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The Clock Is Ticking – Deadlines Are Coming! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Clock Is Ticking – Deadlines Are Coming!
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You still have time to save hundreds of dollars with our November special!

Closing today – November 22 – our special discount can save you up to $500 off any non-rush service.

With the discount code SAVEBIG, you’ll save $100 off $1000, $200 of $2000, or $500 of $5000. Work one-on-one with an admissions expert on any part of your application – from strategy, to essay review, to interview prep. And apply with confidence.

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Don’t miss this opportunity to SAVEBIG just in time for winter deadlines!

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

The post The Clock Is Ticking – Deadlines Are Coming! 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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Kudos [?]: 584 [0], given: 74

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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Happy Thanksgiving from Accepted! [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Happy Thanksgiving from Accepted!
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Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post Happy Thanksgiving from Accepted! 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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From US Military to IE MBA Student [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: From US Military to IE MBA Student
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with business students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top programs. And now, introducing Nick…

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

Nick: My name is Nicholas Laine. I was born in Seoul, South Korea (military brat), and I majored in Physics at the US Naval Academy.

Accepted: Where are you currently attending business school? What year are you?

Nick: I’m a member of the September 2017 International MBA intake at IE Business School.

Accepted: Why did you choose IE? Why an international program? How did you know that you were a good fit for their program?

Nick: A one-year program was an important factor for me. Besides this, the big draw with IE was its strong entrepreneurial program and the incredible cultural and professional diversity in the student body. I felt that I was a good fit because of my military background, which the school seemed to value highly.

The opportunity to improve my Spanish proficiency and the immersion into the Spanish culture, which I really love, was also an important factor in deciding on IE.

Accepted: You’re currently a Transitioning Nuclear Submarine Officer with the United States Navy. How has the switch been from Officer to MBA Candidate?

Nick: It has definitely been a culture shock, especially because I’ve shifted not only from military professional to student but also the move from the West Coast of the US to Madrid, Spain, and entering an environment where I’m interacting with a lot of people from all sorts of different backgrounds, most of whom have never really interacted with a military veteran before. At the same time, the switch has so far been a very rewarding experience. The beauty of the MBA program is that it’s a focused opportunity to learn about all the different industries out there that I was not too familiar with before as well as network with classmates from those industries.

It’s the perfect launchpad into a new career for a military servicemember.

Accepted: You have such a diverse background! You studied Physics at The U.S. Naval Academy, became a Nuclear Sub Officer, and were a Tactics Instructor. How will an MBA help you reach your career goals?

Nick: I felt that there was a gap in my experience and knowledge base that would make it harder for me to pursue a career in the corporate world. The MBA is helping me close the knowledge and experience gap at least enough to build up my confidence. I also wanted to learn about and experience the entrepreneurial world. IE Business School is giving me a way to explore that world with a little bit of a safety net, and so far, it’s been a tremendously fun and humbling experience.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, did you experience any challenges along the way? How did you overcome them?

Nick: Fortunately, the application process went smoothly for me. I applied to two schools during the Round 1 period and got into both. My plan going in was to apply to only two schools in each round. I think this is a good strategy because it gives you the time to focus on putting together a high-quality application package and to really learn about the school.

Accepted: As a member of our military, what would you tell other officers and enlisted personnel who are looking to further their career goals with an MBA?

Nick: The biggest decision I had to make besides the decision to leave the military was whether I wanted to jump straight into a career post-military, or pursue an MBA. A career shift is something that many veterans, unfortunately, struggle with. Like I’ve said before, the MBA is the perfect corporate launchpad because of the networking opportunities and the rigorous academics. Having chosen a one-year program, I’ve chosen to forego the summer internship experience, but that particular benefit definitely cannot be understated. Several of my friends and veterans who pursued the two-year program valued the summer internship program because it offered on-the-job training in their industry of interest.

I chose an MBA because I felt that it would give me the credentials and skillsets that prospective employers might feel that my military experience does not adequately cover.

A couple of caveats with choosing the MBA:

1. Don’t pursue an MBA if you’re just looking to postpone your career search. This is particularly true with a one-year program. Though the MBA does offer you the time and space and even encouragement to do a little bit of soul-searching, your peers will be hard-charging, goal-oriented professionals with impressive resumes. They are starting their job search from day one.

2. Research your GI Bill benefits fully! Talk to the appropriate representative at your command, and also reach out to the financial aid office and the veterans club at your prospective school. They’ll be more than happy to answer questions about your financial plan. MBA tuitions are not cheap, so have a strategy to maximize your benefits. Don’t forget the other military scholarship opportunities that are available. Again, talk to your school’s financial aid office to get a clear understanding of what these opportunities are.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, there are a lot of foreign MBA programs that accept the Post-9/11 GI Bill and have a great veteran support network.

Accepted: Lastly, what are three tips that you would like to share to those who are considering an international MBA?

Nick:

1. Make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s when you’re applying for your student visa. The process is lengthy and costs money, so start early and double and triple check your visa application package to make sure you’re meeting all requirements. I had a couple classmates that showed up a week or two late because they didn’t get their visa approved on time.

2. Make sure you have a plan to transfer funds from your bank back home to pay for your various costs, because exchange rates, transfer and local ATM debit fees add up! I opened an account with a local bank and transferred enough money to cover my monthly costs (rent, phone bill, health insurance, and groceries) to avoid paying fees.

3. You’re going to be busy with your MBA classes, but take the time to learn at least the basics of your host country’s language if your program’s language is in English. Knowing even a little bit of the language goes a long way in making life easier and more fun.

Thank you Nick for sharing your story and advice – we wish you much success! 

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, check out our catalog of MBA admissions services.

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

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Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One 

From the Military to Haas MBA, a podcast episode

Which B-School is the Best for You?

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post From US Military to IE MBA Student 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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How Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
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Your recommenders are doing you a favor, so the least you can do is make their job easier by following proper letter of recommendation (LOR) etiquette. Breaking these important rules may result in your recommenders deciding not to dish out the most favorable review. Stay on their good side, help them stay organized, and most importantly, make sure you DO NOT commit any of these LOR mistakes:

1. Do not give them short notice.

Your recommenders have full-time jobs, lives, and potentially other recommendations to write. If you ask for their recommendation too close to the deadline, you may end up without one.

2. Do not give them an incomplete package of materials.

There are a number of documents that you must submit to your recommender if you want the greatest chance of a) receiving a good recommendation, and b) receiving a good recommendation submitted on time. These include:

• A copy of your resume/CV

• Information about the school/program you’re applying to

• A letter detailing your interests and goals related to the degree you’re pursuing, as well as some reminders about experiences you’ve shared with the recommender that highlight positive characteristics of yours that you would like to see written in the recommendation

• A clear link with instructions on what they need to do/include in their recommendation letter

• A clear deadline

• An addressed and stamped envelope to the school (if that’s what’s required, though most schools will want an online submission)

• If possible, download a letter template and pre-fill all the information you can (recipient, address, etc) to further save time for your recommender

3. Do not give them attitude.

Writing these letters takes time – an irreplaceable, valuable commodity. Be polite and gracious when asking for a recommendation.

Provide all of the above materials in an organized, labeled fashion so that your recommenders can easily review what you’ve given them and then get started writing, without needing to sort through a jumble of messy papers or unclear links or instructions. The better you present yourself and your materials, the easier you’ll make their job, the more impressed with you they’ll be, and – if all goes well – the better your recommendation will turn out.

It’s also a good idea – not to mention simple good manners – to send your recommender a thank you note.

Contact us for advice tailored specifically to your letters of recommendation. We look forward to working with your recommenders and helping you get accepted!

