Applying For A Round 1 MBA or EMBA? Make Your Resume Shine!

MBA Ivy League

Are you applying for Round 1 MBA or EMBA this year?  One of the best things you can do to stand out from all the rest,  is to make sure your MBA resume shines!  You absolutely must get your professional resume in the best possible condition before you submit, and by following these simple tips, you’ll already be ahead of the game (and the competition) in this year’s MBA & EMBA business school admissions process:

1.  MBA TIP #1 – DO SOME RESEARCH:  Take the time to google a few sample resumes in your field and for the particular school you’re applying to, so you know what a professional resume actually looks like for that program.

Some of the MBA programs (like Chicago Booth, for instance, have their own preferred format, and the preferred format is the one I strongly recommend you follow).

Linked In is a great resource for…

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The Hail Mary MBA Pass! Final Deadlines Still Exist!

So, let’s say you applied to business school this year and…you didn’t get in.  Yet, you really, really want to start an MBA program in September of THIS year, and not have to wait an entire full year before even being able to begin. However, it’s late in the game.  Really late as most of you know: most deadlines have passed…but noticed I used the word “MOST” = as of today’s date (March 12, 2016) there are still schools out there – top schools – top MBA programs, with deadlines you can still make if you start now.

So, what are these schools, and should you even really bother?  Most will be surprised to learn that some of the Round 3 deadlines still out there, are at some of the most competitive MBA programs around, and even though most of these schools have already compiled their incoming class list there is still room for “adjustments.”

People will decide to go to other schools, saying yes to one means saying “no” to others and that leaves OPENINGS.  Schools will also “hold” spots until the very last date of the admission process, and even if you are wait-listed, getting in off the wait-list and not having to wait an entire FULL YEAR just to be able to begin the MBA program of your dreams that you would rather start THIS September than next…makes an MBA application now a “Hail Mary” end-of-game pass into the endzone, but a pass that I recommend.

It’s like this: if waiting another year is going to be more annoying to you than anything, if you can’t stand having to put your life on hold, then throw that ball and take the chance that maybe, just maybe you can actually get in.  All you stand to lose is the price of the application.  What you can gain could save you TIME, a lot of time, by putting your career and education right on track, and we all know that time and opportunity is something you can’t exactly get back.

So, the schools with deadlines still open as of today’s date (March 12, 2016):

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So. again, let me stress, there are still spots. Every admissions officer I’ve ever talked to tells me, year after year, that they always hold at least “a few” spaces for the student who comes to them late, yet who they know would make a strong contribution to the class.  If the admission committees didn’t believe this, and put action behind their words, there would be no “Round 3!”  The schools would have a Round 1 and Round 2 and that would be it. Round 3 is there for a reason, and yes, people do actually get in.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if that was YOU?  Remember: it’s not over until it’s over. So, if you’re depressed about not getting in this year and the idea of having to spend yet another year at your current job before you can even BEGIN to make headway into your future, then just look at the list, choose your schools, and take the step and apply.  Throw another hat into the ring. Make that pass into the end zone. Take your application, give it your best shot in these weeks to come and you may just be pleasantly surprised.  Sometimes that pass wins the game!

And, worst case scenario, you that much ahead for a serious start to your MBA future next year.

[Considering an MBA or EMBA? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the most competitive students and professionals get into the business school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

The Round 3 MBA: Should You Apply?

The Round 3 MBA: is it worth it?  Whereas most of you think it’s probably too late in the game to apply for your MBA at a top school if you’re even looking at Round 3, and that you would just be wasting your time, I’m here to say that isn’t necessarily true. While most students have in fact already submitted their MBA applications and got them in either right before or right after Christmas, applying for a Round 3 MBA can still work and actually be a valuable strategy and course of action in certain situations.

The biggest deterrent here is that, yes, most of the top business schools have already made a large chunk of their admission decisions, so by the pure math alone, the smaller number of spaces left for Round 3 students are going to make admission in this round more cut-throat and harder, BUT there are still spots left at every single one of the schools, and if you’re qualified, have strong professional experience, a viable GMAT score for the school you’re targeting, and perhaps just didn’t apply Round 1 or 2 because of various time-intensive projects you were involved in at work, excessive business travel for a global client, finishing up your time in the military, or were in the process of switching jobs…a Round 3 MBA can and does make perfect sense, and will to the admissions committee too.

