30 Tips For MBA Admissions Success – Part 3 of 3

May 04, 2016 | by Matt Symonds

Matt Symonds is a Director of Fortuna Admissions and regular contributor to Forbes. The following is adapted from his original article posted March 31, 2016.

The coaches at Fortuna have put together some MBA application advice, based on years of insider experience working in the admissions offices of the world’s top business schools.

As the final piece in a 3 part series, here are 10 out of the 30 tips we have compiled for MBA admissions success. To read the other tips, click on Part 1 or Part 2.


“Go for quality not quantity. It’s better to get deeply involved in one thing you’re really passionate about, than to start four new activities simultaneously.” – Emma Bond, London Business School

“Devote your time and energy to something that supports your personal purpose in life. Don’t just get involved because it’s an admissions criterion. Do it because it genuinely resonates with who you are, your values, and your sense of purpose.” – Catherine Tuttle, Duke Fuqua

“Don’t underestimate the importance of your passions outside of work. The 10 years spent training as a ballerina shows dedication and drive, and can help you dance your way to the top of the applicant pile.” — Melissa Jones, INSEAD

Letters Of Recommendation

“Work on developing a relationship with your recommenders now so that when you ask them for a recommendation they are inclined to do so.” — Michel Belden, Wharton

“Don’t assume that your recommenders know what they are doing. Details, depth and insight add value; generalisations and do not. Help them to help you.” – Caroline Diarte Edwards, INSEAD


“There is a misconception that schools are looking for perfect candidates, when in fact schools are looking for candidates with the right fit.” – Malvina Miller Complainville, Harvard Business School

“Practice, practice, practice! Have great examples to hand and a clear story, ensuring you tell the interviewer what you did do, not what you would do.” – Nicola Sandford, INSEAD

“Prepare your key selling points and stories ahead of time, and go into the room feeling confident that they wanted you there, and enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the school’s community.” – Malvina Miller Complainville, Harvard Business School

Staying On track

“Focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot undo. A brand-new start is not an option, so put your energy into a brand-new ending.” – Brittany Maschal, Wharton

“When tackling the most challenging areas of your MBA application, get up early in the morning and be sure to complete these first!” — Nonie Mackie, INSEAD

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