MBA Archives - Write Track Admissions
Staying Competitive in COVID – How MBA students can keep up with jobs during COVID
Reading Time: 5 minutes     There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a drastic impact on the job market. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute has already stated that the impact will continue to be most noticeable in the leisure and hospitality, social spending, manufacturing, and education and health services sectors, with the private sector taking the biggest hit.    As we face this general econ economic downturn, many will be faced with the J-O-B question – that is, how will they apply for a job like they had previously planned, and how will they stay competitive when doing so, in light of COVID-19?   According to the Economic Policy Institute, the first thing to note is the change in ongoing MBA programs. Business schools have moved to online instruction, shut down global and on-campus events, and taken a hiatus on MBA admissions events everywhere. This will likely set back future applicants, while also posing challenges to current MBA students as they struggle to capitalize on their education which has taken such a drastic change. It is also inevitable that alongside MBA admissions activities, the MBA job market, which was once overflowing with opportunities, will face a harsh downturn, as jobs in general are put on hold in favor of quarantine.    This does not mean the job hunt must come to a grinding halt for MBA students. Here are Write Track Admissions’ top things to do in quarantine to help you remain competitive in the job market:   

1. Be resourceful. There are still job opportunities that you may not think exist. Here are just some of the sectors that are actively hiring: The Government, Medical Device Companies, Essential Retailers (i.e. pharmacies, grocery stores), Delivery Service Providers, Online Health Services. There is also a comprehensive list of start-ups hiring And here are just some of the larger companies that are actively recruiting:


2. Ask for informational interviews via Zoom or Google Hangouts, or a different video/calling platform. Even if a company is not hiring, you can still get your name on their radar by conducting an informational interview from home. If you want to learn more about how to get your foot in the door, check out Write Track’s recent Linkedin Live on How to Stand Out and Get Hired in the Corona Economy!


3. Apply for funding. If you’re worried about continuing to fund your MBA career and subsequent job search period, apply for industry specific funds or lower-tier fellowships.


4. Take some time to sit back and plan. If you can enter into your job search with a clear path, it will set you out as having forethought and staying active while facing a challenge (aka a global pandemic).


5. Be innovative and entrepreneurial, and try to address a need that will likely continue well after this crisis. After all, these companies did just that in the last economic crisis and now many are helping us weather this current one:

