Articles published in mbaMission

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Don’t Have to Rework My Resume

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: At Least I Don't Have to Rework My Resume by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


Many MBA candidates do not thoroughly consider and revise their resumes for their applications, often dismissing this element because an existing version may already be saved on their computer. We strongly caution you not to underestimate the value of your resume—the admissions committees, in fact, review applicants’ resumes carefully, because they serve as a road map of each candidate’s career. Read more

University of Virginia Darden Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - University of Virginia Darden Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough University of Virginia Darden essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


This application season, the University of Virginia’s Darden School is maintaining its single essay question approach, though the content of the query has changed. The school has been known to later add a few—much shorter—prompts, however, so you will need to stay alert for those, in case Darden does so again this year. In the meantime, focus your efforts on the program’s primary essay question, which prods applicants to discuss a past situation in which their opinion on a matter was changed as a result of input from and interaction with others. At first glance, we assume that with this prompt, Darden’s admissions committee is hoping to gain insight into applicants’ capacity for self-assessment and their openness and responsiveness to other viewpoints. You have only 500 words with which to convey all this, so you will need to be simultaneously thorough and concise. We offer our Darden essay analysis to help you achieve this. Read more

Your Business School Timeline

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Your Business School Timeline by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


At mbaMission, we strongly advise MBA candidates to start the application process early by using the months preceding the release of applications in June and July to get organized and to proactively take steps to competitively position themselves. Here we present a rough business school timeline for the entire MBA application cycle to help candidates better manage the process so that all opportunities are maximized. Read more

Visiting Your Target Business Schools

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Visiting Your Target Business Schools by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


At mbaMission, we get many inquiries from MBA candidates who are curious about whether visiting your target business schools is really worth the time and cost and whether doing so will impress or influence the admissions committees. Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that visiting an MBA program has tremendous import beyond the formal admissions process—doing so is essentially a chance for you to give the school a thorough “test drive.” Imagine, for example, that you were considering buying a $250,000 to $500,000 home. You would certainly want to check it out in person before you signed the mortgage papers, right? You might turn the taps on and off, open and shut the doors and windows, take a walk around the perimeter, and chat with the neighbors. Given that your business school education will likely cost you somewhere in that dollar range—when you take into account tuition, living expenses, and the opportunity costs of leaving your job—you should put forth the same level of effort inspecting and evaluating the place that will be both your work and home for the next two years. Read more

What to Do If You Are an Overrepresented MBA Candidate

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - What to Do If You Are an Overrepresented MBA Candidate by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


These days, the applicant pools for the top MBA programs are overfull with talented and experienced investment bankers, consultants, and software engineers. As a result, they are considered “overrepresented” MBA candidates and may have a much harder time standing out from the crowd. However, if you fall into one of these groups, do not lose hope. Although you cannot alter your work history, you can change the way you present yourself and your candidacy to the admissions committees. We at mbaMission can offer a few suggestions for ways to ensure that your essays grab an admissions reader’s attention. Read more

Managing Your MBA Interview

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Managing Your MBA Interview by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


“What if I don’t know the answer to a question I’m asked?” This is probably the number-one anxiety among business school candidates facing an MBA interview. Thankfully, however, it is largely an unnecessary one, because your interviewer will always be asking questions about a topic you actually know very well—you!—not questions that require applied knowledge or research. So, in an MBA interview, you will not need to know how to calculate a discounted cash flow or express your opinion about the U.S. interest rate policy. Instead, you must be able to reflect on and discuss your life experiences, why you want an MBA, the value you can add to your target program and how you expect to engage with it, and your reasons for wanting to attend the specific school at which you are interviewing. Read more

EMBA and MBA: Know the Differences!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - EMBA and MBA: Know the Differences! by mbaMission

Did you know that we offer an Executive Assessment Masterclass? In one weekend, we’ll give you the tools you’ll need to ace the EA and take your career to the next level.


At some point in their career, many professionals decide to pursue a business degree. And these aspiring candidates often wonder, “Would I be a better candidate for an Executive MBA or a traditional MBA?” You may be pondering this issue yourself as you try to make the right decision to advance your career. In this post, we present some of the fundamental differences between the EMBA and MBA to help you clarify your options. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass is 99% Empty

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee's Glass is 99% Empty by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


“I was the first in my class to be promoted at McKinsey. I have a 710 GMAT score and completed Level 1 of the CFA exam, but I had a B- in calculus during my freshman year. Will that grade ruin my chances for admission?”

“My company has been under a hiring and promotion freeze for the past three years, but during that time, I have earned pay increases and survived successive rounds of layoffs. Will the admissions committee accept someone who has not been promoted?”

“I have been promoted, but my company changed names. Will the admissions committee think I am going somewhere at a sketchy company?” Read more

Berkeley Haas Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Berkeley Haas Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Berkeley Haas essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


One look at the first application essay question for the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley this year may make applicants think the program has finally embraced the less-is-more movement in essays that so many other top schools have been joining lately. And to be fair, the total number of words allowed for Berkeley Haas’s essays this season has gone down, but not by all that much—dropping from 1,000 to 806—so candidates still have a comparatively good amount of space in which to present a well-rounded impression of themselves to the school. Although the prompts have changed in wording, the kind of information the school wants to elicit seems largely the same. As always, you want your essays as a whole to encompass a range of stories and qualities that complement each other so as to provide an accurate representation of who you are today, the student you expect to be in business school, and the professional you will be for the rest of your career. What follows is our full Berkeley Haas essay analysis, featuring their updated essay questions… Read more

When to Submit an Optional MBA Essay

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - When to Submit an Optional MBA Essay by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Virtually all the top business schools offer applicants the opportunity to address anything unusual or problematic within their profiles, using either the additional information section of the application or the optional MBA essay. This way, MBA candidates can proactively explain any irregularities or inconsistencies so that the admissions committee understands the circumstances behind these issues and is not left to guess or make assumptions. Commonly, applicants will write an optional MBA essay to explain or reveal one of the following kinds of issues:
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