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Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants!

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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 17:29
Hey all, new to the site.

I was wondering if anyone has used an admissions consultant. I am debating between using a more well known one (stacy blackman or accepted) and using a military specialty one.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 00:19
Late to the party here. Still haven't taken the GMAT. I plan on applying round 2.

Brief background about myself:

-Sergeant of Marines 2000-2005
-Successful Entrepreneur venture 2008-2010
-Expected graduation 2012 from tier 1 undergrad, BS in Finance and Accounting. Cum. GPA 3.75
-President/co-founder of philanthropic student org. VP of 200 member finance org
-2011 Summer internship at a top consulting firm

I'm targeting Kellogg, Booth, HBS and possibly Columbia. Will be visiting Kellogg later today, and Booth on Friday. I'll keep this board posted with how the visits go. \

Good luck to all!
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 01:10
Nice to see another motivated Marine Sergeant on this board. Good luck on the GMAT! I hope you crush it.

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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 03:45
I am also curious to hear about everyone's experiences with admissions consultants and/or what you have heard from other military vets on their use. Anyone have any words of wisdom about them, or on how helpful professional consultants vs. military specific ones tend to be?
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 03:50
With one more supervisor to submit his rec, I have finally paid the $250 fee and submitted for HBS round 1. Good luck to all others.

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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 08:38
For you prior enlisted types, don't worry if you have a lack of "real" work experience following undergrad. I've met two prior enlisted guys so far at HBS, and both of them came here straight from school--one after finishing undergrad in May, and one after finishing a masters degree in early summer. So it seems like they don't care too much if your work experience comes before or after undergrad.

As for the question about admissions consultants, I don't think they're necessary (I can go into my reasons if anyone wants) but if you are looking for one I'd recommend these guys: http://www.militarytobusiness.com/

I didn't use their pay services last fall but I got a lot of helpful stuff off their blog, and I corresponded with a few of those guys during my application process. Beyond that I'd say you can get plenty of mileage out of contacting vets at your prospective schools and asking for their opinion on things, whether it's the application process in general or if it's specific things that you want to know about for a particular school. Visiting is always the best way to get a solid perspective on things, but if that's not possible then a few phone conversations or emails with vets can give you good information to decide on what schools to apply to or what kind of talking points will help make your essays stand out.

And I got a lot of help on my essays/resume last year from vets, most of whom I'd never met, so it never hurts to ask someone if they're willing to mark up your application for you and give you some advice.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2011, 20:04
Hi everyone. I'm a 1st year at McCombs, former Navy officer, and member of the McCombs Admissions Committee. I was on this board a lot last year, and it was a great resource. I'm glad to see that it is active again this year.

If anyone has questions about the Texas MBA, application questions, or just general questions about transitioning from active duty to business school, don't hesitate to PM me. I'm always happy to help out fellow vets.

Good luck on applications, and thank you for your service!
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2011, 09:34
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Consultants can serve a purpose if used appropriately. Your best bet is to exploit those 30 minute assessments they offer. Just go in with a few specific questions and get their insights. I talked to all of them (Sandy, Stacy Blackman, Tyler Chorney, Paul Lanizollotti, Alex Chu, Veritas, Military to Business, etc.). They will usually try to answer your specific questions in order to lure you in. My personal feeling is that at some point in the application process you should seek out someone who’s your polar opposite. Ask them to review parts of the app. If that person gets it then you know you’ve probably successfully articulated your story. You may not get in, but at least you put your best foot forward. I found a gay guy in New York City that was a friend of a friend from West Point. I spoke with him by phone a couple times. At one point, he asked me who the Taliban were. I said, “They are the enemy.” He said, “Where? Aren’t we in like three wars now?” I told him that they are the enemy in Afghanistan. He asked me how long we had been in Afghanistan. “A decade,” I said. And it went like this for a few hours. I think it’s worth it to do this because if you assess the human terrain on these Admissions Committees, you will see that they are disproportionately women. Most of them don’t follow war. For that matter, very few Americans follow war or otherwise care about it.

