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Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet. [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 10:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
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Look at your scores in the context of a bigger picture.

A low GMAT score or a low GPA is not necessarily an MBA deal breaker. No adcom is going to admit or dismiss a candidate based solely on one semester’spoor GPA or a low verbal GMAT score without also reflecting on other numbers as well as the rest of the non-quantitative parts of the applicant’s profile. Average numbers vary according to school, as well as numbers within your demographic group. You should examine each of these aspects needs and weigh the strengths and weaknesses in your application before you can really start to worry. And once you’re worrying, figure out how to respond to those concerns.

That being said, there are certain numbers that will be significant hurdles. Say, for instance, you have a GPA of 2.9 and your top choice MBA program’s GPA average is 3.5. In such a case, your chances of acceptance have just taken a major hit. If, on the other hand, that same applicant applies to a b-school with a GPA average of 3.2, then he or she may have a chance of acceptance, provided, the rest of the application is solid, or better yet, above average.

Here’s another “it depends” situation: Overrepresented demographics—Indian engineers or investment bankers from over-represented ethnicities—will have a harder time getting into a top MBA program than a corporate finance executive from an under-represented background with the same stats. In such a case, a GMAT score in the lower part of the school’s 80% range and a GPA of 3.3 may be just too low for one person and just high enough for another.

The point is, you need to examine the details of your scores and reflect on them in the context of a bigger picture. Ask yourself these questions:

•    Is one score low, but balanced out by other higher numbers? Can you provide other evidence of academic ability?

•    Did your overall GPA improve as you matured through the college experience?

•    Do you have flawlessly-written, compelling essays that prove your strong writing and communication skills despite a somewhat lower-than-average GMAT verbal score?

•    Do you offer specific examples and anecdotes in your essays that highlight your quantitative skills, even though your GMAT quant scores weren’t as high as you’d like?

•    Do your recommenders vouch for your abilities—especially ones that the numbers don’t reveal?

•    Have you chosen schools that will view your scores as competitive?

•    Have you taken additional college courses in an attempt to boost your quant or verbal capabilities?

•    Have you written the optional essay to further boost your competitive edge?

You need to assess and interpret how you’ll be perceived with such scores and numbers, and then develop an application strategy to address those issues.

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Tags: GMAT, GPA, MBA Admissions, weakness

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Analyze 4 GMAT Score Case Studies in Thursday’s Webinar [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 12:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Analyze 4 GMAT Score Case Studies in Thursday’s Webinar
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You’re running out of time to reserve your spot for tomorrow’s free webinar, That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application.

Linda Abraham is going to analyze 4 different applicant case studies focusing on their GMAT scores and the question of retaking or not.

So register for That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application and mark your calendars now!

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See you on Thursday! (Webinar begins @ 10 am PT / 1 pm ET)

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: GMAT, MBA Admissions, webinar

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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HBS R1 News for Class of 2017 [#permalink] New post 22 May 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: HBS R1 News for Class of 2017
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Last week, Dee Leopold, Harvard Business School’s Admissions Director, made three important announcements regarding the HBS MBA application for the class entering in August 2015.

First, the optional essay question, or as Leopold refers to it, “the (optional) ‘essay’ question.” The question for the 2015 application will be:

“You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities, awards, post-MBA career intentions, test scores, and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

She then advices applicants: “Use your judgment as to how much to tell us. We don’t have a ‘right answer’ or ’correct length’ in mind. We review all the elements of your written application to decide who moves forward to the interview stage.”

As mentioned, this is the same question as last year. The plan was that every year Harvard would come up with a new optional question, but apparently, the adcom liked it so much, they backed out of the original plan and decided to keep the question.

Second, in her blog post (which you can see in full here), Leopold also provides a sneak peek at the recommender questions, which are as follows:

• How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

• Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

And finally, about the deadlines:

• Round 1 deadline: September 9, 2014. This is approximately one week earlier than last year’s deadline and probably the earliest ever for Harvard’s round 1 due date.

• Interviews (invite only): Mid-October through November

• Notifications: Around December 10, 2014, also earlier than in previous years. The earlier response means that you will have more time to prepare round 2 applications, if you aren’t accepted. (It also means that the admissions committee will have more time to enjoy the holiday season.)

Not sure how to tackle the HBS application? Don’t worry – as soon as the entire application is released (in mid-June), we’ll walk you through it with an updated tips post. In the meantime, here’s some advice based on last year’s HBS application: Harvard Business School 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips.

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Tags: Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Accepted
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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An International Student and Career Changer at UC Berekeley  [#permalink] New post 23 May 2014, 09:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: An International Student and Career Changer at UC Berekeley Haas
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now, introducing Max Anisimov, a first year student at UC Berkeley Haas

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What year are you at UC Berkeley Haas? 

Max: My name is Max. I am currently getting my MBA at University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business, in the class graduating in 2015.

I am originally from Russia, Tyumen City. I graduated in International Economics and Business from one of the best regional universities and then moved to Moscow in 2008 for the next five years and then to the US in 2013 to start my MBA.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Haas so far? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Max: What I like most about Haas are the people. It is inspirational and fun to be around people who have so much in common with you but at the same time offer such diversity, coming from different backgrounds, career paths and countries. It really makes you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and widen your perspective. Actually, I recently blogged about things I liked most about Haas, among them are also the school’s focus on technology and entrepreneurship, its location close to the Silicon Valley and being a part of large top university.

If I could change one thing, I would probably increase the number of top companies recruiting on-campus.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to b-school easier? What are some things you wish you had known before starting your studies?

Max: In a way, things that are important at business school are the same things that are important in life at large. If I had to boil it down to only one, I would say: FOCUS.

This goes both ways: in terms of how you focus your energy externally and how you frame a situation internally.

MBA experience is ironic in that it is the best time to be open-minded and try things you have not tried before, but also the most important time to focus on the most critical things. So, find the right balance and start with your vision coming to school. Which activities are critical for you making it a reality, which ones are nice to have, and which ones are detrimental? As David Allen said, you can do anything, but not everything.

