When applying to business school, it’s only natural to try and get your hands on as much information as possible. After all, the more knowledge that you have about the process, the better off you’ll be, right?
While business school message boards can certainly contain helpful information, it’s important not to get so absorbed in the conversations that you lose sight of your goals and the most important person throughout this process…YOU.
Below are three pieces of advice about MBA message boards/forums to keep in the back of your mind if you peruse them.
Most of the contributors are other applicants, just like you
Not surprisingly, most of the contributors to the message boards are other applicants, who are not MBA admissions experts and who don’t know the ins and outs of the MBA admissions process. Therefore, any advice that they are providing may not be accurate. Additionally, a lot of the content that is posted on these boards are bits and pieces of information that may not convey the full story or context.
If you ask a question on the board and other applicants respond, make sure to evaluate the answers carefully before jumping to any conclusions. While these contributors may genuinely be trying to be helpful, remember that YOU know yourself best!
No one is really verifying the information on the boards
The message boards tend to be a “free for all,” and while there may be a moderator, no one is really checking the information that people are posting. Therefore, when it comes to information related to a school (such as deadlines or events) or any other topic, the best course of action is for you to do your own homework instead of relying on what the message boards are conveying.
It's tempting to browse, and browse, and browse...but try not to
It’s very easy to spend hours on the MBA message boards/forums reading what everyone else has to say. While you may be tempted to read as much as you can, try not to! You’ll be much better off putting that time towards your own endeavors and applications, such as bolstering your profile (for example, engaging in impactful extracurricular activities) or working on your essays. I often see clients spending a lot of time thinking about what others are saying and doing, instead of focusing on themselves and their goals.
Bottom line – MBA message boards/forums can certainly provide useful information, but don’t put too much weight on them.
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Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.