Most & Least Challenging MBA Applications This Year

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TALES OF AN APPLICATION SEASON GONE BY

We also asked MBA admission consultants to share “an amusing or entertaining story” about a client applying this year? Their answers:

“I had a client get an interview to INSEAD despite a 640 GMAT. When he did not get in initially, he panicked, got advice from multiple friends, and then tried to change his entire career goal for LBS. It took weeks to convince him to stick with what we had, but he ultimately did. He was then admitted to LBS … and INSEAD off the WL. I guess this is less amusing and more cautionary. Do not panic and do not listen to amateurs, especially if they tell you to completely abandon your own goals.”

“One of my clients was so impressive that in the middle of the interview, the (adcomm) interviewer stopped and offered this person admission right there on the spot. Have you ever?!”

WHEN FOUR IS THE LUCKY & MAGICAL NUMBER

“I had a client who had such an amazing essay for his CBS Essay 3: What would your classmates be pleasantly surprised to know about you? My client had four serious girlfriends in his life and they all had the same birthday. July 4th. He wrote a great essay about this as his last girlfriend with that birthday is now his wife. Four is clearly his lucky number, and he nailed the GMAT on his 4th try after some misfires. CBS said it was one of the best essays they had ever seen.”

“I had a candidate this year who was a maniac for chocolate — the really fancy, high-end stuff. He picked it up from his Dad, who was also a chocolate maniac — but his Dad would never let him have the really good stuff growing up. So one day when he was about thirteen, my client scraped a little money together and went down to buy himself some nice chocolate — only he didn’t really know what good chocolate was at that age so he wound up at a filling station pigging out on Russell Stover’s instead.”

“One client had me laughing so hard at some of his stories that I made them put some of them in his Duke ’25 Things’ essay. Here’s one that I loved. “I sent in an application to play for the New York Knicks’ minor league team, and wasn’t invited to try out. However, the team official encouraged me to apply again this year, which I will be doing. I am 5’7”, wear a knee brace, and carry an inhaler.'”

One consultant, however, took offense at the question. “I never reveal client detail,” he wrote. “This is a highly unethical thing to even ask. Our clients’ privacy should be protected at all costs. Anyone who answers this question is ethically irresponsible and should change their line of work to one that does not involve protecting client privacy.”

WHO SHOULD SUCCEED DEE LEOPOLD AT HARVARD? GARTH SALONER AT STANFORD?

No less amusing, perhaps, are the recommendations of consultants for the successors to Dee Leopold, the outgoing managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, and Stanford GSB Dean Garth Saloner. As to Leopold’s successor, consultants obviously had plenty of fun with the question, naming everyone from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (“So she can see the value of an MBA to the tech world”) to Barack Obama (after all, he’ll be needing a job soon enough). But the Number one choice was none other than Sandy Kreisberg, the prominent MBA admissions consultant who frequently appears on Poets&Quants in our Handicapping Your Elite MBA Odds and Ding Reports.

Among the more serious recommended successors were Bruce DelMonico, who is head of MBA admissions at Yale University’s School of Management, who received the most votes; Shari Hubert, who is associate dean of MBA admissions at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; Sarah Lucas, an HBS alumna and a current adcom board member; Eileen Chang, who currently serves as Leopold’s deputy, and Derrick Bolton, who is head of admissions at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

And what about Dean Garth Saloner, who is leaving his job at the end of the current academic year? Yossi Feinberg, an economics professor at Stanford and faculty director of the school’s Stanford Ignite program, came in first, though there were any number of successors suggested, both in jest and in all seriousness. Among them: Hugh Hefner or “any senior female faculty member of the GSB who wants the job.” More seriously, perhaps, was Edward “Ted” Snyder, currently on his third deanship at Yale’s School of Management; Rich Lyons, dean of UC-Berkeley’s Haas School; Peter McHenry, dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business; Condi Rice; Robert Sutton, the Stanford professor and author, and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

Poets&Quants’ online survey was completed by 24 consulting firms out of 75 for a response rate of 32%. It was fielded earlier this month.

DON’T MISS: THE MOST ANNOYING MBA ESSAY QUESTIONS OF 2014-2015

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