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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 09:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Completing the INSEAD Interviews
Tom.gif

I finally completed my INSEAD interviews last week. From the tone of our interactions before the interviews, I classified the first interviewer as the “bad cop” and the second interviewer as the “good cop”. But the experiences with them turned out to be the reverse.

The first interviewer was a chilled guy who graduated from INSEAD in 2003. I assumed that he was going to be the bad cop, but we really ended up connecting. He asked me the following questions:

  • Tell me about your career since you graduated from the University
  • Give me an example of a change you were able to make while working with your current employer
  • What is the greatest challenge you have faced with your employer?
  • Why INSEAD? What do you hope to gain by going to business school
  • How do you intend to fund your stay while at INSEAD?
  • Which other schools did you apply to? Why?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Give me an example of a culture shock that you experienced, and what you gained from it.
Then we got talking about various investment strategies, and I ended up drafting a mini investment policy statement there. We also established some common grounds on our long term goals.

The interview lasted for about 1 hour 50 minutes before he remembered that he had a plane to catch.

I had to fly out to Lagos for the second interview. I have interviewed for jobs and other stuff before in the past but this was the strangest interview I have ever had in my life. Another strange thing was that this interviewer who graduated in 2001 interviewed my first interviewer when he (my first interviewer) applied to INSEAD!

He also asked me the following questions:

  • Why MBA? Why INSEAD? Why now?
  • Have you ever been in a position of leadership?
  • What role do you play in a team?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Tell me a time when you experienced a culture shock. (That pesky question again)
He challenged me about some of my views and the reasons why I wanted to go to a business school. I looked for a way to work round the challenges he threw at me to tie it into why I need to go to business school. This happened on two occasions. The first challenge he threw at me was that Nigeria was not ready for the privatization of the healthcare industry because of vested interests. And my response was that I need to go to business school now to acquire the skills before Nigeria becomes ready.

The interview lasted for about 2 hours 30 minutes and I had approximately 15 – 20 minutes of talk time. If there was anything I was able to gather from him, he was really passionate about INSEAD.

At the end he said he would recommend me to INSEAD.

Strange interview.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: June 11, 2014

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2014, 05:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Waitlisted by INSEAD
I just got the e-mail from INSEAD. I have been placed on the waitlist, and I have accepted it.

This is so hard to take.

I called my interviewers and told them about the outcome. They were both surprised because they said they gave me very strong recommendations.

If there is anything I have learned from the interview application process… it is the fact that there are so many qualified candidates out there and the competition is off the wall.

Another thing I have learned, the hard way, is that the application process is not good for the heart.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: June 11, 2014

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2014, 12:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Magoosh GMAT online course: review
I was really pleased with Magoosh GMAT online GMAT prep. It is Good value and does what it says on the tin. I bought complete package both quant and verbal and it done the business. Definitely recommend it for GMAT prep.

The look is fairly basic. It’s mainly PowerPoint with voice over but it does the trick. There is an opportunity to personalise practice questions to reflect what you learnt and there are good video explanations of every question, Which is very useful. You can also adjust the time you have on questions which I appreciated.

I could even use the app for lessons on the go. However it would have been great if this also extended to their question bank.

Verbal

The section helped moved my score from the 60th percentile to the 80th percentile. So it definitely works. It shows you the key strategies for critical reasoning and they work. Disliked the sentence correction as there was too much focus on grammar. However I do know more than I once did and it has improved my general writing.

It’s really good at teaching you the content you need for the test.

Quant

This combined with my maths tutor moved my quant score on paper from 24th percentile to about the 50th. So it certainly teaches the content. It is broken down in to very digestible chucks. I would say its suitable for someone starting from a low base. I’m not convinced at how useful it is for learning the advanced strategies you need to score 700+. Though I think Magoosh recognises this and there advanced study plan recommends using manhattan study guides.

Overall

Good value for money, if you need to brush up in the basics go here but if need the advanced content go elsewhere.

