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2014-2015 Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 2014-2015 Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School
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Cornell University’s Johnson School has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season.

Round 1
Deadline: October 1, 2014
Notification: December 17, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 7, 2015
Notification: March 25, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: March 11, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

Applications need to be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. For more information, please visit the Johnson School’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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UCLA Anderson School Goes Private [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UCLA Anderson School Goes Private
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Following years of debate, the full-time MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management will transition from state-supported to self-supporting status, Inside Higher Ed has reported. This change means the MBA program will forgo state subsidies in exchange for less regulation from the top and the ability to set its own tuition rates.

The shift may not be as dramatic as it sounds, given the fact that the state only funded about 18 percent of the business school’s operations. Going forward, the Anderson School will now have to pay UCLA for maintenance and overhead expenses.

Long-term trends in the California budget forecast a high likelihood of decline in state support for higher education. Jami Jesek, the senior associate dean of finance and operations at the Anderson School, told Inside Higher Ed, “UCLA Anderson proposed this plan to avoid any additional cuts in state funding while increasing predictability in setting fee levels and flexibility to faculty assignments.”

UCLA Anderson will now have greater control in hiring faculty and determining salary levels. Fees for the full-time MBA program will inevitably increase with this change, but a memorandum of understanding signed by UCLA Anderson dean Judy Olian asserts that the program will ensure that financial aid offerings remain at levels “at least commensurate with current levels.”

Jesek, meanwhile, told Inside Higher Ed, “We intend to increase, not decrease, financial aid in the coming years and are, in fact, making it a primary goal of our five-year Centennial [fund-raising] Campaign.”

Chicago Booth School of Business dean Sunil Kumar, an outside reviewer of the transition, predicted that an increase in private donations would allow UCLA to provide even more merit and need-based scholarships. “In my assessment there is very little doubt that on both quality and on access the Anderson School will be significantly better off under self-supporting status than it has been under state funding.”

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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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Tuesday Tips: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Essay  [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 09:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Essay Tips
The set of essays for admission to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business covers a variety of topics – from the personal to professional. In approaching these varied questions it will be important to remain focused on what you want to communicate to the admissions committee.

A clear understanding of your application strategy, particularly your career goals and strengths/weaknesses, is the key to putting together a cohesive application. While challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate several different aspects of your personality to the admissions committee.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA program for over a decade, contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

Essay 1
Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400-500 word maximum)

Berkeley Haas leads this set of essay questions with a highly personal topic. It also sounds incredibly lofty, and may be intimidating if you wonder whether you have had a transformative experience in your life. One way to approach this is to think through transitions. Perhaps the transition from high school to college was meaningful for you. Traveling for the first time outside your home country may have been another transition. Transitioning from University to the work place could have exposed you to new people and a new lifestyle. If none of those transitions lead to a topic for this essay you can delve into the smaller incidents in your life. A friendship, family experience or trip could have opened your eyes to something new and changed your approach.

Once you have selected a topic for this essay you will need to explain how you were transformed. What was your attitude like before the experience and what are you like now? Was the transformation internal or did you change how you approached other people? It’s likely you learned something from this transformation and explaining your lessons learned is always a strong finish to an MBA essay.

Essay 2
What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200-300 word maximum)

This year Berkeley Haas asks for a professional accomplishment specifically. Though no timeframe is specified most similar MBA essays like to see an experience from your fairly recent professional past.
Your accomplishment can be big or small, but it should be significant to you. Explain what the accomplishment meant from a big picture perspective. Was it the first time you demonstrated a valued skill? Did you learn a key lesson about your industry or work? How have you used what you learned since?

While you have limited space, this is an opportunity to demonstrate what matters to you and to showcase one of your proudest moments. While you are asked only about the accomplishment, the best essays will use this limited space to demonstrate clearly what the accomplishment was (be specific!) as well as commenting upon the significance of the accomplishment.

