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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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BSchool Forum Moderator
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 10:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Hoping for financial aid
The estimated student budget at Stanford GSB for a single student living off-campus is $104K per year. Holy cow!! I've previously blogged about the cost of a MBA after looking at the Kellogg budget, but this is significantly more. Wow, kind of freaking out right now.

I've narrowed my school decision down to HBS and GSB, which both only offer need-based aid. This is both good and bad. I know that I'll definitely be awarded some scholarship aid because of this, but it also means that I will most likely not get close to the merit-based awards I received from other schools. I've completed the financial aid applications and should hear back within the next few weeks. I'm really hoping these school are generous, as salaries in the education field aren't known for being particular high.

Anyway, I think the debt is definitely worth it, but it makes me wonder how this trend can continue. I can only imagine what the costs will be in 5, 10, or 15 years from now. It seems like this bubble will have to burst at some point.

So here's to hoping for $$$$!
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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Advice, Musings, and Experiences from a member of the HBS Class of 2016
- Admissions Advice from HBS Dean
- 5 Things to do Now to Prepare for Round 1 applications
http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Operations, General Management
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 13:00
FROM The adventures of a (provisional) MBA student: So… now what?
I’ve been a little quiet recently, as I have a major personal event (my wedding!) to attend to and really it’s all quite practical things at the moment as I prepare for a big change.

I was reading a little the other day and came across an article that contained (among other things – I’m referring to #8 here) the advice from elders that you never feel really like a grown up. Everyone thinks you’ll become a proper adult in ‘the next 10 years’ but you’ll always just be figuring things out as you go along which is certainly true of my last three months.

So I was inspired to give my own slightly irreverent timeline of what I’ve experienced since December*, especially as a lot fellow applicants and future classmates get their own news on applications

  • Decision Publication - 24 hours
Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Too much nerves. Too much excitement. Unable to concentrate on anything…. [To friends] “Yeah it’s ok I’m cool, pretty relaxed about it”  (translation: ‘oh my sweet….’)

Sleep is your friend.

  • Decision Publication + 1 hours
HUZZAH! Top of the world! [Pop! Glug glug glug...]

  • Decision Publication + 2-3 hrs (possibly)
['Ring! ring!' It's an AdCom/School Official] “Ohh hellosh, yes I’m very proud to get acceptance into your famous institution. I’msh reeeeeally exshited! (and desperately trying to hold it together and not sound… like I’ve been celebrating)

  • Decision Publication + 2-3 days
Contact from the school. They’ve decided they want you, and want you to want them. Receive calls or emails, from the AdCom, current-/ex-students/faculty. Become immediately suspicious of sales tactics. [Exude 'playing hard to get', just like everyone else]. Repeat. Get tired. Turn off phone.

Search for FB/LinkedIn group. Discover other ridiculously excited admits, most just like you. Some awesome, probably better than you. Thank everyone.

  • Decision Publication + 1 week
Receive invite to welcome event/admit weekend (or equivalent)/both. Check flight/travel costs to admit weekend. Hesitate. Consider just going to welcome event.

Practical stuff starts. Forms aren’t filled in.

  • Decision Publication + 2-3 weeks
Decide admit weekend is probably worth the expense after meeting everyone at welcome event, and they’re pretty much all going. Especially if you haven’t visited campus already.

Forms aren’t filled in.

  • Decision Publication + 1-2 months
Go to admit weekend (times several if you’re lucky). Have awesome time, like everyone. Wish you could do it all, see it all. F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out) has begun 6 months before you even arrive.

Decide on destination for next two years.

An absolute bare minimum of forms are filled in (school acceptance form, maybe visa-dependent forms if you’re international).

  • Decision Publication + 2-3 months
First downtime since starting applications. Worry about finance, practicalities, relationships, family, and everything else. Watch funny cats on YouTube. Realise you lost another day, again. Curl up in ball inside duvet and pretend you’re a doormouse and it’s all a dream. (Optional at this stage: get married and lose track of everything else).

Realise it’s a lot closer than it was a month ago. Get that rising warm feeling of slight panic up the back of your neck. Worry about finance again in particular. Go back inside duvet.