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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 21 Feb 2014, 10:00
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FROM Hamm0's Blog: What Now?
Domotronand I were the other day, and both came up with the same sentiment; there is not much to write about after being accepted. Back when I was beginning my blog, I had been thinking about MBA applications for about a year. Though I had only recently passed the GMAT stage of the process, I already had a good idea of the schools that I would apply to, what type of jobs I wanted, and most importantly, what was coming next. There is plenty of information about the application process at top MBA programs – hell there is a whole industry devoted to it. Because of that, I knew that while it would be a tough mountain to climb, the path was already well documented and traveled.                       Image

Now, my current path is well traveled…but no so well documented. Turns out, MBA students are pretty busy people! Looking at threeof the blogsthat really pushed me to start my own, and two have not been updated since last fall, and another the past summer. I have spoken to all of them during the past few months, and I can confirm they are alive. They just do not have the time so much anymore, which is completely understandable. I, on the other hand, have plenty of time on my hands now that I am not spending 2-3 hours a night reviewing essays or studying for the GMAT. It feels like I have an extra day in the week now! So what gives? Why no posts? Well, as I mentioned above, I do not know what I am doing anymore. Before, it was so easy to learn about what the next steps were, and share my experiences as I hit each step. Now, I am floundering around trying to do several things at once – housing, roommate, studying for core exemption (stats!), researching recruiting opportunities, networking with my class, background checks, etc. The list is massive, and really – hard to convey in a blogging scenario. Image

I will say, though, that I have found a roommate, and we are wading through some of our housing options. All the housing at Johnson is off campus, and is pretty well confined between a few apartment buildings, with the occasional house as well. A guide is here, if you are so interested. On one hand, I do not want to repeat my episodes of undergrad living in a large, dilapidated house for the bare minimum each month. On the other, money is a precious resource when considering the cost of attending a top program. On the third (??) hand, if you are already spending over $150,000, what are a few extra c-notes? Some tough decisions lay ahead for me. I also submitted my payment for ReVera to conduct a background check on the facts presented in my application. Should be interesting to hear if anything comes up – not that I am expecting it, but considering how unstructured my previous job was, I can see some confusion. Oh well – we will cross that bridge when we get there. In addition, I set my final day at work! I have only a few more months left, and I will be off enjoying myself before gearing up for school. I am planning to see family, traveling, relaxing, and sleeping. I know this is a point of concern for many accepted students, as it is never a fun conversation to tell your boss that you are leaving (unless you are in a bridge-burning mood…), but luckily I dodged that issue. Now all I have to do is survive the final few months of work, while pretending to be active and enjoying what I am doing! Finally, I want to congratulate all the Round 2 applicantsthat found out their destiny over the past few weeks. You people worked very hard, and have the results to show for it! Congrats!

Filed under: About Me, Admissions, Financials, Ramblings Tagged: Johnson Image
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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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My Applicant Blog: http://hamm0.wordpress.com/

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2014, 22:00
FROM MBA Data Guru: How Much Does Your Industry Affect Your Acceptance Rate at Wharton
If you have any doubt that the industry you are in and what company you work at affect your acceptance rate at top MBA schools, then I have wonderful bridge I can sell you for a bargain. I know, my joke is lame, I should stick to the numbers.

We all know that your industry has a big impact on your acceptance rate, but which industries are the best to work in if you want to get into  a top MBA program like Wharton. First, lets take a look at the distribution of applicants at Wharton by industry. I removed all industries with fewer than 20 applicants over the 3 years I analyzed.

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As you can see, the greatest number of applicants came from consulting and investment banking. I removed the “Other” category from this graph because it was too large in comparison to each individual industry. There were 883 “Other” applicants.

Now what you all are waiting for, which industries are best for getting into Wharton? The answer shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, it is Venture Capital. The biggest surprise for me was that military and defense came in second by a wide margin. I guess risking your life for your country may pay off for some lucky soldiers. I expected consulting acceptance rate to be pretty high, but it was only slightly above average. If you work in manufacturing or mutual funds, then you might want to give up your dream of going to Wharton, my magic eight ball says “Outlook not so good”.

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If you are really passionate about applying to Wharton, then you have probably already noticed that the average acceptance rate in my graph is only 13% and not the actual acceptance rate of 20%. This is because I get my data from GMAT Club, and not everyone updates their profile with the final decision. I considered scaling all of the numbers up 63% to account for this but the venture capital acceptance rate got a little crazy up at 54%. My theory is that venture capitalists are a lot more likely than your average candidate to update their profile on GMAT Club when they get it.

