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3 Books That Will Help You In Your MBA Application Journey


Do you enjoy reading books?


We all know how much reading books can broaden one’s horizons, and this is also very true when it comes to the MBA application process (and professionally).


So here are three books that we would highly recommend on your MBA application journey!

“Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown

The MBA admission landscape is very competitive; for example, Harvard Business School’s acceptance rate is ~10% and Stanford’s is ~6%. Given such tough odds, how can you shine in a pool of very qualified applicants? Simply put – by being authentic.


One key aspect of being authentic is being vulnerable, and this is where Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly comes in. It’s extremely important to be able to approach the application process with your heart and to convey who you are as person; the human element cannot be emphasized enough. As Brown states in her book, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.”


At Ivy Groupe, we strongly believe that the most compelling MBA applications are crafted by being authentic as well as vulnerable. Why? Because this results in the most meaningful and memorable connections being forged with the reader – i.e., the Admissions Committee. We strongly recommend this book!


“Presence” by Amy Cuddy

The MBA application journey can be fraught with challenges – for instance, it may take longer than expected to get the GMAT/GRE score that you are aiming for, it may be tough to balance working on applications with professional obligations, and/or a recommender may not be able to write a recommendation letter as originally expected. This is where having “presence” can be extremely powerful. As Amy Cuddy writes in her book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, “presence is about approaching our biggest challenges without dread, executing them without anxiety, and leaving them without regret.”


As with Daring Greatly, authenticity is also a key element that is addressed in Amy Cuddy’s book. In particular, she states that “to be present, we must be able to access our authentic best selves.” Moreover, “the way we tell our stories to ourselves matters; if we don’t believe our own stories, why would anyone else?” In other words, it all starts with ourselves – this idea is instrumental in the MBA application process.


And finally, Amy Cuddy and her book are perhaps best known for “power poses” – using our body language to tap into the power of presence. This can be incredibly helpful to do prior to an MBA interview!


“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth


As mentioned above, applying to business school requires A LOT of hard work – there are many steps involved in the process and there can be myriad frustrations along the way. As a result, the one quality that it is imperative to possess while on your application journey is grit. With determination, you can take your applications to a level that will help you stand out from the crowd.


Furthermore, it’s important to keep going regardless of what is thrown at you during your MBA application journey. As Angela Duckworth writes in Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, “Even more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, what matters is that they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.” Remember that each step is getting you closer to your goal! This book will help you to do just that.


We hope you find these books to be insightful as you delve into the MBA application process!


About Ivy Groupe:

Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She 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.

Click on the links to learn more about our company and how you can work with us to maximize your chances of gaining admission to the MBA programs of your choice.


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