Still only required forms are filled in. Read about US healthcare system. Duvet again.

  • Decision Publication + 3-6 months…
I don’t know yet, but imagine duvet will still feature heavily. And books.

 

*In case you should consider this is some sort of guide… Don’t. For two big reasons;

  • I was accepted in Round 1 so I had a lot of time that I have wasted very successfully so far.
  • I am not a suitable role model.
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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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Schools: HBS '16, Fuqua
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2014, 13:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Fuqua business school: amazing
My expectations were exceeded by Duke and Fuqua. After seeing Fuqua and its great community ethos I am tempted to reapply. I would highly recommend the school to anyone who is thinking of applying to do an MBA.

The campus

Duke is a beautiful campus and the business school is on it; enabling you to get the full Duke experience. However the business school building is built in such a way that means you never need to leave it. Not sure I like that type of experience. You are literally in a goldfish bowl. I think almost every business school tries to offer a similar experience. When I go yuck; I have to remind myself that due to the course load on my masters all my friends were on the same course as me. And having your lectures, seminars and canteen in one building does make life easier and help build community spirit.

 Lecture

I went to a marketing lecture; I agree with my finance student tour guide. Marketing is just a bit fluffy, not sure I care that much about the subject.

On the upside, the class had a good positive vibe a about and a good level of energy. The students made a point of talking to us. Fantastic! And we even got introduced to the lecturer and the alumni who was the guest speaker also took the time to speak to us. Duke community ethos was alive and well! Lecturer managed the class well and encouraged participation and class discussion. The female students actively engaged in the discussion and were willing to speak up, even when not a 100 per cent sure. Just a nicer environment than HBS.

Me and my friend had a great discussion in the pub exploring the dynamics of the class and how it compared to HBS. I personally preferred the HBS way as it got straight down to business and dived into the case study and all the issues. While Duke was a fluffy and spent longer on the intro and the context. I would have liked to get down to business a bit quicker and I thought the pace of the class could have been quicker.

Case study material

Duke used HBS case studies. The lecturer moaned about the content and the students moaned about the fact that they can only get them on paper. If you don’t like HBS case notes why use them? Your a big enough school to make your own. I want to find out about Duke’s view of the world, not Harvard’s. So here my challenge to Fuqua, make your own case studies and sell them. Give HBS a bit of competition.

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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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 04:00
FROM Domotron's Blog: Part 3 Networking / Research – Elements of an MBA application series
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So you’re done with the GMAT and understand your basic “profile”. It’s finally the fun part of reading up on schools and day dreaming about where you may end up.

You can get information about schools a number of ways. I will list them in terms of how useful I found them:

School visit – This is by far the best way to learn about a school and its culture. On a typical visit, you can tour the facilities, sit in on a class, potentially lunch with students and ask questions during a Q&A. Some schools (e.g. Tuck and Fuqua) even allow you to schedule an interview without being invited. Most schools do a very good job of selling themselves via their website and their marketing materials. Visiting will allow you to cut through the marketing spiel and give you a real sense of what the school is about. For example, one of the big differentiators for Tuck is its location in Hanover. When I visited, I loved the location but equally you may visit and dislike the location. Far better to know that before applying than spending your time applying to a school where you won’t be happy or won’t attend.

Networking with students or alums – If you really can’t visit your target schools, the second best option is to reach out to current students and alums. Linkedin and student clubs are probably the easiest way to find people to speak with. Most current students are actually more than happy to arrange a call via skype to discuss their school. The information you glean from these conversations definitely becomes essay fodder! Also if you really make an impression, someone might put in a good word for you without your knowledge. One piece of advice I would give is to mix up the type of people you approach. Alums who graduated 5+ years ago can actually give a more impartial view of how the b-school school / MBA since they have had more time to look back at their b-school experience. If you are finding that students and alums are not very responsive, this may hint at a school’s culture and the level of alumni participation (or it’s finals time so everyone is super busy).

