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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2013, 12:44
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Welcome to the Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog feed. Check back or follow this thread to stay up-to-date on the latest MBA articles written by Stacy Blackman Consulting.
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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2013, 13:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 1 News from Harvard Business School
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We’re sure Round 1 applicants to Harvard Business School are practically coming out of their skins waiting for that decision notification email.

According to today’s update on the HBS Admissions Blog, applicants will learn their fates at noon EST Wednesday. An email will direct candidates to their online application, which will have one of these three letters: sorry, waitlist, your in!

“On Wednesday, you get to choose where you’re going to be – and with whom – when the news comes in,” writes director Dee Leopold.

Best of luck to all the R1 applicants out there who are on pins and needles for the next day or so.

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2013, 13:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: No Movement at the Top of Poets & Quants MBA Ranking
This year’s Poets & Quants ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the U.S. proves that the best business schools tend to stay put. There is not a single difference between the top eight MBA programs in our new 2013 composite ranking and the top eight in 2012. What’s more, all top 10 schools remained firmly in the top 10 this year.

The steadiest institution is still Harvard Business School, which took the very first spot for the fourth year in a row. Despite less-than-flattering publicity generated by a New York Times’ front page story on gender inequality at Harvard, an MBA from the school remains the quintessential credential in business.

“No rival beats Harvard in the formidable resources it brings to the game: the outsized number of superstar professors, the diversity of its course offerings, the stellar quality of its students, the size and scope of its campus, and the career achievements of its alumni spread all over the world,” said John A. Byrne, editor-in-chief of Poets & Quants.com.

This year’s entering class at Harvard, moreover, is one of the most impressive ever. Drawing from an applicant pool that was up 3.9% last year to 9,315 hopefuls, Harvard welcomed just 941 incoming MBA students, with the highest percentage of women ever at 41% of the class. The median GMAT score was a hefty 720, while the average undergraduate grade point average for the newest crop of MBA students was an impressive 3.67.

The underlying index scores in the composite ranking are especially close. The scores of No. 1 Harvard, No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Chicago, and No. 4 University of Pennsylvania are fractions away from each other; a mere 0.35 separates No. 1 Harvard and its perennial West Coast rival No. 2 Stanford.

The immovable top eight differ in many ways—size, region, culture, and so on. But the schools do have one feature in common: They’re all private, pricey, highly prestigious institutions with powerful global brands.

This is the fourth year that Poets & Quants has published rankings of the world’s best MBA programs. Unlike other rankings, the Poets & Quants composite list combines the latest five most influential business school rankings in the world: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.

Instead of merely averaging the five, each ranking is separately weighted to account for Poets & Quants view of their authority and credibility. (The BusinessWeek, Forbes and U.S. News lists are given a weight of 25% each, while the FT is given a 15% weight and The Economist is given a 10% weight).

Combining the five most influential rankings doesn’t eliminate the flaws in each system, but it does significantly diminish them. When an anomaly pops on one list due to either faulty survey technique or biased methodology, bringing all the data together tends to suppress it. So the composite index tones down the noise in each of these five surveys to get more directly at the real signal that is being sent.

This year’s top 20 in the U.S. did change—but not much. UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Duke University’s Fuqua School switched places this year: Fuqua took the ninth spot, and Haas landed in tenth place. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s Ross School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School also pulled a switch. The Midwestern titan rose to No. 12, while Darden slipped to No. 13. In the middle of all the swapping, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management remained stable at No. 11.

Though its Northern Californian cousin slipped a little, UCLA climbed from No. 17 to No. 14. It even bumped NYU’s Stern School out of the No. 14 spot, sending it down to No. 15. Meanwhile, Ivy League Yale School of Management finished 17th, down from 15th last year. U.S. News and the Financial Times actually placed Yale above UCLA, but the other rankings—in particular, the return-on-investment focused Forbes list—favored the Los Angeles school.

Though the Poets & Quants ranking is only a few years old, a recent survey by an association of admissions consultants found that more MBA applicants consulted the Poets & Quants ranking last year than other lists by The Economist and Forbes.

