About the Author
In line with a broad trend toward brevity and simplicity of essay questions among the leading MBA programs, the required writing for this year’s Ross application is markedly briefer and more direct than last season’s set of prompts. The school has chosen to eschew the fairly standard “career goals/why MBA” and “Describe a time when…” MBA essay formats for this application cycle, asking instead for the applicant to describe two points of pride, one personal and one professional. In selecting topics for these two essays, applicants will therefore want to identify complementary examples – ones that showcase different skills, characteristics,... Read more »
As many applicants are finding out at this time of year, conducting thorough research on MBA programs is an essential step in formulating a list of target schools and crafting convincing essays. Surfing the web and speaking with friends and mentors are great starting points in identifying programs of interest. However, to really get a feel for a school and determine whether it’s a good fit for one’s goals and personality, applicants need to dig deeper and gain some firsthand experience with the program and the people. Visiting the campus is a great way to gather this kind of information,... Read more »
In preparation for the 2014-2015 admissions seasons, we’re offering each member of the Clear Admit community a FREE Clear Admit Resume Guide for a limited time only! Use the code FREERESUME14 at checkout to redeem your free guide between now and Friday, June 20 at 11:59 pm EST. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to tailor the content and format of your résumé to the unique requirements of the business school application process. Includes illustrative examples, a résumé verb list and two full sample templates. And don’t forget you can send us your resume at any time for a free assessment of your... Read more »
Columbia has just released its recommendation questions, and we’ve already got clients submitting their requests. Columbia has one of the simplest recommendation forms–a single, free-form letter with no rankings. But it’s still going to be substantial work for your recommender. The strongest submissions will be about 1,000 words. Here is what Columbia asks recommenders to include in their letter: How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.... Read more »
Harvard’s application is up, and our clients have begun sending out their recommendation requests. Here are this year’s recommendation questions. Recommender Info The first question that may require some thought from your recommender is the following: Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, their role in your organization. (250 character limit) The character limit is hard, so your recommender will have very little space. The main point of this section is to get the basic facts of the relationship out of the way: how long your recommender has known you (preferably with specific quantities),... Read more »
Wharton recently released its application essay – singular – for the coming admissions season, and we wanted to weigh in with some guidance on how applicants might approach this unprecedentedly brief application. This response is very similar to the first of Wharton’s two essays from the 2013-2014 season, though now that the school has dropped its second prompt about engagement in the school’s learning community, responses to this year’s essay will need to do double duty in terms of discussing the applicant’s goals from and interest in the program. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s prompt: What do... Read more »
**Working on your Stanford GSB essays? Our 2015-2016 Stanford GSB Essay Topic Analysis is now available. Following up on Stanford’s announcement of its essay questions for the 2014-2015 admissions season, we wanted to offer some guidance on how GSB hopefuls might approach this task. Like many of its peer programs, Stanford has pared down its required writing this year, eliminating its third situation-focused “tell us about a time…” prompt and leaving two core questions. The program has provided suggested ranges for the length of each of these two items, and has stipulated that the combined word count not exceed 1,100... Read more »
As we announced recently, Harvard Business School has released its essay question for the 2014-2015 application season. Unchanged from last year, this prompt asks applicants to write only one essay, with no word limit given. HBS Admissions Director Dee Leopold has suggested that some applicants may not even find the essay necessary to include in their files, thereby making this essay technically an optional one. The school has still maintained its post-interview reflection, which will require those who reach the interview stage to submit a reflection essay within 24 hours following their interviews with the admissions committee. With such a broad mandate,... Read more »
Your résumé is not only an important component of your MBA application, it’s also a great place to start when crafting your overall positioning strategy. This document forces one to distill a candidacy into a concise summary, focusing on key aspects and themes. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips to get you started: 1) First things first. Because you’re applying to graduate school, it makes sense to lead this document with a section detailing your academic history. This is also the format that many business schools’ career offices instruct students to use when applying for internships or... Read more »
With several of the leading schools having already released their essay questions for this admissions season, we’re sure that quite a number of early birds are eager to get a jump on the process in order to complete as many applications as possible by Round 1. As applicants find themselves brainstorming for essay topics, we wanted to offer a few tips on presenting yourself and your experiences as advantageously as possible. 1) Take time to reflect. Before diving in and beginning work on a draft of any one essay, it’s often fruitful to think carefully about all of the stories and accomplishments... Read more »
Submit an MBA Interview Report from Duke / Fuqua, NYU / Stern, London Business School, USC / Marshall, or Oxford / Said and Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
