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GMAT News: Exam Shortened [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: GMAT News: Exam Shortened
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Good news for students scheduled to take the GMAT beginning April 16, 2018. The exam will now be 30 minutes shorter!

The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) has implemented this change to reduce the anxiety level of test-takers, and to streamline the exam experience. The exam content, types of questions, and average time per question will not change. It’s the same GMAT exam – but instead of 4 hours, the exam will now take 3.5 hours, including time for breaks and instructions.

GMAC was able to cut the total exam time by reducing the number of unscored (research) questions in the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the exam and by shortening instruction/tutorial screens. There are no changes to the GMAT’s Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) and Integrated Reasoning (IR) subdivisions.

GMAT scoring will not be affected by this change since the number of scored questions will remain the same. The Total Score and discrete Quant and Verbal section scores will be equivalent to exams taken before the change.

According to GMAC’s senior director of product management, Vineet Chhabra, “We are always looking for ways to help build candidate confidence and streamline the test experience, all with one goal in mind—to help GMAT test-takers do their very best on exam day. We believe candidates will have less anxiety and feel better prepared, which can contribute to a better reflection of their true performance on the exam.”

Here are the differences between the old and new exam structures:

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Do you need help preparing for the GMAT, analyzing your scores, or working on any other aspect of your MBA application? Check out our MBA Admissions Consulting Services for more information on how we can help you put your best foot forward and get ACCEPTED. 

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Dr. Calvin Sun, ER Resident, Entrepreneur, and Adventurer [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Dr. Calvin Sun, ER Resident, Entrepreneur, and Adventurer
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Warning: Our guest today has done so much that it’s going to be really hard to give his background succinctly, but here goes. Dr. Calvin Sun earned his bachelors in 2008 at Columbia where he held numerous leadership positions. In 2014, he graduated from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and served as graduating class president. Since 2014 he has been an ER resident at Montefiore and Jacobi Medical Centers and is also the Director of Resident Wellness at Jacobi.

In his non-existent spare time in medical school, he somehow managed to found and now runs The Monsoon Diaries, which he describes as “a blog-turned-travel company”. The Monsoon Diaries organizes flexible, budget trips and has gone to over 128 countries in the past six years. He is also a film-maker, popular speaker, and activist in the Asian American community.

Can you tell us about your background? Where you grew up? [2:26]

I was born and raised in Manhattan and was lucky to have parents who raised me in an environment where I was constantly learning and growing. In the interim of my youth my father died of a heart attack and my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which led me to determining my path for myself earlier than expected, and that led me to medicine which I thankfully believe was a decision I made on my own rather than a decision made for me.

My father had wanted me to become a doctor. Then after he passed I was free in that confusion to decide for myself whether or not I wanted to do that, and my mom gave her blessing to my exploring my options. I actually rejected medicine for a few years, because I felt it was something my dad had been forcing me to do, but ultimately the issue with overthinking is that I wondered whether I was rejecting it because of my father. I realized that if I really wanted to be free of anyone’s influence there was no way to know other than by trying it for myself. I applied to as many schools as I could, and didn’t think I would get in anywhere since my academic record was below average. My hope was to just get all rejection letters and check the box that I was free of the decision, knowing that I wasn’t meant to become a doctor. However, I was fortunate enough to get in, with people kind enough to see me as a human being rather than someone who studies all the time. I was very grateful that the evolution of medicine had become more humanistic and organic. While in medical school I insisted on keeping my life outside of medicine, and ironically it was all the things that almost got me flunked out (extracurriculars, etc) that got me into residency and becoming director of resident wellness. And now in my last few months of residency, even if nothing else happens I will become an attending.

I believe you took a gap year between Columbia and med school. Are you glad you did? What did you do during that time? [6:42]

The best advice I can give anyone is to not listen to anyone else’s advice but your own. The second piece of advice I can give is to recommend taking gap years, as it’s the best decision I ever made. I took the time off since I didn’t know the answer to what I wanted. To have the confidence to say, “I don’t know,” that is a valid answer. I tell people to embrace that. We live in a generation now that when we have free time we are inundated with social media. We don’t actually have space to think for ourselves without influence from other factors. Part of those two years I did odd jobs – I was a bartender, did some entrepreneurial things, worked for my dad’s company, and did some clinical volunteering in a hospital to see if I liked it, which ironically I didn’t. But then my critical thinking asked why I didn’t like it. I realized I did like what I was seeing but there was only so much I could do as a volunteer.