  If you are still feeling unsure of how to navigate the MBA job market due to the effects of COVID-19, contact Write Track Admissions for help!   Aly Hartman,  Communications DirectorWrite Track Admissions
Online vs. In-Person: Should you do an Online MBA (COVID), or just defer all together?
Reading Time: 5 minutes   There are two clear paths (below) that have emerged in light of COVID-19 for those planning to pursue their MBA for Fall 2020. Whatever path you choose, remember there are definitely advantages to entering an MBA program in 2020. Historically, recessions have seen an increase in higher education enrollment. This is largely due to students wanting to be prepared to re-enter the workforce as the economy opens back up again following a financial crisis such as the COVID-19 one (you can find out more about how to get ahead of the job market with an MBA from our recent blog post).    
  • Pursue the traditional, brick and mortar degree as scheduled, and run the risk of it being partially online due to the pandemic extending into the next school year
  The obvious factors here are cost and quality. Many students choose to study in a classroom rather than online to reap the benefits of engaging with diverse and accomplished colleagues, joining student clubs, building networks, and experiencing the campus environment of their chosen university. Applying to a brick and mortar program right now leaves you at risk of missing out on these benefits for at least part of the degree, as virus concerns are still running rampant and many programs have yet to decide whether or not they will extend their online curriculum into the next school year. However, it is important to note that many top universities like Harvard and NYU are currently facing petitions from their students asking for decreased tuition rates – and have yet to come to a decision on whether or not they will be offering their online classes for a decreased rate. Be sure you are keeping up to date with news surrounding this decision for your institutions of interest, as it could end up working in your favor financially.     
  • Defer for a year until the future of your program is more set in stone
  Deferring for a year will give you some much-needed clarity and certainty. Since virtually all campuses are closed indefinitely, there is no way to truly know where you will be at the start of the next school year. Taking a gap year before tackling your MBA might be best if you need the time to solidify aspects of your personal life – money, family, health, career, etc. It can also give you more time to perfect your application.    For those applying for Fall 2021, there is less worry that the pandemic will be disruptive to their academic careers. However, you never know what may happen and it may be worth looking into online MBA degrees. Pursuing your MBA online entirely is better for students’ pockets, as online degrees tend to be far less expensive. Furthermore, an online MBA offers more flexibility, which is desirable for some during these uncertain times.    At the end of the day, whichever path you take is up to you – do some soul searching and discover which option best meets your personal goals and needs. If you need some guidance on this matter, contact for help.    Aly Hartman Communications DirectorWrite Track Admissions  
MBA and COVID-19: Everything you need to know about how the pandemic will affect you
READ TIME: 5 minutes With top MBA programs at Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, and Columbia (amongst others) moving their classes online indefinitely, it is no wonder applicants are questioning whether or not they should be shelling out for an MBA from a prestigious program when they could get what is to be considered the same education from a B-level school at a lower cost.    First things first, the reality is online classes do not have much bearing on the prestige of the program as all programs are in the same boat at the moment. That being said, do not let the national pandemic deter you from applying to top MBA programs.    In 2009, during the last economic crisis, GMAC reported that there was a surge in GMAT exams with the attendant increase in MBA applications:    Indeed, if conventional wisdom holds, applications increase in economic downturns when it becomes harder to find a job, maintain employment, or receive a promotion, leading professionals to apply to business school. The idea is MBA applicant would sit out the recession and then hit the ground running on the next economic upswing as freshly minted MBA graduates who have sufficiently upskilled, networked, and pivoted into a new role/industry/market.    To this point, GMAC conducted critical research and found that despite the recession, there will likely be an uptake in applications to MBA programs, and as such, programs will become more diverse, with one-year programs taking the cake and seeing a rise in popularity.    Further, it is critical now more than ever to future-proof your career by gaining the skills necessary to ensure your job position is essential. With the new hard and soft skills gained, the economic downturn will likely see businesses relying more heavily on MBA students to fill their ranks in an attempt to re-energize their companies and help with their digital transformations to withstand future economic swings that may impact how business is traditionally conducted.    For those applying, it would seem like the biggest impact of COVID-19 would be on testing. However, with the recent move to an online format for the GMAT, the closure of testing sites will be of little consequence for those already planning to take their GMAT online. Beginning in April, students will be able to take the GMAT online from home. For those anticipating taking the GMAT at a testing site, you will have to closely monitor the status of your local testing center in order to determine whether or not you can take the test in-person. Though note: many top MBA programs are going TEST OPTIONAL, so make sure to look into to avoid even having to take the GRE/GMAT!   More importantly for those applying will be the changes in MBA admissions deadlines. The onslaught of COVID-19 has rendered the traditional MBA admissions rounds relatively obsolete as schools around the U.S. continue to push back their deadlines and add additional admissions rounds. This has created an MBA admissions cycle entirely unique to COVID-19.    Now more than ever it is important to ensure your MBA application is as robust as it can be if you are intending to apply during one of the upcoming admissions cycles. Check out our blog piece on how to craft an MBA application that stands out from the crowd.    If you are still overwhelmed with all the changes and complications COVID-19 is bringing to the MBA world, contact for help.    Aly Hartman,  Communications DirectorWrite Track Admissions
Should I be deferring my acceptance?
There are plenty of reasons to want to defer your acceptance to a college, law school, or an MBA program, especially with the projected lasting effects of COVID-19. Perhaps your health or the health of a loved one depends on it. Maybe you did not receive enough scholarship funding and need the extra time to bolster your bank account. A career opportunity could arise that you need to undertake in order to become a better student or professional. Most of all, you might be experiencing extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19   Universities typically grant deferment on a case-by-case basis. For example at the University of Utah, such circumstances include illness, military/humanitarian/religious service, and financial restrictions.    The Deferment Process works as follows: You receive your acceptance, pay your enrollment deposit, get in contact with the admissions office regarding deferring, gather supporting evidence, and receive the university’s decision after everything has been submitted. If you are granted a deferral, you must follow the university’s requirements   Deferring for a year is not uncommon, and there are definitely some ways of going about it that are better than others. Write Track Admissions has compiled some tips to help you successfully defer your acceptance with minimal consequence.   

1.Before deciding whether or not deferring is right for you, it is imperative that you explore all facets of your university’s deferring policies, such as:

    1. Is there a deadline for requesting deferment?
    2. What documentation do you need for your request?
    3. Do you need to document how you plan to spend your deferred time?
    4. What will you need to re-enter the program? 
    5. Are there re-entry deadlines? 
    6. How will the deferral affect your financial aid when you re-enter?

