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Diamonds in the Rough: Georgetown Unversity’s McDonough Scho [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2014, 14:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Georgetown Unversity’s McDonough School of Business
MBA applicants tend to overvalue rankings and so can overlook some strong business schools that might be a good fit. In this series, we profile amazing programs at schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business unveiled a new MBA curriculum in 2012, and with it, a revamped global emphasis. Dean David A. Thomas announced the changes as part of an effort to respond to the evolving global business landscape by equipping students “with the skills to be innovative leaders—whether they are joining established organizations or becoming entrepreneurs.” During their “opening term,” first-year students are required to take “Structure of Global Industries.” This immersive three-week core course provides a foundation in international business that runs through the required “modules” in the spring semester and culminates with the school’s newly expanded, signature “Global Business Experience” during students’ second year. As part of this program, students take on consulting roles working for actual international organizations. In the spring, student teams travel to their respective client’s country to gain firsthand experience working in a global consulting and management setting. After the participating students return to campus, they present the stories of and takeaways from their experiences to their classmates at the school’s Global Business Conference.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2014, 09:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
Darden claims to have released its essay question for the year, but last year, they released a single essay question on their blog and then added others when they released the broader application itself. Let’s hope that Darden makes it simple for applicants this year and takes a “what you see is what you get” approach. We will stay on top of this and update our essay analysis, if those Darden tricksters are up to their old antics again!

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

The word “courageous” will probably fluster some. At this point, can I really say that I have been courageous in my professional life? Well, you don’t need to equate courage with heroism. You should not worry if you have not yet bet the farm on a new technology or stared down a Wall Street raider – the admissions committee knows that most applicants are at the earliest stages of their careers and will understand courage in relative terms. So, instead of equating courage and heroism, you might think of courage as “risk.” Was there a time when you stuck your neck out for something you believed in or stepped out of your comfort zone to take charge of something? Some moments to consider might include:

-          Taking a risk in telling someone senior that their plan would not work

-          Asking for a greater level of responsibility in order to execute on a high-profile project

-           Pushing your firm to change its thinking on a client/supplier

-          Advocating for an individual to be hired, fired or promoted

In any of these circumstances, for a story to work, there must be something at stake for you – your reputation needs to be on the line.

Beyond the moments that affect your firm, you might also discuss moments of personal risk. Maybe your most courageous decision was leaving a job or declining one offer for a more challenging alternative.  Or, maybe your most courageous moment came due to failure or disappointment and you took responsibility for an error and learned invaluable lessons. Our list could go on… and on.

As you write, it is important that you create a narrative structure that shows an inflection point, where you can choose one of two paths. If the reader does not understand the risks to you, then the decision that you took will hardly seem courageous. So, to be clear, your narrative must have a very clear conflict, where you took decisive action and a path was altered. Then, once the results have played out, you must examine your behaviors and discuss your learning – possibly exploring your relationship with others and/or your understanding of your own capabilities. When it comes to reflection, reiterating the obvious themes will not work. Your reader needs you to be introspective and show that you have true insight into your own actions and that the lessons learned have been profound and enduring.

For a thorough exploration of Darden’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Darden School of Business Administration.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Celebrate the End of the Semester  [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2014, 12:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Celebrate the End of the Semester with CBS Follies
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

The end of each semester at Columbia Business School is marked with CBS Follies—a completely student-run comedy and entertainment show that is performed for the school’s student body, which, we were informed, has been known to get rather rowdy during these presentations. CBS Follies made a particularly strong impact back in 2006 with the YouTube hit “Every Breath Bernanke Takes,” which lampooned Dean Hubbard’s position as runner-up to Ben Bernanke to become chairman of the Federal Reserve.

