EMBA Admission Questions? Ask Our Expert.

Paul Bodine is the author of “Great Applications for Business School“ and an MBA admissions consultant based in San Diego. He has written several stories for Poets&Quants: “MBA Essays: 10 Crucial Things You Should Never Do,” “MBA Essays: Making a Lasting Impression,”  “MBA Essays: Data Mining Your Life”, and “MBA Essays: Why The Goals Essay Is Critical” and “The ABCs of Executive MBA Programs.” You also can follow Paul on Twitter and Facebook.

In any case, Paul has agreed to help anxious applicants with difficult questions at Poets&Quants for Execs. No question is out of bounds. Worried about going back to school while working in a highly demanding job? Concerned about your GMAT score? Not entirely certain where you should apply to get your Executive MBA?

Fire away. I’ll do my best to answer your queries.

  • John A. Byrne

    Paul, I was sent this question from an EMBA aspirant. Let’s get the ball rolling with it:

    I was considering the Krannert IMM Program at Purdue University. It seems to have wide International exposure. Additionally, you earn a dual MBA degree – one from Purdue and the other from one of the partner schools in Europe. However, I was a bit disappointed to see it ranked very low. Why do you feel this is the case? Should I reconsider?

  • Not sure I consider FT’s ranking for this program–21st–to be “very low.” That ranking places it only a notch or two below places like Columbia, Kellogg, and Stern–all good programs. Moreover, FT ranks it ahead of the executive programs of Cornell, IESE, Toronto, Oxford, and UCLA. FT also ranks it as the most international executive program (in terms of classroom hours spent outside home country) and #2 in career growth (level of seniority and size of company after degree vs. before degree). So why is it only ranked 21st? It ranks only 36th in percentage growth of pre-MBA salary vs. current salary and only 65th in average salary 3 years after the degree ($139,000 vs. Kellogg-HKUST’s $392,000 in first place). Hope this helps…

  • venkat

    I know this site features mostly all the top B-schools but would like to know some your thoughts on Central European University Business School, Budapest and their programs.


  • Venkat, CEU is not a program I’m familiar with. It’s not ranked at all by FT. My guess is that it would be a fine program to earn a degree from if your post-MBA goals were focused on Hungary. Its brand elsewhere might be limited.

  • MainHoon

    I wonder why the Berkeley-Columbia EMBA is not rated higher? It would seem to be the best of both the worlds – West and East. And yet it lags behind Columbia EMBA. Can someone explain why it is so off?

  • Good question. It is a great program, but some areas where it lags other top EMBA programs are:
    1. Avg. Salary 3 years after graduation: $199.7K, which trails 19 schools including Melbourne, FIA (Brazil), NTU (Taiwan), Arizona State, and Washington U.
    2. Percentage 3-year salary growth: 63% which trails 32 programs.
    3. Change in level of seniority and organization size, pre- vs. post-MBA: ranking 34th out of 100 top schools.

  • MainHoon

    Thanks Paul. The numbers you quoted for the BCEMBA program – are these from some ranking? Does Wharton come out at top on all these measures?

  • They’re from Financial Times’ ranking of executive programs, and you can check Wharton’s ranking in each of these parameters here: http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/emba-rankings-2010

  • John Nick

    I am a CEO of my own company, a multimillion dollar manufacturing company I started 8 years ago. I have a bachelor of commerce from University and have been in management a total of 14 yrs.
    I am considering getting an emba and then sell my business and pursue a lifelong dream….wall street career.
    Which of the program of the following should i go into with this in mind? Ideally I will get a chance to meet wall street professionals and network to get into a good firm after.

    • John A. Byrne


      I think NYU or Columbia would be best. That is a fairly big transition to make from manufacturing to Wall Street. I would sit down with the admissions people at both NYU and Columbia to discuss your career goals at length. Get a feel for how they assess your odds of making the switch. The alumni network is going to be crucial to your ability to pursue your dream. That’s why I would not recommend Trium. It’s too new a program. Both Columbia and NYU have excellent alumni contacts on Wall Street. Good luck.

      • In fact, TRIUM gives you the benefit of all 4 Alumni’s – NYU Stern, HEC School of Management and the London School of Economics and Political Science – as well TRIUM own Alumni of 13 years. The beauty of this is that your network can be localised to where-ever you may travel in the world.

      • Steve

        Columbia and NYU have great alumni contacts, but TRIUM is better. With TRIUM you have a huge network spread almost all aver the world (US, UK, France). Really fantastic one. Bye

  • John,
    Breaking into Wall Street at your career stage will be difficult, and executive MBAs are not the ideal vehicle for making career changes (no internship, for example). I recommend doing some due diligence with people working for the Wall Street firms you’re interested in — get their feedback on your plans. For the purposes of your EMBA application you may want to state more ‘conventional’ post-MBA goals. Feel free to send me your resume for a closer look.

  • Grade Conscious


    My company requires that I maintain a B average in order to keep full financial sponsorship. There are EMBA programs that have Pass/Fail grading and others that have A-F grading. One of the schools I am considering has the A-F grading system. For example, how difficult would it be to maintain a B average in the eMBA program at MIT Sloan? It is very new so not easy to find additional information.


  • Grade Conscious,
    I believe it would not be difficult to maintain a B average, even at MIT, assuming of course that your academic background is relatively strong and you have the time to devote to the program. EMBA programs are not especially rigorous academically in the grand scheme of things. For example, there is a fair amount of group and field work, etc.
    Hope this helps,

  • Grade Conscious

    Thank you Paul.

  • bikas saha

    I am working in a refinery as operation manager having chemical engineering degree and more than 11 years of experience. I am confused about what type of mba program will suit me if i per sue executive mba.Looking for your reply.

    Thank you.

    Bikas Saha

    • John A. Byrne


      An Executive MBA program would probably be your best bet, given your age and experience. Check out our ranking of the best EMBA programs to start your search. Good luck.

  • Consulting


    I’ve been an IT and Project Management Consulting for approximately 12 years and would like to transition into Management/Strategy consulting. I’m considering only EMBA’s and am deciding between NYU Stern and UCLA Anderson. Given my age and the amount of experience I have, does it really matter which of these two schools I attend, being that they are both quality schools. Also, given that consulting firms typically hire from Full time programs, do you feel that there may be an opportunity for me to enter strategy/management consulting with an EMBA from either of these programs, given that I have 12 years consulting experience?

    Thank you,

  • To optimize your chances of making that transition successfully I would recommend NYU over UCLA insofar as Stern seems to attract more students from consulting than does UCLA and because NYC is more of a consulting industry hub than LA. Stern EMBAs seem to enjoy somewhat higher salary growth as well. Hope this helps.

  • vic

    Could you please comment further on Thunderbird’s reputation?

    .Specifically for someone who might stay state side in the Healthcare industry, but has an international background…

  • Vic,
    Thunderbird places a larger percentage of its EMBA class (11%) in Pharma/Biotech/Healthcare than 12 of BusinessWeek’s top 20 EMBA programs (Notre Dame was highest at 19%). Its healthcare resources include an Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare certificate program, a 10-week open enrollment course for health care practitioners, administrators, researchers and students, and case studies on Cardinal Health. Among the healthcare-related employers who hired 2009 T-Bird MBAs (not EMBAs) were Banner Health, Cook Medical, marketRx, and United Health. So I would describe its healthcare reputation as solid but nothing special. Note that 45% of T’Bird’s 2009 international students accepted positions in the U.S. The mean offer (excluding bonus) for T’Bird ’09 MBAs entering Pharma/Biotech/Healthcare was $69,767. I recommend asking T’Bird directly for more data on its placement of international students in U.S. healthcare.

  • Dan

    Hello, I’m interested in applying to Kellogg’s EMBA program, but was concerned about my relative lack of work experience (8 years). However, for someone at my age & stage my work experience is pretty solid – IT consulting, followed by private equity, followed by corporate finance (one of the PE partners left to become CFO of my current employer and recruited me).

    So my question is this: how much emphasis does Kellogg place on experience, and is my lack thereof a hurdle I can oversome? Also, as I did well on the GMAT, I was wondering how much weight this would have at a school like Kellogg where it’s not required. Thanks for your insight!

  • Dan, Kellogg’s middle 80% in terms of work experience is 31-44, so you’re not even really an outlier. But your management and career achievements are ultimately more important that your age — if your responsibility level is comparable to their typical admit (e.g., your career pace thus far is considered atypical or fast track) then you should be fine. You should certainly trumpet your GMAT score — it would give them additional assurance that you can handle their program, which could remove another obstacle to admission.

    • Dan

      Thanks for the input Paul. I’m actually 30, so hopefully that won’t hurt too much!

  • 30 is still within the range they’re comfortable with, but you may want to emphasize the extent to which your current responsibilities and career pace are comparable to peers with more experience.

  • Dan

    Thanks again Paul. One last question: Kellogg’s EMBA has rolling admissions so there are no hard cutoffs in terms of dates – so how many months before the program starts should I get my application in?

  • That’s an easy one: as soon as can without compromising the application’s quality.

  • Dan

    Ha, well that much I already knew! Here’s what I was really trying to ask but wasn’t very clear:

    There are 2 programs that I could attend, one starting in January 2012 and the other in September 2012. Assuming it’ll take 4 to 6 weeks to finish my application, would I be doing myself a disservice by applying to the January program due to some of the slots already being filled? Or put another way, would I be at any advantage by being one of the first applicants for the September program?

  • Yes, you might put yourself at a disadvantage. The Jan. 2012 intake has been accepting applications since the winter. There is some advantage to being the first of a certain profile or applicant type they see. So if it makes no difference to you whether you start in Jan. or Sept., you should apply for the Sept. round.

  • Dan

    Thanks again Paul, September it is. PS – “Great Apps for Business School” came in the mail over the weekend and I can already tell it will be an incredibly valuable resource as I work through my application.

  • startupGuy

    Hi Paul, what EMBA program do you recommend for future Entrepreneurs?

    My background – I’m 30 years old, Bachelors in Management Information Technologies, worked for a large corporation out of college, then a startup last 5 years (leading the tech/product team – onshore and offshore). On the side – ran a website business through high school and college and have a small property investment company as well.

    Aim is to start my own high technology business in the next couple of years. Not sure which EMBA program will be of the most help?

    Also, early years of college my focus was on running the business and my grades were highly affected (2.6 GPA). Not sure if that eliminates me from the top tier programmes. Should I focus on the GMAT to compensate?

    Thanks in advance Paul.

    • Sujay

      Hello Paul
      I am a accomplished mid level executive in a company and planning to apply for eMBA this year. I am located in LA.
      I am confused Whether I should apply to Wharton program or to the UCLA program.As per my research both programs are great and I may be able to get what I want from either of the programs but Wharton has a worldwide appeal and not sure if that would help me any way in future to start my own company ( going to VC’s).
      The only thing I am afraid of huge price difference between Wharton and UCLA and also the additional commute and expense for travel.
      What do you suggest?

      • Paul S. Bodine

        Sujay, the “worldwide appeal” you referred to is the key consideration. If your foreseeable professional plans are West Coast centric then UCLA may be your best choice (especially given the additional commute and tuition penalty). But if your startup plans are truly scalaable and global in focus, then you may find a Wharton EMBA justifies its added cost in terms of the doors it opens and credibility it confers. Certainly Wharton’s strengthened presence in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley should weigh into your thinking given your plans to approach VCs. Hope this helps.

        Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/testimonials

  • startupGuy,
    For entrepreneurs I would recommend EMBAs connected with Silicon Valley or other entrepreneurial and venture capital hubs, like Boston and New York. So look at programs like the UC Berkeley/Columbia executive program, or Columbia and NYU’s standalone EMBA programs. Also consider programs like IE in Spain or Babson’s Fast-Track MBA, which are noted from entrepreneurship.

    Yes, to offset your GPA (which becomes less important the older you get) submit a strong GMAT score if the school will take one. A 700 plus score should do the trick.

    Good luck,

  • startupGuy

    Thanks very much Paul. I will be contacting you for advice/services once I give the GMAT.

  • Chris


    Do you think potential employers place a lot of value on EMBA degrees? I am thinking of Columbia, Wharton, and Kellogg. I am currently managing a trading desk at a top investment bank, but wanted to broaden my resume to eventually transition to upper management or to be more relevant to other industries as an Senior Manager. I have some issues with a 2.65 GPA, but my GMAT was a 730 (could have done higher, but don’t have time to re-take it) and I am a CFA charterholder. My work experience is strong and recommendations will be healthy, but undergrad and a lack of charitable contribution seems like the negatives. I am also 28 years old, so although my responsibilities trump my age I am worry about the years of experience. What school do you think out of the choices makes the most sense, and will be respected?

  • Chris,
    The value employers place on EMBAs varies a lot by industry, and finance is certainly an industry that values the MBA. The EMBA may have lesser value in employers’ eyes, but an EMBA from an elite program like CBS, Wharton, or Kellogg will be highly valued, whether executive or full-time. Of these three schools, I see Kellogg as a challenge for you, because they definitely skew older (average age 38) and your not even in their middle 80% range in age. However, you are just inside the lower edge of Columbia and Wharton’s middle 80% in terms of age, so you qualify. Your GMAT offsets your GPA to a large extent, especially if the GPA is attributable to working full-time or other similar explanations. Because you are on the younger side you will need to emphasize that your managerial experience and career pace are significantly ahead of the typical pace. Having some leadership outside of work in an extracurricular would be another way to drive home this message. Top EMBA programs are not nearly as selective as full-time programs, but you might improve your odds by waiting a year and beefing up your extracurricular leadership.

  • Thinking Ahead

    Hi Paul,

    Which top 25 EMBA programs would most value someone who has run a small, but successful family business (from $1 million annual revenue to $5 million annual revenue under my leadership) and speaks intermediate level Mandarin Chinese? Thanks!

