Admission Questions? Ask Our Expert

by Chioma Isiadinso on Print Print

Chioma Isiadinso

I had been in the admissions business for three years at Carnegie Mellon University when I moved to Cambridge to take on an assistant director role at the Harvard Business School. From the open houses and information sessions to the countless phone calls that barraged our offices every day, one thing was clear: MBA candidates were stressed out about their applications. It’s safe to say that with rejection numbers in the 80-to-90 percent range at the best schools, applicants recognize that they are up against significant odds to get an acceptance letter from a top program.

I took away one important lesson from my ten years in admissions: The successful candidates are highly memorable. It wasn’t until I left Harvard and launched my consultancy firm, EXPARTUS, that it dawned on me that the successful applicants to business school had figured out what many consumer goods companies know too well: the importance of selling a value proposition to a customer. I authored The Best Business School Admissions Secrets, and now counsel MBA applicants to help them find the right value proposition to get into their dream schools. Some of my advice can be found here at Poets&Quants, including Understanding the MBA Admissions Cycle and GMATs and GPAs: What You Need to Know About the Raw Numbers.

In any case, I’ve agreed to help anxious applicants with difficult questions at Poets&Quants. No question is out of bounds. Worried about your undergraduate record? Concerned about your GMAT score? Not entirely certain where you should apply to get your MBA? Unsure of how to answer the essay questions? Wondering who you should ask to write your letters of recommendation?

Fire away. I’ll do my best to answer your queries.

  • ComradeKHAN

    With this profile 100% Bain or BCG.

    Good luck.

    AQ Khan
    Lahore, Pakistan

  • Mr. former under-achiever

    Hi Chioma,

    I’ll get straight to the point, i graduated from a Nigerian University with really, and i mean really low grades (Second class lower averaging about 55% over a four year course period), and it’s been a thorn in my flesh ever since, talk about stuff you cant take back :).

    The reason?, i was young, and pretty much dumb. I have however tried to balance this off by getting professional certifications and right now I’m 26, a chartered accountant in Nigeria, CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) and I’m in the final stages of my ACCA. Oddly this hasn’t closed the gap because potential employers, who have interviewed me based on referrals from professional colleagues in the big four, whom I have had the privilege of working with on joint audits, are turned off by my CGPA despite with my qualifications and work experience.
    Now I’m trying to get my MBA done at Memorial University of Newfoundland and its seems that the thorn is gonna pierce yet again, this is because they have a minimum B+ GPA requirement which i clearly do not meet.
    i was wondering if you had any pointers, that could help increase my odds, for several reasons MUN is a school i would love to be a part of.

    Your assistance would be very much appreciated.


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