This was also the same time I started traveling, in 2010, a few months before I would matriculate. I went to Egypt because I lost a bet to a few friends who were all going and wanted me to come. Before that I didn’t like to travel. I mean I lived in New York City and everyone came to visit me, why would I bother spending so much money going somewhere I wouldn’t be living in anyway. New York City is the center of the world – such a New York attitude! My friends rolled their eyes and I said I would go if the tickets were less than $700, knowing that there was no way you could get a last minute ticket for that little since they were leaving the next day. So as a joke we were checking the flights, and the fare went down to $650 at the last minute. Since I am a man of my word, I came on my own, and they picked me up at the airport since I came a day later. I thought I would be with them for three-four weeks and then things were starting to get dicey there with the Arab Spring on the horizon, so I was stranded in Egypt alone for a while. The first week I hated it.  I thought I was going to die. The second week I was getting the hang of it. Then three weeks in. I got it. This is why people travel. It was the first time ever I had no internet, I knew nobody, and couldn’t understand any media. When was the last time we all had that experience? The only person I could talk to was myself, get to know myself, and love myself. So when I came back I decided to travel for the months prior to medical school.

You did your medical school studies at SUNY Downstate Medical School. What did you like best about your med school experience? [13:18]

I loved how SUNY Downstate accepted me in the first place. They saw me as a human being. My academic record was very questionable. I was a very good student until my father’s death, but after was distracted and had no personal motivation. When your dad suddenly dies of a heart attack you didn’t expect, you have to rearrange your entire life since he was the sole breadwinner, and then my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s just a few weeks later, so I had to take care of her and figure out a path forward. My grades took a nosedive and obviously you want your grades to improve to get into medical school and instead mine got worse. When I took the MCATs I also didn’t do that great, kind of below average, which as an Asian American is tough.

What could have been improved? [17:35]

I was in a fortunate position to be elected as class president my first year, and was re-elected through all four years. Because of my re-election, I delivered validation to the school that my agenda was really supported. The only thing I wanted to implement that I couldn’t was superficial – we wanted to change our graduation caps to actual caps rather than a mortar board. We got wi-fi in the lecture halls, food and drink allowed in library spaces so people didn’t have to walk ½ mile to get something to eat. We were the first class where the administration worked together to get things changed with a particularly difficult block, so quizzes could be thrown out to be more fair so people didn’t fail because of one test or quiz.

Today you are an ER resident at incredibly busy NYC hospitals. How did you come to select emergency medicine? [21:30]

I’m going to give you the same answer I gave during my med school interviews, and when you are applying to any job, tell the truth. If they accept you for the fake answer you will have to be fake. If you are honest and they don’t take you, you should be relieved, because they are missing out on the honest you which is their loss. If they take you on your honest answer then you can be your true self. So my answer is, it was the closest thing to bartending I could think of. I was very tactful about it in my answer, of course, but as an ER doctor you are essentially behind a bar, and are very accustomed to telling customers to not come behind the bar, this is our space. We don’t know who is going to come in, and we often get the same types of “patients” – drunks, angry, or depressed patrons, and we move at similar paces, as fast as possible without disrespecting the person you’re serving. You want to make people love you in the 5-10 minutes you are with them. You have to have a certain pace, you can’t move too slowly, because other people are waiting, or too fast for the same reason. You develop the same skill set, it is all customer service, and making people feel comfortable.

As doctors we are not really there to save lives and fix diseases, that is part of our expectations as clinicians of course, but I firmly believe just being there for the worst parts of our patients’ lives is just as important, to understand something about a process they aren’t familiar with and being able to explain it to them. Patients aren’t necessarily looking for a cure, they just want to know what is going on. I found a lot of that as a bartender, too. You can only do so much in the limited time you have – stabilize to get definitive care, or fix problems you can before they catch something. So the bartender/ER doctor was a good overlap for me. The attending is a bar manager, making sure everything’s ok, “How are you liking my bar?” “How are you liking the ER?” “Give him a Tylenol on the house before you leave.”

Did you ever have a rotation or period in your path to date when you thought of giving up on medicine? [26:45]

During med school the treadmill is much more intense because there is homework. You are so busy there is no time to think or reflect on experiences. I was lucky to travel and start Monsoon Diaries while in medical school, so I could reinforce this was what I wanted to do.

The only time I really had doubts was during my first year of residency. Knowing I was going in with a lower academic record than my peers, I felt everyone around me was smarter than I was. I definitely had imposter syndrome – “I got in through the back door, someone will find me out someday.” I am grateful that I managed to make it all the way to second year and still have a job. That is when I woke up one day to realize I was happy and this was what I really wanted. I want people to be sure they want to be a doctor before they even apply, which is why I am doing this podcast and other speaking engagements, so people don’t get caught in the trap like me.

