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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6452
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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6452
Own Kudos [?]: 846 [0]
Given Kudos: 92
Location: Los Angeles CA
Send PM
MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6452
Own Kudos [?]: 846 [0]
Given Kudos: 92
Location: Los Angeles CA
Send PM
MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6452
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Location: Los Angeles CA
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Welcoming Kelly Wilson [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Welcoming Kelly Wilson

Accepted warmly welcomes consultant Kelly Wilson to our A-Team! Kelley has worked with b-school applicants for 23 years, having led business school recruitment and admissions for the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. In her role as executive director and assistant dean of admissions at CMU Tepper, she oversaw admissions committees for the MBA and master’s programs in Management of Information Systems, Computational Finance, Business Analytics, and Product Management. Kelly has traveled to 43 countries in the course of her work and estimates that she has reviewed more than 38,000 applications. Wow!

“Earning an MBA is a game changer with respect to the trajectory of your career,” Kelly says. “You want to embark upon this journey with an understanding of the resources available to you to support your success. I have worked closely with organizations including Forté, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management,, Access, Reaching Out, and Military MBA, which can support your goals. As a first-generation college student, I find intrinsic value in helping prospective students discover possibilities for their future.”

Kelly worked in the corporate world before shifting to higher education. “Many people played a key role in my path along the way, and I look forward to playing that role for you. Using the insights I have gained in the corporate and admissions world, I will help you craft an application that will get the attention of the admissions teams where you apply. Nothing gives me more pleasure than contributing to the success of prospective students.” 

One of Kelly’s favorite activities when traveling to other countries is sampling local cuisine and stopping at local grocery stores to get a sense of what everyday life would be like there. “Of course, I always look for the local interpretation of my favorite ice cream flavor – chocolate with chocolate and more chocolate!”

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

The post <strong>Welcoming Kelly Wilson</strong> appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Welcoming Sadie Polen [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Welcoming Sadie Polen

The Accepted consultant team is thrilled to welcome Sadie Polen, who previously ran highly selective summer programs at Harvard University, where she reviewed more than 1,000 applications a year. Through these programs, Sadie worked with partner individuals and organizations across the public service and political spectrum, including economic development, journalism, elected officials, law, civic tech, and NGOs, and with students who went on to graduate from master’s and PhD programs in law, business, health, government, and education.

Sadie’s undergraduate work at UC Davis was in the field of community development, and her graduate work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education centered on the intersection of community and education and how the two forces interact to make each other stronger. In addition, she earned a diversity, equity, and inclusion certificate from Cornell University.

With a collaborative, strategic, and process-oriented coaching style, Sadie focuses on understanding her clients, helping them determine where they want to apply and why, and with brainstorming, outlining, drafting, redrafting, and editing essays so that they convey their stories with impact.

Sadie understands that writing and editing are iterative processes. “I want my clients to feel comfortable trying new things and making ‘mistakes’ along the way,” she says. “The best results often come from unexpected places. The process of applying to graduate school is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on who you are, what makes you a unique applicant, and what your goals are. The experience of working together through the application process can continue to benefit you in – and beyond – graduate school. I’m excited to be part of that process with you!”

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

The post Welcoming Sadie Polen appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Four Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Four Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays


One of the most important pieces of advice you can receive regarding your personal statements and application essays is this: Show, don’t tell.

But you might have been given this advice before and are wondering how to go about it. Let’s dive into how to show effectively.

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

[*][b]Show the steps you’ve taken.[/b]

If you are writing about a goal you achieved or a project you completed, spelling out the process you followed will add depth and validity to your claims. “Within six months, I was promoted to Junior Account Manager” is not nearly as compelling as “After completing my training in record time and then doubling sales in my territory, I was promoted to Junior Account Manager after only six months on the job.” Explaining the specific measures you took to obtain the recognition that landed you your fast-tracked promotion adds so much to your essay..

Similarly, if asked about a weakness, [url=]don’t just tell the adcom[/url] that you have overcome your weakness of procrastination; instead, show them by giving concrete examples of specific steps you’ve taken to become a more efficient person. For example, do you now plan your projects when you get them and stick to the schedule you set for yourself? Do you check your calendar at least twice daily to ensure you don’t miss a task, call, or appointment? Then show the results you’ve achieved: You haven’t pulled an all-nighter since you implemented these changes.


[*][b]Provide examples of strengths and skills.[/b]

You say that you are creative, mature, and [url=]an excellent leader[/url]. But how? What have you done specifically, and what impact have you made on your teammates/coworkers/company/community/the world at large? Saying that you’re creative won’t cut it; instead, share a story or paint a picture (with words) that truly depicts the creative workings of your mind. And if you claim to be a leader, a quality highly valued by most graduate schools, provide an example of your leadership and impact.


[*][b]Offer relevant, compelling details whenever possible.[/b]

Your story of success will be more believable and more memorable if you provide supporting details. Remember, when you are showing your achievements rather than just telling about them, your readers are going to want to see a picture of who you are and what you’ve done.

Add vibrant details – talk about the number of people on your team; the amount of money you raised; the butterflies you felt while launching your new product; the fear you experienced when you botched a project, followed by extreme remorse, and then the resolve to do better. All these details will add color and vitality to the picture you’re painting for the adcom.


[*][b]Tell a story that reveals your strengths.[/b]

Admissions committee readers are human beings. Like all human beings, they love a good story. One of the best ways to make a point is with a story that illustrates it.

A good story has a problem with some emotion or tension, a main character who addresses and sometimes struggles with the problem, and a resolution. For application essays, that resolution usually shows how the main character, typically the applicant, solved the problem, benefited others, and restored emotional equilibrium. [/*]

If you can tell a story that includes the steps you took, reveals your strengths, keeps the reader engaged with a juicy detail or two, and maintains a certain level of tension up to the point that the resolution is revealed, your essay is well on its way to enhancing your admissions chances.

What’s ineffective “telling”? Boastful claims such as “I am a wonderful team leader” or “I have excellent communication skills” will fail to convince the adcom of your strengths if they’re not backed up with evidence. Claims without a reinforcing story, example, or detail are “telling” and perilously bland and unpersuasive. 

Now that you know how to do it, remember: When [url=]writing your essays[/url], show, don’t tell.Do you need help showing the adcom what you’re all about? Our experienced consultants can show you the way! Explore our [url=]Admissions Consulting & Editing Services[/url] and work one-on-one with your personal advisor to create the application that will get you ACCEPTED!


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 help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url][/b]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*] [url=]5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement[/url], a free guide [/*]

[*] [url=]3 Essential Components of a Personal Statement[/url] [/*]

[*] [url=]How to Tell an Attention-Grabbing Story[/url] [/*]
The post [url=]Four Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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How to Get Into Georgetown McDonoughs MBA Program [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Get Into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA Program

Shortcuts to Key Insights from this Episode

Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, discusses everything applicants need to know about getting into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program. [Show Summary]

Are you interested in sustainability? Also considering an MBA? Well Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business offers and outstanding MBA program AND an MS in Environmental and Sustainability Management. And today’s interview is with the associate dean of admissions for both programs. Pull up a chair. 

Interview with Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. [Show Notes]

Are you interested in sustainability? Are you also considering an MBA? Well, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business offers an outstanding MBA program and an MS in Environmental and Sustainable Management. And today’s interview is with the Associate Dean of Admissions for both programs. Pull up a chair.

Welcome to the 512th episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Before we dive into today’s interview, I want to give you a gift, Accepted’s free download, Fitting In & Standing Out. This guide will help you navigate the paradox at the heart of admissions. Realize that you need to show in your application simultaneously that you fit in at your target schools, and that you stand out in the applicant pool. 

It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Shelly has been leading Georgetown’s admissions efforts since 2014 and became Associate Dean in 2017. She earned her BBA from Texas Christian University, her Master’s in Educational Administration from UT Austin, and her Executive MBA from Georgetown. 

Shelly, welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk. [1:52]

It’s wonderful to be back. Thanks, Linda, for having me.

Can you provide an overview of both Georgetown’s MBA programs and the MS in Environment and Sustainability Management or the ESM? [2:01]

Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll start it with the MBA. The good news is our three MBAs are the same in that we have a full-time, a flex in-person for working professionals, and a flex online for working professionals.

They are all 54 credits. You get the same degree, and you have access to the same experience at Georgetown McDonough, so it makes it very easy to talk about. Full-time is 20 months, like a normal full-time two-year program would be, and then the two flex programs are anywhere between two-and-a-half years to five years. But you’re taking the same classes. You have the same core for the first half of the program, and then you get to choose from electives in the second half of the program.

At Georgetown, we don’t require you to choose a concentration. We really feel that you should customize based on what is of interest to you and/or really, what your skill gaps are. There are so many hats that we wear in our jobs today that may be strategy or marketing, or finance or budgeting. We want you to fill those skill gaps in the electives of your choosing. Very briefly, that is the nuts and bolts of the MBA programs. I should say that the flex online is newly launched, so we will be enrolling our first cohort this coming fall. And we’re really excited.

Moving now to the Master of Science and Environment and Sustainability Management. It is a lot of syllables, so we do shorten it to ESM, but we welcomed our first cohort this past fall. We launched it a year-and-a-half ago, and our first cohort of 45 students started in August. It is an 11-month program, 30 credits, and it’s an interdisciplinary academic program at the intersection of business and science. It’s very unique for Georgetown McDonough.

We’re actually partnering with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in this interdisciplinary format, which, for a university, is pretty unique. We’re really excited at the innovation in launching this degree. That’s very basic about the two programs.

One question we get a lot from applicants to part-time programs or to online programs, is the degree any different? Is there an asterisk after the MBA for the flex time or the part-time programs? Or is it just, you have a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgetown McDonough, whatever option you choose? [4:17]

Yep, that is what your degree says, is MBA. Even if you did our Executive MBA, it just says MBA. Students can be assured that they’re getting the same rigorous coursework, classes, and professors. It’s not a diluted version of any of the MBAs that you do with us.

If someone is interested in a sustainability and management business degree, who should go for the MBA and just customize the program so that it’s focused on sustainability, and who should go for the MS-ESM? [5:00]

This is one of the questions applicants really have to answer for themselves nowadays. You look back 20 years ago, it just used to be a degree. You went to business school, you got an MBA degree. Now, you have MBAs in all different flavors, and then you also have specialized master’s. The way to think about these two degrees is, specialized master’s are really good if you want to specialize in a certain topic. If it’s a certain function or industry area, you know for the short term or maybe even for the long term, that is what you want to do.

In a specialized ESM master’s, you know that you want to go into sustainability. You’ve decided upon that for your career, which is fantastic. I feel like sometimes some of us are still learning what we want to do even when we’re adults, but the classes are all going to center around that topic. The case studies that you would do, the group projects are going to be around that specialized topic. And you can guarantee that all the students in your class will all be interested in that same topic as well in a specialized master’s.

They’re typically shorter, so most specialized master’s degrees are a year or less. And therefore the cost, it reflects the shorter nature of the program. With an MBA degree, in most traditional two-year MBAs, you do a year of core courses, which are a breadth of topics. You do get exposed to a lot of different topic areas. And then typically, at least with Georgetown, in the last half of your program, you choose your electives. Someone at Georgetown could choose to do an MBA focusing on courses in sustainability. They can even actually get a certificate in sustainability at Georgetown through the MBA, and then participate in the various clubs related to sustainability.

This could be good for someone who thinks they maybe want to do sustainability, but maybe they’re not sure. And/or they want to leave the door open maybe three, five, seven years from now when they might want to pivot to something else. Because an MBA is that degree that can allow you to pivot long into the future, into another type of industry. It’s a little bit longer. Also, the cost reflects that, but it is a broader degree in scope.

What distinguishes Georgetown’s program in Environment and Sustainability Management from other similar programs? [7:41]

When we were doing the research, I was on the taskforce to launch this program. When we were doing research of what other schools were out there that combined science knowledge plus business knowledge, we noticed that there were degree programs that were either housed only in an environment school, so they were in a school of environment, the school of science, or we noticed what we just talked about. They were in a business school where it was a business degree with a little bit of a flavor of environmental sustainability.

What we saw lacking was a university saying, “No, we want it to be almost equal.” We want to have half professors from the environment and science classes in their pedagogy and half professors from business coming together for this interdisciplinary approach. I think someone outside of the academic world may say, “Well, that’s a no-brainer to merge.” But in the university world, merging schools at an institution like Georgetown, it’s pretty innovative. And so that’s what we did.

We said we’re going to take experts in the field of business, experts in the field of science and environment, and put it together into a degree. You can look at the curriculum chart and see half classes in each discipline, and then some classes that were what we call interdisciplinary, where the topics are being combined. What that also does is it gives students the best of both worlds. In many cases, they get access to different events and clubs at the McDonough School of Business. They get access to different clubs at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. They also get access to the Earth Commons.

We’re providing them more resources in many ways than had that degree only been housed in one school. It was a really exciting initiative. We didn’t know what to expect when we launched the degree, but in our first application round three months after launching, we had 100 applications and we had a total of four application rounds. It was really exciting to be a part of this growth at Georgetown.



You have to prepare for the test. [18:57]

Yeah. Exactly. And to write the essays and get the recommendations. We want to tell people right away, are you going to be eligible without a test or not? Because we don’t want to take your application fee, go through the whole process and then say, “You know what? You’re not eligible without a test, so you wasted your time.” We’d rather let them know upfront, save their time, save our time, and then move forward. 

If they’re admissible without the test or you don’t need the test, why put them through the test prep and the test? [19:21]

Right. Exactly. Exactly. We want to be cognizant of their time and do that in the beginning of the process. With our flex program, if you meet the criteria we’ve listed on our website, you can submit without a test. It’s a lower volume of applications. Any part-time program in any MBA in the US is a lower volume than their full-time for attracting local audiences, not global audiences. What we look for in a flex part-time applicant is a little bit different. We’re emphasizing more of their work experience in terms of what they bring to the class. Yes, academics are important, but we’re looking at different contributions in the admissions process.

Both offer test waivers. At the end of the day, we want to know if an MBA student is going to be successful in the quantitative classes of the curriculum, finance, stats, accounting. People can show that through their standardized tests. They can show it through quant classes that they took in undergrad. Perhaps they have a CPA or CFA. Perhaps they do quantitative. We just want all of our students set up for success when they start the program, and that’s why, perhaps, there’s a difference between MBA and ESM. Because MBA is a more highly quantitative degree.

The essay questions for the two programs are really quite different, but you’re the one managing both of the processes, right? [10:44]


The video essay for the MS-ESM is about long-term career goals. The video essay for the MBA asked for a hobby, passion, or what you want to do for fun in your free time, and why. Are you doing an experiment on the two programs, trying to see what kind of responses you get? What is the reason for the different questions? [21:06]

Yeah. No, great question. For ESM, we’ll start with ESM. Just like it’s an interdisciplinary academic degree, we have an interdisciplinary admissions committee, so it’s a different process. We have people from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, we have faculty on the admissions committee, and then we have admissions professionals. So different structure entirely. But also, if you look at the questions we’re asking, we want to get to know this audience. It is a new program and we want to know, why are they interested in environmental sustainability?

We know at the school why it’s important and we know where these students are going, but we want to hear from them why they’re interested in this kind of new degree. And why are they choosing Georgetown versus some of the other programs out there? Because if we’re going to be spending 11 months talking about environmental sustainability, someone needs to be able to write an essay that says why they’re passionate about it. Because it’s a highly concentrated topic of interest and focus in the program. That’s why it’s a little bit of a different question, because it’s new and we want to get to know the audience. And then we want to know how they’re planning to use this in the future in environmental sustainability.

With an MBA, as we’ve talked about, it’s a totally diverse audience. People are going to all different types of jobs, industry, skills, they’re starting their own companies. An MBA is a well-established kind of degree. People know what they’re getting into and know why they’re doing it. We really want to get to know the diverse complexity of the student audiences, and we get to know that through the three prompts that we’ve provided. What I love about how we do this at Georgetown is, we don’t force people into one essay. We give them three, allow them to think about what sells their value proposition the best, and then answer that, the best one.

