Your MBA Game Plan: A book review by Bob Morris


Your MBA Game Plan: Proven Strategies for Getting Into the Top Business Schools, Third Edition
Omari Bouknight and Scott Shrum
Career Press (2012)

To paraphrase Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can earn an MBA from a top business school or you can’t, you’re probably right.”

This review is of the Third Edition of a book first published in 2002.

My comments are based on three assumptions:

o  That you are determined to earn an MBA degree
o  That you intend to apply to a business school that offers an MBA degree
o  You are convinced that what earning that degree requires is worth it

Obviously, the “terms of engagement” for applying to any of the top business schools have changed since2002. Even this revised and updated edition cannot be expected to accommodate all of those changes, nor can the co-authors, Omari Bouknight and Scott Shrum, guarantee success if all of their “proven strategies for getting into top schools” are followed. I highly recommend that the Preface to this latest edition be read and re-read.  It is refreshingly candid.

As I began to work my way through the narrative, I was again reminded of the fact that anyone who aspires to earn a graduate degree in any field of study (medicine, dentistry, law, humanities, natural science, mathematics, and engineering as well as business) needs a cohesive and comprehensive game plan. For those who aspire to earn an MBA degree, I know of no other single source that offers more and better information, insights, and advice than does this one.

Bouknight and Shrum carefully organize their material within (you guessed it) a covey of seven chapters that cover a series of subjects that correlate with the sequence of stages that comprise the application process. In Appendix A, they provide additional admissions essays; in Appendix B, additional résumés.

Obviously, it remains for each reader to determine what is most valuable among the material provided. However, all readers will appreciate Bouknight and Shrum’s skillful use of devices that serve two separate but related purposes: they focus attention on what is especially important, and, they facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of that material. I presume to suggest that each reader highlight that material. The devices include checklists, > points, statistical analyses, graphic illustrations, and FAQ sections in each chapter.

By the time the reader arrives at Chapter 6, she or he is well-prepared to formulate an MBA Game Plan, one that includes 11 components listed on Page 237 and then examined in the material that follows. Then what happens? Bouknight and Shrum respond to that question, then correctly note, “The one person who controls your application’s fate more than anyone is you.” That is a key point. When completing the application process, the assistance that Omari Bouknight and Scott Shrum offer in their book will be of incalculable value, as will this advice from Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”


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