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GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2014, 08:01
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview
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Big GMAT News!

There’s big news going on at GMAC this week: they’ve announced a new and exciting GMAT feature – test takers will now be able to view their GMAT scores before either reporting or canceling them. This update will take effect this Friday, June 27, 2014, and will be available to all test takers at all 600 testing centers around the world.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” said GMAC VP Product Management, Ashok Sarathy. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”

Here’s how it will work: After completing the exam, test takers will get to see their unofficial scores, broken down separately for IR, Quantitative, and Verbal, and then as a total. They will then get two minutes to decide either to accept the scores or cancel them. If their decision timeframe times out, then their scores will be canceled. All of this is done before they even get up to leave the testing center. (Analytic Writing Assessment scores are not included in this new feature and may not be canceled.)

If testers decide to cancel, they’ll receive a 60-day grace period during which they may change their minds and reinstate their scores for a $100 fee. After that, there will be no way to retrieve the canceled scores.

Sarathy, who says that this feature is meant to make the testing experience easier, offers test takers two tips: “If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, they would be:

• Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.

• Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.”

Thoughts about What This Change Means for Applicants

GMAC is reacting to competition from the GRE in a positive way. ETS, the entity behind the GRE, allows test-takers to see their score and cancel. It also gives you 60 days to reinstate a score, but only charges $30 for the reinstatement. GMAC is offering this new feature to slow or arrest GRE’s increasing role in the MBA application process. It will be interesting to see if GMAC ultimately reduces the price of cancellation to match or at least be more competitive with ETS. I completely agree with Ashok Sarathy’s advice that you should have a clear number in your head and know that you will accept any score at or above that number and cancel any score below that number.

Let’s call that Score-It-or-Bust-Number the “Cancel Score.” Realize that the Cancel Score is going to have components. There is an overall score and the quant, verbal, and IR scores. You should have Cancel Scores for each segment as well as the overall score. You should also decide ahead of time if you bomb one section and do well on other sections, if you will cancel or not.

How can you decide? Let’s explore that question, focusing for now on the overall score.

To date GMAT test-takers fall into two broad categories:

1. Those taking the test to see what they get. Once they receive their score, they select programs to apply to based on their goals and their qualifications.

2. Those aiming for a particular score because they want to be competitive at specific MBA programs.

To determine your Cancel Score if you are in group #1, use your practice exam scores. They should give you a reasonable idea of your capabilities on test day. But be realistic. Don’t use your best practice exam score as the Cancel Score. Cut yourself a little slack.

Here’s an example of how to set a Cancel Score for the overall score if you are in the first group: If most of your practice test scores are in the high 600’s and you hit 720 once, don’t expect a 720 on test day (but it sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?). Maybe make 680 or 690 your Cancel Score.

In setting that number also consider how willing you are to prepare again for the GMAT and how you would change or improve your prep. If you feel you could make major improvement to your studying and you don’t find the possibility of taking the GMAT again overwhelming, then you can aim higher. Maybe go for a 690 or 700 as your Cancel Score.

If the idea of preparing again is devastating and you don’t see what you could do better, then lower your cancel number. If nothing in your preparation will change, you have little reason to expect an improvement – and little reason to retake. If this scenario describes you, then your cancel score might be a 660 or 670.

Group #2, in particular, is going to love this new GMAT feature. If you are a card-carrying member of Group 2, how will you determine your Cancel Score?

Let’s say that you know you want to apply to programs with an average GMAT of 680-710. You obviously want as high a GMAT as possible, but considering the other elements in your profile, you will be satisfied with a balanced 690. You believe that 690 is a competitive GMAT score for you, and if you drop below it, you will be hurting your chances at the target programs with higher average GMATs. While GMAT prep is not your favorite way to spend your “free” time, it’s not the worst thing in the world either. A retake would not be soul shattering. You can set your overall Cancel Number at 690.

However if your willingness to retake is barely positive and the likelihood of improvement based on your practice exams is low, then set that Cancel Score lower – perhaps a 680, 670, or even lower depending on how ready you are to consider schools with lower average GMAT scores.

One thing that isn’t changing: Almost all MBA programs take the highest GMAT score. So if you don’t cancel and then decide to retake, you can still do so.

Obviously I just touched the surface in pointing out factors to consider. If you have individual questions about your situation, please post in a comment below. If you prefer private guidance, please consider an MBA Admissions Consultation.

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Tags: GMAC, GMAT, MBA Admissions

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The Money will Sort Itself Out: IV with a Future INSEAD Stud [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2014, 08:01
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Money will Sort Itself Out: IV with a Future INSEAD Student
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing Hasmita Nair.

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Hasmita: I’m a South African and was born in a small coastal town called Port Elizabeth. I later moved to a bigger city, Johannesburg, and studied Actuarial Science at the University of Witwatersrand. After that, I worked at Procter and Gamble as a financial analyst, then moved to Nedbank Capital where I worked in Market Risk, and for the past 4 years I’ve been at Anglo American in Treasury.

I love reading; my favourite book is probably A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Accepted: Congratulations on your acceptance to INSEAD! Why do you think this is the best program for you? What are you most looking forward to?

