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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Given Kudos: 92
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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6447
Own Kudos [?]: 844 [0]
Given Kudos: 92
Location: Los Angeles CA
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Class of 2022 MBAs Earn Bullish Starting Salaries [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Class of 2022 MBAs Earn Bullish Starting Salaries

Distance learning and unstable market conditions due to the Covid pandemic have not hurt the fortunes of MBA grads from top programs. The 2022 employment reports released in recent weeks from top schools, including NYU Stern School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business, MIT Sloan, Harvard, and other peer programs have all announced record-breaking starting salaries for grads. 

NYU Stern MBA Salaries Soar

Median base salaries for NYU Stern were $170,000–the highest ever–up $15,000 from the previous year. Median signing bonuses of $35,000 were on par with 2021, and average total compensation rose by $14,340 to an unprecedented $196,143. 

Within three months of graduation, 94.1 percent of Stern graduates had accepted job offers; 86.6% had accepted job offers by graduation. Top hiring industries remained consistent: consulting (31.2 percent), investment banking (27.2 percent) and tech (17.0 percent). 

Brian Ruggiero, Associate Dean of Career Services, boasted that the Class of 2022, which had begun their MBA studies during the pandemic, “adapted quickly to the resulting paradigm shifts. The demand for these skills is clear,” he said, pointing to the high acceptance rates for jobs three months after graduation being on par with pre-pandemic levels, as well as the highest compensation on record. Early data for the Class of 2023 also show “strong demand for Stern talent,” he added, evidenced by a 100% success rate among seekers of internships. 

Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2022 Almost at 100% Employment

Similarly, University of Michigan Ross School of Business reported that an eye-popping 99% percent of their 2022 grads were offered jobs within three months of graduation, landing median salaries of $165,000 and a $192,270 median salary package. Both salary figures reflect a $21,000 increase over the previous year.

The B-School Selectivity Index:
Are You Competitive at Your Dream School? >>

UC Berkeley Haas, Dartmouth Tuck, and Georgetown McDonough Report Great Employment Outcomes

On the West Coast, the 2022 class at UC-Berkeley Haas School of Businesshad a 93.8% job offer rate, up 4% from the prior year, returning that figure to among the highest of the pre-pandemic years. The median base salary for Haas MBAs was $155,000, up by 3.7% from the previous year.

Dartmouth Tuck’s employment data released November 22 for the Class of 2022 showed that 98% of Tuck grads had job offers within three months of graduation, with median base salaries rising by 16.7% to $175,000 from $150,000 in 2021. Ninety-three percent of grads received a median signing bonus of $30,000, bumping median total compensation to $202,900, up more than 15% from last year.

Georgetown MBAs enjoyed average base salaries of $138,552, up from $126,107 last year, and an average signing bonus of $36,342. A statement from their website noted that “96% of students received a job offer within three months of graduation and 95% accepted their offers – tying last year’s placement records as the highest levels ever achieved by Full-time MBA graduates. The record-setting average salary marks a 10% increase from 2021, with bonuses increasing by 6%. 

“The outcomes presented in this report are a testament to the extraordinary talent in the Class of 2022,” said Christy Murray, associate dean and managing director of career services at Georgetown McDonough. “These students began their MBA journey amid ongoing disruptions and uncertainty from the global pandemic, yet through their hard work, perseverance, and commitment to excellence, they were well positioned to secure impactful roles in business across a wide range of industries and sectors.” 

Wharton MBAs pocketed their highest-ever median base salary of $175,000, a jump of 12.9 %. Salaries had been flat at $150,000 in 2019 and 2020, rising only to $155,000 in 2021. Within three months of graduation, 98.7% of Wharton’s MBAs seeking jobs received offers. Wharton’s 20222 employment report, released November 17, also revealed that more grads than ever found jobs in tech, despite the current flurry of layoffs and hiring freezes at tech giants Meta, Amazon, and Twitter. 

However, an article in Poets&Quants cautioned that Wharton’s impressive results in landing tech jobs may be a bit of an outlier

“. . . techies should be wary of seeing Wharton’s success in tech as a sign of rebound. While the raw number of Wharton MBAs finding jobs in tech is higher than ever, the percentage of the class in the industry is down slightly, as the number of job-seeking graduates in 2022 (633) is 8.2% more than in 2021 (585) as a result of Wharton enrolling larger classes at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Moreover, Whartonites’ success in landing tech gigs runs counter to many of their peer schools, where tech hiring is downand in some cases down big — and likely points to a very different tech landscape graduates faced this summer as they rounded out their offers.”

Other MBA 2022 Jobs and Salary Stats

The following data is from Poets&Quants and underscores that whatever hardships and uncertainties students experienced while applying and earning MBAs during such a volatile period, their investments are paying off handsomely now.

  • Harvard Business School grads saw a 16.3% year-to-year increase in median salary to $175,000 and median performance bonuses increase to $40,000 powered a leap in total median compensation to $223,100, a one-year jump of 17.5%.

  • Virginia Darden School of Business MBAs made a median $175,000, up 21% from the Class of 2021;

  • At MIT Sloan School of Management, average base salary increased 7.6% from the previous year, to $159,391, and median base salary grew 10% to $165,000; total median compensation was $204,700, up 4.7% from $195,600 last year;

  • At Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, median salary for the class jumped $15,000, to $165,000, and is up 18% since the last pre-pandemic graduating class in 2019; bonuses stayed at a median $30,000, and with 87% receiving them, median total pay came out to $191,100, up 8.7% from $175,800 last year.

Soaring MBA Salaries’ Significance for Applicants

These stats reflect several factors: 

  • The enduring value of the full-time two-year MBA degree from top MBA programs.

  • Inflation, which increases salaries and will allow most of those who borrowed their tuition to pay off their debt with cheaper dollars.

  • A tight labor market in which businesses – even if we are in a recession – are willing to pay for top talent.

Many of the 2022 MBA grads applied to business school in winter and spring 2020 at the height of COVID lock-downs, social isolation, and distance learning. Unemployment hit 14.8% in April, 2020 and remained above pre-COVID levels until Fall 2021. These grads looked at the dismal events of the time, swallowed hard, and concluded that the environment is paving the way for them to obtain their MBA. As you consider whether to apply at a time of rising layoffs, possible recession, and general instability, consider the payoff that these grads have experienced by taking the plunge when they did.

[b]Are you considering an MBA to maximize your earning potential? The stats show that the investment is worth it, but it takes an outstanding application to impress the elite schools. Our experienced MBA admissions consultants work with you one-on-one, throughout the process, to help you get ACCEPTED![/b]

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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How to Get Accepted to MIT Sloan MBA [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Get Accepted to MIT Sloan MBA

Discover all you need to know about MIT Sloan’s MBA program [Show Summary]

MIT Sloan is one of the magic M7 MBA programs, and its Assistant Dean, Dawna Levenson, [url=]shares everything applicants aiming for acceptance should know[/url]. 

Interview with Dawna Levenson, Assistant Dean at MIT Sloan School of Management [Show Notes]

Welcome to the 498th episode of Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted’s podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Are you ready to apply to your dream MBA programs? Are you competitive at your target schools? Accepted’s MBA admissions quiz can give you a quick reality check. Just go to [url=][/url], complete the quiz, and you’ll not only get an assessment, but also tips on how to improve your qualifications. Plus, it’s all free. 

It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk, Dawna Levenson, Assistant Dean at [url=]MIT Sloan School of Management[/url]. Dawna earned her bachelor’s and master’s in Management Science at MIT Sloan, became a partner at Accenture, and then returned to MIT Sloan in 2007 as Associate Director of Academic Programs. She moved into Admissions in 2012 and became Director of Admissions in 2013 and Assistant Dean in 2018. 

Can you give us an overview of the MIT Sloan Full-Time MBA program for those listeners who aren’t that familiar with it? [2:07]

Absolutely. I think I would begin with class size. Our two-year MBA has a class size of roughly 410. You may have some friends who just graduated in the past year or so, and their class size was slightly bigger. That’s a result of the pandemic when there was a fair amount of uncertainty, and we actually grew the class size in 2020. However, it was never intended for that to be permanent, and so we have slowly worked our way back down. Fundamentally, the class that just matriculated, and moving forward, will be approximately 410. 

We have a one-semester core and then three semesters to really shape the curriculum as you see fit based on your interests. As much as you as a student have flexibility in terms of your classes and shaping that, our faculty have a lot of flexibility, too, in terms of how they teach. Your classes will be a combination of traditional lectures and problem sets, as well as a lot of project-based classes.

We have a subset of these project-based classes that are called our Action Learning labs, where you are either on a particular subject matter or focused on a certain geography and working as part of a team to solve a real problem for a real company and make recommendations to them at the end of the project.


Are you seeing any trends in terms of hiring? Where do MIT Sloan MBA grads get jobs? [3:42]

We just recently published our 2022-2023 employment report, so these numbers are right off of that. For students who graduated in 2022 seeking employment, 31.2% of them went into consulting, 22.6% went into finance, and 22.6% went into technology. An additional 6.8% went into pharma, healthcare, and biotech. It’s a good spread.

What’s a little misleading is some may have gone into consulting, but they’re focused on the tech industry. So, keep that in mind.

Can you explain the optional core electives? [5:02]

Our two-year MBA students spend their first semester taking core classes. You’re actually part of a cohort of somewhere between 65 and 70 students who you’re taking all of your classes with. You’re also assigned to be part of a core team of six or seven people where you’re actually doing all of your work together. In addition to your core set of classes, you also have the option to take one additional elective. You can choose from marketing, finance, strategy, or operations for that additional elective.

What are the core requirements? [5:48]

They include microeconomics, DMD, which is data models and decisions, accounting, and communications. 

What are the tracks and certificates that MIT Sloan offers? What is the difference between them? [6:16]

We offer a flexible curriculum, however, if you are interested in finance, entrepreneurship and innovation, or enterprise management, we have tracks. The tracks are very much MBA-specific, and you could really think of them as a roadmap. They provide you with some guidance on how to take your electives over the next three semesters. 

Additionally, we now have four certificates. We have certificates in sustainability, healthcare, data analytics, and we just introduced digital product management. One of the differences would be that while the tracks are very much MBA-specific, certificates are not. In fact, the sustainability and healthcare certificates will have students in them from throughout the institute. Analytics is actually too popular at Sloan to be able to really open it up to others. 

The question that I often hear is, “Are tracks and certificates designed so that you could possibly combine them and do one of each?” The answer is also absolutely. As you can imagine, someone could be on the finance track but want to apply it to the healthcare space, so that’s a great option for them.

The piece of advice I give to students, if you’re seriously considering doing a track and certificate, is to be a bit of a planner. Look ahead and lay out your courses. Some classes are only offered in certain semesters, so make sure that you’re taking them when they’re offered. If you lay it all out in advance, it is absolutely doable.

What don’t people know about MIT Sloan that you would love for them to know? What is a common misconception about MIT Sloan that you’d like to dispel? [8:13]

The misconception is definitely this idea many people have that you need an engineering or STEM background to apply, be admitted, or do well in our program. Our students come from a very diverse set of backgrounds, studying different things in school and having had many different jobs and job functions prior to actually matriculating. 

To answer your second question, I think it’s fair to say that when many people are thinking about going to business school because they want to pursue a career in finance, we are not at the top of their list. There are other schools that are more likely to be there, either because of their reputation or perhaps their location. What I think many students will tell you that surprises them is that when they show up, they realize how amazing our finance faculty are and how diverse the courses are. Our whole finance ecosystem, which is inclusive of classes and clubs, and conferences, is a very pleasant surprise to many students.


During COVID, MIT Sloan was waiving the test. Today, a waiver can be requested if a candidate cannot access the GMAT or the GRE. Why the change? [9:43]

To be honest, waiving the test for everyone was never meant to be permanent. It was really in response to the fact that at the height of the pandemic, in the 2021 application season, it was very difficult for many of our candidates across the world to have access to an in-person exam or even, quite frankly, to an online exam. We did not want anybody to be disadvantaged. Given the global nature of our applicant pool in our class, we thought that waiving it would make sense. 

What we did at the time to address that was we added a new section to our application where people could very easily provide us with additional information. They could have done this before, but we made it a little bit more visible. In this section, applicants could share certifications they may have or online classes they may have taken. That was the 2021 season. This past year, we [url=]implemented the waiver[/url], and we were somewhat lenient with that waiver as well, sort of weaning ourselves from that.

This cycle, we continue to have a waiver, but we have much stronger language around the specifics of what the intention is for the waiver. It’s truly meant for people who don’t have access to an exam.

Does MIT Sloan have any plans to accept the Executive Assessment or other graduate aptitude tests like the MCAT or the LSAT? [11:47]

Not at this time. For the two-year MBA, we accept the [url=]GMAT or the GRE[/url]. The percentage of people who are submitting a GRE continues to increase.

In case anyone is listening who is considering our [url=]Sloan Fellows MBA program[/url], which is for people who have, on average, 14 years of work experience, we do accept the Executive Assessment because, quite frankly, that’s the population it was designed for.

What is the purpose of the different elements in the Sloan application? It is a very distinctive application. [12:45]

We believe that our application process is extremely straightforward and that it’s really an opportunity for us to get to know you as a candidate. There really are no embedded tricks here at all. Let me just walk you through it a little bit. 

I like to think of the cover letter, the resume, and the video as a bit of a package that tells your story. Your resume is your work history. Your video, which is a 60-second video introducing yourself to your future classmates, is really your personal side. We do not expect this to be production quality. This is you holding your phone or a friend holding your phone and recording you. You can have a little bit of fun with it. Over the years, people have gotten pretty creative, but I would caution you to please not get so creative that we’re not able to hear the audio clearly. The cover letter really ties it all together and begins to answer, “Why MIT Sloan?” It should be 300 words or less. You can’t possibly tell us everything that you want to, but you’re telling us enough so that we want to know more. 

We then have the organization chart. You should think about this as a relationship map. Stick your face in the middle of the page, and then draw lines to other people with whom you engage at work. Do you have direct reports? Do you have peers? Who’s your immediate supervisor? How many levels does that go up? We are not looking for the company organization chart that anybody can find on the website. If perhaps you work in an environment that’s project-based, like consulting or something else, feel free to submit your most recent project structure.

This helps give us a little bit more perspective in terms of your work and where you fit in. There is no wrong answer here. I promise you. We have never not admitted somebody solely on the basis of their org chart.

If you are an entrepreneur and don’t have any formal direct reports, think about who you engage with. Do you have clients? Do you have customers? Do you have suppliers? These are the things we’re looking for for the org chart. 

We ask for one letter of recommendation. Ideally, it is your current supervisor, but we know for a whole variety of reasons, you may not be comfortable telling him or her yet that you’re going to business school. Maybe you just switched jobs and they don’t know you that well. Think of somebody who knows you well and can talk about the impact that you have made on an organization or a group. It should be somebody who is willing to champion you and spend the time to write a meaningful letter of recommendation.

The two additional references are very similar to when you apply for a job and you list references. We’re asking for their names and contact information. In the event that we are looking for additional information about you, perhaps there are just one or two lingering questions, we would then reach out to one of the recommenders. We would never blindly call them. We would always send an email, give them some context and ask to schedule a call. So, you should let them know, but let them know that the chances of us calling them is pretty low. 

This year, we added an optional short answer question. This is truly optional. It’s 250 words or less. The question is, “How has the world you came from shaped who you are today?” It’s really an opportunity to share more about yourself that you did not find a spot for somewhere else in the application. If there’s nothing more for you to say, feel free to leave it blank. This is not the place to tell us why you had a lower undergraduate GPA than you would’ve liked. This is the first year that we’re doing it, and we’re very interested in seeing exactly what kind of information we get from that. 

In terms of our process, we have three application deadlines. We review all applications after a deadline, so you get no extra credit, and you’re not better positioned at all if you submit an application two weeks in advance, although perhaps you can sleep a little easier. After an application deadline, we review all of the applications. We have a group of trained readers who read through all of our applications, and then a subset of people are invited for an interview. 

An interview is a required step in the process. It is by invitation only. This year, we are continuing to offer interviews via Zoom. Before the pandemic, they were, for the most part, in person. This is by no means a statement that they will continue to be via Zoom forever, but for this year, we felt it was the right choice. They are roughly 30 minutes long. 

If you’re invited for an interview, you’re going to be asked to submit two additional pieces of information. One of them is a response to a question that is reinforcing the fact that we are truly a mission-driven school. Our mission is to really identify and solve the world’s biggest and most challenging problems in order to make it a better place. As one of the pillars of this mission, we believe that creating a [url=]diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment[/url] is really important. So we want applicants to tell us about a time that they contributed to creating a diverse environment. The second piece is a data visualization that has some meaning for an applicant. You could have either read it online, found it in a magazine, or created it on your own, whether it be for work or not. There are no wrong answers here, for the most part. The range of topics that we get is fascinating. It really runs the gamut. There are some that have been around COVID, sustainability, healthcare, gender inequality in the workforce, you name it. Most likely, your interviewer will ask you to talk about it as an initial icebreaker at the very beginning of your interview, so be prepared to talk about it.

The interview itself is 30 minutes long. We may begin with this icebreaker. We may have a few questions about the application. Are there some gaps or holes or outstanding questions we might have? Then we’re going to spend a good portion of that 30 minutes asking you a series of behavioral questions. I know that you can now Google behavioral questions so, if you feel the need to prepare and practice with friends, go ahead. Then finally, in the end, we will ask you if you have any questions. The one thing I’d say is to have a question or two prepared. These should be questions that you can’t easily find on our website. Some people think that it sounds good to say, “You know what? I’ve done all my homework. I’ve talked to a bunch of students, and I have no more questions left.” I know that sounds like it could sound impressive. The truth is, it’s a real missed opportunity. So, have a question or two available.

