Tag Archives: MBA Application Tips

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…

Taken on their own, the statistics are jarring: between 2015 and 2016, women earned only 38 percent of MBA degrees issued internationally. In the United States, that number was 36 percent.

In context, it’s even worse. For graduate degrees generally, 60 percent of degrees were issued to women. And for many specialized business masters degrees, half of degrees issued are now going to women. So why is the MBA lagging so far behind?

That’s the question GMAC looked to answer in their new white paper, What Women Want: A Blueprint for Change in Business Education.


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…

Have you been weighing whether an Executive MBA (EMBA) program is the right next move for your career? Designed for mid-career professionals with more than ten years of work experience, typically including managerial experience, an EMBA can be a great way to hone your leadership skills and take your career to the next level.

However, like a traditional MBA program, an EMBA comes at a steep cost, both in terms of the tuition fee and the amount of time it takes. And unlike a traditional MBA, an EMBA is designed for students who will continue in their full-time job…

In last week’s article, we talked about what college seniors and other early-career professionals can do to prepare for eventual business school admission. But what if you’d prefer to head to business school as soon as possible – like immediately after college or graduate school?

Fortunately, there are several options for current students who know they want to pursue an MBA sooner, rather than later. Harvard Business School’s 2+2 program is the most well-known of these. It’s a deferred enrollment plan where the name refers to two years of work experience combined with two years of business school.

Are you a college student who’s been thinking about business school for a while? You probably already know that most programs look for candidates with significant work experience – typically three to five years. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about MBA applications for now!

There are many actions you can take during your senior year of college, and over the next couple of years, that will leave you in a much better position when the time comes to apply. So if you want to have the best chance of getting in to a top business school in…

At EXPARTUS, we get questions almost every single day from MBA applicants who want to know if they have a fighting chance to get into their target schools.

Often, these applicants are struggling with some aspect of their profile, especially when they hold themselves up against the “average” candidate admitted to top business schools. Maybe they had a poor undergraduate GPA, or they have a sub-700 GMAT score, or they are an early-career applicant without much work experience.

The truth is, it is absolutely possible to get into a top MBA program even when you feel like you aren’t an “ideal”…

MBA interviews can be challenging to prepare for. After all, an interview is always a dynamic experience – there are a hundred elements that can affect the way an interview progresses, from the specifics of the applicants’ background and resume to how hungry the interviewers are.

Information is one of the best assets you can have when you’re trying to prepare for your MBA admissions interviews. You can’t guarantee what questions you’ll be asked – and you shouldn’t try to memorize your answers, or you risk sounding like a robot – but you can learn from the experiences of…

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…

A couple weeks ago, NPR ran a segment called When a Resume of Failure Becomes a Recipe for Success. Listening to it got me thinking about the role of failures and embracing failures in the MBA application process.

When you apply to business school, it’s natural to want to put your best foot forward and only talk about your successes. But when everyone is doing this, one way to differentiate yourself is by making your failures part of your story too.

Here are some things to keep in mind for taking advantage of failures in your application.

1. Demonstrate awareness

Awareness is…

A lot of variables are involved in applying to business schools, and timing is one that can change the entire outcome because a B-school application in Round 1 isn’t the same as a B-school application in Round 3. Round 3 is a different animal.

When you apply in Round 3, 85 to 95 percent of the class has already been chosen. Naturally, this makes things more intensely competitive than if you’re starting off in Round 1 as part of a fresh pool of applicants.

With so few spots remaining, adcom tends to turn its focus towards rounding out the class in…

Isiah Thomas, one of the NBA’s legendary point guards, is the Detroit Pistons’ all-time leader in points. At first glance, though, you wouldn’t guess he’d be the kind of guy destined for basketball greatness.

First, there’s his height. At 6’1”, Thomas is downright short in a game where height is everything. For comparison, his friend and former competitor Magic Johnson, who spent 13 years as point guard for the Lakers, is 6’9”!

Then, there’s Thomas’ background. The youngest of nine children, Thomas woke up at 5:00 AM every morning so he could commute to school from the working-class neighborhood he grew…

Getting an MBA is a huge, life-changing, career-changing accomplishment – which is matched by the challenges of getting in to business school.

At EXPARTUS, our mission is to make it possible for prospective MBA students to get into great schools, without all the stress.

In the list below, you’ll find 45 free resources to make your path from application to admission smoother, plus podcasts, news, and networks that will make you a better business school student.

Let’s get started.

Ultimate FREE Resource Guide for MBA Applicants

Test Prep – GMAT

1. Free GMAT prep software from…

Are you planning to take the GRE in order to apply for business school?

So much of the test prep advice that MBA applicants get when it comes to the GMAT and the GRE focuses on the verbal and quantitative portions of the test. With good reason – those two sections form the main score, and are a large part of what admissions committees consider.

But that doesn’t mean that the Analytical Writing Assessment is unimportant, or that it should be ignored by students.

If you want to get into business school, you need to get at least a 4.0 on the…

One of the most important things you can do during this stressful time of applying and waiting to hear from your top b-schools is to find the love in the entire process. That may sound a little out there, but it’s true.

Regardless of whether you are dating, married, or single – you should take this Valentine’s Day to express love! It can be love towards yourself, or keeping the romance going with your partner. Either way, we’ve got a list of four ways to feel the love during the MBA application process!



– Make a…

No matter how much we believe in the work that we do here at EXPARTUS, there is nothing that compares to the real life stories from the people we have worked with.

A former client, who is earning his EMBA at London Business School, was worried about how his age and lack of experience would affect his chances of admission.  However, our team worked with him to make sure that his story and application would still shine regardless.  

Here’s his story on how he went from applicant to enrollee! 

What was your background career before applying for an EMBA program?

At the…