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Accepted MBA Updates

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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 42

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Re: Accepted MBA Updates [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2014, 10:00
Expert's post
FROM Accepted.com Blog: From Psychology to Harvard Business School
Image
We’d like to introduce you to Jyll Saskin, a graduate of Harvard Business School’s inaugural 2+2 Program. Read our interview to learn about some of Jyll’s favorite things about HBS, as well as advice for incoming and future b-school students. Thank you Jyll for sharing your story with us!

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. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Jyll: I was born and raised in Toronto – I’m a very proud Canadian! I studied Psychology and Child Development at Tufts, Class of 2009, and was really involved in student media. I wrote for the Tufts Daily, and served as both Chief Copy Editor and Chief Op-Ed Editor during my tenure there. I also wrote for the Tufts Observer and co-founded a fashion magazine.

While in college, I worked as a Fashion Editor for TheCampusWord.com, a now-defunct start-up that was this great news source by and for college students; the founders pivoted the site into what is now BostInno.com, a great website about all things innovation in Boston. When I entered college, I thought I’d graduate and become a psychologist, but I quickly learned that, while I love studying psychology, I wasn’t interested in the lifestyle and work culture that came with practicing it.

The inaugural year of the 2+2 Program was announced right at the time I was debating the whole, “What do I want to do with my life?” thing, so I applied and, much to my amazement, was accepted.

As for my favorite non-school book, it’s definitely got to be the Harry Potter trilogy. Book Three, if I had to pick just one. I re-read the series every summer; I was relieved when they were finally released in e-book format!

Accepted: Congrats on your recent MBA! What was your favorite thing about Harvard Business School?

Jyll: What a hard question! I’d have to go with the clichéd answer and say “the people.” There are all of these stereotypes about how b-school students are either really high strung, competitive and backstabbing, or fratty d-bags, and it’s just not true. I’m actually so in awe of the work that admissions does, because they put together a class of people who are obviously smart, but more than that, really driven and interesting and interested in so many different things.

I really miss having case discussions every day, getting the opportunity to learn from and (politely) debate with this wildly diverse group of fascinating people. You can’t replicate that elsewhere. It’s once-in-a-lifetime.

Accepted: If you could change one thing about HBS, what would it be?

Jyll: Well, if I could change anything, then I would make the program three years instead of two. This is purely for selfish reasons. The first year is entirely required curriculum, and the second year is elective curriculum. I spent my second year at HBS taking all of those courses that interested me most, generally in strategy. I wish I’d had another year so I could have delved farther outside my comfort zone and taken courses like Entrepreneurial Finance and Real Estate Development.

Yes, that’s a copout answer. It’s all I’ve got! #sorrynotsorry

Accepted: Where did you work before starting HBS? How did the 2+2 Program help you prepare and transition to HBS’s regular program? As a 2+2 participant, did you feel “different”? Finally, are you glad you participated in 2+2?

Jyll: I held two jobs before starting at HBS. First, I was an Editorial Assistant in the teen division at Bauer Publishing, a magazine company.

Unfortunately, the magazine that I worked for folded after I’d been there for a year, so I moved home to Toronto and landed a job in corporate strategy at McCain Foods, a global frozen foods company.

They were two very different experiences, but I was grateful for both perspectives before starting my MBA.

I loved being a part of the 2+2 Program. I was part of the inaugural class, and we had these wonderful summer programs where we got to meet each other and take special classes with HBS professors.

Unfortunately, that part of the program has been phased out, so now the 2+2 Program is really just the grad school equivalent of Early Admission. Once we enrolled, we were just like everybody else in the MBA program – same classes, same activities, same everything.

The only different was that the 2+2 participants all knew each other from the summer programs, and we were the youngest students in the class. I think that there was a bit of stigma attached to the 2+2 label because of that, but honestly, it had more to do with people’s own insecurities in the first few months than anything else. Once we got into the groove with our sections, you pretty much forgot who was the youngest or the oldest because it ceased to be the most salient thing.

Accepted: What is your current job? What role did HBS play in helping you secure that position?

Jyll: I’m currently a Manager in Project Leadership at Scratch, a division of Viacom. If a strategy consulting firm and an advertising agency got together and became experts in all things Millennial, you’d get Scratch. It’s this great mix of left-brain and right-brain problem solving for clients as diverse as General Motors, Hilton and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

HBS definitely played a part in helping me secure this position. I was networking my butt off the summer before last, trying to meet as many HBS alums working in digital/strategy/media as I could. One connected me to someone else, who then connected me to Scratch. Also, two of our most senior people at Scratch are HBS alums, so having that common ground made me feel much more confident going into those interviews.

And now the cycle continues, as I connect current HBS students who are interested in working in this industry.

Accepted: Can you talk more about how you plan on transforming the media/entertainment industry?

Jyll: It’s a lofty goal, isn’t it? The media industry is transforming, with or without me. What really interests me is how you teach old dogs new tricks, how you take legacy media companies and help them transition their business models to not just survive, but thrive.

Throughout my second year at HBS, I worked on an independent project solving that exact problem, but on a much smaller scale: for The Harbus, HBS’ student newspaper. I worked with the staff, my professor and industry experts to put together an analysis and business plan for The Harbus, diversifying its revenue and exploring new audiences and channels and products. It had been so focused on cutting costs, that it wasn’t investing for future growth.

I’m still in close touch with the General Manager at The Harbus, and they’ve started implementing many of my suggestions, often making them better by putting their own twist on things.

So, that’s been very rewarding for me to see, and I know that a lot of the things I did and am doing with The Harbus would be highly transferable to larger news and/or entertainment organizations. It’s an ongoing interest and passion of mine.

Accepted: What are some things you wish you would’ve known before starting b-school? Can you share some advice on this topic with our readers?

Jyll: I wish I had taken some time off before starting business school. It’s a crazy two years, and I went straight from my job into school; my brain could have used some rejuvenation!

At b-school, for the first few months, I kept having to tell myself that I was not some sort of admissions mistake. It’s challenging, you’re in a new environment, learning new things, meeting new people, and everyone goes through that mindset of, “Why am I here? I don’t belong here!” Just know that you’re not alone, everyone feels that way, you do belong and by second semester, you’ll be smooth sailing.

Lastly, I’ve alluded to this earlier, but I do have a twinge of regret that I didn’t push myself harder academically while I was at HBS. I stuck with classes that I loved, which was great because I loved them, but I do feel as if I wasted an opportunity to try some new things.

I would encourage people to keep their electives as broad as the required curriculum, so you can take advantage of everything your MBA program has to offer.

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 Harvard see:

• Harvard Business School 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips

• HBS Post-Interview Reflections, a video

• The Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School, a free webinar.

• What HBS is Looking for: Engaged Community Citizenship

• What HBS is Looking for: The Habit of Leadership

Image

Image
Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

Image
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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 42

Kudos [?]: 339 [0], given: 64

GMAT Tests User
Re: Accepted MBA Updates [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2014, 12:01
Expert's post
FROM Accepted.com Blog: From Psychology to the Media Industry, Strat and Harvard B-School
Image
We’d like to introduce you to Jyll Saskin, a graduate of Harvard Business School’s inaugural 2+2 Program. Read our interview to learn about some of Jyll’s favorite things about HBS, as well as advice for incoming and future b-school students. Thank you Jyll for sharing your story with us!

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. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Jyll: I was born and raised in Toronto – I’m a very proud Canadian! I studied Psychology and Child Development at Tufts, Class of 2009, and was really involved in student media. I wrote for the Tufts Daily, and served as both Chief Copy Editor and Chief Op-Ed Editor during my tenure there. I also wrote for the Tufts Observer and co-founded a fashion magazine.

