Tag Archives: Business School Application


Personal branding, to those who don’t understand it, can often seem like whistles and bells with little substance. In fact, I have heard it described as such.

Yet, at EXPARTUS, we know firsthand the power branding has on MBA applicants’ overall application and the exceptional results it yields when applicants utilize this powerful process.

It is why, in the nearly 16 years I have run EXPARTUS, we have not deviated from the tried and tested Personal Branding System I created after working on the admissions board at Harvard Business School.

So, I wanted to share with our readers why it…


Wharton School of Business is known for its top-notch MBA curriculum, promising post-graduate employment opportunities, and hefty price tag.

The cost of attendance for a Wharton MBA will likely set you back at least $218,900 for the two-year program.

While many students opt to take out public and private loans to finance their MBA, there are other options available for the debt-averse. 

If you desire to attend Wharton, but are dismayed by the cost of the MBA, continue reading for more information about Wharton’s fellowships, and how you can craft an application that stands out for consideration. Be sure to…


For students who are finishing business school and considering a job in Africa, Harvard Business School is providing a little extra incentive: $150,000.

Recently, the school announced the launch of its Global Opportunity Fellowship, “GO: Africa” for short. The main requirement is to be an HBS alum who is going to work in Africa after graduation.

GO: Africa is intended to cover the difference between alums’ annual salaries and $100,000. The maximum award offered is $50,000 annually and $150,000 total. Starting with the Class of 2018, HBS students will be eligible for the award during the five…


There are a lot of ways you can rank MBA programs. Rankings like the ones from Financial Times and U.S. News use complex methodologies that combine factors ranging from alum earnings to admissions selectivity.

A simpler way of analyzing programs is just to look at which schools boast the highest average GMAT scores. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that top business schools tend to have impressive average GMATs. But what are the exact numbers in terms of how schools line up by GMAT score?

According to data from U.S. News, the top ten MBA programs with…


I’m often asked questions by MBA applicants regarding career choices and what they should do to prepare for their application. These questions can run the gamut, from whether to remain at a job or take on a different position, so when is the optimal time to apply for their MBA.

I’m going to address a question that I hear often from applicants that can be a tricky one to navigate.

Should I work at a top name firm versus a lesser known firm?

Answering this question thoroughly will depend on many factors including what the profile of the candidate looks…

Yale School of Management and University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have shared profiles of their newest classes.

Both classes include students with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Yale called its latest cohort a “diverse and global group” while Ross described its Class of 2018 as “the most diverse class of MBA students Michigan Ross has ever seen.”

No points for guessing that both classes are academically strong. According to Yale’s data, their Class of 2018 had a 730 average GMAT and 3.65 average undergrad GPA.

Yale and Ross Class...
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Preparing for a business school interview can be tricky. Even if you’ve been in the workforce for years and have been through several rounds of job interviews, there are important stylistic differences with MBA admissions interviews.

There are several questions that you need to answer before you can fully prepare for your interview:

 1. Who am I interviewing with?

 2. Where am I interviewing?

 3. How is the interview being conducted?

 4. What do I need to do for the interview?

 5. Why has the school chosen this interview format?

Interview Formats at Top MBA Programs

Rank School Type of Interview
1 INSEAD Video interview…

Here’s a fun experiment to try: visit Google.com (make sure you’re logged out of your Google account, first) and search for “Harvard Business School”. Search for “Stanford Business School”. Search for “Wharton MBA”. Notice something? “ acceptance rate” comes up in the top 3-4 suggested search options, every time.

Everyone, it seems, want to know about the acceptance rate at their target schools. I get asked by clients almost every day: “I only want to apply to M7 schools. I really want to go to Harvard or Stanford. What are my chances of getting in?”

Here’s the deal: Stop looking…

Looking for the boost to your career an advanced degree can bring – but don’t want to quit your job to pursue it? An Executive MBA may be the perfect option for you.

Designed for mid-career professionals with at least 5-10 years of work history as well as some managerial experience, the EMBA can be a great way to get the advantage of business school (expanded knowledge base, global interaction, networking opportunities, and actionable, hands-on learning experiences) without a two-year career interruption.

What the EMBA is and who it’s for

While MBA programs are a well-known and traditionally very popular route to…

The first class has completed Leading and Transforming Family Businesses–China, a five-month program for Chinese family businesses run by three internationally prominent B-schools.

Harvard Business School, Peking University’s Guangua School of Management, and University of Oxford’s Saïd School of Business launched the program last fall. Several years in the making, the course covers a variety of issues relevant to family businesses in China.

The curriculum is split into three modules, one taught at each of the partner schools. The program starts in Beijing, progresses to Oxford, and ends in Boston. The Guanghua module deals with several issues specific…

If you’re applying to Stanford’s MBA program straight out of school, you can request deferred enrollment in order to gain work experience.