One of the questions I asked the consultants was why are there relatively few military guys in business school? By this time I’d visited a few schools and they each told me how much they loved the military and how they wanted to increase the number of military personnel in their classes. And yet if you looked at the historical data, military representation was flat or only slightly up. I got a few different explanations for this:

1) A lot of guys don’t pay attention to their grades in undergrad because they know they have a job waiting for them in the military.
2) GMATs trend lower in a lot of cases because you’re not doing work involving GMAT skills.
3) Recommenders screw you. They think they're doing you a favor, but your battalion commander's actually not the best person to write the kind of Rec these schools want to see for a military candidate.
4) Most schools actually don’t like the military that much. They’d get burned at the Fox News stake if they came out and said “Well, we have plenty of military people and we don’t need more.” Sure, they are going to tell you they like you. There's no alternative. In part, they do like you because employers like military guys. The reason business schools are relevant is because of the employers that recruit there. Mr. Military is going to help the schools job stats.

With respect to Vets Clubs, I think they are a mixed bag. If you want to know about the culture of the school, specific classes, clubs and recruiting, then absolutely talk to the Vets Club. As far as Vets Clubs feelings on the getting in, take their advice with a grain of salt. My personal belief is that there is an element of confirmation bias associated with their advice. A student thinks “Well, I did X, Y, and Z. Other people should do that and they will get in just like me.” After you’re in, I’m told Wharton lets you look at your file with the ADCOM’s notes in it. Not sure if this is true, but my point is that I’ve yet to hear of a school where Admissions comes to you and says “Hey Timmy, remember your application? Parts X and Y sucked. We really liked Z and that’s why you’re in.” If Timmy knew that he wouldn’t be advising you to do X and Y, but Timmy most likely doesn’t know that. And what happens if you do parts X and Y, but your Z is actually more Z’? Well, maybe you don’t get in now because of Timmy’s own confirmation bias. So Timmy tried to help you out, but he actually ended up screwing you by accident.

If anything, I think it helps to engage the Vets Club in the off chance that Admissions calls over and asks about your application. “Have you ever heard of this guy? Does he want to be here,” they might ask. And then the Vets Club can say “Yeah, we know Chris. He’s been in touch with us for a few months. He’d be a good fit.” This is more prevalent at the smaller schools though (Darden, Johnson, Stanford, etc.) where “fit” counts for something. The last thing a small school can afford is some guy with a bad haircut throwing off the chemistry of an entire section. As far as HBS, I’m told that Admissions is “highly isolated from the student body.” In other words, HBS Admissions has been doing this for quite a while and they’re not soliciting the input of current students. People that actually attend would know better than me though.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2011, 07:52
HBS R1 app is submitted - good luck to everyone else.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2011, 20:19
Hi,

With all the talk of admissions consultants, we figured we would come on here and try to dispel some of the myths and answer user questions. MilitaryToBusiness was formed as a formal business by a group of HBS '11 veterans and we focus on military applicants. We also run a blog that tries to give veterans in general as much of an advantage as possible. We just posted some new analysis of age distribution at HBS today. I know some military guys think that age is not a factor in their admission, but it absolutely is. Less than 10% of military guys at HBS served more than their initial obligated service, and we don't think it's for lack of applicants. I was 31 when I applied and had 10 years of active duty by the time I started, so I am definitely sensitive to others who are trying to figure out the whole age challenge. This is good news for those of you getting out after your initial service.

To the question of whether somebody needs an admissions consultant, we think certainly not everyone does, and we talk about this on our site. A lot of people who are able to tap sufficiently into the current veteran community on campus, get the right information online, and most importantly, have somebody who has been through the process help them, are certainly good candidates to go without an admissions consultant. This is not our full time job... we just know HBS really well after running the veteran group on campus... and we like helping veterans. We are not trying to just sell a service, we are trying to help veterans, and after two years of doing it for free, can't sustain it without charging anymore now that we all have full time jobs, families of our own, and are back in the real world. We try to keep our prices down to make it a little easier to swallow on a military salary.

