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 »»
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 »»
Professor Elaine Ferneley, MBA Director at Manchester Business School, joined the show to share more about the Manchester MBA, located in Manchester, UK.
They don’t call it “practice-based” for nothing. Manchester MBAs are required to do 3 live consultancy projects – requiring over 600 client facing hours – over the 18 month program. This way all students get substantial experience working for big name companies before they graduate – and many end up with jobs at these organizations.Continue Reading »»
How can younger candidates compensate for their lack of experience? What are admissions committees looking for in younger candidates? Darren covers 5 tips to show you belong and will be a valued member of your MBA class.Continue Reading »»
Professor Reiji Ohtaki, Program Director of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA, joined the show to talk about Waseda’s International MBA Program located in Tokyo, Japan. Professor Ohtaki runs the career management center and has held many senior leadership positions for Hay and Mercer Consulting in Asia Pacific, so he’s a great person to talk to about MBAs and careers in Japan.Continue Reading »»
Is it worth it to get an MBA if it’s not Harvard, Stanford or Wharton? Many candidates don’t think so. In this episode Darren talks about 5 arbitrages that exist in the MBA world. If you know what’s important to you, you can still “negotiate up” and get a great educational and life experience at many top MBA programs outside the top 3.Continue Reading »»
Can an MBA really develop “global leaders you can trust?” This week I sat down with Anjaney Borwankar, Director of Corporate Develpment, SE Asia, to discuss how IESE MBA strives to fulfill this mission through its global makeup and case-study pedagogy.
Anjan is an IESE MBA alumni, and plays an active role on the program’s Admissions Committee and Career Services teams. We had an illuminating discussion about what makes IESE unique, the admissions process, and why candidates should see the IESE MBA as a launching pad for a global career – not just one in Spain. You’ll get some great tips here on what the school is looking for. Hint: it’s not the GMAT.Continue Reading »»
Christine and I talk about the exciting new MBA collaboration between Cornell Tech and the Johnson School in New York City that starts next year. What makes it different from Cornell’s traditional MBA? Who should apply? And what should candidates keep in mind when applying to this 1-year program?Continue Reading »»
I started this podcast to have open conversations with Admissions Directors so you could get a good feel for not only the bschool, but also for the people evaluating your application. Many see admissions at top bschools as a black box, and I’m trying to tear those walls down.
This week I had such a chat with Christine Sneva, who is Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid of MBA Programs at Cornell Johnson. Christine is one of the most enthusiastic guests I’ve had on the show. And she really opens up on what makes Johnson special and how her team looks at applications. You can really go behind the scenes of Cornell’s admissions process in this episode.Continue Reading »»
Mr. Edward Cook, Director, MBA Programs, Melbourne Business School joins the show this week to talk about one of Australia’s top ranked MBA programs and how to get in. We also discuss how employers view MBAs in Australia and the benefits of being part of a small (50-60 student) but very international cohort.Continue Reading »»
Listen on for the insider’s scoop as Jolene Monson, Marketing Manager of Degree Programs at ESMT, and I discuss the value (and reputation) of MBAs in Germany, job opportunities for international MBA students in Germany, and how to get into ESMT.Continue Reading »»
Having trouble figuring out what to write about in your essays? Or how to tell your best story?
If so listen to every minute of this episode.
This week my good friend John Kaaiohelo joined the show to deconstruct how to tell a story that’s memorable and authentic. John’s a master at crafting successful applications, having gotten into Philips Exeter Academy, Princeton University and Harvard University on full-ride scholarships. John is currently writing his first novel.Continue Reading »»
How did Lawrence Cole, author of the popular MBA applicant blog MBAOver30, get into Wharton, Chicago Booth and MIT Sloan as a 36 year old?Continue Reading »»
Over the past 6 months, I’ve had over 20 MBA Admissions Directors on the Touch MBA Podcast. I’ve asked all of them, “What would you advise candidates to improve their chances of admissions?”
This is what they told me.
Here are 10 actionable tips you can use right away to boost your admissions and scholarship chances at your target business schools.Continue Reading »»
Joining the show this week is Dr. Michael Shulver, Assistant Dean of Generalist Masters Programmes at Warwick University in the UK. Michael was formerly an engineer in the Royal Air Force before getting his MBA and PhD from Warwick.