While in college, I worked as a Fashion Editor for TheCampusWord.com, a now-defunct start-up that was this great news source by and for college students; the founders pivoted the site into what is now BostInno.com, a great website about all things innovation in Boston. When I entered college, I thought I’d graduate and become a psychologist, but I quickly learned that, while I love studying psychology, I wasn’t interested in the lifestyle and work culture that came with practicing it.

The inaugural year of the 2+2 Program was announced right at the time I was debating the whole, “What do I want to do with my life?” thing, so I applied and, much to my amazement, was accepted.

As for my favorite non-school book, it’s definitely got to be the Harry Potter trilogy. Book Three, if I had to pick just one. I re-read the series every summer; I was relieved when they were finally released in e-book format!

Accepted: Congrats on your recent MBA! What was your favorite thing about Harvard Business School?

Jyll: What a hard question! I’d have to go with the clichéd answer and say “the people.” There are all of these stereotypes about how b-school students are either really high strung, competitive and backstabbing, or fratty d-bags, and it’s just not true. I’m actually so in awe of the work that admissions does, because they put together a class of people who are obviously smart, but more than that, really driven and interesting and interested in so many different things.

I really miss having case discussions every day, getting the opportunity to learn from and (politely) debate with this wildly diverse group of fascinating people. You can’t replicate that elsewhere. It’s once-in-a-lifetime.

Accepted: If you could change one thing about HBS, what would it be?

Jyll: Well, if I could change anything, then I would make the program three years instead of two. This is purely for selfish reasons. The first year is entirely required curriculum, and the second year is elective curriculum. I spent my second year at HBS taking all of those courses that interested me most, generally in strategy. I wish I’d had another year so I could have delved farther outside my comfort zone and taken courses like Entrepreneurial Finance and Real Estate Development.

Yes, that’s a copout answer. It’s all I’ve got! #sorrynotsorry

Accepted: Where did you work before starting HBS? How did the 2+2 Program help you prepare and transition to HBS’s regular program? As a 2+2 participant, did you feel “different”? Finally, are you glad you participated in 2+2?

Jyll: I held two jobs before starting at HBS. First, I was an Editorial Assistant in the teen division at Bauer Publishing, a magazine company.

Unfortunately, the magazine that I worked for folded after I’d been there for a year, so I moved home to Toronto and landed a job in corporate strategy at McCain Foods, a global frozen foods company.

They were two very different experiences, but I was grateful for both perspectives before starting my MBA.

I loved being a part of the 2+2 Program. I was part of the inaugural class, and we had these wonderful summer programs where we got to meet each other and take special classes with HBS professors.

Unfortunately, that part of the program has been phased out, so now the 2+2 Program is really just the grad school equivalent of Early Admission. Once we enrolled, we were just like everybody else in the MBA program – same classes, same activities, same everything.

The only different was that the 2+2 participants all knew each other from the summer programs, and we were the youngest students in the class. I think that there was a bit of stigma attached to the 2+2 label because of that, but honestly, it had more to do with people’s own insecurities in the first few months than anything else. Once we got into the groove with our sections, you pretty much forgot who was the youngest or the oldest because it ceased to be the most salient thing.

Accepted: What is your current job? What role did HBS play in helping you secure that position?

Jyll: I’m currently a Manager in Project Leadership at Scratch, a division of Viacom. If a strategy consulting firm and an advertising agency got together and became experts in all things Millennial, you’d get Scratch. It’s this great mix of left-brain and right-brain problem solving for clients as diverse as General Motors, Hilton and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

HBS definitely played a part in helping me secure this position. I was networking my butt off the summer before last, trying to meet as many HBS alums working in digital/strategy/media as I could. One connected me to someone else, who then connected me to Scratch. Also, two of our most senior people at Scratch are HBS alums, so having that common ground made me feel much more confident going into those interviews.

And now the cycle continues, as I connect current HBS students who are interested in working in this industry.

Accepted: Can you talk more about how you plan on transforming the media/entertainment industry?

Jyll: It’s a lofty goal, isn’t it? The media industry is transforming, with or without me. What really interests me is how you teach old dogs new tricks, how you take legacy media companies and help them transition their business models to not just survive, but thrive.

Throughout my second year at HBS, I worked on an independent project solving that exact problem, but on a much smaller scale: for The Harbus, HBS’ student newspaper. I worked with the staff, my professor and industry experts to put together an analysis and business plan for The Harbus, diversifying its revenue and exploring new audiences and channels and products. It had been so focused on cutting costs, that it wasn’t investing for future growth.

I’m still in close touch with the General Manager at The Harbus, and they’ve started implementing many of my suggestions, often making them better by putting their own twist on things.

So, that’s been very rewarding for me to see, and I know that a lot of the things I did and am doing with The Harbus would be highly transferable to larger news and/or entertainment organizations. It’s an ongoing interest and passion of mine.

Accepted: What are some things you wish you would’ve known before starting b-school? Can you share some advice on this topic with our readers?

Jyll: I wish I had taken some time off before starting business school. It’s a crazy two years, and I went straight from my job into school; my brain could have used some rejuvenation!

At b-school, for the first few months, I kept having to tell myself that I was not some sort of admissions mistake. It’s challenging, you’re in a new environment, learning new things, meeting new people, and everyone goes through that mindset of, “Why am I here? I don’t belong here!” Just know that you’re not alone, everyone feels that way, you do belong and by second semester, you’ll be smooth sailing.

Lastly, I’ve alluded to this earlier, but I do have a twinge of regret that I didn’t push myself harder academically while I was at HBS. I stuck with classes that I loved, which was great because I loved them, but I do feel as if I wasted an opportunity to try some new things.

I would encourage people to keep their electives as broad as the required curriculum, so you can take advantage of everything your MBA program has to offer.

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 Harvard see:

• Harvard Business School 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips

• HBS Post-Interview Reflections, a video

• The Accepted Guide to Getting into Harvard Business School, a free webinar.

• What HBS is Looking for: Engaged Community Citizenship

• What HBS is Looking for: The Habit of Leadership

Image

Image
Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

Image
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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 42

Kudos [?]: 339 [0], given: 64

GMAT Tests User
Re: Accepted MBA Updates [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2014, 09:00
Expert's post
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Your GMAT Study Plan: Get More Right Answers in Less Time
Image
I got a call yesterday from a prospective client who sounded equal parts awestruck and discouraged. He explained that he had shown one of the sample GMAT math problems from my YouTube channel to his colleague who looked at it and proceeded to answer it, in his head, in about 20 seconds. The same problem had taken this caller several minutes to figure out, and that was with the help of my answer explanation in the video. After relating this story, his question to me was very simple:

“Will I ever be able to solve GMAT problems that fast?”

I responded like any good politician might: “Yes and no.” (Why take a stand when you can equivocate, right?)

All kidding aside, the reality is that some of us may never develop a true “math brain” that enables us to solve seemingly complex GMAT word problems in mere seconds. And even if we could, it probably won’t happen in the few weeks or months that we’ll be studying for the GMAT.

But here’s the good news: You don’t have to become a math (or verbal) savant to score high on the GMAT.

There are a handful of key GMAT content areas and test-taking strategies that, once learned and mastered, will enable even the most average of test takers to get more right answers on the GMAT in less time.

In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to be teaching in my live online GMAT Bootcamp beginning March 1st. I’ll be tackling the most essential question types, strategies, and time management considerations that will enable you to dramatically boost your GMAT score after just a few hours of instruction. If you’re interested in accelerating your GMAT prep, click here to get all the details.