Like Harvard’s 2+2 program, Stanford’s deferred enrollment MBA program is a way of getting your foot in the door at a top B-school before you have significant work experience. To be eligible, you need to be finishing an undergrad program or a grad program with no break between grad and undergrad.

As with Harvard 2+2, Stanford deferred enrollment isn’t a separate program from the traditional MBA – it’s just an alternate route into the MBA program that gives you…

IE Business School in Madrid has risen rapidly through the rankings to become one of Europe’s top MBA programs. It has a reputation for being entrepreneurial and innovative, pioneering changes that other MBA programs might be reluctant to adopt.

IE has no set MBA application deadlines and instead accepts applicants on a rolling basis.

For its 2016-2017 MBA admissions essays, IE asks MBA applicants to choose three essay questions from a list of 12 choices. Applicants must answer at least one question in text form, using 400-600 words. Other questions may be answered through text, poetry, photography, drawing, video, animation, presentation…

Chicago Booth School of Business is known for its focus on entrepreneurship, diversity, individuality, and personal drive. What does that mean in terms of your application to the highly-ranked school? This summer I had the chance to learn from members of the Chicago Booth Admissions Board what they’re looking for.


Chicago Booth has a unique approach to its essay question: there’s no minimum word count, no maximum length, not even a particular format. If you want to answer using a piece of creative writing or a collection of PowerPoint slides, you can.

EXPARTUS Admissions Consulting Chicago...
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Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford attracts global MBA applicants eager to study at a top school nestled in the bucolic English countryside. MBA applicants can choose from six 2016-2017 MBA application deadlines, called stages:

– Stage 1: September 9

– Stage 2: October 28

– Stage 3: January 6

– Stage 4: March 17

– Stage 5: May 5

– Stage 6: June 9

The Oxford Said Business School 2016-2017 Essay Tips

Saïd’s 2016-2017 MBA admissions essays consist of two mandatory questions that are both fairly open-ended, asking applicants to analyze their fit with the school…

The Judge Business School, located at one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious universities, offers prospective MBA students five deadlines:

– Round One: September 9

– Round Two: October 21

– Round Three: January 6

– Round Four: March 10

– Round Five: May 5

The Cambridge Judge 2016-2017 Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

There are two essay questions in the Cambridge Judge application, one dealing with failure and the other asking applicants to outline their plans for the future. The 2016-2017 Cambridge Judge MBA essay questions are:

– Essay One: What did you learn from your most spectacular…

IESE Business School consistently ranks among Europe’s best and attracts students from around the globe who are interested in living and working in one of the continent’s most vibrant cities.

MBA applicants hoping to join IESE’s program this year should keep the following 2016-2017 MBA application deadlines in mind:

– Round One: October 4

– Round Two: January 5

– Round Three: March 7

– Round 4: April 18

IESE 2016-2017 MBA Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

IESE’s MBA applicants are required to choose from one of two of the IESE 2016-2017 MBA essays, and can also submit…

Ex-Harvard admissions expert tells you what turns the top b-schools off

This blog was first published by Chioma Isiadinso on Business Because MBA Application Blog

There are a lot of mistakes you can make when it comes to writing your MBA application essays: Not giving yourself enough time to go through the whole process.

Not brainstorming before you get started. Not proofreading before you hit “submit”, and realising too late that you wrote…

Located in one of the great financial epicenters of the world, London Business School’s MBA program attracts a truly global class of students with a wide range of education and work experiences. MBA applicants hoping to gain admission to London Business School in 2016-2017 should keep the following deadlines in mind:

– Round One: September 21

– Round Two: January 4

– Round Three: February 24

– Round Four: April 21

London Business School 2016-2017 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

MBA applicants should also consider the following MBA essay tips for London Business School 2016-2017. London Business…

Stanford has announced that Director of MBA Admissions Derrick Bolton will step down on September 1.

His departure marks the end of a 15-year tenure at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. During his time as Director of Admissions, Stanford saw a 55 percent increase in applicants and became the B-school with the highest average GMAT.

Bolton’s record at Stanford shows that an admissions director who stays at a school for an extended period of time can have a real impact on that school’s direction. Being at a school for several years gives an admissions director more of a…

Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development, or IMD, offers an intensive one-year MBA program that consistently ranks well that emphasizes leadership training and work experience.

IMD accepts applicants on a rolling basis and typically responds with a decision within a few weeks or a month. They recommend applicants apply as early as they can, to maximize their chances of earning a place in the upcoming class.

IMD’s 2016-2017 MBA essay requirements are more extensive than those of many other MBA programs, with three essays and two career goal questions.

