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Some Feedback from a Stanford GSB Student

Master AdmissionsUncategorized Some Feedback from a Stanford GSB Student
Stanford MBA application

Some Feedback from a Stanford GSB Student

Today is May 19 and we are just about to start a new application season.  I’m sending my successful applicants off to school, feeling like a mother hen with her chicks.  This is also the time when people look for consultants, and I know they look at the Poets & Quants reviews.  You should too! But also some of them are overly flattering, including what I am going to repost below.  It is right now at the top of this link, but it will be pushed down very soon, with incoming reviews.

I am highlighting it because I, yes, I am honored to have someone say such nice things publicly. But he also said some things that are especially true, like that he was annoyed with my feedback to him.  When I first read it, I thought people might be turned off by the fact I say stuff that isn’t so nice to hear.  And then I mulled it over for awhile and thought, “that’s ok.”

The reason I was tough on this candidate is because I got to know him pretty well.  But in a few cases, some of the things he wanted to write about made him look less interesting and unusual than he really was.  These are tough conversations, because he was invested in one story and I wasn’t buying it because I thought other angles showed more maturity and differentiated him more.

Hence, his annoyance with me.  But we worked it out. And it worked out for him!

We met for the first time in person in Palo Alto a few weeks ago. He couldn’t believe that he was there for admitted students’ weekend, just like all the other starry-eyed admits.  They’ll all become jaded, but this was a special moment for my student and me.

So here’s the review, and yes, I am a huge fangirl of this candidate.


       I had previously applied to the GSB (without success) and decided to try once more. I reached out to Betsy a month before the R2 deadline with a mostly finished app, hoping to just apply the final polishing touches. After she read my essays, Betsy gave me some tough feedback and asked about my appetite to go back to the drawing board – what I had was decent, but decent wasn’t going to get me into GSB (especially as a reapplicant). So began an intense month of writing, editing, laughing, arguing, and a whole lot of fun.

     The GSB application is complex, but with Betsy’s help, I managed to write essays and stories that were personal, authentic, and compelling. She helped me connect the dots in a way I hadn’t really explored before and then helped me translate my story into a strong application for AdCom (and later the interview). When I hit submit on my application, I genuinely felt like I had put my best foot forward – ultimately the application is a crapshoot, but I gained comfort in knowing I had done my best (thanks to Betsy).

     Working with Betsy was such a breeze – she really wants to get to know you, is timely about feedback/iterations (especially important since I had such little time before the deadline), and is just a fun time (we would often talk about so many things non-application related). One thing I’ll note is that Betsy isn’t afraid to give tough feedback (I would honestly sometimes get annoyed) but ultimately her tough love did wonders for me – in hindsight, I needed someone like Betsy to push me, and then push me more. Simply put, you want this woman in your corner.

     When I got accepted, Betsy was overjoyed (we definitely fangirled for a while). Immediately after, she made so many intros for me, provided her sage advice on a number of issues, and helped me visualize what going to the GSB would look like.

     Once you work with Betsy, you have a friend/mentor for life. She is so invested in me and my story, aspirations, and success and I love that she is a text away. I’m so lucky I got the chance to work with her and learn from her, and now get to be her friend. If you’re serious about the very top schools, you need to work with Betsy.