I am the founder of GMAT Club, a massive online MBA community, representing 10% of the incoming class at top business schools this year. Here are my thoughts about the book:
- The main value: you can read the essays of the applicants who got into the HBS
- 41 recent essays; this is the new edition of the book and has been updated with 41 new essays (24 are carried over from the old edition)
- There is only one essay per person (both good and bad); you get more variety but at the same time only a fraction of the picture
- The only book with recent essays (all others have 5, 7, and 10+ year old essays)
- The main disadvantage: you see only a small piece of the puzzle and may potentially change your application for worse
- Analysis of each essay is very minimal and is not "official" per se
- Absolutely Zero advice/strategies/recommendations. The book starts off with essays
BOTTOM LINE: If you are going to a top 10 school, it is a $10 well spent. However, this book is only valuable as a reference/secondary guide. Find a good general book on essays such as Paul Bodine's Great Applications for Business School or How to get into the Top MBA programs by Richard Montauk and use them as the base and this book to compare your style, story, etc.
Some Other Suggestions & Thoughts:
1. Plan ahead - draft a schedule and stick to it
2. Find the program that fits you best. People get disappointed even with a Top 5 school. It is important to take from the school and also give
3. Understand your strengths and weaknesses - be real with yourself and with the admissions. Don't lie or make up things - I know it may seem like a better short term strategy but it backfires in the long run
4. Know your story and tell it well - to get to the top, you need to have a story that goes through your essays, recommendations, interview, and resume
5. Don't copy/plagiarize any essays - you won't be along and those people are quickly picked out and kicked out. You won't have a second chance. Also if your AWA essays are under 4.5 and your school essays are perfect, that will be a red flag.
Let me know if any questions about this book, I respond to comments.
BB, MBA, GMAT 750
Founder of GMAT Club
P.S. It is hard to rate this book - giving 4 stars as I don't think it deserves to be dinged for lack of strategies/advice - it has the most valuable part: real fresh essays from HBS admits.
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Saint Martin's Griffin,U.S.; 2nd ed. edition (25 June 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312550073
- ISBN-13: 978-0312550073
- Product Dimensions:: 13.3 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 99.8 g
- Customer reviews: 17 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 38,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)