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MBA Admissions Consultant
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Harvard Kennedy School: An interview with Admissions Director Matt Cle [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Harvard Kennedy School: An interview with Admissions Director Matt Clemons



Interview with Matt Clemons, Director of Admissions for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government [Show Summary]
Matt Clemons is the Director of Admissions for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and he shares what the school is looking for in its applicants, what to expect while in the program, and some of the exciting things current students and alumni are doing to make an impact on society. If you are driven to solve the problems of public policy and society, take a closer look at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government: Everything You Need to Know [Show Notes]
It’s been almost three years since we last had on Admissions Straight Talk, Matt Clemons, Director of Admission, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Matt entered the admissions field at Manhattan School of Music and subsequently served for five years as Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He joined HKS in 2011 as Director of Admissions and has been there for the last roughly eight years.

Can you please give an overview of the HKS MPP program for those listeners who may not be so familiar with it? [2:10]
The MPP can be framed against MBA and JD programs, in that they all are teaching you to engage in professional issues. The MPP is teaching a skillset to help people solve problems, and is not traditionally academic (being concerned with theory and research), rather learning those skills to solve problems. In many ways the program is similar to business school – you learn negotiations, management, quant analysis, leadership, persuasion, communications, etc. – but the case studies, internships, and work people engage in will focus on how public policy impacts peoples’ lives, in the private, non for profit or government sectors.

How do the MPP, the Masters of Public Administration, and the MPAID (MPA Int’l Dev) differ? [3:31]
One of the things policy schools didn’t do is come up with one acronym used across the industry like business schools did with the MBA. I don’t want people to get confused across acronyms, but the MPAID program takes quant analysis to a deeper level, specifically to help figure out how developing economies can be managed in a way to integrate them into the global economy. Graduates tend to work for multilateral organizations like the IFC, World Bank, or IMF. 75% of the students are outside of the US, and the program is constructed with that in mind. It has uniquely rigorous quant – the first year is similar to what a first year Ph.D. in economics would be studying.

The MPA is typically for people who have either already been to graduate school or been admitted to a partner school. Since students are pursuing a concurrent or dual business degree, many go on to careers in the private sector to figure out how businesses can have a positive influence on society.

What is the Mason Program or cohort in the Mid-Career MPA? [6:30]
The Mid-Career MPA is a one-year program for individuals in developed economies. The Mason Program has essentially the same curriculum, but is for people from developing economies. The Mason Program students spend an extra two weeks on campus at the beginning in sort of a boot camp, as many may not have studied in an environment like HKS before, but the only real difference in programs is citizenship.

What is the difference between joint, concurrent, and dual degree options? HKS offers all 3. [7:30]
The joint degree programs are only within Harvard (with the business school and law school), and the faculty from both schools have gotten together and decided on what they want students to engage in – a particular set of courses/requirements/schedule.

There is no difference between the concurrent and dual degrees, but they are flexible, less-organized and the other program is outside of Harvard – for example, MIT Sloan is just down the street. There is no particular set of courses that faculty have come up with in advance. Essentially faculty from the two schools will work together to put together course requirements.

All three degree programs require one less year of enrollment than if the programs were done separately, so going from 5 to 4 years for the JD program, and 4 to 3 for business school.

There is no joint or concurrent admissions process. Students will have to apply to each school separately. If they are not admitted to the other school but are admitted to Kennedy they are welcome to start in our program and then reapply to the other school that next year, but everything is handled separately.

What percentage of students take advantage of these 2-degree options? [12:51]
It’s about 20% of our two-year students, so a healthy percentage.

What’s changed at HKS in the last 3 years? [13:04]
There is a very strong emphasis on social innovation, and we started a social innovation lab which now has a fellowship program to fund students who want to start an enterprise, so not offering traditional financial aid but really funding to start the enterprise going. They also receive assistance from faculty and alumni. Digital HKS is our foray into ensuring policy makers are up to date with what’s going on with technology. Business is out to disrupt and government is typically playing catch up. We are hiring faculty and trying to attract students with backgrounds in technology, engineering, and computer science to figure out what technology means for public policy. For example, one big issue is autonomous vehicle policy – we need people with an understanding of that technology to figure out implications for society.

What is something really cool that a recent HKS grad is doing? [14:52]
Some alums started Turbo Vote, which is trying to solve the problem of when people are separated from their locale (from Los Angeles but going to school in Boston, for example) and finding it difficult to sign up to vote. Another example is one a current student is involved in. George Clemment started Just Fix NYC before coming to HKS. It is an app people can use to report issues with landlords and neglected living conditions. He is now looking to take the program to other cities. He entered into the President’s Innovation Competition (each year the president of Harvard gives $500,000 to students who want to solve sticky public problems) and he got a check for $75K.

What are you looking for in applicants across all your degree programs? [16:50]
There are two questions the adcom wants to have answered:

  • Can you learn what we teach? So you need to have fluency in numbers, there is lots of reading, and you need writing skills.
  • Do you fit the DNA of what The Kennedy School is about, which overall is leadership and service. Have you engaged in things that have developed your leadership skills, have you engaged in something larger than yourself – being involved in an election, spending some time in a nonprofit, for example.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to make a career switch? [18:30]
You can be very successful in your career and have a transferrable skill set. For example there was an investment banker who said, “I have been spending my career helping people who have money make more money, and want to transfer that to helping people without money.” There was another with a career in consulting and marketing who wanted to transition to the public sector. She ended up with an internship with the mayor’s office here in Boston and started “City Hall to Go” – she transitioned a police van into a mobile government office. We are looking for people who are creative, and looking to apply their skills in new ways, to say it and back it up with involvement we can see through their resume and letters of recommendation.

What are you looking for in terms of academic experience, work experience, and other kinds of experience? [20:34]
The work experience doesn’t really make a determination one way or the other, it is more the story of the work experience. For the academic portion we look at the transcript, test performance, and professional development. Again, it’s can they learn what we teach – they don’t have to be a brilliant academic. It is really the story – all elements are puzzle pieces.

What gets you excited about an applicant? [23:29]
I’d say leadership development makes one stand out. Someone who has taken initiative, risks, is creative, and has put themselves in a place that challenges them to develop those skills. We are also looking for what they will be able to contribute, as there is lots of group work. We also want them to be good consumers while here, so the more work experience, the more exposure, the more quickly they identify courses, extracurriculars, etc., that will align with their long term career ambitions. One complaint from alumni is that the program goes by so fast. They hit the ground running while here, and being already engaged is good.

What is a turn off? [24:59]
I would say the word contrived – if something in an essay could have been taken from our website, that’s a big turn off. The admissions committee is very familiar with The Kennedy School. What we are looking for is info about the applicant and how their passion, previous background, and other things relates to them wanting to be here. Being trite, or listing things we are familiar with is worthless. Another pet peeve is people who quote people in their essays – we want to hear from the applicant!

Any plans to change the essays this year? [27:16]
We have no plans to change them. We will be adding a biographical prompt for the MPP. We experimented with this last year with the MPA program. With people coming in sometimes with decades of experience across so many different industries/background, it can be jarring reading resumes from an admissions perspective when people are so different, and there is acronym soup. We added something essentially to summarize their professional development. Nothing deeply psychological, just an opportunity to address their professional trajectory before we see the resume to give some context.

HKS required 3 recommendations. That’s a one more than most masters programs. Why? [28:44]
We are looking for a 360 degree view with the LOR. So what is recommender A going to say that is different from B and C? There will be overlapping themes for sure, but we encourage people to think about what each recommender is going to say and how that will differ. The two categories people think of typically with recommendations are academic and professional, but recs don’t have to come exclusively from someone who has graded you or does your performance review. I inherited the three letters when I started here, and the adcom has not advocated for any change. It is useful from that perspective.

