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An Open Letter to 2018 MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2017, 12:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: An Open Letter to 2018 MBA Applicants
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To: All 2018 MBA Applicants

From: Linda Abraham

It’s time for my annual memo/harangue/plea/rant.

If you are planning to apply Round 1 in the fall, but have not yet thought about why you want an MBA, taken the GMAT/GRE, researched schools, or evaluated your qualifications, please please please keep reading. And then get started!

I would like to help you avoid the harried hassle and diminished application quality that accompany rushed applications. Just to be clear: Rushed applications are started just a few weeks before the deadlines by applicants who cogitate, procrastinate, or just start thinking about applying late in the cycle. Instead follow the example of those many applicants who start their applications months before applying and who work steadily to complete them by their deadlines.

Those people are getting started now.

My 20+ years in this business tell me that those who start the application process 9-12 months before they apply:

• Get into more and “better” schools

• Are more likely to get scholarships

• Are more prepared for b-school when they arrive on campus

They simply do better in the MBA application process than those who wait until the eleventh hour (or even the tenth).

Those better prepared applicants – they are your real competition. And the best way to compete is to start the race now.

Not tomorrow. Not next week or month or quarter. Now.

Start Your GMAT or GRE Prep

Once you determine that you have a goal that requires an MBA, start preparing for the GMAT or GRE. Don’t wait for the summer or “later.” Your test score is a critical element in your application. Choosing schools without knowing that number leads to all kinds of aggravation, stress, and unpleasant surprises.

Every year I get calls, emails, and comments from applicants who bombed the GRE or the GMAT and don’t have time to retake it. They are torn between applying to the programs they really want to attend but where their test score (and perhaps other elements) are less than competitive, and applying to programs where they are competitive but where they aren’t dying to go.

It’s a dilemma you can avoid by allowing yourself the time to retake the GRE/GMAT, if necessary.

Lower than expected test scores can throw a major monkey wrench in your plans when you take the test within two months of your target deadlines. However, if you bomb it in the spring, you will still have months to prepare again and retake the exam before the deadlines – even the first round deadlines.

Where to Apply: Dartboard vs. Intent

And then there are the applicants who don’t understand the importance of fit in the application process. They just know they want an MBA from a Top X-ranked school. They may or may not have a specific goal or reason to pursue an MBA, and they really could just as easily be throwing darts at a list of schools to determine where to invest their time and money.

Or maybe they just started too late to do the research and reflection that they could’ve and should’ve done had they started earlier. Like now.

In any case, this superficial approach could lead to rejection, a very expensive mistake, or a less than optimal MBA experience.

Apply purposefully to specific programs that support your goals and at which you are competitive. Don’t apply to rankings. You won’t attend rankings. You’ll attend a graduate business school.

Writing is Rewriting & Requires Time

Some of you know why you want an MBA, have good reasons for selecting the school you will apply to, and will get the GMAT or GRE score that you want the first time you take the exam; so you may be feeling a little smug. Okay, so you got the first part of the application process done. Yay!

However, if you slack off and wait for the last minute to complete your applications, you will end up rushing the writing process for your essays, short answer questions, and resume, or the practice/filming process for video options on your application. Either way, you will end up rushing.

Bad idea. And bad ideas lead to bad results.

Writing – whether long essays, short essays, scripts, activity descriptions, or resumes – benefits from time. Temporal distance between revisions improves critical analysis and editing. In contrast, scrambling to slap something together leads to sloppy thinking and writing.

Getting the GMAT or GRE out of the way, thinking profoundly about fit, and starting your essays early are all important steps, but you can’t just assume that ticking items off of your checklist will get you into b-school. You need something more comprehensive than that…

A Holistic, Purposeful Approach to the MBA Application Process

New Year’s Resolution: Proceed purposefully, methodically, and thoughtfully so that you submit a superior MBA application to the most appropriate schools at the most desirable deadline for you.

We’ve all made resolutions this year, but do yourself a favor and make the resolution above the 2017 resolution that you stick to.

I’m going to help you keep this one by laying out the process holistically from January through September so that you can present a superior application. It’s not just the test score or the GPA or the years of work experience or solid extracurriculars. It’s all of the above.

I’ve mapped out the process for you here. [Click here to view full size]

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If you are aiming for the Round 1 deadlines, you can download the PDF, print it, and tape it on your mirror, wall, fridge, or wherever you’ll regularly see it. Alternatively we have created a public Google doc that you can copy and paste and modify to suit your needs. Then using the timeline as a guide, add the above tasks to your calendar. And do them.

If you follow this MBA timeline, your MBA dreams will not be a mad, breathless sprint to the finish line, but a long, steady jog that allows you to successfully complete the MBA application marathon.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsMBA Admissions from A-Z: 26 Great Tips [Free Guide]

Navigate the MBA Maze: 9 Tips for Getting Accepted

Business School Selectivity Index: Do You Have Competitive Stats for Your Dream School?

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post An Open Letter to 2018 MBA Applicants appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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You Can Do It: Reject Rejection! [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: You Can Do It: Reject Rejection!
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For some, the new year is a time for hearing good admissions news; but for others, 2017 may be off to a grim start. If you’ve received a rejection letter from your target school (or – sigh – from all your target schools), then you may be feeling more doom and less hopeful for the coming year.

It’s hard to get into grad school – harder now than ever before, with more applicants vying for those top spots than in recent years. The blow can be particularly brutal if you scored interviews or made it to the waitlist – if you came this close to getting in – and then received that fateful letter after your hopes had been so high.

Time for a reality check!

It’s okay to be bummed, but let’s try not to make bad news worse than it has to be. Your career goals have not been demolished. No one has told you that you’ll never be a (fill in the blank – doctor/lawyer/teacher/consultant/engineer). This rejection may very well delay or modify a career dream, but the only way it can derail you completely is if you let it do that.

Don’t.

Instead, vent as much as you need to, and then start moving on. Here are three ways you can do that:

1. Revise your plans.

Was going to grad school really the only path to achieving your dreams? Did grad school need to happen now?

If grad school truly wasn’t an option any more, what would you do? Long-term plans are important, but it’s important to grow every day, in some way, and to avoid staking your entire future on one major event (i.e., getting into graduate school).

What are short-term goals you want to achieve at work and in your personal life – job-related, fitness, family, friends, hobbies, spirituality? Don’t just give lip service to these things; think them through, in part because they may be crucial to the next strategy.

2. Reapply to top-choice and other programs.

More and more applicants these days are reapplicants – people who didn’t give up. And guess what? Reapplicants are more likely to get in than those in the general pool. Why? Usually because reapplicants represent a more dedicated, focused, “serious” group. They know they want to get into a particular school, they know why, and they (usually) know what it takes and have worked hard to achieve it.

So start thinking about which programs you really want to focus on next time, and start building an application that will turn a disappointing “no” into a triumphant “yes.”

Also, be willing to cast a wider net if you didn’t get at least some positive results (e.g., interviews) overall.

3. Keep things in perspective.

Getting rejected from grad school is the pits. But we promise, it is NOT the worst thing in the world! Through this experience, you’ll learn loads about yourself: you’ll re-prioritize your goals, adjust your timeline, gain more experience on the job, take additional classes, network with more people, and overall, enrich your life so that when you apply next year or when you decide to head out on a different career path, you’ll be more prepared and more successful.