Hasmita: There were a few things that attracted me to INSEAD. First, the global appeal of the school. I loved that I could study in both Singapore and France. I also liked the fact that it is a relatively short MBA. Because I am self funded, the U.S. MBAs of 2 years+ were not really an option for me.

Accepted: Can you talk about how you raised your tuition money? 

Hasmita: I got a partial scholarship from INSEAD, and also got a loan from Prodigy for a portion. For the rest, I used money generated from the sale of my apartment and my car. As a last resort, I was going to cash out my pension but I’m glad I didn’t have to.

Accepted: Can you share a few tips for our applicants who may also be struggling with how to finance their MBAs?

Hasmita: I think that if you can get into a world class MBA, the money will sort itself out. Money is really not a reason not to apply if you believe you have the potential. There are so many scholarships out there, and student loans are always an option too. I like to think that my salary post MBA will make it worth being in all this debt now.

Accepted: Do you plan on returning to that industry after you graduate, or entering a new field? 

Hasmita: My hobby is freelance journalism, I write for a few magazines and a national newspaper, focusing on food and travel. I would love to merge my passion for writing with finance somehow. Perhaps strategy for a large travel company? I’m keeping my options open right now.

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

Hasmita: Because the deadlines were all at similar times, and I applied to 8 schools, the application process was all consuming for a period of time. The application essays were grueling, and it took a lot of time and energy. Applying was also expensive; I just paced myself and took it one step at a time. I also project managed my referees, because asking them to complete 8x referrals was an equally grueling request. I made them aware of what needed to be done long in advance and all went smoothly.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your blog? When did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience? Do you plan on continuing to blog over the course of your studies?

Hasmita: My blog, Jozilicious, started as a way for me to express myself creatively. I’ve always been passionate about food and travel, and found myself giving recommendations to people a lot, so I thought that I’d be better off posting all my favourite spots online. About a year and a half ago, I was offered my own page in a national newspaper, and after that my freelance journalism career took off. It’s been great to have such a fulfilling hobby, but it does get difficult managing my time. I am definitely planning to blog while I’m in Singapore and France. I think my readers will be interested to see what I’ve been up to.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for INSEAD, check out our INSEAD 2014 MBA Essay Tips

You can read more about Hasmita’s b-school journey by checking out her blog, Jozilicious. Thank you Hasmita for sharing your story with us!

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Tags: INSEAD, MBA Admissions, MBA applicant bloggers, MBA Student Interviews

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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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Are MBA Rankings REALLY Important? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Are MBA Rankings REALLY Important?
What do the MBA rankings mean to you? What will they teach you? Should you trust them? Are MBA rankings REALLY important?

In our special report, MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know, newly updated and expanded for 2014, Linda Abraham will walk you through the process of locating the rankings, sifting through them for the important information, analyzing the relevant data, and then finally, USING that information to help you choose the best MBA program for YOU.

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The rankings ARE an important tool, but they’re also a tool that can easily be abused. Learn how to use the rankings properly when you download MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know today!

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Tags: MBA Admissions, Rankings, 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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4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organ [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization
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If you work in a flat organization, how do you demonstrate advancement and growth?  After all, your progress will be compared to that of other candidates who have regular promotions with clearly delineated expanded responsibilities.  In a flat organization, you may hold the same title for five years.

It is a point that your MBA application must make clear. Here are some ways to do so:

• In your MBA resume bullet points, when you summarize accomplishments/experiences, order them consecutively and put dates in parentheses before or after the point.  This way, if you have four years with a particular title, you can show progress within that time.  Also use details to highlight growth.  If the dollar scope of your projects increases over time, quantify those points.  Similarly, if you led three-member teams initially and now lead ten-member cross-functional teams, specify that growth.  If you started doing something new, describe it in a bullet point with the date, e.g., “In 2008, became responsible for managing relationships with clients up to $500K.”  The key is to look at your experiences and accomplishments and ask, “How can I portray them to reveal my professional growth?”

• There will be even more opportunities in your essays to show your growth within a flat organization.  The most obvious is when you are asked (typically in a goals essay) to summarize your career progress.  Whether or not you have this particular question, look for a place early on in the set of essays to add a sentence explicitly describing the situation, along the lines of, “My employer, ABC Corp., is a flat organization, with no management ladder between associate and senior management.  Nevertheless, in my three years as TITLE, I have gone from ABC to XYZ.”  Provide examples, ideally one that demonstrates your progress relative to accomplished colleagues, e.g.,   “I am the only one among my 10 peers to work directly on-site with our overseas clients and to accompany senior managers on sales visits to China.”

• Ask your recommenders to address this issue directly, and explain why to them (don’t just assume they’ll understand why it matters).

• In the application form you will have to fill in information about your roles and positions.  Apply the same principles noted above to these sections, to the extent possible.

I have one final suggestion.  Don’t assume a subtle read.  Make the point more than once, but in different ways, to make sure it gets across.

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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.

Tags: MBA Admissions, resume

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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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Linda Abraham
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How Do You Deal With Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Wa [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Do You Deal With Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Want to Know
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Most important, show how you responded to the criticism.