(source: Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Wharton & Kellogg Top New 2013 Ranking Of The Best MBA Programs In the U.S. From Poets & Quants)
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2013, 18:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Babson College Renames Online MBA Program
This week, Babson College announced that it has renamed its blended online/offline MBA program the Babson MBA Blended Learning Program. The new name reflects the unique delivery model this program features for students who prefer to access Babson’s top-ranked curriculum through a blend of Web-based, virtual, and face-to-face interactions.

Formerly named the Babson MBA Fast Track Program, the Babson MBA Blended Learning Program is one of four MBA program options offered by Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

All programs share a unified MBA curriculum in which students take the same core courses with the same faculty and can choose from a common set of electives. With this change, the Babson MBA portfolio will reflect program names that all inherently describe the delivery format in the name–One-Year, Two-Year, Evening, Blended Learning. All four programs lead to the same degree.

“While the name has changed, the curriculum, structure, and innovative approach to learning will continue to provide MBA candidates with a top-ranked experience proven to equip leaders with a strong business foundation and an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Babson Provost and Senior Vice President Dennis Hanno.

“For more than a decade, Babson’s blended-learning approach has allowed MBA students, especially working professionals seeking flexibility, to make the most of their time, their learning, their network, and their investment.”

The more than 1,200 alumni of the Fast Track Program will continue to note their degree as a Babson MBA. “This new name will allow me to more easily explain to colleagues what the program is,” says Hans Olson M’14. “I know that my degree will be a Babson MBA, but I often also describe the program format so others understand my time out of office for face-to-face sessions and why the blended approach is so critical to maximizing learning opportunities.”

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-School Fundraising in 2013
It seems we’re sharing news of major donations to top business schools on a regular basis lately—a great sign of economic recovery as donors invest in their alma maters to help create state-of-the art campuses and modernized learning environments.

Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at which schools pulled in the highest donations in 2013, and two in particular had banner years. In May, Ronald Perelman pledged $100 million to Columbia Business School, which matches the school’s largest gift ever, and will support the development of Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus. Business school namesake and alumnus Stephen M. Ross announced a gift of $200 million to the University of Michigan in September that will transform the student experience at the business school and athletic campus.

The news magazine compiled a list of donations totaling $10 million or more, and indicates what the funds will be used for at each of the schools. Check out the original post to see if your dream school had a gifted year in 2013, and if so, what innovations you can expect to see in the coming years as a result.

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-School AdComs Still Iffy on GMAT IR
According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 survey of business school admissions officers*, 57% of MBA programs say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s recently launched Integrated Reasoning section is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.

Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 51% of business school admissions list a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a competitive score overall.

In Kaplan’s 2012 survey, business schools were largely undecided about Integrated Reasoning’s importance, with 54% saying they were unsure how important an applicant’s score would be; 22% said it would be important and 24% said it would not be important.

Because test takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on other sections of the GMAT.

“It’s not surprising that a majority of business schools are not currently placing too much importance on the Integrated Reasoning section, since it makes sense they’d want to gather performance data on a new section before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process,” said Lee Weiss, Kaplan Test Prep’s executive director of pre-business programs. Weiss also noted that because test scores are good for five years, some applicants in 2012 and 2013 submitted scores from the old GMAT.

“Moving forward, business schools may decide that Integrated Reasoning should play a more critical role. In the meantime, prospective MBA students should not take Integrated Reasoning any less seriously than the Quantitative or Verbal sections. It still matters,” Weiss said.

* For the 2013 survey, 152 admissions officers from business schools across the United States were surveyed by telephone between July and September. Among those 152 are five of the top ten MBA programs, as compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2013, 22:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Steady MBA Job Outlook Projected for 2014 Grads
The job market will likely hold steady for 2014 business school graduates, as more than three-quarters of employers that plan to hire business school graduates expect to maintain or increase their hiring from this year, according to the Year-End Poll of Employers conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

“Actual hiring for 2013 and projected hiring for 2014 are much improved from a few years ago, despite persistent uncertainty in the global economy,” said Rebecca Estrada, GMAC survey manager. “In addition, between 45 percent and 58 percent of employers plan to increase annual base salaries at or above the rate of inflation, another indicator that demand for talent remains strong.”

