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Category Archives: Darren’s MBA Application Tips

Darren, a former MBA Admissions Director, shares concrete ways you can strengthen your MBA application and materially improve your chances of getting IN to your target schools.

#200 The 3S’s of Scintillating Storytelling

Inspired by The Moth, Darren highlights three tools you can use immediately to improve your stories, so you can show adcoms who you really are and draw them closer to you. Darren also shares over a dozen questions that will help you identify your most compelling stories.

#152 Kishōtenketsu

Crazy Lady, Kishōtenketsu by Olivia Stephens

Do you feel like your MBA story is a bit bland? Or uninspiring compared to the applicant profiles you see online? What if you haven’t overcome insurmountable odds or accomplished something amazing?

Darren explores the possibilities of kishōtenketsu – a four act story structure used by Japanese and Chinese writers for centuries. What makes this story structure interesting is that it relies on contrast – not conflict – to generate interest.

Listen on for ways you can use this Eastern story structure to keep admissions officers’ attention AND demonstrate your self-awareness.

#146 The Three Ps of Performance

Darren shares “three P’s” you can use to clarify the value of your accomplishments in your resume and MBA application. Doing so will paint a clear picture of your performance for MBA admissions officers and employers.

#138 MBA Resume Do’s and Don’ts (Plus Templates!)

Your resume is often what MBA admissions officers first see, and frames how they view the rest of your profile. Follow this checklist of CV ‘do’s and don’ts’ to make make a strong first impression and set the stage for a successful application.

#131 The Quick & Easy Way to Effective MBA Interviewing

Could this be the only book you need to prepare for your MBA interviews?

Inspired by Dale Carnegie’s classic book, The Quick & Easy Way to Effective Speaking, Darren shares a simple 3-part framework to help you choose your best ‘material’ for your MBA interviews. 

#121 21 MBA Application Questions Answered

7 senior MBA Admissions Directors from Berkeley Haas, Cornell Johnson, Virginia Darden, Duke Fuqua, NYU Stern, Michigan Ross, and Yale School of Management came to Vietnam this Fall for an MBA admissions panel.

Darren shares the questions asked and lessons learned from the event.

#113 Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield

Inspired by Steven Pressfield’s book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, Darren offers 3 pillars to present a memorable MBA story: concept, theme, and structure (hook, build, payoff).

#112 LinkedIn Tips for MBA Applicants

Top 7 LinkedIn Tips for MBA Applicants

Your LinkedIn profile could be the first thing business schools see.

Darren draws on his admissions experience and shares 7 tips to make a good first impression, reinforce your MBA story, and highlight additional qualities not in your application.

MBA programs are looking at your social media, especially your LinkedIn profile. Take 15 minutes to follow these guidelines and represent yourself well to b-schools, MBA students & alumni, and future employers.

#106 The GMAT Episode

How do top business schools use the GMAT to evaluate you? What exactly are they looking for? What do you need to score and on which sections? When should you retake the GMAT? Do schools prefer the GMAT or GRE?

Darren asks Admissions Directors from 3 top schools – HKUST (Hong Kong), IESE (Spain) and Michigan Ross (USA) – tough questions about the GMAT. Listen on to get answers to the GMAT questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

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