Your brochure says that interviews at HKS are not required, but that the admission committee may “contact applicants on a case-by-case basis.” When would you contact an applicant? Would that contact become an interview or would it be more like to ask for clarification about something in the app? [30:28]
It could be for clarification, but the most common reason we contact applicants is to verify English language ability. Maybe they took a lot of English classes in college but the TOEFL score is low. Sometimes there are complaints about the microphone or something like that, but obviously we need to make sure students can operate successfully in an English language environment.

If someone is planning to apply this cycle, what advice would you have at this point in time? [32:19]
Following the admissions blog is a good piece of advice – we have student stories, alum stories, and application advice. Visiting campus would also be great. Virtual information sessions are available as well. There is no mystical thing that will make them a better applicant other than to take advantage of all the resources. We also lead information sessions across the US and around the world.

What would you have liked me to ask you? [33:47]
Money! We do have a pretty sizable financial aid budget, so don’t be scared by the sticker price. Over half the students attending are receiving some form of aid. Another healthy percentage are receiving sponsorship. There are two months to apply for financial aid after submitting the application, there are fellowships and so forth, so don’t let cost scare you away from considering the school.



Related Links:

Harvard Kennedy School of Government

HKS Admissions Blog

HKS Application Essay Tips

Accepted’s Admissions Consulting Services

Related Shows:

Harvard Kennedy School – Where the Bottom Line is Making a Difference to Society

All About the IELTS

All About the Grenoble DBA

Awards! Grants! Scholarships! Oh My!

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

The post Harvard Kennedy School: An Interview with Admissions Director Matt Clemons [Episode 320] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Heads Up: Price Increase Ahead! [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Heads Up: Price Increase Ahead!



We wanted to give you a head’s up that we’ll be increasing our prices August 1, which means that you have until Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:59pm PT to lock in a service at our current rate. Browse our catalog of services today to get an early start on your applications and to take advantage of our pre-increase rates!

Sure, you could go through the application process alone, but when you sign up with Accepted you will confidently:

  • Move forward with your applications. Starting ASAP on your grad school or college applications means less stress, less rushing, and fewer careless mistakes. Don’t forget – the early bird gets the worm!
  • Access years of professional experience. Our admissions consultants have years of admissions consulting experience that will give you wide-ranging perspective and new insights into the application process – from helping you choose where to apply, to building a strong application strategy, to advising you on scholarships and how to pay for school. And your consultant will apply that knowledge and insight to your specific situation.
  • Get peace of mind. Our consultants work hard to accommodate your busy schedule. Your consultant will return your essay drafts within two business days, and respond to calls and emails as quickly as possible. By taking the proactive step of engaging Accepted to help make your b-school dreams a reality, you’ll receive a healthy boost of confidence that you are putting your best foot forward.


Apply with an admissions pro on your side –purchase an Accepted service before Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:59pm PT, and get the help you need on your applications, all while taking advantage of our pre-increase prices!


For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top undergraduate and graduate programs. Our expert team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, PhDs, and professional writers who have advised clients to acceptance at top programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, INSEAD, MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Northwestern.
Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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

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Want to Study Data Analytics But Don’t Have Relevant Experience or a Q [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Want to Study Data Analytics But Don’t Have Relevant Experience or a Quantitative Degree?



In my experience guiding applicants to data and business analytics programs, I have often encountered applicants who really want to get into data but have little to no experience in the field. Others might have some experience, but lack the quantitative background that is preferred for these programs. If you are in such a position, do you still have any chance to attend a data-oriented program?

Absolutely. However, you need to acquire the experience and exposure you currently lack, transforming yourself into a compelling, competitive applicant.

Tips for gaining the experience you need for data analytics programs
Here are my tips for gaining data experience and academic background in the field:

  • Do an internship or volunteer work where you can get exposure to managing and analyzing large amounts of data. If you are already working, get involved in projects within your organization that will strengthen your data analysis skills. It’s not too late to do it, but the time to start is now.
  • Top up your academic credentials. If your undergraduate background does not lean towards quantitative fields, enroll in classes that are strong in quantitative content: statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and other advanced math subjects are ideal. If you already graduated, that doesn’t mean that you cannot take more classes now; those classes will still show up on a transcript. If you are still in college, try taking a couple of those classes before you graduate.
  • Enroll in computer language courses, such as R, Python, C++, Java, SQL, or similar. You can take these courses online and, given their relatively short duration, they can be completed in conjunction with other items included in this list.
  • At least one (preferably all) of your letters of recommendation should talk about your analytical ability. Ask at least one recommender to discuss your quantitative skills and experience.
  • Invest time and effort in scoring high on the GRE or GMAT, giving particular emphasis to the quant section.
The importance of demonstrating your commitment
I have had many clients who have successfully secured admission at a top data analytics program without holding a STEM or other quant undergraduate degree. Many others have gained admission to these programs without relevant experience. Their secret? Demonstrating through concrete actions that their commitment to the field goes above and beyond words.

Your best course of action is to prepare your analytical toolkit with courses, projects, and paid or unpaid work relevant to the field of data analysis. All this will showcase your comfort in handling data, your commitment to the field, your academic potential, and your technical and analytical skills.

Do you need help creating an application strategy that will position you for admissions success at a graduate data or business analytics program? Do you need assistance in crafting a personal statement that highlights your strengths, experience, and dedication to the field? Explore our Graduate School Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you GET ACCEPTED.




Esmeralda Cardenal is a Former Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. Since 2014, she has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs including MBA and master's in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

NYU Stern’s New Online Master’s in Quantitative Management, a podcast episode

Data Analytics Master’s Programs: What Do They Want in Applicants?

The Rise of Master’s Programs in Data Analytics and Related Fields

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020] [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020]



This year’s MIT Sloan MBA application, like most MIT applications in the last fifteen years, includes its signature cover letter and resume. It also retains the video component, which was introduced approximately three years ago.

My tips for these parts of the MIT Sloan application are in blue below.

MIT Sloan MBA cover letter and resume
MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative – true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Assistant Deans of Admissions, Rod Garcia and Dawna Levenson. (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation)

MIT helpfully provides insight into what it’s looking for in the cover letter. Like all cover letters, this one is a marketing document. If you apply for a job, you research the firm to learn what it values and is seeking. Based on your research, you send your resume with a cover letter designed to make you as attractive to the company as possible, one that shows you have what the firm wants.

Similarly, your MIT Sloan cover letter should show that you have what MIT is looking for. Make your case for admission using your accomplishments, specifically those where you show the qualities mentioned above. How do the talents revealed in your examples demonstrate fit with the MIT Sloan program, its tight-knit community, and its innovative, culture of doers? Your resume should reveal above-average progression on the job and increasing responsibility, as well as the creativity and contribution that MIT Sloan requires.

In making your case and mentioning your accomplishments, highlight your role and the impact on the entities you contributed to. Those results are “your stamp on the world” so far.

Note: this is not an essay. Make sure your letter is formatted as a professional letter with a date, address, header, salutation, and close.

Please submit a one-page resume (Times New Roman 10-point font preferred) that includes your employment history and academic record in reverse chronological order. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged, including extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements. Please REDACT your name, address, and contact information. For formatting purposes, please list the information in the following order:

  • Education – please feel free to include relevant awards, scholarships, professional societies
  • Work Experience – please list in reverse chronological order and include: company name, title, results-oriented bullets that demonstrate your skill set, and dates.
  • Additional information – languages, extracurricular activities/community service, technical skills/certifications, special skills/interests (if appropriate)
For the MIT Sloan’s detailed resume formatting instructions, visit the MIT Sloan website.

