Why are so few MBA applicants admitted to both Harvard and Stanford? How have Wharton and Chicago Booth adapted to an MBA job market post-Lehman Brothers? What are INSEAD and the London Business School looking for in the global mindset of applicants? Which are the 3 qualities that McKinsey finds in Kellogg MBAs?

A successful MBA applicant has gone beyond business school websites and media rankings to identify the characteristics of a program that really motivate them, and demonstrate a fit with their own personalities and career goals.

Choose from the list below to find out more about the world’s top business schools, and the admissions deadlines and application essay for the year ahead:

Harvard Business School

The Harvard Business School has a brand like no other business school in the world. And it is this magnetic appeal that persuades close to 10,000 hopefuls to compete for one of the 940 places in the MBA program every year.

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Wharton School

In the latest US News MBA ranking, Wharton tied for the #1 spot with Harvard and Stanford. Business as usual for the world’s oldest business schools, and part of a trinity often referred to as HSW. But a fall in applicant numbers in 2012/13 led the Wall Street Journal to ask ‘What’s wrong with Wharton?”, with observers questioning whether the school has lost its luster as students’ interests shift from finance to technology and entrepreneurship.

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Stanford GSB

Stanford’s MBA Program is the most selective in the world. It has maintained the highest ratio of applicants to available seats of any business school in the U.S. for the last decade. It has also had the lowest acceptance rates of any major business school in the world. Accepting only 6.5% of those who apply for admission, yield is about 79%. No school is more choosy than Stanford.

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“The Business School for the World” is how INSEAD positions itself, and it lives up to the promise with 80+ nationalities on its MBA program, and an equally diverse faculty and alumni network. International diversity has been part of the school’s DNA since its inception, over 50 years ago, when it pioneered the one-year MBA.

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Chicago Booth

When a business school ranks #1 in BusinessWeek and The Economist, and #2 in Forbes, many hundreds of MBA hopefuls will apply to the school in the hope of securing their place in one of the world’s best business schools. But Chicago Booth is not for everybody.

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London Business School

It is hard to imagine that until the mid 1980s, middle management from the Commonwealth had a free ride for their business education at LBS. It seems it was mostly French and U.S. students who bore the total cost. But just as London has become one of the world’s great cities, so the London Business School has transformed into one of the world’s finest business schools.

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Columbia Business School

Located in New York City, Columbia Business School highlights that it is at the “center of business”, helping bright students think like entrepreneurs and helping them develop as leaders. The symbiotic relationship between CBS and the business world is a major program benefit, and each year many business leaders visit the campus to speak to b-school students and to teach classes.

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MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan has a very different feel from its neighbor across the Charles River – the campus is more urban and industrial, with an informal mish-mash of architectural styles and a few green spaces.

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Northwestern Kellogg

The Kellogg School of Management is part of Northwestern University, located in Evanston about 12 miles north of downtown Chicago. The beautiful lakeside location in a thriving student town is a big part of the Kellogg culture, with time to cultivate strong ties with classmates that is so much part of the school’s close-knit community.

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NYU Stern

Much like New York itself, NYU Stern has changed a lot over the years. Though the Columbia Business School may disagree, Stern is the business school of Wall Street, and was even located near Wall Street until the early nineties.

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I truly felt that Fortuna went above and beyond what was promised; they were generous with their time, their network, their advice, and their experience. I would consider them more than coaches, but friends, and recommend the Fortuna team 100%, wholeheartedly!

Admitted to Stanford GSB with full scholarship, MIT Sloan with $110,000 scholarship, and Wharton with $60,000 scholarship

Still can’t believe it, I got in at INSEAD!  Fortuna’s advice was invaluable in helping me craft my application.  With timely and thorough feedback, I was able to draw upon the right experiences that allowed me to put my best foot forward. I would highly recommend this experience to any prospective applicants.

S.V., Ottawa – Admitted to INSEAD

You have first-hand knowledge of the admissions process (and not in a secondary role as many others) and can leverage that experience.
You are also a fun team to work with. Working for months on your applications can be stressful so this makes a difference.

J.F., Philadelphia – Admitted to Stanford GSB

Working with Fortuna is like having Warren Buffett as your personal financial advisor.

D.B., London – Admitted to HBS

I have been admitted to Stanford! This would never have been possible without your help. Beyond helping me correct the structure of the essays you helped me push my thinking especially on the ‘what matters most to me’ question.

A.B., Paris – Admitted to Stanford GSB

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