Neethling McGrath, an Admissions Edge Member, shares the ups and downs of applying, reapplying and getting into his first choice: Columbia GSB.
Neethling shares what he did differently the second time around and what he believes were the factors for his application success.
To those of you who got dinged and are re-applying to top programs, this episode is for you.Continue Reading »»
You decide you need an MBA. You check your schools’ application deadlines – only 1 month left before Round 1 apps are due! What to do?
Clare Simonis found her herself in this situation last Fall. With deadlines 1 month away, she applied to HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan and Berkeley Haas. She got into HBS and Haas and will be starting at HBS this Fall.
Clare shares her journey and tips for those of you scrambling to apply last minute. Not the ideal situation – but certainly a common one.Continue Reading »»
With 200,000 MBAs graduating each year, are business schools preparing “career ready” employees?
In a sweeping survey of 10,000 recruiters, 3,000 business students (both MBAs and undergraduates), and 500 B-school career center leaders, Jeff Kavanaugh found that all three constituencies had different perceptions of what’s important and where they stand.
Darren and Jeff discuss the 4 main skills recruiters are looking for, where business school graduates are perceived as falling short, and what you can do to boost your employability. Jeff also shares what competencies consulting firms are looking for from MBAs, and what non-consultants can do to break into the industry.Continue Reading »»
We’ve helped over 1,000 MBA applicants from 50 countries shortlist MBA programs. Follow these 4 steps to find business schools that fit you best.Continue Reading »»
To celebrate the 100th episode of the Touch MBA Podcast, we invited our 9 most popular guests to answer 1 question: “What 1 Action Can Candidates Take to Dramatically Improve Their Application?”Continue Reading »»
Vince Ricci from VincePrep shares his best MBA interview preparation tips, from mindset to strategy to tactics. Vince has some of the most downloaded Youtube videos on MBA interviews and has helped hundreds of applicants get past this final hurdle so don’t miss this one!Continue Reading »»
Rahul Kewalramani, Insead MBA 16D, shares his thoughts on leading the Insead Private Equity and Venture Capital club, finding jobs in Private Equity and Venture Capital, the January vs. September intake, differences between Singapore and Fountainebleu’s campus and cultures, exchanging at Wharton, bidding for exchanges/classes at Insead, entrepreneurship, hot industries at Insead and more.Continue Reading »»
Son Nguyen, Associate Director of Admissions, discusses what makes the Michigan Ross MBA and culture unique and offers his best tips on how to stand out in your application.Continue Reading »»
Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Executive Director of Career Services for IE, shares her best career tips for international MBA students considering top business schools in Spain. Amber and Darren discuss work conditions for non-EU nationals, Spain’s new visa policy, achieving career goals in a 1-year program, and trends in IE MBA student placement.Continue Reading »»
Pin Chin Kwok, UC Berkeley Haas MBA ’09, shares her journey pursuing a social impact career as an MBA applicant, student and alumni. Pin majored in Finance & Operations Research at NYU and worked 7 years at Citi in the finance industry before starting her MBA. Pin and Darren discuss what social impact applicants (broadly defined as those who want to work in corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, non-profit, government/public policy, and corporate social responsibility) should look for when shortlisting MBA programs, securing internships/jobs in the sector, and planning their careers.Continue Reading »»
Emma Fisher, NYU Stern MBA ’15, shares what international MBA students must know about working in the US during and after their US MBA. Emma and Darren walk through the common visa path for most international students – from F1 student visa to OPT/CPT to H1B. Emma also shares ways international students can maximize their chances of working in the US post-MBA.Continue Reading »»
Darren offers 3 questions to consider when presenting your extracurricular activities and shares examples from successful applicants. The volunteering / activities / interests / achievements / additional part of your resume is anything but “additional.” Make it count!Continue Reading »»
Will Morgan, an oil & gas engineer looking to transition to management consulting, got into ALL 8 programs he applied to – here are his top 3 tips for getting admitted. Will heads to UT Austin McCombs MBA on scholarship this Fall.Continue Reading »»