The poll of 211 employers in 33 countries serves as an early gauge of next year’s job market and includes one-fifth of the Fortune 100 and 41 Fortune 500 companies. It projects some optimism for direct-from-industry hires and master in management graduates, as the percentages of employers who expect to hire in these categories is five percentage points higher than the percentage that actually hired them last year (87 percent vs. 82 percent in 2013 for direct-industry hires and 42 percent vs. 37 percent in 2013 for master in management graduates).

But in most categories, the percentages of employers planning to hire new graduates in most categories are very similar to the percentages of those who hired these graduates in 2013:

  • 72 percent expect to hire MBAs, compared with 71 percent that hired them this year.
  • 81 percent expect to hire bachelor’s degree holders, compared with 82 percent that hired them this year.
  • 36 percent expect to hire master of accounting graduates, compared with 35 percent that hired them this year.
  • 35 percent expect to hire master of finance graduates, compared with 36 percent that hired them this year.
The poll also found the overwhelming majority of employers (97 percent) agree that business school graduates need to have exceptional interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to use data to drive decisions.

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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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Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: IT Skills Sorely Lacking in Harvard MBAs
Are business schools adequately preparing MBA students with the IT skills that tomorrow’s companies will demand? Not according to a recent article in The Harbus, which asserts that Harvard Business School in particular is behind the curve when it comes to teaching students how to interact effectively with IT-oriented members of the C-suite.

“Today the HBS curriculum gives us powerful insights into CFOs and CMOs, but multiple alums observed that noticeably missing is the CIO and CTO perspective,” write Lauren Lockwood and Sean Liu, the article’s authors.

Whereas HBS once dominated in preparing students for today’s technology, and in fact was the first business school in the country to require every student to own a personal computer, the school now offers courses in this area only as electives in each individual HBS department.

In contrast, the authors note that MIT Sloan School of Management requires all students take “Data, Models, and Decisions”, and Stanford Graduate School of Business requires “Information Management”, whose syllabus states: “Knowledge of technology (computing, networks, software applications, etc.) is a prerequisite for a successful manager.”

“Information technology has infiltrated the senior ranks, becoming an integral part of building competitive advantage, securing information, understanding clients, predicting trends, and increasing productivity,” say Lockwood and Liu, who point to a growing importance of making IT decisions at senior levels.

The article offers an eye-opening look at how Harvard Business School has lost its tech lead and leaves its MBAs with a technology skill set gap. “It’s inexcusable that the curriculum today fails to cover the implications of technology for management, strategy, and organization, fundamental to accurately reflecting the real world for tomorrow’s leaders,” say Liu and Lockwood, who want these courses offered as part of the required curriculum now.

“You have to look no further than the Healthcare.gov debacle to appreciate the level of senior involvement necessary in IT decisions.”

Read the complete story of HBS’s Technology Skill Set Gap here.

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Filling a Gap with Cornell’s New Tech MBA
In Tuesday’s post, we took a look at how the top business schools may not be preparing MBA students with the IT skills they’ll need to manage tomorrow’s companies. That won’t be the case with participants enrolled in a new one-year tech MBA program offered by Cornell University’s Johnson School which is designed to bridge the gap between management and tech skills.

According to the school, students enrolled in the MBA program at Cornell NYC Tech are immersed in New York City’s tech ecosystem, where they’ll continuously work on projects with global business and startup ventures. Participants complete course work in the foundational disciplines of business, with an emphasis on the skills and knowledge needed to create business value in the digital economy.

Courses will include design thinking, global venturing, leading innovation, big data opportunities, and managing technology disruptions, among others. “The goal is to produce leaders for the digital economy,” Doug Stayman, the associate dean of MBA programs at Johnson, tells Business Insider. Startups may not feel comfortable hiring the average MBA, fearing that his or her skills aren’t suited for the culture and work of their companies.

“Organizations desperately need people who are true leaders but also understand the business needs and the technical needs,” Stayman adds.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cornell consulted with startups and tech companies such as LinkedIn Corp. and Deloitte Services LP for advice on what to teach. By asking employers about the skill sets they need but are having trouble finding, Stayman tells the WSJ the proposed curriculum will include courses on software development, and leadership instruction will have a special focus on persuasion.