    • Thinking Ahead, my apologies for the delayed reply. *All* top EMBA programs would value your entrepreneurial success and (to a much lesser extent) Mandarin skills. EMBA admission is much more of a resume-driven game, so outsized professional success like yours combined with evidence of large-scale leadership in multiple parts of your life are 80% of the process. So if the actual team you lead at your company is small, you would hopefully have extracurricular leadership to enhance the leadership message.

  • Colin

    I’m 36, a PhD scientist from a great European institution. I have a good academic background overall (undergrad equivalent GPA of about 3.8). I worked in academia as a post doc (the ‘usual’ route for biomedical scientists on a path to university faculty) for 5 yrs before transitioning to the biotech industry where I now work as a scientist in a start up. My career goals are basically to start a biotech company or fund them in a venture capital firm. I’ve yet to take the GMAT and would be applying to programs next year. I would like to go to a full time program, and a highly ranked one i.e. Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard. But I’m concerned that my age and career path to-date is not of the somewhat cookie cutter mold that seems to describe the average 28 yr old at all of these programs. Should I only be considering EMBAs given my situation? As I am particularly focused on both staying within my industry sector, albeit it, with a different role than I am currently engaged in, I would like to think that this will help me get into a full time program. Am I being realistic, or should I just be focusing on EMBAs exclusively?

    Thanks for your comments in advance.

  • Colin,
    Business schools *love* non-cookie-cutter profiles, but older applicants they–at least the U.S. schools–have a problem with. The percentage of the average full-time MBA class at a top school that’s older than 29 is under 10% and most of those older admittees are nearer 30 than 35. So they do take the exceptional 36-year-old, but it’s quite unusual. However, you could aim for full-time programs if you’re willing to (a) lower your sights (e.g., the following schools not only skew older but are not super selective, so they’d be more likely to take you: Penn State, Washington Foster, Washington Olin, Minnesota, etc.), (b) look toward Europe (8 of the most age-friendly full-time MBA programs are in your neck of the woods, including EM Lyon, Manchester, IMD, and HEC Paris. Though EMBA programs expect a good track record of people management, they often don’t require a GMAT score and have fairly loose selectivity rates.
    Hope this helps,

  • Colin

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your comments. The programs you mention, well, I hadn’t even heard of most of them. I’m really not that convinced there is much to be gained by attending anything outside of the top 10 schools. All the profiles of people I see working in VC list Stanford/Harvard/Berkeley/MIT etc. One program I am looking at is the new MBA at the Rady School at UCSD. It’s a new program but seems to be focused on the life science/technology/green tech sectors. And they waive the GMAT requirement if you have a PhD. The school recently was granted AACSB accreditation so I’m assuming that speaks to it’s quality. Also, looking at the faculty, it seems like they recruited good people from top business/economics departments. Do you know anything about this school?

    Am I really wasting my time by even thinking that there’s a place for me at Stanford?

  • Colin, It’s hard for me to pass judgment on your odds at Stanford based on the profile you gave me, but if you send me your CV I’d be happy to give you my take on your chances: paulbodine@yahoo.com.

    I live in San Diego and have been following the Rady School’s rapid ascent. I don’t doubt that it offers a quality degree–and I can confirm that it has a “health sciences focused MBA” (as it described it) and that San Diego is a major biotech hub. Rady is a very young school so it lacks the brand yet and alumni network that older UC business schools have.

  • RL

    Hi Paul,

    My profile is: 29 y.o. (will be 30 when I go back for EMBA, targeting 2012). 8 years of work experience with progression of responsibility and promotions at Fortune 100 financial services corporation within Corporate Finance (analyst to manager to senior manager). Diverse set of experiences within the company spanning different business units. Considered a top performer among my peers. Looking to transition into the sales/strategy/GM track within company (our company is fantastic in terms of allowing employee movement across functions), and a key element will be obtaining a MBA from a good school. Our company likes to promote and favor those with MBA’s (lots of Wharton and HBS people here). Considering going back for an EMBA, and looking at Wharton, Columbia, and NYU as my trifecta. I am also considering applying to Duke/UNC, just to have options and diversify.

    Taking GMAT in fall (should be able to score 700-750). Did my UG at NYU Stern but b/c I was double-majoring and worked part-time to pay for my education, as well as there were family issues (my parents were in the process of a long drawn-out divorce and having to go back home to take care of my younger brother), my grades suffered drastically and I had a 2.8 GPA. On the bright side, I was one of 6 undergraduate students to do a Concentration in Operations Management with the NYU MBA students, and received an A and an A- in both classes, so from an aptitude standpoint I definitely did not perform to my potential. Also, while I am in Corporate Finance I am realizing that my strength is actually more on the General Management/Sales/Strategy side, and I did very well in those types of classes in UG. Ironically, the very career that I’m in now (Corp Finance) are the same the classes I didn’t do so hot in (traditional Finance & Accounting classes). My overall story & pitch is to really convey that this is a transition time in my career at my company and I’m looking for the EMBA to provide me with the skill-set to move from Finance into General Management/Strategy.

    My specific question is, what do you think of my chances of getting into either Wharton EMBA, Columbia EMBA, or NYU Part-Time? My second question is in terms of my profile, do you think highlighting religious non-profit activities is considered favorable in the Adcom eyes? I have been involved in the same non-profit for the past 11 years, however it is a religious non-profit (Christian church) that started off as a fellowship at NYU w/ college students and later we planted a church including going through all the filing of paperwork (going on 7 years now). I’ve volunteered approximately anywhere from 10-20 hours a week for the past 10 years and have led small groups for college students and young working professionals. Additionally, I serve as the CFO managing an operating budget of approximately $600K along with a Finance team of two professionals. I am also the youngest member of the Operating Board at the church, which is responsible for the operations and strategic oversight of the church’s ministries (ie, overseas missions, homeless outreach, married couples ministry, infant ministry, college ministry, logistics). We have grown from approximately 30 people in 2003 to about 300 people (average Sunday attendance), and have also expanded our church’s reach by establishing fellowships at Columbia University, New School, NYU, and Pratt. We have strong partnerships with churches in China and Japan which we have cultivated over the past 5 years where we send students/professionals on summer mission trips.

    While the main reason I’m getting an EMBA is for my career, I also believe there is tremendous value in cross-pollinating higher thinking and best practices from the corporate sector/business school with non-profit work. My main question is how much should I really highlight my non-profit experience? And what are my chances of getting into the 3 EMBA programs I’m aiming for?

  • RL, Thanks for your post. Luckily for you, undergrad GPA is less important for EMBA applicants, especially if you can show a high GMAT score, can explain the GPA, and have post-degree evidence (which you do) that you’re strong in the areas that dragged you down. EMBA admission is all about the resume and the degree to which managerial experience and responsibility jumps off it. You seem to have a strong managerial profile, both professionally and extracurricularly, so you are competitive at all three schools (especially NYU).

    You should by all means mention religious non-profit story. It’s a major leadership accomplishment and shows the community vision that B-schools like to see. The *only* negative to religious-related material is (a) if you get preachy and (b) if you get controversial (i.e., third-rail issue-specific stuff, etc.). That can all be safely avoided if you focus on the church as helping people, community building, etc. But clearly you have a strong story here and should highlight (since other applicants may be able to match you with their professional managerial accomplishments, but probably not in their community leadership).

    Hope this helps,

  • RL

    Absolutely, your comments were very helpful. Thanks for the perspective and encouragement. If I do decide on some type of admissions consulting services, you’ll be top of mind.

    Thanks again.


    This is great website ;–

    Can someone (John /Paul) share throughts on UCLA EMBA vs USC EMBA ? I understand both are great programs in southern CA. UCLA is higher ranked in overall MBA (fulltime) rankings but USC is higher ranked for EMBA ?

    What is so special about USC EMBA …that USC fulltime doesnt have ?

  • Mike L.


    Just found your site. Fantastic! Quick profile overview. 37 years old (as of Dec 2011), Sr. Program Manager for a Fortune 500 Defense/Aerospace Company in Massachusetts and Arizona. I lead large, high visibility programs with considerable P&L. My Undergrad in Spanish/International Relations (GPA 3.3). In 2006 I earned an MS in Engineering Management (GPA equivalent 3.9) to give me the quantitative background I lacked; I have 14 years 7 mos in the work force. I have spent my entire career in my industry, including my six as an Air Force Officer. I plan to seek my company’s sponsorship for an EMBA Program and am interested primarily in the top tier programs. My company will value, but not place a premium on, the international component so may EMBA programs selling. What they will value is strong General Management curriculum. I want to use the degree to give my career a boost and move from single program management to a strategic corporate leadership role with responsibility for larger business segments. Can you narrow my search to schools that attract my industry and/or the best General Management EMBA programs? Thanks!

  • GC

    Hi Paul

    I’m an organisational psychologist doing OD work for a global mining company and have just been accepted to London Business School’s EMBA program but have concerns about the time commitment involved and how this will impact both my personal (I have a 9 month old and my wife is going back to work part-time) and work life.

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom?

  • Somalley

    First off I’d like to say thanks for your contributions to this site, it’s a wealth of knowledge that has been invaluable to my EMBA journey. Today I found out I have been wait listed for the UCLA EMBA program. While UCLA is a tough school to gain admission to I do see it as a positive that I wasn’t outright denied. That being said, how does the wait list differ from the EMBA vs. a traditional MBA and what should I expect? Everything I read online concerns itself with the traditional MBA wait lists and rounds of applications vs. rolling admits. Any advice?

    • Peter Luc

      Hi Somalley,

      I too have fell into the same situation as you for UCLA’s EMBA Program. If you don’t mind, I am curious to hear how things panned out. Hopefully it worked out and you are admitted to the program. Thank you!

      Hi Paul,

      would love to hear your thoughts on Somalley’s post. Thank you!


      • Somalley

        I didn’t wait long enough to find out, once Cornell offered me admission I jumped all over it. It was my first choice anyways,

        • Birchtree

          Congrats on Cornell! Are you doing the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA program? If yes, I am also getting ready to commence in the program as well. Look forward to meeting the Group in Ithaca this July! Best wishes!

  • Amgsho

    hey paul how are you?
    to cut the story short i need to avoid taking the GMAT , but i also need to take a strong diploma like the MBA or the EMBA to enhance my career, my question is what the probability of getting a good  job after making the EMBA? i mean like a career shift .thanks

    • PaulSBodine

      It varies with the program, but you won’t have the internship to help you make the transition. That said, an increasing percentage of EMBA students are using the degree to make career changes, but you should count on using your own network and energy to execute that transition. The upside of the EMBA is you don’t have to leave your current job to earn the degree, so the financial risk/opportunity cost is lower. 

      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

  • Mounty

    Hi Paul, thanks for your input. I want to apply to USC’s EMBA program. How much do you suppose the university factors in your salary over the past 5 years? I am in sales I would view it as demonstrated performance. Do you suppose the folks in admissions would see it the same way?

    I took the gmat almost 5 years ago and have a BS in Neuroscience with a 3.0 gpa. I am currently enrolled in a Mathematics for Management course through UCLA. Taking into account the total picture, which area should I improve upon if I want to have a good chance.

    • Mounty

      Sorry, forgot to mention that I bombed the GMAT

    • PaulSBodine

      Mounty, EMBA programs do focus on evidence of career success more than on metrics like GMAT, GPA etc., so in that sense your salary growth would be viewed as evidence of your career success. You and/or your recommenders should make them aware of any evidence that your career pace is atypical. But salary would be only one data point; much more important would be how much management responsibility you have (direct reports etc.). So if you’re looking for an area to improve on, I would focus on evidence of leadership/managerial responsibility …

      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

  • Jrn_md

    Which bschools offer healthcare eMBA? Do you know the rankings?

    • Vico

      The only rankings I’ve found for this was through Modern Healthcare’s Top Business Grad Schools for Physician-Execs which comprises of a mix of MBA, MHA, & MPH programs.

      That said, Duke & Vanderbilt have a dedicated concentration in their executive MBA programs.  Yale’s MBA for executives is exclusively for healthcare professionals.  Also look at Colorado-Denver, UC Irvine & Johns Hopkins.

  • Snehaa_stranger2u

    Hi Paul

    I am having 3 years of working experience as LED Product Manager. I have done my BE from IIT Kanpur, and ME also from IIT Kanpur.

    Is dropping my career for 1 year and doing Executive MBA will help me Financially or I should continue with my current career. Please suggest.

    • Paul S. Bodine

      It depends very much on factors like the quality of the EMBA program you join and whether your employer will sponsor/support your EMBA. If they will, then the upside of an EMBA from a good program can justify the time investment. Since EMBAs are part-time programs you do not need to discontinue/interrupt your current career to earn one.

      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

  • John

    Do you have any facts on the percent of Hispanics attending EMBA classes?

    • Paul S. Bodine

      John, Among U.S. EMBA programs it ranges widely from 0% to 14% or more. Some of the executive programs with the highest percentages of Hispanic or Latino American students are Thunderbird (14%), Texas at Austin (11%), Northwestern Kellogg (11%), Emory (9%), and UCLA (7%).

  • Leave Columbus?


    Your thoughts on Ohio State & Pitt please. I am an Ohio native & my entire professional career has been in the state with one company. Looking to branch out & increase my exposure. That being said Ohio State is ranked consistently in the mid 1st tier & Pitt in the bottom 1st or second tier. How important is that edge? How much consideration should be given to Pitt for featuring schools in other parts of the world? Is there true value from 3 immersions with cohorts from around the world. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Paul S. Bodine

      Leave Columbus, rankings don’t matter a great deal, but location and network are everything. If you are looking to build an international network, especially one in Europe and/or Brazil, then Pitt’s program would be great for you. Ohio State would get the edge only if you intend to focus your post-EMBA career in Ohio. Good luck!

