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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Are You a Good Fit for Your Target MBA Programs?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Are You a Good Fit for Your Target MBA Programs?
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“What Does Your Work Experience Reveal About You in Your MBA Application” is excerpted from MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools, by Linda Abraham and Judy Gruen.

MBA Smarties need to strategize their MBA applications before actually filling out any applications or writing any essays. Because I’m such a firm believer in the “ready, aim, fire!” philosophy of school applications (and not the reverse), the first three chapters of this book have focused on what I consider the three essential steps in this strategic process:

1. Analyze your career goals and educational needs.

2. Research programs you might be interested in to see which will help you achieve your goals and suit your learning style.

3. Assess your qualifications as an MBA applicant.

All too often, applicants miss one or more of these initial steps, which can lead to a scattershot or poorly thought out approach to the applications. Without performing this due diligence, you are likely to apply to schools for the wrong reasons, such as the star quality of a school name, wanting to live near a significant other who works in that city, or having heard that the school really goes for candidates like you. But applying to schools where you don’t fit is just a big waste of time, energy and money. Following a clear roadmap that is based on logic and facts, on the other hand, enhances your marketability as an applicant. It shows you know what you’re about and what you are not about. It shows that you took the time to figure out where you belong. It’s just smart.

Now it’s time to put together the pieces of this analysis and research and get to the more exciting part of the application process: picking your schools. You can start by graphing out two big circles: One contains the names of the schools you want to attend. The other contains the names of the schools likely to want you in return. The schools in both circles are the ones you should apply to, or at least choose from. The intersection of these two circles becomes the universe of schools you should consider.

Back in Chapter 2 you learned what a wealth of information is available on the websites of most well-regarded MBA programs. Now is a good time to revisit those websites to look at the class profiles and confirm that there is an overlap between your qualifications and the typical profile of admitted students at the schools that support your goals. The class profiles will show you the ranges and averages of GMAT scores, GPAs and years of work experience. Do your numbers fit in those ranges? If your quant profile is a “go,” check to see if you are also a match qualitatively. After all, it’s not enough to know that you can match brain cell for brain cell among your future classmates. You want to know that you’ll be simpatico with the kinds of students those programs attract. How can you judge this sort of complementariness? Look at text or video profiles of students that often appear on school websites or, student blogs (sometimes hosted by the schools). Can you imagine yourself working, studying and collaborating on projects happily with these folks?

Are you a fit or a misfit?

Let’s look at a few profiles of fictional applicants and see how well they fit with the schools they have chosen:

SHANNON. She’s got excellent work experience in new media marketing and development and a competitive GPA (3.8) and GMAT (710). Having lived her whole life in the cold Midwest, Shannon found the West Coast’s sunnier climate and U.C. Berkeley (Haas’) proximity to San Francisco an irresistible lure. Given her professional chops and strong stats, she is optimistic about her chances. But a closer reading of Haas’ latest curriculum enhancements revealed the school’s increased emphasis on what it calls “Leading Through Innovation” and a culture emphasizing four core principles: 1) question the status quo 2) confidence without attitude 3) students always 4) beyond yourself. Despite her strengths, Shannon has no community service and limited leadership experience, making it a tough sell to show she belonged in a program so heavily geared toward the idea of leadership and “beyond yourself.” Misfit.

CHARLIE. Since his college graduation, Charlie has worked in real estate development and wants an MBA to move up in his real estate development firm. His girlfriend is a student at London Business School, and Charlie is thinking about INSEAD because it is only a one-year program. Trouble is, INSEAD has few relevant courses in real estate development. As with Shannon, Charlie’s other strengths in work experience and good stats cannot compensate for a mismatch of his career goals and school strengths. Misfit.

STEPHANIE. An aspiring management consultant with decent entry-level experience in a small management consulting firm, Stephanie plans to apply to Tuck, Ross, HBS, Kellogg and Darden. But her 650 GMAT puts her at a serious disadvantage. All those schools, as well as most management consulting firms recruiting from them, will be looking for GMATs of 700 or higher. Misfit.

DANNY. A career changer moving from IT to financial consulting, Danny prepared for the change by taking more quant and finance classes at a local college and volunteering as a financial counselor at a community service agency. With his 720 GMAT and 3.7 GPA, he applied to five programs, including Wharton and MIT Sloan. Denied acceptance by all schools, he reapplied to MIT Sloan the following year, showing additional growth in his financial consulting experience. Fit.

As these examples show, the idea of “fit” is something all schools take seriously. Before you apply, make sure to read student profiles on school web sites, read student blogs and watch student interview videos to help you assess whether you’re a fit with your likely classmates, academically and personally.

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:

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

Are You Targeting the Right MBA Program for You?

Which B-School is the Best for You?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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

_________________

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

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

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MBA Interview Formats: Phone and Skype MBA Interviews  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Interview Formats: Phone and Skype MBA Interviews
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This post is part of a series exploring the different forms MBA interviews take and how you can ace them all!

Skype is often used for MBA interviews when an in-person interview isn’t feasible.

A Skype interview is a conversation via Skype with video on. Occasionally, when Internet connection isn’t great, the Skype interview may need to be conducted with video off because the video puts more demand on the connection, and I’ve also known of times when a phone interview had to replace Skype because of connection problems.

Skype interviews can replace either:

the in-person interview with an adcom member, or

the in-person interview with a student or alumnus.

In both cases, follow the guidelines and tips for these two interview formats in the previous linked posts.

Why adcoms use this method
Skype allows adcoms, alumni, and students to interview applicants in situations where it might not otherwise be possible, e.g., remotely located applicant, sudden change in one party’s schedule, interruptions such as weather-related flight changes, etc.

Benefits and pitfalls for applicants
• Benefit: can showcase your adaptability and comfort with any communication medium.

• Benefit: if you establish a warm, “human” connection with the interviewer over the technology, it can really stand out and leave a strong positive impression.

• Pitfall: you’re at the mercy of the technology functioning well.

• Pitfall: it can seem awkward compared to an in-person interview.

• Pitfall: you have to pay attention not just to yourself but to your setting and your position vis-à-vis the camera.

How to make this type of interview work for you
(This is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews and in addition to the advice in the two previous links above):

Dress professionally down to your footwear – it will help you maintain, and reflect, a professional mindset and focus.

It’s tempting to use notes because you can put them out of camera range, but I strongly suggest not doing so; your glances away from the interviewer and to your notes may seem subtle to you, but they will not likely be to your interviewer.

Before the call, prepare the background (i.e. lighting, visuals) and your camera position (you don’t want the camera aiming up at your neck).

Practice a bit on the medium, even though you normally engage well in person. It’s a different sense and feel than in person.

Clarify date, time, and time zone. For some reason mistakes or miscommunications on these simple things are easier with Skype than when scheduling in-person meetings.

The best way to ensure that you are prepared for your MBA interviews is to practice with a pro! Check out our Mock Interview Services and learn what you can do to ace those interviews and get accepted to business school!

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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:

Perfect Answers to MBA Interview Questions, a free guide

Walk Me Through Your Resume

Prepare for Interviews with Positive Imagery

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post MBA Interview Formats: Phone and Skype MBA Interviews 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
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3 Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 3 Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays
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One of most important pieces of advice I can give you regarding your personal statements and application essays is this: Show, don’t tell.

Here are three tips to help you achieve this essential writing goal:

1. Show the steps you’ve taken.

If you are writing about a goal you achieved or a project you completed, providing the step-by-step process you followed will add depth and validity to your claims. “Within six months I was promoted to Junior Account Manager” is not nearly as compelling as spelling out the specific measures you took to obtain the recognition that landed you your fast-tracked promotion. Similarly, don’t just tell the adcom that you have overcome your weakness of procrastination; instead, show them by giving concrete examples of specific things you’ve done to become a more efficient person.