Be grateful and have fun; do not forget that even though you might feel overwhelmed at a certain moment, that is what you worked hard for. Stay true to yourself. For example, if parties are not your thing, connect with classmates by doing sports together or by working on projects.

Accepted: Can you tell us about the independent studies you’re doing at Haas?

Max: Working with a team of three students and two UC Berkeley professors (John Danner and Mark Coopersmith), I have done an independent study on MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses, such as Coursera, EdX and Udacity) as EdTech is something I am interested in and believe that MOOCs have immense potential to disrupt the industry.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Max: The most difficult thing was to plan the whole process and stay motivated which is not easy for international candidates who are never sure about their chances to get admitted, get financial aid and get their visa. Sometimes, structured GMAT courses and admissions consultants help with this, but I personally decided to do it by myself as I had limited time and really valued flexibility of preparing on my own schedule.

For example, I did a part of my GMAT prep on a beach while having a vacation in Thailand. It made my wife quite amused. I later wrote a guide to studying for GMAT which hopefully some candidates will find helpful.

Accepted: What was your pre-MBA career? Do you plan on returning to that industry after you receive your MBA? Do you plan on heading back to Russia or relocating somewhere else?

Max: I wore different hats before. Most of my full-time job experience comes from working as a brand manager, marketing products for leading multinational consumer goods companies in Russia. I also launched several Internet startups, primarily targeting the Russian Web.

I am passionate about technology’s potential to make positive impact on people’s lives. So, one of the goals I had coming to Haas was to make a transition into the technology field, ideally Internet or software and consumer electronics. In terms of function, most likely I will keep doing marketing and strategy for now. I narrowed down my search to large multinational companies rather than small startups and going to intern at Hewlett-Packard this summer. Long-term I would like to plunge into entrepreneurship full-time as I have been often doing it part-time, and mid-term I would like to stay in the Valley.

Accepted: What role did Haas’ career management center or related clubs play in the helping you get your summer internship?

Max: The job offer I ended up accepting was received on campus – thanks career management group for this! Clubs can sometimes be helpful by providing some job postings and by organizing “career treks” – visits to companies’ headquarters.

Accepted: Do you have any admissions tips for our international readers?

Max: Keep in mind that schools are pragmatic in a sense that they want to minimize career and academic risks potentially associated with you. So you should clearly communicate that you will fit in. But they also want students with outstanding profiles. So you should standout as well, at least with one unusual thing.

Realistically speaking, I think that name-dropping is especially important for international applicants. Some of you might have much better local companies to work for in your given country than Procter & Gamble, McKinsey & Co and Goldman Sachs. But from the brand recognition perspective, I would argue that candidates from these have better odds, all other things being equal. So, this is something to keep in mind and adjust for in your essays, if needed.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When did you start blogging? Who is your audience? What do you hope to gain from the blogging experience? 

Max: Sure! I blog about books, marketing, tech startups, wellbeing and travel. Recently, I have been writing more about my MBA. But really I view my blog as an experimentation lab where I might play with different cool things. It helps me meet like-minded people and to improve my English, as well as Internet technology, design and social media skills.

Accepted: What are your favorite non-school books?

Max: I mostly read non-fiction, listening to audiobooks when commuting. If I had to pick only few, I would settle for Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt (psychology, philosophy and science), Abundance by Peter Diamandis (future, economy and technology) and Your Brain at Work by David Rock (neuroscience, personal development and management). Oh, I need to add fiction. Let it be Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Sum by David Eagleman for pure fun. Image

Thank you Max for sharing your story with us! You can stay current with Max’s MBA adventure by following him on his blog or Twitter or by connecting with him via LinkedIn.

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Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews, UC Berkeley Haas

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Accepted
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink] New post 25 May 2014, 06:51
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Stanford cut it’s essays from 3 to 2, actually returning to the same two essays it asked for several years (or slight variations of them) before it increased the number of  essays for the 2007 entering class.

The other change in these questions is that Stanford has done away here with the behavioral questions that it added for the applications for the classes entering in 2007 – 2013. It will be interesting to see if those types of questions show up as short answer questions within the application or if they are used a lot more in the Stanford interview.

Stanford gives a lot of advice and guidance as to what it’s looking for in the essays. You should access that advice. My tips are in blue below.

Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Application Questions:

Essays help us learn about who you are rather than solely what you have done. Other parts of the application give insight to your academic and professional accomplishments; the essays reveal the person behind those achievements.

When writing your essays, resist the urge to “package” yourself into what you think Stanford wants to see. Doing so will only prevent us from understanding who you really are and what you hope to accomplish. The most impressive essays are the most authentic.

Essays:

We request that you write two personal essays. The personal essays give us glimpses of your character and hopes. In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.

Essay A. What matters most to you, and why?

A strong response to this question will:

• Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

• Reflect the self-examination process you used to write your response.

• Genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.

• Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.

• Be written from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

This superficially straightforward question has been Stanford’s first for the last several years, and it is actually one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult MBA essay questions to answer. It demands introspection. Before you put finger to keyboard or pen to paper, really reflect on what you value, how you have acted upon those principles, and why you value them. Stanford’s advice urges reflection. The question requires it.

When I reflect on our many successful Stanford clients, initiative in the face of need is the common thread among them. They are always the ones who revealed, especially in Essay A, that they do not turn away when they see a problem or need for action. They grab the initiative when faced with an opportunity to contribute. They are comfortable expressing emotion and their values, and their actions reflect both, but particularly the latter. Think purpose-driven, principle-driven lives.

More than anything else, to me initiative and self-awareness characterize the successful Stanford applicant. Implication: You have to know your values and those times you have acted upon them. Yes I wrote that a few seconds ago, but it bears repeating. Climbing Mt. Everest or suffering from terrible social ills is not a requirement of admission, but you do have to know the person occupying your skin.