Many people would say I was lucky. What is luck? Opportunity plus preparation. I didn’t sacrifice anything that made me happy. I still traveled, I still bartended, I still did nonprofit work, and didn’t give up, and ironically people thought the things that were taking me away from medical school got me into it. Take the time off to put yourself in a space to become best friends with yourself. We don’t live in a world anymore where you can really get away by going camping in the woods.  You still have a cell signal. You see a billboard for Coca-Cola, or people will ask you about your job. I recommend international travel to find space and really unplug.

You are the director of residency wellness at Jacobi: Is your top advice for medical student and resident wellness to have that space? [33:19]

I think the biggest problem most people have is with communication. We don’t learn how to communicate and be honest with our feelings. We worry about what other people are thinking. Developing space is the beginnings of a sandbox to create that language of speaking to ourselves. Trauma is also a space that is created, where actions we take there help us to know ourselves better. Meditation is another space. I consider traveling as controlled trauma and meditation.

Let’s turn to The Monsoon Diaries. What is it and how did it come to be? [35:46]

It is now a travel community, but was originally a travel blog, originally just to let my mom know I was ok. I have kept a diary since I was six years old, writing every day. Since I was dedicated to it, I made the blog a priority to publish every day, and that work ethic allowed people to tune in as though it was live, which turned it into a community. Most travel bloggers post for a little bit, but then not again for another few weeks. I would blog live – “I missed my train.” I posted thing in the moment, which made people feel it was possible for them to do it. I tried to make travel more accessible – “anyone can do it if you just do this.” When people started asking if they could come along, I would say yes, and kept saying yes. Eventually it just grew, and people started calling themselves Monsooners, splitting off, and soon there were reunions on the other side of the world.

The reason I named it Monsoon Diaries is because the storm is like the way I travel. A monsoon is a giant storm that covers a large surface area, is very intense, and then disappears, and everything is ok afterwards.

How do you choose your destinations? [39:20]

Randomly. If I haven’t been there I will go. If it’s on a bucket list, I will go next week. I don’t believe in waiting – the psychology of postponement is very real and I want to avoid that. If I want to do it, I will do it. I announce it on my social media, these are my flight prices, and whichever location wins the most votes, I will go to. I lob it out to others that, “If you voted for me to go, you should come, too.” Then they often end up coming.

Most travelers are young professionals, and a little disillusioned with their life routines. A lot self-select since the nature of my trips are off the beaten path – Chernobyl, Iran, not traditional vacation destinations. So it is a great group all united in some sort of transition period. Now it is a much more inclusive community. I have 50-60 retirees and teachers, all the way to freshman in college. The only exclusion criteria is if you can handle the itineraries.

What are some of your upcoming trips? [42:12]

I will celebrate the new year in Nauru, a Pacific island in the middle of nowhere. I have a September trip to Japan, relief work for licensed med professionals only to Haiti in the only critical care hospital in Port-au-Prince in May, then Kuwait and Oman, then Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan/Iraq, and West Africa are all on my to-do list. If I haven’t been to it, that’s the plan of where to go next. I never like to go to the same place twice, but now I have started going back to places since I am running out of places to go.

What was the most beautiful place you’ve visited?  Do you have a favorite trip? [43:31]

The most fascinating places for me politically, culturally, and personally were North Korea and Myanmar in 2011. Both of these countries are very different than they were in 2011, and I think people should travel responsibly. As for natural beauty it would be Antarctica or Namibia. The most fun is Cuba. The most underrated is Slovenia. The country I go back to over and over again is India. And the most recent one is New Zealand.

What would you have liked me to ask you? [46:44]

In terms of how the Monsoon Diaries came about, when the community started called themselves Monsooners, I was very touched. Travel was something that I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to appreciate, yet somehow now I am seeing and blessed to be perceived as someone who makes travel accessible to others who didn’t need three weeks to be stranded in a country to appreciate. I feel like I am not the right person to be doing this. Ironically people look to me to get them out of their routine life. When they call themselves Monsooners in homage to my blog name, they are saying there is value in something I created. I was the unwitting and accidental catalyst.

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Related Links:

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Medical School Admissions Consulting Services 

Related Shows:

Pediatrician and Social Entrepreneur: Meet Dr. Anne Steptoe

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

How to Pass the USMLE and the COMLEX

Meet Dr. Akshat Kumar, Wharton MBA ‘19

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

The post Dr. Calvin Sun, ER Resident, Entrepreneur, and Adventurer [Episode 254] 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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Low Stats? You Need This Info! [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Low Stats? You Need This Info!
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It’s natural that one’s GPA and GMAT are often anxiety-provoking aspects of the b-school application process – we get that. We also know that a lot of applicants worry about some aspect of their profile, especially if they’re dealing with low stats.

