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MBA Admissions Consultant
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Own Kudos [?]: 846 [0]
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Location: Los Angeles CA
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Exploring London Business School’s Masters in Analytics and Management [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Exploring London Business School’s Masters in Analytics and Management

Interview with Gareth Howells, Executive Director of the MBA, MiF & Early Career Programmes at London Business School [Show Summary]
Harvard Business Review declared in 2012 that being a data scientist is the “sexiest job of the 21st century.” Bloomberg Businessweek’s headline in May 2018 pronounced, “This Is America’s Hottest Job.” Let’s hear from the director of London Business School’s Early Career Programs about its response to surging demand for graduates in data analytics, its brand new master’s in analytics and management.

The Master’s in Analytics and Management Program at LBS: Everything You Need to Know [Show Notes]
Our guest today is Gareth Howells, Executive Director of the MBA, MiF & Early Career Programmes at London Business School. He graduated with a degree in Politics in 1995 from the University of Leeds. In 2004 he joined London Business School as Associate Director of the MBA Program, and has been at LBS in different and expanding roles culminating in his current position.

What is the master’s in analytics and management at London Business School? Can you provide an overview? [2:17]
It is our newest and most exciting program. We have four different early career programs which make up about 500 students, and we launched this new program last summer and are enrolling our first cohort for the Fall of 2019. There is a strong focus on analytics with a rigorous leading-edge curriculum and strong emphasis on experiential learning. The program is customizable as well.

Can you give us a bit of background on how it came into being and how it fits into the portfolio of early careers programs at LBS? [3:42]
We have 13 different degree programs at LBS, but early career programs are split into two groups. We have two general management and two specialized master’s – one in finance and this one in analytics and management. We came to this because data analytics is transforming the way the world does business. It is sector neutral. All businesses are switching on the power of data and responding to a data-driven world, and business school is nothing if it doesn’t create graduates and programs that speak to the needs of business.

We talked a lot to our recruiters who wanted this level of capability and we wanted to respond to that. There has been a real explosion of programs of this type. We wanted to leverage our own faculty, and London is the largest data center in Europe. There is a projected 250% increase in data jobs in the next five years so we wanted to meet those needs.

Business analytics master’s programs have been mushrooming around the world. What is distinctive about LBS’ program? [6:21]
We feel that the blend between analytics and management is unique. When we talked to recruiters, they said they see data scientists in an organization, mining the data and then handing it off to business managers to analyze. If you can develop those skills and capabilities in one candidate – mining data but then also translating the data, we would hire those students. We are trying to develop that skillset in one graduate as opposed to needing a data scientist AND a business manager. The curriculum is roughly 60% analytics, 40% management. It is a one-year program with an option to stay for a third term.

What kind of careers will graduates go into? [10:39]
We graduate 1200 students across all programs, and we have 200 recruiters on campus. With this new program, it is a specialist program with a wide variety of sectors and employers interested in hiring. We expect the consulting firms to be big recruiters, but the tech firms are roughly 20-25% of our pool as well. A lot of our graduate students from other programs are hired by many other sectors – accountancy firms, fintech, energy sectors, etc., and the universal feedback was that data analytics is transforming the world, but it’s sector neutral. We are excited about the wide variety of employers seeking and keen to hire from this program. We will graduate the first cohort in June/July 2020.

What are you looking for in the admissions process? [14:37]
There are a lot of similarities with all of our programs, and our application is quite detailed. First and foremost we are looking for dynamic and committed individuals wanting to make an impact – those who are intellectually curious, passionate, with a very high technical quant skill. We are typically looking for a quant-based undergrad background, but are open to different types of work experience. We are looking for a diverse class from around the world, and individuals with a global mindset. Since these are early career students, we are looking at potential as well. We have a series of essays where we try to understand more deeply the student’s motivation. We are looking at a minimum score of 600 for the GMAT. About 80-90% of our applicants take the GMAT, but the GRE is also becoming popular. We look at quant scores and once we’ve considered an application no one gets an offer without a face-to-face interview, which are conducted all around the world. We will try and interview you near your home town either by one of our alums or one of our staff/admissions managers. We sometimes do interviews by Skype. We ask for two references, transcripts, three essay questions, and an interview. Our target is to enroll 70-80 students in the first year.

What about relevant work experience? Is it optional? What is the maximum amount of work experience that you would consider? [19:38]
We typically get a blend. The max is two years, but our average tends to be one year. For the vast majority of students they have a series of different internships, though there are a few candidates with fulltime experience. When students go into electives there is a shared portfolio and they will be alongside MBAs, EMBA, and sometimes Sloan Fellows, since we want it to be a mirror of what the real world is like. Clubs are also for the entire set of students. The list of clubs keeps growing – currently we have 75 different student clubs that the school supports, including professional clubs, regional clubs, sports, and social clubs as well. We feel this is also a critical part of this program and the experience.

We put a huge emphasis on experiential learning as well. Two key parts of this program will be taking part in the London Lab program, where they will be with teams of 5-6 doing a live business consulting project based in London. We have a version of this for the current master’s in management program.

With global being so important to us, all students will also go on a Global Immersion Field Trip (GIFT), selecting among six different locations around the world, going away for a week with an immersive experience. Some recently planned trips for our other programs have been to Colombia, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Cape Town to give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in a completely different context. These two requirements are inclusive within the tuition fee and we’ve been running them for a few years.

What are the master’s in data analytics essay questions?[26:51]
We do have some minimum requirements, like having a quant background and some programming skills, but we will be getting hundreds of applications, many who will already meet the minimum requirements, so we need to get to know more about these students. The three questions are:

  • How does undertaking the program fit with their aspirations and goals? What do they want to do when they graduate – are they employable and can we help them?
  • What do they think their contribution will be to LBS while in the program? With such a huge emphasis on extracurriculars that we have we want to know how are they going to take advantage of them. We want active and not passive learners and are a community of over 2500 students in the heart of London. We want to have students who make an impact on each other and on the world of business.
  • Take us through a data-driven project you have been involved in. We want people who have some competency but more importantly a passion for analytics, the power and value of data. We ask for about 400-500 words. A big tip to anyone tuning in to this podcast: with some schools slashing essays you may think that we don’t read them, but we do. We need something that tells us more about the person and these essays often inform who we do interview and who we don’t.
Any discussion at LBS about a joint MiM/MAM? [31:17]
The short answer is no. With our MiM we have already increased the amount of analytics content, and students can still take their electives in analytics. It is about proportion. With the MAM we have a bigger diet in analytics and a slightly smaller bit on management. With MiM you have more management with some analytics. This is one of the most frequent questions we are getting – MiM vs MAM.

At the time the show airs, the next deadline will be March 4 and the last deadline is April 11, 2019. For Chinese applicants, the last deadline is Jan 24. Any advice for those interested in the MAM and still aiming for an application this year? [33:42]
First and foremost try and apply as early as you can. We’d rather people apply with a completed application rather than rushing it, of course. We want to know what the GMAT score is rather than you still be studying for it. Spend time and be thoughtful about the essays, but recognize the cycle is rolling on. After April 11th we will still consider late applications, but at that point the application really has to be super strong since we will have made the vast majority of our offers. We don’t want to be going above 70-80 students in this first cohort. Bottom line, there is still time, but with a later application after May 1st the chances of being admitted are reduced.

What about those planning ahead to apply next year? How can they prepare? [36:03]
Make sure that you do your research on the schools and the programs. Understand the differences. You’d be surprised that when we ask, “Why LBS?” how many people give quite generic answers. We understand people are applying to a number of schools, but we are impressed by people that have clearly done their homework and mention specifics about the programs, so do the research. Some people might just go to a rankings organization and apply to the top 5, but this decision should really be about fit. If you don’t get it right it is a costly mistake. Look at the essays and think about those. Too many people spend all their time focusing on the GMAT or GRE, and not enough on the essays. The tests are important, but it isn’t just about a high score, we take a holistic approach. Continue to embrace your internships, and be successful and be curious. Also, be excited about the work experience you are getting. Make the most of it.

What question would you like to answer that I didn’t ask? [44:11]
Not a question, really, but wanting more to reiterate that we put a huge emphasis on experiential learning, that London is our classroom, and global is in our DNA. Every school talks about being global, and they should, but our faculty come from 40 different countries and our students from 100 different countries.

We are really excited about this program and encourage listeners to take the opportunity to learn more about us. We run monthly events on campus to tour and meet current students, we have blogs, webinars, etc., and we would invite anyone to take a good look.

Related Links:

London Business School’s Master’s in Analytics and Management

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

• Today London, Tomorrow the World! One Year MFA at LBS

• London Business School Master’s in Management (MiM) Essay Questions, Tips & Deadlines

• London Business School 2018-19 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• Accepted’s Admissions Consulting Services

Related Shows:

• Early Career Management and European MBA Programs with Jamie Wright

• The Berkeley MFE: One Tough Program with Amazing Opportunities for Grads

• UCLA’s MS in Business Analytics: Prep for the Sexiest Job of the 21st Century

• Contemplating a Career in Data Science/Business Analytics? MIT Sloan’s MBAn



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

The post Exploring London Business School’s Master’s in Analytics and Management [Episode 297] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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How Do You Get Accepted to INSEAD? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How Do You Get Accepted to INSEAD?

INSEAD is the “Business School for the World.” But is it the business school for you?

If you’re an internationally-minded leader, you could be on your way to a first-class international MBA program – but first, you need to show the admissions committee that you belong. To help you understand what the INSEAD adcom is looking for, we’ve created a special, one-hour webinar just for INSEAD applicants.