These tips will help you keep perspective, even when the news you get isn’t the news you want. And if reapplication is your answer, then make sure you get in touch – Accepted is here to help you learn from your mistakes and create a take 2 application that will get you IN.

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Related Resources:

• Rejected! What Next?

Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

• Rejection Review Services

Tags: Admissions Consulting, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post You Can Do It: Reject Rejection! appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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A McDonough MBA Student’s Take on Journalism & Social Responsibility [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: A McDonough MBA Student’s Take on Journalism & Social Responsibility
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Gabe Nelson…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Gabe: I grew up in Washington, D.C., just a few miles up the road from Georgetown University. Then I went away to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where I double-majored in Political Science and English and learned how a real winter feels. After graduating in 2009, I worked as a journalist for seven years before going back to school.

Accepted: If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Gabe: I’d say I’m intellectual, focused and honest. (For better and for worse!)

Accepted: If you could meet any famous person – past or present – who would it be and why?

Gabe: It’s kind of strange, but as a business school student I’ve thought a lot about the empire-builders of ancient history. People like Cyrus the Great and Augustus Caesar. It’s not much of a stretch to describe them as the corporate titans of their day. They used skills and resources and strategy to group people into a multinational empire. For an empire to last, it needs a socioeconomic and political system that is stable enough not to collapse. These leaders did that without modern science or technology or a modern understanding of political science, economics and psychology. I wish I could talk to them and understand how they did what they did. What motivated them? How did they lead the people around them? How did they organize their empires and why? How did they justify or come to terms with the negative consequences of their actions?

Accepted: Where are you currently attending b-school? What year are you?

Gabe: I started the full-time MBA program at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business this August. I’m a first year and a proud member of the Saxa cohort. (We have four cohorts in our full-time program: Hoya, Saxa, Blue and Gray.)

Accepted: What made you ultimately decide on Georgetown McDonough? How did you know it was the right “fit”?

Gabe: Having grown up in Washington and studied political science, I’m passionate about the intersection of business and society. I personally believe that a healthy free market relies on society to set and enforce the rules of free and fair exchange. And it was clear to me that Georgetown was the absolute best place to learn about this interplay. Just last month, I got to walk out of class and watch Treasury Secretary Jack Lew give a speech in our main lecture hall. In our own building, we had one of the most powerful financial regulators in the world talking about the high-stakes decisions we learn about in finance and accounting, everything from corporate tax rates to incentives to repatriate foreign earnings. These are opportunities that you cannot get anywhere else. I was also drawn to the new Certificate in Non-Market Strategy, which focuses on elements of strategy that do not follow traditional economic logic, like interactions with regulators and the legal system. You apply during your first year, so I’m about to put in my application.

There were some other personal factors in my decision. I got married over the summer and I needed to consider where my wife and I would both be happy to live. Finances were also important to me. But I really knew McDonough was the right place when I visited for an admitted students weekend last winter. I went to two of them back to back. One was for McDonough and the other for a Top 5 brand-name program. It’s easy to be drawn to the allure of the brand-name school, but I felt so at home with McDonough. It was smaller, more intimate. The people were kind and supportive. Lots of students seemed to care about using business to do good, not just to do well for themselves. It all felt right.

In my first few months at school, this has been absolutely borne out. It’s a rigorous program. We work very hard; academics aren’t an afterthought here. But it isn’t a competitive environment at all. People care about each other and they do anything they can to help their peers. This is a place where if someone is strong in a certain subject, they don’t just try to beat the curve. They run review sessions and help lift up their peers. It’s a community.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise other applicants who may be experiencing similar challenges?

Gabe: Reflecting on the applications I submitted, my biggest challenge was probably my background as a journalist. Business schools are looking for team players, and working as a reporter is kind of a “lone wolf” job. It’s also a squishy, creative profession, so it was difficult for me to quantify how my work actually created value for my company. For anyone who is in a similar position, I think it’s so important to find ways to address your perceived shortcomings. Schools want to see that you’re aware of your weaknesses, that you understand what it will take to succeed and that you are committed to making yourself a more well-rounded professional. When I think about my most effective essays, this is where they succeeded.



Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering Georgetown and current activities)? How have those activities helped shape your career?

Gabe: While I was in college at the University of Michigan, I started working as a news reporter at The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper. After a few years I rose up the ranks to become managing editor, staying up late every night editing the pages of the newspaper and sending them to the printer. It was what inspired me to go into journalism after I graduated in 2009. After college I worked as a reporter, first covering environmental and energy policy on Capitol Hill. Then I joined Automotive News, the business journal of the auto industry, with assignments in Washington and San Francisco. Although I knew fairly quickly that I didn’t want to work as a journalist forever, I don’t regret my choice for a second. It was a blast.

While working in Washington, DC, I volunteered as an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer. I can’t say that it shaped my career, but I think it helped me develop empathy. By doing someone’s taxes, you learn so much about their family and their work and their life. You understand how many people in the United States are struggling to make ends meet, and you hear horror stories about the ways that businesses (landlords, employers, utilities) have treated them. It doesn’t map directly onto my career, but I think this kind of empathy is hugely important for business leaders. Businesses can have a positive impact on people’s lives or a negative impact. We as leaders all need to bear responsibility for the type of impact we will have.

Here at Georgetown, I’ve been an active member of Net Impact, which is dedicated to using the power of business for social and environmental good. It has been a great opportunity to connect with like-minded students and learn about careers at the intersection of business and society. Five or ten years ago, the trend for big corporations was to dedicate specific executives to sustainability or corporate social responsibility. Through events like the national Net Impact conference and our Net Impact career day, I’m seeing that start to change. Companies are starting to expect all of their executives to think about social responsibility. And that has shaped my goals, so I’m thinking of working within a traditional role like corporate strategy while aligning the business to make the world a better place.

Accepted: Lastly, some people are unsure of how they’ll manage all aspects of life, work, and an MBA program. Can you share your top three tips for staying on top of everything?

Gabe: There’s a common theme to my advice: pick your priorities. Time is at a premium and you simply can’t do everything.

1. Pick your extracurricular priorities before classes start. There are so many things to do, from student organizations to case competitions to career treks. You need to decide what’s important to you. If you want to solve real-world business challenges, choose your case competitions and form strong teams. If you want a leadership role on campus, choose the role and make a plan to get it. There are so many opportunities that if you come into school and dabble without a clear focus, the first semester will be over before you know it and you won’t be on track to meet your goals.

2. Make time for self-care activities that matter to you. The first few months of an MBA are insanely busy. We at McDonough arrived on campus and immediately dove into an intensive preterm course called Structure of Global Industries that stuffs 3 credits into three weeks. Some of my classmates who used to go to the gym everyday stopped going to the gym. People deprived themselves of sleep. They stopped spending time with their spouses and kids and friends. My advice: you need to resist this urge. Decide what you need to be happy and make time for it. There’s always one more reading for class, one more recruiter presentation, one more club meeting. If you’re actually happy, you’ll do so much better at the activities you choose to do.

3. Put learning above grades. To be sure, a few companies care about your grades. (If you’re targeting those companies, you already know who they are.) But the vast majority of companies care much less about your grades than they care about your skills, your experience, your intelligence and your personality. Be sure to use your time in school to truly develop skills and experience and grow as a person. If you want to learn financial modeling but you have no background, go for it. If you want to become a better leader or teammate, focus your efforts on team projects. If you want to open your network to new people, do it. If that means you get a B- in a class, then so be it. Odds are, nobody cares about that B- besides you.

