Keep MBA Message Board Comments in Perspective

Is there anything more tempting to an MBA applicant than business school-related message boards? We understand the allure—in fact, many of our consultants cop to obsessively scouring those sites and threads when they were pulling together their own applications.

But here’s something we all agree on now: browsing message boards can serve as a way to distract yourself from the agony of waiting for interview invites, at best. At worst, participation in these online conversations can subconsciously influence your application strategy and send you off in the wrong direction.

Who’s on these message boards? Mostly it’s other applicants, just like yourself. They are not AdCom members and cannot judge your odds of being accepted somewhere, nor do they have any special insight into a certain school’s admissions process, as much as they might like to think they do.

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Here are just a few of the types of posts you’ll find on b-school message boards:

“My father went to Wharton and talked with someone there who said…”

“My old co-worker who’s got the exact same profile as me got into Stanford, so…”

“I’ve crunched the numbers from this site and it looks like only people from Ivys with 730+ GMATs are getting HBS invites this year.”

“I have a friend who got a 650 on the GMAT and was accepted at HBS two years ago, so that must mean…”

“I have a friend at Kellogg, and she said…”

Now, really.

We challenge you to take a step back and ask yourself why you would ever let anything posted by a complete stranger worry you or stress you out about your own chances of being admitted to your dream school.

We’ve been advising MBA applicants since 2001, and we can assure you that nothing good has ever come from listening to—or comparing yourself to—other business school hopefuls. Use that precious time to beef up your resume, work on your essays, or do something else productive.

Remember: The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.


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