Indian School of Business 2014 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Indian School of Business campus in Hyderabad

Indian School of Business campus in Hyderabad

The Indian School of Business has become one of the strongest graduate business programs in Asia. While it dropped from 20th to 34th in this year’s Financial Times’ Global MBA rankings – making it only the fifth best MBA program in Asia – 100% of its graduates secure job offers within 3 months of graduating and salary increases for graduates are still 152% over their pre-MBA pay! Competition for seats in this esteemed 1-year program is intense and the admissions process is highly competitive for native Indians. Here are ISB’s essay questions and my advice for how to answer them (in blue).

Essays:

1. Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself from other applicants to the PGP. (300 words max)

To answer this well, you need to know what makes you special. Think about who you are and perhaps even ask your friends and mentors for input to gain some perspective. ISB recently revealed in a summary of Myth Busters that it is looking for applicants with a “thirst for knowledge, involvement in professional and personal pursuits, willingness to learn and eagerness to contribute, well balanced personality with thought-provoking ideas and ability to challenge status quo,” so think about examples of these in your own background.

Once you have selected the two qualities you wish to highlight, make them come alive by sharing examples  and/or evidence of them. While you certainly can split this essay into two 150-word sections of each quality, you do not have to be so even-handed: if one differentiating factor needs more space or just is more interesting, it’s worth giving it more room.

2. How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)

ISB’s Admissions Director has listed “Clarity of thought in terms of career aspirations and goals” as one of the three most important qualities sought in the ISB application essays. This goals essay is your opportunity to show that you possess that clarity. You must begin by explaining your goals. Keep in mind that these goals must “make sense” and stem in some way from your past. If entrepreneurship is in your future, it should really appear in your past as well. If you aim for a technology or consulting role, you’ll need to demonstrate that you know what qualities you will need to succeed in these and bring some proof as to your readiness for this career. You do not need an exact map of your future, but you do need to reveal a thought process, reasoning, and evidence of your ability to reach your goals through the ISB program. Highlight in this essay what makes ISB the perfect stepping stone to those goals. 

3. Pick the most significant achievement (professional or personal) you have had and elaborate on the key learning you took away from it. (300 words max)

ISB is looking for leadership potential in its applicants, the ability to take responsibility then collaborate with, motivate and drive others to produce results. This essay is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that you have these skills. An ideal achievement essay will show the obstacles that were in your way and how you used creativity, interpersonal skills, and intellect to surpass them and make an impact.

Optional Essay:

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

The open-ended nature of this question causes infinite hand-wringing, but it should really be viewed as a gift: here is your opportunity to share whatever makes you special. This could be from your work, community service, education, or travels. Don’t make the mistake of just listing an experience or award that is mentioned elsewhere in the application form. Instead, use this space to share why the experience was meaningful, what you gained from it, how you grew, and why you are better prepared for ISB and your future career or leadership as a result.

If you would like professional guidance with your Indian School of Business application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the ISB application.

ISB 2014 MBA Application Deadlines:

International applicants (Non Indian Passport Holders) to the Indian School of Business (ISB) have a rolling application process. If you are shortlisted, you are likely to be interviewed within one month of submission of a complete application. However, in exceptional situations it might take more than a month. You will be informed about the decision within three weeks from the date of the interview.

As an international candidate, you might need additional time to arrange for visas, housing and financial aid, and to work on their English Language proficiency if necessary. Hence, you are encouraged to apply early.

Application for PGP 2014-15 is now open. It will close on January 15, 2014.

Application Deadline for Early Entry Option candidates is January 15, 2014. Offers will be made on March 31, 2014.







Jennifer Bloom By who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 14 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Lies, Darned Lies, and Misleading Statistics: Duke Fuqua’s Early Action

Kisses of Death

Duke Early Admissions: The “Kiss of Death”?

GMAT Club is a wonderful forum for insights into MBA admissions: it offers discussions, interviews, surveys, and expert feedback for all aspiring MBAs. One unique element of GMAT Club is its Calling All Applicants features in which current applicants can share their major data points – the deadline to which they applied, their GMAT scores, GPAs, months of work experience, etc. – to provide statistical insight into their application results. Unfortunately, only a small portion of applicants do provide their data, so the results may not be representative of the actual applicant pool and may even be skewed. It’s also self-reported and anonymous data, which implies that a grain of salt may be advisable.