Feel free to check out Gabe’s website Gabe Nelson and follow him on Twitter (@GabrielKNelson). Thank you Gabe for sharing your story and advice with us – we wish you continued success!

[b]For one-on-one guidance with your b-school application, check out our MBA Application Packages.[/b]

Do you want to be featured in Accepted’s blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

• Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

• Georgetown McDonough 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post A McDonough MBA Student’s Take on Journalism & Social Responsibility appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future
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Schools are looking for applicants who can show that they have strong leadership qualities and experiences, and demonstrate that they will actively contribute to their student/alumni communities, not to mention to the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive.

So how can you show what you will do in the future? Point to the past. Most admission committees are firm believers that past behavior reveals abilities and interests and is a good predictor of the future.

Here are four tips to help you relay the message that you plan on achieving greatness by contributing to your school/community/world-at-large, by highlighting your impressive past.

1. Share the story of past achievements and quantify if possible the impact you had.

By showing how you’ve already contributed, you demonstrate that you have the initiative, people skills, and organizational talent to make an impact in the future.

2. Discuss skills you’ve developed that will aid to future contributions.

You can show the adcoms that you’re prepared to give back by proving that you have the appropriate skills and the tools needed. Use evidence to support your skill development by talking about how you’ve worked to build your skill set (by taking a course or through work experience, etc.). Analyze your success and failures (when asked for the latter) to reveal that you are a thinking, growing, dynamic individual. And when asked about failures or setbacks, discuss what you learned from the tough times. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

3. Show how your skills are transferable.

To contribute to your classmates or school, you’ll need to show how your unique talents or experiences can be shared with your classmates, professors, or work colleagues. Talk about how your skills, understanding, and ethics can impact those around you.

4. Mention how your target school will help.

Now the adcom readers know that you’ve got skills and that you’re ready to share them. Next, you need to reinforce the idea that their school is THE PLACE to accelerate your upward trajectory.

A good essay on your contributions will cover each of the above topics – what you’ve done in the past, how you’ve developed your skills, how you plan on sharing that knowledge, and how your target school will help you effect change. Remember, the past reveals much about the future, so share the story of what you’ve done and how you’ve reached this point and you’ll be well on your way to proving that you’ve got what it takes to contribute in the future.

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Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary, your guide to writing outstanding essays

How to Tell a Great Story in Your Application Essays

3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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Swoon-Worthy MBA Application Tips Video View-able Now! [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Swoon-Worthy MBA Application Tips Video View-able Now!
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Linda recently presented an exciting webinar – about how to make top b-school adcom fall in love with you. That webinar, 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You, is now available for online viewing, anytime and anywhere.

Some of the topics that Linda addresses during the webinar include:

• How to prove that you will excel at your target program.

• Ways to show how you and your target program are MFEO through your shared goals.

• What to do and what not to do to make sure your MBA application takes the adcom’s breath away.

…and more!

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View 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Swoon-Worthy MBA Application Tips Video View-able Now! appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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Walk Me Through Your Resume [MBA Interview Questions Series] [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Walk Me Through Your Resume [MBA Interview Questions Series]
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This blog post is the first in a series of articles analyzing some of the most popular MBA interview questions and how to best respond to them. In this post, we’ll address “Walk Me Through Your Resume“:

Reason for asking the question:

1. This question (or some version of it) is very often the first question asked in an MBA interview, since it should be a fairly easy question to answer and provides a foundation for the rest of the interview. Can the candidate remain focused on answering the question? Is he or she especially nervous? Can the candidate summarize his or her work accomplishments succinctly while at the same time providing a narrative about career progression? All of this information is helpful to manage the interview.

2. The interviewer has already had the chance to look at your resume, but wants to understand the “why” of it. The responsibility of the candidate is to highlight some career accomplishments, but primarily to explain the reasoning and motivation for the most significant career moves made.

How to prepare:

The answer to this question should be 2-3 minutes long, so once you have chosen the things you would like to highlight, practice your answer several times to make sure you can fit it into that timeframe. The point is not to summarize everything you have done at every job, but to briefly discuss accomplishments and the circumstances surrounding moves from one role to another. The logical starting point is your graduation from college. Summarize the degree you received and how it made sense to pursue the career you did based on your education. From there, look closely at your jobs. In one-two sentences, how would you discuss your time in that role? What was the motivating factor to move from that role to the next one? For your current job, lay out your current responsibilities. While it may be tempting to continue on and also answer “why an MBA” when you get there, just wait until that question is asked.

How to highlight particular circumstances:

Situation 1: Worked two years at a consulting firm, then switched to work in marketing at a pharmaceutical company.

“While at XX Consulting I had an extended engagement with a major pharma company. Working there made me realize the growth and potential of the industry, and I no longer wanted to be an outsider looking in. I wanted to XYZ.”

Situation 2: Worked in operations at a manufacturer, then switched to finance.

“During my time in operations I worked closely with the finance group in preparing our supply chain forecast. Through that experience I came to realize that I really loved numbers, and finance more closely fit with where I saw my career going. I made the case to senior management, and after recognizing my capabilities in the area they found a spot for me.”

Situation 3: Moved up in the organization from analyst to senior analyst to associate.

“I was fortunate to be involved in projects that gave me a lot of responsibility early on and had supportive mentors along the way. This allowed me to be recognized for my contributions and move up in the organization.” [In this type of situation, mentioning a few details of the projects would be appropriate.]

Important things to remember:

1. Do not rehash everything on your resume. Remember, the interviewer will have already read through it, and seen several details. They want to understand WHY you have done what you have in your career thus far.

2. Stay focused. Don’t get bogged down in details that the interviewer doesn’t need or want to know. HIGHLIGHT and move on.

Additional things to consider:

It’s possible the interviewer might ask “Tell me about yourself” instead. In this case, it is still appropriate to give the details about your work experience, but also to give some background on you. Possible things to share: Where you grew up, interesting information about your childhood/schooling, why you chose to go to the university you did, and why you chose to study what you did. Essentially, by wording the question this way, the interviewer is encouraging you to include more personal details about your life, both current and from the past.

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Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Want Jen to help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

Prepare for Your Interview With an MBA Admissios Pro!

6 Steps to Follow After You Receive Your MBA Interview Invite

• 4 Steps to Preparing for MBA Interviews

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Walk Me Through Your Resume [MBA Interview Questions Series] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Building Your Consulting Career, and a Look Back at a Tuck MBA [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Building Your Consulting Career, and a Look Back at a Tuck MBA
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Today’s guest, J. Kenton Kivestu, graduated from UVA with a BA in economics and history in 2006. Upon graduating he joined Google in product development and worked there for 3 years until he moved to Hanover New Hampshire to attend the Tuck School of Business and earn his MBA. He interned at BCG, but returned to mobile product development as a manager at Zynga when he graduated from Tuck in 2011. After several promotions, he joined Flurry. Immediately upon graduating from Tuck, he began work on RocketBlocks, where he is now full time.  We’re going to learn much more about RocketBlocks and Kenton’s journey to date. Welcome!

What is RocketBlocks? [1:28]

It’s an interactive, skills-based platform that helps students prepare for consulting case interviews. We started it in 2011, and I recently started working on it full time.