They also focus on our values. If you think of principled leadership, helping the common good, diversity in the Georgetown community, these are very strong values of Georgetown. And admitting people that are going to be a part of that thread of our community and value fabric is really important. In both programs though, we have video essays, and I love video essays because it allows us to get to know the candidate in a hopefully non-stressful environment. Sometimes the applicants get very stressed out by the interview experience. They shouldn’t. We try not to make it stressful, but they do.

The video essay allows them to re record and record that video essay as much as they want until they feel like it represents them. And then it allows us to see them in a very normal, non-stressed environment. And we get to know them a little bit outside of paper as well. That’s why we do the video essay. It’s helpful in the MBA because of the volume of applications and the volume of people in the admissions committee. In the ESM program, we don’t have an evaluative interview components, so this video essay is in substitution of it.

Any plans to introduce an interview to the ESM admissions process? [24:26]

Not at this time. But as with any new program, we, every year, evaluate and optimize and get feedback. Because it’s a smaller program, we’re already getting to know the candidates a lot in the pre-application process. Our admissions recruiter can almost go down the line of the applications and say, “Yep, I’ve met with that person, met with that person.” We just get to know them a little bit more. At this point, no evaluated interview, but we’ll see. We’ll see how that might change.

What can an interviewee to the MBA program expect that they’re lucky enough to be invited to interview? Is it all virtual now, or are you starting to do in-person? [25:01]

We are completely back in business, as I say. Yes, we are offering virtual. Certainly, it’s more conducive to people’s schedules and the travel cost, but we want people to come to campus. I think when you step onto Georgetown’s campus, and especially the Hariri Rebuilding, it’s a magnificent campus.

You really feel the weight of the history and the prestige, and so we want people to come to campus to get to know our community. But obviously, if it works better to do virtual, they can do that.

What can you expect? It’s 20 to 25 minutes. We give candidates a few minutes to ask some questions of us. It could be from a member of the admissions team or an alumni, or a student interviewer. We have a large team. We do that so we can reduce biases, by having multiple opinions and perspectives. We have a series of questions or topics we will ask students, but we also like to have the conversation flow. If you say something that’s of, really, interest to us, we may ask you to expand on that.

The goal is for us to picture how you’ll fit within the cohort from an academic perspective, from a giving-back-to-the-student experience perspective, from an alumni perspective. We’re trying to see how you really fit with the culture and community at Georgetown. But don’t be nervous. Just have a conversation with us. Get to know us as we’re getting to know you. It’s a two-way street, really.

They should also prepare questions for you, shouldn’t they? [26:41]

Absolutely. Absolutely. That is one of the, I would say, biggest mistakes that I’ve seen applicants make is I’ll say, “Do you have any questions that I can answer for you?” Some people will say, “Well, I’ve had all my questions answered from all of the students and admission staff that I’ve previously spoken with.” That may be the case, but still, ask a question anyways.

Because even if you already know the answer, think you know the answer, ask it anyway. Because it does show a level of interest in the school, and we are gauging the level of interest you have in us when we interview you. Again, just repeat something even if you feel like you know the answer. 

Now, just to clarify, you said that you have a large team of interviewers, but the applicant is interviewed by one person, correct? [27:25]

Correct. Yeah, that’s absolutely correct.

It’s one interview with one person, so it’s one-on-one? [27:34]


The deadlines are March 30th and May 2nd for the MBA program, and April 3rd and May 15th for the MS-ESM. Is an applicant at a disadvantage if they apply in these later rounds? Are they better off waiting until next year? [27:44]

No, you’re not at a disadvantage. There is always room for good applicants. I would say, in particular, this year, we are very empathetic to these tech layoffs. I almost feel like in some ways, it’s mirroring the layoffs of 2020 and 2008. People from fantastic companies that are now saying, “Let me reevaluate. Am I in the right industry? Am I in the right function?” If the answer is, “I don’t know,” or, “No,” come to an MBA and reset and figure it out. Or come and do a specialized master’s to make yourself that more marketable to guard against potential layoffs maybe in the future.

Investing in yourself with a graduate degree will only help you in the future, but it can also give you some mental space to really think through, introspect in, what’s happening in your personal and professional life, and figuring out what’s right for you. And then you also gain a great network of colleagues as well. It’s not too late to apply. If you are ready, submit an application.

In a worst case scenario, let’s say we don’t have room for you, we love re-applicants. Re-applicants have a high percentage of admit rate. When we pull the numbers and we see re-applicants that have come back and maybe improve their application a little bit from the previous year based on feedback we give them, their admit rate is higher than just applicants in their first try. Have a conversation with us, we want to get to know you. And definitely apply.

Has Georgetown made any accommodations for the laid off workers, or are you just planning to, I guess, reserve more seats for the third and fourth round, given what’s been going on the last couple of months? [29:33]

Yeah. We did make accommodations in that we were going to only leave our full-time test waiver open in the fall. We decided to extend the test waiver into the spring because studying for a test can take three, four, five months. We know that this is affecting candidates right now. They may not have that time, so we just extended what we had already done in the fall.

If you look at our application fees, we have different criteria that we introduced about a year ago based on your income level. If you are under certain income levels, therefore if you were just laid off, you can qualify for different waivers or reductions. That’s something we’ve always been proud to do, to recognize people from different socioeconomic statuses.

Georgetown has always had four rounds, so I know I see a lot of other MBA programs adding a fourth round or adding a third round. We’ve always had four rounds, so for us, we will keep that, and then may extend some rolling flexibility right after the fourth round. We will just see how everything goes.

Let’s just focus on MBA and the ESM. What should they be doing? What should they be examining in their background to see if they need to improve something and be ready for the fall? [31:04]

Yeah. I can tell an applicant that has gotten to know us really well, because they have come to various events, even if they’re virtual. They have talked with some current students and they’ve maybe talked with some alumni. By doing all those conversations, by the time they get to the application process and the interview process, they can talk very naturally and very authentically about why they’re interested in Georgetown. And it comes through. It’s not like they’re memorizing facts from our resume. They just speak about it because they came to campus or they had lunch with this alum.

We can tell that authenticity, and that weighs in pretty heavily to the admissions and interview process. Because any school wants candidates that want to be at their school. I’m sure I could speak for any of my colleagues that would say that. So use this next six months to do that. Get to know the schools. Get to know Georgetown, because it will then further convict you if we’re the right school for you as well. It helps you and it helps us, so do that.

Come visit us. We have different in-person or virtual sessions. And we are back traveling throughout the world, so check out our website. We’ll be at, hopefully, a city or a country near you in the next six to eight months, and we’d love to meet you.

There were some really interesting projects that the ESM students were doing. Could you dive into that for a moment? [32:39]

Yes, definitely. This is the Capstone Project. In any of our graduate programs, there’s always a very hands-on Capstone experience. We just announced or about to announce the Capstone Projects for the ESM students. We have companies like Amazon, Department of Energy, Starbucks, that are going to be participating in this Capstone Project. Students will be in small teams, they will solve a problem for these companies and then present their recommendations to the company. Really excited about those for the ESM program, all very environment and sustainability focused. And it mirrors the Global Business Experience that our MBA students do, which also tackles and solves a problem for a current company.

In terms of other projects, just to add on for ESM, we have, even in this first year, students who have already published articles in the Supply Chain Management Review. The topic of this article was palm oil supply chain, and it’s just so impressive to say four months in, we have students publishing in a top journal. Lots of things that are hands-on in both programs.

You mentioned not asking questions in interviews. What else do you see as a common mistake that applicants make? [34:07]

A common mistake is underselling their accomplishments on their resume. There’s a lot of times where I see a student’s resume and I then speak with them, whether it’s an informational interview or if it’s an in evaluative interview, and they start talking about some of their experiences in their job. I’m looking at their resume and they’ve undersold themselves.

For example, I was interviewing a candidate one time and they talked about how they got promoted at this top consulting firm. I’m looking at their resume and their promotion is not on their resume, and they were at a top consulting firm. The person said, “Well, I just ran out of room.” And I said, “You never run out of room to say you’ve been promoted.”

Thinking through how to show those accomplishments, how to write a resume that is not bullets of responsibilities. Instead, bullets of accomplishments.

Quantify your accomplishments. What did you do to improve the process, the function, the department? That’s a big mistake that I see a lot of people making, to be very honest.

One way to guard against that is, go to the website. Go to your company’s website, or go to your competitor’s website and look at a similar job description to the one that you have, and think through. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. This is what I’m doing. This is the way I can position my responsibilities. Because sometimes, from a bird’s eye perspective, what you’ve written on your resume doesn’t really reflect the value and truly immense work that you’re doing for a company.

Because when you see that, then it tells us at the school that you’re going to go above and beyond in the program. You’re going to go above and beyond when you get a job as an alum. It builds a profile of who you are.

You’re in Washington DC. What does that add to the programs? [36:45]

Yeah. Washington DC is the nexus of everything in many ways. Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, NGOs, government. There’s actually a statistic out there from the Chamber that says there’s the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies is represented in DC. It may not be their headquarters, but there is a representation of companies that are out here. What that means for applicants is, when you’re networking, you don’t necessarily have to go to New York or Boston or Silicon Valley. There is going to be someone from an office that’s here in DC that can get you your foot in the door, that you can network with here, having coffee, versus having to necessarily take the train or take a plane somewhere.

I will also say that we have tons of large speakers and world leaders that are in and out of DC all the time to do whatever they do. But while they’re here, they often want to speak with students because it’s fulfilling for them as a leader. They often will come to Georgetown and they’ll speak to students. And so our students get exposure to literally world and corporate leaders.

I think every sitting president has spoken at Georgetown. Whether it’s the President of the Peace Corps or a chief in the military, or CEOs of a bank, or CEOs of consumer products, good companies come to Georgetown. That exposure from a learning perspective. Also, alumni are constantly in and out of DC. And so being able to network and build your network is helpful.

From a very work-life balance perspective, and I say this with a perspective, I’m from Texas, so I’ve lived in DC for a little bit of time now, but I’m originally from Texas, DC has a great work-life balance. There’s the Potomac River. You can go kayaking. You can go two hours west of here and be in the mountains and ski. You can go three hours east of here and go be on the beach. Short ride to New York. We’re just in a great large city with a small town feel.

What question would you have liked me to ask that I didn’t ask? [39:05]

Why Georgetown, maybe? Why Georgetown?

I love this question because I can talk about it with just authenticity, that I believe in it. What makes Georgetown unique, I guess, is how I maybe would even word it. We have a global focus. Because of our location in Washington DC, which is a very global city, and because of the students that we attract, we typically have over 40 countries in the MBA program. Even in the ESM program this year, we had over 20 countries, with 45 students.

Wow. [39:48]

You’re getting to be exposed to this global environment in a very short amount of time, the global nature of our professors. A third of them hold international passports. We’re talking about global companies and global organizations. Second is our Jesuit background. I didn’t know what a Jesuit school meant or what it was before I came to work at Georgetown. To be very honest, I am not Catholic, but I’ve learned to appreciate what being a Jesuit means.

There’s a real focus on taking care of the whole person and teaching in the classroom. We hire professors that actually want to teach and are motivated by teaching, not just researching. As an executive MBA student, I saw the stark difference going into the MBA classroom. These professors were almost like putting on a show. They were invested in this experience of the MBA, which was phenomenal.

I would also say we teach at the intersection of business and society and politics and environment, looking at a more bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the world. And then yes, being in DC, it is a part of your experience. Maybe in undergrad, I would’ve wanted to go to a more rural location. But if I’m in a professional degree program where my goal is to get a job coming out, I want to be where the employers are, where the alumni are, where the networking is happening. I want to be in a city, and so you obviously get that at Georgetown.

Shelly, thank you so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed learning about Georgetown’s MBA program a little bit more again, and the MS-ESM program. Thank you, again. [41:16]

Thank you. Thanks for having me. It’s always great to be on, Linda.

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Admissions Tip: Be Yourself! [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Admissions Tip: Be Yourself!

Would you like to know one thing that admissions committee members really want from applicants?

Here it is: they wish – really, truly wish – that applicants would not try to write what they imagine the adcom wants to hear but instead just be themselves. Time and time again, admissions committee members tell us they want applicants to answer the essay questions directly, and in all cases, reveal what they really want adcom readers to know about them.

Maybe it sounds simple to say, “Be yourself.” “Be authentic.” “Stand out.” But when you’re facing a blank screen. . . well, not so easy, right? Don’t worry, it’s not you – a personal statement is challenging to write!

Three ways to stand out by being yourself

How can you let your authentic voice shine through so that the person reading your essay feels they’ve met you – and wants to get to know you better?

  • Write about the right experiences.

    When writing your admissions essays/personal statement, choose experiences that mean something to you. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t, just because you think it will impress the adcom. Everyone has a unique set of experiences and perspectives – embrace them, and you’ll stand out.

    And when you tell your story, explain why it’s significant. Go deeper than just stating what happened. How was the experience meaningful? Or how did it have impact for you and perhaps for others as well? The “other” can be an individual, a team, a group, an employer, or your company. Was this experience important or formative to your development? If so, how? How will your description of this experience and its relevance to your life’s journey add to the adcom readers’ understanding of you as an individual, a potential member of their community, and a future professional and alum?

  • Be truthful.

    Don’t exaggerate or falsify anything in your profile. That’s automatically not being yourself! And it’s a ticket to the “rejection” pile.

    And this leads us to our final tip. . .

  • Find your authentic voice.

    Don’t change your voice for the sake of the essay. Believe it or not, falseness is obvious, even with readers who have never met you. It’s a huge turnoff. Authenticity is the key to being considered seriously. Some people worry about their word choice; they want to use sophisticated vocabulary to dazzle the adcom. This usually backfires, and we don’t recommend it. Your best bet, and it’s one that some of the world’s best and most admired writers know, is to write in clear, simple, direct language that sounds like you. If you don’t know those “fancy” words and wouldn’t normally use them, skip them. Along related lines, if you’re not naturally a funny person, your essay is probably not the best time to try to crack jokes.

Does your essay effectively introduce YOU?

Your unique experiences, perspective, and goals will help you stand out in a crowded field, as long as you convey what is special about you. And then you will be YOU.

Here’s a surefire way to get a sense of how effectively your essay introduces you: ask someone else to read it. We’ve read thousands of application essays and successfully coached people like you to success. We have extensive admissions experience and know which parts of your profile make you stand out for all the right reasons, and how you can present yourself as an authentic and desirable candidate. We will provide a professional evaluation of your essay and specific advice on how to strengthen it before you apply. Why not  to learn more about how we can help you find your unique voice and apply successfully to your top choice program?

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. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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Seven Ways to Make the Most of B-School Visits, Fairs, and Receptions [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Seven Ways to Make the Most of B-School Visits, Fairs, and Receptions

Applying to MBA programs in the fall? If so, then you’re probably planning to meet with MBA admissions committee members at various types of events – school visits, MBA fairs, school receptions, and so one – as part of that process.

Adcom members are preparing for you as well. Before they meet with you, they will have already done a little research, getting an early read of your “social intelligence.”

Here are seven tips to make a positive first impression on the admissions representatives you meet while also getting the most out of the visits for your own informational and decision-making needs.

[b] [url=]<< READ: What Should You Do If You Can’t Visit B-Schools in Person? [A COVID-19 Special] >>[/url][/b]

[b]1. [url=]Polish up your resume[/url] and bring it with you.[/b]

Sometimes you might have a chance to show your resume to an adcom member or a student willing to give feedback on your competitiveness for the program. Don’t worry if it’s not in what you consider final or perfect form; you will certainly revise it later.

[b]2. Have your overall “goals story” on the tip of your tongue.[/b]

Most applicants will have a simple sentence prepared, such as “My goal is to become an IT manager in finance and eventually CIO,” but ideally, you’d have something more specific and substantial to share.  should include another sentence that shows why you have these goals (your motivation) and your vision for what you want to achieve (these two elements are often interrelated).

Being confident about your goals story will smooth your path to engaging more meaningfully with adcom members and students. People will care about your goals when they know why you want to achieve them!