[b][url=]Check out our School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips >>[/url][/b]

What’s the most common mistake that you see applicants making? [21:19]

The most common mistake is trying to stand out in an inappropriate way. Perhaps provocative is the best word I can use. Some applicants do this in their video or cover letter, where they talk about subject matter that has a shock factor tied to it. They use unprofessional, inappropriate language. It happens. Every year, there’s a handful of them. 

Aside from that, it’s just not following instructions. I believe we’re very reasonable. We’re not word counters. If we ask for a cover letter to be 300 words and it’s 310, that’s no big deal. If you submit a five-page essay, it raises a red flag for us.



What advice would you give to someone thinking ahead to a fall 2023 or even a 2024 application? [26:00]

I will say it’s never too early. You’re creating your list of schools, and you should engage with each and every one of those schools as much as you possibly can, whether it be virtually or in person or through these podcasts, because every school has a personality. It does. That personality is made up of certain tangibles and certain intangibles. 

Take, for example, class size, which was the first thing I talked about. I think that’s something that people should make note of when they’re putting together their list of schools. Some people want a bigger student body than others. 

But fundamentally, it’s never too early to start engaging with different schools, attending events virtually or in person and really start to narrow down your list to schools that really resonate with you.

What would you have liked me to ask you? [27:29]

For those of you who follow me on LinkedIn, you saw I just celebrated 15 years at MIT, which is a long time. People ask me why I stay, and the truth is every day that I drive into work, I think, “Wow, I can’t believe I get to work here every day.” And this is 15 years in. MIT is a very special place. Yesterday, we had an overview of our sustainability certificate. People from the certificate came and really drilled down on the sustainability work that’s happening here at Sloan and at MIT that you can really engage with as part of that certificate. It is really trying to make the world a better place. We, as a school, have a very strong mission statement. I believe in it strongly. And for me to be able to play some small role in that is very fulfilling.

Where can listeners and potential applicants learn more about MIT’s full-time MBA program? [28:46]

You can go to [url=][/url].


[b]Related links:[/b]

[list][*][url=]MIT Sloan Admissions[/url][/*][*][url=]MIT Sloan Early Admission for Students Without Fulltime Work Experience[/url][/*][*][url=]MIT Sloan Interview[/url][/*][*][url=]MIT Sloan Application Tips[/url][/*][*][url=]Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting Services[/url][/*][/list]

[b]Related shows:[/b]

[list][*][url=]What to Expect From the MBA Experience at Cambridge Judge Business School[/url][/*][*][url=]Application Trends to Watch in 2021, and a Look Back at 2020[/url][/*][*][url=]All About the Kellogg MBAi, for Students Passionate About Business and Technology [/url][/*][*][url=]MBA Life at UC Berkeley Haas, From Its New Executive Director of Admissions[/url][/*][/list]




[url=][b]Podcast Feed[/b][/url]

The post [url=]How to Get Accepted to MIT Sloan MBA [Episode 498][/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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Four As to Help You Get Accepted in Round Two! [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Four A’s to Help You Get Accepted in Round Two!

Were you [url=]rejected in round one[/url]? Do you know what to do before round two? Oh no! You haven’t received interview invitations for round one, or your dream school has already denied you admission. What do you do now? One thing is sure; if you apply with the same application, you will have the same result.

Follow the four-step approach below to get [url=]a better ROI for round two[/url].

Step 1: Assess

Take a step back. You need an honest evaluation of round-one applications.

We offer a [url=]free 15-minute consultation[/url] (send one denied application and your resume before your consultation)

Step 2: Ask

You need to ask yourself some tough questions:

[list][*]Did I answer the essay prompts correctly and sincerely?

[/*][*]Did I go deeper than the obvious and superficial when reflecting on the events I chose to discuss?

[/*][*]Did I [url=]highlight my strengths[/url] and mitigate my weaknesses?

[/*][*]Did I conduct enough research on the school?

[/*][*]Did I select the right recommenders? Did I give them enough information so that they could write a convincing letter?

[/*][*]Is my GPA above the school’s average?

[/*][*]Are my test scores above the school’s average?

[/*][*]Did I demonstrate how I would [url=]add value to my peers, the school, and the university’s community[/url]?

[/*][*]Did I apply to the correct set of schools that would enable me to [url=]achieve my goal[/url]?

[/*][*]Ask [url=]professionals[/url] for an evaluation


Step 3: Address

You need to mitigate your weaknesses:

[list][*]Do I have time to study and retake required assessment exams (GMAT, GRE, EA for most MBAs)?

[/*][*]Do I have time to take a course?

[/*][*]Do I need help with my applications? [url=]We’re here to help[/url]!

[/*][*]Do I need [url='s_get_accepted_round2&utm_source=blog]interview help[/url]?


Step 4: Apply

You should apply to schools that will enable you to [url=]achieve your goals[/url] and that were not in your initial set of schools.

[b][b]Do you need help revving up your engine and powering through to hit those Round 2 deadlines? [url=]Work one-on-one with an admissions pro[/url] to write application essays that will get you accepted to your dream school.[/b][/b]



By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, former admissions dean/director at three top business schools. Natalie has reviewed over 70,000 applications, interviewed over 2,500 candidates, and has trained nearly 700 admissions directors and alumni volunteers to select outstanding candidates for admission. Her clients gain admission to top programs including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Cornell, Columbia, Berkeley, and NYU. Natalie holds an MBA from Michigan Ross. [url=][b]Want Natalie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

[b]Related resources:[/b]

[list][*][url=]Create Compelling Round 2 MBA Applications[/url], a podcast episode[/*][*][url=]MBA Application Timeline: How to Get Accepted in 2022[/url][/*][*][url=]Reapplying to Business School: How to Do It Right the Second Time Around[/url][/*][/list]
The post [url=]Four A’s to Help You Get Accepted in Round Two![/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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NYU Part-Time MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2022 2023] [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: NYU Part-Time MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [2022 – 2023]

NYU’s Stern Langone part-time MBA requires just one short essay: a straightforward goals essay. It also requires a less conventional “getting-to-know-you as a person” photographic essay. These two items, together, create a succinct but vivid portrait of your candidacy. NYU likes candidates who can be both efficient and creative with their messaging and communication. Perhaps keep that duality on the radar as you prepare these items.

NYU Stern part-time MBA 2023 application

NYU part-time MBA essay question #1 (Professional aspirations)

(350 word maximum)

  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?
  • How will the part-time MBA help you achieve them?

If you do not live in the NYC metro area, tell us your plans to pursue the program. If you are planning to relocate, indicate your plans for employment in the NYC area.

You may start by succinctly mentioning your current career situation to set the context. (Warning: Don’t repeat your resume, but rather make this opening highlight some relevant or interesting aspect of your industry and/or function, as it is an important part of what you’ll bring to the table in a part-time program). Then move on to discuss your short-term goals. Give solid details: position, company, scope of accountability, what you want to accomplish, and how you hope to grow. If you have a formal development program that these goals are based on, it’s good to mention it. To make your goals meaningful and engaging, briefly explain WHY you want to take these steps, what excites and engages you about this anticipated path. Your longer-term goal needs less detail and should of course reflect some reasonable trajectory from the earlier role. These more distant goals could reflect a broader career “vision” in terms of the footprint you want your career to have.

In discussing how the MBA will enable you to achieve your stated goals, describe what new skills and knowledge you need in order to pursue your goals, and how the part-time MBA meets those needs.

NYU part-time MBA essay question #2 (Person, Place & Thing)

  • Please share three images – one of a person, one of a place and one of a thing – that will help the Admissions Committee get to know you. These selections should help provide insight into your personal characteristics and the qualities you would bring to the Stern community.

  • For each image you will be able to add a short paragraph explaining what your person, place & thing says about you (each paragraph should be no more than 150 words).

  • Your document of three images must be uploaded as a single PDF (they cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website).

NYU is always interested in you holistically, and they like people who are engaged in dimensions of life beyond business and work. This dual-medium (pictures and words) “essay” allows you to convey a vivid picture of a unique individual. Think about what aspects of your life and experience are important, relevant, and so-far unrepresented in the application. You might select photos based on ideas generated by this question.

There are different options in terms of approach. It would be fine, and could work well, to either a) select 3 things that are related in some way thematically to create a coherent picture of a passion or deeply meaningful aspect of your life, or b) select 3 unrelated things, each of which reflects a different and important facet of your life. 

The key to making this essay work is to feel some excitement and enjoyment in conceiving and preparing the presentation. That positive energy will come through and invigorate the essay.

(Additional information – optional)

(250 word maximum)

This essay is truly optional – it is an opportunity to provide any additional information that you feel is important in assessing your candidacy. This may include significant current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, EA, IELTS, Duolingo or TOEFL, or any other relevant information. This information may be just a few short sentences, it doesn’t need to be a full essay.

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

You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are in life. Now that you’re ready for your next achievement, make sure you know how to present yourself to maximum advantage in your NYU Langone application. In a hotly competitive season, you’ll want a member of Team Accepted in your corner, guiding you with expertise tailored specifically for you. Check out our flexible consulting packages today!

NYU part-time MBA (Langone) 2023 application deadlines

1st DeadlineFebruary 15, 20232nd DeadlineApril 1, 20233rd DeadlineMay 15, 2023

Source: NYU Stern website

Stay on top of MBA deadlines with the MBA Admissions Calendar!

[Click here to add the calendar to your Google calendar; or here to add the calendar to another app.]

***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!

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Bonus Episode: USN Rankings, LSAT, and Laid-off Workers: What Does it [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Bonus Episode: USN Rankings, LSAT, and Laid-off Workers: What Does it All Mean?

Find out the latest admissions news and what it all means [Show Summary]

USN Rankings, LSAT, and Laid-off Workers: In this bonus episode, Linda Abraham, Accepted founder and CEO, talks about the latest admissions news and what impact this can have on applicants.

Full show notes coming soon…

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How to Make a Stand-Out MBA Application Video [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Make a Stand-Out MBA Application Video

Presenting yourself effectively on video has become an essential part of the MBA application process. Admissions officers expect you to be able to capture their attention on the small screen. It’s an opportunity for them to see you think on your feet and speak ‘unscripted.’

What MBA programs want to see

  • Kellogg says their optional video essay is an opportunity for you “to showcase your personality.”

  • INSEAD sees the video essay as a method for you to “share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are.”

  • Yale says the video questions “provide a unique way for us to assess your communication skills” and to view a candidate’s “multi-dimensional” profile. 

These are just a few of several schools that also include a video component in the application. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all schools allow candidates to select a video interview. Video essays are required or optional among top schools like Kellogg, INSEAD, Yale, MIT, Rotman, and more.

For these schools (and for the rest of your career), your ability to command attention on a video format will become an integral part of your success – and could hold even more weight than the interview!

Types of MBA video essays

Research each program’s application requirements to understand what you should expect when you sit down to record your video essay.

For the most part, schools will provide you with a link to a web-based platform where you can record your video using the webcam on your laptop or smartphone. 


Video essays are due 96 hours after the application deadline. 

A video essay link will appear on your application status page after you submit your application and payment and take you to the Kira platform. 

You receive three questions, one at a time. You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.


INSEAD also uses the Kira platform. 

You will receive four questions that come one at a time. 

After each question, you will have 45 seconds to prepare and 1 minute to respond. You cannot redo your answer. It must be recorded in one take. 

(See here for requirements for Yale, Rotman)

MIT Sloan is an exception.

You get to prepare and deliver a video statement to introduce yourself to your future classmates. It must conform to the following criteria:

  • No more than 1 minute (60 seconds) in length

  • Single take (no editing)

  • Speak directly to the camera

  • Do not include background music or subtitles

How to prepare for your MBA video essay

While the prospect of a single-take video essay may be alarming, don’t worry, here are some suggestions to make sure you’re confident and prepared! They are also useful if it’s not a one-take video.

  • Check the details

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

    This may sound redundant, but if you have multiple schools requiring video essays, knowing exactly what each program expects is very important.

  • Set the scene for your video essay

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

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

    Once you’ve established your environment, let anyone whom you share a household or office with know not to disturb you. Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door if you must!

  • Prepare your device

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

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

  • Practice and get comfortable

    Record yourself taking a few common questions with your webcam (put an orange sticker with a smiley face drawn on it right next to it to remind yourself to look at the webcam and to smile!) and review your responses.

    Here are some common questions to try:

    • “Tell us about yourself.”

    • “Why do you want to attend our program?”

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

  • Notetaking

    During the time you have to prep your answer, it can be helpful to draw simple pictures on your notepad that symbolize what you want to say, rather than words. That can help guide you and are ‘stickier’ in your brain. Then put the notepad to the side, AND DO NOT LOOK AT IT while you respond. You need to look directly at the camera.

  • Keep calm and crush this video

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

If you would like help with your video essay, Accepted’s experienced MBA admissions experts, who have been prepping and critiquing MBA applicants for almost twenty years, are more than happy to help you.

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!

Molly McCracken is a Career Advisor & Internship Facilitator at Western University, previously an admissions editor & higher ed consultant at Kira Talent, an education technology company that builds holistic admissions solutions in Toronto, Canada.

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Top STEM MBA Programs: A Comprehensive List and Overview of STEM-OPT E [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Top STEM MBA Programs: A Comprehensive List and Overview of STEM-OPT Eligible B-Schools

U.S. STEM MBA Programs: An Overview

STEM certification programs have proven application bonanzas for top business schools. STEM certification may have begun pre-pandemic as a way to alleviate uncertainty in the visa process, but the programs have proven to be a robust inducement for MBA applicants, particularly from foreign countries. According to Poets & Quants, “At Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, the move to designate its entire MBA program STEM in early 2021 paid dividends this year. . . Its applications rose by an incredible 21%, an increase of 450 to 2,555, even though Cornell presumably felt the same domestic squeeze as its peer schools.”

[List of top STEM OPT U.S. Business Schools >>]

Cornell’s new MBA class has students from 43 countries, a dramatic rise from 30 countries from 2021. Cornell is receiving roughly double the number of international applications as domestic applications. Poets & Quants also reported strong upticks in foreign student enrollment among 27 B-schools surveyed: “In the top 10, the average gain was 10.2 percentage points, or 36.6%, with Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business the biggest by points — 18, or 72%, to 43% — and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania the biggest by percentage: 84.2%, or 16 points, to 35%.

“Across all 27 schools, the average gain from 2020 to 2022 was 14.6 percentage points, or 69%. The biggest gain was at CMU Tepper, which doubled its total from 28% to 56%; notably, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School gained 23.5 points, or more than 200%, to 35%. Three other B-schools more than doubled their international ranks in two years.”

Are you an international MBA applicant? We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU GET ACCEPTED >>

The GMAC’s survey from 2019 was the first to inquire about a program’s STEM-certification, and found that these programs were more likely to report growth in international applicants. A total of 195 of the 804 U.S. programs responding reported that their programs were STEM-certified (24%). Among them, the most common program types were Master of Data Analytics (28%); Master of Finance (22%); and Master of Information Technology (14%). And while a majority of both STEM-certified (53%) and non-STEM (57%) programs reported declines in total applications during this period, STEM-certified programs fared better among international applicants. In the 2019-2020 academic year, 43% of STEM-certified programs grew their international applications, compared with 26% of non-STEM programs.

Given ongoing concerns over visa status and one’s ability to work in the U.S. after business school, programs that are STEM-certified are sure to be more appealing to this applicant pool.

While some MBA programs – such as Chicago Booth, Wharton, Virginia Darden – now offer specific concentrations that qualify international students for STEM OPT, others – such as Berkeley Haas, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, and Rochester Simon – qualify MBA graduates of all majors in their MBA programs for this extension.

During 2021, MBA programs have seen a rebound in international applicants, and many schools (NYU Stern, Darden, and Yale) are touting this return. Still, they are maintaining their STEM certifications because it will pave the way for their graduates to get jobs and stay in the U.S. long enough to pay off or pay down their loans. Despite its cost, the MBA degree continues to pay robust dividends right off the bat. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article: “At about 98% of universities that offer master’s of business administration programs, graduates typically made more money two years out of school than they had borrowed, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data for nearly 600 programs found.”