What is going on with the investment bankers having a below average acceptance rate? Perhaps they come across as too aggressive and arrogant in their interview, or maybe they are too busy working 100 hour weeks to update their profile once they are accepted.
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 22 Feb 2014, 22:00
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FROM MBA Data Guru: Acceptance Rate by GMAT for Wharton
When applying to business school, GMAT is one of the few metrics that the applicant has any control over. Undergraduate GPA is already set in stone, work experience can’t be changed and recommendations are written by someone else. The only control a student has is their GMAT and essays, so it isn’t surprising that applicants stress over their score. Today I am going to quantify exactly how much the GMAT impacts you chance of admission into Wharton.

The first piece of information to look at is the distribution of GMAT scores for Wharton applicants. The graph below shows how many students who applied had each score. For the GMAT overall, students who receive a 760 or higher are in the 99th percentile, yet 20% of Wharton applicants have a 760 or higher. I think this data is somewhat skewed by the fact that it comes from the GMAT Club website, where I imagine applicants score higher on average. Surprisingly, the distribution is actually relatively flat between 710 and 760.

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Next I created a scatter plot of acceptance rate verses GMAT score. You can see that there is definitely a strong correlation between GMAT and chance of admission, with an R squared of 75%. Unexpectedly, the acceptance rate for applicants with scores below 700 was actually higher than the acceptance rate for applicants with a 710 or 720. Actually 720 had the lowest acceptance rate even though it is approximately the average score for the Wharton class of 2015.

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I used a polynomial trend line for the scatter-plot because it had the highest R-squared. The polynomial actually creates a slight curve up at the low end for people with GMAT scores below 700. I don’t think this actually means that your chance of getting into Wharton is higher with a 690 vs. 720. I expect that this phenomenon is due to reporting bias for the GMAT Club data. Someone who gets into Wharton with a low GMAT score is more likely to report it than a person with a high score. I also think that someone with a low GMAT is less likely to even put their GMAT score in their profile because it is highly visible on the website.

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In the graph above, I smoothed out the acceptance rate by GMAT score and adjusted it up. In the GMAT Club data, not everyone updates their profile with the ultimate decision, so the acceptance rate needs to be adjusted up slightly. In the end GMAT score did not affect acceptance as much as I expected. However, probability of admissions is roughly twice as high for applicants with a 770 or higher compared to an applicant with a score of 700.

On a personal note, today I was invited by Wharton to interview for a spot in the class of 2016. I am extremely excited to be interviewed and will be concentrating on preparing for my interview over the next few weeks.
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 23 Feb 2014, 07:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: The Life of an MBA Applicant
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At every school that you apply to, your dreams lie at the feet of the Admission Committees. If you an average applicant who did not go to a well known school, and/or study a course that does not have GPA, and/or you are a few years above 30, then you feel like a gladiator in front of Commodus who will decide with his thumb whether your MBA dreams should be killed or given a chance.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: June 11, 2014

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2014, 07:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Never Give Up on Your Dreams
If you want a thing bad enough

To go out and fight for it,

Work day and night for it,

Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,

If only desire of it

Makes you quite mad enough

Never to tire of it,

Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it,

If life seems all empty and useless without it

And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you’ll sweat for it,

Fret for it,

Plan for it,

Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want,

With all your capacity,

Strength and sagacity,

Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,

Nor sickness nor pain

Of body or brain

Can turn you away from that thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,

You’ll get it!

~ Berton Braley

Never Give Up on Your Dreams
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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: June 11, 2014

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2014, 22:00
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FROM MBA Data Guru: The Most Common Wharton Interview Questions
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Now that I have been invited to interview at Wharton, I am spending as much time as I can prepping for the interview. In the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, I’ll share with you the most common interview questions I found on Clear Admit. I only included questions from interviews that happened in the past two years, since the interview format changed. I don’t think that the older interviews are relevant anymore. If questions were asked to more than one person on a Clear Admit interview report then I put the number of times in parentheses.