  • Jen

    I was put on the wait list for the 2013 Kellogg MBA program. They are requiring that I take a statistics and finance course before January. They suggested mbamath.com-does anyone have any advise on being wait listed and on that online class? Thanks. JS

  • O

    I am 44 years old trying to apply for EMBA Columbia. I applied for Aug 2012, I recieved an interview call but have been rejected. My GMAT score is 640 (2008). In the process, I have passed my CFA level2 exam. I dont have a great GPA but I dont think it matters so much now. Can you please share your thoughts regarding reapplying or look toward another university? or retake GMAT? I am struggling to understand why I was rejected when its website itself claims that it accepts 100% of its interviewees…(may be for full-time)

    • Paul S. Bodine

      O, My apologies for the delayed reply. Neither your GPA not your GMAT were probably major factors in your rejection. How did the interview itself go? Do you have any direct reports — how much managerial responsibility do you have? You should also try asking Columbia directly why you were dinged. I would encourage you to consider applying to other programs rather than reapplying. Feel free to send me your resume for more focused feedback: paulbodine@yahoo.com

      • Peter N


        Did you ever think that maybe is your spelling that prevented you from being accepted to Columbia?

        • Runy

          That’s gold coming from someone who spells ‘it’s’ incorrectly


    I am IT professional from India, with an experience of 6 years in software development. I want to remain in the IT field. I am looking for a 1 year EMBA course in the US. Can you guide me and let me know the universities I should be considering?

    Thank you.

    • Paul S. Bodine

      IT-EMBA, Do you have any managerial experience? Executive programs tend to prefer applicants who are older than the 27-28-years who apply to full-time programs and they also like to see applicants with managerial responsibility. Feel free to email me your resume for a closer look: paulbodine@yahoo.com

  • Mazen

    Hi Paul,
    Im an IT Manager for an international school in the middle east
    and Im looking for an EMBA program which is offered part time and online. I can’t
    travel a lot, so a program which meets for a week or 2 every couple of month
    will be perfect. Other than LBS, IE, Hult and Insead which charge over $85,000
    do you know of any?

    • Paul S. Bodine

      Mazen, Look at U. Virginia, Duke, Purdue, Boston U., and U. of Maryland. You can find a more extensive list at GradSchools.com, though many of them are not especially well respected programs.

  • Lcv

    Hi Paul,
    Can you broaden the term “managerial experience”. What does the schools really mean by that? Because I don’t know if it means to have a managerial level or it means to have subordinates or it means the level of responsibility in an organization.
    This question is always present on the applications.

    • Paul Bodine

      Primarily it means direct reports/subordinates, but secondarily it means responsibility (such as job title, P&L responsibility, who you report to etc.) within the organization. It’s possible for someone to have no formal direct reports yet to play a very visible and senior level in the organization in terms of their responsibility and reporting line. Even these people would be expected to show that they have a good track record in coordinating the work of others (indirect leadership).
      –Paul Bodine

  • JackOfAll

    What do you think of Ross offering a west coast EMBA program? I am in LA and like the once a month program Ross offers. Not sure if it is worth it if I continue to live in SoCal to have a university of Michigan credentials.

    • Birchtree

      I think the addition of Michigan to UCLA and USC is fantastic. The Michigan name is excellent, as is the Program. Giving highly motivated executives several top choices in the area is a positive IMO. The once a month dynamic is very appealing to many. Also, do not forget Cornell University’s Johnson School (I am in enrolled). It is another top program offered in the area. The LA Boardroom for Cornell has some of the world’s best companies represented and top talent all around. Meets more than once a month though…
      Many great choices. Good luck.

  • J

    Hello Paul,

    I am in an interesting position. I am 27 years old, i was promoted to the position of president at a major nutracutical manufacturing company 2 years ago. I found myself in this position by a rather interesting turn of events that ended with me replacing the former CEO of the company. Unfortunately i never completed my undergraduate degree, I have since received a few certifications in Lean Six Sigma, cGMP, etc. so what is my next step, should i take the GMAT? can i apply as i stand today? i would appreciate any feedback you have.


    • Paul Bodine

      J, That is a very interesting position. You will need to complete your undergraduate degree to qualify for an MBA. How many credits are you away from the degree? If you send me your resume, paulbodine@yahoo.com, I can give you more focused feedback.

      Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/testimonials

      • NeverGiveUp

        Wrong. I’m in a top 10 EMBA program at a top 3 full-time school and I didn’t finish my undergraduate degree. At this level, you need to be able to explain why you didn’t go/finish school, and then make up for that with great GMATs and a great work experience/story. Forget about most public-funded EMBA programs as theyre legally limited in making exceptions to their master’s requirements (that would show favoritism and thats a ball of trouble for public schools). Focus on private institutions that have the flexibility to admit whom they want. That said, 27 years old is younger by 2/3 years at anyone at my program. One of the major points that adcoms look for and strive to achieve is the depth and varied experience of everyone. You make it sound like you have some interesting experience to share, but I’m not sure how much is fluff or how much is actually contribution worthy. Good luck anyhow.

        $250 for my services please.

  • Rettik

    Hello Paul,

    I’m 39, have a Masters in Industrial Design and started my consumer goods company 10 years ago and have grown revenue to over 6M. The company is doing well with 30% growth year over year and a great set of employees, I currently do all of the product design and manage the manufacturing, marketing and basically everything to get product into our US warehouse. I’m looking for a few things in an EMBA program: (1) To get back outside my comfort zone (2) Get tools and confidence to push my company from 6-20 and (3) get the innovative spirit that was found earlier in the development of the company. Undergrad I had a 2.7, Grad 3.6. Are there any programs that you feel would be the best fit for my background. Thank you in advance for your advice.

  • MIT Sloan Fellows Applicant


    I am interested in MIT’s one year sloan fellows MBA program. Will greatly appreciate your feedback on how this program ranks/compares to some of the other big name MBA programs for mid-level managers.

    I am in my mid 30s, and have over 12 years experience Financial Services.


    MIT Sloan Fellows Applicant

  • Tristan

    Hi Paul,

    I’m 30 years old and i’m aspiring to enter an international EMBA program in Brazil. I have 10 years of working experience including 3 years of managerial experience. I speak and write in 4 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and French). I now have managerial responsibilities in the LATAM region for the company i work for. My only weak point in my application is that i don’t have an undergraduate degree. What are the odds for me to enter such program?

    • Paul Bodine

      Tristan, Given your impressive work experience,and assuming you can meet their other requirements (GMAT score etc.), they may well be flexible about requiring you to have an
      undergraduate degree. The international EMBA at FIA requires a “Relevant higher educational degree” and COPPEAD requires “a bachelor’s degree or
      equivalent” but you should ask them how flexible they are.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Rajeev

    Hi Paul,

    I am IT professional[Team Lead] and having almost 7+ yrs and looking for EMBA program in US and UK .

    Please suggest me , which EMBA /MBA program will be suitable for my career growth


    • Paul Bodine

      Rajeev, With 7 years of work experience and Team Lead responsibilities, you would probably not be a prime candidate for most of the top-ranked EMBA programs. A full-time MBA would probably suit you better at this point in your career. Feel free to email me offline at paulbodine@yahoo.com regarding full-time MBA options.
      Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/testimonials

  • Amit

    Hi Paul, I have got accepted in MBA@UNC and Babson Fasttrack. Can you please recommend which program is better for someone interested in entrepreneurship?

    • Paul Bodine


      Congratulations. UNC is no slouch in entrepreneurship, but Babson has consistently been ranked the best U.S. program in entrepreneurship, so, other factors aside, it’s the obvious choice.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • CF

    Hi Paul,

    Are you aware of any other top program that is structured like Columbia’s Americas EMBA? The week of classes per month format is attractive given my schedule, but I live in CA and would love to find something closer. Thanks!

    • Paul S. Bodine


      Many EMBA programs incorporate some weeklong components, whether a retreat, orientation, or international session, but the only top-ranked programs I’m aware of that make weeklong courses the heart of their course delivery are Chicago Booth’s modular London and Singapore-centered EMBA, Oxford Said’s Sunday-through-Saturday EMBA, Emory Goizueta’s Atlanta-focused Modular EMBA, and Cranfield 24-month weeklong modular EMBA. Hope this helps.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/testimonials

  • P

    Hello Paul,

    Not sure if you’re still responding to comments on this thread, but thought I’d give it a go.

    I’m 33 years old and would like to pursue an MBA. I’ve spent my entire career, about a decade, in the oil and gas industry. I currently work in the Middle East with an organization where I lead a team of 8 in managing all of the contracting and procurement for a 3 billion dollar large scale capital project. Over my decade-long career, I’ve worked in multiple countries and in varying roles encompassing business planning, financial planning, strategy and now, contracting. A significant amount of breadth, but not much depth in any one function. I’d now like to leverage off this breadth and shift from industry to consulting as an oil and gas specialist.

    I think it would be wise for me to study for an MBA prior to attempting to make an entry into the Consulting world. I’m targeting the UK-based universities (LBS, Oxford, Cambridge) and Insead. However, I’m torn between the full-time and executive variants. The intellectual rigour of the full-time MBA appeals to me greatly, but I’m conscious that I’ll be 34 when I start and unsure how this will impact my prospects at securing a place as well as getting some level of scholarship. In addition, not sure how actively Consulting firms prefer to recruit from Executive programmes. On the other hand, the Executive programme will allow me to continue earning over the duration of the course, and probably provide me with a more senior network.

    I’m aware that the Executive variant isn’t normally recommended for career changers, but am not sure in my situation, where I’m looking to change perspectives within the same industry, this logic would apply.

    Any thoughts you may have on this would be absolutely great. Thanks!

    • Paul Bodine


      Apologies for the delayed reply. Given your
      career-change goals, I think the full-time MBA makes the most sense for you
      (even given your existing career focus in energy). Though you would be
      competitive at top Executive MBA programs, they are just not the same
      stepping-stone into consulting that full-time programs are, and in any event
      pursuing an EMBA would only delay your entry into consulting. Better to apply
      as soon as possible to a full-time program like the four you mentioned that can
      better help you make the jump. Your age should not work too much against you.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business
      School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Nick

    Dear Paul,

    This is such a wonderful website that I found!

    I hope you are still able to reply.

    I am 28 years old and I am seeking to get an EMBA.
    Currently, I am working in a professional sports team in Korea under the POSCO company.

    My position right now is vice president/general manager. Getting up till this position, I first finished halfway in a university at a college in Korea. Then, I became a business analyst assistant at this company, and shortly after, I became assistant general manager, and then eventually became the VP/general manager. Due to some special events and my leadership skills, I quickly came up to this spot.

    Overall, my work experience at this place is around 7-8 years. I have been a VP for around 2 years now.

    I attended Northeastern Univ. (majoring in leadership) to get a bachelor’s degree in order to get up to my current position.
    My GPA was 3.6

    Due to recommendations from the Vice president of the POSCO company itself, I am seeking to earn an EMBA at MIT or an MS in leadership at Columbia in order to further build up my career path.

    I plan not to take the GMAT.

    What do you think my chances are getting into either of these schools.

    I saw that for MIT’s EMBA, if I have less than 8 yrs of experience, if I show how exceptional I am, they will let me in.

    What other factors do you recommend me to perhaps improve so I can apply for next year? Are strong recommendation letter helpful?

    Thank you!

    • PaulSBodine

      Congratulations on your fast-track career. You’re correct that although the average age at MIT’s EMBA program is 40 and they seek a minimum of 8 years work experience, they are open to evaluating less experienced applicants “on an individual basis.” It will all come down to whether they think you will bring a distinctive enough perspective and sufficient managerial exposure to enable you to enhance your classmates’ experience. As a VP in the sports industry with a major Korean multinational your perspective will be probably be unique, which helps your odds of admission. The fact that you already have 2 years in the VP role helps you, but other factors that will matter is how many direct reports you have and whether you have P&L responsibility etc.
      Yes, strong reco letters will be essential. Both MIT’s EMBA and Columbia’s leadership MS allow you to submit up to 3, so you may want to take advantage of this third letter to make a stronger case for yourself. A strong TOEFL score would also help you a lot. And of course, essays that show you have the ‘right stuff’ and understand how MIT and Columbia fit your career/education needs can also improve your chances. I’d be glad to review your CV: paulbodine@yahoo.com.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Businesss School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • AV

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your feedback in this forum. I have a different kind of question, I think, from what I have read so far. I have been working for start ups and small software companies for awhile and have been primarily in the Sales side of the house(s). Currently, I am a Sr. Account Executive (assigned to international accounts) for a growing enterprise software provider and have no direct reports, but I manage at team of 16 ppl (cross functional) on any given deal. I have closed multi-million dollar deals in 4 countries, and my company’s offices are expanding into 4 continents. As we are growing, we are hiring more MBAs (freshly minted) and I’m afraid that leadership roles, as we expand, will be doled out to those folks. I am also afraid that leadership will not promote their best sales person/people from the ‘field’ without a compelling reason (i.e. advanced degree).

    I make $180K-$350K per year, am 31, and am thinking on taking a global EMBA course. I provide my compensation because my friends who have MBA’s (some from elite programs) say that I am stupid to even consider taking on debt (or to pay, period) to get any kind of MBA with what I make, but I feel like an MBA is becoming an increasingly common required checkbox for future movement, even in a performance driven environment. My company will likely not contribute to my cause, owing to my income.

    What are your thoughts on Account Executives (Sales) getting an EMBA– is it worth it? How should I speak to my experiences if I have no direct reports? Will the fact that I work directly with the some of the largest NFPs in the world be a swaying factor? I have no idea what approach to use or even if it makes sense to get an EMBA. Can you help?