Graduates  of the MBA at Cornell Tech aren’t meant to work exclusively for startups though. Stayman envisions the certification as a way to help the business-minded cross into tech, as well as give students an inroad to traditional management jobs.

Applicants to the program, which is expected to run in the low $90,000s, must hold a degree in science or technology, have three to five years of relevant work experience, and submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Soumitra Dutta, dean of Johnson, explained the degree this way when announcing it last summer: “We’re creating a program that addresses the fact that technology has changed the way business is done. It’s not about adding technology courses to an existing MBA, but about developing a new education and learning experience for business leaders in the digital economy.”

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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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Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SBC Scoop: Rushing for Round 2
There are only a few weeks to go until many top MBA program’s Round 2 deadline, so we’re reposting this client case study for those who are struggling with the agonizing  question: Is it worth putting together a last-minute application?

Vipul came to us with this very dilemma. He had originally planned to apply earlier, but he had to re-take the GMAT after a disappointing 660 on his first attempt. He improved his score significantly, and with a 700 GMAT score, 3.6 GPA and career progression on his resume, he felt ready to try for admission to UT McCombs School of Business, CMU Tepper School of Business and Michigan Ross School of Business.

In our first conversation with Vipul we gave him the honest feedback that three weeks to complete three entire MBA applications would be unlikely to result in the best outcome. Typically, we work with clients for several months honing essays and ensuring recommenders are engaged in the process.

Vipul was confident that the timing was right for him, and he had already done the necessary soul searching on his future career goals, school selection, and recommenders. Most importantly, Vipul was willing to re-apply the next year if necessary because he enjoyed his job and knew he could continue his career there.

We decided that the hourly service would be the best option to assist Vipul. With limited time to devote to his essays and recommendations, Vipul first contacted all of his recommenders and asked them if they were able to submit by his deadline.

After a quick brainstorming session to determine his essay topics, Vipul got to work on his essay drafts. We focused on the key content Vipul needed to make his case for submission and he was able to quickly turnaround his drafts of the essays. Three iterations of his essays later we felt good about his final product and he was ready to submit after only three weeks of work.

Vipul’s dedication paid off and he was admitted to McCombs.

Rushing to make a deadline isn’t always the right course of action, though. For example, our client Michael made the decision to postpone to the next round in order to strengthen his application. If you’re wondering which course of action is right for you, sign up for a free consultation today.

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

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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

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips for Waitlisted MBA Applicants
Finding yourself on the waitlist at your dream b-school definitely comes with a mixed bag of emotions. While it’s disappointing not to have a definitive yes, you’re still in the running and should take some comfort in knowing that you’ve passed an important hurdle with the admissions committee.

As their classes begin to take shape, admissions committees will return to the waitlist and admit a fair number from this group. Meanwhile, there are a few things you can try to increase your chances of moving off the waitlist.

Each school is different, so find out what your target school expects from applicants. Some schools only want to hear whether you want to remain on the waitlist or be released. If this is the case, don’t try to send more information or pester the admissions committee about their reasoning because you’ll only be shooting yourself in the foot if you do.

However, if the school is open to receiving more information from waitlisted candidates, think hard about what concrete information you can provide that might sway them in your favor. Are they open to receiving just an update letter? Are they willing to read an additional letter of recommendation? Do they want regular updates? You want to do as much as you can without disregarding their requests or overloading their staff. Above all remember that you are still in the game!

If you’ve been promoted or taken on more responsibilities at work, improved your GMAT score, deepened your volunteering commitments, or had a new, meaningful travel experience, be sure to share it and include why these updates make you a better candidate, and therefore student, who would further enrich their program.

The waitlist is a frustrating stage, but you really should see it as a sign that your application is strong, and you may be fortunate enough to receive final admission from your chosen school.

For a first-hand account of how our client Max successfully managed his waitlist experience and ended up at Harvard Business School, read this SBC client case study.

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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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Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Fight MBA Application Procrastination
In our blog, we provide news, tips and tools to help you navigate the MBA admissions process. Despite the volume of information that gets printed every week, we do not regularly address the fact that many applicants face a set of challenges that are very different from GPA, GMAT and resume.

