How To Nail Your MBA Interview

3 Ways to Tailor Your MBA Application

One of the top factors that admissions officers consider is fit. As an applicant, you’re more likely to get accepted to a B-school if you can demonstrate how your personal life and professional goals align to a B-school’s culture and offerings.

Amy Hugo, an admissions consultant at Fortuna Admissions and former manager of admissions and recruitment at London Business School, recently offered a few tips on how to best tailor your application to specific MBA programs.


The first step to customizing your application is to do research on what makes each school unique.

“Go beyond what’s offered on the website and probe for the heart of their differentiators and values,” Hugo says. “This level of awareness and detail can and should come across in your application. Cite specifics that are relevant to your career vision and goals – specializations, electives, clubs, and the myriad of opportunities that will be available to you.”

Experts say strong research can make or break an application.

“Most schools take a holistic approach to admissions, which means that all components of the application are important, and that together they tell your unique story,” Nita Swinsick, Assistant Dean, Recruitment and Admissions at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, says in an interview with “So, to stand out in the admissions process, it’s important to show the admissions committee your true self throughout these different components, and how you’re aligned to the school’s values. To do this, you must first ensure that you’ve done your research… on the program and the school that you apply to, as well as the school’s culture and values… and show how they’re aligned to your personal and your professional objectives… whether or not you’ve done your research will show in your application, and will lead you to submitting a more authentic and competitive application.”


If you want to best understand a business school, reach out to alumni and students and start building relationships.

“As you do, ask intelligent questions that help you learn what the school cares about and what it’s looking for in new members of its community,” Hugo says. “It really shows when someone has spoken with alumni and students, and you can even drop names in your application.”

You can even take networking a step further and start making connections with students at your target B-school who can potentially help support your career goals.

“If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, for example, you’ll want to reach out to leadership in the entrepreneurship club,” Hugo says. “Perhaps you discover the club’s president is running an event, and help them make some contacts. Even before you’ve joined the program, it’s not too early to start getting involved and demonstrate that you’re really passionate about an issue and that you’re the sort of person who will positively contribute.”


Recommendation letters play an important role in telling your story to admissions officers. Thus, it’s critical to make sure that you properly brief each of your recommenders in order to cultivate a cohesive application.

“Meet with your recommenders and talk to them about your vision, your goals, and how this program in particular is going to help you take the next leap in your career,” Hugo says. “This important groundwork will allow your recommenders to include specific snippets that might resonate with your school in their recommendation letter.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions,

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