School hosted events – If you live in a big city, chances are you will get quite a few schools pass through over the course of the year trying to sell their wares. Last year, all of the top 15 schools visited London and hosted events ranging from student coffee chats to small group dinners. Make sure you understand clearly that these are pure sales pitches. The admissions team WANT you to apply to their schools regardless of whether you are competitive. They will also roll out happy and successful alums to convince you. It is a good way of getting face time with someone from the admissions team and meeting alums. At these events, it’s very difficult to make a positive impression on an admissions team. At most they might remember you if you had a quirky profile and you had an in depth conversation with them about it. Note that it is VERY easy to make a terrible impression though. I can’t say for certain but asking ridiculous questions such as “650 GMAT, what are my chances?” can make you stand out negatively or at the very least irritate everyone at the event.

School’s website and blogs – This resource is pretty self explanatory. Some schools have better websites than others but overall they feel pretty generic. Most will talk about how they develop leadership, have amazing career placement stats, awe-inspiring faculty, etc. Dig a little deeper though and you will find nuggets of useful information such as the core curriculum, what research the faculty have produced recently, the research centres that may correlate with your interests and a lot more. The student blogs on the other hand were far more useful. You can get a good sense of what day to day life is like at a school from these posts. Overall though this is the bare minimum you should looking at. If your research consists of only looking at websites and blogs, then you are probably not digging deep enough.

Rankings – We would all be lying if we said ranking didn’t come into it whatsoever. Just make sure you are not married to a certain ranking and make your decision solely on that basis. Don’t get stuck into thinking a school ranked 10 can’t be as good as the school ranked 5. What factors are used in the ranking? School #10 may place far better into your desired industry than #5. Rankings are a good place to start your research but don’t finish it there.

MBA tour events – These events are a zoo. It’s fine if you just want to walk around picking up brochures from 10+ schools but overall I found them to be pretty useless. Occasionally you get events with 15minute 1-on-1 slots with a member of the admissions team. It sure beats waiting in a queue of 5 or standing in an awkward circle.

From all these sources, you can get start to formulate a shortlist of schools that you are willing to apply to. For instance, if you decided you want to be in a city then schools like Tuck, Johnson, Fuqua are not for you. Really interested in Healthcare? Fuqua and Wharton should garner further consideration. Now you have found your target schools, I will talk about essay writing (yay!… not) in the next edition.

No FAQ and debunking myths this time round! Happy to answer any questions though, just drop me a comment below.

Previous posts

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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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*Updated 30th May*: Part 4 Recommendations – Elements of an MBA application series
Blog: http://domotron.wordpress.com

Elements of an MBA application series
GMAT (28/02) | Profile (11/03) | Networking / Research (01/04) | Recommendations (30/05) | Essays / Online applications | Interview

My 710 (Q50, V36) Debrief + 740 (Q48, V44) Update:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/710-q50-v36-phew-i-m-done-with-the-gmat-probably-150067.html

Please share your profiles for this application season below:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/2014-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-162160.html

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2014, 14:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Random thoughts on the states
So after three weeks in the States here are my random reflections and comments.

Roads

While it maybe the land of the car; the roads are awful. Not even the interstates were well maintained. However the states has an odd policy called Adopt a Highway. So bits of highway have been adopted by the various local organisations including the Scouts, TGI Friday and the Fire Department. Without fail, these stretches of road were well maintained and not a pot hole in sight.

Driving

Nutters. Some states were crazier than others. You could in general overtake and undertake. In Maryland the speed limit was more of a suggested minimum speed. Not even the police obeyed obeyed the rules; we saw them speed and undertake. As a Brits we thought the worst offence was undertaking and then secondly lane hogging, forcing people to undertake. By the end of the trip both me and my friend were undertaking and speeding like a native.

