Final Deadline: May 1, 2020

UVA Darden EMBA: August Start Date
January 10, 2020
February 10, 2020
March 10, 2020
April 10, 2020
May 10, 2020
June 10, 2020
June 25, 2020

Yale EMBA
Round 2: January 30, 2020
Round 3: March 30, 2020

[Again, want help with your EMBA application? I’m a former Harvard interviewer and Harvard grad. Check out my website, and contact me for your FREE consultation today! www.MBAIvy.com ]

29 01, 2020

Rejected From HBS or Your “Top Ten” MBA Program?

By |2020-01-29T14:31:42-05:00January 29th, 2020|EMBA, GMAT, Harvard, HBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, Rec Letters, resume, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

Rejected From HBS or Your “Top Ten” MBA Program? What should you do now?  Should you even think about reapplying next year?

It’s January, and it’s cold in most parts of the country, freezing cold depending where you are, but nothing quite matches the cold sting of rejection you feel, if you got rejected from all of your MBA or EMBA programs this year.

Yup, sadly to say, it happens.

You took the time to apply, you really wanted to get in to a “Top Ten” MBA or EMBA program, your GMAT scores or EA (Executive Assessment) scores were strong, you’ve have a good job, with a prestigious, known-name firm in your field, and your recommenders were more than happy to help you out and write your rec — so, let’s just say, in terms of gaining admissions to not only the MBA or EMBA business school program of your choice, but ANY MBA or EMBA program at all…you really don’t know what exactly went wrong.

And, then the next question that comes to mind is, “should I even try to apply again this year?”

That’s where I come in with some strong advice.  I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate myself.  I know how this stuff works!  First off, you need some eagle eyes on your actual applications — the ones that DIDN’T get you in to your school.

An experienced MBA admissions counselor will be able to take one look at your application (MBA resume, essays, recommendations, GMAT scores) and in a quick instant give you a run down of where the real problem lies.

Having been working in MBA admissions myself now for over 10 years, I will tell you, that most often rejections happen because of the following, and in this order:

  1. GMAT scores are too low for the MBA program you’re targeting
  2. The Resume: Not enough years of work experience, or work experience at non known-name firms (only relevant in certain fields, like finance…but there VERY relevant).
  3. POORLY WRITTEN MBA ESSAYS.
  4. Number 3 above is so important, I’m going to say that again: POORLY WRITTEN MBA ESSAYS are the #1 reason that almost 95% of people will get turned down from even interviewing at their top MBA or EMBA schools.
  5. Weak recommendations.
  6. Weak Interview (if you even got one, which if you didn’t, is a worse sign (but nothing that can’t be rectified next year, when you reapply!)
  7. Everything you have is “good enough” but there is not one single thing in your application that makes you stand out, or appear more interesting or unique than the person who just applied before you, or the person whose application they will read after, and so then you it simply becomes a random shot in the dark.

As a public service, let me now go through these most common reasons for MBA or EMBA business school admission rejections,  so everything becomes even more clear:

GMAT SCORES: The top business schools like HBS, Stanford, Wharton, and MIT can obviously have their pick of applicants, and the very first thing they look at is your GMAT score.  If you don’t know, or aren’t clear where your score fits on the hierarchy of business school candidates, take a look at my article here: The GMAT Score You Need To Get In To A “Top Ten” MBA!

WORK EXPERIENCE: Aside from what I have already said above, allow me to add that HOW your MBA resume looks is equally important.  The schools, and especially the more conservative (traditional) MBA programs like HBS, Wharton, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, UC Berkeley, etc., do not, under any circumstance, want to see a resume that doesn’t look like the person took the time to make it neat, easy to read, devoid of weird embellishments (like odd fonts – believe me, I’ve seen it), or they somehow make the font so small to cram everything in on one page, that you can’t read anything.  Don’t do that.

So, yes, your actually work experience is important, how many years, etc., but also do pay attention to how a formal MBA resume should look.  For a good article on MBA resumes check out my previous article here: How To Make Your MBA Resume Shine!

Now, on to my most important MBA admissions tip:

Don’t write weak MBA essays.  Don’t know what makes a GREAT MBA essay?  Do your research!  Get help!  Ask other MBA admissions consultants like me (as I offer a FREE consultation here: Click here for your FREE MBA consult!).

