5 MBA Admissions Developments Over The Final Decade - Writing Essays Online



Monday, November 14, 2022

5 MBA Admissions Developments Over The Final Decade

Harvard Enterprise Faculty, Baker Library

This season, my Fortuna Admissions colleagues and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary of teaching MBA candidates to realize their enterprise faculty desires. Getting introspective about Fortuna’s origin story impressed us to replicate on the MBA admissions panorama, and what’s modified for enterprise faculty candidates over the previous decade

Extra importantly, how do these altering traits affect how candidates ought to method their MBA purposes in the present day? 

From fewer and shorter essays to larger gender parity and the rise of the GRE evaluation (vs. GMAT), a number of traits in MBA admissions supply insights for in the present day’s candidates. There have been main shifts in who applies, and what makes them stand out. How do these adjustments have an effect on you? Listed below are 5 key traits to comply with, and what they imply for you.


  1. Fewer and Shorter Essays: Much less is Extra

Over the past decade, faculties have little by little been adjusting their essay questions necessities, considerably decreasing not solely the variety of questions but additionally the phrase depend. As Fortuna’s Matt Symonds stated, “the faculties have actually refined what they’re searching for, and so they don’t anticipate the applying to be a writing marathon.” 

Take Harvard Enterprise Faculty: Should you had been making use of to HBS in 2012, you needed to sort out at least 4 essays totaling roughly 2,000 phrases. Immediately, HBS has a singular essay capped lately at 900 phrases. Ten years in the past, candidates for Stanford’s MBA needed to reply 4 questions, whereas in the present day’s GSB candidates have simply two. MIT Sloan wins the “much less is extra” leap. From three essay questions with a complete of 1,500 phrases in 2012, in the present day’s MIT candidates submit a 300-word cowl letter. 

Fewer phrases and essays could make it appear simpler to finish your enterprise faculty software. But as legendary creator Mark Twain is quoted as, “I didn’t have time to put in writing a brief letter, so I wrote an extended one as a substitute.” Conveying a narrative that’s each succinct and compelling takes self-discipline and expertise. As we observe with our Fortuna shoppers, ever-slimmer phrase counts pose a formidable problem for capturing all that you simply want to convey to MBA Admissions. 

Furthermore, prime enterprise faculties are asking questions that aren’t as simple as they as soon as had been. You have to do much more self-introspection, asking your self some actually worthy however imposing questions resembling: Who am I?, How did I get to the place I’m now?, and What is actually essential to me?


  1. A Extra Holistic and Nuanced Method to Evaluation 

Again in 2012, the evaluation of MBA candidates was primarily based by and enormous on pretty simple and comparable metrics, together with check scores and GPAs. Whereas these normal metrics nonetheless matter, most colleges put a premium on studying extra about who you actually are above and past your monitor document of educational {and professional} excellence. What are your motivations, your life experiences, your guiding values? Admissions committees assess your emotional intelligence and capability for change as a lot as your mental intelligence. Certainly, enterprise training has developed over this final decade and faculties are aware of their position in creating considerate and moral leaders who might be shaping our world of tomorrow. 

Ten years in the past, for instance, Harvard requested you to put in writing about your skilled targets, your achievements, your setbacks, and why you wished an MBA. Immediately HBS poses one daunting,  open query, “What extra would you want us to know as we think about your candidacy for the HBS MBA Program”? As Fortuna’s Karla Cohen, former HBS Affiliate Director notes, “HBS is searching for principled, passionate people who’ve the potential to meet the HBS mission to coach leaders who make a distinction on the earth.” 

Certainly, enterprise faculties have developed extra holistic and nuanced methods to evaluate candidates. From formal evaluations of emotional intelligence (Yale SOM’s evaluation of inter- and intrapersonal competencies) to letters of advice (NYU Stern’s EQ specific question) to key attributes (Dartmouth Tuck’s ‘niceness’ standards), to movies (Kellogg, LBS, INSEAD, and MIT), packages need to know extra about your character and interpersonal expertise to foretell your management potential and readiness for the MBA classroom. Berkeley Haas, for instance, is express in assessing program match in opposition to the varsity’s tradition and key rules – Query the Standing Quo, Confidence With out Angle, College students All the time, and Past Your self. 