In spring 2014, the Follies were themed “Saved by the Follies”—a play on Saved by the Bell—and included such performances as the 300: Rise of an Empire film parody “200: Rise of the J-Term,” a stop-motion video made with Lego bricks entitled “CBS: At the Very Center of Brickness” and the song “Because I’m Hubby,” which was focused on Dean Hubbard and played to the tune of Pharrell Williams’s “Happy.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at CBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA News: HBS Professors’ “Disruption Machine” Criticized in [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2014, 09:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: HBS Professors’ “Disruption Machine” Criticized in The New Yorker
Two of the most recognizable names at HBS are perhaps those of Michael E. Porter and Clayton Christensen. The research contributions of these legendary professors—both of whom were featured among “The World’s Most Influential Business Thinkers” in 2013 by Thinkers50—are also the target of criticism in an article from The New Yorker this week.

Porter, who is “generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field,” according to the HBS Web site, and Christensen, who is known for his bestselling book The Innovator’s Dilemma (HarperBusiness, 1997), gained notoriety for pioneering business strategies related to competition and innovation. Christensen is credited with coining the phrase “disruptive innovation,” a theory that has since taken the world of business management education by storm, with seminars and degree programs devoted exclusively to the topic. Disruptive innovation has also become a watchword of startup culture, as entrepreneurs vie to “disrupt or be disrupted.”

But this widespread “gospel of innovation,” the article argues at length, is “not a law of nature.” Jill Lepore argues that “disrupt” has become a meaningless buzzword that simply captures the spirit of competition. Further, Lepore argues that much of Christensen’s research on disruption was an effect looking for a cause, rather than a cause predicting an effect – and that even many of the cases he cited using this flawed logic did not stand the test of time. Christensen chose to be combative, rather than dismissive, in a fiery interview with BusinessWeek, where he repeatedly addressed the author by name, stating, “Come on, Jill, tell me! No!” The debate is an interesting one and the feistiness of it makes it a rarity in academia.

To learn more about notable professors at HBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Friday Factoid: Venture Capital Opportunities at Haas [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2014, 12:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Venture Capital Opportunities at Haas
Because of its proximity to Silicon Valley, the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC)-Berkeley benefits from an entrepreneurial halo effect, and many applicants therefore consider it a good location from which to launch careers in venture capital and private equity. Although the percentage of graduates that enter these fields each year remains low (and we should note that this is relatively consistent with levels at many of Haas’s peer programs), opportunities abound at the school for students who are targeting this field, via the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. One unique opportunity for a small number of students is the Haas New Venture Fellows Program, which offers three to five first-year students and one to two second-year students the opportunity to perform actual project work for local venture capital firms for academic credit. Students in this highly selective program have completed projects with such firms as Bessemer Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures. The New Venture Fellows also participate in the program’s Pitch Lab, in which budding entrepreneurs from within the UC-Berkeley community can practice their pitches for feedback and advice. In addition, the program organizes events to facilitate networking between its fellows and practicing venture capitalists in the area. Although entering the venture capital world right out of business school can be quite challenging, attending a school that can get you in the door certainly helps.

For a thorough exploration of what UC-Berkeley Haas and other top U.S. business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides series.
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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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Parallel Construction [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 07:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Parallel Construction
Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a standard rhythm or construction. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective matches with a corresponding adjective and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect.

Consider the example of Hamlet’s words “To be or not to be,” which are some of the most famous in the English language. Shakespeare wrote this short sentence in perfect parallel form; “to be” is matched perfectly with its corresponding negative “not to be” and is separated only by the necessary word “or.” Another short example of parallel construction from history is “I came, I saw, I conquered.” With these words, Julius Caesar spoke in perfect parallel construction—the grammatical form is a pronoun (the word “I”) followed by a verb in the past tense (“came,” “saw,” “conquered”).

If we were to change that second famous phrase just a touch, the amazing quality it now has would be lost, and the phrase would become unremarkable. For example, if Caesar had said, “I came, I saw, and I became the conqueror,” no one would be quoting him today (because the rhythm would be destroyed—it would be verb, verb, verb phrase). Keep this rule in mind for everything that you write, especially for longer sentences.

Some examples:

Bad: There are three key reasons for this success: understanding our client, trying harder than our competition and teamwork.

