Andre, Wharton MBA

April 04, 2017  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andre, Wharton MBA The best investment I made for my business school application process success was hiring Shine to help me get into Wharton, my dream school. The experience and attention to detail throughout the resume and essay reviews definitely made my application stand out. Also, specific guidance I received on my Wharton group interview pitch really shows the breadth and depth of the company’s knowledge of the process. - Andre (Los Angeles, CA)

MBA Interview Recap

February 02, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Interview Recap By now, you should have heard from most of the business schools you applied to in Round 2 to find out if you’ve been invited to interview. If you’re lucky enough to be interviewing over the next few weeks, you won’t want to miss our recent blog posts covering MBA interviews, including whether you should interview on campus, what to ask your interviewers, and MBA interviews 101. To begin wrapping your head around the Dos and Don’ts, here are a few items to keep in mind as you prepare: Remember the basics of interviewing: dress to impress, make eye contact, speak slowly and concisely, and smile. Bring hard copies of your resume. Business cards are not necessary. Be friendly, positive, and courteous to EVERYONE you meet: student ambassadors, interviewers, and the receptionist. Be prepared to interview with someone other than who you were expecting. Know your own story inside and out. It should be consistent with what you wrote in your application. Listen to the question. Answer exactly as it was asked. A good framework to set up your examples is: situation, actions, results, takeaways. Demonstrate your passion for the school. If you’re not accepted anywhere else, it may quickly become your top choice. Avoid asking ...

What To Do After Submitting Your Round 2 Applications

January 15, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

What To Do After Submitting Your Round 2 Applications If you have just finished polishing and submitting your business school applications for Round 2, then congratulate yourself. What a way to kick off 2015! Now you may wonder, what are you supposed to do next? Here are a few ideas to keep you occupied: Prepare for Interviews Think it’s too early? Once you find out if you've been invited to interview, you won’t have much time to prepare. Get a head start now by researching commonly-asked questions and mapping out your responses. Spend time on interview report wikis where applicants have posted the questions they were asked, often just a few weeks ago in Round 1! Remind yourself of the details of several meaningful stories that could apply to a variety of interview question scenarios. Practice reciting them in the mirror or on video. Even better, hold mock interviews with friends or a Shine MBA admissions consultant. Thank Your Recommenders If you haven’t already done so, now is an ideal time to show your appreciation for the recommenders who have worked so hard for you over these last several weeks. Whether your budget allows for gift cards to a new restaurant, a nice bottle of wine, homemade treats, or a thoughtful card, your ...

What To Ask Your Interviewer

November 06, 2014  |   Blog   |     |   1 Comment

What To Ask Your Interviewer Pop Quiz:  When your MBA interview wraps up, and your interviewer asks, “Now, do you have any questions for me?” the correct answer is_______? Hopefully your response was, without any hesitancy, “YES.” The best way to demonstrate your interest in an MBA program is to ask thoughtful questions when given the chance at the end.  (Everyone likes to feel that someone’s interested in them, right?).  So how do you navigate this point of the interview and make a good impression? Think Positive Frame your questions in a positive light. Regardless of where this program falls on your wish list, at this point, you're still marketing yourself. (And this program may turn out to be your only option!)  So don’t put the interviewer on the defensive or express any hesitations you may have.  Questions like, “I am very excited by the tech concentration; can you tell me more about XX aspects of it?” will go farther than implying that you're still sizing up whether the tech program works for you. Think Passion Admissions officers want to feel that, if they extend an offer to you, you will be eager to accept.  Show them how much ...

MBA Interviews 101

October 29, 2014  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Interviews 101 Congrats, you've been invited to interview by one of your target business schools!  This is your first glimpse of positive feedback on your applications and should certainly make you feel good.  Though it's important to keep your head in the game.  The application process is not over, and an interview is definitely not a done deal. Most of you are already familiar with the basics of interviewing: dressing to impress, making eye contact, bringing hard copies of your resume, and showing interest in the organization. But are you familiar with what MBA admissions officers specifically are looking for?  Here are four tips to help you seal the deal: Show Your Likability When a business school interviews you, above all, they’re looking to assess your fit.  Beyond your impressive application, are you socially functional?  Can you play nicely in the sandbox with others?  Will you thrive there and make friends?  (One top business school’s directive to its interviewers: “No jerks or weenies.”)   So, smile warmly.  Build a connection.  Give examples that showcase your positive interactions with others.  And show them that you know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Do Your ...

