Articles published in MBA

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: If I’m Not Accepted in Round 1, I’ll Just Apply in Round 2

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: If I'm Not Accepted in Round 1, I'll Just Apply in Round 2! 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.


As you enter the upcoming application season, what kind of strategy do you have in mind? More than a few candidates, having likely read about the supposed advantages of applying in Round 1 on various websites and discussion boards, plan to submit all their applications in Round 1—with the idea that if no acceptances are forthcoming, they will just submit another set of applications in Round 2. If this is your plan, we would like to explain why it is probably not your best course of action. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: They Will Not Notice My Weakness!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: They Will Not Notice My Weakness! 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.


Our clients frequently ask, “If I write the optional essay about my [low GMAT score, low GPA, bad semester in college, long stretch of unemployment, etc.], will it call attention to that weakness and overemphasize it?” In short, no. Writing the optional essay about a weakness will instead allow you to control the narrative and thereby better mitigate any negative effects of that weakness.

The admissions committee very likely will take note of a low GMAT score or a low GPA and will be left with unanswered questions about that weakness if you do not use the optional essay to address the issue. Rather than putting the committee in the position of having to guess at an explanation, take control of the situation and grab the opportunity to explain the details behind the weakness. Read more

Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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columbia-business-school-essay-analysis-2017-2018-mbamissionHow 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.


For years, Columbia Business School (CBS) has been at the front of the pack of MBA programs that have been gradually shortening their application essays and requiring candidates to be direct and concise in their submissions. It was even the first school to incorporate a micro essay into its application. Last season, CBS gave applicants a bit more wiggle room with the essays, increasing the word count for each by a pretty significant margin (up to 100% in one case), but it has tightened the reins back down for this year’s applicants. Still, with a goal statement, three required essays, and an optional essay, you should have plenty of opportunities to convey a well-rounded impression of yourself for the admissions committee. Read on for our Columbia Business School essay analysis for the program’s 2017–2018 prompts… Read more

Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking?

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking? by mbaMission

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


One of the most common questions we hear from business school applicants is “What type of candidate does [Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Chicago Booth/etc.] want?” Of course, the answer to that question is that schools do not want just one type of applicant. Instead, each MBA program is striving to assemble a remarkably diverse class and thus wants to be able to identify distinct qualities in each candidate. Read more

Revising Your Resume for Your MBA Application

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Revising Your Resume for Your MBA Application by mbaMission

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


In revising your resume to be submitted with your MBA application, your overall goal is to create a document that showcases your major accomplishments and career progress for the admissions committee in an effective and compelling way. Your resume is an important opportunity to tell your professional story—and to some degree, even your personal one—in a concise form. We strongly caution you not to underestimate the value of this document. The admissions committees actually review applicants’ resumes carefully, so you want yours to be simple and consistent in style while being powerful in substance.

One of the most common errors that MBA candidates make is leaving their resume in an industry-specific format, full of jargon and acronyms recognizable only to an expert in their field. Remember, the schools are not hiring you for a job but are trying to develop an understanding of your progress, accomplishments, and even character. Each bullet point in your resume must highlight achievement over positional expertise. Read more

Mission Admission: Look Beyond Business School Rankings

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Look Beyond Business School Rankings by mbaMission

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


We at mbaMission have tried repeatedly to persuade candidates who are evaluating MBA programs to downplay the various business school rankings, which can fluctuate wildly, and instead focus on fit, which is enduring. Now, as a new admissions season is about to begin shortly, we recommend that you accelerate and broaden your evaluation process. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Business School Stereotypes

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Business School Stereotypes 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.


Many business school applicants believe that the MBA admissions committees have distilled their criteria for selecting candidates over the years and have in mind a specific “type” of individual they want. For example, within this world of business school stereotypes, applicants believe that Harvard Business School (HBS) is looking only for leaders, Kellogg is looking only for marketing students, Chicago Booth is looking only for finance students, and even that MIT Sloan is looking only for “eggheads.” Of course, these business school stereotypes—like most stereotypes—are inaccurate. Chicago Booth wants far more than one-dimensional finance students in its classes, and it provides far more than just finance to its MBA students (including, to the surprise of many, an excellent marketing program). HBS is not a school just for “generals”; among the approximately 950 students in each of its classes, HBS has a wide variety of personalities, including some excellent foot soldiers. So, at mbaMission, we constantly strive to educate MBA candidates about these misconceptions, which can sink applications if applicants pander to them. Read more

GMAC Debuts Immigration Resource Page for International MBA Students

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - GMAC Debuts Immigration Resource Page for International MBA Students by Manhattan Prep

With immigration being a current hot-button issue in the U.S., many international MBA students are understandably concerned and confused about studying there. For those who find themselves with questions on immigration and studying abroad, the people at GMAC (the makers of the GMAT exam) have dedicated a page on their website to providing resources on those topics.

These resources include: Read more

Laying the Foundation for Your Business School Application

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Laying the Foundation for Your Business School Application by mbaMission

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


By being proactive and doing some advance planning, aspiring MBA candidates can remove a great deal of stress from the business school application process and substantially bolster their candidacy. We have several big picture recommendations for applicants to consider to help them be as competitive and prepared as possible when admissions season begins in earnest. Read more

MBA Application Tasks to Consider Completing Early

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Application Tasks to Consider Completing Early by mbaMissionEach week, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


The MBA application process is really more of a marathon than a sprint, but many candidates make things harder on themselves than necessary by ignoring certain tasks until late in the game. Here we will cover some pragmatic and practical steps you can take to avoid feeling rushed and to ensure that all the parts of your MBA application are as strong as you can make them before you submit. With some foresight and planning, when the schools start releasing their essay questions in June and July, you will be able to focus solely on them, without the distraction and demands of some of the other parts of your MBA application. Read more