Part of the saga to enter in an MBA is to choose the right
school. It may seem stupid, after all, only the fact to indulge
in one of 10, 20 or even 30 best business schools in the world
is already of good size, but the truth is that each school has a
profile. And apply to a that has nothing to do with you can mean
to not be accepted.
Therefore, do not spend your time for
nothing. Talk with students, ex-students, staff, teachers, or
whether, with all the people possible who have had or still have
some kind of experience with the school. The majority of them
organizes in-person events in Brazil. It is a great opportunity
to better understand your proposals. A consultant can also help
you, as well as the good old internet, but nothing replaces the
personal contact. If you can, pack your bags and go visit
them. Just do not forget to check before if your trip does not
coincide with the holiday period.As mentioned in the previous
post, I have travelled just in the summer holidays in 2011 and
the experience was not as rich as to the visits that I did in
the following years.
After choosing the schools, it also reflects on the amount of
applications that are willing to do. I did nine and I do not
recommend it to anyone. Many of the schools have not had my
profile and, to make matters worse, in the rush I ended up
trying to reuse some essays, and I made confusion. In one of the
essays for Insead, I wrote that I would love to do the summer
internship in an area different from mine. The problem is that
Insead lasts 10 months and has no probationary period for those
entering in September.The fault does not he harmed me, but I
know a lot of people that have made mistakes worse, as they
leave the name of a school on the application of the other and
gave evil, so the best thing is to prevent silly things like
this commit to the application as a whole. One of the golden
rules for a good application is always to have in mind that the
schools want to believe that they are your first choice, even
knowing that this often is not true.
This is also one of the main tips for the interviews. With
the exception of Kellogg, who interview all over the world,
business schools make a previous selection and choose only a
part of the candidates to interview. The interview, or in the
case of Wharton, group dynamic, it is a kind of second phase. I
was interviewed by four schools – Ross, Insead, Stanford and
Kellogg. In all of them, I focused on convince my interlocutors
that I was passionate about school.No college wants to invite a
student that will end up going to another, because they are
ranqueadas by the number of students who accept your invitation.
Passed the interview, all that remains is to wait. The answer
comes within one or two months. A period of anxiety, controlled
in my case with intense work to apply to other MBAs. The schools
usually have three periods of application. The recommendation
for foreigners is to apply in the first or in the second
round. The good side of the divide their applications in these
two rounds is that you can devote to the second round with more
tranquility, so if you have already had positive responses in
the first. The bad thing is that you already know that going for
the MBA, but still don't know where. Can also occur of you do
not pass on any of your choices in the first round. In this
case, do not be insecure, learn from the mistakes of the first,
and strive even more in the second.
My “marathon” of applications gave good results. I was accepted
in three MBAs – Ross, Insead, and Kellogg – and in Sloan
Stanford, a course that is shorter than the MBA traditional and
geared for executives with more than 10 years of career. Ross
was the only positive response in the first round. Then, in the
second, came to Stanford, Insead, and finally Kellogg. The
decision was not difficult. Insead and Stanford had a duration
of one year and I wanted two to have the opportunity to meet
other business areas with more depth.And, although Kellogg and
Ross have a similar profile, Kellogg has a worldwide reputation
in marketing and building reputation, area in which I work. Also
I identified a lot with the students. Are communicative and
somewhat hyperactive. In fact, one of the jokes that I heard the
other day of a student of the Wharton school is recognized for
grooming great executives for the financial markets, is that my
colleagues will listen very in Kellogg phrases such as: “math is
not my forte.”
I know that all these jokes are just stereotypes, but the
little that I saw until now, schools have erred very little in
the choice of the allowed. So, a good path for you that is
beginning is to know very well what your own profile and
highlight in all your material – essays, resume, interview – the
attributes and stories that show your fit with the school. You
can start by trying to imagine their answers to the questions
below. Despite the ironic tone, the satire says a lot about the
style of business schools.
Harvard: Of which Fortune 1000 company are
you going to become the CEO and why would you pick that company?
Wharton: Of which Fortune 1000 company are
you going to become the CFO and why would you pick that company?
MIT: Draw an ASCII picture of your favorite
Lord of the Rings character and describe three lessons that
today's business leaders can learn from Lord Of The Rings.
Stanford: Why? (100,000 words recommended)
Chicago Booth: Provide a detailed
statistical analysis of why Chicago Booth is #1 in BWeek and
never higher than #3 in USNews. Do the math in your head.
NYU: How badly do you need a vacation from
your ibanking job, and what makes you think you will be able to
get back into ibanking upon graduation?
Yale SOM: Which nonprofit organization do
you plan to run, and what about running a nonprofit makes you
Columbia: In your opinion, what is the best
way to sabotage the Whartonian CFO of your company and become
UC Berkeley Haas: What makes a hippie like
you think you can succeed in business? Use the words
‘sustainable’ and ‘green’ at least twice in your response.
Cornell Johnson: Describe how awesome being
an Ivy Leaguer would make you feel.
UVA Darden: How badly do you want your ass
to be kicked by our professors on a scale of 9 to 10?
Notre Dame: Describe how awesome Irish
Football is, and list ten ways we can make our MBA program as
well-known as our NFL training program.
London Business School: Answer NYU's essay
and use the find/replace function to replace all ‘NYU’ with
‘LBS’, ‘New York’ with ‘London’ and ‘program’ with ‘programme’.
Wash U Olin: How early are you willing to
wake up to serve coffee to our medical students?
UNC Kenan-Flagler: See Notre Dame but
replace Irish Football with Tar Heel basketball, and NFL with
U of Phx (pick 2 of 4): When your boss finds
out you have enrolled here, how loudly will he/she laugh? Have
you ever wasted a lot of money on something useless
before? Would you be willing to appear on the billboard or would
you rather keep your enrollment a secret? What is 5+8?
Tuck: Do you remember summer camp? How
amazing was that!?!? Don't you wish you could go to camp for 21
months? Attach the letter you wrote to your parents in fifth
grade summer camp explaining how awesome it was.
UMich Ross: What was the craziest thing you
did while tailgating during undergrad, and are you prepared to
tailgate like a pro again? In your essaym try to include the
words moonshine, goat, and anus.
Kellogg: Explain why you think good
quantitative skills are not required in the business and discuss
the importance of teamwork in situations in which no one is
skilled enough to do the job by himself?
UCLA Anderson: Have you seen that show “The
Hills?” Isn't it amazing? Discuss your strategies for getting
into clubs to party with the cast of “The Hills” so you can feel
Duke Fuqua: What are your short-term and
long-term career goals? Begin your essay with the sentence, “My
career goal is to provide investment and business advice to the
much more successful graduates of the Duke Law and Medical
Carnegie Mellon Tepper: Draw an ASCII
picture of your favorite MIT student and list three things that
business leaders can learn from MIT.
INSEAD: List the number of languages in
which you are fluent, and explain how knowing a bunch of
languages and studying in one of the world's slowest economies
for ten months will make you an effective business leader.
CEIBS: Would you rather be upper middle
class in the US, or rich in China? Pleeeeeeeease say the rich in