The MBA Parent Trap

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on June 25, 2008

As we reported a little more than a year ago, helicopter parents are cementing their positions in their child’s MBA search. According to graduate school admissions officers who attended the first annual Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) conference, it would not be wise for parents to dabble too much into the admissions process.

Says Scott Shrum, director of MBA admissions research of Veritas Prep and AIGAC spokesperson, “When parents lead their child through the process, this lack of introspection often emerges in the applicant’s admissions essays or evaluative interview.”

This is a warning call to the millennials—students born in or after 1982—that admissions officers want to hear from the applicant than their parents. When does it become appropriate for students to tell their helicopter parents “enough is enough,” when they have nurtured and guided them their entire life? -Matthew Lawyue

Reader Comments


June 27, 2008 5:01 PM

Both parents and students who engage in this behavior should be ashamed. It's certainly distasteful at the undergraduate level, and outright pathetic when pursuing an MBA.

If you can't apply for grad school without your parents assistance, you certainly don't deserve to get in.


June 30, 2008 8:19 AM

It really depends on the parent(s) and the dynamic they share with their offspring during the application process. My mom, who is a senior executive at a large multinational organization and an MBA, read my essays and gave very useful feedback. Meanwhile, I knew that she is biased towards me and would not criticize me too heavily, so kept that in mind and continued to show my essays to friends even when she considered them to be fine.
Also, parents want to be involved as this is possibly the last time their contribution really counts for their offspring as far as career/education is concerned. Instead of pushing them away, the applicant can take their advice in stride, and still do what they need to do in the end.

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