1. How to stand out from the crowd by applying key storytelling principles to your application

2. Why this approach will actually simplify your approach (and stress!)

3. How to select a compelling career vision and why that's so important

4. Detailed examples on how to overcome a low GMAT score, a lot GPA, and   non-blue chip work experience 

5. What admissions committees at top programs are looking for that they never say or publish

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FSD Media, LLC 2019

The Secret to Doubling your Chances of Getting into a Top MBA Program

See how applying the principles of storytelling can help negate weaknesses in your GPA, GMAT score, and work experience.

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Melinda and Ed graduating from MIT and HBS the same year




Ed's profile

  • Asian Male 
  • Computer Science Major 
  • 3.8 GPA 
  • 710 GMAT 
  • Finance Background 
  • Career progression at 1st firm but limited at 2nd firm

Melinda’s Profile

  • Asian female 
  • Political Science Major 
  • 3.5 GPA 
  • 740 GMAT 
  • Advertising Background 
  • Limited career progression

Without a doubt, we would never have gotten into HBS and MIT Sloan without following the framework shared in this guide.  This is the story of how we used this approach to get into two very competitive programs. 

It was late November when we decided to apply to business school. Applications were due in 1 month, and we hadn't even taken the GMAT yet. We each decided to apply to only one school (HBS for Ed and MIT Sloan for Melinda) to maximize our chances of getting in, knowing very well that the odds were stacked against us. At the time, HBS’ acceptance rate was 12% and MIT Sloan’s was 15%, so the chance of us both getting in was 1.8%. To be honest, with our limited time, we didn’t think we would. 

HBS receives thousands of applicants with the exact same profile as Ed. To make things worse, Ed also had to apply confidentially, so he couldn’t get recommendations from his current firm. 

Compared to Ed, Melinda had the opposite problem. With a very non-quantitative background, and an 80th percentile GMAT math score, Melinda was an unusual candidate for MIT Sloan, which is one of the most analytical and quantitative MBA programs in the world.

How We Did It

 The key was talking to those who were in-the-know. We received a proprietary guide from a friend who attended HBS from a prestigious private equity firm. Firms like his hired dedicated in-house MBA admissions experts whose sole job was to get employees into the top MBA programs year after year. When we saw the guide, it was immediately clear to us how little we knew compared to the insiders.

Beyond reading the guide, we also reached out to friends, friends of friends, and alumni who had attended one of these two MBA programs to understand how they each crafted their application to get accepted.

After talking to all of these people, we began to recognize some consistent themes across successful business school applications, which were reinforced by the guide given to us by our friend. A major theme was the importance of packaging the details of who you were into a compelling story. 

After getting accepted into business school, we knew that we had to preserve all of the valuable information that we had gathered, so we decided to compile all of our learnings into a 56-page document that we could share with friends applying to business school. One year later, all 8 of the friends we had shared the guide with were accepted into one of their top 2 schools. It was then that we realized if there were ever such thing as a formula for getting into a top business school, we had it.

Over the last few years, we have continued to reach out to students, alumni, and admissions consultants to further build on and verify the original framework. The guide as it is today is an aggregate of the admissions insights, strategies, and techniques that we have gathered from interviewing hundreds of alumni, classmates and admissions consultants combined with the insider guides that top feeder firms use. As we have coached applicants over the years, we have continued to evolve the framework to be as impactful today as it was when we used it to get into HBS and MIT.