In your resume, go beyond mere job descriptions to highlight achievement. If your title is “consultant,” saying that you “consulted on projects” is redundant and uninformative at best. Writing that you “Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Singapore with a budget of $X; it came in on time and under budget” conveys infinitely more.

Quantify your impact as much as possible. You want the reader to come away with a picture of you as an above average performer on a steep upward trajectory who has the hands-on, problem-solving focus that demonstrates you belong at MIT Sloan.

Applying to MIT Sloan? Listen to our podcast interview with the Director of Admissions:

All the Details About the Full-Time MIT Sloan MBA Program [Episode 241]

MIT Sloan MBA video statement
Please take a minute to introduce yourself to your future classmates via video. Include a bit on your past experience and why MIT Sloan is the best place for you to pursue your MBA. Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.

Upload the video file according to the detailed instructions within the application. We support the following file formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv.

Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.

The video statement was introduced at MIT Sloan about three years ago. Your goal here: deliver your statement with poise and presence. I suggest you outline a 60-second statement that you would use to introduce yourself to your classmates (not the admissions committee members; they’re just important flies on the wall who happen to be listening in).

Don’t be too casual; your classmates are your future professional network and social group, but do be friendly and remember to smile. What would you tell them about yourself? What would show that you are already a member of MIT’s community – you just don’t happen to pay tuition yet?

A few tips for the video part of this exercise: Practice in front of a webcam so that you get used to talking to a little lens that has no affect, feedback, or expression. Recording yourself on video is not the same as talking on Skype with another human being. I suggest you put a smiley face beneath or above the camera to remind you to smile at appropriate points in your statement. Then view your practice videos looking for poise and presence. During some of the practices, maybe have a friend present to encourage you, but also practice without anyone else in the room. We here at Accepted are happy to help you prepare too.

For the real statement, dress in business or business casual attire. If you’re not confident that your attire is appropriate, it probably isn’t; dress more conservatively. Make sure your location is quiet and that pets and children are in a location where they won’t be heard or disturb you. Make sure your background is neutral and not a distraction. Blank walls make a great background.

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

MIT Sloan application deadlines for August 2020 entry

Application Deadline
Decisions Released

 Round 1
October 1, 2019
December 18, 2019

 Round 2
January 21, 2020
March 31, 2020

 Round 3
April 9, 2020
May 7, 2020

Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. EST

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




By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

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

All the Details About the Full-Time MIT Sloan MBA Program, a podcast episode

Tips For MBA Video Essay Questions

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Wharton MBA Class Profile: Class of 2020 [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Wharton MBA Class Profile: Class of 2020



Let’s take a look at who makes up Wharton’s class of 2020

  • Applications received: 6,245 (last year: 6,692)
  • Students enrolled: 862 (last year: 863)
  • Women: 43% (last year: 44%)
  • U.S. students of color: 33% (same as last year)
  • Countries represented: 80 (last year: 65)
  • International students: 33% (same as last year)
  • Mean GMAT score: 732 (last year’s average: 730)
  • Mean work experience: 5 years (same as last year’s average)
  • Mean GRE Verbal: 153
  • Mean GRE Quant: 162
  • Mean GRE Writing: 4.6
  • Average undergraduate GPA: 3.6
Undergraduate majors
  • Humanities – 45%
  • STEM – 29%
  • Business – 26%
Pre-MBA industries

FIELDPERCENT

(last year in parentheses)

Consulting27% (26%)

Private Equity/Venture Capital13% (14%)

Technology/Internet Services10% (9%)

Nonprofit/Government9% (12%)

Diversified Financial Services8% (8%)

Investment Banking9% (8%)

Other6% (9%)

Healthcare5% (6%)

Investment Management5% (3%)

Energy2% (2%)

Consumer Packaged Goods/Retail2% (2%)

Media/Entertainment2% (1%)

Do you want to be counted among Wharton’s next crop of students? Come to our webinar, Get Accepted to Wharton Business School, to learn the steps you need to take to discover your competitive advantage and GET ACCEPTED!

For personalized assistance on your Wharton applications, check out Accepted’s MBA Admissions Services.




For 25 years, Accepted has helped business school applicants gain acceptance to top programs. Our outstanding team of MBA admissions consultants features former business school admissions directors and professional writers who have guided our clients to admission at top MBA, EMBA, and other graduate business programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD, London Business School, and many more. Want an MBA admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

2019-20 Wharton MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines

A Wharton-Lauder Student Chats About Management Leaders of Tomorrow and the Value of Time

Stanford MBA Class of 2020 Profile

Tags: MBA Admissions

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UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020] [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020]



Accepted’s B-School Selectivity Index shows that UCLA Anderson is 14th in selectivity and 16th in U.S. News’ ranking. Its average GMAT is 716, up one point from last year and the year before. However, the acceptance rate at Anderson has climbed a bit from 20.7% for the class that entered in 2016 to 22.3% for the class that entered in 2017 to 24.3% for the class that entered in 2018.

Now on to tips for the application itself, which requires a 500-word goals essay and a 300-word short answer.

In essence, the longer question is about how you intend to benefit professionally from an Anderson MBA and the short question asks how you will benefit the Anderson community: What will you get from and what will you give to Anderson -and I don’t mean donations as an alum?

The essay advice that UCLA Anderson provides on its website is excellent, not just for Anderson’s essays, but for most MBA essays. Read it carefully. Our advice is in blue below.

UCLA Anderson 2019-2020 MBA application
UCLA Anderson MBA essay question
Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)

Anderson gives you enough room to write a revealing response, but not a verbose one. Make sure this essay shows that you’re already a member of the Anderson community by virtue of your values and experience. You just haven’t yet paid tuition.

First think about Anderson’s motto: Share success. Think fearlessly. Drive change. Read the stories and posts that Anderson provides on each of those values. Watch the relevant videos. Think about the ways you can show that those values are your values while answering the question.

To respond to the question itself, what are you looking to gain from the Anderson MBA? How do you hope to grow? How will that growth prepare you to realize your professional goals? Focus on the elements of the Anderson program that are distinctive, if not unique, and most supportive of your dreams.

A great way to approach this essay would be to discuss an experience or anecdote that reveals you acting according to UCLA’s principles. Then connect that story to your goals and to UCLA Anderson’s program and your reasons for choosing its MBA program. Conclude by connecting relevant aspects of the Anderson MBA experience and program to the achievement of your short- and long-term goals.

Your particular story may benefit from a different order, and that’s fine. Just make sure that the reader can follow it and that you include the requested elements.

UCLA Anderson MBA short answer question
What are you passionate about and why? (300 words maximum)

I once had a client who was asked a similar question for an application. He responded “I feel passionately about child abuse. When I hear about incidents of child abuse my blood boils.”

I said “OK. Have you volunteered to help victims of child abuse in any way? Have you raised money to help them or to prosecute abusers or perhaps get abusers help?”

“No,” he replied, ” I haven’t done anything like that, but when I hear about it on the news, it really makes me angry.”

Bad answer. Your passion must translate into commitment and action or it seems shallow. And so do you.

If you love music, presumably you will either spend hours writing, playing or listening to it. If you are passionate about sports, that passion will be reflected in how you spend your time. If you are passionate about a cause or group, you will commit time to it.

Given the 300-word limit, don’t choose more than 1-3 things you are passionate about. I’d prefer 1-2. Describe your passions and how you came to feel so strongly about this activity or cause. If you choose to focus on more than one “area of passion,” see if you can tie the different commitments together with a common theme so that the essay is a coherent whole. Don’t force it if that doesn’t work.

