Choose the right MBA programs to apply to the first time around, and you’ll avoid having to go through MBA admissions a second time. This week Angela Guido talks school portfolio strategy and how to determine the right business schools for you. That means understanding your admissions chances with the MBA admissions calculator MBAmo and then finding the right MBA programs to be your reach, match and safety schools. It’s a simple process that will save you a lot of hurt, this week in MBA Mondays.
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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
I don't recommend planning to apply to business school multiple years, do it all at once. It's a ton of work, and it's a stressful process even under the best circumstances. So I really recommend that you aim to do it once and only once. And that means that you need to apply to a portfolio of schools. Welcome to MBA Monday. I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol. And today I'm talking about school portfolio strategy.
Choose the Right MBA & Aim High!
This is an incredibly important step in your MBA applications, because if you're like most people, you have big dreams. You want to go to the best school you can get into and you want to canoodle… canoodle is not the word I meant. You want to cavort… What's the word I want? You want to hang out with awesome people during your MBA program. Ideally, people that are a little bit smarter and more accomplished than you. That's how you build the best network, is you surround yourself with people that are awesome and, in some ways, better than you. So you want to go to the best school you can possibly get into. But if you're like most candidates, the schools that you really want to go to might be or appear to be potentially just out of reach. That's actually a really good sign. We always recommend that you aim high in the MBA application process. This is why the Career Protocol school package is structured as three plus three. We work with you fully hands on, on three schools, and then we give you high level strategic guidance on three more schools so that you can apply to your reaches, your dream schools, but also cover a couple more programs to make sure that you're going to ideally get in at least to one school before all is said and done.
Reach, Match & Safety Schools
There are three types of schools that you want to put into your portfolio.
- I already talked about reach schools. Those are your dream schools, the most competitive programs that you know of that you're interested in and that you would genuinely love to attend.
- Then you've got match schools. These are schools that are less of a reach where your statistics suggest that you're going to be a competitive applicant. It's not a sure thing. There really are no sure things in this game. But it's these are schools where you should be a contender.
- And then there are schools that we call safety schools or safer schools. Safety is a misnomer because, again, there are no guarantees. But a safer school is one where your statistics suggest that you are slightly stronger than the average candidate or student at that program.
MBAmo – The Only MBA Admissions Calculator You Need!
The important thing to understand when you're calibrating your school selection is that we're talking primarily about your statistics. These are the aspects of your candidacy that can be reduced to a simple number. Things like your GPA, your GMATs and your career progression. Career progression includes the brands of the companies you've worked for, the number of years you've been working, the number of promotions you've gotten during that time, and whether or not you've made meaningful progress towards leadership, achievement, impact, responsibility, etc. It's all about how strong your career trajectory has been in your chosen field, and you're really only going to be compared to other people in your chosen field. So, if you are an artist, you don't have to worry about competing with management consultants because you're in a different category. They want to know not whether or not you have the skills of management consultants as an artist, they want to know that you're the best artist you can possibly be. So that's your career progression. In your field, how quickly have you advanced, how successful have you been. So, when you're calibrating your schools, you really have to focus on only these statistics. There are a lot of reasons for that that I don't have time to explain in this video. But fortunately, we have MBAmo. Click the link in the description, head over to MBAmo.com, enter your basic statistics and MBAmo will give you a twenty-page customized readout on your profile and how it stacks up with your favorite schools. This way you'll be able to calibrate which schools are reaches, matches and safeties for you and assemble a portfolio of schools. For most people, it's between four and six that allows you a chance at your favorites, but also protects your downside risk and virtually ensures – never a sure thing – but virtually ensures that your profile is going to be very strong at at least one or two schools where you'll have a higher probability of getting in. That way, at the end of this process, hopefully you'll have at least one admission from a great school and ideally more than one and ideally more than one from your dream school. So I really recommend that you aim high, take a risk and apply to those schools that even seem to be out of reach now, but also protect your downside and apply to some schools where your statistics are stronger. Be sure to use MBAmo. It's an awesome tool. We put a ton of work into creating something that will really give you something to sink your teeth into as you're preparing your school strategy. So go forth, be brave, but be smart. This has been #MBAMonday. Angela out. Until next week.