30+ and applying to MBA programs

Are You 30+? MBA Programs May Have 3 Concerns on Your Application

Average age of the class at HBS is 27 years. At Columbia, it’s 28. That’s usually the range for most U.S. B-schools: 27-28 years. Some schools, however, don’t provide average age of their class; instead they provide average work experience, which usually is 5 years (to name a few: Wharton, UCLA, and MIT – 5, Stern – 4.5, and Stanford, a relative outlier – 4). The average work experience too points toward a similar average age.

Though the average age of most programs is not too far from 30, B-schools do have some specific concerns about the candidature of applicants falling in 30+ age bracket, though very few air it openly. (There is nothing sacrosanct about 30; it’s just a metaphor for older applicants.)

Plagiarism in MBA applications

How B-Schools Detect Plagiarism? And How You May Unknowingly Plagiarise?

You’re working on essays of your target MBA programs for the last three weeks, often struggling for good, punchy lines. Sometimes, you face blank laptop screen, when you can barely write two sentences in thirty minutes. You struggle for words, impactful lines, and, sometimes, even ideas.

Then you come across a sample essay on the internet which has stuff similar to what you want to write. It has great, articulate lines too, and you think your essays will get a touch of class if you use a sentence or two from this essay.

Or it could be just a sentence or two from the school’s website itself.

How Accommodative Are MBA Programs of Your Sub-Par English in Essays?

Does the quality of English in your essays matter?

That’s no-brainer. It does. Higher the quality, the better it is. After all it’s reflective of your communication skills.

But how accommodative are admission committees of your sub-par English – rule-based things (grammar, punctuation, and spelling) as well as style (structure, transition, variation in sentences, and so on).

Before getting into it, let’s first see some of the examples (source: Harbus Essay Guide, a compilation of essays of 16 students admitted to class of 2017 at HBS) where admits to HBS deviated from the canons of good English (comments in brackets):

Acceptance rate and yield of MBA programs

The Two B-School Popularity Indices Most Applicants Are Unaware Of

You’ll only obscurantly come across the two, almost in conjunction with each other, in few MBA admission-outreach events, articles comparing MBA programs, and MBA program websites.

Nevertheless, these are two of the most keenly monitored and, often, proactively-managed indices by MBA programs.


Because they are strong, market-determined reflection of popularity of their programs.

Stanford yield better than HBS

Why Stanford’s Yield, Despite Being Lower, Is Better than That of HBS?

No doubt, this is a controversial topic.

Traditionally, HBS has had the highest yield (88-90% range) of all MBA programs, followed by Stanford (78-84% range).

(Yield of an incoming class of an MBA program is the percentage of accepted applicants who join the program, and it’s one of the best market-driven statistics that reflect reputation of a program.)

Then, how does such bold, cold statistic lie?

It doesn’t.

But it doesn’t reveal the entire picture, either.

Do I need to send official GMAT score to my target school if …? [FAQs]

“I’m a reapplicant. Do I need to send official GMAT score again this year?”

“I took GMAT three years back, but I’m applying only this year. Do I need to send my official score again to the schools which I selected while taking the test?”

These are some of the questions regarding reporting of official GMAT score that bewilder applicants to MBA programs. This post tries to clarify most such questions.

ISB Interview: On What Questions Are You More Likely to Be Grilled? [Recent Interview]

The interview board can grill you (or ask series of supplementary questions) on any part of your profile, but, as it happened with few applicants in ISB interviews this year, you’re more likely to face probing questions particularly on two parts of your profile – leap of faith and the most important accomplishments/ experiences.

In one of the interviews, for example, Q&A on just two experiences constituted more than half the interview time.

Yes, half the time!

And because the interview board is so much more interested in these parts of your profile, your responses here can be a major determinant of your interview’s outcome.