Essay 3
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)


This is a fairly typical career goals essay that asks for both short- and long-term goals and the background that led you to this juncture in your career. The unique aspect of this question is the request for a specific company or organization you would prefer to work for. Thinking of a specific company or organization helps you to focus this essay. As the follow up questions request, you will need to tailor everything you discuss to this specific opportunity.
Researching your target company or organization will help you craft the strongest essay. Think of it like a job application and interview and take the time to discuss your desired role with friends and contacts who may have advice.

For the question about your background you don’t need to recite your resume here – rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career. Think about the cover letter you would write to obtain your desired position at this company and tailor your approach accordingly.
Your company research will pay off in the second part of the question, “what is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?” This question really is aimed towards your future career identity, which will combine your current experience with your MBA. What will be unique about you after you graduate from Haas? For example, perhaps you have a creative marketing job now and will add the quantitative rigor of an MBA program to your skillset making you the perfect combination of creative and analytical for your future position.

Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps. If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management. Other goals will require specific skills gained from an MBA and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience. Make sure you have determined exactly what courses make sense for your career goals and the programs and clubs that you will participate in to reach your personal and professional goals. Thorough school research will be invaluable in approaching this question.

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)

This question is entirely open ended, so you can either use it to explain anything you need to in your application, or add another aspect to your overall profile. If you need to explain something in your application like a low GPA or a recommender that is not your current supervisor, keep the explanation brief and factual. Focus on explanations, not excuses. If you felt that there are stories in your work, extracurricular, or personal profile that you did not have the opportunity to express in the prior essays, this is an opportunity to add that information.

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)

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, this may not be a necessary essay. Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data. As the question specifically asks you not to focus on the grades on your transcript, use this space to describe projects at work, additional post-graduate coursework, or your plans to strengthen your quant skills before you enroll at Haas.

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Oxford MBA 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essays [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 14:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Oxford MBA 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essays
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University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School has announced the deadlines and essay questions for the MBA class entering in Fall 2015.

Stage 1
Deadline: September 15, 2014
Decision: October 17, 2014

Stage 2
Deadline: October 31, 2014
Decision: December 5, 2014

Stage 3
Deadline: January 9, 2015
Decision: February 27, 2015

Stage 4
Deadline: March 13, 2015
Decision: April 24, 2015

Stage 5
Deadline: April 24, 2015
Decision: May 29, 2015

Stage 6
Deadline: May 29, 2015
Decision: June 26, 2015

Applicants should note that Saïd reserves the right to close admissions to the MBA program after Stage 4 should all the places in the program be filled before that time. If you plan to apply after the March deadline, be sure to check the Oxford MBA website regularly to ensure the program is still open for admission.

Essay Questions

  • What should Oxford expect from you? (Maximum 500 words)
  • How do you hope to see your career developing over the next five years? How will the MBA and Oxford assist you in the development of these ambitions? (Maximum 500 words)
  • Plus your preferred essay from the options below:
  • Sport is pure competition. What does it teach us about companies, individuals, and markets? (Maximum 500 words) OR
  • The business of business is business. Is this true? (Maximum 500 words)
If you are applying under the 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

  •  Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your careers and personal development aims (Maximum 250 words)
Re-applicants will need to complete the essays mentioned above and another essay on the topic:

  • What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)
***
For more information on applying for the Oxford MBA, please visit the Saïd Business School’s admissions website.

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MBA Trends at Harvard Business School and Beyond [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Trends at Harvard Business School and Beyond
The shift to fewer and shorter MBA essays has taken hold across the elite business schools of the United States, and the Wall Street Journal published two interesting articles yesterday exploring the changes afoot at MBA programs this season.

In Adam Rubenfire‘s article, Want to Get Into Business School? Write Less, Talk More, the author shares a table showing how the Harvard Business School application has changed since the 2004-2005 season.

Ten years ago, HBS required six essays for a combined word total of 2,600 words. Applicants for the Class of 2012 had to write four essays totaling 2,000 words. And last year’s applicants, as many know, faced just one essay—optional at that—with no word limit. Ditto for the Class of 2017 applicants.