UCLA Anderson MBA reapplicant question
(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years)

Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)

This is the key question in every MBA reapplication: How have you enhanced your candidacy? Career progress is an obvious place to start and something you must address, but if academics were a weakness, then what have you done since you last applied to show you can excel at Anderson? Finally, if your career goals have evolved since you last applied, discuss that evolution.

UCLA Anderson MBA optional question
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.

If there are extenuating circumstances that would add perspective or context for a weakness, you can discuss them here. A few years ago, UCLA added the following: “Please do not submit redundant information in the Optional Essay.” Good advice for all optional questions. For more suggestions, please see Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them.

For expert guidance with your UCLA Anderson 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 UCLA Anderson’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!

UCLA Anderson 2019-2020 MBA application deadlines

Application Deadline
Decisions Released

 Round 1
October 2, 2019

December 18, 2019

 Round 2
January 8, 2020

March 26, 2020

 Round 3
April 16, 2020

May 21, 2020

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




By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essay, a free guide

Why Does an MD Need an MBA? This UCLA MD/MBA Student Tells All, a podcast episode

• The B-School Selectivity Index: Discover the Schools Where You Are Competitive

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Georgetown McDonough MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020] [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Georgetown McDonough MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020]



Georgetown’s MBA application essay questions and video component remain the same as last year, with the exception of Essay Option #3. My advice is in blue below each of Georgetown’s prompts.

Georgetown McDonough 2019-2020 MBA application essays
We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

Our goal at Georgetown McDonough is to craft a diverse class with people who have had varying personal and professional life experiences. As such, we want to give our applicants the opportunity to select one essay (from a list of three) that allows them the ability to best highlight their experiences, characteristics, and values that showcase the value proposition that they can bring to the McDonough community. Please select one of the following three essays to complete in 500 words or less and include the essay prompt and your first/last name at the top of your submission.

The first issue you need to address is which question to respond to. All three prompts below ask you to use examples of either a specific challenging experience or a particular individual whom you view as a leader. The goal of your response is to allow the readers to see you as a distinctive contributor to the Georgetown McDonough community by showcasing how you have addressed one of these three experiences.

So which should you choose? Respond to the one that you will be able to write most easily and enthusiastically while complementing the material presented elsewhere in your MBA application.

As you’re choosing, review Georgetown’s mission and the influence of Jesuit values on the school. Then think about which of your experiences shows that you identify with those values and will contribute to Georgetown’s community.

Also realize that regardless of the option you choose, Georgetown is asking for one example and your reflection on that example. It is not asking for a general, lofty treatise on a topic with no example, and it’s not asking for multiple examples without analysis. It wants one example and a thoughtful response to its question(s) about that incident or individual.

Georgetown MBA essay #1
It can be said that life begins outside your comfort zone. Describe a situation when you were asked to lead outside of your comfort zone. What leadership characteristics did you exemplify in this situation that allowed you to succeed?

While I dislike the “comfort zone” cliche, Georgetown doesn’t apparently share my negative reaction. To address the prompt, discuss when you have led in an uncomfortable or new situation. When have you led and didn’t want to lead? Finally, as the question asks, what characteristics allowed you to succeed?

You could structure the essay by starting with the point of discomfort and the challenge you faced. Discuss how you resolved it, share the results or outcome, and conclude with the attributes you utilized to succeed.

Georgetown MBA essay #2
“Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be POWERED by. Failure is the high-octane fuel your life can run on. You’ve got to learn to make failure your fuel.” – Abby Wambach.

Describe a situation when failure has been your fuel. What was your failure (or when did you not succeed to your full potential), and how did you use this as motivation to move forward and be successful in a future situation?

I have a quote on my bulletin board (attributed to Will Rogers) that is good to keep in mind if you choose to write this essay: “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

This question is looking for resilience. When have you bounced back from failure or from a situation when you disappointed yourself? Describe the situation, what you didn’t do optimally, the outcome, and then a similar situation that you handled well because of the lessons learned from the first experience.

The resilience and ability to learn, adapt, and grow are what Georgetown is looking for.

Georgetown MBA essay #3
Think of the business leader or role model you admire or aspire to be. What are the defining characteristics of their personal brand that you see in yourself, why would you highlight those qualities, and how will those characteristics enrich the community at McDonough?

I think this is the hardest of the three prompts to answer, but if you know your personal brand and are comfortable responding to this one, go for it! Clearly, Georgetown values self-aware, thoughtful, purposeful individuals.

Take note that personal brand (AKA reputation) is not just ideals; it has to be reflected in your behavior. To take an extreme example, if someone espouses kindness but is cruel, their personal brand is one of cruelty. If one espouses activism and initiative, but is passive, their personal brand is one of passivity.

So if you want to present yourself with specific values, the behavior must match, or you don’t have the brand you claim. The essay readers will see the hollowness of your claims very quickly.

On the other hand, if you have a leader you admire and have lived your ideals as a leader, you will have the leader to write about, a clear personal brand, and be able to showcase the attributes. You will still need to discuss why those qualities are important and how you to intend to use them to benefit the Georgetown community.

Georgetown MBA essay #4 (Video essay)
We ask that you introduce yourself to your cohort in one minute or less. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

This is one of those questions when you are not supposed to think about the fact that your video is being watched by admissions people. Address your peers, your professional network to-be, and your future friends (i.e. your classmates). Assume that your peers have already read your resume; you certainly don’t want to bore them by telling them what they just read.

What would you want them to know about you?

Your future friends (and the adcom) are looking for more than just spreadsheet skills or professional mojo here, although those might creep in. Balance personal and professional. As Georgetown says, “bring life to your application” with this video. If you used the essay to discuss a professional experience, use the video essay to reveal something that is not work-related. If you used the essay for a personal example of resilience, then I still wouldn’t focus exclusively on work, because you are addressing your peers and classmates here.

Take the time to sketch out what you want to say in these 60 seconds. I don’t recommend that you write it out and memorize it, but definitely have a plan. And then practice, practice, practice.

It can be strange to speak to a camera. Since by its very nature the camera gives no feedback and has no reaction, you need to either practice by yourself and view the videos of your practices so that you improve, or ask an encouraging friend to film you so that at least you have your friend’s reactions to respond to. Another idea: ask a friend to have a video call with you, but your friend should turn off the camera so that your friend can see you, but you don’t see your friend. Then ask for feedback.

What is the Georgetown admissions committee looking for in this video? They are trying to imagine you as a member of their community. They also want to see how you present yourself without going to the trouble and expense of an interview. They want to assess your presence: how will you appear to a potential employer?

Georgetown MBA essay #5 (Optional)
Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Please see Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them.

Georgetown MBA essay #6 (Required for reapplicants)
How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

This is a key question (whether asked explicitly or not) for all reapplicants to any MBA program. What have you changed? How are you “new and improved” since your previous application when you were rejected? Georgetown does you the favor of providing this explicit prompt so you can address this question while retaining the ability to address the main essays.

For expert guidance with your Georgetown McDonough 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 Georgetown’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!

Georgetown MBA Application Deadlines for 2019-2020

Application Deadline

Round 1
September 30, 2019

Round 2
January 6, 2020

Round 3
March 24, 2020

Round 4
April 27, 2020

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




By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelors and MBA at UCLA, and has been advising applicants since 1994 when she founded Accepted. Linda is the co-founder and first president of AIGAC. She has written or co-authored 13 e-books on the admissions process, and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

• Leadership in Admissions, a free guide

From Rio to Georgetown: Trekking through the MBA Experience

An Overview of MBA Video Essays

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Are You Thinking About Applying to Wharton? [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Are You Thinking About Applying to Wharton?