Make sure you know what a GOOD MBA essay looks like, or better yet 10 GOOD MBA essays, before you strike out on your own, unaware.  Poorly written, or just plain bad essays that don’t fully address the question, or (in the case of HBS) don’t give the MBA admissions committee anything at all close to what they are looking for…only makes it more likely that you, my friend, will get the big rejection.

And, nobody like that.

Brrrrr, did it just get cold in here?

YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS: Very important, and perhaps more important than you realize, as someone who writes you a “nice” recommendation, is not going to hold water to someone who writes someone else a “the best employee I’ve ever had, he/she saved my life when we had to go to China for a business trip unannounced, sealed the deal singly-handedly, made the presentation, and brought our firm more revenue than we’ve seen in the last 100 years combined” recommendation.

In other words, you really need to make sure you’re choosing the best WRITER possible, when you’re looking to see whom to ask for recs. It makes a difference.

THE MBA INTERVIEW: I’m going to write an entire MBA admissions blog post on this one topic alone, so stay tuned, but basically, if you didn’t get offered an interview, that’s a bad sign, and if you were offered an interview, but it didn’t go well, or you don’t know how it really went, when it comes down to it, because you thought you did “okay enough” — just know that “okay enough” isn’t really okay, and that’s something I offer too, in terms of MBA or EMBA interview prep, so 1). You actually GET the business school interview in the first place, and 2). You don’t blow it when you do.

The interviews are extremely important.  On campus interviews are actually even more advantageous than alumni interviews (unless you are overseas), but this is something I will speak more about in my MBA interview blog post.

INDIVIDUALITY: Lastly, you really need to have something in your MBA application that makes you STAND OUT.

This can be anything — it can be a project you worked on, a perfect GMAT score, a humanitarian organization you founded, a business you run on the side, an interesting trip you took, or sport you participate in.  Basically, ANYTHING that makes the adcom (i.e. MBA admissions committee) say, “Oh yeah, I know who you’re talking about, I read that application too.”

Be memorable, stand out, have something, anything, that makes you just a little, itty bit “unique” and you’ll be way ahead of the business school admissions game.

And, remember, if the reason you didn’t get in was, in fact, one of the above, the best thing you can do for yourself is get a second pair of eagle eyes on your rejected MBA application, and have someone like myself give you an overview and an analysis  — because most problems are fixable, and with the right MBA admissions coach and help, you absolutely should fix the problems, get more work experience under your belt, raise your GMAT scores by taking classes or buying books, and apply again.

Each year I work with applicants who are actually reapplicants, and I get them in to HBS, Wharton, and Stanford.

There is no reason, with the right help, this can’t be you.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, and currently run the top MBA & EMBA admissions consulting firm: www.MBAIvy.com  Contact me today, and get into the bschool of your dreams!]

For other great MBA admissions tips and advice, you can read through my other blog posts here: www.MBAIvy.com/blog

3 12, 2019

The 5 mistakes That Will Ding Your MBA Application!

By |2019-12-03T09:58:14-05:00December 3rd, 2019|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, Ivy League, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

HBS, Wharton, Columbia, NYU Stern, Kellogg, Booth, they’re all the same when it comes to one thing: “dings.” If you’re applying for your MBA degree this year, you’re probably all too familiar with what that little word means. “Dings” are the marks made against you on your MBA application, the things you’ve done wrong, your failings, the things that will keep you from the MBA degree and business school and career of your dreams. “Dings” = MBA slang for really, really bad.

What if you knew ahead of time though, the top five things that you could avoid that would make sure an MBA admission officer’s “ding” on your application never happened? What if you could in fact, avoid the “dings” altogether and create a stellar application, by avoiding the most common dings, below?

Again, these are the top five things NOT to do:

1. DING #1: Speaking in a general versus personal matter = don’t do it.

This happens way too frequently among MBA applicants. In the essays, the applicant makes very general and sweepingly broad statements about “society” or “the global climate,” or “the issue” and goes on and on from their soapbox making a broad, generalized point, without really letting the admissions committee see them and who they are personally as an applicant. So, if you never use the word “I” in your essay and you find yourself talking about the various “ills of society” too much = DING.

2. DING #2: Not following though with your examples

Let’s say the question is, “Tell Us About A Time You Overcame Failure.” You have an example, you state where you were working at the time; you state what happened…the failure…and then you just stop on the negative. You’ve stated your answer as if it’s a fill-in-the-blank question. However, you have failed to provide any kind of self-reflection in the essay about why this “failure” occurred, how it influenced your life and career, and what you learned and took away from it that was positive (you always want to end on the positive). So, not stating these things, not following through on your examples is akin to answering someone in monotone = DING.

