Where should I apply?
It’s a question thousands of MBA applicants struggle with every year. There are dozens of great business schools worldwide. So many choices, and so much info to consider. Which MBAs fit you best?
The goal of this site is to make school selection easier and save you time – and potentially a lot of money!
My name is Darren and I am a former MBA Admissions Director. I think it’s a serious problem that most MBA applicants rely on 1-2 rankings to determine their MBA investment. There are more than 3 schools i.e. HSW (really!) where you can get an outstanding business education, network, and career boost. Education is about fit – which schools would be great for your needs and your career? It’s the goal of Touch MBA to help you find these programs.
Here’s what I’ve done so far to make the school selection process easier and more transparent for you:
I’ve interviewed over 50 MBA Admissions Directors from schools like Columbia, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM in the US, London Business School, Insead and IESE in Europe, HKUST, NUS and CEIBS in Asia, and Rotman, Ivey and Queens in Canada. One thing you’ll notice is that I give equal attention to b-schools in the US, Europe, Asia and Canada. Why? Because I think applicants need to think globally to make the best MBA investment. You’ll find direct and candid insights in these interviews that you won’t find anywhere else online. You’ll also get “fast facts” about each program’s offering, admissions process, scholarships and careers so you can quickly compare options. Our school write-ups and interviews will save you a ton of time.
“Your podcasts were really informative and helped me get a sense of what adcoms were looking for and the type of story I wanted to tell.”
– Ben, Australia (admitted to London Business School & HKUST)
“Your admissions podcasts played a big role in helping me determine which schools would be a fit. The conversations you hold with admissions officers and insightful questions posed are very helpful in showcasing the human element and philosophies of MBA schools, in a way websites and online articles can’t.”
– Ana, Romania (admitted to Wash U. Olin, Minnesota Carlson, ASU Carey)
Need Help Picking Schools?
I offer FREE school selection help and profile feedback so you can accelerate your research and planning process. As a former Admissions Director, I have a deep understanding of how candidates can improve their chances of admission. And my team works each day to improve our knowledge of top b-schools around the world so we can point you in the right direction. Hundreds of applicants from over 40 countries have used this service. We’ve seen Touch MBA applicants get into all the Top 25 US, Top 10 European, and Top 5 Asian MBA programs.
“Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m not sure how many people take advantage of this service, but I found it extremely helpful. I would not have found this school or applied without your podcast informing me of the comparative benefits! Thank you for your service!”
– Eddy, USA (admitted IESE)
You can also share your profile with 10+ top-ranked schools for an initial consultation. Our school partners are always looking for the best talent worldwide and believe in a counseling approach to admissions i.e. getting to know you before you apply to see if you’re a good fit and helping you along the way.
The best way to learn about a school is to speak to students and staff at your target schools. Are you having trouble keeping track of who is in town? Sign up to get monthly emails of MBA recruiting events near you (US cities / International cities). This is the best way to get a feel for your target programs if you can’t make a campus visit.
I also bring MBA students on the show to share their application insights and student experience. These conversations have been some of our most downloaded podcasts:
- Lawrence Cole (Wharton) on Application Tips for Older Candidates from MBAOver30 (admitted to Wharton, Booth & MIT)
- James Clark (London Business School) on What I Wish I Had Known When Choosing Business Schools
- Mark Zee (UCLA Anderson) on Inside UCLA Anderson as a Non-Traditional Candidate
What About Getting IN?
While picking schools is half the battle, getting IN is the final challenge. Here are some ways I’ve tried to help you here:
You can get application tips on how to tell your best story, write great essays, present your best CV, ace your interview, and show leadership potential. I was an MBA Admissions Director for 3 years and saw hundreds of applications – trust me, these techniques work!
I also invite application experts, such as Paul Bodine (author of the classic Great Applications for Business School), Tyler Cormney (MBA Prep School and author of How to Apply for an MBA), Steve Dalton (author of The 2-Hour Job Search) and Caroline Diarte Edwards (Fortuna Admissions), to help you improve your chances.
You can listen to our personal interviews with Admissions Directors from your target school to get the inside scoop on what they are really looking for. I encourage you to listen to 5+ episodes. You’ll start to see patterns and “get” the admissions process – it’s not a black box, just a matter of putting yourself in adcoms shoes and making it easier for them to say “yes!”
Need Expert Guidance?
Pressed for time and want to know the 20% of actions that can make 80% of the difference in your application? Get my Admissions Edge Online Training Course containing my best MBA application insights – as well as those I’ve learned from interviewing 50+ Admissions Directors – in step-by-step videos covering every part of your MBA application. Just as important is knowing what NOT to do – and what common mistakes to avoid. These are tips that have gotten applicants into schools like Wharton, Booth, and Insead. You’ll get over 2.5 hours of video training, case-studies, and examples to help you submit your strongest application.
“Thanks for your forum and video course, they are very useful and definitely fill an existing market gap.”
– Li Daming, Singapore (admitted Kellogg, Insead, Duke, Ross, Johnson)
But here’s the best part of the course. We have an attached private forum where you can ask me and other members questions about your application. That means you are getting unlimited one-one-one consulting help from me – I’m doing this to help those of you who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an admission consultant but want the benefits of expert guidance during the application process.
Looking for Admissions Consulting?
I offer consulting services by hour, a-la-carte or by school for those of you who want private 1-1 admissions guidance. Here you can see my full range of services. I work with a maximum of 3 clients at a time to make sure you get my full attention. I have helped applicants get into the following schools and more:
“I must thank you for your service since I have gotten interviews from all schools I applied to. Without your help, I don’t think I could have even moved onto the interview stage, especially for Oxford.”
