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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for serious MBA candidates
This book was given to me as a gift when I first told my family I was going to get my MBA. Honestly, I let it sit around until I actually started my applications and didn't know what direction to go in with my essays. Reading through this book really helped me to pin-point why exactly I wanted to get an MBA and what made me a unique candidate. After reading through it...
Published on November 5, 2011 by Aimee

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3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Helpful
Keep in mind that this book doesn't claim to do more than to help you with preparing essays (e.g. it doesn't cover what your business school resume should look like, which is fine since I have other resources for that), so it's not a complete guide to putting together your b-school applications. It gives some interesting essay examples and advises you to look deeply into...
Published on September 13, 2011 by Janice


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for serious MBA candidates, November 5, 2011
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
This book was given to me as a gift when I first told my family I was going to get my MBA. Honestly, I let it sit around until I actually started my applications and didn't know what direction to go in with my essays. Reading through this book really helped me to pin-point why exactly I wanted to get an MBA and what made me a unique candidate. After reading through it cover-to-cover, I also kept it handy throughout the process, from essay writing, to recommendation gathering, to preparing for the interview. I applied early to my top choice school, and I got in! The most important take-away from this book is that MBA programs are looking for a diverse class, so it does you no good to focus on your high test grades, good GPA, or stellar work experience. Those stats are already presented in your application. Make sure you highlight what makes you different and unique. I highly recommend this book for all people serious about applying to top, or even mid MBA programs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Right Risks and Telling Your Truth, August 13, 2010
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online2286 (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
MBA Reality Check is a refreshingly candid and colorful read with excellent pointers for anyone considering applying to an MBA program, grad school, or even college! Evan and David never hesitate to tell the truth and speak to their rich experience with hundreds of clients. So many books offer up a magic formula to writing the "right" essay or crafting the "right" application. Evan and David take an alternate path, one grounded in authenticity rather than posturing. The key to creating an application that will stand out from the pack is to craft an application that is genuine, that comes from a place of honesty, passion, vulnerability. The authors give dozens of examples of students who take the right kind of risks with their essays, and allow the admissions readers to get glimpses of their character, their fears, their deepest desires. Essays like these are innately inspiring, and they simply ring true. Authenticity is powerful!

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!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never read another book like this..., May 8, 2010
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
This book really worked for me for a lot of reasons. Least important but most interesting was the tone--these guys seem to really enjoy what they do and the book reads like they have a great time doing it. It helps to have a sense of humor when the subject matter is so heavy.

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! The only other thing that's missing is information about specific schools or helping you pick the best school for you. They recommend you go online to find that information. (They also said something like, "If you can't figure out how to do the research on your own, then you have no business in a top school in the first place"--I totally agree!)

The bottom line is, I loved this book. I feel a lot calmer now that I've "seen" other people go through the same worries I'm having and ask the same questions. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savvy, sassy guide to getting into MBA programs, February 4, 2011
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
This guide to winning a spot in an MBA program is useful and charming - and those two qualities are more closely related than you think. As the title suggests, the book attempts to correct numerous misconceptions applicants have about getting into their target business schools. Some of those myths and self-delusions are pretty tenacious, and education consultants Evan Forster and David Thomas have to be equally pointed to puncture them. That's where the charm comes in. Through vivid narratives of learning experiences (both their own and their clients') and hearty dollops of humor, Forster and Thomas make the arduous process of applying to MBA programs seem less daunting. Along the way, they provide specific advice on everything from how to help the people writing your recommendations to how to fit in the worthwhile extracurricular activities you need to stand out from the crowd. Naturally, getAbstract recommends this sassy but savvy book primarily to those considering graduate education in business, but also to those running MBA programs, to their admissions staffs and to corporate human resources officers who want to help guide their employees' careers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Honest!, August 6, 2010
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
As a candidate who has been aspiring to go for an MBA program for about half a decade, I own a lot of books on MBA admissions but this is the only one that I have read cover to cover.

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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, August 2, 2010
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
This book is a must-read for anybody applying to business schools, thinking about applying to business schools in the future, or simply wants to take stock of their past leadership and accomplishments and improve upon their leadership in the future.

I picked this book up in a bookstore on a Friday and had finished it by Sunday. I never thought that a book on business school essays could be such an eye-opening AND fun read! It is entertaining, and full of advice that extends beyond the scope of just business school applications. In fact, the thing I love most about this book is that it shows how anyone can be a leader, and how leadership is more than just volunteering a few times a year. It offers practical advice on how to make a difference in your workplace, school, or a charitable organization in a short amount of time. I thought this was life-changing advice!

In addition to helping candidates become leaders, the book offers very, very good practical advice - how to think about your essays, how to make sure you are telling "the right story", how to write about gaps in your scores or grades, and how to address learning disabilities. The best thing was, that all of this advice is presented in an entertaining way, mostly through stories about individuals the authors have worked with. By presenting their advice through the experience of actual people, the authors not only create engaging stories, but they also made me feel less alone. It helped me immensely to read stories about people who were similar to me - went to similar colleges, had similar work backgrounds, were facing similar difficulties in their applications - and hear how they were able to present themselves to become the strongest candidates possible.

I really loved this book. It has helped me immensely with my business school applications, as well as with my everyday leadership and my view on how I can make small and large differences in work and the community. Very life changing for such a page-turner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Those Considering B-School, May 3, 2011
This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
This is an absolute must read for those considering whether to go to B-School. I knew I wanted to apply, but I didn't have the first clue as to what schools I should consider, how to tackle the applications (most importantly, the essay's), or anything in between. After reading the book, everything began making sense. The writing style was perfect: Evan and David combined their passion and love for the topic with witty humor that made me less anxious about the intimidating application process. Rather than being told "do this, this, and that..." - like many other books of this kind - Evan and David used real-world examples of students they worked with, and successfully navigated to top programs. I also had a much better understanding of not only the B-School process (from applying, to waiting for a decision, and then what to expect following my acceptance/waitlist/rejection), but my life as a leader and the many accomplishments of my past. I can honestly say there is no chance I would have gotten into my top choice had I not picked up this book and followed their lead. This was an easy, extremely informative read that I recommend as strongly as possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking, January 29, 2014
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This review is from: The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You (Paperback)
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. Both need to read The MBA Reality Check. Auntie Evan drops his truth bombs with ruthless and hilarious accuracy, exposing the fallacies that sink WAY too many promising essays. If you don't see yourself in these pages, white boy ... you're just not looking hard enough.

And for those of you saying, I'm not a white boy ... just read the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for serious applicants, January 27, 2014
This book is a must-have for anyone serious about applying to any selective school. It will give you a straight, no BS perspective and will get you in the right mind-set. Getting into a top school is more of an art than a science, but to the extent possible, this book will make sure you're thinking about all the right approaches.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly honest breakdown, May 2, 2011
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I thumbed through many books in this genre and found MBA Reality Check to be the best and ultimately the one I purchased to guide me through the application process. The advice here puts the whole stressful process into perspective and helps you get to what is really important. Almost all of the advice in this book is exactly the advice my friend who does admissions at Booth gave me.

This book may be too brief or simplistic for those who want to be told exactly what to write or need many essay examples, but I think those books can also ruin your application if you are not careful to maintain your individual voice. This book tells you how to think not what to think and the sorts of things an admissions reviewer will conclude when he or she sees your application as a whole.
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The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You
The MBA Reality Check: Make the School You Want, Want You by Evan Forster (Paperback - April 6, 2010)
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