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Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

How to Secure Excellent Letters of Recommendation

MBA Letters Of Recommendation: Who, When, What, Where & How

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

The post How Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation 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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Using Head, Heart and Gut for GMAT and GRE Success [Part 2] [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Using Head, Heart and Gut for GMAT and GRE Success [Part 2]
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This is Part II of the Using Head, Heart and Gut: For GMAT and GRE Success. Read Part I here.

Showing up for a high stakes test like the GRE or GMAT requires a lot more than mastering content and becoming a ninja of test-taking strategy. Who you are at every moment helps usher in the next moment, and the next, and so on. Your attitude and reasons behind taking these tests will help define your experience. If you want to excel on these examinations you should be confident about your abilities. You can achieve this by leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining emotional balance. Let me remind you:

Tests not only measure what you know, they also measure how well you take tests.

Take inventory of your emotional landscape while studying and when you walk inside (or imagine yourself walking inside) the test center: are you focused, grounded, calm, and feeling confident? Or are you nervous, feeling flighty, unfocused, and sweating? If you’re uneasy, then ask yourself if this is a familiar feeling or a new one? While you may believe you are responding to this test-taking experience, recognize those conditions in which you are unable to adapt–sitting in a strange sterile environment, under strictly timed conditions, surrounded by stranger-competitors, and a host of other conditions. Are you doing what’s necessary to feel positive, grounded and in control, no matter what the environment?

It’s understandable that you would be overwrought about taking a test whose results determine your future. In fact, 89% of the admissions consultants I have surveyed, confirmed they’ve heard students say, “I’m not a good test-taker.” Not a great belief to hold walking into a test! This may not be a new feeling, based solely on how you feel about this test. Your feelings likely have a history: from final exams to the SAT, ACT, or other industry certification exams. Your nervous system has been hijacked by past responses of internalized external catalysts which have become negative feelings. You’ve then created a pattern in how you respond emotionally or physically (or both). And if you didn’t deal with unwanted emotions or negative self-beliefs then, it is likely you’ll feel them on your upcoming test. Stop the madness!

Gerald Ford said, “Whether I think I can, or think I can’t I’m right.” Chew on that. Can you or can’t you perform your best? And will you or won’t you shift your ways of doing things so you WILL feel the most positive? Your attitude determines your reality – and you always have a choice.

You perform best when you have balance in your life. A miserable applicant can lose momentum and perform sub-par because he/she isn’t happy. How will you feel grounded, nourished, resourced and happy? During your study period, did you include time with friends, family or some alone time in your calendar? Will you still get to the gym or enjoy nature? Are you getting enough sleep and eating healthy? These support intense study, so scheduling them (yes, really) is great for your limbic system and all other systems as well! Where do you go for support? And how are you being good to yourself?

Below is a life wheel. Print it out and chart a point on each line where you are at. Put points on the line closest to the word you feel you fully express. If you feel devoid or depleted of that word put your point closest to the circle’s center. Connect the dots. Do you see a theme emerging? Do you have balance? What does the chart indicate that you need? Wherever you see a point closest to the circle’s center, we advise you make shifts that would result in moving ‘the feeling’ towards the circle’s outside. You can achieve greater life balance in this conscious deliberate way by integrating into MORE of what you desire in your life, be it joy, creativity, spirituality or whatever else resonates with you. On the other hand, if some of the descriptors have no meaning or value for you, then don’t include them. Bottom line: the more resourced, full and happier you feel, the better you’ll perform.

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Still, a balanced life may not be enough to score your best. If you feel anxious, unfocused, have sweaty hands, or don’t believe in yourself, despite your efforts – you may also need to bring in the big guns. I encourage students to find what might work for them: this could include, among other modalities, meditation, mindfulness, and holistic techniques. You can do them on your own or with the support of a therapist or coach. In my practice we use and have witnessed techniques such as visualization, neuro-linguistic programming, acupuncture, tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique, massage, EMDR, CBT, sound therapy as modalities that change students’ unwanted unconscious behaviors and attitudes. Integrating them is quick, easy and can help you make a mental shift to perform your best.

Let’s face it: it’s not necessarily normal to sit around for hours answering questions that have nothing to do with your day to day life!  But balance in life or lack of it and beliefs about yourself and who you are as a test-taker affect your performance. It’s up to you to feel positive and confident and to create the personal and internal landscape for success. And there are numerous tools available to get you to feeling great and believing in your success. What’s your next small step to make this happen?

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Bara Sapir, CEO and Founder of Test Prep New York and Test Prep San Francisco, is a nationally recognized test anxiety relief expert and sought-after speaker with over 20 years of experience. Each year she helps hundreds of students through workshops, webinars, articles, products, and books, and works privately with a number of students.

Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Application Maze: 9 Tips to Acceptance, a free guide

Making Friends With the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best

• How to Choose Between the GMAT and GRE and Start Preparing

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post Using Head, Heart and Gut for GMAT and GRE Success [Part 2] 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

Kudos [?]: 584 [0], given: 74

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How to Get Really Great Recommendations Notes [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Get Really Great Recommendations Notes
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Joe Pavlisko is the founder of Referrio, a start-up that makes getting and writing recommendations easy. Joe graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a concurrent master’s degree in finance. In addition to English, Joe speaks Spanish and German and taught English in rural Spain. After graduating from college he went to work as a data scientist at Autobytel. He left after two years to found Referrio.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your background and where you grew up? [1:33]

You already covered a lot of it in your intro, but I’ll add that I was a foreign exchange student in high school. I was one of those people who never knew what I wanted to do – I was excited by everything. I went from econ in undergrad to computer science in grad school. I am from Cleveland but ended up at Alabama – beautiful weather helped!

How did you come to found Referrio and what is it? [2:57]

Referrio is a platform that makes writing letters of recommendation simple. It can be used for college, grad school, jobs, study abroad, whatever. You get the recommendation once (you can never see it, it is always confidential), but you can reuse it anytime for the rest of your life.

Referrio makes it easy for the recommender since it formats the letter, inputs dates, names, contact info, recipient name and contact info, which is entered in box format online. The only thing the recommender has to do is write a 3-5 paragraph letter body. We have also curated advice from the Harvard admissions office on how to write paragraph by paragraph in a really compelling way.

Let’s say I was going to use Referrio for two letters of recommendation. What steps would I have to take? [4:22]

You would login to the platform and select that you are asking for a letter of recommendation. A few questions will flash through – where is it going, who are the recipients, universities applying to, how it will be sent (email, physical address), that type of thing. Then we will ask for all the information we can about the recommender – name, email, professional address to plug into the letter body. We ask you to give the recommender a few bullet points to talk about. We don’t ask for a resume since we don’t want a recommender just rehashing your resume. Instead we ask you to remind the recommender of some moments spent together that showed positive personal qualities about you. Then we send the request to the letter writer.

How much does it cost? [5:57]

It is free. With the free version you can use the letters for one year. The Plus version allows you to reuse recos anytime for the rest of your life (for a fee of $17.99/year) .

How does Referrio help recommenders to write the recommendations? [6:56]

First with all the stuff I previously mentioned – saving them time not having to put in recipients, addresses, etc. The only thing they have to do is the 3-5 paragraph letter body. We even do the formatting. We did a lot of research on what types of formatting are appealing and ours is ranked very high. It looks pretty, and that can really make a difference. It updates for every recipient. We also have a letter writing wizard to help. If the recommendee wants to reuse the letter, the recommender is sent an email, “Is Joe allowed to reuse this letter?” So the recommenders always have control of when/where their letter can be used.