3. DING #3: Not knowing how to write well

You don’t have to be Shakespeare, you do have to be able to write well. Think about it, you’re applying for an MBA degree, and if all goes well, in the future you will be an executive or manager in charge of various employees, teams, and divisions. You better know how to write, regardless of your field. At the management level you represent the company. The MBA essays are the first place they look for clear, concise, logical and properly structured writing. If you can’t do it, get help. If you can’t do it, and you go ahead and turn bad writing in, thinking it doesn’t really matter and your essays are convoluted, unclear, grammatically incorrect or just plain confusing and/ or sounds like your eight year old wrote it = BIG DING.

4. DING #4: Not building a logical bridge

Often people use the MBA degree to bridge the gap between their past career (possibly even in a different field), and their future plans. “Dings” happen on this front however, when applicants fail to make their journey from point A to point B very clear and laid-out. How are you going to go from a mechanical engineer to a strategy consultant focused on tech investments? How does all your past experience figure in? Tell us. Tell us in detail. Make sure your plan is accurate. People switch careers all the time, and what the admission committees look for is simply: is your plan LOGICAL, does it make sense? Have you laid it out? Fail to show the necessary steps, or worse, not be clear about the steps yourself = HUGE DING.

5. DING #5: Not speaking with confidence

This one seems self-explanatory, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across applicants who write in a very self-deprecating way. They say things like, “if it’s possible for me to become a (fill in the blank) and go to your great school…” In other words, they put the school way up here on a pedestal, and themselves way down here in the plebeian mud. Don’t do it. The men and women who will one day be the top executives and leaders in their field KNOW they belong at these schools. There’s no self-deprecation, because they know they have just as much to contribute to the school as they will receive. There is no pedestal. Think otherwise and = DING. Show them you know you belong!

Avoid these five “dings” and you will be in much better shape than most of the MBA applicants out there. Master the essays, and you will have an excellent chance at success!

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard graduate and currently run the MBA admissions firm: www.MBAIvy.com Contact me today for a free phone consultation, and get into the school of your dreams!]

1 12, 2019

Get In To A Top Ten MBA Program: What You Need To Know!

By |2019-12-01T08:36:02-05:00December 1st, 2019|Columbia, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, Harvard, HBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Wharton|0 Comments

The ability to be concise is a gift, and is one of the business skills MBA admissions committees, not just at Harvard and Stanford, but at any of the “Top Ten” highly competitive business school #MBA and #EMBA programs consistently look for: can you convey your assets and talents in a clear, crisp, concise professional way? Get you message across in a moderate amount of words (under or near, but not over the maximum), in a way that’s succinct, and yet shows the committee who you are as a future successful business innovator and leader, and that will make you stand out.

So, to relate the following as an example:

This year’s Harvard MBA essay question is:
“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? (no word count limit).”

Most of the applicants who are successful in getting in to HBS have, on average, essays that come in with a word count of 1,000 words. Not 1,500 words, and not 2,000 words or more (!)

I’m telling you, write a manifesto, and will get you dinged.

The goal, especially at an Ivy League or “Top Ten” business school, is to present who you are, personally and professionally in the strongest way possible. That means:
1. Know what you want to do. “Undecided” as a career move is weak. The schools (and the business world) doesn’t like weak.
2. Know how your current background and expertise fits in with what that particular school can UNIQUELY offer. In other words, know what makes that school DIFFERENT
3. Know what you, yourself, intend to give back to the school. The adcom wants to know what you bring to table, not only for your fellow classmates, but what you see in yourself, right now, that will set you apart, and indicate that you already have the potential to succeed in the future.

Successful MBA essays usually revolve around a candidate’s unique vision, background, and passion. Drive is also an important trait. All that said, you don’t need to have conquered the world (yet) to get into #HBS or a comparable school like Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Wharton or MIT Sloan. You just need to show the admissions committee that you have the intense drive and vision to succeed, at whatever it is you uniquely are setting out to do.

A focused VISION, and a logical, thought out road map on how you’re going to get there, makes you different!

Top Ten students, as a whole, are competitive, ambitious, driven, and interesting…and, they care about their fellow students and community.
Harvard, for example, values leadership, and those who have the demonstrated potential in their background to become leaders in the future succeed. However, equally important, are those who can demonstrate that they care about their community. In other words, you need to show that your drive isn’t all about YOU.