Places to stay

    In three weeks of road tripping we used lots of hotel brands and stayed in the basic to the posh. We were happy if it promised and delivered. No breakfast included fine. We weren’t happy when the included breakfast was an apple and a cup of coffee. We thought our expensive historic inn was over priced. They couldn’t do afternoon tea to save themselves. Seriously if your going to offer it do it properly. Tea pot per a person and put the tea bag in the pot. Breakfast waffles were boring. The Quality Inn’s waffles were much better. While the Red Inn was a basic motel it delivered. I was slightly annoyed by being woken up by odd noises next door. But it was simple and good. We done a mix of booking in advance and walk-ups. One time McDonald’s wifi saved us; we were at risk of spending the night in the car, as we couldn’t even see the signs for the motels that we knew should exist. Thanks to our new found internet connection we were able to find a place to stay.
Food

We alway got great recommendations from the locals. We tried oysters for the first time in a wee fish restaurant in Maryland. We tried the famous chicken and waffle place in Durham. It does work. We thought it was great more for the concept rather than the food. But it’s definitely be something I will make when I get home. I also learnt how to eat McDonald’s whilst driving. My friend was amazing pretty every time we had room for dessert we got it on the house. :)

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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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 07:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Harvard Debt
I recently received my financial aid offer from HBS, and I feel pretty okay about it. It's obviously not a full scholarship, so I will still be taking on a massive amount of debt, but I think the offer is relatively generous. As I previously mentioned, HBS only offers need-based aid, and the offer was based on my tax info from the past three years.

Anyway, in the course of researching everything I can about paying off this debt, I stumbled upon an interesting blog where an HBS grad attempted (and succeeded) in paying of $90K in loans in less than a year. He increased his income by taking on a part-time job and seriously cut costs. While I highly doubt that I'll be able to pay off my loans as quickly (that guy was pretty extreme), it's refreshing to see that it's possible to not be crushed under student loan debt for the next ten years.

Hopefully, I'll hear from the GSB soon about my financial aid package. I don't feel comfortable making a decision to choose one school or the other without knowing all of the facts.
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

_________________

Advice, Musings, and Experiences from a member of the HBS Class of 2016
- Admissions Advice from HBS Dean
- 5 Things to do Now to Prepare for Round 1 applications
http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Yale SOM Decision Day
Congrats to everyone admitted to Yale today!

SOM was the first school that I was accepted to back in December. Even though I ultimately decided not to matriculate, I'll always have a special affection for the program. The joy I experienced upon receiving that first phone call can never be replaced. I think everyone who has gone through this crazy application process can probably relate to the unbridled happiness of the first admit.
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

_________________

Advice, Musings, and Experiences from a member of the HBS Class of 2016
- Admissions Advice from HBS Dean
- 5 Things to do Now to Prepare for Round 1 applications
http://DefyingGravityMBA.blogspot.com/

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2014, 13:00
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FROM Domotron's Blog: Summing up my application experience: Lucky to be a Tuckie
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Slight obscure reference in this gif: see Jimmy Fallon’s evolution of hip-hop dancing!

This was first posted on GmatClub http://gmatclub.com/forum/lucky-to-be-a-tuckie-169900.html

When

After a somewhat tumultuous period at work, I wanted to answer the question “What’s next?”. I felt like I needed to take some time out to reset and think about what I really wanted out of my career (and probably in conjunction, my life). Some may call this a quarter life crisis! Having graduated at the start of the financial crisis, I didn’t really have much of a steer on my career initially. It was a case of finding something and sticking with it. Fast forward five years and I am no longer sure my short term future lies in my current industry. That’s when I started looking into an MBA.

I quickly realised the application process was anything but straightforward! Being a career changer, I knew I definitely wanted the internship experience. Therefore 1 year courses were out and I focused on 2 year courses. This also shifted my focus to the US because the majority of the UK/European MBAs are 1 year only. My current role paid pretty well and my future prospects actually looked pretty good. In order to justify the cost of these 2 year programs, it was definitely top 15 or bust for me. Using rankings, MBA fairs, info sessions, informational interviews with students and alums, I came up with a list of where and where not for me.