For example, GMAT Club’s Calling All Applicants for the Duke Fuqua MBA program, generated misleading conclusions. From the data that applicants shared, it appeared as if Duke’s early action deadline was – as one client called it – “the kiss of death,” with only a 12% acceptance rate, in contrast to the overall rate of 30%. An applicant looking only at that data would certainly be justified in eschewing Early Action to instead apply to Round 1.

When this applicant came to us with his concerns, we did what we recommend all applicants do: go straight to the source to clarify. A big shout out to Duke’s Director of Admissions Megan Overbay for letting us know that the GMAT Club data was indeed “a misleading sample”: in fact, says Overbay, Duke’s Early Action round has a “similar or slightly higher acceptance rate than the other rounds.”

So while Calling All Applicants unfortunately does not offer the insight that it would if indeed all applicants responded and all were accurate, I do love GMAT Club when I’m feeling like a real stalker! How fun is it to troll around and see the guy with the 770 GMAT who was rejected without interview from Duke and is attending Chicago Booth in the fall?! This is an example that tells the real truth about MBA admissions: that demonstrating fit is EVERYTHING! This analytical guy is probably a perfect fit for the Booth MBA class but did not emit the vibe of collaboration and dynamic influence that Duke is looking for (I’m guessing here; I don’t know anything else about the guy!).

Takeaway: When you see admissions data that doesn’t make sense – whether it’s on an online forum, in rankings, or anywhere else – go to a more reliable source for verification. For admissions data, that more reliable source usually is the MBA program in question.







Jennifer BloomAs an editor with Accepted for 14 years and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW),  has gained great experience in crafting CV’s and essays that truly differentiate applicants from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your applications, please consider Accepted’s editing services for both your CV and essay.

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

Stanford GSBIndian students considering applying to the Stanford MBA program should check out the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship. The scholarship covers everything for up to 5 Indian students to attend Stanford GSB, and the top 50 finalists for the Fellowship will even receive a break on applying – submitting Stanford’s application for free. The Fellowship’s application process has already begun and registration will end on June 21st, so if you are considering applying to Stanford this year, be sure to complete the application soon.

Successful Fellowship applicants will need to demonstrate excellent academics and career progress plus a strong commitment to India’s development (financial need is also a factor). The Fellowship application is short, asking for educational history, test scores, employment history, a CV, financial information, and only one short essay of 250 words or less: “How do you aspire to shape your country’s future?”

Two-hundred and fifty words is not a lot of space, so I recommend that your past leadership experiences be detailed well in the CV to leave this brief essay solely to your vision for the future: In what areas do you aim to make the greatest headway? How do you plan to undertake that effort? What goals do you aspire to and how do you intend to help India reach them within the next 10 to 20 years?

Obviously, goals based upon previous experiences and involvement will strike the Fellowship’s review committee as the most authentic, so take the time to identify what areas of development are truly the most important in your eyes and share your passion through this essay. Once the top 50 finalists for the Fellowship are selected, they will proceed to complete the regular Stanford application.









Jennifer BloomAs an editor with Accepted for 14 years and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW),  has gained great experience in crafting CV’s and essays that truly differentiate applicants from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your Fellowship application, please consider Accepted’s editing services for both your CV and essay.

Brand vs. Fit in MBA Admissions (and Choosing Shorts)

FitMy Liz Claiborne shorts! How I loved them! I felt worth a million bucks when I bought them – on sale! – at Macy’s when I was in college. Liz Claiborne was usually out of my price range but the sale and a bit of a splurge made it possible, and I felt great!

But something shocking happened when I wore them. Someone whom I didn’t know and had never even seen before – okay, I admit I was in Israel for the summer, so it was an Israeli (a population not known for its subtlety) – literally stopped me on the street and told me I looked fat. Actually, two separate strangers told me that on two separate occasions.

After the second time, I threw out those Liz Claiborne shorts.

Why do I bring this up? Because last week one of my successful clients who earned a spot in two of the top 5 MBA programs in the world told me that she was not going to accept either offer. After visiting the programs, she just didn’t feel they matched her personality or career goals. She had gotten the “Liz Claiborne shorts” but also realized too late that they just didn’t fit right!