2. Provide examples of strengths and skills.

You say that you are creative, mature, and an excellent leader. But how? What have you done specifically and what impact have you made on your teammates/co-workers/company/community/world-at-large? Saying that you’re creative won’t cut it; instead share a story or paint a picture (with words) that truly depicts the creative workings of your mind.

3. Offer details whenever possible.

Your story of success will be more believable and more memorable if you provide a few details. Remember, when showing instead of just telling about your achievements, your readers are going to want to see a picture of who you are and what you’ve done. Add vibrant details – talk about the number of people on your team; the amount of money you raised; the eager and nervous feelings you experienced while launching your new product; the fear you felt, followed by the extreme remorse, and then the resolve to do better that you experienced when you botched a project – all these details will add color and life to the picture you’re painting for the adcom.

Boastful claims like, “I am a team leader” or “I have excellent communication skills” won’t do much to convince the adcom of your strengths if they’re not backed up with evidence. Remember when writing your essays: show, don’t tell.

Our expert admissions consultants know exactly what goes into creating application essays that show who you truly are and what you’re capable of. Work one-on-one with an experienced guide who will help you with this, and every other element of your application. View Accepted’s Admissions Services here for more information on how we can help you get ACCEPTED!

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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 Schools5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement, a free guide

3 Essential Components of a Personal Statement

5 Elements to Telling an Attention-Grabbing Story

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

The post 3 Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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

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

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Executive MBA Essays: How to Make an Impact  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Executive MBA Essays: How to Make an Impact
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The following is an example of a successful Executive MBA essay for the MIT Sloan Executive MBA Program. Applicants to Executive MBA programs need to demonstrate significant leadership, impact, potential, and the legitimate need for the degree to be accepted, and this essay shows all of those qualities.

Statement of Purpose (one page)

The MIT Executive MBA Students and Community are: Open, Collaborative and Inventive. Please tell us why you are pursuing the MIT Executive MBA, and what you will contribute to your classmates and the community at MIT. Include examples of success working with organizations, groups, and individuals. For those reapplying, please highlight developments since your last submission.

As a founder, board director, and executive officer of a growth-stage technology company, I bring a unique set of experiences and a need for an innovative, transformative education that I can apply to my business immediately.

As an executive with both immediate challenges and wide organizational influence, I am particularly drawn to the action learning philosophy of the Sloan program. I am eager to transform my own mind and create immediate positive impact across my organization. I am inspired by the experiences of current students who implement their new learnings when they return to the office on Mondays. I am eager to do exactly that. My business is significantly more complex today than it was in the beginning when we provided a simple set of tools to small teams. Today, we are a multinational organization that provides tools and training to large enterprises seeking to implement Lean transformations of sophisticated processes in IT operations and multiple other industries. Throughout this journey, I have constantly challenged myself and my organization to learn, grow, and change. I seek to participate in this program as another step in my personal commitment to learning and adapting to the needs of the future. Now is the moment of maximum impact, whereby my organization and customers will be most receptive to, and benefit the most from, lessons and experiments that I intend to bring back and implement.

As a shareholder that has negotiated a significant amount of angel and institutional investment, I am keenly aware that my investors seek a positive return on their investment. I seek to prepare not only for the immediate needs of growth and complexity, but also for the mid-to-long term opportunities that may accompany that growth, such as a change of control, a liquidity event, or an opportunity to integrate my teams into a larger vision.

As a community leader, I seek to bring what I learn from the program back home and share it widely. I aim to broaden my understanding of business practices and theory beyond my focused experience in tech so that I may maximize the value of what I pass along to the aspiring entrepreneurs, technologists, and leaders in my community who, with ever increasing frequency, honor me by seeking my guidance and assistance.

Similarly, I have a strong desire to share my experiences and the details of my company and my journey with my classmates. I understand how valuable it is to be completely transparent with a group of peers who are eager to learn and share. I am excited to share my successes and my failures with them, open my business to their scrutiny, and make my organization available any time it aids in the learning experience.

Jennifer Weld, former Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program and current Accepted admissions consultant, provides insights into what this Accepted client did correctly when writing his Executive MBA essay.

A couple of strong points to this essay:

1. No nonsense approach

The writer immediately gets to the point of explaining why an EMBA is a necessary next step for their career. In the very first sentence there is an acknowledgement of all the writer has accomplished, but the clear recognition that further education is necessary to attain their goals.

2. Complete lack of verbosity

It is obvious the writer has had a very successful career thus far, but that is not what comes across. Instead you understand that the writer recognizes the constant need for learning and adapting to the ever-changing business environment.

3. Give and take

The writer discusses taking the learning from MIT and applying it to oneself, but also bringing key learnings back to the writer’s community. The writer also acknowledges that having classmates critiquing his business will be extremely beneficial to him, but also by opening up his operations to his classmates, they can learn a lot as well. This shows a generous spirit, which is the type of characteristic an admissions committee would be looking for in terms of representing the school after graduation.

For expert guidance with your Executive MBA applications, check out Accepted’s MBA & EMBA admissions consulting services. You will be assigned an individual consultant, who will provide you with advising, editing, interview coaching, and resume assistance for your EMBA applications.

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Related Resources:

Ace the EMBA: Expert Advice for Rising Executives, a free guide

Excellent Executive MBA Admissions Advice, a podcast episode

3 Tips for Writing a Winning EMBA Essay

 

Tags: EMBA, MBA Admissions

The post Executive MBA Essays: How to Make an Impact 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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USC Marshall MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: USC Marshall MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Along with academic excellence, the USC Marshall MBA program is characterized by a powerful global network with special emphasis on the Pacific Rim, a close-knit and passionate community, and a strong regional presence. Your essays should show how you will both fit in and contribute in this dynamic environment, and the questions provide interesting opportunities to do so. Taken together, the questions indicate that the adcom wants to see a clear, practical career focus, and also wants to get to know the person behind those goals.

Essays:

Essay #1 (Required): What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (100 word maximum)

The question specifies the information to include in the essay. Although only 100 words, it is deemed an “essay” by the adcom, and that means you should do more than provide facts. An essay moves – it goes somewhere, it has a starting point and ending point. And you will have room for a little more than the bare facts, so compose your answer in a way that includes some motivation or vision for your short-term career goal; clarify what animates it. It may be just a sentence, even a phrase. But it can make all the difference. It will make this short piece of writing an essay – and will engage the reader.

Essay #2 (Required): Please respond to ONLY ONE of the following essay topics. (500 word maximum)

1. Please describe the contributions you expect to make to your classmates outside of the classroom during your time at USC.

2. You have been asked to design a course to be taught at the Marshall School of Business. Please provide a title and description for the course.

3. What has been the most interesting day or moment in your life and why?

4. You have been hired by the Marshall MBA Admissions Committee to create an essay question for next year’s application. Please state the question and answer it.

Which question should you choose? They all require you to reveal and share something of yourself – your perspective, what you value. Three of the four questions directly engage your understanding of Marshall’s program and/or culture. That fact doesn’t mean that question 3, which lacks direct mention of Marshall, is therefore a less desirable selection, but it does imply that the adcom really cares about your sense of engagement with the program. Therefore, you might find a way to weave that in if you choose question 3.

On one hand, question 3 is the easiest to answer, because you could simply narrate the story behind the interesting day/moment and conclude with a brief reflection about why it was “most interesting.” The question literally asks for a story. If you choose one of the other questions, you’ll have to work a little harder to bring in your experiences – but I strongly suggest using your experience as the basis for any of these essays.

For essay 1, the contributions should be based on actual experiences and the insights or perspective gained from them. For question 2, use some aspect of your experiences to inform the topic and/or design of your proposed course. For question 4, similarly, use your experience as the basis for the question and answer.

Why do I repeatedly recommend using your experience? Presenting concrete anecdotes and examples will allow the adcom to get to know you, and real life lends credibility to whatever you say. After all, anybody can just “talk,” but it takes a mature, confident, focused individual to derive meaning from their experience and express it effectively to the target audience.

