Authors: Omari Bouknight and Scott Shrum

Publisher: Career Press: -138 pages

Book Review by Nano Khilnani

This is the third edition of the book since it was first published in 2003 and in the last eight years Omari Bouknight and Scott Shrum have been helping applicants get admitted into top-ranked business schools in the United States and abroad.

In that period, the number of aspirants for MBA programs has been getting larger while available seats have been getting fewer, making it tougher for them to get admissions.

At the same time, the mean Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score and the Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements have been rising, with the current numbers being 705 and 3.40, respectively. Some top schools

While these statistics lay open the stark reality of an increasingly difficult prospect of getting admitted into a Master of Business Administration program, the authors say that when applicants equip themselves with the needed critical knowledge and the right tools, they can achieve success in their quest to gain admission.

That is exactly what this book is intended for – to help applicants get admitted into prestigious business schools with great MBA programs. And the writers have the background, the experience and the performance record to help MBA seekers.

Omari is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Scott is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. After publishing the first edition of this book in 2003, they founded the MBA Game Plan essay and resume evaluation service in 2005. This merged with the Veritas Prep family of admissions consulting services. They’ve caught the attention of several well-known media and have been interviewed by Bloomberg Business week, Financial Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal.

While most applicants put a lot of weight on their high GMAT scores and GPA averages relative to their competitors’ low numbers and raise their hopes up and believe their chances are better from these standpoints, the authors point out several other factors are as, if not more important, among them being something unusual or interesting they’ve done that sets them far apart from or ahead of co-applicants.

One of the other important ways to increase their chances of getting into the business school of their dreams is how well they fit with that institution. What does “fitting with the school” mean? The authors explain: It means “demonstrating that you have the ability to succeed there, that you are someone the school would be glad to have as part of its community, and you will serve as an ambassador for the school after you graduate.”

All other things being equal or even better than others – such as your GMAT score, your GPA average, the plus points in your resume and the uniqueness of your well-written essay – it is “fitting” with the school that gives you an edge. Understand what the school stands for and what traits in applicants it is looking for, the authors point out.

Some of the important qualities that many schools are looking for in students is leadership and ability to be a good team player. After all, even companies are looking for leaders and team players, two key traits in employees that lead to the success of a business. A clearly-written career goal in your essay and why an MBA education will help you achieve that carries a lot of weight in the admission committee’s decision about you.

This is a large, very well-organized and well-written book for those who want to increase their chances of admission into the business school of their choice which they believe would be a right fit – both for themselves and the school they are applying at. Trying to get admission into a good business school without having the knowledge of what schools are looking for in applicants is an exercise in folly.

Be prepared in order to win in your MBA game plan. This book is one of the best tools available out there to help you in the arduous preparation process. It is written with great insight by two highly savvy, experienced experts in the business school admission process. Get the book and let Omari and Scott help you get admission into a good business school.