That’s why we’ve created Get Accepted to Top MBA Programs with Low Stats, a webinar that addresses precisely these concerns. Accepted’s founder, Linda Abraham, will show you how to understand your profile strategically so that you can mitigate weaknesses, emphasize strengths, and get accepted.

During the live webinar, you will learn how to understand your stats and their significance, and also (most importantly!) learn how to mitigate low stats in your applications.

There’s still time to register forGet Accepted to Top MBA Programs with Low Stats!

Register Now:

 

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Low Stats? You Need This Info! 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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310-815-9553

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

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3 Tips for Discussing Failure in Your MBA Application Essays [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 3 Tips for Discussing Failure in Your MBA Application Essays
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“Business schools only want to accept candidates who are perfect, so I am going to make sure I show myself in the best possible light. Crickey. One of the essay questions is to tell them about a failure. What do I do now?”

While this is a conversation you might conceivably have with yourself, fear not. An honest and introspective essay discussing a failure or weakness can actually be one of the strongest advocates for your admission, but note the key word: honest. Admitting to a failure or weakness is difficult, to be sure, but also one of the ways to show you have integrity, are self-aware, and are able to change.

To get started on your essay:

1. Recognize that nobody is perfect. As a former admissions committee member, I know that members of the adcom are human, too. You can guarantee they’ve all had to acknowledge a failure or weakness at some point in their lives. The reason this question is being asked by a particular school is because the admissions committee is looking for applicants who have the self-awareness to acknowledge shortcomings and adapt.

2. Start jotting down the examples you can think of, since the likelihood is that you have faced more than one failure in your life. Same goes for weaknesses, if that is the question.

3. Take each of the examples and think about which experiences helped you grow the most. Which ones have made you a better person, a stronger person, one who is more prepared to face adversity in the future? How are you different now as a result of confronting the negative situation? Do you have concrete examples to show how the changes you made as a result of the failure or weakness have led to success? Oftentimes a weakness is a flip side of a strength, so perhaps a weakness served you well at some point? Perhaps the fact that you are “too detail-oriented” resulted in discovering a critical error? Or perhaps identifying your weakness – from a perspective of maturity and introspection – has allowed you to take steps to ameliorate it.

Recently I worked with a client who suffered a failure that could have been catastrophic for the business relationship between his company and its client. The analytics department had interpreted data incorrectly, such that their strategy recommendation to the client was the exact opposite of what it should have been. The error wasn’t discovered until after the new strategy had been implemented. Rather than watch from afar as the strategy failed, my client told the truth, fully prepared for awful consequences. Instead, the relationship between the two companies flourished, due to a newfound appreciation for honesty and integrity in the relationship.

Be thoughtful in your response to a question on weakness or failure, and try to create the link with honesty and integrity as you lay out the answer. Successful leaders must have honesty and integrity as part of their DNA, and be able to see and admit to failures and weaknesses. As I said earlier, nobody’s perfect, but a “perfect” answer to this question just might get you admitted!

Need help figuring out how best to present your failures or weaknesses? Our consultants would be happy to help you craft compelling essays that improve your chances of admission. Contact us today!

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

Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary, a free guide

How to Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like a Whiner

3 Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays

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The post 3 Tips for Discussing Failure in Your MBA 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

_________________

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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 Tip: Accepted? Now What? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Tip: Accepted? Now What?
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Do you think you’re done with my advice now that you have received that fat envelope? Not so fast. I still have a tip or two for you. There are a few things you can still do to prepare for your MBA studies and enhance your chances of getting a great internship and ultimately post-MBA job. After you finish celebrating, consider:

1. Are you feeling a little stale and disinterested at work, like you’re just going through the motions?

Especially if you are planning to be a career changer, consider asking your employer if it can give you an internship more related to your post-MBA goals. I know there aren’t too many employers that will be willing to do so, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask. If yours is one of them, take advantage of the opportunity. Your employer will have a motivated employee until the last day and you will have a valuable learning experience… along with a satisfied employer.

2. Use the next several months to explore your intended field(s).

Set up informational interviews with people in your chosen field to find out what courses and experiences they found most valuable when they were in b-school. Ask about good internship options and typical career paths. Remember: You are not asking for a job or internship at this point, just information, but you never know when that informational interview might lead to an internship or full-time job.

3. Allow yourself some time to unwind before starting your MBA.

Financial reality may dictate that you work until the last minute, but if you can, give yourself time to vacation, travel, or relax. The next two years are going to be busy, and it would be great if you can start the experience refreshed.

4. Plan to arrange your life at business school before business school starts.

Set up your apartment, open a bank account, figure out where the supermarket, post office, dry cleaners, and hairdresser are. Once classes start you will be thankful you did.