How are schools reacting to this? [9:42]

This is the first year we are sending this out to schools, so we don’t have any concrete information yet, but I can’t imagine it won’t be positive. We really hope this levels the playing field from an admissions perspective. If you come from a private school with guidance counselors and teachers trained on how to write great letters of recommendation you are going to probably get a great letter, whereas someone coming from a disadvantaged background might not get as strong a letter. Neither is a reflection of the student, right? Because we can provide top tier advice, admissions committees will be able to compare applicants in a more apples to apples way.

How does it interact with schools who want recommenders to send them recommendations directly? Or using a particular interface? Or committee letters, like for med school? [12:46]

We can’t of course fill out a form, and there is no reusability, so there is no way for us to create a lot of value there. We are focused on the actual letter component. Some schools with forms allow applicants to separately upload letters. Or recommenders can tweak letters, download them from our site and then upload them directly. In the majority of cases we can still send along even with separate forms.

One thing we recommend at Accepted is that letters of recommendation are tailored to a particular program. Does your system allow for that? [14:57]

Yes. It’s really dependent on what the recommender wants to do. With our research we’ve definitely seen how readers perceive a personalized letter more positively. Our software allows recommenders to send a tailored version to each university. It’s really designed to make life easier for a recommender asked to write recommendations for say 10 schools. Most recommenders won’t have the time to customize that many (beyond school name/recipient, of course), but if they want to take the extra effort they can absolutely do so.

How can applicants get great recommendations from their recommenders? [17:53]

First, recommendees should look for a story for their recommender to tell. If there are certain characteristics that you think your application should highlight, you should remind your letter writer about something that reinforces that. Reminding them of specifics rather than handing them a resume makes an enormous difference. The most important thing a letter writer can do is tell a story, not list facts. Not “Joe works really hard,” but “Joe stuck around in my classroom for 2-3 hours after school one day to prepare for an upcoming test.” Obviously the reader can perceive that Joe works hard, and it cements it much more. Second, make it as easy as possible for them. If you don’t use Referrio, you want to help your letter writer to be enthusiastic while working on your letter. Download a beautiful letter template, and update it for your recommenders. Plug in all the information you can in advance. Email them the blank Word document with space for the 3-5 paragraph letter body. Then you can present it as, “I wanted to save you as much time as I could. The only thing you need to do is the letter body.” Your recommenders see you being thoughtful, which leaves a great impression, and you can be confident you will get a better letter since you know it is already personalized.

How can recommenders writer powerful, compelling recommendations that provide the third-party perspective and endorsement applicants need? [21:39]

The number one thing is telling that story. If you are just listing stuff from their resume it has no impact. The point of the letter of recommendation is to add the human side. The essay does it as well, but obviously the recommendation letter provides a third-party perspective. The biggest misperception people have about letters of recommendation is that somehow you should wow the reader with all the applicant has accomplished. Instead, the letter should reveal the qualities the applicant has that are relevant to being accepted. Telling a story about a specific time together is the best thing.

Let’s go back to Referrio for a  moment. I know there are listeners with their own start-up dreams listening. What’s been the hardest part for you in getting Referrio off the ground? [25:18]

This is true for anything in life, I suppose – when you start something new, you don’t know what you are doing. I had not previously run a business, I wasn’t a software engineer. The amount of learning necessary – software engineering, marketing, researching recommendations to make sure we were creating a product with value – was a lot. I think the number one thing was underestimating the amount of barriers that would stand in the way. If you can keep overcoming those, keep making progress, you’ll eventually get there.

How did you get the idea for Referrio? [26:35]

In high school I applied to be a foreign exchange student in Germany. I then applied to National Honor Society, applied to many different universities, applied to scholarships, applied to studied abroad in Morocco, applied to teach English abroad during senior year, applied to grad school. I needed letters of recommendation all the time, and had to go back to my recommenders time and again. I felt bad for burdening them with so much work, asking them to do me a favor again and again and again. Also, the letter of recommendation is the aspect of an application you have the least control over. You don’t know if what you got was good. So one, it was to make it easy as possible on the recommender, and two, to make it as good as possible. I essentially scratched my own itch.

I noticed that Referrio is headquartered in Cleveland Ohio, where you moved from Boston.  I understand that Cleveland is a wonderful place to live, but it’s not known as a start-up hot-spot – like Boston, LA,  NYC or of course Silicon Valley. Why did you choose to launch your business from Cleveland? [29:19]

It’s a combination. One, I am from here and have connections here. Two, the real concept of Referrio is about opportunity. You want to apply to whatever, you need the letter of recommendation, it’s kind of a pain, but don’t let it get in your way, be confident you have a tool that is helpful to you. It allows users to expand their opportunities to pursue goals they want to pursue. I wanted to launch somewhere where there is less opportunity – in a place that could use a little more opportunity.

What do you find most rewarding in founding and running your own business? [31:51]

I think it is just an exciting thing to do. This is a product I wanted to create because of a problem in my life. It would have had value for me when I was younger. It feels good knowing it will be helpful for others in similar situations to mine. I really believe in our product.

What’s in your crystal ball for Referrio? [33:50]

It depends on what consumers end up wanting. One product we are thinking about, is since these recommendations already exist, potential employers may want to see some of this information. Forms are also on our minds. We are young and nimble and we’ll see where the market takes us.

What do you wish I had asked you? [34:13]

You did a great job! I will say, that if you are listening and this intrigues you, we are a small team always looking for feedback from people. Let us know your thoughts, we are very open to them.

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Related Links:

Referrio

10 Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation

Accepted Recommendation Letter Assistance

Related Shows:

Be a Happy Doc!

The 4 Must-Haves of a Grad School Application

How to Think Like a Dean of Admissions

Jon Medved and OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur

Interview with Dr. Drew Appleby

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

The post How to Get Really Great Recommendations Notes [Episode 235] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Identifying the Ingredients of a Winning Application Essay [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Identifying the Ingredients of a Winning Application Essay
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In our How to Write Exemplary Application Essays blog series, you’ll learn how to create outstanding essays by analyzing sample successful application essays.

Let’s jump right in and get started by looking at two sample essays to see what makes them so effective. The first essay, The Public Health Student, opens with a question:

“What if people lived healthier lives, practiced preventive medicine, and took precautions against illness and disease?”

The “what if?” opening immediately engages the reader and at the same time tells us that the writer’s career aspiration is in the healthcare sector. We do not have to wait to discover the theme of the essay; it’s right there in the first sentence.

In terms of structure, notice how every sentence in that first paragraph builds on the sentence that precedes it. In the second sentence, the writer begins to present his background in the healthcare field, making his opening question understandable. In the third sentence, additional background about his professional experience gives context for his choice of career path. By the end of the first paragraph, the reader understands the applicant’s motivations for moving from work as a physical therapist to the broader sphere of public health management.

As the essay develops, notice how this applicant continues to build his case for admission by linking his prior work and education to their relevance to the public health field. Specifically, he writes about coursework he has taken in public health, followed immediately by a succinct discussion of his field work experience. When writing about his internship experiences, he doesn’t simply list what he did; he talks about what he learned and how these experiences have solidified his commitment to getting the MPH degree. His conclusion is also very effective because he returns to his opening “what if?” theme. He asks, “What if an aspirin a day could prevent heart attacks?” emphasizing that everything he has learned and done so far keeps him riveted by the challenge of finding answers to significant questions in public health.

While the writing is not especially colorful in this essay, the prose is clear and active. Every sentence offers new or additional information; there is no fluff. This clarity and momentum keeps the essay interesting and the pace moving, effectively building the writer’s profile as a promising and serious MPH applicant.

