Sometimes people come to us early in their MBA admissions quest and they just know they want to go to “the best” school.
Which is basically the same as saying “I want to go to Whanvard.”
Because there is no such thing as “the best.”
“The best” is relative.
You want to go to the best school…. for what?
It’s like saying, “I want to buy the best car.”
Okayyyyy…. so we know you want to buy a car.
Or maybe you really want to buy an SUV or a crossover but you lumped those together into “car” and expected us to know they’re included, too.
Do you want a race car?
A family car?
An electric car?
Do you want a car that gets great mileage? That has low maintenance costs?
A used car?
A new car?
Do you want lease?
Will you pay cash?
How much can you put down?
There are so many factors.
Do you care if it’s built in your country or do you like imports?
What exactly does “the best” mean?
When you say you want to go to Whanvard, you’re outsourcing all decision-making to some third party sources who have annointed certain schools as “the best.”
But why do YOU want to go there?
Why do you feel they’re “the best”?
The best for what?
The best because everyone will be impressed when you introduce yourself at a cocktail party as a Harvard grad?
The best because you’ll be going to school with Very Important People who will end up in positions of power themselves one day?
The best because it will give you a rubber-stamp seal of approval so you can finally know that you have arrived?
What do you know about these schools?
What do you know about YOURSELF?
We’re not saying that you should not want to go to Harvard or Stanford or Wharton.
We’re saying that when someone comes with only those schools identified, with maybe MIT and Kellogg added to the mix to, you know, round out the list, and when the BSer’s profile is flat and unremarkable and they have a middling GPA from an OK school and a decent GMAT but nothing to write home about. And they haven’t been busting butt for the past three years to do impressive things in the world. And they say, “Yes please, I’ll be applying to H/S/W, thank you and will I get in?”
We just hafta go, um.
Yeah sure maybe.
If there’s more to the profile than what we’re seeing on the surface.
If you know what you’re about and why bschool is important.
And oh by the way if you’re really committed then you may want to take a look at the GMAT again.
Go for your Whanvard strategy. But expand your sights to also include some reasonable targets. And make sure you know WHY each of these schools is on your list.
We’re not saying you have to compromise your standards, but just recognize that when you’re saying “I deserve to be admitted to THE BEST!” then we come back with, “Okay great! Now please demonstrate for us how YOU are ‘the best’ so that we can see why you deserve to be admitted!”
Know what you’re up against, Brave Supplicant. This process is grueling. It’s important to go into it with eyes open.