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All You Need To Know About The M7 MBA Programs (The Magnificent 7)

The M7 MBA programs (The “Magnificent 7“) are a group of business schools created with the purpose of close collaboration. Their key members, including the deans, admission officers, and career teams, meet regularly to share knowledge and experiences. The network convenes twice every year to share information and chat about some of the most pressing issues in graduate business education.

Rankings vary every year across different publications. On the other hand, M7 MBA programs remain constant: schools are neither added to nor removed from this list. It is possible that the M7 MBA might become the M9 MBA with schools like Berkeley Haas and Yale knocking on the door.

Schools in the M7 MBA programs include:

M7 MBA Programs List

Harvard Logo

Harvard Business School

The Harvard MBA is one of the hardest MBA programs in the world to get into. You should make sure you have demonstrated a habit of leadership beyond what is typical for top MBA applicants, and highlight things about your life experiences that will really help you stand out from the crowd. These do not have to be examples from work – although your career trajectory and achievements are important, sometimes the most interesting things about a candidate’s applications are not professional experiences. So, think broadly! As there is a lot of content in this application, a common pitfall is not setting aside enough time for it. Try to have at least a few months for it, but start building the parts of your profile that will help you stand out much earlier.

Without doubt, HBS produces some of the most powerful MBA graduates in the world. Of the 150 FT500 CEOs with an MBA, 28 hailed from HBS. Since 2006, HBS alumni have raised more than US$48B from VC (US$20B more than alumni from Stanford or Wharton).

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 938
  • Admissions Rate: 12%
  • Yield Rate: 89%
  • Average GMAT: 730
  • Average GPA: 3.70
  • Women: 43%
  • International Students: 33%
  • Average Work Experience: 4.7
  • Median Salary: $148K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 94%
  • Consulting: 21%
  • Finance: 29%
  • Tech: 20%
Stanford Logo

Stanford Business School

Stanford is an incredibly difficult MBA to get into. Prior to applying, take a step back and brainstorming the ways in which you have showed innovative or creative thinking, and how you stand out among your high-achieving peers. You should also demonstrate a global perspective and strong general management and leadership skills. If you would want to take advantage of Standford’s other graduate school offerings outside the business school, include how an interdisciplinary approach could help you reach your specific goals; this kind of information can help set you apart. Also, if you have had at least 8 years of work experience (more commonly 10-15 years of work experience), be sure to consider Stanford’s MSx program – a great opportunity that many applicants initially overlook.

There is not a better school for aspiring entrepreneurs. Not only did Stanford produce 933 VC-backed entrepreneurs who raised more than US$27.9B, the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem at Stanford is unrivalled.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 417
  • Admissions Rate: 6.7%
  • Yield Rate: 84.2%
  • Average GMAT: 734
  • Average GPA: 3.70
  • Women: 47%
  • International Students: 43%
  • Average Work Experience: 4.6
  • Median Salary: $150K
  • Median Bonus: $25K
  • Offers at 3 months: 94%
  • Consulting: 18%
  • Finance: 33%
  • Tech: 33%
Guide to University of Pennsylvania Wharton

University of Pennsylvania Wharton

Wharton is certainly one of the most popular programs to apply to. You should have a strong leadership track record, international outlook, and spirit of collaboration. Many applicants underestimate the time it can take to demonstrate a fit between their goals and this program as well as how they will contribute to Wharton, so be sure to set aside plenty of time to do your research. If you start at least 6 months before you intend to apply as well as connect to current and former students, you can build a strong knowledge of how you and the program are a good fit for each other.

With close to 36% of the Class of 2019 entering the Finance industry, there is no better school for MBA hopefuls looking at a career in the Finance industry – with a preference for IB and PE. But restricting Wharton to Finance would not do justice as they have also produced 792 VC-backed entrepreneurs who raised more than US$28B.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 856
  • Admissions Rate: 22%
  • Yield Rate: 66.9%
  • Average GMAT: 732
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 47%
  • International Students: 30%
  • Average Work Experience: 5
  • Median Salary: $150K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 98.5%
  • Consulting: 25.1%
  • Finance: 35.8%
  • Tech: 15.9%
Guide to Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School

Many applicants don’t realize that Columbia has two different entry times – January and August. If you’re applying for January entry, apply early, as they have rolling admissions for that intake. To be a competitive applicant, you will need to have demonstrated inclusivity in your leadership. Start building this part of your profile at least a year or two in advance. Another common pitfall is waiting to the last minute to research the specific offerings at Columbia that tie into your profile and goals, so set aside at least a couple of months to get to know the program.