Considering going to CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp? Darren shares an on-the-ground account of the CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp so future participants (and CEIBS MBAs) know what to expect from Mainland China’s #1 MBA Program.Continue Reading »»
Darren speaks with Ivan Kerbel of Practice MBA about what applicants need to know about MBA career strategy. A Wharton MBA himself, Ivan headed Yale SOM’s Career Development Office and was also a Associate Director at Wharton’s MBA Career Office. There are few people worldwide who have Ivan’s know-how about MBA career strategy – listen on for the inside scoop!Continue Reading »»
Darren shares 3 overlooked aspects of the MBA experience after going through CEIBS Pre-MBA Bootcamp, an intense 5-day immersion in Shanghai, China.Continue Reading »»
Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Singapore? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Singapore’s best MBA programs.Continue Reading »»
Boston University’s Questrom MBA wants to equip its graduates for jobs 10-20 years down the road. One way they’ve done this is by offering industry concentrations in health sector management, public & non-profit management and digital innovation, which are strengths of both the university and the city of Boston. The program also allows students to customize their experience starting in the first quarter and offers 10 functional concentrations. Listen to Darren’s interview with Director of MBA Admissions Dana Dubovik about what makes the Boston University Questrom MBA unique and what the admissions team is seeking from applicants.Continue Reading »»
How has Washington University St. Louis Olin MBA placed 96%+ of graduates within 3 months for the past 4 years? The program prioritizes personal connection through its size, career platforms, and focus on experiential learning. Darren talks with Associate Director of Graduate Admissions Ashley Lautzenheiser about what makes the Wash U Olin MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.Continue Reading »»
Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Hong Kong? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Hong Kong’s best MBA programs.Continue Reading »»
ESMT, based in Berlin, Germany, was the quickest school in history to become triple accredited, and in less than 15 years, has become top 50 ranked by the Economist and top 65 ranked by the Financial Times. Darren talks with ESMT Assistant Dean Nick Barniville about what makes the ESMT MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.Continue Reading »»
Looking for a close-knit 100-student program that prioritizes real-world learning, with a “fiercely loyal” alumni base? Darren talks with Boston College Carroll Associate Director of Graduate Admissions Kristen Shambo about what makes the Boston College MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.Continue Reading »»
How do you plan to finance your MBA? This can be a very challenging process, especially for students from developing countries who have less access to competitive MBA loans. Ricardo Fernandez, Head of Business Development for Prodigy Finance and Insead MBA ’05, discusses financing options for students pursuing their MBA outside their home country, as well as how Prodigy is trying to innovate in this underserved marketplace. Darren and Ricardo also talk about the value of the MBA 10 years after graduation and whether MBAs are beneficial for entrepreneurs.Continue Reading »»
Yuan Lee Chung, HKUST MBA ’15, discusses why she got her MBA in Asia and the benefits and challenges of attending a top Asian business school. Yuan Lee studied at Columbia for one-term and shares her thoughts on how Asian and US programs compare.Continue Reading »»
Looking for a an industry-focused general management MBA from a top-ranked European b-school? Darren talks with IMD MBA Program Director Dr. Ralf Boscheck about what makes the IMD MBA unique, admissions, scholarships, careers & more.Continue Reading »»
With MBA programs shortening their applications and asking for less essays, how can applicants still tell their story? How should applicants approach these MBA essays and what should they write?
Darren speaks with Yale SOM MBA Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico, MBA Admissions Consultant and Author Paul Bodine, and successful graduate school applicant John Kaaiohelo to get 3 different perspectives on this common applicant challenge.Continue Reading »»
Ben Parker, a longtime Touch MBA listener, shares his journey from researching MBA programs to getting accepted to London Business School and HKUST – all this despite having a less than stellar GMAT and GPA and a non-business background.