Many MBA essays ask you to write about a time you faced criticism. This may not be the kind of question you wished they had asked, but it is one that provides an excellent opportunity to show the highly prized quality of emotional intelligence, or EQ, as it is known. Additionally, the people writing your letters of recommendation are almost sure to be asked to assess you in this same sensitive area: Did you respond with maturity and self-reflection, or did you struggle to suppress your anger at the perceived insult?

Adcom members remain acutely interested in candidates’ EQ. This may be due, in part, to the fact that today’s millennial applicants (especially Americans) have been raised without much constructive criticism, and in fact, have been taught to expect lavish praise for things previous generations did with no expectation of awards or perks. It’s not the millennials’ fault that they got this message, but adcoms need reassurance that millennial applicants can accept criticism with grace, self-reflection, and maturity. This ability to turn a negative experience into an opportunity for growth is key to demonstrating your EQ– and your management potential.

Here are several tips that my clients have used very successfully when dealing with the question of responding to criticism:

1. Choose an experience that took place within the last two years. It will be a more accurate gauge of your current maturity.

2. State the circumstances leading up to the criticism briefly and forthrightly. Did you discover the new software product still had bugs during the testing just three weeks before launch, but were afraid to report the bad news to your supervisor? Had you become angry with a colleague who was difficult to work with? Were you asked to mentor a new-hire, but found the job thankless and managed to evade some of those mentoring responsibilities? Whatever the situation, just tell it like it was.

3. Show your response honestly: Did you expect what was coming, or were you blindsided?

4. Most important, show how you responded to the criticism. The adcoms will be alert to answers that seem shallow or lacking in sufficient detail. Did you respond instantly to the critic, or let him know you thank him for the feedback and would like a day to get back to him? Show a bit of the conversation you had with your critic and what you learned from that conversation.

5. Reveal what you did to improve or mitigate the situation that led to the feedback. For example, if you could still take some corrective action on the situation, show how you did so.

6. Show growth: what have you done to avoid future episodes like this? Don’t gloss over this with a one sentence answer, such as “From this situation I learned to be more sensitive to how my colleagues were feeling.” Go deeper. For example, did you begin to spend more time talking to those colleagues on a regular basis, evaluating their view of events? Did you read any books on successful communication skills, or workplace dynamics? Did you set up regular times to meet with your supervisor to make sure you were on the same page with projects? Your changes have to be believable as a result of honest self-reflection and action.

7. What if you felt the criticism was unfair or unwarranted? If this is the case, it will still be important to show that you dealt with it in a mature way. Show how you tried to put yourself in your critic’s shoes: How was it possible he or she viewed the situation that way? The ability to consider another person’s point of view, even if it is erroneous, and then respond with tact, is an important element of EQ.

Everyone makes mistakes in life, and everyone is on the receiving end of criticism from time to time. One thing that can distinguish you from other applicants is your ability to embrace such uncomfortable situations, and to turn them to your advantage through greater self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional growth.

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By Judy Gruen, MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsMBA Admissions, weakness

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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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Summer Savings Continue – Only 2 More Weeks to Save 10% [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Summer Savings Continue – Only 2 More Weeks to Save 10%
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Just two weeks left to take advantage of our sizzling summer sale!

Our super summer 10% off sale continues for two more weeks through Tuesday, July 15, 2014. If you’d like to work one-on-one with an experienced admissions consultant, then NOW is the time to purchase services. 10% off can save you hundreds of dollars!*

Please review our consulting and editing catalogs below and contact us with any questions you may have!

Aren’t you ready to get the help you need to whip those applications into tip-top shape? Our expert admissions consultants and editors are at your service!

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* Use coupon code SUMMER at checkout to save. Offer valid only on non-rush services. Discount may not be combined with other offers.

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Tags: Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, 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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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Why Write A Blog Post Series on MBA Goals? [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why Write A Blog Post Series on MBA Goals?
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Inappropriate goals, ineffectively presented goals, and impractical goals can get otherwise well qualified applicants dinged from top MBA programs.

“Why Write A Blog Post Series on Goals?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

A few years ago, in the good old days when Wharton still offered feedback to rejected applicants, I talked with a potential client who happened to be reapplying to Wharton.  I asked him whether he’d obtained feedback on his application, and he said yes.   Well? “Actually they said they really liked my application.  They said I was well qualified, and I would be a good fit for the school.”  Pause.  “The problem was my goals.  Venture capital.  They said it wasn’t a feasible goal for me.”

Like many people, this person dreamed of going into VC – he surely could do it, given the chance, and it would be wonderful for him – just that his chances of getting a VC job post-MBA were about zero.  The adcom knew that, and he should have known it too.

Inappropriate goals, ineffectively presented goals, and impractical goals can get otherwise well qualified applicants dinged from top MBA programs.  This story is not an isolated case.  I have heard similar ones every year for thirteen-plus years.