2. Timing is critical – write and send your letter of continued interest (LOCI) as soon as possible after receiving your acceptance letter and mention in the letter your request for deferment. Don’t wait until the last minute for this as there may only be a finite number of deferrals granted by the institution/program.


3. Craft the deferring essay with precision and care. It should include the following points (you may be asked for substantiating documentation for your deferral request): 

    1. Why you are seeking to defer
    2. Why you need to defer for the year (health, finances, career, COVID-19, etc.)
    3. What you will be doing during the deferred academic year
    4. How your deferrence will help you become a better student/candidate
    5. How the school/program will remain integral for your career and future

4. Uphold professional writing standards. Be concise, specific, and ensure that you address the “Why.” Prioritize quality over quantity, and stay away from composing a winded and emotional rendition awash with “Woe is me.” Be practical and calculated.


5. It is recommended that you try and visit the institution you are trying to defer, but due to the quarantine regulations, you can opt for a phone call or video conference. Adding this personal interaction to your deferment can help paint you in a better light to the one reviewing your request. You can also mention the discussion in your letter that will go to the program for review. You can also have a candid discussion about deferment with the name of the person on your admittance letter


6. You should have a Plan B in case the deferment is not granted. You may first try to appeal the decision but if that is not granted then you will have to make a judgment as to whether you attend despite why you sought the deferment or opt to let the acceptance lapse and reapply as a new candidate the following year. 