You’ll learn what to ask MBA students, alumni, and admissions to shortlist schools, make your story “glow” and improve your essays and interview performance. This episode is about assembling an army of advocates – friends, students, admissions staff – to support your candidacy and sanity during an emotionally challenging application process.Continue Reading »»
At Touch MBA we believe that school selection is half the battle to having a great (and worthwhile!) MBA experience. In this episode, Darren covers an MBA decision-making process to help you avoid common decision-making biases and choose the right MBA programs.Continue Reading »»
Stephen Sweeney is Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. Stephen got his MBA from McCombs in 2011 where he was the first recipient of the McCombs Social Enterprise Fund Scholarship.Continue Reading »»
Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions of the Foster MBA, joins the show to discuss Foster’s special combination of small size, flexibility, and access to the Seattle business community. Erin and Darren also discuss what Foster desires from its candidates.Continue Reading »»
Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the Ivey MBA the #1 international MBA program in 2014, largely due to employer and student satisfaction. Darren interviews J.D. Clarke, MBA Executive Director of Masters Programs Recruitment and Admissions, about the school’s unique offering and admissions process.Continue Reading »»
Darren talks to Andrew, a recent MIT Sloan MBA graduate, about his internship and job search experience at Sloan. Andrew worked for Target as a Senior Analyst doing business intelligence and analytics before business school. He landed an internship with Uniqlo (one of the world’s top 5 retailers) in New York City and will be heading to Cupertino to work for Apple this month. This episode will give you a great feel for how recruiting works at top US business schools and what to look out for as you shortlist programs based on your career goals. The two also talk about social life at MIT Sloan and what to look forward to. Enjoy!Continue Reading »»
Do you know how to solve a problem that has no precedent?
Kelly Wilson, Executive Director of Masters Admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, shares with Darren how Tepper equips its students to do this through a mastery of analytics, year-round leadership development program, and one-on-one attention with professors. Kelly and Darren also talk in depth about Tepper’s admissions process, how to prepare for Tepper’s behavioral interviews, and the school’s career services.Continue Reading »»
This week Darren sits down with Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, to discuss Yale’s mission of “educating leaders for business and society.” How does this translate into the curriculum? How does the school plan to evolve? And what does this mean from an admissions and career perspective? Don’t miss this very informative chat about what makes Yale unique and how you can give yourself the best shot of getting in.Continue Reading »»
Darren shares 7 concrete ways you can overcome a low GPA and show top-ranked MBA programs that you will perform well in an intense Master’s level program.Continue Reading »»
Which schools should you target in the first, second or third rounds? Darren speaks with Dean Nordheilm, a recent Kellogg admit, about his round strategy and positioning tips.Continue Reading »»
This week I sat down with Jessica Chung, Associate Director of Full-time MBA Admissions at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
We had an in-depth and open discussion about UCLA’s MBA offering and culture, what admissions is looking for, and how the program supports students in their career searches. After listening to our conversation, you’ll get an insider’s feel for the qualities Anderson is looking for and how the school is evolving. Jessica is very transparent about the admissions process so don’t miss this one!Continue Reading »»
Over the past decade, Tyler Cormney and MBA Prep School have achieved a 90% success rate with clients at the world’s top schools. What are the key steps to preparing an application that puts you in the top 10%? Hint: it’s not your essay(s).
Don’t miss this value-packed episode and feel free to ask Tyler your questions in the comments!Continue Reading »»
Darren speaks with Julee Conrad, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions and Recruiting at Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, about Fisher’s unique advantages and how to best position yourself in the admissions process.Continue Reading »»
Many of our podcast listeners come to Touch MBA to get free school selection help. One of them, Li Daming, recently got into Northwestern Kellogg, Insead, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua and Cornell Johnson with scholarship funding. How did he do it?Continue Reading »»
Li Daming, who will be attending Kellogg, shares his top application tips after getting into Northwestern Kellogg, Insead, Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, and CEIBS.Continue Reading »»
The MBA application process can be as mysterious as Christian Grey. Here are 50 reasons b-schools will put you in the grey zone i.e. “maybe” or “no” piles. Avoid these grey zone signals to score with your target MBA.Continue Reading »»
Top business schools are looking for candidates that would fit with their program, culture, and values. And you should be looking for programs that match your goals too. How can you demonstrate fit in your MBA application without sounding disingenuous or even worse, like everyone else?Continue Reading »»
What is the difference between a Masters in Management, MBA and specialized Masters degrees? Which one makes most sense for your career?