[b]3. Research, research, research.[/b]

[url=]Research the programs[/url] that you’re interested in learning  more about at the event. Don’t simply browse the readily available material, but investigate what they can offer you based on your specific post-MBA career goals. When you’re at the event, asking basic questions whose answers can easily be found on the program’s website can make you look foolish.

[b]4. Have thoughtful questions ready about the program.[/b]

For each school you visit, prepare questions related to your learning and career needs. Moreover, your ability and willingness to identify your specific educational needs reflects maturity.

[b]5. Dress and act professionally.[/b]

Dressing too casually or coming across with a casual attitude won’t be a good look for you. School representatives could assume that you’re not serious about your future business education and career. The schools are looking for sincere, thoughtful candidates. Also, keep in mind that people generally act differently depending on what they’re wearing – dress casually, and you’ll act casually; dress professionally, and most likely, it’ll professionalize your attitude and demeanor.

[b]6. Get contact info for follow-ups when meeting students from your target schools.[/b]

There are all kinds of opportunities to [url=]learn more about the program from students[/url] (for example, one student might connect you to a classmate who leads a club of interest to you), gaining unique and fresh insights that can greatly enhance your essays.

[b]7. Learn how to create an elevator pitch, and then prepare one.[/b]

Having an effective “elevator pitch” will enable you to attend school visits without anxiety, show that you are socially adept, and free you to focus on listening and responding rather than thinking about what to say in those initial moments. Aim to present a thoughtful, meaningful nugget of information to make a positive first impression and facilitate conversation. You can use your pitch with adcom members, MBA students, and fellow applicants. With the latter two groups, you can also follow up with “What is your industry background?” or “What are your post-MBA goals?”

Your elevator pitch should be just one or two sentences. Its content should usually focus on the present and future. The key is to convey core information in a way that is engaging.  

Here are two examples:

[*]Hi, I’m Mary Liu, a consultant in McKinsey’s supply chain practice. I hope to develop and lead the next generation of supply chain innovations in emerging markets.[/*]
[*]Hello, Manish Das here. I’ve been troubleshooting Bank Paribas’s risk management applications in Eastern Europe during the global financial crisis. Post-MBA, I want to focus on developing new risk management strategies to avert such crises.[/*]
If there is something important in your past to add for a clearer picture, mention it. For example, a listener would probably assume that Manish Das grew up in India. But what if Manish grew up in Kenya? That’d be an interesting tidbit: “Hello, Manish Das here. I grew up in Kenya. I’ve been troubleshooting…”

Finally, practicing your pitch will let you get comfortable with it while also giving you a chance to refine it. By the time you’re “on,” it will flow effortlessly and naturally.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good impression
There’s an old saying: “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” It’s true. Preparing with these tips will yield rich rewards, including making a good impression on adcoms, establishing fruitful contacts with students, and developing deeper knowledge of the programs to fuel your decision-making and spark ideas for writing your essays.

[b]You need to choose and apply to the MBA programs that will best support your individual goals and preferences. Not only will selecting the right programs increase your chances of acceptance but it will also ensure that you make the most of your time spent pursuing your degree. Our expert consultants can help you strategize, choose, and then apply to the best programs for you. [/b]


[b]Related Resources:[/b]

• [url=]The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes[/url], a free guide

• [url=]Top 6 Tips for Visiting Business Schools[/url]

• [url=]Connections Count. And You Can Create Them.[/url]

The post [url=]<strong>Seven Ways to Make the Most of B-School Visits, Fairs, and Receptions</strong>[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best

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

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

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

A three-stage strategy for GRE success

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

Here’s how we did it:

STAGE 1: Acquaintance level

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

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

  • Determine which tests are required by the schools/programs of your interest.

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

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

Watch the webinar,Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GRE!

STAGE 2: Friendship level

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STAGE 3: Intimate level

This is the commitment stage of the process, which requires you to do the following:

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

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

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

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

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

As a dean of graduate admissions for more than ten years, Carol Drummer signed off on more than 4,500 graduate applications annually. She is a communication professor and author of College Is Not 13th Grade: An Easy-to-Read Guide for Parents of College-Bound Students. Carol has helped clients get accepted to a wide variety of programs at all levels, including PhD PsyD, DOT, DPT, PA, MHA, MSW, and master’s degrees in speech language pathology, business analytics, accounting, global affairs, counseling, architecture, design engineering, nutrition, and exercise physiology. Want Carol to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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Six Ways to Mitigate Low Stats in Your MBA Application [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Six Ways to Mitigate Low Stats in Your MBA Application

Business school applicants and admissions directors generally seek the same thing. Applicants want to be desired by admissions directors, and admissions directors want their schools to be desired by applicants. Applicants want to optimize their ability to gain admission to the highest-ranking school that fits their educational and professional needs, and admissions directors want to optimize their school’s ability to climb in the rankings, so that applicants will continue to find the school desirable.

Logic has it that if an admissions director can change the input of the rankings by increasing their school’s average test scores and GPA (a metric that fails to take into account the school of origin and the rigor of the curriculum), then their school should climb in the rankings. Despite several schools having ditched the rankings during the Covid pandemic and deciding to make aptitude tests optional, the average GMAT and GRE scores remain similar to those of prior years. Moreover, we know that the top 20 schools will remain relatively in the same spots in the rankings as they have for the past 23 years. Schools in the top ten tend to change places within the top ten, and schools in the next ten spots typically change places within that 11-20 range, but not much more happens. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report ranking hasn’t changed dramatically over the years for this very reason: the schools move in a group.

It’s a vicious cycle that often leaves incredibly gifted and desirable applicants in the dust. It’s also a vicious cycle that leaves incredibly forward thinking and innovative schools in the dust. You need to be strategic about your actions and your application choices, but you can take several measures to improve your chances of acceptance.

1. Request an assessment.

Obtain a realistic assessment of your candidacy from an admissions officer or an admissions consultant. This assessment should give you an indication as to which schools would be a stretch for you, which schools match your qualifications, and which schools would be considered your “safety” programs. You would be surprised to learn the number of C-level executives and successful entrepreneurs who attended “safety” schools.

2. Cast your net widely.

Note that the larger a school’s class, the more easily that school’s admissions director can hide their lower-statistic candidates. Look at the Forbes wealthiest individuals, and aside from the overproportion of dropouts (note: I believe that education opens doors and do not condone dropping out of school, even if you are Bill Gates or Marc Zuckerberg), you will see a lot of billionaires that attended schools that many prospective students don’t have on their radar.

3. Be proactive.

If your grades tanked, take classes to mitigate any concerns before you apply. If your test scores tanked, obtain whatever tutoring you need to bring your score up (tutors have helped my clients increase their scores dramatically in just a few hours of intense study).

4. Show your interest.

Get to know students and alumni who can go to bat for you.

5. Stand out.

One-trick ponies don’t make for interesting reading.  It’s up to you to get the admissions committee interested in sharing a five-course meal with you rather than speeding through a cup of coffee.

6. Make a compelling case for acceptance.  

Show your fit with the school’s culture, strengths, and values. Reveal leadership, contribution, impact, innovation, and a track record that will cause the admissions readers to say, “Wow!”

As an admissions director, I was more likely to invite the applicant who submitted an interesting, well-written application for an interview – regardless of their stats – than a candidate with high stats and a ho-hum application. If a candidate could engage me in the interview, I would recommend that well-spoken, witty applicant for admission over someone who had high numbers and offered only one dimension.

Of these whom I accepted, many have become successful businesspeople – and some of our most prestigious alumni.

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

Related Resources:

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How to Get into Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Get into Dartmouth Tuck

In this episode the Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth discusses what the Adcom expects from applicants. [SHOW SUMMARY]

Would you like to attend an MBA program with a tight-knit community and a strong foundation in general management, but with enough breadth that you can still do a deep dive into a specific area of interest?  Dartmouth Tuck may be the perfect program for you, and today’s guest is its Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.

An interview with Lawrence Mur’ray, the leader of Tuck’s admissions and financial aid teams. [SHOW NOTES]

Welcome to the 514th episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Are you ready to apply to your Dream MBA programs? Are you competitive at your target schools? Accepted’sMBA Admissions quizcan give you a quick reality check. Complete the quiz, and you’ll not only get an assessment, but tips on how to improve your qualifications. Plus it’s all free. 

It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on Admissions Straight Talk, Lawrence Mur’ray, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business. Lawrence has been in higher ed since he graduated high school. He earned his BA and MPA at the University of Arizona and began his career in admissions there. He then became Assistant Director of MBA Admissions at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, followed by a stint atUNC Kenan-Flagler where he rose to become the Director of the Undergraduate Business Program. He then served as Senior Assistant Dean of Graduate Business Programs at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business for over six years and joined Dartmouth Tuck as Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid just this past August. 7;’/

Lawrence, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk. [2:00]

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m excited to be here.

And I’m delighted to speak with you. Now let’s start with a basic question, which is typically how I open these interviews. Can you provide an overview of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program? [2:06]

Yeah. Great. Thank you. Again, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me. The Tuck School of Business is at Dartmouth College here in Hanover, New Hampshire. We are an extremely rigorous, two-year, Ivy League MBA, nestled here in the Upper Valley, which provides an  opportunity to reflect and focus while you’re here. It’s an opportunity for students to really connect with one another. Again, it’s a rigorous academic program. I think sometimes people think that coming to a small school means there’s limited opportunities, but there are boundless opportunities here with a culture of collaboration and community. You can do almost anything you want to do in terms of your career aspirations. We have a culture of co-investment, so we see the students as partners along all dimensions of their journey, whether it’s the admissions journey, whether it’s the student services journey, or the career journey, and so that co-investment serves as the cornerstone of the Tuck ethos.

And in terms of the opportunities, some of the opportunities that struck me in preparing for the call, one of them was the Global Insight Expeditions. Could you touch on that? [3:20]

Yeah. Our Global Insight Expeditions are a great opportunity for the students to focus on a particular area of the country with a particular faculty member. They’re typically two to three weeks, and it’s an opportunity for them to learn about a particular element of a faculty member’s research, which is anchored in a particular area. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn and understand the culture of doing business wherever they’re going. So for this winter, we sent students to Denmark, we sent students to Israel, and we sent students to Vietnam. So it’s an opportunity to build their network and also it’s an opportunity for them to engage in global teams.

And when they graduate from business school, they will be placed on the global map and working with global teams, it’s an opportunity for them to practice that on their GIXs. It’s a credit bearing class, so the students get credit for that, but it’s a wonderful opportunity. We had four GIXs in the winter, and I’m still getting used to being on a quarter system, so forgive me. We have four GIXs that went off in the winter, which for us is sort of December and January, and then we have four that are going out in the spring.

And again, you mentioned one point in the country, but is it really global? [4:39]

Absolutely. We do have a couple of domestic GIXs, but the majority of them are global. And actually one unique element during the pandemic when we weren’t able to travel, one of our faculty members actually developed a virtual GIX working, he’s from India, and so was working with some NGOs in India. And the students on both ends were using AR and VR to help execute a series of projects through that GIX, and we actually will continue to do a virtual GIX as we move forward.

Now you mentioned again, the breadth of opportunities at Tuck, and of course there are concerns sometimes that students or potential students voice about going to New Hampshire, and is that going to limit them? So where are Tuckies finding jobs both in terms of geography and industry or function? [5:16]

Yeah, so that’s a question that pops up a lot. I’d like to first point to our employment statistics, and I think that the perception of it being a disadvantage is aligned with the career opportunities. But if you look at our employment statistics, the numbers speak for themselves. About 98% of our students have a full-time offer at the time, usually it’s three months post-graduation. We are well represented in consulting and finance. And then after that, it’s a wide range: product management, marketing, operations, logistics, technology. About 11% of our students go into technology. That’s a growing area for us. Healthcare is a growing area for us. We have a growing area of intersection points, so we’ve got financial analytics, we’ve got healthcare analytics, we’ve got marketing analytics. So there are a lot of intersection roles that students are taking and industries that they’re going into.

Tuck is famous for the amazing degree of alumni loyalty as expressed in alumni financial support. I know this past year in 2022 you had a $52 million donation from an anonymous donor. That’s obviously a standout, but I know that the percentage of alumni participation is extremely high. I think the highest of any MBA program by far. [6:34]

It is. I don’t know the exact number. It’s north of 70%.

But I don’t know the exact number. One of the things, and again, I’ve been here for six months, but one of the things that is clear, there’s one attribute that all Tuck students share. And again, I’ve been in this business for quite some time now. I’ve worked at several different schools, and it’s rare to be in a situation where all of the students experience one exact same situation. And that is for Tuck, they all had to move here and they all had to pick up their lives from wherever they were and had to move to Hanover, New Hampshire. And that single shared experience helps form the foundation of that community and that collaboration, that forms that comradery with students when they’re in the program and then that alumni loyalty when they’re out of the program.

It is spectacular to see how these students come together knowing that they’re all in the same boat. They all have to figure out their living situation. They’ve all got to figure out how do I now navigate the next two years where I’m not working and I’ve got to refocus on school, I’ve got to refocus on an internship search, I’ve got to refocus on a job search. And they get to do that all together. And again, that’s a little different from other schools. And I’ve worked at business schools that are top ranked, that are in different geographies where there’s definitely a benefit to being in New York City. That’s my last experience. But New York also presents, as much as there are opportunities in New York, sometimes that can be a little bit of a distraction. So there are lots of things to do, and I have to be honest, I’m always surprised that how little students take advantage of the things that New York City, for my former job, but it’s still a distraction.

The other part of it is in New York, a lot of time is spent commuting to school, and so you spend a lot of time, you’re either running late and starting late, or you’re leaving early trying to catch the train. So on those tail ends, that doesn’t happen here. And students, really more than half of our students live on campus in their first year, so they’re together a lot of the time. And then in the second year they live off campus. But our location is small, our school is small. Community matters. Students will come in and they will know their classmates, they will know their faculty members. When we talk about careers, one of the things I continue to be amazed with is how many alums come back to Tuck all the time.

I mean, you are walking in the hallways. It’s spring break now, so nobody’s here, but any other time, I’m being introduced to alums in the hallways or the alums are here working with the student club or organization or the alums are here serving as alumni mentors with the career services team. It’s a lot of engagement and activity, and that also means something. You have to be very intentional to come to Hanover, and you can get here by plane, trains, automobile or drive, but it’s intentional to come here. And the fact that so many alums come back and play a part in the development of the class of students below them, I think that says a lot about the culture and the community and again, that ethos of co-investment.



What accommodations has Tuck made in light of the recent layoffs that have caused many business schools to do different things. What’s Tuck done? [19:31]

So we announced back in January that we were deploying a GMAT GRE test waiver option for those who were negatively impacted by those economic and employment disruptions. Of course, this started notably in the tech sector, but very quickly went beyond the tech sector. So our initiative was for our round three applications, and it was industry agnostic. But it was an opportunity for folks to submit an application to be considered for a GMAT GRE test waiver. And we were looking at, number one is you had to be unemployed.

And then if you submitted the application, you were unemployed and you met a few other top line criteria, then we would look at your academic background. So we were looking for an undergraduate academic background that was steeped in technology, quant, analytics. Then we were looking at advanced coursework, graduate coursework or maybe certificate programs or something, again, that was steeped in technology, quant or analytics.

And then the third category that we were looking at was your professional work experience and whether that professional work experience was steeped in sort of quantitative work data or analytics.

So we had those three buckets. The more of those buckets you could check off, the more likely you were to be granted the waiver. The fewer of those buckets you check off, the less likely you were to be granted the waiver. And again, we did it for our round three. The deadline for that was actually March 1st. So that gave us plenty of time to do all the evaluation of the applications for the fee waivers. And then for those folks who weren’t granted, not a fee waiver, but a test waiver, it gave them the opportunity to study and sit for the exams.

Do you think the test waiver policy will be extended to next year? [21:32]

We’ll have to see. We’ll wait and see what it looks like at the end of this year. We’ve still got quite a ways to go. We’re getting ready to release round two on Thursday, and then we are still knee-deep in round three, so we’ll have to see what this looks like at the end.