STEM MBA Programs

Name of MBA ProgramMajors That Are STEM DesignatedMBA Essay Tips

Arizona State CareyAll MBA PlatformsTips

Babson MBA1) Business Analytics and Machine Learning

2) Quantitative FinanceTips

Berkeley HaasAll MajorsTips

Brigham Young MarriottManagement Science and Quantitative MethodsTips

Carnegie Mellon All Majors Tips

Chicago BoothAll MBA programsTips

Columbia Business SchoolMBA and EMBA programsTips

Cornell Johnson1) Two-Year Management Science MBA2) One-Year Management Science MBA3) Tech MBA4) MPS in Management5) MPS in Management - Accounting SpecializationTips

Dartmouth TuckSTEM trackTips

Duke Fuqua Second Major in Management Science and Technology Management (MSTeM)Tips

Georgetown McDonoughManagement Science major Tips

Harvard Business SchoolManagement Science trackTips

Indiana KelleyAccounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Marketing or Supply Chain and OperationsTips

Lehigh University College of BusinessBusiness Analytics (a concentration within 1-MBA)Tips

Michigan RossSTEM trackTips

MIT SloanMBAnTips

New York University Tech MBA

Two-year full-time MBATips

Northwestern KelloggManagement Science

MMM Program for Dual Engineering/MBA DegreesTips

Notre Dame MendozaMBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics Dual DegreeTips

Pace UniversityMBA in Information SystemsTips

Purdue KrannertMBA-STEMTips

Rice JonesAll MBA ProgramsTips

Rochester SimonAll SpecializationsTips

RutgersSTEM designationTips

Stanford GSB1) All MBA majors2) MSxTips

SyracuseFT MBA, M.S. in Business Analytics, MS in Finance, MS in Marketing and MS in Supply Chain ManagementTips

Texas McCombs14 of the 22 concentrations for the full-time MBA programTips

University of California, DavisAll MajorsTips

University of California, IrvineAnalytics in Digital Leadership concentrationTips

University of California, Los AngelesAll SpecializationsTips

University of California, RiversideAll MBA ProgramsTips

University of California, San Diego1) Full-time MBA2) FlexEvening3) FlexWeekendTips

University of California San Francisco1) Financial Analysis, MS2) Information Systems, MS3) Full-Time MBA4) Marketing Intelligence, MS5) Energy Systems Management & MBA6) Environmental Management & MBA (4+1), BS/MBA7) Financial Analysis & MBA (4+1), BSBA/MSTips

University of Connecticut1) Business Analytics 2) Digital Marketing Strategy 3) Financial Analysis and InvestmentsTips

University of Delaware LernerMajor in Business AnalyticsTips

University of Georgia TerryOnly open to U. of Georgia undergraduates; includes 45 majorsTips

University of North Carolina Kenan-FlaglerAll MBA ProgramsTips

University of North Texas RyanMBA in Business AnalyticsTips

University of Washington FosterManagement ScienceTips

University of Wisconsin - Madison1) Specialization in Operations and Technology Management

2) Supply Chain ManagementTips

USC Marshall Specialization in Management ScienceTips

Vanderbilt OwenFinance ConcentrationTips

Wharton1) Business Analytics2) Business, Economics & Public Policy (BEPP)3) Business, Energy, Environment & Sustainability (BEES)4) Operations, Information & Decisions (OID)5) Quantitative Finance6) StatisticsTips

Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)Full-time MBATips

We’re going to do our best to keep this table current. However, please do not rely on this table; confirm the STEM designation yourself to make sure that the MBA programs you apply to really have that designation. And if you find out a school has attained STEM certification and is not on the list, please let us know by emailing

If you would like to learn how to get into top MBA programs that offer STEM OPT eligibility and are a good fit for you, register for a free consultation with me

At Accepted, we’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

By Jennifer Bloom, admissions consultant at Accepted for 20 years and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at guiding you to produce application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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How Can You Prepare for Your Post-MBA Career Before Youre Accepted [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How Can You Prepare for Your Post-MBA Career Before You’re Accepted

Learn what you can do to prepare for your future employment [Show Summary]

Diana Economy, former Head of Admissions at Michigan Ross and Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at Vail Resorts, [url=]offers her unique perspective on how students can prepare for future employment even while applying to or completing an MBA program[/url]. 

Interview with Diana Economy, former Head of Admissions at Michigan Ross and Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at Vail Resorts [Show Notes]

Welcome to the 501st episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for listening. I hope you tuned into our very special 500th episode last week. If not, [url=]you can still catch it[/url].

You’ve seen the stats that most people have a great return on their MBA investment, but what about you? Are you going to see that kind of return? How much will it be? How much can you anticipate? We’ve created a tool that will help you assess whether the MBA is going to be a good investment for you. Just go to [url=][/url], complete the brief questionnaire, and you’ll not only get an assessment but also the opportunity to calculate different scenarios. And it’s all free. 

It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk, Diana Economy, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager – Programs and International for Vail Resorts, and formerly the Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at Michigan Ross. After graduating with a BA in Organization Studies from the University of Michigan, Diana worked in talent management for companies like Kearney and Kirkland & Ellis. She returned to Ross and earned her MBA in 2010, and then again worked for Kirkland & Ellis and BCG before returning to Ross as Associate Director of Admissions. She was the Director of Admissions for the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA program from 2017 until just this past July when Diana joined Vail Resort. 

Before we get into the interview, I have to ask how’s the skiing? [2:35]

Oh my gosh, Linda, I have never thought so much about snow. It’s going well so far. It’s always kind of fun to hear as the resorts are beginning to get the snow and opening. Especially in the work that we do with talent acquisition, a lot of folks are starting over the course of the next month. It’s a really exciting time in the industry.

What is the common thread between recruiting MBA students and recruiting talent for Vail Resorts? [3:16]

It’s really interesting, given the cyclical nature of the admissions cycle and, of course, the cyclical nature of the ski season. A lot of our resorts are open through the summer as well, but no question that we’re hitting the Super Bowl timeframe of the operations. As I think about what I learned from my time in admissions, as well as working in talent acquisition and the kinds of things that we look for in our employees, I really find that people who have a good sense of who they are and how they can contribute, those qualities translate both to admissions committees and to our guests.

If any of you have been to ski resorts or resorts in general and you think about the people that you interact with, whether it’s somebody who’s running the lift or doing these other things, they’re very engaging, they’re very natural in doing that. Of course, an MBA is doing a very different type of work and a different skill set is required to get into the MBA program. But there’s something to be said about those who thrive in an MBA program and their ability to build those connections and have the ability to impact and influence those around them that I see as very fluid between both the MBA admissions and recruiting that I did and what we look for in great talent at Vail Resorts.

I find your focus on contribution very interesting, especially when you talk about networking, because networking has such a strong connotation of “what’s in it for me.” [4:46]

You’re right. When we’re reading applications and admissions, one of the things you’re thinking about is “Who is this person going to be when they’re sitting in the classroom? What kind of contribution are they going to make there? Who is this person when they’re on a team of people where there’s no leader on the team, and everybody has to work together to figure out how to get to the output for the class assignment? Who is this person at 10 o’clock at night?” MBA programs are not like a 9:00 to 5:00 job where you go home, and you’re somebody else. It’s very fluid. There are a lot of social experiences, academic experiences, career, and cultural experiences, and I think moving in and out of those experiences and being authentic and natural to who you are, as well as open-minded to learn from those around you is very important.

How do you suggest people choose where to apply and, if accepted, where to attend among multiple acceptances? [6:04]

This is an interesting question in light of something you and I have been talking about online, which is law schools not using rankings anymore. I think a common answer here might be that a lot of people look to the rankings first to figure out where to apply. Something I’ve always said is that rankings, or anything else, need to go much deeper than that. One of the things that I think COVID brought forward for candidates is the many ways to engage with schools now. They used to wait for an admissions officer to come to their country or location, and they’d only come once, and this was the one chance to interact with a school. Maybe there were a few virtual events, but students were really relying on a website.

Now, there are so many virtual office hours, engagement opportunities, and on-demand content that are really prescriptive about what the experience is going to be like. I know at Michigan Ross, we had over 300 student ambassadors, and you could filter by their background, their interests, and where they were from. I always told people that if, at minimum, they just read the student ambassador bios on our site, they were going to get a really good idea of who’s in that program and the people they’d be learning with.

To hear firsthand about that directly from the people that are part of that community is invaluable and certainly goes well beyond the rankings. You’ll find the school if you’re listening for the right things. I would tell you as you’re taking notes, if you created a spreadsheet, the things that are important to me and I’d recommend you to write down are who you talked to and how you felt after. Not just what you heard from them, but did you enjoy that conversation? Would you want to speak to somebody else at that school? I think a lot of times if you talk to the one person at any given school that’s very much like you, you’re probably going to hear what you would expect to hear. But it’s in that second or third or fourth conversation with somebody else that might have different interests that you get some perspective. Are you hearing some similar themes with the way that the students react to the program? I think it’s in that voice that you’re hearing about the experience they’re articulating that you start to understand your own fit.


I’m not defending the rankings here, but I’ve always viewed them as stores of data. In that sense, they served a function and they were valuable. But as rankings, I think they were named for sales purposes and marketing purposes, and they worked in that sense. But they were terribly misnamed. [9:23]

Very misnamed. They started at a time when people had much more limited access to data and information. You’re right, the number of students I find who don’t spend time thinking about what the rankings measure and compare them against their own value set. If you take a look at the US News, it’s 25% of admissions data. What does that really mean? It means GMAT, GPA, and a little bit on selectivity, how many people you’re selecting in with the number that have applied. That’s it. Otherwise, it’s what other deans think about your school and what recruiters think of your students. It’s not about job satisfaction, but what job did you get? Did you get it in a timely manner? And how much money are you making as a result? 

If you care about the diversity of people in the classroom around you, that ranking doesn’t really measure that. There are so many pieces that people prioritize that are just not considered in the ranking.



When you’re hiring for management positions at Vail Resorts, what are you looking for? [19:06]

In my role at Vail, I work on the talent acquisition strategy or the things that make talent acquisition go. When I’m doing international recruiting, it’s actually mostly students. It’s more similar than it is different to the work that I did at Ross. Having said that, I see some similarities, especially as you look for executives. As I talk to friends in other industry spaces, there’s this notion that somebody needs to be able to come in and be resilient and adaptable because everybody can say, “Okay, I’ve developed a set of hard skills, and I can run these reports and do these spreadsheets and manage these technical skills,” but I think businesses are changing so fast. Vail acquired a ton of resorts in the last 10 or 15 years. They went from a handful of resorts to 40+ resorts.

It’s not just the tech industry where you see this evolution of what the new business looks like. It’s other industries that maybe didn’t have as much change in the past that could be accelerating that change. A lot of businesses are looking for you to be adaptable to that. I think change is uncomfortable and a little scary for folks but I think the MBA is a great playground, if you will, for change. It’s a great space to try new things and adapt and flex those skills such that you can demonstrate them to employers. That’s probably what’s going to differentiate these laid-off tech workers. A lot of them have a technical skill set. Probably some are a little better than others, but let’s say most of them are more similar than they are different. What’s going to differentiate them? It might be their relationships or their ability to demonstrate that they can pivot and adapt to change.

How can career changers enhance their chances of making the pivot they hope to make even before they’re accepted to school? Maybe I’m computer programming and I want to go into general management and want to apply to an MBA program in the fall. What steps can I take now that will help me make that change? [21:55]

We’re in November, so candidates might be applying now for next September. You mentioned that maybe they have some interest in general management or brand management or whatever the case is. There’s an inkling that they have developed, whether it’s through their own professional experience or otherwise, from hearing more about these other professions about what that future could look like. They’re starting to visualize themselves in that future. They’re starting to put together a career goal essay. They’re already thinking about that right now. I think there are so many ways to learn about what that future could look like. I know that Ross, over the course of the last month, just did a bunch of webinars, a full hour on why Ross for healthcare, why Ross for marketing, and why Ross for data and analytics.

Not only are you going to learn how that school is going to help prepare you to get into that field, but you’re also going to hear directly from people about what they did during their internships and why they chose the companies they did. That’s one small piece of a lot of this knowledge that’s out there about what these career paths really look like. 

If you apply next fall, you’re literally only 12-14 months from doing your internship interview. I think people don’t realize that that starts in maybe December or January of your first year. You are a year away from needing to demonstrate a set of skills to a future employer. I think if you have some clarity around those skills and some space within your current job, this is the time to seek out a stretch project or experience that’s going to allow you to acquire a specific resume bullet or, at a minimum, bring more direct, applicable experience into an interview.

What’s a common misconception about the hiring process and talent acquisition? [24:52]

I’m going to build from the first year of that MBA experience because I think for prospective MBA applicants, they don’t realize just how early the recruiting process starts. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a misconception, but just something that maybe there’s not as much awareness on. Just to give some context, a lot of schools over the course of the summer do a substantial amount so that when you hit the ground on day one of school, you probably have already had a lot of prep and focus on what your career path is intended to be. I think people think the MBA is two full years to explore. Do people go on one path on the internship and then change for their full-time job? Maybe. But I think it surprises people how fast that process happens.

Once you get into the networking period, which could be happening over the course of several months, and even into the interviews, the misconceptions that I see around the actual job process or experience is that people feel they have to be a certain way. Especially with consulting, companies looking for client-ready candidates. If you are only telling them about your data and analytics skills and not about your ability to build a team or relationships or develop a relationship with a client, they’re not going to pick you. 

I think a misconception is just honing in on what they believe to be a particular skill. They do value that skill, but they value well-roundedness too. You have to make sure that you’re pulling in those stories to show the other parts of who you are. I will say if you went to engineering school and you are an engineer or have been in a technical role, you must, in the admissions process for in the networking and interview process for recruiting, demonstrate something other than your engineering skills and technical background. Show the ability for small talk. 

You and I see this is different for international students too. It is really culturally different when international candidates from different parts of the world come, and they realize that the first five minutes of the conversation might be about the Michigan football game or about something that’s happening in the world or a variety of things that have nothing to do with the job. That takes practice. Again, it’s hard for Americans too, but in particular, there are nuances for international candidates. The schools work very closely to try to make sure that those cultural nuances translate and that the candidates are ready.

Do you think the withdrawal of Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley Law from the US News rankings are going to spill into business school? [28:19]

I do and I’ll tell you some of the other trends that we saw that maybe took business school a little bit longer to catch onto. You saw test waivers happening earlier than the MBA programs were bringing those forward. It was for equity reasons, and they did it across campus. I think there’s something to be said if an action is taking place on your campus. It raises the awareness of the deans around you. You can bet that the deans of Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley Law schools talk to the deans of the business schools there. They do. They get together from time to time. It’s just the nature of how deans stay connected, interacted, and engaged. I am confident that the conversation will continue to evolve. 

When the MBA programs or business schools decide to pull out, I think is an interesting point. If you’re a Yale or a Harvard, that’s a little bit different than the school that’s ranked number 27, deciding to do the same thing first. The domino effect, when it starts at the top, can sometimes move a little bit faster. I’ll be intrigued to see what happens here in the coming weeks.


I think the same question could be asked about test waivers. [29:35]

When we started our test waiver at Michigan Ross, the top schools didn’t do it. It was a lot of discussion about what it would mean for the school. How do we maintain quality? What does it look like? What measures are we looking at for success? We also did it at a point at which people were saying, “I cannot get to a test center to be able to take the test.” Or, “I live in an environment that’s not great for me to have four dedicated hours to be able to take this test and perform my best.” When we heard that, we made adjustments based on the candidates’ situation. I’ll be honest, we made those adjustments thinking, “Well, we’re going to try this right now.” It was situational in the moment. We gathered data along the way and we now have data that says people that have the test waiver did well in the classroom. People that have the test waiver are still getting good job outcomes. 

At Michigan Ross, it’s still only like 80% have the test and 20% do not. There are a number of candidates who choose to take the test as an added demonstration of their candidacy or maybe build up a deficiency they feel they have. It is still the case that a lot of people are taking tests. It’s probably because a lot of schools still require the test. They’re applying to schools where they need a test, but even as we move into this post-COVID world, Michigan Ross has continued their test waiver. We’ll see if that continues. But it’s in a new environment, and I think the fact that we saw some demonstrated success from it. There are other measures that we can take a look at to be able to determine both candidacy as well as scholarship.

How can someone get a job at Vail Resorts? [31:59]

That’s a good question. There are so many jobs, Linda. This is one of those environments where I get a chance to work with people who run the mountains. They run lift operations or the tickets or the rental business or all these things. It’s fascinating to me just because there’s such amazing diversity of talent in the work that we are all doing collectively to make this a great place. One of the things that drew me to Vail was that we’re looking to create an experience of a lifetime for our customers and for our employees. For me, what I see is a drive and a passion for the people around me, whether it’s doing great work for the guests or whether it is how we support our employees.

You can imagine, during ski season, how many guests we’re getting and all the things that are happening. But we’re also thinking about how we can support employees’ growth and success. If you’re looking to work for Vail, it comes back to this drive to both bring the experience of a lifetime to our guests and an experience of a lifetime to our employees. If that motivates you, I think that that passion comes through, and you can figure out the opportunities within that will ultimately lead towards similar objectives.

Is there anything you would’ve liked me to ask you? [33:28]

I don’t want people to be worried that the MBA is going away. I say that meaning people have to make their own assumptions and things about that. But I look at it as such a transformational experience. Like his experience of a lifetime for our employees and guests, that’s what the MBA is too. It’s an experience of a lifetime for students. I know that we hit on a theme of whether or not the MBA is still valuable. The MBA is what you make it. I think that when you go into that experience, if you’re mindful of what you want to get out of that experience and have a focus, it can be life-changing and truly transformational. I would say the question that I wish you would’ve asked is what else candidates should know about this great experience. Beyond the classes, MBA students are having incredible experiences, like going to a wedding in India with 50 of their classmates because one of their classmates is getting married. How often have you done that in your professional life, right? There are just going to be experiences that come up that you really can’t replicate outside of this very intensive, focused environment with so many great people around you. I hope you consider applying and I hope you consider applying to Michigan Ross.


[b]Related links:[/b]

[*][url=]Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips and Deadline[/url][/*]

[*][url=]MBA ROI Calculator[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting Services[/url][/*]

[b]Related shows:[/b]

[*][url=]University of Michigan’s Ross MBA Program: Everything You Need to Know[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How an MBA Can Help Entrepreneurs[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How to Get Accepted to UNC Kenan-Flagler Full-Time MBA Program[/url][/*]

[*][url=]The Questions You SHOULD Be Asking – ANSWERED![/url][/*]




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The post [url=]How Can You Prepare for Your Post-MBA Career Before You’re Accepted [Episode 501][/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: 4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization

If you work in a flat organization, how do you demonstrate advancement and growth? After all, your career progress will be compared to that of other candidates who have regular promotions with clearly delineated expanded responsibilities. In a flat organization, you may hold the same, possibly vague or even unimpressive, title for years, even though your expertise and impact grow.

In this case, the burden is on you to clarify the situation in your MBA application . Here are some ways to do so:

  • In your MBA resume bullet points, when you summarize accomplishments/experiences, order them consecutively (starting with most recent) and put dates in parentheses before or after the point. This way, if you have four years with a particular title, you can show progress within that time. Also use details to highlight growth. If the dollar scope of your projects increases over time, quantify it. Similarly, if you led three-member teams initially and now lead ten-member cross-functional teams, specify that growth. If you started doing something new, describe it in a bullet point with the date, e.g., “In 2008, began managing relationships with clients up >$500K.” The key is to look at your experiences and accomplishments and ask, “How can I portray them to reveal my professional growth?”