Admissions officers at schools that have scaled down the essays say they’ve done so to avoid the cookie-cutter approach adopted by so many applicants each year. At Michigan Ross School of Business, admissions director Soojin Kwon tells the WSJ that “applicants increasingly tell us what they think we want to hear,” so now they need to write just two short essays totaling 800 words.

Sara Neher, assistant dean for MBA admissions at UV Darden School of Business, explains the move to a single essay three years ago came about after she discovered “applicants were writing one essay specifically for Darden and then recycling essays from their applications to other schools.”

Moving away from the topic of essays for a moment,  Melissa Korn offers a preview of Harvard Business School’s “sassy” new tone in this season’s application, where a laid-back, conversational approach is designed to retain the attention of Millennial applicants whose eyes glaze over while reading instructions from so many programs.

Director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold tells the WSJ her office receives lots of questions that are already answered in the application, so “this new, friendlier wording is also intended to engage applicants so that they actually read, and follow, directions.”

Korn points out that Harvard Business School recently came in second-to-last among elite schools in an applicant  survey questioning how well each institution got to know them through the admissions process. Perhaps this new, chattier HBS admissions will leave b-school hopefuls feeling warm and fuzzy…and remind them they’re dealing with actual human beings behind the AdCom desk.

“Why be stuffy and formal if we don’t have to?” says Leopold. Why indeed!

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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 Tour Kicks Off Soon [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2014, 12:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Tour Kicks Off Soon
If you’re considering pursuing an MBA degree, attending an MBA fair is a great place to start. The MBA Tour is hosting 9 events across the US this July, starting in Chicago on July 16.

Collect Information and Easily Compare Programs
MBA Panel Presentations cover valuable business school admissions topics and answer a wide range of MBA applicant questions. The panels are hosted by professionals with expertise spanning several topics, including: Preparing Your MBA Application, Financing Your MBA, and GMAT Strategy.

School Presentations highlight unique program features in a 30-minute session given by admission representatives. These presentations are ideal for candidates to learn detailed information, compare different programs, and prepare for speaking with representatives during the MeetUp Sessions or MBA Fair.

1:1 Interaction with Admissions Representatives
MeetUp Sessions provide an opportunity for candidates to meet one on one and in small groups with admission directors and alumni from various programs. Meeting in-person allows candidates to make a personal connection with their top-choice schools and enhances the overall MBA application process by keeping lines of communication open with admission representatives.

MBA Fair The fair is an open floor forum to facilitate interaction between students and representatives, where personal and specific questions are encouraged and answered. Candidates can make a great impression on school reps and learn more about how a program appeals to individual needs.

What are the benefits of attending an MBA Tour conference? Hear from students who have attended:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Coming to a city near you in July 2014:
Chicago July 16, 2014

Washington DC July 21, 2014

Boston July 22, 2014

Atlanta July 24, 2014

San Francisco July 26, 2014

Los Angeles July 27, 2014

Houston July 29, 2014

Some of the participating business schools include:

Babson College, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Emory University, Georgetown University, IE Business School, IESE Business School, Indian School of Business, Indiana University, INSEAD, MIT Sloan, Northwestern University – Kellogg, The University of Texas at Austin, University of California Los Angeles, University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, and many more.

Attendees should note that not all business schools listed participate in every event. Check website for full school lists.

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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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Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Virginia Darden School of B [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2014, 11:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Virginia Darden School of Business MBA essay tips
While writing only 500 words for your University of Virginia Darden School of Business application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions committee in less space. Writing a compelling essay with such limited space is actually quite challenging and requires you to focus only on the most important aspects you need to communicate.

Leadership is a crucial attribute for successful Darden MBA applicants. Personal qualities are also particularly important for a close knit community like Darden School of Business. Darden, similar to HBS, is devoted to the case method of teaching business subjects. Learn more about the school by visiting the Darden website, attending events and speaking with current students and alumni.