What advice would you have at this point in time for somebody thinking of applying in the 2023- 2024 cycle? [21:54]

A lot of people think that the third round or the later rounds are bad rounds and that they put you at a competitive disadvantage. I’ve never really fully understood that, but I do understand that there are some of our peers that the bulk of their enrolled classes are coming from early deadlines, but that’s only a handful of schools. I think most of us do have to rely on the full breadth of the admission cycle. So that’s all rounds of the admission cycles. I think schools will be hard-pressed to turn away strong candidates that come in in later rounds. Again, there are some exceptions, there are some of our peers where with the bulk of their enrolled classes are built off of round one and round two. And some of those peers, they don’t even have really a third round, they only have two admission cycles. But I think schools will be hard-pressed to turn away any strong candidates that come in later in the admission cycle.

Obviously when we’re talking about seats in classes and the dollars that are left, that really is the same calculus that you have to think about whether you are applying round one versus round two, and round two versus round three. As more students come in and submit their enrollment deposits and commit, schools are looking at a finite number of seats available in a class. And so that’s just something that you have to take into consideration. I will say that people shouldn’t rush. So I know a lot of people right now because I think Microsoft or one of the tech companies just said that they were … No, Meta.

Meta slashed 10,000 more jobs. And so I would definitely caution folks about rushing into the application process. The reason why most schools have multiple deadlines is to provide students with the opportunity to present their application when it’s at the strongest that it can possibly be. For some folks, that may mean multiple attempts at a standardized test. For some, the self-reflection or the self discernment piece and finding which schools I’m going to apply to takes a little bit longer. So they may apply in round two, round three or round four. I know there are several schools now, so several of our peers have extended their third deadlines and added a fourth deadline.

I was just going to ask if you have any plans to do that. [24:31]

We don’t have any plans to do that. Students just need to be thoughtful about that. So whether you apply now or wait and apply early, I think that depends on how you assess your readiness and competitiveness in the application process.

What can those invited to interview at Tuck expect if they’re lucky enough to be invited? [24:50]

Yeah, I think you can expect a conversation, not low intensity, but low risk I should say. I think a lot of people get wound up and they think that we’re trying to trick you with, and this is for any school, that the schools are trying to trick you with trick questions in the interview, and that’s going to be a grilling. This is not. We want to have a very civil conversation just to learn a little bit more about who you are, what makes you tick, why you’re interested in the Tuck School, why you’re interested in pursuing an MBA, and how all of that fits into your short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals and objectives. And along the way, we’ll ask you some questions about how you handle stress and adversity, how you communicate, how you give and receive feedback, and just some of the other elements of you that make you you, that you might want to share with us.

Tuck last year had three essay questions. Why are you pursuing an MBA? And why Tuck? Tell us who you are. I’m summarizing here. And describe a meaningful experience in which you exemplified one or more of these attributes. Attributes being encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic. Do you anticipate any changes to those questions? [25:50]

That’s a good question, and we will start thinking about what the next application looks like here in late April or early May. So we’ll see. I think that the industry that we’re in is that a little bit of a crossroads when it comes to MBA applications, and we just talked about ChatGPT and its impact on a lot of different things. So we are going to be very thoughtful and deliberative in thinking through what the application for the next cycle looks like.

Also this’ll be, I guess, your first full application cycle at Tuck. [26:45]


Have you played at all with ChatGPT? [26:52]

I have. I’ve played a lot with it. The output is only as good as the input.

What question would you have liked me to ask that I haven’t asked? What would you like to answer? [27:13]

What would I like to answer? I think, again, sort of going back to the advantages of being in a small New Hampshire town, you get to know your classmates. One of the other elements that I’ve always thought very highly of Tuck about, and again, I’ve been in this business for a long time and I’ve known the folks here at Tuck for a long time. Back when I worked at Indiana University, I worked with a lot of folks from Tuck, and I’ve always been impressed with just the level of engagement across the board. And I think that part of that is when you come here, and again, we talked about everyone has to pick up and move but this is a place where you can’t hide. And that’s not a bad thing.

It’s getting to know your classmates and getting to know the faculty and getting to know the staff. And with that high engagement of alumni, the thing that has impressed me, one of the things that has impressed me the most is I went to South America and met up with about 15 alums and the age range was about 10 years, class years. And you would’ve never known that they were in different class years. They were just talking as if they all sat in their finance class together or their GIX to Denmark together, and that was amazing. Again, a 10-year gap. And then that was replicated. I went to London, had a chance to meet with some of the folks and again, a wide range of years, class years, but they all got along as though they were sitting in the class together just yesterday. So that level of camaraderie I think is something that adds to that element of fit and in how you can thrive in your time during an MBA.

Might also be something to show that you want to be a part of and that you’ve provided comradery and participation and co-investment in the past if you are applying successfully at Tuck. [29:18]


All right, Lawrence, I want to thank you so much for joining me today. I’ve really enjoyed learning about Tuck’s MBA program and admissions process and community. Is there a URL you’d like to share? [29:29]

Sure,tuck.dartmouth.eduwill take you right to our main landing page.

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Encore: What Does 2022 Mean for Applicants in 2023 [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Encore: What Does 2022 Mean for Applicants in 2023

Thanks for joining me for the 520th episode of Admissions Straight Talk.

I am taking a week off for family time. As a result, I decided to air an encore of our most popular podcast so far in 2023. To my surprise it was the solo show I did in January on preparing to apply this year.

While I was mildly surprised that the solo show was the most popular. On second thought I understood why: People are gearing up to apply in the 2023-24 cycle so the topic is timely. One of the points I make in this podcast is the sooner you start, the better your application will be.  And that’s true regardless of the degree you are applying for.

I assume that many of you also took a spring break be it for a day or two or a whole week or more. I hope you spend it with loved ones, as I am doing so during my week off. I hope you had a wonderful time during your break. Thanks for listening to Admissions Straight Talk and specifically What Does 2022 Mean for Applicants in 2023.

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FROM Blog: Get Into INSEAD, the Business School for the World

In this episode the Associate Global Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at INSEAD discusses the school’s unique language requirement, the role of the GRE/GMAT in admissions, and what to include in the optional essay. [SHOW SUMMARY]

Are you a citizen of the world? Is it your goal to be a leader in international business? Then you should consider the Business School for the World: INSEAD. 

An interview with INSEAD’s Teresa Peiro, Associate Director of Global Admissions, Degree Programmes. [SHOW NOTES]

Welcome to the 520th episode of Admission Straight Talk, Accepted podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Sometimes I am asked, “Is the MBA worth it?” And my answer is, “It depends on your individual circumstances.” But I’ve got good news. We’ve developed[url=] a tool [/url]that will help you evaluate whether an MBA is worth it for you and your individual circumstances and by how much. Check how much you’re likely to benefit – or not – from the MBA. And using it won’t set you back even one cent. It’s free.

It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on Admissions Straight Talk. Teresa Piero, Associate Director of Global Admissions and Financial Aid at INSEAD, the Business School for the World. Teresa worked in marketing for several years before joining INSEAD in 2011. She focused more on MBA programs initially, but in 2021 became the Associate Director of Global Admissions and oversees the entire admissions process for all INSEAD degree programs on all campuses including the EMBA, which is going to be our focus today. 


Teresa, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk. [1:52]

Thank you very much, Linda, for having me here today.

My pleasure. Now can you give us just a start, an overview of INSEAD’s MBA program for those listeners who aren’t that familiar with it? [1:57]

Yes, of course. Linda, our MBA program is a 10-month program that brings together around 100 nationalities per cohort. You can either start in January or in the August intake. It’s a very intense program. It’s shorter, but our participants make the most out of it and we commonly hear all of our alumni saying that it was the best year of their lives.

How do most students take advantage of that geographic diversity? If it was 10 months in Fontainebleau the whole time, that would already be intense. But if you have all these other options, how do they do it? [2:40]

Indeed. So, our applicants have to make a decision of which will be their home campus. So what are the core courses? They will have to stay in their home campus. After that when the electives start, they can either change campuses, so if someone starts in Singapore, they can go to Fontainebleau and vice versa. And then we offer different partnerships, as you mentioned, with different schools in the US and China. So what happens is that they can go to that school while they’re, say, in that school, they are full students from the welcoming school and they spend their period there and then they come back to INSEAD-

So, where are the three campuses again? I know it’s Fontainebleau, Singapore, and the third one- [3:31] 

There are three campuses. Fontainebleau, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. And we opened pre COVID San Francisco hub.

So it’s not considered a full campus yet, is it? [3:43]

No, it’s a hub.

Where are the partnerships? [3:49]

The partnerships are with Kellogg and Wharton in the US and with SIPS in China.

When you talk about your home campus, how much time are you required to spend there? What do most students do? Or is there a most? [3:56]

So there’s not statistically something consistent. They have to stay for the core courses. So for the first period they have to stay where they decided to apply to.

Because we consider that part the most intense part of the program, because they have all of these classes and all these exams and it’s like the core and they have to stay focused where they are. And then switch campuses. So it’s super interesting because now for example, for instance, we welcomed those who started in Singapore and they arrived to Fontainebleau and it’s like they discover a new school. It’s like a new campus and they get to see other participants that have started here in the program and they have moved or those who came with them. So I find it very vibrant, the campus exchange moment, because the campus is full of suitcases and they’re coming in and out, and they see new faces and you see, “Oh, I’m connected with you when we were applicants and now I see you here,” and it’s a good sense of community.

In terms of the partnership schools, is the 10 months, is it divided into semesters or you’ve mentioned periods? How does that work? [5:07]

There are periods of two months.

Five plus P Zero, which P Zero starts before they arrive to campus. So we’ve got P Zero and five periods.

Could you review the language requirements both at entry and graduation for INSEAD participants? That’s a very distinctive aspect of the program. [5:29]

Yes. And you know that is one very near to my heart. So as you know, or maybe you don’t, INSEAD was founded by George Doriot, who was a French Harvard professor.

I didn’t know that. [5:49]

The courses at the beginning, they were taught in those three languages. So German, English, and French, which were the languages in Europe.

We’ve been adapting to the different times. English has to be validated either by your native language or by other means of assessment. We need to ensure that every MBA or every student attending INSEAD is going to be able to follow the class and make the most out of the program. So English has to be validated. If it’s your native language, we will not question it, but then you will have to validate the second language for entry reasons.

So if English isn’t your native language, you have to validate it. So there are different criteria. Most common you need to have, your whole degree has to be taught in English and it has to be specified in your transcripts or through TOEFL iBT.

And if English is your native language and your second language is French, for example, or Spanish- [6:53]

There are other tests. There are local, so there are national tests that we accept many of them, but there are many different experiences. So, we’ll look at that very closely for your second language, if English is your native language. And for instance, if you for example, have completed your bachelor’s in Spanish, it would be validated too.

The second language is like a C1, so it’s fluency that we require, and it’s an admissions requirement. Now for the third language, it is an exit language, so you need it to graduate. And we do not give the diploma if you have not validated your third panel. Knowing that the level that we require is much lower. It’s an A1. When I’m talking to candidates or prospects, I always, always encourage them to get that language policy cleared before they start because the program is very intense. And they prefer to invest their time in other things than learning the language. But for us it’s like in our DNA, and this open mindedness and being able to make the most of this super international exposure, we wanted to have these three languages with you.

Upon graduation.

So I mean, in lay terms, if you want to use that, would your entry level requirement be that the person obviously have speaking and comprehension and speaking ability and some writing ability or fluent writing ability? And the exit requirement, what would that be in terms of, again, just a very approximate? I realize there are stricter requirements. I’m just trying to make it a little bit easier to grasp. [8:32]

No, of course. No, the second language is quite strict. You have to go through three levels and it’s a C1, which is fluent.

You have to be able to write. [9:08]

You have to be able to write. Yes.

The exit language, which is A2, is more of a little bit of everything. So, not very complicated sentences and not that you don’t have to be able to write a proper essay, but you would be able to write an email.

Very helpful. Now on one hand, you emphasize the program is intense since and it’s only 10 months. And that is, could be… I mean, it definitely is a plus on one hand. There’s lower opportunity costs, it’s very efficient, but also some applicants might be worried, “What about my internship? I want to change career paths.” Nobody goes for an MBA to do the same thing that on the way out that they did on the way in. How do you address that? [9:25]

Of course. So if you start in the August intake, it’s like the real 10 months because you graduate in July. However, if you start in the January intake, you finish in December and you do have time for an internship. When I’m speaking to candidates and to prospects, “Please make this a sound decision because whether you start in January and August should not only be based on your own timing, but also think about the internship.” So those who really want an internship will start in January.

Giving the option for those who fast track or know exactly where they want to go after versus those who really want to make the most and get an internship.

Do students or participants in INSEAD ever, who start, let’s say in the September intake, do they ever do the internship immediately following graduation? Is that ever done or not too common? [10:36]

I would have to ask. I’m not that sure.

What don’t people know about INSEAD that you would like them to know? What’s a common misconception, perhaps? [10:50]

Misconception. That shorter is lighter. 

It’s not easier. And then I also hear the other side, some other students that of course that all the MBA community they after, they all have friends who went to different schools and then they come back and can tell you, “Well sometimes we went for two years.” They had some extra downtime. And actually it’s very interesting because that was the reason why the 10 month was created because our founder could see that sometimes the second year was a lighter pace. So he decided to put it all together and make it more intense.

Our campus is like 24 hours open and you can see how they are making all of it. And I was talking to some students before today, and they’re like, “The way that we click all together,” because you also have this pressure of time. It’s going to go so quickly. And we’re always telling them, “You have to make the most.” And you hear them like, “In one week. I had relationships with people that I thought I had known for years.”



What’s the INSEAD interview like? [20:38]

Okay, so INSEAD interviews are purely run by our alumni. So, staff is not involved in the interviews. We do the matching. So we decide. So the missions officers will match the candidate with two interviewers for our MBA program. They’re purely by geographic and/or industry. And then our alumni interviewers, they will run the interview in their own style knowing that we do give them some tips. We don’t tell them what we want, what they shouldn’t do, what they should not do. But then each one has their own style, as I mentioned.

So, some of our alumni interviewers prefer to organize the interview in a much more formal setup. So they will invite them to their meeting, to their offices. Others prefer a quiet cafe. But at the end of the day, who’s been selected means that those criteria are checked. And what we are looking for is the fit with the school and the program. And our interviewers are thinking, “Would I like to have this person in my class? Would I want to have this person in my group?”

So the interview is really just be about almost fit with the community, if you will? [21:42]

Almost fit with the community. And also, is this person motivated? Does this person really want to do an MBA program? Why does this person want to come to INSEAD?

Do they have those four criteria? [21:59]

The four criteria are, but it’s also about the soft skill motivation. Is the motivation there? So sometimes we’ll hear this person was not passionate about INSEAD. So it’s more about passion, I would say.

And because our interviewers, they are volunteers and I always tell candidates, “They’re volunteers. They’re doing this in a way of giving back to us, to the school.” And because someone was there for the interview, they want to be there for someone else’s interview.

What’s the most common mistake you see in the application? And it can be plural too. [22:02]

I would say lack of motivation. We know that our application process is long and it takes time. And we’re always telling, our recruitment team is always like, “Focus on the essays, focus on what you’re writing. You need to prepare.” So a sloppy application is a no-go. Essays that aren’t well structured, essays that are not well prepared, or things that are mismatching, lack of consistency, that would be a killer.

And does that translate to you as lack of motivation? [23:13]


And this is a big investment and it’s not only about money, but it’s also who you’re going to be. This INSEAD will follow you for the rest of your life. We tend to say that you’ll never travel alone, for instance. So it’s something that you really, we want to be sure that you are really going because you’re really going to enjoy and you’re looking for. I always say that we are looking for motivated candidates, engaged students, proud alumni.

And they know. Candidates know that pre-selection is purely based on your application form. So it’s like your business card.

Does INSEAD have any preference between the GMAT and the GRE? Any plans to go test optional? [24:05]

Test optional is a no-go.

We are finding GRE and GMAT as good. Both as good predictors.

Because there was a time when I think there was a preference for the GMAT, but at this point…[24:29]

At this point, no. And we see the numbers of GRE takers increasing.