Good: There are three key reasons for this success: understanding our client, trying harder than our competition and working as a team. (In this example, gerunds [the words ending in “ing”] parallel each other, unlike in the previous, “bad” example.)

Bad: We are in the forestry business. We sell wood to hardware stores and paper to stationery stores.

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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 201 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 12:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
These days, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a veritable maverick in that it offers applicants vast opportunities to tell theirs stories. In its first three very short “essays,” applicants reveal their goals. In its second “essay,” applicants create a list of what should be far more than 25 diverse accomplishments and experiences. Then, applicants choose from two essay options in order to reveal fit with the Fuqua program. As admissions committees seemingly limit more and more applicants’ flexibility, Fuqua ensures that applicants can offer all of themselves. So, Fuqua may be a little more work for some applicants, but the payoff should be there in the form of creative control!

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

  • What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?
With this trio of questions, Fuqua is essentially asking for a standard, but very brief, personal statement – only this one has a nonstandard component, presented in the third query. Most candidates feel that they have to be unequivocal in their goals, but here Fuqua is asking applicants to equivocate somewhat. Fuqua’s admissions committee knows that sometimes the best-laid plans do not always play out or yield the best results, and the school wants to know that you are prepared to switch gears and recommit to a different path, if necessary, and are fully capable of doing so. The key in answering this question is showing that your alternate goal is just as connected to your skills, interests and ambitions as your original plan and does not come “out of left field,” so to speak. For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that your short-term goal is to work in technology consulting, but your alternate goal would be to work in human resources, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills and personalities. Just be mindful that both of the goals you present need to be plausible and achievable. Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

For a thorough exploration of Fuqua’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Fuqua School of Business.

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

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more. In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Be prepared to have fun creating this list for your Fuqua application, but before you start scribbling down your 25 random things, take some time to brainstorm. You cannot simply draft a list of “typical” accomplishments—remember, the school is asking for a random list, and keep in mind that your reader should learn more about you as an individual through this list. Make sure that each piece of information you provide will give the admissions committee a new window into your personality, into what really makes you tick and makes you you. Most important, make sure that you own all the points on your list—that your list is truly yours. For example, a statement such as “I love Goodfellas and have watched it eight times” could easily apply to many applicants—therefore, it would not be truly yours. However, if you were to instead write, “At least once a year, my friends and I put on dark suits and don’t so much watch Goodfellas as recite it together line-for-line,” you would present an experience that is undoubtedly yours, because few other candidates would be likely to say this same thing about themselves. Although the admissions committee does not want you to rehash your professional and academic accomplishments in this list, and you should certainly avoid listing anything that already appears elsewhere in your application, you can of course still include moments that occurred in these spheres. Use detail and a narrative style (but keep things brief!) to give these elements life and ensure that they are personal. For example, rather than saying that you “Won a creative thinking award for implementing an innovative training solution,” you might write that you “Once won an award for instructing trainees to flip their desks upside down and face what was previously the back of the room—thereby creating an exercise to introduce new hires to the concept and value of new perspectives.”

 

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

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

In this essay, you will have an opportunity to prove your “fit” with Fuqua. To do so successfully, you must show that you have done your homework on the school and have profound academic reasons for targeting its MBA program, but also that you fully understand Fuqua’s cultural dynamic and your place within it. To gain the necessary information and experiences to be able to persuade the admissions committee on your points, you will need to conduct some firsthand research on the school. Avoid the temptation to simply offer a list of classes and clubs you find interesting—this will not be sufficient to convince the admissions committee that you have a real grasp of why Fuqua’s MBA program is right for you. Use this essay to show that you are an informed “consumer” making a reasoned decision about your degree and career. An excellent essay will show that you have a strong sense of self and can connect that sense anecdotally and directly to Fuqua’s resources, approach and community. Note: Beware of offering a “fill in the blank” essay. If, once you have drafted your essay, you can remove the name “Fuqua” and insert another school’s name in its place and your essay still makes sense, you have a problem on your hands and will need to go back and offer more Fuqua-specific detail and depth.