Now – months before the first application deadline – is the time to research programs and get a good sense what the students are like, what the recruiting picture is, and how these fit your own needs and personality. Talk to students and alumni, visit the campus once classes are in session, and scrutinize each program’s employment statistics. Only then will you ensure that you’ve gotten a good fit – and not just a good brand!








Jennifer Bloom By  who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 14 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Will Facebook Destroy Your Admissions Chances?

MBA Waitlist Chat

Never post any comments or pictures that you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see.

When Kaplan Test Prep released the results of its survey of business school admissions officers, revealing that 32% of business school admissions officers performed internet searches on applicants, 27% visited an applicant’s social media (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) page, and 10% had found something online that negatively impacted an applicant’s admission chances, applicants around the world collectively shuddered. Not only do we have to consider every comma and turn of phrase in the applications themselves, now we have to worry about what we may have posted online in the past as well?! YES! Here are a few tips to consider when using Facebook given these stark statistics.

1. Make sure that your Facebook profile is for Friends only (and not open to Friends of Friends or Everyone), and also remember to check that you’ve selected this option for every picture that you post.

2. As a general rule, never post any comments or pictures that you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see. That way no one of your closest 1300 friends who is offended by your post can simply take a screenshot of it for global dissemination. Think very hard before using Facebook as a forum to comment on a political matter, your satisfaction with your job, your affinity for a particular teacher or supervisor, etc. Go through now and delete any questionable posts.

3. Even if your Facebook profile is private and viewable only to Friends, you need to keep in mind that some things are viewable by anyone on Facebook: all of the data you’ve entered in Basic Information, the names of Groups you’re a member of, the pages you’ve Liked, all of the pictures you’ve saved as Profile or Cover Photos, and any pictures or comments you’ve posted to an open group. Be conservative in your Group memberships and contributions to open groups, and delete any cover or profile photos that you don’t want in your application file.










Jennifer Bloom  has been successfully helping applicants demonstrate their readiness for the top MBA programs around the world for 14 years. 

IMD 2014 MBA Essay Tips

IMD

IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, offers a 1-year MBA program focused on general management and leadership. While there are only 90 students in each class, the diversity among that class is wide: students hail from 45 countries: 43% from throughout Europe, 26% from Asia, 11% from the Middle East and Africa, 9% from North America, 8% from South America, and 3% from Oceania (Australia/New Zealand and the surrounding islands). Unlike programs in the US, which tend to build the bulk of their classes from students aged 26-28, IMD’s average student age is 31.

Graduates of IMD tend do very well in their careers after the program: the average graduate salary is over $142,000 per year. 75% of the class join industry (including Consumer Products, Industrial Products, Technology, Healthcare, and Energy) when they graduate, 20% enter Consulting, and 5% pursue Financial Services careers. IMD enjoys a global reputation that affords its graduates some flexibility in their career destinations: while 63% of the class remain in Europe after graduating, 23% find employment in Asia, 8% in the Africa or the Middle East, and 6% in North or South America. IMD is consistently ranked among the top programs in the world: BusinessWeek ranks it #9 among international programs, the Financial Times ranks it #19, and Forbes named it the best 1-year international MBA program.

Essay Questions:

1. What do you consider to be your single most important achievement and why? (1500 characters)

Your single most important achievement should ideally show impact, leadership, and cross-cultural and cross-functional savvy. If you can’t have all the above, make sure you have at least two.

You have room here (1500 characters is approximately 250 words) for a concise story but it must engage the reader and convey the “why” and not just the “what.”

You may want to review a few of these resources before writing:

Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Essay
Leadership in Admissions, a free special report.
Insights into Common MBA Essay Topics

2. Please comment on a situation where your leadership skills proved to be inadequate and what you learned. (1500 characters)

Briefly describe the inadequacy – and make it a real one – a time when you really blew it. Take responsibility for your actions and show self-awareness. Discuss lessons learned and how you implemented those lessons successfully in similar, more recent situations. 

3. IMD develops global leaders…what does global leadership mean to you? (1500 characters)

This essay is your opportunity to briefly summarize your ideas on what it takes to be a global leader and share an example of your own cross-cultural, cross-border leadership.

4. Give us four bullet points that clearly differentiate you, that identify your unique contributions to the program. (1500 characters)

Your MBA essays up to this point are probably very professionally focused. Several of the bullet points could be personal. IMD wants to know about you as a person, as well as you as a professional. This may be a great place to inform the reader of distinctive features in your background or personal life since your resume and the other essays will have already told them about unusual aspects of your professional life. 

