Admit Interviews

Successful Applicants’ Road to Success

Food Business / HBS Class of 2026

Worked at a food giant in Japan and transferred to my family business before applying.

You developed winning strategies. One strategy is getting over the college brand and GPA. Of course, the score helped, but can you share how to help people overcome a weakness in their application?
First of all, the key was to excel on GMAT to show my academic capability. My score was good enough to cover my low GPA from a non-top tier college. I also looked for a story behind my low GPA. My challenge spirit to get out of Japan and my leadership activity at college on which I devoted my time more than on academics. Weakness is also a uniqueness. There must be interesting stories behind it. Find them and appeal to them as uniqueness.

You come from a family business background and shifted from working in a leading company into your family business. I believe this was another winning strategy. Can you explain about this decision / tradition and how it helped your application?
The roles recent graduates are assigned at work are usually entry level. They are not usually impactful enough to stand out against others. I joined my family business one year before the application and executed mass organizational restructuring. It is something other applicants working at public companies can never do.

The application process is challenging. You effectively developed relationships and networks at schools to support you. Can you share some insights? Do you have some hints about the campus visit? I think that you used the campus visit effectively.

Think of networking and campus visit as a part of the application process. The key was to show how my knowledge, experience, and myself would be valuable assets for the community. Instead of showing how you meet their qualifications, make them eager to have you.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
Essay writing and interview. It was quite a self-reflection I’d never done. Squeezing all I wanted to say into a limited word count was also very difficult. However, I became better at writing an essay each time. My advice is that you work on the essay in the order from your least choice school to top choice. Interview was very nerve-wracking because we only had one shot. Unlike essays, there is no opportunity to revise. Since I got the invitation, I practiced with consultants at least one hour every day and prepared for any situation.
How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Ed offers a comprehensive package which was very helpful. Not only traditional services such as essay writing and interviews, Ed prepared me for campus visits and chat with adcom as well. Ed’s style is like pulling out the potential, rather than pushing a winning tactics, so I was able to reflect my authentic self on my application. His cheerful character motivated me during the stressful process as well.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
Everyone has a chance, so never give up. Motivation is the key for full performance.

Startup / Chicago Class of 2026

Question: You had a unique career in the startup versus the typical path to the MBA, why did you decide to pursue the MBA now?
Throughout my career, working in both large corporate and startup environments, I've gained invaluable hands-on experience and developed a keen understanding of business dynamics. However, I recognized the need for formal business education to complement my practical knowledge. Pursuing an MBA now allows me to refine my skills, broaden my perspective, and add more value to my 10 years of business experience.

You plan to go back to your family business in the future, why did you think that the MBA was necessary?
Returning to my family business is a significant goal for me, but I realized that to effectively lead and transform the company, I needed to acquire new skills and perspectives. An MBA provides me with the opportunity to deepen my understanding of business fundamentals, develop strategic thinking abilities, and expand my professional network. These resources are essential for navigating the complexities of today's business environment and implementing impactful changes within my family business.

You focused on Chicago, what is it that attracted you to Booth and why is it the best for your career?
Booth's renowned reputation for academic rigor and its flexible curriculum greatly appealed to me. The emphasis on flexibility allows me to tailor my course selection to best suit my goals, which I consider a significant advantage. Overall, I firmly believe that Booth offers the ideal platform for me to achieve my objectives and make a meaningful impact in the business world.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
The most challenging aspect of the application process was the GMAT. I struggled to achieve good test scores, which was discouraging. However, Ed continued to encourage me throughout the process, especially while we worked together on the essay portion.
How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Edogijuku played a crucial role in guiding me through the application process, providing invaluable insights, feedback, and support at every stage. In the initial phase, Ed helped me refine my "real goal" for attending business school and why it is important to me. Ed helped me organize my thoughts and then assisted me in articulating them in a compelling way that resonated with admissions committees.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
My advice for future applicants is to seek professional help like Ed during the application process. If you are unsure whether you have enough knowledge and clarity, then professional advice is crucial.

