Get into top B-schools

Learn the process I used to get into Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and London Business School
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  • Lectures 20
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 9/2014 English

Course Description

This course lays out the strategy and framework that I used to get into four top business schools. I went through a selection process and ended up applying to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and London Business School. I was granted admission to Harvard, Wharton and London Business School and was wait-listed at Stanford, eventually being offered a seat there as well. I graduated from Harvard Business School in 2009.

I will walk you through my process, from selecting the business schools to distilling your vision and identity into a cohesive story, with major themes supported by your essays and letters of reference. A lot of people believe that you need to have a perfect background in order to get into a top business school, including perfect test scores. I disagree. Through my experience applying and getting into the top b-schools and through observing my classmates at Harvard, I can say that what matters most is how you convey your story and showcase your unique voice and talents. It's about orchestrating every single piece of your application to speak to and support that story.

In this course, I will explain the planning approach I took and walk you through putting together every part of your application. I will break down the timing and sequencing of each step, as well as highlight subtle components that most people ignore - for example, how to prep your recommenders. I will also provide the materials that I used and created when I went through my own applications. I did not use an admissions consultancy, neither did I spend much time on applicant forums. I did what worked for me and have since shared my knowledge and experience with friends who've asked for advice in how to think about the MBA applications process. I hope you find this course useful in your journey!

This course will cover:

* Preparing a timeline and setting deadlines

* School selection process

* Distilling your story, aka. your "manifesto"

* Arranging essay questions into common themes

* Using your manifesto to spin off individual school essays

* Using your manifesto to prep your recommenders

* Tips on interactions with the business schools

* Advice for interviews

* Advice for wait-lists

* Advice on the selection process

This course is NOT:

* A GMAT prep course

* A bag full of tricks about how to fool admissions officers. I don't believe in shortcuts.

* A guarantee that you will get into a top b-school. This course will give you a method of approach, but you need to do all the work yourself.

What are the requirements?

  • A desire to apply to an MBA program

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You will have identified the reasons why you want to get an MBA (or not)
  • You will know how to identify which schools are right for you and why
  • You will have a plan in place on how to create the best possible application for YOU
  • You will have synthesized your core story, which will be the pillar of your applications
  • You will have impressed your recommenders with such thorough prep that their letters of recommendations will be deep, meaningful and tied to your story
  • You will have saved time and endless re-writes by learning how to write lots of different essays from your core story
  • You will (hopefully) avoid some common pitfalls in communicating with the schools through the process
  • You will learn from my experience about interviews, wait-lists and school selection

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone thinking about applying to business schools
  • This course works best for people who have at least 6 months before they intend to submit their applications. The processes outlined here will not work for you if you're applying "under the gun".

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Laying the groundwork
Introduction to the course
Overview of the Roadmap
Key Questions to Answer
Why an MBA? Finding your answer
Why a top school
Assignment 1: Answering the key questions
Section 2: Planning and executing the applications
Step One - Nail your timeline
1 page

Fill out the attached application timeline grid - it will help you plan your application process and stay on track.

Selecting Schools
What to do when visiting schools
GMAT, Transcripts and other checklist items
Drafting your story, aka your "manifesto"
Assignment 3: Draft your "manifesto"
Extracting the key essay themes and drafting the essays
Selecting and preparing your recommenders
5 pages

Use my recommender prep package as an example and draft your own. Select your recommenders and sit down with them to prep them in advance of forwarding them the recommendation forms.

Section 3: After you submit the applications
It's not over yet - monitor your communication
Interviews - what it's really like
Waitlist and what to expect
Selecting your school and what to do if you didn't get in

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Instructor Biography

Lisa Kostova, Product Manager, MBA

Lisa Kostova is an experienced product manager residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2009 and her BA and BS in International Studies and Business from the University of Pennsylvania.

In her applications to business schools, she developed a framework and a process that allowed her to gain admission to all four schools where she applied to - Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and London Business School. She created the course "Get into Top Business Schools" to assist others in benefitting from the same process. Lisa is not an admissions consultant, nor did she use the services of an admission consultant when she applied to business school.

Throughout her career in investment management and technology, Lisa has led and mentored teams of analysts and product managers and has developed processes for training and developing one's skill-set and career progression. She was featured in the book "Cracking the PM Interview" and is an author of numerous articles on product management and leadership on Quora and other blogs. Lisa was also listed as a thought leader and collaborator to Professor Clayton Christensen's theory on "The Capitalists Dilemma", published in the Harvard Business Review in June of 2014.

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