We know there’s a lot of information out there for applicants – some of which is helpful, and some of which probably only increases your anxiety level.

We’re committed to providing clear, direct, actionable advice – advice that is built on our decades of admissions experience and that has been proven to help applicants get accepted to top programs like Wharton.

One way to take advantage of this expertise is with our free webinar, Get Accepted to Wharton.

Accepted founder Linda Abraham will share a proven strategic framework for your Wharton application, and help you understand what your application must accomplish.

There’s still time to register!

Don’t miss it. Thursday, July 25 at 1pm ET/10am PT and again at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

Register Now:


For 25 years, Accepted has helped business school applicants gain acceptance to top programs. Our outstanding team of MBA admissions consultants features former business school admissions directors and professional writers who have guided our clients to admission at top MBA, EMBA, and other graduate business programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD, London Business School, and many more. Want an MBA admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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What are the Components of a Great Statement of Purpose for Data or Bu [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: What are the Components of a Great Statement of Purpose for Data or Business Analytics?



You have decided to apply to data or business analytics and have narrowed down your list of schools. Now it’s time to complete a statement of purpose (SOP) as part of your application. Although it is becoming increasingly popular for schools to require additional essays, the SOP continues to be the most important (and lengthy) of all. What makes a great SOP?

5 must-have elements for your data/business analytics SOP
To write a great SOP, you need to address each and every part of the question while being specific and concise. In short, your SOP should contain these 5 elements:

  • Describe your academic background, reasons for pursuing your undergraduate degree, meaningful academic projects, particularly those related to data analysis, and your most influential learning experiences. Expand on any research projects you worked on as an undergrad, particularly if it involved quantitative analysis. If your undergraduate degree is unrelated to data analysis, discuss the biggest learnings from it and how it has shaped you to be the person you are today.
  • Discuss any relevant internship or work experience. List a couple of your most impressive accomplishments, particularly focusing on those relevant to data. While you need to avoid repeating word for word what’s on your resume, it’s important that you describe your work or internship experience, concentrating only on the most important and relevant accomplishments or those experiences that are most relevant to the question you are addressing.
  • Be specific about your career goals. Describe in particular why you need a graduate degree in data analytics to achieve them, both in the short-term (1 to 5 years post-graduation) as well as in the long-term (5 to 10 years out).
  • State your reasons for preferring a particular program and university. What do they offer that no one else has? What particular features are just right for your plans? Again, you need to be specific, detailing unique coursework, resources, faculty, and benefits that this program, in particular, has for you and for your career. Describe succinctly how this program will help you achieve your goals given your experience and education to date.
  • Finally, state your intended contributions in the classroom and for the school’s community. Why are you a good fit for them? This can be in relation to your past experience, unique background, academic expertise, or diverse perspective. Honestly and specifically, write about how you plan to contribute to the program, while acknowledging that you will benefit from your peers’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
Why is your graduate statement of purpose so important?
The statement of purpose helps the admissions committees determine the true interest of the applicant in their program. They have seen your stats, they have reviewed your transcript, and have your GMAT or GRE. The SOP is the one item of your application where you have the chance to tell them not only how you stand out, but also how much you fit in at their program. It should never be taken lightly. It is often the most critical part of the application, the one that can make it or break it.

Do you need help crafting a statement of purpose that demonstrates your unique fit with your target data or business analytics program? Check out our Graduate School Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and get the assistance you need to create an SOP that will get you ACCEPTED.




Esmeralda Cardenal is a Former Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, Director of MBA Admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the UK. Since 2014, she has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs including MBA and master's in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

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

Statement of Purpose Must-Haves: 4 Tips to Get You Started

Want to Study Data Analytics But Don’t Have Relevant Experience or a Quantitative Degree?

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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How This Wharton MBA Created Her Women’s Workwear Brand [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How This Wharton MBA Created Her Women’s Workwear Brand



Learn how real students navigate their way through the business school admissions process and b-school itself with our What is Business School Really Like? series.

Meet Melina, a recent Wharton MBA graduate and the founder of Keaton, a woman’s workwear brand dedicated to empowering women to look, feel, and perform their best.
Melina, thank you for sharing your story with us!

What inspired you to pursue an MBA?
Melina: Prior to my MBA, I was working at a traditional (majority brick-and-mortar) retailer, PANDORA Jewelry, on the strategy team. I loved my work there, but I was excited by the direct-to-consumer trend in retail and excited to learn more about it. What has always excited me about retail is listening to the customer and solving their problems—and I felt that the direct-to-consumer business model was well-equipped for this. Wharton is well-known for incubating DTC brands like Warby Parker, Burrow, and others. Further, I did not study business in undergraduate (I was a political science major), so as I became more senior in my career, I wanted to fill some gaps related to business fundamentals (accounting, finance, etc.).

What was the most challenging aspect of the business school application process?
Melina: I was applying with a partner (my fiancé), so this made the process extra stressful—we wanted to be in the same program. Luckily, we were both accepted to Wharton, which was a top choice given our career backgrounds (retail for me, finance for him).

I also found it challenging to distill my “personal story” into a pithy essay format. I must have written about 50 versions of my personal statement. I found it helpful to seek honest feedback from people who know me well and have insight into my personality. I got feedback from my boss, colleagues, and friends to create a version that was true to myself.

<<Register for our free webinar, Get Accepted to Wharton!>>

Did you participate in a Wharton team-based discussion? How did you prepare for this experience?
Melina: I did a Team-Based Discussion in November 2016. The TBD is a live discussion of a broad “case question” with a small group of MBA candidates, so there is only so much preparation that is possible. However, I read the prompt and formulated several ideas going into the session.

In these environments, everyone is nervous and eager to share their thoughts. I reminded myself to step back and listen to my teammates and to facilitate an environment of collaboration instead of competition.

I really enjoyed the TBD and remain friends with candidates I met through the process.

Once school began, what surprised you the most about the program?
Melina: Not so much a “surprise,” but I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of the other students in the program. One of the most valuable parts of the MBA is learning from peers—at Wharton, students come from all sorts of career backgrounds and from 50+ countries.

I had heard that Wharton has a flexible curriculum, but I was surprised by how true this was. There are some required classes, which are very helpful for someone with a limited business background like me. Beyond that, we can take classes across Penn. I took several classes in the law school that will be helpful as an entrepreneur. I had friends take classes about nutrition science, meditation, design, and more.

I felt I had a good amount of structure in terms of coursework but also plenty of time to pursue entrepreneurship.

How does Wharton encourage entrepreneurship?
Melina: Penn-Wharton Entrepreneurship offers a suite of programming for founders. This ranges from funding awards that founders can apply for to an accelerator, VIP-X, to mentorship and networking opportunities. I was able to take full advantage of these resources with Keaton. I was awarded a good amount of funding for my business which helped as I bootstrapped in the early stages—the application requires founders to set milestones and track progress, which is a valuable forcing mechanism.

One of the most valuable resources was the Female Founder Mentoring program. I was paired with three amazing mentors from VC, fashion/retail, and branding backgrounds. We met multiple times throughout the year and they plugged in on very tactical questions I was facing. For example, I had an issue with a manufacturer and thought that I was being taken advantage of—as someone who was new to manufacturing, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. One of my mentors who is a CEO of a fashion brand was able to advise me how to negotiate better pricing and a refund for some early samples.