I want to help applicants work through the road blocks to success that may include self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination, and generally feeling overwhelmed by this process. With this dose of “Vitamin MBA,” I hope to help you to overcome these challenges so that you can put your other resources to work and truly excel on your applications.

If you want to be successful, a good place to look for advice is with other successful people. I once learned Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secrets that helped him as a young comic in need of great jokes.  His advice goes something like this:

1)  buy a big wall calendar and a magic marker

2)  for each day that you accomplish your task (his was 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!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I think this is very helpful advice for those applying to business school.  Many people procrastinate like crazy and set themselves up for failure by targeting one weekend where they will work around the clock on applications.  I have found that slow and steady is a much better way to go.  Sure, you might have your marathon essay sessions.  But on a day where you are working late, just be sure to spend 30 minutes before bed brainstorming, outlining or revising your resume.

Every little bit helps and the consistency will help to keep this very important goal alive.  Daily action can also help to eliminate the anxiety that grows when you push things to the future and put a lot of pressure on what you can accomplish in one specific day.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Argument Analysis: Fallacies You Tell Yourself to Avoid Preparing for the GMAT
Guest post by our friends at Magoosh

Blind to fallacies, we put off our applications to business school, wait to meet with professors or managers to ask for letters of recommendation, wait to write our application essays, and wait to start our preparations for the GMAT. And we craft elaborate reasons why we can wait, but never notice that our reasons are pockmarked with fallacies—the very fallacies that we should be preparing to identify and analyze on the GMAT.

How will you analyze arguments on the test if you can’t analyze them in your own arguments? Let’s first change ourselves by looking at four common reasons we tell ourselves to put off studying for the GMAT. And along the way, we might even find a little GMAT preparation as well. (See how I just turned this into an opportunity to not procrastinate?)

Argument: “I am writing all the time at work. I have to read reports, write reviews for our staff, and write proposals to clients, so my verbal skills are strong. I just need to freshen up on math, and I will be ready for the test, so no need to start preparing now.”

Fallacy: False Analogy

This is a classic false analogy—comparing two things that seem comparable, but actually are not. Yes, writing a proposal is writing. Reading reports counts as reading. But the GMAT tests a particular type of writing and a particular type of reading. Just because both are writing or reading doesn’t mean that they are analogous. You need the time to refine your latent reading and writing skills and calibrate them to the specific tasks on the GMAT. I know it’s tempting to compare what you do now with what you think you will need to do on the GMAT. But don’t believe the fallacy.

Argument: “I work on a team of people and one of them just received their GMAT scores, and she did really well. We have the same role at the company, and we both work at the same pace. She only spent a week preparing, so I won’t need that much time to prepare.”

Fallacy: False Cause

We are pattern recognition machines always looking for causal relationships in historical events, weather phenomenon, market fluctuations, stomach aches, etc. But things are not as they seem; Plato said as much in his allegory of the cave.

We miss the complexity in our world, simplify the whole system so we can understand it, and end up confusing causation and correlation in the end. So what might appear to be the cause of a peer’s success—a week of preparation and their pace of work—might not actually be what matters. Many other things, like taking the test multiple times, taking classes in the past year, or reading voraciously, were probably as important.

Most likely, there are numerous things that lead to a peer’s success that we can never know. We can’t expect to replicate another person’s success by following the steps we think mattered, not to mention that we also fall into our previous false analogy fallacy when we do so.

Argument: “I am a naturally strong test taker. I always crammed for tests in college and I did fine. I had a 3.8 GPA. I don’t need to spend a whole lot of time preparing.”

Fallacy: Appeal to Nature

What is nature and what is nurture is not entirely clear. For all we know, we might be simplifying—false cause fallacy—the whole process of becoming who we are, and missing the numerous aspects of the world that go into shaping our abilities. Further, popular culture loves this idea of a natural talent, the naturally gifted athlete, musician, or scientist.

But this is incredibly misleading. Natural talent may really just be a tendency or inclination that nudges a person in one direction and another person in another direction. After that, the individuals have to work at it. Tolstoy didn’t naturally write compelling, epic novels; he worked tirelessly to make them that way. Michael Phelps has the frame and build of a great swimmer; but it was his hard work and intense dedication to swimming that led him to become the most decorated Olympian ever.

