Scott Edinburgh
February 15, 2018

Candidate Success Spotlight: Columbia, Wharton, Booth and Darden Business School Admit with ~$300,000 in Scholarships

One of the most frequent questions I get from applicants is: what does a successful candidate profile look like? Naturally, there is no one answer, but in response to applicant demand, I post Candidate Success Stories from time to time. Here is the latest:

School: Columbia, Wharton, Booth, Darden

Scholarship: ~$300,000 Across 3 Schools

Gender/Ethnicity: White Female

Years of Experience: 8

GMAT: Low-Mid 700’s

Pre-MBA Experience: Media Business Development

Education: Top 20 State School

GPA: Above Average

Post-MBA Goals: Media, Entrepreneur

As a candidate with greater than average work experience, it was important that we established a strong and unique career vision. Equally as critical was clearly articulating the need for an MBA and the skills the candidate would develop during the program. A strong undergraduate GPA worked in her favor while an average GMAT score worked as a neutral here.

For this candidate, we took a very focused approach. Her past career in Media and the unique roles she held and contributions she made were carefully highlighted. Her future short-term career goal was then a logical progression from her current role. However, she stood out by including two key items. First, she shared a unique perspective and value add to the industry. Second, she had a specific and stretch long-term goal, not only stating that she wanted to launch her own company, but taking it a step further to include what she wanted to accomplish. This specificity was key to success. We also drilled down on the candidate’s strengths and included specific development areas, this clearly establishing the need for an MBA.

Finally, one of her essays included some unique passions and leadership experience outside of work. This not only showed that she was a well-rounded candidate but one who can follow her convictions. MBA admissions directors are looking for candidates who will make a unique mark. For a more experienced candidate looking for a full-time spot, this was extremely crucial for success.

This success story underscores the importance of a cohesive well thought out story and unique ownable career goals. Not sure how to position yourself for success?

Candidate Reflection:

Scott is thorough, logical and extremely knowledgeable about crafting applications to best showcase the candidate. For me, scholarships were key and I am confident it was Scott’s process that helped me achieve such incredible results. He turned what could have been a drag into a positive, introspective, and rewarding experience. Thank you, Scott!

Personal MBA Coach is here to help! If you would like individual and personal support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help!

As an MIT Sloan BS graduate and Wharton MBA grad, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Email me today at: