About

So, I started this blog for 2 reasons. First, I was forewarned I’d need the therapy that comes from venting and cursing while going through the grueling, gut-wrenching process of applying to the best business programs in the world.

Second, I wanted to chronicle my little experiment. During my initial pre-mba “research” (read: GOOGLE) I was slammed with a stiff and sobering reality: “over 30” admits to top business schools are few and far in between.

Ultimately, I ended applying to 5 of the world’s best business schools (think big and go hard!)–Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT and Chicago. I ended up with admits and scholarships to 3 of the 5 and have since matriculated into The Wharton School of Business; not bad for someone who was told that anyone over 32 years old need not even apply.

Now, I help other hopefuls increase their chances of acceptance into the world’s most selective business schools and handicap their odds by giving them feedback on their competitive profiles and essays. And while I tend to focus on the “MBAOver30” group, I’ll work with anyone who requests my assistance.

Who I Like to Help, and Why

While I do not exactly consider myself “an admissions consultant”, I do acknowledge than many of the top business schools have become irritated if not all out in opposition of applicants being packaged or repackaged in a way that misrepresents what they have to offer; thereby, befuddling the admissions process in the same way that lobbyists befuddle the legislative process.

I have NO interest in doing that.

So, I only seek to help people who are like I was. Those of you who have the “raw goods” that top business schools are looking for, but do not come from the investment banking/management consulting/Ivy League undergrad ecosystem where the critical “do’s and don’ts” about top MBA admissions are both college knowledge AND freely passed down from one person to the next. If you’re like me, you either have no clue of the things that you don’t know that could wreck your application OR you have an idea, but have not gotten any helped with putting it all together. I the privileged people have people guiding them, then why shouldn’t you?

One the other hand, if I know from the gate that I would need to “reconstruct” reality in order to make sure you have a shot at this, I won’t waste your time; and I won’t put myself in a position to do things that are beyond the boundaries of my standard of ethics.  This is why I start everyone with a profile analysis prior to us doing any work together.

Meanwhile, I’ve kept my blog posts live in hopes that my random rants and music provide even half as much catharsis to you as they did for me–whether you’re a part of my age demographic or not.

– mbaover30

MY MBA ADMISSIONS TRACK RECORD (2012/2013)

ADMITS:

The (U of Penn) Wharton School of Business

PROFILE:

Location: Philadelphia, PA

2012 US News Rank: 3

Acceptance Rate: 15-19%

Class Size: ~800-850

Median GMAT: 720

Middle 80% GMAT Range: 680-760

Yield: 70%

WHAT MAKES WHARTON A GREAT FIT:

  • Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Strong presence within the VC community
  • Considered one of the best taught curriculum
  • Student-led culture
  • Bi-Coastal footprint and growing influence in Silicon Valley
  • Wharton’s/UPenn’s Founders’ Club and Founders’ Retreat
  • Professor Peter Fader and the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative
  • Professors Karl Ulrich and Christian Terwiesch, creators of Innovation Tournaments
  • Pronounced International Focus
  • The world’s best regarded finance program (not my focus; but I have quite an interest here)
  • Professor Stuart Diamond, negotiations guru
  • One of the largest and most powerful MBA networks
  • Penn Apps, one of the largest 1 or 2 college hackathons in the country is here
  • The entrepreneurial community of Philadelphia is driven largely by UPenn and Wharton
  • Proximity to my favorite hip hop gropu, The Roots
  • Proximity to NYC and DC (a quick train ride)
  • There’s a Trader Joes in Penn Center (a must have)

My Status:

The (MIT) Sloan School of Management

PROFILE:

Location: Cambridge, MA

Closest Metro: Boston, MA

2012 US News Rank: 4 (shared with Kellogg and Chicago Booth)

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Class Size: ~400

Median GMAT: 720

Middle 80% GMAT Range: 660 – 750

Yield: 67%

WHAT MADE MIT A POSSIBLE FIT:

  • Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Regarded as being a leader in innovation
  • Strong connections within the Boston VC community
  • Makes an effort to also keep a strong presence among the Silicon Valley VC community
  • One of the most flexible MBA curriculum among top schools
  • dual enrollment opportunities at Harvard
  • Home to one of 4 #1 ranked computer science programs (I’m looking to brush up my coding skills)
  • Intimate close-knit classes
  • There’s a Trader Joes in Cambridge now

My Status:

  • Submitted R1 10/24/12
  • Invited to Interview on 12/14/12
  • Interviewed 1/16/13
  • ACCEPTED on 1/29/13 with Scholarship
  • Declined generous offer on 3/1/13 and matriculated at Wharton instead.