In other words, there are still spots, and if your reasons for waiting seem perfectly professionally understandable and valid then wouldn’t it be so much better to apply now and get your life going in the direction you want it to go in (a Fall 2016 admission to a solid MBA program) versus waiting an entire full year in order to even begin the process and try again.

There is a lot to strategy in this too – if for some reason you don’t get in this Round, you will have something to examine and go over for months (and at that point, I would recommend a consultant who can help you fortify your application as well as analyze what happened and what perhaps went wrong) before you then apply again. In other words,  if needed, it gives you a second chance to make the best application possible.

Again though, let me stress, there are spots. Every admissions officer I’ve talked to tells me, year after year, that they always hold spaces for the student who comes in late, yet they know would make a strong contribution to the class.  If the admission committees didn’t believe this, and put action behind their words, there would be no “Round 3.”  Everyone would apply Round 1 and Round 2 and that would be it. It’s there for a reason, and yes, people do actually get in.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if it was you?  Don’t delay another year.  Worst case scenario, all you lose is your application fee, but what you can gain by taking the challenge is a serious start to your future THIS year.

Remaining MBA deadlines for 2016:

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Round 3_1

Round 3_2

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[Considering an MBA or EMBA program? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York City.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the best students and professionals get into the business school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

 

EMBA Business School Programs That No Longer Require the GMAT or GRE

If you’re applying to a top EMBA program this year (and, if you’ve been out of college for perhaps more than a while) you know the stress of even thinking that you have to take the GMAT or GRE in order to get into a Top Ten  or Ivy League b-school and advance towards your Executive MBA goals.  However, what you may not know is that some of the most competitive EMBA programs no longer require the GMAT or other test scores, and The Stern School of Business at New York University is one of the best of them! 

Don’t believe me and want proof for yourself?  Check out NYU Stern’s press release here that states that they are no longer requiring EMBA or executive MBA candidates to take the GMAT or GRE.  Now, that doesn’t apply to full-time MBA candidates, just EMBA’s (sorry MBA candidates!), as the school decided to drop the GMAT or GRE requirement due to its applicants’ usually stellar level of professional credentials and experience. That said,  EMBA b-school candidates will still have the option to submit their GMAT or GRE scores if they’d like (and a high score can never hurt), but the scores are no longer a requirement, and if you’re looking for a highly respected EMBA program in the center of New York City and the NY business world that lets you continue to work while you participate in a strong  executive MBA environment, NYU Stern just might be for you.

The NYU Stern Executive MBA program is known world-wide for its excellence in business, management, experience and professionalism. The program maintains a strong global initiative and prepares students for nothing but international excellence and success.  Given that they no longer require the GMAT/GRE, NYU Stern executive MBA admissions has also developed a highly individualized approach to each applicant, and the application essays, admissions interview, and level of professional experience and leadership as detailed on the resume and in one’s essays, are paramount to  making a strong impression and getting in.

Again though, applicants to NYU Stern’s full-time MBA program are still required to submit test scores, and because EMBA applicants often submit to both types of business school programs anyway, you may already have scores you’ll want to use.  For those who don’t though, not having to take the GMAT or GRE is huge, and dropping the GMAT/GRE requirement for EMBA candidates is gaining popularity at some of the best and most competitive schools in the U.S.  To date, other highly competitive EMBA programs that currently do not require the GMAT or GRE include: Chicago Booth School of Business, Kellogg School of ManagementSloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  So, plan accordingly and, as always, GOOD LUCK!

[Applying for an EMBA  or full-time MBA program? I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York.  As one of the top MBA admissions firms in the country, we help the best students and professionals get into the school of their dreams.  Contact me for a free initial consultation today!  www.MBAIvyLeague.com ]

Top MBA Interview Questions – What Can You Expect?

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Top MBA Interview Questions  – What Can You Expect?

Are you one of the lucky ones?  Have you been invited to interview at one of the top-tier MBA programs you applied to in Round 2?  Even if you’re now just applying Round 3, the below can help you learn what kinds of questions admission officers are asking this year, and what tips can help you give the best impression possible!

1. “Tell me about your career choices since leaving college?”

What interviewers are looking for here, is what I call a “logical progression.”  They’re looking to see a focused path regarding both how and why you moved from point A to point B, to point C, and if you don’t have a focused path (which accounts for a large amount of applicants, so don’t worry) they simply want to see and understand the reasons you jumped around.  It has to…

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How Important is the Letter of Recommendation for Your MBA Application?