    • Paul Bodine


      Thanks for your question. Given your salary, it may be difficult to try to justify the EMBA to you in terms of salary-growth ROI. However, an EMBA may well make sense for you as a ‘defensive’ or ‘strategic’ credential to keep you confident about or well positioned for your career’s future. Self-funded EMBAs are increasingly common, so they question may be more, can you handle the cost financially, rather than, can you convince a well-ranked executive program to accept you. A program like Duke’s Global MBA admits something 15% of its students from the sales function and does not specify that they focus on direct reports so much as a “strong leadership/management component and current global work responsibilities.” You sound like you would meet both of these criteria. (Note that Duke does require that you have a “minimum” of 10 years of post-grad work experience.)
      Yes, emphasizing the magnitude of your role and impact in the terms that best describe your position (such as working directly with large NFPs, closing multimillion dollar deals, and managing project teams of 16 people) is exactlythe way you and your recommenders should talk about your experiences in the essays and reco letters. Top programs are by no means using only traditional criteria (like direct reports) to evaluate your potential to contribute to their EMBA classes. I’d be happy to discuss with you which of the top programs make the best sense for you: paulbodine@yahoo.com.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Anonymous

    I just got rejected from an NYU Exec MBA. Unfortunately, I think that the woman who interviewed me had a personal problem with me based on racial bias or ageism. I say that because I was more qualified than more than 50% of the people I met on the class visit. In fact, I was shocked by the number of people who had never been a manager, let alone a Senior Manager like myself. No one I met stood out as anyone who had accomplished anything special. I was alot more impressed by Duke and Whaton, students and professors alike. Is Stern just all hype?

    • JohnAByrne

      It sounds to me that you ran into an issue over the interview and little else. Don’t worry. What you find in MBA admissions is what you find in life: there are a lot of random and uncontrolled things that can go wrong and can prevent you from achieving your goals. But realize that there are many very good EMBA programs out there–just as there are many other opportunities in life awaiting. The key here is to pick yourself up and move on. Apply to another school with a top-ranked EMBA and I think you’ll see a different outcome.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for your supportive advice. I’m not bragging. But I literally have never been turned down for college or graduate school admission in my life, and I’ve applied to very competitive programs. I’m not going to let what amounts to a racial, age or possible gender bias deter me. Like you said, I’ve got plenty of other good choices that are superior to Stern. Thanks again for helping me to put this in perspective.

        • Runy

          Wow! you must be a joy to work with/for!

    • JohnAByrne

      Paul Bodine is also weighing in here (I’m just posting for him due to a technical glitch):


      It’s sometimes possible to request a second interview when an interview goes badly, but that time for that would have been directly afterward, not now. However, given your reaction to the Stern students during your visit, it’s probably just as well that you were dinged — it sounds like you wouldn’t have been happy there. Duke and Wharton are two of several EMBA programs whose reputations are as strong or stronger than Stern’s. I could give you feedback on your chances at those programs if I learned more about your profile:paulbodine@yahoo.com.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for your supportive advice. Now that the shock has worn off, I’m ready to consider my other choices. I’m noting your email address and I’ll be in touch when I’m ready. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Paul,

    I am 32 yo and have worked in PE basically my entire career. I started a firm a few years ago and bought 3 companies with my partners, but for reasons other than performance, we’re not actively investing more (though may in the future). I’m very involved with the companies – basically CFO of all 3. I’ll be doing this for at least the next 1-2 years (before they’re sold) and I’m considering an EMBA to develop my network and kind of as a career refresher for PE opportunities or a switch to corporate/industry side. Do you think this would be worthwhile? Do you think my background would be attractive to EMBAs? (note: I could finesse the fact that we aren’t actively investing) Do you think Columbia or NYU would be better suited? Thanks in advance for your insight!

    • PaulSBodine

      Given your start-up experience, fast-track career, and CFO role for your portfolio firms, you should have sufficient responsibility to be attractive to top EMBA programs. Both the EMBA programs of Columbia and NYU could give you the network and skills update you seek, but Columbia fits you best: Stern is geared toward older applicants (avg. student age: 38) and Columbia is the better brand with stronger PE resources/credentials. Note that Columbia requires the GMAT.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the feedback. My preference is probably Columbia (even closer to where I live), but they only accept the Fri/Sat starting in the fall, which at this point would have to be next year. By then I’d be 34 and I’d like to get going on it sooner rather than later (I won’t have this flex period in my career forever). The Saturday only program starts in the Spring, but finishes at the same time (and less Saturday classes is better for my family). Another alternative is the Americas program, but that doesn’t seem to be as much of a fit for a NY-based PE person (though I could be wrong about that). So I end up coming back to NYU….thoughts? TIA!

    • CornellEMBAStudent

      Also note that Cornell just announced that they will be commencing a 1 YR accelerated MBA in Manhattan at Google’s NYC HQ. This is in conjunction with the build out of the Cornell NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. Additionally, Cornell has Executive MBA options in and around Manhattan as another option in addition to NYU and Columbia as top choices. Thx and good luck…

  • disqus_5kiVQwew4N

    Hi Paul,

    I’m starting the application process for EMBA programs and I wanted to get a sense of my likelihood of admission. I’m very interested in Wharton’s EMBA program. I’ve been working for about 10 years and currently I’m a senior manager of finance at a fast growing/hyped startup. I report into the CFO. During my career, I’ve worked in both finance and analytics (web/business analytics) at Fortune 500s.

    I went to an ivy for undergrad, but my GPA isn’t great. I haven’t taken the gmat yet, but I’m hitting the mid 600s on my practice tests. Also, I’m a woman and an underrepresented minority.

    Also, how can I best position myself to increase my odds of admission?



    • PaulSBodine

      It sounds like you should be competitive at Wharton. Your GMAT is solid (698 is their average, so you are in the range), and your undergrad GPA is much less important than your career pace, which as a senior manager seems to be par for the course for Wharton. It would be helpful to know how much responsibility you have in terms of direct reports, P&L authority etc. and whether you have leadership in your community outside of work. But there’s no doubt that being an underrepresented minority woman will help you a great deal at Wharton. Two numbers that should encourage you: almost half of all applicants are admitted to Wharton’s EMBA program and only 17% of Wharton’s EMBA class is female. Feel free to send me your resume for a closer look: paulbodine@yahoo.com.

      –Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • CuriousOne

    Hello Paul – I am from the greater New England area and am curious to get your opinion on what area programs you favor Most – if I have an opportunity to attend the BU EMBA program, the Babson Fast Track program, one of Cornell’s EMBA programs, or the Northeastern EMBA? All things being equal (which they never are) how would you rank these choices?

    • JohnAByrne

      I’m posting this response from Paul due to some technical difficulty.


      For a New Englander, all of these schools will offer decent or better local networks, but if I were admitted to all 4, I would choose Cornell because it has the most recognized brand and is likely to open more doors. BU would come next, then Babson and Northeastern. However, if your career objective is entrepreneurship I would give the nod to Babson over BU. Other factors — length of program, average work experience of admitted students, cost etc. — could rearrange this order depending on your needs or profile, but this is the “all things being equal” short answer.

      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School


      • CuriousOne

        Many thanks!

  • AK

    Hi Paul,
    I am a supply chain executive from India with 11 years experience. I have been accepted to Kellogg HKUST as well as the TRIUM program. Which program do you feel would benefit me more? Thanking you

  • Eddy

    Hi Paul,

    I am from Boston area. Sr. Program Manager in IT. Although I do not have direct reports, I managed PMs, BAs and other IT folks via matrix reporting on the program. I was recently dinged at MIT Sloan Exec MBA (after getting an interview, where they specifically asked about direct reports and I have a gut feeling that I wasn’t high enough on the totem pole). Applied to BU for Jan start – awaiting result. Also trying to figure out whether to apply to Stern (Jan or Aug) and Cornell (Aug). I got a new job offer that is higher pay (25K more touching 150K) and direct reports (Sr. Manager) with a different company and my dilemma is whether I should wait for a few months and apply for next Aug instead of Jan as I don’t think my new co. will let me take Fridays off (If I accept offer) or should I stick with current and apply to Stern (Jan) and then decide between BU and Stern (assuming I get both).

    Any advice would be highly appreciated. I’m so confused….


    • PaulSBodine

      The new role sounds a strong step forward, so I would accept it and then wait until next August (or whenever your new company would accommodate a weekend EMBA). All things being equal (i.e., you are ready to move on, and like the new role), I would not turn down the new offer (a definite) for something possible (admission by BU or Stern), especially in that the new role will strengthen your chances at gaining admission to a better program than BU’s longer term.
      Good luck to you in your decision,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Ying Wang

    Hi there,

    If I take EMBA from a top tier US business school, will I get a job in the USA?

    I am Canadian Citizen originally from China. I have 7 years work experience as Accounting Supervisor. I am working in Canada right now. I came to Canada from China for better life 7 years ago. I completed an accounting designation from China as well as from Canada. Looking for better challenges.
    I am obsessed with the EMBA for some time now.
    I did not have opportunity and money to do it in China. I am 43 years.

    Do you think it makes sense to shell out $150,000 at this age with no guarantee of clear return in investment and a good job in US? Will US companies recruit from campus after the completion of EMBA? Can I get green card and settle down in US?


    • PaulSBodine


      The placement process at top EMBA programs differs from the full-time MBA’s on-campus recruiting model (which you seem to be alluding to). This is partly because students at most EMBA programs stay in their current roles and most return to it after the degree. Networking and a self-directed job search will therefore be important factors in your placement success, and there are no “guarantees,” especially if you
      will also be seeking a post-EMBA employer who will be willing to sponsor your
      green card.

      So your question is really two questions: do you have the quality of career progression, responsibility/managerial level, and “branding” to get admitted to a top-tier EMBA, and if you do will that EMBA assure you of a job in the US? To the first question, your age and 7 years of supervisory experience are in range, but I would need to know more. To the second, the answer is “probably, yes” but again “assure” means “high probability,” not “guarantee.”

      –Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

  • Eddy


    Need to choose between BU and NYU Stern. Is paying 70k more (plus traveling alternate weekends form BOS to NYC) for EMBA worth the higher ranking in the long term?


  • Barbados Guy

    Hi Paul,
    I’m currently working in Barbados and looking for a solid program. I can get to both NYC and MIA directly from Barbados. I have been thinking about Kellogg through the Miami campus. Although travelling to Miami once a month will be a drag. I would prefer a program with less frequent but longer residency. Any suggestions in NYC or MIA?

  • KJ

    Hello Paul,
    I hope you are still checking this thread! I am researching Purdue’s IMM EMBA program (a Google search led me here, where someone asked the same question in Feb 2011), and I would like to get your thoughts on it? I have heard great things from alumni, and am more concerned about the learning experience and ability for opportunity post graduation. I’d love to hear your opinion. Thanks!

    • PaulSBodine


      I profess to liking the design of Purdue’s EMBA: 5 2-week residential periods instead of the usual quick-in/out of alternative weekend plus the 5 modules that cycle you around the world, from Europe to Latin America to China. It’s innovative, global, and the curriculum provides good subject coverage — though I don’t have information on the quality of instruction per se. Regarding opportunities post-degree, the fact that you can choose the location of the partner program that awards you the other MBA (from Purdue’s 5 partner schools) suggests that, if you are strategic about this choice, you could connect to a local network in a region that aligns with your post-MBA goals. That said, the brand value of the 6 programs participating in the EMBA program is not especially high, and that will no doubt impact your employment opportunities post-degree. I recommend emailing Maureen Huffer Landis, Purdue’s Career Services Advisor (mhuffer@purdue.edu), and asking her for data on the program’s placement data both in the U.S. and in whichever region interests you post-degree: percentage employed, salary increase post-degree, names of employers etc. The quality of the data she gives you (and the rough ROI analysis you can do from it) is where your true answer will be found.

      Good luck,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • embaeval

    Hi Paul,

    I am not sure if you do still check this thread but I wanted to get feedback on my profile for EMBA applications at two schools: 1)Wharton EMBA 2)Columbia EMBA (Fri/Sat Program). Both starting in fall 2014.

    Age: 36 (Will be 37 in next 2 months)
    Education: BS – Civil Engineer from premier school in India, High GPA, MS – Purdue University – Civil Engineering, GPA 3.57
    Work Experience: Total 12 years
    1 year at silicon start up as software engineer > 1 year at Apple software engineer > 9 years at Amazon starting as senior engineer growing into program manager > engineering manager and eventually group manager (run two teams with ops, tech and product ownership)
    Last 1 year: Started my own independent consulting – worked with startup and two big name retailers for pure strategy consulting with exec team
    Differentiator: At Amazon part of team that started new business that grew into fairly big venture in 4 years, in process I did marketing, product management, technology development even pre sales, last 4 years direct report team size from 7 to eventually 22 at the time of exit at Amazon
    GMAT: Yet to give in one month – 6 year old score 680 – I will likely hit that range (Q 47-48, V 36 to 39 range)
    Extracurricular: Nothing extraordinary, local volunteering excursions, one work event to arrange and lead a group out to volunteer at local library, backpack international travel is hobby

    • PaulSBodine

      You are competitive for both of these programs. Your age and projected GMAT score put you right in range, but more importantly, your program management experience with a key new business at Amazon will make you attractive to the schools and a value-add to your classmates. I recommend making the best case you can that your consultancy is a ‘going concern’ to allay potential adcom concerns (i.e., they worry about sponsorship and the current employment status of their EMBA students). Big leadership outside of work in your community would be nice but is not a deal-breaker. Feel free to send me your resume for more focused feedback.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applicatiions for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Scott

    Paul, my question is as much about post graduate opportunities for EMBAs as it is about programs themselves. I started and have run my own company (specialty food cpg) for the past seven years but expect to seek employment after finishing a degree. Since most EMBAs return to their former careers and find the degree’s value and I will have no such career to return to, what is the value of an EMBA in the job market for someone like myself?

  • Olufemi

    Hi Paul,

    Like everyone should be, I’m
    quite grateful to be able to ask for you expertise. I have applied to the
    Executive MBA class for 2015 for HEC Business school Paris(I’m going out on a
    limb here, I don’t expect that European business school admission requirements
    should be that different from the US).

    So my question goes thus; How
    best can I prepare for a ‘Business Case’ assessment? Could you kindly recommend
    tools? material? websites? My search so far is leaving me more confused than
    when I started.

    At the moment it seems like
    making a good impression at the afore mentioned assessment is all that stands
    between me and enrolment into one of (it seems) the more prestigious EMBA’s in
    Europe. A bit of my background, I’m a Chemical Engineer with almost 10years Oil
    industry experience (currently on expatriation from Nigeria, Africa to France).