The GMAT in many ways is a balancing act, learning to weigh your desire to solve every problem you think you’re capable of solving with the very real time constraints placed on you by the test itself. For this reason, many of the questions I receive from my students concern time management on the GMAT — specifically, how to get more right answers in less time.

This video (below) addresses just those questions and also gives you a step-by-step study plan for preparing for the GMAT. As you’ll see, there are four parts of the progression toward learning to solve GMAT questions more efficiently. Again, it’s not about how smart you are. Rather, it’s a matter of adopting these four mindsets and practicing them until they’re second-nature when you go to apply them on test day. Enjoy!



Note: The deadline for registering for our GMAT Score Booster Bootcamp is midnight on Thursday, February 27th. For more details, visit http://offers.dominatethegmat.com/GMAT-Bootcamp-Live-Online.

Brett Ethridge is the founder of Dominate the GMAT, a leading provider of GMAT courses online and topic-specific GMAT video lessons. He has taught the GMAT for 10 years and loves working with students to help them achieve their highest potential. Brett is an entrepreneur, a triathlete, and an avid Duke basketball fan.

Tags: Dominate the GMAT, GMAT, MBA Admissions

Image
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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 42

Kudos [?]: 339 [0], given: 64

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Infosys to Hire 200 New MBAs [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 10:00
Expert's post
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Infosys to Hire 200 New MBAs
Image
Infosys to conduct largest ever global MBA recruitment by an Indian company.

According to an article in The Economic Times, Infosys hasn’t hired MBA talent for four years now, but currently plans on changing that by hiring at least 200 MBAs from top b-schools around the world, in an effort to beef up its business consulting practice. This will be the largest ever global MBA recruitment by an Indian company.

According to Pascal Matzke, VP of Forrester Research, “Infosys realises it has a lot of great technical skills, but not business skills. This (hiring global MBAs) is to beef up business capabilities and skills so that they really can compete with the likes of Accenture.”

Business schools that Infosys is targeting include: HBS, Wharton, NYU Stern, Chicago Booth, UCLA, and Kellogg in the United States; London Business School, INSEAD, ESADE, Oxford Said, International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland), and Rotterdam School of Management in Europe; and NUS, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Australian Graduate School of Management, Melbourne Business School, and China Europe International Business School in Asia-Pacific.

Infosys will also be hiring from the IIMs in India.

With new hiring strategies and improved employee engagement, Infosys plans on lowering its attrition rate which is one of the highest among top-tier firms (at 18%).

Image

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: hiring, MBA Admissions

Image
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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 42

Kudos [?]: 339 [0], given: 64

GMAT Tests User
What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 13:00
Expert's post
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA
Guest post by Seven Ma, MBA Student at Duke Fuqua in its Health Sector Management Program.

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Duke Fuqua

The MBA flies by fast. I’m currently a first year student and about one-third into my MBA. While only spanning 7 months, so much has happened. I’ve finished all of my core MBA courses, learned a lot about health care, started and finished recruiting for the summer internship, and got to know many of my classmates and faculty. However, just last year I was an anxious prospective MBA student and was unsure of what to expect. Here are some things that I wish I knew last year prior to the MBA.

Understanding the short term benefits of the MBA

The MBA has both short term and long term benefits. The one I’ve mainly focused on thus far has been long term ones – building strong relationships with classmates, focusing on leadership development, and getting hands on experience in biotech startups. However, I would’ve benefited from understanding the exact functions companies recruit MBAs for – earlier. For corporate positions, these would be marketing, operations, finance, and strategy. I would suggest new MBA recruits or applicants to understand what these roles are and which ones to explore further. By clarifying this early on, it will make informational interviews with alumni, company visits, and recruiting events much more effective.

Start early on long term development

As mentioned earlier, the MBA has significant long term benefits. One would also not want to focus solely on short term goals and ignore long term career development. The tip I got early on was to picture the role you want to have much later (for example, the CEO of a public company) – then determine the best opportunities to pursue that can get you there. There are so many events to get involved with during the MBA so choosing the right ones requires this clarity. More specifically, this will help with class choices, club leadership decisions and so on. My tip would be to start working toward long term goals even before starting the MBA. Leadership development is life long and I would suggest doing some reading, attending conferences/seminars and getting involved through volunteer or internship opportunities while still working. I review books on my blog and you can find the list (more relevant for health care folks).

Learn to read efficiently

A critical skill for business leaders is to extract the most relevant information from a variety of sources quickly. This is especially important for MBA students as time is extremely limited and is split among three aspects – academic, recruiting, and leadership. One thing I learned to do during the fall terms at Duke was how to effectively focus on the most important things in class. It’s a totally different mindset from undergraduate studies when one had time to fully learn everything. In the MBA, it’s important to understand the 20-80 rule and focus 20% of your energy on getting 80% of the result. Learning to read quickly would help. I recommend taking a look at some books on speed reading. In addition, I would urge prospective students to practice reading their news stories or journal articles at a higher pace and try to summarize key take-aways in the end. This is something I’m currently doing with my outside reading on business and health care, but is something I could’ve taught myself before beginning the program.

Learn to listen

The MBA can feel competitive, especially since you will be surrounded by very intelligent and high performing individuals. In class and on teams, I found that it can be easy to get stuck in trying to contribute and not doing that great of a job on listening. One thing I now do well is to focus my energy on listening to fully comprehend others. It’s not easy to do, and we are taught to avoid this – for example by not falling in the trap of thinking of responses when others are speaking. I would suggest practicing this before the MBA. Learn to be mindful (Google “mindfulness”) and learn how to listen. In conversations, reflect if you’re actively engaged and listening to the other person. This is an extremely important skill to have and is something that the most successfully leaders are known for. Having an extra few months to practice would help a lot.

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Steven Ma is an MBA student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (’15). He has a background in the life sciences and is passionate about innovation in health care. The Duke MBA and its Health Sector Management Program has been a critical part in Steven’s transition into business and he enjoys sharing his experiences. Visit his blog, From Bench to Board.

Tags: career, Duke Fuqua, MBA Admissions

Image
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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 4836
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Followers: 42

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How to Put Your Best Foot Forward Test Day [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 09:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Put Your Best Foot Forward Test Day
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The key to GRE success?

Many of us have gotten through school with decent grades by relying on one method: cramming. We’ll likely order a jumbo-sized coffee, deposit ourselves in the far corner of a café, and condense three-months of material into a six-hour, red-eyed, caffeine-fueled study session.

If you pull those shenanigans test day, you’ll definitely end up with those red eyes—which you’ll want to close as soon as you see your score.

The GRE is a massive test that, for many, requires months of intense preparation: vocabulary lists, math fundamentals, mock tests, and dense reading passages are just the tip of the GRE iceberg. To do your best, you will simply need a lot of time.

But of course things are a little more complicated than that. You can’t just hole yourself away in some attic, and live and breathe GRE prep. Sure, you’ll probably improve a little, but really maxing out your potential comes down to the following:

What you study

The GRE universe contains books and resources vital to your success; it also contains materials that are out-of-date or not really representative of what you’ll see on the test.

How you study

Many labor under the delusion that all they need to do to improve is one problem after another.  First off, you have to make sure that you are using the proper strategies. That’s why learning the strategies from the best resources is really important. If your approach is off, you are only reinforcing it by doing problem after problem.

You’ll also want to understand why you are missing certain questions. That is, don’t just understand why the right answer was right, but why the wrong one you chose was wrong.

You’ll also want to take practice tests to chart your progress. It helps to have a goal in mind so make sure you know the average GRE scores of the programs you’re looking to get into.