Now let’s take a look at the Returning to School essay from Accepted’s law school section. This essay opens with a colorful, compelling scene that immediately places the reader in the story:

“Fourteen grumpy doctors stare across an enormous oak conference table at me. It is seven o’clock in the morning, and most of the group is still wearing wrinkled green scrubs indicating they worked through the night. None of the doctors look ready to digest the extremely technical information contained in the eight studies stacked neatly in front of them. My job is to present each study, review all relevant economic data, and answer any questions in such a way that the audience will conclude that the new drug I am selling is better than the one they have been prescribing. One of the physicians gruffly informs me, through a mouthful of Danish, that he is leaving in ten minutes so I had better start my pitch.”

Don’t you already feel for this writer and her formidable challenge? I don’t know about you, but she had me hooked right away, and I was rooting for her to win over this very tough audience.

This essay, about half of the length of the MPH essay, still contains the same winning elements: specific highlights of career achievements and clear and convincing reasons for a career change. The last sentence refers once again to the “grumpy physicians” we met at the beginning. Both writers brought their essays full circle.

Having reviewed these essays, you will have a better idea of the types of experiences you can pull from your life that can help build a case for your candidacy for grad school. Start thinking about experiences you have had that will create a compelling anecdote that can grab your reader’s attention from the first sentence and not let it go until they have reached the final, satisfying conclusion.

Summary Tips:

1. Open with a compelling anecdote or a question to engage the reader’s interest right from the beginning.

2. Hold the reader’s interest by building on your story, sentence by sentence, adding new information and avoiding repetition.

3. Refer back to your opening when you conclude your essay, bringing your story full circle.

In the next post in this series, we’ll show you how to choose a theme for your exemplary statement of purpose.

Work one-on-one with an expert who will walk you through the process of creating a slam-dunk application when you check out our catalog of application services. Our admissions consultants have read thousands of essays and know the exact ingredients of an outstanding essay.

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Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Statement of Purpose, a free guide

5 Elements to Telling an Attention-Grabbing Story

10 Tips for Better Essay Writing

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

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How to Beat Standardized Test Stress [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Beat Standardized Test Stress
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It’s a truism that standardized tests don’t just test your knowledge – they also test how good you are at taking tests. If you’re suffering from anxiety because of your performance on earlier tests, it makes perfect sense that you’d be feeling stressed about the GRE or GMAT. And sometimes stress can serve a positive purpose, motivating you to prepare. But if your exam stress is keeping you from achieving your potential, then it’s time to address it.

Our special webinar, Five Effective Stress-Reducing Solutions for GMAT/GRE Success, presented by guest Bara Sapir, will give you the tools to reduce your test-taking anxiety and prepare yourself psychologically for standardized test success.

Five Effective Stress-Reducing Solutions for GMAT/GRE Success is free, but you must reserve your space.

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Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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What Will Your Work Experience Show the MBA Adcom About You? [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What Will Your Work Experience Show the MBA Adcom About You?
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Your work experience is one of the most important elements of your MBA applicant profile. But do you know what adcoms are looking for when it comes to work experience? What is the right amount? What makes an experience stand out to the adcom? How can you present your professional experience and trajectory in the most effective way possible? How can you present your experience most effectively if your career path is non-traditional for an MBA applicant, or if you’re self-employed?

We’ve got you covered! Our new guide, MBA Applicants: Make Your Work Experience Work For You walks you through these (and other) questions, and provides clear strategies for your applications.

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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Poets & Quants Releases 2017 Top 100 U.S. MBA Programs [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Poets & Quants Releases 2017 Top 100 U.S. MBA Programs
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Poets & Quants has just released their 2017 ranking of Top 100 U.S. MBA Programs, and the holder of the top spot may come as a surprise. For the first time ever, Wharton has overthrown Harvard Business school to take the top spot in the Poets & Quants composite rating. This is just the second time in eight years that HBS has not taken the number one slot. Wharton was able to displace HBS by rising a combined 21 places in all five of the most influential rankings that Poets & Quants uses in its annual ranking of the best full-time U.S. MBA programs.

Poets & Quants composite list combines the latest five most influential business school rankings, weighted by P&Q’s view of each school’s credibility. The five are: U.S. News & World Report (35%), Forbes (25%), The Financial Times (15%), Businessweek (15%), and The Economist (10%). This combining of rankings diminishes anomalies that frequently appear in a given year.

Here are the Poets & Quants Top 10 MBA Programs for 2017 (ranks in parenthesis are last year’s positions):

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Note: Info in chart is taken from Poets & Quants. Ranks for both The Financial Times and The Economist surveys are U.S. only, not the overall global ranks. The decline in the U.S. News rank for NYU Stern reflects a penalty for a reporting mistake.

Do you need help choosing the best b-school for you, and then applying successfully so you get accepted? Our expert admissions advisors can guide you through every step of the MBA application process. Contact us and we’ll match you with your personal consultant today! 

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Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Application Maze: 9 Tips to Acceptance, a free guide

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton: What’s the Difference?, a short video

Are You Targeting the Right MBA Program for You?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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7 Tips for Writing a Memorable Thank You Email After Your MBA Intervie [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 7 Tips for Writing a Memorable Thank You Email After Your MBA Interview
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You’ve finally finished your b-school interview and are looking forward to heading home and crossing this experience off your MBA application to-do list. However, before you file the day away, it’s appropriate to send thank you notes to all of the people who helped you during the day. You can really make an impression by sending handwritten notes, but an emailed thank you can also be impressive if done properly.

A thank you email starts and finishes with gratitude. It follows a lot of the same rules as other electronic correspondence – a greeting, a reason why you’re writing, body content, and a farewell. However, unlike other emails, a well-written thank you can elicit an emotional response, create bonds, and nurture the development of relationships…and in this case, give you one more way to become a memorable b-school candidate.

Follow these 7 tips to write a post-MBA interview thank you email that will be remembered:

1. Start with the right greeting.

Be sure to address the person formally. Use their appropriate title, like Dr. Smith or Prof. Jones, or Ms. Johnson. Even if the person encouraged you to use their first name in the interview, it shows respect to use the more formal form of address in written correspondence.

2. Note the reason why you’re writing.

This comes right after the greeting. Have a good reason for writing, and state it clearly. “I’m writing to thank you for speaking with me on Monday.” Or “I’m writing to thank you for the tour of the campus.”

3. Explain how their help or thoughtfulness affected you personally.

Write about the positive interaction you had with the person. Describe what it meant to you. If you do this well, the reader will value your honesty and take your compliments to heart.

4. Show how you learned more about the program from the conversation.

Give specific examples of how their contributions helped you better understand your target program and your goals. Did you discover something new about the program that you hadn’t known before? Did you find out about an exciting opportunity? Did the person share something in common with you that influenced how you now view your own positions or goals?

5. Follow up with information you offered to provide or with any questions you have.

Be sure to follow up on any points or areas you said you would. This is also the place to ask any questions that occurred to you after your interaction with the person. Don’t make up a question to have something to ask – you don’t want to appear insincere.

6. Provide relevant or necessary updates.

This can include new publications, awards, or grades. Although you want to send your thank you note as soon as possible, if you have to wait a day or two to send a thank you that includes meaningful updates, it’s better to do so.

7. Restate gratitude.

Don’t be afraid to strengthen your expression of gratitude through repetition. Just state it in another way at the end of the email.

Following these seven tips will assure that your thank you email is read, appreciated, and remembered, and will hopefully bring you one step closer to receiving that acceptance at your top choice MBA program!

Haven’t interviewed yet? We can help you! Prep one-on-one with an experienced MBA advisor when you check out Accepted’s Mock MBA Interview Services. And when you’re done, we’ll help you write those post-interview thank yous!