How do you avoid this scenario?  Effort.  Thought. Research.  Many people start their MBA application process with their goals sort of sketched out in their head.  But sketched out won’t cut it, and if you focus only on what you’d like personally without figuring out how you’re going to make it happen, you might not realize that there are a few obstacles, as the person in the above story belatedly discovered.  It’s not that you should never present complex or difficult goals in an MBA essay, but rather that if you do you should acknowledge that fact and have some concrete sense of how to achieve them.  If the above applicant had said in his original essay that he knew how hard it would be for him to land a VC job and here’s how he was planning to go about it, and if it still didn’t work out, here’s what he’d do instead that would also take him to his long-term goals, he might have been admitted, considering how positively the adcom viewed the rest of his application.

So what exactly are well-articulated, credible, engaging – and ideally exciting – goals, and how do you craft them in the goals essay?  The next four posts in this blog series will walk you through that process step by step.

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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: MBA Admissions, MBA career goals, special report, Why MBA Series

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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
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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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UC Berkeley Haas 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: UC Berkeley Haas 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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UC Berkeley Haas

Haas’ application this year has relatively minor changes.  It replaced last year’s #1, which was a somewhat artsy question about a song that expresses who you are, with a straightforward question about a transformational experience.

The other significant change is that Haas provides word length guidelines that provide range, for instance 400-500 word maximum, instead of one number, for example 500 words max.

Supplemental Information:

1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.

Keep it short and sweet. This is primarily for those of you who don’t want to tell your boss yet that you plan to leave.

2. List in order of importance all community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each organization or activity using the format below:

•  Name of organization or activity

•  Nature of organization or activity

•  Size of organization

•  Dates of involvement

•  Offices held

•  Average number of hours spent per month

Whenever possible, quantify your impact or contribution. Please note that Haas is not interested in high school grades or activities. Note also that they want the list not in chronological order, but in order of importance — however you define “importance.”

3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.

Again, quantify as much as possible your responsibilities and impact. Focus on achievements. Avoid  job descriptions that are obvious from your job title.

4. Please explain all gaps in your employment since earning your university degree.

Provide the circumstances, but as always, be succinct. If your position was eliminated during a restructuring and it took you three months to find a job, say so. No harm, no foul. If the layoff was much longer, also indicate how you used your time, other than job-searching. Learning new skills or serving your community, if true, would be great to mention here.

5. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A. (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission.)

Please, please, please don’t “forget” to answer this question if it applies to you. It’s far worse to omit it than to answer it.

Essays:

At Berkeley-Haas, our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles —Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude; Students Always; and Beyond yourself. We seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.(Learn more about Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles).

As you are answering the following four questions really think about Haas’ defining principles and when possible tie your answer and experiences to those principles. As I frequently do, I want to warn you against simply repeating the principles or stuffing them into your essays. That’s a waste of time and space. Use your essays to reveal that you share those values and have those qualities.

1. Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400 – 500 word maximum)

This is a new and very different questions form the one that occupied this slot last year.

The question is fairly straightforward and clear. Plus it leaves you room to start with the experience. Paint a picture for the reader of the scene that had such tremendous impact, or tell the story of that experience. How has your life changes as a result? How did your perspective change? What do you do differently? While discussing  perspective or outlook is fine, don’t leave your essay with theory alone. Transformation isn’t merely theoretical; it has to influence practice.

2. What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200 – 300 word maximum)

What are you most proud of? When did you make a real contribution and go “beyond yourself”? Tell the story of your accomplishment, but also reflect on it. Why do you consider it the “most significant”? Was it the impact you had on others, or the impact the experience had on you, or what the experience says about you?

For a brief article on accomplishments, please see “What is an Accomplishment?

3. What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c. (500 – 600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)

a. How is your background compelling to this company?

b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?

c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company? (250 word maximum)

This is a probing question. Generalities won’t do here.

It’s unusual that Haas is asking you to be so specific as to name a company you would like to work for. They’re not asking for a type of company or industry. Regardless, do the homework necessary so that can specify a company as well as the roll you would like to play in that organization.

First what role would you like to have after you earn your MBA and what would be your first choice in terms of employer. Now do your homework about the company. Read its employment site. If you can, speak to current employees. If you can’t interact with real live people, go on Vault or LinkedIn and network with current employees who are alumni of your college or somehow connected to you in some other way. What is a typical career path at this company? What does the organization seek in people it hires for your desired role? Why would this company want to hire you given your background and education?  Why would you be (after you get your Haas MBA) a compelling candidate?

And finally, how will Haas help you snag your dream position at your dream company. What gaps will your MBA fill? What skills will it hone?

Think about a common thread between what you’ve done, your Haas MBA, and that dream position. That core idea can really unify your essay.

Optional Essays:

1. (Optional) Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)

A bonus! If there is an element in your background, be it personal, academic or professional, that you have not revealed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, this is the spot. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it succinct and focused. Obviously, you could use this essay to explain a weakness, but that would leave your application ending on a weakness, which is less than optimal. Try to fit the explanation in somewhere else in the app or if necessary tuck the weakness into this essay, but have the main focus of this essay be something positive. For example: Your pride in working your way through undergrad, the challenges, and the ultimate satisfaction of learning to manage your time. An essay with this core idea explains a less than stellar GPA; it won’t justify a 2.0.