  • There will be even more opportunities in your essays to show your growth within a flat organization. Look for a place early on in the set of essays to add a sentence explicitly describing the situation, along the lines of, “My employer, ABC Corp., is a flat organization, with no management ladder between associate and senior management. Nevertheless, in my three years as TITLE, I have gone from ABC to XYZ.” Provide examples, ideally oneS that demonstrate your progress relative to accomplished colleagues, e.g., “I am the only one among my 10 peers to work directly on-site with our overseas clients and to accompany senior managers on sales visits to China.”

  • Ask your recommenders to address this issue directly, and explain to them why (don’t just assume they’ll understand why it matters).

  • In the application form you will have to fill in information about your roles and positions. Apply the same principles noted above to these sections, to the extent possible.

I have one final suggestion. Don’t assume a subtle read. Make the point more than once, in different ways, to make sure it gets across.

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:

The post 4 Tips for Demonstrating Professional Growth in a Flat Organization appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023 [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

What are the M7 business schools?

Talk about diversity! Seven distinct, vivid cultures – each with its own history, values, characteristics, opportunities, and challenges.

Of course, there are many commonalities among the M7 schools: all are highly competitive, all feature deep academic resources, all are supported by committed and involved alumni, and all attract top-tier recruiters (even in down business cycles). Yet the most important commonality is their individual uniqueness! Their strong and distinctive personalities literally reflect their leadership in the MBA realm. They rise to their prominent position because they are the leaders in their domain: graduate business education. So, they reasonably expect you – their students and prospective students – to have correspondingly high ambitions, whether your domain be finance, healthcare, energy, social entrepreneurship, or something else. While these M7 programs all value diversity, together they also represent diversity.

What makes the M7s so magnificent?

There are other elite MBA programs, of course. But these seven have a history together that continues – their deans connected with each other years ago and formed a group that would regularly meet and share information. Eventually, these meetings grew beyond just the deans to include others within their admissions offices, creating a consistent flow of information. Their meetings and discussions address a range of issues, including best practices for components of the admissions process and responses to current events that directly impact MBA admissions.

A deeper look at the M7s

Harvard Business School

There is not a day I regret going to HBS. The classes I am taking this year have been incredibly valuable, being taught by practitioners who have been incredibly successful in their careers. The case method is also incredibly unique. You are learning from peers who have collective experiences no individual could have themselves – from the military, Tesla, big corporations with different missions and visions, and all are invaluable to my learning experience.

Tess Michaels, then a second-year student at Harvard Business School; today Founder & CEO of Stride Funding, on Admissions Straight Talk

Immersion could be the keyword for the Harvard Business School (HBS) experience. The cornerstone of the program is the case-study academic approach: students read the case and then intensively analyze it both before and in class. The aim is to train students in real-world, complex decision-making. By continuously engaging with classmates from different functions, industries/sectors, and geographic regions in these case discussions, students radically expand their perspectives, thought processes, and knowledge. This immersive experience is heightened and enhanced by the smarts, passion, and ambition of HBS students. Outside of class, these high-achieving, high-energy students participate together in many club and volunteer activities. The two years just fly by, and suddenly you’re graduating, when it seems like you’ve just started at HBS, thanks to the nonstop immersion and engagement.

Median GMAT score: 730

Average GPA: 3.70

Acceptance Rate: 12.5%

What HBS is looking for in applicants:

Given its case method approach, HBS seeks students and future leaders who will carry their weight and contribute fully in the classroom – people who have something to say and the ability to communicate it. Further, they must be able to listen, respond thoughtfully, and adapt to new ideas as the dialogue progresses. Beyond the requisite high accomplishment, people who enthusiastically and capably engage.

For more on this, check out our blog series, What HBS Is Looking For

More HBS Resources:

HBS Application Essay Tips & Class Profile

Get Accepted to HBS Webinar

A Harvard MBA’s Experience & Advice on Writing the Perfect Essay

Entrepreneurship at HBS: How Stride will Help You Fund Your Future [Episode 341]

Work on Your HBS Application with an Admissions Expert

Seven Important Tips for Your HBS Post-Interview Reflection

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford wants people of impact. Show the Stanford GSB that you are that kind of person. All the essays should lead Stanford to that conclusion.

Linda Abraham, CEO of Accepted, in her Stanford Application Essay Tips

Transformation, nothing less – that’s what the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is about. Its Silicon Valley connection and “mythology” (as one student puts it on the website), highly customizable program, innovation, change, and entrepreneurship shape the Stanford experience. Its small, elite cohort goes on an exploratory journey together, and many emerge in a different place than they expected to when they started out. This journey integrates the personal and the professional – in Stanford’s multifaceted pedagogical approach, building business and leadership skills is tied to understanding and defining your mission, your vision. Beyond the MBA classroom, students learn from and engage with numerous guest speakers who represent the cutting edge in their fields and are encouraged to access Stanford’s various other top-notch programs, including law, medicine, engineering, humanities, and sciences. During the program, Stanford students form a robust, mutually supportive network for testing ideas, boundaries, and their own assumptions and inclinations.

Stanford GSB Average GMAT score: 737

Stanford GSB Average GPA: 3.76

Stanford GSB Acceptance Rate: 6.2%

What Stanford GSB is looking for in applicants: 

Given our encapsulation of the program, Stanford wants people who will be excellent “fellow travelers.” People who have – and bring to the program – a point of view, a unique perspective. Risk-takers. Change agents. At the same time, these individuals deliberately remain a “work in progress” – always open to new information, ideas, and situations and willing to change accordingly. They relish exploration and collaboration.

For more on this, check out our blog series, What Stanford GSB Is Looking For.

More Stanford GSB resources:

Stanford MBA Class Profile

Stanford MBA Application Essay Tips

What These Seasoned Startup Founders Have Done Since Earning Their Stanford MBAs [Episode 382]

Get Accepted to Stanford GSB Webinar

A Stanford MBA Discusses Coffee Chats

Interview with a Stanford GSB Student Combining an MBA with a Tech Startup

Applying to the Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program: Everything You Need to Know

Work on Your Stanford GSB Application with an Admissions Expert

MIT Sloan

If you are looking to put the finishing touches on your essay, we recommend you have two people review – someone who knows you really well and can tell you if it sounds like you, and someone who you trust but maybe doesn’t know you as well to get a sense of what the essay does sound like, and judge whether or not it’s the way you want it to be.

Dawna Levenson, MIT Sloan Assistant Dean, on Admissions Straight Talk

The MIT MBA program’s embrace of “wicked problems” captures what’s special about the MIT Sloan MBA. The MIT cohort learns how to develop robust solutions that can weather uncertainty, ambiguity, and change. And they take pleasure in that learning. Sure, the adcom wants leaders – people who become leaders organically by drawing others along the journey to solve a wicked problem. The MIT MBA roots its approach in two concepts that intertwine: invention, entailing creativity and agility, and data-driven analysis, entailing rigor and objectivity. These concepts align with those of the broader MIT university. Just as a robust process involves iteration, this program supports its pedagogy with ongoing experiential learning opportunities – practice – to reinforce and deepen the learning and ensure that students grasp topics in a real-world context. In essence, the MIT MBA program graduates people who are able to see around corners and are prepared to make constructive use of whatever they encounter. They will probably lead others in the process, as a result of their zeal and/or vision to tackle a compelling problem.

MIT Sloan Median GMAT score: 730

MIT Sloan Median GPA: 3.62

MIT Sloan Acceptance Rate: 12.1%

What MIT Sloan is looking for in applicants:

Can you be guided by the data? MIT seeks students who are open to going where the data leads, even if it contradicts their preferences or assumptions. MIT also seeks people who possess both vision and practical skills, who are creative and analytic. That doesn’t mean the school expects (or wants) these qualities 50/50, but if, say, you veer toward creative and visionary, you should still show a record of concrete impact and achievement. Needless to say, in such a program, curiosity and collaboration are also sought.

More MIT Sloan Resources:

MIT Sloan MBA Application Essay Tips and Class Profile

What’s New at MIT Sloan’s Competitive Full-Time MBA [Episode 409]

Ask Me Anything with MIT Sloan’s Assistant Dean of Admissions

Work on Your MIT Sloan Application with an Admissions Expert


We want students to do self-reflection on why they want this degree. We want students to explore the pivot moment (when they decided they wanted to do this) and unpack the talent and treasure they can bring to the MBA. Spend the time and really think about the top three things you will get out of the program.

Blair Mannix, Wharton’s Director of Admissions, on Admissions Straight Talk

The Wharton MBA program is big – almost 900 enrolled students, multiple opportunities for joint degrees and certificates (from law and veterinary medicine to the Lauder program and Harvard Kennedy School), 21 majors, innumerable electives (including courses across the many other campus schools), and clubs too many to count in several broad categories: professional, athletics, social and special interest, community service, and international and cultural. Yet, Wharton does not sacrifice quality for quantity. Each of its many majors is deep and rigorous. Moreover, its tiered structure of five- or six-person Learning Teams at the core that are selected to be diverse in multiple dimensions – surrounded by Clusters of 70 or so, encircled by Cohorts of 210 – ensures some consistency and drives dynamism throughout the learning process. Especially with the Learning Teams and Cohorts, what you learn from teammates and classmates will help you to take full advantage of the program’s vast resources – and in turn, you can share what you discover about the program with them. Your “two cents” about a class, major, or club might open a magical door for someone who otherwise would not have encountered it among the abundance of opportunities. While bigness and abundance characterize this program, Wharton has devised the perfect learning structure that personalizes and optimizes it for students.

Wharton Average GMAT score: 733

Wharton Average GPA: 3.6

Wharton Acceptance Rate: 18.2%

What Wharton is looking for in applicants: 

Wharton wants applicants who, along with being high performers, are actively engaged in activities and/or interests that contribute somehow – this doesn’t necessarily have to be community service, but some clear and consistent engagement outside work that positively impacts others. Finally, given Wharton’s extensive opportunities and resources, it is essential that applicants show they are resourceful – Wharton does not want its abundance squandered.

More Wharton Resources:

Wharton MBA Class Profile

Wharton MBA Application Essay Tips

Nine Tips for Team Interviews

Get Accepted to Wharton Webinar

What’s New at Wharton? Interview with Wharton’s Director of Admissions

How to Present a Winning Wharton Application: Interview with Wharton’s Director of Admissions

A Bain Consultant Turned Wharton MBA Starts Her Own Business

How This Wharton MBA Created Her Women’s Workwear Brand

Work on Your Wharton Application with an Admissions Expert

Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg values people who are going to be engaged and “all in” with their experience… Bottom line we look at engagement, initiative, and collaboration. High impact, low ego – people who elevate everyone in the room.

Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions, on Admissions Straight Talk

Teamwork and management remain hallmarks of the Kellogg MBA program – teamwork is a means to the ends of learning content and skills, growing as a leader and manager, preparing to achieve your goals, and contributing to the Kellogg community. Kellogg’s renowned strength in management underpins the academic program with two management-focused majors, “Management Science” and “Managing Organizations,” along with numerous other traditional functional majors. Complementing these pillars of business training, Kellogg has innovated by also offering “pathways,” which are cross-functional sets of courses that address timely topics, including “Technology Management,” “Energy and Sustainability,” and “Asset Management.” Students can mix and  match majors and pathways, benefiting from the accumulated wisdom of the scholars and experts who devise them. Kellogg has innovated in another area as well: it is one of the first U.S. MBA programs to offer a one-year program (for people with some academic business foundation). Not least, Kellogg is renowned for its abundant global opportunities, which are taken by almost half of its students.

Kellogg Average GMAT score: 729

Kellogg Average GPA: 3.7

Kellogg Acceptance Rate: 26%

What Kellogg is looking for in applicants: 

Kellogg greatly values work experience that shows exemplary people skills – leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and communication – and that also presents a record of impactful accomplishment. Because Kellogg’s student body is particularly strong in philanthropic activity, including this element is a way to show fit with the program.

More Kellogg Resources:

Kellogg MBA Class Profile

Kellogg MBA Application Essay Tips

All About the Kellogg MBAi, for Students Passionate About Business and Technology

Get a Kellogg MBA: An Interview with Dean of Admissions Kate Smith

From Biomedical Research to Kellogg MBA: A Non-Traditional Business School Journey

Work on Your Kellogg Application with an Admissions Expert

Chicago Booth

[Booth is] looking for students who demonstrate self-awareness and direction. They want to read your application and see, based on what you’ve done, that you’re going to make a mark on the world.

Linda Abraham, CEO of Accepted, in her Chicago Booth Application Essay Tips

Academic and intellectual rigor balanced by curricular flexibility – this intriguing balancing act is the valuable gift of the Chicago Booth MBA program. Intellectual culture is paramount at Booth – a reflection of the identity of the broader university to which it belongs. In the Booth MBA program, ideas are important – having them, sharing them, challenging them, testing them – and acting on them when the time is right. Booth has unrivaled depth among MBA programs in quantitative and analytic rigor. This is a fantastic asset both for students who want to refine existing strengths in these areas and for students seeking a rock-solid foundation in them. Booth’s flexibility means students tailor their learning program to their needs, which puts the onus on students to understand what they need. Although Booth students do not have to take a major, many do, in fact often pursuing multiple majors, and Booth has compiled a fascinating array of options that includes both standard items like “Accounting” and “Marketing Strategy” and less common ones like “Behavioral Science” and “Econometrics and Statistics.”

Chicago Booth Average GMAT score: 729

Chicago Booth Average GPA: 3.6

Chicago Booth Acceptance Rate: 22.6%

What Booth is looking for in applicants: 

Because of the program’s flexibility, Booth looks for people who have the self-knowledge, critical thinking skills, and resourcefulness to make the most out of the program’s flexibility and strengths and to use them productively. And because Booth values ideas, it looks for applicants who will go beyond practical career training to explore new topics, areas, and disciplines and who will challenge themselves intellectually.

(For more on this, check out Finding and Articulating Fit with the Booth MBA.)

More Chicago Booth Resources:

Booth MBA Application Essay Tips

Get Accepted to Chicago Booth Webinar

Work on Your Chicago Booth Application with an Admissions Expert

Columbia Business School

To me [what interests me about you as an applicant is] what kind of leader will you prove to be with the people you are around right now. Do you make the people you are around right now better and how do you do that?

Michael Robinson, Columbia Business School Director of Admissions, in an AMA Session with Accepted

Integral to Columbia’s MBA program and the school’s identity is its New York City home. Indeed, the Columbia Business School (CBS) website landing page refers to access to New York City (NYC) as a top asset of the program. Thanks to this location, along with the program’s renowned full-time faculty, CBS attracts adjuncts and speakers who are thought leaders in many areas of business and beyond, because so many either reside in/near NYC or visit frequently. Because Columbia’s ongoing interaction with the city makes it such a dynamic program, it builds student community from the start through the cluster program – clusters comprise 60-75 diverse students who take all first-year classes together. As for academics, CBS’s depth in finance is unique, offering special programs for private equity and value investing. Other highly acclaimed specializations are “Social Enterprise” and “Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management” – the latter strengthened by the plethora of major pharma companies within a couple hours’ drive. The NYC location also reinforces and amplifies the program’s entrepreneurship resources, given the city’s strong tech and fintech ecosystem.

CBS Average GMAT Score: 729

CBS Average GPA: 3.6

CBS Acceptance Rate: 15.7%

What Columbia Business School is looking for in applicants: 

Beyond strong professional and academic track records, Columbia wants people who have a plan – for taking advantage of the CBS resources, for engaging with the surrounding city and its endless opportunities, and for pursuing their defined goals. Because it’s easy to fade into the background amid the immensity of NYC and the dynamism of Columbia University, CBS also wants students who can and do forge bonds with peers.

More CBS Resources:

CBS MBA Application Essay Tips

An MBA’s Perspective on Columbia Business School [Episode 373]

AMA With Columbia MBA Admissions Director Michael Robinson

Get Accepted to Columbia Business School Webinar

Work on Your CBS Application with an Admissions Expert

A final words about the M7s

Given their distinctive personalities, deep and comprehensive resources, and continuous adaptation to rapid economic, social, and technological change, these seven MBA programs continue to lead in the MBA space. As different as these schools are, many applicants can find their needs met by several, if not all, of them – each program will provide a positive life-changing experience in its own unique way. Exploring these programs in depth is a perfect way to kick off your MBA process, as you will be inspired to create and deliver your absolute best application.

The Accepted team has guided hundreds of applicants to acceptance at the M7s.

Our advisors are ready to walk you through the application process. We will help you figure out which schools you have a chance of getting accepted to (you might be pleasantly surprised!) and guide you every step of the way to ensure that you submit a magnificent, acceptance-worthy application. Learn more about our MBA Admissions Services here.

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:

The M7 business schools are Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School.

Click on the school name for a deeper look at each one!

*Acceptance rates source: U.S. News ranking

The post M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023 appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Recipe for Writing an Accomplishment Essay [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Recipe for Writing an Accomplishment Essay

Build a better accomplishments essay by following this recipe. 

Accomplishments are the bread and butter (and jam!) of MBA personal statements and application essays. That might sound straightforward, but a fascinating brainstorming session among Accepted admissions consultants revealed that applicants don’t always understand what an accomplishment is in this context. What goes into this application staple? And how can you analyze your own profile to find compelling accomplishments to write about in an academic or personal achievements essay?

In this blog post, we provide the recipe for an enticing “accomplishments sandwich.” Here are the simple ingredients:

The Bread = Impact and Initiative

The Butter = Overcoming Obstacles

The Jam = Demonstrating Leadership

The Bread = Impact and Initiative

Let’s start with the bread. Your accomplishment must show you as a contributor who has had a significant impact on a person, organization, or entity. What are some examples? You took the initiative to increase membership, lead a team to victory, build a coalition in student government, increase sales, cut costs, or find a solution to a problem that paved the way for a critical deal to go forward.

When you assess whether your achievements belong in a greatest accomplishment essay, think impact and initiative. 

Do awards count? It depends. If you won an award for a published story, an athletic competition, or some other “personal best,” those would be excellent choices for an essay about a personal achievement. More often, however, you will be asked to write about a significant achievement with impact beyond your own personal growth. In these situations, an award you’d like to write about would have had to result from an effort – either academic or professional – that involved a team or some entity beyond a “personal best.”  