The vision for MilitaryToBusiness is to do a lot more than just grad school admissions, but also to eventually help veterans transition directly into top jobs such as McKinsey and firms on Wall Street. There's no reason why that pathway shouldn't exist as an option, and we are working on it as we speak. We know that many top performers are simply not impressed enough with places like Cameron-Brooks and Lucas Group, and what they offer. They do a good job for addressing the needs of most, but they tend to fall short on providing truly high trajectory careers. I don't think that's their sweet spot anyway because the market for it is so small. We hope to help fill that gap, as well as promote entrepreneurship, and top business/law admissions. Business school is a great transition for military guys (I would do it again myself), but some would prefer to go straight into a truly competitive job, and we think both options should exist.

Anyway, I feel like this would be a rude way to make an introduction if I wasn't able to actually add some value with this post. Later in the week I'm going to post a blog entry highlighting US service academy representation at HBS. I've been doing research on this and have data going back to 1947. I'll post it as an attachment here, and the full analysis on the blog in a week. It's pretty interesting to see when the spikes occurred.

Lastly, I won't be able to respond to every post, but I do hope that MtB will be able to answer basic questions on the forum. There are already a lot of students on here answering questions, and students often have the best insight of all. Veterans in general are very eager to help others going through the process, because we all remember how difficult and awkward the process is since most of us are doing it on our own, without a lot of support, and just figuring it out as we go.

Congrats to all of you who just submitted to R1, and best of luck to those pushing through R2! There will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2011, 13:21
Figured I would throw my own two cents in:

When I was applying, I regularly read the Military to Business blog and still do now as a current student. The creator has a talent for verbalizing a lot of concepts that make perfect sense in a military context but are hard to translate into the new world of business school and careers. I think that if you thoroughly read the entire blog and get in touch with the Veterans clubs at your target schools, then you will be fine. If, however, you still think going with a consultant is necessary, I am sure that their services would be top notch. I also think Stacy Blackman's and Alex Chu's blogs are worth reading and both seem to offer candid and realistic advice.

Keep the good discussions going as the admissions cycle moves forward!
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2011, 06:33
I spent the last couple of days visiting two schools. I interviewed at Tuck and visited Johnson (Cornell) as well. I have a friend from college that's going through Johnson. He's running the Vets Club there.

I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts that are probably obvious to most, but in the event that they aren't then hopefully this saves you some pain.

1. Wear a suit. At Johnson, it was myself and two other people visiting. They both wore jeans. One guy had a collared shirt on. The other had a thermal top with distressed and cut up jeans. He did however put a Led Zeppelin t-shirt over the thermal top. Our tour guide, who was really cute, spent most of the time talking to me because I "dressed like an adult with a suit." If you can't afford a suit, at least try to get some slacks and a sport coat. Just try to show you're taking it seriously.

1a. If you do wear thermals, make sure your first question in the information session isn't "How much sleep do you get here?"

2. At Tuck, we had a short tour with a student and then an info session with a member of the ADCOM. Sometimes the student leading the tour will go "off script" and tell you unflattering things about the school. One person asked the ADCOM about one of these unflattering things. The ADCOM rep smiled her way through it, but did not really appreciate the question. It was obvious. If you really want answers to those sorts of things, ask a dude in the Vets Club that you have some sort of relationship with. All things considered, the one thing that the student didn't like about Tuck is not an issue to me.

3. I interviewed with a foreign student. This was challenging and caught me a little off-guard. I think I muscled through it and did a good job. It was definitely different though. I think most Americans, whether they like the military or not, are on some level interested in what we do. It quickly became apparent that my interviewer was not all that interested. Tuck interviews are probably more converational in nature than other schools (I am guessing). As a result, I just tried to turn the conversation to Tuckish topics and learn as much about him and his background. If I scored some extra points it may have been because of this. People like talking about themselves. We all know that.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2011, 07:01
I have one year left on my service commitment to the Air Force and I just submitted my applications to Harvard, Wharton and Columbia. I'm also looking to submit to Kellogg in the near future. I was an engineering undergrad and have been in Acquisitions in the AF. I'm hoping that having the combination of military leadership and working with the business world will set me a part from many of the other applicants (military included). I've never deployed and most of my time is spent in cubicle farms so I think my essays and resume will look very different from a lot of people getting out of the military these days.

