mbaMission founder and president Jeremy Shinewald was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article last week, discussing the evolution of the admissions process at top MBA programs. As admissions officers strive to see the unvarnished applicant—through impromptu post-interview reflections at Harvard Business School (HBS) or team-based discussions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—are they hurting those who are naturally polished? HBS, in particular, has gone to great lengths to communicate that it wants canddates’ post-interview reflections to be “raw.” As Shinewald told the Wall Street Journal, “HBS may ironically have people rewriting to make their reflections ‘better’ by being ‘worse.’”
Certainly, nothing is wrong with the quest for the unvarnished applicant, but applicants also should not fear putting their best forward. mbaMission’s group mock interview simulation, which was mentioned in the article and developed to help applicants manage the Wharton Team-Based Discussion, was not designed to give participants the “right” answers. Although participants receive feedback to identify any red flags, the primary purpose of the simulation is to help candidates feel more at ease when the real thing comes to pass. One can still be him/herself and be prepared.