Location matters and where best than New York City to pursue your MBA? Ideally located in the heart of the world’s business capital, you will have access to 500+ guest speakers every year and one of the best balanced faculties with 150+ adjunct professors. Columbia is best suited for people looking at Consulting and Finance and has one of the best Family Business Research centre in the world.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 754
  • Admissions Rate: 19.1%
  • Yield Rate: 73.5%
  • Average GMAT: 727
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 38%
  • International Students: 47%
  • Average Work Experience: 5
  • Median Salary: $150K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 93.9%
  • Consulting: 32.6%
  • Finance: 34.3%
  • Tech: 13.8%
MIT Sloan, School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management

You don’t have to be in the tech / engineering space to apply to MIT. However, it does help to demonstrate you would be comfortable in a STEM oriented community, and you should be able to demonstrate a habit of innovative thinking. Many applicants find MIT’s application to be a bit complicated, as there are many components, including an organizational chart that most other schools do not ask for. In addition, the cover letter is a bit different to a typical essay question, and requires more strategy given its shorter word length. If possible, set aside at least 4 months for this application so that you can make the most of each component. If you have at least 10 years of work experience, be sure to consider the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program.

MIT boasts one of the world most advanced innovation ecosystem and easily competes with Stanford for the title of the world’s best business school for innovators and disruptors. It’s no wonder that MIT is the school that places the most in Tech among the M7.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 416
  • Admissions Rate: 11%
  • Yield Rate: 69.5%
  • Average GMAT: 730
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 41%
  • International Students: 42%
  • Average Work Experience: 5
  • Median Salary: $140K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 95.7%
  • Consulting: 30.7%
  • Finance: 19.7%
  • Tech: 28.7%
Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management

Aside from having strong leadership traits and creative thinking skills, the Kellogg MBA cohort is known for its likability and friendliness; this admissions committee is interested in your interpersonal skills and who you are as a person. By the time they see your videos, read your application materials and so on, they should want to sit down and spend time with you. Aside from that, take some months in advance of applying to brainstorm how you are different from other applicants. What unusual experiences and perspectives would you bring? You’ll need to go beyond the typical leadership and problem solving experiences that most high performing applicants have.

Kellogg surely host the most close-knit MBA communities in the world, but restricting Kellogg to this aspect only would not be fair. Kellogg is first and foremost the best faculty in Marketing and a school that is known to constantly place its graduate among top firms.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 474
  • Admissions Rate: 26%
  • Yield Rate: 48%
  • Average GMAT: 730
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 43%
  • International Students: 32%
  • Average Work Experience: 5
  • Median Salary: $140K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 98%
  • Consulting: 31%
  • Finance: 19%
  • Tech: 25%

Chicago Booth School of Business

Booth, with its context in the larger University of Chicago (a top university for economics in the world), is certainly one of the most difficult MBA programs to get into. You should have a dynamic career trajectory with a track record for taking action. Take some time to think about how you have demonstrated a strong spirit of intellectual inquiry; you should find ways to highlight this throughout your application. You will also need plenty of time to demonstrate how Booth’s specific offerings connect to your concrete goals. Be sure to have at least a few months for this application.

There is no other school that embodies more academic rigour than Chicago Booth (after all, 9 Chicago Booth faculty members have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences). Yet, Booth is home to the world’s most flexible MBA curriculum and is the leading school in Impact Investment. A must-have on your list if you look at a career in Finance and Consulting.

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At A Glance:

  • Class Size: 593
  • Admissions Rate: 22.5%
  • Yield Rate: 60.1%
  • Average GMAT: 730
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 40%
  • International Students: 31%
  • Average Work Experience: 5
  • Median Salary: $145K
  • Median Bonus: $30K
  • Offers at 3 months: 96.3%
  • Consulting: 33.7%
  • Finance: 31.3%
  • Tech: 20.7%

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