Essay #3 (Optional): Please provide any additional information that will enhance our understanding of your candidacy for the program. (250 word maximum)

This question allows you to both discuss points that will enhance your application and explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender, a dip in grades). For the former, if you ask the adcom to read additional material, make sure that it truly illuminates and is germane to your candidacy.

If you would like professional guidance with your USC Marshall application, consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the USC Marshall application.

USC Marshall 2018 Remaining MBA Application Deadlines:

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** USC Marshall will continue to accept applications after April 15, 2018. Applications received after this date will be considered on a first-come, first-served and space-available basis.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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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:

Why MBA, a free guide

3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post USC Marshall MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines 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

MBA Admissions Consultant
User avatar
S
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 5139
Location: Los Angeles CA
The Expanded Executive MBA Profile  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Expanded Executive MBA Profile
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This is the first post in our Ace the EMBA series on how to apply successfully to a top executive MBA program.

The Executive MBA profile has changed over the past decade. Allen, a hypothetical candidate described below, represents the traditional EMBA candidate, which is still highly desirable to EMBA programs. Lucia, another hypothetical candidate, also described below, represents a profile that is not uncommon now, as does hypothetical Kareem.  Most important, no longer does Allen reflect the “choice” candidate. Today’s EMBA programs actively seek a wide range of applicants – not just diverse geographic, functional, and industry backgrounds, but also diverse organizational cultures and career pathways (e.g.: Serial entrepreneur? Engaged in public-private partnerships? From industry to consulting or vice versa?). The remaining common denominator is extensive management experience and/or imminent advancement into senior management. Even the meaning of “management experience” may vary now – for example, in matrix organizations and project-oriented careers, the conventional “direct report” concept may be irrelevant.

1. At thirty-five years old, Allen has worked professionally for thirteen years, the last eight as a marketing manager in increasingly strategic positions. He is now Director of Marketing and Strategy for his Fortune 1000 company’s new product line. His record of advancement is impressive for someone in his industry, pharmaceuticals, where people of his age are usually a few rungs lower and where some of his peers have MBAs. Allen’s next move will be to a senior management role, and he feels that without a sophisticated management skill set, he will be unable to contribute to his maximum ability as an executive. Knowing that this skill set is exactly what EMBA programs are created to provide, he discusses pursuing an EMBA with his boss. Allen’s company, eager to retain him and groom him for a senior position, will sponsor the time requirement of his Executive MBA studies, and one-third of the cost.

2. After working for a year after college as a technology consultant, Lucia started consulting independently. Initially she provided IT guidance to her local school district as part of a community volunteer program. During this initiative she realized that the public education sector offered unique opportunities as well as challenges in mastering the complex bureaucratic, budgeting, and political maze, and she decided to develop a part-time independent business providing IT consulting to the public education sector, on top of her “day job.” It turned out to be a lucrative and interesting niche, and within one more year, Lucia had enough business to leave her employer and set up her own consulting business full time. Eight years later, she has seven employees, grosses over $12M in sales annually, and has broadened her service to private schools. At this level, she can barely manage the business. To grow further, Lucia needs to streamline and stabilize her organizational infrastructure while developing a solid five-year growth strategy. She is more than willing to pay for her EMBA at a top program, viewing it as a necessary investment for growth.

3. Kareem has been an architect of some of the top products at a global technology firm. He has led numerous high-profile project teams and interacted with senior technologists and executives at Fortune 100 customers – even participated in some key product decisions. Increasingly he has felt that becoming a senior manager would allow him to best utilize the combined market and technology know-how he has accrued, and his employer and does not want to lose one of its stars. Hence, the company has agreed that Kareem will transition to the business side to manage a new product line he has championed, a role that will include P&L responsibility. Kareem decides to pursue an EMBA as the best way to prepare for his imminent senior management role. He will pay the tuition, and his company will accommodate the schedule.

These three candidates now face the challenge of applying to EMBA programs. First, they must select the programs they want to target from an increasingly large and multifaceted selection. Then, although they are all strong applicants, they still must distinguish themselves through their application essays. In this series, we will explore the changing EMBA options and how to choose among them, and then address the roll-up-the-shirtsleeves part of the process: developing effective essays.

Do you need help applying to your target Executive MBA programs, efficiently and successfully? Work one-on-one with an EMBA admissions expert for comprehensive application assistance. It’s time to get you ACCEPTED! View our EMBA services here.

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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:

Top Executive MBA Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right, a free guide

Excellent Executive MBA Admissions Advice, a podcast episode

• The MBA Family Tree: A Roundup & Overview of Different MBA/EMBA Options

Tags: MBA Admissions

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

_________________

Linda Abraham
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Optimize your Grad School Application: Grades, Scores, Essays, Resume,  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Optimize your Grad School Application: Grades, Scores, Essays, Resume, Activity History, and More
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This show was triggered by a question asked on a recent webinar that I gave when a member of the audience, Glenn, asked “Are there any podcasts or resources that focus specifically on rounding out the application – recommendations, extra-curriculars, etc.”

There aren’t. I decided to create one, and this is it. We’re going to discuss different elements, why they are important in graduate admissions, and what you can do to make sure you provide admissions committees with what they want.

Grades [2:13]

A school’s class profile gives a good idea of averages and what schools would like to see. If your grades are above the average, great! If they are below the average, you will need to work harder to gain admission.

Grades are important because past performance predicts future performance. This is a fundamental premise of admissions. Schools want to know you have the ability and self-discipline to excel in a demanding academic environment. If you want to go to a top program with great grades and you excelled in a tough program in the past, you are providing evidence that you can thrive in a new environment. If your grades don’t provide that confidence, you need to provide context as to why your grades don’t reflect your ability, or you need to take classes now, get strong grades now, and show that you now have the discipline and raw intelligence to perform. I go into much more detail in Podcast 137, 5 A’s for Your Low GPA.

Test Scores [4:02]

Test scores provide a common standard – everyone takes the same test – whereas individual schools’ grading standards can vary enormously. While test scores don’t show the ability to apply oneself in a demanding academic environment, they do measure raw aptitude and are highly predictive of success in specific graduate programs. In addition, test scores have some secondary purposes. When published, they impress alumni, applicants, and recruiters — and US News. Because of these non-official purposes, they can tend to take on outsize importance.

Essays [6:00]

The primary purpose of the essays is threefold, and you can think of it in terms of the acronym PAD:

P: Provide a window into the real you. They want to meet you, see that you would fit in, that there isn’t a jerk factor, and that you share their values and mission.

A: Add value to the other elements of the application. Your grades, resume, test scores, recommendations, etc., are all parts of the puzzle that portray an image of you. The job of the personal statement is to show you as a human being. You don’t want to duplicate what you do in other parts of the application. And if possible you want to steer clear of technical examples. Rather for most graduate degrees, but not all, focus more on motivation, interpersonal or leadership examples, and the impact you intend to have once you earn your degree.

D: Demonstrate your communications ability. Schools, especially business schools, are more and more are asking for videos – I think this will become increasingly common. For most programs, though, writing is the only way to gauge how well you communicate until they invite you for an interview.

Your writing needs to be clear, well written, correct, and not full of sloppy or silly errors, because otherwise they will believe you will be muddled, unclear, and sloppy.

The essays also allow you to show fit with the school. Programs have different flavors, and while programs offering the same degree are similar on some level, there are going to be nuances, strengths, and weaknesses, and the essays are a great place for you to show fit with the school’s strengths and culture.

Resume/CV [9:45]

The resume provides a summary of your career to date and a snapshot of your career progression, which is critical for MBAs or any post-experience program.

Medical schools will want to see if you took a gap year(s), and what you did during that time. Research is nice to have for med school but not required unless you are applying to a research-oriented program or want an MD/PhD. Clinical exposure is a must. Teamwork is important.

