Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast
Summary: The Leading Independent Resource for Top-tier MBA Candidates
Happy Independence Day to those Americans who might be celebrating! This episode begins with a discussion of recent activity of LiveWire; a few waitlist decisions are still being released, while new applicants are beginning to report their applications for next season (at least for Columbia’s Early Decision round). Harvard Business School is scheduled to announce its 2+2 deferred enrollment decisions this upcoming week, closing out the 2021-22 decision-release season. Graham discussed the Economist ranking, and also highlighted an Adcom Q&A with NYU / Stern. your hosts also discussed GMAT numbers at top programs, highlighting a series published on Clear Admit. Graham also noted the upcoming MBA essay workshops, scheduled for July, signups are here: https://bit.ly/cambaessays Then Alex quizzed Graham with some 'real humans' lighting round questions. As usual, this episode features three ApplyWire entries: First up, we review a Taiwanese candidate residing in Canada. They’ve got a strong academic record, including a masters degree, and with 6 years of experience, it places them on the older end of the spectrum. Their GMAT score is solid but not outstanding for top programs. Their experience is accounting-focused, and they also are active in their communities, teaching financial literacy. Our second candidate has some quite interesting experience in the financial advising area, with three progressive moves. They have a specific goal in terms of a search fund, and their extra curriculars look positive. Alex and Graham worry about their GRE/GPA combination (320/3.19), this is the area they need to bolster, if possible. Finally Alex selects a candidate who has a low GPA (2.8) and a high GRE (330). Your hosts discuss the impact of these numbers on a candidate, and measures they may take to improve this aspect of the profile. This episode was recorded in Paris, France and Cornwall, England. It was produced in West Philadelphia, USA by Dennis Crowley. Please remember to rate and review this podcast wherever you listen!
This episode of WireTaps kicks off with Graham reflecting on his experience at the GMAC conference (and the party that Clear Admit hosted for fellow Graduate Management colleagues). He then highlighted a Real Humans alumni piece, featuring an MBA graduate from INSEAD who is now working at Bain. This led to a discussion on the need for 'focus' during your MBA vs. the advantages of freedom (exploring random activities with fellow classmates), and how the 80-20 rule may apply. Graham also noted the upcoming MBA essay workshops, scheduled for July, signups are here: https://bit.ly/cambaessays The opening segment wrapped up with Graham quizzing Alex with some 'lightning round' real humans questions. As always, this show features breakdowns of three real candidates. This week's applicants are drawn from recent ApplyWire entries: First up, Alex picks a candidate with decent numbers (3.75, 324) and very interesting work experience (corporate VC to non-profit) who is targeting the southeast region for their career. They’ve determined that Duke/Fuqua is their ideal option; Alex also suggests they explore 1-2 M7 programs to apply, and if successful, they can then make their optimal choice. Graham raised the issue of exploring other schools known for their placement in the southeast. This week's second candidate has stellar numbers (750, 3.97), is a chemical engineer (“wicked smart”), and has interesting work experience. They are weighing their options whether to pursue a full-time program (our recommendation) or a part-time program (less risky option), while targeting MBB consulting. Finally, Alex chose a candidate with decent numbers (325,3.5) who may retake the GRE. They also have very interesting work experience and strong extra-curricular activities. Like our second candidate, they are potentially over-represented in the applicant pool, so applying in the first rounds should help. This episode was recorded in Cornwall, England and Paris, France. It was produced in always sunny Philadelphia by Dennis Crowley. Please remember to rate and review this podcast wherever you listen and to 'stay safe everybody'!
This week's episode finds Graham in Baltimore, USA, as he attends the Annual GMAC conference to catch up with admissions industry professionals at all the major MBA programs; Alex is a little jealous (recalling fond memories of past GMAC conferences he attended). On the admissions front, Alex highlighted the increasing switch from activity from this season (dwindling waitlist movements) to next season (more admissions deadlines and essay topics being announced). Graham highlighted two Real Humans Alumni pieces, Michigan / Ross and Cornell / Johnson, both working for McKinsey. Graham also highlighted the upcoming MBA essay workshops, scheduled for July, signups are here: https://bit.ly/cambaessays As usual, this episode features a detailed breakdown of three candidate profiles, via ApplyWire: First up, Alex picks a candidate who appears to have very interesting experience as a congressional staffer. They are weighing their options between going to a part-time MBA (and continuing on the path they are currently on), or seeking a full-time MBA to pivot their career. Alex posits that they need not make that decision yet (they can apply to both options) and suggests they really push for a strong GRE score to compliment their already very interesting profile. This week's second candidate comes from Germany and has several degrees already (we discuss this challenge). He is also considerably older than his peers who are applying (we discuss that challenge). That said, there is a lot to like, if he can execute a flawless application. Finally, we have a first-generation “Brit” who has spent several years in the teaching domain in Taiwan. Like the prior two candidates, he is also quite unorthodox, but like those candidates, there is also a lot to like about their profile. All three candidates will face the challenge of showing fit, while they should each easily be able to stand out. This episode was recorded in Baltimore, Maryland and Cornwall, England. It was produced and engineered by the incredible Dennis Crowley in West Philadelphia (right near the best Vietnamese hoagie shop in Philly). Please remember to rate and review this show wherever you listen!