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

In this question Darden is seeking to understand how you view courageous decisions and to demonstrate lessons learned from a specific action or decision. The best use of this essay space will use specific examples to illustrate the courageous decision and the action you took.

Lessons learned are crucial as well, and it will be helpful to be introspective about how you have changed as a result of this situation, and to consider why you viewed it as the most courageous action or decision in your professional life.

Before you start answering the question it may help to brainstorm some of your best professional accomplishment stories. As you think about the areas where you have excelled you may find that many of your accomplishments required courageous decisions or actions. Work backgrounds from the accomplishment to see where the moment arose and what the learning experience was.

Once you have a list of all of the potential experiences to discuss, choose the examples that will also demonstrate some of your personal qualities to the admissions committee. You have your career history submitted in your resume. Your GPA, transcript and GMAT will demonstrate academic ability.

This essay is one of your few opportunities to show how you think, what your leadership approach is, and how you handle teamwork and conflict. Think about the situations that showcased your best performance at work, or that taught you something about your interests or future career goals.

Because you have only one essay question to present yourself, make sure you have a trusted reader to tell you if you are effectively communicating why you are going to be a strong leader who deserves a spot in the UVA Darden MBA class.

Looking for perspective in your approach to your Darden MBA application? Contact us to discuss how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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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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Cornell’s Johnson School Unveils 2014-2015 Essays [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cornell’s Johnson School Unveils 2014-2015 Essays
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Cornell’s Johnson School has announced the essay questions for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. Per Nichole Grossman, assistant director of admissions and financial aid at Johnson, the essay questions this year are as follows:

 Applicants for both the One-Year and Two-Year Ithaca based MBA programs: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 800 characters or less please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.

 1-Year Ithaca applicants only:  How does your pre-MBA experience prepare you for the job that you envision post-MBA? (800 characters)

 2-Year Ithaca applicants only: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (800 characters)

Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech: As the only MBA program not housed in a business school, we know our students will be different. Students will be part of an innovative environment where creativity, technical sophistication, and sharp business sense share seats at the table. We value expressions of who you are and what you add to this formula.

There are three ways to demonstrate how you fit within this dynamic setting. You must select one of the following as part of your application, demonstrating your creativity, style and technical experience:

  • send a link to your work
  • upload a video
  • provide a written sample
Earlier this week, we learned the Johnson School has launched a redesigned application for its Ithaca-based MBA programs. “The revamped form gives applicants the option to share their LinkedIn profiles and allows the business school to track the candidate relationship from the first encounter to post-graduation,” Poets & Quants reveals. Read more of that story here.

You may also be interested in:

2014-2015 MBA Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School

Big Curriculum Changes at Cornell’s Johnson School

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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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Kellogg School of Management 2014-2015 Deadlines [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg School of Management 2014-2015 Deadlines
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has posted the 2014-2015 MBA application deadlines.

Round 1
Deadline: September 24, 2014
Notification: December 17, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 7, 2015
Notification: March 25, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

For additional information, please visit the Kellogg 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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Georgetown MBA 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essay Questions [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown MBA 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essay Questions
The Georgetown MBA program at McDonough School of Business has announced the application essay questions and deadlines for the 2014-2015 admissions season.

Round 1
Deadline: October 10, 2014
Notification: December 20, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 5, 2015
Notification: March 20, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: April 1, 2015
Notification: May 15, 2015

 Essay Questions
Please answer the following essay question in 750 words or less: “Why You?” (Hint: we are looking for an answer that cannot be found from research on our website)

Optional essay one: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Optional essay two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Re-Applicant Essay: (required only for re-applicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

***

You may also be interested in:

$10M Gift Funds Social Impact at Georgetown

 

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Judge Business School 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essays [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Judge Business School 2014-2015 Deadlines, Essays
The University of Cambridge Judge Business School has posted the essay questions and the five rounds of deadlines for entry in September 2015.

