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Application Tips

Strategic advice on executing your MBA application, including tips on your résumé, data forms, and essays.

Latest Stories About Application Tips

Last Updated Aug 17, 2015 by

Common Recommendation Dilemmas

As many of our readers are aware, MBA recommendation letters are a central part of the application process. We would like to take a look at how to handle the snags that often arise for applicants in unique employment situations. The applicant who is most likely to have trouble finding a... Read more »

Last Updated Aug 10, 2015 by

Don’t Overlook the MBA Application Data Forms

With Round 1 deadlines just around the corner, we wanted to offer some words of advice about an often overlooked element of one’s file: the MBA application data forms. All too often, we see candidates leave these online application forms to the last minute, even rushing to enter all of the required... Read more »

Last Updated Jul 13, 2015 by

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting an Optional Essay

We realize that the questions of whether to answer an optional essay and, if so, what to say are ones that loom large for many MBA applicants at this time of year. While we’ve been offering a great deal of school-specific essay advice over the past few weeks, we wanted... Read more »

Last Updated Jun 15, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Addressing a Gap in Employment

Given the emphasis that schools place on a candidate’s work experience, it is important for applicants to be proactive in addressing gaps in employment.  When applying to business school, many candidates worry about how the adcom might perceive a gap in employment.  We would like to take some time to... Read more »

Last Updated Jun 1, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: How to Write a Winning MBA Résumé

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... Read more »

Last Updated May 25, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Crafting Strong Essays – The Rewards of Reflection

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... Read more »

Last Updated Apr 27, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Approaching the Career Goals Essay

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... Read more »

Last Updated Apr 6, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Avoiding Red Flags

When applying to the top schools, it is important to avoid “red flags” in your application.  For the uninitiated, red flags are negative items that stand out in your file and may result in rejection from business school.  While most applicants understand the basic red flags, like a 2.4 GPA... Read more »

Last Updated Mar 30, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Addressing Academic Strengths

While we devoted time last week to advice on addressing weaknesses in one’s academic record, today we wanted to explore the other side of the issue: the strengths that lie in your undergraduate record. Beyond issues of aptitude or previous achievement, there are a number of other things that your academic... Read more »

Last Updated Mar 23, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Addressing Academic Weaknesses

To follow up on last month’s advice about GMAT preparation and timing, we wanted to offer some general comments about the role of academics in the admissions process.  Many candidates considering business school focus on the credentials they will hold and the network that they will join upon graduation, but it... Read more »

Last Updated Feb 9, 2015 by

Admissions Tip: Late Round Considerations

After a relatively sleepy February, March will soon be upon us with its extensive list of application deadlines and decision notification dates.  Let’s take a look at part of the long list of Round 3 (or 4 or 5) deadlines spread over the next two months: Feb. 27th: LBS R3... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 22, 2014 by

Admissions Tip: Essay Polishing

We often stress that, to present oneself effectively in application essays, it’s critical to think carefully about what a given question is asking and what this might indicate about a specific school’s admissions priorities.  Of course, it’s also imperative to communicate clearly and appropriately regardless of the target program or... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 12, 2014 by

Kellogg Admissions Director Shares How School Assesses Candidates’ Interpersonal Skills

The director of admissions at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has devoted a series of recent blog posts to demystifying the admissions process at the school. Her most recent post shares what she and her team are looking for as they assess candidates’ interpersonal skills. How well a candidate... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 24, 2014 by

Admissions Tip: Avoiding Common Pitfalls, Part II

Last week we offered some advice to help applicants avoid common pitfalls in writing their essays for the Round 2 deadlines.  This week we’d like to offer some more advice.  Although these tips might not apply to everyone or to every school, these are some good basic strategies to employ.  For personalized advice about your... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 17, 2014 by

Admissions Tip: Avoiding Common Pitfalls, Part I

Today we would like to offer a handful of essay pointers in brief in order to help applicants avoid common pitfalls as they gear up for the Round Two deadlines.  While we should caution that every applicant is unique and that some of these tips may not apply to everyone, we... Read more »

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