Tech / Cambridge Class of 2025

You pursued a career in tech and are a software engineer, why did you decide to pursue the MBA?
I wanted to pivot into management positions in the short term goal as a product manager, and hopefully in the future, climb the ladder within the tech industry. Also, at some point in my career, I plan to create my own company and an MBA is a good step to take to be closer at achieving these goals.

What are you attracted to the most about Cambridge and how is it going to help your career?
Cambridge is strong in tech/entrepreneurship, which directly aligns with my career goals. Furthermore, I was drawn to the collegial system at Cambridge. One important aspect of my MBA is to build my network. Through the business school, I will get to know other MBA students. Through the collegial system, I can get to know other students at Cambridge, and this can help me foster lasting professional and personal relationships. Another thing about Cambridge that I like is how it is a 1-year program, so it is substantially cheaper to attend than a 2-year program. I am a privately funded student, so I care quite a lot about how much the MBA is going to cost me. The 1-year program made the MBA journey much more financially viable.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
Formulating my story. I think a strong story is key to finding success in the admissions process. I had to really think deeply into what makes my application's story unique, and this was the most difficult part.
How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Ed was quite helpful when I was working on my essay. This includes discussing what ideas to write in the essay. After knowing what to write about, Ed was helpful in reviewing my essay draft. Even if you have a good story/idea to write in the essay, if you don't present it well in the essay, your application won't be as strong as it can be. Ed was helpful to make sure my essay was as strong as it can be.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
Start early. Time is your biggest enemy. You do not want to rush to submit the application. You want to take ample time to make sure your application is as strong as it can be.

Telecom / Kellogg Class of 2026

You have worked in the telecom space and are sponsored by your company - what were you looking for in an MBA and when did you start thinking about earning an MBA?
With a non-traditional background and no tech experience, I believe it's essential for me to enhance my skills and broaden my experience to continue pursuing a career at a tech company.

You have an interesting background and do you have some insights about how to develop a winning storyline for the MBA application?
I do believe that my unconventional background contributed to my success. However, even if it may seem ordinary, it's important to uncover its unique lessons or insights from the experience.

What attracted you to Kellogg and what are you looking forward to the most about the program?
To be honest, its ranking and renowned history were the most attractive factors for me. However, I am also looking forward to enjoying the teamwork and collaborative culture within the Kellogg community.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
Every single part of the process wasn't easy - the GMAT was particularly challenging, and afterward, crafting my resume and essay presented their own difficulties due to the lack of a definite answer. Interviews always make me nervous, but Ed was a significant help for me in navigating through this entire process after the GMAT.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Ed is truly exceptional. I can say this with confidence because I worked with another consultant before Ed. His insights were enriching, and his guidance was clear and direct. He always cheered me up when I felt discouraged by the challenging process. I wish I had met him earlier, and I genuinely appreciate his invaluable help and kind guidance.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
In my personal opinion, it's crucial to research school fit and culture because, like me, you might not expect to get into Kellogg after a 20-minute interview and submitting what felt like a copy-and-paste essay. They always say 'just be yourself,' and it's great if you find a school that truly fits you. However, even if you initially feel like you don't quite fit with the school, thorough research can help you uncover aspects of yourself that align with the institution. It's essential to highlight these aspects and base your appeal on them. Save your time and resources by conducting thorough research before starting the application process. Engage in conversations with current students and alumni, as this will also aid you in making a final decision in the end.

Government / Chicago EMBA Class of 2025

You have an interesting career in the Ministry and covering the energy industry - why did you think it was a good time to pursue your MBA overseas?
The Free Trade Agreement deal was a big issue when I was a freshman at university, leading me to pursue a career in the government, particularly in the trade department. As I gained professional experience in the ministry, I witnessed that new business opportunities were emerging. One new business that drew my attention was hydrogen.
As governments around the world are pursuing carbon net-zero policy, clean energy technology was needed in order to achieve the carbon net-zero target.
I saw that hydrogen will take a crucial part to deliver carbon net-zero and clean energy technology, which means a reorganization of current global energy paradigm.
In this context, I thought pursuing an MBA overseas would benefit me as I can network with future business leaders who will exchange ideas and support future businesses.

