Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Champion Swimmer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. NFL Team Analyst
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Auditor
GRE 332, GPA 3.25
Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
NYU Stern | Mr. Washed-Up Athlete
GRE 325, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Southern California
GMAT 710, GPA 3.58
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)
INSEAD | Mr. Fraud Associate
GMAT 750, GPA 8/10
Wharton | Ms. Project Mananger
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Chicago Booth | Mr. Average White Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. AIESEC Alumnus
GMAT 750, GPA 3.38
Kellogg | Mr. Brazilian Banker
GMAT 600, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Upward Trajectory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Fish
GRE 327, GPA 3.733
Harvard | Mr. Community Impact
GMAT 690, GPA 3.0
IMD | Mr. Gap Year To IMD
GMAT 660, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Italian In Tokyo
GMAT (710-740), GPA 4.0

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.