Chicago Booth School of Business

PROFILE:

Location: Chicago, IL

Closet Metro: Chicago, IL

2012 US News Rank: 4 (shared with MIT and Kellogg)

Acceptance Rate: 22-25%

Class Size: ~600

Median GMAT: 715 (*avg)

Middle 80% GMAT Range: 660-760

Yield: N/A

WHAT MADE BOOTH A POSSIBLE FIT:

  • Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (2nd largest concentration)
  • One of the world’s premiere institutions for economics and finance–not my concentration, but there is a LOT that I want to learn about each
  • A Kick-ass ski trip each  year
  • Data-based decision making is at the core of the pedagogy (I love that. I”m a numbers guy).
  • The Polsky Centre (an outstanding commitment to entrepreneurship)
  • Polsky supports its entrepreneurial students in entering business competitions outside of Booth as well
  • The Harper Center (I love a great facility)
  • Flexible Curriculum (only 1 required class)
  • Located in a great metro (I’m warming up to the idea of Chicago; definitely a fantastic cities)

My Status:

  • Submitted R1 10/2/12
  • Invited to Interview on 10/31/12
  • Interviewed 11/10/12
  • ACCEPTED 12/18/12 with a fellowship
  • Declined on 2/19/13 to decide between MIT and Wharton; enrolled at Wharton on 3/1/13

DINGS:

Harvard Business School

PROFILE:

Location: Cambridge, MA

Closest Metro: Boston, MA

2012 US News Rank: 1 (shared with Stanford GSB)

Acceptance Rate: 10-12%

Class Size: ~900

Median GMAT: 730

Middle 80% GMAT Range: (won’t publish; 100% range is 490-800)

Yield: 89% (unheard of)

WHAT  MADE HBS A POSSIBLE FIT:

  • Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • A Fellowship Program that allows entrepreneurs to spend their summer internship working on their own enterprise (how cool is that?)
  • Teaches using the case method exclusively (I love this with the right group of people)
  • Arguably the largest and most powerful top MBA network
  • Opportunities to take classes at Harvard College and MIT Sloan
  • Well connected to  the Boston VC community
  • Alumni are also well represented in VC circles in Silicon Valley
  • Pronounced international focus
  • An underground tunnel system that provides relief from the bitter New England winter
  • A state-of-the art fitness center just for HBS students
  • There’s a Trader Joe’s in Cambridge now

My Status:

  • Submitted R1 9/24/12
  • dinged without an interview on 11/17/12

The Stanford Graduate School of Business

PROFILE:

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Closet Metro: San Francisco/Oakland

2012 US News Rank: 1 (shared with HBS)

Acceptance Rate: 6-7%

Class Size: ~399

Median GMAT: 730

Middle 80% GMAT Range: (Won’t publish; 100% range is 580-800)

Yield: 79/80%

WHAT MADE STANFORD A POSSIBLE FIT:

  • Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (arguably the best)
  • Proximity to Silicon Valley/access to VC community
  • One of the most flexible MBA curriculum
  • A strong, loyal alumni network that is known for taking phone calls from current students to mentor and network with them.
  • Home to one of 4 #1 ranked computer science programs (I plan to brush up on my coding skills)
  • Lots of opportunities to take classes at other colleges (e.g. the design school; the education school)
  • Grade non-disclosure policy
  • Pronounced international focus
  • Holistic approach to business education and leadership development
  • Arguably the best and most close-knit student culture
  • Kum ba yah culture incl. Interpersonal Dynamics class and Talk
  • Proximity to Trader Joes
  • You can bike around the sprawling campus year round
  • The B-school lawn makes me want to lay on the grass and take a nap on it

My Status:

  • Submitted R1 10/3/12
  • dinged without an interview on 12/12/12

Again, if you’r like for me to coach you through your own application strategy, please either:

A) Go here and get a Free Profile Analysis.

…or, if you’re ready to get started with me right away,

B) Go here to get started today.

18 Comments on “About”

  1. OhDenny Says:

    Hey there! Great posts so far! You are certainly handling the research process like a champ. I don’t know you from the next guy, but I think you should check out Yale SOM on your East Coast swing. I am particularly biased because that’s where I’ll be going next year, but I’m also a 30+ w/ an (social) entrepreneurial bent. I’m also not the only one I’ve met within our incoming class.

    Regardless – looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks OhDenny. I’m so glad that you said that. I’ve actually been oscillating about the Yale program. I am considering switching them out with one of my safety schools. Why play it safe, right? Thanks for your input and thanks for reading the blog! And don’t forget to subscribe.

      Reply

  2. bschool2013 Says:

    I’ve worried about the age thing too…but more from a social aspect.