If you are a non-traditional applicant perhaps coming from another career, you will want to highlight aspects of your career that are particularly relevant for medicine. For example, if you are a computer developer, you presumably have learned how to think very logically while troubleshooting and diagnosing computer problems. You can use those skills and transfer them to medicine. If you are a teacher you can explain complex concepts to students, and you can transfer that skill to explaining complex concepts to patients. Essays and written portions of the application or interviews are great places to make the connection between what you’ve done in the past and what you want to do in the future if it’s not obvious.

For academic research programs, research is mandatory, as it’s part of the job.

In any field, schools want to see you have a realistic expectation of what the work in the program and beyond the program involves. This expectation is a good thing – it’s a safety mechanism to protect you from spending tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life on a mistake.

The basic idea is that your resume and past experience should show affinity for your chosen career and field of study, and the admissions committee should be able to look at what you have done in the past, combine it with the education they are going to provide you and see how the combination will help you achieve your goals.

Letters of Recommendation [12:56]

Almost all programs require them, some two, some one, some three or more. Letters of recommendation are important because the school you are applying to gets a third party opinion on your candidacy. This third party perspective is what they are looking for. It can be problematic if a recommender says they are swamped and want you to write the letter, because it means the school isn’t getting a truly valid letter of recommendation. Sometimes admissions committee readers can tell if a letter has been written by the applicant because of the writing style. And they know they are not getting that new perspective.

To prevent this from happening to you, I suggest that 6-8 weeks before you want the letter written you present your recommender with a 1-2 page summary of things you have done that they should be aware of and the characteristics/values of the particular program you are applying to.

Community service AKA extra-curriculars [15:06]

Community service and extra-curricular activities can show a lot of different qualities. For medicine, it shows a commitment to service, which is something med schools really value since the essence of medicine is service. For business, leadership opportunities may not exist early in one’s professional career, so a volunteer role may provide that. For all areas, it can show an affinity with the field you’re entering. For example, if you’ve worked at a legal clinic and are applying to law school, it’s great experience. If you are applying for a Master of Accounting and have worked in tax prep, you know what you’re getting into.

Community service also reveals a multi-dimensionality that enriches the educational environment and complements expertise in your area of study. For example, if you are applying to med school and volunteered at a soup kitchen, as a doctor you will most likely again work with underserved populations, so that experience will help you know what you’re getting into. For business, extra-curriculars demonstrate a commitment to community, and that you’re not just buried in investment banking or in a management consulting firms working with elites. You care about society and outreach to society. Your experience will enrich the classroom environment, whatever degree you are going after.

If you don’t have any community service experience, start as soon as possible. Even a few months of community service is better than none, and you never know, you might have to reapply and then the time becomes 1-2 years, so the experience is richer and the commitment stronger.

Addenda/Optional Essays [18:54]

These are used frequently to address employment gaps or weaknesses like a dip in grades one semester. Take advantage of these – don’t let the admissions committee try and guess why a negative happened. Tell them. Some optional essays allow you not just to explain weaknesses but to add something you’d like the admissions committee to know. Use it if you have something worthwhile to add, like an experience that helps you show fit. Again, refer to episode 137 for ideas on providing context for a dip in grades.

Video [20:06]

These are becoming more common on MBA applications and I feel they will become more common with other graduate applications as well. They exist to assess presence and poise (before issuing an interview invitation), as well as your ability to think on your feet. For business schools, videos also help schools to understand how you will present yourself to recruiters, who are increasingly using videos as a screening tool.

I’ve hit the high points of most applications. If there are other elements of the application that you want me to address, please ask in the comments at accepted.com/247.

I hope you now see that your grad school application is like a jigsaw puzzle where all pieces should interlock, and when assembled, present an impressive picture of you. Each element has a role to play, a piece to add to the puzzle that is you.

And Glenn, wherever you are, I hope I’ve answered your question.

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Related Links:

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

Round 3 vs Next Year: When should You Apply?, a recorded webinar

10 Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation

What if the President of the United States Wrote Your Letter of Recommendation?

Create a Winning AMCAS Application , a recorded webinar

Related Shows:

Your Past Doesn’t Define You

5 A’s for Your Low GPA

Focus on Fit

Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application

Subscribe:

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

The post Optimize Your Graduate School Application: Grades, Scores, Essays, Resume, Activity History, and More [Episode 247] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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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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Preparing to Apply to B-School? Learn The 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Preparing to Apply to B-School? Learn The 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance
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Every year, we speak with applicants who’ve started too late in the application process and shortchanged themselves (starting your essays a week before the deadline is not usually a recipe for success). An MBA is a serious investment in your future – and approaching the process seriously and strategically can mean the difference between an acceptance at your top-choice program and either facing an expensive and stressful reapplication process or, worse, settling for a program that isn’t right for you.

We believe in starting the application process well-informed and with a strategic mindset. That’s why we’ve created a free one-hour webinar, 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance in 2019. In this webinar, Accepted’s founder, Linda Abraham, will guide you through an action plan for the next few months – before applications come out. What can you be doing now to improve your application next fall?

The webinar is free, but you must reserve your space.

Register Now:

 

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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Your INSEAD Roadmap  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Your INSEAD Roadmap
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If you missed our webinar Get Accepted to INSEAD, or if you’d like to view it again to catch Linda Abraham’s application guidance one more time, we have great news for you: the full webinar is now available free on-demand.

Watch it now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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MBA Interview Formats: Video Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Interview Formats: Video Essays
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This post is part of a series exploring the different forms MBA interviews take and how you can ace them all!

Kellogg and Rotman among many others have included required video essays in their applications.

Why adcoms use this method:

• It allows the adcom to see the applicants respond in almost-real-time to questions.

• It allows the adcom to test applicants’ ability to organize their thoughts and present a response that is both meaningful and succinct.

• Applicants “shine” in different ways, and an applicant who shines in interpersonal communication and charisma may not make it to a competitive interview with written essays; now the adcom can spot these applicants.

• Similarly, someone may shine in the conventional written essays, but be inappropriate or unprofessional in presentation, and the adcom can now spot and weed out these applicants early, without expending additional resources on interviews.

Process: Typically, you click on a link in the application, and you are given a question to answer in a specified time. You are being timed, so you can’t halt the process, go away for an hour and plan a careful response. But some applications give you a minute or so to compose your thoughts; others let you practice with sample questions and the same format.

Benefits and pitfalls for applicants:

• Benefit: if you present yourself comfortably and are photogenic, the medium plays to these strengths.

• Benefit: the process may take less time than a written essay.

• Benefit: for non-native English speakers, you can demonstrate solid English speaking skills—especially beneficial if you have a low verbal GMAT score and/or borderline TOEFL.

• Benefit: The skills and attributes it highlights differ from and complement those highlighted by written essays, improving the chances for different kinds of applicants to shine in the initial application.

• Pitfall: you have a limited time and can’t second guess your answer; once it’s done it’s done (whereas with a written essay you can revise it up until submission if you have further thoughts for improving it).

• Pitfall: although the adcoms call it a conversation, it actually isn’t very natural or comfortable to talk into a camera with no human response; some people need practice to overcome discomfort with this medium.

• Pitfall: for people who are methodical, the short prep and answer time works against your natural inclination and doesn’t play to your strength.

While not exactly a pitfall, there’s also the reality that even though adcoms strive for objectivity in evaluating applicants, the video essay creates the potential for them to be subjectively influenced (pro or con) by an applicant’s physical appearance early in the “weeding” process.

How to make this type of interview work for you (this is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews):

• Review Accepted.com’s tips for this interview format.

• Practice with a video camera, YouTube, or other formats, speaking to a camera without a person involved.

• Practice coming up with short answers to a range of questions – limit your prep time so it’s similar to the video essay’s, and find a technique that works for you for gathering your thoughts quickly and identifying a key point or message.