2. (Optional) If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)

If you are a liberal arts graduate or the proverbial poet applying to business school or if you simply don’t have a lot of math on your transcript or on your resume, you need to respond to this question. You could show that your work may be more quantitative than initially assumed or you could discuss quantitative courses you are taking now that do not yet appear on your transcript.

If you would like professional guidance with your UC Berkeley Haas 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 Haas MBA application. 

UC Berkeley Haas 2015 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline 
Decisions Released

Round 1 
October 1, 2014
January 15, 2015

Round 2
January 7, 2015
March 26, 2015

Round 3
March 11, 2015
May 14, 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, MBA Admissions, UC Berkeley Haas

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Happy July 4th! [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Happy July 4th!
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25 Top MBA Employers According to MBA Students [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 25 Top MBA Employers According to MBA Students
B-school students were surveyed on where they want to work most by the Universum USA research firm. Let’s see how this year’s results varied from last year’s and the year before:

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Much as with school rankings the rankings of top employers change slowly. #1 and #2 are unchanged for the last three years with Google claiming the top spot and McKinsey #2. For most of the top fifteen, these rankings mostly move around the deck chairs, but the players stay on the same deck.

Still there were a few winners and losers in the Universum ranking. The winners include Price Waterhouse, which jumped a whopping 13 spots from 2013 to 2014 (27 to 14) and that was on top of a two-spot jump from 2012 to 2013. Ernst & Young soared from 33 in 2013 to 23 in 2014, also following up a two-point gain the preceding year; Accenture climbed from 29 to 22; and Deloitte skipped up from 9 to 7 after moving up from 11 in 2012. Apparently the consulting and accounting firms are becoming more popular among MBAs. In fact the only consulting firm that dropped was BCG which went down an insignificant one notch from 5 to 6. Another noticeable gainer is Morgan Stanley which flew from 31 to 19, but that change was really just a reversal of its equal drop the preceding year.

The losers? Starbucks sank from 15 to 24. IBM dropped from 19 to 25. BMW declined a whopping 13 spots from 23 in 2013 to 36 in 2014.

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Solutions to the MBA Money Questions [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Solutions to the MBA Money Questions
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B-school’s not cheap. Okay, now that you’ve said it aloud, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to collect the funds needed to pay for the degree that’ll fast track your career?

Join us next week on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET for How to Pay for Your MBA – a webinar that will walk you through the process of budgeting, searching, securing, and fully understanding the funds you need to pay for business school.

The webinar will be presented by Matt Levin, Head of Business Development at CommonBond and an expert on helping b-school students budget and pay for their MBAs.

Isn’t it time you get rid of your money-induced headache with some solid facts and tips about b-school funding? Cheaper than ibuprofen, and longer lasting – register for How to Pay for Your MBA now!

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Wharton 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Wharton 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Wharton

The Wharton EMBA adcom, through its three required questions, expresses its values and its interest in a relationship with students who share those values. Each of the questions highlights a different facet of this relationship. Respecting, recognizing, and responding to that vision through your essays will be the key to a successful application.

 • Essay question 1 focuses on your goals and Wharton’s role in helping you achieve them.

 • Essay question 2 invites you to share your understanding of qualities that Wharton values.

 • Essay question 3 seeks confirmation that you understand in practical terms what a commitment to attending the program involves.

My tips for answering Wharton’s EMBA essay questions are in blue below.

Essays:

1. What is your career objective and how will the Wharton MBA Program for Executives contribute to your attainment of these objectives? (750 word limit)

You may want to start by discussing your current career situation to set the context, and clarify how the MBA education will enable you to achieve your immediate goals in your current role.  You can then naturally move on to your future goals.  In describing your goals at any given point, indicate why you are taking that step or pursuing that role. Put more detail on the roles you plan immediately post-MBA and the several years following; longer-term goals need less detail, but they still should present a clear direction.

In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: describe what skills and knowledge you need, and how the program meets those needs.  Also refer to the structure and special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

2. In his book, Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. (W’59), writes: “A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn’t think we possessed.” Describe a time when you were faced with a challenge and how you responded. (500 word limit)

This question clearly expresses certain qualities that Wharton seeks: ethics, resolve, fortitude, courage, self-awareness, clear-sightedness, ability to grow.  Showing through an appropriate experience that you possess some of these qualities (one to three will suffice; trying to address all of them would just create a blur) will convey fit with the program.  Given the gravity of the words in the quote, discuss a true crisis, not a mere problem or disappointment.  Since you cover work in essay 1, you can select a topic for this essay either from or outside work.

I suggest a relatively recent experience if possible – if it’s beyond a few years in the past, it must be a truly life-changing experience to work for this essay.  Hopefully you haven’t had so many recent crises that you have a hard time choosing among them, but if there are some different options, choose one that strategically works to your advantage by showcasing something desirable and/or interesting and/or impressive about your background or work life.

In writing the essay, keep it simple.  Tell the story, then briefly reflect on it considering the factors mentioned in the question.

