Here’s the first in a series of interviews with Senior Admissions Consultants from The MBA Exchange. Get to know the professionals who devote their experience, skills and passion to helping applicants gain acceptance to top-tier business schools.
Marina Glazman, Wharton MBA
1. What’s your best memory of being a b-school student?
One of my favorite experiences in business school was a “Field Application Project” in which four of my classmates and I formed a team and embarked on a 6-month consulting project for the Chief Marketing Officer of Dow Jones’ Consumer Media Group and his team. Pitching the project, working closely with classmates, following our own strategic direction, and ultimately presenting our recommendations for the Wall Street Journal to the CMO, the CFO, and a number of other senior people at Dow Jones was an incredibly rewarding experience to have as a student.
2. What was your favorite student club?
I really enjoyed the Entrepreneurship Club. This club brought incredibly interesting speakers to campus including tech moguls, media personalities, and a wide range of successful entrepreneurs who had taken unique paths. Beyond this, some of my favorite moments were in the live, venture capital pitch sessions at Entrepreneurship Club conferences, in which VCs provided real-time feedback—and sometimes funding—to the students whose ideas they liked most.
3. What was an unexpected experience at business school?
During a day trip to New York City with Wharton’s Media and Entertainment Club, we met with a number of media companies and listened to and discussed strategy with their executives. We met with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Warner Brothers Studies, CBS, and several other publications and studios. The biggest surprise happened at CBS where we all ended up on-air, live on the Nancy Grace show!
4. What would your admissions clients be surprised to learn about you?
They might be surprised to learn that I studied Russian Literature during my undergraduate years. I tell this to clients from non-traditional backgrounds to remind them there is no single path to business school. In fact, there’s no reason for people with “qualitative” backgrounds to fear applying to business school.
5. What do you enjoy most about admissions consulting?
I love watching my client’s story come together. Many applicants have had quite interesting experiences, but initially these experiences can seem a bit disjointed. Helping a client develop comfort with his or her own story, and identifying the underlying strengths and passions, is a privilege that I value tremendously.
6. What are some of the misconceptions you hear most frequently from applicants?
A common misconception is that without a blue-chip background (e.g., Ivy League diploma, Fortune 100 job experience) there’s no chance of gaining admission to a top-10 school. But while a blue-chip background has its benefits, there’s a significant opportunity for candidates from other backgrounds to tell differentiated and compelling stories that resonate with the admissions committees.
7. Which parts of the application do clients typically find the most challenging?
Some clients seem to struggle to define their long-term goals. In many ways, the goals statement is the backbone of an application, yet its importance is underestimated by a large number of applicants who focus exclusively on past achievements.
Marina Glazman is a valued member of The MBA Exchange consulting team. She’s one of the 60 MBA graduates and former admissions officers who have helped over 3,000 applicants gain admission to leading business schools worldwide. If you’re a business school applicant who would like to enlist the experience, energy and talents of our exceptional team, please visit us at www.mbaexchange.com.