In Get Accepted to INSEAD, Accepted’s founder, Linda Abraham, will share a proven strategy for your application, and guide you through each section of the INSEAD application package. You’ll learn how to make the most of your strengths, mitigate weaknesses, and show you belong at INSEAD. And because we know you’re busy, we’ve packed it all into just one hour.

The webinar is free, but you need to register to reserve your spot.

Reserve Your Spot Now:

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Northwestern Kellogg Announces New Dean [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Northwestern Kellogg Announces New Dean

President Morton Schapiro and Provost Jonathan Holloway have announced that Dr. Francesca Cornelli will begin her tenure as Northwestern Kellogg’s new dean on August 1, 2019. Prof. Cornelli will be replacing Kathleen Hagerty who has been serving as interim dean since September 1, 2018. Cornelli will be leaving her position as professor of finance, deputy dean of degree education and director of private equity at London Business School.

In the Kellogg news release, Schapiro states: “We’re proud to welcome Professor Cornelli to Northwestern University as dean of one of the world’s premier business schools. She’s uniquely suited to take our Kellogg School to the next level – and to continue building a genuinely global model for business education and scholarship.”

Shattering glass ceilings
Cornelli’s hiring gives Kellogg an important distinction. They are now the only major business school in the world to have two back-to-back female deans. This is not the first glass ceiling that Cornelli has broken: in addition to being the first woman to become a full professor at London Business School, she is one of a small number of female academics in finance – a traditionally male-dominated discipline.

More about Cornelli
Professor Cornelli is a highly respected and accomplished author and educator in the business world. She has conducted research in corporate governance, private equity, privatization, bankruptcy, IPOs, and innovation policy. Cornelli received her bachelor’s degree from Universita Commerciale Bocconi in Milan, Italy. She completed her master’s and PhD at Harvard.

In addition to her position at London Business School where she worked for 25 years, Cornelli has taught or held positions at Wharton, Duke Fuqua, the London School of Economics, the Indian School of Business, and the New Economic School in Moscow.

More about Kellogg
Kellogg has become a powerhouse in the past several years: the average GMAT scores for the class graduating in 2020 was 732, which is a 17-point improvement over the past five years. This score is similar to those at Wharton and Columbia Business School, and beat Chicago Booth by a single point. While many business schools have seen a drop of 6-8% in applications, Kellogg’s decrease was only 2.7%. They also set a record for the most women enrolled in a full-time MBA program – 46%.

Are you seeking admission to a highly-ranked, competitive MBA program? Explore Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing services to learn how our expert advisors can help you get ACCEPTED.


Related Resources:

• Why MBA?, a free guide to writing about your MBA goals

Kellogg MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines

From Hospitality to Kellogg MBA to Accepted MBA Admissions Consultant, a podcast episode

Tags: MBA Admissions

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INSEAD MBA Criterion #4: Leadership Potential [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: INSEAD MBA Criterion #4: Leadership Potential

This is the last post in a 4-part series that examines INSEAD MBA’s admission criteria.

What is leadership potential?
INSEAD is not unique among MBA programs in desiring leadership potential in applicants. All do. It is unique in how it characterizes leadership and leadership potential.

The adcom has a two-pronged view of leadership:

So, in this framework it’s not enough just to have impact or to drive change – it’s what kind of impact and why you pursue it; what specific change – from what to what and why.

Let’s focus for a moment on the word “potential.” The adcom doesn’t just say “leadership” for the criterion. Potential is forward focused. You may have led a big project to success, but if your application indicates that you aren’t reflective, engaged, and interested in growth, your potential – future – leadership may be limited. So, this criterion must resonate with the other elements of your application to show (ideally) a mature, open, curious, intellectually agile, personally reflective nature. Such a nature will, when leading, provide quality leadership.

Demonstrating leadership potential
How do you show that you meet this criterion?

  • First, obviously, present experiences (through example, anecdote, and resume points) that clearly portray your leadership roles to date. These may be formal (where you were a designated leader AND met the responsibilities of the role) or informal (where you identified the need for and stepped in to tactfully provide leadership in a given situation, e.g. resolving a conflict among teammates).
    In presenting these experiences, keep “quality” on the radar screen and strive to weave in aspects of the experience that include this dimension.

  • Second, through essays, resume, interview, etc., discuss experiences that convey elements of leadership. For example, you might have maturely handled an ethical challenge that didn’t necessarily involve leadership, but still showed qualities, such as courage, moral compass, willingness to prioritize values, etc., that one wants in a leader.
    There are an infinite variety of such elements – they include things like ability to motivate and/or inspire people, ability to persuade, willingness to take a stand for a value or an idea, ability and/or willingness to make tough decisions and forthrightly address the consequences, openness to appropriate risk-taking, etc. Bring them to the foreground when you describe an experience in an essay. In the resume, sometimes you can work it in contextually.

  • Third, I’ll mention a factor too little used by applicants IMHO. When a good opportunity presents itself, mention (in essays and/or interview), a leader you admire and from whose example of leadership you are learning and growing. It may be someone you know at work, or a figure out in “the world.” No need to go on at length about such exemplars – but devoting a couple of lines in an essay or a sentence or two in an interview to such a mention is a great way to show leadership potential: you are thinking about leadership, you resourcefully gain insight from prevailing circumstances and apply it to your own situation, and you have the grace to elevate another.
Follow these steps and you are on your way to showing the INSEAD adcom that you are a great fit for the program. For personalized assistance that will help you get accepted to INSEAD, check out our MBA Application Packages

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

Looking for more INSEAD info? Fill out the form below to register for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to INSEAD, airing live on February 13, 2019.

Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 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:

• Leadership in Admissions, a free guide

• 4 Ways to Display Teamwork in Application Essays

• Tone Up Your Writing: Confidence vs Arrogance

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post INSEAD MBA Criterion #4: Leadership Potential appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Kaplan Test Prep Survey Reveals Drops in Applications to U.S. MBA Prog [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Kaplan Test Prep Survey Reveals Drops in Applications to U.S. MBA Programs

Kaplan Test Prep has been surveying business admissions officers for more than 10 years. These surveys provide MBA-hopefuls, as well as those involved in business school education, with the most current information about admissions.

2018 survey highlights
The 2018 survey reveals something that top U.S. b-schools haven’t experienced in years – a substantial drop in applicants. The 2018 survey of more than 150 business schools throughout the U.S. makes note of this decline and offers the following explanations for it:

  • 31% state that the decline in applications is caused by the concerns of many international students about the current U.S. political climate and who are therefore going elsewhere for their education.
  • 30% say that the drop is caused by the strong U.S. job market which is keeping possible students in the workforce.
  • 17% state that it’s caused by the high cost of obtaining an MBA.
  • 13% see the cause as the question of the value of an MBA.
  • 7% state that it’s the lack of 1-year programs in the U.S.
  • 3% say it’s due to an opinion that fewer jobs require an MBA than they did in the past.
The decline in international applicants seems to have long-term consequences: 74% of the schools surveyed are concerned that the current political climate in the U.S. will hurt the number of international students in the future. This is an increase of 6% (from 68%) in the 2017 Kaplan survey.

According to Jeff Thomas, executive director of admissions programs at Kaplan Test Prep, “Trends in MBA applications are almost always cyclical. When the job market is soft, you see an increase in applicants, as prospective students see the value in becoming more marketable and waiting out a weak economy. When the job market is robust, as it has been for the past two years, applications tend to be down. But even if the economy does take a downturn, an American political climate that discourages international students from coming may erode any normal application increase. We’ll continue to track this trend.”

See the full Kaplan report here.

What this means for applicants:
In a word, opportunity.

While you shouldn’t expect dramatic changes in application standards (at least not yet), a small drop in application volume means less competition. Furthermore, since the drop is most pronounced among international applicants, then if you happen to be an international applicant, your chance for serious consideration at schools previously just outside your reach has increased.

The survey asked admissions officers to name the biggest factor in the application drop. In reality, all the factors mentioned probably played a role. The strong job market most affects U.S. applicants. Whenever the job market is strong, application volume declines; when the job market is weak, two years spent earning a graduate degree that will increase one’s employability becomes more attractive.

The cost and value factors, which together total 30%, are flip sides of the same coin. As tuition continues its inexorable rise, value becomes more of a question for prospective applicants. GMAC data reveals that MBAs are overwhelmingly happy with their decision to pursue an MBA and feel that it paid off. However, for applicants staring at those intimidating tuition and loan figures, the cost is a real and discouraging factor in deciding whether to apply. At the same time, a decline in application volume may also make it easier for some to get grants and scholarships.

Again, for those of you committed to earning an MBA, this trend spells O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y.

To learn how we can help you get accepted to business school, check out our MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing Services.


Related Resources:

How to Fund Your International Graduate Degree, a free webinar

• B-School Selectivity Index: Discover the Schools Where You are a Competitive Applicant

Is Drop in Foreign Student Visas Due to Trump’s Immigration Policy?

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Kaplan Test Prep Survey Reveals Drops in Applications to U.S. MBA Programs appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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So, You’re Applying to Business School with a Low GPA or GMAT Score? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: So, You’re Applying to Business School with a Low GPA or GMAT Score?

First, are your numbers really so bad? “Low numbers” for the purposes of this article, and for most applicants, are GMAT scores and GPAs at the lower end of or below the mid-80% range for a given school. It may be difficult to find average GPAs for your target programs, but if you have a 2.6, you know it’s low for almost any MBA program. Roughly, except for the most elite schools, a GPA below 3.0 warrants a deliberate effort to counterbalance.

