How To Get Accepted By A Top Business School — The Best Of Jon Fuller

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You notched a 3.8 undergrad GPA from a Big Ten school.  You scored 720 on your GMAT. And you’ve landed two promotions since you graduated. Still, you have some doubts. You dodged those ‘numbers’ courses as an undergrad. You can’t code. And a 70-hour work week doesn’t leave much time to mentor the underprivileged.

Like most, you’re an overachiever who wants something more before settling down. If you applying to Stanford (let alone Kelley or McCombs), you’re competing against students who also graduated near the top (and not just in the United States). They’ve founded companies and managed millions. And they’re just as ambitious as you are. So how do you know where you stand and what you need to boost your chances?

That’s where Jon Fuller comes in. From 2009-2013, Fuller served as the senior associate director of admissions at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has reviewed thousands of applications and knows exactly how adcoms think.

Recently, Fuller joined the Poets&Quants team, to show readers which schools best suit their goals and how to improve their chances of being accepted. Now, we’re featuring some of his best advice to readers. From which extracurriculars impress adcoms to getting off the waitlist, you’ll find plenty of ideas to beef up your application and make the best school choices.

Here are some strategies to find the right school and improve your chances of being accepted:

(To send Jon a question, click here. Please share your own advice for our readers in the comments below.)

GPAs: How do adcoms weigh GPAs from tougher majors and programs?

Extracurricular Activities: Do schools give extra points to helping the less fortunate?

Weak References: Should I change jobs to make my application more competitive?

Waitlisted: How can I do to improve my chances?

Waitlist Follow Up Letter: How do I make my candidacy more compelling?

Standing Out: How do you separate yourself from the crowd?

The Right Stuff: Are you Harvard or Stanford material?

Entrepreneurship: Are schools giving preference to entrepreneurial-minded students?

Grade Point Averages: How do you convert overseas GPAs into American GPAs?

Work Experience: How much do I need before I apply?

Quit talking and take your GMAT

Stay active in professional and community organizations

Show interest in specific schools

Don’t take time off

Be specific

Don’t wait too long to enroll