The admissions guide for pursuing your MBA

Thinking about applying to business school? Don’t even pick up an application until you read the following helpful hints from Evan Forster and David Thomas, the authors of “The MBA Reality Check.”

Are admissions even more competitive now?

Absolutely. A greater number of people are applying because spending two years in an MBA program is an excellent refuge from the economic storm. You get new skills, enhance your network and don’t have to explain a hole in your résumé. People are also applying because they want an acceptance letter should the job evaporate.

Why is now a good time to think about getting an MBA?

Well, certainly there’s the “refuge from the economic storm” reason we mentioned. But admissions committees, frankly, don’t like applicants who are applying as a reaction to something negative. Committees prefer applicants who are applying as a proactive step toward achieving a career vision that requires formal business education.

You say to avoid your dad’s high-powered golf buddy as a recommendation. Why?

The purpose of recommendations is to find out more about how you work, the kind of impact you have and how you approach problems. If he is a distinguished graduate of the specific school you’re applying to, perhaps he could place a call to the office that will make them pay closer attention to your file.  Frankly, letters from your dad’s buddies (or someone who doesn’t really know you) is many admissions officers’ biggest pet peeve.


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