Round 1
September 19, 2014

Round 2
October 24, 2014

Round 3
January 9, 2015

Round 4
March 6, 2015

Round 5
May 1, 2015

Essay questions
The following are the main essay questions on the Cambridge MBA application:

  • What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)
  • What are your short and long term career objectives? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them? What do you hope to gain from the degree and how do you feel it will help you achieve the career objectives you have? (please do not exceed 500 words)
  • If you could change one thing about your current organisation, what would you make different? How would you overcome obstacles to this change, and what impact would this change have in the short-term and long-term? (300 words)
For more information, please visit the Cambridge/Judge admissions website.

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Overcome 3 MBA Application Challenges Facing Military Vetera [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Overcome 3 MBA Application Challenges Facing Military Veterans
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
When it comes to some of the key qualities elite business school admissions officers are looking for in MBA applicants – demonstrated leadership and management skills, an ability to motivate and work well in a team and international and cultural awareness – military veterans typically display them in spades.

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Benjamin Faw, HBS MBA ’14

Coming from the armed forces rather than a civilian career path prior to business school can give rise to certain difficulties when drafting an application, however. Let’s take a look at some common areas in the application where veterans face challenges and find out how to mitigate them.

1. Difficulty explaining experiences in civilian terms: Top MBA programs welcome military applicants and offer seats to veterans each year. So while it’s logical to assume the admissions committee is very familiar with the perspective of applicants with a military background, your application essays, resume and interviews need to make sense to a civilian reader.

“Language and terms from the military are often hard to translate into civilian terms, making it hard to communicate what you accomplished and why it matters,” says Ben Faw, an Army combat veteran from West Point who received his MBA from Harvard Business School this spring. “With limited experience in telling their stories to the civilian world, sometimes a veteran will have trouble clearly and succinctly explaining their own personal story.”

To counteract that, military veteran applicants should enlist trusted advisers outside of the military to proofread essays and help translate any military jargon in the MBA resume into plain English. Ask yourself if what you were writing would make sense to a civilian with no military experience.

Weaving stories from the military into your MBA essays is expected and encouraged, particularly where they illustrate leadership accomplishments in a high stress environment, or how you persevered in the face of setbacks. But your essays should also highlight experiences outside of the armed forces, either during college or related to your extracurricular interests.

Veteran applicants often worry about presenting a clear, concise career goal post-MBA, especially if they have little experience in business. This is not as critical as you might think, since many MBA students change industries entirely as they explore the myriad possibilities offered at business school. Begin by clearly articulating why you’re leaving the military, and why an MBA is necessary to achieve that goal.

[Follow these steps to develop a personal brand as an MBA hopeful.]

2. Trouble handling recommenders and interviews: When trying to decide whom to approach for a letter of recommendation, think about people who have encouraged your development as an individual and leader, and, as you prepare to leave the service, ask if they would provide a supportive reference.

I suggest all applicants create a recommender package, which contains instructions on the process, a reminder list of your strengths with on-the-job examples as well as a growth area you’re working on, and a summary of your career goals that the recommender can use as a reference.

While military applicants may feel uncomfortable approaching a senior officer with this level of coaching, leaving matters to fate could result in a lackluster recommendation, especially if the officer doesn’t have a lot of experience writing letters of recommendation. In most cases, your recommenders will appreciate your assistance and thoroughness, and will produce a better recommendation on your behalf.

If you’ve passed that first important hurdle and are invited to interview, congratulations!

Interviewers will usually be very interested in learning about your military experiences, so capitalize on that enthusiasm. Organize your thoughts by jotting down all of your really cool stories. Then, for each one, write a brief summary of what you did, how it made a difference and what you learned from it. Practice mock interviews with family and friends until you feel at ease discussing your military experience in a way everyone will understand.

And remember, it’s okay to talk about your successes in the first person rather than recounting everything as a team victory. This is how you differentiate yourself and reinforce your personal brand.