Michael is a straight shooter and offers a truly insider’s perspective on how admissions selects candidates and awards scholarships. As a faculty member, he also shares a lot of insight into Warwick’s academic offerings.Continue Reading »»
Overwhelmed by the number of MBA programs? Having a hard time differentiating business schools? After listening to this episode, you’ll have the toolkit to surgically dissect an MBA’s offering. You’ll also know a lot more about the student experience at London Business School (LBS).Continue Reading »»
Ms. Libby Livingston, Director of Admissions for the Two Year MBA Program joined the show this week to talk about Goizueta MBA (pronounced Goy-sweat-a) that can be completed in 1 or 2 years. The program is focused on “Day 1 Readiness:” getting students exceptionally prepared for the first day of class, job interviews, internships and jobs.Continue Reading »»
What is it really like to be an MBA student at INSEAD?
The best way to learn about a school is to talk to students and alumni. For those of you who don’t know anyone from INSEAD, this conversation may be the next best thing.Continue Reading »»
If you were studying business at one of the world’s greatest research institutions, and had to pick 75% of your classes and activities, what would you do?
Mr. Jeffrey Carbone, Associate Director of Admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management, started our conversation with “we’re not just an MBA program…” and after you listen to this episode, you’ll understand why.Continue Reading »»
This is Part 2 of my conversation with Dr. Yoshinori Fujikawa, Faculty Director of the Hitotsubashi University ICS MBA program.
We discuss admissions, scholarships, and careers at Hitotsubashi ICSContinue Reading »»
This week I spoke with Dr. Yoshinori Fujikawa, Associate Professor of International Business Strategy and Faculty Director of the Hitotsubashi University ICS MBA program. We had a great in-depth discussion about Hitotsubashi ICS’s “best of 2 worlds” pedagogy – combining the best of East & West, practice & theory, global & local, business & society, and cooperation & competition – as well as career prospects for MBAs in Japan.Continue Reading »»
This week I spoke with Mr. A M Kannan about the ISB PGP. Kannan worked in ISB’s Career Advancement Services department for 3 years before spending his last 4 years as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.
The business world is changing, and the Indian School of Business (ISB) is at the forefront of this change, with its focus on business in India and emerging markets.Continue Reading »»
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Nadia Ahrazem, MBA Recruitment and Admissions Manager for London Business School, this week. Sure, we all know LBS is perennially ranked as one of Europe’s and the world’s top 5 MBA programs. But what is the LBS MBA really all about?Continue Reading »»
Do you want to impact business and society in a meaningful way? And be at the nexus of business and politics in the US?
Ms. Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Georgetown MBA, located in Washington D.C.Continue Reading »»
Sometimes MBA candidates forget how critical faculty are to a great MBA experience. Well, how would you like to have the USA’s top ranked faculty leading you through over 600 case studies? And these faculty having an “open door policy” so you could access them at any time?
Ms. Katherine Alford, Associate Director of Admissions, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Darden’s 3 distinguishing factors: its near exclusive use of the case-study method to teach, its top ranked faculty, and its collaborative student community.Continue Reading »»
Mr. Keegan Pierce, Associate Director of International Admissions, ESADE Business School, joined the show to share more about the ESADE MBA, located in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. Keegan graduated from the Full-time program in 2011 so he has firsthand experience with ESADE’s intimate size (max 180 students/intake) and culture of collaboration (over 80% of coursework is done in a team setting). The program is uniquely flexible: students can finish the MBA in 12, 15, or 18 months.Continue Reading »»
Ms. Megan Overbay, Director of Admissions, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, joined the show to share more about the Duke Daytime MBA (22 months), located in Durham, North Carolina, and Cross Continent MBA (16 months).
Megan and I had a great discussion on many of the programs’ finer points which should give you a good feel for the school. Listen on for much more…Continue Reading »»
Mr. Andrew Bueno, Assistant Director of Marketing, INSEAD MBA Program, joined the show to share more about the program’s international nature, admissions process, and scholarship and career opportunities. What emerges is a “must-consider” program for those looking to turbo-boost their international exposure and placement opportunities. Listen on for much, much more!Continue Reading »»
Darren discusses 3 ways to show “leadership potential” even if you are short on work and management experience. Listen on for specific and actionable ways you can show adcoms you have this crucial quality in your application.Continue Reading »»
This week I spoke to Mr. Philippe Oster, Communication, Development, and Admissions Director, HEC Paris, who has over 8 years of experience representing top business schools in France. Philippe discusses 3 principles you should look for when applying to MBA programs: the quality of the student body, learning environment and career support.Continue Reading »»
This week Mr. Dirk Hopfl, Managing Director, South East Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at IE Business School, joined the show to talk about the IE MBA, a 13-month program focused on entrepreneurship and change management.Continue Reading »»
Applying to INSEAD? Then you must listen to this week’s episode. Caroline Diarte Edwards was Director of Admissions for INSEAD’s MBA program for 7 years, from 2005-2012. She joins the show to talk in depth about INSEAD’s 4 admissions criteria (academic capacity, international capacity, leadership potential, ability to contribute), and what applicants can do if they are weak in any of these areas.Continue Reading »»
This week Mr. Roy Chason, Senior Manager, Admissions and Marketing, CEIBS, joined the show to talk about Mainland China’s top ranked MBA program.Continue Reading »»
This week Mr. James Barker, MBA Admissions Coordinator, Judge Business School, the University of Cambridge, joined the show to talk about the Cambridge MBA, a practical and entrepreneurial program at the heart of one of the world’s leading universities.Continue Reading »»
I recently had a great in-depth discussion with Mr. Lawrence Chan, Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at Chinese University of Hong Kong, about the CUHK MBA.