– Yolanda, China (admitted Oxford Said)
Applicants should speak with a few admissions consultants to gauge best-fit. I can vouch for the following admissions consultants, all of whom I know personally. Touch MBA listeners can get some nice discounts too…
- Paul Bodine. Paul wrote the classic book, Great Applications for Business School, and has a strong placement record at US schools for nearly 20 years. Mention Touch MBA to get $100 off 5-hour packages, $150 off 10-hour packages, $250 off school packages when you sign up between Feb 1 – July 1.
- Tyler Cormney and MBA Prep School. Tyler is a HBS grad who has been helping MBA applicants for 10 years and his company has a 90% success rate for top-ranked business schools. Mention Touch MBA to get $250 off school packages.
- Caroline Diarte Edwards and Fortuna Admissions. Caroline, the former MBA Admissions Director of Insead, has assembled a team of former Admissions Directors from top-tier institutions, including Wharton, Stanford & LBS. Mention Touch MBA to get $100 off school packages.
- Praveen Muruganandan. Praveen is the former MBA Admissions Director of York Schulich MBA and I recommended him for top Canadian Schools. Mention Touch MBA to get 10% discount on all services.
How do I Get Started With This Site?
Definitely take a few minutes to send us your CV to get free expert feedback and best-fit school selection recs. This is what our audience loves the most about Touch MBA.
“You offer a neat service with the school selection evaluation.”
– Borjana, Bosnia (admitted Wharton)
If you want to self-assess yourself, I’ve put together a helpful Admissions Rubric so you can diagnose your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to improve your application before you apply (you’ll need to give us your email).
Many applicants find us through our personal interviews with MBA Admissions Directors. I would listen to episodes with your target schools, and also download some of our application tips episodes.
I love hearing from listeners – let me know if there are other schools or topics you want to have on the podcast.
Want to Hear Touch MBA’s Best Episodes?
Over the past 5 years, we’ve recorded over 100 episodes! I’d like to think they all are useful (maybe wishful thinking!) but our listeners have thanked us most for the following episodes:
- How to Tell Your Best Story with John Kaaiohelo
- How Adcoms Rate Your Career Goals
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting In – 10 Tips from the Gatekeepers of the World’s Top BSchools
- Insider Tips for Applying to Insead with Caroline Diarte Edwards
- HKUST MBA Program & Admissions Chat with Sean Ferguson – “Leave a Legacy”
How to Connect With Me
Follow me on Twitter (my record of interesting MBA and non-MBA content), Facebook, or subscribe to Touch MBA’s RSS feed.
Want to ask me a question? One of the best ways is to comment on relevant episodes. I respond to everyone and it gives other people interested in the those topics a chance to participate
Or write to darren at touchmba dot com.
Did I mention you can ask me application questions in our Admissions Edge Forum? Or current MBA students about their experience in our Ambassadors Forum?
Oh yeah – subscribers to our email list to get exclusive content not on this blog.
Occasionally Asked Questions
Why the heck are you doing this?
Getting an MBA is one of the biggest investments you make in your life. I’m talking $30,000 to… $120,000 or more. Wow. An even bigger part is spending 1 or 2 years of your precious youth (yes, your 30s still count!) back in school, when you could be advancing your career or pursuing other passions.
Some of you have friends or colleagues that attended top b-schools. But I know many of you don’t and are using rankings and MBA forums (full of strangers) to research schools.
Finding the right schools shouldn’t be so hard. We want to make this easier for you, the applicant, by guiding you to best-fit schools and connecting you to better information and real students.
To most this may be a small problem, but to me it’s a HUGE problem that demands a better solution. An MBA could alter your career and life path. You need to make the best decision and we’re here to help.
Why the Touch MBA Podcast?
I was tired of overly formal b-school presentations, glossy brochures, and slick websites. While important, they are intended to impress. I know, because I use to do all of them. What’s the real story?
The goal of the podcast is to have a casual and candid conversation with the gatekeepers at top business schools. What do they think makes their school unique? How do they make admissions decisions? How do they award scholarships? And what is their take on careers for their graduates? These are the 4 main questions I ask. Hopefully they give you more insight into the admissions process.
How can I help you with Touch MBA?
Please tell your friends about Touch MBA or share our content!
We’re about ACCESS – giving applicants better information and guidance about schools in unfamiliar places. That’s why we offer the podcast and school selection service for free. If you know someone or an organization that could benefit from this please let me know.
Admitted Applicants Benefiting from Touch MBA
- Ryan Dumlao (UCLA Anderson): B-School Debrief: Costs of the Application Process
- Will Morgan (University Texas Austin McCombs): I Got Into 8 Top MBA Programs; Here Are My Top 3 Tips
- Ben Parker (London Business School): What to Ask MBA Students, Alumni and Admissions Officers
- Dean Nordhielm (Northwestern Kellogg): From GMAT to Deposit: An Engineer’s Journey
- Li Daming (Northwestern Kellogg): Admitted to Kellogg, Insead, Ross, Fuqua, Johnson – Here’s How I Did It
If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher. These keep me motivated and also help more people find the show.
Have you gotten into your target schools? We’re always looking for applicants, students and alumni to share their lessons learned along the way. Please contact me to share your story. Maybe we can feature you on the podcast. 😉
Finally, I encourage you to purchase our Admissions Edge Online Course and share your questions and journey in our private forum.
Check out our full podcast archives or get a free profile review (below) to kickstart your application process.