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

  • Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
  • Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
  • Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
  • Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
  • Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
  • Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.
As you contemplate a response to this essay question, think carefully about which one of these principles that you have already upheld.  Fuqua does not necessarily expect that you will start your essay by relating your pre-MBA experiences to Fuqua, but in many instances it will help give context and credibility to the path that you are imagining for yourself at the school. In this essay, you will have to reveal that you really (really!) know the school well, because if you hypothesize incorrectly about the award winning contribution you will make – meaning that the contribution you are proposing is just not possible at the school – you will definitely not get in. As we noted in our analysis of the essay question above, you need to do your homework and show that you are an informed consumer, already aware of the workings of the Fuqua academic and social community. The question specifically asks that you consider “activities and leadership”; you would be wise to pick a principle that corresponds with your values, briefly support the choice through evidence of existing experience upholding that value and then connect your theme to your informed contribution at Fuqua. If you can achieve all of this, you will have fulfilled the intent of the essay and will have made an impression on the Fuqua admissions committee. They will understand that you truly want to be at Fuqua, because if you did not want to be, would you have taken all of that time to learn about them?

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

  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
  • Limit your response to two pages.
However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.
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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Mission Admission: I’m a Freelancer—My Resume Looks Like I C [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 10:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: I’m a Freelancer—My Resume Looks Like I Can’t Hold a Job!
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

If you work for yourself doing short-term, project-based work, you probably struggle with how to structure your resume so that it does not give the impression that you switch jobs every few months. If you list each job separately, not only will your resume be too long, but you also run the risk that your reader will think you have not had a stable career, when in fact, if you are a successful freelancer or contractor, the opposite is the case. So how can you structure your resume so that it showcases the strength of your work and avoid having the variety and number of your work experiences come across as a weakness instead?

The key here is “clustering.” Rather than listing each short-term job separately, cluster them all under one heading, such as “independent contractor” or “freelance project manager.” Next to this heading, note the time range (i.e., start and end dates) during which you have worked for yourself. Then, using bullet points, list the individual projects you have completed as a freelancer, noting your primary accomplishments for each one, followed by the related company or organization name and the dates. The goal is to keep the focus of your resume on your accomplishments and not on the frequent job changes. (Also see our blog post on showing accomplishments rather than just responsibilities in your resume.)
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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA News: Admissions Offices Tracking “Demonstrated Interest [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2014, 17:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Admissions Offices Tracking “Demonstrated Interest”
MBA applicants may now face an additional and unexpected consideration as they strive to stay on the admission staff’s good side. According to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, a growing number of admissions offices are using software to track “demonstrated interest” by logging whether applicants have e-mailed admissions staff, attended admissions-related events, requested information about the program, or contacted alumni. “Those data points inform a profile of each student that’s slipped in alongside test scores and essay responses as schools consider which students to admit,” states the article.

Among the schools already collecting such data are Duke Fuqua, Chicago Booth and Kellogg, suggesting that other top MBA programs may be experimenting with similar methods of assessing applicants’ eagerness. “I don’t know if that makes or breaks anyone’s admissions decision,” explains Liz Riley Hargrove, Fuqua’s associate dean of admissions, “but when you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty and trying to factor in likelihood of matriculation, that’s the kind of thing we look at.” Some schools—such as MIT Sloan and Berkeley Hass—are foregoing such systems, with Rod Garcia, senior director of admissions at Sloan citing concerns over becoming “an analytics outfit rather than educators.”

We, at mbaMission, cannot help but wonder whether the impetus to reach out to admissions offices will lead to greater quality or quantity of expressed student interest. If it is the latter, the schools may find it difficult to weed out disingenuous correspondences from a flood of e-mails.

We recommend that applicants keep the bigger picture in mind, staying focused on strengthening their overall profiles. Frequent contact will not necessarily help a weak applicant’s candidacy—though it appears that it may give an edge to one who is already strong.
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Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2014, 09:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when choosing a business school, but the educational experience is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Jonathan Knee from Columbia Business School (CBS).

