We are now in MBA-fair season, so many potential MBAs are wondering what the top schools are really looking for. There is a very simple answer to this question: someone with “top management” potential. Schools are actually pretty open to what form this can take.
The criteria / weighting that they use is roughly:
- 30% job experience/ track record
- 30% essays
- 30% GMAT
- 10% special considerations (personal circumstances, unique background, interesting detail).
And there is one more important factor: Can they “sell” you after graduation?. Remember that MBA rankings strongly influence admissions. This means that high GMAT, and high post- MBA salary are important rankings critera. So they are already sizing up your “marketability” before they admit you. If your profile is interesting, but there are doubts whether you can land a high paying job, the school risks lowering the “average starting salary” statistic.
The take away from all this is that you need to paint a picture of “top management potential”, and this is largely achieved through the essays (even more so than with the CV).