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B-School "personalities"

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Manager
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Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
Schools: Haas '15
GMAT 1: 680 Q47 V37
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WE: Engineering (Computer Hardware)
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B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2008, 23:45
Hi all,

Like many of you I'm in the process of writing my essays for application this Fall. The thought crossed my mind that it would be very valuable to learn about each b-schools' "personality" or values, to help emphasize certain accomplishments and/or write essays with an underlying theme & tone that would really resonate with the respective adcom. For example, an excerpt from Your MBA Game Plan on strategy for applying to Berkeley:

Quote:
Indeed, the essay questions are indicative of a school that is serious about admitting applicants who can maintain almost paradoxical balances - applicants who are committed to traditional business learning, but display a bit of personal panache. Applicants who would be willing to stand alone based on personal conviction, but are willing to unite in the name of teamwork. If you can paint a picture of yourself that reflects these traits, in addition to satisfying the more common admissions requirements, then you stand a good chance of being accepted into the Haas family.


Would any current students or well-researched applicants like to provide similar strategy tips on what areas to emphasize for their respective school? For those already admitted, what aspect of your application do you really feel distinguished yourself amongst the pool?
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 05:29
To me, this is a question of form versus function, and function should come out on top here. Sure, it helps if your personality naturally fits with the school, but the majority of your effort should be spent making sure that you highlight your qualifications. No school is going to want to turn someone with superior qualifications away just because their essays don't show the right personality (well, maybe if you sound like a serial killer...). You can get a sense of what they are looking for by looking at the essays.

Personality types by school (in my opinion):

HBS: Your personality should be that you are better than everyone else (and in fewer words!). Wait, is that a personality trait? Seriously, I find HBS completely cold and unfriendly.

Stanford: Quirky and confident; self-aware. Positive attitude. Willing to explore new things and break free of the status quo.

Wharton: I think most people would describe Wharton grads as cold and efficient, but I actually think the school is looking for a little heart in its applicants. The essays seemed very accomodative to me.

Chicago: From what I have seen, the stereotypes are true -- anti-social and geeky quant types. They do not seem willing to work with people who deviate far from the path. Rhyme, you want to chime in?

Columbia: Your personality is that you love Columbia, only Columbia, and are not planning to use the school as a backup (dang it, how did they know?)

Kellogg: Did not apply. Seems like they want people who are collaborative and a little campy. Don't be a jerk.

MIT: Did not apply.

I didn't look at anything outside the M7, but you can probably get anything you need off of the school's website. Most of the stereotypes you will hear are based on something, so that might be a good place to start -- figure out what the buzz is and then adjust it a little to fit your own situation and profile.
Director
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 08:55
It would be nice to get summaries of B-school "personalities." E.g. Kellogg = teamwork, collaboration, leading student clubs, student input into curriculum. Things of that nature that aren't very obvious by just visiting the website.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 11:43
Honestly all schools want to have similar personalities. They want leaders who are good teamplayers and are upstanding human beings.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Joined: 27 Jul 2007
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:26
riverripper wrote:
Honestly all schools want to have similar personalities. They want leaders who are good teamplayers and are upstanding human beings.


I agree to a certain extent. An exception may be with Harvard. I don't know if I've ever heard "great team player" and Harvard student in the same sentence. Perhaps the same may apply for Wharton.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 12:58
Hey ryguy, whatever happened with USC? Did you decide to attend? Are you still employed? If you posted an update somewhere, I missed it. I hope your situation has improved or at least not gotten worse.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:00
I think that you will find students from every walk at every school. The idea of "personalities" can give a school an undeserved rep. I know when I visited Chicago, I felt the student body to be exceedingly normal, not geeky as mentioned above.

Saying there are no team players at Harvard sounds a little questionable. Perhaps the students are ultra-driven, but with a cohort system, I would think that teamwork would be pretty common place.

~Sam
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:09
ryguy904 wrote:
riverripper wrote:
Honestly all schools want to have similar personalities. They want leaders who are good teamplayers and are upstanding human beings.


I agree to a certain extent. An exception may be with Harvard. I don't know if I've ever heard "great team player" and Harvard student in the same sentence. Perhaps the same may apply for Wharton.


They would at least tell you thats what they want. Seriously go to school presentations and its like they all want the exact same things. Its just a matter of what schools actually bring in and the type that actually apply. I think that the stereotypes of schools actually is a pretty self fulfilling prophecy. People big on being in a collaborative environment will probably end up wanting a school like Kellogg, while someone wanting a very challenging academic program probably will want a school like GSB. Also some schools negative stereotypes also tend to be self fulfilling, thats why a geeky engineer will probably apply to MIT and a power hungry arrogant person will aspire to HBS.

The office space comparison that is floating around is a fairly accurate of the stereotypes. http://forums.businessweek.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=2&nav=messages&webtag=bw-bschools&tid=72873
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:25
sudden wrote:
Hey ryguy, whatever happened with USC? Did you decide to attend? Are you still employed? If you posted an update somewhere, I missed it. I hope your situation has improved or at least not gotten worse.