EJ, Chicago Booth MBA

June 04, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

EJ, Chicago Booth MBA I very much enjoyed working together with Shine during my MBA applications, which resulted in five interviews and four acceptances (out of six applications) including a successful re-application to Chicago Booth. Throughout the application process I was constantly amazed by the speed of delivery, the structured approach and the level of attention to details from Hillary. I was based in Europe and Hillary was always prepared to work around the time difference, even if it means she will have to work outside of her office hours. Hillary showed a genuine interest in my application, and her passion as well as her sense of humour made our teamwork most pleasant. I strongly recommend Hillary's assistance. - EJ (London, United Kingdom)

Katrina, Purdue Krannert MBA

April 09, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Katrina, Purdue Krannert MBA Coming into the application process, I felt like I was drowning—I was unsure of what to do and how to go about doing it since I was starting late. I knew I was a challenging applicant coming from a non-traditional work background with less than two years work experience. After reaching out to Shine, Hillary became my lifesaver. She helped me understand how the process worked, what to do, and navigated me every step of the way. She knew exactly how to showcase my strengths while turning my weaknesses into great discussion points.  She was always reachable and willing to work around my short timetable. Beyond that though, she is very personable and works hard to understand who you are and what your desires are. She knew exactly what business schools are looking for in resumes, essays, and interviews and how to present my points in a direct, concise manner. Without her guidance, I honestly do not think I could have gotten as great of a turnout. Hillary’s support helped me garner interviews with all five schools I applied to and admission to three of them! - Katrina (San Jose, CA)

Andrew, Columbia MBA

April 04, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Andrew, Columbia MBA Hillary was my chief editor and partner for my entire MBA application process. She was always extremely happy to help throughout my year-long journey. From deciding where to apply, how to go about visiting schools and speaking to admissions, to the big-ticket items like writing my essays and prepping for interviews, she was there every step of the way. She differentiated herself from peers and mentors by knowing how the admissions teams think, and getting into the weeds working with my essays, and thinking about how to best craft my story. The thing Hillary really does best is not change an applicant's resume, life story, etc. (these things would be impossible), but highlight the best possible version of the applicant for admissions to see. There are auxiliary benefits to working with her as well; I believe my writing improved markedly after working with her on my MBA essays. Looking back to how much my application strategy changed after seeking her advice, I honestly don’t think I would’ve been admitted without her. - Andrew (New York, NY)

Branding yourself for business school applications

July 24, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Branding yourself for business school applications We believe that the MBA admissions process is inherently a marketing exercise.  This does not mean “spinning your story” to impress the admissions committee or telling them what you think they want to hear.  It means, presenting your authentic self in the best light possible.  It means taking a premium product (YOU) and wrapping it in beautiful packaging, showing off your true colors inside, then adding a well-written label that lets your personality shine through, so that you stand out from all of the others. And as any good marketer knows, the key to marketing success is a solid brand foundation. It’s impossible to market a brand effectively if you don’t know what it stands for.  Similarly, before jumping into the application-writing process, it’s important that you understand your own personal brand and have the same sense of understanding about yourself. You may have heard the terms “brand identity” or “brand positioning statement.”  Coming up with your personal brand is a very similar exercise.  While there are a number of meaningful elements that comprise the branding process, we recommend that you focus on these 5, and you’ll be off to a running start: Vision ...

Spotlight on Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

April 24, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Spotlight on Duke’s Fuqua School of Business Last week, in the midst of a vibrant Duke Alumni Weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time at the Fuqua School of Business. It was as if the perfect 70 degree weather and blue North Carolina skies were planted intentionally to impress, however it was my conversation with Director of Admissions Megan Lynam that shed the most meaningful light into what makes an MBA from Duke so special. Did you know: Fuqua operates on six-week terms, which means more opportunity for more classes—along with a more rapid pace of learning. If you’re the type of person who can juggle many balls in the air successfully, you’ll be primed for success at Fuqua. If not, this is a program that will teach you quickly to become adept at prioritization and time management. Fuqua students are very deeply engaged and have an important role in taking the school to the next level. Through opportunities such as the carefully-selected second-year Fellows, students can work alongside department leaders and greatly influence strategic decisions throughout the school. With campuses all over the world (London, Dubai, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, New Delhi), Fuqua is the first truly global business ...

