Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Stanford GSB | Ms. Tech Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.53
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Kellogg | Mr. Indian Engine Guy
GMAT 740, GPA 7.96 Eq to 3.7

Crucial Advice For The Accepted

First round decisions are in. Congratulations! Whew! Excitement and relief are common emotions when you hear the news.

I remember the moment I received my admission decision as if it was yesterday. I was in my office at an offsite location, with a small project team for a special assignment. I was alone when the phone call came.

I was shocked and jubilant, even to shed a few tears of joy. I leapt into the air.

What I also remember, all too clearly: I gave no additional thought to my decision. I was about to embark on what was then a $150,000 investment with no incremental due diligence. Frankly, this was silly.  But, on the other hand, I got into my top choice school (and in fact, the only school I applied to), so, what more was there to do?

Well, let me tell you – there is more. I learned this during my MBA, and I talked to a few colleagues of mine who said the same.

You likely did a great deal of research about the school(s) you applied to – talking to admissions, current students, alumni, and reading resources (like Poets and Quants).  But, let me tell you, you’re far from done. Now is the time to move from a hypothetical decision to an actual decision, or really two decisions.

1)  School choice. If you’ve been admitted to more than one school, you’ll have to decide which one wins.

2) MBA choice. To go now, go later, or don’t go at all, whether you have multiple school choices or only one.

Let’s tackle the first decision first. It will also help us think about decision 2 (especially for those of you who are admitted to only one school).

Career Considerations in School Choice (Decision 1)

My focus is career management. There are, of course, many other attributes and criteria for selecting the business school which is right for you. On the career front, the bottom line is that you want to go a level deeper and benefit from the hindsight of the MBAs who have gone before you. Here are a few suggestions.

Specialization: What type of career preparation are you seeking?  Do you have a specific, specialized career focus you want to pursue?  Based on the answers to these questions, you want to get more details from the MBA program(s).

I spoke to two MBAs – Dena Zigun, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 2005, and Amika Porwal, who will get an MBA from The Wharton School in 2011. Both won admission to several schools and had opposing approaches to thinking about specialization as part of their MBA education and career preparation.

“I knew I wanted to focus on health care,” Amika told me.  “I did look at the course offerings to see what the schools would offer and Wharton was strong in this area. What I did not realize until after the fact was that I needed to go a level deeper – now I see that I needed to probe the distinctions among health care interests: pharma, medical products, payors, providers, medical services, etc.  I needed to know my interests versus the school’s focus.”

Dena on the other hand, adopted a different approach. “I wanted  a solid background in general management, with the ability to take extra classes in marketing, ” she said. “I knew most of the top MBA programs would get me the fundamentals to be successful right out of school. What I felt I really needed where those skills I would use as I moved through the ranks into senior leadership.”

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