3. Given your already demanding job and the desire to remain committed to important family and personal obligations, how do you plan to handle this additional demand on your time once you enroll? (500 word limit)

This straightforward question deserves a straightforward answer. Discuss the accommodations you will make at work, such as delegating more, adjusting travel schedules, etc.  You don’t have to tell them every single thing you can think of – focus on the most significant two or three adjustments.

Also address your personal responsibilities and how you will meet them with this additional significant demand on your time and energy; even acknowledging that you’ll have less time at the playground with your toddler or mentioning the support of your significant other will show that you’re facing this issue squarely.  If you’ve already successfully balanced school and working full time, by all means mention it.

Optional Essay:

Please explain any extenuating circumstances you feel the Admissions Committee should be aware of (e.g., unexplained gaps in your work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent academic performance).  You may also take this opportunity to share other aspects of your life that you feel have shaped you that the Admissions Committee would not otherwise have learned from your application or resume. (500 word limit)

You can use the optional essay not just to explain a problem (low GMAT, employment gap) but also to present new material that you think will enhance your application.  However, if you are making the adcom read more than is required, there had better be a darn good reason — not just that something is nice to know. First, succinctly explain any points that need explaining.  Then, if there is something you feel is important that you haven’t had a chance to discuss elsewhere, write about it, noting why it’s important for the adcom to know.

Wharton 2015 Application Deadlines:

Round 1: December 2, 2014; decision release date if application is complete by December 2 – January 16, 2015

Round 2: February 10, 2015; decision release date if application is complete by March 31 – March 31, 2015

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

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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.

Tags: 2015 EMBA Application, EMBA, MBA Admissions, Wharton EMBA

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Exactly What Are Goals? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2014, 07:42
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Exactly What Are Goals?
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A third key component for many people is geography, if it is integral to the goal.

“Exactly What Are Goals?” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

“I want to move from the buy side to the sell side.”

“I want to shift from technology consulting to investment banking.”

Not goals.

An engineer once really said to me, “I want to go into either finance or consulting.”  Not goals.

A goal isn’t something you want, it’s something you do, something you want to achieve, an impact you want to have, and the process of getting there.  Therefore, it needs to be specific.  Start with two key components:

1. Industry

2. Function

A third key component for many people is geography, if it is integral to the goal (e.g., developing solar energy in northern Africa).

Then add the “do” part – what the work will actually consist of, and what you hope to accomplish.

Here are some examples that incorporate the above elements:

•  I plan to return to operations but work at a higher, decision making level, such as Senior Operations Manager in an East Asian semiconductor firm or a related industry.  In this role I would, for example, oversee $XXX operations, a global high-tech supply chain, and manage a diverse range of technical and business professionals.

•  Currently I’m a BPR consultant; I plan to shift to strategy consulting at a top global firm such as Bain or McKinsey, ideally focusing on clients in the pharma/biomedical space, and help them setup operations in Eastern Europe.

To wrap up this section, I’ll add a couple of cautions about this phase of the process, developing core goals:

1.   Your short-term goals are naturally a stepping stone, and hence people often focus solely on what they will learn, understand; experience they will gain; people they will meet.  Short-term goals should also include the elements noted above – what you want to do and accomplish, contribute.

2.   Ensure that your goals really require the MBA education.  Of course any learning is helpful for almost any endeavor; but the adcoms want to see that you really need the resources they offer, which they view as precious and not to be squandered.  (And they’re right!)

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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: MBA Admissions, MBA career goals, special report, Why MBA Series

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Introducing Consultant Lisa Gruenbaum [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2014, 07:42
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Introducing Consultant Lisa Gruenbaum
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We warmly welcome Lisa Gruenbaum to the Accepted.com consulting family! Lisa brings with her vast experiences as an admissions reader at UPenn’s undergraduate schools and at Wharton’s MBA Program. She has reviewed literally thousands of essays, transcripts, resumes, and recommendations, along the way learning what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting accepted to a top school.

Additionally, her experience as a journalist has helped her develop her skills as a master-storyteller.

She looks forward to advising you as you weave your triumphs and dreams into the amazing story that will help YOU get accepted.

Check out Lisa’s full profile here.

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MBA Scholarships: How Do I Apply and What Should I Emphasize [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Scholarships: How Do I Apply and What Should I Emphasize?
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Each school has scholarship dollars designated by a donor for specific reasons.

While each school has its own unique scholarship offerings (merit only, merit and need, need only), they do so for a variety of reasons.  Similar to admissions, a director will consider your academic indicators, your work experience, your extra-curricular activities, your goals and your community service.  They also consider socio-economic factors for need-based and outstanding accomplishments for merit-need-based scholarships.

Merit-based general scholarships give the schools an opportunity to attract a candidate that they may not have the opportunity to enroll without the scholarship.  For schools with deep pockets, it helps the admissions office attract and maintain individuals that without the scholarship, the school could easily lose to other schools.  It also helps some schools fill their enrollment requirements.  Regardless, scholarships enable the admissions director to create his or her mosaic.

