What is the secret to getting into a top MBA program? Generations of applicants have wrestled with this question only to find out that a strong application package is the only bullet-proof admission strategy.
So why don’t you just roll up your sleeves and start working on your application? In this webinar, Shimri Winters, head of ARINGO MBA Admissions Consulting, gives valuable tips for:
- building a coherent CV;
- writing a stand-out MBA essay;
- submitting a relevant letter of recommendation.
Shimri is a London Business School graduate and a former member of the London Business School interviewing committee. He has helped hundreds of applicants gain admission to their dream MBA programs.
A basic introduction to the MBA
Shimri started off with a quick general overview of the MBA field, talking about the types of MBA programs, top schools, cost, ROI, to name a few. If you think that you know enough about the MBA ecosystem, you can fast forward to the 21st minute and listen to the part of the webinar where Shimri focuses on the different elements of a strong application.
Elements of a top MBA application
Application is long
Getting into an MBA program is a long process. It takes months to prepare for the exams like the GRE, GMAT, and if English is not your native language, for TOEFL and IELTS, too. Besides, you need to write essays. INSEAD, for instance, requires seven (not a typo) essays. You also need to find recommenders and prepare for the interviews. If you want to increase your chances of admission and possibly win a scholarship, apply early, preferably in round 1 or 2.
The MBA CV/resume
The resume is an important part of the application. It has to be short (just one page). It also needs to describe what your company does because admissions officers may not be familiar with it. Shimri says that it would be useful to connect your responsibilities listed in the resume to your goals in the essay. Avoid stating positions and focus on accomplishments.
When you list your academic accomplishments, don’t forget to show your volunteering work, extracurricular activities, honors and awards. Demonstrate that you didn’t just study, but were active in many more areas beyond your purely academic duties.
When you write essays, make sure you answer the question asked. You will be surprised how often candidates veer into a general description of their achievements instead of answering the specific question. Also, mind the word count limit and include research about the school you are applying to— if you want to go to INSEAD, demonstrate that you really want to go there. Showing the admission committee how you will contribute to the community will also boost your application. Be modest, but don’t forget to promote yourself. Your short- and long-term career goals need to be clear, specific and realistic. Include both your goals and aspirations. Aspirations are about your vision and what impact you want to make.
MBA programs don’t want recommendations from an academic institution or some important person that you happen to know, Shimri says. They want a recommendation from your boss who knows you and can describe what kind of a professional you are. It’s perfectly normal to reach out to the recommenders before they write the letters and remind them of your projects and achievements. The letters should contain examples to illustrate your strengths.
Watch the full recording to learn more about submitting a quality MBA application. If you want to know your chances of admission in advance, you can check out ARINGO’s Admission Chances Calculator.