Tag Archives: Admissions tips

A client of ours had brainstormed her essay with her consultant and come up with a strong outline based on her brand and overall profile.

However, when she went away to write the first draft of the essay she gave in to the pressure that many applicants endure—copying the format of an existing essay that someone else had written.

The draft she came up with was extremely boring and not memorable!

The popular B-School book, 65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, has been dissected by many business school hopefuls with the goal of identifying the secret code that these…

Recommendation letters are an important part of the MBA application. They give the admissions committee an outside perspective of your candidacy, and represent a “vote of confidence” from someone with first-hand knowledge about your ability to handle the rigors of business school.

However, for early-career MBA applicants who are newer to the workforce – with correspondingly fewer accomplishments to discuss – it can be challenging for recommenders to write the type of specific, detailed responses that are most effective in impressing admissions committees.

I get asked a lot about how MBA applicants can improve their recommendation requests…

As a business school admissions consultant for more than a decade, and a former member of the admissions committee at Harvard Business School, I get a lot of questions from MBA applicants about whether or not they’ll be able to get into b-school based on their background.

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what the ideal MBA applicant looks like: perfect test score, great work experience with significant time in a leadership role, stellar recommendation letters, strong post-MBA goals with a clear path of how to get there, and accustomed to working internationally or with…

I just read an interesting blog written by Amit Somani, Managing Partner at Prime Ventures, where he shared about the importance of reading.

He started his blog with this interesting quote from Charlie Munger, the co-founder of Berkshire Hathaway:

In my life I have known no wise people who don’t read all the time. None.Zero.

I’d like to add to this.

When it comes to the MBA application process, those who read have a natural outlet that can help them in the application process.

Here are five reasons why MBA applicants should take up the habit of reading if they don’t do…

Are you thinking about applying for an MBA? This is the time of year when application deadlines are rolling out and MBA candidates start to really think in depth about the application process. On paper, each of the MBA application elements are pretty simple: take a test or two, fill out an application, write some essays, get a recommendation or two, and do an interview.

But of course, with top business schools receiving thousands of applicants each year, the process is far less simple than it seems. For a truly effective MBA application, you need to think about what the…

Michigan Ross School of Business Releases 2017-2018 MBA Admissions Deadlines 


The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students to its standard daytime MBA program in three rounds:

Round one:

Application deadline – Oct. 2, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 15, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 2, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 15, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Mar. 19, 2018

Decision posted – May 11, 2018

Michigan Ross is a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which has a separate application…


NYU Stern School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students to its standard daytime MBA program in three rounds. MBA candidates will receive one of three notifications by the Initial Notification date: a denial of admission, a waitlist offer, or an invitation to interview.

Round one:

Application deadline – Oct. 15, 2017

Initial notification – Jan. 1, 2018

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 15, 2018

Initial notification – Apr. 1, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Mar. 15, 2018

Initial notification – Jun. 1, 2018

All applications are due by 11:59…


INSEAD has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. The school admits students twice per year, in both January and September. Each intake period has four application rounds. The application window for January 2018 intake is nearly closed, with the Round four deadline coming up on July 26, 2017, but the deadlines for September 2018 intake are as follows:

Round one:

Application deadline – Sept. 20, 2017

Interview notification – Oct. 20, 2017

Decision posted – Nov. 24, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Nov. 29, 2017

Interview notification – Jan. 12, 2018

Decision posted – Feb….


Harvard Business School has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. HBS considers applicants for their regular MBA program in three rounds, with a separate deadline for applicants to the 2+2 program:

Round one:

Application deadline – Sept. 6, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 12, 2017

Round two:

Application deadline – Jan. 3, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 21, 2018

Round three:

Application deadline – Apr. 2, 2018

Decision posted – May 9, 2018

2+2 program:

Application deadline – Apr. 10, 2018

Decision posted – May 30, 2018

Harvard MBA candidates are encouraged to apply in rounds one and two whenever…

Columbia Business School has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018.

Due to their rolling admissions and unique “J-Term” scheduling, Columbia does not do the typical multi-round deadlines. Instead, the school has one deadline for January-entry students (who skip the summer internship and complete their degree in 16 months) and two deadlines for August-entry students.


