onTrack: A ‘Master Class’ On Getting Into Your Top MBA Programs

Modules cover every aspect of the MBA application process, from essay writing to admission interviews

Roughly four of every ten applicants to the Top Ten MBA programs employ admissions consultants to gain an edge, paying on average between $8,000 and $10,000 for the advice. That leaves the vast majority of candidates on their own, largely relying on the free guidance published by Poets&Quants and other sites or friends and colleagues.

Until now. mbaMission, a leading admissions consulting firm, has launched what is very likely the most comprehensive guide to MBA admissions ever attempted. Dubbed onTrack, it’s meant to be the ultimate sherpa for candidates on the grueling journey toward acceptance by highly selective MBA programs–at a tenth of the cost of an actual admissions consultant.

Yet onTrack, which went live yesterday (May 1), is much more than a mere how-to guide. It promises to disclose the nitty-gritty of elite business school admissions, untangling the mysteries and secrets of beating the admission odds of schools that routinely reject the vast majority of their applicants. In onTrack, mbaMission founder and CEO Jeremy Shinewald becomes a candidate’s friend, mentor, and coach. This inspiring and passionate guide takes applicants step-by-step through every aspect of the MBA application process–all of it remarkably customized based on your work background, your standardized test score, your undergraduate GPA, and other aspects of your profile.


The breadth and depth of onTrack, eight months in the making, is highly impressive. Through 450 videos, dozens of learning modules and brainstorming exercises, 50 background and goal-specific lessons, 15 essay samples, eight resume examples, and at launch 17 specific school modules, nothing is left for granted, and certainly nothing is assumed.

“You name it and it is covered here,” says Shinewald. “Everyone will get a minimum of 273 lessons up to a maximum of 450 based on their backgrounds and goals. It is so thorough. You get a dashboard with courses all lined up in your learning path that shows every suggested module along with the average completion time for each of them. There’s a resource library that includes all the guides, tools, videos, and checklists. You can search and filter by type or category or school. It has a workbook to help you create a personal statement. There’s even a section on post-MBA career goals. We include a module on career paths like private equity, consulting and asset management, and which schools are great for that field, and what skills you need to have if you want a career in those areas. This is not a minimally viable product, it’s a maximum viable product.”

In an extensive module on Harvard Business School, candidates are told why they should apply to HBS, why they shouldn’t apply, what to expect from the academic experience, and what career paths are pursued by those with a Harvard MBA. After that deep dive into the culture and habits at Harvard, candidates are then guided through every aspect of the school’s application process. There are plenty of surprises, too, including a module on cold calls in HBS classrooms or the power and influence of the school’s formidable alumni network, or in the section on UVA’s Darden School of Business, an exploration of the campus ritual of “first coffee” as well as an examination of the impact made by current Dean Scott Beardsley.

In the interview prep module, you can even capture your own mock interview in the program to see exactly how you will appear to an admissions officer.


onTrack MBA admissions

The onTrack dashboard provides a glimpse of the product’s interface

The closest analogy to onTrack is MasterClass, the site with a portfolio of courses on everything from acting and writing to comedy and tennis. But while onTrack shares the production values (Shinewald even hired a wardrobe consultant for his videos) and clean modern interface as MasterClass, just about everything in it is immediately actionable. The algorithms inside onTrack build a personalized path to your target programs, whether you are a consultant, a financial analyst, an entrepreneur, or a military vet.

Candidates launch the guide by completing a two-minute questionnaire in an on-boarding process. The answers create a customized learning path. If applicants have a low standardized test score, they will get a module on mitigating those weaknesses in their application. If a person is applying as a consultant, he or she will get a module on what it means to apply from that profession. The same is true for every professional, no matter what industry experience they bring to business school

“We didn’t give birth to a baby with onTrack,” laughs Shinewald who has been in the MBA admissions game for two decades. “We gave birth to a six-foot-two human being. It’s the single biggest investment we have ever made by many multiples.  It is the most ambitious thing we have done. It is such a radical departure for us.”

onTrack mbaMission

Candidates can access all their lessons, videos workbooks and checklists in a resource library


Shinewald’s primary goal with onTrack is to serve MBA candidates who are either “price sensitive,” refusing to engage an actual admissions consultant, or who are applying to less selective programs that would not justify the cost of a consultant. A three-month access pass to onTrack is priced at $799; six months for $1,199, or a full year for $1,599. Until May 15th, however, early bird registrants will get a 30% discount by using the LAUNCHPQ promotion code. That offer brings the three-month pass to just $560.

“This can be used with an admissions consultant but a lot of people will use this on their own who are price sensitive,” says Shinewald. “You will not get the feedback of a consultant or their eyes on your application. This could address a large market of applicants who are long-term planners, price sensitive, or applying to not the highest-ranked schools. And some will buy it and trade up.”

His other mission stems from a belief that technology has essentially changed the admissions game. “Being a client-centric organization means that you don’t just think about now – you think about the future,” Shinewald maintains. “We developed onTrack to leverage technology to better serve our package clients and also to meet a need that we see growing for tech-enabled self-study. The market is telling us this and we are responding.”

Shinewald doesn’t dismiss the possibility that onTrack is so powerful that it could cause some applicants to buy access instead of hiring a consultant. “In the long run, I think it’s possible that it can cannibalize the consulting business,” he says. “But if someone is going to cannibalize our business, let it be me. Someone else could do it to us or we could do it to them.”

In a way, onTrack reflects mbaMission’s entire intellectual capital, all stuffed into one cleanly designed easy-to-navigate website. It is a repository of all the expertise and experience gained by counseling more than 10,000 applicants to the world’s best MBA programs over the past 20 years. It is, in fact, a Master Class on MBA admissions.



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.