And we understand that there are two different tests and they test differently. So, candidates should do some research before they prepare and they should sit the tests that fits better themselves, where they’re going to perform better.

But there’s no different expectations in terms of percentile? You should be 85% on the GRE and 75% on the GMAT? That’s no more, no longer the case? [24:50]

We’re moving away from giving a strict score. It’s very difficult to get this into the candidates’ brains.

Because you hear so many, I’m sure you do too, right? Like, “Oh, I only have a 720. Am I going to get in?”

And now my latest sentence is like, “A GMAT score doesn’t define who you are.

But sometimes they’re so terrified. I met someone who told me, “I’m not going to apply for scholarships because I’ve got a 660 and I’m never going to get a scholarship with a 660.” I’m like, “And what’s the connection? Can you please share with me?”

It’s not looked at in a vacuum. [25:43]

Yeah. We’re looking for… It’s not only what score you took on that day, but also what you’ve done before. Where are you working? So the academic capacity, we are broadening what we’re looking at. So your academic past background, the past background is also very important.

Linda, I had an event on Saturday, and I said, “GMAT score doesn’t define you.” I even said that I was going to get it at a tool here, like GMAT score does define who you’re. So I will show them like, this is how true this is. And afterwards we’re having a discussion, “I have this score. Am I going to get in?”

You weren’t hearing what I was saying. We just need to be sure because it wouldn’t be fair to the candidate, but they’re not going to be academically following the program and that’s what we need to be sure about. And it’s one of those four admissions criteria.

I’m glad you’re emphasizing that. Thank you. [26:57]

In my application workshops, I repeat this sentence three times. Next time I’m going to ask everyone to stand up and we’re going to repeat it all together.

So let’s say I’m in the midst of preparing an application for the January 2024 intake, and there’s a deadline April 18th and June 27th, and this interview should air before the deadline. What advice would you give someone in the midst of preparing an application for an upcoming deadline? Let’s say if it’s April 18th, it’s really close or the June 27th deadline. [27:15]

In the midst. I always say that applicants should aim an application deadline not because they think of those myths that they have around the application. Because then you’ve got also those myths like, if I reply to round X, I’m going to have higher chances of being accepted than in round Y. That’s not true. Apply when you, you’re ready. When you’re ready. You need to have your score. You’ve taken your GMAT or your GRE. Your applications should be towards finalizing, like proofreading more than beginning to write because it does take a lot of time.

And once you have this, the sooner the better but only because about them, because onboarding takes time. Some places you need to get visas, they have to remove transatlantic, they have to sort their lives before they come to Fontaine or Singapore. So the onboarding is better on them. And we always tell, “Be kind to yourself, so don’t try to rush it.”

But you need onboarding time.

I also just realized this show will actually air after the April 18th deadline. So we’re really talking about the June 27th deadline in terms of the January 2024 intake. And obviously there’s another deadline for the September 25, 2025 deadline. [28:47]

My advice too when I’m speaking to candidates that are thinking of applying, now what I say like, take a white piece of paper and you make a circle and you write INSEAD MBA. And with the four admissions criteria in your there, you begin to write what do you want INSEAD to know about you? And you write. You write. When you fill that paper and you go and with some friends and you come back and you continue writing, and the next day you wake up and you continue writing in your brainstorm. And then you look at the application form and you look at your essays. And in each line that you wrote in that brainstorm, you put which essay you’re going to write this. And I always tell them, “If there are things that don’t fit in any other essays, you highlight it in yellow.” I like office supplies a lot, so.

And then you write. Then you get it proofread, then you read it again. Then with those that weren’t highlighted in yellow, that’s your optional essay. 

That’s great advice. [29:48]

But of course, because sometimes they go into it, “Okay, I’m going to reply to this essay.” Yes, but you have to read because somehow they’re connected and it depends how you want to tell your story. And it’s important. INSEAD will love your story and we want to understand who you are. I always say that when I’m looking on a file, I create someone and I add layers, who you are, where do you live, your previous experience, what do you want to do next? And that’s a good way to just don’t bias your application responses with what you thing we want to hear, but what you really want to tell us and what you want INSEAD to know about you.

I have something, a very similar system, but where I say, “Write down everything you want an individual school to know about you, look at their criteria, what do you want them to know about you? And then write down their questions.” Very, very… So I say do use a spreadsheet, but that’s basically because they all love spreadsheets, but- [30:02]

I’m taking those out of their comfort zone already.

And I’ll also say some use a mind map, which is more similar, but digital. But the idea is first, figure out what you want them to know, and then figure out where you can take those things that you want them to know in the application based on the questions. And the good news is that INSEAD does ask more questions than normal, so there’s more opportunity for them to tell their story. Yes, it takes more effort, takes more work, but there is that opportunity there. [31:05]

But we also see that once they’re accepted, they appreciate the time that they’ve spent thinking about… Because for us, it has to be a sound decision. You just don’t apply. And just like, “Okay, I want this school, because of these reasons.” Oh, another cater is when someone has copied and pasted their essays and you can see because they left the other schools.

That’s a killer. No, that is a… Yeah, it definitely shows a lack of motivation and attention to detail. [31:29]

It’s super sloppy. Right?

Let’s say instead of applying for this upcoming cycle or a close deadline, I’m planning ahead. Okay. I want to apply in fall 2023 for the September 2024 intake. Right. So we’re really… I know the dates are, the year’s dates are nuts. 

Any planned changes for the application? Are you at all concerned about Chat GPT? [32:03]


Planning ahead. No major changes are seen for… We would never do a major change from one application to another.

So if someone wants to start ahead, download the application, look at the essays. If we were to change, maybe we would change one or we would do a minor change, but not nothing yet very major.

What would you advise the applicant planning ahead to be doing now? [32:40]

Doing research. When they come to our campus, I’m so grateful. This is what you have to do. Go visit the schools. Do you feel you belong there? Talk to students. I think that they should spend much more time looking at the school. We are always welcoming to come and see it. We organize, for example, in-house events. Every two months we get to organize a master class. We have a chat where I tell them about all of these things. And we discuss like today an application, how to prepare your application.

We have also someone from my colleagues from careers sharing the career outcomes and what’s the career journey. We’ve got also people from student life sharing how is a day in an MBA program? And last but not least, we have students coming, in and it’s an open question and answer. It’s like an open mic. They just raise a question, and they ask and they reply. So for example, I think that the best thing they could do, organize to come and join us one of those. Come and meet us.

Where can listeners and potential applicants, or potential participants,learn more about INSEAD’s MBA program? [34:05]

The best recommendation would be our [url=][/url], our website where you can find everything and reach out to us. We’re always very happy to help you.


[b]Relevant Links:[/b]

[*][url=]INSEAD MBA Admissions[/url][/*]

[*]Accepted’s [url=]MBA ROI Calculator[/url][/*]

[*][url=]INSEAD Essay Tips[/url][/*]

[b]Relevant shows:[/b]

[*][url=]How to Get Accepted to MIT Sloan MBA [Episode 498][/url][/*]

[*][url=]How an MBA Can Help Entrepreneurs [Episode 492][/url][/*]

[*][url=]Approaching Your MBA Application [Episode 487][/url][/*]

[*][url=]Empowering International Students with the Financing for Grad Ed [Episode 475][/url][/*]



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

The post [url=]Get Into INSEAD, the Business School for the World [Episode 520][/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 MBA Rankings [Full-Time & Part-Time [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: U.S. News & World Report 2023-2024 MBA Rankings [Full-Time & Part-Time]

After a one-week delay and a sharp change in methodology, U.S. News & World Report finally released its 2023-2024 Best Business Schools ranking, with some big surprises.

While Chicago Booth maintained the spotlight at #1, Kellogg (Northwestern) climbed one spot to #2, and Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) dropped two notches to #3.

U.S. News’ new metrics this year, most likely sparked by the recent boycotts of its law school and medical school rankings, focus heavily on job placement after graduation, starting salaries with sign-on bonus, and undergraduate GPA and acceptance rate. U.S. News changed the way it calculates average GPAs, counting only those reported on a 4.0 scale. Invariably, this metric affects schools with a larger international contingent. This year, U.S. News also put less weight on other variables, such as average test scores and recruiter, peer, and dean surveys, which previously had carried more weight.

Regardless of the outcome, MBA rankings continue to be studied voraciously by applicants, students, and alumni. 

Notable changes this year

  • Chicago Booth’s #1 spot for two years in a row is likely the result of its performance on several metrics: a 96% employment rate three months after graduation, a spike in average salary and sign-on bonus to a record $194,792 (compared to $180,144 last year), an average GPA of 4.0, and median GMAT score of 730. Its employment rate was third among the top ten schools, and its average salary was fourth after those of Harvard, Stanford, and NYU Stern.

  • Kellogg jumped one place to #2 this year, with a whopping 97% employment rate three months after graduation, a $189,342 starting salary, and a 31% acceptance rate.

  • Wharton moved down to #3 this year, with its admit rate increasing from 18.2% to 22.8% and its GMAT average matching only those of the Stanford GSB and NYU Stern at 740. Despite the program’s decline in admit rate, Wharton MBAs enjoyed a jump in average salary and signing bonuses by $11,300 to $190,992. Job placement three months after commencement went down slightly to 96%.

  • Top-ranked schools continued to jostle for position, with some flagship programs rising and others falling. MIT Sloan moved up one spot to #4, and Harvard remained at #5 like last year. The Stanford GSB dropped by three notches, tying with Dartmouth Tuck at #6. The GSB’s acceptance rate remains the lowest at 9%, while Tuck’s rate went up to 33%, the highest among the top ten. Michigan Ross tied with the Yale SOM at #8, with NYU Stern closing the top ten list. Columbia and Haas (UC Berkeley) both dropped three notches, tying with Duke Fuqua at #11.

  • While Harvard Business School remained at #5 for a second year in a row, it claimed a 90% employment rate three months out and boasted the highest average starting salary, at $198,180. Harvard did lose on other metrics, though, including having a higher admit rate of 14%, up from 12.5% last year, and an average GMAT that was lower than that of many of its competitors. 

  • Many other programs in the top 25 leaped forward, including University of Southern California Marshall and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, both of which rose four places – to #15 and #17, respectively – and Rice University’s Jones gained three places to rank #24. 

  • Outside the top 25, Rochester’s Simon Business School rose six spots to #27, and the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia rose seven positions to reach #31. In contrast, the University of Florida Warrington declined 11 spots to #40.

Part-time MBA programs experienced less change in the rankings compared to last year. While Haas (UC Berkeley, #1) and Chicago Booth (#2) exchanged places, Northwestern Kellogg (#3), NYU Stern (#4), and UCLA Anderson (#5) saw no change.

The rankings were based on a survey of 496 institutions with master’s level business programs in the United States accredited by AACSB International. A total of 367 survey recipients responded; the final rankings are based on 149 business schools that provided enough data on their full-time MBA programs and had large enough 2022 graduating classes seeking employment for valid comparisons. The rankings also include some programs conferring degrees such as Master of Science in Management and Master of Science in Industrial Administration.

The new methodology focused on three indicators that in total account for 50% of each school’s ranking (up from 35%). Two of those indicators were employment rates at graduation and employment rates three months after graduation for the 2022 graduating class of full-time MBA programs. Graduates who did not seek a job or for whom no job-seeking information was available were excluded. The third indicator was starting salaries and sign-on bonuses for the graduates of the 2022 class of full-time MBA programs.

Quality assessments (peer and recruiter assessments) accounted for another 25% (down from 40%). And finally, student selectivity, which encompasses three ranking indicators (undergraduate GPA, median GMAT/GRE test scores, and acceptance rate), accounted for the remaining 25%.

U.S. News 2024 Top 10 Full-Time MBA Programs

2024 Rank2023 RankSchoolLocation

11 (tie)University of Chicago (Booth) Chicago , IL

23 (tie)Northwestern University (Kellogg)Evanston , IL

31 (tie) University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)Philadelphia , PA

45 (tie)Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)Cambridge , MA

55 (tie)Harvard UniversityAllston , MA

6 (tie)11Dartmouth College (TuckHanover , NH

6 (tie)3 (tie)Stanford UniversityStanford , CA

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

8 (tie)7Yale UniversityNew Haven , CT

1012 (tie) New York University (Stern)New York , NY

U.S. News 2023 Top 10 Part-Time MBA Programs

2024 Rank2023 RankSchoolLocation

12University of California, Berkeley (Haas)Berkeley , CA

21University of Chicago (Booth)Chicago , IL

33Northwestern University (Kellogg)Evanston , IL

44New York University (Stern)New York , NY

55University of California--Los Angeles (Anderson)Los Angeles , CA

67University of Texas--Austin (McCombs)Austin , TX

76University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)Ann Arbor , MI

89University of Southern California (Marshall)Los Angeles , CA

9 (tie)7Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)Pittsburgh , PA

9 (tie)14Georgetown University (McDonough)Washington , DC

Hoping to start business school in 2023 at one of these top-ranked programs? Sign up for a free consultation and be sure to check out our MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services and work one-on-one with an expert consultant to create an application that will get you ACCEPTED!

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

The post <em>U.S. News & World Report</em> 2023-2024 MBA Rankings [Full-Time & Part-Time] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Writing an Excellent Diversity Essay [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Writing an Excellent Diversity Essay

What is the diversity question in a school application, and why does it matter when applying to leading programs and universities? Most importantly, how should you respond?

Diversity is of supreme value in higher education, and schools want to know how every student will contribute to it in their community. A diversity essay is an essay that encourages applicants with disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds, an unusual education, a distinctive experience, or a unique family history to write about how these elements of their background have prepared them to play a useful role in increasing and encouraging diversity among their target program’s student body and broader community.

In this post, we’ll cover the following topics: 

Want to ensure your application demonstrates the diversity that your dream school is seeking?


How to show you can add to diversity

If you are an immigrant to the United States, the child of immigrants, or someone whose ethnicity is underrepresented in the States, your response to “How will you add to the diversity of our class/community?” and similar questions might help your application efforts. Why? Because you can use it to show how your background will add a distinctive perspective to the program you are applying to.

Download this sample personal background essay, and see how one candidate won over the adcom and got accepted into their top-choice MBA program.

Of course, if you’re not from a group that is underrepresented in your field or a disadvantaged group, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to write about in a diversity essay.

For example, you might have an unusual or special experience to share, such as serving in the military, being a member of a dance troupe, or caring for a disabled relative. These and other distinctive experiences can convey how you will contribute to the diversity of the school’s campus.

You could be the first member of your family to apply to college or the first to learn English in your household. Perhaps you have worked your way through college or helped raise your siblings.

You might also have been an ally to those who are underrepresented, disadvantaged, or marginalized in your community, at your previous school, or in an earlier work experience. 

As you can see, diversity is not limited to one’s religion, ethnicity, culture, language, or sexual orientation. It refers to whatever element of your identity  distinguishes you from others and shows that you, too, value diversity.

Why diversity matters at school

Admissions officers believe diversity in the classroom improves the educational experience of all the students involved. They also believe that having a diverse workforce better serves society as a whole.

The more diverse perspectives found in the classroom, throughout the dorms, in the dining halls, and mixed into study groups, the richer the discussions will be.

Plus, learning and growing in this kind of multicultural environment will prepare students for working in our increasingly multicultural and global world.

In medicine, for example, a heterogeneous workforce benefits people from previously underrepresented cultures. Businesses realize they will market more effectively if they can speak to different audiences and markets, which is possible when members of their workforce come from different backgrounds and cultures. Schools simply want to prepare graduates for the 21st century job market.

Seven examples that reveal diversity

Adcoms want to know about your personal diversity elements and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits, as well as the unusual experiences that have shaped you.

Here are seven examples an applicant could write about:

  • They grew up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events, or learning their parents’ native language and culture.

  • They are close to grandparents and extended family members who have taught them how teamwork can help everyone thrive.

  • They have had to face difficulties that stem from their parents’ values being in conflict with theirs or those of their peers.

  • Teachers have not always understood the elements of their culture or lifestyle and how those elements influence their performance.

  • They suffered from discrimination and succeeded despite it because of their grit, values, and character.

