How to Get Into M7 MBA Program

How to Get Into M7 MBA Program: Insider Tips from Admissions Experts

M7 business schools are renowned for their prestigious MBA programs and are highly coveted by aspiring business leaders globally. Cracking the admissions code for these institutions can feel daunting. But fear not! This blog dives into insights from a stimulating session featuring Guillermo, a Columbia candidate, Priyanka, an incoming Booth candidate with expertise in finance and accounting, and Aarti Kukreja, an admissions consultant with 18 years of experience focusing on top 20 schools, particularly the M7. Together, they offer valuable tips and strategies to help you navigate the competitive M7 admissions process.

How to Get Into M7 MBA Program?

Quote from a Successful Applicant

“Well, there’s a lot of things that make it different. But the first thing that popped into my head is kind of like the amount of people that are applying to the school, either national or international. Everyone knows these schools from everywhere in the world. So you’re going to be having a lot of competitors, people that will be applying with different stories, different things. And huge, enormous number of applications. And the applicant readers will be reading tons of applications. So that’s for me, what makes these M seven applications pretty much different.” ~ Guillermo (MBA candidate at Columbia)

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M7 applications are distinct from other business school applications in terms of international competition and the sheer number of applicants. As Priyanka mentions, the acceptance rates at M7 schools indicate the intense competition you’ll face. To stand out, it’s crucial to create a unique and compelling storyline. This requires introspection to understand your strengths, weaknesses, goals, achievements, and why you need an MBA. 

Quote from a Successful Applicant

“When I decided to apply to M7, I think the first thing I looked at was the acceptance rate, because I think that gives you a clear picture as to how many people you’re actually competing against or alongside. So definitely trying to differentiate yourself is something that is key and that’s something you tried to do with every other application as well.

When you look at the class profile of the people who have gotten into it, it might give you a serious complex sometimes. As i thought that I was nowhere a match to them. I think that’s when doing a lot of introspection comes in handy. I think I did that a lot more when I was doing an M7 application because I think how can I project myself in the best possible light is not enough, but also how am I going to address some vulnerabilities in my application or things that I think are probably not so good in my application.”~ Priyanka (incoming MBA student at Booth)

Standing out among diverse M7 applicants is challenging. Despite superior profiles and skill sets, what sets candidates apart is their unique narrative and application crafting.

How to Get Into an M7 MBA Program: What Makes Them Unique and How to Shine with Your Storyline

The M7 schools receive a vast number of applications, including a significant proportion of international students. This amplifies the need for differentiation. To succeed, candidates must craft an application that stands out in multiple dimensions.

1. DIFFERENTIATION THROUGH PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES: 

The key to standing out is a compelling and authentic storyline. This entails introspection and understanding one’s personal journey, motivations, and career aspirations. 

Once you’re an applicant aiming to study abroad, the desire to attend the best school is natural. However, here’s the catch: everyone else is thinking along the same lines. It’s crucial to pause and reflect: What sets you apart? How can you articulate it uniquely? By crafting a narrative that is truly distinctive and unforgettable, you can seize the interest of admissions committees.

“I also feel like the difference between M7 and other B schools is that M7 needs a lot more introspection.”~ Aarti Kukreja

While profiles and experiences may overlap, individuality lies in personal attributes and how they have shaped one’s perspective. Highlighting unique qualities, passions, and life experiences adds depth to the application and differentiates it from others.

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2. ALIGNING WITH SCHOOL VALUES: 

Each M7 school has particular values and qualities they look for in their students. Guillermo emphasizes the difficulty of aligning with these values, given the highly selective nature of M7 institutions. You must show that you are the ideal fit for the school by emphasizing your alignment with their character and values. This demands a thorough comprehension of the school’s culture and ethos.

As Aarti says, “Schools have a varied set of values and qualities that they are looking for. Explain to the school that you are the right fit, which is much more tough for the M Sevens because they are legendary schools. If they pick a value like, say, collaboration, you just have to show that you are collaborative, whereas the rest of the schools are fairly flexible.” 

Aligning personal goals and values with those of the school increases the probability of acceptance. It’s imperative to illustrate why you are an ideal match for the school’s culture and how you will contribute to the community.

How to get into M7 MBA program- Master Storytelling 

Storytelling is paramount in M7 applications. Additionally, your story must be authentic and introspective, reflecting your uniqueness and differentiation. As Priyanka shares, “introspection is the key to projecting yourself in the best possible light and addressing any vulnerabilities in your application”. By telling a compelling story that resonates with the school’s values, you can set yourself apart from other applicants.

UNDERSTANDING “WHYS”

Storytelling involves more than just recounting a sequence of events; it entails delving into the motivations behind one’s choices and decisions. Initially, applicants need to introspect and examine their strengths, weaknesses, goals, failures, and achievements. Grasping the “why” behind each facet of their journey is crucial. Consequently, every question they pose to themselves should unveil a deeper layer, guiding them to the core motivations and aspirations.

As the applicant delves into the deepest “why,” they discover a clear purpose for pursuing an MBA. Subsequently, supporting their responses with evidence and experiences enables them to construct a compelling narrative. Therefore, this storytelling approach is crucial for presenting a distinct and differentiated story compared to their peers.

CONCLUSION

Understanding the value system of the business school to which they’re applying is a commonly overlooked aspect. Each top business school boasts its unique culture and values. Consequently, aligning one’s personal values, aspirations, and goals with those of the school significantly increases the chances of being a good fit. Moreover, this alignment showcases a genuine interest in the school and a potential contribution to its community.

Additionally, here comes the MBA&Beyond help! To craft a compelling narrative, MBA&Beyond guides applicants through a nine-step process. Among these steps, content gathering plays a crucial role. It entails brainstorming and reflecting on goals, strengths, weaknesses, failures, achievements, and the motivations behind pursuing an MBA. Furthermore, the process also encompasses factors such as international exposure, extracurricular activities, and cultivating the appropriate mindset within a clearly outlined framework.

Lastly, applicants gain valuable insights from brainstorming sessions with a range of individuals, including consultants, content specialists, friends, peers, and colleagues. Engaging in discussions with these individuals aids in gathering diverse perspectives and insights, which can significantly enhance the storytelling process even further.

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