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INSEAD Deadlines for January, September Intakes [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: INSEAD Deadlines for January, September Intakes
INSEAD has posted the application deadlines for its September 2015 and January 2016 intakes.

September 2015 Intake
Round 1
Deadline: September 24, 2014
Notification: November 28, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: November 12, 2014
Notification: January 23, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: January 14, 2015
Notification: March 20, 2015

Round 4
Deadline: March 4, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

January 2016 Intake
Round 1
Deadline: March 4, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

Round 2
Deadline: April 22, 2015
Notification: July 3, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: June 17, 2015
Notification: August 28, 2015

Round 4
Deadline: August 5, 2015
Notification: October 9, 2015

Competition for each round is equal regardless of the intake or round you apply for, INSEAD notes. This season, the program has added a fourth round of admissions to better manage the influx of incoming applications and to provide additional flexibility to applicants.

To be included in a specific round, applications must be complete and submitted by 23:59pm Central European Time on the day of the deadline.

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USC Marshall Receives $15M Gift for International Business P [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: USC Marshall Receives $15M Gift for International Business Programs
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The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California announced today it has received a $15 million gift from USC trustee Thomas J. Barrack Jr. and his family that will significantly advance the school’s global mission.

The Barrack family’s gift will make possible extensive renovations of Bridge Hall, which was built in 1928 and has the special distinction of serving as the Marshall School’s first building.

While the structure will retain its Italian Romanesque exterior, the interior will be completely reimagined, signifying the beginning of a new era for the facility. The renovated and renamed Barrack Hall will serve as a state-of-the-art home for all of USC Marshall’s international business programs.

The Marshall School currently operates 15 international programs for undergraduate and graduate students, which include the innovative World Bachelor in Business degree program. Bringing these diverse initiatives together in one location will foster dynamic collaborations and inspire novel approaches and perspectives in teaching and research.

The building will be reconfigured with offices, classrooms, research centers and gathering areas that will encourage dialogue among students, faculty and guest lecturers. It will feature cutting-edge tools and digital technology, which will support distance learning and global communication.

“Education and the development of a cultural sixth sense are the keys to commerce, and commerce is the key to tolerance and understanding. As an alumnus, I feel privileged to supply stewardship for the bricks, while Marshall, its dean, administration and faculty supply the intellectual mortar,” says Barrack, the founder, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC, one of the world’s largest private equity real estate firms.

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Barrack grew up working in his parents’ grocery store in Los Angeles. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from USC in 1969, he later attended the USC Gould School of Law and earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1972.

“I am thrilled to be part of this exciting venture at Marshall and hope that the resources provided by the enhanced facility will help nurture the next generations of international business leaders,” Barrack says.

This gift provides a significant boost for Marshall’s $400 million fundraising initiative, which has already raised more than $200 million. Marshall’s fundraising drive is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university’s mission of academic excellence and to support research and scholarship that will address society’s most pressing challenges. Three years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $3 billion—an unprecedented achievement in higher education.

“A building stands as an enduring marker of the passion, generosity and vision of the person whose name it carries,” USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis says. “Barrack Hall is a fitting tribute to Tom, who has left an indelible impression on this university and on the global business community. We could not be prouder or more grateful for his support.”

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Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Pennsylvania Wharton Essay  [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Pennsylvania Wharton Essay Tips
This year Wharton has streamlined the essay questions even further and asks only one required question for new applicants to the program. If you are a reapplicant there is an additional required question. The Wharton optional question is entirely open ended. This is a good opportunity to explain anything that may be unclear from your transcripts, recommendations, or resume. It could also be a place to discuss anything interesting about your personal background that you did not cover in the required question.

Required Question: What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

The career goals essay is a standard MBA prompt. Wharton has traditionally kept the career goals question focused entirely on professional goals, but this year expands this essay question to also include your personal goals for the MBA. This is certainly about fit with Wharton and to gauge more about your personality and potential success in the program.