Jonathan Knee (“Strategic Management of Media” [with Bruce Greenwald], “Media Mergers and Acquisitions”) is an adjunct professor at CBS who is still active in the private sector as a senior managing director at the advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners. He is perhaps best known among CBS students for his book The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, we are told, brings a unique perspective into the classroom by showing where entertainment and finance cross paths. Students reported to mbaMission that his “Media Mergers and Acquisitions” class is intense, and that the course’s final presentation—made before a guest panel of practicing investors—feels like the real deal. One alumnus who took a class with Knee said the benefits of having an active advisor as a teacher were the business insight and guest speakers he brought into the classroom.

For more information about CBS and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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UC-Berkeley Haas Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2014, 14:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: UC-Berkeley Haas Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
Historically, Haas has been the wildcard, asking applicants about their favorite songs and or times when they were “students of their own failures.” This year, Haas is pretty darn conventional, though it could be argued that its third essay is a bit of a twist on the personal statement. We will discuss that twist below. Our essay analysis follows:

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


In order to show how you have changed, you will need to offer not just the “after” but a “before and after” scenario. Don’t just take it for granted that the admissions committee will understand that you had a powerful experience. You need to hold their hand and explain how you perceived the world and then show that “transformative” moment, where everything changed, leading to new and different behaviors and perceptions.

The first part of this essay will build toward that moment or experience, through a narrative and show how you previously perceived your world. Then, you will come to an experience that is in sharp contrast and is deeply influential, leaving you no choice but to change. Your experience can be something you did professional or personally and it can also be something that happened to you – a political debate, a book you read. While the catalyst itself is important, the admissions committee is far more interested in your capacity for change.  They are not expecting you to become a new person, but they want to know that you are open to the world, critically evaluating your thoughts and adaptable when necessary. Your narrative should show these some or all of these traits!

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

A classic essay question! So many schools used to ask this question and now Haas is one of the very few which still does. Why not just give applicants a chance to showcase their best professional accomplishments as they apply to a school that is supposed to be a catalyst for professional success?

Your response should be very straightforward. Identify the accomplishment and then use a narrative form to show how you achieved your goal. That said, this is not the place to brag –the admissions committee should understand that you performed quite well without you telling them! By relying on what you did and how you did, rather than why you are so great, you will both show that you are an elite performer and that you are appropriately humble.

Remember, any great accomplishment is hard won. If you story does not have a clear conflict, then it is not the right story to share. You don’t need to reveal yourself to be a hothead, battling to achieve something important to you, but you do need to show that through your efforts you met challenges and overcame them. And, this can be done in 300 words!

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)

Berkeley-Haas still wants to know about your goals and why you need Haas to facilitate/accelerate your career. However, they are asking you to discuss your career path in an indirect way – they are forcing you to walk a few steps in your post-MBA shoes, rather than imagine an ideal now. It seems clear that they are pushing candidates to really think about their post-MBA careers and consider the plausibility of their paths, possibly to mitigate the possibility of admitting those who do not have sufficient direction to succeed.

In the first section, you should relate your strengths to your target company, showing examples from your existing professional life and in some rare cases personal interests. You should definitely research your target firm and understand what they are seeking and the values they hold dear. Avoid clichés like, “I am tech-savvy and dynamic and would be a perfect fit for Google.” This is way too superficial – you need to show a profound understanding of your target company in order to show the “fit” that will impress the admissions committee.

“Better…than any other employee” is a pretty high-bar for you to clear. You should not be daunted by this phrasing. We would advise you to think carefully about your professional strengths and relate them to a task that you see yourself fulfilling or even an intangible aspect of how you will conduct yourself (maybe you foster community incredibly well, though it will not officially be part of your job as a marketing associate at Clorox). If you can offer something that you truly do better than others, then that is awesome, but most will reveal an aspect of their experience that is inordinately strong and that should be compelling enough.

In section C, we revert back to pretty typical personal statement phraseology. And, because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

For a thorough exploration of UC-Berkeley Haas’s academic program, merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley.