January 2018 entry application deadline:

Oct. 4, 2017

August 2018 entry application deadline: 

Oct. 4, 2017 (early decision)

April 11, 2018 (regular decision) 

All applications are due by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Early decision applicants…

Berkeley Haas School of Business Releases 2017-2018 MBA Admissions Deadlines 

Haas School of Business has announced their application deadlines for students entering in 2018. Haas considers applicants in three rounds: 


Round one: 

Application deadline – Sept. 21, 2017

Decision posted – Dec. 14, 2017 

Round two: 

Application deadline – Jan. 4, 2018

Decision posted – Mar. 22, 2018 

Round three: 

Application deadline – Apr. 5, 2018

Decision posted – May 10, 2018 

All applications are due by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on the day of the deadline. Berkeley Haas is also a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management,…

When it comes to applying for an MBA, there are a lot of different ways to fail: You could complete your application and essays entirely in the Klingon language. You could accidentally set your suit on fire during your MBA interview. You could respond to all inquiries by saying, “I’ll do whatever I want, because I’m the boss of this place!”

However, most people who don’t get into business school on their first attempt fail in slightly less spectacular ways. To be clear, business school admissions are incredibly competitive: it’s entirely possible to do everything right and still not get…

For most people who are thinking about applying to business school, the admissions test is the first hurdle. The GMAT has long been the “default” test of MBA admissions, but the last decade has seen that perception shift rapidly.

MBA candidates know that if you want to get into a great business school, you (usually) need to get a great test score. That means studying early, studying often, and choosing the right test for your needs.


To some extent, the old advice still holds true: if you know you can get…

There are a lot of benefits to attending business school early in your career, especially when you consider the increased salary and additional time in your chosen career field post graduation. But the drawbacks are real, too. With so little time in the workforce, it can be challenging to build an effective case for your candidacy. Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to leadership.


We’ve talked about the importance of demonstrating leadership for a successful b-school application – even when schools aren’t asking explicitly for your leadership bonafides…

The Harvard Business School application essay for this year is the same as last year’s essay question:

“As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?”

HBS-2017-2018-Essay-and-Admissions-DeadlinesClick here for essay tips on how to tackle the HBS application essay.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for Harvard Business School 2017-2018 application deadlines has been announced. There are three rounds and the application deadlines are as follows:

Round 1 Deadline: September 6, 2017

Round 2 Deadline: January 3, 2017

Round 3 Deadline: TBD…

Are you a mid-career professional thinking about going to business school? For many people who consider returning for a business degree after spending some time in the workforce, getting an MBA is the default choice. Many candidates don’t realize that an EMBA program is an option for them.

That shouldn’t completely come as a surprise; MBA programs do tend to be significantly larger than EMBA programs. For example, Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA graduating class of 2016 consisted of 483 students, more than twice as many as the 195-member EMBA class of 2016.


At Yale…

Are you planning to apply to an MBA program this year? Over the next couple of months, most business schools will be releasing their MBA application essay questions for the 2017-2018 application season. And while round one deadlines won’t start hitting until September and October, it’s always better to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare.

This is especially true now, as there’s a current trend in MBA essay questions that is proving tricky for many applicants. Top business schools have been continually working on streamlining their essay process. While this does have many benefits for applicants…

Stanford GSB admissions has hired Kirsten Moss as the new assistant dean of admissions to replace Derrick Bolton.

Despite this change in leadership at Stanford GSB admissions, there will not be much changes made to the Stanford GSB application this year. The essays and recommendations will remain the same from the 2016-2017 application cycle.


Essay Tips for Stanford GSB

Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when tackling the Stanford MBA essay questions:

1. There are two required essays still. Essay one is the “what matters to you” essay and essay two is…

Let’s face it: landing on the wait list at one of your target business schools can be frustrating. Even if you applied to several other schools – and even if you were accepted at one or more of your alternates! – the fact is that for most MBA candidates who find themselves on the wait list, their main goal is getting off.

There are a couple of ways for an MBA applicant to get off of a business school wait list. Most commonly, as we have discussed before, applicants do well by carefully and objectively assessing their application for weaknesses,…

Our previous blog looked at dual degree options at eight top business schools: Booth, Columbia, Fuqua, Haas, Harvard, IE, INSEAD, and Kellogg. This week, we’re covering nine more.

Is an MBA dual-degree program the right choice for you?

When it comes to dual-degree programs (also referred to as joint degrees at some schools), the key takeaway is “more”.