There is nothing natural about success. It only comes from hard work and dedication. The same is true for test taking. What was once seemingly “natural” might in truth be a skill that needs to be practiced and worked at to ward off atrophy.

Argument: “I scored in the 98th percentile in the SAT math section. I looked at a GMAT score calculator and it looks like there are a lot of possible scores in the 90th percentile, more than the SAT. I don’t think I’m too rusty so I’ll spend a month preparing for the GMAT, maybe a little less. I have a lot that I am doing already anyway.”

Fallacy: Appeal to Tradition

We have no laurels to rest on. The only thing consistent is inconsistency; the only thing that doesn’t change is that things are constantly changing. Appeals to tradition often ignore this. What we did in high school or in undergrad is not going to help us today. The problems we faced then are not the same as the ones we face now. Circumstances change. We can’t expect to use solutions from the 1950s to solve the problems of today. We’ve already seen that legislation written in 2001 is out-of-date and insufficient in light of the technologies of 2013.

So although similar to the SAT in some respects, the GMAT is a very different test. We will see math questions on the GMAT that we have never seen before. And just because we found a plan on How to prepare for the GMAT in one month doesn’t mean that we will only need a month to hone our skills so that they are sharp on test day. A history of performing well and of cramming is just that—history. What matters for tomorrow is what you do today.

Takeaway

It may appear strange, but we can’t trust ourselves, especially our reasons and rationalizations. The fallacies that we have to diagnose on the GMAT exam are the same ones that make us procrastinate and put off our preparations. So instead of coming up with reasons not to start preparing, why not come up with reason to start now? At least this way, our logical fallacies are put to good use.

This post was written by Kevin Rocci, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader inGMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’sGMAT blog.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2013, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman’s Year in Review
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My goal with this blog has always been to bring b-school applicants the latest news from the schools, insightful application and essay tips, and to explore major trends affecting the future of management education. Here, in one place for your reading pleasure, are some of the top stories we’ve covered in 2013.

What to Consider When Choosing an MBA Program

6 Ways to Play the MBA Waiting Game

Get MBA Application Advice From the Trenches

3 Ways to Stand Out in a Competitive B-School Applicant Pool

How to Cope With B-School Rejections

Ask Yourself 4 Questions Before Applying to B-School

A Recipe for Career Goals that Admissions Officers Will Eat Up

Evaluate in Which Round to Submit Your B-School Application

4 Tips for MBA Applicants From a Finance Background

Look Beyond the Top Business Schools for Your MBA

Know Your Buyer to Sell Yourself in MBA Admissions

Fewer MBAs Heading to Wall Street

Thank you so much for making the Stacy Blackman Blog a top destination for your b-school research.Wishing all of you success, health, joy and continued growth and learning in 2014!

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 MBA Interview Tips You Need to Know Now
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The MBA interview can be a nerve-wracking step of the b-school admissions process, and the best way to work out those jitters is preparation. Now’s the time to reach out to your network of any current or former students at the school you will be interviewing for to seek some guidance on what to expect. Hearing their first-hand accounts, plus reviewing the tips below, should help ground you and allow you to enjoy this step just a little bit.

 Tip 1—Show that you know your stuff. Convey your enthusiasm for and in-depth knowledge of the MBA program, and make sure you know your application inside and out. Do as many mock interviews as you need with friends or family until you can talk about your career goals clearly, and with confidence.

Tip 2 —Find your inner storyteller. One of the most important tips to remember is to sound natural—not scripted—during the exchange.  Have a list of three or four stories you can adapt to various questions that demonstrate your leadership skills and teamwork experience. Consider using the “CAR” approach—context, action, result –to frame your responses.

Tip 3—It’s an interview, not a monologue. If it feels more like a conversation, you’ll keep the interviewer interested and engaged in the most important topic of all: YOU. Be sensitive to any non-verbal cues that would let you know if your interviewer feels you’re droning on about a topic and is ready to shift gears.

