The Application

Every business school application is basically looking to ensure you provide 
 

  • Work Experience (WE)

    • Schools are looking to ensure you have at least 4 years of work experience and have been promoted once or twice. It proves you are hirable and capable of succeeding. You will also be able to add to the classroom discussion about your industry or general management and employee conversations. Remember to quantify things! How many people did you manage? How much in revenue does your firm earn annually? Business schools look for easy to understand metrics when reading thousands of resumes and applications.
       

    • On many forums anyone who asks if they should apply to an MBA program right after undergrad or with 1 year of work experience is shut down which is totally unfair! People are genuinely wondering when the right time to apply to business school is. The general word of advice seems to be with 3-5 years of experience, but it does not mean people with more or less experience do not get into FT programs. For undergraduates there are 2+2 programs.
       

  • Extracurriculars (ECs)

    • Hopefully you have a life outside of just work! Whether it is sports or volunteering be​ sure to have a list ready and a brief explanation of the work you have done. Schools want dynamic and interesting people with unique backgrounds to enhance their student body! 
       

  • Leadership

    • Ideally you should two or three experiences that highlight your ability to lead teams or manage projects.

  • Red Flags

    • Things happen and that is aok! A criminal record or suspension are by no means a bar to admission! Just be clear and straight forward about what happened and be sure to note if your record has been expunged and/or that you have no additional charges pending as a result.

  • Where Else Are You Applying

    • The worst question​ and the ethics of how honest to be are complicated because the idea of revealing the other similarly ranked programs can backfire. If a school protecting its yield (the number of admitted students who ultimately enroll which schools want to be a high number) opts to ding or WL you, it can be a real bummer. For example if you're a total rockstar candidate applying to both UNC and Harvard and you let UNC you're also applying to Harvard, they might outright ding you because they know they're a safety school and you will hands down enroll at Harvard if admitted. They would ding you to protect their yield i.e. to ensure a high percentage of the students they admit actually enroll in their program.

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