“How to get into a Business School” marathon

Pursuing a MBA in a top business school has been my dream for a long time, and I’ve been working on achieving that goal for months.

You can never imagine how hard is to get accepted in a top school, at least I had no idea until I started wandering around the schools’ websites.

In short, you have to provide to AdComs (Admission Committee) the following:
– Transcript of all undergraduate/graduate academic institutions attended
– GMAT score
– TOEFL score
– Three recommendations letters.
– Four to six essays
– CV

To give you an idea, a good GMAT preparation takes weeks or even months. In a few words, GMAT is an exam that last about four hours, that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical skills. Difficult by nature, it becomes a real challenge when your English level is not perfect, which is my case. It is like running a marathon race with a broken leg.

First of all, almost half of the GMAT exam is about complex text reading comprehension, including inference questions or critical reasoning. Besides, you have to write two essays during the test. But this is not all, because your English can also undermine the Math section.  Just imagine you have to solve a complex math problem in less than two minutes, but you don’t understand completely the statement, which is often crucial to solve the problem. Then you are screwed up.
Well, I won’t bother you more about GMAT for the moment. I will have time to do it later in the future as I’m planning to take it in June or July.

Another required exam is the TOEFL, which evaluates the ability to use and understand English in an academic setting. Basically it is a 4 to 5 hours exam divided in four parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Once again, the importance of the score is capital as many schools require a minimum. By instance, Harvard “discourages candidates with less than 109 to apply”, score that is out of my possibilities right now. I will talk about TOEFL in the near future as I’m planning to take it on March 13.

On the other hand, you have to provide essays that are of vital importance on the future of your application. My thoughts are that transcripts, GMAT and TOEFL scores are a way to rule out candidates quickly. Once they have a shorter list, they start focusing in the candidate’s essays and recommendations, trying to choose the most interesting profiles and create the best class possible.

Finally, you need to provide recommendations and at least one must be from your current or recent supervisor. I have already two people in mind for my recommendations and they are already aware of my MBA plans.

As you can see, I have just started this marathon that hopefully will end with me being accepted in one of my dream business schools. I have in mind applying in round 1 to Chicago Booth, Wharton, LBS, MIT and Harvard, we’ll see if I have the time!

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