When you study

If possible, don’t rely on once a week study binges, hoping that 6 hours in one day will make up for six days you didn’t crack open a single book. Spread out your study sessions throughout the week. Even 20 minutes here and there will make a big difference and keep the material fresher than were you do GRE prep just once a week.

What about those last 24 hours?

Believe it or not, if you’ve been studying properly for about six weeks leading up to the test, those last 24 hours should be relatively stress-free.

Of course that doesn’t mean I’m not going to share some last minute GRE tips. First off, don’t cram. You should review words you already know, but don’t undertake new words or anything demanding—don’t try to knock out a set of three essays, washing them down with back-to-back verbal sections. The key is keeping your stress low and your confidence up. There is no need to upset your equilibrium for the sake of one problem set.

At the same time, keep the engine oiled those last 24 hours by doing some review. Make sure to get a good night’s rest; don’t go into the test center starving (nor gorge yourself on some decadent meal an hour before your appointment); and don’t down 20-oz of coffee the night before.

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This post was written by Chris Lele, resident GRE expert at Magoosh. For more advice on taking the GRE, check out Magoosh’s GRE blog.

*Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tags: Grad School Admissions, GRE, Magoosh, MBA Admissions

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Waitlisted! What Now? [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 12:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Waitlisted! What Now?
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So, you’ve been waitlisted and you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. You can choose to do either, neither or both, but then it is time to figure out what to do next.

Listen to the recording of our latest podcast episode to hear Linda Abraham’s six tips for waitlisted applicants. Make sure you know what to do (and what not to do!) to ensure that you are the candidate on the very top of that waitlist.

00:01:28 – Devastated about your waitlisted status? Don’t give up!

00:02:16 – Don’t be an independent thinker please.

00:03:43 – Self-evaluate and take action.

00:04:24 – Spread the good word (even if it doesn’t relate to your weaknesses).

00:05:44 – Schools like applicants who are interested in attending their program!

00:06:13 – Don’t spam the adcom.

00:06:48 – How a waitlist letter should begin and what it should include.

00:07:33 – Addressing your weaknesses without sounding weak.

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Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101

•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101

•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101

•  College Waitlist Advice 101 

•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist, an ebook

•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist, an ebook

•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

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Tags: Admissions Consulting, Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, MBA Waitlist, Medical School Admissions, podcast, Wait List, weakness

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Hard Work and Humility: Reflections of a UCLA Anderson Stude [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2014, 11:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Hard Work and Humility: Reflections of a UCLA Anderson Student
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We’d like to introduce you to UCLA Anderson student, Jenn Hyman. Read our interview below to hear about Jenn’s MBA adventure – her favorite things about UCLA, the thing she’d like to change about the program, her travels, her new job, and more! Thank you Jenn for sharing your story with us!

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. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Favorite non-school book?

Jenn: I am a local girl, born and raised in Los Angeles. I went to UCLA for undergrad and double majored in Economics and Psychology.

Ice cream is not something to be taken lightly. I’d say my favorite flavor right now is anything with Heath Bar, but really when someone is going to give you fresh ice cream on a waffle cone, who am I to complain.

I am, and have always been, a total bookworm. Choosing my favorite book is a tough task, but I would have to say either Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut or The World According to Garp by John Irving.

Accepted: How did you choose UCLA Anderson? Why would you say you’re a good fit with the program?

Jenn: Having gone to UCLA for undergrad, I actually was not sure I would return for grad school. I was focused in on CPG brand management and was looking for programs that would align with this career goal. After some soul-searching, I realized that long term I wanted to settle on the West Coast. So when it came down to it, I was deciding between UCLA Anderson and Kellogg and realized that my opportunities for developing a network on the West Coast were simply greater going to Anderson.

Additionally, a huge factor for me was the people. I spent a lot of time getting to know students, staff and alumni at each school I was applying to, and those from UCLA Anderson just felt like my kind of people. I always say, go to a school where you believe that the person sitting next to you is going to be as successful and you want to be. That is what I felt from those at Anderson, driven individuals who I had faith would soar to great heights, but would excel in their lives the way I wanted to: through hard work and humility.

My fit with Anderson comes from this collaborative environment. I know it sounds unbelievable, but truly, my best friends at Anderson are those I recruited with. We would be competing for the same jobs but would spend hours the night before prepping each other to assure that we each put our best foot forward.

Brilliance comes in many forms, but at Anderson, brilliance is understated, it is a cost of admission and success is defined by collaboration, friendship, hard work and humility. I have never met colleagues who I respect more or who am more honored to call my friends.

Accepted: If you could change anything about the program, what would it be?

Jenn: One of the greatest challenges of coming to Anderson is the fact that it is a quarter system school which means we start later than other programs. This means that you need to hit the ground running in fall of your first year because in early October, recruiting is in full swing. My improvement to the program would be more prep work over the summer to assure preparedness for this recruiting effort once it commences.

Accepted: What have been some of your highlights so far during your 1+ years at Anderson?

Jenn: Oh I could talk about this for days! Where to start? I will try to highlight some of my favorite memories:

1) International Travel

Spring Break of my first year, I went on the UCLA Anderson Japan trip which was organized by our Japanese students. This annual trip is a cornerstone of our program where over 100 MBA will take over Japan. We arrived just as the Cherry Blossoms were blooming and spent our entire break immersing ourselves in Japanese culture through Sumo Tournaments, Japanese Baths, Temples, celebrating with locals, touring local companies including behind the scenes at Toyota, eating sushi at 4am at the fish market and many more such memories.

My second year, I traveled with a study course to Chile where we spent a week in country listening and learning from top Chilean leadership in every industry from mining to hospitality to investment banking. The goal was to understand the socio-economic conditions that have contributed to Chile’s stability and success in recent years. The access we were granted was unparalleled. The conversations were fascinating and provided a launchpad for our future international business operations. And don’t forget the opportunity to wine-taste on horseback in the Andes!

2) Classes

I have had some of the most incredible classes I could have imagined upon entering business school. Because we are located in Los Angeles, our access to CEOs and top leadership is unparalleled. It is simply quite easy for these individuals to teach courses or guest lecture in any number of classes in our curriculum.

I took a Crisis Management Course with Bob Eckert, the former CEO of both Kraft and Mattel, in which much of the course was him bringing in guest speakers, like the former CEO of Hershey, CMO of Proctor and Gamble, etc., to teach us how to handle the inevitable crisis that would hit our future career. Currently, I am taking an Entertainment Business Models course taught by CEO of MGM, Harry Sloan, with a similar cadre of high status and well-respected industry personal teaching us about the changing dynamic of Entertainment.

When your classes are taught by the literal experts in the field, your work is all the more relevant and impactful. Often, in many of my classes, our final project will be a real life business issue and our solution will be presented to the clients like the Dodgers, Fandango, Netflix, etc.

3) Social Events

UCLA Anderson has a rich history of social events that keep our students deeply woven into a community. From an annual bike ride from Santa Monica 14 miles south that attracts 200+ students and alumni who stop every few miles to party, to our Casino Night which raised thousands of dollars for charity, to Ander-Prom which is exactly what it sounds like, we have some of the best parties around that speak to everyone’s interest.

I am actually President of the Wine Club and we host bi-weekly events that range from learning about the business of wine, to exploring food pairings or new varietals, to social outings, to weekend trips to local wine regions.

There is nothing better than spending time outside the classroom with new friends. Plus, we have weekly happy hour sponsored by Anderson where every Thursday, we celebrate the end of our week (there is no class on Fridays) with food and a drink on an outdoor lawn. Not many places where outdoor happy hour can exist year round!

