In good times or bad, the value proposition for earning a degree from the elite business schools remains convincing and compelling. The desire to increase one’s earning power, to add a prestigious brand to the resume and to join a global network of industry leaders makes the effort and investment required for MBA admission extremely motivating.
For many applicants, their professional and personal vision demands a Harvard, Wharton or Stanford degree. Such individuals eat, sleep and breathe “MBA.” They can think and speak of almost nothing else for months. They believe, “I want and need a top MBA more than anyone else in the world, therefore I will be admitted.” Unfortunately, such a mantra is not sufficient alone to make it happen.
The top b-schools expect that everyone who applies is deeply passionate about their program and highly motivated to work 24/7 for admission. In fact, some programs take this for granted to the extent that they no longer ask the essay or interview question, “Why are you applying here?” They can easily predict the answer!
Alas, even for applicants with the highest motivation, there is no substitute for a thoughtfully developed and thoroughly implemented admissions campaign that speaks not only to desire for enrollment but, even more importantly, the value proposition for the school to admit him or her. The applicant must present a compelling case for why the knowledge, perspective, values, excellence, uniqueness, etc., that he or she offers would be an essential asset to the targeted school. And the time horizon for adding value must go beyond the two years spent on campus as a student. Top b-schools want life-long relationships that extend into meaningful alumni involvement after graduation.
An uninformed applicant believes that his or her drive and motivation will be enough to woo an admissions committee. As we said before, that’s not enough. In working with our clients at The MBA Exchange, we approach the admissions campaign as a strategic marketing campaign. This is where your passion comes into play. Your drive and work ethic can inspire a powerful and convincing application.
Understanding the wants and needs of the target market (i.e., MBA ad comms), we analyze and prioritize the applicant’s strengths, provide guidance in mitigating weaknesses and pinpoint the most distinctive attributes that should help win a coveted seat. You’re not getting into b-school because you write about how much you want to attend, they will understand that by seeing a smart and well thought out campaign.
So, yes, be clear in linking your needs with the offerings of each school. And yes, be passionate in expressing why this school is “The One” for you. But don’t disregard or dilute the importance of a comprehensive, strategic approach to earning the offer of admission that you’ll be dreaming about tonight.
You’re ready to put in whatever work it takes to get that elite MBA you’re craving. So are we. So, you can get started by requesting an objective, professional evaluation of your candidacy for the schools that you really want to attend. With 14 years of experience helping nearly 2,500 business school applicants to succeed, The MBA Exchange is eager to help you achieve your highest potential.