Sunday, April 25, 2010

The MBA Reality Check - a new book on the block.

Its summer again and I quiet clearly recall the last summer - flowers shining bright in their full blossom, birds singing, warmth in the air, frequent visits to the beaches, strolling through the sand and waves washing my feet with each rhythmic cycle - he he just kidding guys. The fact is last summer was very very hectic and i hardly ever stepped out of my house! My door was closed to the outside world, clothes scattered around and dishes unwashed and me sitting on my desk with a GMAT book in hand! Yes it was the start of the notorious MBA application season! And now seeing summer again I'm happy to have crossed that phase of my life.

But now i see myself in thousands of applicants who are shut in their rooms with the Official Guide or staring at the probability question while taking the GMATPrep for the 16th time. Yes, the application season has begun and if you will, its well into its core stages when many have taken their GMAT and are contemplating on whether to give it another shot or to think about their applications. Books are the best friends during this one year process and there are many many great books that I've already mentioned in my previous posts.

Yet today I'm here again to recommend one more fantastic book - "The MBA Reality Check - Make the school you want, Want you" by authors Evan Foster and David Thomas.

So the big question you might be or should be asking yourself is - whether you need another book to help you sail through this treacherous process. Let me provide you a glimpse of this book which i thoroughly enjoyed reading.

For the ease of typing let me call this book MRC. MRC is a no BS straightforward book that will take you through the life of more than 20 applicants in their own quest to get into the best business schools. What i loved about the book is that it shows you not only what you need to do/have but also how to best put forth yourself as an applicant. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "you are not competing against other applicants but you are competing against yourself". Makes you think, doesn't it?!

Evan and David are no new comers to the admission arena. They have years of experience in counselling several hundreds of applicants and helping then get into top b-schools. What they have done right (and which is also why this book stands apart from the crowd) is that they have simply shared their experiences directly on a case by case basis with the audience. This makes the read a lot of fun without sounding like a lecture!

I also loved the structure of the book, which starts from the very beginning of how to get ready to face the rigorous process, then discussing about the most important aspect in a candidate - leadership and then telling you how to find the leader in you. Once you are ready, Chapters 5 thro' 7 discuss on how to get started with creating a strong profile. The second part of the book deals with Essays. Each type of essay is one chapter on its own and each chapter is a story about an applicant. The chapters conclude with the applicant's final draft of the essay that led him/her into a top school! The fascinating part here is that you will see yourself in the applicant and hence you will get answers to your burning questions. Extracurricular is rightly given a big importance in this book and ways you can tell a compelling story of your contribution to the world - not matter how small it is.

The book also provides you sound advice on Admission Interview, waitlist tactics and re-application advice. The final part of the books is for you to taking a pencil start you work. Ideally named "Workbooks", the book provides 9 workbooks for you to systematically implement all the advices that the authors give you in the previous chapters! Again, this is what i like - Not telling you what but showing you how, and finally making you do it.

Summary: A solid no B.S. fun, practical guide on MBA admissions that works!

Verdict: A reality show on MBA Admissions - Highly recommended!

Disclaimer: The book that i received was a review copy and the above review is purely my own opinion.


  1. I think its good pick. Fun to read and some good stuff too.

  2. Hi Hari, i emailed you i have queries about IESE. please check your mail (posted email here). thanks!

  3. Dear Mr.Anonymous,
    I apologize if i had not replied to your email. I was quiet busy travelling and making some significant geographic transitions. Also, since I have been receiving many emails regarding IESE could you please resend the email of provide your email so that i can track your email and reply to the same.

    Thanks for your readership.

  4. congratz on your 2nd place at the BoB awards!

  5. Hey Bizwiz, thank you very much for the wishes.

  6. I am quite interesting in this topic hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts.

  7. This is an excellent thought provoking post.

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  10. There are so many different books available in libraries and online for study purposes. MBA reality check is a good increase in that book collection.