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Related Resources:

•  3 Day-Of Tips for Acing Your MBA Interview

•  6 Steps to Better Self Knowledge & a Successful MBA Interview

•  7 Tips for Writing Harvard Business School’s Post-Interview Reflection

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Can You Prep Psychologically for the GRE or GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Can You Prep Psychologically for the GRE or GMAT?
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The pressure situation of a timed exam like the GMAT or GRE can cause stress. We don’t want to stress you out today, but the clock is ticking for our special webinar, Five Effective Stress-Reducing Solutions for GMAT/GRE Success! There’s still just enough time to reserve your space. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to manage test taking anxiety, guided by exam prep expert and life coach Bara Sapir.

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Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post Can You Prep Psychologically for the GRE or GMAT? 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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Med school Uncensored: A Realistic Perspective on Medical Training [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Med school Uncensored: A Realistic Perspective on Medical Training
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Dr. Richard Beddingfield, a practicing cardiothoracic anesthesiologist in Wisconsin, is the author of Med School Uncensored: The Insider’s Guide to Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, and Sleepless Nights in the Call Room. The book provides a comprehensive view of the entire becoming-a-doctor process, from choosing to become a physician and taking the MCAT, through med school acceptance, rotations, residency, specializations, and getting your first position, along with a succinct discussion of the different exams you’ll need to take and the hoops you’ll need to jump through along the way.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your background and where you grew up? [2:04]

I grew up in the southeast, in Florida and Georgia. I went to college at the University of Michigan. I considered a variety of majors, but ended up in Computer Information Systems (CIS) – not the prototypical path to medicine! I worked with a small start-up tech firm offering internet services in the late 90s when that was a magical mystery to companies and users. During my senior year of college I first started thinking about becoming a physician. I attended a mini med school function at Michigan that sparked my initial interest. At the time I didn’t want to delay my college process – I didn’t have any pre-reqs to speak of, so I would have had to delay my graduation. I continued working in CIS (which actually has come in handy with electronic medical records!), went back to school first part-time and then full-time to cram through my pre-reqs at the University of Minnesota. Then I got back to the normal path – MCAT, applications, interviews, etc., and started medical school in 2006.

You were initially a computer science major and worked for a couple of years between college and med school. What made you decide to step away from that career? [5:43]

When you are at that age tiny little decisions can take you in a completely different direction. If things had happened differently, maybe I would have stayed with computers. In the past I had done service jobs, and really enjoyed working and chatting with people. I missed that at my job behind a computer desk. The med school seminar was over a 7-8 week period. Lectures were given by med school faculty on a variety of topics (pathology, cardiology, etc), and I was really fascinated and wanted to know more – how the body works, how disease occurs, medical intervention. So I started researching more and more.

Prior to that point I had never been premed, going through the regimented tasks, so I had to learn all that stuff on the fly, and make sure it was something I really wanted to do, since it would set me back in terms of my education. I shadowed a couple physicians, did some volunteer work, some research, and got involved as much as my time would allow. Ultimately I decided medicine is what I wanted to do.

What motivated you to write Med School Uncensored? [9:16]

I really first had the idea to do something like it in 2010. It was my final year of med school and I had volunteered to mentor premed students at the University of Minnesota. I chatted with a student over email and then met him at a coffee shop. I sat down with this guy and he started asking me questions. I was 3-4 months from graduating, so I expected there would be questions about what it’s like to be in medical school, but the questions were variations of, “How do I get into med school?” and, “Are my numbers sufficient?”

I said to him, “I get you want to get into med school, but do you have any questions about what it’s like once you get in? What do you know about that? Do you have family members or friends who are physicians?” I got a deer in headlights look, and the response, “I don’t know, I wouldn’t even know what questions to ask. I don’t even know where to start.” Maybe it was influenced by the fact that I was a little older, but I really took the time to learn what is involved in becoming a physician. It’s a very long and involved process, and a career that can easily consume your life.

I thought there were others who like me would really appreciate a no-holds-barred “this is how it is” perspective. When I finished my fellowship and got my first job, I thought about writing a book. People ask me all the time how I found time as a physician to write a book. Well, I was finally working a relatively normal hour job, after 70-80 hour work weeks plus studying, so I felt like I had an abundant amount of time on my hands.

The book draws extensively on your own experience, but you clearly did look up current information. [15:07]

The basic chronology is mine, the social aspect is my experience, as is the general storyline. My publisher really pushed me to do research since readers would want up to date information, and a lot has changed since I went through. Not the overall gestalt but the details. It is totally updated as of late 2016/early 2017.

Did your experience as a non-traditional med student contribute to your writing Med School Uncensored? Would you have liked to have read a book that laid out the whole process for you and gave the overview you provide? [16:33]

Yes, definitely. Not to disparage people who know right away – I think it’s amazing when people know when they are 15 they want to be a physician – but I’ve seen a lot of other people who go back to med school later from other careers, and it’s a really big change. I make the analogy that it’s really different from being 16 in high school and deciding to date someone, vs being 45 with kids and getting divorced to date someone. Non-traditional and older applicants really look at the process differently, and know people in other fields to compare to. In writing the book it did give me insights about our profession that are unusual, which can be interesting to present to premed students, their families, and other audiences.

What do you think premeds and med students don’t think about enough or perhaps weigh too heavily as they are considering a career as a physician and deciding on specialization? [20:21]

That’s a good question. I almost had forgotten some of the questions that go through premed minds since I went through residency, fellowship and now practice, but I’ve been reminded of them since the book came out. There are different focuses at each point. Premeds in general should think about whether medicine is something they really want to do, and if so why they want to do it. The entire application process falls into place more if you truly understand what’s motivating you to want to do this – it’s a lot of sacrifice and uncertainty, and a competitive, time-consuming process that takes up the physical prime and some might even say mental prime of your life. The average age of matriculation is 25, and in the blink of an eye they are 33-35. Premed focus really tends to be, “How do I get in? What do I need?” – all the logistics. But I do encourage them to step back and spend some time figuring out why they want to do it, who they are doing it for, how it fits into their lives. Most people don’t think about it until they graduate – and then it’s often time to make big decisions like choosing partners, having kids, where to live.

For med students, and residents, once they’re in the thick of it it’s a struggle to try and maintain relationships outside of medicine. You will make lifelong friends in your programs, for sure, but it is easy to lose existing relationships outside of med school if you don’t nurture them – I have seen a number of break ups and divorces.

As far as specialization, sometimes even premeds ask me why I chose anesthesiology. I tell them their opinion might change 100 times in med school, which is a good thing since the program is so broad and students are exposed to, on an intimate level, all the major fields of medicine. They’ll be expected to learn and perform all aspects. With some of the more complicated specialties you have to decide earlier, but first understand what makes you happy, not what makes the most money or has the fewest hours, because if you choose that way you have a good chance of being miserable.

Did you ever think of quitting either before or during medical school? [27:49]

Yes. I was in the middle of the application process and had maybe gone on a few interviews when I had a moment of terror/weakness – “I don’t know if I want to do this. It seems so far out before I even finish.” I went to the bookstore, thinking I wanted to do something different. I bought an LSAT book and was doing practice tests! In retrospect I’m glad I stuck with it, but the application process is very long and frustrating – you apply to a school, secondary applications, more money, more essays, all while working or going to college at the same time. Once I was in medical school I never seriously thought about quitting – you are kind of stuck. There are unhappy physicians out there. I’m not one of them, but there are people out there. You can get so focused, competitive, doing it for parents or teachers – you need to do it for you. Once you are in medical school, with six figures of debt and half a medical degree, quitting is financially devastating. You almost can’t quit. I did wonder if I made the right decision from time to time, when sleep deprived, when I had exams and rotations – there are so many stressors. You see others in different professions in their late 20s and they are buying a house, their 401K is doing great, and you have massive debt, aren’t getting any sleep, and have cranky patients.

