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The MBA Reality Check

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The MBA Reality Check

Make the School You Want, Want You

Prentice Hall Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

What would you do to get into a great MBA program? Would you look into your soul?

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This guide to winning a spot in an MBA program is useful and charming – and those two qualities are more closely related than you think. As the title suggests, the book attempts to correct numerous misconceptions applicants have about getting into their target business schools. Some of those myths and self-delusions are pretty tenacious, and education consultants Evan Forster and David Thomas have to be equally pointed to puncture them. That’s where the charm comes in. Through vivid narratives of learning experiences (both their own and their clients’) and hearty dollops of humor, Forster and Thomas make the arduous process of applying to MBA programs seem less daunting. Along the way, they provide specific advice on everything from how to help the people writing your recommendations to how to fit in the worthwhile extracurricular activities you need to stand out from the crowd. Naturally, getAbstract recommends this sassy but savvy book primarily to those considering graduate education in business, but also to those running MBA programs, to their admissions staffs and to corporate human resources officers who want to help guide their employees’ careers.


Mastering the Master’s

So you want an MBA, but you don’t want to get it from just anywhere; it’s got to be from Harvard Business School (HBS) and nowhere else. Well, that’s “a suicide mission.” Pinning all your hopes on a single school, when so much of the admissions process is out of your control, is crazy. Instead, make your school selection part of a larger process of realistic self-examination. Investigate the programs at a number of universities, and apply to the ones that best fit you and your goals. This will make it much more likely that you’ll get into a good MBA program (maybe even at HBS) and that you’ll be happier along the way.

Once you’ve committed to earning an MBA from a first-rate degree program, recognize that you have to be the sort of person that program wants. That doesn’t mean changing who you are or pretending to be someone else, but it does mean you have to find the “visionary leader in you.” You can’t game the process or thoughtlessly knock out an application; rather, you’ll need to search deep within to define your goal of “doing something greater than yourself with the intent to make a difference.” Then direct the application process as you...

About the Authors

Evan Forster and David Thomas run Forster-Thomas, Inc., an educational consulting service.

Comment on this summary

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    S. M. 6 years ago
    It is great and help more in career
  • Avatar
    J. M. 8 years ago
    Very good tool for Bachelor's student
    • Avatar
      6 years ago
      yes of course and for masters too
  • Avatar
    P. H. 10 years ago
    I will definitly revisit this book during my MBA application process.

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