Optional Essays

(Optional) 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)

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

(Optional) 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)

In this optional essay, this is not the place to make excuses or try to explain a bad grade. Instead, ensure that for you, the glass is half-full. While you can acknowledge an area of weakness, you should be focused on revealing your areas of strength. Your goal in this essay is to briefly and powerfully show that your quantitative abilities only appear as a weakness but are in fact a strength. Several examples of how you can execute on this are revealed in the mbaMission Optional Statement Guide. If you truly do not have any quantitative strengths to point to, then you would be wise to enroll in additional course work and mention that in this essay.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Ross Thursday Happy Hours at Score [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2014, 11:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Ross Thursday Happy Hours at Scorekeepers
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Michigan Ross students gather for happy hour, sponsored by the Ross Students Association (RSA), every Thursday at Scorekeepers, or “Skeeps,” a watering hole near campus. This sports bar and grill offers cheap drinks, good music and lots of TVs—especially important when a game is on. (Members of the RSA usually drink for free for the first few hours of the evening.) The casual atmosphere offers an opportunity to “unwind, free your mind of assignments and corporate recruiting, and socialize with classmates,” asserts the RSA’s Web site. Happy Hours are occasionally frequented by faculty and often co-sponsored by Ross clubs and organizations.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Ross and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Emory University’s Goizueta Business  [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2014, 12:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Emory University’s Goizueta Business School
MBA applicants tend to overvalue rankings and so can overlook some strong business schools that might be a good fit. In this series, we profile amazing programs at schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Named after late Coca-Cola CEO Roberto C. Goizueta, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is deeply rooted in a legacy of global business leadership. Goizueta’s MBA program offers one- and two-year formats, strives to maintain an intimate learning environment and affords its students the benefits of being located in a significant global commercial hub. One of the notable advantages of the program has been its recent success in attracting recruiters, showing a 30% increase in on-campus recruiting in 2010 despite a challenging job market. In fact, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Goizueta first for employment in 2012. The school’s recruiting strengths seem to be reflected in the latest career report as well—98% of the Class of 2013 received job offers within three months of graduation and accepted positions with such major companies as Accenture, Bank of America, Deloitte, Delta, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company and SaraLee.
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Friday Factoid: Chicago Booth for Marketing? [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2014, 12:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Chicago Booth for Marketing?
You may be surprised to know that Chicago Booth is making inroads into an area that its crosstown rival (Kellogg) is known to dominate: marketing. Through the James M. Kilts Center—named for the Chicago Booth alumnus who was formerly CEO of Gillette and Nabisco (and is now chair of A.C. Nielsen)—Chicago Booth offers students roughly a dozen marketing electives. In particular, the school is growing its experiential opportunities in the marketing field, with students taking part in marketing management labs (semester-long consulting projects) recently at Abbott, Barclays and Honeywell. Further, professors in the department saw opportunities for increased practical involvement and created “hybrid” classes in “Marketing Research” and “Consumer Behavior” that involve a lecture component but also allow students to work on shorter-term consulting projects. Students can also sign up to be paired with an alumni marketing mentor, or participate in “day-at” visits to major marketing firms and companies such as PepsiCo, Wrigley and Kraft. Although Kellogg’s reputation for excellence in marketing is firmly intact, we have to assume that the folks in Evanston are occasionally glancing over their shoulders to see if Chicago Booth is gaining any more ground.

For a thorough exploration of what Chicago Booth and other top business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides series.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Do Your B-School Research [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Do Your B-School Research
Several top business schools explicitly ask candidates about the steps they have taken to learn about their MBA program. Via such questions, the schools are testing you: they want to know that you have a sincere desire to gain a place in their next entering class specifically, and so they want to know that you have made a concerted and genuine effort to get to know them. So, when answering such questions, you absolutely must demonstrate your profound interest in the school.