A number of you are considering multiple Masters programs so I thought it would be good to dedicate one short episode to covering key differences from an admissions, curriculum, career, and reputation perspective with Dirk Hopfl from IE Business School.Continue Reading »»
Want to attend a top 30 program in the US that lives and breathes “business is personal?” Darren talks to Ruthie Pyles, Director of Graduate Programs Admissions and Recruiting, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, about how Carey works intimately with its students to achieve their educational and career goals.Continue Reading »»
How about getting your MBA from one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious universities and also having the option to study one semester at either Columbia Business School, London Business School or Fudan University School of Management? Sachin Tipnis, Executive Director of MBA Programmes at HKU, joins the show to discuss the HKU MBA’s unique format and career benefits. Darren and Sachin also talk about HKU’s admissions process in-depth so you know exactly how to best prepare your application.Continue Reading »»
If you’re thinking about getting an elite and rigorous MBA in Canada, you have to to consider the Rotman MBA based in Toronto. Get the inside scoop as Darren chats with Leigh Gauthier, Acting Director of Recruitment & Admissions & Director of Careers for the Full-time MBA. Rotman is a pioneer in the business education space and it’s great to hear how they are challenging the traditional MBA curriculum to produce sought after graduates.Continue Reading »»
Did you know that China is on track to overtake America as the world’s biggest economy by 2016? Dr. Longkai Zhao, Executive Director of the MBA Program at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, joins the show to discuss why he thinks Guanghua is the best place to learn about China business at this pivotal point in the country’s history. We also discuss Guanghua’s admissions process, career opportunities for international students in China, and the changing status of the MBA degree in China.Continue Reading »»
Looking for an intimate MBA experience but want the benefits of a large alumni network at a good cost? Get the inside scoop on admissions, scholarships & careers – straight from Penn State Smeal MBA Admissions Director Stacey PeelerContinue Reading »»
Interested in tech, entrepreneurship or strategy and looking for strong ROI from a European MBA? The UCD Smurfit MBA in Ireland boasts 90% + employment rates after their 11 month program to go along with a relatively affordable tuition (29,500 EUR) and generous scholarships. Get the inside scoop on what makes the Smurfit MBA unique and its admissions process – straight from MBA Program Director Orla Nugent.Continue Reading »»
Want to get a rigorous business education grounded in economics and analytics from a renown US business school? Simon awards 75% of its students scholarships and prides itself on its 90%+ job placement rate within 3 months of graduation. Rebekah Lewin, Assistant Dean of Admissions & Student Engagement at Simon Business School, University of Rochester, joined the show to discuss what makes Simon unique, career prospects for Simon grads, and what fit qualities she’s looking for from applicants.Continue Reading »»
Want to study business in idyllic St. Gallen, Switzerland, with an experienced cohort of 40-50 classmates from around 30 countries? The school prides itself in its individual support and strong relationships with corporates in banking, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and luxury good industries. Nearly 50% of graduates made a “triple transformation” and switched geography, industry and function. Listen on for the inside scoop as Darren interviews Zwanet Van Lubek, Head of Marketing and Recruiting, Careers and Corporates, about the program.Continue Reading »»
Are you looking for a hands-on, customizable and intimate MBA in the heart of one of the world’s great research universities? Darren sits down with Mark Lockwood, MBA Director of Recruiting, Admissions, and Alumni Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to discuss the program’s key advantages and admissions process.Continue Reading »»
Get the inside scoop on what makes the HKUST MBA unique and its admissions process – straight from HKUST Business School Associate Dean Sean Ferguson.Continue Reading »»
Here at Touch MBA we help you find your best-fit business schools. But what about getting an MBA in the first place? How can it help you? Do you need an MBA to become an entrepreneur? What should you consider when choosing between 1 and 2 year programs? And will the MBA be as valuable in the future?
I sat down with Prof. Franz Heukamp, Associate Dean of MBA Programs at IESE, to get his thoughts on these very important questions.Continue Reading »»
This week I had an in-depth chat about the Columbia MBA with 5 members of the Admissions Team. We discussed what makes Columbia different from other top-ranked schools, admissions tips, living in New York, and the extensive career support available at the school. One thing is for sure: Columbia has a wealth of resources to deliver a first-class business education.Continue Reading »»
How fascinating would it be to get your MBA at an up and coming b-school housed within the oldest university in the English speaking world? This is where old and new collide.
Dr. Dana Brown, MBA Programme Director at Said Business School, joined the show this week to discuss what makes the Oxford MBA unique and its admissions process.Continue Reading »»
What’s the best MBA program for supply chain management? Or entrepreneurship? Or marketing? In this episode, Darren gives a 3-step framework for quickly and effectively researching a school’s academic strengths – “The MBA Physical.”Continue Reading »»
Hundreds of applicants have come to Touch MBA to get profile assessments and find their best fit schools. One of the most common problems we see is weak career goals.