MBA and EMBA “Top Ten” business school candidates who can show a larger, global, or even (especially for HBS, in particular) social humanitarian interest, and zone in what they do, or want to do with an actionable plan — have, throughout the years that I personally have been working with clients, have had the best possible outcome of success.

The essay is your place to shine, so don’t hold back. MBA Tip: Top Ten business school adcoms don’t just want to see a reiteration of your resume though. Your resume is an outline, the plate your application sits on. The foundation, but the MBA admissions essay, if you think of it this way, is the meat of your meal.

[Looking for help on your MBA or EMBA applications and essays? I’m a former Harvard interviewer, and Harvard grad and run the award-winning MBA admissions firm: MBA Ivy. Contact me today for a free consultation, and get into the school of your dreams!]

Check out my other related MBA blog articles here: The Harvard 2+2 Program: Is it Right For You?

21 05, 2017

Columbia MBA & EMBA Essay Questions for 2018

By |2019-01-03T17:06:16-05:00May 21st, 2017|Columbia, EMBA, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays|0 Comments

Columbia Business School has announced the MBA & EMBA essay questions for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle.

2018 ESSAY PROMPTS:

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3 – 5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: The full-time MBA experience includes academics, recruiting and networking. What are your personal priorities and how do you anticipate allocating your time at Columbia Business School? (250 words)

EMBA Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA will challenge you by offering a rigorous academic experience, global exposure through the international seminar, and the opportunity to immediately apply what you learn to your career. How will you approach balancing the demands of the program with your professional and personal life while you are in school? (250 words)

Essay #3: Please select and answer one of the following essay questions: (250 words)
a: Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life.
b: If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 words)

The MBA application to Columbia Business School is now live! Please visit the CBS admissions website for more information, and also look at the article: The GMAT Score You Need to Get Into a Top Ten Business School.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY.  Contact me for a free consultation today!]

27 01, 2017

Your EMBA Strategy: Should You Apply for an Executive MBA?

By |2019-01-03T17:07:25-05:00January 27th, 2017|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, INSEAD, Kellogg, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, Uncategorized, Wharton|0 Comments

The Executive MBA (or, as it’s more commonly know, EMBA) is for those professionals applying to business school who already have more than a few years experience under your belt.  You’ve graduated from good college, you have a strong job, and you’ve been working in your career now, on average 8-10+ years.

You’ve also probably reached a level in your specific industry where you know you want more out of your career.  Or, perhaps you simply want to go in a completely new direction, and you know you need to first reinforce your skill-set, knowledge base, contacts and networking in order to get you to the next credentialed level.

This is exactly what the EMBA was designed for: people like you who have already achieved a level of professional success: whether that’s on the corporate side, in entrepreneurship, the finance industry, energy industry, or whatever your cup of tea is.  You simply know you now want to take your career someplace even more interesting.

There are a few thing you need to know first though, about applying to this type of executive business school program, in order to make sure you first have all your ducks in a row:

  • EMBA programs usually work on rolling admissions.  That means research your schools early, and know their deadlines.  Then, map out a game plan that gets your applications in earlier rather than later, as spots in EMBA programs (versus the regular MBA) start to fill up (and thereby get more competitive) as the deadline nears.
  • You may not need a GMAT or GRE score!  This is great news to some, and at times the #1 reason for applying for the EMBA over the regular, full-time MBA.  Each school is different though, and some programs (like Wharton) still require it, so as with the above point, do your research on your schools and check early.
  • EMBA programs are usually almost always part-time.  This is usually a plus for busy, successful professionals who fully intend to keep working full-time while they attend school — and for most people who are at the EMBA level, that’s a work week that’s already pretty darn full, so this is good news.
  • The EMBA program is slightly easier to get into than the full-time MBA.  Not really true.  You have to be qualified, and of course, it will depend on the school.  Wharton’s EMBA program, in my opinion, (and I have been working as a top MBA & EMBA admissions consultant now for a very long time), is that it is just as difficult to get into as their regular, full-time MBA program, and is one of the most competitive EMBA programs around.  Not to discourage anyone, but if you are going to apply, just make sure you don’t skimp on anything: your resume, the essays, your interview.  You simply always want to put forth your absolutely best.
  • They’re not going to care about your undergraduate grades. Probably true!  Of course everything always matters and counts when admissions is evaluating your overall profile, and you want to make sure you’re as competitive as possible, in every given area, to give yourself the best chance, but that “C” you got 10 years ago now in Chemistry or Advanced Calculus while you were an undergrad…not going to make much of a difference!
  • The EMBA is all about now:  what are you doing in your career now?  Today? What does your resume look like? How many people do you manage?  Do you have any direct reports?  What level of responsibility do you have within your department, or perhaps this is your own company! How do your application essays, your interview, your profile, and your resume add up?  And what about your rec letters?  Do people speak highly of you, and do you present yourself as a natural innovator and leader? These are the things that will get you in!