    Finally, I should also probably
    point out that at my preliminary interview (2nd of a 4 stage process to getting
    the admission), I was told that the average class age is 39 (I’m 33) and work
    experience 15 years (I’ve got a little over 9).

    GMAT is not a requirement, the
    assessment substitutes for a GMAT score of over 600.

    So it won’t hurt to know what
    else i can do (apart from ace the Business Case assessment) to improve my chances.

    Thanking you again in advance for
    your help.



    PS: Despite my relative
    inexperience (compared to the class) my interviewer found my profile a strong
    one and hence passed me on to the next stage (which is where you come in!)

    • PaulSBodine


      First, don’t worry about your age vis-avis HEC’s average
      age being a major issue. You are “old enough” for an EMBA and the key
      factor anyway is your level of professional responsibility, which I’d be
      happy to assess if you send me your CV. To prepare for a case assessment
      interview, it helps to just stay abreast of business news such as by reading
      Financial Times, Economist etc. and be able to speak thoughtfully about current business trends. For more hard-core consulting style case
      interview preparation, consider books like Victor Cheng’s Case Interview Secrets
      or David Ohrvall’s Crack the Case. There are also websites like caseinterview.com and preplounge.com that you might want to check out. However,
      the best way to make a good impression in an MBA admissions interview is to show
      that you know the HEC program well and can describe specifically how it will enable you to
      realize your career goals. So study HEC’s website closely and reach out to HEC students and alums. Be able to talk about how your unique set of experiences (industry, cultural background, managerial exposure) will contribute to your HEC class.
      Good luck,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • C

    I’ve applied to WashU Olin EMBA. No GMAT but site manager for $7b company. 100 workers directly under me. Will be a GM in less than two years. Also proven success as entrepreneur in industry with international experience. Undergrad had mediocre grades but shows progression and improvement junior and senior year. Haven’t interviewed yet. What do you think my chances are based off of what I’ve told you?

    • PaulSBodine

      Based on what you’ve told me, I think your odds at Wash Olin are very good. They do have a 10 year minimum work experience requirement and want people with 5 years of managerial experience but I doubt these are hard requirements (in case you don’t meet them). Your undergrad grades don’t matter very much.

      Hope this helps,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/outcomes

  • Yuvi

    I am working as Lead Business Analyst in Capital Markets Domain for the past 9 yrs and have exposure to Asia pacific, european and north American countries. When is the right time to do an executive MBA and which business schools must I target. I will be taking GMAT on 15th July ‘2014.

    • Yuvi,
      At most EMBA programs, 9 years’ work experience is sufficient to qualify for admission. However, managerial responsibility and strong career growth are more important than work experience per se. If you have no direct reports then you won’t be a competitive applicant at top EMBA programs irrespective of years of experience or high GMAT. Hope this helps.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Anne

    Hi! I am targeting Rice & University of Texas’s Evening MBA Programs. I received a 560 on my GMAT and have a 3.4 GPA. How are my prospects for admittance? Should I be re-taking my GMAT? Thanks! – Anne

    • Anne,
      The median GMAT for Rice and McCombs’ evening MBA is 625 and 628, respectively, which you are well short of. Even if your application has some major offsetting strengths, your odds are not good with your current score. Unless you really don’t think you can raise the score and/or have major compensating factor such as a fast-track managerial career or underrepresented minority status, I would retake it. Hope this helps.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/outcomes

  • Swethal

    LBS EMBA Ques 2014: How has the scope of your management experience
    affected your career objectives? What exactly adco wants to hear from the candidate for this ques?

    • Swethal,
      This is basically a goals essay. They want to know how the experience of leadership or of expanding responsibility in your own career has changed your sense of your own potential and your specific post-MBA goals. For example, perhaps earlier in your career your goals were more technical and now you have confidence that you can aspire to senior management. It’s also possible to say that, no, your post-MBA goals have always been the same — then describe them. Either way, aside from describing your post-MBA goals you could also talk about how you have found that you enjoy managing others — and provide brief examples of your leadership effectiveness.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.topmba.guru/outcomes

  • R_99

    Thanks very much in advance for helping me with my question.
    I am currently a business manager for a SME (~$120M in revenues)… My company just acquired a very small scale (about ~$10M) company and asking me to head this acquired business for growth and integration into parent company. I have a technical degree (PhD) but would like pursue an E-MBA. The budget is constraint as my company would only sponsor up to $75K in costs. I have heard that EMBA should be only be pursued through elite universities or it doesnt make sense. I am in Chicago metro area… considering Notre Dame, Ohio State, or UNC-Chapel Hill. I am debating whether should I go to Harvard’s GMP or PLD exec education vs. EMBA with the above mentioned universities? Could you please help? Am I thinking in the right direction?

    • R_99,
      First, anyone considering an EMBA in Chicago should look at Booth and Kellogg — both outstanding programs with deep local roots but also international brands.

      There are different reasons for seeking an MBA. If it’s to gain a set of skills and your organization doesn’t really care where you get it, then you don’t need an elite university. If you seek an EMBA for the network, then an elite university is preferable, but even here if Chicago is your post-MBA market, then a a good “regional” EMBA like U. of Illinois in Chicago or Notre Dame would probably give you a fine Chicago network. Ohio State and UNC Chapel Hill are solid to good EMBA programs but by no means elite and would not really help you with a Chicago network. Given that you are not with a major company you may not need the brand that comes from an elite program — unless you are thinking long term after you leave your current employer.

      As for Harvard’s GMP and PLD, these are condensed or accelerated experiences that don’t cover all the material of an MBA but do give you a lower price tag, a Harvard credential and a high-quality set of classmates. If you don’t need the full MBA experience (your learning needs are more limited or you are primarily interested in getting ‘branded’) and/or you don’t want to commit more than 6 months or so, then these HBS programs may suit you.

      So which of these various routes you choose will depend a lot on your particular situation and needs. Feell free to reach out at paulsbodine@gmail.com

      Hope this helps,

      • r_99

        Hi Paul, excellent answer, thank you so much. I will reach
        out on your email. In spirit of continuing discussion here, few more points –
        yes my employer doesn’t care where I get my emba from. They are only supporting
        me by paying up to $75K. I know booth and kellogg both programs typically run
        $150K or above… so, I would have to pay 50% or more out of my pocket. Thats why I am leaving them out or anyother top 5 programs that would cost me over $100K…. My goal
        is skill building primarily, networking will be secondary but not a must as my
        role will be Americas & Global. So, my quandary is – should I go with
        accelerated program like what Harvard offers or go with an EMBA? This is
        keeping my goal in mind. I also came across EMBA in Spain at IE i.e. around
        $100K which is what I would look to spend. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank again!

        • If you primarily are looking for skill building then I would pursue an EMBA at lower-cost programs such as IE. Good luck.

  • DC EMBA Guy

    Hi Paul,

    I am looking for Exec MBA programs in the DC Metro Area (U MD, Gtown, George Mason, UVA, etc). I graduated from a small Ivy and have a law degree from a top 20 law school. I am now in business affairs and development in the IT/Education industry and my company is encouraging me to go for an EMBA. Problem is my company is small and I seriously doubt that they would foot the bill. I am an “underrepresented minority” and I am wondering if there are any scholarships available for EMBA programs (full or close to full). I have student loans from law school and don’t want to rack up any more debt. What are my options?

  • Jaspreet Issar

    Hi, my husband has done a three year diploma course from a university in Delhi, India. He is carrying more than 12 years exp with a globally based IT consultancy firm. I need to understand whether he is eligible for a EMBA program at Purdue. Considering the fact he is a non degree applicant, I seek your suggestion. Regards, Jaspreet Issar.

  • Jaspreet Issar

    Hi Paul, basically if he is eligible, then both of us intend to do EMBA program from Purdue in Indianapolis. We shall be based there for at least three years and are keen for getting into a good executive MBA course. Looking forward for your suggestions on this. Regards Jaspreet. (Reachable at jaspreet4444@gmail.com).

    • Jaspreet,

      Purdue does prefer the 4-year’s bachelor’s degree. They are allowed to admit 1 student per cohort who does not have a bachelor’s degree but they would expect that applicant to have at least 2 years of college (even if they did not ultimately earn the bachelor’s degree). They only accept 3-year degrees from certain Indian schools. You can email them directly if you want more details: krannertexec@purdue.edu

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Rajesh

    Hi Paul,

    I am 35 years old with 14 years of experience in Information Technology with managerial experience of years having direct reports. My undergrad GPA is something am not proud of but I have a part-time Masters degree in Information Technology where I gathered 3.5 GPA. Am targeting to enroll into a good EMBA program in one of these schools – Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Sloan, Stern, Ross, Fuqua, UCLA, Cornell’s Johnson. If I achieve a 650 in GMAT, which schools do you think I will be in a position to get into? Also, since some of the schools, like Kellogg, Sloan, Stern, Ross and Johnson do not require GMAT scores, would you still advise to take the test?


    • Rajesh,
      EMBA programs don’t focus a lot of attention on undergrad GPA. They care about your career pace and responsibility level, among other factors. I would need to know more than your GMAT score to give you odds on your chances at these schools (you can email your CV to paulsbodine@gmail.com), but a 650 would be a solid/competitive score at almost all of these schools (except perhaps e.g., Wharton). You don’t have to disclose your GMAT score to schools that don’t require one so a 650 would not ‘hurt you’ if that’s what you’re asking.
      Hope this helps,

  • gaurav

    Hi Paul,

    I want you to give me a rough estimate of my chances to EMBA at Wharton. I will consider Columbia EMBA only if you think Wharton might be a stretch. Below is my profile

    Age: 34
    Ethnicity: Indian
    Undergraduate: IIT – India (7.1/10)
    Graduate: NC State (3.73) – Operations Research
    Work Experience – 8 years + all in Analytics (Currently Capital One)
    Designation: Sr Manager
    Salary + Bonus: $150k+
    Sponsorship: Good Chance
    GMAT: 710


    • Gaurav,
      Based on the info you provided, I’d say you have a solid shot at Wharton, especially if your senior manager role involves multiple direct reports. Icing on the cake would be leadership in your community in some way. Company sponsorship would certainly help since Wharton’s sponsorship is down to 22% these days. Feel free to send me your CV for a closer look: paulsbodine@gmail.com.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • Y

    Hi Paul

    I have 12 years of startup experience (as CTO). I am now getting back to corporate world. Given my technology background, I am mostly getting inward facing technology roles in consume internet industry. I am more keen on product management or outward facing roles. I am exploring executive MBA programs. I am not looking to change industry, will stick to consumer internet space. I am looking for a functional change – technology management to product management. I think EMBA can help me achieve this transition. Correct me if I am wrong.
    My bigger concern is the cost. I am in India and that makes these international EMBA programs even more difficult for me to recover the cost. I am fed up of people telling me again and again to think twice about my decision of pursuing an EMBA – to the extent that I have almost started to question whether these programs are really worth something when so few people have anything good to say about them.

    • Y,
      Although you plan to stay in your industry, the functional switch from technology management to product management even with industries is not a trivial one. How well an EMBA can help you make such a functional transition will depend on factors like the dynamics and internal mobility of the consumer internet space and its companies as well as how common the MBA is among consumer internet product managers. If your intent is to stay in India’s consumer internet industry, then judging by the reaction you are getting from “people” an expensive foreign EMBA may not be worth the cost — that is, it may be overkill in terms of what’s required to change function in your industry, or worse it may be useless. I would need to know more about your industry to say. For your part, you can and should reach out to senior product managers in your space in India and ask them whether the MBA would help you make the move. But also keep in mind that because EMBA programs don’t offer summer internships and are not as immersive and resource-rich as full-time MBAs, you may not be able to re-tool your skills for product management with an EMBA in quite the way you could with an MBA. So I do recommend doing more due diligence within your industry to make sure that an MBA is the optimal way to accomplish your functional transition. Hope this helps.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Y

        Thanks Paul.
        From your experience, what is the value (if any) that people in technology management derive from EMBA programs. Do they generally change functions or do they find EMBA helpful in handling responsibilities at higher level where they have to make strategic calls as CTO?
        Or are we saying that EMBA has very limited value for career growth of people in technology management?

        • I’m certainly not saying EMBAs have little career growth value for people in technology management. An MBA could be an expected credential for someone seeking to rise within a larger organization or a way of signaling readiness to accept broader responsibilities or expanding one’s network or visibility in the technology space. Because you are CTO, perhaps an EMBA can’t help you climb higher, but it might stamp you as ready for CEO or ready to shift to senior leadership in another, larger tech organization. My point was that if you seek to use the EMBA to transition into product management, you first do due diligence in your organization and industry to be sure that the degree would be recognized as helping you do that. Even if an EMBA gives you the skills to make this switch, if your organization or industry doesn’t see the value, then it may not be worth the cost.


  • Carlos

    Hi Paul how are you?
    Now I’m in Sdsu on a pre-mba program, I’m 41 almost 42, I want to applied for an executive mba I think than is the best for my age, I’ve a business in Mexico but I want to learn all about capital markets, and risk management cold you recomend me a good emba program for me…

    • Carlos,
      Welcome to San Diego :). For EMBAs with strong risk management and capital markets resources I would look toward Wharton, NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, Columbia, and MIT Sloan.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • MM

    Hi Paul,

    I am a 27 year old female and am planning on applying to the Wharton EMBA program. I work as a Product Manager for a technology company that specializes in adaptive learning technologies, computational linguistics, and natural language understanding. I currently manage two development teams, one in Dhaka, Bangladesh and one stateside for two different products. I also work very closely with both of the Sales teams delivering product training and as a technical resource to help close sales. My undergraduate degree is in Chemistry and Philosophy and I have a GPA of 3.39. I took my GMAT and scored a 600, I’m much stronger in Verbal than Quant (surprisingly).

