MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
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
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

An Open Letter To 2016 MBA Applicants

Writing is Rewriting and Requires Time

Some of you know why you want an MBA, have good reasons for selecting the school you will apply to, and will get the GMAT or GRE that you want the first time you take the exam so you won’t be in Stormer’s shoes. Great. However, if you are too close to deadlines, you will end up rushing the writing process for your essays, short answers, and resume.

Not a good idea.

Writing – whether long essays, short essays, or resumes and activity descriptions — benefits from time. Temporal distance between revisions improves critical analysis and editing. In contrast, scrambling to slap something together leads to sloppy thinking and writing.

Taking these three key steps early will improve your chances of acceptance, but they still aren’t what I would truly like to see from you. I want to propose something more comprehensive and effective than just getting the GMAT or GRE out of the way, thinking profoundly about fit, and starting your essays early.

A Holistic, Purposeful MBA Application Timeline

Proceed purposefully, methodically, and thoughtfully so that you submit a superior MBA application to the most appropriate schools at the most desirable deadline for you.

Make that highlighted line above the 2015 resolution that you stick to. And really do stick to it. (I know. I know. It’s February, and resolutions are so… last month. But I was too busy last month to draft this letter.)

I’m going to help you fulfill this resolution by laying out the process holistically from January through September so that you can present a superior application. It’s not just the test score or the GPA or the years of work experience or solid extra-curriculars. It’s all of the above. And we mapped out the process for you here.

If you are aiming for the Round 1 deadlines, you can download and print out the timeline PDF and post it on your mirror, wall, fridge, or anywhere else where you’ll see it, be inspired, and allow it to guide you. We have also created a public Google doc with the timeline that you can copy and paste to your own Google account and modify to suit your needs. Then using your timeline as a guide, add these tasks to your calendar. And do them.

If you follow this MBA timeline, your MBA dreams will not be a mad, breathless sprint to the finish line, but a long, steady jog that allows you to successfully complete the MBA application marathon. You will be able to give appropriate attention to academic, professional, and extracurricular factors while allowing time for the self-reflection, research, writing, and editing that will produce an application that presents you at your best.

What do you think? Get ready. Get set. Go!



Linda Abraham is president and founder of, one of the oldest MBA admissions consultancies. She is also the co-author of “MBA Admission for Smarties.”

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