Essay B. Why Stanford?

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

A strong response to this essay question will:

• Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.

• Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

Now that question is succinct, and really says what they want to know.

Similar to  questions that have occupied this Stanford application slot for years, this question is a variation of a standard MBA goals question, as revealed in the two bullet points after it. For this forward-looking question, you say why you want an MBA. The best way to do so is in terms of your desired post-MBA professional direction. Then explain how Stanford’s program specifically will help you attain them.

Understand the flexibility inherent in Stanford’s curriculum, its integrated approach to management, its entrepreneurial culture, and how both will help you learn what you need to know to achieve your career goals. Realize that the curriculum allows for personalization based on your goal and your past experience, specifically your previous business education. Two pieces of information are required to answer this question: A clear MBA goal and an in-depth understanding of Stanford GSB’s curriculum. (Folks: It’s not just the ranking, brand, or location.)

Essay Length:

Your answers for all of the essay questions cannot exceed 1,600 words.

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,100 words. Below are suggested word counts per essay, but you should allocate the maximum word count in the way that is most effective for you.

      •   Essay A: 650-850 words

      •   Essay B: 250-450 words

Additional Information:

If there is any information that is critical for us to know and is not captured elsewhere, include it in the “Additional Information” section of the application. Pertinent examples include:

• Extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance

• Explanation of why you do not have a letter of reference from your current direct supervisor

• Work experience that did not fit into the space provided

• Academic experience (e.g., independent research) not noted elsewhere

This is optional. Respond if you have something to explain or need the additional space because you can’t fit in your work experience or all academic info. Responses should be succinct and to-the-point and should provide the context necessary for Stanford to understand the circumstances surrounding whatever difficulty you are writing about.

If you would like professional guidance with your Stanford GSB application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Stanford GSB application.

Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Round 
Submit Your Application By 
Notification Date

Round 1
1 Oct 2014*
10 Dec 2014

Round 2
7 Jan 2015*
25 Mar 2015

Round 3
1 Apr 2015*
6 May 2015

* Applications and Letters of Reference are due by 5:00 PM, Pacific Time

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools2015 MBA Application, MBA Admissions, Stanford GSB

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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B-Schools with the Highest ROIs [#permalink] New post 26 May 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: B-Schools with the Highest ROIs
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In First Place: HEC Paris

When determining an MBA’s return on investment (ROI), it makes a big difference whether you’re considering the short-term or long-term gain. The Economist recently released data that measures the ROI (measured by taking the difference between pre- and post-MBA salaries and dividing it by the total cost of the program, including forgone salary plus tuition fees). For some programs (like Wharton) the short-term payoff is very low, but long term it’s much greater. Other programs, like one-year program HEC Paris, will give you a much more immediate positive ROI.

It also depends on YOU – if you had a low paying job, especially if you come from a poor country and then land a job in a country with a stronger economy, then you’ll have a better chance of leaping to a significantly higher salary post-MBA, thereby influencing your ROI.

Here are the top ten b-schools with the highest ROI from the Economist report:

School
ROI after One Year

HEC Paris (France)
66.5%

Aston (Britain)
64.5%

U. of Hong Kong
60.2%

SDA Bocconi (Italy)
55.5%

International Uni of Japan
52.4%

York Schulich (Canada)
52.0%

Mannheim (Germany)
51.9%

Vlerick Leuven (Belgium)
51.9%

Grenoble (France)
51.0%

Dublin Smurfit (Ireland)
48.9%

As you’ll see, if you check out the Economist article, the list is dominated by European programs, and the top ten are exclusively non-U.S. programs (and almost the top 20 – U. of Pittsburgh Katz came in at 19th place). Those programs are almost all one-year programs with lower out-of-pocket costs (like tuition) and lower opportunity cost because you are out of the workforce for a much shorter period of time.

Wondering where top U.S. schools come out on the chart? All the way at the bottom, with ROIs like this:

School
ROI after One Year

Harvard
14.8%

Stanford
13.5%

Columbia
13.0%

Kellogg
9.8%

Wharton
6.3%

A Poets & Quants article elaborates on the absence of U.S. programs from the top of the list, by opening with “Looking to get rich quick after graduation? Don’t go to Wharton, Stanford, or Kellogg…Go to HEC Paris (or the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business), instead.”

In short, the P&Q article explains, average first-year salaries pitted against two-year U.S. tuitions and lost earnings, don’t compete with the “winners” early on in the game. Wait it out, however, and a degree from Wharton will certainly be a coveted item with a rocket high ROI later on in your career. Furthermore, there are many people who would love to have the bottom-of-the-barrel, short-term returns on their tuition investment, especially given the anticipated long-term uptick.

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Tags: HEC Paris, MBA Admissions, Northwestern Kellogg, Rankings, ROI, Wharton

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Researching MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 27 May 2014, 09:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Researching MBA Programs
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Allow yourself to be enchanted and surprised in the process.

“Researching MBA Programs” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

You may be researching schools already. Going through the steps previously outlined in this guide will help you do so efficiently. It will also help you remain objective.

That means eliminate from consideration programs that

• lack elements you consider essential and/or

• where you are not qualified.

Some applicants will immediately run into a dilemma here: What if you need a globally recognized brand, yet you don’t qualify for schools that carry the desired panache? In some cases, you might find it worthwhile to apply to such schools’ part-time or EMBA programs. Or you may target programs recognized globally in your niche, but not for overall brand. Or you may decide it’s not worth it to pursue an MBA. Luckily, most people can find programs that offer their must-haves.

When you identify schools that meet your needs and important wants, determine whether they are reasonable reach, on-par, or safety schools. First examine the GMAT and GPA ranges, and analyze student profiles. How do you compare? The numbers are easier to compare; it might take some digging and some thoughtful self-critique to determine how you stack up in terms of quality of work experience and leadership. But it’s at least as, if not more, important than the numbers for competitive programs, so buckle down and do the qualitative evaluation of your work experience and compare it to the level of achievement of students in your desired schools. Otherwise you won’t know where you really stand.