Accepted: You landed your dream job at Nestle – congrats! What is your position there? How did you go about securing that job? What role did UCLA play in that process?

Jenn: Thanks! I am super excited! I will be an Associate Brand Manager at Nestle USA. UCLA Anderson is truly the reason I was able to obtain this job. There are a couple reasons for this:

1) Career Center

We have an award-winning career center. From everything behind the scenes with us – getting our resumes ready, interview prep, counseling – to the front end where connections with companies are made, Parker Career Management Center is just incredible. We have relationships with the nation’s top companies that are secured and maintained by Parker to the benefit of our students. They bring so many companies to campus, it sometimes feel like you are able to take your pick.

2) Advising Career Teams (ACT)

Anderson has a unique program whereby second year students coach first year students about how to get their dream job in their various industries. These advising sessions are led by successful second year students in a given industry to help coach first years about what kinds of preparation to be doing, how to start thinking like a professional in a given industry, what companies are looking for, etc. These teams help make our students the most prepared possible walking into any recruiting environment.

3) Professional Clubs and Events

Our professional clubs take over where our career center leaves off and does training, interview preparation and countless recruiting events for students. They provide access to companies through on-campus events, days on the job (where students attend recruiting events at the host company) and treks to various cities to meet different companies.

Through all these three avenues, I was able to become the best marketer I could be. I also was able to meet Nestle and fall in love with the company. The preparation and access all I could have hoped for and secured my success in my future career.

Accepted: Looking back, what would you say was the hardest stage of the b-school application process for you? How did you go about overcoming that challenge?

Jenn: I found the whole thing quite challenging. However, the most challenging part was truly understanding why I wanted to get my MBA. I wanted to understand for myself why the investment was worth it for my career. What was I actually planning on doing? Was that the right career path for me?

To answer this question, it was really 1 part talking to a whole lot of people and 2 parts soul searching. I talked to anyone who I thought was tangentially related to what I wanted to do and peppered them with questions about their day-to-day, aspirations, etc. Then I spent a lot of time thinking about what about my last position fulfilled me and what more I was looking for. Was my dream job at the end of a b-school application? What did I want to do in 5 years? 10? In some ways, I am still answering that question and had to take a leap of faith to complete my application. However, in many ways, the soul-searching I did when completing my application made my essays more honest, passionate and heartfelt. Not to mention, it gave be focus and direction upon starting my MBA. So as hard as it was, it was truly all worth it in the end.

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 UCLA see our UCLA Anderson 2014 MBA Application Questions, Tips.

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Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews, UCLA Anderson

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What are My Chances? African-American Politico Turned Energy [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: What are My Chances? African-American Politico Turned Energy Guy
This blog post is one in a series of MBA applicant profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?” authored by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendations as well as an evaluation of their qualifications.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

Profile #5 “Kyle” African-American politico, turned energy guy

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Convince the adcom you’re the next big thing in clean energy.

-Background & Work Experience: 26-year-old African-American male graduate of top-tier Texas public university. Ran winning campaign of student body president. Worked on campaign of high-profile gubernatorial candidate (1 year), then transitioned to a Fortune 500 working in sales for energy saving performance contracts for cities and corporations (3 years).

What was that line from the latest season of House of Cards? “Power is better than money, until you’re out of power.” Looks like you were a savvy political operator, but lost the taste for it after losing a state race, or you’re facing some steep student loans and decided to take a high paying energy sector job? I could be wrong about both scenarios. If your hand was forced, by either a losing candidate or financial reasons, take heart – these can be good stories for overcoming an obstacle. Whatever the case, your leadership success undergrad and your current job in a trendy “green” slice of the energy sector make you stand out.

-Short-term goal: Energy consulting

Right on track. This goal makes sense with your past experience, and sounds plausible for your future. Do your research to find consulting companies who want people with your energy expertise. Make sure your b-school choices have good recruiting relationships with these firms.

-Long-term goal: Start-up in clean tech

Again, strong goal. Makes sense. After some time as a consultant, you could absolutely go on to work with, or finance clean tech start ups. The top schools, ie. H/S will want to see a sense of social impact with your goals. Keep that in mind if those schools are on your radar.

-GMAT: 710 GMAT (49Q/39V)

This is a good score – putting you in the top 10% of test takers. It’s a bit below average for the top echelon of schools, but with your experience – and if you interview well – it’s not worth retaking in my opinion.

-GPA: 2.5 (Double-major in Communications and Business Economics)

Yikes. This GPA is what I’m worried about for you. Looks like you were way more absorbed in your extracurricular achievements than in academics. This could cause some concern with the adcom. As a member of an under-represented minority, who has great leadership and a competitive GMAT, the schools may be willing to discount the GPA if you can provide context for your performance as an undergrad and evidence that it is not representative of your academic abilities. Your GMAT definitely helps, but a few recent A’s plus an optional essay about why your GPA is low are also necessary. Were there extenuating circumstances that caused you to miss classes, or did you just slack off? If so, what have you done since to show you have the intellectual bona fides to keep up with other b-school students?

-Extracurriculars: Last two years for Habitat for Humanity, including project with local green building architects to incorporate green design into homes; During college, heavily involved in campus politics and served as inter-fraternity Council President.

Your current extracurriculars line up nicely with your work interests and goals, creating a tidy package. It seems like you are a true leader, a people person. Talk that up in your essays – how you’ve been able to motivate others, create change, move organizations in positive directions. Make sure you communicate how your impact was vital.

-Schools:

Stretch matches: Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley

On-par matches: Yale, Michigan, NYU, UT

Safety matches: Rice, Texas A&M, Duke

Bottom Line: Check out some of the joint degrees offered by the schools above. Bonus if you can get it paid for it (ie. scholarships). It never hurts to ask. You know how to get votes. Now convince the adcom/financial aid office you’re the next big thing in clean energy.

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Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

Tags: MBA Admissions, What Are My Chances

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An Inside Look at INSEAD [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: An Inside Look at INSEAD
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INSEAD. The place where graduates speak three languages. And where 40% of graduates go into consulting.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Pejay Belland, Director of Marketing, Admissions & Financial Aid at INSEAD, for great insights into the program and tips that applicants to any MBA program should know.

00:01:42 – Singapore, Fontainebleau, and the USA in 10 months?

00:03:25 – Does the exchange program come at the expense of community?

00:05:04 – Why INSEAD likes consultants and consultants like INSEAD.

00:07:33 – Entrepreneurship at INSEAD (50% of grads start their own company at some time in their career!).

00:09:52 – Changes to the INSEAD application: Really getting to know candidates as people.

00:16:25 – The new dean and his initiatives.

00:18:51 – The video essay: in the cards.

00:20:38 – INSEAD’s admissions process and what it means for applicants.

00:24:32 – Can you demonstrate “international outlook” if you’ve never left your home country?

00:25:42 – What Pejay wishes she could tell all applicants.

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Relevant Links:

•  INSEAD

•  INSEAD Admissions Video

•  INSEAD Application Essay Tips

•  MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips

•  2014 Virtual Panel: Exploring European B-Schools

Related Shows:

•  Leadership is King: Interview with IMD’s Lisa Piguet

•  Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute

•  The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders

•  Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, consulting, INSEAD, 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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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Tips for Executive MBA Reapplicants [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2014, 09:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Tips for Executive MBA Reapplicants
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Work on putting together that “superstar” profile.

If you have been rejected from an Executive MBA program, it often comes down to one of three reasons (or combination thereof):

1) Your academic record was not strong enough to convince the admissions committee you could handle the rigor of an EMBA program,

2) Your work experience was not sufficient/relevant enough yet to be considered a solid addition to the program, or,

3) You did not show adequate interest in the program to warrant an offer of admission.