How has your background in public policy informed your current projects?
Melina: I was motivated to study public policy because I like to understand how people make decisions. In my public policy studies, we emphasized complementary qualitative and quantitative approaches, e.g., starting with focus groups and interviews to understand what motivates a decision at a high level, and then drilling down with data to prove out hypotheses.

I took this same approach when I transitioned my career to retail. The decision to buy something from a certain brand is complex and difficult for even the customer themselves to articulate.

When designing my first style for Keaton, I interviewed over 300 women to talk about workwear. There was tremendous dissatisfaction with workwear—styles have not kept up with an increasingly casual workplace. Women’s work attire is often dry clean-only, wrinkles easily, and lacks versatility. I also looked at sources of data, such as a large data set on U.S. women’s measurements, to inform the style.

Can you tell us more about Keaton? What inspired you to start this brand?
Melina: Keaton makes thoughtfully-designed women’s workwear created by women, for women. As a young professional, I found that having a great outfit helped me feel confident when faced with a crazy day of meetings or a big presentation. I created Keaton to be the brand that young women love to wear to work, offering office staples that can keep up with you anywhere work takes you. Keaton’s first product, the Perfect Pant, is a machine-washable, non-wrinkle pant with roomy front pockets. The product was designed with input from over 300 professional women.

Business school is intense! How do you juggle being a student and business owner?
Melina: It can be a delicate balance—but working on Keaton doesn’t really feel like work because I’m so passionate about it. So I’m happy to spend nights and weekends working on the business.

What’s next for Keaton?
Melina: I graduated from Wharton in May and I am working on Keaton full-time based out of New York City. I am working on hiring my first employees, growing the brand through a mix of channels, and developing new styles. We are making a big push for the back-to-school season in August since this is when many women refresh their work wardrobes. I love hearing from potential customers about what we should tackle next—please reach out to me at melina@wearkeaton.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have questions for Melina? Questions for us? Do you want to be featured in our next What is Business School Really Like? post? Know someone else who you’d love to see featured? Are there questions you’d like us to ask our students in this series? LET US KNOW!

You can learn more about Melina by connecting with her on LinkedIn. You can find out more about Keaton onInstagram.

Are you setting out on your own b-school journey? We can help you reach the finish line! Check out our MBA Admissions Consulting Services to team up with an admissions expert who will help you join the ranks of thousands of Accepted clients who get accepted to their dream schools.




For 25 years, Accepted has helped business school applicants gain acceptance to top programs. Our outstanding team of MBA admissions consultants features former business school admissions directors and professional writers who have guided our clients to admission at top MBA, EMBA, and other graduate business programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD, London Business School, and many more. Want an MBA admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

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

How to Ace Your Team Based Interview: 4 Tips for the Big Day

Wharton MBA Class Profile: Class of 2020

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Stanford MSx Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020] [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Stanford MSx Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019-2020]



Both the relatively complex MSx application form and your resume will establish you as a leader in your organization (and possibly even your domain), and that leadership experience is essential if you want to be a qualified MSx applicant. It’s important, but it’s just a qualification. Being qualified isn’t enough because Stanford MSx always receives applications from more qualified applicants than it admits. Showing you’re qualified is the role of the resume and application form, and it’s the foundation of your application. However, your essays need to do more.

In reviewing current and former MSx student profiles, one thing stands out: they’re vibrant. They shine. They have impact, not just because of solid career strategies and impressive results, though that’s part of it. They are propelled forward by qualities of character: passion, courage, energy, curiosity, commitment, rigor, vision, big thinking, heart. These essays are your opportunity to reveal your own special character and clarify how it will add to the Stanford MSx mix. You’re already a substantial leader organizationally with a track record to show it. To shape the future, you must have something to say, a point of view, a distinctive voice – so don’t hesitate to take a stand in these essays.

Stanford MSx application essays
Our essay questions are meant to be straightforward, not trick questions. This is an opportunity for you to share reflections on your life and career and further describe your aspirations. (Your answers to the two essays questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words.)

Stanford MSx essay #1
What matters most to you, and why?

To really hit a home run with this essay, you need to bare your soul, at least a bit; take a risk, be open and probing about some essential aspect of yourself. That doesn’t mean the topic must be about your personal life, though for many applicants it is. You could, for example, discuss a political belief that truly drives you, and if it’s that strong, it will reflect your deepest values and relate to your significant experiences. I do suggest using a topic that has some profound meaning to you and that will allow you to ground this essay in your experience. Ultimately, it’s your experience and how you process or synthesize it that will be a key part of this essay. Keep in mind, though, talking about what matters to you is just that – talking (well, in this case, writing). To be credible, and to impress the adcom, present actions you’ve taken and impacts you’ve had related to what matters most. (You know the cliché: actions speak louder than words…)

Sometimes my clients worry when facing this question that their most intuitive topic isn’t “unique” – to which I say, it will be by the time you’re done with the essay, if you delve deep into your experience and deliver your message via detailed anecdotes and frank reflection.

Don’t make this essay overly or overtly strategic; that ends up feeling superficial and manipulative given the topic. One straightforward approach is to structure the essay as a story, with reflection and insight at various pivotal points.

Last, don’t forgot to explicitly address “why” your chosen topic is what matters most to you. The explanation need not be long, and the “why” may already be obvious from the thrust of the essay. But do still address it.

Stanford MSx essay #2
Why this program now? What are your personal and professional objectives, and how will the Stanford MSx Program help you achieve them?

I suggest starting with your professional objectives – include specific details about position, company, anticipated responsibilities, etc. Equally if not more important, however, is why you want to pursue this position/role: what motivates this projected career path, what impact you aim to have. This information will invigorate the essay and turn a competent essay into a compelling one. It ideally will get the adcom excited about supporting your career journey.

Toward the end of this section, add a specific point or two about your personal objectives for attending this program – this part of the question also reflects the program’s emphasis on holistic growth, and your application should respond to that emphasis. Personal objectives need not be divorced from professional ones – often, development of a given trait or capability will benefit various aspects of one’s life.

Do be explicit about “why now” – it’s an especially important point for mid-career professionals pursuing a full-time program. If you are being sponsored, you can include aspects of that condition as context; if you are shifting career focus, your answer to why-now may be more complex, e.g. market conditions combined with career factors.

In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: describe what skills and knowledge you need and how the program meets those needs. Also refer to the structure, culture, and special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

Additional information
If there is any information that is critical for us to know and is not captured elsewhere, include it in the “Additional Information” section of the application. Pertinent examples include:

  • Extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance
  • An explanation of why you do not have a letter of reference from your current direct supervisor
  • An explanation of any academic suspension or expulsion
  • Work experience that did not fit into the space provided
  • Academic experience (e.g., independent research) not noted elsewhere
The wording of this question indicates that you should use this space only to explain things that need explaining in some way. Indeed, the application form plus the essay questions provide ample opportunity to present your holistic candidacy, so adhere to the parameters of this question, and stick to necessary topics – if any. If none, fine.

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

Stanford MSx Application Deadlines for 2019-20

Submission Deadline
Decision Notification

  Round 1
  September 12, 2019
  Early December 2019

  Round 2
  January 9, 2020
  Late March 2020

  Round 3
  March 12, 2020
  Mid April 2020

***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:

• Leadership in Admissions, free guide

Stanford MBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines

• Too Old for an MBA? Check Out 3 Outstanding MBA and EMBA Alternatives, a podcast episode

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Making Friends With the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best



“I can’t stop trembling…I can’t eat…I cry for little or no reason…I am just so nervous.” All of this from Janelle, a prospective graduate student on her response to scheduling a GRE test date. I was not surprised that Janelle was nervous as almost all prospective graduate students are a bit anxious about admissions’ tests. However, Janelle took “anxious” to a whole new level. It was clear to me that I would need to develop a somewhat different plan of action to successfully help Janelle perform at her very best on this exam.

