HBS continues its pattern of application reinvention with yet another major essay change.  Many of my clients are baffled on how to handle such a vague and open-ended question.   There are several concerns regarding this topic:  1) What should they write about to complement their application, 2) How should they present the information, 3) How much should they write and, 4) Should they write anything at all?   This essay analysis will address each of these questions.

Working with an admissions consultant is much like seeking the support of a career counselor when searching for a job.   Often applicants are overwhelmed with the number of consulting Firms available and don’t understand the strengths of each. One key differentiator is the size of the firm, and there are pros and cons to working with large Firms vs. medium to smaller Firms.  Larger Firms have more resources, such as guides, books, and anecdotes.    Medium to smaller Firms will have these resources as well, but they will be much more tailored to your individual needs.  In other words, you may not have a database to peruse through – but samples and guides will be available and tailored to your specific needs. 

As candidates begin to work on their MBA Applications, securing reputable resources to write their letters of recommendation is a key first step to getting the process rolling.   As we work with clients in selecting their recommenders, they often have numerous questions surrounding letters of support: what is the difference between a letter of support and a recommender? Should I solicit for a letter of support? What does my relationship with the person need to be? What schools will consider letters of support?   These are all good questions, and here are the key factors to consider when thinking about letters of support:

A recent Business Week article was very critical of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management, for their experiment in using a tweet as part of their application. The first line of the article states:  “After only two years, the Tippie School of Management’s famous ‘application tweet’ contest has gone the way of the dodo bird.”


We would have used the same data and school quotes to write the article entirely differently- hats off to Tippie for practicing what we are all taught in Business School: that innovation and continuous improvement are the cornerstones of success and that the only way to develop an innovative culture is to encourage and embrace failure. We think your application tweet was awesome! Even though its’ results did not generate the tangible quality of applications you were looking, the intangible marketing benefit of it was most certainly a resounding success.


For a link to the Business Week article, please click here.

“Do I have to interview on-campus?” is another common question we receive from clients. The answer is “No”, but…

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