The Best MBA Admissions Advice From The Class Of 2019


Sammy Ahmed, USC (Marshall)

Stay off the forums! The forums will drive you crazy if you let them. I won’t even mention or link to specific forums because knowing the audience that reads Poets & Quants would head straight to them after reading this. The forums are not helpful at all. Not even directionally. There are people who even anonymously post misinformation to freak you out. No one can predict when or if a school is going to call you. Just let it happen. It’ll make your life much easier if you just hit ‘submit’ and forget about it until decision day.”

Sammy Ahmed / USC (Marshall)

“The first piece of advice I’d give to anyone is enjoy the journey! You will spend what feels like an eternity prepping for, stressing about, and taking the GMAT (possibly several times) combined with countless reiterations of essays and recommendation letters. Although it can be a daunting process, use this time to truly understand who you are and what you want to do with your career. This will be one of the few times in your life where you are encouraged to be selfish, so take full advantage of it! Take time to document your personal qualities (strengths, weakness, passions, etc.) and your professional experiences (accomplishments, failures, etc.) and share them with your network. If taken seriously, the application process will serve as a great opportunity to self-reflect and develop your “why.”

James Couch / Duke (Fuqua)

Kenya Hunt, Harvard Business School

“I cannot stress enough the importance of positive self-talk. During a rough patch while studying for the GMAT, it dawned on me that some of the things I said to myself, I’d never say to a friend. I was beating myself up pretty bad: I constantly questioned my intelligence and adopted self-doubt as my default.

To begin challenging those negative thoughts, you must first become more aware of them. Make a conscious effort to slow down and pay attention to your thoughts. Stop and notice when you are feeling negative emotions (like frustration, doubt and worthlessness). Keep a log if it will help. Once you are aware of your critical voice, you will be in a better position to stand up to it. Begin replacing those negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend that you believe in!”

Kenya Hunt / Harvard

“My one piece of advice to future applicants would be to not settle. The application process for business schools is long and exhausting and tests your persistence in many ways. From the GMAT to school selection to essays and interviews, the challenges are many and it’s fine to take your time navigating through the process rather than getting frustrated mid-way through and settling for something short of what you deserve.

Khushboo Gandhi / Cambridge (Judge)


Comments or questions about this article? Email us.