There is a lot of concern about unhappy docs (see our interview with Taylor Brana of The Happy Doc) and with doctors nurturing a humanistic approach to medicine (See episodes accepted.com/219 and  accepted.com/203 for shows where we explored that topic). What do you do to hold on to and maintain that joy in your profession? [37:19]

I was lucky to be exposed to a specialty that I really enjoy. I really like being involved in longer and bigger cases in the operating room. I have one or two patients for several hours at a time as opposed to quick outpatient procedures. I was deliberate in picking a job with that type of experience. So I’d say it’s from deliberate and careful consideration of the job. I interviewed by geography (to be near family), and I didn’t choose based on money – I thought about the day-to-day. If you want to be an ER doctor, do you want to work in an ER with life threatening and adrenaline-rush type cases on a regular basis, or do you want a more small-town, less trauma ER.

What surprised you about some of the different phases of your journey: medical school? Rotations? Residency? Fellowship? [41:34]

Some say the hardest part of becoming a physician is getting into school. I’m not sure where that got started, because it is not at all true. Most med students are accustomed to being at the top of their class, straight-A students, and have breezed through college without a lot of work and stress. In med school, the programs open the faucet and it comes faster and faster, and it is impossible to keep up. It was interesting to watch people handle it in different ways.

Where do you see your career going in the future? Any more books? [48:08]

I don’t know. This was an isolated situation. I wanted to do it, while I still had the mindset as a trainee. It was a fun process going through writing the book. I have talked about a layman’s guide about going into the operating room, since I get the same questions from patients all the time. There is so much you could write books about! There are so many different physician authors that sometimes do touch on patient stories, so many interesting stories – funny, ridiculous, and of course sad things and things that make you think.

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Related Links:

Med School Uncensored: The Insider’s Guide to Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, and Sleepless Nights in the Call Room

Med School Uncensored Website

Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting Services

Related Shows:

HMX – Harvard Medical School’s Online Option for Everyone

Be a Happy Doc!

One Older Med Student’s Path: From Grief to Growth to Giving

Amy Ho: An ER Resident Who Connects with Patients and Society

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

The post Med School Uncensored: A Realistic Perspective on Medical Training [Episode 236] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Your Chicago Booth Roadmap: Available for On-Demand Viewing [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Your Chicago Booth Roadmap: Available for On-Demand Viewing
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Our webinar, Get Accepted to Chicago Booth, was a great success! Attendees learned tips they can implement right away in their applications. If you missed it – or if you’d like to see it again – you’re in luck: it’s now available on-demand.

Watch it now.

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Your Chicago Booth Roadmap: Available for On-Demand Viewing appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Choosing a Theme for Your Statement of Purpose [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Choosing a Theme for Your Statement of Purpose
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In our How to Write Exemplary Application Essays blog series, you’ll learn how to create outstanding essays by analyzing sample successful application essays.

All effective essays have a distinctive voice and theme. Referring back to the essays we looked at in the first post in this series, we might say that our MPH candidate’s theme was his passion for finding answers to significant public health issues. Our law school applicant’s theme was her yearning for greater intellectual challenges while remaining in the healthcare field.

It takes time and introspection to find your voice and your theme. The questions below are designed to stimulate your thought process and help you define your essay’s main message. Your answers will also help you express your goals, values as they relate to your career choice, motivations for pursuing a graduate degree, and your professional dreams. While introspection isn’t as popular an activity as, say, tennis or watching TV, it’s an important part of this process. Give it some time; your essay will be much better for it.

• Why are you passionate about – or at least committed to – your career choice?

• What experiences in your life (personal, educational, professional) have influenced your career goals and passions the most?

• Has any individual played a major role in helping you discover these goals or values?

• What do you hope to achieve in your career?

• What would career success look like in ten years?

• What strengths do you bring to this career?

• What experiences can you write about that will highlight these strengths?

After the admissions committee has read your essays, what three words would you hope they would use to describe you? Would you like them to consider you “driven,” “intelligent,” and “creative?” How about “dedicated,” “a leader,” and “focused?” No matter what image you want to create, think about experiences that will illustrate those qualities.

Some answers may spring to mind immediately, while others may require more thought. Some of these experiences might have enough drama or color to make a compelling essay introduction.

Remember that if you are writing multiple essays, such as for MBA programs, each one must have its own theme. The admissions committee members want to see you as a multi-faceted individual. Do not hammer home the same theme repeatedly when you have the opportunity to display different aspects of yourself, your values, and your personality.

Summary Tips:

1. Carve out some time for introspection about your career goals, values, and motivation.

2. Develop distinct themes for each essay required for an MBA program, or for any program requiring more than one essay.

In the next post in this series, we’ll share insights into how to write an exemplary MBA goals essay.

Work one-on-one with an expert who will walk you through the process of creating a slam-dunk application when you check out our catalog of application services. Our admissions consultants have read thousands of essays and know the exact ingredients of an outstanding essay.

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Related Resources:

Fitting In & Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions, a free guide

7 Signs an Experience Belongs in Your Application, a short video

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 Choosing a Theme for Your Statement of Purpose appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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How to Clarify Your Goals for Your MBA – And Beyond [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Clarify Your Goals for Your MBA – And Beyond
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[img]https://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/How-to-Clarify-Your-Goals-for-Your-MBA-–-And-Beyond.jpg[/img]
“How to Clarify Your Goals for Your MBA – And Beyond” is excerpted from MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools, by Linda Abraham and Judy Gruen.

Some applicants may be very clear about either the industry in which they want to work or the function or job title they’d like to have, but not always both. For example, you may be certain that you want to grow into a marketing executive role but are much less clear about what product or service you’d like to help market. There’s an enormous difference in what you will need to know if you choose healthcare marketing versus technology marketing, or entertainment marketing versus automotive marketing, or real estate marketing versus social enterprise marketing. These all fall under the large umbrella of marketing. However, the differences among those industries and the knowledge and skills needed to work within them could lead you to choose among different MBA programs.

Taking the example further, does your career goal in marketing include business development, market research, brand management or channel management? Focusing more sharply on the nuances of your chosen industry or chosen job function can and should affect your school selection.

This doesn’t mean your career trajectory has to be completely linear. For example, let’s say you are a software consultant who has worked on software marketing projects or a software designer who has worked in product development. Now you now want to go into brand management in the software industry. This goal still makes sense. It is focused and clear. This sort of clarity is a vital asset to you in the application process.

As you chart your post-MBA goals, write down the answers to the following questions. This exercise will help you in your own process of clarifying your goals and helping you pinpoint the most suitable schools for you.

• What aspects of your work experience have given you the most satisfaction?

• Where do you envision your greatest potential to grow professionally?

• What is your driving motivation to pursue this goal?

• What character traits do you possess that will be an asset in a given role or industry?

• When did you first discover an opportunity or need in your desired industry or function?

• What is your long-term vision for your career at this point, and how will your short-term goal logically lead to the realization of your long-term career vision?

Your goals will certainly evolve over time, and when you apply to MBA programs you may be genuinely torn between two equally compelling short-term goals. But by the time you sit down to write your goals essay, you need to draw a direct line from where you have been in your career and where you want to go.

Later on in the application process you are likely to be asked to discuss both short-term and long-term career goals, so it’s useful to think about the distinction between those now. To help you visualize what that path will look like, ask yourself the following questions:

• What would your ideal position be at each of these stages?