Then look at other qualitative factors that would make you a great fit or a challenging fit for the school. One main point is status in an under- or over-represented group. Then there are the individual qualitative factors. For example, you’re a finance professional; one program you’re considering has a great finance curriculum but is not reputed for it. Your finance status would be a plus for such a school, whereas you might not stand out from the army of finance applicants at a known finance school.

Finally, combine all these factors—your scores, qualitative analysis of your work experience, and any other issues pro or con—to refine your determination of reasonable reach, on par, or safety for each school of interest.

It’s true that you should be objective. Still, don’t ignore the subjective factor in your research. If you find yourself falling for a school that doesn’t seem like a great fit – you wanted intimate campus and yet when you visited NYU while on a business trip to the Big Apple, you found its downtown vibe utterly scintillating—well, great! It’s possible you’re momentarily infatuated, and it’s also possible that there’s a side of you that this environment has opened up and brought to light. Allow yourself to be enchanted and surprised in the process.

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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How to Become a Management Consultant [#permalink] New post 29 May 2014, 07:01
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Consulting is one of the hottest destinations for b-school graduates and is becoming increasingly popular for PhD and grad students.  If you dream of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, then this show is for you.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Michael Boricki, Managing Partner at Firmsconsulting, for the lowdown on this very unique firm and excellent advice for consulting hopefuls.

00:02:18 – A consultant’s journey.

00:05:20 – Michael’s definition of  “ethical behavior.”

00:07:06 – What makes Firmsconsulting different.

00:09:03 – The (very cool) services and application process.

00:13:53 – Case interview coaching and the secret to Firmsconsulting’s success.

00:18:39 – Free resources for the uncommitted.

00:22:20 – A strong social theme: The Emerging Fellows Program.

00:26:05 – What personal qualities make good management consultants?

00:30:25 – Advice for a recent college grad who hopes for a future at Bain or McKinsey.

00:33:22 – What a first year MBA should do (and NOT do) to prepare for a consulting job.

00:36:14 – $300,000 for a McKinsey interview: Do you need to go to HBS, Wharton or INSEAD to a top consulting job?

00:43:03 – Counterintuitive advice for aspiring consultants.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Special Reports Library

Firmsconsulting

• HBS Graduate Discusses Path to McKinsey & BCG

• Introduction to Consulting: Interview Video with Kevin

• Interview with Sanda: On Joining McKinsey, BCG et al

• Podcast about Sveta: From Siberia’s Winter Plains to an Elite University

• Firmsconsulting Documentary: On the Edge

Related Shows:

Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

• Is a PhD a Good Idea?

• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Management Consulting, MBA Admissions, podcast

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GMAC Survey Finds More Employers Eager to Hire MBAs [#permalink] New post 29 May 2014, 10:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: GMAC Survey Finds More Employers Eager to Hire MBAs
Last week GMAC released the findings of its annual Corporate Recruiters Survey of 565 employers from 44 countries around the world – and results are looking good for business school graduates! Employers around the world are placing more value on the MBA degree, proving that the degree is a good investment.

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Percentage of companies hiring new graduates, by degree type. Source: Graduate Management Admission Council 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey.

Here are several highlights from the report:

• 80% of employers plan on hiring MBAs in 2014, up 7% from 2013 and up 30% since 2009. (In 2009, only half of recruiters hired MBAs.)

• Projected hiring in all sectors is at the highest it’s been since the Great Recession in 2009.

• Only 25% of companies reported a focus on overcoming economic challenges, compared to 58% of companies in 2009.

• 74% of employers plan on hiring bachelor’s degree graduates, compared to 75% in 2012 and 2013 (in other words, no significant difference). In 2009, only 56% hired bachelor’s degree grads.

• 86% of U.S. employers, 83% of employers in the Asia-Pacific region, and 61% of employers from Europe all plan on hiring MBAs in 2014. All have increased since 2012.

• 50% of employers plan on hiring grads from master in management programs, an increase from 45% in 2013 and 18% in 2009.

• 45% plan on hiring grads from master of accounting programs, compared to 36% in 2013 and 17% in 2010.

• The numbers for master in finance grads are as follows: 44% of employers plan on hiring this year, compared to 39% last year and 41% the year before.

• Employers rated communication skills as the most important skill they look for in new hires, ranking it twice as important as the next winner, managerial skills. Other skill options were teamwork, technical, and leadership.

• Salaries – They are flat, but at a comfortably high plateau. Employers plan on offering newly minted MBAs an average of US$95,000 in the U.S., US$69,000 in Europe, and US$21,340 in Asia-Pacific. For bachelor’s degree holders, median base salaries expect to run at US$50,000 in the U.S. and US$41,000 in Europe.

My Thoughts

Most commentators on the b-school biz are justifiably happy with the results of this survey. So am I. Here’s why and a few other observations:

1. The most obvious reason to be thrilled with these results is the buoyant job market, especially for MBAs. MBAs are in demand. But they’re not the only ones – holders of specialized degrees in business are also sought after, and with a lower out-of-pocket and opportunity cost than the MBA. Many professional organizations and fields outside of business (law and academia for example) would think they had died and gone to heaven if they could report stats like these.

For those of you in college or just out and trying to decide on career direction, if you have any interest in business or a specific area of business, explore that field. Perhaps get an internship or get a job in that area. Talk to people working in that field. If you enjoy it, consider a specialized masters or MBA to enhance your professional skills and opportunities.

At the same time, and at the risk of being repetitive, every graduate school applicant has to determine that they have a goal requiring a specific course of study and that the course of study is likely to be worth the cost. The payoff can be and usually needs to be financial, but it can also be in terms of improved career satisfaction or simply learning. That is a determination for you to make, but it is one you must make before you commit to an expensive, time-consuming graduate education – even an MBA.