What are the interactive elements? [2:05]

If you think about what a case interview is, there are variations among the consulting firms, but ultimately they’re all looking for certain skillsets: the ability to do mental math easily and comfortably; the ability to interpret charts and data; the ability to structure a nebulous problem.

When we say it’s interactive, it means we take the skillsets needed for a case interview and build interactive drills to help you build your skills.

Can you give an example? [4:05]

Take case structuring, for example. Our drills will allow you to go through a series of case style prompts and answer how you would address the problem. Then the system will give you a suggested answer (from a former consultant), so you can compare your answer with theirs. You can also compare your answer with anonymous answers from other students.

Are those student answers rated? [5:40]

Right now they’re curated. We’re thinking of a rating system.

How did you create RocketBlocks? [5:50]

During b-school, I did an internship at BCG. Ultimately, I didn’t pursue consulting, but on my return to Tuck I helped students prepare for the case interview. My friend and I saw that a lot of students used books to prepare, and memorized frameworks. It was very different from how I’d prepared. My friend at McKinsey saw this as a problem, too, since people sometimes tried to fit things to the framework and sounded stilted. So our approach is to focus on skills.

You need to get good at assessing a unique situation and pull out tools from your toolset.

How did you choose the name RocketBlocks? [10:25]

The working version was called Blocks – because our approach was geared to teaching students the building blocks to succeed. When we wanted to register the domain, we wanted to keep that theme. We chose “rocket” because of the sense of launching a career.

There are other resources to help students prepare for case interviews – books, career services, etc. What makes RocketBlocks unique? [12:03]

Career centers are great resources to help students navigate the process, but they tend to be narrow teams. They don’t tend to get too deep into specialized interviewing, and they often have too many students to do really specialized mock interviews. They’re focused on education about career paths, companies, recruiting, etc.

And case books tend to be focused on frameworks and systems, and teach students to memorize those systems.

We’re focused on skills. I would not learn to be a good hockey player by reading articles, or by reading interviews with Wayne Gretzky. You need to practice skills.

A lot of students pair it with mock interviews or practice with friends. It helps them practice skills in areas they need to improve. You can target the areas you need to work on – so if structuring a problem is the key area, you can work on that, and if your concern is quantitative skills, you can really drill that.

Any plans to add a mock interview service? [16:45]

Our goal is to help students succeed in these interviews. It’s definitely something that’s on our radar. We don’t have any immediate plans to add it, but we may in the future.

What are the keys to navigating the consulting hiring process overall? [17:50]

Alongside the case and the analytical skills it focuses on – firms want a couple of things.

• Demonstrated leadership qualities. Consultants will be dropped into unique and challenging situations and need to be able to lead teams. So they’re looking for leadership.

• A lot of students come into the process and repeat what they think the firm wants to hear, rather than presenting their unique skillset to the firm. I recently interviewed a friend at Bain who said, basically, that some people think they’ve read the manual or have the cheat codes, and they’ll get it – but he just wants to meet a really smart person with something to add.

You started RocketBlocks for consulting. Do you see your company developing similar tools for other fields with skills-based interviews (product development, financial services, law, tech)?  [26:30]

The short answer is yes, why not?

The longer answer is: there’s more to do to make it the best it can be. I’m happy with where it is, but it can still be better. So in the short to medium term, I think we’re focused on this. But there are certainly other skills-based interviews, and there’s no reason why a skills based app wouldn’t work.

You earned your MBA from Tuck. Are you glad you went? [27:55]

It’s a tough question, but overall, yes. The experience and value is not what I thought I was going in for. I was focused on the academic aspect of the MBA (product development/management). But when I look at it now, the value I see is less in terms of the actual coursework and more in terms of the lifelong friends I made.

Did you achieve your academic goals? [31:21]

Yes. I learned a lot about finance and accounting that I didn’t know. That knowledge becomes rusty if you don’t apply it, so there’s a bit of a timing challenge.

Did your Tuck experience help you launch RocketBlocks? [34:30]

Yes, in a couple of ways. First, it highlighted a certain problem I wasn’t aware of – a special type of interview and how people were preparing in a way I thought could be improved. And I got really good general management training. Because Tuck is less steeped in Silicon Valley culture, there was value in getting training in traditional business models.

Are you glad you went to New Hampshire for b-school – far away from Silicon Valley? [37:25]

I think so. Contrast helps a lot. After graduating from undergrad, I lived in the Bay Area for three years. Moving back to the east coast helped illuminate why I like California.

And living in a small New England town was fun and special for a bit.

What could you have done without at Tuck? [39:50]

It’s not really Tuck specifically. But I think there’s a vortex at most MBA programs of sending students down specific career funnels.

Having two years to take a break from your career is a special privilege and opportunity. I would love to see more effort placed on career exploration.

[Linda: Many schools want students to think about that before applying for the MBA.]

What might b-schools look like in five years? How will they adapt? [46:45]

There’s a lot they can do to broaden the scope of skills they’re teaching. They’re often teaching students to go into large existing corporations. I would love to see more business-building skills, and hands-on skills.

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Related Links:

Rocketblocks

• Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Dartmouth Tuck B-School Zone Page

• Talking with a Military Tuckie

• Becca’s MBA Adventure through Tuck, Forte, and Food Trucks

Related Shows:

• From Tuck MBA to Stand-Up Comic and Author

• Tuck Talk: IV With The Director Of Admissions

• Saving Money on Your Student Loan Debt: The CommonBond Story

• Haas, McCombs, and Case Interviews

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions

The post Building Your Consulting Career, and a Look Back at a Tuck MBA [Episode 188] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Top Graduate School Admissions Directors Share the Inside Scoop [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Top Graduate School Admissions Directors Share the Inside Scoop
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Applying to graduate school and overwhelmed by your options? Don’t know how to find the right program for you?

Or have you already found your dream program, and need guidance for applying successfully?

For the past few years, Linda Abraham has been interviewing the director of admissions at top graduate programs on the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast. Here is a collection of enlightening podcast episodes that will help you discover some fascinating programs learn what the admissions directors are looking for when they review applications.

Listen, enjoy, and apply successfully!

London Business School Early Career Programs
Jamie Wright, Senior Recruitment and Admissions Manager 

Too Old for an MBA? Check Out 3 Outstanding MBA & EMBA Alternatives
Stephen Sacca, Director, MIT Sloan Fellows Program;

Silvia McCalliser-Castillo, Director, LBS EMBA-Global and Sloan Programmes;

Mike Hochleutner, Director, Stanford MSx Program

HBX CORe
Patrick Mullane, Executive Director

MIT Sloan’s Master in Business Analytics
Dr. Dimitris Bertsimas, Co-Director

UC Irvine MD/MBA 
Dr. Maria Chandler, Founder and Faculty Advisor 

Schwarzman Scholars Program
Dr. Rob Garris, Global Director

UVA MS in Global Commerce
Cyndy Huddleston, Associate Dean, Graduate Admissions & Corporate Relations

The Lauder Institute
Dr. Marcy Bevan & Kara Keenan Sweeney, Directors of Admission

Emory’s Juris Master Program
Dr. Lynn Labuda, Director of Emory’s Juris Master Program

CEMS Global Alliance, MiM
Roland Siegers, Executive Director

Harvard Kennedy School
Matt Clemons, Director of Admissions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Texas A&M EnMed
Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Vice Chancellor for Engineering for The Texas A&M University System

Kellogg School of Management MBA & MSMS Programs
Melissa Rapp, Director of Admissions

[b]How to Think Like a Deanof Admissions[/b]
Carol Drummer, Former Dean of Graduate Admissions

For a varied menu of thought-provoking and informative conversations with industry leaders, test prep experts, current students, and more, check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast:

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Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post Top Graduate School Admissions Directors Share the Inside Scoop appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications
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Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps:

1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you.

Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. When the admissions readers have finished reading your entire application, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a well-rounded and unique individual.

2. You’ve demonstrated fit with the program.

To demonstrate that tight fit that adcoms are seeking, you’ll need to have done some serious thinking about who you are and about how that person is compatible with the school’s mission, ideals, and culture.

3. You have selected the best recommenders.

The best recommenders are those people who really know you well and who will be able to draw from their unique experiences with you in composing their LOR. If your recommender doesn’t know you well, then his or her assessment of you may end up sounding generic and superficial. Plus, it may not be accurate.

4. Proofread, edit, and then proof some more!

Read your essay, as well as all other application components, aloud to make sure that you hear mistakes that your eyes may have glossed over. You may also want to recruit a friend, colleague or family member, or hire an admissions consultant, to help you edit your essays to perfection.

5. You’ve given yourself some time.

Don’t submit your app at the last minute. Rushing your application will create more room for error, the schools’ servers may be overloaded just before the buzzer, and you may lose your chance to apply on time if you wait until the last minute.

Think you’re ready to submit? Why not run your application by the experts for a final stamp of approval? Our admissions consultants and editors are standing by, ready to help you construct an application that shines, one that shows off your greatest achievements and talents, one that you’re truly excited and ready to submit. Contact us now for more details on how we can help.

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Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essays

Review Your Essays Like an Admissions Consultant: Use the Editing Funnel

• Linda Abraham’s Admissions Assortment

Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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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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4 Tips for Writing about Last Minute Extracurricular Activities [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2017, 11:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Tips for Writing about Last Minute Extracurricular Activities
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You want to write about all your fantastic non-school and non-work endeavors so that you really stand out from your competition, but when you start to think about it…you draw a blank. There must be SOMETHING you can show for how you use your free time, but what?

Have you found yourself in a last minute lurch looking for extracurricular activities? Note the following:

1. Better Late than Never

If you don’t have any extracurricular activities to speak of, then I suggest you find something interesting to do and start NOW. You may ask: “Isn’t it better to try and bypass the subject of extracurriculars entirely rather than highlight the fact that I’ve only gotten involved in an activity for the sake of my application? Won’t that seem phony?” While involvement in an extracurricular activity for just a few months is less impressive than long-term participation, it’s still better than presenting no participation at all. You can keep kicking yourself, over and over again, wishing that you had thought of this earlier and gotten involved in some activity years ago, but now’s not the time to harp on regrets; now is the time to act. Get out there and do something.

2. Even Short-Term Involvement Can Transform You

Participation in a non-school and non-work activities, even if just for a limited period of time, will elevate your flat, one-dimensional admissions profile into something more vibrant, colorful, and interesting. Now’s your chance to transform yourself from a pile of grades and scores into a real, live human being – one who pursues his or her interests and passions outside of the work and school arenas.

3. Your Application Efforts May be Delayed or Extended

Another reason why you should jump right into an extracurricular activity, even though you may feel like it’s too last minute, is because you don’t know for certain the outcome of your application effort. You may, for one reason or another, decide to push off applying until the next year. You may get waitlisted or you may get dinged from all your top choice schools and decide to reapply next year – whatever the case may be, this could be the beginning of what turns out to be an entire year of extracurricular involvement.

4. Hobbies are Good for YOU

Forget for a minute that you’re applying to school (if that’s possible) and think about what’s actually good for you. It’s not healthy to sit at work for 18+ hours a day only to go home and crash on the couch because you’re too tired to make it to bed. Forget the application process – you should find something to do non-work (and non-school and non-other-obligations) related because it will enrich your life and make you a happier person.

Mining Your Experiences to Find Extracurriculars

It’s possible that you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities without even realizing it. Mine your experiences to uncover unique experiences that could be considered “extracurricular.” You don’t need clear-cut activities like “Acted as president of the chess club” or “Volunteered in local soup kitchen”; consider non-traditional or non-altruistic activities, like singing in a choir, participating in a weekly fiction writing circle with friends, helping your hyperactive triplet cousins do homework catch-up once a week since forever ago.

These are all completely valid ways of breaking from work, and it won’t be hard to illustrate your passions and interests in these activities, not to mention the leadership skills you’ve developed and the other ways in which you grew and learned from them.

Take home message: It’s NEVER too late to get involved in some meaningful, interesting, and fun extracurricular activity!

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Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary, a free guide

• How to Give Your Application as Much Weight as Possible

• Add Detail to Your Social Enterprise/Community Service Goals

Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post 4 Tips for Writing about Last Minute Extracurricular Activities appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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How to Choose Between the GMAT and GRE and Start Preparing [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Choose Between the GMAT and GRE and Start Preparing
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We get a lot of questions about the GMAT and GRE: Is there an advantage to taking one exam over the other? What are the secrets to studying effectively and beating test anxiety? How can I get the best possible score? How do I start?

Here are some tips to help you navigate this part of the process.

First, determine which test you want to focus on. Do the programs you’re targeting accept both the GMAT and the GRE? If not, your answer is simple: take the one they accept. If they do accept both exams, determine which exam you’re likely to do better on by taking free practice exams (these are available from many test prep companies; you can also find free practice questions from ETS and GMAC, the testing agencies). Based on how your practice exams go, prepare for the test you feel you will do best on.

Another thing to consider when applying to programs that accept both exams: some firms (elite management consulting firms and investment banks) use the GMAT as a screening tool in recruiting, so depending on your career goals, you may want to take the GMAT.

How to prepare and take the exam

Some applicants set themselves a specific amount of preparation time to get their best score, then choose target programs based on their qualifications at that point (including the test score).

Other applicants select programs first, and determine a target test score based on the program’s average – and then prepare with that target in mind, scheduling the exam when their scores on practice exams are close to that target.

Both of these are reasonable strategies. Do what works for you.

Which test prep option is right for you?

You have a lot of options when it comes to studying for standardized tests – which route is best will depend on how you learn and what areas you need to strengthen. Especially if you know you’re someone who experiences test-taking anxiety (or you’ve struggled with standardized tests in the past), preparation is the key.

One option is self study, using traditional books and online study aids (such as sample questions and practice exams).

For a more structured approach, you could use an online course – these usually incorporate videos and instructional guides, along with self-paced study material and exams.

If you learn best in a classroom environment, then a traditional test prep class might be best for you. And if you’re someone who responds best to individual interaction (or if you know you have very specific areas you need to focus on in your preparation), then tutoring, either in person or online, may be the best choice.

Choose the best option for you based on the score improvement you are looking for, your budget, and personal preferences. If you only are looking to improve slightly over your practice exam, self study may be fine. If you are trying to raise your score significantly, then allow plenty of time and consider a course or tutoring.

Whichever preparation method you choose, study consistently and steadily to achieve your goals!