Follow these tips so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the program starts, and be able to take advantage of everything offered.

Need to decide between multiple acceptances, request a deferral, negotiate a scholarship offer, or navigate any other issue that comes with acceptance? Contact Accepted to be connected with a skilled consultant to help! 

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsPaying for Your MBA: Before, During & After, a free webinar

Choosing From Multiple Business School Acceptances

When & Why to Pass on a B-School Acceptance Offer

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

_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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How to Add Detail to Your Social Enterprise/Community Service Goals [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Add Detail to Your Social Enterprise/Community Service Goals
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Whether you’re applying for an MBA, a PhD in Public Policy (or many other doctoral fields), or a Masters in Social Work, you’re likely to talk about social enterprise or community service goals in your application. For some, this will be your primary objective – those of you seeking careers in the non-profit sector, for example. For others, community service may be secondary, but you’re likely to mention service-related goals in the context of how you’ll contribute to the program or in outlining your post-degree volunteer/philanthropic efforts.

Bringing Social Enterprise Goals to Life
Regardless, you should follow a simple piece of advice: Use rich specifics to bring your social enterprise goals to life. I can’t tell you how many essay drafts I’ve seen with something like “…and I look forward to giving back by helping those in need in my community and addressing major global issues like poverty and global warming.” You may as well write, “I’m a good person, I swear.” It would have about as much impact.

Instead, use powerful details to paint the picture of your goals. For those of you whose careers will focus on social enterprise, this is especially important. For example, if your future path is related to microfinance (i.e., managing micro-loans to entrepreneurs in emerging economies), on top of the places where you would seek employment talk about the specific countries on which you would like to focus (e.g., India, Mexico, African regions), the target segments and types of entrepreneurship you would seek to fund (e.g., women selling handiwork), and the partnerships you would try to forge (e.g., with banks and NGOs).

Okay, you may say, but my social enterprise goals are harder to define because they’re not in a well-established field like microfinance. For example, you may be an IT engineer who wants to use technology to improve the lives of those in underserved rural regions of a country like India. In that case, do your best to specify how you’d like to do this, including using statistics on relevant trends. You may point out that though internet use is still minimal in rural India, the mobile phone subscriber base has grown by 70% a year (made-up stat; you should use a real one), representing a great opportunity to do…whatever it is you’d like to do.

Dealing with Fuzzier Social Enterprise Goals
Hold on, you may say, what if I don’t know exactly what I want to do within social enterprise? Well, you should probably have some idea, but it doesn’t need to be highly specific. This is where you can rely on existing examples to lend richness to your essays. Remember, the majority of successful people didn’t reinvent the proverbial wheel; they just figured out new and better uses for it. So find examples of people doing the kinds of things you’d like to do, and (briefly) tell their story to support yours.

For example, take a look at the One Acre Fund, a non-profit organization started by Kellogg MBA alumnus Andrew Youn, that is attacking Africa’s hunger problem by providing individuals seed and fertilizer on credit, weekly on-site agricultural training, and improved market access, with all operations and results assessed with quantitative measures.

It’s ideal to paint your own vision of your career path, but it’s wise to use such examples when you’re venturing into new territory or truly don’t know exactly what you want to do.

Bridging Past Community Service Experience with Future Goals
And remember: Those of you for whom social enterprise will be a sideline or something you do primarily while in the program (e.g., all top business schools have multiple community service clubs and activities), you’re still not exempt from using specifics. Point out how you’ll build on past community service activities with specific efforts at the school and beyond: “At Kellogg I’ll build on my hospital volunteer work with Lion’s Club by driving healthcare initiatives for the Social Impact Club. Post-MBA I look forward to joining NGO X to drive AIDS awareness efforts in rural India.” You get the idea.

So while community service goals are admirable, they won’t have much impact unless you use strong specifics to paint their picture.

Work one-on-one with an expert admissions advisor to create a strong graduate school application that will get you ACCEPTED. Check out our catalog of application services here.

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Related Resources:

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

How to Demonstrate Leadership When You Don’t Have Leadership Experience, a short video

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

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

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How to Improve Your B-School Stats in 1 Hour [#permalink]

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Improve Your B-School Stats in 1 Hour
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Applying to b-school is a challenging process – all the more so if you have any weaknesses in your profile, such as a low GPA or weak GMAT. It’s important to have an application strategy and an understanding of the role that low stats play in the admissions process.

There’s still time to sign up for this week’s webinar, How to Get Accepted to B-School with Low Stats. Guided by Accepted’s founder, Linda Abraham, you’ll learn how to evaluate your profile from an admissions perspective; how to mitigate low grades and/or test scores; and how to adapt your application strategy to account for weak points in your profile.