Where

  • HBS – Little more need to be said about HBS. It’s a fantastic school with a great brand, prestige and tradition. There is a lot of bad press over HBS students but the people I met blew me away. They were all incredibly accomplished yet down to earth. Sure I could quibble at the fact that the class size is enormous but I felt it had a strong culture from my visit. I definitely believed in the case method as a great way to learn. Finally, the campus didn’t feel like it was on the outskirts of a big city. It felt enclosed and almost college town like. Undoubtedly I was a longshot to be admitted but I had to give it a go.
  • Wharton – Part of the fabled HSW trinity of schools. I must admit I knew very little about Wharton at the start. After more research, it definitely felt like these guys knew how to have fun. I had my reservations about the reputation of its competitive nature and the size of the class. But I was swayed by their phenomenal recruiting stats and belief that in a class that big I would be able to find my kind of people, it was a solid yes for Wharton on my shortlist.
  • Booth – This was a strange one. Because they had a London campus for their EMBA program, I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of Boothies. Through these events, I bought into the marketing blurb about flexible curriculum, amazing faculty, great location in Chicago, etc. On this basis, Booth made the shortlist and I applied. Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking. I got less enthusiastic with Booth as time went on. Even when I received an interview invite, I wasn’t particularly enthused. Finally it really hit home during interview day that while it’s a great school, it’s not for me. I didn’t want to commute to school from downtown (like most Boothies) and I didn’t like how the flexible curriculum made it feel the learning was individually focused.
  • Tuck – I fell in love on paper with Tuck on paper as soon as I started my research. The small, close-knit and incredibly supportive community was what I wanted in my MBA experience. The rural location was a huge plus rather than a negative. I just loved the idea of spending 2 years in a college town. On top of that, the recruitment numbers are consistent phenomenal in consulting. What really made the difference though was taking advantage of the open interview. Once I set foot in Hanover, I was sold. I understood what everyone meant when they were talking about “fit’. It was bizarre that I didn’t notice it sooner but I realised the schools I really liked correlated strongly with Tuck’s values and what it had to offer.
  • Kellogg – Kellogg for me felt very similar to Tuck but just bigger. I thought of it as almost Tuck+. It had great recruiting numbers and close-knit community. For such a big school though, I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t make a bigger effort to reach out into Europe. OK I did miss their solitary event in London but I didn’t feel wanted. There was also a nagging feeling that between Kellogg and Tuck, I would choose Tuck. Looking back, this was probably why I found it difficult to complete my app and it slipped from R1 to R2.
Where Not

  • Stanford / Haas – The idea of spending 2 years at either of these schools sounded great. However, a long distance relationship is tough but having fly back and forth from Cali (as well as the associated time zone difference) meant Stanford and Haas were not an option. I actually thought Haas was kind of like a Cali version of Tuck. One thing to add though, both these schools had crazy low acceptance rates! My shortlist was competitive enough without adding either school on. So I removed them from consideration pretty early on.
  • NYC schools – I realised really early on that I definitely did not want to live in NYC as a student. In fact, I can’t think of anything worse. I am a Londoner and love living in a metropolitan city but as a student, it’s not the right atmosphere for me. On top of that the cost of an MBA is high enough without living in NYC.
  • Insead / Oxford Said – I was immediately turned off when I looked into Insead. It really is a MBA factory with a 10month program and I wanted a far more transformative process. Oxford Said on the other hand is an interesting program. It doesn’t have the prestige of its parent university but I really enjoyed my visit there. If I was looking at a 1 year program, Said would have definitely made the shortlist.
  • Fuqua – I should love Fuqua with its Team Fuqua ethos, great sports teams, beautiful campus and college town atmosphere. The only thing holding me back was that I wanted to leave the door open for returning to London and I’m not sure Fuqua had that recruiting reach. This was a really tough cut to make.
  • Sloan – It has a very impressive entrepreneurship slant and start-up scene. However it just felt too much like an engineering school with some focus on business. The Kendall Square/MIT campus is pleasant enough but, it felt too much like part of the city rather than a separate campus.
  • LBS – This was my last cut and probably the toughest one to make. Being a Londoner, I had ample opportunity to visit and interact with the school. It completely blew me away with its diversity and its focus on teamwork. Although it’s in the city, it has a nice little campus right next to Regent’s Park. When it came down to it though, I didn’t want to be a commuter student and I feared that would happen. I needed to throw myself into the MBA experience. I was actually all set to apply but as the deadlines got closer and closer, I just could not get over this fear to apply and R2 passed me by. I have nothing bad to say about LBS though and would still recommend it to anyone (just not Londoners!).
Decision

It was a looong year+ and I am really glad it worked out. In one sense I didn’t have a decision to make about where I would attend but I think the schools on the shortlist decided for me. It reiterated that Tuck is the right place for me.

