Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63

The Art Of The Last Minute MBA Application

Submit a competitive last minute MBA application.

Based on the phone calls and emails that I am getting this week, many of you have not completed your second round applications.  Some of you have not even started! Wondering how to prioritize and still submit a competitive last minute MBA application?  Here is how to allocate your time:

Prioritize The Goal Essay.

If your goals aren’t credible, well articulated and congruent with the rest of your candidacy you will not be admitted.  If you have limited time, please focus on your goal essay.  Quick tip: If you are having trouble identifying appropriate post-MBA roles or target companies, take a look at the career services page of your first choice school to see where graduates with similar interests are placed.

Choose your topics wisely.

Think very carefully about your best leadership and teamwork stories, your strongest anecdote about resilience, and what you want to showcase and mitigate. You won’t have time to switch gears and try multiple illustrations, so strategize before you write.

Set a Timer.

It’s crucial to get drafts down on paper. Give yourself 90 minutes, go somewhere quiet and write. This is not to say that you won’t need revisions, but I strongly suggest that you generate a version of each essay before polishing any of them. Quick tip: If you are overthinking every word and having trouble writing naturally, try dictating your answer and then transcribing it.  Some people also find it useful to talk a friend through their response, and record the conversation.

Don’t Underestimate the Application Itself.

Leave enough time to execute the application. The short answers can be surprisingly tricky, as can the formatting, and some schools have what amount to additional essays embedded in the application form.  You may also need to gather additional information, like an official transcript from your semester in Prague in 2009.  Create an account right now and read through the entire application, so that you aren’t derailed on deadline day.

Plenty of people submit on the last day, so even if you do so schools won’t automatically know that you wrote the whole thing in 5 days.  What will tip them off, and also severely damage your candidacy, is to submit with typos.  Leave enough time to proofread carefully, and to enlist several other proofreaders.  Make it clear that you don’t have time for wholesale revisions, so you aren’t looking for big conceptual feedback, but rather someone to point out that your name is misspelled on your resume or that you have mentioned the wrong school.

Although I am a huge proponent of starting early, and have seen my clients benefit tremendously from this, I have also helped people succeed who compress this process. Last minute MBA applications can absolutely work.


KarenNorth Star Admissions Consulting has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 12.1 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.