IMD 2016-2017 MBA Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

Business school applications are getting a twenty-first century makeover, with video essays becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional written essays.

Schools like Yale and Kellogg now require three video essays from each applicant. Tuck is another that has added video responses to its application, and INSEAD recently announced that it would be introducing video questions for this year’s applicants.

By bringing video essays into the mix, MBA programs hope to get a more three-dimensional read on each applicant. Compared with written essays, recommendations and test scores, video brings applicants up off the page and gives a…

Admissions expert reveals who you should choose, when you should choose them, and why

This blog was first published by Chioma Isiadinso on Business Because MBA Application Blog

Letters of MBA recommendation are a valuable part of your MBA application package, but the process of getting them can be tough – especially when you aren’t sure who to ask or what to look for in a recommender.

Having sat on the admissions board for both Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, I’ve seen a lot of MBA recommendations, both good and bad. And in my consulting business, EXPARTUS, I get questions from applicants every…

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has posted its 2016-2017 MBA admissions essay questions online, along with application deadlines for each round. The school offers three MBA admissions deadlines, beginning in October:

– 1st Deadline: October 4

– 2nd Deadline: January 9

– 3rd Deadline: April 6

While there is only a single essay question required for UVA Darden’s 2016-2017 MBA application, don’t be fooled: that doesn’t necessarily make the essay easier or less time-consuming than it would be for a school that asked more questions.

In some ways, it is harder to convey all the elements of your personal brand…

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has posted its 2016-2017 MBA admissions essay questions online, as well as the application deadlines for each round. The school accepts applications in three rounds, in addition to the Early Action round for students who are only applying to Duke Fuqua.

– Early Action: September 13

– 1st Deadline: October 13

– 2nd Deadline: January 4

– 3rd Deadline: March 20

Fuqua asks students to answer three different kinds of MBA essay questions: short answers, numbered lists, and a standard essay.

The benefit of having several essays to respond to is that no individual essay needs to convey…

Are you thinking of applying to Columbia’s GSB for your MBA this fall? If so, our GSB webinar on August 9th is a requirement to make sure that you succeed!

Here are three major reasons why you should join us:

– Learn The Best Time To Apply

Are you considering applying through Columbia’s Early Decision program? Or maybe you’re thinking it would be better to apply during Rolling Admissions? Either way, we will be spending a portion of the webinar discussing when is truly the best time to apply.

Understanding when you should apply varies depending on each applicant’s situation.

We will be laying out…

The Kellogg School of Management, based in America’s third-largest metropolis, requires MBA applicants to answer two essay questions focused on the intersection of the personal and the professional. As with many MBA programs, Kellogg’s application deadlines are divided into three rounds:

– Round One: September 21

– Round Two: January 4

– Round Three: April 5

Kellogg’s essay questions respectively address leadership and personal growth, reflecting the emphasis that Kellogg places on interpersonal skills and the importance of community. Kellogg’s 2016-2017 MBA essay questions are:

The Kellogg 2016-2017 Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

– Essay 1: Leadership…

Admissions expert argues that while business school applications can be time-consuming, it’s worth the effort

Over the years, I’ve worked with many MBA applicants, helping them determine which business school fits them best and honing their application materials to improve their chances of getting in.

And what I’ve seen time and time again is that the students with the best chances of being admitted are those who take their application seriously, and put in the work and the time required to do it well.

If you’re thinking about applying…

Former HBS admissions expert shines the light on foolish yet common applicant mistakes

In the run-up to applying for business school, potential applicants fret endlessly about admissions tests.

Which test should I take? When should I take it? How should I study? What score do I need? It would seem, therefore, that MBA applicants anticipate every eventuality and cover all the bases in their preparations.

However, I still see many applicants making the same basic mistakes time…

New York University’s Stern School of Business has posted its 2016-2017 MBA admissions essay questions online, along with application deadlines for each round. They offer four MBA admissions deadlines starting in October:

– 1st Deadline: October 15

– 2nd Deadline: November 15

– 3rd Deadline: January 15

– 4th Deadline: March 15

It’s a good thing they give MBA applicants a bit more time in the first round – their essay questions could certainly become more involved than most. Though the first question is pretty straightforward, the second question is extremely open-ended and even allows students to mail in artwork as their answer, perhaps…

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has released its essay question for 2016-2017 MBA applicants, as well as its MBA application deadlines. Booth’s MBA admissions deadlines are:

– Round 1: September 22

– Round 2: January 4

– Round 3: April 4

Like Harvard Business School, Booth only asks MBA students to answer one essay question. However, Booth takes an unusual and creative approach to its single question, asking applicants to review a collage of “Booth Moments” from social media and choose one image to reflect on. The question reads:

– View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment…