Why Applying To Business School Should Be Easier, But Not Easy

Why Applying To Business School Should Be Easier, But Not Easy There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Securing a place in one of the world’s top MBA programs is not easy. Nor should it be. To stand out in such a highly competitive applicant pool you have to demonstrate a level of intellectual vitality, personal character, professional competence, and thoughtful self-awareness to convince the admissions office that you will thrive and contribute to the business school community. In the process you have a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot about yourself, and the confidence that your future classmates have risen to the same challenge.

In recent years many of the schools have moved towards a shorter, easier application form. The Harvard Business School is now down to just one optional essay versus eight essays a decade ago, while many others have reduced the number of essays required, or drastically shortened the word length. Columbia now asks you to define your post-MBA professional goals in 75 characters – a ‘tweetette’ if you will.

Here’s why applying to Harvard Business School has never been easier

What would Duke Fuqua MBA Tim Cook have shared for the school's MBA admissions essay that asks for '25 Random Things' about you?

Stanford GSB now only requires two letters of recommendation, while other top schools have adopted a common recommendation form. The latter is a welcome change, acknowledging that your recommenders, though supportive of your b-school application, have limited time to craft 4 or 5 different recommendations on your behalf.

What matters most to you, and why? The Stanford MBA wants to know, and so should you

But aren’t both business schools and candidates losing something along the way? Unlike many other graduate programs, the MBA typically attracts individuals who have 3 or more years of professional experience. How you have developed your talents and outlook on life is as important as what you have accomplished, and a resume does not easily capture what you made of an experience, versus the experience itself. While law schools may emphasize academic excellence in their application, business schools and their case discussions are all the richer for the diversity of backgrounds, value systems and personal motivations in the MBA classroom.

The thought of reading 9,600 applications among a core admissions staff of 5 or 6 people is admittedly daunting. My co-Director at Fortuna Admissions, Judith Silverman Hodara remembers a time in her 11 years at Wharton when she would read every single Indian application for the incoming class. Talk about having insight on what makes one candidate more attractive than another!...

Read full story: Forbes

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