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The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You Paperback – AC-3, April 6, 2010
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I have personally broken out my copy of the MBA reality check on multiple occasions to illustrate to students what it looks like to take the right risks in their applications. The book beautifully lays out "before" and "after" examples from a wide variety of students with greatly divergent life experiences. This is incredibly instructive. There is no ideal essay; but there is an essay that goes deeper, that cuts through the marketing into the depth of one's experiences. I use this book to inspire my students- take the risk- put yourself out there. Don't be afraid of letting people in to see your wounds or your deepest desires; that's the most powerful tool you have to recruit and engage others. We're all part of the human team, and we can move and inspire others when we let our true colors shine.
I highly recommend this book!
But when it really counts, helping me get into a top program, that's where this book is truly effective. It works because almost every chapter is centered around a real person (or more than one person) who has already gone through the process and has all the same questions and fears that I have right now. Evan Forster writes about his one-on-one experience helping these people like it's a little short story. I found it both engaging and entertaining, but most of all, useful and practical.
The book is in three parts:
I) "Upping your game" in advance of applying (you will find this useful even if you're not applying for another year or two, or frankly even if you're applying for a job).
II) The essays. This part has some of the funniest chapters. I loved how you can read the applicants' personal struggles with the essay topics, how they resolved them, and then finally get to read the actual essay they came up with afterward. That's the best part--seeing how their thinking about the topics turns into an actual essay. I especially loved the "Sadie the Sasquatch" story.
III) After you've submitted the app. This includes waitlist and re-app stuff (hope I don't have to deal with these chapters, so I just skimmed them). Loved the chapter on interview skills.
There are also workbooks in the back that help you organize your thoughts and think about your life/experiences in new ways. Guys, if you read this, make the workbooks available online in PDF format!Read more ›
The MBA Reality Check is Fresh! It is not a slapdash effort having a 'one size, fit all' approach, instead it makes one truly re-discover himself. It makes one peel layers and layers of his personality, layers that one usually doesn't even know exist. Writing B-school apps is not a surgical process and that is exactly what Evan and David make you realize. It's about self-realization and demonstrating the real you.
The MBA Reality Check is Honest! David and Evan are in your face and unrelenting. They do not accept superficial stuff; as narrated in the book may times over they force their candidates to be truthful, to bring out their real self and not hide behind business jargon or say stuff that they think the Ad Com wants to hear.
The most important thing about the book is that it is NOT preachy, instead it uses humor to drive home their message.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an author of a few books and attest: if you're serious about your MBA, you need to get this book.
The Reality check is a great book. Read more
I have read several books on MBA admissions, and I have to say that this is the best that I have come across. Read morePublished 21 months ago by AL
This is my first review on Amazon but felt I needed to give a 5 star rating to this book. I used the book extensively as it goes through the entire application process from start... Read morePublished 22 months ago by john sullivan
David and "Auntie Evan" do a fabulous job out outlining what it takes to be a successful MBA applicant. I like the personal examples interweaved throughout the narrative. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Lisa Bleich
There are two ways of navigating a complex challenge; one is with a great map, and the other is by dumb luck. Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by Alfonso Carrillo M.
The MBA Reality Check is a very large part of me attending my first choice MBA program. I had good GMAT scores and what I thought was an interesting background, and I thought that... Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Terrence Whyles
David and Evan provide truly thorough and valuable advice. If you are interested in applying to an MBA program, I can't recommend this book enough. Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Robert Heller
MBA applicants are divided into two kinds of people -- those who think they know everything about the process, and those who feel completely overwhelmed by it all. Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by Benjamin Feuer