Say, by these criteria, your numbers are low. What do you do?

what your recommenders write, ask them to confirm your quantitative ability.

[b]expressive and flawlessly written, of course. You also should select examples and anecdotes that highlight your communication skills. The opportunity the essays offer is also a pitfall, however – mediocre essays will only confirm concern about your verbal skills. So excellent essays are a must. Looking beyond the essays, ask recommenders to comment positively on your verbal skills. Finally, you can take a course online or at a local college that involves substantial writing, either business related or other – and earn an A.

[b]overrepresented in the applicant pool, as are white and Asian male investment bankers with high numbers. Thus, a GMAT in the lower 80% range and a 3.3 GPA may be a problem for them in applying to, say, Wharton, whereas a female Peruvian corporate finance associate with a 650 GMAT and 3.3 GPA from a top national university would be a viable applicant. If this Peruvian female had a 590 GMAT and a 2.7 GPA, that might not be the case, as questions would arise about her ability to master the coursework. In a sense, understanding your demographic profile is part of looking closely at the numbers and reading the nuances.

[b]leadership, and impact. Show through anecdotes and examples that you are a person who makes a difference on the job beyond what’s expected. Exceptional contribution and leadership as a volunteer or in another non-work activity also serve this purpose, though with the low numbers, strong work experience is still essential.

[b]Business School Selectivity Index
to discover the schools where you are competitive.

[b]optional essay is often the place to make these statements. If you write the optional essay, make it short and straightforward. Provide a brief explanation, take responsibility, and focus on evidence of your talents that counters the impression made by the low stats. Also, explain (or, ideally, show through example and anecdote) that either you have dealt with the problem causing the poor grades, or the circumstances no longer apply.

Creating a thoughtful strategy to counteract the effect of low numbers can transform you from a non-viable to a viable applicant at the schools of your choice. However, it’s up to you to show the adcom that the numbers don’t define you.

[b]Can you get accepted to business school with low stats? Check out Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you strengthen your case for a compelling application that will get you ACCEPTED. Yes, even with those less-than-stellar stats.

Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 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:

• Applying to Business School With Low Stats: What You Need to Know, a free guide

Applying to Top MBA Programs with a Low GPA, a short video

What GMAT Score Do I Need to Get Accepted to Top MBA Programs?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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How Do You Show Demonstrated Interest to MBA Programs? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How Do You Show Demonstrated Interest to MBA Programs?

An article recently published by the Wall Street Journal recently reported that many undergraduate institutions are now tracking how quickly prospective students opened their emails, how long they kept them open, and whether they clicked on any of their links. They include these metrics in the applicant’s ‘demonstrated interest’ score, which, with the increasing number of applications, helps them determine who is more likely to accept their admission offer and enroll. This is important because different university ranking systems take into account an institution’s “yield,” that is, the percentage of admitted students who actually attend. As a former admissions director at Yale SOM and Michigan Broad, I would not be surprised if graduate programs, particularly business schools, are starting to follow similar stats.

For business schools,
knowing the level of interest of their prospective audience is crucial, and knowing
a candidate has demonstrated interest might just tip the balance toward
admission, particularly for borderline candidates.

So, how do you show “demonstrated
interest”? I have 5 tips for you:

  • Register your information on the school’s websites as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you are ready to apply. The earlier you register, the better.
  • Open every single email you receive from them, click through their links, and whenever possible, attend their online and in-person events.
  • Follow them on social media, and within reason, like and comment on their posts.
  • Visit them. Now more than ever it’s very important to show them that you are committed to attending their program. Before you go, prepare for your visit well, taking advantage of all they have to offer. Click here for more tips on how to prepare for your business school visit.
  • If you can’t visit, reach out to current students at clubs you are interested in and make it a point to attend any events near you.
  • After visiting or attending their events near you, send them a ‘thank you’ note.

If graduate schools are indeed tracking your interactions with them as part of their decision process, why not use that to your advantage? Follow these tips and you will very clearly show demonstrated interest to your schools, moving up a few notches in their favor.

Do you need help demonstrating your interest in your target programs? Do you need guidance on any other element of your business school application? Check out our MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you get ACCEPTED! 

By Esmeralda Cardenal, previously the Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. She is happy to help you showcase your achievements in your MBA application. Want Esmeralda to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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International Application Volume Drops At U.S. Grad Schools [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: International Application Volume Drops At U.S. Grad Schools

CGS (Council of Graduate Schools) has been conducting surveys since 2004, providing dependable information regarding international students applying to and attending graduate programs in the U.S. According to CGS’s 2018 International Graduate Applications and Enrollment report, the 240 schools participating in the International Graduate Admissions Survey reported receiving 4% fewer international grad school applications in fall 2018 than in fall 2017. This is the second year in a row that application volume has fallen. The number of international enrollees in U.S. grad schools declined by 1%.

Some reasons for this decline appear to be:

  • Insecurity about U.S. visa rules
  • Political climate regarding immigration
  • A strong U.S. dollar, which can make programs more expensive
  • Fewer scholarships provided by some countries, especially those with oil-dependent economies
  • Tense relations between the U.S. and China

Despite the tension in U.S.-China relations, the most international grad students continue to come to the U.S. from China and India. In the fall of 2018, 42% of first-time international master’s and certificate students and 34% of first-time international PhD students were Chinese nationals. Indian students accounted for 31% of first-time international master’s and certificate students and 13% of international PhD students.

Additional findings from the study:

  • The number of applicants and first-time enrollees from Sub-Saharan African countries increased by 28% and 5%, respectively.
  • Applicants from Mexico decreased by 4% between fall 2017 and fall 2018. This is the second year that the numbers of Mexican applicants declined.
  • The number of applicants from the Latin American and Caribbean areas rose 4% in applications and 5% in overall first-time enrollments.
  • The number of Canadian applications did not change from fall 2017 to fall 2018. First-time grad enrollment went up 6% for the same time period.
  • Middle Eastern and North African applications decreased by 14% between fall 2017 and fall 2018.
  • European grad applications fell 13% between fall 2017 and fall 2018.

Schools offering master’s degrees but not PhDs experienced the largest decline. They had a 15% drop in first-time international students in their master’s and certificate programs.

Programs that had been among the fastest-growing
experienced the largest decreases:

  • Engineering: -10%
  • Physical and Earth Sciences: -13%
  • Public Administration: -27%

According to the Daily Beast, the number of international students enrolled in U.S. graduate program accounted for approximately 20% of the total, or about 250,000 students in fall 2018.

This drop in application volume can work to your benefit, and we can help! Explore our Graduate Admissions Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you get ACCEPTED

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Toronto Rotman MBA: The Spike Factor [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Toronto Rotman MBA: The Spike Factor

Interview with Imran Kanga, Director of Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management [Show Summary]

Toronto Rotman wants to see a “spike factor” in its applicants. What is a spike factor? What’s Toronto Rotman’s spike factor(s)? How can you show a spike factor. What else does Rotman offer? What are its 3 other criteria for acceptance?  All questions covered and answered in this informative podcast interview with Toronto Rotman’s MBA admissions director, Imran Kanga. Pull up a chair!

All About Toronto Rotman and the Spike Factor They Seek in Applicants [Show Notes]

It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on AST Imran Kanga, Director of Recruitment & Admissions for the Full-Time MBA Program at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. Imran attended Ridley College for his bachelors and earned his International MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business in 2010. But he wasn’t finished at Schulich when he got his MBA. Upon graduation he became the Assistant Director of Marketing and Recruitment for the Schulich School of Business in India and managed the Schulich MBA program there. In December 2018 he became Director of Recruitment and Admission for the University of Toronto’s Rotman School.

Can you give us an overview of the Rotman MBA program, focusing on its more distinctive features? [2:11]

It’s a two-year, fulltime MBA. The first part is the core component, where students learn the basic business fundamentals and foundations. The second part allows students to choose from 15 concentrations, and some are quite unique to Rotman in areas like investment banking, business design, and innovation. It’s not required, but students have opportunity to specialize if they like in the second year. In terms of other unique initiatives, we have the Creative Destruction Lab, Design Works Lab, and Self Development lab that allows students to develop their leadership presence. We also have a flexible internship program. Students are required to have an internship, but can choose to do so not just in the summer, but the fall and winter are options as well. Employers like the flexibility to get students on board when they have a requirement for it, not just over the summer.

In January Bloomberg Businessweek proclaimed “Canada Says, ‘Give Me Your MBAs, Your Entrepreneurs.”  Not quite the diversity to the class because applicants are coming from countries that otherwise might traditionally apply to schools in the U.S. or U.K., so it is a tremendous opportunity for us, and enriches the experience for our students. Post-graduation students can live for three years in Canada on a work permit, which is also a great incentive.

Can you talk about the three labs you mentioned earlier? Can students do all three? [10:03]

The Self Development Lab is a space where students can go to develop their communication skills, leadership qualities, and presentation skills. It is a very high tech space that can detect things like nervousness, anxiety, how tired you are, or even how many times you say, “uh” in a conversation. It is available to students throughout the two years they are in the program.

The Creative Destruction Lab is a two-part course. Students have to take an elective in year one, followed by a year-long course in the second year. The lab itself is really a venture accelerator. We invite tech startups at seed stage and help them scale up. It is a partnership with the government (they provide grants), and there is some really great work coming out of this lab, in areas like space, quantum computing, AI, and fin tech. The lab provides mentorship to entrepreneurs and founders of these startups, funding, partners like VC firms, and access to management talent.