The Executive EMBA is all about helping today’s business leaders and visionaries move higher by giving them the tools and relationships they need, and some of the best schools out there for today’s top EMBA include: Wharton, Columbia, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, and Kellogg on top of many more.

Thinking about applying for your EMBA and want more information?  Feel free to contact me before for an initial consultation. Current EMBA deadlines for Fall 2017 matriculation are coming up, depending on your school, but there is still ample time to apply! Happy to take your calls:

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm: MBA Ivy. Contact me today for a free consultation and get into the business school of your dreams: www.MBAIvy.com / MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com / (646) 276-7042 ]

8 10, 2016

MBA Rec Letters: Making Your Business School Application Strong!

By |2019-01-03T17:08:47-05:00October 8th, 2016|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, EMBA, Fuqua, Harvard, HBS, Ivy League, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Rec Letters, Stanford, UC Berkeley Haas, Wharton|0 Comments

MBA REC LETTERS (or, in other words, recommendation letters).  What makes a good MBA or EMBA business school application rec letter, and what will help you gain your coveted acceptance letter from the MBA or EMBA admissions department of your choice?

Whether you’re applying to HBS, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Stanford, Columbia, NYU Stern or one of the other “Top Ten” MBA or EMBA business programs in the U.S., who you ask in terms of gaining a strong MBA application recommendation letter, and how you prepare that person to write a good MBA rec letter for you, can easily  in the end make or break your MBA business school application.

On the positive side, a strong rec letter can make an MBA admissions committee take you more seriously – especially if your recommender is a well-known thought leader or innovator in his or her field.  That’s like the golden key, because by writing you a rec letter for your MBA admissions application, they are putting their own reputation on the line.

Even if your company is smaller though, based outside the U.S., or if your boss or supervisor is not well-known at all, don’t worry because most MBA (and EMBA) applicants are actually in that same position, as fame is not a prerequisite.  What your recommender says about you though, regardless of how high up they are, can and will make a difference.

So, where to start in all this? Who, for example, do you ask to write your MBA rec letter (and usually you need to ask two)?

The best choice is going to be the person you directly report to in your current position.  They are the ones who know your work habits and strengths (as well as your weaknesses) best, and a great supervisor or boss who speaks highly of you can do wonders for you in terms of the MBA admissions committee as they know few bosses would agree to recommend someone they didn’t really believe in or support.

Some MBA applicants however don’t want to ask their supervisor because maybe they don’t really want the company to know that they are thinking of leaving to get their MBA, or maybe they fully do intend to tell them, but only if and when they actually get in (so as not to risk their professional future at the company if they don’t).

This too is common, so don’t worry.  If this is your situation, be prepared to be asked “why didn’t you ask your supervisor” in the MBA interview, but if you relate the true reason, everyone will understand. So, who do you ask if you can’t go to your boss?

A long-term client perhaps, a supervisor at your former place of employment if you still maintain a friendly connection.  A colleague who knows you well, though someone in a position higher than you is always going to be a better choice.

Once you have decided who to ask, what kind of guidelines should you give them?

Give them your MBA resume.  Make them aware of the MBA programs you’re applying to, as well as your short-term (immediately post-MBA degree) and longer term (down the road, post-MBA degree) goals.  most people know to speak to your strengths, and most at this level will be happy to share what they’re written about you, as more often than not you, yourself, will have to send it in with the rest of your business school application.

If for some reason though you get a rec letter back that doesn’t sound very supportive or glowing don’t send it in.  If the letter truly doesn’t show you off in a good light, thank the person, always be polite as they have sacrificed their time and most people don’t really want to write a letter but are happy to do so anyway to help you get ahead…but if for some reason it doesn’t sound great:  ask someone else.