If you’re applying to an MBA or EMBA program this year, you may be wondering just how much your recommendation letters really mean in terms of a successful business school application. – and this is an even more pertinent question to ask if you’re applying to any of the “Top Ten” or Ivy League MBA programs out there like HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Stanford, or NYU Stern.

You may have spent a little time trying to figure out which manager or supervisor to ask at work, or you may have spent a lot of time trying to deduce who truly knows you the best and has the best credentials. Well, I am here to tell you the recommendation letters actually mean a lot.  I’ve seen them turn the tide.  A good rec letter can make the difference between getting in to a top school like Wharton or Booth, and NOT getting in to a school at all.

I’ve seen good letters make up for poor GMAT scores, an “unpleasant” undergraduate GPA, or the fact that you may have gaps in your professional work experience.

In other words, a strong rec letter is golden.  It gives the MBA committee the confidence to believe that you can handle not only the work load in business school, but become a valuable, contributing, active part of their incoming class. It’s someone “vouching” for you, and putting their own professional reputation on the line, to make a public and very vocal claim for yours.

So, what can you do to maximize your chances and make sure that you are asking the right person for a letter? Sometimes you don’t have a choice and the MBA admissions comittees are simply asking you to get a letter from your direct supervisor, but when you can submit additional letters, or have other options, below are the key characteristics that can make an average MBA recommendation letter GREAT, trump any “bad” scores or grades on your former transcripts, explain personality traits that work in your favor and show off your professional goals and accomplishments…making a very strong case for getting you in to the MBA or EMBA program of your dreams:

  • CREDIBILITY  – Ideally, you want to pick the recommender who knows you best, and also has impressive credentials themselves.  The admissions committee is not only looking at your background, but the background of the people you know (in terms of who you ask to write a letter).  They do this in order to “leverage” where they think you fit on the hierarchy in terms of other MBA & EMBA applicants, as they form a professional opinion of you in their mind.  Getting someone who has impressive credentials themselves, is always going to be better than asking a colleague who has the same job description as you, no matter how well he/she knows you, and how supportive they can be.
  • NETWORKING – How well have you networked?  Are you already at a big firm, and if yes, how much access do you appear to have to the top?  Does your choice of recommender show this?  How high can you get? Does the recommender obviously know you well, or is this just the type of perfunctory letter they are obviously frequently asked to write simply because of who they are, and they really don’t know you much at all? If they really don’t know you, don’t ask.  It will be obvious to the MBA committee and only count against you.
  • SINCERITY – it is always better to have someone who knows you well write your letter than a person “higher up” who may not know enough about you to convey your experience to the committee (or even take the time). The MBA committee is looking for this type of information to place you in their mind.  In other words, you’re either someone to be taken seriously via your letter, or you’re not. It makes a difference.  Choose wisely.

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm: www.MBAIvyLeague.com out of New York.  I specialize in helping clients get in to the ‘Top Ten’ MBA programs worldwide.  Contact me for a free consultation today]

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Applying For A Round 1 MBA or EMBA? Make Your Resume Shine!

Are you applying for Round 1 MBA or EMBA this year?  One of the best things you can do to stand out from all the rest,  is to make sure your MBA resume shines!  You absolutely must get your professional resume in the best possible condition before you submit, and by following these simple tips, you’ll already be ahead of the game (and the competition) in this year’s MBA & EMBA business school admissions process:

1.  MBA TIP #1 – DO SOME RESEARCH:  Take the time to google a few sample resumes in your field and for the particular school you’re applying to, so you know what a professional resume actually looks like for that program.

Some of the MBA programs (like Chicago Booth, for instance, have their own preferred format, and the preferred format is the one I strongly recommend you follow).

Linked In is a great resource for the industry examples, and the school’s own website is often a good resource for samples that match what they want (Most schools will give you samples if their format at all differs from industry standard.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people with strong, good experience, but their resume is just not formatted properly, or it’s formatted in a way that just doesn’t look professional and competitive in terms of the other applicants in their industry – and that is the one things that will get you dinged fast.

Your resume matters.  It’s actually the very first thing an admissions committee will look at when reviewing your MBA or EMBA application, so do your homework and try to get it right.

2. MBA TIP #2 – KEEP IT TO 1 PAGE:  Two pages if you have more than 8-10 years experience (usually more relevant for the EMBA), as most of you applying to full-time MBA programs will, and should,  have less than that.  It doesn’t matter how many different facets of the business day you are in charge of at your job, what matters if you can succinctly summarize this experience in a way that comes across as being professional, focused, and to the point, while also highlighting your accomplishments.