My first step was to listen carefully as Janelle shared all her feelings and fears. She said that she already felt better just by having someone listen without judgement. I told her that I would brainstorm some options and we scheduled a follow-up meeting.

I decided to “borrow” some of the techniques I use to deal with speaker anxiety in the public speaking classes that I teach at the undergraduate level. I was planning to use cognitive restructuring – changing the way we think about something.

A 3-stage strategy for GRE success
During our next conversation, I told Janelle that I had developed a three-stage strategy to position her for success. I asked her to think about the GRE process like the development of a relationship. In other words going from the acquaintance level to friend level to intimate level. We were going to “Make Friends with the GRE.”

Here’s how we did it:

STAGE 1: Acquaintance level
This is the “getting to know you” stage of the process. Here’s what you need to accomplish during this stage:

  • Understand the GRE testing program.
    Research the GRE general test and the discipline-specific subject tests especially in terms of available test administration dates, time limitations on retakes, score delivery options, etc.

  • Determine which tests are required by the schools/programs of your interest.
    Check the admission criteria and the application deadlines to determine which tests are required and the application deadlines so that you can schedule the appropriate exams to meet all of the criteria of the school/programs of your choice. Keep in mind that while the GRE general test has multiple test administration sites and dates, the GRE subject test administrations are often scheduled only two or three times per admission cycle. Advance and careful planning is necessary to meet these deadlines so that you do not find yourself in a situation where your application is not complete by the deadline date. Many programs will only review complete applications.

  • Learn even more by surveying and requesting feedback from others who have taken the exam.
    They may well have some tidbits of advice for you. They may alert you to specific pitfalls to avoid. Keep a list for future reference.

Register for our free webinar,Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GRE!

STAGE 2: Friendship level
This is the “let’s become friends” stage of the process. It includes the following:

  • Visit the ETS website to learn more.
    You’ll want to get as much info as you can about the GRE subject tests offered and to access the associated subject test review books which will provide details on the content areas for the test, the weights assigned to each topic, as well as a practice test. This will provide you with a guide on what to study as well as how much time to allocate to specific topics. The subject test practice book can be downloaded for free or will be mailed when you register for the exam.

  • Identify your areas of weakness.
    To prepare for the GRE general test, you should invest the time to diagnose the skill areas that need the most attention by identifying areas of weakness that require intensive review. These may include, but are not limited to, reading for meaning, analyzing and general organization of your ideas in short essay format, general mathematics, algebra, geometry, charts, etc.

  • Take advantage of the diagnostic services offered by ETS.
    These include GRE Diagnostic Tests and ScoreItNow!, the online writing practice. Check out these low cost options on the ETS website. Make use of the GRE Powerprep software for reviews of the verbal and quantitative measure sections of the GRE exam.

  • Be prepared to write two timed essays.
    One essay will present your perspective on an issue and the second essay will assess your ability to analyze an argument. You can practice typing an essay response under timed conditions using GRE Powerprep software or you can pay for ScoreItNow! for online writing practice. The analytical writing measure serves as an assessment of critical thinking and the following analytical and writing skills: articulation of complex ideas, clear and effective examination of claims and evidence, supporting ideas with relevant reasons and explicit examples, preparing a well-focused and coherent discussion, and displaying mastery of standard written English.

  • Throughout this entire stage use positive self-talk as a confidence booster.
    Place the emphasis on all of the progress you have made and continue to make.

(On a side note, I made sure that I was always available for confidence boosting and positive feedback)

STAGE 3: Intimate level
This is the commitment stage of the process that requires you to:

  • Practice in the right mode.
    Become comfortable taking a computer delivered, timed, online exam by practicing in that type of environment. If you only practice using a review book, the new delivery format may increase your level of anxiety and, as such, may impact your performance.

  • Look back at how far you have come and continue to invest in the relationship you have established.
    You may even learn to enjoy the challenge and the rewards that the relationship may bring.

  • Last but not least, allow yourself enough time for the relationship to strengthen (prepare and study for the exam) and take hold.
    Be patient with yourself!

At this point I am sure you are wondering if Janelle was successful. Yes she was – she handled the stress very well and was accepted to her top choice schools. I was certainly proud to have helped her achieve her goal.

And we can help you too – with testing strategies and any other element of the graduate school admissions process. Check out our Application Services to learn more about how we can guide you to acceptance at your top choice graduate program!




As a Dean of Graduate Admissions for over 10 years, Carol Drummer, signed off on over 4,500 graduate applications annually. She is a communication professor and author of "College Is Not 13th Grade-- An Easy to Read Guide for Parents of College Bound Students." Carol has helped clients get accepted to Ph.D. Psy.D, DOT, DPT, PA, MHA, MSW, and masters in Speech Language Pathology, Business Analytics, Accounting, Global Affairs, Counseling, Architecture, Design Engineering , Nutrition, Exercise Physiology to name a few.  Want Carol to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

Get Your Game On: The Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Successful Grad School Application!

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Take the GRE

Should You Take the GMAT or GRE Exam?

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

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Don’t Forget to Sign Up for Our Wharton Webinar



There’s still time to join our in-depth, tip-filled webinar, Get Accepted to Wharton!

At the webinar, Accepted founder Linda Abraham will guide you through the Wharton application process, offering you a clear understanding of how to approach your application and a step-by-step strategy for successfully navigating the process.

The webinar is free, but you must reserve your space – Thursday, July 25 at 1pm ET/10am PT and again at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

Register Now:


For 25 years, Accepted has helped business school applicants gain acceptance to top programs. Our outstanding team of MBA admissions consultants features former business school admissions directors and professional writers who have guided our clients to admission at top MBA, EMBA, and other graduate business programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD, London Business School, and many more. Want an MBA admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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5 MBA Reapplication Lessons [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5 MBA Reapplication Lessons



MBA admissions is tough at top schools. If you were rejected last year and are trying again, you definitely want a different outcome this time around. What can you do to increase your chances of admissions this year?

Tips for reapplicants
  • Reevaluate your school choices
    Instead of applying to dream schools only, make sure you add a number of safety schools to your list. A good breakdown may be 1-2 dream schools), 2-3 reasonable reaches (or “fighting chances”), and 1-2 safety schools.

    Ideally, you should apply to around four or five schools to increase your chances for admission. Compare your numbers and work experience to the class profile of your intended program. For your dream school, your GMAT score and GPA should fit in the range provided. At a fighting chance school, your GMAT and GPA should be the average score or above. Your scores should be well above average for your safety school.

    Bottom line: If you really want the skills an MBA will provide, think like an entrepreneur. Identify the strengths of your brand, and target the MBA program looking for what you have to offer.

  • Review your letters of rec options
    You should consider recruiting new recommenders for your reapplication because last year’s recommenders are old news. The admissions committee wants fresh and accurate information from people who know you now. The more people you can produce who support your candidacy, the more “evidence” the admissions committee will have that you are someone they want.

    Sometimes applicants ask me if they can ask a coworker to be a recommender. Here are my thoughts: It can work if the coworker makes a good case why they know you better than anyone else, but the admissions committee might wonder why you couldn’t get your boss to write your letter. Absent a request for a peer recommendation, the best recommenders are generally superiors, clients, or partners you’ve worked with to start a business. Some schools ask for peer recommendations, and then of course, that’s what you should provide.