• Consider the whole visual picture: not just having hair combed and appropriate attire, but also the background and lighting – all should enhance the presentation.

• The adcoms say they want a spontaneous, natural experience of the applicant, but it may not be natural for you to look at and speak to a non-responsive camera. It’s the illusion of naturalism; it’s acting, it’s performance, essentially. To create your best impression, understand and analyze your gestures, cadence, tone – what makes your presentation reflect “you” effectively? A good actor is deliberately and thoughtfully natural, not mindlessly natural. You’re actually performing your best self.

The best way to ensure that you are prepared for your MBA interviews is to practice with a pro! Check out our Mock Interview Services and learn what you can do to ace those interviews and get accepted to business school!

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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:

Perfect Answers to MBA Interview Questions, a free guide

Do I Really Need a Mock Admissions Interview?, a short video

Tips For MBA Video Essay Questions

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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Why Should I Apply to Graduate School Now?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why Should I Apply to Graduate School Now?
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When is the best time to apply to graduate school? This is going to depend on a number of very individual factors – your goals, your experience, your qualifications, and others. Are you ready to take on the application process? Are you ready to go back to school? Can your work-life balance fit school into the equation? Can you afford to head back to school? Do you really need this degree? Do you really need this degree now? You have some big questions to ask yourself and some big decisions to make!

Let’s take a look at one of the most important questions – the now or later question.

NOW

Here are 6 reasons why you should apply to grad school right now:

1. You are working towards a goal

You have a specific goal that requires a graduate degree, be it an MBA, MD, JD, or any other combo of letters. You need this graduate degree to further your position towards or complete your goal.

2. You are ready for some serious job growth

You feel you are stagnating in your current position and having a degree can lead to either growth in your current job or new job opportunities.

3. You’re ready to study

You are excited about the prospect of two (or four or ten) more years of study towards your professional goal. You’re ready to shift your mindset to study-mode, and while it may be difficult to get back into the swing of tests and studying and writing papers, you’re eager to jump in and learn more to reach your goal.

4. You have the work experience

You have the level of experience desired by the graduate programs you are targeting.

5. You have the qualifications

You’ve done your research, and are confident that your grades, test scores, work/volunteer experience, and extracurriculars will measure up with other applicants to make you a competitive applicant.

6. You are being financially responsible

You have the means (or know-how to acquire the means) to pay for your education. You’ve done your due diligence to look into scholarships, grants, sponsorships, loans, or any other financial assistance that you will need to attend school, pay your bills, etc.

Goals: Don’t go any further without them

Reason #1 above is an absolute requirement for graduate admissions. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about MBA admissions, medical school admissions, graduate school, or law school admissions, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to do at the other end of the graduate study tunnel. For MBAs, that goal has to be fairly specific. For future doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, the goal can be a little more general, but still must require the education you are seeking.

Reasons #2-6 are not sufficient reasons on their own to pursue a graduate education, but in combination with #1 they are good indicators that now is a propitious time to apply.

LATER

These are 6 reasons why you should wait to apply to grad school:

1. You hate your job

You should search for a new job, not a new degree.

2. You don’t want to get a job

Hiding behind education because you’re too afraid/lazy/insecure to work is never a good idea. You’ll be blowing a whole lot of money on something you don’t really need, and guess what happens when you’re done with your education…you need to work. Welcome to being an adult.

3. Your parents offered to pay for it

This was very generous of your parents, but your best bet would be to say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” at least for now. People don’t pursue higher education simply because it’s handed over to them for free. You need to have a better reason.

4. Everyone else is doing it

If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Exactly.

5. You always assumed you were going to go for a graduate degree and have no other plan

Our lives are full of surprises. Tomorrow may not bring what you had planned. Think hard about what you truly want for yourself, and don’t just act out of habit or based on expectations. You may not currently have a plan, but you can make a plan, and that plan doesn’t need to include a stint in degree-collecting.

6. You worry that if you don’t go now, you’ll never go

Your target school will still be around next year, and most likely in five or ten years from now as well. Try and focus on what’s good for you now, and don’t just act out of fear of missing an opportunity. If the opportunity is meant to be, you can make it happen later.

Relate to one or more of these? You will be applying for the wrong reasons and should postpone your application.

Do you need help evaluating your unique situation and determining if now is the right time to apply? Already know that the time is right, but need help with your application? Our expert admissions consultants can help you at any and every stage of the admission process. Check out our admissions services for more information.

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Related Resources:

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

Writing Your Career Goals Essay

Can a Grad Consultant Help You Succeed?

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

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

_________________

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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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IMD MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: IMD MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines
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IMD, the International Institute for Management Development, in Lausanne, Switzerland, offers a 1-year MBA program focused on global general management and leadership, with a growing emphasis on digital innovation and entrepreneurship. While there are only 90 students in each class, the diversity among that class is wide: students hail from 44 countries: 41% from throughout Europe, 35% from Asia, 6% from the Middle East and Africa, 6% from North America, 10% from Latin America, and 2% from Oceania (Australia/New Zealand and the surrounding islands). Unlike programs in the US, which tend to build the bulk of their classes from students aged 26-28, IMD’s average student age is 31, and most students are in their early 30’s.

IMD has simplified its application significantly this year, requiring only one long essay and brief responses to short additional questions. My guidance is in blue.

Describe two situations, one professional and one personal that had a significant impact on your life and the learning that followed. (500 word maximum)

IMD is looking for students who have made a real difference in a complex and rapidly changing world, so stories in which you navigate that complexity to make an impact will be especially effective here. A professional story that is recent and shows leadership – with or without a leadership title – will fit nicely here. The personal story can be anything outside of work – in a volunteer/community role or even just with friends and family.

500 words total gives you around 250 words for each situation, which is not much, so follow a concise Challenge-Action-Results structure to avoid excessive detail that may distract from the essential elements.

What is your career goal : right after IMD / in 5 years / in 10 years? (Response in bullet point. 100 word maximum)

To answer this question well, you need to look to the future and predict both trends that will be emerging and the roles you hope to play in them. IMD prides itself on its graduates’ ability to transition to new industries, functions, and global locations, so these transitions can certainly be part of your bullet points. However, you must explain how your professional background and expectations for the future of the global markets will ease those transitions: you must demonstrate the logical connection between your past and these future ambitions.

Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee to know which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? If you would like to comment on career gaps, education, GMAT/GRE, a disability or illness, please use this space. (50 word maximum)

This is very short, so don’t waste any of this space on material that will be covered by your 2-page CV or the application form. Yes, a short application like this one does require that your CV and application form carry the extra weight!

What other programs are you considering? Of the programs you are considering, what can IMD bring to you as a differentiator? (100 word maximum)

What they really want to know here is whether you realize what makes IMD great. The best way to answer this question after listing the other school names is to share some of the details you revealed through conversations with alumni and students about how IMD best fit your unique needs and ambitions.

Application deadlines are at 23:59 pm CET (Switzerland) time in the following order:

Within a maximum of 3 weeks, you will be informed whether you have been selected to participate in IMD’s exciting Assessment Day or even to be fast-tracked through an online interview.

IMD 2018-19 Application Deadlines:

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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

If you would like professional guidance with your IMD application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the IMD application.

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Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 19 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!
 

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One, a free guide

How to Clarify Your Goals for Your MBA – And Beyond

MBA Admissions Advice for Career Changers

Tags: MBA Admissions

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

_________________

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

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

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EMBA Admissions: Sponsorship and the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: EMBA Admissions: Sponsorship and the GMAT
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This is the second post in our Ace the EMBA series on how to apply successfully to a top executive MBA program.

The changes in the EMBA applicant/student profile that we explored in the previous post are accompanied by new trends in the EMBA world. Now we will examine two of these trends: changes in sponsorship and GMAT requirements.