Tip 4—Let your personality shine. Interviewers will usually ask questions about your hobbies, recent experiences, books of interest, and even current events. Ditch any formulaic answers and show you’re passionate about life as well as those post-MBA goals.

Schools are trying to create a well-rounded class of individuals. They want to know that you’re bringing personal interests to their campus that you’ll share with other classmates. So you should tell them about your recent scuba diving trip in Belize, your role as the food and wine connoisseur among friends, your love for historical fiction, your favorite college class in evolutionary biology, and your opinions on globalization.

Then, let them know how you intend to share these interests with your new friends at school. Interviewers should be able to imagine you as the classmate who will organize trips, plan dinners, start a book club, etc. Remember, fun is an important part of an MBA program, and interviewers want to know what you have to contribute to this aspect of life at school.

If you can get from point A to point B in a clear, logical way; maintain an open, friendly, and professional demeanor; dress appropriately; and have an inquisitive attitude about the school and all it has to offer students, you stand a very good chance of coming out of the interview with flying colors.

You may also be interested in:

The “Curse” of Being the Last to Interview

How to Master MBA Interviews

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Address Your Weaknesses Successfully
During the MBA essay-writing process, we get to praise ourselves, to brag, to point out our unique understanding of complex issues, and generally portray ourselves as the ideal human. But in order to balance out the admissions karma, we also have to give ourselves a couple of body slams by critiquing our own skills, motivations, etc. The key is knowing how to address your weaknesses in a way that shows self-reflection and a dedication to improvement.

I’ve seen some candidates riddle themselves with critique after critique, becoming their own worst Simon Cowells. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, try to illustrate that you have already improved somewhat on your negative traits through hard work and that you specifically have a plan for further improvement at business school through classwork and activities. When you include an honest assessment of your negatives, you gain credibility for any strengths you raise.

Some schools ask candidates to critique their own leadership abilities. Some candidates wax eloquently about an unmitigated victory for their leadership skills and then chime in with a fairly minor critique. Often, this critique is totally unrelated to the narrative of the leadership tale they’ve just recounted.

The best stories for this type of essay usually have a couple of bumps along the road to leadership that we could have avoided if not for our blind-spots. And make sure to relate this critique to the elements of leadership (defining agendas, communicating, inspiring, managing up, etc.); don’t make yourself out to be a master motivator and then merely critique your Excel modeling skills.

MBA programs are seeking students who are able to see themselves clearly and improve and adapt when necessary. Overall, honesty and self-awareness will be noted and appreciated in the process, whatever your strengths or weaknesses may be!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Adhering to Word Count
As my clients crank out their initial essay drafts, many of them contact me a bit upset over the word limits imposed on them. They insist that they are not even halfway finished, but have completely run out of words. “It’s just not possible to describe my three most substantial experiences in only 600 words!”

My advice is to forget about word count and just write the essay. Focus on getting your content together and making sure that it is very strong. Once your content is there, you would be surprised at how easy it is to cut words. Most of us tend to be extremely verbose. You can frequently keep every important point, but just articulate with far fewer words.

You also may be forced to consider which pieces of your story are truly pertinent to answering the question. You would be surprised at how easy it is to start telling your story and ramble off of topic. Carefully examine each piece of your essay and make sure that it is really, truly relevant, as opposed to miscellaneous background information.

Finally, do you really have to strictly adhere to word count limits? The general rule of thumb is to stay within 10%. Don’t worry if you go a bit over, but much more than that and you are simply not following directions.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The MBA Tour Hosts Events Across North America in 2014
If you’re considering pursuing an MBA degree, attending an MBA fair is a great place to start. The MBA Tour is hosting six events across North America this winter. What are the benefits of attending an MBA Tour conference?

Click here to view the embedded video.

1:1 Interaction with Admission 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.

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.

Coming to a city near you in 2014:

*MS Only (Non-MBA)

San Francisco February 9, 2014

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Yale Inaugurates New Business School
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Yale School of Management cut the proverbial ribbon of its ultra-modern new campus Thursday, and the business school is hosting a three-day conference on the major trends transforming markets and organizations around the world to celebrate the opening of Edward P Evans Hall.