    In regards to older applicants not being admitted, I think it’s a function of most older applicants not applying – it’s easier to pick up and move when you’re younger.

    This is a good link: http://www.mbaapplicant.com/age.html

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks for posting that link. I actually plan to include it in a post that I’ll be posting within the next week or so. I agree with you (and mbaapplicant.com) that in our demographic the lack of representation comes largely due to a lack in actual applications; still, the hard core facts (like that HBS histogram) are enough to play with your head and make you second guess…all good inspiration for introspection; and that’s what this process is all about. Thanks for your comment, and don’t forget to subscribe.

      Reply

  3. Vico Says:

    I’ll nominate Booth as another school you could look at….especially with the New Ventures Challenge they hold every year..

    http://doleblo5.blogspot.com/2012/02/entrepreneurs-go-to-head-of-class-more.html

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks Vico; I’ll definitely look into it. In a day or so I’ll be posting about a few changes in my target school lineup as a result of my latest research.

      Reply

  4. sam Says:

    Hi there,

    I just came out of my GMAT exam today and was soooo disappointed! Consider myself in your situation. I am over 30 and desperately looking to go back to school for my masters. I know that GMAT is not a requirement here in UK for admissions into the masters program, but lets just say that owing to some personal situations I couldn’t keep my career on track as I would have liked to and in order to get my hands on scholarship I need the GMAT to add onto my application.

    I find myself in your shoes after 2 months of preps with a full time job.My score close to 600. The worst feeling coz i know I can do so much better. In practise tests at home I was scoring at 650 and in some cases scored 700 too!!!

    But u know what I scored really bad on V, which during the practise tests had always been in the 80th percentile. I am so shocked n gutted!

    B/W just like you I only started on my practise tests a week before and literally burned myself out at the end.I think i suffered frm a mind freeeze during the test. wOULD LOVE TO DISCUSS A REMEDIAL STRATEGY WITH U!

    tnx,
    sam

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hello Sam, I am no GMAT coach, but would definitely recommend doing 6-8 practice tests before your next retake so that you can test your ability to perform under the time constraints. I feel very strongly that I left 20-40 points on the table with my score just by not being as good as I could have been on the timing–and the decisions that lead to great timing, like knowing when to guess and keep moving. I wish you the best.

      Reply

  5. embeeay Says:

    Hey mbaover30, I’m unsure if I have already commented on one of your previous posts, but thanks for adding me to your ‘Other MBA Reads’! Keep up the great work on your blog, it’s not only inspirational but it’s genuinely awesome to experience this admissions process collectively as a community. Best of luck in the ongoing admissions, you seem to have made great progress on your essays ~

    Reply

  6. vijay Says:

    Hello,

    I am 34 yrs old as well and considering full-time MBA. Gave my GMAT and scored 760.

    Given that you are setting a good example, can I chat with you sometime to lesrn from yoyr experience?

    Thanks,
    Vijay

    Reply

  7. Keima Says:

    Hi!

    I also entered a business school at the age of 30 this year. It’s more exciting for us to go back to the school days at this stage isn’t it?
    Will keep reading your posts. Let’s enjoy this precious two years!

    Best,
    Keima

    Reply

  8. DeepB Says:

    Hi there..

    First of all thanks so much for having this blog up ! Its such a relief and a boost to my morale to have read your awesome blog. I have completed the free profile review on your blog and hope to hear back from you, just to brief I am 32 have an MBA from a unknown IT school in India which was completed 8 years back, have an undergrad engineering degree with a 3.2 GPA. I am seriously wanting to complete a second MBA from a much serious MBA school in the US, am currently working tight on my GMAT score. I’d like to specialize in Finance & Operations. Would be great to hear your thoughts ..

    Thanks,

    Deep

    Reply

  9. CC Says:

    Hi – I am new to the game so please pardon my ignorance. Why is being over 30 and applying to business school so frown upon? Don’t schools want several years of real world experience?

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      I would not say that it is frowned upon, but the pressure from banks and consulting firms (the primary providers of high paying MBA jobs that support the schools’ prestige, rankings and brands) pressure the schools for younger candidates who will work long, oppressive hours and take on intense travel schedules. Most people aren’t willing to do that beyond 32 or so that the companies know that, so that’s where the ageism comes from.

      Reply

  10. Cristina Says:

    Hi! have you heard about pymetrics? (it’s an online assesment tool for students that matches them with potential MBA internships and full time offers)

    How can we enhance our resume after being accepted to business school to become more marketable for recruiters.

    thanks!

    Reply

    • mbaover30 Says:

      Pre MBA internships can be helpful. They are probably the only thing that can help you enhance your resume after getting accepted (other than new responsibilities at work)

      Reply

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