Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Product Manager
GMAT 780, GPA 3.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Financial Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.78
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10

Ready To Start Your MBA Applications?

Ready. Steady. GO! But, wait, are you really ready?

The business school application season has officially begun, with schools releasing essays, deadlines and even the MBA applications themselves. This time of year, I often hear that applicants are planning to start working on their materials at some point in the future, after hitting certain milestones. In my experience, waiting to jump in is usually a mistake. Here are some steps that you should take to get ready to start your MBA applications.

  • Map out your standardized test plan

Even if you are still working on your GMAT or GRE, it’s worth moving ahead with other aspects of your candidacy. To prepare efficiently for the test I suggest an in-person class or a tutor if resources allow. You should also register for an exam, so that you have a fixed goal, and depending on where you are with the testing you might well need to prioritize studying.  However, don’t spend all of your time on the test and be sure to start forging connections, exploring schools and codifying your core candidacy.

  • Update your resume

You will use your resume a lot over the next year, and while most people dislike the updating process it’s worth doing now. This is true even if you need to make additional small tweaks before you actually apply.

  • Refine your elevator pitch

Many people (admissions officers, your recommenders, students and alums, your mom) will ask you what you want to do when you graduate from business school, short and long term, and why you need an MBA to get there. Your elevator pitch response is really critical throughout the application process – no time like the present to nail it down.

  • Visit schools, go to events, research, and talk to students and alums

This will all help you find the right fit, which is so important in business school. More knowledge, connections and firsthand experience will help you write great school specific essays, as well as enabling you to sell your interest in interviews. Sign up now to be notified of summer events, both on campus and in your location, and participate in webinars.  Finally, read the newsletters that schools send.

  • Think about recommenders

You want to choose your recommenders strategically, and depending upon your circumstances this might mean reaching out to a previous supervisor or colleague. Getting in touch (or back in touch!) now, before you need to ask for the recommendation, can make the process more organic and comfortable. And even if you are planning to ask people who you currently work with, it’s totally worth making that decision now. Why not cross something off your list?

The early deadlines will be here before you know it – and the business school application process is demanding. Get ready to start your MBA applications now to optimize your results.


Karen Marks, president and founder of North Star Admissions Consulting

Karen Marks, president and founder of North Star Admissions Consulting

Karen 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. Clients have been awarded more than 20 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 97% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.