Getting accepted by a business school you’ve always dreamed of does not require you graduate as valedictorian of your university class. You don’t have to earn perfect scores on your GMAT, nor must you start your own million-dollar business and win the Nobel peace prize.
Rather, I believe that every candidate applying to business school owns an exceptional story, and that story is the key to your application.
The philosophy is based on my own experience applying to business school, and that of the many students whom I have helped. Indeed, my profile three years before applying to business school did not appear to have “top business school” written all over it. I hadn’t taken math since the eighth grade. My grade point average had been no higher than 3.0, if that. Furthermore, my SAT scores had been in the low 500s. I had not worked in banking/consulting/engineering, but worked on Capitol Hill and later as a legislative assistant to a lobby group.
Fast forward two and a half years later and I was on my way to Harvard Business School after turning down places at Stanford (with financial aid), Wharton, Chicago Business School, and University of Virginia’s Darden School. It’s all about finding the extraordinary in who you really are.
I believe that even unexpected contenders can succeed in gaining admission to the MBA program of their choice. It’s like a political campaign — with enough planning, focus, and smart tactics, you can set yourself up to be a competitive candidate at any school you choose.
You’d be surprised at the range of possibilities.