Be careful to answer the specific question in this career goals essay. Notice that you are not asked about your professional background or your key accomplishments. To answer the question asked, you will want to focus mainly on the future and what you are planning to pursue with your MBA degree. At the same time, there is certainly room to add color by using your background information where it is most relevant to your goals. Think about the key moments of your professional life that crystallized your goals for you, and focus on illuminating those decision points rather than reciting your entire resume.

Wharton has asked a specific question about the Wharton culture in the last several years. Just because this question is missing does not mean you will get away without doing your research! Understanding exactly how you fit in will help you describe what Wharton will do for you, as well as navigate interviews and other interactions with the Wharton admissions committee. Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay such as Wharton faculty you would like to study with or unique educational opportunities at Wharton.

When you address your personal goals for the MBA make sure you are making the case for Wharton specifically. Consider what living in Philadelphia might be like, the many clubs and student activities, and leadership development opportunities like traveling to Antarctica with your classmates that may address some of your personal life goals.

Reapplicant Essay: All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete the Optional Essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). You may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

All reapplicants are required to provide information that supports your renewed candidacy. The most successful version of the reapplicant essay will provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes as especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

A rejection or waitlist last year is a form of feedback, and may have led to soul searching for you. When you describe your changes make sure reflect your ability to take feedback and improve. Describe how you approached the reapplication process after assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and making the appropriate efforts to improve.

Optional Essay: Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

If you think that your application materials and the required essay are enough to provide a complete picture of your candidacy you may want to forgo this essay. There is no need to submit additional material just to submit something – consider whether the admissions committee will appreciate the information or think you are wasting their time.

If you do choose to answer this question note that the essay can be used for any topic that you would like. If there is something about your personal background you did not cover in the required essay and it is relevant and useful for your application, this is the place to cover it. Perhaps you didn’t have room in the required essay to describe an important accomplishment or to tell a story about your life that is relevant to your pursuit of an MBA. Anything that you think will be an asset to your application is fair game as a topic for this essay.

This is also a potential place to address any areas of concern in your application. If you have a low GPA or GMAT, gaps in your resume, disciplinary action in undergrad or anything else that you want to explain, this is where you would provide a brief explanation and any supporting evidence to show you have moved past the setback.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has over a decade of experience assisting candidates to achieve their Wharton MBA dreams. We offer customized advice, including specific preparation for the Wharton group interview, to give you a competitive edge. Contact usto learn more.

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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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MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2014, 13:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions
MIT Sloan School of Management has posted the essay questions for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. The second essay is a stylistic departure from previous years and should produce some really interesting results.

The two required and one optional essay are:

Essay 1
The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and generate ideas that advance management practice.  Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities.   (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

Essay 2
Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself.  Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words or fewer)

• How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
• How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
• Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.
• Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
• Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?
• Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

Optional Essay
The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

For more information, please visit MIT Sloan’s admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

MIT Sloan Launches Alumni-Student Mentoring Program

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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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Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2014, 13:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt
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Once again, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business asks just one essay question of applicants during the 2014-2015 MBA admissions cycle.

Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience?
(500 words maximum)

While the 2014-15 Darden MBA application is not yet live, the school encourages applicants to get a head start on writing the essay. Stay tuned for application deadlines and other admissions news, which we’ll share here as it becomes available.

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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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UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Essays [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Essays
The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley has announced the essay questionsthat are part of the fall 2015 MBA application.

The three required essays are:
  • Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400-500 word maximum)
  • What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200-300 word maximum)
  • What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c.
    a. How is your background compelling to this company?
    b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?
    c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company?
    (500-600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)
Optional Essays:

  • Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)
  • If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)
 

The fall 2015 application will be available in August. For more information, please visit the UC Berkeley Haas admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

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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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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Applying to business school, especially to the most elite MBA programs, is a highly stressful undertaking. You must dedicate an enormous amount of time to studying for the GMAT or GRE, go through numerous essay drafts to ensure you have presented your unique story in an engaging way and skillfully manage your recommenders in order to lock in rousing endorsements of your candidacy.