  Deferring for a year is not the end of the world. In fact, according to the Gap Year Association, admissions departments anticipate and prepare for deferment every admissions cycle. The most important thing to do is tackle it in a professional and timely manner. And if you choose a Gap year make sure it is worthwhile so that you can come back even more prepared to excel as a student. In fact, we created a blog piece on how to best leverage your gap year to help guide you in your decision.    If you need help deciding if deferring is right for you, or if you plan on deferring and would like help crafting your statement, contact Write Track Admissions for help!   Aly Hartman,  Communications Director – Write Track Admissions
Measuring Up: How does the GRE compare to the LSAT/GMAT, and which one is right for you?
Reading time: 5 minutes When it comes time to apply to Law School or an MBA program, everyone must take a standardized test. Recently, more and more schools have allowed students to opt for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) versus the LSAT (for law school) or the GMAT (for business school). This has caused some confusion among test takers as to which exam is best suited for you while still giving you a competitive edge for that particular graduate school!  
Setting the baseline: GRE 
The GRE Format: The GRE is a multiple choice, computer based standardized exam that measures the individual’s readiness for graduate school. It consists of a 60 minute Analytical Writing section (2 essays), two 30 minute verbal reasoning sections, two 35 minute quantitative reasoning sections, and a 30-35 minute experimental section that is either math or verbal. In total the GRE is about 3 hours and 45 minutes long on its own. It is more widely accepted for all graduate programs. A huge benefit of the GRE is that it allows test takers to save and return to particular questions while taking the test. If the pressure of having to answer a question immediately really gets to you, the GRE could be the better option for you if indeed the schools you are applying to accept it!   
Business School: GMAT 
The GMAT Format: The GMAT is a multiple choice standardized test reserved solely for MBA programs (and in some cases Masters in Finance etc.) available both on paper or on the computer, though it is more common taken electronically. You can register and take the GMAT whenever you want. It consists of one 30 minute Analytical Writing section (1 essay), one 30 minute Integrated reasoning section, one 62 minute Quantitative section, and a 65 minute verbal section. The total estimated time is 3 hours and 7 minutes, not including breaks.    GRE vs. GMAT: Some schools strongly prefer the GMAT (so do your due diligence and check to see what the majority of your schools prefer), while others like Stanford’s Graduate School of Business weight them equally. The GMAT’s quantitative section is said to be markedly more difficult than those on the GRE. They are far more reliant on honed math skills, so if math is your forte, the GMAT is a great way to demonstrate those quantitative skills. Further, the GRE has more geometry based questions, whereas the GMAT seems to favor logic questions. Sometimes, firms in the management consulting or investment banking industries require prospective employees to submit their GMAT scores. You may find it easier to just knock out two birds with one stone when applying to MBA programs if you also see yourself in one of those industries in the future. Also note, if you are applying to dual degrees such as an MBA/MPA, or applying to those degrees separately, then the GRE is strategically a better test, as it covers your admission into not just the MBA program but also any other graduate programs you choose, basically allowing you to diversify your options.   
Law School: LSAT
The LSAT Format: The LSAT is 175 minutes long, and the writing sample is 35 minutes long. When you factor in the time for administrative formalities and breaks, the whole process takes between 4 – 5 hours. It is now offered up to 8 times a year (double the number from previous years), and consists of two 35 minute logical reasoning sections, one 35 minute analytical reasoning section, one 35 minute reading comprehension section, one 35 minute experimental section, and one 35 minute writing sample section. The writing sample is unscored but still sent along with your LSAT scores to any law schools you apply for. Starting with the October 2019 test, the LSAT will be administered entirely digitally. LSAT vs. GRE: Law programs at some schools, such as Harvard and The University of Arizona, have decided to accept both the GRE and the LSAT to give graduate students more flexibility and broaden their applicant pool.    The LSAT is accepted at all law schools, whereas the GRE is only accepted at a select few. Though both are administered digitally, the GRE does have more commonly available paper options. Law school applicants who excel at Math and/or Vocabulary, might want to sway towards the GRE, as these sections are not included in the LSAT, thereby giving the test takers the opportunity to leverage their quantitative and verbal reasoning skills. However, the LSAT does include logic problems, where the GRE does not. If your law brain loves logic, the LSAT may be easier for you.     At the end of the day, go with whatever test you think is going to work to your advantage in terms of substance and performance results. The LSAT/GMAT isn’t for everyone, and if you fall into this category, it’s helpful to be aware that the GRE may be an option, but always keep in mind, which school accepts what exam. Emily Gold Waldman, an Associate Dean at Pace University, says that Pace’s Law program began accepting both the GRE and LSAT with the goal of giving more options for different types of test takers.    If you can’t seem to figure which test is strategically best for you, contact Write Track Admissions for a free consultation to solve this riddle! Remember this decision and your performance on the “better” standardized test can certainly have a huge influence on your chances of admissions.   Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions
Time will Tell: Does applying earlier REALLY Help?
Reading Time: 4 minutes –  Every MBA program as its own timeline and number of rounds. Though most have 3, some have more, and almost all of them operate on a different schedule. Some schools, like HBS, have their first round deadline set as early as September 4. It is imperative that as an MBA applicant, you do not force yourself into a later round because you were disorganized or unprepared. However, waiting to apply during a later round can also be a strategic move. Here at Write Track, we have broken down the most commonly used 3 Round Process for you! mba timeline from poets & quants (Acceptance rates by round. Limited sampling of GMAT Club Users. Source:
MBA Round 1
Applying during the first round exemplifies just how serious you are about a particular school. It implies that you have planned on attending the school, and believe your request for their consideration is strong. Statistically, first round applicants see the highest chance of acceptance, as schools typically take the largest percentage of applicants from the round 1 pool, which is also most often smaller than the round 2 pool. According to a former Duke Fuqua Admissions Committee Member
