Dear Prep Professor, What are my chances of getting into a top business school?
Thanks for your question. I will not post your profile or guestimate your odds of getting in. The truth is no one really knows what your chances are because every applicant pool is graded on a curve. Your chances of acceptance have to do with how your profile compares to the other applicants you are competing against.
Still, I will post something that I think could be much more helpful in the long-run. It’s an exercise we created for MBA Prep School called the Ding Diagnostic™. The Ding Diagnostic™ will allow you to identify potential red flags in your candidacy that might get you “dinged”, or declined.
Using this exercise is straightforward. The more checkmarks (“dings”) your profile earns on the checklist below, the more of a reach a highly selective program is going to be for you.
The real power of this diagnostic exercise is to help you to start thinking like an admissions officer in order to identify the weak spots in your application and find ways to counterbalance those weaknesses. In that sense, the tool is prescriptive. Knowing what might stand in your way to being accepted to your dream school is an important first step.
I hope you find MBA Prep School’s Ding Diagnostic™ helpful. If you have any questions once you’ve completed the exercise, please let us know.
MBA Prep School’s Ding Diagnostic
- Low cumulative GPA or GPA in major
- A 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree
- Degree from a school with a questionable academic reputation
- No classes or average performance in Quantitative or Business-Oriented Courses
- GMAT score below the median
- TOEFL score below the median
- Limited evidence of career progress
- Too technical: limited evidence of managerial potential
- No visible progress made in the direction of career goals
- Employer is a complete unknown or quality of candidate’s work experience is questionable
- Weak references and/or limited evidence of recognition by superiors
- Limited evidence of leadership outside of work
- Limited evidence of leadership at work
- Lacks insight about leadership capabilities
- Lacks awareness of leadership development needs
- Leadership style appears authoritarian or self-serving
- Undefined career goals
- Career goals lack a sense of purpose: passion, meaning, significance
- Can’t connect the dots between prior skills/experiences and post-MBA career goals
- Unconvincing motivations for pursuing an MBA
- Weak case for pursuing an MBA from our School
- Career goals lack a Global Perspective
- Little evidence of maturity/life-experience
- Lacks dimension (e.g. Too much of a “poet” or Too much of a “suit”)
- Little evidence of self-awareness
- Limited international/cross-cultural experience
- Questionable fit with our school’s culture