All of these reasons can be mitigated, with time or effort on your part. At the end of the day, there is no guarantee of admission, but by taking a hard look and assessing your situation, you can make yourself a much stronger candidate by addressing the pertinent issues.

Academic Record

A low GPA in and of itself is not a reason to ding an applicant. What tends to concern schools is when a transcript shows consistently low grades in subjects that are important to have competence in to do well in an MBA program – quantitative subjects in particular. If you do have quantitative weakness, enroll in an Algebra or Statistics course (or both) at a local college – a “real” class as opposed to online would be preferred. Get strong grades, and submit that transcript with your new application. In the optional essay, express how you recognize the admissions committee might have been concerned about your quantitative abilities, but the new grades should allay any concerns. Also lay out any additional plans you may have prior to joining the program to bolster your skills – MBA Math, for example.

Work Experience

In this situation, time and more leadership experience are probably the two best ways to enhance your application. The average years of work experience in an EMBA program is typically 10-15. Some schools specifically state the minimum years of experience necessary to apply. While I was at Cornell, we never seriously considered anyone with less than five years of experience, and when we did admit someone on that lower end of the scale, there was a clear indication the individual was a superstar at his or her organization. So, if you are in the lower range of experience, seek out more high-profile leadership opportunities, and work on putting together that “superstar” profile.

Program Interest

Admissions committees realize most applicants consider multiple options, as they should, and most have a clear first choice school. What tends to bother admissions folks is when it’s obvious an applicant is only applying to a school because it’s a brand name and would be an “ok” fallback.

How can they tell an applicant’s lack of interest? It’s pretty easy – never came to an information session, never visited the campus, never reached out to anyone on the admissions committee, and/or put reasons like “location” and “reputation” in their essay as to why he/she would like to come to the school. With EMBA classes quite small compared to fulltime programs, it is a distinct possibility an applicant with stellar qualifications could be dinged – why offer a spot to someone who clearly has no real interest in attending? If you feel this might be why you were rejected, this reason can be mitigated or eliminated as well. Reach out to admissions committee members and ask questions that show you’ve both done your homework and are thinking seriously about their school. Start sending signals indicating your sincere interest.

Not sure where your application might be lacking? The good news about most Executive MBA programs is that with smaller applicant pools, admissions officers typically have more time to devote to individual applicants. Therefore, make a call and see if you can receive feedback on your application.

Furthermore we here at Accepted are always available to provide a critical analysis of your EMBA application and help you develop a game plan for the future.

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JenWeld 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, MBA Admissions, reapplication, rejection

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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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Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
ImageThis 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 Enrique Toubes:

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What was your most recent pre-MBA job?

Enrique: I was born in the South of Spain, in small city by the coast called San Fernando. I studied Computer Science in Madrid, after studying High School in Maryland.

Right before starting my MBA I was working at a software company in Austria as a Project Manager.

As you can see, I like to move around the world!

Accepted: Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at Duke? How are you the right “fit” for that program?

Enrique: I chose Fuqua for several reasons: its culture, its location, and its support to international students.

Fuqua’s emphasis on team work is a perfect fit for such an outgoing person as myself. I enjoy working in teams and wanted to be in a collaborative environment.

While applying to business schools, I reached out to several Duke students to learn about their experiences and get a better idea of what kind of people go to Fuqua. I felt a great connection with each and every one of the students I met. I knew that I wanted to be around such people.

Fuqua is located in a small city in North Carolina: Durham. Durham is really affordable, compared to other cities with top MBA programs. I live really close to campus at a brand-new, spacious apartment. There are no traffic jams in Durham! People are extremely nice and, being a small city, I can interact much more with my classmates and other Duke students. Durham is also well known for its food; there are great restaurants in the area from all sorts of cuisines.

Finally, Fuqua is very international. Around 40% of the class are internationals. There are all sorts of activities to help our community get to know and understand other cultures. Each Friday we celebrate what we call Fuqua Friday: first and second years, families, and faculty get together to eat and drink. Each Fuqua Friday is organized by a different club. For instance, one of the Fuqua Fridays was organized by LASA [Latin American Student Association] and they brought Mariachis to play in the school. Another fact that shows how supportive is Fuqua towards internationals is its financial aid program.

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Enrique: Is difficult to say, as I am enjoying most of them! Fuqua has a set of core classes and allows us to choose electives in January of our first year. I’m finding extremely useful all the classes that relate to finance and accounting, as I come from a technical background. The concepts that we are learning are key for every MBA.

Accepted: Is there anything you wish you’d known going into b-school that you can share with incoming first year students and applicants?

Enrique: I did a lot of research and talked with many people before coming to business school, so I had a clear picture of where I was getting into. I would encourage to incoming students not to stress about recruiting and networking, and always be yourself. Companies want smart people, but also some that are fun to work with.

Accepted: What do you plan on doing once you receive your MBA? Do you plan on staying in the States or returning to Spain — or heading off to some new, exotic destination?

Enrique: One of the best things about an MBA is that it allows you to face an ever more global economy. With Duke’s MBA, I could go work almost anywhere I wanted. I have always chosen where to work or study based on the culture and the people I met in each place. When considering what to do after the MBA, I will follow a similar approach: analyze each option and understand how my family and I fit in. That option might be here in the States, Spain, or elsewhere.

Accepted: As someone who successfully applied to a top business school, you must have some good advice for our readers! Can you share your top three tips on b-school admissions?

Enrique: About essays, try to be unique and show personality. Read your stories and ask yourself “how are these essays different from the rest of the applicants?” Regarding the interviews, be yourself and smile, don’t be a robot who memorized all the stories. And finally, about the GMAT, remember that is just one more part of your application. Don’t bring yourself down in case you don’t get a 750 and keep being positive!

Accepted: Can you recommend a nice coffee shop on or near campus that’s good for studying or hanging out with friends?

Enrique: Personally, I believe the best place is Fuqua’s Fox Center! You’ll get the chance to meet many different people, hang out with your section and teammates, enjoy a Starbucks coffee, study, do cases with other students, play ping pong, and many other things. The Fox Center is the heart of Fuqua.

If you really feel like leaving campus, there are several places to hang around with other students or family next to Fuqua. I rather have a beer than a coffee, so I would recommend Six Plates, a quiet place where you can enjoy an Estrella Galicia, an awesome Spanish beer!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?

Enrique: I started reachingthethirties.wordpress.com  when began applying to business school. I wanted to practice writing English, as well as to share everything I was learning about business schools and the recruiting process. I also have a lot of friends and family scattered around the world, so it also was a great way of keeping all of them updated about my progress. Once I got accepted to Fuqua, my mission was to tell the world about this awesome place and the great MBA program that we have. Fuqua is a very young school and is not well known in some parts of the world, such as in Spain. It is my goal to spread the word about Fuqua.

A lot of people have reached out to me through my blog, asking questions about the recruiting process or Fuqua. It is great to be able to help them, and even more when you hear back from them telling you that they reached their goals.

You can read more about Enrique’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, Reaching the Thirties. Thank you Enrique for sharing your story with us! 

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 Fuqua see:

•  Duke Fuqua 2014 MBA Essay Questions & Tips

•  Duke Fuqua MBA Interview with Niladri Sannigrahi

•  Sheryle Dirks on the Masters in Management Science Program

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Tags: Duke Fuqua, MBA Admissions, MBA student Interview

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Comparing the GRE and GMAT [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Comparing the GRE and GMAT
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GMAT or GRE?

