MBA Application Tips

Crafting an MBA application can be daunting, here are some tips that might help you make the process easier and get the admission officers to take notice of your MBA application:

1. Answer the questions:

This seems like a no brainer, yet it happens so often. While there are many topics on which you could wax eloquent, stick to the topics requested for the essay question or questions. An M.B.A. applicant’s credibility quickly sinks when he or she submits a lengthy essay that, while interesting, is not on point.

2. Adhere to word count:

Another huge temptation for M.B.A. applicants is to exceed the word limit. This will hurt you. Admissions staff evaluate literally thousands of business school application essays. They will look negatively on an application with a 10-page essay when the length requested was 1 page. If you cannot follow directions at this point, you’re likely not to get the opportunity to demonstrate you can follow directions as an M.B.A. student at that school.

3. Dot the I’s and cross the T’s:

Check and recheck for accuracy, correct grammar and spelling. Do not obsess, but at the same time, make sure your essays are the best they can be. Have someone read them for style and accuracy. Remember: Poorly constructed essays are a kiss of death.

4. Avoid the “whoops”:

Believe it or not, it happens more than you think: Essays are sent to the wrong institution. It seems almost silly, but often essays meant for one program end up going to another. On many occasions I would read an essay that was prepared for, say Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and mistakenly sent to me at Booth. The applicant would stress that “Tuck” was his or her “first choice.” Sometimes my outwardly vocal response was a good laugh. However, my regular unspoken response was: “I hope you get into that program, because you won’t get into mine.”