Welcome to our weekly edition of Tell Us Tuesday, where we highlight MBA interview reports that have recently been posted to our Interview Archive! The following is a recent excerpt from a recent LBS Round 2 applicant’s report: “My interview flowed much more like a casual conversation than a structured interview, lasting about 40 minutes.” Thanks to all of you who submitted interview reports over the past week! If you’re interested in sharing your experience from the 2013-14 season, we’ll be awarding a $10 Amazon gift certificate to each applicant who submits an interview report for Duke / Fuqua, NYU / Stern, London Business School, USC /... Read more »
Since many of our readers are just beginning the business school application process, we wanted to offer some basic tips on a critical variable in the MBA admissions equation: selecting recommenders. When choosing your recommenders, remember that it can be seen as a test of judgment – selecting a recommender whose letter is ineffective or who appears dubious about your qualifications may raise doubts about your ability to judge your interactions with others or to select the right person for a job. In order for your letters to be as effective as possible, you should look for several qualities in... Read more »
Don’t miss your last chance to attend the Clear Admit Admissions Workshop in NYC from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. this Thursday, May 29. Seats are limited and spots are going fast so register now! During the Clear Admit Workshop, one of our counselors will lead you step-by-step through the MBA application process, from preparing for the GMAT to addressing common applicant weaknesses. You will also have the opportunity to get your individual questions answered during a Q&A session following the presentation. By attending an Admissions Workshop, you will be eligible for special discounts on Clear Admit’s consulting services, along with complimentary publications!... Read more »
At the beginning of April, we discussed the importance of signing up for a feedback session when one is planning to reapply to a program that provides this opportunity. Today we’d like to follow up on that post by offering a few thoughts on feedback session etiquette. While on one hand a feedback session marks the close of this year’s process, it’s crucial that you realize that the impression you make on the adcom member conducting the session may be added to your file and come to bear on your candidacy next year. Taking heed of the following advice could help to... Read more »
Tuck has recently announced its essay topics for 2014-2015. Essay 1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck? (500 word limit encouraged) Essay 2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (500 word limit encouraged) Optional Essay: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful... Read more »
Submit an MBA Interview Report from Harvard Business School, Dartmouth / Tuck, Berkeley / Haas, CMU / Tepper, or Georgetown / McDonough and Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
Welcome to our weekly edition of Tell Us Tuesday, where we highlight MBA interview reports that have recently been posted to our Interview Archive! The following is an excerpt from a Round 2 LBS applicant’s report submitted last week: “He asked some pretty probing questions around whether an MBA was really going to help me do what I wanted to do and drilled down pretty hard into why I was doing it. He seemed to be doing it out of genuine concern for me, rather than for the school.” Thanks to all of you who submitted interview reports over the past week! If... Read more »
In keeping with the recent Admissions Tips we have posted for the new crop of applicants to the Class of 2017, today we want to offer some tips on engaging the community of one’s target programs. Communicating with b-school insiders can be beneficial for a number of reasons: In addition to learning about a given school and your potential fit, you’ll also generate material for your essays, demonstrate your interest in the program, and perhaps even make an ally or two. In your efforts to go beyond the schools’ websites and promotional materials, we recommend reaching out to individuals in... Read more »
Submit an MBA Interview Report from Duke / Fuqua, NYU Stern, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, or Cornell / Johnson and Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
Welcome to our weekly edition of Tell Us Tuesday, where we highlight MBA interview reports that have recently been posted to our Interview Archive! Over the past weeks we’ve received interview reports from London Business School and CMU / Tepper. Thanks to all of you who submitted interview reports over the past week! If you’re interested in sharing your experience from the 2013-14 season, we’ll be awarding a $10 Amazon gift certificate to each applicant who submits an interview report for Duke / Fuqua, NYU Stern, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, or Cornell / Johnson through 4pm EST next Tuesday, May 20th! All you have to do is send us your... Read more »
Though essay questions tend to vary year to year, the two things that nearly every prospective student can count on being asked are “What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals?” and “How will Business School X help you achieve these goals?” These are the fundamental questions of the entire application process; identifying clear answers will help in everything from creating a list of target schools to communicating effectively with recommenders and interviewers down the line. As such, it’s a great idea to begin drafting answers to the Career Goals essay early and often! To help you get started, here... Read more »
Taking the place of our weekly career strategy column by Ivan Kerbel, Common Bond has offered their take on how to succeed at a startup, no matter what the stage of your career. You’ve signed the offer and sighed with relief: you’re just weeks away from joining an innovative startup in your dream role. If you’ve never worked at a startup before now, you’re in for a wakeup call. You’ll enter a completely new professional environment, where you’ll face sole ownership of your workstream, turnaround times that occur at light speed, and the chance to actually grow a business. MBAs can bring... Read more »