2. The growing popularity of specialized masters, specifically the Masters in Management, among recruiters is striking. It’s less expensive for recruiters to hire holders of Masters in Management, and it’s less expensive for students to acquire the degree.

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I would love to see data on how much MBAs vs. MiMs are making let’s say 10 years after graduating college. Now that would be an interesting report. So far it’s not out, but if such a report were to show little or no difference in earnings at that stage in one’s career, than the MiM may be the way to go and the traditional two-year MBA has one more source of significant competition.

Even without that data, as a result of the MiM’s recruiting mojo and reduced cost for students, expect to see more programs developing Masters in Management for early career candidates. Ross, Duke, and London Business School already offer it. It wouldn’t shock me if others offer this kind of a program soon; I would keep my eye on Tuck, Kellogg, and Cornell for early-career Masters in Management programs. MIT Sloan, LBS, and Stanford GSB already have Masters in Management aimed at mid-career professionals.

I also anticipate that more MBA programs will follow Cornell and Kellogg’s lead and offer accelerated MBAs for those with advanced degrees or strong business background. That implies that if you have an MiM and later decide you want your MBA, you would eventually reduce the out-of-pocket and opportunity cost of your MBA.

Finally, those of you who are long-time readers of Accepted’s blog may remember that we picked up on this trend about a year and a half ago in “Grad Degrees that Lead to Jobs,” when looking at an earlier GMAC Poll of Employers. (Sometimes I just gotta say, “I told you say so.” Just a little crowing. Image
)

3. Another remarkable piece of info in this report is the high value employers around the world and in various disciplines place on communications skills when choosing whom to hire among business school graduates.

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I wonder if the technical number crunching is taken for granted as a given by recruiters. Consequently what separates those hired from those receiving form rejection letters of consolation are communications skills.

4. The flatness of salaries amidst growing demand for b-school grads and rising tuitions. It is not shocking that salaries haven’t climbed given the recent recession. The good news is that the average MBA salary in the U.S. still provides a significant premium over average salaries for recent college grads. The bad news is that tuitions are continuing their seemingly inexorable rise. For an applicant considering an MBA or any other graduate degree, again, you need to evaluate whether the benefit, for you – not the average Joe or Jane – is worth the cost.

For most students in MBA and specialized masters programs, as this GMAC 2014 Survey Shows, it’s lookin’ good. Real good.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsGMAC, hiring, MBA Admissions

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Interview with a Second Year Cornell MBA Student [#permalink] New post 30 May 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Interview with a Second Year Cornell MBA Student
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now, introducing Sarah Markels Maynard, a second year student at Cornell Johnson

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Sarah: I grew up in sunny San Diego, California. For college, I ventured back east to Wellesley College, where I majored in Physics. Something that I did not appreciate until after graduating from Wellesley was how empowering it had been to have strong, smart, and capable women in all of the leadership roles around me. It was incredibly inspiring for me and I feel that it helped motivate me to excel in hard science fields that I wouldn’t have normally felt comfortable pursuing. This is why it has been especially important to me to be involved in the Forte Foundation and other activities that support women in pursuing their desired careers.

Accepted: Where are you in b-school? What year?

Sarah: It is hard to believe, but I will be graduating in a few short weeks from the two-year MBA program at Johnson at Cornell University. The two years go by far more quickly than you think that they will! After graduation, I am excited to say that I will be joining GE Capital ECLP, a rotational commercial leadership program.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about Johnson? 

Sarah: I was originally attracted to Johnson’s tight-knit community and found that I truly connected to all of the students that I met while exploring my options for business school. Over the course of my two years I have found that Johnson really does hold up to my initial impressions. The faculty is superb and I love that the school truly responds to student concerns. In direct response to student and faculty input, Johnson is going to be revising its core curriculum for the upcoming year to better address student needs.

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Sarah: While at Johnson, I have gotten extremely involved in the community – it adds a lot to the business school experience because it enables you to reach different groups across campus and give back to the community. As a Forte Fellow, I have been involved in several of the recruiting events for women interested in business school and I served as a student representative on the Diversity Council and the female subcommittee. Additionally, I served as President of the Women’s Management Council, VP of Marketing of the High Tech Club, and, most recently, I co-founded the Johnson Women in Technology Conference with one of my fellow second year classmates at Johnson.

Accepted: Can you tell us about the Women in Technology Conference?

Sarah: In my first year in business school, I went on a trek to Seattle to visit some of the high tech companies in the city. I shared a room with my classmate, Melissa Adeyanju, who was interested in pursuing a career at a tech company but was uncertain about her chances given her non-engineering background. Having worked in tech, I knew that a degree in engineering was certainly not a requirement! We spoke about ways that we could foster a community for women who were interesting in finding a future in tech and ultimately founded the Johnson Women in Technology (JWiT) Conference. The first year’s theme was “Power Up Your Future” and our aim was to start a conversation for women interested in investing in their futures in technology. We had an excellent line up of speakers and panels. We have already picked the new co-chairs for next year’s conference, so mark your calendars for March 20, 2015!

Accepted: Can you talk about your experience with the Forte Foundation? 

Sarah: I’m very proud to be a Forte Fellow and greatly value the doors that it opens up for female MBA Candidates. They hold an annual conference for women joining Forte Sponsor MBA programs and I highly recommend attending the conference, regardless of whether or not you are a Forte Fellow. I met some of my closest friends at Johnson at the Forte Conference in 2012 in Los Angeles. The conference is a great place to not only meet other incoming students, but also get some tips for hitting the ground running once you start your program.

Accepted: What would you say are your top 3 MBA admissions tips?

Sarah:

1. Know yourself – Understand your top three defining characteristics and weave these descriptions throughout your application and interviews. Knowing who you are and your defining strengths is key not only to getting into business school, but also finding your perfect career after business school.