In addition to general scholarships, each school may also have specialized scholarships.   Those scholarships often will be given to students that diversify the population through their goals or their backgrounds.  In addition to school scholarships, outside organizations may partner with the school to offer scholarships or offer scholarships autonomously. Many organizations offer scholarships for students with disabilities (National MS Society, Setoma, SBA), women (Forte, AAUW) under-represented minorities (Consortium, Tiogo, American Association of Indian Affairs, The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, NSHMBA, NBMBA, Pfizer, Hispanic College Fund, and international students (Fulbright).  Specialized scholarships can be found on a national level (GFAO, Peace Corps, GI Bill, Fisher House), state level (New York State Scholarship Fund) and local level (Shanghai municipal scholarship) as well as through charitable and religious organizations.

Each school also has scholarship dollars that are designated by a corporate donor, alumnus or friend of the school for specific reasons.  Ernst and Young gave one school for whom I worked an endowment to distribute to candidates with accounting backgrounds, and another school for whom I worked had an alumnus who offered the school a fund designated for incoming Brazilian student scholarships.

I had the most difficulty distributing scholarships to local students with very specific backgrounds.  For example at one school, an alumnus gave us a generous fund to offer scholarships to students with accounting backgrounds from a specific county in the state in which the alumnus grew up.  The county was quite small and we rarely had applicants that applied to our school from that county with accounting backgrounds.  We couldn’t distribute that scholarship for several years in a row and when we did find a candidate that matched the criteria, that candidate received the scholarship regardless of need or merit.

Your best sources for scholarships are Fastweb.org, Scholarships.com, and the school you plan to attend.  However, check with each school’s scholarship policy before applying for admission.  Some schools may have you write an essay or check a box to show interest in scholarships.  Others distribute scholarships based on your admissions application and you don’t need to indicate an interest in scholarship at all.

Regardless of how you piece together your school funding, don’t pay for a scholarship search.  The information is free on the Internet or through your school’s admissions and/or financial aid office. Also, keep in mind that you must complete the FAFSA for U.S. scholarships and loans or the international equivalent through your country’s ministry of education.  And if you have multiple offers with scholarships, you have some negotiating power. If you need additional information, please contact me.

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By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

Tags: Financial Aid, MBA Admissions

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Masters in Finance: What You Need to Know [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2014, 11:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Masters in Finance: What You Need to Know
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The Masters in Finance degree is one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Anthony DeAngelis, owner and founder of Masters in Finance HQ, for the low-down on his company, the MSF degree, and the world of finance.

00:03:35 – The bored (but not boring!) beginnings of MSFHQ .

00:06:03 – What do financial analysts really do?

00:13:37 – Different types of MSF/MiF programs and what kind of candidates they are looking for.

00:16:40 – Can liberal arts grads go the finance route?

00:19:30 – A word about the schools that require work experience.

00:21:28 – Plenty of work to go around in the finance industry.

00:23:47 – Guidelines for the MSF vs. MBA vs. Financial Engineering Degree decision.

00:27:58 –Financial services are rebounding. What does the future hold?

00:34:56 – What’s changed the most at MSFHQ.

00:36:45 – Advice for people considering the MSF.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

MSFHQ

Accepted.com Services Section (SUMMER Sale ends on July 15!)

• What is a Masters in Finance?

Related Shows:

The Facts About Financial Services

Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship

Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, finance, Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions, podcast

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The GMAT and EMBA Programs [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: The GMAT and EMBA Programs
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There is no substitute for real world experience.

With fulltime MBA programs, it is fairly obvious why the GMAT is such an important component to one’s application – with less work experience, admissions committees need to find other measurements to gauge potential success in a program. Academic preparedness can clearly be evidenced with a strong undergraduate GPA coupled with a strong GMAT score. With Executive MBA programs, a GMAT score’s relation to the rest of one’s application is less obvious, since other factors seem to be of more importance.

Criteria for admission to an Executive MBA program (often in this order) include work experience and the type of insight an applicant can bring to the classroom, future potential, and academic preparedness. During my time at Cornell, I would often say we were looking for students who could teach just as much to their fellow classmates as the faculty who taught in the program. There is no substitute for real world experience to ingrain concepts presented in the classroom.

Once the box is checked for work experience, it is necessary to ensure an applicant can handle the rigorous work in a program. Admissions committees evaluate this in a variety of ways, primarily through undergraduate performance. Not all Executive MBA programs require the GMAT, but for those that do, the GMAT score also is an indicator of potential academic success while in a program. There is less emphasis placed on it than in full-time MBA admissions, however, since an applicant is typically much further removed from standardized testing than a full-time applicant.

If an applicant has strong work experience and a strong undergraduate record, but a weak GMAT score, the undergraduate record usually “trumps” the GMAT score. If an applicant has strong work experience and a strong GMAT score, but a weak undergraduate record, there will probably be further investigation on the part of an admissions committee to see if there were any mitigating circumstances leading to a low GPA. If not, it’s possible an admissions committee might ask for some additional evidence to indicate academic preparedness – for example, suggesting an additional quant course either online or from a local college. Bottom line, an EMBA admissions committee wants to admit individuals who are fully prepared to hit the ground running when a program starts, and the GMAT is one indication of an applicant’s ability to do just that.