It can be challenging for the private sponsored person to get the letters of recommendation - do you have any suggestions?
I think you should find someone who can represent you very well. The recommender doesn't have to be someone in your organization.
I found one recommender from the ministry I work for and the other from an organization to which I was dispatched. Therefore, I suggest you should look not just inside but outside to find someone who can write a good recommendation for you.

The EMBA seemed to be a better fit can you comment on this?
I started my career as a deputy director(middle-manager level) in the ministry and will be promoted to a director level a few years later, which makes the EMBA a good fit considering my career trajectory.
Furthermore, If you are a more experienced applicant compared to the full-time MBA cohorts, you should consider applying to EMBA as it will allow you to gain professional experience while learning from MBA courses.
In addition, when you consider opportunity cost, the salary you keep during the EMBA program will make your investment more profitable compared to the full-time MBA program.

You could win a scholarship, do you have any insights to share with future applicants?
It's hard to say as every school has different criteria when it comes to scholarship decisions. But, I think having a unique background could help your probability of winning a scholarship alongside your test score.
Having a high test score can help your odds if you're applying to schools that need high scorers to increase their average score. But for the top schools, working on other aspects of your application that can make you stand out among others will increase your odds more.
I personally think that my background as a civil servant made me stand out as I can give a unique perspective to the class rife with students from private backgrounds.
My alumni interviewer also mentioned that he didn't have someone with a public background in his cohort and what I can bring to the classroom could be valuable to the discussion.

What are you attracted to and looking forward to the most about the Chicago EMBA?
The Chicago EMBA has a unique feature that other EMBA programs do not provide. The Chicago EMBA has 3 campuses in the world: Chicago, London, and Hong Kong. You can choose to visit campuses other than your home campus during your program, which will allow you to make a global network. Furthermore, as a person who majored in Business Administration and Economics, I'm well aware of UChicago's reputation in Finance and Economics.
I'm looking forward to taking Chicago's finest courses during my EMBA program.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
The most difficult part of the application was essay writing. As I was quite accustomed to the application process where only test scores dominate, essay writing gave me the hardest time. Furthermore, each MBA school has different prompts for its essays, so I needed to write essays tailored to each school's fit.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Edogijuku service helped me brainstorm the stories that can be used for my essays and how they can be used in my narratives.
On top of that, Edogijuku sevice gave me feedback for my essays so that they could represent my experience well and go in the right direction for each school I applied for. The stories that I brainstormed also helped in my interview, as I could conjure up adequate answers to the given questions.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
My advice for future applicants is to evaluate their profile carefully before the application so that they can increase their odds. Analyze yourself based on your score, career, years of experience, age, current rank in your organization, etc, and choose the MBA programs that fit you well. Then, you can strategize by choosing which round/school to apply, working on your area of weakness, etc.

Entrepreneur / HBS PLD Class of 2024

You have a very interesting career in a start up in a unique industry, but few people go to HBS from that background. When did you start thinking you needed to study abroad to help your career?
As the business of my company rapidly grows internationally, I found that sooner or later I need skills to effectively lead people in one direction. Even a unique business will encounter universal problems in the course of its growth, that is about to happen to my company. Before the need actually comes to me, I decided to proactively obtain those capacities.

Some people say that entrepreneurship and leadership are not things you can study in the classroom. Why do you think that the HBS PLD program is suitable for you?
I believe leadership can be learned, however the only way to do it is sharing experience. HBS PLD is a case-based program and open exclusively for those who have more than 10 years of business experience. This feature matched my assumption about leadership learning.

How did you find out about this program and decide to apply?
I personally met admission staff of several programs, and compared the fit & gap with me. Finally I found the best chemistry with my requirements with HBS PLD.