Hey Sudden,

Thanks for checking in. :) I've decided to pass on USC. It's just not the right fit for me. I was also sooo close to acceptances at great schools (waitlisted at UCLA, NYU, CBS). I REALLY REALLY do not want to go through the reapp process, but I think it will be worth the pain. As far as my job situation, I honestly think I could be toast VERY soon. It's not the ideal situation and it certainly adds some pressure to the reapp. I'm doing the best I can to secure something (read: anything) so that I have continuity on my resume). There is a lot of organizational disorder, so it's hard to tell if I'm setting a foot on solid ground or quicksand. I'll definitely provide some more background on my work situation, but just can't reveal a heck of a lot at this moment. That being said, I don't want to settle for USC just because of the job situation. Rhyme really struck a chord when he asked if I would be left wondering, "what if?" That's something that I think I would ask myself daily at USC and something that I would have trouble living with. I currently have five schools lined up for Rd 1, including ED with Columbia. As long as I'm still at my current employer when I click "submit application," I'll be happy with that. I plan to stick around the g-club as much as possible to try and catch some of the good vibes from our great Ambassadors and last year's pool of successful applicants. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,
ryguy
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 13:26
riverripper wrote:
They would at least tell you thats what they want. Seriously go to school presentations and its like they all want the exact same things. Its just a matter of what schools actually bring in and the type that actually apply. I think that the stereotypes of schools actually is a pretty self fulfilling prophecy. People big on being in a collaborative environment will probably end up wanting a school like Kellogg, while someone wanting a very challenging academic program probably will want a school like GSB. Also some schools negative stereotypes also tend to be self fulfilling, thats why a geeky engineer will probably apply to MIT and a power hungry arrogant person will aspire to HBS.



Now this I concur with :)
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 14:21
Awesome. Good luck with the reapp process -- I am sure you will have better luck this time. Are you planning to retake the GMAT?

I agree with your decision. I think USC is a fine school, but ultimately I think you would be selling yourself short to "settle" for USC with your profile.

On an unrelated note, are you in So Cal? I think I remember reading that. Do you know anything about the Newport Beach area? I am on the shortlist for a job there but I don't know much about the area.

ryguy904 wrote:
sudden wrote:
Hey ryguy, whatever happened with USC? Did you decide to attend? Are you still employed? If you posted an update somewhere, I missed it. I hope your situation has improved or at least not gotten worse.


Hey Sudden,

Thanks for checking in. :) I've decided to pass on USC. It's just not the right fit for me. I was also sooo close to acceptances at great schools (waitlisted at UCLA, NYU, CBS). I REALLY REALLY do not want to go through the reapp process, but I think it will be worth the pain. As far as my job situation, I honestly think I could be toast VERY soon. It's not the ideal situation and it certainly adds some pressure to the reapp. I'm doing the best I can to secure something (read: anything) so that I have continuity on my resume). There is a lot of organizational disorder, so it's hard to tell if I'm setting a foot on solid ground or quicksand. I'll definitely provide some more background on my work situation, but just can't reveal a heck of a lot at this moment. That being said, I don't want to settle for USC just because of the job situation. Rhyme really struck a chord when he asked if I would be left wondering, "what if?" That's something that I think I would ask myself daily at USC and something that I would have trouble living with. I currently have five schools lined up for Rd 1, including ED with Columbia. As long as I'm still at my current employer when I click "submit application," I'll be happy with that. I plan to stick around the g-club as much as possible to try and catch some of the good vibes from our great Ambassadors and last year's pool of successful applicants. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,
ryguy
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2008, 14:37
sudden wrote:
Awesome. Good luck with the reapp process -- I am sure you will have better luck this time. Are you planning to retake the GMAT?

I agree with your decision. I think USC is a fine school, but ultimately I think you would be selling yourself short to "settle" for USC with your profile.

On an unrelated note, are you in So Cal? I think I remember reading that. Do you know anything about the Newport Beach area? I am on the shortlist for a job there but I don't know much about the area.


Newport Beach is amazing. It's a very wealthy and safe, oceanfront enclave in Orange County. I'm not sure how active it is for young people - but there seems to be a decent scene around Balboa Island. The weather there is perfect year round due to the ocean breezes, it never gets too hot like some parts of LA.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2008, 12:27
ryguy904 wrote:
sudden wrote:
Hey ryguy, whatever happened with USC? Did you decide to attend? Are you still employed? If you posted an update somewhere, I missed it. I hope your situation has improved or at least not gotten worse.


Hey Sudden,

Thanks for checking in. :) I've decided to pass on USC.

Cheers,
ryguy


I think you made the right choice. Although, that makes the competition even fiercer this year.
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2008, 15:28
kidderek wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
sudden wrote:
Hey ryguy, whatever happened with USC? Did you decide to attend? Are you still employed? If you posted an update somewhere, I missed it. I hope your situation has improved or at least not gotten worse.


Hey Sudden,

Thanks for checking in. :) I've decided to pass on USC.

Cheers,
ryguy


I think you made the right choice. Although, that makes the competition even fiercer this year.



LOL - Thanks for the support. It's definitely a stressful situation because of the factors that I mentioned. I suppose I can keep applying for another 2-3 years and still not be in your demographic range, though. ;)
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Re: B-School "personalities" [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2008, 13:06
ryguy904 wrote:
I think you made the right choice. Although, that makes the competition even fiercer this year.



LOL - Thanks for the support. It's definitely a stressful situation because of the factors that I mentioned. I suppose I can keep applying for another 2-3 years and still not be in your demographic range, though. ;)[/quote]

Ouch, I just felt that gust of cold air. haha
Re: B-School "personalities"   [#permalink] 20 Jul 2008, 13:06
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