  • They learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm (e.g., living in foreign countries as the child of a diplomat or contractor; performing professionally in theater, dance, music, or sports; having a deaf sibling).

  • They’ve encountered racism or other prejudice (either toward themselves or others) and responded by actively promoting diverse, tolerant values.

And remember, it’s not just about who your parents are. It’s about who you are – at the core.

Your background, influences, religious observances, language, ideas, work environment, community experiences – all these factors come together to create a unique individual, one who will contribute to a varied class of distinct individuals taking their place in a diverse world.

How to write about your diversity

Your answer to the diversity question should focus on how your experiences have built your empathy for others, your embrace of differences, your resilience, your character, and your perspective.

The school might well ask how you think of diversity or how you can bring or add to the diversity of your school, chosen profession, or community. Make sure you answer the specific question posed by highlighting distinctive elements of your profile that will add to the class mosaic every adcom is trying to create. You don’t want to blend in; you want to stand out in a positive way while also complementing the school’s canvas.

Here’s a simple, three-part framework that will help you think of diversity more, well, diversely:

  • Identity: Who are you? What has contributed to your identity? How do you distinguish yourself? Your identity can include any of the following: gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion, nontraditional work experience, nontraditional educational background, multicultural background, and family’s educational level.

  • Deeds: What have you done? What have you accomplished? This could include any of the following: achievements inside and/or outside your field of study, leadership opportunities, community service, , internship or professional experience, research opportunities, hobbies, and travel. Any or all of these could be unique. Also, what life-derailing, throw-you-for-a-loop challenges have you faced and overcome?

  • Ideas: How do you think? How do you approach things? What drives you? What influences you? Are you the person who can break up a tense meeting with some well-timed humor? Are you the one who intuitively sees how to bring people together? 

Learn more about this three-part framework in this podcast episode.

Think about each question within this framework and how you could apply your diversity elements to the classroom, your school, or your community. Any of these elements will serve as the framework for your essay.

Don’t worry if you can’t think of something totally “out there.” You don’t need to be a tightrope walker living in the Andes or a Buddhist monk from Japan to pass the diversity test!

And please remember, the examples I have listed are not exhaustive. There are many other ways to show diversity!

All you need to write successfully about how you will contribute to the rich diversity of your target school’s community is to examine your identity, deeds, and ideas, with an eye toward your personal distinctiveness and individuality. There is only one you.

Want our advice on how you can best show diversity?

Click here to sign up for a free consultation!

Take a look at this sample diversity essay, and pay attention to how the writer underscores their appreciation for and experience with diversity. 

Diversity essay example

When I was starting 11th grade, my dad, an agricultural scientist, was assigned to a 3-month research project in a farm village in Niigata (northwest Honshu in Japan). Rather than stay behind with my mom and siblings, I begged to go with him. As a straight-A student, I convinced my parents and the principal that I could handle my schoolwork remotely (pre-COVID) for that stretch. It was time to leap beyond my comfortable suburban Wisconsin life—and my Western orientation, reinforced by travel to Europe the year before. 

We roomed in a sprawling farmhouse with a family participating in my dad’s study. I thought I’d experience an “English-free zone,” but the high school students all studied and wanted to practice English, so I did meet peers even though I didn’t attend their school. Of the many eye-opening, influential, cultural experiences, the one that resonates most powerfully to me is experiencing their community. It was a living, organic whole. Elementary school kids spent time helping with the rice harvest. People who foraged for seasonal wild edibles gave them to acquaintances throughout the town. In fact, there was a constant sharing of food among residents—garden veggies carried in straw baskets, fish or meat in coolers. The pharmacist would drive prescriptions to people who couldn’t easily get out—new mothers, the elderly—not as a business service but as a good neighbor. If rain suddenly threatened, neighbors would bring in each other’s drying laundry. When an empty-nest 50-year-old woman had to be hospitalized suddenly for a near-fatal snakebite, neighbors maintained her veggie patch until she returned. The community embodied constant awareness of others’ needs and circumstances. The community flowed!

Yet, people there lamented that this lifestyle was vanishing; more young people left than stayed or came. And it wasn’t idyllic: I heard about ubiquitous gossip, long-standing personal enmities, busybody-ness. But these very human foibles didn’t dam the flow. This dynamic community organism couldn’t have been more different from my suburban life back home, with its insular nuclear families. We nod hello to neighbors in passing. 

This wonderful experience contained a personal challenge. Blond and blue-eyed, I became “the other” for the first time. Except for my dad, I saw no Westerner there. Curious eyes followed me. Stepping into a market or walking down the street, I drew gazes. People swiftly looked away if they accidentally caught my eye. It was not at all hostile, I knew, but I felt like an object. I began making extra sure to appear “presentable” before going outside. The sense of being watched sometimes generated mild stress or resentment. Returning to my lovely tatami room, I would decompress, grateful to be alone. I realized this challenge was a minute fraction of what others experience in my own country. The toll that feeling—and being— “other” takes on non-white and visibly different people in the US can be extremely painful. Experiencing it firsthand, albeit briefly, benignly, and in relative comfort, I got it.

Unlike the organic Niigata community, work teams, and the workplace itself, have externally driven purposes. Within this different environment, I will strive to exemplify the ongoing mutual awareness that fueled the community life in Niigata. Does it benefit the bottom line, improve the results? I don’t know. But it helps me be the mature, engaged person I want to be, and to appreciate the individuals who are my colleagues and who comprise my professional community. I am now far more conscious of people feeling their “otherness”—even when it’s not in response to negative treatment, it can arise simply from awareness of being in some way different.

What did you think of this essay? Does this middle class Midwesterner have the unique experience of being different from the surrounding majority, something she had not experienced in the United States? Did she encounter diversity from the perspective of “the other”? 

Here a few things to note about why this diversity essay works so well:

  • The writer comes from “a comfortable, suburban, Wisconsin life,” suggesting that her own background might not be ethnically, racially, or in other ways diverse.

  • The diversity “points” scored all come from her fascinating  experience of having lived in a Japanese farm village, where she immersed herself in a totally different culture.

  • The lessons learned about the meaning of community are what broaden and deepen the writer’s perspective about life, about a purpose-driven life, and about the concept of “otherness.” 

By writing about a time when you experienced diversity in one of its many forms, you can write a memorable and meaningful diversity essay.

Working on your diversity essay?

Want to ensure that your application demonstrates the diversity that your dream school is seeking? Work with one of our admissions experts and . This checklist includes more than 30 different ways to think about diversity to jump-start your creative engines.

By Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted. Linda earned her bachelor’s 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 & World Report, Poets&Quants, Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS News, and others. Linda is the host of Admissions Straight Talk, a podcast for graduate school applicants. Want an admissions expert to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Download our free diversity checklist!

Related Resources:

• Different Dimensions of Diversity, a podcast episode
What to Do if You Belong to an Overrepresented Applicant Group
Med School Admissions Advice for Nontraditional Applicants: The Experts Speak

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Rejection and Reapplication: How to Respond [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Rejection and Reapplication: How to Respond

Rejection and Reapplication: How to Respond [Show summary]

Admissions guru Linda Abraham highlights four reasons that could cause a rejection and offers concrete, practical suggestions for moving forward. 

Rejection and Reapplication: How to Respond [Show notes]

Some of you unfortunately are facing a fistful of dings. Some of you haven’t heard definitively. You are either in waitlist limbo or haven’t heard anything, but you know that rejection at this point in time for the previous application cycle is a distinct and increasingly likely possibility. How can you respond to rejection? How should you respond to rejection? How can you reapply successfully if that’s what you choose to do?

One of the challenges of admissions is showing that you both fit in at your target schools and are a standout in the applicant pool. Accepted’s free download, Fitting In and Standing Out, The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions, will show you how to do exactly that, and both of them. Master this paradox and you will be well on your way to acceptance. 

I’m going to do a solo show today as I addressed the questions I raised a minute ago. It’s going to be one where I both give a little high-level encouragement and then get down to brass tacks advice on what you should do if you decide to reapply.

Rejection reality [1:42]

First of all, let’s face it, rejection is disappointing. It’s frustrating. It’s painful. It’s maybe even a little embarrassing. Acknowledge your negative feelings. It’s okay. You put a lot of effort into this year’s applications. You spent money and time on them. You invested emotionally in this whole project, and some of you may feel that this is the end of the road for your particular career dream. Maybe you’ve applied before. Maybe you find rejection to be a terrible blow. 

Realize that rejection is disappointing. It is a setback. It is not a tragedy. No one has died, no blood has been spilled. You haven’t lost your livelihood.

What about my dreams and goals [2:23]

You may say, “But what about my dreams, my goals?” Well, I have two thoughts for you. 

  • You may not need to give up your dreams and goals. You may decide to reapply and we’ll get to how you should do that more effectively in a few minutes. You may apply to different schools that are easier to get into and that still support your goals. You may decide to achieve your goalsin another way that doesn’t require a graduate degree or perhaps would benefit from a different graduate degree. 

  • You may need to modify your dreams and goals and replace them with new dreams. In other words, to re-dream instead of reapply. 

I can tell you that there have been many times when my husband and I seemingly hit a dead end on a dream and had to re-dream, and things frankly worked out better than we had ever hoped. 

For an example of someone who had to dream differently, please check out episode 234 for the story of Andrea Benedict, who had to abandon her dream of becoming a physician, became a PA instead, and absolutely loves her work and her career.

Handling the stress of reapplying [3:23]

If you are faced with a rejection, give yourself an hour or two, and if it’s the final rejection, maybe even a day or two to be a little down and then move on. In fact, pat yourself on the back for your effort and initiative in applying in the first place. You tried to improve your skills and education. You tried to move forward. You tried to grow and improve. That effort deserves to be acknowledged and praised. I, for one, salute you. And again, if nobody else is going to do it, take it from me or give yourself a pat on the back. 

Now, some of you may believe that you just can’t handle the stress of another application process, and there are some for whom that is true either because of age, finances, or simply your personality, and if so, again, I’d encourage you to re-dream. Change your dreams so that you don’t need to reapply, but I would encourage most of you to learn how to deal with the stress so that it doesn’t stop you from striving to achieve awesome goals.

Most people apply to graduate school, especially professional schools, because they’re aiming at roles that are leadership positions. Leadership by definition requires an assumption of responsibility, so you’re aiming for positions of responsibility. Anyone assuming a position of responsibility or a leadership role is going to have stress. It simply goes with being a leader, with being a person of consequence.

There seems to be this drumbeat right now in society that we have to do anything and everything to eliminate stress. Well, you know, folks? We can’t eliminate it. We can learn to deal with it and in a limited sense, choose when to have it. If you are a skilled skier who thrills at black diamond runs, you have learned to deal with the stress of wondering whether you will arrive at the bottom in one piece. I personally hate the stress of wondering if I will arrive in time to catch a plane or train. I deal with that stress by arriving early.

So whether you use meditation or music, running or art, painting or prayer, socializing or solitude, mindfulness or yoga, learn how to deal with stress. It is a part of life. Everyone has it, and it is vital that you learn how to deal with it if you aim to be a leader and a person of consequence. Those who strive for positions of responsibility and impact have more stress than others because you are not doing what’s easy, but everyone has stress at different points in their life. Some of you choose to have it, some of you don’t. But if you’re going to have it, you might as well have it doing something you love. 

Also, remember that any graduate education is a means to an end. If you have been rejected more than once, is there another way for you to achieve your professional goals, which is the end goal of a graduate education, assuming that the professional goals that motivate your applications still are your goals?



What if your presentation of your qualifications was weak or flawed? What if that second factor contributed to your rejection? Maybe your writing wassloppy or unclear. Maybe you didn’t really address the essay prompt. You wrote an answer to the last essay you were working on as opposed to the essay on this particular application. Maybe your resume and activity descriptions focused on tasks and responsibilities as opposed to achievements and contributions – which is what they should focus on – or a place and the times when you went above and beyond the norm. 

Maybe you failed to show fit with the specific school you were applying to. That is critical. Certainly at any competitive program, whether it’s law school, med school, business school, any graduate program to speak of, you have to show that their program is going to, given what you’ve done in the past, is going to help you move towards your specific goal and that your interests matched the focus of the school and the professors, et cetera, especially in research-oriented programs.

Any and all of these application errors mean that you did not do a great job of presenting yourself to the school. If others did a better job and were otherwise qualified, even if your numbers were good, they got in and you didn’t. 

The final presentation factor which we haven’t gone into is maybe you interviewed poorly, and yes, some schools have videos. Maybe your video wasn’t great. Okay, but that would come into the other stuff. Maybe you interviewed poorly. For those programs that interview, many publish their acceptance rates of interviewed applicants. If it’s one out of three and you had three interviews and failed to get an acceptance from any of the three schools that interviewed you, I strongly recommend interview prep if invited to interview this application cycle. And again, that is a service that Accepted provides. You’re so close when you’re invited to interview, the cost of interview prep, a mock interview is a relatively small investment at that point compared to the cost of another year of delayed application or another rejection and delayed increase in salary and the cost of a reapplication if you were to reapply again. You can access Accepted’s services if you need to improve your presentation. 

The third reason is being a victim of intense competition in your field at the schools you applied to. This is the one factor you cannot change, and I suggest you focus least on it. It frequently plays a role when combined with one and two. Is it a factor though, and if you feel that it played a role but you were competitive, improve your presentation. The implication would be that you choose to apply to programs where you are more competitive, and I would say, obviously, depending upon the particulars, you don’t want to have to reapply a third time or fourth time or whatever would be this time plus one. I would suggest that you don’t just aim for the ones that are a stretch, that you aim for some programs where you’re fairly confident of acceptance, assuming that you make improvements. Be realistic. Again, you’re applying strategically. That’s the idea here.

How to choose between various next steps? [17:35]

What if it’s a combination? You weren’t quite qualified, you didn’t present yourself effectively, and there’s intense competition for the schools that you were aiming for. It’s a combo. That was the fourth factor, if you recall. You have your work cut out for you. You might want to consider waiting a year and reapplying not in this cycle for matriculation 2024, but applying in 2025. That would allow you to perhaps take some courses, really prep again for the test, whatever test it is, get that score up, and maybe get the experience you need. Again, I don’t know whether it’s full-time work experience, clinical exposure, some exposure to the legal process. Whatever it is. In your field it may be research, if you’re aiming for a research-oriented master’s or PhD program. Whatever it is, it might be wiser to take additional time, really get your ducks lined up and be ready to apply, than rush it and get another rejection. It’s just frustrating, expensive, time-consuming, painful, and you don’t need to do that. 

If you’re really dealing with all four or the fourth element, which is a combo of the first three, I would strongly encourage you to consider, again, the particular matter. Obviously I don’t know the particulars of your specific situation, whether it’s wise to wait a year or not. Accepted does offer free consultations to potential clients, and you’re welcome to take advantage of that.

If you are rejected this cycle, recognize that you have options. Acknowledge but don’t focus on that disappointment. That is so normal and so natural. Focus on your destination. Focus on your determination to reach that destination. First, decide if you want to continue pursuing the goal that motivated you to apply or if you want to re-dream. Perfectly legitimate.

If you choose to continue down this path and pursuing this particular goal, this particular why that motivated you, think about various ways to achieve your goal. If you decide that graduate education is the best or the only route forward for you, consider the ways that you can improve your application and the outcome of that application. But whether you choose to re-dream or reapply, congratulate yourself on your effort and keep looking forward. 

Good luck with your redreaming or reapplying. Again, if you’d like assistance with this task, we have rejection reviews, we have interview prep, and of course we have comprehensive advising servicesfor applicants.

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FROM Blog: 2023 AIGAC Virtual Applicant Fair

The AIGAC (Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants), whose mission is to provide insight and transparency into the graduate admissions process, will be holding a live recruitment fair on May 24, 2023, from 10:00 am to 3:15 pm US Eastern Standard Time. Recordings of sessions and school static booths will be available to candidates for an additional 30 days. 

Click here to register for the 2023 AIGAC Applicant Fair! >>

AIGAC’s 2023 Applicant Fair is expected to involve 25 to 30 top MBA programs (including Stanford GSB, Duke Fuqua, NYU Stern, CBS, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM, who have all confirmed their participation) and many testing partners participating in hosting booths, lively panel discussions on key topics, and other informative exhibits. 

