A GMAT OF 500 TO 549? ‘YOUR B-SCHOOL WILL LIKELY HAVE AN EXCELLENT FOOTBALL TEAM’
One of my favorites has to do with his interpretation of scores on the test nearly all business school candidates love to hate, the GMAT. Get a 700 to a 749, writes Paul, and “You’re in the zone. It’s no slam-dunk, but you are super-admittable.”
What about the poor soul who gets a 500 to 549? “You might be super-nice,” advises Paul, “but you’re not super-smart. Look on the bright side—the MBA program that finds you to be an attractive candidate will likely have an excellent football team.”
Or why not consult his own rankings, which frankly make as much sense as many of the well-known media rankings out there? Paul ranks schools by the average temperature in January as well as their proximity to the nearest Cinnabon. On the former, you know UC-Berkeley and Stanford crush Harvard and Paul’s own alma mater. On the latter, for those anti-kale and anti-Quinoa folks, the clear choice is Wharton and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
CHOOSING A BUSINESS SCHOOL BY YOUR ZODIAC SIGN
Or how about his guidance on choosing your target schools on the basis of your Zodiac sign. If you’re a Cancer, he thinks you are best suited for either Columbia Business School or NYU Stern because you are obviously tenacious, loyal, moody and independent. If you’re a Virgo, you ought to apply to Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business because you quite clearly are analytical, well-read, self-effacing, yet overly critical and creative.
Aside from the jokes, or in spite of them, you’ll find much truth in You Should Totally Get An MBA. His humorous observations are almost always on the mark, whether he’s hand holding the reader through a tour of the most likely post-MBA jobs from brand management to private equity or what to say and not to say during your admissions interview.
Hint: Don’t say, “I did like so MANY drugs in college.” Do say, “My extensive undergraduate extracurricular activities sometimes interfered with top academic performance.”
YOU WILL TOTALLY LAUGH OUT LOUD AT HIS OFTEN WACKY YET TRUE INSIGHTS
Paul succinctly dishes on each school’s attributes, explores MBA-speak ranging from the 2X2 Matrix to NPV (net present value), and the often peculiar vernacular of the Adcom (admissions committee) folk, from pit-divers, who he defines as “ass-kissing members who chase up to the professor after class,” to poets and quants, the latter described as those who are “really great at math but sometimes bad at showering.”
He also addresses the quintessential question facing all would-be applicants to an MBA program: Can you succeed without the MBA degree and what do you really get out of the experience, anyway? His answer to that question is grounded in what he calls “immense gratitude” and a “great deal more perspective.”
“I can see now that I should have had better career direction right out of college and, perhaps, wouldn’t have needed business school to focus my energies,” he writes. “But knowing that now is somewhat moot and does little good for the 25-year-old me who could barely afford to get the Ramen stains dry-cleaned out of his TJ Maxx neckties. I can see now that I probably would have succeeded without business school because drive and ambition have played just as big a role in my success as any academic credential. But I know that I’m far better off—both personally and professionally—with the skills, standards and personal network Tuck provided. (btw, ‘personal network’ is how MBAs so warmly refer to ‘their friends’).”
But you’ll find all this out and so much more by picking up this book and thumbing through it. Quick. Totally buy this book. Totally laugh out loud at its often wacky-but-true insights! Totally get an MBA! Now!
John A. Byrne is editor-in-chief of Poets&Quants and this review has been adapted from the foreword he wrote for the book.