Successfully balancing all of these components is challenging and will often shake the confidence of even the strongest MBA candidates. I’d like to share some of the tips and strategies that I suggest to clients when they find themselves running out of steam during the application process.

Fear is the primary reason applicants lose the energy to continue. Self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination and generally feeling overwhelmed by this process are often the roadblocks to success.

If they knew without a doubt that they were going to get in to the b-school of their dreams, they would just run with it and get their applications done. But applicants become paralyzed by uncertainty and the fear that they aren’t doing it right. The goal then is to move through the fear and get focused.

The most important tip is to set a goal to do something every single day. When considered all together, the MBA application is daunting. But if you can break the process down into small, manageable tasks and focus on achieving them, it becomes much easier.

There’s a secret to productivity widely attributed to Jerry Seinfeld, one of my favorite comedians. The advice goes something like this:

1. Buy a big wall calendar and a magic marker.
2. Each day that you accomplish your task – such as writing jokes – put an X over the day.
3. After a few days you create a chain of X’s, and you will be inspired to keep the chain alive.
4. Don’t break the chain!

Slow and steady is a much better way to go, so make a goal to get your work done in some form every day. This consistency goes a long way toward reducing the anxiety that procrastination causes.

You may still have days of marathon essay-writing sessions, and that’s OK. But if you’re coming off a huge project at work, or find yourself working late a few days in a row, don’t fall into the temptation of rewarding yourself with a night off.

Instead, force yourself to do something productive for your application, even if it’s as simple as spending a half-hour before bed brainstorming, outlining or revising your resume. That steady pace is what’s going to help you be most effective in keeping up that momentum.

Applying to too many schools is another common cause of anxiety for b-school hopefuls. There are diminishing returns in terms of quality of applications, and you can run out of steam. Four to six schools is about right.

I also advise applicants to minimize their time on business school forums and websites, where they often run into an information overload and panicked or misinformed people who tend to feed on each other’s nervousness.

It may be tempting to check out these groups on a regular basis, but in the end time spent in this way is basically another form of procrastination and does very little to increase your knowledge of the school you hope to get into. Just keep your head down and keep the focus on making your application the best it can be.

When you do become burned out working on one application component, don’t throw up your hands and reach for the TV remote or head over to Facebook. If your energy flags when working on MBA essays, take a day to work on data forms or prepare your recommenders. The key is to switch to other tasks until you get your mojo back. Don’t let fatigue cause you to lose steam!

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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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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Tuesday Tips: Tuck at Dartmouth MBA Essay Tips [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2014, 11:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Tuck at Dartmouth MBA Essay Tips
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has a small student body and a rural location, combined with world-class faculty and academic focus. As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important to consistently show how you will fit into the school values of leadership, teamwork and collaboration and bring your own unique qualities and experiences to the community.

Before you begin the essays think about the areas you want to communicate to the Tuck Business School admissions committee. As you consider each topic be sure to provide specific examples to illustrate your unique qualities. Real life experiences are your best evidence of leadership qualities, teamwork skills and management potential.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful Tuck applicants for over a decade, contact us to learn more about the customized assistance we can provide for your application.

Essay 1
Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?

This standard career goals question requires you to clearly outline your short- and long-term career goals. Your short-term goals are the aspirations you have for your job immediately after graduation, while your long-term goals may be 10 or 20 years after you complete your MBA. In this relatively short essay you will need to explain what you have been pursuing in your career thus far, and why you need an MBA at this point in your life, along with your career goals.

“Why Tuck Business School” is an important aspect to this essay, and your opportunity to demonstrate fit. Make sure you have researched the school’s programs and determined your education will suit your plans. By reaching out to current students and alumni you will gain crucial insights that will provide a personal perspective on the culture of the school.