    The company I work for is my family business, and I will have full sponsorship for the program (also required because I’m under 30). I have been steadily working my way up in the company for the last 3 years and hope with an EMBA that I will eventually become manager of one of our business units.

    Do you think I should consider retaking my GMAT to be more competitive? I am a little bit worried about Quant because I don’t think my score reflects my capabilities. One current student thought I should be competitive with a 640. Do you also feel that my other achievements make me a candidate for this program? I live in the Philadelphia area, so Wharton was an obvious choice. Do you feel I would be a good candidate for other programs?

    • MM,
      The short answer is, yes, you should retake given that Wharton
      Philly’s middle 80% GMAT range is 620-750. I agree that anything in the 650 or
      higher range will put you in play given your assets: gender (only 27% women
      now), sponsorship, managerial responsibility level, family business factor
      (B-schools like family businesses), international angle (Bangladesh), and the
      distinctiveness of your industry (adaptive learning/natural language). It’s a
      distinctive brew, though I would love to see a CV to make sure I’m reading your
      profile right. Wharton is among the finest executive programs available so you
      would also be competitive at virtually all of the other programs. Given your
      Product Manager focus, for example, Kellogg–along with Wharton, one of the top
      5 EMBAs–springs immediately to mind. And one of Kellogg’s many virtues is that
      it does not require the GMAT. Feel free to send me your resume for a closer
      look: paulsbodine@gmail.com.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School,

  • txmd

    Hi Paul,

    I’m a 33 year old physician. I practice in a mixed academic/private environment, and am Cornell Faculty and recently made partner at my practice. I just took my GMAT, and scored a 760, with an IR of 8. I’m really interested in doing an EMBA at one of the top tier programs – Wharton, Kellogg, Booth. My goals are to eventually end up in administration in the medical environment and to continue doing clinical practice. Some weaknesses of my application – I went to a mid tier college in the midwest (3.99 gpa, chem) and mid tier med school (top 25%). I went to a good residency in the south, and Ivy league for fellowship on the east coast. My age is going to work against me, but what sort of things would you recommend that I do to enhance my appeal? I also saw someone mention their income, does that make a difference? I will make about 700k this year; that will probably move up to 900k over the next few years. Thanks in advance!

    • txmd,
      Your appeal as it is is already strong, and you will be competitive at these schools. The caliber of your college and medical school will be minor admissions factors, especially given your impressive GMAT (which will assure them that you can handle their programs academically). At the EMBA level, admissions departments are less interested in academic brand (though your Cornell association & Ivy League fellowship do give you brand). They are more interested in career pace, responsibility level, managerial experience etc. There is also a “diversity” element–i.e., what special perspectives can you bring to classmates–that benefits you: as a physician your insights will be distinctive. So how to enhance your already considerable appeal?: (a) demonstrate that you have due-diligenced their programs, (b) show leadership in your community, (c) convince them that an MBA is essential to your post-degree path. Some applicants also have personal stories of socioeconomic or other adversity that can add texture to a candidacy. If you’d like to send me your CV (paulsbodine@gmail.com), I’d be glad to give you more focused feedback.

  • Stephen Utts

    I am a practicing gastroenterologist in Austin and 63 years old and received an invitation letter to apply for Darthouth MHCDS program and applied. I have been involved in our state society in legislative leadership and am listed with Best Doctors and have been chief of staff at our local hospital and was president of our group practice. They opened applications for Round 2 Feb 2 and am awaiting invitation to interview. I’m getting nervous and now wondering whether I should also submit application to Brown University Master in healthcare Leadership hybrid program before the March 9 priority deadline. The have a rolling admission process until class fills.The acceptance deadline for Darthmouth is 3/20.

    • Stephen,
      You certainly seem quite qualified for Dartmouth’s program. I don’t see any harm in sending a note to George Newcomb, MHCDS director of admissions, indicating your interest in speaking with him about the program. This proactive approach would clearly demonstrate your interest, and is very unlikely to have any negative consequences. That said, it’s good to have a fallback plan, and Brown’s program is strong and similar to Dartmouth’s in many ways. So submitting an app by their priority deadline would be a smart move. Good luck!
      –Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com

    • Stephen Utts

      That’s very helpful.
      I’ll follow your good advice

  • Expert EMBA admissions consulting from a former Harvard interviewer: http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com

  • RR Chicago

    I am in a little bit of a unique situation – I attended a big ten school with a highly ranked business program graduating in 2008. At my time of graduation I had my final course (taken at a community college) waiting to transfer over, but long story short it led to wrangling and now I have technically just been awarded my bachelor’s degree in 2014 at the age of 29. During my undergraduate years I worked part time to pay for my school and traveled home frequently due to family issues, so my gpa was a less than stellar 2.5.

    Despite that, I have had continuous employment in my field (supply chain management) with consistent advancement from an account manager/sales role, to analyst, project manager, manager, and now senior manager. In my past roles I have managed teams from 3 to 15 people and an annual department budget of $23m. In my current role I handle projects for our largest clients (multiple fortune 500 companies) and manage functional teams in excess of 25 people and budgets of $1m+ per project.

    I am interested in Notre Dame’s emba program and know that I will need to take the gmat to show I am better than my academic record, but I am curious about your opinion.

    • RR Chicago,
      Boy, are you perfect for an EMBA program :). Your late degree and GPA will not hold you back (a) given your outstanding management credentials and (b) assuming you achieve a decent GMAT score (mid to high 600s). Mendoza waives the GMAT for some applicants, so you should certainly ask, while also expressing your willingness to take it or any courses they might want. Given your current responsibility level I would be surprised if they didn’t try to smooth your application process. I’d be glad to help you with the application process.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/outcomes

  • Sergey

    Hi, Paul. I have graduated from Medical school in Moscow in 2002 (Magna Cum Laude), then completed PhD and DSc theses in Moscow (Medical imaging), completed MPH at Harvard University in 2006 (GPA 3.8). Since 2004 I’ve been working as a college teacher, now full professor of radiology. Since 2007 I’ve been heading radiology department in Moscow’s major hospital and in 2014 was promoted to deputy CEO position (healthcare business). My major skills are in the areas of business creativity, team management, people leadership, entrepreneurship, influence, fast problem solving. Currently I am considering EMBA, PLD or GMP program in Europe which would allow me to work at home while traveling to study not more than once in a month (3-6 days sessions). I am 36 now. My purpose is to be prepared for the international career path (healthcare business).
    I will be very happy to have an advice from you.

    • Sergey,
      Needless to say, you have an impressive profile, so you can aim high. Your requirements are clear, and there are a few programs that meet them:
      1. EMBAs (I considered only the top 15 non-US EMBAs as ranked by P&Q): IMD (9 weeks total out of the office but never longer than 6 days) and Oxford (some modules outside of Europe but none longer than 6 days)
      2. PLDs: IESE in Barcelona or in Barcelona/Munich (called a PMD)
      3. GMP: ESCP Europe, in Torino, in Berlin/London, or in Paris/London/Berlin/Madrid/Torino
      If you are open to the occasional full week out of the office then programs like ESADE and LBS would also work for you.
      As noted, you have multiple differentiators working for you, so top programs would probably be delighted to get your application. I’d be glad to help you with the process (paulsbodine@gmail).
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Sergey

        Thank you, Paul! This is excellent and very helpful recommendation. I will contact you directly.

  • Josh Benson

    Hi Paul,

    I’m 30 years old and looking at EMBA and Part-Time programs. I’m strongly considering Kenan-Flagler’s EMBA program vs. several PT programs. All other variables equal, what is the value or perception different between an EMBA and part time program?

    • Josh,
      The perception question can of course be a moot point if your resume or LinkedIn profile just says “MBA.” If the nature of your MBA comes out in an interview then the difference in perception (but not necessarily reality) would probably be that an EMBA is somehow more of a career grooming or career signaling experience than an academic one, and that a part-time MBA is a ‘real’ MBA that was simply done over time rather than immersively. But you could easily correct that false distinction in describing your own MBA experience to anyone.
      The actual difference in value between an EMBA or part-time MBA will depend on the programs in question, where you are in your career, whether you’re trying to use the MBA to make a career change etc. For example, even if we decide that an EMBA is generally a higher-value experience than a part-time MBA, I would argue that a part-time degree from, say, Haas or Booth is higher-value than an EMBA from UNC. Hope this helps.

      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

  • BISWahoo

    Hi Paul,
    I am currently an almost 40 year old who is finishing his undergrad at UVa’s adult
    education degree completion program (Universityof Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies Bachelors of Interdisciplinary studies). I would like to go to Darden for an EMBA after I graduate (Spring 2016). My first attempts at undergrad were less than
    stellar, but most of the bad grades were 20 years ago. In my current degree
    completion program I have a 4.0 GPA, I haven’t taken the GMATs yet, but take
    the GRE with not great results (in my defense I literally did no preparation
    for it; it was more of a baseline). My GRE results were 158 verbal, 146 quant,
    and 4.5 analytical writing. I will be taking a GMAT prep course and taking it
    soon. I have 15 years of experience in Information Security (mostly consulting)
    with a progressive career trajectory. I am Senior Consultant specializing in
    PCI and credit card security. While I have worked at a lot of small shops I
    have also worked for some big names in the consulting world (the consulting arm
    of one of the largest US telecom companies), one of the largest global banks
    (as an assistant vice president), and internship with a big four accounting
    firm. I do not currently manage direct reports, but I have been doing
    engagement and project management for at least a decade (projects did have team
    members as resources and I had to manage their responsibilities for the
    projects) and therefore I do have indirect leadership experience. I have not
    really been responsible for P&L but the cumulative revenue from my
    engagements is usually between $300-500k. My biggest concern is even though I
    am likely to graduate summa cum laude (UVa calls it “Highest Distinction”) it
    is still a degree completion program and therefore a non-traditional education.
    Also, if you take my cumulative from my entire collegiate career (including
    some really horrendous grades my freshman and sophomore years) I think the
    highest I can get it up to assuming I continue with a 4.0 at UVa is around
    3.2-3.3. I want to know what my chances are for getting into Darden. Being a
    UVa alumnus I would assume helps but I don’t know how much. I know I will definitely
    need to either get the GRE scores up or take the GMAT and do better, but I
    don’t know how important they are. I will also be applying to UNC’s
    Kenan-Flagler. Are there areas I should work on (aside from the aptitude tests)
    that could increase my chances?

    One other note is that the primary reasons for Darden being my top choice are first, the
    fact that they are known more for consulting rather than finance which is
    consistent with my experience and future career aspirations, and second that
    they rely heavily on the case method with a very hands-on approach which is
    complementary to my learning style (I learn by doing not by reading some theory
    in a book).

    • BISWahoo

      One additional thing I’d like to point out is that I have had a strong career progression despite not having a bachelor’s degree, in a field in which 95% have degrees and almost half have advanced degrees.

      • BISWahoo,
        Thanks for the depth of background on yourself. I doubt that your nontraditional academic path or your GPA would hold you back at UVA’s EMBA program. I’m not as confident that your lack of direct reports won’t be an obstacle for you, and I am definitely concerned about your GRE, which converts into a 480 GMAT, way outside Darden’s middle 80% (570-720). That said, EMBA programs are not terribly selective. Darden invites applicants to “Schedule a Conversation” with them (including your CV if you want), so why not see what they say (keep in mind that they wear marketing hats over their admissions hats so take any encouraging words with a grain of salt). For UNC, the GMAT is optional for one of their EMBA programs, the Global OneMBA, so perhaps pursue that. They too are very accessible to applicants, so consider scheduling a 1:1 admissions consult to see what they say about your chances.
        Hope this helps,
        –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com/outcomes

  • Amit Kaushik

    Hi Paul,

    I have question regarding doing MBA and question is really vague and broad:

    Firstly My Profile:
    -I am 32 years old and have 11+ years of IT experience in various domains and capacity (starting from Business Analyst to Business Architect roles)
    – Worked in various geographies ( APAC,Europe,North America,Africa) did schooling in India from Mediocre college (Engineering)

    – My GMAT score is really bad ~500
    Secondly my ambiguity:
    – I want to grow as everyone else( Growth,Money etc) are factors.I am confused in spending $100k+ money in executive MBA ( If got admission based on above profile) , will it be worth?
    – I have entrepreneurial mindset as well ,and due to lack of proper contacts/Skills in getting work not moving in any direction there.Hence sometime MBA question comes
    – Will provide Contacts ( Better ones)
    – Will provide require skills for fast pace growth ( I thought so)
    – Will be helpful in overall horizon expansion

    And Lastly my Question:

    1) Can you please suggest at this point of career and confusion , shall I go ahead and spend this much in any executive MBA , and if yes which college I should concentrate?
    2) I should explore other avenue to generate leads for entrepreneurial work and spend given money in that direction

    Thanks for reading such a long post

    Best regards,

    • Amit,
      Yes, the MBA is expensive, but aside from the skills it can give you (which need not be expensive to obtain), a good program can give you the network/contacts that can help you achieve your career goals. This network (membership in this club) is why EMBAs are expensive. But in order to advise you whether you in particular should spend $100K on an EMBA I would need to know far more about you. Based on what I do know about your career thus far and your GMAT score, my sense is that (a) you would not be competitive at the selective EMBA programs that could offer you the highest-quality network and (b) you should therefore expend your resources either directly on an entrepreneurial effort or on a much less expensive educational experience. For example, consider an online MBA, a local/regional MBA in the area where your future business will be based, and/or try to build contacts through your own networking efforts. Don’t believe that they only way to get a quality professional network is to fork over $100,000.
      Hope this helps,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Amit Kaushik

        Thanks Paul for answer.Please let me know how can I discuss and work on my question in detail with you


  • BusinessSchoolQuestions

    I am considering an eMBA or Certificate program, like the Harvard PLD or GMP and wanted to get your thoughts on pros and cons. As some background, I am approximately 40 years old and a senior executive/manager at a smallish publicly traded financial firm. My primary goal is to move into a senior leadership position at my current firm and hopefully the C-Suite area…
    Having said that, I Have a solid (about a 3.2 Cum) undergraduate GPA from a well regarded PAC 12 School – think U of Arizona, U of Oregon, U Colorado etc, and a Masters in International Relations with a 3.7 GPA from a well regarded DC School – think American U or GWU. I have not taken the GMAT and would prefer not to but will if necessary. My practice tests have been around 700 +/-.
    I like the Certificate programs brevity and the HBS stamp but am totally turned off that it is a Certificate and not a Degree. I am currently more inclined to pursue a highly regarded eMBA program because I value the MBA Degree Credential. Any advice or thoughts?

