I wanted to share this with you. I had a chance to discuss b-school opportunities with many
applicants on this Forum, and I had to say no to some schools you had on your list or your
thought process around school shortlisting. A lot of you are very theoretical in your
understanding about the whole process. Why am I saying this? It is very unlikely for WP
Carey and Wharton to be on the list of the same applicant. They are two very extreme ends.
Think about it this way: I want to cast a wide net to opportunities, but it cannot be so wide
as to accommodate both WP Carey and Wharton on the same list. It looks like it is the same
process for both Wharton and WP Carey as both of them have essays and LOR's. However,
the process is not the same at all. Wharton or even Duke/Tuck will require a very strong
understanding of what you want out of their MBA Programs.
If a Wharton rejected applicant is headed to WP Carey or Vanderbilt, that will be very
surprising. That candidate will either go to Duke/Tuck/LBS etc. and if nothing works out, this
applicant will wait and reapply to other schools next year rather than going to WP Carey.
WP Carey and Vanderbilt are not bad programs, and I am not implying that at all. It is just
that they are not even in the neighborhood in the prominence and rankings. If you applied
to Wharton, and WP Carey, either you were just taking a one out of a million Long shot at
Wharton or you are stooping too low. You can actually have a middle ground where there
are good chances of admissions and scholarships. If you would like to pursue a path where
there are significant chances of admissions, it has to be in the MIDDLE of the two extremes.
Think about it this way- A Stanford rejected candidate will not go to Kelley. He should rather
stay There are TONNES of other places in between these two.
You must have realized that I was less excited about some MBA programs than the others. I
want to share my thought process with you:
- My Philosophy of school shortlisting: If I told you not to apply to a particular school, I
did it so as to stop you from wasting your time and money. If there are certain
schools that are around the boundaries of your profile, you can push harder by
laying excessive focus on your goals and networking stages, and you will understand
this better once the steps are laid out in front of you. However, if a school is way
beyond the boundary of your profile, then you are not a borderline candidate. For
that school, you are ruled out completely.
What will I do if you do not accept my school suggestions? - I am not your boss. I am a
mentor, and my job role to advise strategies that will maximize your chances of success. You
will always have the final say in this as it is your career, and your life.
Why did I not RECOMMEND some of the programs you had on your list? Am I a pessimist?
Do I not want to show a bright picture?
No, I am not a pessimist. My idea of being straight with you is to save your time and money.
I am NOT SUGGESTING you to get very comfortable, and apply to only those programs
where there are very high chances winning. No! That is not the idea either.
Conclusion: I Do Not- I repeat- I do not want you to spend time in fighting battles where I
know there is NO FUTURE.
Should you have any questions, drop me an email - [email protected]
PythaGURUS MBA Consulting: School shortlisting Mistakes
Figure out where you wish to apply