Changing company sponsorship requirements/expectations

EMBA applicants’ employers often sponsor their EMBA studies, at least to some extent. This sponsorship ranges from paying 100% of the tuition (rare) to simply accommodating the applicant’s need to take time off from work (almost universal).

This sponsorship picture has certainly changed over the last decade or two. According to the Executive MBA Council’s recent research survey results, the percentage of self-funded EMBA students has grown to 41.2% in 2015. For comparison’s sake, that number was 32% ten years earlier (2005-2006). The numbers then jumped up to 41.2% in 2013, and then back down slightly to 39.8% in 2014.

That same 2006 survey shows that 35% of EMBA students were fully sponsored in 2005. Over the decade, that number dropped to 24% in 2013, and was back up slightly to 24.6% in 2014,

Virtually all EMBA programs take sponsorship seriously and typically require that the employer provide a statement of support for the applicant’s EMBA plans. Here are some samples of EMBA sponsorship expectations:

Wharton: A letter of endorsement from your organization is a required part of your application. A decision on your application cannot be made until we receive this letter. The letter should be on the official letterhead of your organization and be signed by your sponsoring management, and it must indicate that the necessary time will be provided for you to attend. If financial support will be provided, this should also be specified in the letter. For independent consultants and professionals, a letter of self-sponsorship is required.

Duke (Global Executive): “A letter from your current employer outlining your company’s support of time is required. This letter may also include information about your employer’s financial commitment (if applicable). Proprietors or principals of a company can provide a letter of self-sponsorship.” (The page also provides a link to a sample letter.)

• MIT: “We consider corporate sponsorship of the time requirement to be critical. In your application package, one of your recommenders should be from your boss, and address the topic of time sponsorship.”

Kellogg: “Your organization is required to supply a letter stating that it supports and approves the time required for you to attend the Executive MBA Program. If your organization is providing financial sponsorship, please state that in the letter as well. (However, you are not required to have financial sponsorship.)”

Financial sponsorship can still be a competitive plus for applicants, because it underscores your value and high potential in the organization’s eyes. But not having it is not a negative factor.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you basically sponsor yourself – therefore you must indicate how you’ll accommodate the time requirements within the context of your own organization.

It happens too that sometimes regularly employed applicants who are eligible for financial sponsorship may prefer to self-fund, because they do not want to be beholden to their organization and do want instead to be free to pursue other options. Indeed, having time sponsored can create an obligation on the applicant’s part. If that’s not desired, EMBA programs (such as Columbia University’s) that offer a Saturday-only option may be the best option.

GMAT requirements

More and more EMBA programs, including some of the highest ranked such as Kellogg, MIT, NYU, Cornell, Ross (University of Michigan), and Anderson (UCLA), do not require the GMAT (or GRE).

And among those that do require the GMAT, it may be possible to obtain a GMAT waiver under certain circumstances. For example, Goizueta (Emory) requires the GMAT generally but may grant waivers if you can present concrete evidence of sufficient quantitative and analytic capabilities and skills. If you believe you’re eligible, you must request the waiver proactively. Some schools with multiple EMBA program options, require the GMAT/GRE for some programs but not others – those programs targeting the more senior, experienced applicants tend not to require it.

While you may be relieved to be free of this test burden for many great EMBA programs, if you do take the GMAT and score high, it’s worth reporting the score to the schools because it further (a) affirms your preparation for academic work in both verbal and quantitative areas; and (b) shows that you are serious about and committed to the EMBA process. Moreover, if you have a relatively low undergraduate GPA (and don’t have a better grad GPA), submitting a strong GMAT (or GRE) score can mitigate the effect of the academic underperformance to some extent and indicate academic readiness.

Stay tuned: the next post will look at the many types of EMBA programs!

Do you need help applying to your target EMBA programs, efficiently and successfully? Work one-on-one with an EMBA admissions expert for comprehensive application assistance. It’s time to get you ACCEPTED! View our EMBA services here.

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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:

Top Executive MBA Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right, a free guide

• Excellent Executive MBA Admissions Advice, a podcast episode

• MBA Admissions Decisions: Should You Go Full-Time Or Part-Time?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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What Have You Done This Week To Prepare For Your MBA Application?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What Have You Done This Week To Prepare For Your MBA Application?
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We know that right now, next year’s b-school application deadlines look comfortably far away. But deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you – and one of the things we’ve learned from guiding thousands of MBA applicants to admission at top programs is that starting early and thinking strategically pays off.

At this point in the process, it’s natural to have questions about what you should be doing and how you should prioritize the time you spend on your b-school strategy in the months leading up to your applications. To give you succinct, expert answers and a clear plan of action, we’ve created a free one-hour webinar: 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance in 2019. Accepted’s founder, Linda Abraham, will guide you through the next several months and share strategies gained from over 20 years of admissions experience.

Register Now:

 

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CEIBS MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: CEIBS MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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If you would like to pursue a career in Mainland China, then CEIBS in Shanghai – now ranked #1 in Asia by the Financial Times – may be the perfect MBA program to ease your transition: with hands-on strategy projects with companies in China, guest lectures and workshops with Chinese professionals, and a Localization Program that offers international students additional immersion in Chinese culture, both your understanding of business in China and your Chinese network will grow at CEIBS. Making the effort to learn Mandarin before and during this program (taught in English) will shape your ability to land a role on the Mainland after graduation, as 50% of the placed international students did.

The CEIBS MBA focuses on deep understanding of doing business in and with China, with nearly 70% of the program consisting of required courses such as China Human Resource, Chinese Economic Reform, and China Within the World to make sure that graduates deeply understand China’s economic, political, historical, and cultural issues.

The CEIBS application has 3 required essays and 1 short optional space. My tips are below in blue.

1. Discuss your post-MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them. (300 words)

This is a straightforward goals essay, so all of our traditional advice about connecting the dots between your past and future and how the CEIBS MBA program will help you achieve those future ambitions remains. For CEIBS, this essay must specifically address the Chinese context: why is a deep understanding of China’s culture and business critical to your future success?

For question 2, you are given 3 choices but need to answer only one of them:

These are three great questions, each offering you the opportunity to share both your analysis of an idea and your application of that idea in your past.

2(a). CEIBS is situated in Shanghai – a truly global city, and the economic center of the world’s soon to be largest economy. Given its unique location, how do you anticipate that Shanghai will differentiate your MBA experience and contribute to your goals? (400 words)

For this essay, the idea being examined is location in the center of an economic nexus. What unique opportunities has your research unearthed in Shanghai and how have you made use of opportunities like these in the past?

2(b). Many would argue that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a state of being, but a state of mind. Describe an entrepreneurial experience where you went against the grain or conventional way of thinking, to discover and create new value. (400 words)

Entrepreneurship by definition means that you noticed something that was missing: a business model, a product, or even an activity. Your example may represent any of these areas. The essential element for this essay is showing the reader both the conventional thinking that existed and how your idea opened up new opportunities. How did you persevere in this upstream swim and what “new value” did you create?

2(c). Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words)

When you look into your crystal ball, what do you see? This essay is a great opportunity to show your insight into your industry, native country, or global politics to the admissions committee. What are you doing already to prepare for the future as you see it, and what actions do you foresee taking in the future? Essays that stand out may share an example of a similar situation in your past in which you took the initiative to prepare for change and even led others’ adaptation to it.

3. As the world’s largest consumer market and fastest growing economy of the last three decades, China has offered outstanding opportunities for international professionals in search of a career boost. Searching for a job or making a career switch outside one’s own market always presents new challenges such as differences in language, culture, etc. In order to optimize your career search and possibilities after graduation, what efforts – outside of utilizing the school’s career services – do you plan to make in order to reach your professional objectives? (400 words)

Are you realistic about the efforts you will need to make in your job search? If not, then CEIBS will not want to accept you. CEIBS is searching for applicants who recognize not only their shortcomings but also the need to take initiative to build language skills, cultural understanding, and business insight. Sharing an example of this kind of initiative in your past in addition to detailing the efforts you will make in Shanghai will help prove that you have the resourcefulness to reach your professional objectives following CEIBS.