    • BSQ,
      The pros of certificate programs like PLD are that they take less time away from your life/career, are cheaper, and – in the case of PLD and GMP – allow you to put Harvard’s name on your LinkedIn and earn official alumni status. The cons
      are that they are less rigorous academically than EMBA programs (emphasizing
      leadership soft skills; PLD covers only about 20% of the case studies HBS MBAs get) and do not confer a degree. Whether a cerificate program would give you the career payoff you seek will depend to some extent on your specific organization and the skill set you already have. In your case, because a non-degree certificate is a major turn-off, you probably should pursue an EMBA and do seem to have both the academic and professional credentials to qualify for a good one. Strong programs like Kellogg, MIT, Michigan, and Cornell do not require the GMAT.

      Hope this helps,
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • BusinessSchoolQuestions

        Thx for the guidance. I agree and will look at pursuing an EMBA..
        Thx again

  • Frank11

    Hello Paul,

    I am currently in the military and find myself interested in starting an executive MBA program. I am looking to possibly change careers geared towards entrepreneurship (most attractive option), consulting or move into a more executive role within the aerospace or defence industry. Although I am looking to possibly make the actual change in a few years, the near term offers the best oppurtunity for me to complete an MBA due to time and family commitments. Also, there is the possibilty of partial subsidization within my current organization, which further makes completing an MBA in the short term an attractive option.

    I am 35 and completed a Bachelor of Engineering with a C GPA. I have been in the military for 10 years. I spent the first five years as a pilot and the remaining as an aerospace engineer. I am currently in an engineering project management role within the military. Furthermore, I have completed dual specialization MSc from Embry-Riddle with a GPA of 4.0 (with distiction).
    I am currently looking at the joint Kellogg-Schulich EMBA or the IE Global EMBA.
    My questions are the following:
    Would my background be acceptable to apply to either of these schools?
    Also, which school would allow for the most flexibilty in terms of employment type and location (North America preferred) after graduation?
    I appreciate your insight.

    • Frank,

      Thanks for your service. You will need 3 years of managerial experience at IE (10 years total) and Kellogg will also be very interested in how much project management or military leadership you have. Project management experience should be sufficient, however (as long as its deep enough). Generally, business schools welcome military applicants and neither of these programs is particularly selective. Kellogg does suggest that you submit your resume to them and they will give you their take on your chances (as well as letting you know whether you have enough quant exposure to waive the GMAT; IE does not require the GMAT).

      If you seek the most international EMBA, the lowest-cost MBA, anticipate focusing your career in Spain, Singapore, Los Angeles, or Brazil, and don’t mind an online learning component then the IE program my be the one for you. If you want a degree that has a stronger brand (because of Kellogg), is more North American focused, can handle a $115K price tag then I would recommend you choose Kellogg. Neither school is especially forthcoming about their employment data but Kellogg-Schulich does place its MBAs into a healthy variety of roles and industries: http://www.schulich.yorku.ca/client/schulich/Schulich_LP4W_LND_WebStation.nsf/resources/Documents/$file/MBA+and+IMBA+Employment+and+Salary+Report+2014.pdf. Again, because of its North American anchoring and brand strength I would choose Kellogg. Send them your CV to see if they encourage you. I think they will.

      Good luck,
      Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.paulsbodine.com

      • Frank11


        Thanks for your insight!



  • curiouser

    I’m aiming for the Columbia EMBA program. I’m 28-years old, I’ve been promoted 2x at my current job in investor relations at a public company, am at a manager level with now 1 (new) report, and my company is willing to give me partial tuition reimbursement if I decide to proceed. I believe I can produce strong recommendations, but the one thing making me hesitate is the GMAT score of 610–even more worrisome than my busy and sometimes unpredictable work schedule. Is the 610 score a make or break issue? What score should I be aiming for? Is there any downside to applying right up to the ED deadline?


    • curiouser,
      Your 610 will not be a deal-breaker (automatic ding trigger) at Columbia EMBA, but its impact on your admissions decision will be affected by several factors: your Quant vs. Verbal subscore breakdown, your undergrad GPA, and other profile factors, e.g., you are somewhat younger than CBS’s average EMBA student and have somewhat less managerial responsibility. These could affect you negatively, especially if you also have little leadership outside of work and have weak ‘diversity credentials’ (i.e., potential to add something unique to their class). The bottom line is that a 610 offset by enhancing factors in all of the other parts of your profile could get you admitted; negative factors could magnify the 610 and hurt you. In other words, I would need to know more, but I would aim for a high 600s (balanced 680 or better — ideally 80th percentile in Quant and Verbal). The only downside to applying near the ED deadline is that CBS evaluates applications on a rolling basis, so many slots may have been already been filled (example: I had 2 Columbia ED applicants admitted who started their apps as soon as they became available and were admitted in late July!). Hope this helps; I’d be glad to review your profile if you send me your resume: paulsbodine@gmail.com.

  • Lane

    Hi Paul,
    Curious for your thoughts on comparing the value of the the MS in Management degree from Stanford MSx vs the MBA from Wharton EMBA San Francisco?

    • Lane,
      Short answer: IMO Stanford’s brand trumps Wharton’s brand, so although one would ideally want to say one had earned an EMBA from Stanford, an MSx from Stanford still ‘beats’ an EMBA from Wharton in some Platonic sense, especially if your post-degree career will be West Coast focused (as the wording of your question implies). Stanford’s regional roots are deeper, its regional alumni base is bigger, its regional ecosystem is stronger.

      Longer answer: Does this mean that no one should choose a Wharton EMBA over a Stanford MSx? Of course not. The two degrees and programs are different, and those differences will make all the ‘difference’ for many people:
      1. The MSx is full-time, which will be a deal-breaker for many. Wharton’s part-time program, while grueling, trumps MSx on opportunity costs.
      2. Aside from opportunity cost, Wharton is arguably cheaper on an annualized basis ($186,900 for 2 years vs. MSx’s $171,270 for 1 year) — if not necessarily on a physical-time-on-campus basis.
      3. Wharton offers not only the MBA credential, as I noted, but its EMBA is not a watered-down MBA lite. Stanford’s degree is no kind of MBA at all.
      4. Wharton trumps Stanford on curricular choice — 200 electives vs. Stanford’s 100.
      5. Though MSx is a somewhat more international program in terms of class diversity (61% are non-US students vs. 51% for Wharton), Wharton has done a better job of globalizing the EMBA experience through its required Globular Modular Course or Global Consulting Practicum etc.
      6. Wharton’s broader alumni network is larger: 94,000 Wharton alums vs. 28,000 GSB alums (though Stanford’s are more likely West Coast-distributed).
      Still, if none of these 6 factors were mission-critical to me, I would give Stanford MSx the edge in terms of brand value and opening doors in the Bay Area entrepreneurial ecosystem.
      Hope this helps,
      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

  • Anshu Lall

    Hi Paul, I am 45 yrs old and have 20+ years of experience in IT as a Principal Architect and also held many leadership positions primarily as a Practice manger. I have a strong resume in terms of having rich IT experience and also rich leadership experience which includes building and growing practices and also leading large portfolios and bringing profit to the portfolio. I have all the experience in various IT consulting companies. Pls advise how benefitial will be EMBA for me, which institution should I target and what the chances for me of clearing the admission process.


    • Anshu,

      The value of EMBA for you will depend on your long-term goals, of course. If, like most, you don’t seek a career change, but just want to enrich your opportunities within your existing track and perhaps, in your case, move into more managerial roles (less technical roles), then an EMBA, especially from a strong-branded school, could give you what you seek. To know for sure, of course, you would want to look around and ask yourself how many MBAs you see in senior ranks or did your manager frown or smile when you mentioned you have been thinking about an MBA? In other words, even if they don’t sponsor you, they may still value MBAs and thus might open advancement doors for you more readily if you have that degree. In other words, the best person to approach in terms of benefits is your manager(s)–assuming again that you plan to stay with your organization.

      Regarding the programs you should target, there are people who fly across the world to earn their EMBAs, but this is a special breed. So I would look in your backyard first, which includes fine programs at Haas, at Wharton SF, at Stanford (MSx) and further south, at UCLA and USC, and–lower down the rankings–at schools such as SFSU, Saint Mary’s, CSU East Bay, Golden Gate, etc. Based on your profile (which seems more technical than middle-management) and your applicant pool (as an male Indian technologist in the Bay Area, you would not be a ‘diversity’ applicant), I think Wharton and Stanford would be difficult, and Haas would be a reach (your age is outside their middle 80%). However, if your organization indicates that they would reward your pursuit of an EMBA, they might care more about the skills you gain than the ‘brand’ of the school, in which case the Bay Area’s many lower-ranked EMBA programs might give you all the benefit you need from an EMBA.

      Hope this helps,
      Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

      • Anshu Lall

        Hi Paul,

        Thanks alot for an informative response. After reading your suggestions I have few more queries : –

        1. How EMBA will be helpful if I want to start a new company or if I want to switch employer
        2. I am playing a techno-managerial role currently and want to progress on the same track under that scenario how will EMBA be helpful
        3. I have moved from Bay Area to East Coast (Indianapolis area) so what are the B-schools do you recommend for EMBA

        Thanks in advance again.


        • Anshu,

          I would need to know more about your actual profile to provide more advice/guidance. Feel free to email me your resume at paulsbodine@gmail.com.

          Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

          • Anshu Lall

            Hi Paul, I have started working on my resume to share with you. Pls advise what all do u want to see in my resume. I have moved to East coast near Indianapolis. I sincerely need your advise now as I have seriously started researching EMBA programs.


          • PaulSBodine

            Great. I just need the standard info: education with GPA, companies with titles and highlights, extracurricular/community involvements etc. You can email it to me at paulsbodine@gmail.com or paul@admitify.com.
            –Paul Bodine, http://www.paulsbodine.com, Great Applications for Business School

          • Anshu Lall

            Hi Paul,

            As advised I have email my resume to your gmail address.

            Pls advise further as now I have decided to pursue EMBA next year.


  • Rad

    Hi Paul,
    I’m 37 and currently looking for the 16 month Oxford EMBA program starting in Sept 2016. I live in the Silicon Valley. Due to my schedule and things I’m involved in, I’m not sure if I’d be able to take my GMAT anytime soon and Oxford program does have an option of skipping GMAT as long as I qualify for the experience they’re looking for.
    I have mostly worked in Product/Program Management in Financial Services and Healthcare. I did however start a consulting company in 2010 which has now grown into 5-6 consultants, we’ve also delved in end-to-end product development/management of mobile apps. I along with another partner manage the business. Along with the business, I’ve always taken full-time consulting gigs but recently wrapped up my final project and now would like to concentrate on a new product idea full time. I’m planning to meet with some potential seed money investors this month. Along with that, I’ve recently started a non-profit but it’s in really early stages.
    I would love to stay in the bay area and be able to do this EMBA course but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to skip taking GMAT. Do you think Oxford would be a good idea if I still want to live and work in the Bay Area.
    I would also appreciate if you could also suggest other schools that I might be able to consider.

    • Rad,
      Great question. Oxford has a CV review option where you can upload your CV, though they warn that “it is not possible for us to comment on an individual’s suitability or chances of success prior to application.” That said, there’s no harm in asking the likelihood that they would want you to take the GMAT. They require the GMAT for applicants with under 10 years of experience. You have more than that, so even though they do say that “submitting a GMAT score is still highly recommended” I think you can be optimistic that they would not require a GMAT from you. EMBA programs like Oxford’s are not especially selective, and your background looks like it will meet Oxford’s expectation of “practical experience at the managerial level” given your consultancy startup. So I think your odds of admission are good.
      Whether Oxford’s EMBA makes sense for you given your Bay Area focus is another question. You will need to be able to travel to and from the UK for 14 5-day “residential modules” plus another 2 modules overseas in places such as China and India. That’s a lot of traveling for an EMBA program that Poets & Quants ranked #14 globally in 2014. Given your Bay Area focus I would look at Berkeley Haas’s EMBA or Wharton’s SF EMBA (Stanford’s MSx may be a stretch for you) or even less prestigious local programs such as USF, Hult, Santa Clara, or Pepperdine’s Silicon Valley EMBA. All of these programs will have big local networks (of varying quality, of course) so even if they lack brand visibility they may still benefit your career. If you’d like to send me your resume, I could give you a better idea of your chances at the top Bay Area schools: paul@admitify.com.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com

      • Rad

        Hi Paul,
        Thank you for your detailed response! It certainly helps. I’ll send you my resume at the id that you provided. I really appreciate your professional feedback and insight.
        Have a great week!

  • C

    Hi Paul,

    I applied for UVA’s executive MBA program, and have been trying to find their acceptance rate somewhere and I cannot. Is this something to be concerned about? Is there a reason they don’t have a publicly posted acceptance rate?


    • C,
      The most likely reason they would not mention their acceptance rate on their site is that they want to seem more selective than they actually are. Typically, EMBA progams are not terribly selective — even the most picky admit 30 to 40% of their applicants. I have not seen Darden’s EMBA admission rate but comparable EMBA programs such as UCLA, Michigan Ross, Texas McCombs, USC Marshall admitted 57%, 77%, 64%, and 73% of their Class of 2014 applicants, respectively. I would be surprised if Darden’s rate is much different from these schools. So your odds are good.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com

  • Shane

    Hi Paul,

    Should I elect for a one-year MBA or – perhaps in several years – an EMBA?