Explaining that you have read the business school’s Web site is not sufficient, considering that this resource is available to anyone, and frankly, the admissions committee would expect you to do this. Although you could mention your Web research as a starting point if something very particular or unusual caught your attention, you are better off sharing your other—and ideally firsthand and in-person—experiences with the school instead. By discussing the details of your class visits and particularly of your interactions with admissions officers, students, professors and/or alumni, you will “prove” to the admissions committee that you have truly been striving to learn more and understand your fit with the school. In essence, if you are showing the committee that you have extended yourself to learn, you have surpassed a minimum requirement.

A great starting point for learning whether a particular business school is right for you is our  mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Mission Admission: Taking the GMAT Again [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2014, 11:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Taking the GMAT Again
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

When candidates ask us whether they should take the GMAT again, our instinct is always to reply with this key question: “Do you think you can do better?” If the candidate does indeed believe that he/she can improve, the next question we get is inevitably “What do the business schools think of multiple scores?”

Fortunately, MBA programs do not frown on candidates taking the test more than once. Many applicants feel that they have to be “perfect” the first time and that any subsequent test they take—particularly if they receive a lower score—might be damaging. This is not the case. In fact, Dartmouth Tuck, for example, anticipates that applicants will take the test more than once and openly states its willingness to accept and then “fuse” candidates’ highest Verbal and Quantitative scores, if they occur on separate tests. Meanwhile, other programs have been known to call candidates and tell them that if they can increase their GMAT scores, they will be offered admission.

From an admissions perspective, accepting a candidate’s highest GMAT scores is in an MBA program’s best interest, because doing so will in turn raise the school’s GMAT average, which is then reported to rankings bodies (Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, etc.) and could positively influence the school’s position in the surveys. So, do not be afraid to take the test two or even three times. It cannot really hurt you. It can only help you.
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Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2014, 13:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
If you are thinking about applying to the Yale School of Management (SOM) this year, you had better make sure your resume is clear and compelling, your recommendations are replete with examples and showcase your distinctiveness, you offer your best and most comprehensive self via your interview and you carefully consider each short-answer question. These are all important tasks with any application, of course, but why do they merit extra attention with respect to Yale? Because Yale is offering you just one essay and only 500 words with which to make a memorable impression, and that is simply not enough room to reveal all your diverse achievements. In writing your one essay, you have a very important choice to make, because those few words will shape much of your initial qualitative impression. Our analysis follows…

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Essay 1: 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)


As we have noted, you are quite limited with the Yale SOM application essay this year, so you will have to think very carefully about which experience to showcase. As the question makes clear, you need to show evidence of positive influence and enduring impact. This does not mean, however, that you must have reshaped an entire organization. If you helped revamp your firm’s hiring function, thereby influencing future hiring, or shifted a key thinker’s strategy, thereby triggering a ripple effect that yielded positive results, or added an important feature to a product, thereby making it a revenue driver, then you have doubtlessly had an impact. In other words, Yale is not expecting CEO-level influence from you, but it is expecting that you have made a mark of some kind within your sphere. Of course, if you actually have led the overhaul of an entire organization, that is great, but again, it is not a requirement.

To create a strong essay, put your reader in the middle of the action quickly. With 500 words, you will not have enough room to expound on your organization’s background and its failures/needs. Instead, launch immediately into your narrative, presenting the problem you worked to solve or the opportunity you tried to seize. Then focus on how you conducted yourself on your way to positively influencing affairs and making an enduring impact—how you ultimately solved that problem or seized that opportunity. And, as regular readers of our essay analyses know, you must show that the path to your victory was a bumpy one, because if the whole thing was a slam dunk from the beginning, your story will lack dramatic tension—your reader will finish with a “big deal” shrug.

Be very clear to show “lasting impact,” which means you should not be afraid to carry your story through to its end. For example, revamping a firm’s hiring can have many ripple effects in terms of attracting employees who are better fits and leading to improved performance for both a team and the firm overall. Do not brag, but do not be too modest, either. Be fair to yourself and present the full story of your accomplishment, all the way to its logical conclusion. If your essay is humble (because of its narrative approach, it has to be!), your reader will gladly follow you there.