• What specific goals or milestones would you like to achieve at each stage?

• What impact would you hope to have on the people you work with and in your chosen field?

• What type of company or companies would you work for along the way?

Do your research so that your goals are achievable. If you are not already well-versed in what is happening in your target industry, research hiring trends, services, organization, market status, products and competitive concerns in your field and in the kind of companies you would like to work for, then seek informational interviews with people in the positions you aspire to as well as with recruiters in your target field. These efforts will also help you write intelligently about your chosen field and show that you understand its current needs, challenges and opportunities. And they will help you see where you can make your mark.

If you are a career changer, then how do you chart your course? The truth is that well over half of all MBA students are career changers, and some schools estimate the figure is closer to 80 or 90 percent if “career changer” is defined as a change in either industry or function. So you will have a lot of company in the applicant pool. Although a majority of MBA applicants are changing careers, you still must present the case that you are sufficiently informed about your new field and role to make it seem a credible, authentic choice for you. Again, research is critical, including interviewing people who already work in the field. Think about what skills you already possess that will be an asset in your new field. Let’s say you come from a not-for-profit background and want to go into business consulting. Your skills may already include excellent fundraising, organizational and people-management skills, which can transfer – with help – to business consulting. Applicants from the military often have many traits that are highly desirable in the business world, such as leadership and operations management, even if they have not worked in a business setting.

In summary, invest the time and energy to define your goals for an MBA education and beyond. Look inward to discover what you enjoy and where you excel. Then look outward to consider likely professional paths that will maximize your strengths and maximize your chances for professional fulfillment. Distinguish between short-term and long-term goals and how you will map your course from where you have been to where you want to go. Research the educational approach, curriculum flexibility, specialty tracks, recruitment possibilities, location, financial aid, and even extracurricular clubs and student life at your target schools.

Clear, well-defined goals are as much a requirement in successful MBA admissions as GMAT, GPA, and work experience. They are front and center in the minds of admissions readers. Put goals front and center in your mind as you prepare to apply.

Whether you are still deciding whether to get an MBA, deciding where to apply, working on essays, preparing for interviews, or trying to deal with a “special situation,” MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools provides practical, down-to-earth advice for the MBA application process in a coherent framework — and for less than the cost of a first-run movie. Check it out.

For personalized advice tailored just for you, check out our MBA admissions consulting and editing services and work one-on-one with a pro who will help you discover your competitive advantage and use it to get accepted.

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Related Resources:

• 9 Secrets to Standing Out, an MBA Admissions Guide

6 Tips for MBA Career Changers

What to Do If You Can’t Define Your Post-MBA Goals

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post How to Clarify Your Goals for Your MBA – And Beyond appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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An Electrical Engineer from Ghana Makes His Way to Yale SOM [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: An Electrical Engineer from Ghana Makes His Way to Yale SOM
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with business students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top programs. And now, introducing Ernest Kojo Mills…

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

Ernest: I’m from Cape Coast in the Central region of Ghana. That’s where I was born and lived with my family until we moved to Accra (Ghana’s capital) when I was about two. I was always curious about Technology, so I studied Electrical/Electronic Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) in Ghana for my undergrad. While there, I got really fascinated about Telecoms, so I took a job in that industry upon graduating and worked in it for six years across six different functions in Accra and London.

Accepted: Where are you currently in business school? What year are you?

Ernest: I’m currently a second year at Yale SOM.

Accepted: Why did you choose Yale? How did you know you were a good fit?

Ernest: Growing up in Ghana I idolized the Ivy League, but it wasn’t until I started college that I realized “Oh, I could actually go there!” So when I decided to do business school, I considered Yale and a couple other top schools. A number of things stood out to me at SOM: first, I found their integration with other schools (in and out of Yale) to be remarkable. We have one of the highest percentages of dual degrees (which brings multiple perspectives to the classroom), and also have the chance to take classes from other schools. As an example, last semester I took a Programming class from Yale College, this semester I’m taking this really cool class at the Law School called Regulating Emerging Technologies, and next semester I’ll take something from the Divinity School. There’s also great integration outside of Yale via the Global Network for Advanced Management. This past fall break, a ton of my classmates went to study in member schools all over the world, and I was a TA, welcoming 85 students from 26 schools across the world. It was really fun getting to know these amazing people and showing them around Yale. Since I’ve spoken so much about my first point, I’ll just quickly mention that SOM has an amazing culture (people are so smart, down to earth, help one another a lot with recruiting, academics, etc. and are from very diverse backgrounds); the professors are awesome (they’re super approachable, do great research and teach really well); and we have a very engaged alumni base, that isn’t limited to SOM (which alone is very impressive), but includes all other Yale schools – from the Medical school to the Drama school. That’s pretty awesome! Working in a cross-functional rotational program early in my career and working in London where at a point, no two people in my team of 10 were from the same country made me realize my strength in diverse teams, so I knew I’d fit well into Yale’s diversity. I also thrive in smart, yet humble environments, and SOM offers exactly that.

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?

Ernest: I’ve thought very hard about this question and no major challenge readily comes to mind. As I reflect, I think it’s because I planned far ahead of time and was therefore able to pace myself during the application process. I had many months to reflect on all of my achievements and collate them in one place even before the schools released their questions. I also notified my recommenders in advance, so it was easy to get their recommendations when the time came. I would say a minor challenge was that having been out of school for six years made it more difficult to ace the GMAT as much as I would have wanted. I guess my advice to other applicants will be to start the process very early. Think about when you can make time to research schools, study for the GMAT/GRE, write your essays, engage your recommenders, etc. Planning and starting the process early will set you on a course for success!

Accepted: As someone from Ghana, and who has worked in international roles, what made you want to pursue your MBA in the United States?

Ernest: My desire to experience a different geographical and cultural environment, coupled with my strong passion for tech brought me to the US. Another childhood dream of mine growing up in Ghana was to work in what I call the world’s Tech HQ – the Bay Area. This past summer I had the opportunity to do just that as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, advising a really cool tech client. It was just awesome being on the train and seeing people in YouTube hoodies, with Airbnb backpacks, Salesforce umbrellas, etc. It was also great to visit the Google and Facebook campuses.

Accepted: Where do you see yourself, and your career, in 10 years?

Ernest: I honestly don’t know, but that’s okay because I have some good options. Ten years is a long time and many things will change, but my passion for tech will remain. There’s a couple ways I can realize this passion including consulting for tech clients, being a leader in a large tech firm (either here in the US or somewhere in Africa or Europe), or creating my own startup to help solve some of the issues in Africa and the world. Speaking of solving African issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if I went into politics in Ghana because one of the things I’ve learned is that I should be the change I want to see (and SOM is educating me to become a leader for Business and Society!). There’s also very important factors to consider such as where I would want to raise my family. So there’s many possibilities, and we’ll take it a step at a time.

Accepted: What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned about yourself in business school thus far? Is it as hard as you imagined an MBA program to be?

Ernest: This might sound strange but a big lesson I’ve learned is the very important role my faith plays in my life. I’m constantly reminded of how God’s blessings have been and continue to be a big part of my achievements.

I also realized that although I’m closer to the introverted side of the spectrum, and my background didn’t focus a lot on networking, it’s an important skill that I could learn, become good at, and enjoy. So I’m working towards that, and I already see great improvements.