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Related Resources:

5 Killer GRE Prep Tips! [On-Demand Webinar]

Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE?

• More Business Schools Accepting GRE than Ever Before

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post How to Choose Between the GMAT and GRE and Start Preparing appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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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What is an Accomplishment? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What is an Accomplishment?
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Accomplishments constitute the bread and butter of personal statements and application essays. That may sound straightforward, however, a fascinating brainstorming session of Accepted admissions consultants reveals that applicants don’t always know what an accomplishment is. What goes into this application staple? And how can you analyze your own profile to find compelling accomplishments to write about?

The Bread = Impact.

Your accomplishment must show you as a contributor who has had a significant impact on a person, organization, or entity. Your accomplishment could be that you increased membership, led a team to victory, built a coalition in student government that did something fantastic, increased sales, cut costs, or found a solution to a problem that enabled a critical deal to go forward.

Notice we didn’t say that an accomplishment is simply an award you won – though some accomplishments do result in honors. The key thing for you to think about is your impact and initiative.

One way to start thinking about (and identifying) your accomplishments is to review your CV. What have you done, both in your professional and extracurricular roles? Which experiences stand out to you? Where did you really have an impact?

The Butter = Obstacles Overcome.

This is not fluff. Overcoming lack of resources – like time, money, innate talent, or people – magnifies your accomplishment manifold. Since we rarely have enough of everything for plans to go smoothly, make sure you tell the story of the difficulties you faced.

And what if you like jam with your bread and butter? What would sweeten the dish?

The Jam = Leadership.

Yes, your accomplishment could be a purely individual and personal one. And that dish would satisfy, but for most fields, an accomplishment involving others where you influence, motivate, persuade, cajole, and lead will turn your bread and butter into a delectable delicacy.

Think about how you worked with other people – how you led a team, what you learned, and so on. How did you demonstrate leadership skills? What did you learn about leadership, and how have you grown as a leader through this experience?

These are the factors that add depth to your essay – and lift your accomplishment from being a bullet-point on a CV to the heart of your application essay.

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Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary, your guide to writing outstanding essays

• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

• 3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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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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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Why Do You Want to Attend This MBA Program? [MBA Interview Questions S [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why Do You Want to Attend This MBA Program? [MBA Interview Questions Series]
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This blog post is part of a series of articles analyzing some of the most popular MBA interview questions and how to best respond to them. In this post, we’ll address “Why This MBA Program“:

Reason for asking the question: To gauge the sincerity with which the candidate is approaching the school.

How to prepare: You need to make sure you show that your reasons for applying to the program go well beyond the obvious reputation, location, or network. Your job in answering this question is to convey your sincere enthusiasm for the school. You need to be as specific as possible. Appropriate topics for a convincing response:

1.  Unique curriculum necessary to reach your goals

2.  Faculty you are excited to learn from

3.  School clubs or organizations you are particularly passionate about joining

4.  Components of the program that intrigue you – study abroad, entrepreneurship project, etc.

5.  Aspects of your visit to the school (provided you have had the chance to visit) that really got you excited about being a part of the community – classroom environment, conversations with students, admissions officers, or other prospective students.

Important things to remember: When preparing your answer, select aspects that are unique to the program, and make sure your answer isn’t one that could be valid for other schools you are looking at. Hopefully this is an easy question for you to answer since you are legitimately excited at the prospect of attending the school.

Additional things to consider: If the school is not a top choice, you still need to do the job of convincing your interviewer that it makes sense to offer you admission, and if admitted there would be a decent chance you would attend. Even if this is a “safety school,” you need to be respectful of the school and interviewer.

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Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Want Jen to help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

Prepare for your Interview with an MBA Admissions Pro!

4 Steps to Preparing for MBA Interviews

• Focus on Fit in Admissions

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Why Do You Want to Attend This MBA Program? [MBA Interview Questions Series] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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4 Things To Do If You Can’t Define Your MBA Goals [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2017, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Things To Do If You Can’t Define Your MBA Goals
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Top MBA programs are looking for candidates who’ve got their heads on straight and have a clear idea of how a business degree will help shape their futures. It’s for this reason that the MBA goals essay is such an important element in the b-school application.

So what do you do if you don’t know what your post-MBA goals are? What should you do if, say, you are a career changer and know you want to acquire the skills that a business program will provide, but aren’t exactly sure which career direction you want to take post-graduation? And finally, is it worth it to spend time exploring your post-MBA options (trying out different jobs or shadowing people in different professions) so that you can apply with a confident MBA goal, or is it better to try and jump right into a program, even if your goals are undefined?

Whoa. You have a lot of questions!

Here are the answers: Yes, your post-MBA goals should be a guiding light in the application process, certainly the school selection part of it. And it’s not only worthwhile to spend time determining a post-MBA direction, it’s mandatory. You need to know why you want to devote time and money to an MBA before you apply. Undefined goals could transform your MBA investment into a painfully large expense.

Consider the following 4 tips to help you sort through the no-goal conundrum:

1. Think about what you like and dislike in your current and past jobs. Make a list of what you would like more of and what you would like less of.

2. Talk to people in positions you find attractive. Talk also to those who work in fields different from your own. Take friends out for coffee and conduct informal interviews or email a list of questions to people you know who have jobs that interest you.

3. Consider hiring a career counselor. (We can send a few names your way if you contact us – just mention that you read this post so we know how you got to us.)

4. Once you have narrowed down the number of possible goals or have some direction, look at the career listings of the larger employers in those areas. Read a few profiles of younger employees hired for those jobs, and see if you can network your way into talking to someone in the positions you find attractive.

In short, having no direction at all will make adcoms wonder why you’re putting the time, effort, and money into pursuing an MBA. They will also be very concerned that you will have difficulty finding an internship and ultimately a full-time position when you arrive on campus, floundering or mystified as to what you want to do. They don’t expect your goals to be carved in stone and they know you may develop new goals, but flexible is not the same as clueless. They want the former, not the latter.

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Related Resources:

6 Ways to Prepare for Your Compelling MBA Goals Essay

• Hone Your MBA Goals, a short video

The Importance of Defining Your MBA Goal

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post 4 Things To Do If You Can’t Define Your MBA Goals appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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GMAC Releases Results of Year-End Employer Poll [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: GMAC Releases Results of Year-End Employer Poll
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GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) has completed their Year-End Poll of Employers for 2016. Participating in the survey were 167 recruiters representing 140 companies located in 27 countries throughout the world, with the majority located in the US. Responders included 36 companies in the Fortune 500, 21 of which are Fortune 100 companies. The poll showed strong employment numbers for recent business school graduates and clear demand for these candidates as part of companies’ 2017 hiring plans.

Here are some findings from the 2016 poll:

• Employers feel strongly about b-school grads. Nearly 8 in 10 employers (79%) plan on hiring MBA grads in 2017, up from 68% in 2016. They expect to hire as many or more of these candidates than they did in 2016.

• Starting salaries for business graduates are expected to go up. Among employers planning to hire MBA candidates in 2017, more than half (58%) plan to increase starting salaries for these hires at or above the inflation rate in 2017.

• There will be plenty of MBA internships in 2017. Among companies offering internships, 66% plan to offer internships to MBA students in 2017. 82% of these companies plan to increase or maintain the number of MBA internship opportunities in 2017.