In just an hour, you’ll learn how to craft a successful application strategy! Sign up now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post How to Improve Your B-School Stats in 1 Hour 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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USC Marshall’s Kellee Scott: Don’t Be Rigid, Boring or Tedious! [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: USC Marshall’s Kellee Scott: Don’t Be Rigid, Boring or Tedious!
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It gives me great pleasure to welcome Kellee Scott. This is Kellee’s first time on AST, but she is no stranger to Accepted, having participated in our old online chats.

Kellee earned her bachelors in business at the University of Miami and worked in business for companies like Unilever and Ernst and Young. Then she became a Trojan through and through, joining the Marshall admissions team in 2001. She also earned her MBA at USC. In addition to her duties today as Senior Associate Director at Marshall, she has served on the Boards of the Forte Foundation and The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

Can you give an overview of the USC Marshall FT MBA program for those listeners who aren’t that familiar with it? Please focus on its more distinctive elements. [2:40]

The flexibility of the program is one aspect – we really are a “Make Your Own MBA.” We start with a pretty tight core but students start taking electives pretty early on in the program, to provide breadth and depth, and students are also welcome to take classes outside of Marshall.

Communications is part of the core, which is rare for MBA programs at this point. We feel it is a critical component for success – knowledge and expertise don’t matter if you can’t convey your ideas. In fact, The Bloomberg BusinessWeek jobs skills report named us as a school consulting companies love to come to because of our students’ great communications skills, and this will remain part of our core.

We also were the first school to require international travel as part of the core, so everyone at Marshall needs a passport since you will be going overseas. Additionally, we have an intensive case competition. Even if you are not going into consulting it helps with leadership and critical thinking skills, and allows you to apply things you are learning very quickly. Finally, we are the only MBA program that presents at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), another major project where students present to CEOs of APEC.

When I think of Marshall’s strengths I think of entrepreneurship, media and entertainment, and global business, especially on the Pacific Rim. What else should I be thinking of and why? [5:55]

We have a very active tech club, and the tech industry is now 2nd to consulting for MBA hires. Being here in LA, which we call Silicon Beach, is great because of the tight start-up culture, which is very important to lots of MBAs. There has been lots of growth in the interest in gaming, and it has grown such that our Gaming Club was created as an offshoot of our Tech Club. Also, Business Analytics is part of our core. We were one of the first schools to add it, and we now have a new Masters in Business Analytics, and MBA students can take additional courses in that area as electives, or can concentrate in it if they like.

USC Marshall states that its four core values are: Transformational courage, collaborative ambition, impactful service, and unwavering integrity. How do those values influence admissions decisions? [7:49]

The wonderful thing about those values is they came from our students. As we look at applications in the admissions process we assess these values in different ways. With transformational courage, we are looking for applicants who transform and find ways to stretch themselves – constantly learning, taking extra classes, or taking initiative to develop themselves. With collaborative ambition we are looking for teamwork and a network orientation, for people who help themselves but others as well. With impactful service – how do you serve and impact your community, not just your work community, but with volunteerism, family, and social communities, through things you’ve done, organizations you’ve been a part of, and how you made them better. With unwavering integrity, we want to see a demonstration of accountability – if something good happens, sharing the success with other people, for example.

What advice do you have for applicants preparing to respond to Marshall’s essay questions? [12:16]

Don’t be rigid, boring or tedious! Applicants often answer based on what they think we want to hear instead of giving themselves license to be a bit more creative and talk about something we might not find in other parts of the application. The first question is asked so we can understand where you are trying to go with regard to goals, but for the second essay you have four questions to choose from. So many people pick the question about why they will be a great student at Marshall, but we want more people to answer one of the other three questions so we can learn more about an applicant. We also look for depth to answers. Focus on one topic – depth on one as opposed to surface on several topics. Authenticity really stands out in the admissions process.

Marshall accepted last year just under 30% of its applicants, which means it rejected just over 70% of applicants. Who gets the interview invitations? From those invited to interview, who gets accepted? How do you winnow it down? [20:07]

The interview process is our favorite because we love to talk to people and get to know them. We realize not everyone is going to be at a certain level with writing – it’s hard to convey who you are on a two dimensional piece of paper, so there are different ways the interview can be a point of influence. We interview 40-50% of the applicant pool so as not to miss any candidates.

Winnowing it down is really tough. When I started in this business you would see a bigger difference with who was and wasn’t prepared. Over time, candidates are getting more sophisticated and so much better. I have so many fantastic interviews, so it is really tough. We have definitely had candidates who bombed the interview who looked great on paper, and probably weren’t admitted. Also, we’ve admitted borderline candidates who looked not so great on paper but wowed us in the interview. It can really be a make or break piece of the application.