By now, you probably see the difference between an achievement that is primarily personal versus one that is career related. You might already recognize which among your achievements are notable enough to write about. But let’s say you don’t have much that feels important enough. How you can identify potential experiences for your accomplishments essay?

A good place to start is by reviewing your resume. Ideally, it will be loaded with as many quantifiable achievements as possible, from both professional and extracurricular roles. If you work in marketing and bagged four new accounts in a single year, leading to a promotion, that’s an achievement. If you work in a social service agency and developed a new intake system for clients that the agency adopted, leading to a more organized and streamlined process, that’s an achievement. In college, you might have been involved in a student organization that promotes career development and leadership among minority students, and even became president of that organization. That’s an achievement.

Which experiences on your resume stand out to you now? No doubt you’ll start to see things popping out at you.

Small achievements can be big.

Significant accomplishments can also be quieter and smaller. The following sample essay offers a great example in which the impact starts with one person but radiates outward: 

From the first day, my task to mentor a new hire, Thomas, was a challenge. He had strong work experience in product development at his previous job, but he was soft-spoken and reserved, and had a strong stutter. While I felt pain for him as he struggled to complete a word or a sentence, it was also awkward for both of us as I waited for him to finish his point. During a department meeting, someone actually rolled her eyes as Thomas was answering a question. I just glared at her for being so cold. At our weekly department lunches, which were meant to be a relaxed social time for everyone, Thomas hung back quietly, seeming like he was a million miles away. 

I still didn’t understand why Thomas seemed a little slow to catch on to the ways of our department. He was clearly very intelligent. It was taking me longer to complete my own work because of the extra time I was spending with him on his assignments. One afternoon, on a whim, I invited him to join me for dinner at a popular burger place. He looked surprised but agreed.

That night broke the ice. Thomas relaxed and enjoyed his dinner, and I noticed his speech was more fluid as well. We discovered a mutual love of soccer and political thriller novels. I really enjoyed his company and told him so. We went out again the following week to an Italian place that he chose. On our third “date,” Thomas opened up about a broken engagement that happened just before he started this new job. He knew that his grief was distracting him, clouding his thinking, and making his stutter worse. 

“I know I’ve not been easy to train,” he told me, “but I’m starting to come out of it now.” After that night, Thomas’s work improved rapidly. He risked speaking up more at the weekly lunches and at meetings, and everyone was patient when he struggled to say something, although those occasions were less frequent. 

I consider this mentoring experience one of my greatest accomplishments because in trying to befriend a coworker, I not only gained a true friend for myself but also helped him gain confidence and perform to his capacity at work. It was the first time in my life when I felt I had such a strong and positive impact on another person. It showed me the power of small gestures of friendship and understanding. 

As we can see, this writer’s decision to offer a listening ear to a coworker who seemed in some sort of distress became an achievement that was both personal and professional. His actions had impact that flowed outward beyond just Thomas to the entire department and organization. 

The Butter = Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming obstacles, such as a lack of resources – like time, money, innate talent, or people – magnifies your accomplishments. Our best-laid plans rarely go smoothly, so make sure you tell the story of any difficulties you faced. By the way, the obstacle can work “double-duty” by also representing a failure that you experienced and chose to learn from, emerging wiser and more capable at the end. When discussing either obstacles or failures, do not point fingers, blame other people or circumstances, or complain about the unfairness of it all. State the facts simply. The situation will speak for itself. 

Here’s an example of how one applicant dealt with a significant obstacle: 

My book launch had been planned for nearly one year. This was my first book, a biography about my great-grandmother, a trailblazing homeopathic physician who lived at a time when even regular women M.D.’s were a rarity. I wanted to self-publish but knew there was a huge amount of work involved that I didn’t feel suited for. There was editing, design, layout, marketing, getting the book accepted into the book distribution system, and more. Most published books are quickly forgotten and sell few copies. I didn’t want that to happen to mine. 

My solution was to sign an agreement with my friend Haley to publish my book. She was a talented graphic artist who had set up her own publishing company to publish her husband’s book. Our agreement spelled out our individual financial obligations and responsibilities, but I had a nagging worry. Her marriage was tumultuous, and she could make impulsive decisions. 

Six weeks before the publishing date, a popular book blogger promised a 5-star review on her blog. I also sold an excerpt to my college alumni magazine. I was still doing my “happy dance” when Haley called to tell me that our deal was off. She was leaving her husband and driving to stay with her mother, who lived in another state. She said she’d be in touch to work something out. She didn’t say when.

I was furious and anguished. My biggest problem was that the book’s ISBN (identification) number was assigned to Haley’s company, and it could not be reassigned to anyone else. Haley also had the distribution and payment agreements in her name. I could have kicked myself for not listening to my intuition, which warned me against working with someone whose life was so upside down.

I researched my options. The ISBN could not be transferred to me, but if I bought her publishing company, I would also own her ISBNs. I had no idea if Haley would agree to this or how we would work out terms, but the only way to save my book was to do the very thing I had tried to avoid: become a publisher myself. 

The following week, Haley agreed to sell me her publishing company for a token amount. It had no assets, and I had already paid for all book-related costs, except for Haley’s time. She also promised to help me with the transition of all the accounts. I decided not to look too far ahead and just focus on giving my book the best send-off into the world that I could. I named the publishing company after my great-grandmother. 

This story about a close call with a publishing disaster revealed the writer’s achievement of stretching beyond what she thought she could do and moving forward because she had to. Making lemonade out of lemons this way was certainly an achievement worth sharing.  

Let’s review where we are so far with our “recipe.” 

The Bread = Impact and Initiative

The Butter = Overcoming Obstacles 

Now, let’s sweeten the dish with some jam. 

The Jam = Demonstrating Leadership

Leadership accomplishments that are appropriate for application essays usually involve one’s ability to influence, motivate, persuade, direct, and work effectively with others. This turns your humble bread and butter sandwich into a sweet treat. 

Think about how you have worked with other people – how you led a team, what you learned, and so on. How did you demonstrate leadership skills? What did you learn about leadership, and how have you grown as a leader through the experience?

In this next example, the writer’s accomplishment through leadership seemed almost accidental:

My job teaching in a private school began uneventfully. I had a class of bright 4th graders, with only a handful expected to be “challenging.” I loved my supervisor, Monica, who was a gifted teacher but new to her role as a team lead overseeing the 3rd and 4th grades. In addition to having one class of her own, Monica was supposed to create interventions for struggling students, incentivize specific behavior or achievements, plan events or trips, and offer guidance to teachers. 

Monica quickly showed that her skill set was really in the classroom and not in administration. She let requests from teachers for interventions or advice pile up, and she got testy when I reminded her that I was waiting for her feedback. I wanted to work with her and not against her, so I offered to help. I suggested we meet twice a week after school to review her in-box, and I discovered that just by having me sit with her and discuss the situations, she could focus much better. Although I only had two years’ experience as a teacher, Monica still seemed to value my opinion on handling thorny situations, such as when a wealthy parent who was on the school’s board of directors refused to face the reality of her daughter’s chronically aggressive behavior in class. This case was bigger than the both of us, and we agreed that Monica needed to bring it to the headmistress of the school for her intervention.

About halfway through the year, Monica and I were still meeting regularly. It was an unexpected partnership, and it was clear to both of us that she wanted to return to full-time teaching. I realized that the administrative tasks and decision-making came more naturally to me than to her, and that after a few more years of teaching experience and a master’s degree in education, I might enjoy having a job like hers. 

Another person in her situation might have simply become angry or resentful at my trying to play a role in her job. I could have been completely shut out. But Monica and I became friends, and I learned a lot from watching her dynamism in the classroom. Additionally, she courageously told the headmistress about our arrangement and asked if the school could pay me for my extra hours – which it did. 

This was a totally unexpected situation that helped me realize that I wanted to take a fork in the road of my career in education. 

Finding the experiences in your life where you have shown initiative and impact, overcome obstacles, and demonstrated leadership will help you write an essay deserving of a chef’s kiss!

Are you thinking about what you’ve got to include in a winning accomplishments essay? Team up with Accepted’s consultants to help you pinpoint your best material. As your partner and guide in this process, we will ensure your selections will make you stand out for all the right reasons!

By Judy Gruen, former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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Duke Fuqua Full-Time MBA Program Adds New Round to Its Admissions Cale [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Duke Fuqua Full-Time MBA Program Adds New Round to Its Admissions Calendar


Duke Fuqua’s Assistant Dean of Admissions, Allison Jamison, [url=]announced [/url]on Tuesday that the school is adding an additional admissions round to the 2022-2023 Full-Time MBA and Accelerated MBA application cycle.

The program’s Round 3 deadline is now February 13, 2023, and the final round, which is now Round 4, has a deadline of March 28, 2023.

In addition, Fuqua is allowing Round 3 applicants to submit a self-reported score for the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment as long as they take the test by February 28, 2023.

The remaining due dates for Fuqua this cycle are as follows:

[b]Round[/b][b]Due Date[/b][b]Interview Decision Sent[/b][b]Final Decision Released[/b]Round 3Feb. 13, 2023Mar. 4, 2023Mar. 17, 2023Round 4Mar. 28, 2023Apr. 12, 2023May 2, 2023

In the blog post, Dean Jamison explained that the school is making these changes in response to the recent layoffs, the winter COVID/flu/RSV surge, geopolitical struggles, and other various challenges people are facing at this time. Given these challenges, Fuqua wants to be flexible and helpful. Jamison stated that the program saw an increase in Round 2 applications over last year and that lower application volume did not motivate the change. 

Fuqua not only added the new round in February but is also giving applicants targeting the February 13 deadline more time for test prep by allowing them to submit a score after they submit the application, provided they take the test by February 28, 2023.

[b]My Take[/b][b]

I have no doubt that Fuqua’s administration is motivated by a desire to help applicants prepare the best applications they can and to accommodate those affected by layoffs and circumstances they couldn’t anticipate.

At the same time, while Duke’s Round 2 applications are up over last year, last year’s Round 2 application volume might not have been the best. For most top MBA programs, it was not. It’s also possible that this year’s Round 1 volume was down and that Round 2 hasn’t made up for that decline. I conclude that whether its application volume is up or down, Fuqua feels it can stand to review more applications so that it can create the best class possible for its Class of 2025.

It seems to me that Duke Fuqua, like most of its competition, is not yet overwhelmed with applications. That situation could change radically if the recession and unemployment worsen.

The same can be said for the other [url=]MBA programs that have announced changes to their application process[/url] in the past four to six weeks and in response to increasing layoffs.

Applying [b]before [/b]unemployment really soars is a good idea. Take advantage of these additional rounds and accommodations.


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. [b][url=]Want an admissions expert to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url][/b]

The post [url=]Duke Fuqua Full-Time MBA Program Adds New Round to Its Admissions Calendar[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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What Does 2022 Mean for Applicants in 2023 [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: What Does 2022 Mean for Applicants in 2023

Reflecting on trends that impacted graduate admissions in 2022, Linda Abraham shares her predictions for 2023 and offers an action plan for those planning to apply in the new year. [Show Summary]

Thanks for joining me for today’s solo show. I’m going to review a few trends from 2022 and also attempt to inspire you for the upcoming year. You can email me at when my predictions prove wrong in the course of the year.

Predictions: More law schools will withdraw from U.S. News rankings [1:16]

I predict that more law schools will withdraw from U.S. News rankings. 

Will the rankings influence end with the withdrawal of these schools? I actually don’t think so. 

U.S. News will use publicly available data and still rank programs. Its rankings will continue to influence admissions, recruiting, and applicant decisions. But are they going to hold as much sway as they have in the past? I don’t know. That’s hard to say. I don’t think the U.S. News is going to just stop ranking schools. I don’t think applicants are going to stop looking at rankings, and I don’t really think schools are going to stop being influenced by rankings. Perhaps a little less so in the past, but I think you’re going to see changes on the margins in that segment. 

What about other segments of the higher education market?

I don’t think medical schools are going to stop ranking or participating in the U.S. News ranking. I also think that the rankings are a little bit less influential in the med school arena than they are in law schools or business schools. 

It’ll be really interesting to see if business schools withdraw from the rankings. Certainly, the admissions directors there have no greater love of rankings than the law school admissions directors and deans.

I think if you see the M7 schools withdraw, you might see a trend very similar to what you’ve seen in the law school market, where it’s the elite programs that have largely withdrawn, and the lower-down ones are not withdrawing yet. There are some that have but not that many.

We’ll link to posts that Accepted has on the withdrawal of specific schools from the U.S. News rankings.

Prediction: More experimentation with test options and waivers [3:05]

What about test optionality? That has been a trend that’s been growing and increasing over the last several years. It really took off with COVID. I don’t think you’re going to see much change in the law school space this year. I think you will see it if, as anticipated, the ABA approves making tests optional for its accredited programs. I think you’re going to see more experimentation in the grad and MBA market with test optionality. And you may also see, throughout the graduate and undergraduate arenas, acceptance for a larger variety of tests.

Many law schools are accepting the GRE in addition to the LSAT. In the business school world, you’re seeing widespread acceptance of the GRE or the GMAT to the extent that the test is required. You’re seeing more waivers. You’re also seeing greater acceptance of the Executive Assessment, which was originally designed for Executive MBA programs. And at some schools, you’re seeing them basically saying, whatever has an alphabet soup in it is fine.

I think you’re going to see more and more experimentation. You’ll see more waiver options and there’s been a lot of experimentation with that in the B school market. I’m not sure you’re going to see wholesale test optionality at the elite programs. 

I think med schools will stick with the MCAT. It has some correlation to performance on the USMLE, which is obviously the test that doctors have to take at the end of medical school. And medical schools very legitimately want to know that the people they admit are going to perform in medical schools.

Grad schools are all over the map outside the professional designations that I’ve just discussed. Some are going to require a GRE or another test; some won’t. Again, a lot of experimentation is going on. 

Prediction: Application volumes will soon increase [5:03]

What about application volume? When the US or the world goes into a recession, unemployment typically increases, and application volume and competition for graduate school seats also increase. So far, unemployment is still pretty low in the United States 

If the job market remains tight, application volume will probably remain low for certainly for the remainder of this cycle, which is the 2022-2023 cycle and maybe even into the 2023-2024 cycle. I don’t think so though. I think unemployment will increase and therefore, application volume will increase. This will be for all graduate categories: business school, law school, med school, you name it. When the economy is in the tank, it’s a great time to go to graduate school, whatever your profession is. 

I don’t know that schools will hit the kind of application volume highs that they hit at the beginning of COVID lockdowns, but I think you are going to see if a recession does hit, that application volume will increase. My suspicion is that you’re going to see this either with late rounds at business schools or, more likely, the next application cycle across the board.

What to make of these predictions [6:26]

What do you take from all this?

Whether law schools are in or out of rankings is something that gets headlines, but frankly, it really shouldn’t affect you that much. You should be making your own rankings. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. U.S. News is a great source of data that you can use to compare law schools on specific metrics, but that shouldn’t be the sole determinant of where you apply. Whether you’re applying to law school, business school, med school, or whatever program it is, you should be doing your own ranking. 

Test choice and test optionality are definitely good for applicants. Having these options could change your application process and give you a bit more control than you would have if one test was definitely required by the schools you’re applying to. But even for law school, these changes won’t come until 2025, at the earliest. Frankly, if your grades don’t show academic ability or don’t reflect what you feel is your academic ability, then you will probably need to take a test. Take the one that shows you at your best. You’ll want to take it because schools want to know that they’re admitting people who can do the work. 

The anticipated increase in application volume will affect your chances of acceptance. There are so many seats in a specific school. They get more applications and competition becomes more intense. That could influence your school choice as well as where you get in. But again, that is something you don’t have a lot of control over. 

That’s a review of 2022 and some of the major changes or influences that I see on applicants from last year. 

Perspective for applications in 2023 and beyond [8:06]

Another purpose of this solo episode is to share my perspective on this whole process. I’ve been an admissions consultant since 1994. I’ve seen great applicants come through, mediocre applicants, and sometimes some not-so-good applicants. Most applicants that I’ve dealt with are really wonderful, talented people. 

I responded to a post on Student Doctor Network, which is a forum for medical school applicants, in September. This post really, really bothered me. I’m going to share the post with you and what I feel is wrong with this post.

So on the Student Doctor Network, also known as SDN, this fellow wrote:

“Two pre-interview invitation rejections and no interview invites. Sick of seeing so many people I know who are mediocre and disingenuous get consideration with record speed. Feels like no matter what I do, it’s never good enough. I’m considering just pursuing a doctorate in science and leaving the shell game alone.” 

Obviously, this fellow was frustrated. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the medical school application process, interview invitations are typically sent out between September and February. It can start a little earlier, but September is pretty typical, and this was posted towards the end of September. 

I responded to this fellow with some sympathy, but I also wrote:

“For your information, whether you get an interview invitation in September or January, as long as that interview invitation ends up with an acceptance, it doesn’t matter when the invitation comes and whether you apply once or more than once. As long as you get in, you’ll still spend the vast majority of your working life as a physician.

“So whether you go for a Ph.D. or become a physician depends not on whether others get interview invitations or acceptances but on how badly you want to be a physician versus the Ph.D. in science. They can provide very different careers and lifestyles. It also can be fairly difficult and competitive to get into Ph.D. programs.

“Finally, the people you feel are mediocre and disingenuous may have something going for them in terms of their achievements and insight into their experiences that you are unaware of. It happens all the time. They also may have presented their qualifications and fit more effectively via their application.

“Don’t automatically blame ‘the system’ and fail to take responsibility. Doing so will prevent you from improving what needs to be improved, whether you need to apply to med school or decide to pursue a different path.”

Why has this post from someone I never met stuck with me and bothered me so much? 