1)    Describe your views of the Team Based Discussion. (7)

2)    Do you have any questions for me? (6)

3)    Do you have any updated to your application? (4)

4)    What extracurricular at Wharton? (4)

5)    Was your behavior in the Team Based Discussion representative of the way you typically act in a group setting? (4)

6)    Walk me through your resume. (4)

7)    Why MBA? (2)

8)    What could you have done differently as a team? (2)

9)    Why Wharton? (2)

10) Tell me about a time you had to persuade others. (2)

11) What are your post MBA goals? (2)

12) What specific quality or qualities do you hope to hone at Wharton?

13) Tell me about one time you had to overcome an obstacle working in a group and what you would do differently if you had to do it again?

14) Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned.

15) What are the 3 top qualities you think a leader should have?

16) What are 3 qualities you look for in a business school, especially our school

17) Why now?

18) What do you do in free time?

19) Tell me about a time you faced a leadership challenge.

20) Tell me about a time when you worked in a group in which everyone did not agree and how did your team resolve the situation?

21) What do you think worked well in the Team Based Discussion?

It seems that pretty much everyone is asked how they thought the team based discussion went and everyone is given the chance to ask questions at the end. Beyond that there are four other questions that are asked frequently, which you should prepare for. Good luck in your interviews!
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 24 Feb 2014, 14:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Side benefits of an MBA
I read a really interesting article in the FT today. It explained that while an MBA might not help Indian’s in the job market it might help in the marriage stakes. Essentially a MBA is a good selling point and less common than a degree.

This got me thinking what are the unusual benefits of studying for a MBA?

  • Successful author Publish a book on the experience: What are they teach you at Harvard Business School.
  • Another chance at the uni marriage mart. Here’s a blog entry on the rules.
  • Play a new sport; anyone heard of a signing?
  • Form a successful music group. (There is bound to be a story; anyone heard of it?)
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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 24 Feb 2014, 15:00
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FROM MBA Data Guru: Few MIT Interview Invites for Round 2
Similar to many of the applicants on the GMAT Club forum I have been impatiently waiting to hear from Sloan about an interview invite. It seemed to me that the number of invites have been very low so I decided to take a quick look at how low. I put together two charts, one based on the front page statistics and one based off of the table you can download with detailed stats.

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For some reason the two sets of numbers do not tie together but they tell the same story. Even though the Sloan interview invite period is more than half over, only 14% to 25% of the estimated interview invites have been sent out. My best guess is that the weather has been even worse than normal in Boston this year and has significantly delayed MIT. It is really hard for me to stay positive as the invite deadline quickly approaches, but given the numbers, I think we should all stay positive. It will be interesting to see if Sloan misses the invite deadline for R2 in addition to missing it for R1.
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 24 Feb 2014, 20:00
FROM Hamm0's Blog: What Now?
Domotronand I were the other day, and both came up with the same sentiment; there is not much to write about after being accepted. Back when I was beginning my blog, I had been thinking about MBA applications for about a year. Though I had only recently passed the GMAT stage of the process, I already had a good idea of the schools that I would apply to, what type of jobs I wanted, and most importantly, what was coming next. There is plenty of information about the application process at top MBA programs – hell there is a whole industry devoted to it. Because of that, I knew that while it would be a tough mountain to climb, the path was already well documented and traveled.                       Image

Now, my current path is well traveled…but no so well documented. Turns out, MBA students are pretty busy people! Looking at threeof the blogsthat really pushed me to start my own, and two have not been updated since last fall, and another the past summer. I have spoken to all of them during the past few months, and I can confirm they are alive. They just do not have the time so much anymore, which is completely understandable. I, on the other hand, have plenty of time on my hands now that I am not spending 2-3 hours a night reviewing essays or studying for the GMAT. It feels like I have an extra day in the week now! So what gives? Why no posts? Well, as I mentioned above, I do not know what I am doing anymore. Before, it was so easy to learn about what the next steps were, and share my experiences as I hit each step. Now, I am floundering around trying to do several things at once – housing, roommate, studying for core exemption (stats!), researching recruiting opportunities, networking with my class, background checks, etc. The list is massive, and really – hard to convey in a blogging scenario. Image