4. (Optional) Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application? Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress you have made since your previous application. (200 words)

I typically recommend using any optional space that an application offers. If the application hasn’t offered you the space to share a specific example of your business insight, cultural curiosity, or management ability, this space offers you the perfect opportunity to do so. Alternatively, if you would like to share context surrounding any of the decisions in your past or future, you can do so here as well.

If you would like professional guidance with your CEIBS application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the CEIBS application.

CEIBS 2017-18 MBA Application Deadlines:

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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 19 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!
 

Related Resources:

Why MBA, a free guide

A Brooklynite in Shanghai: Jesse Miller’s CEIBS Experience

Having Trouble Securing a Loan for Your International MBA?

 

Tags: MBA Admissions

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NYU Stern Langone MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: NYU Stern Langone MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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The Stern Langone part-time MBA essays, together, cover “the whole you” – your professional side and your non-work side. And they require you to address both highly structured, specific questions (essays 1-2) in conventional written format and a relatively open, “free form” question (essay 3), employing visual elements. The applicants who can best handle this duality are confident, mature applicants; they know what their goals are, have an intellectual appetite for the NYU experience, and welcome the chance to portray their distinct individuality.

Essays:

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations (500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• What are your short and long-term career goals?

• How will the MBA help you achieve them?

You may start by succinctly mentioning your current career situation to set the context, (Warning: Don’t just repeat your resume, but rather make this opening highlight your industry and/or function, as this is part of what you’ll bring to the table in a part-time program). Then move on to discuss your short-term goals. Give solid details: position, company, scope of accountability, what you want to accomplish, and how you hope to grow. And, to make it meaningful and engaging, explain WHY you want to take these steps, what excites and engages you about this anticipated path. Your longer-term goal needs less detail and should of course reflect some reasonable trajectory from the earlier role. Here too, make the reader feel your excitement.

In discussing how the MBA will enable you to achieve your stated goals, describe what skills and knowledge you need in order to pursue your goals, and how an MBA overall meets those needs. Be specific. You can also add a little about the benefits of Stern specifically, though you’ll have a chance to address that topic fully in essay 2.

Essay 2: Program Preferences

NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

• A. Primary Program Preference (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.

• Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.

• B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).

• An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A”.

Since you are applying to the part-time program, Part A probes your decision-making regarding this option. The adcom wants to know that the reasons are appropriate and positive. This section also gives you a chance to portray (briefly!) your current work and its distinguishing aspects – presumably one reason you are pursuing the part-time program is because you want to remain in an interesting and rewarding job. Focus on the key 2-3 reasons for a part-time MBA. Don’t worry about having “unique” reasons – it’s your specific work and the insights you’ll bring from it that are unique.

Caution: offer positive, affirmative reasons; avoid negative (defensive) reasons like can’t afford a full-time MBA, afraid to leave job, can’t get into a top-tier full-time program. Positive reasons include wanting to stay in a desirable job/industry, excitement about applying learning in real-time, valuing studying alongside peers who are immersed in diverse industries and functions, etc.

In this part of the essay you can also succinctly discuss specific aspects of the program that are especially meaningful to you, which could include curriculum (structure and/or content), clubs, professors, special programs and opportunities. In doing so, always state why the given aspect attracts you.

If appropriate, take a similar approach in answering Part B of this essay. However, if you do wish to apply to another program with this application, be sure that nothing in Part B contradicts messages elsewhere in the essays.

Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

• A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).

• Six images that help illustrate who you are.

• A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

Okay, now the fun part. Seriously! If you don’t have fun with this essay (at least a bit), it won’t “lift off.” That doesn’t mean it has to be jokey or humorous – simply, you should enjoy putting together the visuals that show aspects of your otherwise not visible in the application. I do recommend keeping Stern’s emphasis on “IQ + EQ” on the radar as you develop this essay. While certainly your transcript and resume will address IQ, this is a great opportunity to show your EQ.

One challenge of this essay is finding balance: most people will naturally want to present images of different parts of their lives, different experiences, accomplishments, etc. Yet, having 6 distinct images that together lack any integrating point or message could simply “add up” to a blur, even if each individual image is potentially interesting. So, use some organizing principle, or theme, or approach. It needn’t be anything fancy or brilliant, just something that works.

As for those captions – please keep them short. I’ve seen some of these essays where the applicant tried to cram a mini essay into the sentence caption. It enervates the picture and the essay. Adhere to the spirit of the question and make the caption an enhancement, not a thorough explanation. (If you find an image needs lengthy explanation to have meaning, it’s probably not a good one to use for this purpose.)

3. Additional Information (optional). Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL, or any other relevant information. (250 word maximum, double space, 12 point font)

These instructions don’t explicitly limit the essay to extenuating circumstances or application-specific issues, but the topics Stern suggests are just such issues. Moreover, the phrase “bring to the attention of” doesn’t really invite you to continue marketing yourself. I therefore suggest addressing the types of issues the question presents, or other information that has a direct bearing on the adcom’s ability to understand your candidacy.

If you would like professional guidance with your NYU Stern Langone application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the NYU Stern Langone application.

NYU Stern Langone Part Time MBA Application Deadlines:

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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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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:

Why MBA, a free guide

4 Things To Do If You Can’t Define Your MBA Goals

What’s New at NYU Stern? A Lot!, a podcast episode

Tags: MBA Admissions

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EMBA Program Variety  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: EMBA Program Variety
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This is the third post in our Ace the EMBA series on how to apply successfully to a top executive MBA program.

Once upon a time, EMBA programs primarily targeted and attracted managers working in local corporations. The typical EMBA schedule was every weekend or every other weekend, sometimes weeknights.

This scenario has changed radically. Today many, if not most, EMBA programs offer multiple options for program schedules and formats, target more geographically dispersed students, and provide some form of global opportunities (which in turn often involve multi-program collaborations). Given the increasing number of EMBA programs that offer spread-out schedules for the on-campus segments, applicants can pursue programs beyond their immediate locale, finding it feasible to, say, fly an hour or two every other weekend.

Here are two great examples, from the U.S. south alone:

UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Weekend MBA is structured so that classes are held every third weekend. In addition, “Every two months, you’ll attend classes Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You’ll also attend one residential immersion week.” Students from 24 states have taken advantage of this opportunity. This b-school also offers the Global OneMBA, which has on-campus classes once a month plus four global residencies per year.

• Duke University’s EMBA programs offer multiple options and target particular levels of applicants. Its Weekend Executive program (students average 11 years of experience) consists mainly of alternate weekends on campus, whereas its Global Executive program (students average 15 years of experience) combines classroom learning, distance learning, and global residencies. (Duke also offers a Cross Continent program that integrates MBA and EMBA approaches: part-time, mix of global residencies and distance learning, average age 30.)

Such varied options mean that specific programs are closely calibrated with an applicant’s needs and experience level. So prospective applicants must pay attention not just to format/schedule and location, but also to required or desired experience level.

The Global OneMBA reflects another trend noted above: partnering among global EMBA programs to provide a global education. For example:

• OneMBA partners with Erasmus University in Rotterdam as well as business programs in Mexico, Brazil, and Hong Kong.

• NYU Stern has joined with London School of Economics and HEC School of Management in Paris to offer the TRIUM Executive MBA.

• The EMBA-Global is a partnership among Columbia University, London Business School, and Hong Kong University.

While it is exciting to have so many appealing options to choose from, these targeted programs make it important to (a) do some up-front research to understand exactly which programs are the right fit for you and why, and (b) use your essays to articulate that fit for each particular program.

In the next post, I’ll discuss EMBA career services and employment.

Do you need help applying to your target EMBA programs, efficiently and successfully? Work one-on-one with an EMBA admissions expert for comprehensive application assistance. It’s time to get you ACCEPTED! View our EMBA services here.

