MBA Admission for Smarties: A Must-Have Weapon for Your MBA Applicant Arsenal

 When I first began my pre-MBA research, I spent a good deal of time on YouTube. I saw it as the fastest way to get a broad, 10,000 ft. view of the most generally accepted admissions advice and see what recurring advice trends I could find.

At the time, I had never heard of an admissions consultant before; however, there was one such consultant who apparently had garnered the respect of enough of her peers to be featured in quite a few of the videos I was watching. It was Linda Abraham from

The depth of knowledge that she displayed led me to her company’s blog, where I found a wealth of information and bookmarked quite a few pages that featured info about my target schools. After lurking around on her website for awhile my curiosity eventually led me to get a copy of her book, MBA Admission for Smarties.

I had already purchased an MBA admissions guide book or two; and, um….*yawn* wasn’t so impressed. The books that I had been exposed to up to that point contained information that I could have easily acquired on the respective schools’ websites.

After checking out some of the reviews for Linda’s book, I ended up getting a copy of my own to see if it lived up to the fuss. Well, it did; and here are a few of the things that I A) loved about it and B) felt separated it from a lot of what I had read prior:


Between studying for the GMAT and doing essay prewrites, I simply don’t have the time to read War and Peace. I found this book to be digestible (I finished it over a 2-day period between both work and studying) without sacrificing its quality (or surprisingly, the quantity) of information.


There are a lot of variables to consider when applying to a top-rated business school. To speak in general management terms, that translates into many levers that can be pulled or adjusted to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

This guide not only identifies the levers at your disposal, but also tells you exactly what to do with them and how you should bring them together (or even play one off of the other) to become successful in this process.


I hate going on scavenger hunts; and I hate digging through tons of information for a few golden nuggets of wisdom. What I like about Linda’s approach is that she starts you at square one and steps you through each phase of applying, letting you know what must be done next–and how–all the way through the end of your application process.


One of the more common complaints with consultants in various industries is that they tell you the “what” without letting you know more about the  “how” you will need to execute. The pages and pages of examples in Linda’s book give you great “how to” information that fill in many of the gaps left open in similar resources.


The older student; the HBS 2+2; URG’s (under represented group); ORG’s, low GMAT, etc..  This book does a fantastic job of outlining tips and strategies for people who may not fit the “normal” mold of a business student. MBA Admission for Smarties covers each of the most common non traditional scenarios and provides you with key strategies and a few tactics to help you increase your chances of getting in.


My only critique of the book is that in the “over 30” pink elephant section it strongly  encourages over 30 applicants like myself to look into Part Time and/or EMBA programs. Since I am interested in neither, I would have liked to have seen some commentary on how  applicant who are age 30+ can better position ourselves to get accepted into a top business program.


All in all, this is a great book that will definitely help you to devise and execute your Top MBA strategy.

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About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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4 Comments on “MBA Admission for Smarties: A Must-Have Weapon for Your MBA Applicant Arsenal”

  1. Linda Abraham Says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful review. You have identified many of the elements that Judy and I consider the strengths of the book and that we worked hard to incorporate into the book.



  2. Mike Says:

    If you’re in the market for another great MBA guide, take a look at The MBA Reality Check. I was underwhelmed by most of the books I read, but this one was very insightful and to the point.


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