How Do You Stack Up?

Wondering how you stack up against other applicants to your dream MBA programs? Check out Clear Admit’s MBA LiveWire, which is a live stream of updates from candidates applying to school (fictitious example: Interview invite from Columbia, 710 GMAT, 3.4 GPA).

If you dig the info about who’s getting into which schools, a couple of similar resources are GMAT Club’s Admit Forum, where applicants post their application stats and results, and Poet and Quant’s Handicapping Your MBA Odds series, where HBR guru John Byrne reviews blind profiles of MBA applicants and gives them an estimate of their likelihood of admission.

Now, I should mention that these things gave me a bit of anxiety while I was applying to school, so I used them sparingly, but they’re worth checking out (especially if you have a stronger stomach than I do) — they can help give you a sense of who else is applying and how they’re all doing.

Another thing to remember is that you are not just the numbers in your application. The GMAT Club forum will give you an idea of the career backgrounds of the other folks applying, and as a non-traditional candidate, you’ll notice that you stand out immediately. Remember that this info is just a starting out point to get a sense of what the applicant pool looks like.

Also, Clear Admit is doing a limited time discount on their awesome school guides with promo code CASG25. They didn’t give a deadline for the promo code, so go get yours today! And if you want awesome blog posts and discounts from MBA admissions-type people in your inbox, make sure to join all the lists!

Image courtesy of The CW Network.

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Poets and Quants: The Case Against the GMAT

Poets and Quants just posted a write-up of a study from Toronto’s Rotman School of Management concerning the GMAT and whether it’s a good predictor of employability post-MBA.

Questioning the GMAT’s ability to predict success outside of the classroom is nothing new. According to the GMAC, the GMAT predicts academic success in an MBA program, which is ostensibly why it’s so important to b schools. (The fact that it has a 16% weight on the US News and World rankings probably doesn’t hurt either.)

But Rotman got all up in the data and found that the GMAT was not a significant predictor of employability post-MBA — here are the factors that they found to be “the five most significant warning signs that an applicant is most likely to be an employment risk, in order of importance:”

  • Citizenship from a region of the world for which Frey declines to identify.
  • Years of work experience. (Ten or more years, to be precise.)
  • Admissions interview scores for candidates.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) test. (The GMAT essay section.)
  • Undergraduate grade point average. (Regardless of major.)
  • Then, finally, came an applicant’s GMAT score—barely.

So it seems that communication skills are key to success post-MBA, judging by the importance of performance in the admissions interview and the AWA. Rotman is now using employability risk data to build its class, but keep in mind that these factors don’t predict success in MBA admissions and that they are not universally recognized and utilized.

This is more an interesting way to assess yourself against some proven factors of success and a way to remind yourself that you are more than your GMAT score!

Read more at Poets and Quants.

Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

15-Minute Admish Tip: Join All the Lists

This time last year, I was working eighty-hour weeks on a particularly challenging reality show, and March through August were basically an MBA application black hole. Other applicants were using this precious time to polish their resumes, draft essays, and do informational interviews about schools they were interested in…and I was trying really hard to get a full night’s sleep once or twice a week.

I didn’t want to lose too much momentum with my applications, so I tried to find easy, quick, convenient ways to keep my head in the game. And I’m now working on a series of quick, fifteen-minute application tasks to help you do the same!

This first tip is about signing up for newsletters from MBA-centric websites, admissions consultants, and GMAT prep companies. I loved passively getting great MBA content in my inbox every day when I was deep in production — it kept my MBA aspirations front-of-mind and provided me with valuable insights, news, and educational opportunities.

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