Advice for Business School Applicants: Don't Just Apply, Tell Us Your Story


It’s a well-known fact that no matter how much advice for business school applicants you give or questions you answer, you will always encounter new ones. That also means, with each new cycle, business school applicants are becoming that much more savvy, greater informed, and ever more competitive. And, as is frequently mentioned in business school information sessions across the globe, the applicant pool is increasing far greater than the seats available and any advantage one can learn and exploit, the better one’s chances.

Which underscores, all the more, our greatest piece of advice for business school applicants: you need to prepare.

As Former Admissions Officers and Graduates Coaches, we are constantly researching programs and the MBA application process alongside our business school applicants. As we did in Korea last week, we conduct a variety of workshops to share advice for business school applicants, to shed light on the process, and ultimately, to help you in your own preparations.

Outside of these workshops, you have been preparing for years. Preparing for school, university and work each day, preparing for projects and speeches, meetings and presentations, but also weekends, travel, social gatherings, and whatever else you do for fun. Preparation for the moment, the day, the month, but also for the years ahead.

Preparation extends well before and well beyond any given day, and most certainly beyond your MBA application. So when you’re building your application – researching schools, taking your GMAT, approaching recommenders, drafting essays, and asking the many questions I reference above – it’s important to remember that YOU extend beyond your application – and your application should demonstrate that.

A common mistake is just answering the questions on the application. No, don’t provide irrelevant information that the question isn’t asking for nor blaze past the prescribed word limit or craft endless optional essays – the applications are painstakingly designed to be informative, but also efficient – BUT, don’t forget to show the admissions committee that you’re more than a collection of schools, awards, job titles, and functions. Your resume is not going to attend business school and collect more headings and bullet points. YOU will be attending.

Trust us when we say this: each and every one of you lives a unique and interesting story precisely because it is your own. As you prepare, keep asking the questions you’ve sent us, but also consider asking yourself:

  • Who am I as a person – in my professional life, but outside as well?
  • What about my application is specific to me, genuinely unique, and different from many others? (Not sure? Ask your friends, family, co-workers or whomever else knows you best.)
  • If I were an admissions officer, evaluating an application exactly like my own, what would capture my interest? What would jump off the page? What would differentiate this applicant from another and what would I write down?

That, and many more are the questions you will have to ask. These and many more we at InGenius Prep would be happy to help answer.

Schedule a free consultation

to find out how we can help you get accepted.