Personal MBA Coach: Some of the most frequent questions I get from applicants are: what does a successful candidate profile look like? and how did X get accepted into so many schools! Naturally, there are countless answers to these questions, but in response to applicant demand, I post Candidate Success Stories from time to time. Below I have shared a deep dive into one recent success including a Q&A with the candidate to shed some light on the process that I take with my clients and share lessons this candidate has graciously offered to pass on.
Find out how this candidate was accepted to four top schools and secured $70K in scholarships.
Schools Admitted To: Wharton (w/Scholarship), Chicago Booth (w/Scholarship), Kellogg, Yale SOM
What else you can do inside qs leap ?
Years of Exp.: 5
GMAT: Low 700s
Pre-MBA Experience: Strategy & Consulting
Education: Large State School
GPA: High 3’s
Personal MBA Coach: What was the hardest part of the application process?
Candidate: The hardest part of the application process is coming up with your story and balancing your work and life at the same time. Together, we had to figure out what stories, experience, and angle to use for specific programs and schools. The process of narrowing down my life experience is daunting yet introspective. It is probably the hardest part of the application process to figure out who I really am and who I want to be with the supporting evidence to tell the story. The other hart part is how to balance work and life during application process and not to go completely “crazy”.
Personal MBA Coach: How did you decide on which schools to apply to?
Candidate: I wanted to obtain a well-rounded management degree with the opportunity to go on global treks and take on “stretch” opportunities through different programming. … I looked into brand reputation, ranking, global outreach, and student programming. I also made sure that I talked to current students or alumni of the programs.
Personal MBA Coach: What was the biggest surprise for you throughout the application process?
Candidate: The biggest surprise was how much the admission committee knows about you when you get invited to the interview stage. I often thought that all applicants are like a number to the committee. However, in my personal interview experience, a lot of my interviewers actually read my resumes and asked pointed questions instead of the more general ones. I am glad that we were prepared accordingly by school, advice I would not have had on my own!
Personal MBA Coach: What key learnings did you take away that you would like to share with others?
Candidate: My biggest takeaway throughout this process is that the admission team conducts a very well-rounded and comprehensive evaluation of a person’s application instead of just focusing on GMAT scores or a singular factor. I was very concerned about my relatively low GMAT score, however, I focused a lot of time on my essays, my resume, and extra-currics thanks to Personal MBA Coach’s strong push. In the end, everything came together and I got good results. Don’t focus too much on one part of your application. Build a well-rounded profile for yourself and stay true to yourself.
Personal MBA Coach: What do you wish you had done differently?
Candidate: I would start taking the GMAT test earlier. I applied Round 1 and I was still taking tests when I was finishing up my essays and applications, which was quite stressful. I would suggest that everyone get that out of the way first. Luckily once I started tutoring with your team, my scores improved. But I should have started that earlier.
Personal MBA Coach: How did Personal MBA Coach help you?
Candidate: Scott was a key piece to my application process. He was very straightforward and honest about evaluating my profile, not giving me false hopes, but also encouraging me to reach higher. Scott was very valuable when we worked on narrowing down my “life stories” and helping me pick and choose what stories to use for what school. Having his help is also a stress-reliever during the hectic application process. I couldn’t have done it without Scott’s help and the team, especially for GMAT prep!
Personal MBA Coach: Do you have any final pieces of advice for perspective candidates?
Candidate: As cliché as it sounds, enjoy your application process. Looking back to it, I think it was a very good soul-searching exercise for me. As we are busy with work and life, I think it’s great to have the opportunity to be introspective about yourself. Best of luck!
If you need personal support navigating your MBA application, reaching out to Wharton and MIT graduate, Personal MBA Coach may be worthwhile. PMC’s comprehensive support includes mock interviews with a team of former M7 interviewers and customized GMAT/GRE tutoring with tutors who scored in the 99th percentile.
This article has been re-published from Personal MBA Coach’s blog.