It reflects an attitude that I feel is very disempowering and just unhealthy. I firmly believe that graduate school is a means to an end. Anybody who has listened to this podcast knows that’s what I think. First, you determine what you most want to do and the education needed to achieve that goal. Then you figure out if your goal is worth the effort and resources required to attain it and go for it. But realize that the application process and the study or the program of study you’re trying to get into are means to an end. They are not an end in themselves. 

So whether you go for plan A or plan B, and whether that’s becoming a business person, a lawyer, a doctor, whatever it is, it should not depend on whether someone you feel is worthy or not is invited to interview. That should be really irrelevant to your decision-making process.

It should not depend on whether you get an invitation to interview at the beginning or end of the evaluation process.It should not depend on whether you agree with the admissions committee’s decisions vis-à-vis others or not. It should depend on your goal. That should be your starting place and your guiding North Star throughout this process. 

Furthermore, this fellow was comparing himself to other individual applicants that he knew. Please, please, please don’t do that. Just stop it. Don’t do it. It’s a big mistake. You may not see something in the other applicant that makes them highly qualified for their goal or perhaps they want to go into an area of your field for which they are well suited, and you are poorly suited and vice versa.

Your information could easily be incomplete. Alternatively, you can be completely correct about their fitness for their goal however, they did a better job than you did of presenting themselves in the application. 

Let’s also face it, this is not a perfect system. There are times when somebody less deserving might be admitted than somebody who is more deserving. That’s just reality. That’s life. By blaming the system and the unfairness of it all, you relieve yourself of all responsibility as well as any agency and ability to improve and change the outcome.

That was the most troubling part of the post for me. This individual had obviously done a lot of work. I think he was a re-applicant. But when you talk about the system, in other words, vague circumstances beyond your control that are definitely out there and everybody has to deal with, you can’t do anything. You can’t change. What you need to do as an applicant, whether first-time or re-applicant and not getting interview invitations, is focus on what you can change, influence, and control to achieve your goals.

Steps to take now for your 2023 applications [13:58]

If you’re a current applicant, assume rejection until you are admitted. Prepare for reapplication so that you’re constantly improving your qualifications. They’re not mutually exclusive but one will assist the other. Do everything you can to get admitted to this cycle. So can you improve your qualifications at this point, even if you’re applying now? Or if you’re beyond the point where you can improve your qualifications for this current cycle, then prepare for reapplication.

Can you improve the presentation of your qualifications if you need to reapply? Because a successful application requires good, competitive qualifications and a successful presentation of those qualifications. Did you aim too high? Should you change your target schools? 

Finally, you do have to ask the question, and that is, do you still want the goal you originally set for yourself so much that you were willing to take the steps necessary to achieve it from this point in time going forward? Not what happened six months ago or a year ago, but at this point in time. 

I’m going to be repeating myself here a little bit, but when or whether people you feel are worthy or unworthy receive interview invitations or acceptances – that’s something you have zero control over. Focus on what you can influence. Focus on what you can control. That’s your qualifications and your presentation of those qualifications, as well as where you apply. 

So that’s my message to you as you dive into 2023. Empower yourself by focusing on what you can influence, change and, most importantly, improve.

One of the things that you can definitely influence and control completely is when you start the process. Yes, folks, it’s that time. If you plan to apply in the summer or fall of 2023 and have not started, start today. Start now. Move forward. Begin your test prep if it’s required for your particular course of study. Begin school research or advance school research. Take notes that you’ll be able to refer to. Consider journaling about your own experiences so that you will have material for essays and interviews.

Most importantly, assess which of your qualifications need improvement and start working on them and engage with an Accepted consultant as soon as possible to map out your plan and application timeline. Yes, we will work with you later in the application cycle, assuming we have availability. But you will get so much more out of the collaboration, assistance, the guidance if you engage with us early. You have no idea how starting early can improve your qualifications, your applications, and of course, the outcome.

To engage with an expert Accepted consultant, go to

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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.
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Get Off That Waitlist! [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Get Off That Waitlist!


Landing on a school’s waitlist can be disappointing and nerve-wracking. And sometimes, waitlisted applicants let their anxiety or disappointment cloud their thinking, which makes it harder to do the work needed to get off that waitlist and earn an acceptance.

If you are waitlisted, know this: “waitlisted” does not mean “rejected!” [url=]If you play your cards right, you still have a fighting chance of getting into your dream school. [/url]

In this post, we show you how to make the most of this opportunity.  

Let’s start by warning you to avoid some of the common, but ill-considered behavior that really turns adcom members off to your application. 

[*][b]Reacting emotionally[/b][/*]

The most flagrant violators react emotionally to the news of being waitlisted and, perhaps without realizing it, behave in ways that are demanding, rude, disrespectful, or otherwise inappropriate. This behavior can show up through their emails, calls, or even unscheduled drop-in visits to the adcom’s offices. These types of responses reveal immaturity and a lack of judgment. Adcoms will duly note them, and this can sink your chances of “getting to yes.” 

[*][b]Not following instructions[/b][/*]

If the adcom has waitlisted you, it means you’re still a contender. Don’t blow your chances by failing to pay attention to the school’s exact instructions on handling your new status. Read the instructions and follow them precisely. Send what they ask for, and don’t send what they don’t want.

For example, if the school states explicitly that it doesn’t want to hear from you, leave them alone. Contacting them will only hurt your case.

For programs that are open to further communication, you can tilt the odds in your favor by writing a well-crafted waitlist update letter or letter of continued interest. You could also have a few letters of support written by others sent to the adcom on your behalf. These letters should focus on three areas: your enhanced qualifications, the steps you’ve taken to overcome any shortcomings, and the ways in which you are a perfect fit for the school.


Five Rules for Writing a Winning Waitlist Letter

[*][b]Keep it short – no more than two pages, double-spaced.[/b]

Use this valuable space to focus on how you are a stronger candidate now than when you first applied. During the brainstorming stage of the letter – and then again once you’re done writing – double-check that you haven’t repeated material already in your application. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time!


[*][b]Thank the school for continuing to consider your application.[/b]

Restate your commitment to the program and your belief that its philosophy and approach make an ideal fit for your educational preferences and goals.


[*][b]Update your qualifications.[/b]

What is new and improved since you submitted your application? Ideally, you will be able to relate these new achievements to some of the themes or experiences you addressed in your essays.

Have you earned a promotion? Scored A grades in relevant courses? Taken on a new leadership role in a project or assumed additional work responsibilities? Volunteered or taken on other initiatives in your department, business, club, or community? Be specific when describing these roles.


[*][b]Explain how you have strengthened areas of weakness or mitigated other shortcomings.[/b]

Show the adcom how you have upped your game in areas where you might have originally come up short. Instead of dwelling on an actual shortcoming, focus on the specific actions you’ve taken to gain competence in that area, personally or professionally. For example, if you had weak communication skills, discuss how you joined Toastmasters and how as a result you are a more confident, fluid speaker.  

Also, if you have plans to take additional classes for work but have not yet begun to do so, state when and where you will take them, as well as your willingness to enroll in any additional courses the school recommends or to follow any other instructions it provides.

[*][b]Emphasize your fit with the school.[/b]

If you are 100% sure that upon acceptance, you would attend, state this directly. The message you want to get across is this: You were born to attend this school, and the program was created just for you. [url=]Your fit is as perfect as that of a cozy glove on a cold hand.[/url]Prove your “fit” by explaining what else you have done to expand your knowledge of the program and how you have worked to build your network there. You might have mentioned in your application or in an interview how the school’s philosophy and approach match your educational preferences and goals. In a waitlist letter, cite new examples that support your argument. For example, if you have visited the campus (post-submission), mention which class you sat in on, who taught it, and what your impressions were.

Similarly, make reference to recent email exchanges you’ve had with alumni or students. What else have you learned about the program through these connections that matches your interests? Making these connections demonstrates that you feel invested in attending and drives home the message that the school is the best place for someone with your post-MBA goals.[/*]

Remember, admissions directors want waitlisted applicants to show passion, but not obsession. Follow these steps with professionalism, maturity, and courtesy, and you can be sure that schools will respond to this extra personal effort.

[url=]Watch: One med school admissions dean talks about how her team views letters of intent. >>[/url]

Writing Effective Waitlist Letters: A Quiz

[b]1. Waitlist letters can be three or more single-spaced pages long…[/b]

(a) if you have a lot of accomplishments to talk about. 

(b) never. They should not ever exceed two pages. 

(c) only if they are [url=]law school waitlist letters[/url].

(d) if you are not including an additional letter of recommendation.

[b]2. Expressing frustration or disappointment in the waitlist letter about not being immediately accepted is…[/b]

(a) okay if the school is really your number-one choice.

(b) appropriate if it reflects how you honestly feel.

(c) never a good idea.

(d) useful in the letter’s conclusion to elicit sympathy.

[b]3. During the waitlist process, you should generally aim to contact the waitlisting school…[/b]

(a) every other day if it’s really your number-one choice.

(b) weekly by email or mail.

(c) only when prompted by the school.

(d) every three to four weeks (if the school allows contact).

[b]4. The main topics of a waitlist letter should be…[/b]

(a) your recent professional achievements.

(b) additional reasons why the school is a good fit for you.

(c) developments in your work life since applying.

(d) any substantial recent examples proving you have worked to strengthen areas of [url=]weakness[/url] in your application.

(e) all of the above.

[b]5. It’s acceptable to repeat wording from your application essays in the waitlist letter…[/b]

(a) never.

(b) if you are in a rush to get the letter done on time.

(c) if it was an especially strong part of your application.

(d) if you think it’s important enough to reinforce.

[Answers: 1b, 2c, 3d, 4e, 5a]

So, how’d you do? We hope this post has helped you gain a solid understanding of how waitlist letters work. But would you still like the assurance of working with an expert who can guide you in drafting a waitlist letter that will turn the school’s “maybe” into a resounding “yes”? Our admissions experts have helped many hundreds of waitlisted applicants earn acceptance to the programs of their dreams, and we can help you, too. From developing a waitlist strategy to identifying areas you can highlight to your advantage to helping you edit your letter so that it makes the strongest case for your admission, we will provide personalized, supportive guidance at this critical juncture. [url=]Check out our waitlist services[/url] and let’s get started!


By Judy Gruen, former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. [b][url=]Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url][/b]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]The 9 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist[/url][/*]

[*][url=]The 9 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist[/url][/*]

[*][url=]The 9 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Life on a PhD Waitlist: Is There Anything You Can Do?[/url][/*]
The post [url=]<strong>Get Off That Waitlist!</strong>[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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FROM Blog: Cornell Johnson EMBA Program: 4 Options for the Largest EMBA Program in the U.S. [Episode 506]

[b]Did you know that Cornell Johnson has the largest Executive MBA program in the United States with four distinct flavors? I didn’t, but let’s learn together about Johnson’s EMBA program, its unique distributed classroom, and how to get in from its dean and director. [SHOW SUMMARY][/b]

Welcome to the 506th episode of [url=]Admission Straight Talk[/url], Accepted’s podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Before I dive into today’s interview, I want to invite you to download [url=]Ace the EMBA[/url], expert advice for the rising executive. This free guide will compliment today’s podcast and give you suggestions on how to choose the right EMBA program for you, differentiate yourself from your competition in a positive way and present yourself effectively as a future business leader, who will bring credit to any program that accepts you. It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on Admissions Straight Talk, Dean Mark Nelson, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean and Professor of Accounting at Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, and Dr. Manoj Thomas, Senior Director of EMBA and MSBA programs, and the Nakashimato Professor of Marketing, also at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Dr. Nelson and Dr. Thomas, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk.

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Thanks for having us.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

Thank you, Linda, delighted to be here.

[b]Dean Nelson, what makes a Cornell Executive MBA program different from other EMBA programs? [1:55][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

That’s a great question, Linda. I mean, first off is the fact that we have these four different flavors of a Cornell MBA. And that’s very intentional, it’s been developed over time. We started initially with our Metro EMBA program, which is based in New York City, and which is focused on a general management EMBA, providing that jurisdiction, that market.

Second, then we have our Americas EMBA program, and that’s a really unique program where we’re reaching out to executives throughout the Americas using our own unique approach to distributed learning. And then third, we created an FMBA program, a collaboration with Tsinghua University, a finance-focused EMBA, and that’s bilingual and offered in Beijing. And then fourth, we have our MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program, which is providing both an EMBA and also an MS in healthcare from two great institutions, the Johnson School and the Weill Cornell Medicine.

And so I go through that because the unique combination here is that we’ve got a general interest EMBA in New York, we’ve got something focused in the healthcare sector, we’ve got something that’s a unique and leading program in China, and then this Americas program serving the Americas. And I see that as a pretty special and unique roster of great EMBA programs.

Now, when you think about what’s the spine that relates all these together, there’s a couple things that I’d shout out, and then I’d maybe ask my colleague, Manoj, if there’s anything he wants to add in. One is that in all of these programs, we have a team-based learning approach that we think is really, really important. And by that I mean that we have students that, of course they’re performing individually, but they’re also on small teams, they’re coached, they’re assessed, they’re given feedback.

So we think of business as a team sport, and the ability of these executives to deliver exceptionally well in that context, we think it’s really important and so we’re very intentional about how we go about that approach. It is the case that in all of these programs, the students are working on problems that they’re addressing at work right now, so they’re able to put it into practice, and we think that team-based approach is really key.

And I guess the other thing that is unique, not only about the EMBA programs but about Cornell is that we have our Cornell Tech campus in New York City. So we are based in Ithaca, New York, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that we won the opportunity from then Mayor Bloomberg to create a new tech-based campus in the heart of New York City and have done so.

And so we have two of our programs, Metro and Healthcare Leadership, based at the Cornell Tech campus and all of our programs end up having residential sessions there. So to be able to offer programming at a campus that’s been built from scratch in the last 10 years, that’s very, very forward-focused and future-focused on the digital economy, that’s pretty unique and special, and we’re very proud of that.

[b]That’s great. Dr. Thomas, do you want to add something? [5:28][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I think Mark covered it very well, I’ll just reiterate what he said. I think what really makes our suite of MBA programs, EMBA programs, unique is first that I cannot think of any other popular university offering so many distinctive options for students depending on their specific needs. So that’s one thing that really makes it unique.

And the other thing is that we have realized quite early on that MBAs in general, but Executive MBAs in particular, they need not just to learn the skills, but they need the transformation of behaviors. They want to evolve as individuals, as people, and we’ve created a pedagogy that does both.

[b]How? [6:09][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

So, as Mark talked about that, we are an Ivy League institution, you come to our program and we’ll teach you microeconomics and macroeconomics and we’ll teach you regressions, we’ll teach you accounting and we’ll teach you finance and marketing. And unless you know all of these things pretty well, you’ll not be able to graduate from our program. So that’s how you develop the skills.

The behavioral transformation comes from our team-based learning. So over time, they start learning that they not only have to do well individually in these courses, but there are lots of team assignments, and they’re intentional, they’re designed, keeping in mind that there will be behavioral learning here where they’ll get feedback from team members about their biases, about their preconceptions and how they can be more effective team players.

And all of that is a part of our curriculum. So that’s how we blend both of these goals and meet both of these goals. And I think that’s one of the things that makes us different from other programs, as far as I know.

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Can I jump in real quick?

[b]Sure, of course, anytime. [7:13][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I just wanted to add that the process by which this happens is very carefully thought out. So we have a leadership framework that we created at Cornell. We call it the four Cs, where we’ve got competence and character and compassion and courage. And we talk about what each of those means and what those skills are. But when we’re talking about people operating in a group, the real key is, you give some instruction, but then they apply it and then they get very specific feedback, and rinse and repeat.

You keep doing that and working on each person’s individual weaknesses and helping them be stronger. This relates to diversity and inclusion, this relates to harnessing the power of the group and being able to identify the complementarities that make a group stronger. So we’ve got people who are absolute specialists in this that are team coaches and team advisors, and that’s a spine that runs through the program.

[b]That’s very specific, not just general teamwork. They’re getting feedback on the nature of their participation? [8:20][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Yeah, I think it’s true, because oftentimes people will throw folks into teams and then they’ll throw them in another team and then they’ll throw them in another team, and that’s actually not teaching them, that’s having them work in teams and so…

[b]And having them fall on their face and learn from falling on their face. [8:33][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]


[b]When you’re talking about working in teams, you’re talking about people who also have usually full-time or almost full-time responsibilities. How do they navigate that?  [8:55][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

That’s a great question. I’m happy to take that question. I teach in the program, and I didn’t really have an appreciation of how much our students have to go through until I started tracking them very closely. And to your point, Linda, I realized that the behavioral transformation happens because, as you said, they have very busy lives; they have their careers, they have their families, some of them have small kids, some of them have parents at home. And then they’re ambitious, and they sign up for this rigorous MBA program.

And what really makes them committed to the pedagogical goals is the fact that they’re learning as a team. And let me kind of illustrate with an anecdote, and I kind of encountered this quite frequently. Sometimes we have student assignments and we have team assignments in all our courses, individual assignments and team assignments. Sometimes the students, when they have to choose between doing extremely well on a team assignment versus an individual assignment, guess which one they focus more on?

[b]Team? [10:02][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

A team assignment, because they feel they have this obligation to make sure the team performs well. And even if they have to make a trade-off there, they focus on a team assignment. And I think the team structure kind of helps us enable the students to navigate all the conflicting demands in their lives, enables them to grow in the program.

[b]Cornell’s EMBA program is the largest in the US. What advantage does that create? [10:42][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I have to begin by saying that we don’t know the exact number of enrollments in all schools, right? The only source that we can rely on our third-party industry service. So the most reliable source for us is EMBAC, which is an independent body that surveys all EMBA programs. And in the latest survey, they surveyed 125 schools, and we looked at the number of schools that have big programs and there are seven such schools when I looked at that. They are Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Sloan, UCLA, and Wharton.

And then we looked at the total, the number of students enrolled, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that we are the top in terms of students, whether or not we include our students in Beijing, even if we include our students just in the US, we have the largest cohort of students in coming in any year, at least in the year 2021 to our EMBA programs. Now your second question is, how does that help us?