5. Give an example of the most unexpected thing that you’ve ever learned. (1500 characters)

I love a wild card question like this one: what a gift! Here’s your opportunity to talk about anything in your background that’s interesting as long as it highlights one of the seven qualities that the admissions committee wants to hear about. To make the essay interesting, you could start by describing the learning experience itself and then reflect on how this has changed your actions or methods since then.

6.
A. For people who are planning to consider new jobs and/or organizations after the MBA: Please give us your short term career goal post-MBA. Which function, industry and geography do you see yourself working in? Are these changes for you, and, if so, why? How will you approach your job search? (1500 characters)

This is a forward-looking, connect-the-dots MBA goals question with a twist. To answer this question, you need to know what you want to do after you complete IMD’s short, intense program, and you also need to explain how you plan to move into that position. You need to know what IMD career services offers and how you will use and supplement those services.

OR

B. For people who are company-sponsored, confirmed going back to their previous company, entrepreneurs planning to go back to their own firm, and/or members of a family who are planning to work for the family business after graduation: Please let us know your short-term career goals and plans after your MBA. (1500 characters)

Even when your future is “assured” with an offer or clear career path after the program, you need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a purpose and a plan. In this essay, you need to explain what impact you hope to make on the company and how you plan to do that.

7. Additional Optional Essay: Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee to know which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? (Optional essay). (1500 characters)

With IMD’s seven essays, this may be the one application where the optional essay is really unnecessary. Nonetheless, if you have something to explain – a low GPA, low GMAT, a gap in employment, etc. – or something to add, this is the place to do it.

If you would like professional guidance with your IMD MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the IMD MBA application.

IMD 2014 Application Deadlines

February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1 and September 1.

*While you can choose any of our application deadlines, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.
Apply for the February 1st or April 1st deadline to have the option of being interviewed in Singapore.
Apply for one of the first four deadlines if you are a citizen of a country that requires a visa process of over 6-8 weeks. (We recommend that you check with your local embassy, especially if you are bringing your family with you as this can prolong the process.)









Jennifer Bloom By is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and is available now to create an easy-to-read document that highlights your exceptionality. Creating this document now will help you see where you need to generate more content – i.e., take more action – before the fall deadlines .

Admissions Resume: What to Include

To ease the reader’s eye strain, the font should not be smaller than 10 pt.

To ease the reader’s eye strain, the font should not be smaller than 10 pt.

I suggest that applicants for Fall 2014 entry begin assembling materials for their applications now –  five months in advance of the first fall deadlines. One of the ideal documents to begin now is a resume, something that any professional should always have updated and at the ready. Here are some tips on starting the ideal admissions-worthy resume.

First, you need to know how far back in time to detail in this document. As a general rule, if you are applying to graduate school and have at least two years of work experience, your high school activities should not be included in your resume. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you won a prestigious national award in high school, you may certainly consider including this important recognition.

Other general rules for the resume:

• There should be no more than four bullet points beneath each position.
• Each bullet point should ideally be no more than two lines long.
• To ease the reader’s eye strain, the font should not be smaller than 10 pt.
• Margins should be as close to one inch all around as possible – I, personally, will not reduce them lower than 0.7 inches.

With these rules in mind, how should applicants to the top international programs focus the resume on their most relevant and compelling experiences? Limit the number of bullet points describing your early entry-level roles and instead expand the space dedicated to those in which you made the most impact.

For instance, if you were promoted from an entry-level programming position with your company, then you don’t even need to dedicate a separate line to describe that first role. Instead, you can simply impress the reader by describing the fast pace of promotion in a line of the job description, like this:

Team Lead, IT Consulting Company                    2010-Present

Twice promoted from Analyst (2010-2011) to Senior Analyst (2011) and then Team Lead in record 12 months, a full 4 times faster than the average rate of promotion.

What if one position has allowed you significant leadership opportunities and impact? Or what if you have been in your current role for several years? How can you detail all that you have accomplished in just four bullet points? The trick is to break that down into sections, like this for example:

Private Equity Associate, PE Firm                         2011-Present

Lines of job description here…

Leadership Accomplishments Include:

• First point
• Second point
• Third point
• Fourth point

Financial Impacts Include:

• First point
• Second point
• Third point
• Fourth point

Keep in mind that the majority – if not all – of those bullet points should include quantifiable impact that you had on the organization. Breaking up a bulk of text with numbers and section headings makes the entire document more compelling.