Lawrence gives tons of great advice to those considering applying to CUHK and to top MBA programs in general. I especially appreciated his straight talk on how MBA applicants and students should plan their post-MBA careers.Continue Reading »»
On March 2-3, I spoke to 30 students and recent graduates in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam about what top MBA programs are looking for and how they can prepare for the MBA application process now.
My main point was, “Ask not what an MBA program can do for you, but what you can do for your MBA program.”Continue Reading »»
Dr. Ricardo Lim, Dean of Asian Institute of Management, joined the Touch MBA podcast to discuss the AIM MBA, one of the longest running MBA programs in Asia. Founded in 1968 with the assistance of Harvard Business School, AIM was the first b-school in SE Asia to be accredited by AACSB, and its pedagogy is centered on the case-study method.Continue Reading »»
Mr. Nick Soriano, Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at Nanyang Technological University, joined the show to discuss the Nanyang MBA’s major curriculum changes (focus on leadership across cultures, Asia business, industry relevance) and format changes (16 months to 12 months) while also giving an insider’s look into the program’s stringent admissions process.Continue Reading »»
I recently spoke with Mr. Bart Scheenaard, MBA Marketing & Admissions Manager for the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Bart emphasized the international nature of the program (40 different nationalities in a 140 student class) and the Netherlands, a progressive and business-friendly country where most business is conducted in English. Rotterdam MBA graduates also benefit from a great visa arrangement where they can stay in the Netherlands for one year to find a job.Continue Reading »»
Your resume is often the first part of your application that MBA admissions officers see. Yet most candidates spend way more time preparing their essays. Avoid these “7 deadly sins” to make a strong first impression with your resume. The 7 deadly sins: 1. Too long 2. Hard on the eyes 3. Emphasizes the wrong thing(s) 4. It’s a job resume (not an MBA resume) 5. No evidence of impact 6. Lack of context for employers and accomplishments 7. No […]Continue Reading »»
With the MBA interviewing season fast upon us, Darren discusses the 4 “questions behind the questions” that admissions officers really want to know. If you can prepare compelling responses to these key questions, you stand a good shot of making the final cut. Listen on for more insider tips and techniques to ace your interview. The questions behind the questions: 1. Why are you here? 2. What can you do for us? 3. What makes you unique (from other candidates […]Continue Reading »»
Capturing your reader’s attention is the most important goal of your MBA application. You want the admissions officer to remember you after reading 20 applications that day. The longer you can keep his or her attention (in the right way!), the better your chances are of landing an interview. In this episode, we take the core principles from Oren Klaff’s Pitch Anything, and discuss 4 ways you can get and keep attention in your application. The primal “croc brain” that […]Continue Reading »»
In this episode, we take the core principles from the marketing classic Made to Stick, and discuss how to use them to create a memorable MBA application. Your MBA application is a “movie preview” of what’s to come – a pitch for your candidacy. Imagine an admissions officer reading hundreds of applications. How can you get this gatekeeper to pay attention, remember you, believe you, care about you, and act on your application in a positive way (we must interview her!)? […]Continue Reading »»
This week I sat down with Ms. Chua Nan Sze, Marie Antonie, who is Director of Graduate Studies, NUS Business School, and looks after the NUS MBA and EMBA programs. We discussed the latest curriculum changes at NUS and how to give yourself the best chance in the admissions process.Continue Reading »»
I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Philip Zerillo (Dr. Z), who is Dean of Postgraduate Professional Programs at Singapore Management University. Dr. Z has played a pivotal role in developing SMU’s MBA program. We had a very open conversation about the latest developments at the SMU MBA program, its unique pedagogy, career placement success and admissions.Continue Reading »»