It was the school that I did the most legwork on. Of all the schools I applied to, I had by far the most contact with Tuck than any other school. I took advantage of any and all opportunities to learn more about Tuck. Throw in my experience of the open interview and staying in Hanover, I was completely sure that Tuck was the right place for me by the time I applied. Something I couldn’t say about the other schools on my shortlist. Before I applied, I actually thought the idea of “fit” may have been overblown but now, looking back, I can really see how important it really is. That “fit” probably got me admitted because my stories resonated more at Tuck than anywhere else and also pushed me to really demonstrate how I would fit into Tuck. Now I can spend the next few months planning my escape to beautiful (and sometimes very cold) Hanover and looking forward to meeting my future classmates.

 

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GMAT (28/02) | Profile (11/03) | Networking / Research (01/04) | Recommendations (30/05) | Essays / Online applications | Interview

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2014, 16:00
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FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Harvard Debt
I recently received my financial aid offer from HBS, and I feel pretty okay about it. It's obviously not a full scholarship, so I will still be taking on a massive amount of debt, but I think the offer is relatively generous. As I previously mentioned, HBS only offers need-based aid, and the offer was based on my tax info from the past three years.

Anyway, in the course of researching everything I can about paying off this debt, I stumbled upon an interesting blog where an HBS grad attempted (and succeeded) in paying of $90K in loans in less than a year. He increased his income by taking on a part-time job and seriously cut costs. While I highly doubt that I'll be able to pay off my loans as quickly (that guy was pretty extreme), it's refreshing to see that it's possible to not be crushed under student loan debt for the next ten years.

Hopefully, I'll hear from the GSB soon about my financial aid package. I don't feel comfortable making a decision to choose one school or the other without knowing all of the facts.
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Thank you for sharing!
That seems an extreme blog (I did find it quite interesting though) - I think it will be very helpful to a few folks around here. Many have doubts and questions about Debt and seeing that it can be done is a great reassurance.

Good luck with your choice!
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2014, 08:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: To go or not to go with the rankings
When I first began this journey, I thought the post-admit decision-making process would be incredibly easy. It seemed so simple to just go to the highest-ranked school to which you were admitted. Now remember, this was also before I really understood the mysterious concept of "fit."

So anyway, now that I'm on the other side, it finally makes sense why someone admitted to both Yale and Wharton, for example, would question which school to attend. The obvious rankings answer is Wharton. But the personalities and opportunities at the programs are quite different. Yale is a place where everybody knows your name. At Wharton, there's the risk of getting lost in the crowd.

I've seen a surprising number of people get into the position of wanting to choose a school that is perhaps not ranked as highly as another, but they feel compelled to still stick with the rankings. I'm by no means an expert, but I think that the most important thing is to go to the place where you'll be happiest. The school listed on your resume is just the first step to getting your ideal internship/full-time offer. After that, it's all on you.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Restrategising again…
It has been a very stressful two weeks and I am glad it is all over. I am still waiting for INSEAD, while I actually started and finished an application to, well, guess…. :) London Business School. No no! Not the full time MBA, but the Executive MBA! A lot of things have happened within the intervening period to make me feel that I should take a shot at the EMBA path.

Here’s the deal. I hired another consultant to take a thorough look at my profile, and at the applications I submitted. It was a very thorough postmortem review. The review actually made me dig deeper into myself and to re-evaluate my choices. Now, this review also took a good look at my current circumstances. I more or less experienced an eureka moment. Am I happy with my current job? By all means, yes! And I wouldn’t hesitate to take back my current role even I had gone to Harvard Business School for two years. I am actually on track to achieving my long term goals. It simply made perfect sense to go for an EMBA.