3. Not knowing how to maximize your resources: The single best resource for applicants coming from the armed forces is the MBA veterans club of the schools you’re considering. Those who have gone before you and succeeded are almost always willing to go above and beyond to share their advice on what has worked for them.

From providing essay and resume tips to offering an authentic view of the veteran experience on campus, these groups are your go-to resource for insight into the school and guidance for your application.

Many schools waive the application fee for U.S. military members and veterans who have served on active duty, and the federal agency Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, known as DANTES, will reimburse the GMAT or GRE General fee for eligible military personnel. Also, pre-MBA candidates can take advantage of boot camps and paid fellowships through MBA Veterans during the summer before their first term.

An MBA is a great next step for transitioning veterans no matter what branch of service they come from. When asked what advice he would offer future applicants, Faw says veterans should know, “There is something special about you, your experience in the military and what you want to do next. Make sure your application reflects those unique aspects that make you who you are. Authenticity is awesome.”

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GMAT Guide Update Includes 6 Months Online Access [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAT Guide Update Includes 6 Months Online Access
The Graduate Management Admission Council, in partnership with Wiley, is making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient. The best-selling Official Guide for GMAT Review series is adding online content, videos and a study tool, allowing b-school applicants to access hundreds of real, retired GMAT questions both in book form and online to customize their own question sets.

“The Official Guide for GMAT Review has been a consistently popular trade publication since the first edition was published in 1978,”says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, product management. “Now, we are making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more flexible, as people can both annotate the book and customize question sets with the new, online component.”

Joan O’Neil, VP and managing director at Wiley, calls the partnership with GMAC ideal, adding “We are excited to see how the new online aspects and tools evolve so we can continue to bring the best content and value to our customers.”

The 2015 series will contain the same content as the Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition, and the Official Guide for Quantitative Review, Second Edition, and the Official Guide for Verbal Review, Second Edition, along with access to exclusive online content including videos and a study tool that allows users to customize practice sets by question format and difficulty level.

“We see our role as giving candidates the best opportunity to perform to the best of their ability on the GMAT exam.  Publishing the Official Guide is part of that mission as the series offers more retired practice questions than any other product on the market. The online enhancements made to the 2015 edition are the first of many improvements, and we plan to update the Guides on an annual basis,” Sarathy says.

The 2015 series is available at bookstores worldwide and at the mba.com/store.

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New Application at Cornell’s Johnson School Adds LinkedIn Fe [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New Application at Cornell’s Johnson School Adds LinkedIn Feature
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The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University recently announced the launch of a new admissions application for its one-year and two-year MBA programs, making it one of the most unique applications in the marketplace.

Featuring a LinkedIn profile option and accessible on any device, the application allows b-school candidates to highlight their qualifications, career aspirations, networking capabilities, and portfolio work.

Prospective students have the option to populate portions of their applications directly from LinkedIn. The LinkedIn platform combined with the power of Salesforce helps Johnson admissions officers have a better understanding of prospects’ experience and talents, and stay closely connected to them throughout the application process.

“The LinkedIn feature gives an applicant the option to describe their experience and background as they would to someone they just met,” says Ann Richards, Johnson at Cornell Interim Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. “This modern platform gives our applicants the chance to provide a personal tagline and meaningful summary, point out skills, explain experience, differentiate from the crowd, and show how they build a network.”

Johnson’s new application for its Ithaca-based programs was inspired by the unique application process for the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program in New York City, which enrolled its first class in May 2014.

The LinkedIn feature and others aspects were designed to solicit thought-provoking content that illustrated students’ originality and expertise. To date, Johnson Cornell Tech MBA applicants have provided Prezi presentations, videos, and mobile applications as submissions, says Christine Sneva, Director of Enrollment and Student Services at Cornell Tech. Sneva led development of the innovative application, which received glowing reviews from the tech-savvy millennials, who used it.

“The application was innovative, especially the creative portion, allowing me to really show who I am and what I’ve done,” says Johnson Cornell Tech MBA student Kate Wright, MBA class of 2015. “Going to the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA campus to interview solidified that this was the program for me and got me excited about what Johnson is doing to disrupt higher education.”