Business Design Lab is focused on business innovation and design. It has more to do with technology and how businesses are transformed with technology, and leans more toward the academic and research side. Students are selected to be a part of the lab in their second year.

In terms of what’s new in our lab space, TDBank is giving us $4M for Fin Hub, which is another lab focused on new and emerging areas of finance like fin tech, block chain, cryptocurrencies, and AI. Our faculty are thought leaders in this area, and we are really excited about this new opportunity.

Let’s turn to the application. Your site says that you are looking for four qualities: Intellectual Horsepower, Experience and Impact, Communication and Presence, and the Spike Factor. I’d like to focus on the last element, because I think the first three are easily understood. What does the Spike Factor mean to you? How would you describe it? [17:31]

The Spike Factor was initially developed by McKinsey to differentiate their candidates, and we were very excited to incorporate it into our assessment. It gives applicants the opportunity to share why they stand out – what makes them unique and really shine. It could be that they have participated in a lot of extracurricular activities, are part of community initiatives, are artists, musicians, have had cultural immersions – all of these factors could constitute a Spike Factor. For us it is important because it gives a different perspective on what the student brings to the class – what is something really unique or special about this candidate that would add a lot of value.

Rotman’s application includes a resume, a traditional essay, a short “reflection question,” a timed written reflection, and two videos before a by-invitation-only interview. What do you learn from these different elements? Why do you need each element to have a holistic picture? Why does Rotman include the following elements in its evaluation? [22:29]

Each element you mentioned links to one of the four components we were talking about. The resume speaks to experience and impact. The traditional essay goes to fit – why do you want an MBA and why Rotman. That shows us the student has done the research and knows what the program is about and what to expect. The reflection question asks students to list out 3-5 qualities that they see in themselves. This is for students to show their self-awareness, and that they can take a step back and assess their strengths and weaknesses, which is important to do before getting into the application. During the interview these qualities can be validated. The timed essay and video essay are meant to provide us with an authentic version of an applicant. The time-written essay gives a sense of who they are, and the answers don’t have to be lengthy. Can an applicant write a short paragraph and communicate ideas clearly? The video essay gives a sense of whether they can communicate ideas in a short period of time, think on the fly, and come up with clear and concise answers. We aren’t looking for perfection, but potential.

What distinguishes applicants who get interview invitations from those who don’t other than stats? [28:31]

We look at all the components of the application and one is not rated over the other – it is holistic. Applicants have to have done well overall in the application – someone with a 770 GMAT but lacking elsewhere is a red flag for us. We invite people who are strong across all the factors in the application, and stand out.

What can those invited to interview expect? [30:16]

Our interviews are done in person if possible. We do have admissions reps traveling around the world so that is our preference, but if not, we do Skype interviews. They are about 45 minutes and we are trying to dig a little deeper into the student profile – work experience, extracurricular activities, their entire application, and future aspirations.

What advice do you have for applicants sitting down to fill out their Rotman application and hoping to matriculate in Fall 2019? [31:17]

I would caution against international students applying in the final April round because it most likely isn’t enough time to get visas set and things like that.

What advice would you give to someone thinking ahead to a 2019-20 application? [32:36]

It is never too early to start thinking ahead. Start narrowing down the schools you want to apply to. If you have narrowed down to Rotman, do your research. Reach out to alumni, students, and faculty. We’d be happy to connect you with people who can tell you about their experiences and are available to answer any questions. Also take a step back and reflect on yourself, and then plan ahead by taking the GMAT or GRE and thinking about the application itself.

What do you see coming down the pike for the MBA program at Rotman? [35:24]

Given current trends I think we will see a lot more highly qualified applicants getting into the program. The MBA market is also shifting to a slightly older audience. Our dean was just reappointed for another five year term, so I expect to see a continued focus on relentless innovation. I can see a lot more labs and partnerships. I see a lot more diversity in the program as well.

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The Interviewer Becomes the Interviewee [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: The Interviewer Becomes the Interviewee

Accepted Founder Linda Abraham Provides an Inside Look at the World of Admissions [Show Summary]
For 299 episodes, Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted, has interviewed school deans, admissions directors, students, and more. Today we learn about her!

The Interviewer Becomes the Interviewee [Show Notes]
Linda Abraham: This is our 300th episode and since those round numbers seem to beg for special treatment, I decided to do something that members of my staff for several years have asked me to do: Be the interviewee.

Jen Weld, Accepted admissions consultant and former assistant/associate director of admissions at Cornell Johnson’s EMBA program is going to be the interviewer. I’m going to turn the mic over to her and climb into the hot seat.

Jen Weld: Our “guest” today, Linda Abraham, attended UCLA for both her bachelors in Political Science and her MBA. She started Accepted in 1994 as Linda Abraham & Associates. After putting up Accepted’s first web site in 1996, the company was incorporated as in 1997. Linda is also the co-founder of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants and the co-author of MBA Admissions for Smarties. She has been sought by the media, including CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, and others for her admissions expertise.

Linda, welcome to AST!

Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you decided to start Accepted? [2:48]
When I was a senior in college there was a lot of concern about declining writing abilities based on the “nefarious influence” of television in the 1960s. UCLA, where I was a student, was increasing writing requirements for Poli Sci 1, and I was asked to be a tutor for that course. I was a Poli Sci major but also had taken a lot of English courses for a non-English major. I loved the tutoring and editing work – helping individuals clarify their ideas and get them down on paper was really rewarding to me – but I didn’t think I could make a living at it.

I am a child of immigrants, which meant that I needed a defined profession – a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, for example. My parents weren’t very happy when I graduated and I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in, so they were relieved when I decided to go for an MBA. About halfway through the program I got married, and shortly after graduation in 1979 my husband and I started our family. In the early 90s my husband and I needed some more money to make ends meet. I had gotten my real estate license but was no longer enjoying the work, and I wanted to work from home to be more available for our six children, who at the time ranged in age from 3-12. I decided to go back to editing which I loved, and advertised in UCLA’s paper, the Daily Bruin, and got work. I was frequently asked to edit personal statements and application essays, and I’ve always loved biographies, personal stories, and historical fiction – a lot more fun than research papers! I also experimented with writing experience pieces and studied journalistic techniques. I realized that if applicants applied journalistic techniques to their personal statements and application essays, those pieces would be much more effective.

The other major development coming on to the commercial scene at the time was the internet, which removed all geographic boundaries. Initially I was able to work with people maybe 30 minutes away, and suddenly I could work with people in Hong Kong, India, anywhere! Initially we would be faxing applications back and forth. When I started applications were all paper-based, then it was disc-based, and then web-based. Similarly, the way the Accepted team and I communicated with clients evolved over time, from phone/fax to email, Skype, video conferencing, etc.

How has admissions evolved? [6:34]
One of the biggest differences is that most information about the programs was provided by the schools in the beginning. They controlled the messaging about the process. With the explosion of the internet they lost that control. Today there are multiple sources of information and information overload. The other big change is the work is increasingly international. Higher and higher test scores is another. A 700 GMAT used to be an amazing score, and the average just keeps going up and up. The same is true with the MCAT.

How has admissions consulting evolved? [10:18]
It’s grown – there are far more consultants in all fields than there were in 1996. I know I wasn’t the only one then, and I wasn’t the first, but there were far fewer. When I mentioned to people then that I wanted to focus on admissions editing people thought I was crazy for thinking I could make a business out of it, but I also didn’t have intentions to grow Accepted into a 20+ consultant business like it is today.

The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) is another change. I worked entirely in isolation when I started Accepted. At one point I reached out to another consultant (Maxx Duffy), and we got together for lunch. We have been friends ever since. In 2004 Tuck decided to host a conference for admissions consultants, inviting me and about 20 others. It was excellent, I learned a lot, and found I really loved interacting with my colleagues. The experience was very beneficial and was the catalyst for AIGAC, which sets standards for professionalism in the industry.

The third thing is increasing acceptance of admissions consultants as part of the admissions process. When AIGAC was founded it was followed up with a session at a GMAC conference. I was one of four consultants presenting a seminar on what admissions consultants do, and frankly there was a lot of hostility towards us. That has changed, and there is now acceptance that we play a role in the admissions process. I was at the AIGAC conference last summer and the dean of Michigan Ross said, “You are our partners.” I was thrilled to hear that, and more and more that is the perception. We aren’t just helping applicants put together better applications, we also help get the facts out about schools. There are rumors, misinformation, and disinformation out there. The consultants that I know are trying to get the facts out. They really help applicants get accepted, whether by working one-on-one or through podcasts, blog posts, whatever, to help them pursue their dream careers and have a positive impact on the world.

How do the various categories of consulting differ, and how are they the same? [16:04]
What is universal is that admissions committees are attempting to meet the applicant – to go beyond the test score, GPA, and resume. They are trying to get to know a person through the application. If it’s a personal statement it is more about how they have gotten to this point. If it’s a goals essay, it’s what are your goals, how do you plan to achieve them, and how will the program help you. My advice is to just be yourself.

In terms of what’s different about graduate admissions, goals are really important in b-school admissions and most graduate specialties. Applicants need to have a goal, and a purposeful, thoughtful approach to graduate admissions.

For medical school the focus is on fitness for medicine, so clinical exposure, having worked with sick people, been in a hospital, those types of things are really important. There is less focus on long-term goals, since it is difficult to know what specialty you want before you start. Clinical exposure and an awareness of what you are getting into is distinctive to med school and health care in general.

