Thursday, March 30, 2006

Review: Applying to a Top MBA Program

I just finished Applying to a Top MBA Program, which offers a unique look at the admissions process. Rather than focusing on the schools or the applications, it provides insights into the students themselves through twenty different interviews with first-year students at top programs. The students talk about their application strategies, their school choices, how they prepared for the GMAT, and what kind of plans they had once they graduated. The diversity of the interviewees is impressive. There are of course students with a number of different ethnic backgrounds, but there is also a wide range in the age of the students, as well as significant variety in their professional backgrounds and undergraduate experiences.

Although I couldn't help but compare myself to the students as I read their profiles (and in general, they are extremely impressive), I was also reassured by some of their comments. For instance, one of my concerns is whether or not the significant financial investment I plan to make in getting my MBA will pay adequate returns. My opportunity cost pales though in comparison to one of the students who took a two year hiatus from her job as a founding partner of a law firm to get her degree. It was also interesting to see how different people decided which schools to apply to. Some chose based on geography, some based on the schools' personalities or academic strengths, and a couple applied to H/W/S just "because they were the top three."

If you're still not sure about whether or not business school is right for you, or which ones to apply to, this book could give you some new perspectives on your decision. It also provides a look at the type of people who attend business school, and it's likely that you'll identify with at least one or two of the students in the book.

If you're looking for a book that's actually enjoyable to read while providing a different perspective on the application process, I can strongly recommend Applying to a Top MBA Program.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious - how come you are not applying to Wharton?

10:14 PM  

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