I will say, though, that I have found a roommate, and we are wading through some of our housing options. All the housing at Johnson is off campus, and is pretty well confined between a few apartment buildings, with the occasional house as well. A guide is here, if you are so interested. On one hand, I do not want to repeat my episodes of undergrad living in a large, dilapidated house for the bare minimum each month. On the other, money is a precious resource when considering the cost of attending a top program. On the third (??) hand, if you are already spending over $150,000, what are a few extra c-notes? Some tough decisions lay ahead for me. I also submitted my payment for ReVera to conduct a background check on the facts presented in my application. Should be interesting to hear if anything comes up – not that I am expecting it, but considering how unstructured my previous job was, I can see some confusion. Oh well – we will cross that bridge when we get there. In addition, I set my final day at work! I have only a few more months left, and I will be off enjoying myself before gearing up for school. I am planning to see family, traveling, relaxing, and sleeping. I know this is a point of concern for many accepted students, as it is never a fun conversation to tell your boss that you are leaving (unless you are in a bridge-burning mood…), but luckily I dodged that issue. Now all I have to do is survive the final few months of work, while pretending to be active and enjoying what I am doing! Finally, I want to congratulate all the Round 2 applicantsthat found out their destiny over the past few weeks. You people worked very hard, and have the results to show for it! Congrats!

Filed under: About Me, Admissions, Financials, Ramblings Tagged: Johnson Image
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2014, 12:11
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Sharing My Experience - Where am I going?
Over the past two years or so, I've been pretty active on Beat The GMAT and GMATClub. I've been so incredibly thankful for the support and encouragement the communities offered. From studying for the GMAT, to writing essays and applying to schools, to interviewing and waiting for news, this journey hasn't been easy. I'm now in the fortunate position of having acceptances (with scholarships!!) to some pretty amazing programs, including Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, and Duke. In addition, HBS is still out there as a dark horse for Round 2, but I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch (I just wrapped up my interview a few days ago). I'm still kind of in disbelief regarding how things have worked out.

Anyway, several of my fellow applicants have messaged me lately asking for application tips, details about my strategy, or just wanting to know where I'm headed next year. So, I've decided to start a blog. After all, following a crazy year of studying and working on apps, I now have waaaay to much restless energy.

So this is my first official blog post. I'll provide details about my app strategy and what-not in subsequent posts, but for now I'll just answer the most pressing question of where I'm headed...

And the answer is... I still have no clue!!
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2014, 12:11
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Narrowing the field by 50% - Declining Fuqua and (Probably) Yale
Pretty early-on, I decided to decline the offer from Fuqua. Don't get me wrong, it is an absolutely amazing program that I would be so fortunate to attend. I liked the facilities, the people I met were incredibly genuine, and North Carolina weather is sooo much better than that of New England and the Midwest. However, I just didn't feel the same "fit" with Fuqua as I found with Kellogg, Yale, and Tuck.

Before receiving my acceptances, I had heard numerous current students and alumni talk about "fit," but I didn't really understand what they meant. I was just hoping to get in somewhere. It funny, now that I'm on the other side, I finally get it. It's hard to describe exactly what fit is, but you just know it when you have it (or when you don't).

So anyway, after that, I was left with three great programs. And in the last day or so, I've made the decision to (most likely) decline the Yale offer. It's crazy even putting those words in writing. I fell in love with Yale when I visited, and up until recently I was pretty sure I would be matriculating at SOM this fall. The first seeds of doubt arose when Tuck offered me a full scholarship two weeks ago. I am in the education sector, so my lifetime earnings will likely never be as high as my peers who choose more traditional post-MBA careers. Therefore, while money shouldn't be the primary factor in choosing a school, it is something that I need to heavily consider.

And so, the field is cut by 50%. Two schools down, two more to decide between...
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2014, 14:00
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FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Second ding from Wharton
It is getting kinda gruesome here.

It is either Admission Committees across the world don’t like doctors who are in the odd side of 30 or something is really off about my profile. I wish I could put a finger on it.

Is this the end of the MBA dreams of the African doctor?

Let’s see what the heavens have in store?

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 07:00
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FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Holy crap, I've been invited to interview by Stanford!
There's one school about which I've been pretty quiet. It's that "other" school on the west coast. You know the one I'm talking about, the one and only Stanford GSB.