What can those invited to interview at Marshall expect? [22:32]

They can expect a conversation. Of course we want you to be prepared and know your story by the time you are interviewing. The invitation indicates we like you already, and we want to like you even more. This is a great time for candidates to talk about something not in the application. That is one of my favorite questions  – “Tell me something about yourself that is not in the application.” This allows the candidate to show breadth and depth and talk about their passions.

The interview is also about the culture fit. At a certain point we want to see some demonstration of initiative, that you are a team player, and can articulate your goals and talk to us and have a conversation. I do not allow applicants to look at their resume during the interview – I tell them to put it away and tell me your story, let’s have a conversation.

What mistakes do you see applicants making? [24:26]

You can tell when someone wrote an essay and didn’t have someone review it. I understand the temptation to reuse an essay when questions can be so similar, but you need to be more diligent – I’ve seen essays with a different school’s name in them, or answers to questions we haven’t even asked. We also want to talk to someone who has done more research than just looking at the website – it concerns us when an applicant has never been on campus, or engaged with students or alums. We provide that opportunity to connect with those folks, so if you are applying to a place blind, it easily shows that you are doing that, and doesn’t give us a good feel for sincere interest in our program.

Any tips for waitlisted applicants? [26:12]

The first thing I tell people is always contact the admissions team to see if there is anything they can do to bolster their application. We usually don’t give too much feedback at this point, but you can get an idea of areas in your application that you can control and shore up. We might suggest retesting, for example. You also can send in additional letters of recommendation for another viewpoint. Being on the waitlist is tough, we know, since you are in limbo. We don’t try to do it for long, but it is hard to winnow it down.

Let us know if anything changes – if you retest, get a promotion, or other good things are happening in your life. We don’t assume Marshall is the only school you apply to. If you hear from other schools let us know so we know what we’re dealing with. We still might not be able to make a decision right away, but the info lets us know we should maybe put a candidate as a priority. It helps us know, too, that you are truly interested in Marshall. Sometimes with waitlisted people we never hear from them again, so if we do hear, we know there is interest. At the same time, don’t be a stalker. Don’t go overboard or bombard us, but peek in every now and then. There is no ranking on the waitlist, but any positive information will put you more top of mind when we look at waitlisted candidates.

What advice would you give to someone thinking ahead to a Fall 2018 application? [31:06]

It’s never too early to start visiting or engaging with students, alumni, or people you know, to get a sense of the school, program, and the environment. Our new application is up in July, and by early August we have the new class profile so you can see the average student in the program. Our recruiting calendar starts in the fall so we may be visiting you or be on virtual platforms. The sooner you engage the sooner we can look forward to receiving your application.

What do you see coming down the pike for the MBA program at USC Marshall? [32:49]

We are reviewing our curriculum this year, which we do every 2-3 years. We are looking at incorporating more ways for critical thinking to be involved in the classes, and more ways for classes to be more coordinated across disciplines, so as not to be a silo for each discipline, but rather for students to learn as they go, with more of an overview of each subject. We will shift the timing – there will be the same amount of classes, and students will still need 63 credits to graduate. Students have expressed that the front load was too front-loaded, but students will still get a really in-depth high quality core before they start going into elective classes.

What’s an example of something entrepreneurial and really cool that a Marshall student or alum is doing? [34:34]

We have an alum who is an uber-outdoorsman. He founded a company called Beyond Gear, where with every piece of equipment sold a portion of the proceeds is donated to the favelas in Rio de Janeiro to allow a person there to learn to rock climb and participate in the outdoors. This same guy recently cofounded a new hotel called A Lodge which is outside of Boulder, CO, and you can go there in the middle of the woods to rock climb, mountain bike, and essentially do all the things that outdoor adventurers like to do.

We also have an alum who started a subscription service for surgeons and nurses called GIBLIB. This service provides ultra HD videos of actual surgeries, allowing surgeons and nurses to train through these videos. They show what the OR looks like, and what team interactions are like.

USC Marshall has a menu of MBA programs. FT, PT, online and EMBA. It also has the IBEAR program which is a distinctive program. Can you tell me about that? [37:52]

The IBEAR program is for mid-career professionals, beyond fulltime but before EMBA – and looking for a one year program. 75% of students are international. 32-38 is roughly the age range, with many sponsored by companies. It is a straight, 12-month curriculum, fulltime, is relatively lock step (just three electives), and taught primarily by faculty who have very extensive global expertise. There are about 55 students per year and 1/3 are sponsored. It’s a tight-knit network of students with an active alumni association, and is very family-oriented. Self-sponsored students can actually get subsidized if they live in the IBEAR apartment complex.