This week's podcast kicks off with a discussion about updates for the new application cycle, as leading MBA programs have started releasing their new admissions deadlines and updated essays questions. Speaking of b-school essays, Graham reminded listeners of the upcoming MBA essay workshops - scheduled for July - signups are here: https://bit.ly/cambaessays. Alex then highlighted the MBA admissions book that Clear Admit offers, which suggests candidates begin with a “personal inventory” before tackling their individual applications and essays. Graham shared three Real Humans alumni pieces, including an INSEAD graduate working at Amazon, a Northwestern / Kellogg working at BCG, and a Columbia graduate also with Amazon. As usual, this episode features three profile reviews, all taken from recent ApplyWire entries. First up, Alex picks a candidate who appears to have strong and varied international experience (hedge fund, family business, then consulting with MBB) which should help set them apart. But they are from an over-represented population, and their numbers are “average” at best for the top programs. Given that they may be waiting another year to apply, a GMAT retake should be a consideration. This week's second candidates has impressive government experience in Canada, and is planning to retake the GMAT to improve her current score of 710. If this score does go up, we think there’s an awful lot to like regarding their experiences and profile. Finally, this week's third candidate is a military candidate who has outstanding numbers and strong leadership exposure. His entry into the military might be less orthodox, but this shouldn’t limit opportunities in the admissions process. This episode was recorded in Cornwall, England and Paris, France. It was produced in West Philadelphia by Dennis Crowley. Please remember to rate and review the show wherever you listen!
Alex and Graham are back with another episode of WireTaps, kicking off this week's show with a discussion of the recent roll-out of several Clear Admit 'essay topic analyses' (which we prepare each season), as the likes of Tuck, Darden, HBS, CBS, and more have published their topics for 2022-23. Speaking of essays, Graham also announced the upcoming essay workshops, which run throughout the month of July and into August. The first workshop includes school representatives from Berkeley / Haas, Chicago / Booth, Dartmouth / Tuck, and Virginia / Darden. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/cambaessays Moving on from essays, Graham highlighted three Real Humans alumni pieces, including a Michigan / Ross graduate working at Amazon, an NYU / Stern graduate who has landed with McKinsey, and a Cornell / Johnson alum now with Morgan Stanley. We also discussed the recent waitlist activity on LiveWire, which we believe will continue, deep into the summer months. As with every episode of WireTaps, Alex and Graham review the profiles of three candidates - this week, all three are from ApplyWire. First up, Alex picks a candidate from Central Asia with strong manufacturing experience. They have also done some interesting things in their community which helps show they are well rounded. A great GPA (3.9) means that they just need a solid GMAT and can likely target the top programs. They note that Yale SOM is their dream program. Our next candidate has some really interesting “skunkworks”-type experience, and great numbers. We worry they’ve been in a hurry with their career and life, and hope they can show the requisite maturity to get the most out of their MBA, and their career. A big question that Alex and Graham tackle is how to weave their less traditional hobbies into their narrative. This week's final candidate is a first-gen female with eight years of experience and a solid GPA. She is waiting to take the GMAT, but also wondering about the opportunity of a GMAT waiver (if she fails to hit the 700 mark she is targeting). Alex and Graham offer thoughts on the matter of waivers, lower scores, and more. This episode was recorded in Paris, France and Cornwall, England. It was lovingly produced in the early morning hours, by Dennis Crowley in West Philadelphia, USA. Please remember to rate and review this podcast and to share with friends, family, and anyone who might enjoy!