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Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted.com. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing.

Tags: EMBA, GMAT, MBA Admissions

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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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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4847
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3 Days Left to Save 10% on Law, Grad, and MBA Services! [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2014, 12:01
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 3 Days Left to Save 10% on Law, Grad, and MBA Services!
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Only three days left to enjoy big summer savings!

Use coupon code SUMMER at checkout in the NEXT THREE DAYS ONLY (through Tuesday, July 15th) to save 10% on non-rush law, grad, and MBA services! (Offer may not be combined with other discounts.)

The following services will be most helpful to you at this stage of the admissions process:

Top Law School Admissions Services:

Top Graduate School Admissions Services:

Top MBA Admissions Services:

Still have questions? No problem. Contact us and we’ll help you choose the service that’s best for you.

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Tags: Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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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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How to Pay for Your MBA: Free Webinar on Wednesday! [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Pay for Your MBA: Free Webinar on Wednesday!
B-school applicants stressed by future tuition bills…listen up: We’ll be hosting a webinar loaded with tips on how to pay for business school on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET (see what time that is for you here).

During the webinar, guest Matt Levin, Head of Business Development at CommonBond, will discuss:

 • Getting started – budgeting and understanding your true cost of attendance.

 • Funding options – sources you should use and sources you shouldn’t use.

 • The mechanics of lending – the terms and calculations you need to know.

 • Timelines – understanding all the different deadlines and stages of applying for funding.

 • Picking a lender – questions you need to ask.

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The webinar is free to the public, but registration is required – click here to register: How to Pay for Your MBA.

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

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Columbia 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Columbia 2015 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Don’t expect to richly portray your personal and/or professional development.

These essay questions focus mostly on the present and future. There’s a little room to discuss relevant past experiences, but not much, so don’t expect to richly portray your personal and/or professional development. Moreover, if the Columbia EMBA adcom wanted this information, they would ask for it. Rather, go with the flow, and give them what they do ask for, in aggregate: a vivid sense of engagement

•  with your career

• with the resources of Manhattan

• with the program itself.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (100 characters maximum)

Give the basic facts – position, company, or a specific industry, and a word about responsibilities and desired impacts. Don’t repeat the question (it wastes space).

Essays:

1: Given your individual background, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time?  (Maximum 500 words)

The initial phrase invites you to present your goals and your MBA plans in the context of your past experience.  Yet, with only 500 words overall, you can’t give a comprehensive, detailed delineation of your life or career to date.  I suggest a simple basic structure, which you can adapt:

1. Start with the key point or two from your past that really animates your goals. Make it straightforward and vivid; ideally including an anecdote.

2. Your career vision fleshed out – some practical discussion of how you’ll achieve it and what “success” will look like in terms of desired impact.

3. Why these factors make now the right time to pursue the EMBA. Also include the main reasons Columbia is the right program for you.   

2: Columbia Business School is located in the heart of the world’s business capital- Manhattan. How do you anticipate that New York City will impact your experience at Columbia? (Maximum 250 words)

Please view the videos below:

New York City – limitless possibilities

New York City – fast paced and adaptable

Your experience at Columbia will have numerous dimensions: academic, professional, social, cultural.  Try to address each of these dimensions in the proportion relevant to you.  Do not just do a travelogue of Manhattan (I’ve already seen this in a draft or two). Rather discuss how the resources of Manhattan relevant to you will inform your time at Columbia – say you have a passion for jazz.  Of course you can hear great jazz all over town, but will you also look to share this passion with classmates?  Start an informal jazz appreciation group?  Audit music courses at Columbia or nearby Manhattan School of Music?

3: What will the people in your cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

The key to answering this short essay effectively is to understand the phrase “pleasantly surprised.”  Let’s break it down:

• First, don’t repeat a resume point – “surprised” means something not obvious from the available information.

• “Pleasantly” means something that will generate positive interest.  It doesn’t have to be directly applicable or “useful” to your cluster mates.

It can be something from work or outside work.  If it’s far in the past, it should be something of continuing relevance.  DON’T present a boring explanation.  DO root your response in actual experience.

Most important: DO select a topic that will add something to your profile, something that lets the adcom know you better as a person.

If your answer puts a smile on the reader’s face, or even better elicits a happy, surprised laugh, high five!

Optional Essay

An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

This question invites you to present new material that will enhance your application, as well as to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not using a direct supervisor, etc.). As far as non-necessary points, since you are making the adcom read more than is required, there should be a clear value to the information you’re sharing. Finally, keep it short.

Columbia EMBA 2015 Application Deadlines:

EMBA-Americas: January 2015 Entry

Regular Decision: October 29, 2014

EMBA-NY Saturday: May 2015 Entry

Early Decision: January 15, 2015

Regular Decision: March 2, 2015

EMBA-NY Friday/Saturday: August 2015 Entry

Early Decision: March 18, 2015

Regular Decision: June 3, 2015

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, Ace the EMBA. Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too!

Tags: 2015 EMBA Application, Columbia EMBA, EMBA, 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

_________________

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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