Friday, August 14, 2009

How to best use this blog

Hi all,

Thanks for coming to my blog. Following a brief summary of each session.
  • How to prepare an MBA application? (the blog below) will provide you an overview of what is required to complete an MBA application and some advice for each piece that you need to prepare
  • How to choose an MBA program? will give you a list of sources of information about MBA programs and a list of questions that can help you create your ranking among the MBAs and choose the best one for you
  • Why to do an MBA? this is the first question you should ask yourself, the post will cover a list of possible reasons to do an MBA

Good luck for your application!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How to prepare an MBA application?

This is probably the most important section of this blog.
Be accepted to your favourite Business School is not an easy task. It requires time, effort and money.
Time: let's say thay you want to start your MBA in September 2011, well you should start to plan your preparation now (two years in advance). Your goal is to submit the application in the first round, which is one year before the beginning of the MBA, to maximize your chances (all schools have quotas for nationalities/job experiences, if all the places are already taken you will finish in the waiting tlist). Time is spent to study for GMAT, TOEFL, preparing the essays, asking for the reference letters and filling the applications
Effort: you will need to study hard for your tests and write perfect essays. If you are a consultant you might sacrify some week-ends to complete your preparation.
Money: There is a cost for the tests and for each applications you will submit, plus books and, if you need, essays revisions (consider approx 600-800$ for tests and material and approx 150-200$ per application)

Hope you will not be discouraged by the work to be done and you will start to plan it.

My first advice is to
  1. Start from the short list the schools that you will apply for (in case read the advice in the post: How to choose an MBA?).
  2. Look in the School websites what you need to prepare to apply and which is the deadline for the first round.
  3. Prioritize the School with an earlier deadline.

Usually to complete an application you need to do:

  • GMAT test. (1) Check the school website if there is a minimum score required. (2) Schedule a test appointment ( (3) Prepare for at least 3 months, the the more you prepare for the GMAT, the higher will be your score. Here some links for the books that I used to prepare for the GMAT. I suggest to have your own books so you can take notes and continuosuly refer to them. Use the link below to quick buy them
    The Official Guide for GMAT Review
    Kaplan GMAT 2010: Premier Live Online (Kaplan Gmat Premier Live)
    Cracking the GMAT 2009 (Princeton Review: Cracking the GMAT)
  • TOEFL (if you are not a native English speaker). (1), (2) as above. Toefl test preparation is easier if you are ready for the GMAT. Some people says that if you study for GMAT, TOEFL will come for free. My advice is to check your current English level and decide which test to do first (GMAT if you are already at a good level, TOEFL if you need more practice). Quick links to buy the books that I suggests are:
    The Official Guide to the New TOEFL IBT (2007)
    Cracking the TOEFL Ibt with CD, 2010 Edition [With Audio CD] (Princeton Review: Cracking the TOEFL)
  • Essays. Read carefully what the essay is looking for. Tell a coherent story across the different essays. As general tip, you can write down the main points for each essay first and then develop them. Another advice is to use a clear introduction, paragraphs and conclusion. Try to be special. If you are using the same essay for different application, please remember to chance the name of the school and do consistent references (you have no idea of how many students do this mistake). As final advice ask to a school alumnus and a native english speaker to check your essays.
  • Reference letters. Usually schools ask for two reference letters. Look for school alumni among your supervisors. An alumus refering a prospects student is different from a person that the school do not know.
  • CV. If requested please have a one-page compelling CV. Put your experiences from the most recent to the oldest one in the form of achievements. Remember that schools look for complete candidate, therefore do not underestimante your non-work activities section
  • Filling the online application. The main advice here is to pay attention and try to fill as many fields as possible.
Hope this list of tips will help you in your MBA application preparation!

How to choose an MBA program?

The best way to choose an MBA is to know why you want to do it and have a clear understanding of the differnet schools. In this way you will be able to match the two and get the most out of your MBA.
It is important for you to pick the right school. At the end it is like a marriage, you will be forever an Alumnus of that school.

Important sources of knowledge about the Business Schools are:

As soon as you start to have a clear idea of the strengths of each school you should build your list and consider variables like

  • Do you want to study in the USA or not?
  • Do you want to be inside a campus or in a major city (like London or New York)
  • Do you want to do one year or two years (I chose two years, to have the opportunity to do a summer internship. This is particularly important for the career switcher)
  • How important is the brand name of the school and its Alumni network for your future career?
  • Which kind of teaching method do you prefer (only case studies or not)?

A tip is to made a list of the B-School you are considering and give a score for each variable you are considering, in this way you should be able to do your personal MBA ranking that will guide you in your choice and in the preparation of the applications.

My advice to choose the Business School for your MBA is to really think and imagine yourself in that particular city/school and understand if you would live there for 1 or 2 years. Will it be something that you will be proud of?

Why to do an MBA?


With this post I will try to summarize which are the possible reasons that motivate the decision to do an MBA.
People choose to do an MBA to:
- Advance in their actual career (especially sponsored consultant)
- Change career path (move from industry to consulting or banking, move from consulting to banking and vice-versa)
- Start a business (choose an MBA focused in entrepreneurship)
- Add a brand school in their CV
- Build a network (with current student and access to an alumni network)
- Complement their education

Among the non professional aspiration to do an MBA there are the possibility to take a break and reflect on what you want from your career, find a partner or wave a recession parked in a Business School.

Whatever is your reason to so an MBA it is important that it is clear to you. This will be a guiding criteria in the choose of your MBA program.

Read about how to choose your MBA to pick the right school for you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reasons why of this blog

Hi all,

I am an MBA student and I would like to spend some time to talk about the MBA world.
Why to do an MBA?
How to choose an MBA?
How to prepare for an MBA?
How to get the most out of your MBA?
These and many other questions are what I would like to discuss in this blog, hope that my experience and my suggestions could be useful for the prospect MBA students.