So, at this point, there is no two year MBA for me again. It is either a one year MBA or an EMBA.

And what if I get offers from INSEAD and LBS? We will cross the bridge we get there.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: What do I really really want?
One discussion panel later on the future of business education at Chicago Booth’s London campus I feel the need to reflect and challenge myself with three questions that were posed during the event.

1. Do I really, really need a MBA?

2. Is a professional qualification better eg CFA, or maybe even an accounting qualification?

3. What do you want from a MBA? Is it all about buying a network?

Do I really, really need a MBA

Excellent question. The speaker at the event seemed to assume that if you have a good undergrad that all you need. I would say at 24 that might be true. Now for me it’s not. I have two option go deeper into my expertise or go for more breadth. Deeper in my world is a MSc in data analytics or something of that ilk. But I left that world behind for a Reason, I’ve chosen to go broader.

But broader has left me with a problem in the external job market. Lack of specialised skill to sell or particular sector expertise market. So if I want to move in the job market I need to do something else. MBA seems like a good answer.

Is a professional qualification better 

This time last month I would have said I had all the professional qualifications I needed. This month the office has signed me up to do an industry recognised qualification in corporate finance. Yes, I know work for the public sector. But this what happens when you not only move teams you get new directors! So I’m getting an industry qualification but a MBA will compliment it, not replace it. Getting the industry qualification may even help me get into a MBA programme.

But there was a good case made by the CFA  (Chartered Financial Analyst) rep at the event if you want to move industry it might be better to sit an industry exam of the field you want to move to. And it’s probably cheaper!

What do you want from a MBA

Thankfully, after going to the states I have much better idea about this one! So let’s see. I want to learn new skills and change career. But I also want to be challenged by my contemporaries both in and out of class. It not about buying a network; I can do that cheaper in other ways. I want case study method that allows me to apply the theory to practice and think about the wider issues. But I want the cases to be written by the University and fairly new and have an international dimension.

But one issue, if you had to ask where would I rather be: sitting in the class or teaching the MBA class; I would choose teaching it.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2014, 07:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Stanford Bonding
I recently attended an admitted students' reception for the GSB. Head of admissions, Derrick Bolton, was there, and he personally greeted every single student. Plus, he remembered the industries that each of us were in, and then tried to connect people with similar backgrounds or interests. Since there were quite a few of us, I was incredibly impressed by this personal touch.

I've heard a lot about the close-knit GSB community, but since being admitted, I have been able to see first-hand how they put their words into action. From Derrick's marathon day of calls on the decision date, to having a handwritten note included with my admit letter, to having him remember my background and current company, I have been blown away! The application process was super stressful for me, so it feels really good to be wanted. Stanford and Tuck have been the two schools that have made me feel the most special, like they truly care about me as an individual. I can only imagine the connections I would be able to form as a student at the GSB.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2014, 07:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: HBS Round 3 Interview Invites
HBS will be notifying all round 3 candidates tomorrow of whether they are being released or if they will receive the golden ticket, also known as an interview invite. I have a few friends who applied in round 3, and I'm so nervous and excited for you all.

Since I technically applied in round 1, but was put on "further consideration" until round 2, I went through the stress of HBS' interview invite day 3 times! Waiting for the clock to strike noon was pretty painful. I must have looked at the clock at least once every 10 minutes starting from 8am. But in the end, it was all worth it, so I really can't complain.

Good luck to you all, and try to get some sleep tonight!
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: GMAT prep: useful materials
In an effort to engage with social media here a link to the Pinterest board which shows the materials I found useful studying for the GMAT.

Happy Easter.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2014, 06:00
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FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: HBS Admitted Students Welcome
On Thursday and Friday of last week, I had the opportunity to meet my potential future classmates at HBS. The event was only about a day and a half, but it was jam-packed with activities -- from housing tours, to financial aid sessions, to mock classes, to evening "networking" events, it was a very busy time. I was incredibly exhausted by Saturday morning, but I was also energized as I contemplated the fact that I could actually be attending this amazing program! I am truly awed and humbled that I have this opportunity.

