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Mission Admission: Will I Get into Business School?

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Will I Get into Business School? by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we receive from MBA candidates is “Will I get into business school?” Of course, this is an important question to consider before applying, and we suggest that you honestly assess and understand your candidacy and risk profile within the context of your target school’s typical student body before completing or submitting an application to that school. However, once you have determined that you will in fact apply to a particular school, you should not let this question haunt you or halt your progress. Many applicants spend too much time worrying and not enough time working. Your admissions decision is ultimately out of your control, so just focus on submitting the best application you possibly can. Read more

Chicago Booth Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Chicago Booth Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Chicago Booth essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


For the third year in a row, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is maintaining its rather unique “essay” question in which it asks applicants to select from a group of images depicting key moments in the Chicago Booth MBA experience and explain why the chosen image “best resonates” with them. When this prompt was first introduced in 2015–2016, the school offered a collection of 16 photos from which candidates could choose; last year, the group was reduced to ten. This season, Chicago Booth is presenting just six image options. We are unaware of the exact reasons behind this continued minimizing, but we theorize that certain types of photos were rarely chosen or did not elicit the kind of response the admissions committee ultimately felt was helpful in evaluating candidates. Another possibility is that multiple photos may have inspired very similar essays, so only one such picture was needed. Or Chicago Booth may have wanted to focus applicants on specific aspects of its program and therefore eliminated any images not related to those elements. This year’s photos again come with captions describing the depicted scene—an important factor in this equation in that an individual might be strongly drawn to a particular image, but the associated caption might influence his or her initial interpretation of it in some way. The bottom line is that with this nontraditional prompt, the school puts a significant amount of power in candidates’ hands in letting them select from a group of options, which thereby lets them better control the impression of themselves they want to present. We hope that you will find the essay question exciting and inspiring, rather than intimidating, and offer the following Chicago Booth essay analysis to help you plan your response. Read more

Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Like several of the other top MBA programs that have released their essay questions for this year, the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) has remained faithful to the prompts it presented last season. But with a total maximum word count allowance of 1,150, the school gives its applicants a little more room in which to express themselves. Although the Stanford GSB is an institution well known for generating and encouraging  innovators, the school uses its application essays not to ask candidates to share their imaginative new ideas but rather to look inward and examine their motivations and values. These are your opportunities to demonstrate the parts of your personality and profile that are not readily conveyed through transcripts, scores, and lists of professional accomplishments. In our Stanford Graduate School of Business essay analysis that follows, we present advice on how you might do so effectively… Read more

Mission Admission: Use Your Judgment on MBA Application Essay Details

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Use Your Judgment on MBA Application Essay Details by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


“Should I use Calibri or Times New Roman font for my essays?”

“Should I list my GPA to the third or fourth decimal place?”

“I don’t have enough space to enter my full title, so should I write ‘Vice President’ or ‘VP Sales’?” Read more

NYU Stern Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - NYU Stern Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


After making no changes to its application essay questions last year from the year before, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business has this season made a rather drastic overhaul to its prompts. Some candidates may be pleased to see the school’s longstanding “personal expression” creative essay go away, but they will still need to rely on their imaginative side to give the admissions committee what it wants for its new “Pick 6”prompt. One big application change has also precipitated the addition of a totally new—though not overly intimidating, we hope—essay: applicants may use a single application to apply to multiple MBA programs at the school (Full-time, Tech, Fashion and Luxury, Part-time), so NYU Stern asks candidates to specify their top choice(s) and explain the reasoning behind their selection. Read more

Mission Admission: Are You Employable in the Eyes of the MBA Admissions Committee?

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Are You Employable in the Eyes of the MBA Admissions Committee? by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


We believe that asking MBA candidates about their goals is plainly absurd, because so many students change their goals while they are in business school. Further, the pursuit of an MBA is supposed to be about career development and exploration, right? Regardless of how we feel regarding the subject, though, you must ensure that if a school asks about your goals in its essay questions or an interview, you have a compelling story about where you believe your MBA will take you. Several years ago, getting a banking job may have sounded compelling to you—are you really capable of making that transition today? Certainly, fewer jobs are available now in the real estate world—is this a likely next step for you during a prolonged real estate drought? Venture capital and private equity jobs are challenging to land even during the best of times—are you able to compete with the elite during a downturn? Read more

Ross School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Ross School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Last year, one of our observations about the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan’s main essay question was that the 400-word limit did not offer a lot of room to expound on the topic. Thankfully, applicants also had a second essay (albeit also quite short, at just 250 words) in which to address their professional aspirations. This season, Michigan Ross has tightened the reins even more, asking applicants to provide 100-word responses (or shorter) to three “complete the sentence” prompts and to write a 300-word-maximum essay answering three career-related questions that actually encompass four topics. The scope of the main essay prompt has also been drastically narrowed, from a discussion of a personal event or attribute of which the applicant was proud to a rather prescribed rundown of the candidate’s career goals and plans to attain them. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: You Need a 750 to Get In!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: You Need a 750 to Get In! by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


We often hear MBA applicants ask some form of the following question: “Do I need a 750 to get into a top MBA program?” Although a 750 on the GMAT can only help, it is definitely not a prerequisite. We wanted to dispel this myth and put some who believe it at ease. Here are a few simple reasons why this is just not the case:

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I Am a Freelancer—My MBA Resume Looks Like I Cannot Hold a Job!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - I Am a Freelancer—My MBA Resume Looks Like I Cannot Hold a Job! by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


If you do mostly short-term, project-based work, you might struggle with how to structure your MBA resume so that it does not give the impression that you switch jobs every few months. If you list each job separately, not only will your MBA resume be too long, but you also run the risk that your reader will think you have not had a stable career—when in fact, if you are a successful freelancer or contractor, the opposite is the case. So how can you organize your MBA resume so that it showcases the strength of your work and avoid having the variety and number of your work experiences come across as a weakness instead? Read more

Avoiding MBA Essay Pitfalls

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Avoiding MBA Essay Pitfalls by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Understandably, b-school candidates have an almost endless number of questions about how to master their MBA essay. Here, we present our advice on several facets of this challenging portion of the MBA application, in hopes of helping you craft compelling submissions that will stand out to the admissions readers. Read more