Pursing a joint degree gives you more flexibility to pursue a career path you’re interested in, more field-specific knowledge than a general management degree alone, and more credibility to employers within your target industry.


There is…

At most schools, an MBA is a general management degree – an excellent way to hone your leadership skills and develop strong foundational business skills across a number of departments and operations. But if you’d like to delve deeper into a specific industry or career path, a general management MBA may not be the best choice.

Joint JD/ MBA programs have been around for years, often pursued by students who want to work specifically in business law, or who are looking to move into senior-level positions within their law firm.

But students pursing other career paths, from dentistry to education to…

If you’re a potential business school applicant who is nearing – or already past – your 30th birthday, you may have spent some time wondering whether you should bother to apply.

It’s a question I get asked a lot – am I too old for an MBA? There’s a persistent myth that 30 is some sort of a “magic number” beyond which admissions committees just don’t really consider applicants.


Of course, you can’t really blame candidates for worrying that entering their fourth decade means saying goodbye to business school. After all, the…

It’s been just about a year since the Graduate Management Admission Counsel released the Executive Assessment for professionals who are interested in applying to an EMBA program. Now that it’s been out for a while, it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons of the test, to see how well it stacks up against the GMAT.


Shorter length

One of the primary benefits being touted for the new assessment is its length. Clocking in at just 40 questions and 90 minutes, the Executive Assessment is significantly shorter than the nearly four-hour GMAT. And while both tests are designed…

Here at EXPARTUS, MBA candidates come to us at many stages in the application process, and with varying degrees of knowledge about what an admissions consultant does.

For some people, hiring an MBA admissions consultant is an obvious choice: they know they want the guidance, and they come to us at the very start of the process. Other people reach out to us when they feel like they’ve hit a snag in the process, or they need to re-apply to b-school, or they have concerns about whether their profile is strong enough to get into their target schools.

Are you thinking about applying to an Executive MBA program – but aren’t sure that your profile is the right fit? We’ve talked before about how to choose whether an MBA or an EMBA is right for you, but I also wanted to address something I see a lot: the concern over applying for an EMBA when you feel like you don’t have enough experience to get in, or you’re not old enough, or you don’t have the “right” background.

It is certainly true that Executive MBAs are designed for candidates who have more experience, and at a higher…

When it comes to MBA admissions, undergraduate GPA and admissions test scores like the GRE or GMAT are some of the only hard, quantifiable metrics that an admissions committee can use to gauge the strength of your candidacy. They’re certainly not the only elements of your MBA application that matter, but they are pretty significant when it comes to your chances of getting admitted.

Unfortunately, once you’ve decided to go to business school, you can’t go back and change a weak undergraduate GPA. But that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your dreams of going to a…

Okay, so you’ve done it – you’ve decided that you definitely want to go to business school, and you’ve narrowed down your list of potential schools. You should feel proud of yourself – those are big steps to take.

So now that you’re ready to get serious about your MBA application, where should you begin? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with everything you think you have to do. But the best way to succeed is to focus, and to start small.


Here are two simple things you can get started with, that will…

Whether they consider applications on a rolling basis or in individual rounds, there’s no denying the fact that at most top MBA programs, the vast majority of the spots in the class are filled in the early parts of the process. So, why would you bother applying in Round 3?

The truth is, many applicants shouldn’t. If you’ve got a more typical background, good test scores and undergraduate GPA, and a strong resume, you should apply as early as possible – preferably in Round 1, if you can get your application together in time (or if you can’t, consider…

Recently I was talking with a client, preparing him for an interview with Harvard Business School, and I asked him how many schools he had applied to. He told me ten or eleven, and I was flabbergasted – I couldn’t believe he had applied to so many schools. In almost 15 years, we’ve never worked with a client who’s applied to so many schools.

As I started working with him, I went through his background, his resume – it was clear to me that this was a guy who could have applied to five, perhaps a maximum of six really…

At EXPARTUS, we often work with young professionals, and college students, who are planning on applying for an MBA in the next couple of years. With so little work experience to rely on, they want to optimize every part of their background in order to get in to their target schools. And so, we are often asked about whether the choice of undergraduate major will help or harm for a b-school application.

The reality is that most top business schools just don’t focus all that much on undergraduate major. There are many good reasons for this; for one thing, undergraduate…