2. Paint a clear picture of your future – When thinking about business school and writing your application, I realized that I had to do a lot of soul searching of how an MBA truly fit into my future and how it would help me get where I wanted to go. You should have a clear idea of the skills and experiences that only an MBA program can provide. Even more, you need to understand what you will bring to that MBA program.

3. Get to know current students – For most programs you are going to be dedicating two years of your life to your education. This means taking yourself out of the workforce and using that time to invest in yourself. You need to make sure that you actually like the people that you will be spending time with, especially during the demanding curriculum that many of the top programs will give you.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages

Thank you Sarah for sharing your story with us! You can connect with Sarah via LinkedIn here.

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Tags: Cornell Johnson, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

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4 Egregious Mistakes: What NOT to Do at an MBA Fair [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Egregious Mistakes: What NOT to Do at an MBA Fair
These four egregious blunders have potential to completely damage your admissions chances. You’re putting in valuable time and money to attend an MBA fair, so make sure you know the “rules” so that you don’t end up losing out.

Beware of the following four transgressions:

1. Asking the obvious. Asking questions whose answers can easily be found on the school’s website is a big MBA fair no-no. You’re there to learn new information about how your target MBA program will work towards helping you achieve your goals – this is where your questions should originate, not from basic info on class profile, job opportunities, and application requirements.

2. Monopolizing the conversation. This mistake really reflects a lack of courtesy, but it seems to be the rule applicants have the most trouble with. So along with the easy ones of no pushing and shoving and cutting in line, add “No monopolizing the conversation.” Be respectful of other people and their desire to speak with school representatives.

3. Being arrogant. Related, don’t be arrogant! For example, just because you have a high GMAT score, that doesn’t mean you’re entitled to automatic attention. The same goes for those of you who think you get conversation dibs simply because you’re rich (or poor for that matter), graduated top of your class at Princeton, or are from Timbuktu.

4. Treating reps poorly. School reps can tell when you respect them and when you view them as inferiors to the “higher ups” you wish you were speaking to. Don’t be condescending. Just don’t.

These fairs can provide a competitive environment. How you react to that can be very revealing as to how you’ll behave in a classroom, and then later on, in a job interview where you’ll be reflecting your MBA program. If you’re thinking “Common courtesy goes a long way,” you’re right! Just it’s not always so common.

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Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA fair

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How Can I Get Accepted to Stanford GSB? [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2014, 12:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Can I Get Accepted to Stanford GSB?
Stanford GSB is the most competitive MBA program in the United States. Before you apply, make sure you really know what Stanford is looking for – and how to show the adcom that you’ve got it.



Looking for advice on how to write the Stanford application essays? Check out our Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Essay Tips!

If you have any questions please let us know.

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Tags: MBA Admissions, Stanford GSB, video

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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How Many B-Schools Should You Apply To? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2014, 07:45
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Many B-Schools Should You Apply To?
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Your specific situation and needs should drive your decision.

“How Many B-Schools Should You Apply To” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

Deciding how many schools to apply to is another often shortchanged step in the pre-application process. It’s something that people seem to think just happens. And it will just happen, but not necessarily in an advantageous way, unless you make it. Your specific situation and needs should drive your decision of how many schools to apply to—in each category: reasonable reach, on-par, and safety. Having a clear idea before you start your applications of how many schools you’ll be targeting will help you plan and allocate your resources. Please note: By “number” I mean roughly; a short range such as “five or six” is fine.

A “typical” applicant would apply to about five or six programs: two to three reasonable reaches, two to three on-pars, and one to two safeties. The rationale for this scenario is that it yields a decent possibility of acceptance at a reach, likelihood of acceptance at an on-par program, and certainty through the safety.

This typical case doesn’t apply to a lot of people though. Here are some common exceptions:

You’re on the older side, so getting in this year is essential—next year you will be solidly in EMBA territory. Consider applying to more programs—as many as you can manage.

•You’re fairly young, have a spectacular career and stats, and don’t think it makes sense to take off two years now if it’s not HBS or Stanford. You should apply to those two only, because you can reapply next year if need be without worrying about age.

•The brands you require are all reaches, some reasonable and some almost out of reach. It wouldn’t be worth it to you to attend other programs. Apply to as many as you can that fit your criteria and offer some realistic hope of acceptance to increase the possibility of a hit.

•You are applying with a handicap—a DUI or honor code infraction, were fired for cause, etc.—if you write a frank and compelling essay about growing from the situation (and if it didn’t happen yesterday), you should have a shot. But because it’s such an unpredictable factor and adcoms often react defensively, apply to more schools than you otherwise would need to.

•You’re unsettled about geographic region and want to keep options open. Apply to more programs to keep options open.

•You’re pressed for time. Maybe you can’t devote more than two hours a week, or maybe you must have all your apps done by a given deadline. Select a number that will allow you to deliver quality, even if it’s fewer than you would normally do under other circumstances.

Last but not least, this number isn’t written in stone. The application process is dynamic, and you are not closing off opportunities by deciding on a number to target now.

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2014, 15:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
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Humility, valuing relationships, knowing yourself, helping children overcome disabilities — Perhaps “Harvard” and “MBA” are not the first words that come to mind.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Ben Faw, West Point grad and veteran, Harvard MBA and author of the hugely popular article “What my MBA at Harvard did NOT teach me,” for an inside look into HBS and some very refreshing views and advice about life and b-school, and applying for your MBA.

00:03:07 – Breaking some stereotypes about the HBS experience on LinkedIn.

00:06:58 – A 2-year transformation at Harvard Business School.

00:11:39 – Stepping out of the comfort zone: The best part of being at HBS.

00:14:43 – What can be improved at HBS.

00:17:44 – A word about gender issues.

00:20:06 – A New Way to Start a Day. This is worth a try!

00:25:05 –The challenges and advantages of coming to b-school from the military.

00:28:10 – Post-grad plans at LinkedIn.

00:31:02 – Inspired Reading: Making an impact on the lives of children.

00:34:42 – What Ben wishes he had known 3 years ago.