Law school is less goals-focused. Applicants should have at least some exposure to law and an idea about how they intend to use the degree.

In terms of difficulty, med school is the most demanding process – you need strong academics, clinical exposure, community experience, and there are primary and secondary applications (with applicants often applying to 20+ schools), and interviews. Next most difficult is MBA because of the many different essay prompts, and the need to tailor to each school. Law and graduate programs require typically one statement of purpose that should be customized to each individual program, but overall their process is somewhat less demanding.

What are the most and least rewarding aspects of your work? [20:38]
The most rewarding by far is hearing from applicants who are accepted. Playing a part in changing peoples’ lives is a real perk of the job. That is what the company is about.

Conversely, the least rewarding is when clients are rejected. Fortunately, less than 20% of our clients are in that situation. I also sometimes will find it troubling when I have to tell a prospective client that it is going to be really difficult to be competitive at a program they are interested in. Some people appreciate that advice, and others think I am being negative or discouraging. I don’t like to be discouraging, but I also don’t want to take their money under false pretenses.

I know an applicant won’t get accepted when… [22:32]
……their stats are really low.

……they haven’t got a clue about what they are doing and why.

……they ask what they should write to get in.

Are there clients you refuse to work with? [23:34]
We don’ refuse to work with clients whose chances are poor, but we do inform them of our evaluation before starting work, frequently before they buy. I have told clients their chances are poor, that they need to be realistic and apply to other schools where the applicant may be a better fit, or put things on hold, take steps, and then apply. It is not my job to say I am not working with you because you are not qualified, but it is my job to work in their best interest. We will always work with a client who even after such advice still wants to go for it.

In terms of when we refuse, we always will if there is a proxy doing the work, for example a parent. We have to work with the applicant. We also have fired clients for not doing their own work, and this is very rare, for being verbally abusive.

Do you have any particularly insightful examples of clients you’ve worked with that would be particularly helpful to listeners who will be applying to programs soon? [26:01]
One client I met with early in Accepted’s history, when I was still meeting with clients one-on-one. He was pursuing a demanding program at UCLA at the time and was planning to apply to medical school. He was bright, personable, and delightful to work with. He had first gone to junior college and then transferred to UCLA. He had had an undiagnosed learning disability, and was told in high school that he would never amount to anything. By the time I talked to him he had almost a 4.0 at a very demanding program, he was very active in extracurriculars, and incredible talented. He finally was diagnosed in junior college, got accommodations, and suddenly began to soar. Last I heard he was pursuing a residency in neurology.

Another early experience was with a woman who came to work with me in my office. She was applying to law school, spoke to me about her background, and said she wanted to write about her trip to the country where her family was from, but she had never actually been there. She was convinced she hadn’t done anything terribly interesting so she wanted to make up something and write about that. I asked her if she had a background in creative writing. She said no, so I said, “Why don’t you tell me what you HAVE done and let’s see if there is something there.” She ended up writing a really fine essay that is to this day on our website, and it has nothing to do with a made-up trip to her family’s homeland.

More recently, someone worked with an Accepted med school consultant having come from a very, very disadvantaged background. We were able to help him get into medical school, and he is now an M1.

Another client was advised to postpone his medical school application and do a few more things to boost his profile. He finally applied this past June, got secondaries out really fast, and was accepted to a few programs in October. He’s thrilled.

Another recent client was an MBA applicant with excellent work experience, but with a really low GMAT. His essays were not what they should have been when he came to us, and he worked with an Accepted consultant to present his strengths effectively. He subsequently got into three M7 schools.

If you could be an admission director for a day, what would you change about the process? [34:33]
I would make the recommendations less burdensome. It may seem like an odd thing to choose, but I think the system is broken, particularly with business school. I would have common letters of recommendation, so a recommender could fill out one letter that goes to all the schools. I would limit it to two recommenders (med school sometimes has five, and with applicants sometimes applying to 20 programs – well, you do the math!). Essentially schools are demanding that applicants ask favors of people who are very busy and have multiple demands on their time. In some specialties it is fairly common and accepted for applicants to write the letter and have recommenders sign it. This is not allowed in business school and is considered improper.

If schools want authenticity from the recommenders (which is fair and legitimate), you have to make it easier for them. Law school is moving towards common letters of recommendation, med school is working on committee letters. Schools, b-schools in particular, need to make the process easier.

How do you feel about rankings? Do recruiters consider rankings? [39:06]
I think the data that rankings supply is the real value. I don’t think the actual ranking is all that useful. Rarely are rankings going to measure or reflect what is important to the individual applicant. That said, I think U.S. News is fairly good with reputational rankings. Rankings can be most relevant when you have choices. For example, if you have been accepted to two schools, one ranked 5 and the other is 25, you can most likely assume the network is better and placement is better with the number 5 school, but not when you are comparing numbers 5 and 8. Examining and evaluating career placement, curriculum, extracurricular offerings, and additional personal preferences help applicants make a better choice.

In terms of recruiters, I think they aren’t comparing #3 and #5. A program’s overall reputation is much more important. I recently interviewed the head of recruiting from Bain and rankings never came up. Recruiters will see students from certain schools consistently perform well or poorly, which will have much more influence on future recruiting than rankings.

What do you say to prospective clients who say, “If I don’t get into a top-10 school, there is no point in me going.” [42:20]
That depends where they are starting from and what they want to do. If they are a software engineer and want to move to product management, they probably need management skills to make that leap, so rankings in such a case should matter much less. If you look at GMAC data, applicants overwhelmingly say they are happy they went to business school and got an MBA. The whole top 10 thing in medical school isn’t relevant, but with law and business school it is really important. If you want to work in a specific location or state, where you go may be really important, so should factor in. But to get back to an MBA applicant who wants to go to a top 10 school (which usually has roughly 15 schools in it!) or M7, it depends where they are starting from. If someone went to Harvard undergrad and worked at McKinsey or in private equity, they probably do need to be in the top 10. But going back to the software engineer, they need what the MBA provides more than the reputation or brand, so they can probably go outside of the top 10.

Is it better to be a top student at an average school or an average student at a top school? [44:38]
It’s better to be at a school where you are going to thrive. If you are at a school where you are miserable, you are not going to do well.

Grad school is not just about a school’s overall brand. Applicants, you need to think about what you want to get out of the program and experience, and what you want to do after it.

You also need to think about cost. If you are a medical student, it is four years of tuition and living wherever you’ll be living. If you are in a high cost city, you are going to end up several hundred thousands of dollars in debt between tuition and living expenses. You might be better off in a lower-ranked program in a more affordable city or where you can live at home. The ranking for medical school is less important. Top school reputation is more important for business and law school.

How best can you determine where you will thrive? [46:19]
Look thoroughly at the schools you are considering. If at all possible visit the schools, attend an event weekend. “One school just felt right” is a common response from applicants who take the time to visit different schools. Talk to students or alums if you can. Reflect on what is important to you. Some people want to go to a new place and meet all new people. Other people want a group that is just like them, whether that be in terms of religion, ethnicity, politics, or whatever. Know if weather is important to you – factor it in. Big cities, small cities, urban, rural – whatever factors matter to you, make sure they are considered in the decision-making process.

Looking back at the 20+ years you’ve been doing this, is there anything you would have done differently? And what do you see in the future for Accepted? [49:07]
I would have started webinars sooner, the podcast sooner, and would have developed some of our service options sooner. Accepted started as an editing service, but I should have realized more quickly that we had evolved into a full service admissions consultancy.

In terms of the future, I see continued growth. This last year was Accepted’s best year ever, for the third year in a row. I see an increase in diversification in terms of the admissions markets we serve. We continue to hire consultants to serve needs in different niches.

To prospective applicants listening to this podcast, looking back at all of your experience, what is the one thing you’d like to make sure they take away from listening today? [50:50]
This is going to sound clichéd, but look at the process as an introduction of themselves to the admissions committee. Be authentic, which doesn’t mean true confessions, but presenting your best self. Also, one can almost always benefit from a coach or third party looking at an application to get some perspective, insight, and constructive criticism before your mistakes can damage your chances of acceptance.

Related Links:

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

7 Steps to MBA Accepted in 2020, an upcoming live webinar

• The Reapplicant’s Guide to Med School Acceptance, an upcoming live webinar

Accepted’s Admissions Consulting Services

Related Shows:

Focus on Fit

5 A’s for your Low GPA

• The Most Important Asset in Grad School Applications: Time

Different Dimensions of Diversity

Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application



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

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HEC Paris 2019-20 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: HEC Paris 2019-20 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

The HEC Paris MBA application essays – and there are many compared to most MBA applications these days –give the adcom a well-rounded view of you. They go beyond what you’ve done to capture how you think and respond, even how you imagine. Moreover, they require you to communicate complex thoughts and experiences succinctly. For the four shorter essays especially, don’t waste words on conventional introductory and concluding paragraphs. Jump right into your point or story and use straightforward sentences that avoid wordy constructions (e.g. “had the opportunity to”); don’t hesitate to use direct, declarative sentences. This writing approach has an added benefit: it conveys confidence.

Since there are several essays, I suggest first sketching out ideas for them all, then stepping back to assess how all these facets add up as a whole, and adjusting topics if/as necessary to avoid redundancy and ensure a well-rounded presentation that will make the adcom feel they must get you on (or on Skype) for an interview!

HEC Paris MBA Application Essays:
HEC MBA Essay #1
Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective? (500 words maximum)

This is a traditional goals question with a couple of twists.