In the end, there are more slots available in round one and more opportunities to be placed on the waitlist if that’s the route the admissions committee decides to take”
So first round applicants have identified their top choices and are prepared to submit their application before the majority of other applicants do.    Write Track Recommendation: If you have a great GMAT score, solid Letters of Recommendation, and a unique profile, or you identify as a weaker candidate that wants all the advantage possible… APPLY ROUND 1!
MBA Round 2
Round 2 is almost always the largest applicant pool – but the odds of acceptance are relatively similar to the first round. Furthermore, a solid GMAT score can usually ensure that the increase in competition is not too huge a deal. Through research and experience we have found that some applicants utilize this round to apply to schools that are lower on their list, while others will purposely wait to apply until this round because of a nontraditional background and a sparkling personal statement, which in most cases will shine extra bright. Taking the extra time to polish your application to perfection can also work to your advantage.    Write Track Recommendation: If you need to wait to (re)take the GMAT to get a solid score, spend time getting that stellar Letter of Recommendation, and work on an outstanding application to a wide variety of programs (Reach – Target – Safety) … APPLY ROUND 2!
MBA Round 3
A highly unusual background or sheer desire to attend an MBA program are really the only reasons to wait until the third round to apply. The odds of acceptance are lowest in this round, and there is typically less scholarship money to be given out. Extremely strong candidates may still have a fair chance of acceptance, but the third MBA round is the most competitive and by all measures will limit optionality. Most people applying during this round only have a chance if they have used MBA Admissions Consulting services.   Write Track Recommendation: If you are eager to go to business school, regardless of the rank and can not wait another year … APPLY ROUND 3!   If you find yourself stuck in a later round, contact Write Track Admissions for cutting-edge MBA application assistance. We’ll ensure your application is at its strongest point so you can remain competitive even in the third round.   Aly Hartman | Write Track Communications Officer Write Track Admissions
6 Pro Tips to Get Ahead for Round 1 MBA Applications!
Reading Time: 6 minutes –   
1) Ask yourself: Is MBA right for you?
Choosing to undertake an MBA program is an arduous adventure. It is time consuming and can take a toll financially in the short term, but the long term benefits of having an MBA under your belt are insurmountable. Furthermore, certain companies, such as Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., or BCG almost universally expect their hires to have an MBA background. It is important to research MBA programs thoroughly, visit schools, and see if it truly speaks to you, because when it comes down to it, admissions committees can easily tell whether or not you are applying with a true desire to study business at an elevated level.   
2) Figure out which MBA Round you want to apply to and plan accordingly.
Schools that utilize MBA admissions rounds typically host three rounds. It is recommended that you apply in the first round as applicants usually have a higher chance of acceptance in this round. While it is by no means detrimental to apply during the second round, the applicant pool is larger, and thus less applicants are accepted. Experts advise against applying in the third round unless you have an insurmountably unique application due to your professional experiences, identity, or diverse background. Note, even if you submit your application right before the end of a given round deadline, you are still okay. Schools that utilize MBA rolling applications review should be applied to sooner rather than later since the later you apply, the higher the risk that the class seats fill up.  
3) Study, Study, Study For the GMAT!
Though low test scores will most certainly keep you out of the school of your choice, stellar test scores won’t necessarily get you into that school, either. A number of other factors, such as your essays, Undergraduate grades and classes, Undergraduate school prestige, Undergraduate GPA, MBA program interview, Resume, and letters of recommendation all have a hand to play in your admissions review. If your GMAT score is well above average, you’re already halfway there. You just need to round out your application with the aforementioned “other factors.” However, the same applies if your GMAT score is sub-par. You can tailor your MBA application to fill out that particular weakness. If you are really struggling with the GMAT, try taking the GRE! Though it is not as widely accepted, it is still a viable standardized tests. Either way, you need to be wholly aware of how your test scores measure up to other applicants at the school you are applying to.   
4) Review your resume and recommendations!
Your resume will be compared to every other resume in your applicant pool. It is important to be cognizant of where you stand in this realm. The typical 2-year Business School applicant has 3-6 years of professional experience… How do you measure up? Does your resume speak to your leadership skills? Volunteer experiences? Quantitative accomplishments? Further, your letters of recommendation are like the structural support of your application – they validate and reinforce all of the other elements that you have submitted. It is imperative that you find a recommender who has known you for a substantial period of time, that can substantiate your accomplishments with examples, and showers you with praise as a your #1 cheerleader. So make sure you choose your recommender wisely… If you are unsure of who to ask, Write Track Admissions offers top tier consultations for this specific issue!  
5) Craft your story…
Your MBA essays are your pivotal point – it is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge of business, express your passion for further education, and round yourself out as an individual who will be a positive addition to the classroom. “…connect the dots and showcase why who you are, what you’ve studied, practiced and dreamed and how that makes you the ideal candidate for business school and how will ALL this play out in the future,” says Write Track Founder, Hamada Z. Essentially, you need to be sure to find your brand, make sure you have a plausible story that connects who you are, what you have practiced, what you want to do in the future, and how the MBA can get you there.   
6) Schedule your interview, ASAP
The MBA interview is utilized by some schools to find out who you are beyond your test scores and written application. Some schools require interviews in order to evaluate all of their applicants, while others will request interviews on a case by case basis in order to weed out the top applicants. It is imperative that if an interview is required or requested of you, that you schedule it immediately. Otherwise, you risk delaying your application decision and possibly being placed in a later application pool, thus lowering your chances of getting into your dream school.   If you are still unsure if an MBA education is right for you or if you are feeling lost at any point with your MBA application, contact Write Track Admissions for a consultation!   Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer Write Track Admissions