Any thoughts on reapplying down the road? I'm in the unfortunate situation where I'm going to be offered my next assignment probably in the Jan-Feb timeframe and have 7 days to chose, stay in/get out. If I haven't gotten into an MBA program I don't really want to take the risk of getting out of a job that really isn't all that bad. The question would be what is the likelihood if I get dinged at all 4 that after an additional 2 years in the military I could strengthen my application enough to get in on a second try? Or would it be better to aim my sights lower on a second go around?
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2011, 09:21
WSJ has a spread on business school today. Here's the link. There are other articles about business school embedded within the site. It is kind of depressing, but they did acknowledge that an MBA is still a useful degree for career switchers like us.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 86960.html
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 19:17
Gryphon wrote:
WSJ has a spread on business school today. Here's the link. There are other articles about business school embedded within the site. It is kind of depressing, but they did acknowledge that an MBA is still a useful degree for career switchers like us.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 86960.html


I remember seeing a BW article years ago (early 2000's) with the same idea. It cited Japan and Germany as advanced economies that developed without an MBA culture. Pretty convincing, I'd have to admit.

I was near the end of undergrad at the time and contemplating the next step. The MBA was a new concept for me and I probably looked for things about it that would remove itself from contention. Too many things to consider at the time.

In the end, perhaps what matters most are:
- current job trajectory / where you are and where the path is headed
- what's happening with career placement. / where you want to go, short & long term
There are still quite a few companies that recruit MBAs and that recruit from a select few schools.

A consultant once told me you don't need an MBA to do MBA jobs. And sure, there are plenty of entrepreneurs, consultants, managers, and even bankers who don't have MBAs. Most people would probably take those opportunities without the degree if they could. ... and if the opportunities is not there for the taking, then the MBA is a more visible path toward them.

More random thoughts:
- I think these articles are good click / ad generators because when I wasn't seriously considering the MBA, I would click on such titles to perhaps confirm my hope that it's not necessary.
- The economy might also be a factor; maybe less work for Booz means less need for MBAs.
- The undergrad guys who are hired with the expectation to move up might also be expected to complete an executive MBA at some point. I've met several EMBAs who did it because they were told to. It's often all paid for but they did not like spending 3 years swamped with work when they had significant job and family responsibilities.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 19:26
mappleby wrote:
I have one year left on my service commitment to the Air Force and I just submitted my applications to Harvard, Wharton and Columbia. I'm also looking to submit to Kellogg in the near future. I was an engineering undergrad and have been in Acquisitions in the AF. I'm hoping that having the combination of military leadership and working with the business world will set me a part from many of the other applicants (military included). I've never deployed and most of my time is spent in cubicle farms so I think my essays and resume will look very different from a lot of people getting out of the military these days.

Any thoughts on reapplying down the road? I'm in the unfortunate situation where I'm going to be offered my next assignment probably in the Jan-Feb timeframe and have 7 days to chose, stay in/get out. If I haven't gotten into an MBA program I don't really want to take the risk of getting out of a job that really isn't all that bad. The question would be what is the likelihood if I get dinged at all 4 that after an additional 2 years in the military I could strengthen my application enough to get in on a second try? Or would it be better to aim my sights lower on a second go around?


If I understood correctly, all your apps are R1's and your decision date for the assignment is in Jan/Feb?
I think all R1 decisions are made before the end of the year, though you may get deferred to R2 or WL?
Might be a tough call, hopefully there's some flexibility in the assignments, GL.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 19:37
Gryphon wrote:
1. Wear a suit. At Johnson, it was myself and two other people visiting. They both wore jeans. One guy had a collared shirt on. The other had a thermal top with distressed and cut up jeans. He did however put a Led Zeppelin t-shirt over the thermal top. Our tour guide, who was really cute, spent most of the time talking to me because I "dressed like an adult with a suit." If you can't afford a suit, at least try to get some slacks and a sport coat. Just try to show you're taking it seriously.