For a thorough exploration of  the Yale SOM academic program, merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Yale School of Manangement.
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Professor Profiles: Subramonia Sarma, Indian School of Busin [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2014, 11:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Subramonia Sarma, Indian School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when choosing a business school, but the educational experience is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Subramonia Sarma from the Indian School of Business (ISB).

Though not a full professor at the ISB, Subramonia Sarma helps drive a majority of the entrepreneurship programming at the school. As head of ISB Special Programs, he oversees the ELP, the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum and the ISB’s business plan competitions (including the Global Social Venture Competition). Sarma also personally mentors ISB students and alumni who seek to create and grow their businesses.

On campus, Sarma is perhaps best known for one of his contributions to Professor Kavil Ramachandran’s “Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture” class: the “Make as Much as You Can” Challenge, in which teams of up to five students and community members receive ten dollars in seed capital and then race to create the most profit in a span of seven days while conducting business solely within ISB walls. Students then submit three-minute slide and video presentations on their learnings in this entrepreneurial guerilla boot camp and compete for one of the top three prizes. Past student teams have created businesses that offer massages, singing telegrams, section t-shirts and seemingly just about everything else both legal and imaginable. One year, starting with a total initial investment of $400, the 40 student teams created a return of $8,000. According to Sarma, the only campus member not delighted with the outcome was the dean, who, to be fair to all, had to partake of each and every student team’s offering. At some point in their time at the ISB, nearly all students will come into contact with Sarma, who told mbaMission, “Part of my job is to help students do whatever they want to do.”

For more information about the ISB and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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B-School Chart of the Week: Job Searching Overseas [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2014, 14:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: Job Searching Overseas
Finding international opportunities may be more challenging than finding a job at home, but business school offers a clear-cut advantage. MBA students can recruit with top global firms on campus or try their hand at an “off-grounds” search by finding positions on their own and leveraging their business school’s brand. The MBA credential can be very helpful in opening doors (particularly if the school enjoys a strong reputation in your desired region) and both international classmates and alumni around the world will become part of your network, facilitating connections and opportunities.

Although a relatively small percentage of total graduates take jobs abroad (at the higher end, 20.4% in Wharton’s Class of 2013), plenty of opportunity exists, and many top-ranked schools have been expanding their footprints globally. For example, Wharton placed 8.3% of its 2013 graduates in Asia, followed by 6% who took jobs in Europe. South/Central America was the most popular international job destination for Chicago Booth MBAs, accounting for 7.4% of its Class of 2013. Applicants with an eye on working overseas should be sure to investigate their target school’s employment reports, find out which global firms recruit on campus, and get a feel for how well-known the school’s brand is around the world.

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MBA News: Thunderbird Seeks Merger with Arizona State [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2014, 08:00
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Thunderbird Seeks Merger with Arizona State
After suffering an $8.7M loss in 2013 and abandoning plans to team up with for-profit firm Laureate Education, Thunderbird School of Global Management has found another potential lifeline to allay its financial woes. The business school announced in a press release last week that it signed a letter of intent with Arizona State University and will pursue a merger by the end of July, thereby making Thunderbird a separate unit within the ASU system.

The deal will likely allow Thunderbird to cut expenses by integrating its operations and academic resources with those of ASU. “Arizona State’s motivations are less clear,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek, pointing out that the university is already home to the W.P. Carey School of Business (Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Carey four spots behind Thunderbird, at number 49, in 2012). “We don’t intend to offer competing MBAs,” commented ASU’s senior vice president, suggesting that some of Thunderbird’s degree programs could be cut or consolidated. The press release similarly states that the intention is to make the two programs “complementary,” though details of what exactly the merger will entail have yet to be specified.

This deal may keep Thunderbird afloat, but it could also meet with resistance from an already embittered alumni community who objected to the controversial Laureate proposal on the grounds that it would cheapen the degree. Between financial challenges and internal division, it remains to be seen what the ASU merger will mean for the future of the Thunderbird MBA.
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