I applied to Stanford in Round 2, after having received a couple of acceptances from other programs. I had already written my Round 2 essays, before having any acceptances, so I decided there was no harm in just submitting the application. Even though, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. After all, the GSB now has an acceptance rate below 7%. Those are some crazy odds. I figured my application fee would probably be more like a $275 donation.

So, as the weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, I really wasn't stressed. Then, February 25th passed, the day by which "the majority" of interview invites would have been sent. People on GMATClub started to go a little wild, and speculations were running rampant. "Welp, guess I didn't make it," I thought. I've been oddly calm about this one.

Thus, imagine my surprise when I casually checked my email last night and saw a message inviting me to interview. Holy crap, I was invited to interview by Stanford GSB!! I was, and still am, in absolute disbelief. I read the email about 5 times just to make sure that it was real, and then I checked it again this morning.

I now have 10 days to arrange a mutually convenient time and location with my assigned alumni interviewer. Hence, I am kicking my interview prep into high gear... and trying not to freak out...
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- Admissions Advice from HBS Dean
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2014, 08:27
Expert's post
Good luck! Fantastic job with applications! I guess it will make the choice easier but will take longer.....
Very cool!
Best Regards,
BB


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FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Holy crap, I've been invited to interview by Stanford!
There's one school about which I've been pretty quiet. It's that "other" school on the west coast. You know the one I'm talking about, the one and only Stanford GSB.

I applied to Stanford in Round 2, after having received a couple of acceptances from other programs. I had already written my Round 2 essays, before having any acceptances, so I decided there was no harm in just submitting the application. Even though, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. After all, the GSB now has an acceptance rate below 7%. Those are some crazy odds. I figured my application fee would probably be more like a $275 donation.

So, as the weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, I really wasn't stressed. Then, February 25th passed, the day by which "the majority" of interview invites would have been sent. People on GMATClub started to go a little wild, and speculations were running rampant. "Welp, guess I didn't make it," I thought. I've been oddly calm about this one.

Thus, imagine my surprise when I casually checked my email last night and saw a message inviting me to interview. Holy crap, I was invited to interview by Stanford GSB!! I was, and still am, in absolute disbelief. I read the email about 5 times just to make sure that it was real, and then I checked it again this morning.

I now have 10 days to arrange a mutually convenient time and location with my assigned alumni interviewer. Hence, I am kicking my interview prep into high gear... and trying not to freak out...
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 27 Feb 2014, 14:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Goodbye, Yale.
It's official. I just clicked "submit," declining the Yale offer. I've planned to do this for a few days, but this one was just really really hard to do.
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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- 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 27 Feb 2014, 16:00
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FROM Domotron's Blog: Part 1 GMAT – Elements of an MBA application series
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I will hold my hands up, I don’t think I am at all qualified to give advice about MBA applications since I hardly aced the application season. However, I am keen to pass on what I did learn along the way and debunk a few myths that seem to perpetuate regarding the application process. I will also talk about what I think worked (or didn’t work) for me on each element of my application and how it came together in an admit for Tuck! Feel free to throw in your comments, refute some of my points because I certaintly don’t claim to be an expert.

The elements I will look at are:

  • GMAT
  • Profile
  • Networking / Research
  • Recommendations
  • Essay / Online applications
  • Interview

Without further ado, here is Part 1.

The GMAT. There is a whole raft of information out there on this pesky test. Some love it, some loathe it but you definitely need to take it to apply to MBA programs. From my previous post, you will know I took it twice. I had gotten a perfectly satisfactory score of 710. Initially, filled with relief, I decided that was it I got a 700+ score enough was enough. However, I just nagging feeling that I underperformed on the day. Throw in the fact a 710 was in fact below the median of my target schools, I decided to take it again. The funny thing was I actually enjoyed the prep for the retake far more. Maybe it was because the pressure was off. Thankfully I got a 740, a better score than my 1st attempt and above the media for my schools.

