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#163 How I Got into Harvard Business School with Graciela Brewer

“Coming from a non-traditional background can you make sure an MBA makes sense for your career goals and verify that point? Know your industry and know your company... Make sure every part of your application tells a different story, gives a different piece of information.”

As a UX Designer and mother in Kansas City with no MBA network, Graciela Brewer wasn’t sure if she “had a sliver of a chance” at her targets: HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern and Cornell Tech. Four months later, she got into all four programs. In this episode, Grace shares how she shortlisted schools, submitted her strongest resume, essays, and recommendations, and stayed sane during a stressful application process.

Questions

  • How Covid-19 is affecting Grace’s HBS plans (5:24)
  • How family and motherhood factored into Grace’s school choices (7:57)
  • Grace’s educational and work background (13:10)
  • Grace’s post-MBA career goals (16:38)
  • How Grace shortlisted schools (18:33)
  • Why Grace focused her school research process on student clubs (21:25)
  • Grace’s most helpful resources: Touch MBA, Poets & Quants, Applicant Lab (24:14)
  • Grace’s resume tips and extracurriculars (31:50)
  • How Grace answered the HBS essay (37:00)
  • Grace’s HBS interview & post-interview reflection (44:15)
  • How Grace handled MIT Sloan’s cover letter & 1-minute video (48:54)
  • Cornell Tech’s case study interview (58:15)
  • How Grace selected and prepare her recommenders (1:01:15)
  • Grace’s tips for dealing with a stressful application process (1:05:09)
  • Grace’s UX suggestions for MBA applications (1:17:55)

About Graciela (Grace)

Grace Brewer works as a Senior UX Designer at Netsmart, which designs and delivers electronic health records. Grace got into Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, and Cornell Tech, and will pursue her MBA at HBS. Grace got her B.S in Information Science from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Show Notes

Grace studying for the GMAT with her son

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