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Oxford Saïd to Launch Newly Redesigned MBA Program [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Oxford Saïd to Launch Newly Redesigned MBA Program
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University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School has announced a major redesign of the one-year Oxford MBA, launching in September 2014, that will provide future leaders with the skills, knowledge, and personal qualities needed to meet the world-scale challenges of the 21st century.

In the redesigned program, learning in the core areas will be enhanced with extended pre-arrival preparation materials and ongoing support courses. A wider range of electives will be offered, including a selection of inter-disciplinary and jointly developed courses that bring in knowledge from the wider Oxford community.

A review process of the MBA program began last year to ensure students were well-equipped for the career challenges that await. “The new Oxford MBA is now an even more powerful, rigorous and innovative programme with a range of exciting and valuable elements from which our students will benefit,” says Professor Peter Tufano, dean of Saïd Business School, who notes that program adjustments are ongoing in order to keep in step with changes in the external business environment.

At the heart of the redesigned MBA are three cross-cutting themes related to the world-scale challenges shaping today’s business environment:

  • the global rules of the game
  • entrepreneurship
  • responsible leadership
These themes are addressed in specific interdisciplinary modules and extend through the other parts of the program from core and elective courses, GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford), to guest speaker sessions and student-run conferences and competitions.

“We believe that future business leaders will be confronted with these complex global issues and firms will require people who have a wide range of skills and abilities to navigate the challenging landscape of global business. Knowledge in these areas is relevant whether you are working in finance or social enterprise, in a big firm or small firm, anywhere in the world,” says MBA Program Director Dana Brown.

Another innovation of the program is the pairing of each student with an executive coach, matched to help them grow in the unique skill-set and career path they’ve chosen. Executive coaching is offered as part of a wider program of talent development initiated during the MBA Launch. Students have free rein to identify a topic for discussion with their coach that is important to them and that will be personally transformative.

Dean Tufano calls this major review an effort to “future-proof” the Oxford MBA. “The business world is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented transformation…This environment needs individuals who can inspire and influence a wide range of stakeholders, and who can demonstrate responsible leadership in the face of complex and often conflicting interests. We wanted to be sure that our MBA will fulfill the needs of today’s students working in this environment.”

You may also be interested in:

Oxford MBA 2014-2015 Application Deadlines and Essay Questions

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What TOEFL Score Do You Need? [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 07:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What TOEFL Score Do You Need?
If you’re an international student applying to business schools in the U.S., you’ve probably asked yourself this question: what TOEFL score do I need to get in? You might have heard that making it to the 100’s will guarantee you admission, but you’ve also had friends who reached that score and were turned down from schools. Confused yet? We’d be too!

But before you give up hope, our friends at Magoosh TOEFL have good news for you! They’ve just released a new infographic that shows what TOEFL scores you’ll need to get into top graduate schools in the United States. It’s based off their research on the minimum scores required at top schools as well as what other students at those schools score on average. That means you now have a place to start and a goal to aim for when you decide to take the TOEFL. Cue sigh of relief!

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Yale SOM 2014-2015 Essay Question [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 14:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Yale SOM 2014-2015 Essay Question
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The 2014-2015 full-time MBA application to Yale School of Management is now live, and here’s a preview of the essay question for the upcoming admissions season.

“The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent.” (500 words maximum)

 Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico explains that the change from two questions last year to a single prompt for the class entering Fall 2015 is an effort to focus on what really matters to the admissions team: finding out how applicants are making an impact in their professional and personal lives.

You may also be interested in:

Yale SOM Introduces Sliding Scale Application Fee

Yale SOM 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

Yale SOM Deepens Commitment to Entrepreneurship

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Yale SOM Introduces Sliding Scale Application Fee [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 14:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Yale SOM Introduces Sliding Scale Application Fee
In an effort to make applying to the Yale School of Management more accessible for lower-income applicants, the program announced it will implement a sliding scale for its MBA application fee.