What I’m not going to talk about is what materials I used to prepare or how I got there but rather how the score fitted into my MBA application profile. So my 2nd attempt meant that I was above the median score for all of my target schools. I think this meant the following for my application:

  • Admissions will say yes, domotron has the requisite intellectual horsepower to deal with the course. Tick that box
  • This is a complete guess but bearing in mind the number of applications that top b-schools receive, I think it put me into a “worth a further look” pile.
  • Raised my chances at an interview – no brainer there
What it didn’t do was:

  • Get me an admit at all of my target schools. Look a lot of people want to think if I get a 760 then I will be admitted. Nope doesn’t work that way. I’m an example, 3 R1 schools 0 admits later. It wasn’t until Tuck that I got the admit I wanted and I think that was down to other elements of my application.
  • Significantly overcome weak parts of my profile. You can have a 800 score but if your work experience is uninspiring or you have a terrible GPA without a darn good reason, it’s going to be tough and a high GMAT alone won’t solve that.
FAQ and debunking some myths

  • Do I need a 80/80 split?

    No, it’s a nice to have but the overall score is more important. For example if you got a 720 but your breakdown was skewed towards one section, you should stick wtih the score and spend your time working on essays or other parts of your application.
  • Can I apply with a 500 GMAT because the rest of my profile is ace?

    You can but I wouldn’t recommend it. For most people, you only get one shot at applying to b-school so why handicap yourself with a poor GMAT score especially when you can improve it significantly with just a bit of hard work. The GMAT range for the top schools are generally really wide BUT the median score will tell a different story. It is right at the upper end of the range. Essentially the top schools will admit a handful of low GMAT applications (sub-650) but it really is a handful and you better have an exceptional profile to go with that score.
  • Should I retake even though I got a 700+?

    I am probably the worst person to ask because usually the answer is HELL NO but as you can see that’s exactly what I did! However I still maintain that for most people the answer is no BUT if :

    a) you have a ton of time before you have to apply (I had 6 months before R1 deadlines)

    b) your score is below the median score for your target schools (true in my case)

    c) you had that gnawing feeling that you could have done better (as I did)

    then sure go for it. At the end of the day you only get one shot so why not put forth your best effort.
  • What is the minimum score I need?

    There is no answer to this. No school (I know of) publishes a minimum or maximum. Rather they will give you their full range, maybe the 80% range, mean and/or median. So what would make you competitive? I think being above the mean and median is a good place to be because it means you are above the average for the last class. This doesn’t mean you will automatically be accepted. It’s just that the admissions team can look at the score and say yes, this person is able. Now let me review the rest of their application.
That’s all for Part 1. My next post will talk about the “Profile” of an applicant. Would be interested in hearing what you all think about my viewpoint on how much a factor the GMAT plays.

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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 28 Feb 2014, 08:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Kellogg vs. Tuck - The Battle Royale
Kellogg's enrollment decision deadline is in 5 days! 

That means that I'll need to make a decision before I hear from HBS and Stanford at the end of March. So, assuming that I don't get into those schools, I have to decide between Kellogg and Tuck within the next few days.

After Tuck offered me a full scholarship, I was pretty sure that's the program I would be choosing. However, Kellogg recently increased my scholarship offer, which is amazing, but also makes the decision harder. I was using money as the tie-breaker, but now I'm not so sure.

Kellogg:
  • Scholarship for 50% of tuition
  • Hands-down a marketing powerhouse, plus a surprisingly strong social enterprise program.
  • Although I would prefer to be on the east coast, I think Evanston is really cute and the proximity to Chicago is nice
  • Slightly higher-ranked b-school, but parent university has less brand recognition to layman
  • A large, strong network, but fear of getting "lost in the crowd" in a larger program
  • Need to submit a $2,000 deposit before I hear from HBS and Stanford
Tuck:
  • Full scholarship, which would allow me to take full advantage of the MBA experience without worrying as much about money.
  • Smaller program where I would get more intimate attention. This is especially helpful since I may be choosing a more niche career field.
  • East coast, which I prefer
  • Top 10 program, with a highly-regarded parent university
  • Deposit due after I would hear from HBS and Stanford 
So basically, I really like both programs, and I could see myself being happy in either environment. I know that there's no "wrong" decision, but this is a freakin' huge decision, and I don't want regrets.
    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/

    Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2014, 08:00
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