No one has to know about the “bad” or “not that shiny” MBA rec letter that so-and-so wrote for you.  Don’t risk your entire MBA application because you’re afraid to be at least slightly selective.

Do your best and ask the best people – the ones you know understand what it takes to get into a top business school, whether on the MBA or EMBA level. Do that, and in terms of the MBA with a stellar MBA rec letter you should have no problem getting to the next level.

You also might like this article here: The GMAT Score You Need to Be a Top MBA Candidate!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm: MBA IVY.  Contact me today for a free initial MBA or EMBA consultation and get into the business school of your dreams! www.MBAIvy.com * (646) 276-7042 * MBAIvyLegaueInfo@gmail.com]

19 06, 2016

GMAT Score Averages for the Top Ten MBA Business Schools

By |2019-01-03T17:09:44-05:00June 19th, 2016|EMBA, GMAT, MBA Admissions, Wharton|2 Comments

Are your GMAT scores good enough to get you in to a ‘Top Ten’ MBA business school?  How about if you’re interested in getting your EMBA? Do you even know what the average GMAT score for your target school IS?  You should.

That is the magic question after all, and what everyone wants to know: is my GMAT even competitive for the programs I’m targeting?  What if I’m targeting Stanford, MIT, or Harvard and the Ivy League?  Can I even get in?

Obviously, the higher your GMAT or GRE score the better chance you have of gaining admission to a strong MBA or Executive EMBA program, and crossing over that 720 GMAT line truly does put you in a different league with MBA business school ad com around the world.

The highest score of any client I ever personally worked with as an MBA admissions consultant was a 780.  The applicant, a young man in his mid-twenties from NYC, didn’t have much in terms of professional experience.  In fact, due to downsizing at his company after the last economic downturn, he was forced to take a job, just to survive, in an entirely unrelated career!  He had been in finance and now he was in straight tech.

In other words, though very smart, this guy’s resume was a mess.

BUT…he took the GMAT and got a 780.  With that alone, regardless of his professional experience, regardless of a career that seemed pretty disjointed and fragmented and not too stable right from the start, our 26 year old guy in point got in to all 3 of his target schools:  Columbia, Kellogg, and Booth.

My point?  A high score can mean an awful lot.

So, what are the average GMAT scores of the Top Ten MBA programs in the U.S.?  This great chart put together by the website Poets & Quant shows the average GMAT’s from the most competitive business schools around, including HBS, Stanford, Booth, Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Berkeley Haas, along with many more.

Remember though, these are GMAT averages.  That means there were GMAT scores both above and below what you see here, which means people got in with higher scores than this, and people got in with lower GMAT’s than this.  Not hitting this exact score in other words doesn’t mean you can’t get in,

So, take a look below and see how your own GMAT scores compares!  Do you make it on the list?

GMAT-MBA-Ivy-League

In terms of the non-U.S. schools, I did the following research, and came up with these, again average, GMAT’s for the top non-U.S. schools:

  • INSEAD    704
  • LBS    700
  • Cambridge (Judge)  690
  • Oxford (Said)  690

Slightly lower than the U.S. schools, but still breaking 680 (in averages).

So, what does all this mean?  Overall, if you want to go to a highly competitive MBA program, you want to be hitting around 680+ on your practice tests and the higher the score the better, so studying and preparing truly helps and there are a lot of good online GMAT courses and books out there.

So, do your best, take the test, and get the GMAT score of your dreams!

[I’m a former Harvard interviewer and a Harvard grad and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions consulting firm www.MBAIvy.com. Contact me for a free consultation today and get into the business school of your dreams! MBAIvyLeagueInfo@gmail.com ]

13 06, 2016

The Best Test for Your MBA: GMAT or GRE?

By |2019-01-03T17:10:24-05:00June 13th, 2016|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, GMAT, GRE, Harvard, HBS, IE, INSEAD, Kellogg, LBS, MBA, MBA Admissions, MBA Essays, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

If you’re applying for your MBA this year, you’re probably in the midst of starting to study for the GMAT – the traditional test needed to apply to U.S. business schools.

However, what you may not be aware of, is that more and more business schools are now using the GRE and valuing it just as equally within the MBA admissions process.

So, what’s the difference between the GMAT and the GRE, and does taking one over the other have any benefits or disadvantages?

