Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Applications to business schools are declining, so Melissa Korn in an article in The Wall Street Journal asked admissions staffers at four well known M.B.A. programs what schools want, because somehow it isn’t any easier getting into a top school.

Fewer financial sector people are applying; candidates from India and China dominate the foreign pool. Some applicants still say, “These two schools or nothing.” While others want New York schools because they hope to work there, most top schools offer national opportunities.

Advice: Non- traditional applicants, like artists, must tell their stories in “vibrant color,” connecting it to post-MBA. Don’t write an optional essay; give links to a website or video. Be sure recommenders really know you – go to lunch – tell them your goals, what you’ve done, your aspirations. If your boss isn’t a reference, get someone else to explain why.

If a full-time program doesn’t come through, Try the executive M.B.A., under two years with classes on weekends.

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