00:37:25 – Excellent advice for business school applicants.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

MBA Admission for Smarties

The Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School

What my MBA at Harvard did NOT teach me, Ben’s article

A New Way to Start Each Day

The Speaking StoryImage

Inspired Reading

Related Shows:

MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

How to Become a Management Consultant

Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply to?

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, podcast

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Accepted
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Dartmouth Tuck 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Dartmouth Tuck 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines
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The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.

Following the shrinking app trend, this year Tuck reduced its required questions from three to two and tweaked slightly the second required essay prompt.

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants read “The MBA Gatekeeper To Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business,” Poets and Quants interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck.

Essays:

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.

1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?

The MBA is a means to an end; it is a “step” towards a goal. That means you have to briefly discuss the most influential stops on your journey to date and then your reasons for wanting a Tuck MBA to continue on that journey.

You have to know a lot about Tuck as well as your goals to respond effectively to this question. Why do you want a small, tight-knit program in rural New Hampshire? Why do you want a program that stresses the integration of business functions?  Which of Tuck’s strengths appeal to you? How will they help you achieve your goals?

To respond to the fit  part of the question, reviewTuck’s six evaluation criteria for admission. You won’t have much room to address fit. Perhaps in your conclusion succinctly make the case for your fit with Tuck’s criteria. Point to elements of your application that show you meet the criteria without repeating them. You want the reader to see a match made in heaven.

2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

This question reflects the importance Tuck, like many MBA programs, places on leadership. Last year, Tuck asked about “collaborative leadership.” This year it dropped “collaborative” from the question. Perhaps some applicants confused collaborative leadership with teamwork, and Tuck really wants to see you as a leader. Perhaps, and more likely given Tuck’s collaborative culture, Tuck wants to know what leadership example you will use and whether your definition of leadership is a fit for Tuck. Your example should reflect a collaborative and enlightened approach to leadership.

Have you co-chaired  a fundraiser that raised a record amount of money? Have you been a board member for a not-for-profit organization? Have you captained a sports team that led your company league while having an excellent relationship with the coach or manager of the team? Have you been a team lead on a project that came in early and under budget while cooperating closely with other team leads or members of your team? Are you the head of a sales team who empowered other members of your team in a way that greatly contributed to the success of that initiative? These could all be examples of leadership. How did you motivate your teammates? What did you learn about yourself through the experience? In answering the last question, don’t be generic and don’t wonder “What do they want to hear?” What did you actually learn from this most meaningful experience?

The question asks you to reveal strengths and weaknesses. The first is fun and should be relatively easy. However we all cringe at the idea of revealing weaknesses, especially in a situation where you want to impress — like now. Nonetheless, resist that nasty impulse to write something fluffy and meaningless. Don’t even think about a phony weakness. The adcom will see right through it. Reveal a weakness that hopefully you can show yourself addressing in this leadership experience or through another later experience. Don’t dwell on the weakness, but do include it.

3. Optional question: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for two or three 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere.

4Reapplicant question: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

If you would like professional guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Dartmouth Tuck application.

Dartmouth Tuck 2015 Application Deadlines:

Round
Due Date
Decisions Released

Early Action
October 8, 2014
December 18, 2014

November Round
November 5, 2014
February 13, 2015

January Round
January 6, 2015
March 13, 2015

April Round
April 1, 2015
May 15, 2015

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools2015 MBA Application, Dartmouth Tuck, MBA Admissions

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AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey
AIGAC published its annual MBA Applicant Survey, which evaluates the experiences and preferences of recent MBA applicants in the U.S. and abroad. Highlights from the survey include:

• In terms of sources of information applicants utilized during the admissions process, school/program websites ranked the highest, followed by school rankings, communication with school alumni/current students, school visits, and MBA resource websites. (These were the top 5 sources of information.)

• When choosing a program, men placed more importance on rankings than did women.

• In general, U.S. News was ranked as the most popular b-school ranking source, but among international applicants, Financial Times was ranked highest.

• 38% of U.S. applicants who completed at least one video essay/component felt that their final video represented them well. For international applicants, on the other hand, 50% felt that the video did not represent them well.

• 20% of this year’s applicants plan on starting their own businesses after graduating from b-school. (According to U.S. News, only 7% of recent graduates from top 10 U.S. b-schools are actually self-employed.)

• 51% of applicants showed an interest in going into consulting after receiving their MBAs. About 80% of foreign students want to work in the U.S. after graduating (that is, 20% want to work in the U.S. while 60% are open to numerous options, including working in the U.S.).

• Only 40% of U.S. students consider working outside of the U.S.

• Applicants reports that of all the b-schools, Dartmouth Tuck and Duke Fuqua “got to know them best” during the application process. (These were the top two schools in this category last year as well.). The schools that showed the greatest improvement in this category: Columbia and Kellogg.

Post-Conference Reflections on the 2014 AIGAC survey

There were some interesting disconnects between student expectations, as revealed in this survey, and MBA behavior as reported in school employment reports and GMAC data.

1. More than 20% of applicants plan to start their own business or be self-employed after finishing their MBA. Yet of HBS. Stanford, Sloan, Wharton, LBS, Kellogg, Booth and NYU Stern grads, less than 7% were their own boss after earning their MBA.

2. 51% hope to work in consulting, but only 28% of grads from Stanford, Sloan, Wharton, HBS, Kellogg, Booth, and NYU Stern, Tuck, Haas, and Columbia went into consulting in 2013.

Do these disconnects reveal unrealistic expectation or very reasonable flexibility on the part of MBA students? Or perhaps a real change in what MBAs want to do – a trend in the offing? I suspect and hope it’s the reasonable flexibility. Time will tell.

The presentation of the survey results at last year’s conference at Wharton surprised many admissions directors because of the high percentage of applicants asked to write their own recommendation and the frustration applicants felt at asking their recommenders to write a separate letter for each school.