In the U.S., having a GMAT score is going to be more common than an GRE score in terms of MBA admissions.  However, the GMAT is very heavy on quant and math skills, and if you’re interested in getting your MBA so you can continue to excel in your career in an industry like communications, social media management, strategy consulting, HR, advertising, entrepreneurship, or something that requires strong verbal and written skills OVER mathematical ability to succeed, then you seriously may want to consider if taking the GRE instead of the GMAT is the better test for you.

That’s right:  the GRE is the stronger test to take if you think you can score very high on verbal.

In this same vein, the GMAT is the test to take if you’re a financial analyst, use numbers in your everyday role at work, or are working or planning to work in the investment banking industry on Wall Street, or in anything related to finance.

Need a good GMAT to GRE score converter? Or simply want to see how your scores measure up?  Try this chart here:

Your GRE verbal scores run across the top of the chart, and your GRE quantitative scores run down the left-hand side. This chart can be used backwards too, so if you know what you got on the GMAT you can find that number first and find out how it compares to the GRE, and then make the best choice from there!

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart-MBA-Ivy-LeagueGMAT-GRE-Conversion Chart-2-MBA-Ivy-League

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart 3-MBA-Ivy-League

I will also say that the GMAT is still the most common business school test for U.S. business schools, including HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia but that’s starting to change, while the GRE is still the more common of the two tests in the U.K., Canada, Asia, and Europe.  

So, if you’re living overseas, or thinking of applying to a non-U.S. MBA or EMBA program, INSEAD, Said (Oxford), and Judge (Cambridge) with the exception of The London School of Business (because it draws so heavily from the financial industry in terms of its applicants) all prefer the GRE.

The “Top Ten” though in the U.S. is making the change, and depending upon where your skill set lies, consider which test – the GMAT or the GRE –  is going to give you the best possibilities!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate and run the MBA & EMBA business school admissions firm MBA IVY.  Contact us for a free profile evaluation today, and get into the school of your dreams!]

9 06, 2016

Your Odds Of Getting In To A “Top Ten” Business School

By |2019-01-03T17:10:43-05:00June 9th, 2016|Chicago Booth, Columbia, Darden, EMBA, Fuqua, HBS, Kellogg, MBA, MBA Admissions, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Stanford, Wharton|0 Comments

What does your MBA profile look like, and how will MBA adcom really see your MBA or EMBA application?

That is always the question. For starters, know that your MBA profile is composed of a variety of things:  Your GMAT score, your work experience, your application essays (demonstrating your leadership and management skills), and your admissions interview (if you get that far in the MBA application process).

So, given the above, what are things that can help you hit a home run with some of the most elite business school programs around like HBS, Wharton, or Stanford? In other words, THE top business schools.

First, your GMAT score is going to be the most important thing, in my professional opinion.  A high score, and by high I mean 730+, can get an applicant in to one of the top MBA programs, who perhaps didn’t have as stellar work experience as the applicant standing next to him (or her). A high GMAT score, in other words, makes everything possible.

Second: work experience.  The adcoms at the most competitive schools tend to value experience at “known-name” companies over lesser known ones:  a.k.a. companies that are leaders in their industry and/or Fortune 500 firms.

Working at one of these firms will help you get attention in the admissions office, as it is a competitive game and working at a top firm not only means you had what it takes to get there and gain some footing in your career at an ambitions level, but more importantly, that you made it through these firms highly selective screening process.

In other words, they vetted you first so the adcom basically highly weighs that silent and unspoken recommendation.

On this same line of thought, working “for-profit” organizations will skew higher on the adcom’s radar than those applicants who might work in the non-profit sector.  I’m not saying one can’t in from the non-profit side, because that isn’t true at all, I am just saying that as these elite MBA programs value drive and ambition at the highest level, they are attracted to applicants who are already demonstrating they can play on the field.

The area of the country you work in also matters.  An MBA applicant who works for Morgan Stanley or Deloitte in NYC, and has a 730 GMAT and can demonstrate both strong leadership and management ability through the examples they choose to speak about in their essays, is going to have an easier time than the guy (or woman) sitting in Indiana who’s working for a unknown firm.

Location matters, because again, the adcom sees this as an example of DRIVE, as they perhaps not even consciously believe that if you can success in a large city (whether it be New York or Houston) and compete in such a competitive marketplace for your job, it lends just a little more weight.

So, what are your odds of getting in?  Check back next time when I’ll profile three actual MBA applicants, so you can clearly see what is required to gain acceptance to the top MBA business schools around!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm www.MBAIvy.com Check out my website and request a free evaluation today!]