The applicant fair will provide these valuable benefits as you’re planning – or even just considering – applying to business school: 

  • An exclusive opportunity to have your questions answered by representatives of MBA programs that don’t always participate in recruitment fairs.

  • The chance to meet multiple school representatives and discuss their programs’ individual cultures without having to travel or commute to campus.

  • A convenient setting in which to discover a broad range of options, allowing you to identify all the schools where you could be a great fit.

Scheduled sessions will explore the following topics:

  • Financing your degree

  • Testing and assessments

  • Admissions and applications process

  • Careers of the future

  • Is this the right time for you to pursue an MBA?

  • Is the MBA the right degree for you?

  • Women and MBAs

  • Completing your MBA program in Europe

The event is free, but space is limited, so register here now.

Do you want to ensure that you take full advantage of your attendance at the AIGAC Applicant Fair? Check out Accepted’s Seven Ways to Make the Most of B-School Visits, Fairs, and Receptions  and get ready to make a positive first impression – your first step to 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!

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FROM Blog: How to Get Accepted to NYU Stern

In this episode, the Executive Director for MBA Admissions at NYU Stern explains Stern’s Change Studio and Frontier Labs, explores what it means to be a Sternie, and gives advice to reapplicants. [SHOW SUMMARY]

Are you interested in an MBA that has the goal of preparing you to lead in an ever-changing world? Are you considering one- or two-year options? Does being in New York City with all that it offers, appeal to you? Then today’s episode is for you, the new Executive Director for MBA Admissions at NYU Stern is our guest.

An interview with Lindsay Loyd, the new Executive Director for MBA Admissions at NYU Stern. [Show Notes]

Welcome to the 525th episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Are you ready to apply to your dream MBA programs? Are you competitive at your target schools? Accepted’s MBA admissions quizcan give you a quick reality check. Complete the quiz and you’ll not only get an assessment, but tips on how to actually improve your profile and qualifications and it’s all free.

It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on Admissions Straight Talk, Lindsey Lloyd, Executive Director for MBA Admissions at NYU Stern. Lindsey leads the recruiting and admissions efforts for Stern’s full-time MBA programs, including the two-year, full-time MBA, the focused one-year MBAs, which are the Andre KooTechnology and Entrepreneurship MBA and the Fashion and Luxury MBA. Lindsay has a BA in economics from Washington State University and an MBA from Chicago Booth. Before joining NYU Stern, she had a 13-year career at American Express, where she ultimately became the Vice President of Strategic Engagement Global Commercial Services. She joined NYU Stern in January, 2023. 

Lindsey, congratulations on your new role and welcome to Admissions Straight Talk. [2:05]

Thanks, Linda. Great to be here.

Can you provide an overview of NYU Stern’s full-time, two-year MBA program? [2:17]

So NYU’s two year program, full-time, it’s the classic program that you think of when you hear “MBA.” It is a graduate management education that delivers on both breadth and depth. Year one, you’re going to jump in with launch orientation and then focus on the core requirements, both the required and some picks from our menu. Then have a summer internship, followed by your second year, when you really jump into electives and your specializations. 

There are three things that I’d highlight that make Stern special. Firstly being access, and really this is, we are located in the heart of New York City and we fully take advantage of that. We are so connected across businesses and industries, from FinTech to fashion, from media to marketing, you name it, we’ve got Stern alumni there and the beauty is, they’re just a subway right away. So we really are in the heart of the city and take advantage of it.

The next thing that I’d highlight is Stern’s Solutions. So this is our experiential learning opportunities for students, where they’re really jumping in and participating in live business challenges in the moment. This is something that Stern launched in the early two thousands, so this is two decades worth of experience and expansion and development. And lastly, I think Stern MBAs really have the opportunity to customize their experience. So I mentioned specializations earlier, you can pick three from over 20. There are more than 200 electives to choose from, and there are opportunities to study abroad, whether that’s for a semester or for one to two weeks, on a Doing Business In (DBI) international intensive.

The second year is entirely elective, isn’t it? [4:19]

Yes, it is.

Since it’s their five year anniversary and there’s increasing interest in one-year MBA programs, can you also provide an overview of the two focused, one-year MBA programs: the Tech MBA and the Luxury and Fashion MBA programs? [4:25]

Right. Quite a milestone for those programs.

They are fast, immersive, and indeed, very focused. They run May to May and it’s a lockstep, 52 credit curriculum. It includes a general business core, a specialized industry core, and then Stern Solutions, experiential learning projects that are really geared towards either tech or fashion and luxury. Starting with the tech program, which isSTEM designated, there’s a West Coast immersion experience and there’s a tech advisory board that connects students with prominent professionals and firms and industry. A couple of highlights here. So we’ve seen 120% growth in applications for the tech program since its inception. Another awesome stat is that, most cohorts in this program now, are at or near gender parity, and our 2022 class had 100% employment, three months post-graduation. So really awesome results happening in the tech program.

Similarly, the Fashion and Luxury Program also has an immersion experience. They go to Europe, and past trips have included stops at places like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Prada. This program also has a council of industry leaders that connect students, because we know that mentorship and networking is really crucial, particularly in these industries. This program has a real small, deeply connected cohort. They all know, love each other, take care of each other,, and it’s a really special thing to see. Their employment rates have also been improving. And in 2022, that class hit 94% employment in three months, post-graduation. So, a high watermark there, as well.

What is the employment rate for the two year MBA? [6:26]


That’s also a really impressive number. [6:39]

Immediately versus three months, I’m not sure, but it’s very, very high.

The last entering class had the highest GMAT ever, and the last graduating class had the highest average total compensation ever. Correct? [6:51]

That is correct.

What do you attribute that to? [7:00]

So first, all credit goes to my predecessor in admissions, Lisa Rios, for recruiting a stellar class that is strong, not just on GMAT, but across all dimensions. As part of our holistic evaluation process, we’re test agnostic, so we accept the GMAT, GRE, EA, MCAT, LSAT, and we also offer a test waiver process. So I think a contributing factor to this high average GMAT is that candidates are figuring out which test works best for them and putting that best foot forward, which I think is a great strategy. We want candidates to submit their strongest application. On the graduate compensation front, I’ve got to tip my hat to my fellow Amex alum and the Head of Career Development at Stern, Brian Ruggiero, for just incredible placement outcomes, amidst the challenges of the pandemic.

As I’ve onboarded at Stern, it’s clear that that team on the employer relation front is incredibly strong, manages and builds great relationships there. And then on the career coaching front, they are incredible and do such a great job of preparing Sternies for all things recruiting. I’ve also been really impressed with the student-led industry groups and the Stern Pay it Forward ethos, part of that IQ+EQ vibe we’ve got going. The second years do so much to help the first years prepare for networking, case interviews, the whole thing, and it’s really incredible to see it in action.

Can you touch on Change Studio? What is it and how do students take advantage of it? [8:29]

Yeah, change is really the one constant in life.

And as such, it’s Stern’s mission to prepare our students to embrace change, to dare it, dream it, drive it, as the tagline says. And this mission is really foundational. It’s built into all aspects of the Stern program, from launch, to core and on through to electives. Change Studio is really an umbrella concept that encapsulates the many different co-curricular opportunities that Sternies can take advantage of during their time here, whether that’s through Stern’s Solutions, opportunities through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, you name it. And these things, in the spirit of change, are constantly evolving based on student demand and market interest.

Is it a class? Is it an ethos? Is it an opportunity? Is it experiential learning? [9:47]

I would say, it’s not one particular course or one particular prescriptive set of courses, but it’s a buffet of opportunities that are available for Sternies to choose from.

Any examples you can give me? [10:08]

So I would say, Launch would be one of those. I would say, the Consulting Labs. I would say-

Entrepreneurship? [10:17]

Yes, Endless Frontier Labs and some of the entrepreneurship opportunities. I would say, Leadership Accelerator, there’s a whole host to choose from. And like I said, this is something, that new programs are evolving all the time.

Where are Stern MBAs finding jobs, in terms of geography and industry, function, all three? [10:33]

All three. So I’ll take those from the top.

Geography, it should come as no surprise given our location, that we have very strong placement in New York City and the Northeast. We have candidates that are placed Coast to Coast in the US and also beyond the rest of the world, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Industry-wise, it’s got about a third that go into consulting and a third that go into some kind of broader, diversified financial services, and then good chunks go into tech, healthcare, entertainment, sports and media, CPG and real estate. Functionally, we’ve kind of already accounted for that third, going into consulting, so same story there. A third going into finance functional roles and accounting type functional roles and then the rest, product management, marketing, general management, data analytics, operations. Really, if people are interested in the details, I strongly recommend you go to our website and the employment reports. We post them for both the full-time two year program and the two, one year focus programs.

What does Stern offer want-to-be entrepreneurs? I know you mentioned Frontier Labs. Can you go into that a little bit? [11:49]

Stern is a great place for current entrepreneurs and flowering entrepreneurs. We’ve got some excellent elective coursework to choose from, applications and entrepreneurial finance, marketing for entrepreneurs, managing growing companies, and a host more. Endless Frontier Labs specifically, is NYU Stern’s hub for massively scalable tech and life science startups from around the world. These aren’t necessarily Stern startups, they don’t have to be associated with Stern. That program runs from October through May and Stern MBA students have the opportunity to get involved through a companion course that they take, then that allows them to work closely with the EFL founders on business development support. And some actually, have placed into full-time jobs in those companies, after graduation.

Other things that I’d highlight, the Berkeley Center offers startup advising to students and also runs the Annual Entrepreneur’s Challenge that has competitions for seed funding. We also have a program called Stern Works, it’s a fund that supports students who are seeking internships with startups and nonprofits. And then finally, I’ll highlight that we have student-led groups like the Entrepreneurship and Startup Association.

And New York City’s a great place to be an entrepreneur.

What don’t people know about NYU Stern that you would like them to know? What’s a common myth you’d like to bust or something that people just don’t know? [13:23]

Yeah, and it came up recently at preview weekend for our next admitted class, but I think upon first glance, it’s really easy to write off IQ+EQ as a marketing phrase, but I’m telling you, it’s the real deal. While I’m new to Stern, I’m not new to working with Sternies. During my tenure at American Express, I worked with and for many, many Stern graduates, both Amex colleagues of mine and also with folks I was sitting across the table from, and Sternies that worked at partners of Amex’s, like Delta Airlines. All of the Sternies I worked with were incredibly smart, when it came to numbers and business strategy and also very people smart. They were generally very kind and humble leaders. They care deeply about leveling up everyone around them and very much, were strongly committed to doing the right thing by people, whether that was colleagues or customers. And that was one of the many reasons that I was really excited to come work at Stern.



What about the EQ endorsement? How is that different from a letter of recommendation? [19:49]

Yeah, I mean, it’s similar, but I think it adds a layer, it adds another dimension. It’s not just the task that you’ve completed or the results that you’ve delivered at work, but this gets into how you did those things? Are you leading with empathy? Are you communicating thoughtfully? Interpersonal skills are just as important as intellectual skills. And we’re looking for exceptional individuals that are self-aware, that are naturally curious, and they’re always working to improve themselves. And I think the EQ endorsement gives us a window into that.

What can an interviewee to NYU Stern expect during the interview? [20:32]

Yeah, I think one of the things the pandemic allowed us to do was innovate on how we interview. All of our interviews are 30 minutes in length, conducted via Zoom with members of the admission staff. So it’s not an alumni, not a current student, it’s a member of my staff. So we are delivering, and we like this because it delivers a consistent, equitable candidate experience. And on the flip side, we get consistent and equitable interview reports from it. In terms of expectations, the interview isn’t blind. The person who’s interviewing you is a staff member who will have reviewed your application and your resume. So it’s really going to be a 30-minute conversation to get to know you better, get a sense of your communication style, and understand how a Stern MBA fits into your career journey at this time. And likewise, it’s an opportunity for you to get to know Stern better, that you should take advantage of and ask questions and help us give you more insight into Stern, as a possible avenue for you.

So you would definitely recommend that an applicant invited to interview prepare some questions. [21:41]


And I assume that those questions should not be answered on the second page of the website? [21:46]

Ideally. They peel back the onion a bit further than that, yes.

What suggestions would you have for re-applicants to Stern? [21:58]

So when I’m thinking about someone who’s reapplying to Stern, and I’m thinking even if I was in their shoes, I’d be most curious to know, what did they learn about themselves through that application process that didn’t result in what they were hoping for? I think it’s also beneficial to take a real critical look at your last application. Where are the areas that you felt were not as strong as they could have been? How can you tell a stronger story this time around? What’s changed since you last applied?

Those are the questions that I would be asking.

And how did you address those weaknesses? [22:53]


Every so often we are asked, “I know it was my test score, or I know I didn’t have enough experience, but my essays are really good. Can I just resubmit the same essays?” How would you respond to that? [22:57]

I mean, you can.

I don’t know if that’s the best course of action. I think you’d probably have something different to say with another year’s worth of experience. So you would be doing yourself a disservice by just submitting the same application essays. I would really think about what has changed and how could you reflect that?

I was just having this discussion with somebody and he says, “Well, I took some classes, I got some A’s, that’s really what’s changed, and my essays were really, really good.” And I said, “There are very few people who can’t improve their writing a year later when they look back at it, number one. Number two, if you want to telegraph that the only thing you’ve done in the last year is take a few classes and earned A’s in them, then go ahead. But maybe you want to show that you’ve done other things too, or grown in other ways.” [23:38]


I don’t think part of what a re-applicant should do is, okay, so they analyzed the weakness, they saw that it was grades or test score or whatever the weakness was, and they addressed it, but they don’t want to be otherwise stagnant. They don’t want to come across as stagnant. [24:09]

You want to come to a place where we’re all about change. Right? What have you learned?

What about first time applicants? They haven’t been rejected previously, they haven’t applied previously. How can applicants prepare to apply successfully to NYU Stern? [24:43]

I’m sure at that moment, and I’ve been there myself many moons ago, but it can be very overwhelming. Firstly, I’d say, don’t fuss too much about meeting any one particular deadline versus another. We don’t want you to rush an application. We want to see your application, when you’re ready to submit the best application you can submit. We were talking about test options earlier, do some research, give it some prep, and give it a go as soon as you can. I think you’d want to allow yourself time to see how that score came back, retest or try another test, if you feel like it wasn’t reflective of your capabilities. And then I will also say, please don’t be put off by the high average scores. Keep in mind that averages are not minimums. Take a look at our class profile, we publish our 80% and 100% ranges, and just remember that, we evaluate applications holistically. The test score is only one data point amongst the bigger picture of you, that is the application.

And when we’re talking about tips and the tests, who should apply for a waiver? [25:58]

I’d say, if you feel that the test really isn’t reflective or you’re not in a space where you can take a certain test, we’re looking for folks who have past experience in quantitative courses. Right? You’ve got transcripts supporting that you know will be able to come in and hit the ground running and do well in statistics and financial accounting in that first semester at school. So looking for either transcript evidence or folks who have had significant work experience that’s quantitatively supported. Maybe you have your CPA or your CFA, these are all other proof points that you’re going to do well. But I strongly encourage you to take a test and submit a score because it is a helpful data point. But those are the type of things that we’d be evaluating when assessing for granting a waiver.

What question would you have liked to answer that I didn’t ask? [26:59]

So the one cool thing, and I think I mentioned it earlier as part of the Change Studio, but I really want to highlight it, is Leadership Accelerator, because it is the coolest thing that I’ve learned about at Stern.

What’s the coolest thing I didn’t ask about? [27:18]

Yeah. So this is taking case method learning to a whole other level. They have taken it off the paper and Leadership Accelerator is an opportunity for students to spend a full day living in a case. We bring in professional actors that play business roles, that are live in real-time, throwing twists and turns at the students that they’re responding to in real-time. And it’s an amazing opportunity for practical application of theory and gives them an opportunity to learn leadership agility and reacting to these things in real-time.

What’s the title? [28:05]

Leadership Accelerator.

