Crafting an MBA-Caliber Resume

June 29, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Crafting an MBA-Caliber Resume What exactly are the top MBA programs looking for in a resume? Can it be two pages? Should I include an executive summary? How should it be formatted? Relax. These details won’t be the determining factor of whether you are accepted. However, a compelling, polished resume makes a positive first impression and sets the stage for the rest of your application. The following tips will get you off on the right foot: Format There are no requirements on style, so just use your best judgment. The key is to make it neat, professional well-organized, consistent, and easy to navigate. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with Times New Roman font. Traditional as it is, it’s gold standard for a resume. 10-point is the smallest you should go. Leave some white space around your margins, entries, and section breaks. It gives your content breathing room and avoids a cluttered appearance. The rule of thumb, among admissions officers and corporate recruiters alike, is one resume page per 10 years of work experience. That means, if you’re a typical full-time MBA candidate, your resume should be no more than one page. Enough said. Layout Don’t waste valuable real estate on an executive summary. ...

Pablo, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

June 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Pablo, Northwestern Kellogg MBA Hillary Schubach from Shine was extremely helpful in my application process. We developed a strategy for each school I applied to, we worked on my resume and we put together a great set of essays. I was accepted in all the schools I applied to and it was thanks to Hillary’s help and guidance. - Pablo (Monterrey, Mexico)  

Chris, Berkeley Haas MBA

June 01, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Chris, Berkeley Haas MBA I chose to work with Shine knowing that personal attention would be crucial to my success in the application process. From day one, Hillary went out of her way to really get to know my story, goals and aspirations. Her persistence in pushing me one step further on each resume and essay revision undoubtedly helped me achieve a cohesive and stellar application. Today, long after the application process has been completed, Hillary remains in close touch, a testament to her personal commitment to each and every person that she works with. -Chris (Denver, CO)

Rebecca, UCLA Anderson MBA

May 04, 2015  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Rebecca, UCLA Anderson MBA Hillary and the team at Shine were invaluable to my application process. As someone who was incredibly overwhelmed during the application season, Hillary was a guiding light through multiple iterations of essays and short answers. I know the resume prep we completed was not only instrumental to my overall application, but will also help me during fall recruiting. Overall, Hillary kept me calm, collected, and focused on the task at hand. I would highly recommend her to any future applicant, and know undoubtedly that my admissions decisions would have been different without her help. - Rebecca (San Francisco, CA)

MBA Application Planning Timeline: 2015-2016

March 02, 2015  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

MBA Application Planning Timeline: 2015-2016 Planning to apply to business school this fall? Though it’ll still be a few months before applications are released, there's plenty you can do now to get ahead of the curve and reduce your stress when crunch time approaches. 6 Months Before the Deadline If you still need to take (or retake) the GMAT or GRE, now is a great time. Not only can you give it your undivided attention but you also give yourself wiggle room should you need to take the exam again. If you’re lacking in certain aspects of your undergraduate profile (limited quantitative experience, poor grades in business courses), you could also use this time to ace a local or online course in finance, statistics, or accounting. It’s never to late to show the admissions committee that you can handle the academic rigors of the program. Additionally, this is a good time to reflect upon your leadership experience. If you fall short, find or create ways to take on more responsibility. Propose improving an area of your organization that is in need. Step up to be the captain of your recrational soccer team. If your personal passions have been pushed by the wayside, reconnect with them. Volunteer at the animal shelter. ...

Resume FAQs for MBA Applications–Part II

September 16, 2014  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Resume FAQs for MBA Applications–Part II Here is our second installment of resume FAQs, straight from our clients’ mouths. In the era of the incredible shrinking essay section, the resume has become increasingly important in the business school application process. Take the time to make sure yours is as polished a reflection of you as the rest of your application is. I’ve seen job entries written several different ways. Which one is right? While there’s no rule, we feel that the strongest job entries begin with a few lines describing your general roles and responsibilities. What were you hired to do every day? This paragraph can also include big picture details about the business, such as annual revenue and growth trends. Then below that, list three to five bullet points highlight your ownable achievements, notable projects or awards. This approach shows the reader not only what your job was, but exactly how you added value in that role. Be very specific about your accomplishments, quantify everything possible, and take credit where credit is due. If you created a system to save the company $125K in operating costs, say so. Even better, don’t just say that you did it; explain why you did it and how. Use vibrant details to describe the impact you ...

