MBA Admissions Process by cshieh

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									The MBA Admissions Process
Overview and advice for prospective MBA applicants January 15, 2009

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Topics Covered Today
• My Impressions of the Admissions Process • Why do you want an MBA? • Application Elements
• • • The GMAT The Essays Recommendations

• • • • •

Extracurriculars Work Experience Your Next Steps Q&A Additional Resources

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My Impressions of the Admissions Process
• Very painful • Took way longer than I thought (5 months) • Learned a lot about myself

Applying to business school felt like a second job. Be prepared to lose your evenings and weekends for a few months.

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Why do you want an MBA?
Only apply to business school after you understand why you need to go • Examples of good reasons: • Use your MBA to change industries • Use your MBA to gain further expertise/training in niche industry • Examples of bad reasons: • My peers are all applying • Just want the name on my resume

Invest a lot of time to understand why you want an MBA. It will make this process much easier after you figure it out.

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Application Element: The GMAT
What is the GMAT • 3-hour computer-based test required for MBA admissions • Essay, Verbal, and Math sections When to take it • As soon as you’re ready; scores are good for 5 years • If you’re applying this fall, I recommend taking it between April-July Considerations • If you were a humanities major, be sure to perform well in math section • If you were/are an engineering major, perform well in verbal section The GMAT the least important part of your MBA application (my opinion).
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Application Element: Essays
Know your brand • Applying to school is an exercise of marketing. Ask what you want the admissions committees to take away about you. • Develop your stories and present yourself in a way that narrows down to a few brands. Examples include: innovator, leader, community service • Map your brands (and corresponding stories) to the brands of the schools. Do your homework on school brands! Example:
Innovator Leader Entrepreneur Community Service


Tell a good story and make sure your best brands come across your apps.
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Application Element: Recommendations
• Most schools require 2-3 recommenders • Pick people who know you well. Don’t pick people with lofty titles for the sake of having recommenders with lofty titles • Don’t write your own recommendation, but provide a ‘recommendation packet’ for each recommender, including: • Resume • Examples of work experiences with recommender • Brands you would like reinforced in recommendation • Make sure recommenders submit recommendations at least one week before deadline • When they finish, write thank you note and give them a $100-value gift The Dean of Admissions at the Stanford GSB says that recommendations are the most important part of your application.
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Start volunteering ASAP • Most schools want to see evidence of social stewardship • Start as soon as possible to demonstrate length of service/commitment • Focus on one or two activities you care about. DO NOT present a laundry list of activities • Try to get an elected leadership position Think about volunteering with your school’s alumni organization • Consider volunteering for your alumni organization. Business Schools love to see evidence of students who will keep contributing to school after graduating

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Work Experience
Get promoted • Do great work. Get the titles, salaries, and bonuses (schools ask for all three) Get leadership experience • Remember, not all leadership is managerial • Consider doing a whitespace project/side project at work where you can lead a small group • Consider volunteering to lead social activities or group training Collect numbers • For your resume, try to quantify the impact of your work • Revenue, units, % new customers, etc.
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Your Next Steps
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Think hard about whether an MBA is right for you Download a few applications to get a sense of essays, brands Figure out what your best brands are Take the GMAT Start to identify and reach out to prospective recommenders Kick ass at work. Seek leadership opportunities Volunteer for something you love

Good luck!
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What is Beat The GMAT?
…it is the world’s largest GMAT discussion community, 180K visitors/month …it provides free expert GMAT & MBA advice to the public:
• Experts from: Kaplan, Princeton Review, Manhattan GMAT, Veritas Prep, Test Prep New York, Stacy Blackman Consulting, Clear Admit,

…it is the largest distributor of GMAT Scholarships, $45K distributed to date …it offers 10% Discounts on Kaplan, Manhattan GMAT, and Veritas Prep courses and services
(tell your friends)
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GMAT Resources
• 10% Discounts for GMAT courses
• • • • • • Kaplan: Manhattan GMAT: Veritas Prep:

• Free GMAT study flashcards • Recommended GMAT Prep Books • Free GMAT Prep Resource Directory
(tell your friends)
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A favor…

Please pass along this deck to your friends and network!

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