Gratitude during the MBA admissions process

November 21, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Gratitude during the MBA admissions process With Thanksgiving upon us, this seems a perfect time to think about all of the people who have helped you in the MBA admissions process thus far. Very often, in the throes of essay writing and interview prep, we get lost in your own heads.  We’re sleep-deprived, focused on our own deliverables, balancing full-time jobs on top of it all.  Perhaps we’ve even felt the heartbreak of receiving disappointing news from one of our dream schools. We’re likely not thinking about too many other people right now. However, it’s never too early, or too late, to show your appreciation to those who have given their time and support to you through the admissions process. First and foremost, your recommenders.  They’ve spent hours upon hours hearing your story, preparing their write-ups, glowing about you, and doing everything within their power to help you get accepted to business school.  Secondly, your friends and family.  The ones who’ve diligently proofread your essays, encouraged you to aim high, listened to you complain, and missed spending time with you as you holed up with your computer.  Thirdly, all of the alumni, students, and faculty members you may ...

I’ve submitted my round one MBA applications, now what?

October 24, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

I’ve submitted my round one MBA applications, now what? Congratulations!  If you’re one of the motivated few to get your business school applications in early, you may be wondering what to do with yourself next.  Here are a few suggestions: Apply to 2nd round schools You’ve already got great momentum from all of your hard work in the 1st round; why not continue moving forward?  Worst case scenario, you develop an additional set of applications and end up with the fantastic news that you’ve “wasted your time” because you were accepted to your 1st round schools.  Best case scenario, you use these next few months wisely to write outstanding applications and create options for yourself--rather than scrambling at the last minute, if 1st round decisions don’t go your way. Prepare for interviews You may not know yet whether you have been invited to interview at your 1st round schools, but once you are, those interview dates come up quickly.  A great use of your time would be to begin preparing your responses to the long list of commonly-asked questions—which can be found through independent research or by working with an MBA admissions consultant. Mock interviews are also great confidence-builders, whether conducted ...

Networking and the MBA admissions process

September 26, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Networking and the MBA admissions process Does networking with the staff, students or alumni of your target business schools help you in the admissions process?   The answer is, it depends why you’re networking. If you’re interested in meeting school affiliates to help sway the admissions committee, you’re likely wasting your time.  Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and director of Stanford GSB Admissions, has indicated that those types of unofficial recommendations really hold no weight.  Given the many thousands of alumni they have, if every one of them reached out to the admissions office to “put in a good word” for a candidate… Let’s just say we wouldn’t encourage the practice. So how can networking with members of the school community benefit you?  By giving you insight and information that you can use in your application.  What better way to understand the culture of an MBA program than to talk with its current students.  If you’re interested in a professional club on campus, its president would be a great resource to help you understand the type of programming the club offers and the ways you could get involved.  Talking with local alumni can give you a great sense of a school’s ...

Developing an MBA application with impact

August 14, 2012  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Developing an MBA application with impact Essays get the lion’s share of the attention when it comes to business school applications.   They're the scariest beast to tackle, and they take the most time.  You might even believe that they hold the most weight, though they actually do not.  An MBA application is truly a package deal:  resume, data form, essays, recommendations, transcripts, test scores, interviews—the admissions committee has it all in front of them, and it all matters.  Your grand vision should be the combined impact of all of those items, not just the essays.   With plenty of blog posts to choose from about writing strong essays, here are a few thoughts on the rest of the application: Resume First, the resume.  Take the time to make it the strongest possible reflection of all of your professional and academic accomplishments.  Use this opportunity to highlight your extracurricular activities, community involvement, certifications and memberships, special skills, and even your personal interests.  Feel free to read our earlier blog post on what makes a strong MBA resume.  The point is, you’ve got valuable real estate in the resume to communicate items that you can’t otherwise fit into your ...

Tim, NYU Stern MBA

June 01, 2012  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Tim, NYU Stern MBA Hillary was a great help guiding me through the stressful MBA admissions process.  She helped me with each step, from school selection to framing my experiences into essays to the interview process.  Her knowledgeable advice helped me feel more confident throughout.  Most importantly, I got into my top choice NYU, among other top-tier schools like Chicago Booth and Yale! - Tim (Brooklyn, NY)