Essay 2
Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

As you consider topics for this essay consider the situations that may have revealed your own strengths and weaknesses with clarity. Think back to Tuck Business School’s criteria, and consider using this essay to either demonstrate your interpersonal leadership skills or to show something from your background or experience that is unique. Think about the leadership opportunities that led to a deeper understanding of yourself and others, and may have resulted in definition of your strengths or an improvement in your weaknesses. The example you choose can be from work or community involvement, as “great leadership can be accomplished in the pursuit or business and societal goals.”

One aspect to consider as you draft this essay is that the Tuck School of Business definition of leadership is inherently collaborative. Team based experiences may be preferable, and as you describe your leadership experience, make sure you explain how you were able to inspire and enable others to accomplish as well.

Essay 3

Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

This is your opportunity to discuss any perceived weaknesses in your application such as low GPA or gaps in your work experience. When approaching a question of this nature, focus on explanations rather than excuses and explain what you have done since the event you are explaining to demonstrate your academic ability or management potential.

You could potentially use this space to add something new that was not covered in the previous essays or in the application, resume or recommendations, however use your judgment about the topics as Tuck asks that you only complete this question if you “feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.”

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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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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 Deadlines [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2014, 11:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 Deadlines
The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has posted the MBA application deadlines for the upcoming admissions season.

Early Action Round
Deadline: October 17, 2014
Notification: December 15, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: December 12, 2014
Notification: February 2, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: January 16, 2015
Notification: March 16, 2015

Round 4
Deadline: March 13, 2015
Notification: April 27, 2015

Because of heavy demand and Kenan-Flagler’s small class size, early application is strongly recommended. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. For more information, please visit Kenan-Flagler’s admissions website.

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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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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Duke Fuqua 2014-2015 Application Deadlines [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2014, 09:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Duke Fuqua 2014-2015 Application Deadlines
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Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has announced the application deadlines for the upcoming MBA admissions cycle.

Early Action
Deadline: September 17, 2014

Notification: October 29, 2014

Round 1
Deadline: October 20, 2014

Notification: December 19, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 5, 2015

Notification: March 13, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: March 19, 2015

Notification: May 6, 2015

For more information, please visit the Duke/Fuqua admissions website.

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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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Leopold Gives Insight Into HBS Admissions Process [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2014, 09:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Leopold Gives Insight Into HBS Admissions Process
Any applicant looking for insight into the admissions process at Harvard Business School must read Poets & Quants in-depth interview with admissions director Dee Leopold. The world of MBA admissions has changed dramatically in the 35 years she’s been at it, and applicants will appreciate the history and perspective Leopold brings to her position.

For the second year, HBS is asking just one essay question—still optional—and Leopold explains the reasons behind the decision to cut the number of essays, and reveals just how many applicants submitted an application without an accompanying essay.

If you’re curious about how the admissions committee makes their decisions, what types of candidates have stood out in the newest class, whether there’s a GMAT or GRE preference, and more, click on over to P&Q for the whole scoop!

You may also be interested in:

Harvard Business School 2014-2015 MBA Essay Tips

What My MBA at Harvard Did NOT Teach Me

 

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Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Deadlines [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2014, 21:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Deadlines
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season.

Round One
Deadline: October 10, 2014

Decision: December 17, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 7, 2015

Decision: March 25, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: April 1, 2015

Decision: May 6, 2015

The MBA application will be available in mid-August. For more information, please visit the Darden School of Business admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt

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Duke Fuqua 2014-2015 Essay Topics [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Duke Fuqua 2014-2015 Essay Topics
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has announced the essay questions for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions cycle.

Required Short Answer Questions
Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

  • What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?

  • What are your long-term goals?

  • Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

First Required Essay
Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.


  • The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

    In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Second Required Essay (choose 1 of 2)
Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.


  • When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.


  • The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

    • Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.

    • Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.

    • Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.

    • Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.

    • Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.

    • Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.

Optional Essay
If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).

  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.

  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.

  • Limit your response to two pages.

The new application, for the class starting in 2015, will be available in mid-July.