Finally, to ensure that your document is easy to read and keeps the admissions officer’s attention, you need to include ample white space. To add some white space above each position in Microsoft Word, highlight the title line of each row (hold the Ctrl button down as you click to keep them all highlighted), then click on Format, Paragraph, then in the Spacing Before box try at least 4 pt. (if you have more space left on the page at the end you can go to 6 pt.). Do the same Ctrl highlighting for the bullet points throughout the document and try 2 pt. or 3 pt. spacing before each of those lines.

Check out this pdf file (viewable in Adobe Reader) to see the difference this little formatting trick can make.













Jennifer Bloom is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and is available now to create an easy-to-read document that highlights your exceptionality. Creating this document now will help you see where you need to generate more content – i.e., take more action – before the fall deadlines .

Indian School of Business 2013 Essay Questions, Deadlines, and Tips

Indian School of Business campus in Hyderabad

Indian School of Business campus in Hyderabad

The Indian School of Business has become one of the strongest graduate business programs in Asia: it ranks 13th in the Financial Times’ MBA rankings – only two Asian programs surpass it according to FT, more than 98% of its graduates secure job offers within 3 months of graduating, and the salaries those graduates receive are high – 187% above their pre-ISB earnings! Competition for seats in this esteemed 1-year program is steep and the admissions process is highly competitive for native Indians.

The Admissions Office just released the application deadlines and questions for the 2013-2014 academic year. This year calls for a video submission of 90 seconds in addition to a new first question. My recommendations are in blue beneath each essay question. Unlike most other graduate business programs that allow applicants to exceed their word limits by up to 10% without penalty, the ISB application will not allow even one additional word, so applicants will need to be concise and exact!

Upload Video

Life to me is……………………. ( Please complete the following statement in your own words on Video) 90 Secs/15 MB in the format specified below.  

An increasing number of programs are requesting audio or video submissions from their applicants. These “essays” enable admissions committees to get a strong sense of the applicant beyond the written word – does he make eye contact, have good stature, appear poised, speak clearly, and with confidence? While in the past these qualities were only revealed via an in-person interview, a video submission serves as a simple screening tool for these qualities. Choose a topic and a supporting example that has special meaning to you so that you can concentrate on your delivery in this addition to the application.

Essays

1. Please make a strong case to differentiate yourselves from an exceptional set of applicants applying for PGP 2013-14. You could cite personal/ professional achievements to present your case. (300 words max)

Last year’s essay prompt was to detail your two most significant accomplishments. The difference this year is that the admissions committee is guiding you to tell about accomplishments that most other applicants cannot also describe. This is a tip that we at Accepted.com are always recommending: if someone else can tell the same story, don’t write about it. A team-leader role in a traditional IT consulting gig is probably not going to catch the admissions office’s attention, so if you do find yourself in a highly populated pool of applicants, take yourself out of that box by describing unique situations and impacts. In your essay, focus on the unique challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Do not make the mistake of listing only the awards you received without explaining what you did and how you did it. This error would make your application generic, not genuine.

2. Where do you see yourself three years after you graduate from the ISB? (300 words max)

ISB’s Admissions Director has listed “Clarity of thought in terms of career aspirations and goals” as one of the three most important qualities sought in the ISB application essays. The goals essay is your opportunity to show that you possess that clarity. If entrepreneurship is in your future, it should really appear in your past as well. If you aim for a technology or consulting role, you’ll need to demonstrate that you know what qualities you will need to succeed in these and bring some proof as to your readiness for this career. You do not need an exact map of your future, but you do need to reveal a thought process, reasoning, and evidence of your ability to reach your goals.  

3. Please provide additional information that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

The open-ended nature of this question causes infinite hand-wringing, but it should really be viewed as a gift: here is your opportunity to share whatever makes you special. This could be from your work, community service, education, or travels, so take some time to reflect and perhaps even ask your friends, relatives, or mentors their thoughts on what differentiates you. Then, go the extra step of sharing how this quality has shaped your past and future at ISB and beyond.