    Firstly, my background:
    I am 31, a US citizen, a Brown graduate (B.A. in business economics, 3.2 GPA), and a newly fluent speaker of German. I came to Germany in 2011 to play American football – I was on the team in college – and have been running my own consultancy in Germany since 2012. Clients have included Deutsche Bank, Mercedes-Benz, and Procter & Gamble. My professional experience has obviously been international but also cross-industry (to the point where I am, for better or worse, not your typical candidate): I started in NYC with a short stint in wealth management with a bulge-bracket bank, transitioned to retail in Boston during the recession, played football in Europe for a number of seasons, and am now running my consultancy.

    Next, my goals:
    Post-degree, I would like to work in Switzerland in strategy/business development and eventually relocate to Boston as the local expert in international affairs – healthcare invites one opportunity, as both Switzerland and Boston are hubs for such activity. One exception to this post-MBA goal would be top-tier management consulting in the US, where I have learned consultants work considerably less late than here in Germany.

    Finally, my MBA targets:
    Shorter full-time MBAs including INSEAD, Kellogg’s one-year, Columbia’s 18-month, and Cornell’s one-year. One major benefit I sense is the opportunity to be immersed in the experience, grow self-introspectively regarding career passions, and switch careers fairly easily.

    And EMBA targets:
    Based in Europe, including Booth, Kellogg-WHU, INSEAD, and IE-Brown. One major benefit is – I have to check on this, but it is the case at least in Germany – tax breaks of a whopping 50% can be applied to further education. Additionally, I could earn a salary throughout my studies and perhaps earn considerably more than an MBA graduate upon completing the program. The downsides are that I would need to seek employment with a big company immediately (I am quasi-internal at Mercedes now), develop senior management experience before being considered a worthy candidate, and have a study experience that ultimately might not be beneficial regarding networking and career-switching.

    Do you have any thoughts regarding what is a better financial investment and most realistic given my profile and aims? Thank you very much!



    • Shane,
      Congratulations on your distinctive career/profile. Admissions folks will love your story of the Yank who went to Germany to play American football. You fit the full-time MBA profile more than the EMBA profile in that (a) you aren’t a middle manager (traditional EMBA profile), and (b) you do need the MBA to make a career change (atypical for EMBA). The challenge is that the top 1-year MBAs are tougher to get into than the EMBAs, so you will need to ace the GMAT (730+), adequately explain your GPA, and consider offsetting your GPA through resources like HBX CORe (you are not too old for HBX). You may also want to consider a broader range of one-year programs such as IMD (Switzerland), Cambridge Judge, Oxford Said etc. to optimize your odds. If you don’t get admitted to any one-year MBAs you could then pursue the EMBA down the road. It’s true that the one-year MBA entails opportunity costs that the EMBA does not, but, on the other hand, it also allows you to jump-start your career plans now rather than later, which may provide a payback to you that offsets the opportunity cost. In addition, EMBAs are generally much pricier than one-year MBAs so you may find your net outlay (factoring in opportunity cost) is similar (leaving aside the additional stress/costs of balancing an EMBA and your career). Middle-ground or backup solution: you are ‘old enough’ for an EMBA and have a profile EMBAs may like, so you could apply to both one-year and EMBAs (not at the same school, of course) now, compare the offers you get, and make your decision then. I don’t agree that you would necessarily need to join a big company to make yourself attractive to an EMBA program. I’d be happy to review your resume: paul@admitify.com.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com/outcomes

  • suudipta daas

    Paul, I find your posts most relevant to what I can find in google. Thanks.
    I am a 44 year old male, having 19 years of experience, post MBA in India. I had spent 3 years in corporate and the rest in my own firm, which had done reasonably well in the International business market. But however our company s market share has gown down considerably due to market changes and now I am looking to make a career in the US or in the International market. In between I had also completed my PG Dip in commerce from Lincoln University where I took a study break.
    In the process to relaunch myself, I have been admitted in the Kelloggs EMBA program. The NU has sanctioned me a loan of 140,000 US. I can have additional 30000 US from me but I have a shortfall of close to 120,000 US. I cant have funding in my country as this is considered to be a per time program. My problem is that I have to stay in the US to peruse the course and that is a two year stay, that is increasing my cost. My questions would be

    1) Can I get a tuition waiver in Kelloggs
    2) Is it even possible to get a career switch from entrepreneurship to an International Job.
    3) is it worth the ROI
    4) Now since I would be having a lot of time, can I get a Research Assistant Job in the University.
    5) Is it really a very practical thing for me to do

    Would very much appreciate your help in my understanding.

    Best regards

    • Suudipta,
      To answer your questions:
      1. A tuition waiver from Kellogg is very unlikely. Executive education is a big cash cow for top US schools and many employers underwrite part of the cost so schools are not incentivized to help. You should certainly ask and note Kellogg’s page on private loans: http://www.northwestern.edu/sfs/financial-aid-and-loans/loan-types/private-loans/index.html
      2. Yes, of course it’s possible but the bigger your switch (geography, industry, function) the harder it will be. Given your big geography switch, try to stay in your industry and be willing to accept a middle management position if you have to.
      3. This ROI can be calculated but the answer would depend on your circumstances/profile, which I can’t get into on this form. My sense is that if you are using the EMBA to break into the US, the ROI may not chalk out for some time given your age, the exchange rate difference, and the difficulty of geographic switch you’re contemplating.
      4. Not sure what you mean by ‘a lot of time’. Kellogg probably assumes and requires that you will be employed while you earn the degree, so you will be juggling 2 big time commitments.
      5. It depends on what your alternatives are and what your financial resources are. Based on what you’ve shared here, I would say you are taking a big risk don’t seem to have done the due diligence to ensure this major move will work for you.
      Good luck,
      –Paul Bodine / Great Applications for Business School / http://www.admitify.com

  • Mohammed Sohail

    Hi Paul,

    I am 26 year old from India. I completed my MBA (Sales& Marketing) in 2014, and have been working with DHL Express ever since as a Territory Sales Manager (Junior Management). My aspirations are quite high in terms of fast career growth and high earning potential, hence I am planning to apply for a MBA program (preferably) from US.

    1) I am relying on scholarships- how realistic is that?
    2) Between EMBA and 1 year Full Time MBA- which would be better in terms of ROI and job prospects in USA?

    • Mohammed,
      Your existing MBA and work experience (many EMBAs require 8 years of work experience) will make a top-ranked EMBA program very difficult. In addition, EMBAs don’t traditionally offer much scholarship money as the degree is something that employers have traditionally sponsored (though not as much anymore). For these reason, I think you should consider a full-time MBA, but make sure the programs you target will accept your existing MBA. Full-time MBAs are the better route for making significant career changes (such as relocation) because they offer the internship opportunity. They are also often less expensive than EMBAs. That said, finding positions in the US means finding organizations willing to sponsor your Permanent Residency. This is difficult. Consider moving to an organization that has U.S. locations and work on building a network in the U.S. Once you have learned the ‘lay of the land’ then you could consider an MBA.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com

  • Anonymous


    Any feedback on the Berkeley executive program in management which is being anchored by Northwest education in India? Your feedback on the course and the payoff would be very helpful. The link for the course is as below



  • Ryan

    Hi Paul,
    I am a 36 year old Senior Engineering Project Manager in the energy industry. I am planning on applying to several local EMBA programs here in the San Diego area. My top choice is Marshall USC EMBA (San Diego Classes). However, I have a pretty bad GPA (low 2’s) from my undergrad of 13 years ago. I’ve heard that EMBA’s are more concerned with career and managerial experience. I am currently studying for the GMAT (USC EMBA doesn’t require it, it’s “optional” but other school options here do) but after briefly speaking with a private admissions coach, she suggested concentrating on perfecting the application (essays, recommendations, etc.) and not taking the GMAT in an attempt to “offset” the low GPA. What are your thoughts on this?
    I have 13 years of continuous professional work experience spanning 3 companies with multiple promotions and several direct reports. I am currently managing large capital expenditure portfolios in excess of $700MM. Am I a worthy candidate at a program such as USC Marshall EMBA even with such an unflattering undergrad transcript?

  • Rati

    Hi Paul,
    I am 33 and live in Tbilisi, Georgia (former Soviet Union country).
    I am a Head of the Investment and Project Management division in the Privet Equity Fund (leading team of around 40 people) and report directly to the President of the Fund, who happens to be 100% owner as well. You can say I am an acting CEO by functions but do not have the title. My net salary is 120K plus substantial bonuses.
    I joined the fund while still at B-school and have worked for it for over 12 years now holding managerial positions for the last 10 years.
    Currently I am seeking to get an EMBA from either Columbia/LBS (GEMBA) or Chicago Booth. Other than the obvious reasons of networking and enhancing managerial skills, I am hoping that the EMBA will allow me to move to US based PE/VC funds (or generally in work in Finance industry in US) if I consider to quite my current job.
    I have a BBA degree in Finance with GPA of 3,98 and GMAT score of 710.
    My question is:
    a) Will I be qualified for the EMBA programs of these schools
    b) What are my chances of moving to US based Finance firms after getting EMBA
    Would much appreciate your feedback.
    Kind regards,

    • PaulSBodine

      Congratulations on your distinctive profile. Your Georgia background will be a big asset for you. Yes, I think you are more than qualified for both programs: aside from offering them a unique perspective (Georgia), you have the right amount of work experience, the appropriate managerial and responsibility levels, and excellent academic credentials. I see no issue in terms of your fit or ‘admissibility.’ Your second question is a tougher one in that the EMBA degree is traditionally a career advancement degree rather than a career change (in your case, geographically) degree. Your success will depend on your ability to leverage your classmates, the school’s career center, and your own networking skill to find firms willing to sponsor your transition. Given that the EMBA offers no internship piece and that your ‘on-the-ground’ exposure to the US job market will be much more limited than in a full-time program, I think you face a difficult but doable challenge in moving to a US based finance firm. PE/VC jobs in the US are hotly sought after so you will be competing against many qualified people with the added challenge of needing a firm that will sponsor you. It won’t be easy but you could improve your odds by starting the networking process now such as by leveraging any connections your current firm gives you to the US PE/VC scene. It helps that your English seems to be good. I would be happy to help you with your applications.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com/testimonials

      • Rati

        Thanks Paul for the feedback and support. I appreciate it a lot.
        I do understand the constraints that I would have with EMBA regarding the career change, however it seems I am “too old” for top tier US f/t MBAs… If i were to choose between Booth and Columbia/LBS which one do you think I should go for? For my current position and advancement point of view it makes almost no difference. However since I am aiming US job market (or alternatively Canada/EU) which one would have most benefit for me? Thanks again for your help and guidance.

        • PaulSBodine

          I would choose Booth. Feel free to contact me at paul@admitify.com.

  • Todd Jorgenson

    Hi Paul!

    I am a 46 year old surgeon working in the Phoenix Valley. I own 4 practices in Arizona, one in Texas. I am also part of Phoenix Suns health team. I am looking to apply for an EMBA and have considered Wharton, Cornell and Yale. Do you have any recommendations on these programs? I haven’t taken a standardized test since my board exam in 2003, so who knows what my GMAT score will be (I started an online study course yesterday:) I am set financially and not looking for a new job, I am interested in starting a practice acquisition/transition firm, an insurance company as well as a digital suite for educating my peers and surgical students. I love to learn, but am a little worried about keeping up with these young business guns. Will these schools laugh at my application? Preach to me…..


    • PaulSBodine

      Congratulations on your successful career. I’m sure top EMBA programs would love to have your healthcare (and entrepreneurial) perspective to offset all the tech and mainstream corporate managers who populate their classes. I would steer you toward Wharton because it has the strongest, most international brand of these schools and the deepest healthcare resources. Yale and Cornell are fine programs (the former offers a Healthcare area of focus and the latter an EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership), but Wharton’s healthcare management resources (e.g., a Wharton Healthcare Management alumni association, an annual Health Care Business Conference, professors such as Patricia Danzon, innovative resources like Physician Leadership Academy, etc.) are extremely deep. With its entrepreneurial strengths and San Francisco campus, I also think Wharton would better help you with your future startup ideas. The number of Wharton alumni also dwarfs that of Cornell and Yale. Cornell would be my runner-up because its EMBA program is building a strong reputation (P&Q ranks it 8th, actually ahead of Wharton, #10) and it doesn’t require the GMAT. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about the GMAT; as long as you score in the mid-600s you should be fine. We’d be happy to help you with the application process: paul@admitify.com.
      –Paul Bodine, Great Applications for Business School, http://www.admitify.com/

  • pooja bansal

    Hi Paul,
    I am 32 year old with 12 years of global experience and 4 years of managerial experience. My GMAt score is 680 and GPA is 3.69. I had my interview with a class visit at Wharton for EMBA program last week. And now, I am working on my essays for my application. Can you recommend some areas which I can highlight in my essays or some other guidelines? Essays are the only thing left in my overall application. I looking forward to apply in the first round on Dec 6. Please advise. Thanks,

  • Gordon

    I’m a 47-year old ceo / founder of a construction business in Africa
    who’s desirous of pursuing an emba program. I have an MSc. degree in
    Project Management from Northwestern University and a BSc. degree from
    Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology ( Ghana – West
    Africa ), with over 15 years experience in the construction industries
    in Ghana and the United States.
    My primary goal of pursuing an emba is to gain additional managerial
    skills,knowledge and the network that I’d need to enable me expand my
    business into other sectors such as real estate development,
    retailing, hospitality, mining and energy – all of which hold great
    potential for further growth in Africa.

    While I’m biased towards American programs ( e.g. Duke, Kellogg,
    Columbia, Wharton, USC ), I’m equally open to European ( e.g. Insead,
    IMD, LBS ) and Asian ( e.g. Kellogg / Guanghua, Insead / Tsinghua,
    UCLA / NUS, Olin School / Fudan ) emba programs.

    I’d be grateful to have your professional insight and advice on which
    of these programs are most likely to help me achieve my goals.

    Best regards,