You may also be interested in:
Duke Fuqua 2014-2015 Application Deadlines

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Tuesday Tips: Columbia Business School MBA Essay Tips [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Columbia Business School MBA Essay Tips
Columbia’supdated essay questions are consistent with last year, with a new video about Columbia and New York City as a defining feature. As usual, Columbia is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to make sure you have done as much school research as possible.

Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)

This is a simple question, but may require you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. Columbia presents several examples on their website, all of which have some unique aspect. Rather than a generic statement like: “I plan to work in finance after Columbia” the goal is to infuse some individuality. Something like: “After my MBA I plan to pursue a career in real estate finance within a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals.

Essay 1: Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)

Remember that this essay has two purposes: demonstrate that you know why you are interested in Columbia, and showcase why you are an excellent fit for the program. Both goals should be kept in mind as you answer the question.

Columbia has traditionally asked a similar question to determine why you are pursuing an MBA and why Columbia is the right program for you. It is likely that part of your answer to this question deals with your future career goals. When you think about your future plans it will add credibility to describe how you tend to approach goals in general. Are you determined despite obstacles? How have you demonstrated your persistence in your career thus far? This essay is not a recitation of your resume and should focus only on relevant examples from your career, but often the best indicator of future performance is the past, and therefore examples can support your position that your goals are achievable with a Columbia MBA.

The question is open ended enough to allow you to describe other details about your background. If you have a unique path to the MBA this is the place to describe it. If your cultural or family background is interesting and relevant to your application examples featuring details about your experiences could also be appropriate in response to this question.

Essay 2: Please view the video below: The Center

How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)


The video Columbia asks applicants to watch can give you a few clues about the selling points that Columbia Business School sees in their New York City location. Leading edge research, access to heads of companies, and the major industries of New York City are all mentioned in the video. Watch carefully and determine what resonates most for you.

As you decide how to approach this question make sure that your individual goals for learning and career are impacting how you answer. You should consider the industry you plan to enter, and either the key adjunct professors from that industry at Columbia or the access to major companies from that industry in New York City. Consider your personal interests and how you might pursue them in the diversity of such an international city, and also the ways that Columbia’s alumni network can provide opportunities within the metropolitan area.

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions.

Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

If you did not cover anything personal in the prior two essays this is your opportunity to stand out from the pack of other applicants. If you are stumped by this essay prompt you may want to ask friends, family members or colleagues what they view as an interesting and unique fact about you.

Once you have ideas about how to approach this question make sure that you are describing something about yourself that will be interesting both to your peers and to the admissions committee. Facts about your prior work experience, any international experiences or travel, or extracurriculars that are a strong passion for you are all both potentially interesting to the people in your Cluster and the Columbia Business School admissions committee.

[b]Optional Essay: An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.[/b]

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue. For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since.

If you do not have a weakness to address here, it’s an ideal opportunity to provide any information that you were unable to work into the other three essays. If you have an unusual background, hobby or extracurricular experience, this may be an opportunity to showcase your unique profile.

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UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 Essay Topics [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 Essay Topics
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The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has announced the two required essays and two optional essay questions for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions cycle.

  • Essay One (Required)
    Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. (500 words maximum)
  • Essay Two (Required)
    What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)
  • Essay Three (Optional)
    If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)
  • Essay Four (Optional)
    Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)
The application for August 2015 entry will be available soon. For more information, please visit the UNC Kenan-Flagler admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
UNC Kenan-Flagler 2014-2015 Deadlines

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Score Preview Added to GMAT [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2014, 14:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Score Preview Added to GMAT
Prospective business students taking the GMAT exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council has announced.

The score reporting feature is available to all test takers and will take effect at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam beginning on Friday, June 27, 2014.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president of product management. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”

Test takers are given the option of reporting or canceling their scores immediately after taking the test and before leaving the test center.

Under the new process, test takers will see their unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them. If they do not make a choice, their scores will be canceled.