• Growth is expected in most companies. The majority of companies (56%) in the poll stated that they expect to expand/grow in 2017. Of these companies, 80% expect to hire recent MBA graduates.

The 2017 hiring projections for recent business grads are strong. Nearly 80% of companies plan on hiring MBA grads and a majority of companies will be offering internships to MBA students. More than half of the companies stated that they are growing and expanding.

Companies are looking for high-performing, extremely skilled b-school grades with experience who are willing to work hard and make a difference.

Click here to see all of the poll results.

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Related Resources:

• What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA [Episode 164]

• Connections Count. And You Can Create Them.

• How Much More Can MBAs Make? Career Switching, Compensation Increase & More

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post GMAC Releases Results of Year-End Employer Poll appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Connecting Duke Fuqua’s Education and Israel’s High Tech Industry [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Connecting Duke Fuqua’s Education and Israel’s High Tech Industry
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Amir Zur…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Amir: I was born and raised in Herzeliya, Israel, a suburb 15 minutes away from Tel-Aviv. When I turned 18, I was recruited to the Israeli Intelligence Force and served as a Project Manager for three years. For undergrad, I studied Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center, a private college in my home town. Before business school, I was working for a startup company as a senior product manager.

Accepted: If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Amir: Innovator, problem-solver, modest.

Accepted: If you could meet any famous person – past or present – who would it be and why?

Amir: It will sound like a cliché but I would want to meet Michael Jordan. I grew up playing basketball and obviously, MJ was my idol. Not only because his performance on the court but also because his attitude off the court. MJ recently received the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award for exceptional meritorious service in the US, and there are countless reasons why.

Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?

Mir: I am a second year student at Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?

Amir: For me, I was looking for a school that combines the following: collaborative culture, strong network and quality education. When I traveled to the US before applying, I visited several campuses and Fuqua just clicked for me. The students, with support for the admissions team, planned a two-day itinerary filled with activities on and off campus which included a tour, networking with students and professors, visiting class and getting to know the greater Duke community. I know that most schools are collaborative, but Fuqua stood out for me because of how much of the school’s operations is led by students. Everything at Fuqua, from interviewing the next entering class, to clubs and conducting thorough recruiting plans for first year students, is led by the students. This, in my eyes, creates an entrepreneurial environment where anything is possible – and this is exactly what I felt when I first visited campus.

In addition, I was amazed by how responsive Fuqua alums were when I reached out to them. If I remember correctly, I reached out to approximately 15 alums before applying to Fuqua. All of them responded relatively quickly and were willing to spend as much time as needed to answer all my questions. Speaking with them fortified my belief that Fuqua is the right place for me, and  that has proven itself a year later when I was recruiting for an off-campus product manager role.

Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering Duke and current activities)? How have those activities helped shape your career?



Amir: At Fuqua, I took on several leadership roles and I participate in several extracurricular activities:

1. Jewish Business Association president – leading the JBA was a goal of mine even before arriving to Fuqua as I really wanted to expose my classmates to the Jewish culture and Israel – a startup nation. This leads me to my second point.

2. Last year, as a JBA cabinet member, I led the Startup Nation 2016 Conference. Every year the JBA hosts a “Fuqua Startup Nation Conference” to expose the Duke academic and business community to the unique Israeli business environment, to promote Israeli companies, and to incubate business relations between Duke MBA students and Israeli companies. We had a successful conference with over 150 attendees.

3. iTrek leader – This year during spring break I will be co-leading 90 students to Israel for a 10 day trip. The iTrek is known to be among the best trips at Fuqua.

4. Fuqua Blogger – I love to write, so when I arrived at Fuqua, I volunteered to write for the Fuqua Blog team.

5. Venture scholar for G51-Amplify, a research/VC firm from Austin, TX. Fuqua offers several opportunities to get involved and help different organizations solve real-life problems. I chose the mentored study program where students are paired with startups or VCs to gain more working experience. My long-term goal is to start my own company, and looking at things from the VC perspective was something that I wanted to learn. Therefore, I started working with G51, where I evaluate early-stage startup companies and deliver my recommendations to the venture partners.

All these experiences have helped me grow on both personal and professional levels, as I had to constantly challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and prioritize my time efficiently. I’ve become more culturally aware and gradually strengthened my communication, critical-thinking and leadership skills.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise other applicants who may be experiencing similar challenges?

Amir: For me, these aspects were most challenging:

1. Researching the program that is right for me and understanding the differences between MBA programs

2. Connecting my background and story to the programs and differentiating myself from others

In my eyes, research is fundamental for almost anything. Most MBA programs use similar value propositions and offer the same curriculum, so how can one choose the right school for him/her? To overcome that, I started networking with current students and alums. Even if I didn’t have any connections in a certain program, I emailed the admissions committee and they connected me with students and alums. Hearing about their experiences firsthand was invaluable, and I highly suggest any candidate to speak to as many students/alums as possible.

Next, understanding the values of each school and how to connect one’s background is important. There are thousands of applicants that apply to each program every single year. Why should they pick you? Why are you special? Telling your story is easy, but telling it with the right context is hard. Each candidate should ask himself how the school’s values fit with his/hers background. How can I give back to the program and surrounding community? And most importantly, will this program help me to find my dream job post-graduation?

Accepted: Lastly, can you share your top three GMAT tips for MBA applicants?

Amir:

1. Practice makes perfect, the more questions you solve the better you’ll be.

2. Be mentally strong. A lot of students are stressed before/during the exam which directly impacts their total score and confidence (don’t be afraid to take the GMAT more than once).

3. Remember, the GMAT is just one part of the application, and admission teams are looking for diverse candidates with unique backgrounds and fit.

You can connect with Amir via LinkedIn. Thank you Amir for sharing your story with us. We wish you much success!

[b]For one-on-one guidance with your b-school application, check out our MBA Application Packages.[/b]

Do you want to be featured in Accepted’s blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

9 Secrets to Standing Out in Your MBA Application, free guide

• What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA

• Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Connecting Duke Fuqua’s Education and Israel’s High Tech Industry appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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INSEAD MBA Criterioin #1: Ability To Contribute [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2017, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: INSEAD MBA Criterioin #1: Ability To Contribute
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This is the first post in a 4-post series that examines INSEAD MBA’s 4 admission criteria.

The adcom gives, as its first admission criterion, “ability to contribute.” I take the liberty to add: ability to contribute as a person of quality and substance. All the criteria involve factors such as insight, growth, connection with people and cross-cultural facility, motivation.

This criterion is based on INSEAD’s culture of interaction: among students (from around the world), between students and alumni, and between students and professors. Therefore, INSEAD seeks students who bring something distinctive and meaningful to program – it’s not just what you’ve done and plan to do – but what you have to say about it, what you’ve learned from it, how it informs your perspective, and how you may grow in the future – and your willingness to put that learning and growth at the service of your classmates and others.

This criterion also therefore mentions participation – show how you have been an active member of your various communities: school, work, neighborhood, family, social group, etc., formally and/or informally. INSEAD is interested in long-term contribution, so, if you have already been an active alum for your undergrad (or grad) program, spotlight that participation in the application. Nothing will be more credible than an actual track record of contribution!