Designed by the architectural firm Foster + Partners, the 242,000-square-foot glass building is named for Yale alumnus Edward P. Evans, who contributed $50 million to the project and died less than two weeks after the announcement of the gift.

Yale professor of management Stan J. Garstka tells the New Haven Register that the theme of the building, evidenced by its architecture, is transparency. “No matter where you are, you can see what’s going on somewhere else. We want the world to see what we’re doing.”

With this new campus, class size will increase to about 300 students from the current 235 students, which will make the school even more attractive to recruiters while still preserving the close-knit feel that is the hallmark of the Yale MBA experience.

The school’s three days of opening ceremonies will feature panelists from companies and organizations that include Time Warner, China Petro Chemical, PepsiCo, Evercore Partners, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Reserve.

Live video of conference events will be available on the Yale School of Management website, som.yale.edu

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Weigh Trying a MOOC Before an MBA
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
2013 may well become known as the year of the massive open online course, commonly abbreviated MOOC, as more and more prestigious business schools began offering their courses for free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.

Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Spain’s IE Business School are just a few of the top MBA programs bringing their courses to the people, and it seems more are joining the party every month.

Most elite schools use the Palo Alto-based education company Coursera to host their MOOC content. While universities don’t offer official credit for their MOOCs, some offer participants a certificate – either free or for a fee – confirming completion of the course and a demonstrated understanding of the material.

In the fall, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Harvard Business School and HEC Paris announced they will offer numerous MOOCs as a way to enhance the academic experience and allow teaching to go beyond the confines of the classroom. HEC Paris is the first business school in France to launch a MOOC and will offer two courses, European law and corporate finance, in early spring 2014.

When announcing the news, HEC Dean Bernard Ramanantsoa said, “This partnership with Coursera offers HEC an opportunity to open up our courses to people who might not usually have access to higher education, whether for practical or economic considerations. Sharing our faculty’s expertise with the general public at no cost is a truly exciting and meaningful challenge.”

Meanwhile, with the Wharton MBA Foundation Series, faculty teach four core classes in financial accounting, operations management, marketing and corporate finance, allowing students all over the world to learn the same material a first-year Wharton MBA student would.

“This is the first time that a business school has bundled a collection of MOOCs together in this fashion,” Don Huesman, managing director of the innovation group at Wharton, told Bloomberg Businessweek in September. “We’re taking our core required classes in the MBA program, with the same instructors, to provide those same core concepts.”

Harvard Business School is playing it close to the vest with its initial foray into online education, perhaps because it must consider how to impart its knowledge to the masses without tarnishing the school’s venerable brand.

Brian C. Kenny, chief marketing and communications officer for HBS, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the school needs to figure out how to translate its signature pedagogical technique, the case method, to an online educational experience.

“Whether or not the case method can work online,” said Kenny, “is a question that we haven’t answered yet.”

For its part, Darden has upcoming courses in foundations of business strategy, smart growth for private businesses, design thinking for business innovation and new models of business in society. Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner remarked in an interview that the school is proud to be one of the most active schools in online learning.

“Everyone says ‘you’re a business school, why are you giving it away for free,’” Bruner said, but he explains that “MOOCs are consistent with our mission and we’re learning a great deal about digital instruction with practice.”

These online courses may also be one of the best marketing tools the schools have at their fingertips. As Bruner noted, MOOCs are “helping a part of the world to learn about Darden, a population that was pretty much oblivious to the existence of the school beforehand.”

For MBA applicants wondering whether to enroll in a MOOC at one of their target schools, I say go for it. There’s no harm in getting an early taste of the course work to come, and the experience might actually help inform your decision to apply or allow you to reference something concrete about the curriculum in your essays.

The courses typically require a high level of motivation to complete, and doing so shows a commitment to self-improvement the admissions committee would find laudable.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that completing a set of MOOCs from Wharton will put you in the same league as a student on campus. The conversations that occur in class and out, and the networking opportunities business school provides, remain the most valuable aspects of the MBA experience.

No one is exactly sure yet how free online courses factor into the world of students, nonstudents and applicants. Does it merely offer a taste of the school, or will it one day replace live classes? Right now, this kind of online learning is still in its infancy, but it is a very real part of the education world and good to experiment with rather than ignore.

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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

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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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