  • First, the “why now” part should be explicitly addressed, even if it seems obvious. Briefly is fine – the essay overall should make this case ultimately.
  • Second, the “professional objective” is essentially your long-term career vision. The question implies that this vision or goal will drive your preceding steps, so present your shorter-term goal(s) in that context: show how they pave the way for you to pursue and achieve your ultimate professional objective.
  • Be brief but specific when discussing the HEC MBA – tie its program directly to achievement of your goals, and detail the 2-3 points about the program that are most meaningful to you.
Finally, connect the dots. This essay, well done, will convey how your goals grow organically from your experience and are achievable given your previous experience and an MBA from HEC.

HEC MBA Essay #2
What do you consider your most significant life achievement? (250 words maximum)

Most significant life achievement – Wow. It probably didn’t happen yesterday. And for many people it didn’t happen at work… Few work accomplishments rise to the level of MOST SIGNIFICANT LIFE ACHIEVEMENT. Imagine if, for example, you state that boosting your organization’s bottom-line (by whatever amount) is your greatest life achievement – the adcom might wonder about your values or whether you really have a life. Although, if you can say that at work you saved jobs or lessened negative environmental impacts or were instrumental in developing a new medical advancement, that would be more substantial and could possibly fit the bill.

For many people, this story will be personal – I think of clients who have persevered through, managed, and overcome major family crises. For others, it will involve impact with community, religious, and/or social organizations or groups; for yet others it could involve a major milestone such as a national sports ranking or photo exhibit or music performance.

Whatever topic you select, with only 250 words, simply narrate the story and include the results or impact. It would be fine to have a sentence or two of reflection on why it’s so meaningful to you, but don’t make a long explanation. The reason should be clear from the content.

HEC MBA Essay #3
Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words maximum)

Again, keep the structure simple: tell the story, and end with a brief discussion of how the experience has influenced you. Don’t feel the need to present a very dramatic story – many such situations are gray, not black and white. It may seem like a challenge to identify an experience that encompasses both leadership and ethics. However, addressing an ethics challenge will almost inherently require leadership (even if informal), whether on your part or someone else’s. When you explain how it influenced you, don’t just state generalities; give a specific example.

HEC MBA Essay #4
Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words maximum)

This essay is an opportunity to show a different side of yourself. Describe an imagined life that reflects something meaningful to you. Make it vivid, show your passion. Note that the question does NOT ask what you would do if not in your current life/role; it asks you to imagine a life. Use that openness to express your creativity. In doing so, however, avoid being abstract. Weave in and employ your actual knowledge and experience, e.g., if you love ballet and are an avid ballet-goer, you could build your imagined life in a way that portrays your knowledge of and passion for dance. The reader would learn something interesting about you – and your prospective contribution to the social milieu of the program.

HEC MBA Essay #5
Please choose from one of the following essays: (250 words maximum)

a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?

b) Certain books, movies or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyse it.

c) What figure do you most admire and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc.).

All these options are equally good – choose the one that resonates most with you; the one that you want to answer. It’s another opportunity to showcase your interests and passions. The “why” part is key: avoid platitudes, be specific and present focused, fresh insights.

HEC MBA Essay #6
Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?(900 words max)

This question invites you to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender, a bad grade, etc.) as well as to present new material that will enhance your application. If you choose to do the latter, make sure it’s a point that contributes to a clear and full picture of your candidacy. They give you a lot of words to work with; don’t think that you must use all 900!

For expert guidance with your HEC Paris MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too!

HEC Paris 2019-20 MBA Application Deadlines:
HEC MBA admissions process is on a rolling basis throughout the year. Five weeks after the application deadline, you will know if you are admitted to the program. Next deadline: April 1, 2019.

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

Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 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 to writing about your MBA goals

How to Edit Your MBA Goals Essay

• How to Choose X Number of Essay Questions to Answer from Y Number of Choices

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Top 10 or Bust: Dispelling 2 MBA Myths [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Top 10 or Bust: Dispelling 2 MBA Myths

Here are two comments that I get all the time from applicants – two related MBA myths that absolutely require busting:

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

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

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

Applying to Schools Outside the Top 10
Schools inside and outside the Top 10 vary in terms of their approach to management education and their strengths. Some schools outside the Top 10 may be excellent for a given specialty. For example, Smeal and Broad are generally not in any overall Top 10 ranking. However, both programs are in the U.S. News top five for supply chain management and logistics, and Broad is #1. They may be excellent choices if that’s your interest. Babson is renowned for teaching entrepreneurship; it is usually in the bottom half of the top 100 overall. For those specialties, these schools may be better programs than programs ranked overall in the Top 10.

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

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

  • How much are you making currently? (That will determine your opportunity cost if you are considering a full-time program.)
  • What is the cost of attendance? That is your out-of-pocket cost of going to business school. I wouldn’t include housing and food because you will have those expenses regardless or whether you go to b-school or not.
  • What is the typical salary of MBA grads from your target program who found a job in your area of interest? (Overall school averages are much less worthwhile.)
  • Is there a non-financial benefit that you seek in addition to classic financial ROI? (Moving into a job you will enjoy, for example.)
While it is true that average salaries at different schools tend to decline as you go down the rankings, for the overwhelming majority of MBAs, ROI is positive and MBA alumni satisfaction per GMAC surveys is overwhelmingly high despite two recessions in the last 15 years. And that data includes survey responses from non-Top 10 schools.

Compare your anticipated benefit and cost to determine if pays for you to earn an MBA from the programs that have admitted you or that you are considering applying to.

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

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

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

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

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

• Are You a Competitive Applicant at Your Dream School?, check out Accepted’s MBA Selectivity Index

3 Ways to Determine Which B-Schools Are a Good Fit for You

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7 Tips to Jumpstart Your 2019 MBA Mission – Ready, Set, Go! [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: 7 Tips to Jumpstart Your 2019 MBA Mission – Ready, Set, Go!

It’s not even spring yet. So why are we nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep?

It’s not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed, but also becausethere is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, sometimes on the margins, but in this case, margins matter). Also, preparing now will enable you to apply to more programs earlier, and therefore to adjust your strategy for Round 2 if necessary.

So, what should you be doing NOW?

  • Prepare and take the GMAT.
    I’ve seen too many people leave the GMAT till late summer or early fall, get a lower score than they expect, and then have to recalculate their plans. If you don’t have a GMAT score yet, NOW is the time to prepare for and take the GMAT, ideally by the end of spring. Then, if your score isn’t realistic for your schools of choice, you will still have time to retake the test, reconsider your target schools, or both. And you will have it behind you when you focus on the applications.

  • Start your school research.
    It’s best to visit schools when classes are in session. So now is the ideal time to research schools for your preliminary list. You can flip through the tips in Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One to help walk you through this process. This will also get you thinking about your profile strategically.

  • Evaluate your academic record.
    Is your academic record a potential weakness? There is still time (though not much) to take a relevant course or two, complete it, and report an A or two to the adcom as evidence of your ability to excel academically.

  • Sort out your recommendations.
    Not sure whom to ask for recommendations? Sort it out now, while there’s time to weigh the pros and cons of various options, to possibly broach the issue (directly or indirectly) with people, and adapt as needed. If you already know who you’ll ask, then now is the time to enhance your positive visibility to them so they can’t help but write a scintillating letter.

  • Develop your leadership skills and experiences.
    You can improve – deepen, broaden, refine – your leadership NOW and every day before your application. Whether or not you have a formal leadership role, you can always find ways to exercise informal leadership. And you can’t have too much leadership in an MBA application. If there isn’t space to write about it in essays, portray it in your resume.

  • Refine your goals.
    Naturally, since you’re planning to apply for an MBA, you know what your goals are. But what are you going to say about them of interest? How are you going to describe your planned industry, company, function? Read books, journals, and company reports, not just the WSJ. And do informational interviews (use your undergrad alumni network). An interview needn’t be longer than 10 minutes with two good questions to be illuminating! Interesting, informed perspective on your goals will make your essay jump out from the sea of merely competent essays. But do this research NOW, to digest and integrate it well.

  • Get started on your resume.
    Now is also the perfect time to prepare or adapt your resume for business school. You can get it at least 95% done, and adjust as needed for any new developments later. This way, if you have a chance to visit or school or meet with an adcom member earlier than you planned, you’re ready.

Six months and counting to Round 1 deadlines…you can do it!

Now is also the perfect time to start working on your applications with your own personal consultant. Check out our MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and get matched with an expert advisor who will help you get ACCEPTED.

Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 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:

• MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply, a free guide

MBA Applicants: How to Get Accepted in 2019-20

How Do You Show Demonstrated Interest to MBA Programs?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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HEC Paris MBA: Excellence, Diversity, and Community [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: HEC Paris MBA: Excellence, Diversity, and Community

Interview with Dr. Andrea Masini, Associate Dean at the HEC Paris MBA Program [Show Summary]
HEC Paris’s MBA program has a class that is comprised of 90+% international students. If you are interested in an MBA with a strong focus on diversity, the HEC Paris program might be for you! Dr. Andrea Masini, Associate Dean in charge of the HEC MBA Program, provides an excellent overview of HEC’s MBA program and its admission policies. The podcast shows that HEC is an MBA program with a global and innovative focus and commitment to developing business leaders around the world on a campus that values diversity and community.

HEC Paris: All About the MBA Program and How to Get Accepted [Show Notes]
Dr. Andrea Masini has been the Associate Dean in charge of the HEC MBA Program for the last three years. He is also an Associate Professor of Operations Management at HEC since 2010. He earned his PhD in Management from INSEAD and prior to coming to HEC was an Assistant Professor of Operations and Technology Management at London Business School. Dr. Masini’s research focus is in the operational and organizational impact of technology innovations, with a particular emphasis on information and communications technology, renewable energy technologies, and sustainability issues.