Let’s finally examine the list of desired qualities this criterion cites at the end; try to reflect these qualities in your essays and other application elements (some may naturally be more prominent than others):

Mature: You can show maturity in numerous ways: frank self-evaluation, willingness to listen to and acknowledge the validity of opinions you may not agree with, willingness to ask for help, ability to see multiple sides of an issue, acceptance of and ability to handle ambiguity, willingness to resist short-term gratification for longer-term goals, etc.

Energetic: It’s not a matter of running marathons. It’s a matter of being engaged. (A curious person is inherently energetic, mentally and intellectually.) You can exemplify this quality in many ways, e.g. pursuing new learning opportunities (whether or not related to your goals and career), initiating relationships and interactions, asking questions, exploring new ideas, geographic areas, languages, sports, recipes…

Highly motivated: A close cousin of energetic. For those things of interest and/or passion and/or concern and/or curiosity to you, you feel an inherent drive to address, explore, achieve.

Well-rounded: You have a range of interests, skills, acquaintances. You lead a balanced life: aside from your busy job, you socialize, and you engage in activities of interest. You also balance reflection and action. Each well-rounded person reflects this quality in his unique way; there is no one formula for it.

Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills: Without these skills, how can you contribute? These skills are the vehicle for your contribution, nothing less. It is imperative to illustrate your communication and interpersonal skills in your INSEAD application.

I am always thrilled when I get an “I’m in at INSEAD!” email. I welcome the chance to help you show you belong at INSEAD and receive such an email from you in the future.

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Cindy Tokumitsu  has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted to Kellogg’s EMBA Program? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• Get Into INSEAD, the International Business School [Podcast Episode]

• INSEAD September 2017 Intake MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• 3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post INSEAD MBA Criterioin #1: Ability To Contribute appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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INSEAD MBA Criterion #1: Ability To Contribute [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2017, 03:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: INSEAD MBA Criterion #1: Ability To Contribute
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This is the first post in a 4-part series that examines INSEAD MBA’s 4 admission criteria.

The adcom gives, as its first admission criterion, “ability to contribute.” I take the liberty to add: ability to contribute as a person of quality and substance. All the criteria involve factors such as insight, growth, connection with people and cross-cultural facility, motivation.

This criterion is based on INSEAD’s culture of interaction: among students (from around the world), between students and alumni, and between students and professors. Therefore, INSEAD seeks students who bring something distinctive and meaningful to program – it’s not just what you’ve done and plan to do – but what you have to say about it, what you’ve learned from it, how it informs your perspective, and how you may grow in the future – and your willingness to put that learning and growth at the service of your classmates and others.

This criterion also therefore mentions participation – show how you have been an active member of your various communities: school, work, neighborhood, family, social group, etc., formally and/or informally. INSEAD is interested in long-term contribution, so, if you have already been an active alum for your undergrad (or grad) program, spotlight that participation in the application. Nothing will be more credible than an actual track record of contribution!

Let’s finally examine the list of desired qualities this criterion cites at the end; try to reflect these qualities in your essays and other application elements (some may naturally be more prominent than others):

Mature: You can show maturity in numerous ways: frank self-evaluation, willingness to listen to and acknowledge the validity of opinions you may not agree with, willingness to ask for help, ability to see multiple sides of an issue, acceptance of and ability to handle ambiguity, willingness to resist short-term gratification for longer-term goals, etc.

Energetic: It’s not a matter of running marathons. It’s a matter of being engaged. (A curious person is inherently energetic, mentally and intellectually.) You can exemplify this quality in many ways, e.g. pursuing new learning opportunities (whether or not related to your goals and career), initiating relationships and interactions, asking questions, exploring new ideas, geographic areas, languages, sports, recipes…

Highly motivated: A close cousin of energetic. For those things of interest and/or passion and/or concern and/or curiosity to you, you feel an inherent drive to address, explore, achieve.

Well-rounded: You have a range of interests, skills, acquaintances. You lead a balanced life: aside from your busy job, you socialize, and you engage in activities of interest. You also balance reflection and action. Each well-rounded person reflects this quality in his unique way; there is no one formula for it.

Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills: Without these skills, how can you contribute? These skills are the vehicle for your contribution, nothing less. It is imperative to illustrate your communication and interpersonal skills in your INSEAD application.

I am always thrilled when I get an “I’m in at INSEAD!” email. I welcome the chance to help you show you belong at INSEAD and receive such an email from you in the future.

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Cindy Tokumitsu  has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted to Kellogg’s EMBA Program? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• Get Into INSEAD, the International Business School [Podcast Episode]

• INSEAD September 2017 Intake MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• 3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post INSEAD MBA Criterion #1: Ability To Contribute appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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What Questions Do You Have? [MBA Interview Questions Series] [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What Questions Do You Have? [MBA Interview Questions Series]
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This blog post is the first in a series of articles analyzing some of the most popular MBA interview questions and how to best respond to them. In this post, we’ll address “What Questions Do You Have?

Reason for asking the question:

To make sure the candidate has all pertinent information necessary about the school, as well as to confirm that he or she has thoroughly researched the program and consequently has thoughtful questions.

How to prepare:

This will most likely be your last opportunity to ask questions of the program before you find out the admission decision, so make sure the questions count. Take enough time to consider this prior to your interview, since this is perhaps the only question you can be positive will be asked in the interview. Write your questions down if need be.

You do not want the questions to be procedural in nature, such as, “When will I find out about your decision?” Those types of questions can be asked at the very conclusion of the interview (if necessary), but well after your primary questions. Questions should be well thought out and perhaps give the interviewer pause before answering. After all, the interviewer has had YOU in the hot seat for the last thirty minutes with challenging questions, so you should have some in return!

The best questions are the ones that make the interviewer have to dig deep into his/her knowledge to answer, or better yet, might be ones the interviewer can’t answer then and there. In this case the interviewer will need to check into a question and get back in touch with you. YES! One final opportunity to have a connection with someone critical to your admission decision. Thoughtful questions could focus on “big picture” things like school strategy, trends or specifics related to particular coursework.

Important things to remember:

Even if you have memorized all the content on the school’s website, visited campus and already asked (and had answered) all the questions you think you could possibly ever have, you better not have a blank stare, or a simple, “None,” answer.

Additional things to consider:

As a general rule of thumb, plan on two-three questions (not of the procedural type).

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Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Want Jen to help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

Step-By-Step MBA Interview Guide

• How to Prep for Your MBA Interviews [short video]

• 4 Steps to Preparing for MBA Interviews

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post What Questions Do You Have? [MBA Interview Questions Series] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Looking for Ways to Boost Your Chances of Acceptance to INSEAD? [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Looking for Ways to Boost Your Chances of Acceptance to INSEAD?
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Then you’re in luck, because on February 15th we’ll be hosting a BRAND NEW webinar on the secrets to an INSEAD admit…and you’re invited!

During the Get Accepted to INSEAD webinar, you will learn:

• The advantages of attending the international INSEAD MBA program

• How to show you belong in INSEADS’ 2017 entering class

• Tips for optimizing your INSEAD application so you get noticed

…and more!

Take part in this new, insightful, info-packed webinar on Wednesday, February 15th at 10am PT/1pm ET.

Register for Get Accepted to INSEAD now to reserve your spot (webinar is expected to fill up quickly!).

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Looking for Ways to Boost Your Chances of Acceptance to INSEAD? appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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

_________________

Linda Abraham
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Looking for Ways to Boost Your Chances of Acceptance to INSEAD?   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2017, 10:01

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