How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs, 5th Edition (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/8/3
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Now with new and expanded information on international MBA programs, comprehensive rankings of the leading schools, and new interviews with admissions officers, How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs provides a complete overview of what the top schools look for. This book features a step-by-step guide to the entire application process with in-depth advice from more than thirty admissions directors. It shows you how to:
? Develop your optimal marketing strategy
? Assess and upgrade your credentials
? Choose the programs that are right for you
? Write quality essays for maximum impact
? Choose and manage your recommenders
? Ace your interviews
Prepare for business school and get the most out of your program once you go.
Richard Montauk is the author of How to Get into the Top Law Schools and How to Get into the Top Colleges, as well as the founder and president of Degree of Difference, a firm that has helped thousands of applicants get into the world's top law and business schools. He received a B.A. from Brown University, an M.S. in Finance, and a J.D. from Stanford University. He formerly worked as a corporate lawyer and a corporate strategy consultant. He divides his time between London, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
- All-in-one book (covers every stage of the application process)
- Includes 67 Real Essays covering 31 specific Topics (however, there are some really old ones)
- Great sections on Recommendations (do's and dont's as well as what is appropriate), also good section on interviews.
- Has fantastic little insights (framed sections) that provide additional insight from admissions officers of schools on various topics such as gmat score split, recommendations, retaking gmat, etc
- Sets the proper expectation in terms of time needed for the process. Most people underestimate the time needed to take the gmat, write essays, proofread them, and then have time for a job/family.
- I found insights from admissions to be very valuable (in many sections of the book). Most of the time, they don't tell you some big secret, but get a confirmation about a certain process (waitlist for example or application review) is very helpful and comforting that you are on the right track
- Does not provide any information about schools specifics (???). It is called how to get into the top business schools but actually does not cover the top schools in detail
- Extra stuff (starts from Why MBA & types of MBA programs and ends with post-acceptance information, though frankly, for most, it will be the substance in between that will matter the most). Only about 400 pages out of 600 are the meat, which is plenty actually
- Some outdated parts that have changed since
- Some Essays are outdated (some are 10 years old - ouch). They are also really long. In the past 5 years the length has been cut down to just a page or even less.
Bottom Line: Good book to get an intro to MBA Application but does not provide any insights how to get into the top programs (or info about them) and has some outdated information (nothing dangerous). If you are serious about getting into top 10 or top 20, You will still need to do a lot of research on your own or possibly recruit an admissions consultant to maximize your chances. Use it for preliminary research/craft your strategy - definitely helpful but take it with a grain of salt and keep in mind - the other 50,000 applicants probably read it too.
Some Other Suggestions & Thoughts:
1. Plan ahead - draft a schedule and stick to it
2. Find the program that fits you best. People get disappointed even with a Top 5 school. It is important to take from the school and also give
3. Understand your strengths and weaknesses - be real with yourself and with the admissions. Don't lie or make up things - I know it may seem like a better short term strategy but it backfires in the long run
4. Know your story and tell it well - to get to the top, you need to have a story that goes through your essays, recommendations, interview, and resume
5. Don't copy/plagiarize any essays - you won't be along and those people are quickly picked out and kicked out. You won't have a second chance. Also if your AWA essays are under 4.5 and your school essays are perfect, that will be a red flag.
Please let me know if any questions about this book, I respond to comments.
BB, MBA, GMAT 750
Founder of GMAT Club.
MBA admissions is primarily about 1) having a well thought out, appealing, and differentiated profile and 2) selling that profile through your essays. Montauk does a great job of the second point, but falls short in the first. Too much of this book assumes you have already created a comprehensive profile. If you haven't, your essays are likely to be quite disjointed by simply following this book. For example, you might write about your greatest achievement and create, using this book, a wonderful essay, but that essay is unlikely to tie in to your other essays. Really, each essay should be interwoven with the others - displaying different aspects of your profile but telling a common theme. Montauk barely helps you explore that profile, and doesn't address at all how to communicate that profile through your essays. As a result, you'll likely create essays that are independently wonderful, but just average when read together.
There are a few other flaws to this book, as others have pointed out. Much of the book is filler and frankly useless. The essay topics are also very old and in some cases no longer broached by schools. The book also quotes MBA directors that no longer work at their respective schools. Montauk recently published an updated version which may address these issues. I was happy with this book, but it is incomplete due to the poor profile section.
That said, some of the specifics are outdated and based on the paper application process (most of the examples appear to be from the late 90's). I certainly found this irritating, especially given the constraints posed by online applications.
For example, the numerous sample essays are mostly from pre-2000. Their content is useful for broad-brush instructional purposes, but there are significant limitations to their value. A particularly glaring example is one of the sample Stanford essays, which checks in at an astounding 4.5 pages and is approximately 1700 words. Recent applicants will know that 1800 words is the allotment for the school's _entire essay section_, and 1700 words is 2.5 times the recommended length of 750 words. In this particular case, it does a disservice to the teaching--given 1700 words for a single essay, many people could cite a litany of compelling reasons why they're a great candidate.
Another similar problem is the sample recommendation letter. The recommendation letter is 5 pages long in the book and borders on ludicrous. It's instructional insofar as the "type" of thing that should be said, but it poorly manages expecations as to scope/breadth. For most candidates, an understanding of how to manage the latter would probably be helpful. There are several other such (admittedly specific) anachronisms which make the book seem a little bit outdated.
Overall, though, recommended--just manage your expectations on what the book can provide (i.e. high-level, strategic advice).