Interesting. I went to a GSB class visit recently (they just take you to class and then that's it, nothing planned afterwards) and out of ~15 visitors, there were a few guys with dress pants and shirt but most were unmemorable: khakis and long-sleeved t-shirts or light sweaters like me.
The students in class were all casually dressed, some with baseball caps.
Might be just a SF bay area thing though.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 23:28
segfault wrote:
If I understood correctly, all your apps are R1's and your decision date for the assignment is in Jan/Feb?
I think all R1 decisions are made before the end of the year, though you may get deferred to R2 or WL?
Might be a tough call, hopefully there's some flexibility in the assignments, GL.


Yes all my apps so far are R1. Harvard, Wharton and Kellogg should all notify by December so I'm ok there but since I applied RD to Columbia they only start reviewing my application in December so that could cut it close. My thinking is that if I reached too high (didn't exactly apply to any safety schools in R1) I don't have the chance to apply anywhere in R2 as a just in case. Unless there is a chance if I apply in R2 but get the application in sometime in October they might get to it early and notify me early but that seems like a reach. Unfortunately there is 0 flexibility in the assignments, I'm notified of my next assignment and have exactly 7 calendar days to make a decision from the time I receive the email.
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 05:33
mappleby wrote:
segfault wrote:
If I understood correctly, all your apps are R1's and your decision date for the assignment is in Jan/Feb?
I think all R1 decisions are made before the end of the year, though you may get deferred to R2 or WL?
Might be a tough call, hopefully there's some flexibility in the assignments, GL.


Yes all my apps so far are R1. Harvard, Wharton and Kellogg should all notify by December so I'm ok there but since I applied RD to Columbia they only start reviewing my application in December so that could cut it close. My thinking is that if I reached too high (didn't exactly apply to any safety schools in R1) I don't have the chance to apply anywhere in R2 as a just in case. Unless there is a chance if I apply in R2 but get the application in sometime in October they might get to it early and notify me early but that seems like a reach. Unfortunately there is 0 flexibility in the assignments, I'm notified of my next assignment and have exactly 7 calendar days to make a decision from the time I receive the email.


I don't know how the AF works, but in the Army you can put in your resignation and then renege. In other words, you can stay in. The AF might be different since I think your retention numbers are better. Some of this might be changing giving the pending cuts to all of the services. My understanding from the always reliable Earlybird is that the Army and Marine Corps will cut the most, but those cuts are slated to go into action around 2014.

Anyway, if I were you, I would put in an app to NYU Stern. They have the latest R1 application deadline. It's in mid-November. Stern for some reason has set its deadlines later than the other schools (presumably to be a possibility for people that weren't previously considering it). If CBS was a target school for you, then perhaps Stern also meets your career goals. Stern is having a Military Prospectives Day on 10 NOV. The app requires a little bit of work because they have one "weird" essay just like Booth has the "give us a one page powerpoint about you" (or something like that).
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Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants! [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 05:38
segfault wrote:
Gryphon wrote:
1. Wear a suit. At Johnson, it was myself and two other people visiting. They both wore jeans. One guy had a collared shirt on. The other had a thermal top with distressed and cut up jeans. He did however put a Led Zeppelin t-shirt over the thermal top. Our tour guide, who was really cute, spent most of the time talking to me because I "dressed like an adult with a suit." If you can't afford a suit, at least try to get some slacks and a sport coat. Just try to show you're taking it seriously.


Interesting. I went to a GSB class visit recently (they just take you to class and then that's it, nothing planned afterwards) and out of ~15 visitors, there were a few guys with dress pants and shirt but most were unmemorable: khakis and long-sleeved t-shirts or light sweaters like me.
The students in class were all casually dressed, some with baseball caps.
Might be just a SF bay area thing though.


The students are always casual. They've already passed the test.

I can't speak for GSB, but I know that at Johnson some of the students were a little bit apoplectic to see people not taking the visit seriously. If you're going to go, then go all the way.

GSB might be more casual just because it's Palo Alto.
Re: Calling all US Military Fall 2012 Applicants!   [#permalink] 09 Oct 2011, 05:38
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