Dr. Masini, can you give us an overview of the HEC Paris MBA program? There may be listeners who aren’t that familiar with the program itself. [2:29]
We have a 16-month program, which we believe is the optimal length. The first eight months are composed of fundamentals of management, and the other eight months are customized with seven specializations dedicated to specific topics of management and dozens of elective courses. We also offer the possibility of doing projects with global partners in various locations around the world. It is a very comprehensive program and allows graduates to be credible talking to any subject matter expert, but also specialize for their professional needs.

What’s new at HEC Paris? [3:48]
We just went through a curriculum review and revamped it with greater attention to leadership and multicultural understanding. We have about 275 students, almost 60 nationalities, and are 90% international, so students are confronted by diversity on a constant basis and we want students to understand and value the diversity and manage and leverage it. We also have two new specializations (a specialization is a coherent set of eight electives dedicated to one topic) – Digital Innovation and Sustainable and Disruptive Innovation. These are important for recruiters but more so for participants, as more and more want to transform their career in a way that is meaningful with a digital and sustainable/social point of view.

How has HEC been affected by the recent turmoil in France, the Brexit situation, and the perception that the U.S. is less welcoming to foreign students than it used to be? [8:52]
The MBA program welcomes globalization, exchanges, and of course we are not pleased with the tensions we’ve observed. HEC has been growing double digits in application volume and class size-in the last 3-4 years. We had 200 students and now we are closer to 275. We are also seeing higher quality candidates. I wouldn’t say it is related to Brexit or the U.S. situation, at least not as the primary driver, but rather it has more to do with the HEC MBA being a better program with greater visibility, a stronger alumni network, and greater corporate outreach. Recent events in France have not affected the demand, and we view them more as an opportunity to reflect on how we can contribute to create a more just society, and we make sure graduates develop skills and competencies to be better leaders.

HEC prides itself on producing CEOs and residents of C-suites in general as well as entrepreneurs. How does it prepare its students for leadership roles? [13:19]
Some people think leadership can’t be taught, that it is part of your DNA. We think it can be a combination. We have a number of programs here that teach the fundamentals of leadership from a theoretical point of view, and then we have hands on experiences that challenge leadership ability. An example is an activity we do with a French military school which is the equivalent of West Point. It is a two-day seminar where participants are taken outside of their comfort zone and given individual and group challenges. Students are organized in groups of 10 and go through 10 different exercises, with each member having one time they are the leader, and the rest being led. Examples of activities are handling a crisis, rescuing someone from somewhere dangerous, or building a bridge, and they come to better understand attributes leaders should have and how difficult it can be to be led in certain situations.

A concrete example of this kind of activity is when a group had to build a bridge – it was a cold day, early in the morning, in the forest, and the leader of the group was a very self-confident alpha male. He had an idea about a solution, pushed everyone toward that solution, and it didn’t work. He had a teammate, a shy Asian woman who had the actual solution which she suggested three times but was completely ignored. At the end of the exercise the coach debriefed with the team and said to the leader, “You are overplaying your strength – you are very charismatic leader willing to lead by example, but by doing that you are not listening to your teammates.” To the Asian woman the coach said, “You were not able to have your idea understood or heard due to your shyness, so you can’t be an effective leader, either.” This was extremely helpful feedback for all participants. We also have student-led activities. A team of 25 students organizes an MBA sports tournament for MBA students coming from all over the world. It is a half million dollar project and run by our participants with the help of professors as coaches, helping the team function well. We have lots of opportunities like that. It is a combination of understanding fundamentals and applying them in a learning-by-doing environment.

I read recently that HEC has expanded its recruiting and outreach to Africa. Can you dive into that initiative a bit? [19:18]
We just opened a new office in the Ivory Coast, and we run communications for the west coast there but also promote the school and brand in the entire African continent. We have a lot of visibility in Africa, and it is a priority for our school.

HEC has an unusually high-touch and fast application process, promising a response in 5 weeks from submission of an application. Can you review the process? Is its efficiency a reflection of your operations background? [20:40]
I like to think it is a reflection of the quality of our team and the fact that we care about our candidates and value their time. We keep the program strategically small because we like to be able to have personal interactions with applicants. We also know applicants want to know fast so they can look at other opportunities if they need to. We rely on our alumni to really make that speed happen. Once all the requirements of the application are ready we have a pre-selection jury. If you pass that threshold you will have two interviews with alumni, and once we receive the recommendations from alums they are discussed in a final selection committee. This process wouldn’t work as efficiently if alumni didn’t help us.

What gets HEC excited (in a positive way) about an applicant? [22:45]
The little spark in the eyes of the applicant. We certainly look for candidates that will make the class better off as a result of being in it. We want applicants who have a professional plan, a mission to work hard, are open to diversity, candidates with international experience, who are willing to learn, and get out of their comfort zone. The usual criteria also apply – outstanding academic and professional background.

When someone tells me that he or she is interested in international marketing or luxury goods, I immediately think of HEC. What does HEC offer the prospective applicant interested in luxury good marketing or strategy? [24:22]
We offer an add-on to the MBA program, which is a certificate in the luxury and customer experience, so students have access to courses and training in luxury but also access to companies that are based here. We expect students that participate in this area to have the ability to join luxury goods companies in strategic roles and to understand it is not enough to just have a nice product. Our students get to enjoy campus visits from companies like LVMH and take trips to other countries in Europe, Italy for example, to further study luxury goods.

What else should make me think of HEC Paris? [26:10]
The core values of the school. One is excellence – academic and process excellence is in our DNA. Second is diversity – we are one of the most international programs in the world, if not the most international. Third is we are a school where a sense of community and belonging is very important. An example of this is that we have 58K alumni, and they have a get together in 55 countries on the same day as a global celebration of the MBA.

What’s something really cool that an HEC alum is doing? [27:33]
One strength of the program is we have huge diversity, so I don’t want to focus on just one alum. We have a specialization in entrepreneurship where students can work with nearby research scientists. One student decided to start a company using nanotechnology to improve roads, and it is doing really well. Another has a medical background and is producing medical imaging equipment. Another alum is working on a system to reduce back pain. We have another who left Google to become the marketing director of Netflix in the Netherlands.

Do you have any advice for people considering the program? What should they be thinking about? [32:11]
I would ask yourself why you need an MBA, and whether it is really something for you and for what purpose. Second,is HEC Paris the right school for you and are you the right person for HEC Paris? Also ask yourself if you value diversity, have a mindset open to sharing and collaborative work and excellence at the very top, and what you can bring to your classmates. It is a question we often ask: Why should we be interested in you? What is different about you? If you tick all those boxes, you should consider applying.

What’s coming down the pike at HEC Paris? Increases in classroom size? Additional satellite locations similar to the Ivory Coast office? [34:49]
Technological innovation at large. Online education is our top priority, and we are leveraging technology. However our program remains residential with a little online content and blended courses that give an additional level of flexibility to participants. We will take advantage of the new chairs being developed; one is on Purposeful Leadership where our participants have to achieve goals, but they also have to find a certain meaning in what they do. We have recently signed an agreement with a polytechnic university to develop common initiatives around business and technology innovation, which we are excited about.

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18 Do’s And Don’ts For Your Application Resume [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: 18 Do’s And Don’ts For Your Application Resume

Your application resume is usually the first opportunity admissions readers have to get to know you, your experience, and your skills. Because of the number of other application components they need to review (both yours and those belonging to the thousands of other applicants), most adcom readers will only give your resume a quick 15-second glance before moving on to the next thing on their checklist. Not only do you have to make a great first impression – you have to do it fast!

Fortunately, there are many ways to craft an application resume that strategically highlights your skills and makes you and your qualifications stand out from the crowd. The following do’s and don’ts will help you develop a dynamic, powerful resume that will enable you to sail through the adcom’s initial 15-second screening process and earn your outstanding qualifications the closer look they deserve.

9 Application Resume Do’s
Make sure that your application resume follows these 9 tips:

  • Place your strongest material in the 2-inch visual space that begins about 2 5/8 inches from the top of your resume.
    Make sure you include your most impressive, impactful achievements and qualifications in this “primetime” space. It’s where the reader’s eyes will focus first.

  • Use a professional profile or qualifications section in your resume’s primetime space.
    This will give the adcom readers a quick but concrete capsule of your achievements and skills. Write this section when the rest of your resume is complete and you’ve already decided what your strongest qualifications are.

  • Give the most weight to your most recent professional position.
    The section of the resume for your most recent position should contain more bulleted accomplishments than your previous positions. For each position, rank the accomplishments in order of decreasing relevance to the employer you are targeting.

  • Quantify your impact on the organizations you have worked for.
    If you reduced expenses, say by how much or by what percentage. If you supervised a project, say how many were on your team. Always ask yourself how you helped the organization, and insert the numbers that demonstrate that impact.

  • Pay as much attention to your resume’s design as you do to its content.
    Use bullets or other appropriate symbols, insert rules (horizontal lines) to separate major sections, and use a 10-to-12-point conservative typeface for the body text of the resume. Aim for 1-inch side margins and slightly smaller top and bottom margins. (If your target school specifies these guidelines, make sure you adhere to their specific requests.)