Happy Memorial Day! This week's podcast kicks off with some discussion of latest wait list movements and anticipation of more activity over the next couple of weeks. Graham then discussed the Application Overview Workshops that have now concluded and previewed Clear Admit's July webinar series, which will be focused on each MBA program’s essays. Graham also noted a special webinar event on June 8, focused on entering the management consulting field (signups are here: https://bit.ly/caconsultingjune). Graham then highlighted two 'Real Humans Alumni' pieces; a Cornell / Johnson graduate working as a Technical Account Manager for Google and a Columbia MSFE graduate working as a Software Engineer (also at Google). Finally, your hosts discussed the news of the new dean at Michigan / Ross. For the WireTaps portion of the show, Alex selected three ApplyWire entries to review: First up, is a candidate with outstanding numbers (3.9/740) who appears to have done well at work. Alex and Graham had some thoughts regarding their goals, and would like to know more about their activities outside of work. With that said, all the information on hand does look promising. The second candidate this week has an “unconventional" career trajectory and will need to expand on the “whys” behind those career decisions. Their numbers will raise concerns at the very best MBA programs, so they need to attend to that. Graham and Alex also wanted to know more about their goals in green tech. This week's final candidate has a 730 GMAT, and despite that high score, we debate whether it’s worth a retake. For some candidates, this may well be the case. Their GPA is 'modest', and while it appears they have done well at work, their work experience is going to be a little 'over-represented'. We also have questions about their 'consulting in non-profit' goals. This episode was recorded in Cornwall, England and Paris, France. It was produced in 'always sunny' Philadelphia by Dennis Crowley.
Alex and Graham began this 150th episode of Wire Taps (podcast episode 234 overall) by reviewing some of the show's “greatest hits”. A huge thankyou to our listening audience for making this podcast a pleasure to produce, record, and share each week! Beyond the fanfare of a milestone episode, Alex highlighted more waitlist movement, and the anticipation of further activity in this area as Stanford and Chicago / Booth’s decision releases are due this upcoming week. Graham highlighted a new admissions tip which focuses on the role of supplemental course work (aka transcript repair); this includes a deep-dive look at HBS CORe and MBA Math. Your hosts also discussed our new initiative regarding reviews, you can add yours here: https://bit.ly/clearadmitreviews Graham then highlighted the ongoing Application Overview workshop series he is hosting. This upcoming week includes Stanford, London Business School and UCLA Anderson. Signups are here: https://tinyurl.com/clearadmitevents For the WireTaps portion of the show, Alex picked out three ApplyWire entries: First up is a candidate who is focused on the environment and water management, both academically and through her career. She is a first generation African immigrant to the UK. She has really good goals that fit well with her profile. Essentially a lot to like, if she can perform well on the GRE. This week's second candidate is another first-generation applicant, originally from Morocco, now based in France. He is debating whether to pursue another masters program now, in France, or wait a few years to target top MBA programs around the world (Alex and Graham push for the latter choice). Finally Alex picks a candidate who is also first-generation (a theme this week!), who is targeting Harvard Business School only. Graham and Alex strongly advise her to also consider a few more programs which can absolutely help her in terms of her goals. This episode was recorded in Cornwall, England and Paris, France. It was produced, engineered, and cared for by Dennis Crowley in glorious West Philadelphia. Thanks for listening and please tell at least three people to tune in!
Alex and Graham kick off this week's episode with some discussion around the waitlist movements they've observed over the last week on MBA LiveWire. It is becoming clear that MBA programs are going to their waitlists in good numbers, with likely more to come. Graham highlighted the most recently published Real Humans alumni pieces, including a Columbia graduate who has landed at Microsoft, and a Northwestern Kellogg grad who is now in a role with Amazon. Graham also discussed a new initiative we have launched, where we are seeking reviews regarding your experience with Clear Admit. We ask you to add yours, here: https://bit.ly/clearadmitreviews. Graham also highlighted the ongoing Application Overview workshop series he is hosting. As a reminder, this upcoming week includes Columbia, Dartmouth / Tuck, Chicago / Booth, and Virginia / Darden. Signups are here: https://tinyurl.com/clearadmitevents! For the WireTaps portion of the show, Alex selected three ApplyWire entries: First up, Graham introduces a candidate who is working in asset management sales (decent emphasis on business development). She has a masters in finance, after completing an unrelated undergraduate degree at a top UK university, and she worked throughout her studies. The strong ECs also help bolster this candidate. Assuming a decent result on the GMAT, Alex and Graham feel confident she can target top programs. This week's second candidate works in Australia, and is from New Zealand. She has transitioned from the legal profession to consulting, with a longer term target of Fintech. Her super GMAT will be an asset as she makes the case for b-school despite a legal background. Our final candidate is a military pilot, who has a strong technical undergraduate degree and is seeking a product management role post-MBA. He is considering dual degrees, as well as a straight up MBA. With a super GRE of 322, and a strong GPA, much like our first two candidates, there is a lot to like....but does he need the dual degree or will an MBA suffice? This episode was recorded in Paris, France and Cornwall, England. It was produced and engineered by Dennis Crowley from his top secret studios in West Philadelphia. Thanks for listening!