I think the most concrete is that we learn from our mistakes, and we share those learnings as we start new programs or other programs. So each program doesn’t have to commit its own mistakes to improve; it can learn from the mistakes that other people are committing, our other programs are committing, and we learn from our strengths and we learn from our observations.

So going back to the team-based learning, we started our team-based learning with our Cornell Americas program, which uses this distributed classroom, and I can talk about that later. But we had to create team-based learning because the classrooms are distributed, they are not in Ithaca or in New York, they are spread all over the North Americas. And once we learned that, and once we realized the power of that pedagogical approach, we said, “Well, we have to roll that out to our EMBA Metro and our EMBA MS/Healthcare.”

And our program directors wanted to, were very keen to embrace those because they saw the power of this pedagogical innovation. So I think the most important advantage is that we learn, we have these internal learning process, so as an organization we are improving because we have all these programs. The second one is more obvious and more straightforward; we have a pretty large network, which means that Cornell EMBA alumni, that they’re in Chicago or in Toronto or in Peru, and they’ll have lots of other Cornell alumni that they can connect with.

[b]Dean Nelson, do you want to add to that? [13.17][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I really do. I agree wholeheartedly with what Manoj said. There’s another thing that’s maybe less apparent, but I think is really important. And that is, you’ll look and there may be some schools where the EMBA program is sort of a one-off and they have a focus on something else, but they also have an EMBA program. And it’s really critical to highlight, and Manoj alluded to this, but it takes a special skillset to teach EMBA students well.

You’re dealing with more experienced people. , You’re dealing with people who are dealing with the strategic issues you might be covering on a daily basis. And while, Linda, you’re dead on that they’re very busy people, the other thing is that on a Saturday, they’re bringing into the classroom what happened at work on Friday, and they’re looking to apply it on Monday. And learning as a faculty member to draw on the incredible experience in that class and on the immediacy of them putting their education to work.

You’re sort of a conductor of a symphony more than you are playing your own instrument. It’s always that case, I think, when you’re dealing with graduate students, it’s even more so for EMBA students. So if we have four programs with somewhat different clientele and modalities, but they’re all focused on EMBAs, what that means is that we have a deeper bench of faculty, we have deeper expertise of faculty that we can bring to bear on this really important but somewhat distinctive student population.

[b]What is a distributed classroom and how does it contribute to the Cornell EMBA options? [15:07][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I would ask Manoj because Manoj is teaching actively using this approach and he can describe what it’s like as a faculty member as well as more conceptually.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

Happy to. I think we are quite proud of this. And I have to admit that we started off this concept in 2005. We did not realize that this is going to become so big and powerful. We did not anticipate a pandemic 15 years down the line and everybody going hybrid and online. But we started off 2005 in a partnership, our partnership with Queen’s University, and actually they are the ones who were the pioneers who had this idea.

And so we started our EMBA program in New York City and we were looking to take this, what we believe is a pretty strong EMBA program, to the rest of the country, and so were Queen’s, and we thought that we should partner with them. And we created a program spanning all of Americas, North and South America, in 20 locations.

And the problem that we faced was the following; it’s not like teaching engineering or a math class or a chemistry class where you can look at the glass slides, take notes, or read books and learn. In a business class, it’s very important to interact, it’s very important for people to debate and thrash out ideas and question and challenge. How do we create that environment? And this is more so for Executive MBA because there’s a wealth of experience, Linda, in each classroom. So how do we create that?

So people, our colleagues, who were running this program at that time, had this very powerful idea of creating classrooms, physical classrooms, in each location. So we have 20 such small physical classrooms, each can accommodate 10, 15 students. Students physically go into those classrooms every weekend. They spend eight hours there starting at 8:00 AM in their respective time zones, and the faculty either go to a studio in Cornell or a partner institution.

And we have a studio which is pretty much like a television studio. If you’ve ever happened to be in Ithaca, I’d be happy to give you a tour of their studio. We go in there and we have colleagues helping us beam our content, and we see all the students on a big, large, huge wall in front of us. And I can then say, “Ron in Toronto, what do you think of what Lisa just said in Dallas?” And then I can turn to someone in Seattle and say, “Okay, who do you think is correct?” And they can all interact with each other.

So what we’ve done is we created this structure where we can recreate an MBA classroom by recreating in peer-to-peer interactions, and at the same time we can distribute it across multiple locations. This is very different from what many other institutions currently… the way they currently think of online education. They think of a Zoom room, putting people in Zoom rooms, et cetera.

We also have those kinds of approaches but I think that the foundation of the Americas program, this concept of distributed classrooms, I think it’s a marvelous pedagogical innovation that has helped us roll out her MBA to many far different places.

[b]So it’s almost a combination of small groups and online. [18:33][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, you can tell I’m excited about this too. There are a couple things to add to this. Manoj gave a wonderful explanation. The first might only… this metaphor might only work for people of a certain generation, but there used to be a sitcom called Frasier. And Frasier was a psychologist on the radio and he had someone in the control room named Roz. And Roz would sort of orchestrate what was happening while Frasier was sort of the talent on the line.

And one of the things that is really powerful about this approach is that there is a Roz; in addition to the faculty member, there’s a control room. So what Manoj didn’t say was when he called on Ron in Toronto, the person in the control room pops up a record of what Ron’s doing, what’s his background, how does he tie in. There are opportunities for that controller to collaborate with faculty member in terms of how they’re offering ways that students in this distributed format can be providing polls and votes and input in a variety of ways.

So before I saw this, I sort of thought of a distributed environment as being, “How close to a real face-to-face classroom can you get?” And what I didn’t realize is that in some ways you have an augmented capability, unique capability. And that’s really interesting. And once again, it takes work to know how to harness that well. It takes the infrastructure and the talent and the team, but from a faculty member perspective, you have to learn to do that extraordinarily well. And that’s part of the investment that we’ve made in the structure.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

Yeah, I just want to echo what Mark said. It is wonderful. Yeah, my colleagues, Todd and Steve, who are always behind the scene and in fact many times I’ve turned to them and asked them, “Which boardroom do you think I should ask this question to?” And they’ll tell me which boardroom is kind of just poised to answer that question. Yeah. It kind of augments our teaching skills being in that structure.

[b]Do the students who, let’s say, attend in Dallas versus the students who attend in Chicago or Boston or wherever they are, or Florida, do they have group projects? Do they get together socially? Do they become a cohort? [21:08][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Yes, and they get very tight. So they’ll do group projects together and they’ll be socializing together. But they’re also, as Manoj was saying, they’re relying on each other and so they become extremely close. The other thing that’s interesting… I guess two other things about this format that I just find so intriguing. One is that we’ll allow students to do a weekend in another town.

And so there are some people who just have this bucket list of saying, “I’m going to go to every one of these boardrooms at one point or another and I’m going to join their…” Because they all know each other. They see each other and they’re interacting, both online and also when we do residential sessions. So the idea of someone from Mexico City popping up to Seattle and being hosted, they really enjoy that.

[b]I assume there’s also forums for interaction midweek .[22:21][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. But another thing that’s interesting and that maybe isn’t immediately apparent is that, I mean you really, really benefit from each other in an Executive MBA classroom. Certainly do in a residential MBA classroom, but even more so from an Executive because they’ve got so much to share. And what’s better yet is imagine that you’re doing a case and you’re asking people’s perspectives, and one person’s in Santiago, Chile and another’s in Monterey, Mexico and another’s in New York City and another is in the Bay Area.

And they’re not only from a different place. I mean, in our residential program we have 43 countries represented. Not only from a different place, they’re in a different place and they can talk about how right now that cultural challenge might be addressed in their particular settings. And so to have that simultaneity of diversity of background, it’s just really unique, and I think it’s an unsung learning advantage of this approach.

[b]Does any individual cohort ever get together with the rest of its cohorts? And do the cohorts ever meet altogether? [23:36][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Yeah, we have residential sessions where they’ll come to the Ithaca campus, they’ll come to our Cornell Tech campus, our partner university, Queen’s. And, I mean, it’s like a huge family reunion when this happens because everyone knows each other and they not only interact during the day in the classroom, but I think the bar scene in Ithaca benefits from their presence. I mean, they get out and they socialize a lot with each other and they’re excited to do so.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I’ll just add to what Mark said. I talked to somebody who was in our first class, 2005, who graduated from the first class and I asked them, “What is it that you really take away, remember, even now from the program that you attended in 2005?” And he said, “My classmates, my board roommates,” and he said, “We’re still in touch, we still meet.”

So part of it is, as you, I think, quite astutely pointed out the beginning, it’s a very rigorous program because they have conflicting demands and now they’re put in a team, they’re accountable for the team because many a time they’re leading their team project and they kind of rotate in their roles and they get to know each other very well, extremely well. They get to know each other’s family problems so they can help each other around all of that.

Now they’re seeing other teams online and now they’re curious to meet the team in Toronto or to meet the team in Calgary or meet the team in Boston. And like Mark said, then there are these residential sessions that happens twice a year, and they come to Ithaca or they go to a Cornell Tech campus and they’re like, “Oh yeah, so finally we get to meet the people in Boston and we finally get to meet people in Monterey,” and they bond there. So I think it’s a wonderful structure.

[b]What do most people not realize about Cornell’s EMBA programs, or options I should say, that you would like them to know? And are there any misconceptions that you would like to dispel? [25:31][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I’ll say a couple and then invite Manoj to jump in. So first off, there’s some things that I think they just automatically expect. They know Cornell University and the Ivy League School and they anticipate that it’s going to be high quality and rigorous, and it definitely is. I think the team approach that we were describing is something that people probably don’t realize to the extent that they could.

The amazing diversity of students in these classes, both in, depending on the particular program, geographic location, functional orientation. In our Healthcare Leadership program, half of the program consists of clinicians, but the other half are people from the healthcare sector really broadly defined. So they’re healthcare implement manufacturers and consultants and pharmaceutical, biotech. So that diversity of functional discipline and orientation, it takes them only a little while to realize just how much they have to draw upon and to learn from.

So all of that I think is true. What people maybe don’t know, I don’t know if I’m dissuading or informing at this point, but sometimes people have the image of an institution of Cornell’s standing, as full of a bunch of stuffy people who aren’t approachable and aren’t warm and aren’t caring and aren’t supportive. And it’s very, very much the opposite. So you go back to the motto of Cornell, “Any person, any study,” the idea of being welcoming and embracing and supportive.

Everyone’s ambitious, everyone’s driven, but it’s not cutthroat. It’s exactly the opposite. And that then leads to the power of the Cornell network after they graduated. And it’s sort of like the rings of an onion or whatever, where you start maybe with your team and then your cohort and your class and your program, your year. But it doesn’t take long before you’re talking about the Cornell University network of well over 250,000 people and they’re all, we talk about, bleeding Cornell Red, huh?

And they’re sort of part of your network. There’s this line about Cornell that we’re elite but not elitist. And I think that’s really important for people to understand. They’re joining a family and it’s an accomplished family, but it’s a very supportive and close family. And that makes the process fun and affirming and special.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

Can I add, Linda? And in terms of the more… I agree with all that Mark said, I want to touch on a couple of concrete things. I was talking to somebody on the West Coast and this person was telling me that this person is working in a good company, technology company, and saying, “I want to do an EMBA, but from a place like Cornell, but I can’t travel, I don’t have time to travel.” And that’s the first myth I’d like to bust.

If anybody is listening to the program, I want you to know that you don’t have to travel to Ithaca or New York to get a Cornell EMBA. You can be in Seattle, you can be in San Jose, you can be in Los Angeles, and you can stay there, and without quitting your job, you can get an Ivy League Cornell EMBA. That’s the first thing.

And when I told this person this, they said, “Oh, that’s interesting. That’s really interesting. I probably would like to enroll.” And then he thought about this and said, “But I’ll have to take a GMAT.” I said, “Nope. The GMAT usually was required for your regular MBAs, but if you’re applying for an Executive MBA program, we look at your profile. We need certain experience, we need 15 years experience, we need you to have some management experience, leadership experience.”

“But if you have those, and we need you to have an undergraduate degree that enables you to attend and respond to rigorous courses. But if you meet those benchmarks, we know that you are very busy, working executives, so we are not going to ask you to take a bunch of time preparing for tests. We don’t need to do that because we have enough information from your credential to evaluate your preparedness for a program.”

So those are the two things I’d like all prospective applicants to know. Even if you are in Canada or anywhere in any part of the US, you have access to a Cornell EMBA program. And we made it easy for you to complete your EMBA without quitting your jobs and without having to take too many leave, et cetera. And the bonus that you get is that you’ll get some lifelong friends.

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Sorry, one more thing that just… Manoj sparked something in my mind. Something I want to make sure people don’t do. Don’t psych yourself out. Don’t think you can’t do this. One of the things we have, we have a pre-assessment process where we ask people to just reach out to our admissions folks and talk to them. Applying to an EMBA program is very different than what people have in mind maybe when they applied for undergrad, where they filled out this common app and mailed it and sat there nervously for four months, wondering whether anything’s going to happen.

With an EMBA program it’s a lot more almost like executive placement. I mean, you’re talking with busy people, with accomplished people that… they don’t want to waste their time, we don’t want to waste their time. So early on in the process, we’ll talk about what our programs are like. We’ll help people understand which program is best for them. We’ll walk them through the process.

And if there was some reason why we didn’t think someone was a fit for any of these programs, we tell them. So we’re not wanting to waste their time. Instead, we’re wanting to help them through this process, just as we’ll help them through their EMBA. Sometimes I’ll talk to people and they’ll say, “Oh, I never applied. I could never get in.” It’s like, “Well, how do you know if you don’t talk to us?”

We promise we won’t lead you on, we won’t waste your time, but give yourself the opportunity to be considered because it could be a life-changing opportunity.

[b]Dr. Thomas, what are the cities where the distributed classrooms are located? [32:08][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

On the East Coast we have Ithaca, New York, Boston, and DC. Then we have Seattle, LA, San Jose, and Francisco. We have Dallas and Houston. And then we have 10 other cities in Canada. And we have Monterey and Lima-

[Dean Mark Nelson]

Santiago, Mexico City. I’ll jump in.

[b]Is that for all the EMBAs? [32:36][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

For EMBA Americas. We have our Metro EMBA program, which is based in New York City. So if you are from the Northeast and if you really are passionate about being a part of the business community in New York City or in the tri-state area, then we would say that you should go to the Metro MBA program, which operates at the Cornell Tech through our state-of-the-art campus for business school.

And I think I should… I don’t know if it’s the right time or not, I also want to talk about the other program, which is our EMBA/MS program that’s also based in New York City. And that’s a very unique program of its kind. I don’t know whether it’s the right time or you want me to…

As you might know, Linda, one of the sectors that is booming a lot in the US and for the rest of the world is healthcare.

There is a lot of need for people who are trained in management skills in the healthcare sector. And so many of the business schools have been creating specialized tracks for healthcare MBA. What we’ve created I think is truly unique. So it’s not just a healthcare track. We come up with a dual-degree program where students get an MBA and they get an MS from a reputed medical school, which is Weill, and they’re co-taught.

Half the courses are taught by business school professionals, our Ivy League professors teaching MBA programs, and half of them are taught by faculty who are clinicians or professors from the medical school. This is a program that is completely unique and it’s only five years old. And I’m optimistic in 10 years from now when we have brilliant physicians and healthcare professionals all over the country looking for the best healthcare program in the country, I’m optimistic, I’m hopeful that they’ll turn to us.

[b]Can you tell us a little bit more about the pre-assessment? [34:51][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

There’s a bit of form as well as a conversation that people will have. Really quickly in the process the idea is to just get… it’s just the starting bare-bones amount of information for us to be able to help someone to triage. And then from there, we’re moving on to walk them through the process itself. When you’re submitting a pre-assessment, we could pop that up to something too.

It’s before you’re entering the formal application process, it’s before you have to have any kind of an application fee. It’s just designed to get you started. And it’s a very small amount of information before you’re having a conversation with an admissions expert that’s there to answer any question that you might have.

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

And just add to that a couple of… As Mark said, it’s very, very short. And we have basically two goals in this. One is we want to tell them, as Mark said earlier, if the students are not appropriate or suitable for an EMBA program, we want to tell you early on that, “Okay, this is probably not the best program for you.” And we’ll guide them to other programs or give them that feedback. That’s the first step.

So it’s very easy, just fill in your name and give them your LinkedIn profile and then you basically have a conversation. Someone tells you that, “Well, you are the right kind of person who should apply,” or, “You should not apply.” Now if you are the kind of person who should apply, then our admissions officers will work with them to help them complete the application process and guide them through the application process. So the pre-assessment serves those two kind of goals, which are I think very important.

[b]Who should take the GMAT, GRE or EA? Do you have any preference among those tests? [36:49][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I’m not quite sure why. If you really want to see where you rank amongst all the other students, and if you have that need, I think you should take the test. I think typically people take the GMAT. I took the GMAT long, long time ago, and I suspect most of the business school students were applying to do MBA program, they take the GMAT.

[b]If it’s not used at all, then there’s no point in it. There’s absolutely no point in it. [37:21][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I’d say they don’t need to be submitting a test score. If they’ve done it and it’s a wonderful score, then go ahead and submit it because why not show something wonderful? But it’s not a barrier. And I want to go back to something that Manoj was saying earlier, which is when you’re dealing with someone who’s 35, 40 years old and they think they’ve already got a record of accomplishment, it’s a little silly to try to judge them based on a standardized test score or based on their undergraduate grade point.

It’s what have you done for the last 10, 15 years? And that’s the real track record. And so it makes sense that the less experienced the target audience of a program is, the more things like tests and undergraduate performance and stuff matter because you’ve got less else to go on. But at this point, we’re looking to bring in people who are already successful and already leaders, and to just accelerate their trajectory, make them that much stronger and able to go that much farther.