What would you have liked me to ask you? [40:25]

I wish you’d asked about milestones. We have a big one coming up – the incoming class of 2020 will be graduating at our 100th anniversary of the School of Business, which was founded in 1920 as the School of Commerce. There is lots of planning going on, and there will be lots of things to celebrate then.

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Related Links:

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Get Accepted to Top MBA Programs with Low Stats

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Meet Duke Fuqua’s New MBA Admissions Director, Shari Hubert

UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions According to Dean Alex Lawrence• A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program

16 Grad School Application Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make



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The post USC Marshall’s Kellee Scott: Don’t Be Rigid, Boring or Tedious! [Episode 255] 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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The Importance of Defining Your MBA Goal [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2018, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Importance of Defining Your MBA Goal
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You should never view your goals as an afterthought when it comes to your MBA application. Admissions members view MBA goals as lead-role performers, so you certainly shouldn’t push them to a supporting role as you prepare to apply to MBA programs.

What is an MBA Goal?
Your goal should focus on something you want to achieve or do (and not just something you’re interested in studying). For the sake of defining your MBA goal, be sure that you relate your desired achievements or actions to a specific function within a specific industry. You may need to call into play certain external factors such as geography, and certainly you need to take into account your personal experience, talents, passions, and skills; but what you should not do is consider TV personalities (I want to be like X character), short-lived fads, or the desires of your parents/friends/significant other. Your goals also shouldn’t be completely money-driven.

This is not to say that you can’t change careers – in fact, about 50% of MBA students are career changers, so as long as you present your goals in a credible, realistic way (connecting your experience, talents, passions, and skills to a future in a new industry), then there’s no reason to be shy about your aspirations in a new field.

Defining Your MBA Goal
To define your MBA goal, first look inward and address each of these three points:

1. Consider what you enjoy and in what areas you excel.

Are you a people person or would you rather work behind the scenes? If you’ve been selling lemonade since you were six, your goal may be to be the top salesperson in a Fortune 500 company. Do you have an interest in medicine as well as business? Working in the biomedical field may be just the thing for you. Think about what will make you excited in five or ten years.

2. Explore lessons learned from your off-the-job achievements to learn more about your professional life.

What do you love to do in your free time? Do you enjoy travel? Is there a special organization that you volunteer for? Examine what you take away from these experiences. Look at contributions you’ve made to that organization. Have you found new ways to fundraise for them, or implemented better ways to keep records? Take some time to think about what you’re passionate about. Your MBA goal can be found there.

3. Clarify and mine your interests and past experiences.

You’ve explored what you enjoy and where you excel. You’ve looked at where you spend your free time and what you’re passionate about. Use this information and come up with your MBA goal. It may be what you’ve thought all along, or it may be something totally new. Maybe the corporate position you always thought you wanted isn’t what you want after all.

Now look outward and consider these three items:

1. Examine professional paths that will take advantage of your strengths and give you more of what you find satisfying.

Explore which positions will help fulfill you professionally as well as personally. You will excel much easier in a job that fulfills you. No one wants to look back in 10 or 15 years and realize that they hated their professional life. Now is the time to crystalize your goal and look toward a successful, satisfying future.

2. Only consider MBA programs that support your career goals and provide an exciting, compelling educational environment for you.

You’ll be making a commitment of 1-2 years, and a significant amount of money, to get your MBA. Be sure the place you’ll be spending this time and money is the place that will give you the educational background for the career that you want, but also will be a place you want to be. If you’re a “city” person, a more rural environment isn’t the place for you. Do you do better in a group setting, or are you an independent learner? These are just a few of the questions you should answer when looking at MBA programs. The educational aspect is important, but you will learn much more in an environment where you feel comfortable.

3. Establish specific short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve during your education and in your post-MBA years.

You should think in terms of short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Your short-term goal could be completing your MBA in the next two years. When establishing your intermediate and long-term goals you should consider what your ideal position would be, and in what industry you see yourself. These goals are not etched in stone, and can change as you transition from one stage to the next. Try to be specific in terms of job titles and companies you would like to work for.

What’s Your Goal?
A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice of target schools. Expressing your goals clearly in your essays will help show adcoms why you belong in their programs. Defining your goal is an important first step in the MBA admissions process, and we can help.

Check out our MBA admissions consulting services and work one-on-one with an advisor who will help you define your career goals and apply successfully to your top-choice program.

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Related Resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Competitive MBA Applicant, a free guide

Writing Your Career Goals Essay

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

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post The Importance of Defining Your MBA Goal 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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The Importance of Defining Your MBA Goal   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2018, 09:01

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