As a 32 year old MBA applicant, I was extremely concerned that my age would prevent me from attending a top business school. Although my stats were quite strong, several admissions “experts” almost convinced me that a candidate well into his 30s had almost no chance of getting into a top MBA program in the US.
Harvard Business School – Baker Library at night
Not only did I prove these people wrong by getting into HBS, but many other students entered the program with 8+ years of professional experience (47 students to be precise, close to 5% of our class). Some of them had served in the military, but many others had worked for more traditional employers. Our most senior student was a former university professor, well into his fifties.
A few weeks ago, Wharton released its essay questions for the Class of 2016. Most of the analysis and new coverage that followed seemed to revolve around the same basic theme: business schools are shortening their essay requirements.
This theme is important, and it’s one we’ve discussed before. However, it’s far from the most significant change that Wharton made this year, and keen applicants must take note if they want to be successful. Juxtapose the first essay question from this year’s application with the first essay question from last year’s, and the big difference will probably jump out you:
While recruiting season is just starting in North America for the class of 2016, several European schools are still recruiting candidates for their class of 2014. This is the case of IMD (International Institute for Management Development), arguably one of the best European business schools along with London Business School and INSEAD. The Swiss school has 5 application deadlines every year (February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, and September 1).
When deciding between MBA programs, applicants should understand that different schools may use different teaching methods. While most B-Schools rely on a mix of lectures, cases, and projects, a few elite schools rely almost exclusively on cases to teach business skills, including for classes such as accounting or finance.
Because case discussions require active participation from students, people uncomfortable with that method may struggle academically at schools with a case heavy teaching style.