Four past SBC clients share insights about their MBA admissions process and working with the SBC team. As you review our case studies, you may have the feeling that all of these clients had a better story or more material than you do. Keep in mind that each one of these clients came to us with a significant challenge and they were completely stumped as to how to present themselves. It was through brainstorming and coaching that together we came up with a seamless, workable story that proved successful. Get ready to be inspired!

Hear from Ed Redden about how he got admitted to HBS and the GSB after being dinged the first time:

Successful Reapplicant to Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB

Hear from Ed Luggen about how he turned rejections into opportunities:

MBA Reapplicant Success Story: From 24 Apps, 19 Dings to 1st in Class

Hear from Camilla Lucas about how she earned a full scholarship along with five MBA program admits:

MBA Success Story: Diligence and Planning Pay Off with 5 Admits

Hear from Karen Desai about why she pursued the Kellogg MBA to  advance her passions:

An MBA in Entrepreneurship: How and Why to Use the MBA







Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our team to assess school fit
and learn about your MBA potential.

Additional Case Studies:

Age of Applicants

An Older Applicant

Full-time, Part-time or EMBA?

A College Senior Applicant

Harvard Business School 2+2 Success

Adding an EMBA to Your Options


Early career with limited leadership experience

Laid off four times in four years

Crafting Credibility For A Family Business Applicant

A NonProfit Success Story

Challenging Resume Remedy

Big 4 Public Accounting Career Goals

Explaining A Layoff

A New Job

Making the Family Business Work for You


An Indian Applicant

Digging For Diversity

An Italian Applicant

Not Applying is a Guaranteed Rejection

From Active Service to MBA Application


The Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneurs Dilemma


Why Was This Applicant Rejected The First Time

Homosexuality In The Application

Getting Your Goals Right

Dyslexia And The MBA Application

When Numbers Aren’t Enough

Neutralizing Negativity

Making the Business Case for Admission

Stress Busting

Balancing Realism and Optimism

Handling an Academic Probation


Leadership And Extracurricular Activities

Leveraging Extracurriculars for Leadership

Planning Ahead for Community Impact

Low Quant

The No Quant Applicant

Building A Quant Profile From Scratch


Lacking a Current Supervisor Recommendation

Supplemental Recommendations

The Third Recommendation

Re-applicant, Re-Recommendation

School Selection

Finding The Right School For You

Selecting The Right Set Of Schools

When An MBA Isn’t The Next Step

Seeking A Second MBA

Accepting a Safety School

Looking Beyond the Top Five

New Job, No recommendation

Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our team to assess school fit
and learn about your MBA potential.


640 On The GMAT

How One Client Approached A Low GMAT

Handling GMAT Test Anxiety

Success on the Wait List

When Are Great GMAT Scores Not Quite Good Enough?


MBA Application Round 1 or Round 2

Timing Your MBA Plans

Setting an MBA Application Timeline

Waitlist Management

Setting an MBA Timeline

Planning Ahead


Suspended from undergrad for plagiarism

Sub 3.0 GPA

D On The Academic Transcript

Prescription For A Low GPA

Unknown Undergraduate Degrees

Challenging Academic Profile

International GPA

Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our team to assess school fit
and learn about your MBA potential.


GPA: 3.1
GMAT: 680
Undergrad: Psychology Major at Stanford
Activities: Competitive swimmer in high school, volunteer swim coach
Personal: Family originally from Mexico

Overview: Our client was laid off four times in four years after graduating from college. The fourth time occurred just two months before submitting his application. He was terrified of revealing the layoffs and wanted to detail his various jobs without explaining the reason behind his transitions.

Result: Admitted to Wharton with scholarship.

Strategy: We advised our client to detail his layoffs and in doing so he told a story that highlighted several very positive qualities. He was able to demonstrate resilience in his ability to successfully bounce back and grow from each disappointment. He showed maturity and self-awareness through reflection upon mistakes he had made, and through his ability to incorporate learnings. He also illustrated resourcefulness and drive, by finally creating his own entrepreneurial opportunity that became a true platform for reaching his future goals. Ultimately, his career roller coaster became a great launching pad to showcase many very positive qualities.


GPA: 3.4
GMAT: 730
Undergrad: University of Delaware
Activities: Tennis, marathons, sporadic involvement with various Indian non-profit organizations
Personal: Originally from India

Overview: Our client was born and raised in India, and came to the US to earn his undergraduate degree in Engineering. He then went to work for a large corporation where he progressed for the next five years. Although he had solid work experience, and numbers, his demographics placed him in a highly competitive pool, where he really needed to find a way to differentiate.

Result: Admitted to Columbia, Tuck, and MIT.

Strategy: Many Indian applicants pursue engineering careers and their resumes all begin to look the same. In working with this client we removed the focus from the nitty-gritty technical details of his everyday job and emphasized his management and leadership experiences, which set him apart from many of his peers.

Specifically, he had spearheaded a non-profit initiative and garnered a great deal of support within his office, ultimately raising significant funds, but also setting the stage for future office initiatives of this kind. He had also taken on a training role, mentoring new hires and helping to develop the blueprint for a training program. Neither of these roles was part of his formal job description but they highlighted his leadership abilities and added color to his resume.


GPA: 3.2
GMAT: 720
Undergrad: Economics major at mid-tier east coast college
Activities: Involved in student government as an undergrad
Personal: Our client’s entire family moved from Asia a year before he started college

Overview: Our client was suspended from his college for plagiarism and although very ready to go to business school, he had delayed his MBA application for two seasons out of fear that he could never overcome this blemish.

Result: Admitted to Wharton and Kellogg.

Strategy: Our client needed to approach the plagiarism issue head-on, explain what happened, make no excuses, and concretely demonstrate how he learned and grew from the experience. Initially tempted to ignore the incident or discuss it in an additional information essay, we convinced him to tackle it in a full essay, as it was a pivotal event in his development.

He took full responsibility for his actions but did discuss cultural differences and the fact that he did not fully understand American views on plagiarism. He discussed the emotional impact of his suspension, which really humanized him so the adcomm could understand his remorse and embarrassment, the impact on his relationship with his family and his self-image. He then discussed how he was elected to the school’s student government under the platform of revamping the school’s honor code, and the actions he then took to ensure that what he experienced would not happen again.

Thus his story came full circle, and this very large blemish was leveraged to highlight positives: his personality, self-awareness, and a significant accomplishment.



Request a free consultation with a Principal
on our team to assess school fit
and learn about your MBA potential.


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