Everyone I met was incredibly down to earth, friendly, diverse, and well accomplished. I, of course, met several consultants and bankers, but I also met a ton of people working in start-ups, entrepreneurs, joint degree candidates, and even people interested in education like me.

In our mock class, we discussed a case about the Chilean miners who were stranded in the collapsed mine. The key takeaways from the case were interestingly about leadership and structures within society. When all normal aspects of human life were removed, a group of 33 men, who were isolated 700 meters underground, still managed to create a system of government. This ultimately enabled  them to survive against all odds. The case method is a very unique process, but I think it could allow for some pretty interesting class discussions.

Anyway, if my two-day visit at HBS is any indication of what the next two years might be like, then things could be pretty amazing!

I'll be traveling to the Bay Area next week, and will be making my final decision shortly thereafter. The deposit deadline is May 1st for both schools. Things are getting real. 
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 03:00
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FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Interview invite from London Business School…
I was in the middle of making preparations at a travel agent for my trip to the US for the CFA Conference when I got the mail from London Business School. It was an interview invite for the second round of the Executive MBA Program. I was told to come over to Dubai on April 30, 2014 for the interview, which will also include a ten minute presentation.

A look at my itinerary and the costs of one way tickets halfway across the world and the thoughts of staying up in the skies for almost 30 hours within a space of 2 – 3 days was really scary. Maybe if I was going to fly first class all the way, I could have given it a second thought. I fired a mail back, and we concluded on doing the interview at the end of May.

Now, the only downside was that I would end up probably interviewing with Round 3 candidates, and the competitiveness could be a little tighter. But the upside is that I would have a full month to prepare for the interview and the presentation; the cost of waiting a little bit would probably be offset by a far much better preparation. I have been reading Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan and I have seen ways on how to tremendously improve my presentation skills. Yea, so the wait would probably be worth it.

Another upside is that the number of INSEAD full time MBA candidates has been going down on MBA Connect. Maybe, I may get a call from INSEAD before the interview. If that happens, I will add the flight ticket to Dubai for the LBS interview to the INSEAD tuition fees. I hope it happens.

Fingers crossed.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2014, 12:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Quitting My Job
I'm not planning to quit my job until late July or maybe even early August. I actually really like what I do. I work for a great company, I like my co-workers, and I'm in a position that I think I'm good at, while still having the opportunity to feel challenged. Plus, the next two years are going to be freakishly expensive, and I'd prefer to save as much money as I can now, so that I can go on lots of cool trips later.

However, I've recently chatted with several other soon-to-be MBA students, and EVERYONE is quitting way earlier than me. And now, I suddenly feel like I'm already missing out. Things like Yacht Week in Croatia sound amazing! And I'd love to spend the summer relaxing before school starts, traveling around the world, and meeting my new future classmates in exciting locales.

FOMO has officially set in.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: I was going to choose HBS
I've been keeping a secret for the past few days/weeks. I think HBS is an amazing program, and I was pretty sure that's where I would be matriculating. I actually bought a HBS sweatshirt a couple of days ago. I was just waiting to hear about financial aid from Stanford so that I could have some closure when making the final decision.

Well, just when I finally stopped being stressed by the decision-making process, I got my fellowship offer from the GSB today, and holy crap it is generous!!

So now, my decision is due in less than a week, and I kind of feel like I'm back to square one.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 02 May 2014, 06:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: It's Official - Deposit Paid
Well folks, it's been an amazing journey, full of stress, anxiety, excitement, and unbridled joy.

I just got back from a trip out to the Bay Area, where I was able to enjoy warm and sunny weather, something that the East Coast has been lacking lately. I've had tons of different opinions thrown my way, and I desperately needed to do some deep soul-searching.

Anyway, just a few short hours before the deadline, I (finally) accepted the offer to matriculate at HBS, and declined the GSB. It was definitely NOT easy, but I've found peace and happiness with my decision.

... Actually, those words sound inadequate. I am so freakin' excited about my decision! I am going to my dream school, and I am beyond excited for the next two years.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 02 May 2014, 06:00
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