Professor Nate Petit is the Director of the Leadership Accelerator. He developed this live case method along with Stern colleague Hannah Levinson. So it’s super cool. And one sort of tangential plug for Nate Petit, this is a podcast, so I assume that people listening, like podcasts as a format for consuming content. Nate is also the Faculty Advisor for Stern Chats. And Stern Chats is a podcast that is entirely MBA student run, and it’s a great opportunity to hear about Stern from Sternies.

Thank you for that plug and thank you for explaining it. It sounds really cool. [28:47]

It’s really cool.

So basically, they show up and they’re given a situation and actors act parts and they kind of – [28:52]

Yeah. The students are in roles, you’re in a boardroom and you’re debating a strategy and then a crisis comes in and how do you respond to these things?

So picture reading an HBS case, but then living it in real-time. Right?

That does sound really cool. [29:15]

How people always lay out the scenario. 

I want to thank you so much for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you about NYU Stern’s three full-time MBA programs. Can you provide a URL for our listeners? [29:22]

Yeah, everything you can find is at and there’s pages for the full-time two year program that we talked about and for the one year focus programs.

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Stanford GSB MBA Application Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 2024], Cla [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Stanford GSB MBA Application Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024], Class Profile

In terms of its application, Stanford is once again re-using its essay questions. And there’s good reason for the recycling: Stanford has excellent questions that succinctly [url=]get to the heart of what Stanford wants to know[/url] about you. They are not easy questions to answer, but they are thoughtful, probing ones.

You should write the optional essays if you have experiences not presented in the required essays, that address the optional questions and that will reinforce the portrayal of you as [url=]a change agent and consequential member of your community[/url], however you define that community. And most of us are members of multiple communities. 

If you have nothing to add, write nothing. However, I suspect most applicants will benefit by responding to the optional questions. Give GSB more reasons to admit you.

Stanford gives a lot of advice and guidance on its website as to what it’s looking for in the essays. You should access that advice in addition to reviewing my suggestions below.

In this post:

[*][url=]Stanford GSB 2023-2024 MBA application essay questions[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Stanford GSB 2023-2024 deadlines[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Stanford MBA Class of 2024 profile[/url][/*]

[*][url=]More resources for Stanford GSB applicants[/url][/*]

Stanford GSB 2023-24 MBA application essay questions

Essays help us learn about who you are rather than solely what you have done.

Other parts of the application give insight to your academic and professional accomplishments; the essays reveal the person behind those achievements.

We request that you write two personal essays.

In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams. There is no “right answer” to these questions—the best answer is the one that is truest for you.

Stanford MBA Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to reflect deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help us understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you? What people, insights, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?

The Stanford GSB’s tried and true essay question “What matters most to you and why?” is one of the most challenging MBA application prompts to respond to (so start early). Unlike most MBA essays, Stanford’s is not about describing your accomplishments, even if “achievement” is what you value most. It is not about highlighting your career, even if “ambition” matters most to you. It is not about revealing your “humble beginnings,” even if your childhood is the stuff about which memoirs are written. The school’s primary essay is about what you value most and, more importantly, why it matters most to you. It requires a level of maturity and introspection that only such a question can demand. It gives Stanford insights into who you are and what you can bring to the GSB beyond your academic background, professional accomplishments, and personal attributes. 

So where do you start? Start with the “what.” Ask yourself, “For what would I walk over hot coals?” Still stuck? Review lists of values that resonate with you. Is it peace, relationships, health, creativity, compassion, expression? The lists go on and on, and you should not worry about being cliché with your “what” because your why will be unique to you and how you have lived your life.

Moreover, you can choose something symbolic to help you tell your story. I often talk about a ring my mother gave me. The ring is precious to me because of what it represents and how it motivated me to make the choices that I have made. It is a symbol of an unbreakable mother-daughter bond. 

Where do you go after identifying your “what matters most”? Remember that your “why” is more important than your “what.” You need to explain why the values you highlight are essential to you. The best way to illustrate your “why” is by providing specific examples of how the values have shaped your life. Refrain from offering career examples because you can state your achievements in the optional “impact” essays, your resume, and the application form. You recommenders should be writing about your career achievements as well. If your values only motivate you for work, then these values are likely ones that don’t truly matter most to you, despite your spending 60-100 hours per week working.  

[*]State the value that matters most to you.[/*]

[*]Explain why this value is essential to you.[/*]

[*]Provide specific examples (anecdotes) that illustrate how the value has shaped your life.[/*]

[*]Discuss how your value has influenced your decisions and actions.[/*]

[*]Explain why you are better off by having this value drive you.[/*]

The essay requires a level of honesty and authenticity that few others demand. Be specific and concise. The admissions committee wants to get to know the real you, so don’t be afraid to share your personal stories and experiences.

Stanford MBA Essay B: Why Stanford?

Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

Why Stanford? 

Two words pack quite a punch: why Stanford, indeed? As you approach this essay, consider the following.

Stanford values intellectually curious individuals who can solve problems, see beyond the obvious, and connect the dots. Therefore, I suggest you begin your essay with what you hope to achieve after you graduate from the Stanford GSB. Don’t think about a role as you might with other post-MBA goals essays. Instead, consider the problems you want to solve at the organizations for which you hope to work in the future. It does not matter if you are considering an MBB consultancy, a giant Fortune 100 behemoth, a small start-up, a large private equity firm, a midsize family business, or a nonprofit organization. Focus on identifying the problems you can solve with your current skill set and the knowledge you will gain at Stanford.

Next, address the crux of the essay: Why Stanford? Note that the question is not “Why the GSB?” It is “Why Stanford?” While you want most of your essay to be about how the GSB can help you achieve your aspirations, consider how other parts of Stanford can add value to your education. And please don’t state the obvious. Resist the temptation to lift your information directly from the program’s website. The admissions committee already knows that the school’s location is perfect for entrepreneurship, tech, and venture capital. They already know they are highly selective and, therefore, highly ranked. They already know the Stanford brand resonates worldwide – they communicated all this to you in their marketing materials. Instead, think about the resources, opportunities, and community Stanford can offer you that will enable [b]you [/b]to reach [b]your [/b]unique goals. Why does this program make sense for you?

Finally, you will want to discuss how you will contribute to the Stanford GSB community. How will you make a difference at Stanford? What unique skills and experiences do you bring to the table? Why will your peers benefit from having you as a member of their class? 

With only 1,050 words to use for Essay A (What matters most?) and B (Why Stanford?) together, you need to understand yourself, your goals, what [url=]Stanford[/url] offers, and your unique value proposition to the Stanford community before tackling this essay. 

Additional information

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

[*]Extenuating circumstances affecting your candidacy, including academic, work, or test-taking experiences[/*]

[*]Academic experience (e.g., independent research) not noted elsewhere[/*]

Additional information “essays” exist so that you don’t have to make the admissions committee guess what happened if you have something unusual or confusing in your profile, such as the following:

[*]You had terrible grades your first year of university when your parent became ill, and you flew back and forth to care for your parent, or you worked 30 hours a week to make ends meet.[/*]

[*]You received a subpar GMAT or GRE score because you are not a great test-taker and can prove it with your inadequate ACT or SAT score and a 4.0 GPA or because you were initially premed and realized after volunteering at a hospital that medicine was not your thing.[/*]

[*]You did not ask an immediate supervisor to recommend you because you have only been with the company for a short time, and they do not know you well, or because doing so could lead to losing your job.[/*]

Stanford also suggests that you use this section to discuss any academic research because they do not want to see it on your one-page resume.

Additional information does not mean you should add an essay you wrote for another school. Feel free to bullet your reasons, making the section easier to read. If you have many bullets, you might have too many excuses, and many schools, including Stanford, could be a long shot for you.

Stanford MBA optional short-answer questions

In this section, we provide an optional opportunity for you to discuss some of your contributions more fully.

What do we mean by “optional”? We truly mean you have the opportunity to choose. If you feel that you’ve already described your contributions well in other areas of the application, congratulations, you’re done! If not, feel free to use this opportunity to tell us more.

Optional short-answer question

In the Essays section of the application, we ask you to tell us about who you are and how you think Stanford will help you achieve your aspirations. We are also interested in learning about the things you have done that are most meaningful to you. If you would like to go beyond your resume to discuss some of your contributions more fully, you are welcome to share up to three examples. (Up to 1,200 characters, or approximately 200 words, for each example)

[b]Question: Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or to others?[/b]

Why does Stanford have optional essays? The school offers these impact essays because too many applicants tried to squeeze their accomplishments into their “what matters most” essay. If you are tempted to write about your achievements in your “what matters most” essay, stop. Then, cut and paste that information here instead. Now you have a space where you can highlight activities and describe your impact on work, extracurriculars, community service, family, or anything else. 

The best approach to writing an impact essay is to use CAR or STAR with an added Sig (significance) framework. Select each impact to show some variety in your life (in other words, don’t draw all three examples from your daily work).

[b]C [/b]= Challenge (What challenge did you face?)

[b]A[/b] = Action (How did you address the challenge? What specific steps did you take?)

[b]R[/b] = Result (What was the outcome? Quantify the outcome, if possible. Did you increase revenues? Did you decrease costs? Did you increase membership? Did you minimize the danger? If so, by how much?)

[b]Sig[/b] = Significance (Why was this important to you? What did it mean for others in your life?)

[b]S[/b] = Situation (What background must you describe for the reader to understand your example?)

[b]T [/b]= Task (What was your goal?)

[b]A[/b] = Action (What steps did you take to achieve your goal?)

[b]R [/b]= Result (What was the outcome? Did you achieve the goal? Did you surpass the goal. If so, by how much?)

[b]Sig[/b] = Significance (Why was this important to you? What did it mean for others in your life?)

These frameworks will work for any behavioral question that an admissions committee or interviewer will ask you. They will help you stay on point, so use them. Finally, be succinct because the 1,200-character allotment includes spaces. 

Personal Information, Activities and Awards: Optional question

In this section, we provide an optional opportunity for you to discuss your background more fully and how it has shaped your perspective.

We know that each person is more than a list of facts or pre-defined categories. Please feel free to elaborate on how your background or life experiences have helped shape your recent actions or choices- (up to 1,200 characters, or approximately 200 words). 

Some applicants miss this question because Stanford tucks it under the personal information section. Reflect on all those drop-downs you clicked on, and consider this the bookend to Essay A. In essay A, you discussed what matters most and why your values are what they are. For this essay, you need to consider how your identity, diversity, and uniqueness motivate your actions. Consider cultural upbringing, education, abilities, and life experiences. How have these factors influenced how you view the world? This question is about your identity. How has that identity – that core of who you are, that core of most significant influences and experiences – expressed itself in your recent actions? It’s about helping the admissions committee get to know you and what motivates you.

Given the meager 1,200-character limit, select one factor that drives your decisions. Then describe the subsequent action. Your action is the evidence to support how and why that factor motivates you. For example, my own life was heavily influenced by being the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student. It drove the overachiever in me. That background influences every action I take, from preparing clients for their GSB interview to advocating for the rights of disabled and infirm people. That identity is how I tell my story. Now, how will you tell yours?

Stanford GSB at a glance

[*]Stanford GSB average GMAT score: 738[/*]

[*]Stanford GSB average GPA: 3.78[/*]

[*]Stanford GSB acceptance rate: 6.2%[/*]

[*]U.S. News ranked the Stanford GSB #3 in 2023[/*]

[b]For expert guidance with your Stanford GSB MBA application, check out Accepted’s [url=]MBA Application Packages[/url], which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Stanford’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too![/b]

Stanford GSB 2022-23 MBA application timeline

[b]Round[/b][b]Application Deadline[/b][b]Decisions Released[/b]1September 12, 2023December 7, 20232January 4, 2024March 28, 20243April 9, 2024May 23, 2024

Your completed application, including your  and [url=]application fee payment[/url], is due at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the deadline date for the round in which you apply.

[url=]Source: Stanford GSB website[/url]

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

Stanford MBA Class of 2024 Profile

Here’s a look at the Stanford Class of 2024, taken from the [url=]Stanford Graduate School of Business website[/url]:

[b]Applicants[/b]:  6,152

[b]New students[/b]: 424

[b]Women[/b]: 44%

[b]US students of color: [/b]51%

[b]International students[/b]: 37%

[b]Countries represented[/b]: 56

[b]Languages spoken[/b]: 71

U.S. students and permanent residents

Federal GuidelinesMulti-Identity ReportingAmerican Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander0%2%Asian (including Indian subcontinent and Philippines)23%30%Black/African-American (including Africa and Caribbean)5%10%Hispanic/Latino12%12%Multi-Race7%White (including Middle Eastern)49%61%Declined to identify race and ethnic background2%2%

Undergraduate field of study

Engineering24%Economics21%Business & Commerce19%Social Sciences20%Math & Sciences9%Arts & Humanities6%

[b]Average GPA[/b]: 3.76

[b]First generation in their family to graduate from a four-year college or university[/b]: 12%

[b]Hold advanced degrees[/b]: 13%

[b]US institutions[/b]: 83

[b]Non-US institutions[/b]: 79

[b]Average years work experience: [/b]4.9


Investment Management, PE & VC20%Consulting20%Technology15%Government, Education & Nonprofit8%Consumer Products & Services7%Health Care5%Arts, Media & Entertainment5%Military4%Manufacturing3%Clean Tech, Energy & Environmental3%Financial Services4%Other5%

[b]Organizations represented[/b]: 285

Test scores

Test scores

[b]GMAT: 67%*[/b]

[*]Average score: 737[/*]

[*]GMAT score range: 630-790

[b]GRE: 33%*[/b]

[*]Average Verbal score: 164[/*]

[*]Verbal score range: 149-170[/*]

[*]Average Quantitative score: 163[/*]

[*]Quantitative score range: 150-170[/*]

[b]TOEFL [/b]

[*]Average score: 113[/*]

[*]Score range: 106-119[/*]

*Some students submitted both GMAT and GRE scores.

More resources for GSB applicants

Not sure that Stanford is the place for you? If you are in the research stage, these resources can help guide you: 

[*][url=]How to Demonstrate Impact in Your Application to Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton[/url][/*]

[*][url=]M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Which MBA Program is Right for Me? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an MBA Program[/url][/*]

To hear about life at Stanford GSB from the mouths of real students, listen to these podcast interviews: 

[*][url=]Transitioning from the Military to an MBA at Stanford GSB[/url] – podcast Episode 471[/*]

[*][url=]Stanford MBA Discusses Coffee Chats[/url] – podcast Episode 437[/*]

[*][url=]What These Seasoned Startup Founders Have Done Since Earning Their Stanford MBAs[/url] – podcast Episode 382[/*]

[*][url=]A Stanford MBA with a Passion for Both Business and Humanities[/url] – podcast Episode 377[/*]

[*][url=]Stanford MBA Grows His Amazing Tech Startup[/url] – podcast Episode 369[/*]

Have you decided that Stanford GSB is your top choice? The road to acceptance isn’t easy, but check out the following links for pro tips on crafting your stand-out GSB application:

[*][url=]What Does It Take to Get Into Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton?[/url], a YouTube video[/*]

[*][url=]Why MBA?[/url], a free guide to writing about your MBA goals[/*]

[*][url=]What Stanford GSB is Looking For: Intellectual Vitality[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Stanford GSB’s Take on Demonstrated Leadership Potential[/url] [/*]

[*][url=]Understanding Stanford GSB’s Interest in Personal Qualities and Contributions[/url][/*]

[b]Our team of MBA admissions experts includes former admissions directors, published authors, and highly experienced business school admissions consultants. And we are all primed and ready to help you secure a seat at your dream school, just as we have done for thousands of clients for the past 25 years. Schedule your [url=]free consultation[/url] and speak to an expert admissions consultant. [/b]


By Natalie Grinblatt, the former admissions dean/director at three top business schools. Natalie has reviewed more than 70,000 applications, interviewed more than 2,500 candidates, and trained nearly 700 admissions directors and alumni volunteers to select outstanding candidates for admission. Her clients gain admission to top programs, including those at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Cornell, Columbia, Berkeley, Chicago, Northwestern, 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]

The post [url=]Stanford GSB MBA Application Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024], Class Profile[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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