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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:

Top Executive MBA Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right, a free guide

• MBA Admissions Decisions: Should You Go Full-Time Or Part-Time?

• Excellent Executive MBA Admissions Advice, a podcast episode

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Applying to B-School Next Year? You Can’t Miss This!  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Applying to B-School Next Year? You Can’t Miss This!
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There’s still time to register for this week’s webinar, 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance in 2019!

If you’re planning to apply to business school next fall or winter, what you do over the next several months could make or break your application. This is your time to research schools, work on strengthening any weak spots in your profile, and start to think seriously about your application. We’ve got an action plan to help you do that, and it’s all in this week’s webinar: 7 Steps to MBA Acceptance in 2019.

The webinar is free, but you must register!

Register Now:

 

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Making Connections that Matter in Your MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Making Connections that Matter in Your MBA Essays
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Outstanding MBA application essays have several things in common. One of the most important among them is successfully making connections between your past and your present, and between your present and your future. The decision makers will want to see you make persuasive connections between your interests and your activities, and between your passions and your commitments.

For example, if you claim that you are excited about working in green tech, be prepared to show that you have involved yourself in some way in the field. If you haven’t actually worked in green tech, what other actions have you taken to prove your interest? Have you become involved in an organization that promotes it? Can you talk about books you have read on the subject? You can’t just talk the talk. You have to walk the walk.

If you cannot connect the dots of your life, your readers will wonder: Do you really know what your goals are, either for obtaining an MBA or for your career beyond? When in doubt, the easiest step for a harried adcom member deluged with between five and ten applications for every seat in a class is to deny…

In addition to making these connections, you will also want to keep two words in mind when you write your essays: balance and values. Don’t write exclusively about career-based experiences, whether accomplishments or setbacks. Write about community involvement, hobbies, playing competitive water polo, performing with a band or in a dance troupe, or the time you trekked alone through six countries in Asia. Toss some personal experiences into the mix. As a guideline, I recommend using a 2:1 ratio of professional to personal experiences, but you will always have to use your own good judgment as to the sources of your strongest material.

As you develop your list of potential topics, also ask yourself these questions:

• Do these experiences complement one another?

• Do they show different facets of my personality, strengths and involvements?

• Do I show self-reflection, lessons learned, personal growth?

Answering these questions will also help you achieve a balance of material that will create a full-bodied profile.

Each school also promotes its own set of values through their curriculum and programs. These values reflect the school’s philosophy and are stated plainly on their websites. For example, Harvard’s website devotes substantial paragraphs (on the Who Are We Looking For? page) to each of their three key criteria in applicants: “Habit of Leadership;” “Analytical Aptitude and Appetite;” “Capacity for Intellectual Growth,” and “Engaged Community Citizenship.”

The University of Texas McCombs School of Business asserts that their full-time MBA program is built on four pillars: “Knowledge and Understanding; Responsibility and Integrity; Communication and Collaboration; and A Worldview of Business and Society.”

Notice the different emphases in just these two schools. Take care to know the stated values of the schools where you are applying. When choosing what to write about, try to include experiences that reflect and resonate with each school’s values.

Writing with sensitivity about a school’s values does not mean writing what you think the adcoms want to hear. Believe me, readers in the admissions office can sniff out disingenuousness from the far side of the campus. Only write what is true and real, without exaggeration.

Add insights and analysis

In MBA application essays, the “why” is usually more important than the “what.” This brings us back to the importance of making connections. Great essays are not simply a list of interconnected anecdotes and experiences, even if each of them individually may have some interest. Whether writing about career goals, achievements, personal influences or even your love of Salsa dancing, it is not enough to write solely about what happened. Without insight and analysis, your essays will appear superficial, so make sure to give events and decisions context by evaluating why things happened the way they did, explaining what factors led to the decisions you made, and providing lessons learned. Adding even a sentence or two of analysis and reflection about events in your life will demonstrate maturity, intellect, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness – all valued qualities in MBA applicants.

MBA essays of distinction clearly show that you have drawn a path between where you have been and where you want to go. They demonstrate a proven interest and experience in your stated field, as well as an understanding of the school’s values. They include insights showing that you have learned from your experiences. And of course, the writing is crisp, specific, and includes colorful anecdotes that will keep your readers’ attention.

This article is an excerpt from the book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools, by Linda Abraham and Judy Gruen. 

For personalized advice on how to create a winning MBA application essay, 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:

MBA Applicants: Make Your Work Experience Work for You, a free guide

Leadership in Admissions, a free guide

7 Signs An Experience Belongs In Your Application

 

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Making Connections that Matter in Your MBA Essays appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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How to Practice for a Video Interview or Essay  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2018, 08:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Practice for a Video Interview or Essay
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The future of the essay is now at a school near you: Smile, you might be on camera.

More and more competitive programs are using ‘video essays’ or ‘timed video assessments’ as a way to get to know their future students.

Typically, for a timed video response, you will need to respond to questions using your microphone and webcam in a given time limit. The most unusual aspect of this is the ‘asynchronous’ nature of it; there won’t be someone to converse with like a live interview. Schools will likely give you a short “prep time” after hearing a question before starting to record, but you won’t be able to go back to perfect your wording or change your answer.

Admissions teams love this aspect of the assessment because it gives them a chance to see how you think on your feet and communicate unscripted, without having to fly you to campus to meet you in person.

While the prospect of a single-take video essay may be alarming, don’t worry, here are some suggestions to make sure you’re confident and prepared!

1. Check the details

Before you start, read over any provided materials from your school. Know the deadline for when your video response must be completed, what program you’re applying to, and if they have any special requests. Some programs even have admissions blog posts about what they’re looking for to help you strategize the key points you want to strike in your response.

This may sound redundant, but if you have multiple schools requiring video essays, it’s very important.

2. Set your scene

Find a well-lit setting and turn on your webcam and adjust your location to ensure you have a clear backdrop behind you. Windows, mirrors, or cluttered walls or shelves are best avoided if possible. Adjust your lighting and position to find an arrangement that shines light on your face, rather than backlighting you.

There’s no set uniform for video essays, but I recommend comfortable, clean, and simple attire. Play it safe with solid colors and comfortable materials so you can focus on the content of your responses.

Once you’ve established your environment, let anyone who you share a household or office with know not to disturb you. Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door if you must! #ThatAwkwardMoment when your mom walked into your video response demanding you clean your room doesn’t need to be your claim to fame.

3. Prepare Your Device

Picture this: You’re in the middle of your response and a pesky pop-up notification appears on your screen and creates a distraction. Or better yet, you ignore the notification and your computer restarts before you’ve completed all of the questions! Technology, eh?

So before you start recording, close any programs that might prompt you with push notifications or pop-ups and ensure your software is up-to-date. Check to see if you have at least an hour of battery life or, better yet, plug into a power source!

4. Practice and Get Comfortable

Record yourself taking a few common questions with your webcam and review your responses.

Here are some common questions to try:

“Tell us about yourself.”

“Why do you want to attend our program?”

“Describe one of your favorite hobbies and why it is important to you?”

You can try using Kira Prep, a free simulated assessment designed to help you practice, as well.

5. Keep Calm and Crush This Video

Get a glass of water. Remember to pause and catch your breath. Do a stretch. Listen to your cheesiest pump up song (Eye of the Tiger, anyone?) Whatever you need to do to get in the zone. Remember to take your time with your response, be yourself, and speak from the heart, and you’ll do great.

Good luck!



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Molly McCracken is the Admissions Editor at Kira Talent, an education technology company that builds holistic admissions solutions in Toronto, Canada.

 

Related Resources:

Perfect Answers to MBA Interview Questions, a free guide

Tips For MBA Video Essay Questions

The Morphing and Multiplying MBA Interview

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Uncategorized

The post How to Practice for a Video Interview or Essay 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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