  1. Gradual Shifting However Actual Progress on Gender Parity 

Whereas they could not have admitted it, 10 years in the past most enterprise faculties believed that by 2022 they might have reached gender parity. And whereas many prime US MBA packages have made good progress and a few are getting shut, widespread gender parity within the MBA classroom stays a distant objective. And among the many most elite packages, final 12 months Wharton turned the one prime MBA program to realize gender parity in 2021.

In November of 2021, analysis from the Forté Basis confirmed that girls’s enrollment in MBA packages elevated at 14 of the 26 top-ranked Enterprise faculties within the US, and that 15 of these 26 faculties have greater than 40% extra girls of their MBA cohorts. The burden of financing an MBA has typically been cited as a key cause girls are reticent to embark on an MBA journey, together with the constraints of finishing a full-time program and a want to keep up a work-life steadiness. Colleges have made important efforts to handle these issues, from providing extra scholarships to creating packages and communities to help girls’s particular wants. 

Wharton and USC Marshall, proud outliers who’ve lately achieved (and in Wharton’s case, maintained) gender parity, are clearly doing one thing proper. For Wharton, final 12 months marked the primary time within the faculty’s 100-year historical past {that a} class is predominantly feminine. Wharton has moved the needle by 7% over the past decade; again then, like in the present day, 45% was thought of an actual achievement.  

Over the previous decade, prime US faculties have gained floor in balancing female and male enrollment. Enrollment of girls amongst prime faculties: Kellogg (48%), Stanford GSB (47%), MIT Sloan and HBS at (46%), NYU Stern (45%), and CBS (44%). 

Broadly talking, faculties in Europe and the UK lag behind their US counterparts with regards to gender parity. The exception is Oxford College’s Stated which leads with 48% and Cambridge College’s Choose shut behind at 47% (each faculties have elevated considerably over these previous couple of years). The proportion of girls is way decrease at different prime faculties: IESE (38%), LBS (37%), INSEAD (36%), IMD (35%), and HEC (34%). 


  1. Rise of the GRE

Up till 2006, in case you wished to use for an MBA you wanted to current a GMAT rating. 

That 12 months, a couple of forward-thinking faculties resembling Stanford GSB and Berkeley Haas determined that one check doesn’t match all, and began accepting the GRE as properly. Then round 10 years in the past, increasingly more faculties began to simply accept the GRE. Whereas it was unstated on the time and even till very lately, these contained in the system knew that faculties had a powerful choice for the GMAT except the candidate was an unusually fascinating, non-traditional ‘wild card’ candidate. 

These days are over. The GRE is now widely known as a wonderfully acceptable check rating to submit along with your software. The GRE has certainly gained floor and legitimacy amongst MBA admissions groups. Now, greater than 1,300 enterprise faculties – together with Wharton, Kellogg, and London Enterprise Faculty (LBS) – settle for the examination in purposes. A jaw-dropping 29% of the HBS Class of 2023 was admitted with a GRE rating, in comparison with 22% the 12 months prior. 

There are, after all, some faculties that also favor the GMAT, however they a shrinking minority. INSEAD, one of many prime faculties that has been essentially the most hesitant in regards to the GRE is welcoming candidates who’ve taken this check, although likes to see a better percentile on the GRE quant part than they might settle for for the GMAT. The development vexing MBA admissions this 12 months is the decline in purposes to the main US enterprise faculties. Nevertheless, this decline poses an unprecedented alternative for candidates making use of in spherical two. As Fortuna Co-Founder Matt Symonds recently wrote in Forbes, “This 12 months might be your finest likelihood in a technology to get into an M7 enterprise faculty like Harvard, Stanford GSB, Wharton, or Columbia.” So whereas a powerful US job market is suspending home urge for food for an MBA, and employers are incentivizing prime expertise to say put, demand for an MBA from the world’s finest enterprise faculties stays sturdy. And with doubtlessly fewer candidates vying for restricted seats on the world’s prime packages, the chances could also be higher than ever, too.

Melissa Joelson is a former INSEAD Director of Communications and an Skilled Coach at Fortuna Admissions, a dream crew of former MBA Admissions Administrators from the world’s prime enterprise faculties. Our DNA hasn’t modified since Fortuna’s founding a decade in the past: our objective is to offer inside-track experience to candidates and leverage the insights of those that actually know the faculties inside out. For a candid evaluation of your possibilities of admission to a prime MBA program, attain out for a free consultation.

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