No that’s not the reason you should not lie on your MBA applications.
You should not lie because you are a good person, with ethics and morals. Good people do not lie.
“But EssaySnark! I know somebody who lied and got in!”
Yeah, so? That does not mean that you should do it, does it?
Who are you going to live with for the rest of your life?
The answer to that question is YOURSELF.
If you’re the kind of person for whom lying on something like an application to business school is no big deal – or someone who will go into a Columbia Early Decision or Duke Early Action application knowing that they’ll ditch out on that school after acceptance if a “better” offer comes along – or someone who writes their own letters of recommendation – well sorry, you’re not the kind of BSer we care to work with. We invite you to exit stage left. This blahg is not for you.
In fact, you cannot claim to be a “BSer” – a term we use with affection, referring to all those earnest and motivated bschool candidates who hang around here in Snarkville, working hard to do their best on improving themselves and earning what they get in life. If you are willing to lie and cheat and steal your way into bschool – which, yes, is the category under which we put things like renegging on a binding Early Decision admit – then you’re not deserving of the “BSer” moniker. Because “BSer” stands for Brave Supplicant, and that sort of get-one-over me-me-me behavior does not count as “brave.” You are a bullshitter through and through and we don’t want to know you.[EssaySnark shakes self.]
Oh my. Was I raving?
OK back to the topic at hand.
This should not be your motivation for doing the right thing in life, but maybe it will help to understand the stakes.
Most if not all of the top MBA programs in the U.S. now conduct background checks on admitted students. Some do this at random, some do it for all. Yes you have to pay for the privilege of going through this process. You agree to it when you submit your app. It’s similar to a pre-employment verification process that many big companies require (without the drug test – some of you may be relieved to hear that news 😉 ) and it’s totally legit and legal.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to work hard on every aspect of your MBA applications for over a year and then get the admit woo-hoo!!! and then BLAMO they say “Sorry, we discovered too many discrepancies in what you have reported, we are revoking your admit.”
If this makes you nervous: Well it should.
They’re not going to rescind an acceptance for innocent errors like messing up your dates of employment by a few days or getting a couple dollars off on the salaries that you reported.
Yes, those are details that they verify with past employers.
If they find issues like those, they will either ask you to explain or they may not even be concerned with them, depending on how minor they are.
If it’s something more severe – like, fabricating a past position, or massaging your job title a little too aggressively – those can be no-gos, depending.
None of this is worth it.
Live life on the up-and-up, BSer. Don’t go into it having to always look over your shoulder. You’ll give yourself ulcers. It’s not a nice way to be.
Since we’re marginally on the subject: If you are interviewing MBA admissions consultants and deciding who to go with to help you with your all-important application strategy, and you encounter one who tells you that you should include Columbia Early Decision among your apps to, say, Harvard and Stanford in Round 1, “just in case” – then our advice is run screaming. One of the best ways to identify an ethically compromised consultant is that exact advice. It’s someone who simply does not understand, nor respect, the process. Who knows what other questionable strategies they will suggest you employ?