Since business schools started accepting GRE scores for admissions, prospective students are now faced with a choice—what standardized test do I take?

Each student arrives at an answer in her own way. It’s not as simple as a straight head comparison—GRE versus GMAT. That said, it does help to know the similarities and differences between the two tests before making a decision.

Similarities

Both tests have Reading Comprehension questions, requiring students to read through a passage and answer questions, such as main idea, structure, tone, author’s purpose, and inferences.

Since the revisions to the GRE, the two tests have questions that test a student’s ability to deal with arguments. The GRE has only a few of these question types whereas the GMAT has a sizeable number of these questions, about ⅓ of the verbal section. But both ask students to do similar things with an argument: strengthen or weaken the argument, choose a conclusion, evaluate the argument, or find a conclusion.

The GRE and GMAT ask students to analyze an argument containing flaws. Students have 30 minutes to analyze the logic and reasoning of the argument, explain why the conclusion is weak, and suggest ways to improve the argument.

Both tests contain “typical” standardized test math questions. These are the types of word problems and logical reasoning questions that students see in high school—but obviously more difficult. Both tests provide five answer choices and cover arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.

Both tests are computer-based, although a paper version of the GRE does exist. Unless you are taking the GRE outside of the U.S. and Europe, you’ll take a computer-based test. The rest of you will take the test a paper-based test. Everyone who takes the GMAT takes it on a computer.

Differences—GRE

The GRE has a second essay—Analyze an Issue. Students are given a prompt on a contemporary topic and are asked to form an opinion about the topic and support their opinion with reasons and examples.

Quantitative Comparison is a unique question type to the GRE. Students are given two columns with accompanying information and they must determine if one column is bigger, if they are equal, or if there is not enough information to know which is bigger.

Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence are core questions to the GRE Verbal section. Basically, these questions are fill-in the blank sentences that test a student’s vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Students need a rich vocabulary and discerning eye for the intending meaning of a sentence based on structural and semantic clues.

Both tests are adaptive; the GRE adapts section-to-section. After a student works through the first verbal and first math section, the subsequent sections will populate with questions based on the previous performance in the first sections.

Differences—GMAT

In the Quantitative section, Data Sufficiency questions contain two statements, and students need to decide which statement provides sufficient information to solve the problem. Sometimes one statement works, sometimes both statements are needed, and sometimes there is not enough information to solve the problem.

Where the GRE emphasizes vocabulary, the GMAT emphasizes grammar and style in Sentence Correction questions. Each question contains a sentence with all or part of it underlined. Students must decide if the sentence is fine as is, or if one of four options is a better formulation of the idea in the sentence.

The GRE and GMAT used to be exactly the same when it came to the writing section until recently. The GMAT removed the Issue essay and introduced Integrated Reasoning. This section tests students’ ability to reason and make conclusions about data and information presented in multiple formats—emails, announcements, tables, diagrams, charts, and graphs.

The GMAT, like the GRE, is adaptive, but on a more granular level. The test adapts question-to-question, so that the difficulty level is constantly changing based on whether the student answered the previous question correctly or not.

Finally, the GMAT is more expensive, making prep materials and classes more expensive. This becomes more important too when you consider that many students take these tests more than once.

What Really Matters

Now that you have a better idea of what is similar and what is different between the tests, it’s time to figure out what test to take. The best way to decide is by taking a complete practice test for the GRE and GMAT. You can download the GRE’s free software, PowerPrep II Software, and the GMAT’s free software, GMAT Prep.

Whichever test you do better on, that’s the test you prepare for and take. Use a GMAT/GRE score conversion chart to compare your performance on each test since they have their own scoring systems.

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This post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

Tags: GMAT, GRE, Magoosh, MBA Admissions

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Pew Study Shows Grad Degrees Pay Off! [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2014, 11:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Pew Study Shows Grad Degrees Pay Off!
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A graduate education can be a fantastic investment, or burdensome expense.

According to a Pew study, earnings of college grads with no further education have increased 13% since 1984, while earnings of those with advanced degrees have rose 23% in that same time period. For those with professional and doctorate degrees, the numbers jump even higher, to 34%.

This data, however, don’t take into account the following two things: 1) These increases don’t reflect the unemployment rate – that is, they only show a pay increase for those graduates who have found work; 2) They don’t take household income into consideration – the higher the socioeconomic status, the greater the chance is that marriage and childbearing has been delayed (i.e. fewer dependents) and the greater the chance for greater gains.

Let’s take a look at monthly household income for a moment: The median adjusted monthly household income of college graduates has gone up $1,300 since 1984. For households headed by someone with an advanced degree, that inflation-adjusted amount is $1,500, and for those with professional or doctorate degrees, it’s skyrocketed to $3,400. For those who have not completed a bachelor’s degree, monthly household income has decreased since 1984.

Here are two additional points:

•   The study doesn’t show that higher education has caused financial gain, just the association between the two.

•   Since 1984, the percentage of college grads who’ve gone on to complete an advanced degree has only gone up 1% (from 26% in 1984 to 27% in 2009). This amount is statistically insignificant and goes against the belief that a weak economy pushes people into higher education.

My Thoughts

While I’m always glad to see evidence that a graduate education pays off, I’m concerned about two omissions in this report.

1. This research doesn’t reflect the increased cost of graduate education since 1984.

2. By talking in terms of averages and aggregates, this research doesn’t reflect the uneven benefits of graduate and professional education. The STEM fields in general are booming. The job market for humanities and law grads has basically crashed.

Before plucking down those tuition dollars or even starting the application process, it behooves you to pursue your dreams with an eye on the top and bottom line and a few of the lines in between. What is your education going to cost you? What are the likely financial benefits?

A graduate education can be a fantastic investment, or burdensome expense. Do the homework and research necessary before spending your hard earned cash or assuming thousands of dollars in debt. You want to arrive on campus with confidence that the return on your tuition dollar and time will be more fantastic than the cost.

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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 SchoolsGrad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Should I Apply to B-School in Round 3 or Wait for Next Year? [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2014, 12:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Should I Apply to B-School in Round 3 or Wait for Next Year?
That’s an easy one. Watch the video below for Linda’s 1-minute answer:



If you need more help deciding when to apply, just check out the recording of our recent webinar, Round 3 vs. Next Year: The MBA Admissions Debate, to learn:

  • The differences between R3 and earlier rounds.
  • The pros and cons of applying R3.
  • 6 reasons why some people should wait until next year.
  • Detailed applicant profile case studies.
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Tags: MBA Admissions

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Classmates, Surfing and a Few More Reasons to Love Stanford  [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Classmates, Surfing and a Few More Reasons to Love Stanford GSB
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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 Michał Wiczkowski, a first year student at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What other degrees do you hold? What is your favorite Polish food?

Michal: I’m Polish. Born and raised in Wroclaw. I moved to Warsaw to study at the Warsaw School of Economics – which I graduated from in 2008. As for food, just like everyone else that has ever tried them, I love the good old Polish ‘pierogi’. They are the best. Image

Accepted: How’s your Stanford GSB experience going so far? Has the program met your expectations? Are there any surprises or things you hadn’t expected?

Michal: As my old P&G boss used to say, it has met my expectations ‘left, right and center’. An amazing mix of great minds from all over the world. I mean, where else would you have a ‘Leadership Lab’ with a group of six people ranging from a TV producer from Ghana, a doctor from Zimbabwe with a Harvard Sc.D, through a PE analyst from China, a Public Finance IB analyst from the US, to a McKinsey consultant from Mexico. And to top it all, a dude from Poland.