Most applicants will pay the standard fee of $225, explains Yale SOM Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico, but applicants whose total annual compensation is under $20,000 per year will pay $175, and those earning less than $10,000 will pay $125.

The fee will be based on the compensation information applicants report in their application, which Yale SOM will verify for those who are admitted and enroll, and the offer of admission will be contingent on successful verification.

The move is in step with the SOM’s mission of globalizing business, and DelMonico says, “We see this change as a way of ensuring that the application fee doesn’t become a barrier for those working in lower-wage regions and industries, or who are still in school or very early in their careers.”

You may also be interested in:

Yale SOM MBA Application Deadlines

Yale SOM 2014-2015 Essay Question

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Smith School of Business Boosts Military Outreach [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2014, 05:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Smith School of Business Boosts Military Outreach
Active-duty and veteran students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business now have a dedicated staff member to help them make a smooth transition to the classroom and ultimately end up in their desired careers, the school announced this week.

“We created this role as a concierge service for our military students,” says Alexander Triantis, dean of the Smith School. “We love to have these students in the classroom, companies want them, and we just want to make it as easy for them as possible to navigate the military benefits process and assimilate into our strong community. We want to help them while they are here and help them be successful when they leave.”

In an effort to better serve this steadily growing market, the Washington, D.C.-area school recently appointed Richard Campbell as director of military and veteran affairs.

Campbell will work with admitted MBA students who are prior or current members of the U.S. Armed Services to welcome them to Smith’s strong military community and help them transition to business school and into the workplace. He will work as their personal agent in the corporate arena to help these students land the jobs they want, liaising with companies looking specifically to recruit MBA students with military experience.

Campbell will also guide students through the military’s educational benefits process. As a disabled veteran and Smith MBA graduate himself, Campbell has firsthand experience with the complexities of benefits paperwork and will be able to help students make the best use of their available resources.

He’ll also work with the school’s admissions team to identify outreach opportunities to bring military personnel to the Smith School. With campuses in Washington, D.C., College Park, Baltimore, and Rockville, Md., the Smith School is well situated to serve military students.

Campbell’s priorities include running a school-wide club for military students to strengthen the tight-knit community and provide networking opportunities. He is already heading up a once-a-month meeting of active-duty and veteran students and alumni.

“As a military person, you are really looking for that community and support that you know so well from your service,” he says. “The community aspect is really what students are interested in, and it’s one of the top reasons I landed at Smith as a student myself. My role will ensure that community only gets stronger and that military students achieve their goals while they are here.”

You may also be interested in:

Overcome 3 MBA Application Challenges Facing Military Veterans

Veterans Prized at B-School, Says WSJ

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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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Chicago Booth 2014-2015 Application Deadlines, Essays [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth 2014-2015 Application Deadlines, Essays
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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has announced the deadlines and essay questions for the Fall 2015 application.

Round 1
Deadline: September 25, 2014
Decision Notification: December 18, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 6, 2015
Decision Notification: March 26, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: April 7, 2015
Decision Notification: May 21, 2015

Your application must be submitted by 5 p.m. (CST/Chicago time) on the day of the deadline in order to be considered for a particular application round.

Essays
Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas.  This is us.  Who are you?

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

  • Be reflective. We’ve learned a lot about you throughout the application, but what more should we know?
  • Interpret broadly.  “Who are you?” can be interpreted in many different ways.  We encourage you to think critically and broadly about who you are, and how your values, passions and experiences have influenced you.
  • Determine your own length.  There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length.  We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
  • Choose the format that works for you.  You can design your presentation or compose your essay in the format that you feel best captures your response. However, please consider the specific technical restrictions noted below.   
  • Think about you, not us.  Rather than focusing on what you think we want to hear, focus on what is essential for us to know about you. Simply put, be genuine.
Reapplicant Question: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

The 2014-15 Chicago Booth MBA application will be available in early August 2014.

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