Career goals are important – and necessary – for you to figure out your best fit schools AND to improve your chances of acceptance. In this episode, Darren covers 5 ways adcoms evaluate your career goals so you can make yours bulletproof.Continue Reading »»
Today Lebron James announced he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Being a lifelong basketball fan, I was floored by his announcement. Being a former Admissions Director, I was more impressed by his “essay.”
B-school applicants can learn a lot from how this piece is constructed. Here are 4 techniques you can learn from Lebron to make your MBA essays more powerful:Continue Reading »»
Who better to learn storytelling from than a two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner for dramatic nonfiction?
This week Darren uses Jon Franklin’s Writing for Story as guidance for “stalking the story” and writing MBA essays that grip and reveal. Franklin pioneered the narrative nonfiction genre, and his book is full of gems for applicants struggling with their essays.
After listening to this episode, you’ll know whether you are a) telling your best stories and b) writing your essays in the most compelling way possible.Continue Reading »»
Christie St-John, Director of Admissions, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, joined the show to discuss the Vanderbilt MBA. The program is focused on giving students a high-touch and flexible education that will prepare them well for internships and job placement success.
Owen is focused on attracting the best students and award 70% of their students with scholarship funding based on merit. Christie makes it very clear that school takes a counseling approach in order to admit students who will succeed – and the school’s rising rankings and excellent job placement stats attest that her team has done so.Continue Reading »»
Carlson MBA Director of Admissions Linh Gilles joined the show this week and we had a great chat about Carlson’s focus on experiential learning, the benefits of attending a smaller MBA program in Minneapolis, and how to give yourself the best chance for admissions.Continue Reading »»
My good friend Mark Zee, a second year student at Anderson, joined the show to discuss his experience at UCLA. Mark is truly a non-traditional candidate, graduating from Princeton University in 2003, acting in Asia for 6 years, starting an import/export business in Singapore, and then working in educational consulting and finance in Houston, Texas before applying to business school in 2012. Mark shares how he tied all this experience together – and linked them to congruent career goals – in only a few essays.Continue Reading »»
How would you like to grab coffee with one of the world’s most experienced MBA admissions consultants and pick his brain on what makes a successful application?
This week I asked Paul Bodine, author of Great Applications for Business School, and owner of Paul Bodine Admissions Consulting, about his best advice to clients and admissions trends. Paul has helped hundreds of candidates since 1997 get into the likes of Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. This is a conversation you don’t want to miss!Continue Reading »»
Are you struggling with post-MBA career goals in your application? Top business schools are looking for well-researched and realistic career goals. But exactly how can you do this? Especially when you’re strapped for time?
Steve Dalton, Senior Associate Director of the Career Management Center at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of the 2 Hour Job Search, joined the show this week to share his systematic formula to efficiently and effectively target potential employers and secure the first interview.Continue Reading »»
Most of the top-ranked business schools in Asia are in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. But what if you can’t afford to leave your job or city to pursue your MBA? IE Business School and Singapore Management University (SMU) have launched a 10-month blended MBA, which combines residential segments in Singapore and Madrid with weekly online classes and discussions. Can you get the same benefits of a traditional MBA in the blended format?Continue Reading »»
This week I sat down with Marjorie Chan, Director of CUHK’s Career Management Centre, to separate fact from fiction. Do MBAs really have more opportunities in Asia? How can international students best prepare themselves for successful careers in Hong Kong and China (and Singapore)? And what are multinational and local employers looking for in candidates? Listen on to get an “on the ground” picture of the job market in Hong Kong and China. You’ll also get insight into how MBA admissions evaluates your post-MBA career goals.Continue Reading »»
Looking for an industry-focused general management MBA from a school that is consistently top-ranked in Europe and worldwide for its ROI?
Ms. Lisa Piguet, Associate Director of Admissions and Marketing at IMD, joins the show this week and generously shares her advice on IMD’s accelerated 11-month program, the admissions process and more.Continue Reading »»
Did you know MBA candidates preferring to study in Canada have tripled in the past 4 years? With schools like Schulich and open immigration policies, it’s easy to see why.
Mr. Praveen Muruganandan, Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Schulich School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Schulich MBA, located in Toronto, Canada. Praveen got his MBA from Schulich in 2007.Continue Reading »»