Accepted: Which other MBA programs did you apply to? Why did you decide to pursue an MBA in the States rather than closer to home in Europe?

Michal: I applied to 3 MBA programs. I particularly wanted to pursue an MBA at Stanford because of the experiences I had with the program’s Alumni in Europe. I’ve never met people that would invest so much time and effort to help someone, selflessly. I mean, they couldn’t have cared less if I would’ve gotten in. And yet they did go that extra mile to help me. It was a good proxy for what I would find at the GSB. +400.

Accepted: How would you say you’re a good fit for Stanford?

Michal: I think curiosity and a great sense of humor is what I value the most in my classmates. I want to believe I have both of those qualities. Curiosity to challenge things that are sub-optimal or don’t solve a particular problem. And an ability to laugh at myself.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about the GSB? Least favorite?

Michal: Favorite: classmates and surfing. Least favorite: rain in February and March. Image

Accepted: What was your most recent pre-MBA job? Do you plan on continuing in that industry post-MBA or switching to a new field?

Michal: I had worked in brand management at P&G for 7 years. Loved it, learned a ton, but I came to the GSB with a goal to leverage the proximity of Silicon Valley and to use my marketing skills in the tech industry.

Accepted: What do you miss most about your hometown? And what’s your favorite thing about living in the U.S.? Do you plan on returning back to Poland once you graduate?

Michal: Well I miss my girlfriend for sure. I love the proximity of the ocean and the opportunity to surf (semi) regularly. My plans at the moment reach as far as the next summer. Things change so quickly at the GSB that it’s really hard to tell what I will do in June 2015.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? How have you benefited from the blogging experience?

Michal: I started the blog in July 2013. Frankly it was a selfish attempt to store my thoughts about the upcoming 2 years of my life, so that in 20 years I can go back, remember all the fun times and laugh at all the ‘serious’ problems I had. Image
And if anyone else finds it helpful, interesting or just amusing, that’s even better.

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 Stanford see:

• Stanford GSB 2014 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips.

• Stanford GSB Application Tips Video.

• Stanford Sloan Master’s Program 2013 Application Essay Questions and Tips.

• Steer Your Way to A Stanford MBA, a free webinar.

• What Stanford is Looking for: Personal Qualities and Contributions.

• What Stanford is Looking for: Demonstrated Leadership Potential.

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

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Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews, Stanford GSB

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How to Get Accepted in 2015: FREE WEBINAR! [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Get Accepted in 2015: FREE WEBINAR!
That’s right – we’re already talking about 2015 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do!

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We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application, in which Linda Abraham, Accepetd.com CEO & Founder, will outline the steps you can take NOW to increase your chances of a successful application next year.

Let me repeat this point: It’s NOT TOO EARLY to get started! Remember, the early bird gets the worm – those who are prepared to hit the ground running once those apps are released are the ones who will stand a better shot at getting accepted.

The webinar will take place next Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. The event is FREE, but registration is required to reserve your spot.

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Spaces for last year’s webinar filled quickly, so grab your seat to Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application now!

Tags: MBA Admissions, webinar

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Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 08:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid?
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Don’t try to hide a conviction.

The point of this article is not to tell you that you shouldn’t engage in disorderly conduct, petty theft, or other minor (or major) infractions (though you really shouldn’t…); what we want to discuss here is how you should overcome the obstacle of a criminal record when approached with the question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain.”

If you did something stupid, something deserving of a conviction or suspension, how do you prove to an admissions committee that you are worthy of their acceptance?

First, don’t try to hide a conviction. Clients often ask me if they really need to bring up their troubled past, and I tell them they do. Admissions committees (and the firms they hire) conduct background checks on applicants, and an unexplained discrepancy gives them an easy reason to reject your application or withdraw an offer of admission, so own up to your behavior on your application.

Don’t make excuses. The biggest struggle I face when helping troubled clients is getting them to move past their tendency to justify their behavior: their writing tends to get overlong with explanations. Even very subtle self-serving statements can be read by an admissions committee as failure to take responsibility for your behavior, so leave out the excuses and directly address what you did.

Don’t go overboard addressing the infraction. The second biggest struggle I face is keeping clients from turning their applications into overblown mea culpas. A client once came to me having written two required essays and an optional essay all addressing a mistake from the past—too much! Often, a well-written response to an application’s “failure” essay question is enough.

Do show that you learned your lesson and that your past behavior won’t happen again. This step tends to be less of a struggle for clients, because usually they can show remorse, they can show the actions they took to atone for their behavior, and they can show how they matured from their experiences. Often such clients become heavily involved with their community, counseling others who tend toward their same behavior and managing to turn their failure into a success benefitting others.

Perfect execution of these suggestions certainly will increase your chances of admission, but they may not be enough to gain you acceptance to a top school. So avoid having to deal with this situation altogether: think twice and three times before you do something that you could regret for a very long time.

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Tags: MBA Admissions, weakness

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Canceling the GMAT: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Lo [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2014, 07:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Canceling the GMAT: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My GMAT Score
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If you left a few blank you shouldn’t panic and cancel your test!

As soon as you finish taking the GMAT, before you see your score, a question will appear that could seem tempting: “Would you like to cancel your GMAT score?” If an initial wave of panic rushes over you after finishing the test you might be wanting to cancel your GMAT score. But in most cases, you definitely should not cancel your score!

There are just a few instances where you should cancel the score; here are some of those cases:

 1. You had poor time management and left a majority amount of questions blank.  You could have spent way too much time on some questions which caused you to not be able to finish a section.  If you left a few blank you shouldn’t panic and cancel your test but if you only were able to do a small fraction of the questions, this could be one of the few times where it is a good idea to cancel your score.

2. You had an illness that caused you to perform poorly. If you woke up in complete pain and could not perform up to your standards or if you had the flu which caused you to not focus. These would be one of the extreme cases where you should cancel your GMAT score.

3. You had a personal crisis that made it impossible for you to concentrate.  If you just had a death in the family or another similar event that was more important than the GMAT. If this is the case you should consider cancelling your score.

There are also some reasons why shouldn’t you cancel the test:

If you think you should cancel your score for any other reason than listed above you are probably overreacting. The GMAT is a tough score to guess based on speculating your performance.  The GMAT is an adaptive test, meaning that if you have gotten a question right the next question will be tougher, and the GMAT gives more points to difficult questions. This makes it tough for you to have a good perception of what your score will be.

If you do cancel your score, schools will see that you did and some schools could look down on it. Further, there is no guarantee that you will do better the next time and you might have done great, but just have convinced yourself otherwise. Also you might not be able to schedule it in time again, and you’ll have to pay the fee!

All in all, it’s very likely that you should NOT cancel your GMAT score!

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Written by Frasier Malone, tutor at BenchPrep.com. For more free GMAT resources, check out BenchPrep.com/GMAT.

Tags: benchprep, GMAT, MBA Admissions

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Are You Ready for Chicago Booth’s Round 3 Deadline? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2014, 12:00
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Are You Ready for Chicago Booth’s Round 3 Deadline?
The Chicago Booth round 3 deadline is coming right up on April 3.

Want to be sure that you’ve approached Booth’s application questions efficiently and intelligently?

Check out the video recording of our recent webinar, The Chicago Booth Challenge: How to Get Accepted in 2014, in which Linda Abraham, Accepted’s CEO and founder, teaches the 4 keys to a Booth acceptance.

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Linda has helped thousands of applicants gain acceptance to Booth and other top b-schools around the world. View The Chicago Booth Challenge: How to Get Accepted in 2014 so that you can benefit from her 20+ years of admissions experience!

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

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Linda Abraham
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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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