Key Application & Decision Dates

Round 1

Round 2

Application Deadline

September 15, 2012
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time

November 30, 2012
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time

Offer Decision

On or before
November 15, 2012

On or before
February 15, 2013

Acceptance Decision

15 days from
the date of offer

15 days from
the date of offer

These deadlines apply to submission of  complete application. Mere online submission of application by the deadline without supporting documents will not be considered complete. All documents have to be submitted online only. Incomplete application will not be considered.

International applicants are granted much more time to submit their applications: ISB conducts rolling admissions for them until January 15th, and liberal scholarships have been awarded to international applicants who choose to attend the program.

Resume: There is no need for submitting a separate resume.  The online application module will generate a resume in the  format that we require, with the details you have filled as part of the application.  It includes your Academic details, Employment details (along with responsibilities/achievements) and awards & activities.

If you would like help with your ISB MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our ISB School Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the ISB MBA application. 

Jennifer Bloom

Jennifer Bloom has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 13 years. If you would you like to work with Jennifer on your application, just fill out an inquiry including any information you think will be helpful. Jennifer will contact you ASAP.

MBA Interviews: Startling Stats

Poets and Quants published a revealing interview with Michigan Ross’s “gatekeeper,” Admissions Director Soojin Kwon Koh last week. Ms. Koh revealed in that interview a key piece of information for all Ross applicants especially but also for all MBA applicants in general: We’re “weighting the interviews …more heavily.” Ms. Koh asserts that “the interview will be a more helpful indicator [than the written application] of what will be useful for a business school experience.”

Take this as a warning, applicants. It isn’t good enough to submit strong essays revealing a pattern of success in your career and community. These will earn you an interview, but the interview is not just a conversation to weed out non-fluent, shy, or aggressive applicants: it is one of the most heavily weighted elements of the application.

Many applicants think that they interview well and do not believe that they need to conduct much interview preparation. Think again…

Just check out the statistics: BusinessWeek reports that 50% of Ross applicants were interviewed last year, but only 32% were accepted. Crunching the numbers using the total 2929 applications that Ross received shows that a full 36% of those interviewed were rejected.

And how do these numbers compare to other top programs? At MIT, 38% of those interviewed were rejected. McCombs dinged a full 51% of those interviewed. Duke decided against a whopping 53% of those it interviewed. And Carnegie Mellon rejected 62% of the students it interviewed!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you interview well: job interviews and admissions interviews are separate species. Take these numbers seriously and conduct a mock interview with an experienced admissions consultant who can guide you in demonstrating the interpersonal qualities that Ms. Koh and her fellow gatekeepers seek in their students.

Jennifer BloomJennifer Bloom has been conducting mock interviews with applicants since 1998 to help them prepare for this overlooked but essential element of every application.  

MBA Applications and Typhoid Fever

“Apologies for the delay, Jennifer. I am recovering from typhoid fever.”

As the birds chirp out my window and my gaze sweeps over the leaves swaying in the breeze under a near-cloudless sky, it is hard for me to believe that just yesterday the heavens were dense with soaked black wool just waiting to drench me with a storm. The change of seasons from autumn to winter is erratic at first, but my hands always show what’s really going on: their skin is already dry and cracking from the winter air. Which is why I marched right down and got a flu shot. And it’s why you should start your round 2 MBA applications now!

Every year, a few applicants drop off the radar for a week or two despite being deep in the writing process. I know what’s coming: it’s either the Sorry-for-disappearing,-Jennifer email that explains that “Work got suddenly crazy!” or it’s the Sorry-for-disappearing,-Jennifer email that describes – often in excessive detail – the horrible illness that befell him or her. I’ve seen it all: typhoid, malaria, food poisoning, even pregnancy’s morning sickness! – illnesses and conditions that require rest and recovery and preclude MBA essay and application writing.

We cannot predict what germs will be transferred to us with the next handshake or what
our work schedules will look like when a sudden exciting opportunity comes our way, but we can prepare our applications in advance of the second deadlines to avoid the impact of those circumstances on our odds of acceptance. There is no time like the present to get started – and to get your flu shot!

Jennifer BloomJennifer Bloom has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 13 years. If you would you like to work with Jennifer on your application, just fill out an inquiry including any information you think will be helpful. Jennifer will contact you ASAP.



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