In addition, test takers who decide to cancel their scores at the test center will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.

If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, says Sarathy, they would be:

  • Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.
  • Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.
Analytical Writing Assessment scores are unaffected by the change. They are not included on unofficial score reports available immediately but are reported on official score reports delivered within 20 days.

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Who Thinks Up Those MBA Essay Questions? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2014, 12:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Who Thinks Up Those MBA Essay Questions?
With so many elite schools either reducing the number of required essays in recent years, or getting really creative with their prompts—anyone remember Berkeley Haas‘s “If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why?”—many applicants probably wonder just how the admissions team comes up with its MBA essay prompts each year.

BusinessWeek attempts to quench the curiosity of inquiring minds with its story on how MBA essay questions get written.

For example, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University asks applicants to share a list of “25 Random Things” about themselves,  so that candidates get away from the tendency to overly manufacture what they think AdCom wants to hear, says Liz Riley Hargrove, associate dean for admissions at the Duke MBA program.

Coming up with 25 random things to list in this essay may seem daunting at first, but this creative exercise is certainly an opportunity to follow the admissions committee’s advice to share what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

MIT Sloan School of Management meanwhile is throwing applicants for a loop this year by asking candidates to write an essay in the form of a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of themselves. While this is something applicants are often tempted to do, Rod Garcia, senior director of admissions at Sloan, says the idea clicked when admissions staff members had to write their own annual reviews.

For the second year, Kellogg School of Management asks applicants to record a video essay, where applicants get two questions that they may take 20 seconds to think over and one minute to answer. Kate Smith, assistant dean of Kellogg’s admissions and financial aid office, tells BusinessWeek that although participants are often nervous on video, this is “a skill that students are going to need to have in the globally complex landscape of business.”

You can learn more about where business schools find the inspiration to generate ever more interesting, illuminating glimpses into the real lives of MBA applicants by following the link above back to the original article.

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Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz
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Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. In this edition, Buzz bloggers share their school selection criteria, essay issues, and a sample daily work schedule that may inspire others to get their application strategy organized.

An applicant’s daily scheduleGrant Me Admission lays out his inspirational (and grueling) daily schedule and shows how he works on various elements of the MBA application throughout the day in order to stay focused. Also, check out his post on how advice from others will shape his MBA application strategy.

Why Anderson?—In this latest installment, MBA Reapplicant shares more reasons why UCLA Anderson School of Management is the right place to begin the next phase of one’s career. Geographic location is a primary reason, but the diversity of backgrounds represented at Anderson is another strong pull.

 Decisions, decisions—Today we welcome a new (re-) applicant blogger, Top Dog MBA, who shares some of his options depending on which schools offer him a place, and during which round. His conclusion? Reapply to INSEAD, MIT Sloan and Wharton in Round 1 and let the momentum and results of those decisions inform his R2 strategy.

Nailing the essays—We’re featuring another new applicant blogger this week: a Nigerian woman interested in pursuing an MBA in the United States. Naija applied to Chicago Booth last year and believes some errors in her submission thwarted her efforts. This year, she plans to strategize better and seek feedback from additional readers to ensure a flawless application this time around.

A little inspiration—If you’ve got a spare 17 minutes, Ellipser suggests you spend them watching this b-school graduation speech from Harvard Business School that has gone viral.

Do you have an MBA-centric blog? Want it featured in an upcoming B-School Buzz post? If so, email me at buzz@StacyBlackman.com.

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The Most LGBT Friendly B-Schools [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Most LGBT Friendly B-Schools
Friendfactor, the LGBT rights organization for straight friends founded in 2009, has announced the results of its second MBA Ally Challenge, a friendly competition among business schools to build as many impactful ally initiatives as they can over the course of the school year.

The MBA Ally Challenge ranks schools’ efforts on three criteria: the number of students who participate, the number of activities with an ally-specific component they execute, and their results on a survey that measures LGBT awareness and the inclusiveness of campus culture.