The MBA admissions committee is trying to get an overview of your professional background, not read a manifesto.  Keep it streamlined, tight, focused and NEAT, which by the way, usually means justified margins.  Then, if your experience warrants it, your resume will get attention.  In other words, don’t ever give them a reason to say no.

3. MBA TIP #3 – MENTION NUMBERS: The top MBA and especially EMBA programs love to see numbers. That means numbers of employees you manage, number of projects that come through your department, average number of sales, budget you handle, etc.  Admissions officers also like financial or monetary numbers, even if you’re just giving a general estimate, as it helps them gauge not only the size of the company you work for, and where you fit in their hierarchy, but more importantly, it reveals your level of responsibility.

Do you manage $1.2 million in assets for your investment bank employer? Or, perhaps you oversee $750K in current active contracts for your operations department? Mention these facts, and you’ve suddenly raised the admission committees’ awareness of your level of experience.  If you have numbers like these at your disposal (even if their just averages), AND you can freely share, make sure you mention them as this will only help.

4. In summary, the MBA resume is slightly different from a regular resume you might use to using when you apply for a job.  The MBA resume is all about highlighting your experience in a way that focuses on your ability to be a leader.

In this regard, it is better to create a resume that’s more general than “tech” or “niche” specific. The MBA admissions officer reading through your application, may not necessarily know the technical language of your field, but by following all of the above tips and not giving them a reason to say no, they will certainly know a competitive resume – and candidate – when they see one!

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE out of New York. I specialize in helping clients get in to the most competitive ‘Top Ten’ MBA & EMBA programs in the U.S and abroad, including HBS, Wharton, Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Columbia and LBS (just to name a few!)  Contact me to set up a free consultation today!   www.MBAIvyLeague.com 

Successful MBA Sample Essays That Got Applicants Into HBS & Wharton

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Last year HBS had a 12% accept rate with over 9,000 applicants.  The other top MBA programs in the U.S. – Wharton, Stanford, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia and MIT Sloan, just to name a few had similar tight competition.  We’ve already discussed the necessary GMAT score ranges and interview skills needed in other blog posts that give you a chance at the top.  The question here then is, what makes an applicant’s MBA essay successful, and what can you do to raise yourself among the best?”

The answer to that question is to start by looking at some very successful essays.  What does a good essay look like?  The best resource I’ve found to pass on to the curious, is this resource here:

65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays

http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Harvard-Business-Application-Edition/dp/0312550073/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353339299&sr=8-2&keywords=successful+harvard+business+school+essays

BUT, read with caution because even though I believe this book will help you better understand how to differentiate…

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Top MBA Admissions Books to Buy, If You’re Applying to a “Top Ten!”

Are you thinking about applying for your MBA or EMBA this year at a top school?  In my opinion, the below are the best books around for students looking to ace the most competitive MBA or EMBA essays and applications and increase their changes of getting in to a top business school program.

So, if it’s your dream to get in to HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Stanford, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Ross, Darden, Fuqua, INSEAD, Said, Judge, or LBS (just to name a few) go ahead and take a look at my personal “best” list below. The first two, in particular, are winners even if you’re not looking specifically at those schools, or feel they are out of your league.

Click on each book for more details, to learn what it takes to master the road to MBA and EMBA success.

1.  65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays

2. 50+ Successful Wharton Business School Essays

3. How To Get Into INSEAD

4.How to get into the Top MBA Programs

[I’m a former Harvard Interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com out of New York.  I specialize in the “Top Ten” most competitive MBA & EMBA programs. So, still thinking about applying? Contact me for a free consultation today!]

The GMAT Score You Need to be a Competitive MBA Candidate!

MBA Ivy League

As a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, people are always asking me about their GMAT scores and “if I think they’ll get in.”  Test scores are certainly one large aspect of the entire MBA admissions process, although allow me to stress that many other things including, most importantly, your professional experience, your future goals, your internships, and how an MBA degree now logically and purposefully ties in to everything, as well as your rec letters and resume all matter a lot, too. That said, what score DOES it take to get in? In my view, one needs a GMAT score between 680- –> 720 to be considered competitive at the “Top Ten” and Ivy League schools, and anything over 720 will put you in a completely different (i.e. read: excellent) ballpark and that is what you should shoot for in terms of really making a…

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