  • Include publications, patents, presentations, honors, relevant volunteer experiences, and professional licenses or certifications in your resume.
    These “extras” can sometimes be the factor that piques their attention and makes them eager to read the other components of your application. (If you’re applying for certain degrees – such as any research degree – your publications and research experiences are not “extras” at all, but a key part of the document.)

  • Edit and proofread mercilessly.
    Edit your resume to reduce fluff and make every word count. Set your resume aside for a few days and then come back to it again with “fresh eyes.” Misspelled words and grammatical mistakes are the proverbial kiss of death in a resume. Eliminate them.

  • Place your education after your experience.
    Do this if you’ve been in the workforce for more than five years. If the degree you earned is the most relevant or impressive detail of your education section, highlight it. If the school you attended is the selling point, emphasize it.

  • Use a two-page resume if appropriate.
    Two-page resumes are fine (and in some cases, preferable) if you’ve been in the workforce for about ten years or more or have particularly impressive work experience. Depending on your field and the degree you’re targeting, you may have a longer CV with a detailed list of publications, etc. (Once again, if your target school puts a limit on the page count, go by their rules, not ours.)

9 Application Resume Don’ts
Here are 9 things you should absolutely NOT do in your resume:

  • Don’t make things up!
    This includes inflating your accomplishments, level of responsibility, or skills.

  • Don’t confuse your resume with your autobiography.
    While there are many pieces of information that your resume must have, its primary purpose is to focus on the aspects of your life and career that address the employer’s needs. You’ll have the rest of your application to highlight your life’s most important stories.

  • Don’t use pronouns (“I”) or articles (“a” or “the”).
    They detract from the force of your accomplishments, slow down the reader, and take up precious space.

  • Don’t provide personal data.
    Marital status, date of birth, height/weight, and similar non-work-related information can be used to illegally discriminate against applicants, and they rarely add anything of value to your qualifications.

  • Don’t repeat the same action words throughout the resume.
    Instead of using the verb developed or led over and over, pull out your thesaurus and mix in terms like accelerated, delivered, directed, established, initiated, or reengineered.

  • Don’t leave out dates.
    Even if you choose the functional resume format to minimize frequent job changes or lack of experience, include your dates of employment somewhere on your resume (usually at the end).

  • Don’t use more detail than you need to convey your accomplishments.
    Dense, paragraph-sized bullet points make for tough reading. A good rule of thumb is to limit each bullet to one to two lines of text with three to five accomplishments for each position.

  • Don’t use clichés like dynamic or self-starting.
    Let the details of your resume convince the adcom reader that you have these qualities.

  • Don’t make your resume a list of your job duties.
    Instead, make it a list of your accomplishments! Weave your job responsibilities into your descriptions of your accomplishments.

Do you need help putting together a stand-out resume? Or do you have a professional resume and need help transforming it into one suitable to send in with your application? Browse our Admissions Resume Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you create a resume that will get you noticed by the adcom at your target graduate program.


Related Resources:

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

• 6 Fatal Resume Flaws to Avoid

How to Write the Qualifications Summary for Your Resume

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

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FROM Blog: U.S. News Releases 2020 MBA Rankings

Many students apply to grad school believing that another degree will improve their professional options and salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s employment forecast published in the summer of 2018, they may be right. The BLS forecast the jobs in master’s-level professions would rise by close to 17% between 2016-2026, and jobs in doctorate-level and professional-level occupations would go up by approximately 13%.

If you’re thinking about applying to b-school, using the data in the U.S. News 2020 MBA rankings may be a good place to start your research and get an idea of your competitiveness for your target programs.

U.S. News 2020 MBA ranking methodology
U.S. News bases its MBA ranking on expert judgements about program excellence and statistical information that attempts to measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students. Peer assessment data was garnered from deans, program directors, and senior faculty. They were requested to evaluate the quality of programs in their field on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being marginal and 5 being outstanding. This year, U.S. News added the GRE analytical writing score into both the full-time and part-time MBA ranking methodologies. Prior to this ranking, only the GRE quantitative and verbal scores were utilized.

U.S. News MBA rankings: Top 20 full-time business schools

2020 RankSchool2019 RankCity, State  

1University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)3Philadelphia, PA

2Stanford University4Stanford, CA

3Harvard University1Boston, MA

3Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)5Cambridge, MA

3University of Chicago (Booth)1Chicago, IL

6Columbia University9New York, NY

6Northwestern University (Kellogg)6Evanston, IL

6University of California - Berkeley (Haas)7Berkeley, CA

9Yale University11New Haven, CT

10Duke University (Fuqua)11Durham, NC

10University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Ross)7Ann Arbor, MI

12Dartmouth College (Tuck)10Hanover, NH

12New York University (Stern)13New York, NY

12University of Virginia (Darden)13Charlottesville, VA

15Cornell University (Johnson)15Ithaca, NY

16University of California - Los Angeles (Anderson)16Los Angeles, CA

17Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)17Pittsburgh, PA

17University of Southern California (Marshall)20Los Angeles, CA

19University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)19Chapel Hill, NC

19University of Texas - Austin (McCombs)17Austin, TX

U.S. News MBA rankings: Top 20 part-time business schools

RankSchoolCity, State

1University of Chicago (Booth)Chicago, IL

2University of California - Berkeley (Haas)Berkeley, CA

3Northwestern University (Kellogg)Evanston, IL

4New York University (Stern)New York, NY

5University of California - Los Angeles (Anderson)Los Angeles, CA

6University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Ross)Ann Arbor, MI

7University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Carlson)Minneapolis, MN

8University of Texas - Austin (McCombs)Austin, TX

9Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)Pittsburgh, PA

9Emory University (Goizueta)Atlanta, GA

9Indiana University (Kelley)Bloomington, IN

12Georgetown University (McDonough)Washington, DC

12University of Washington (Foster)Seattle, WA

14Ohio State University (Fisher)Columbus, OH

14University of Southern California (Marshall)Los Angeles, CA

14Virginia Tech (Pamplin)Blacksburg, VA

17Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller)Atlanta, GA

17Rice University (Jones)Houston, TX

17University of Massachusetts - Amherst (Isenberg)Amherst, MA

17University of Texas - DallasRichardson, TX

Get accepted to your dream school
Looking for more information on how to use these rankings to determine the best MBA programs for you to apply to? Need advice on how to measure your competitiveness relative to other applicants at your target schools?

Get in touch – our expert advisors are ready to guide your through the business school admissions process from start to finish. View our MBA Application Services for more information on how we can help you get ACCEPTED.

Related Resources:

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

• Top 10 or Bust: Dispelling 2 MBA Myths

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

Tags: MBA Admissions

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The College Admission Scandal [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: The College Admission Scandal

Like most people, I am outraged by the college admissions scandal. As the parent of five adult children and as an admissions consultant for approximately 25 years, I view the alleged behavior of the parties accused in Operation Varsity Blues as shameful and repulsive.

Although I have not played a role in writing this statement, I’d like to share and endorse the response of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, which I co-founded and where I served as first president several years ago.

The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) was established with the express purpose of setting high ethical standards in the graduate admissions consulting industry and applauds the U.S. Justice Department’s recent actions. Today, our membership consists of more than 200 members around the world who agree to our stated principles of good practice. These principles reflect the standards with which our members relate to their clients, graduate school applicants:

  • Serving their clients and prospective clients in an ethical manner, with professionalism and respect.
  • Insisting that clients write their own essays.
  • Advocating that clients’ recommenders write their own recommendations.
  • Avoiding any relationship that creates or appears to create a conflict of interest.
In order to become an AIGAC member, admissions consultancies must go through a rigorous membership application review that includes an intensive background check and approval by the AIGAC Board of Directors. In addition, a governance committee meets quarterly to reinforce members’ continued commitment to meeting the high standards laid out in the organization’s principles.

<< Click here to listen to the Admissions Straight Talk podcast:Interviews with admissions committee members at top schools, students, and alumni doing great things! >>

The Justice Department’s Operation Varsity Blues case is a reminder that the high-stakes admissions process is not just stressful, but can create opportunities for unethical players. AIGAC exists to provide support and professional development for those helping young people self-reflect through the admissions process and attain the right education in the right way. The current discussion around admissions practices—good and bad—creates an opportunity to provide greater clarity of the trustworthiness and distinguishing character traits of an AIGAC admissions consultant.

We, the leaders and member consultants of AIGAC, reaffirm our commitment to the high standards with which we serve our clients and prospective clients. AIGAC members are dedicated to demystifying the application process and helping applicants gain admission to schools that will enable them to realize sincere goals while upholding the integrity of the admissions process.

“Each year, the association receives membership applications from consultancies that we deny because the consultancy fails to meet our highest ethical standards,” says Brett Haber, president of AIGAC. “The recent admissions scandal demonstrates that not all self-described admissions consultants share high ideals. If someone promises you something that sounds too good to be true, for you or your child, then you should keep looking.”

I’d also like to quote Jason Gay, the Wall Street Journal’s sports columnist and father of young children, who wrote a scathing editorial when the scandal broke. The last few lines really sum up the key lesson for any parent, applicant, or admissions consultant.

“There isn’t a diploma in the world that’s more valuable than your integrity—and you can’t buy your integrity back. These may be old-fashioned, naïve notions, but I don’t care. This is what I’m telling my kids…”

It’s worth repeating, and remembering: “There isn’t a diploma in the world that’s more valuable than your integrity—and you can’t buy your integrity back.”

By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Want one of our admissions experts to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary, a free guide to writing outstanding application essays

• 16 Grad School Application Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, a podcast episode

•  Personal Statement Tip: Less is More

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

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