Columbia Business School took first place; Kellogg School of Management came in second; and Michigan Ross School of Business ranked third. The Darden School of Business received the Most Improved Award.

The 12 participating schools engaged over 4,300 students through more than 100 ally-focused activities throughout the school year. All schools appear among Businessweek’s top 20 U.S. MBA programs, and include—in order of final ranking—MIT Sloan, UCLA Anderson, Duke Fuqua, Chicago Booth, UVA Darden, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, Harvard Business School, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Dartmouth Tuck.

Friendfactor reports that the schools improved the LGBT-friendliness of campus culture such that nearly 50% more LGBT students felt comfortable being out to everyone on campus by the end of the school year – an increase from 42% to 62%.

As of June 2014, 23 business schools are pre-registered to compete in the 2014-2015 MBA Ally Challenge, which will kick off in August 2014. The participants and winners of this year’s MBA Ally Challenge will be honored, alongside the winners of Friendfactor’s new Workplace Ally Challenge, at the first annual Ally Challenge Awards Dinner on July 26th in San Francisco.

You may also be interested in:
Embrace LGBT Identity in Business School Applications

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How B-School Students Can Choose an MBA Concentration [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How B-School Students Can Choose an MBA Concentration
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
The MBA degree is general by nature, as it’s designed to train students for careers managing any area of business. Students typically spend the first year of business school studying a core set of courses that provide a strong foundation in accounting, finance, statistics, marketing, management, leadership and more. This ensures all graduates walk away with the same comprehensive knowledge.

Offering concentrations where students can hone their skills according to their career interests is a relatively new and popular concept at many business schools. The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, a top-ranked MBA program in general management, introduced optional concentrations to the curriculum for the first time in 2010.

Adding a concentration to an MBA is a good move for people who know exactly what they want to do with their career and who want to build a stronger skill base in that area.

You don’t have to specialize your MBA degree, but it is highly recommended for those looking to land a job or internship in a specific industry, as recruiters want to see demonstrated focus on a particular field or functional area. In today’s competitive job market, listing a concentration on your resume helps you stand out from the crowd and shows a keen interest in that specialization, which you’ll ideally also bolster through your internship or other extracurricular activities.

The only case where a concentration may not be necessary is if you already have extensive work experience or another degree in the area you plan to pursue after graduating business school.

While it sounds like selecting a concentration is like having a major, it differs in that students typically choose more than one area in which to focus. In fact, Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business notes that most of its students pursue three or four concentrations as part of the Tepper MBA program.

To determine which areas you’ll want to concentrate on, first do a bit of self-reflection to help you understand your interests and skills. Think about what aspects you enjoyed or disliked most in your previous jobs or internships; what kind of work environment you’ll thrive in; how your career will fit in with other aspects of your personal life; and be honest about how important salary is in your decision-making process.

Once you’ve settled on a few areas of interest, align your school selections with those post-MBA goals. There are so many unique concentrations these days that go beyond the traditional accounting, finance, management and marketing tracks.

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, look at programs offered at Stanford GSB, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Babson College or MIT Sloan School of Management’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track, which is unique because its classes commingle scientists and engineers to maximize the intellectual experience.

If finance is your thing, you probably already know that the Chicago Booth School of Business, NYU Stern School of Business and Wharton are powerhouses in this area.

Students planning to pursue a career in information technology should take a look at the concentrations available at Tepper, MIT Sloan and Cornell University’s Johnson School.

Professionals interested in the energy sector can check out the energy and environment concentration at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and the energy finance concentration at the University of Texas—Austin’s McCombs School of Business. In short, there’s a specialization for everyone.

Even if you’re not completely certain of your post-MBA career plans, you’re bound to find multiple areas of interest that will round out your general management education. However, if you travel down one path during your first year but your summer internship experience convinces you that you need to change course and focus on another function or industry altogether, don’t fret. You still have a whole second year to redirect your energies and find the right concentration for you.

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