Resume FAQs for MBA Applications

August 20, 2014  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Resume FAQs for MBA Applications Applying for business school means crafting an outstanding resume that exhibits your talent, clarifies your work experience, and shows off your leadership roles, all while convincing them that you can handle the rigors of a top MBA program. Whew! While schools are not going to reject you for minor details, like whether you list your work experience before your education, there are some legitimate dos and don’ts. Here are some responses to some of our commonly asked questions:   How much time must I spend finessing this? It’s just the resume. Your resume makes the first impression in your application. In that moment, admissions officers develop a crucial first sense of who you are, what you do, what you've done, and how much value you added along the way. They get a glimpse into your organization skills (does it have a logical flow?), your attention to detail (is your punctuation consistent?), and your ability to communicate with someone outside your industry (is it written in Greek?)—all of which goes into their assessment of whether you’d fit in well to the business school environment. How long should my resume be? The rule is: one resume page for every 10 years of work experience. For the typical MBA applicant, this means your ...

Max, Emory Goizueta MBA

March 23, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Max, Emory Goizueta MBA I would recommend Shine to anyone, especially any former military officers looking to transition to business school.  Hillary was crucial in helping me quantify my military service in way that admissions committees would understand.  Her resume help was outstanding, and her help with essay writing and interview prep were essential to my application process.  She always made time when I needed her, and was a great sounding board for me during some of the more anxious times of the process.  Shine admissions is absolutely worth the investment.   - Max (Colorado Springs, CO)

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)

Katie, Northwestern Kellogg MBA

April 02, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Katie, Northwestern Kellogg MBA The team at Shine was integral to my admission offer to my dream program at Kellogg. I came to Shine after retaking the GMAT, but still feeling insecure about my competitive position. Coming from an non-traditional background with 10+ years of work experience I wasn’t sure how schools would consider my application. Hillary helped me to organize my application as a package that brought out my strengths in areas I considered weaknesses. She also encouraged me to look to schools that I had considered out of my reach, such as Kellogg. Tactically, the resume review and editing services were extremely helpful and the essay brainstorming and editing process was critical to my success. When I got off the phone from the Admissions Officer at Kellogg after receiving my offer of admission, the first and only thing I could think to do was text Hillary to say “Holy s*$^! I got in to Kellogg!!!” - Katie (Denver, CO)

Emily, Harvard MBA

March 06, 2014  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Emily, Harvard MBA I highly recommend Shine to anyone who is applying to business school. At Shine, you’ll work exclusively with the company’s founder, Hillary Schubach, whose insight into MBA admissions process is unparalleled. Hillary not only improved my resume immeasurably, but also provided thoughtful, school-specific feedback on each of my essays. Hillary’s guidance throughout the process made me a much stronger applicant than I otherwise would have been, and I’m incredibly appreciative for all her help! - Emily (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 ...

Insights from the 2013 MBA admissions conference

July 03, 2013  |   Blog   |     |   0 Comment

Insights from the 2013 MBA admissions conference After attending our annual AIGAC MBA admissions conference in Philly—and tweeting up a storm—I stand before you armed with insights directly from the mouths of the admissions directors who’ll be reading your future applications. In attendance were Wharton, Columbia, Tuck, NYU Stern, Yale, Cornell Johnson, Texas McCombs, UNC and others—as well as representatives from GMAC, test prep companies big and small, and fellow AIGAC consultants deliberating the hot issues of today’s admissions process. Here are a few of the highlights: We first dissected AIGAC’s annual applicant survey results, administered by Huron Consulting Group and completed by this past year’s applicant pool.  Among the takeaways:  respondents spent 70-110 hours on their applications (plus another 21-30 hours on GMAT prep)!  50% scored a 700+ on the GMAT.  And 57% used an admissions consultant last year—99% of whom would recommend that future applicants do the same. Of strong interest was the issue of candidates being asked to write their own recommendations—a definite admissions mistake.  (Our recent post “Securing the strongest MBA recommendations” tells you why, and offers our advice).  38% of survey respondents faced this very ethical dilemma last year.  Be on the lookout for ...

Mike, Dartmouth Tuck MBA

January 30, 2013  |   Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Mike, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Hillary is an extremely talented, honest, creative, and caring person. Through the homework exercise and in-person meetings, she truly got to know who I am as a person, which made a huge impact when she reviewed my essays and resume. Instead of just proofreading and watching the word count, Hillary helped me get the best out of my stories and experiences and helped me to put my best foot forward in the admissions process. Whenever I had questions about any aspect of the application process, she was always quick to respond and made me feel like I was her only client. I am so thankful to have worked with Hillary, and I will be attending my first choice, Tuck, next year. For anyone applying to any MBA program, I would strongly recommend working with Shine. - Mike (New York, NY)

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 ...

Dan, Wharton MBA

February 24, 2011  |   Featured,Testimonials   |     |   0 Comment

Dan, Wharton MBA From the moment I began speaking with Hillary, I knew I was in the hands of someone who really cared about my admissions process. She worked feverishly to get back to me in a timely fashion and always made me feel like I was her number one priority. When working with me on my resume, she really helped to spark my thinking as far as what was needed in each section and what message I wanted to get across to the school I was applying to. I strongly recommend Hillary's assistance in any part of the process as she is someone with great experience, very likable, and extremely professional. - Dan (New York, NY)