What did you find was the most difficult part of the application process?
Due to my relatively uncommon background, it was really hard to find good previous cases of sample essays and materials that go well with me. I had to construct the direction of the admission process by myself, it was the most difficult part of my admission.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Edogijuku helped me with finding the right direction of my essay. I could accurately understand my uniqueness and flaws in my view thanks to Edogijuku. It was the best part of Edogijuku without any equals.

Do you have advice for future applicants or entrepreneurs?
Uniquenesses are not weaknesses. I hope the wisdom of business schools will be blended into new industries.

Tech / CBS Class of 2025

I work as a Product Manager at a Japan branch of a US tech company. With Ed’s support on essay and interview, I got accepted in the early decision round of CBS, and will enter from August 2023.

You are working in a famous company that many people join after they earn an MBA, why did you get interested in an MBA?
Post MBA, I would still like to be in a tech company but I am interested in healthcare business which I do not have experience. I would like to gain a deep understanding towards my MBA study to make that transition happen.

You aimed for CBS in the early decision, can you share some insights about the decision? What attracted you about Columbia compared with other programs?
First of all, the place where CBS is located, NY, attracted me. Many famous people in the business come to the lecture because it is in NY, and there are also many opportunities outside the school. Additionally, they have abundant healthcare related classes and programs and I thought it would be a best fit for me to pursue my MBA.

What do you think was the most challenging part of the MBA application process?
Getting a good test score, definitely,,, for me, but writing an essay was also tough. I first was not clear on what I really want to do post MBA, and how I can link to why MBA and why CBS questions.

I work with many applicants and I really want people to have a clear strategy about their strengths in relation to their future goal and also the development points in the MBA. You had a very clear strategy, can you share how you developed your goal, strengths, and MBA study plan?
I listed out all of my job experience and what kind of skill I used to make an achievement. Also, I thought about when I got excited most in my job. With combining those two, I noticed what kind of things I wanted to do post mba. In order to understand what I am lacking to be in that position, I interview some people who are in my ideal position. Then it came clear what I need through MBA, and looked up whether the school has strengths in that area that I want to learn.

Is there anything you would have done differently in the process?
I should have thought about my post MBA goal before I talk to alumni. If you have a clear goal, you can just ask the alumni about the things that would be useful for the essay and interview. In that way, you can dive deep into more detailed information.

What was the most valuable thing about the Edogijuku Services for your applications?
Ed helped me a lot on how I can appeal my strengths through the essay and told me to have a strategy. I wasn’t able to find what my strengths are by myself, but discussing with Ed, I was able to put into words. Additionally, the interview feedback was very valuable to me. I wasn’t really good at expressing my thoughts clearly in a short sentence. Ed gave me advice on how I can put all the important information in a short talk. After a couple interview sessions with Ed, I gained confidence and was able to enjoy the conversation with the real interviewer.

Do you have any other advice for future applicants?
MBA application is a tough process and I thought about giving up multiple times. But with the support of Ed and other fellows aiming to get an MBA, I was able to keep my motivation. Therefore, I strongly advice to talk with others, get support from others, if you hit the wall.

Healthcare Startup / MITSF Class of 2024

You grew up living overseas and in Japan. Then you joined a leading global finance company to start your career. Were you always thinking of getting an MBA?
While working in the financial industry in Tokyo and Hong Kong for a decade, I had the opportunity to build relationships with numerous managers and clients, many of whom held an MBA. As I interacted with these people, I noticed the level of knowledge and expertise they had, and I thought if pursuing an MBA myself could enhance my own skills and unlock opportunities for my career.
I knew that I didn't want to limit myself in one particular industry alone. While I had gained invaluable experience in finance, I also recognized the importance of having a well-rounded understanding of other aspects of business, such as marketing, operations, and strategy. Moreover, despite my ten years with the company, I knew that I didn't view myself staying there indefinitely, and I wanted to position myself for success in a variety of industries and roles. Hence, I began to seriously consider pursuing an MBA – I wish I had thought about this earlier but better late than never.