I am thrilled to report that several of the schools have cooperated and agreed to ask the same questions on their letter of recommendation forms. The grid may differ, but the questions that require writing are the same. Now there should be less and less reason for “You write it; I’ll sign it.” Your application will be stronger if your recommendations truly supplement – in voice, point of view and fact –the information you present about yourself.

I’m proud of AIGAC’s role in highlighting this issue to the schools and am pleased at the schools prompt response and attempt to lessen the burden on applicants. I can’t help but note with pride the results when consultants and schools work together to improve the admissions process.

The survey also highlights the unpopularity of the video essay/interview among international applicants. I can certainly understand that it’s uncomfortable to talk to an inanimate camera with no affect or feedback. But the reality is that oral presentation is of growing importance, and so is YouTube.

My suggestion: Practice, practice, practice. Play back the practice videos to yourself in between rehearsals, and maybe for the first several shots have someone feeding the questions to you so there will be a human being to interact with. However, it is imperative that at some point you practice by yourself in front of the dumb webcam that you will be using for the real thing.

Finally, I must give a HUGE shout-out to Vince Ricci and Andrea Sparrey, who spearheaded the survey initiative this year for AIGAC, to Huron, which provided the statistical analysis, to the committee and to all members of AIGAC who helped to publicize the survey and ensure a statistically valid sample. Finally and most importantly, thank you to the applicants who took the time to share their experiences and thoughts.

More on the fantastic AIGAC conference that I attended last week will be forthcoming. I want to mull it over a little before I write.

See the 2014 AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey for more details on the survey.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsAIGAC, MBA Admissions, MBA video Essay

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Brown U. Adds to B-School Landscape [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Brown U. Adds to B-School Landscape
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Of the 30 students from the most recent graduating class, there were 20 nationalities represented.

Since 2011, Brown University has been running a collaborative EMBA program with IE Business School, in which graduates receive a degree from IE. Now, the program will award a degree from Brown as well.

The Businessweek article, “Brown University Gets Into the MBA Game,” calls the program an “unconventional EMBA program,” mentioning a course on “the shared history of slavery and capitalism,” and others like the “ethnographic study of the AIDS epidemic is southern Africa” and “the globalization of the arts.” In terms of class diversity, of the 30 students from the most recent graduating class, there were 20 nationalities represented, and nearly twice as many had come from public service jobs as from finance.

The BW article continues to explain that the IE Brown program “has been an aardvark among EMBA programs, attracting a diverse set of students with its promise to provide a broader view of the world than they would get from the typical MBA playbook of accounting, marketing, and quantitative skills.”

The university looks forward to putting Brown on the map of Ivy League MBA programs, and to the extra profit the program will bring in (the school has already made about $400,000 in profit).

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Tags: Brown University, EMBA, IE, MBA Admissions

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MBA Admissions Secrets to Success [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 09:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Admissions Secrets to Success
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Attention B-Schoool Applicants: Check out the recording of our webinar, The Secret to MBA Acceptance for advice on how to examine your goals and determine which MBA programs are best for you!

The recording of the event is  available for your anytime, on-demand viewing. Watch the video or download the mp3 by clicking on this link: The Secret to MBA Acceptance.

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Please let us know if you have any questions!

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Tags: MBA Admissions, webinar

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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What is Accepted? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: What is Accepted?
So, what does Accepted actually do? Here is the short answer:



For more information about how we can help you get accepted, drop us an email at onlinesupport@accepted.com, explore our About Us section to get to know our expert admissions consultants, and check out our A-Z admissions services.

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Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions, video

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Putting It All Together – Your Initial List of B-Schools [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Putting It All Together – Your Initial List of B-Schools
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It’s quite possible that you will modify this list…

“Putting It All Together – Your Initial List” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

Creating the actual list of schools may seem like a formality by now. As you have gone through the previous steps, a group of feasible and appealing programs most likely has evolved almost organically. It’s time to firm it up in preparation for the hands-on application process.

Establish your desired balance among the three categories: reach, on-par, and safety. (Note that these categories have variation within them.) Whether you are applying to ten programs or two, you should be clear about where each falls on this continuum vis-à-vis your profile. Out of the total number of programs you’ll apply to, how many do you want in each category, and why? Answer this question based on your previous evaluations, and make your list accordingly. This allocation should be deliberate and informed, not accidental.

Now take the list of schools that meet your needs and, ideally, fulfill your important wants, and also are viable targets (i.e., they are not out of reach). Sort these schools by reach, on-par, and safety.

If your research yielded more programs than you want to apply to, you’ll need to further weed down the list. Which programs in a given category meet the most of your wants and/or best meet your needs? You can also factor in where you have the better chance of admission, since the programs within a category will vary in competitiveness.

What if this process results in an imbalance? You wanted two reaches, three on-pars, and one safety. You ended up with no safeties, one on-par, and an overabundance of reaches. It’s not uncommon. Remember, competitiveness will vary within category. So some reaches might be close enough to on-par to almost fit in that category or straddle the two. If not, you have some hard choices to make:

• You can proceed with this less than ideal balance, fully aware of the situation and doing your best.

• You can research more programs: Look again at some you previously rejected and/or broaden your scope; maybe consider other geographic regions or part-time programs.

Especially if you are applying to numerous programs, consider balance within categories as well, and try to widen your scope of programs. Say you’re a consultant. The majority of consultants will gravitate to the known consulting programs (e.g., Kellogg); but you’ll stand out more in programs renowned for other areas (e.g., Chicago Booth). This balance within categories is especially helpful because the vicissitudes of the upcoming admissions season are still unknown. If a flood of consultants apply, your breadth of programs will be all the more important.

Now you should have your list of MBA programs. Or, I should say, your preliminary list. Since you continue to learn as you go through the application process, it’s quite possible that you will modify this list. This list should be firm but not rigid; you shouldn’t veer from it on a whim (otherwise no point doing it in the first place), but you should for a solid reason that engages your initial assumptions or preferences.

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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