The answer to the second part of your question changes from first year to second year. First year was much harder than I ever imagined it to be! Transitioning from Engineering to Management, adapting to the culture, learning to network, recruiting, trying to make friends, being away from my family, etc. was just overwhelming, and that was one of the hardest years of my life. Second year though has been amazing! Having learned to navigate all the above-mentioned challenges, and having a job offer made second year a cruise control situation. There’s more opportunities to connect with friends (old and new), help classmates out, give back to the school, and really just enjoy the amazing community here at Yale.

Accepted: Lastly, what are your top tips for b-school success?

Ernest: Priorities, priorities, priorities! There’s so much to juggle in business school, and in order to succeed you need to determine what’s important to you and prioritize that. The beauty about it is that you can have a different set of priorities at different times during your MBA journey. This means you can do (almost) everything you want – just not at the same time. Also make a conscious effort to get to know your classmates. Arguably the best value proposition of the MBA is the network you build. Get to know people, be interested in their lives, share your life, make friends. That’ll be helpful to you in the long run.

Want to learn more about Ernest? You can check out his LinkedIn profile here. Thank you Ernest for sharing your story and advice – we wish you much success! 

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, check out our catalog of MBA admissions services.

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

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Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Application Maze, a free guide

Yale SOM MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines

The Importance of Teamwork in MBA Admissions

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post An Electrical Engineer from Ghana Makes His Way to Yale SOM appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Top 10 or Bust: Dispelling Two MBA Myths [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Top 10 or Bust: Dispelling Two MBA Myths
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Here are two comments that I get all the time from applicants – two related MBA myths that absolutely require busting:

Myth #1: Once you attend an MBA program outside the Top 10, it doesn’t matter which school you attend, so you may as well go to the cheapest one you get into.

Myth #2: It doesn’t pay to get an MBA outside the M7/Top 10.

When asked my opinion of these MBA memes, I politely explained why I think they are utter nonsense, the product of lazy minds. Nothing more. The reality is much more complex.

Applying to Schools Outside the Top 10

Schools inside and outside the Top 10 vary in terms of their approach to management education and their strengths. Some schools outside the Top 10 may be excellent for a given specialty. For example, Smeal and Broad are generally not in any overall Top 10 ranking. However, both programs are in the U.S. News top five for supply chain management and logistics. They may be excellent choices if that’s your interest. Babson is renowned for teaching entrepreneurship; it is usually in the bottom half of the top 50 overall. For those specialties, these schools may be better programs than programs ranked overall in the Top 10.

Obviously there are a lot more schools outside the Top 10 than in it, and the differences among all the schools are many. Applicants need to understand those differences and seek schools with the curricular, extracurricular, and career management strengths to help them achieve their goals. Then applicants can compare costs and anticipated return. If applicants choose a school based on Myth #1 and without the analysis I suggest, applicants are simply basing a major investment in time and money on folklore.

Determining ROI & Career Satisfaction

Whether it pays to get an MBA at School X, regardless of that school being in the Top 10, Top 20, or Top 50, depends on both the school and on you. Here are a few questions that you need to answer:

1. How much are you making currently? (That will determine your opportunity cost if you are considering a full-time program.)

2. What is the typical salary of MBA grads from your target program who found a job in your area of interest? (School averages are much less worthwhile.)

3. Is there a non-financial benefit that you seek in addition to classic financial ROI? (Moving into a job you will enjoy, for example.)

While it is true that average salaries at different schools tend to decline as you go down the rankings, for the overwhelming majority of MBAs, ROI is positive and MBA alumni satisfaction per GMAC surveys is overwhelmingly high despite two recessions in the last 15 years. And that data includes survey responses from non-Top 10 schools.

Bottom Line

Don’t trust myths about rankings to determine where you invest your time and money. Don’t rely on fable and fantasy to make a major life decision. Do your homework, learn about the schools, and don’t focus on their rankings.

Assess your needs. Determine your investment including opportunity cost. Evaluate probable return – both financial and non-financial – at schools that meet your needs.

Then, and only then, decide whether your MBA is worth the cost and which ones are right for you.

Do you need help choosing the best b-school for you, and then applying successfully so you get accepted? Our expert admissions advisors can guide you through every step of the MBA application process. Contact us and we’ll match you with your personal consultant today! 

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsAre You a Competitive Applicant at Your Dream School?

Focus on Fit, a podcast episode

• Bloomberg Businessweek Announces Best Business Schools in 2017

Tags: MBA Admissions

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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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Introducing the Choosing the Best MBA Program for You Blog Series [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Introducing the Choosing the Best MBA Program for You Blog Series
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Welcome to our Choosing the Best MBA Program for You series, where you’ll learn the specific steps you need to take to create a list of business schools that are the best fit for your educational, social, and professional preferences and how creating this list will boost your chances of getting accepted.

In 18+ years of MBA admissions consulting I have found that otherwise highly capable and focused people often basically wing it when it comes to creating their school list. I’ve heard things like: “I’m just applying to all the top ten.” Top ten according to what source? And this: “I realize now [after R2 deadlines have passed] I was overreaching. Are there any good schools I can still apply to?” Probably. And even this: “I’m applying to H/S/W, with Duke as my safety.” Duke as your safety?

By starting to develop your list of prospective schools now, you can avoid these and similar problems.

By approaching school selection thoughtfully and systematically, you will save time, money, and effort in the long run (even if you expend more of all three initially). You will conserve precious energy for the nitty-gritty work of the applications. You will also be able to devote time to planning school visits and recommendations, two things that often get neglected in the heat of the application season.

In this blog series you will learn how to develop a solid list of MBA programs to apply to. Each person’s needs are unique, and there is no one formula that works for everyone, so I will guide you in asking the right questions, answering (or finding answers to) those questions, and making your decisions accordingly. This series of posts will cover, among other topics:

• Assessing your profile

• The role of rankings

• How many schools you should apply to

• Identifying and prioritizing your b-school needs and wants

Here are a couple of things you can and should do right now to get started on the school selection process for next season:

1. Write down those random thoughts that have been floating around in your head, for example, “top 10,” “friendly to older applicants,” “strong quant focus,” “need to be within an hour by plane from my ailing mother,” etc.

2. Read blogs of MBA students not just at schools you’re already interested in but from a wider array of schools – both the substance and the tone of those blog posts will give you a subjective feel for different programs and your own responses to them.

3. If possible, talk to MBA students and ask them about their school selection process, about what went well and what proved difficult or problematic. Also ask what they would do differently.

4. Visit schools! Visit schools you know you are interested in (you can always revisit later), schools you might be interested in, and even schools on the margins. The best time to visit is when schools are still in session and when you’re not pressed by the application process yet, but when it’s still close enough to application time for your insights from the visits to be relevant if you discuss them in essays. Take advantage of travel you may do for business or pleasure to schedule a visit, rather than trying to cram everything in the fall – when you’ll be even busier than usual with applications plus work. Moreover, visiting early on (like in the spring) gives you time to digest and reflect on your campus experiences.

We’ll delve deeper into each of these topics in each of the subsequent posts in this series. Please enjoy and be in touch if you have any questions!

You can significantly increase your chances of getting accepted by applying to the programs that are the best fit for your unique qualifications, goals, and preferences. Our MBA admissions consulting services will provide you with the one-on-one guidance you need to submit the best MBA applications to the best MBA programs for YOU!

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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? Click here to get in touch!
Related Resources:

• 9 Secrets to Standing Out, an MBA Admissions Guide

Interviews With Current MBA Students

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton: What’s the Difference?, a short video

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Introducing the Choosing the Best MBA Program for You Blog Series appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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I would like to thanks for the efforts you have put in writing this forum. In fact your creative writing abilities have inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it. I found a lot of useful info here.
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Re: Accepted MBA Updates   [#permalink] 12 Dec 2017, 07:28

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