  • Create a one-pager to give to your recommenders
    This is a great way to prepare superiors to give you an excellent recommendation. Even though they might think very highly of you, your recommenders have limited time. Focus their efforts by preparing a one-pager that highlights your accomplishments. Provide descriptive examples of episodes when you worked together and exhibited your best attributes. And be sure to cater each one-pager to each recommender so that your recommenders each write on different aspects of your profile and highlight your various strengths.

  • Start working on your essays now
    Start early, but start smart. Thoroughly read through the program’s reapplication process. Some schools want the entire application again, but others only want one essay, with updates.

    In your essay(s) this year, focus on refining your goals. Also make sure you highlight what has made you stand out from your peers and made you exceptional this past year. Remember: admissions and career placement offices work closely together to find applicants with a history of promotions and clear, achievable goals.

    If your GMAT wasn’t stellar, don’t think you can make up for it through your stellar personality. You should definitely consider retaking it, as many schools will take your highest score, or the average of your two highest scores. This could bump you into the acceptable range.

  • Find out more from your target schools
    Finally, don’t hesitate to call the school to ask questions about their reapplication process. If at all possible, go to the school and meet with an admissions officer. Don’t ask for feedback on your past application. Most officers will find this annoying, and will voluntarily give you this information if you come ready to concentrate on the future. Ask what they are looking for from reapplicants. This is a great networking step, as the admissions committee will see that you are serious about their school.

Do you need help reapplying to b-school? Our advisors have been on both sides of the admissions process ad know what works…and what doesn’t. Check out our MBA Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and work one-on-one with an expert who will help you make sure that this application is the one that gets you ACCEPTED. Learn more here.




Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant. Want Michelle to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
 

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs, a free guide to selecting the right one for you

How to Reapply Successfully to Top MBA Programs [Video]

Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application, a podcast episode

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Do You Have a Sound GRE Game Plan? [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Do You Have a Sound GRE Game Plan?



You dream of going to graduate school. You have the grades, the experience, and the goals to make you an excellent candidate, but you worry that the GRE will stand between you and successful admission.

Fortunately, the GRE is a beatable test, and on Monday, August 12th at 5pm PT/8pm ET, Dominate Test Prep’s founder, Brett Etheridge, will present the proven strategy to do just that in Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GRE. During this packed one-hour webinar, Brett will lay out that ideal game plan for you as he covers:

  • The 3 interrelated components necessary to achieve a high score on the GRE
  • How to adopt the right mindset for test-day success
  • A powerful non-standard math strategy that will make tricky algebra questions a piece of cake for you
  • Tips for allocating your time effectively when preparing for the GRE
After attending this webinar, you will be ready to add a great GRE score to your application packet, increasing the chances of admission to your dream school.

Register Now:


For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top undergraduate and graduate programs. Our expert team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, PhDs, and professional writers who have advised clients to acceptance at top programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, INSEAD, MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Northwestern.
Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Last Chance to Beat Accepted’s Price Increase!



Only two days left to take advantage of Accepted’s current rates before our prices go up!

Effective at 12:00am PT on Thursday, August 1, 2019, Accepted will increase all prices on its admissions consulting packages and hourly services.

Accepted’s admissions consultants have helped thousands of MBA, law, med, grad, and college applicants get accepted to the schools of their dreams. Let them help you discover your competitive advantage and experience the excitement of getting accepted.

Purchase Accepted’s admissions consulting services now and take advantage of our current prices…before it’s too late!



Apply with an admissions pro on your side –purchase an Accepted service before Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:59pm PT, and get the help you need on your applications, all while taking advantage of our pre-increase prices!


For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top undergraduate and graduate programs. Our expert team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, PhDs, and professional writers who have advised clients to acceptance at top programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, INSEAD, MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Northwestern.
Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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

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When is the Best Time to Take the GRE? [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: When is the Best Time to Take the GRE?



If you’re applying to graduate or business school, it’s likely that you need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission. The GRE is a standardized test that covers a broad range of quantitative and verbal topics and requires ample preparation time, so you need to be strategic about when to take it. While each test taker’s circumstance is unique, there are nevertheless some general guidelines you should consider as you map out your GRE game plan. Let’s take a closer look.

There’s no time like the present
There’s a poem by personal development author Denis Waitley called “Someday Isle” about a fantasy island you’ll never see if you continue to put off your dreams by invoking the excuse, “Someday I’ll….”

There’s never a perfect time to embark on the journey of preparing for an exam like the GRE. It takes time and effort and you no doubt have plenty of other things competing for your attention. Yet, once you’ve made the decision to go back to school and know that you’ll have to take the GRE before applying, you might as well go ahead and start preparing now.

I’m a big believer in the concept of reverse procrastination, doing now what our inclination is to put off until later. Is waiting to take the GRE really going to make it any easier? Of course not. The exam and preparation will end up being the same, the only difference will be the time you will have lost.

Remember that your GRE score is good for five years, so go ahead and get it out of the way. Even if you don’t apply to grad school for a year or two, that’s okay. At least you’ll have the GRE in your back pocket to use whenever you’re ready.



Start with the end in mind
While the general advice to take the GRE sooner rather than later is valid, you can be more strategic about exactly when to sign up for the GRE by working backwards from your application deadline(s). Toward that end, the first thing you should do is check the website of the schools you’re going to be applying to for specifics about their application processes, including deadlines. To figure out when you should schedule your GRE and start preparing, consider the following.

  • It could take up to two weeks for your official GRE score report to be sent to the schools you select at the testing center. While some schools may review your application and make a decision on your candidacy pending an official GRE score, I’m of the mind that you should take the GRE enough in advance that the school has your official score before the application deadline. To be safe, subtract 15 days from your earliest deadline to determine the latest you should schedule your GRE.
  • Account for the possibility that you may need to retake the GRE if your score on the first attempt isn’t where you need it. You can only take the exam once every 21 days (and no more than five times in a 365-day period), so my recommendation would be to actually schedule your GRE at least 36 days before your earliest application deadline — enough time to take the exam again if necessary and still ensure that schools will get your official score report in time.
  • Most people need a couple of months to fully prepare for the GRE, assuming you’re starting from scratch. For reference, our comprehensive GRE prep course has a seven-week syllabus, and most students find that to be an ideal timeframe to learn all of the material and get the score they’re shooting for. So if you’re going to take your first crack at the GRE at least 36 days before your applications are due, that means starting to study for it at least three months before those deadlines — and perhaps even a little earlier to give yourself some wiggle room in case it takes you longer than expected to refresh all of that high school math you haven’t seen in years!
Don’t forget the rest of your application
If you won’t be applying until next year and still have a half a year or more before your deadlines, don’t forget that the non-GRE parts of your application are time-intensive as well — and equally important. As such, it would still be a good idea to spend the next couple months studying for the GRE and getting it out of the way now so that you can turn your attention to the rest of the application process.

I’ve seen it too often where a student leaves the GRE until the very last minute and feels increased pressure to get a great score just a day or two before an application deadline. Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket. It’s hard to perform your best under that kind of stress, so leave yourself some breathing room if at all possible.

Need a GRE study plan?
Whether you’re still in the early stages of thinking about taking the GRE or are already knee-deep in preparing for it, join us on August 12th for a free webinar where you’ll learn an actionable three-part game plan for dominating the GRE. Click here to reserve your spot. See you then!



Brett Ethridge is the founder of Dominate Test Prep, a leading provider of GMAT and GRE courses online as well as topic-specific GRE and GMAT video lessons. He has taught both exams for over 12 years and loves working with students to help them achieve their highest potential. Brett is an entrepreneur, a competitive tennis player, and an avid Duke basketball fan.

Related Resources:

Get Your Game On, a free guide to creating a successful grad school application

Should You Take the GMAT or GRE Exam?

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

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

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