You had the opportunity to work abroad in Asia, how did that influence your career?
Living and working abroad helped me realize the vast opportunities that existed outside of Japan. I was fully exposed to differences between the countries, not only in terms of language and culture, but also in terms of business practices and global perspectives. This realization sparked a desire in me to bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the world, in some sort of way.
I thought that my career would be best spent facilitating collaboration between Japan and other countries. I believe that this kind of cross-border interaction is not only important for individual growth and development, but also for ultimately achieving the feeling of building a more connected and harmonious global community. This is one of the reasons I decided to dive into the startup world focusing on healthcare as I saw an opportunity to bring technology from Japan to the world and to help patients in need.

Initially you applied and passed an M7 school, however, decided to take the opportunity to jump into a startup and it must have been a difficult decision. Can you talk about that decision?
As mentioned earlier, my goal has always been to make a significant contribution to the Japanese economy by creating startups that can have a global impact. Although it was unexpected, I was fortunate to come across this opportunity after passing an M7 school, and I was able to make the transition from the financial industry.

You have had some success in your startup, but you decided to pursue an EMBA. Some people might say that entrepreneurs do not need an MBA, what led to your decision?
Since our plan is to expand overseas, particularly in the US, I thought it would be beneficial for me to gain valuable experience and connections by attending a top MBA program in the US. I am aware that many schools offer interdisciplinary studies, including engineering and medical schools, in addition to business-related studies. This appealed to me because it would allow me to customize my curriculum and expand my network efficiently.

What does the MIT SF program offer that you are looking forward to the most?
Probably not the most unique answer but I am most excited about the people I will meet inside and outside the classroom. Expanding outside my comfort zone can be challenging but I look forward to gaining new insights and perspectives from a diverse group of individuals. Moreover, I am particularly drawn to Boston as it is a global hub for both the healthcare and startup industries, aligning perfectly with my career interests (excluding the weather…).

What did you find was the most difficult part of the application process?
The most difficult part for me was defining my career goals. Although I had a vague idea, I struggled to outline and verbalize the specific steps and processes necessary to achieve them. Fortunately, with the help of Ed, I was able to clarify my objectives and establish a clear roadmap to my goals. Although it was a time-consuming process, it proved invaluable in preparing for my application and subsequent interview.
How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
As mentioned earlier, Ed was instrumental in helping me visualize the steps required to achieve my career goals. Additionally, I found his assistance in interview preparation to be extremely valuable. His feedback was concise and actionable, addressing both the content and delivery aspects of my responses. Overall, his guidance helped me feel more confident and prepared for the interview process.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
My advice to those considering an MBA program is to never give up and keep striving for improvement. I believe that the application process itself is just as valuable as the MBA program, as it allows you to clarify your goals and aspirations. Additionally, I recommend dedicating some time to improve your test scores until the deadline. In the GMAT, TOEFL, etc., there may be questions that align well with your strengths, so it's essential to take advantage of all opportunities to improve the score.

Project Manager / INSEAD Class of 2024

You started your career in a leading firm but you changed to a more innovative one, can you talk about this transition?
I moved from a large company to a start-up because I wanted to gain decision-making and management experience to achieve my goal of becoming a manager as soon as possible.

When did you consider an MBA?
Although my work at the start-up was fulfilling, I was feeling bewildered because I was not able to utilize my international experience, which is one of my strengths. I took the IELTS test to test my skills and got a score of 7.5 on my first attempt, so I decided to go for an MBA (August 2022).

Among the MBA programs you decided to prioritize INSEAD, can you share the reasons why?
Strong alumni network and outstanding recognition around the world, campus in Singapore, 10-month short-term programme

What are you expecting the most from INSEAD?
Networks contributing to post-graduation career development.

What was the most difficult part of the application process?
By far the hardest part was GMAT score making.
How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
He always provided prompt and accurate advice. I could not have completed the essays without Ed's support.

Do you have advice for future applicants?
The most important thing is to STAY POSITIVE. To do this, I recommend making the most of the support of family, friends and Ed!