[b]What if somebody has, for whatever reason, they blew off undergraduate, they had a tough time, they have a really poor GPA, they have a 2.5 GPA, but they have excellent work experience, they’ve really accomplished a lot once they got out of school. Do they have a chance? [38:43][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I’m very glad that you asked that question because I think all the applicants should get the correct picture here. So our program is quite rigorous. So they had to do quantitative analysis, they had to do strategic analysis, they have to have soft skills and hard skills. So we do require a certain level of competence on the part of applicants as they’re applying. And the only point is, “How do we assess that?”

As Mark said, for us, it’s not an entrance exam that helps us assess it. It’s the performance, past-academic performance, and their track record in the industry. And when I talk to my colleagues in admissions, “What do you look for?” And they’ve said that many times they’ve said, “No, this person looks really good on paper. And in fact this person also has very good academic track record, but I don’t think this person will be able to contribute to the team in a team discussion, so I don’t think this person is a good fit.”

So that’s the approach that we take. Your question is more specific and probably best answered by one of my colleagues in the admissions office, but my suspicion is their answer will be something like this. They’ll say that if a person has got really weak undergraduate track record, then they most likely would be guided to take some courses or show some evidence for some kind of… the ability to take… perform right in a classroom.

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I’ve actually run into this situation before, and people grow and change. I don’t know about how you think about when you were an undergraduate, but I personally am grateful that I’ve grown and changed since those days. Thank goodness.

[b]My husband likes to say,”I’ve never met anybody who feels they were smarter five years ago than today.” [40:51][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

And some people have more to grow when they’re 18 than others or at a different point in time. And so it’s just really, really important to know where they’re at at the time that they’re applying. And so part of what happens with pre-assessment is that, let’s just say that someone has nothing in their background or their education to suggest that they would be comfortable dealing with the more quantitative aspects of the program.

They will recommend some training materials to help the person be prepared. Because the last thing we want to do is to have someone admitted and not be able to do the work and not have a great experience. So think of it as almost a diagnostic process in this admissions process. And we’ll look to see if there’s a weakness in someone’s background that they should address just to make sure they get the most out of the program length.

But again, don’t start off by saying, “Well, I got a two five in undergrad, so there’s no way Cornell would accept me.” Let’s have the conversation, because it might be quite possible that they’d be a tremendous person based on the trajectory of their career since they were an undergraduate.

[b]If you were a potential applicant thinking ahead to an EMBA application and program, what is the one thing you would do to prepare yourself to apply? [42:08][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

That’s a very good question. 

Dean Mark Nelson:

This is going to sound incredibly selfish because I am an accounting professor, okay? But one of the things, if someone has never ever… and I’m looking really past the application process, if someone’s never seen any kind of financial statements, financial information, anything of that nature, there are all of these different short courses or overviews or whatever. Just getting a little bit of the bare bones of accounting I think is useful because then when you jump into an accounting class, you’ve got some of that language, some of that syntax. But again, I can’t say that I’m not being self-serving in that because I am an accounting professor and I love this stuff.

[b]Dr. Thomas recommends a basic course in marketing? [43:17][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

So I just wanted to make sure, Linda, well, I would definitely recommend a basic course in marketing clearly, but I just wanted to clarify, did you say that after they get admitted or before they apply?

[b]Potential applicant. [43:32][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

A potential applicant? So if somebody is thinking of applying for an EMBA program, my recommendation would be get in touch with other EMBA students. Understand the experience, understand whether this is for them. It’s not for everybody.

[b]And the challenges. [43:53][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

Yeah. It’s time consuming for people to go through… I mean, once you enroll in an EMBA program, I’ve heard people say that, “We kept our social life on the side for two years, because all we do is work and study.” And so you are giving up a lot for two years and you have to make sure that you are in it because it’s going to be valuable for you. That’s going to be my advice.

[Dean Mark Nelson]

No, that’s great. And I’d also add, if you’re in a committed relationship, sit your partner down and say, “Okay, are we in this together?” Because at graduation, I always make sure to thank the partners and to say, “Congratulations to the both of you for getting your EMBA because it was a team effort at home as well as in the classroom.”

[b]Sure. By the way, I was laughing when you were suggesting taking an accounting class because I was an undergrad, I have an MBA, but it was a full-time MBA and not an Executive MBA, and I was a political science major. I took the minimum amount of math in college that I possibly could get away with. So when I was thinking of getting the MBA, and at the time you only needed one year of work experience, I took a math class to prepare myself and one accounting class because I felt I needed to know something about the language of business before I committed to this. [45:12][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

And were you glad you did that?

[b]Yes, I was. I was very glad I did that. [45:15][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

There you go.

[b]Proof positive, absolutely. So I’m sorry, Dr. Thomas, I did not take marketing at that point. [45:22][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

That’s okay. No, you did your marketing in your MBA program then.

[b]Is there anything you would’ve liked me to ask you that I haven’t asked? [45:29][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]

I don’t think so. I think if there’s one thing I’d emphasize is something that Manoj said right towards the end, a really, really good way to understand what a program is about once you’ve talked to people in admissions, is to say, “Who are some students who are some alumni that I could speak with?”

And there you’re talking to somebody who’s been a customer and they’ve been part of the whole experience, and they will give their own perspective. And certainly we would be happy and proud for people to speak with any of our current students or any of our alumni because we’re looking for that alignment and that excitement about being part of our community, and we think they’ll convey that very well.

[b]Dr. Thomas, what would you have liked me to ask you? [46:33][/b]

[Dr. Manoj Thomas]

I think you’ve asked all the great questions, Linda.

I just wanted to emphasize the behavioral transformation part of the EMBA program along with the skilled learning, and the fact that there is an EMBA program which is specifically designed for people from different industries, different backgrounds. I think you’ve covered all of that, and those are the things I would’ve liked to emphasize in this conversation.

[b]I want to thank both of you, Dean Nelson and Dr. Thomas. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been delightful. Where can listeners and potential applicants learn more about Cornell Johnson’s EMBA programs? [47:44][/b]

[Dean Mark Nelson]


[b]And a final reminder, download your free copy of [/b][url=][b]Ace the EMBA, Expert Advice for the Rising Executive[/b][/url][b].

Listener, thank you too for joining Dean Mark Nelson and Dr. Manoj Thomas and me for our 506th episode. Thanks again for coming.

This is Admissions Straight Talk, produced by Accepted, and I’m your host, Linda Abraham. I’ll talk to you again next week. [48:24[/b]]


[b]Related Links:[/b]

[*][url=]Executive MBA Programs | EMBAs from Cornell Johnson[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Cornell EMBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2022 – 2023][/url][/*]

[*][url=] Ace the EMBA: Expert Advice for the Rising Executive, a free download[/url][/*]

[b]Relevant[/b][b] shows:[/b]

[*][url=]How to Get Accepted to Cornell Johnson MBA [Episode 488][/url][/*]

[*][url=]Applying to Wharton Lauder? Do Your Research! [Episode 465][/url][/*]

[*][url=]Ace the Executive Assessment [Episode 483][/url][/*]

[*][url=]Why Is This Successful Leader Investing In an Oxford Said Executive MBA? [Episode 454][/url][/*]



[url=][b]Podcast Feed[/b][/url]

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MBA Round 3: Should I Apply Now or Wait until Next Year? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: MBA Round 3: Should I Apply Now or Wait until Next Year?

The answer, as is often the case in MBA admissions, is… it depends. You didn’t think we’d give you a clear-cut yes or no, did you?

In most cycles, the chances of gaining acceptance decrease as the rounds progress. This means that MBA acceptance rates in Round 3 are generally lower than those in Rounds 1 and 2. Similarly, grants and scholarships are harder to come by later in the admissions game.

However, this year could be an exception – or at least a year in which these trends aren’t as true as in most years. Several programs have added rounds, extended deadlines, or waived the GMAT requirement in response to recent layoffs, particularly in the tech industry. MBA programs are hoping to encourage late-round applications. Schools are also trying to accommodate applicants who might not have considered an MBA at this time, and part of the motivation is probably the decline in applications in the previous cycle, which might have continued into Round 1 of this cycle. 

So, should you apply? If you don’t, your chances of acceptance are obviously zero. They are greater than zero if you do.

Five reasons why you should apply in Round 3

  • You have a “Class of 2025 or bust!” attitude. If you really have your heart set on joining the b-school class of 2025, perhaps because you were recently laid off, then you should definitely apply in Round 3 (or even Round 4, if your target program offers that option).

  • You’re an admissions dream come true. If you are a truly competitive candidate – stats-wise, diversity-wise, experience-wise, and so on – then you should apply in Round 3 or 4. Not everyone gets rejected in these later rounds (or there wouldn’t be such a thing as late rounds), and if anyone is going to get in, it’s going to be those applicants with impressive profiles.

  • You have little to lose. If you don’t mind spending the extra money, time, and energy to apply now, getting rejected, and then having to apply again, then you really don’t have much to lose going for it this year. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to get feedback (if you’re unlucky enough to get dinged, that is), then that feedback will prove extremely valuable when you reapply next year.

[*]You have a lot to gain. If accepted a year earlier, you will earn your MBA a year earlier and also start to earn a post-MBA salary a year earlier.

[*]You were rejected in Round 1 and have a new plan. You understand that you simply aimed too high and are now ready to apply to less-competitive programs.

Six reasons why you should wait until next year

  • Your essays are still not quite where they need to be. Maybe you don’t have enough time before the Round 3 buzzer to create flawless essays. In that case, it’s much better to wait until you can submit something closer to perfect than to rush and send in a sloppy essay. If you’d like guidance in polishing your essays, click here the link in this sentence.

[*]You plan on retaking the GMAT. If you’re not happy with your current GMAT results and your target programs require the GMAT, then you should wait until you can apply with a higher score.

[*]Your recommendations won’t be ready. If you won’t be able to secure the best recommendations by the Round 3 or Round 4 deadline, it’s better to wait for the ideal recommenders than to move ahead earlier with less-impressive ones.

[*]Your work experience is weak. Applying next year will give you more time to bulk up your work experience and personal profile.

[*]You’re uncertain about your goals. If you’re fuzzy as to why you want an MBA or your reasons for choosing particular schools, get clarity, and then apply – preferably in Round 1.

[*]You have international issues. If you are an international applicant and might have trouble securing the necessary visa and financing, it might be worth waiting until next year.


For a more in-depth analysis of the “Round 3 versus next year” application debate, watch our webinar in which Linda Abraham addresses the differences between Round 3 and earlier rounds, outlines the pros and cons of applying in Round 3, and helps you answer the million-dollar question of when you should apply to business school. Click here to watch the webinar!

Need help deciding when to apply?

Deciding the best time to apply is not always easy. Work with an expert admissions consultant to create a strategy for when and how to apply that will maximize your chances of getting accepted!

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:

School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
Is 10 Days Per Business School Application Enough?
MBA Application Timeline: How to Get Accepted in 2022

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Do Extracurricular Activities Matter for B-School? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Do Extracurricular Activities Matter for B-School?

The [url=]top MBA programs[/url] don’t want workaholic nerds. The schools already know that you work 40 or 50 hours a week crunching numbers at a desk or designing marketing plans for product launches. But if that’s really all they know about you, your MBA application can appear flat. When they also learn that you ran a book recycling drive at a local school, are working toward a black belt in tae kwon do, or helped direct a rebranding campaign for your church, they appreciate you in a more holistic way.

This is where extracurricular activities add real value to your b-school application. What counts as an extracurricular activity? Any non-academic, non-professional project or pastime, such as a hobby, sports, creative endeavor, volunteering, or community service, where you are an active participant. These activities reveal a fuller, multidimensional portrait of you as a person. They show a well-roundedness – the “you” beyond your stats and work profile.

Examples of MBA extracurricular activities include the following:

[*]Spending a month in Mexico helping to run a vaccination clinic

[*]Organizing a small backyard camp for your younger, autistic brother and two other special needs kids from the neighborhood

[*]Completing an online certificate program in interior design

[*]Leading a committee to recruit membership for your church, synagogue, or other group

[*]Volunteering weekly to tutor elementary school children in reading

[*]Learning to play an instrument, taking an art class, or other creative venture[/*]

Not only do extracurricular activities work in your favor in broad strokes but they also, and more specifically, achieve the following for your application:

They prove your commitment to an activity, cause, or group.

Even a relatively short-term involvement has the potential to show that you are reliable and dependable. MBA admissions committees like that.

They demonstrate creativity, caring, passion, and/or an eagerness to expand your mind.

Your extracurricular activities don’t need to relate to business. They still burnish your image as a vibrant person who cares about others, looks for ways to expand your life experiences and knowledge, and finds outlets for creative expression. In fact, leadership, initiative, [url=]passion, and creativity can still be read into many of these experiences[/url].

They demonstrate leadership and organizational skills.

When you are in your early or mid-20s, it can be hard to show lots of leadership, especially when you work in a hierarchical organization. But in a community service or volunteer context, there are leadership opportunities galore. Grab them! Admissions committees can’t get enough examples of applicants demonstrating leadership


Looking at the examples of extracurricular activities listed above, we see how they highlight an applicant’s ability to make commitments, expand their knowledge and creative skills, and show empathy and altruism. 

Returning for a moment to the idea of leadership, some of these examples also provide [url=]the opportunity to demonstrate it[/url], as well as show organizational skills. For example, how did you tailor activities in the backyard camp for the special needs of the children? How did you plan for difficult moments with them? What role did you play in the vaccination clinic in Mexico? Did you just sit around and do what you were told to do, or did you take initiative and offer suggestions to make things smoother and to calm nervous patients? Thanks to your interior design course, have you been able to redesign your office for better efficiency? Do you see physical spaces differently now?

When does volunteering count as an extracurricular activity?

Well, that depends on how closely connected the volunteerism is to your work. For example, you might have volunteered to help plan a company holiday party or design an employee satisfaction survey. That’s nice, but that kind of work-related volunteer role will probably be seen as one motivated by a desire to promote your career profile. In contrast, volunteerism outside of work in any group – whether a book club, teen drop-in center, religious institution, or other special interest group – will count more because it speaks to your values and interests outside of professional self-promotion.

Help! I don’t have any long-term extracurricular or community service commitments!

If this is your situation, don’t fret – make a change now. Pick something that interests you and start ASAP, even if it’s application season and any involvement you can claim will have been very recent and short-term. It’s crucial that you don’t come off as a workaholic who has no time for or interest in anything non-work related. Choose something you feel you can really get into.

Bottom line, [url=]last-minute community service[/url] is still better than no community service at all. You can’t hide the fact that you only recently joined your church’s adult literacy outreach program, but you can focus on how this new experience has unexpectedly enriched your life and motivated you to explore the possibility of expanding this program in an underserved community across town. Or you can talk about how your new volunteering stint has added a meaningful angle to your long-term vision.

While a short-term and recent commitment will not shine as brightly as one that’s lasted a year or more, at least you will show that you are capable of committing to one. You might be surprised at how soon you can show impact and expand your thinking and knowledge in a new area. In other words, a little extracurricular activity can go a long way.Finally, consider that [url=]you might be waitlisted[/url], change your mind and decide to postpone your application to next year, or even be rejected and need to reapply. In any of these cases, you’ll be glad to have begun your extracurricular/volunteer experience now. What looked like a brief volunteer stint during your first application effort will later look like an impressive long-term experience. By that point, your involvement will have had a greater impact – on you and on others. 

Is community service more important than other extracurricular activities?

We stop short of claiming that community service is more important than other extracurricular activities, but let’s be real: community service often demonstrates selflessness, giving for the sake of giving. That definitely suggests “extra credit” on your application. Community service can include involvement in sports teams, professional organizations, alumni groups, religious institutions, literacy programs, political campaigns, and environmental or other causes — [url=]whatever you define as your community[/url].

This kind of commitment goes beyond making financial donations or occasionally helping your elderly neighbor go shopping. As with other types of extracurricular involvements, community service expresses your values and provides an outlet to demonstrate those qualities and skills that bump you up in the competitive pool of applicants: leadership, initiative, interpersonal skills, the ability to handle responsibility. It confirms your willingness to focus on people and concerns beyond yourself. 

Whether your community service connects with some sort of global disaster, such as a clothing drive for victims of a disaster in Haiti, or more typical and local, such as volunteering in a nearby homeless shelter, the best community service is the one you do because it means something to you.

Accepted or rejected? Extracurricular activities and community service can tip the scales.

When adcoms size up two applicants with similar competitiveness, they will choose the one with a greater track record of involvement outside of work or school. Why? Because adcoms know that [url=]past behavior predicts future behavior[/url]. They are proud of their schools and know that their continued reputation depends on a steady influx of new, active, involved students who look for ways to expand their world through extracurricular interests, hobbies, volunteering, and so on. Furthermore, they want students who are likely to become involved as alumni and community leaders after business school.

And so, in a situation in which only one seat is left in the class and the adcom is weighing two applicants with virtually identical scores, equally persuasive essays and letters of rec, and similar professional experiences, it’s easy to see that the applicant who helped run a committee or volunteered in a clinic will earn that seat. 

Are you already involved in community service and extracurriculars? Great! Keep up the good work. Strive for a leadership role. If you haven’t yet found an extracurricular outlet, choose an activity, cause, or organization that you will find meaningful or rewarding, and go for it! See where you can make an impact. Be consistent in your involvement. Not only will you find it personally rewarding but you will also be generating great material to write about other than school and work.

[b]Working with an expert advisor will help you discover your competitive advantage. Why not get the guidance that will steer you toward creating a successful, admit-worthy application! [/b][url=][b]Explore our MBA Admissions Services here.[/b][/url]


By Judy Gruen, former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University and is the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. [url=][b]Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

• [url=]Navigating the MBA Application Maze: 10 Expert Tips to Getting Accepted[/url], a free guide
• [url=]5 Tips for Writing About Extracurricular Activities You Started at the Last Minute[/url]• [url=]How to Add Detail to Your Social Enterprise/Community Service Goals[/url]

The post [url=]<strong>Do Extracurricular Activities Matter for B-School?</strong>[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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