Snapshot of a Successful MBA Application Process

by Stacy Blackman Consulting, Jun 8, 2020

SBCKim

Sometimes, it's instructive (not to mention, fun!) to take a granular look at the successful MBA application process of an actual SBC client. Today, we've asked SBC consultant Kim (pictured) to share some of the details of an applicant she worked with during the 2019-2020 admissions season.

Let's take a look at the particulars of this client case study. Who knows, you just may find similarities between her profile and your own. Please note, we've anonymized some of the specifics of this candidate to protect her privacy.

Snapshot of a Successful MBA Application Process

Demography: Indian female, late 20s. First-time applicant

Education: Top University of California school. Economics major

Exam Score Submitted: GMAT 730

Professional Experience: Worked at a Big Four accounting firm within their finance department on a smaller, niche team. Non-target firm and a traditional applicant who lacked specificity in her resume, profile, employer, and position.

Initially, her bullet points used a lot of industry and technical jargon. Also, she didn't highlight outcomes or attempt to tell a story. Some MBA resume refinement was definitely in order.

Extracurriculars: She had strong extracurricular involvement. In her application, she showcased passion through community engagements at both her firm and through organizations that focused on supporting those in developing countries.

Post-MBA Goals: Short term goal is to become a product manager in FinTech. Her long term goal is entrepreneurship through creating her own FinTech/social impact firm with a focus on financial literacy.

Target Schools: Chicago Booth School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Interviewed at: Booth, Kellogg, Haas

Accepted at: Booth (with scholarship), Kellogg (with a significant scholarship), Haas

What did this applicant do well?

An MBA resume differs from a traditional CV. We spent a lot of time focusing on MBA resume refinement. That meant highlighting both the specificity of her achievements and leadership and understanding of her key differentiators.

For example, she was the youngest employee to lead a training program abroad. She was also promoted fairly quickly and had managed a small team. Finally, she co-founded an NGO to assist those in need by supplying them with essentials.

Next, we focused heavily on crafting her post-MBA goals. To do this, we emphasized her professional experiences and extracurricular involvement. Both of these areas had provided her with experience, leadership abilities, and a real passion for FinTech and social impact.

The applicant also did significant networking with the business schools to which she applied. This included attending events, talking to current students and alums, reading school blogs and admissions emails, etc. In her application, she conveyed a strong understanding of how the classes, student clubs, activities, and conferences of each specific MBA program would help her attain her post-MBA goals.

She also wrote engaging and compelling essays that dug deeper into her goals. For instance, she laid out why she felt the specific school/program best suited her, as well as showcased her strong leadership abilities through concrete examples. Finally, we practiced interviews with STAR frameworks and continuously worked on feedback.

What, if anything, could she have done better?

In retrospect, she could have spent more time and focus on the Berkeley-Haas application (it was at the bottom of her list). Although also admitted to Haas, she spent much more time crafting both the Booth & Kellogg applications and essays by comparison.

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Thanks, Kim, for sharing this successful MBA candidate profile with our readers! If you would like to learn more about how SBC can help make your MBA dreams a reality, get in touch for a free 15-minute consultation today!