Graham and Alex are back for another Wire Taps episode as Round 3 decisions continue to roll out (this upcoming week includes UPenn / Wharton, Northwestern / Kellogg, Michigan / Ross and Berkeley / Haas). Your hosts discussed anticipation of significant movement on the wait lists over the next few weeks and Graham put Alex on the spot with a question about the application process. Graham then highlighted two Real Humans alumni pieces; the first a Ross graduate working as an Associate at McKinsey, and the second a Stanford graduate working on matters of energy transition and decarbonization for Deloitte. Graham also noted the Application Overview workshop from last week (and what he learned about Haas’s approach to the standardized test), and the upcoming workshop this week which includes CMU / Tepper, Cornell / Johnson, Duke / Fuqua, Upenn / Wharton and Texas / McCombs. Signups are still open at https://tinyurl.com/clearadmitevents As always, this episode includes detailed analysis of three real candidates - with all three sourced on ApplyWire this time. First up, Alex selects a military officer with Ranger training and a Physics degree. His numbers are very respectful for the top programs, and his experience in Cyber Security appears to be quite interesting. Alex and Graham discuss the dilemma of how a candidate approaches discussing their experience when it is “classified”, noting the importance of sharing the experience’s impact, rather than the identifiable details of the experience itself. This week's second candidate is a food scientist whose aspirations might lead them to the World Food Program. She has a little hurdle to overcome, regarding a failed class during graduate coursework, coupled with a decent-but-not-outstanding GMAT. Let’s hope her nerves don’t get the better of her during a planned GMAT retake. Finally, Alex picks a candidate with great “counting stats” (GRE of 336, GPA of 3.85 and 5 years of experience in the Energy sector) - but a somewhat puzzling selection of target programs, as they target the technology sector in the northeast of the U.S. This episode was recorded in Paris, France and Cornwall, England. It was produced and engineered by Dennis Crowley, the 'Steve Albini' of podcast audio. Thanks for listening and please be sure to tell at least 3 people you know about this show!
This episode of the podcast kicks off with Alex and Graham discussing the Round 3 decisions that are starting to roll out, noting how it’s a much shorter cycle than the prior rounds with rapid turnarounds. Graham then highlights several 'Real Humans: Alumni' pieces, including a CMU / Tepper graduate working at Google, a Cambridge / Judge alum who has landed with Microsoft, a recent INSEAD graduate who chose the Boston Consulting Group, a Cornell / Johnson alumna who also works for BCG, and a USC Marshall alum working Google. Graham also mentioned the first of our Application Overview workshops, scheduled for this Wednesday. Signups are still open at https://tinyurl.com/clearadmitevents. Programs attending this first event are Berkeley / Haas, INSEAD, Yale SOM and Michigan / Ross. As always, the show features three real candidacies selected by Alex - and this week they are all from ApplyWire entries WireTaps goes "all in" on the new application cycle. First up, Alex has chosen a candidate with a 333 GRE, a master’s degree from a “rural ivy” and entrepreneurial (and related) experiences in China. They are seeking an MBA to pursue consulting in the health care space. Alex and Graham think there is a lot to like, especially regarding the transition to China. This week's second candidate has a very unorthodox pathway to the MBA; this includes not completing an undergraduate degree and experience in the sports industry; they are also from Greece. They do have a master’s degree, and their GMAT is a superb 750. They will really need to execute well on their applications, and fill in the gaps we couldn’t discern. But there are possibilities... Finally, we have a candidate from Canada, with what looks like very strong engineering experience and very decent extra curriculars. Their post MBA goal includes being in Europe, so they are looking at a mix of Euro-based programs and top US-based programs. We think they should take a flyer at HSW and possibly INSEAD, and if they think there is improvement in their GMAT, then retake it. This show was recorded in Paris, France and Cornwall, England. It was produced by Dennis Crowley in glorious West Philadelphia. Thanks for listening and please be sure to rate, review, and share this podcast!
Wire Taps 230—Enlisted military candidate with a subpar GPA. Military officer with a modest GRE score. Haas ($$) versus Wharton ($) and HBS for tech entrepreneurship.
Wire Taps 229—Airline pilot seeking MBA. Top ORM candidate, needs to apply early. Darden versus Kenan Flagler ($), McCombs ($) and Simon ($).
Wire Taps 228—Should we question a 730 GMAT?! Is 2 years of work experience enough? Anderson versus McCombs and Rice, for clean energy finance.
Wire Taps 227— History major, Marine, seeking pivot to investment banking. Health care candidate, targeting 750 on the GMAT. Kellogg versus Yale, is it a no-brainer?
Episode 226: Admissions Director Q&A with Lisa Rios of NYU Stern