Applying for an MBA this year? Watch this insightful webinar to learn more about the five core elements of your application, how admissions committees will review each criterion, and tips to give your candidacy a competitive edge through a winning MBA application.
Our speaker for this webinar is Loubna Bouamane and she will share a step-by-step approach to building an MBA application that will help you maximize your chances of admission: from the school selection strategy to standardized tests prep. She will also discuss the core elements of an MBA resume and how it differs from a job resume. She will share some tips on how to define your career goals and build a strong personal narrative through your essays.
Loubna Bouamane, Ph.D. is the founder of The Admission Concierge and an expert in the MBA/MS admissions field. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education. Her professional path has led her to work in several business schools including Babson College and Harvard Business School, and five years as the director of admissions at the University of Miami. She has been a featured speaker both domestically and internationally at various MBA fairs and led webinars with GMAC. Loubna founded The Admission Concierge with a specific goal in mind: to use her in-depth knowledge of the industry to help candidates craft a successful application.
The first element of your application an admissions committee looks at, according to Loubna, is your resume. She says recruiters take an average of six seconds to scan a resume. This is where you have to grab their attention and showcase leadership and other soft skills. They want to see this key information: where you went to school, your GPA, your major, your GMAT or GRE score, work experience, and finally they want to see what you do outside work and school – your extracurricular activities (hobbies, interests, etc.)
Your resume needs to show your leadership skills, first and foremost, it also needs to highlight your analytical skills, feature the impact you’ve had during your work experience (the job position or the company are not as important as the actual impact), and finally, it needs to show your ability to “give back”, because they want to make sure you are going to be involved in the classroom as well as after graduation. To find out how your MBA resume differs from your professional one and to get tips for a stand-out resume watch the entire webinar.
The second element of your application that can make or break it, is your essay. This is your chance to present your personal brand and narrative, the things that make you stand out, especially for a competitive program. As Loubna points out, by the time the admission director gets to your essay, they probably know everything about your academic and professional background, so now they want to know you on a personal level. Your essay should highlight your values and passions. You should also share your formative experiences, pivotal events outside of work, that shaped you into who you are. Basically, this is your opportunity to build your “brand” and show your true essence. She then continues to share suggestions on how you should approach the different types of essays.
Letters of recommendation
The third element of your application is your letters of recommendation. The first step is to ask the right people to recommend you. Schools don’t care about the titles, what matters is that this person has worked closely with you and knows you well. Once you have identified that person (or people), provide them with the necessary information and also give them enough time and direction. Make sure you get your letters of recommendation immediately after your essay since they should reflect and reinforce what you wrote in your essay. And finally, share talking points on which you want their letter to focus on. Loubna then goes on to share a few key points to a strong letter.
Standardized test score
The fourth element of your application is pretty straightforward – your standardized test. The main advice she gives is to start prepping as soon as possible, take practice tests, get tutoring and strategize, and read a LOT to enrich your vocabulary. According to her, those candidates that have stronger quantitative skills tend to do better on the GMAT and those who have stronger verbal skills tend to do better on the GRE.
Technically this is not part of your application but Loubna marks this as the fifth (and very important) element. As she points out – schools are like any other business, they track everything in the backend through a CRM and therefore can track every interaction with their candidates. So, they have a way of knowing how much you have engaged with their school (or haven’t). A few steps you can take, as she suggests, are to register your interest once you have selected the few schools you are really interested in, create an application account even if you don’t end up submitting your application, attend one or a few coffee chats, visit the campus if it is possible, and use LinkedIn to connect with current students and alumni.
To learn more details and get more tips for your application watch the entire webinar and don’t miss the Q&A at the end. The Admission Concierge offer a 10% discount on their Full Application Package for PrepAdviser users.