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MBA Admissions Consultant
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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Own Kudos [?]: 845 [0]
Given Kudos: 92
Location: Los Angeles CA
Send PM
MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6451
Own Kudos [?]: 845 [0]
Given Kudos: 92
Location: Los Angeles CA
Send PM
MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 6451
Own Kudos [?]: 845 [0]
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NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile


In addition to its traditional two-year, full-time MBA, NYU Stern offers a menu of options in graduate management education, including a one-year Tech MBA and a one-year Fashion and Luxury MBA.

Stern MBA students can select up to three specializations or choose not to specialize at all.

Ready to get to work on your NYU Stern application? Here is some expert advice to help you get accepted:

[*][url=]NYU Stern application essay tips[/url][/*]

[*][url=]NYU Stern application deadlines[/url][/*]

[*][url=]NYU Stern class profile[/url][/*]

NYU Stern application essay tips

Short answer: Professional aspirations

(150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

[*]What are your short-term career goals?[/*]

You should be able to answer Stern’s short answer question easily. If not, you shouldn’t be applying yet.

I see this as the typical 60-second “elevator pitch.” If you meet someone from your dream company in an elevator, what can you tell them in one sentence that would pique their interest and make them want to know more about you? You have room for more than one sentence here, so provide a little context. What skills do you already have, and where is the gap? What motivates you to pursue this post-MBA goal? Is there a longer-term goal that motivates the short-term one? You won’t have room to answer all these questions, but strategically choose those that are most relevant, and be sure to answer the “why.” You really need to know something about the industry or functional area you are targeting to answer this question succinctly and clearly. Don’t just say, “I want to do management consulting because I’m a good problem solver.” That won’t make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants who will say the same thing!

NYU Stern Essay #1

Change: _____ it.

(350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? Examples:

[*]Change: Dare it.[/*]

[*]Change: Dream it.[/*]

[*]Change: Drive it.[/*]

[*]Change: Empower it.[/*]

[*]Change: Manifest it.[/*]

[*]Change: [Any word of your choice] it.[/*]

As you approach this question, obviously you have to think about what change means to you. But what is more important than the specific verb you choose to fill in the blank is the rest of the adcom’s question. WHY are you choosing it? Do you have one or two examples that show how you have effected change in your work or personal life? Finally, given your reasons and your verb choice, how will you embody this motto while at Stern?

To answer the last part of the question, you must do your research. What are the curricular and extracurricular opportunities at NYU Stern that will allow you to live your tagline while a student there? Check out Admissions Straight Talk Episode 525, “[url=]How to Get Accepted to NYU Stern[/url],” in which Executive Director of MBA Admissions Lindsay Loyd discusses Stern’s Change Studio (see 8:40).

NYU Stern Essay #2

Personal Expression (a.k.a “Pick Six”)

Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

[*]A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (No more than 3 sentences).[/*]

[*]Six images that help illustrate who you are.[/*]

[*]A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.[/*]

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

[url=]Nedjee Corriolan, admissions coordinator at Stern[/url], shares her advice on tackling this essay: “From your first image to the very last image, you’re creating a visually dynamic story. It’s important to understand what the message behind each photo is so you can capture the narrative in your brief caption.” She states that the “why” means more than the “what.”

As you are selecting your images, ask yourself these questions: Why is this important to me? And what does this show about who I am? Corriolan suggests that you show the images to a friend and ask them what the images convey about you. Does what they say match your idea for a caption? Maybe they have other ideas. Brainstorm and see what you can come up with. This is a fun essay, so you should have fun putting it together! It doesn’t have to be about your professional achievements – that is covered elsewhere in your application and resume. You are not your job. Think about who YOU are in your life outside of work and what is important to you. Although you have the option of including something professional or related to your goals, make sure that your images complement those goals. Let your individuality shine in this essay to differentiate you from other candidates. This can be a great place to reveal personal interests, hobbies, or community service commitments.

Remember, the caption is only one sentence, so don’t pick an image that will require a complicated explanation. It might relate back to one of your essays, but really, it should showcase a new facet of your personality. 

NYU Stern Associate Dean of MBA Admissions and Program Innovation Isser Gallogly, explained that today, images are used as much as words are for communications. He strongly feels that combining images with a few sentences and captions might be more comfortable for applicants accustomed to communicating on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. So let your visual talents shine. You can go deep into one special interest or let your six picks show different facets of you and your experience.

You can use word clouds, graphs, infographics, charts, and of course pictures. Basically anything two-dimensional that will go into a PDF for uploading can work for Stern’s Pick Six essay.

NYU Stern Essay #3

Additional information (optional)

(250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL, or any other relevant information.

Stern provides several suggestions regarding what to include in this essay. However, if you have something significant you would like the admissions committee to know and that topic isn’t mentioned in the school’s prompt, don’t worry. This prompt is open enough that you can still [url=]write this optional essay[/url] to explain it. Just don’t duplicate information that’s found elsewhere in your application.

For expert guidance with your NYU Stern 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 NYU Stern’s MBA program and look forward to helping you, too!

[url=]Watch our Admissions Straight Talk podcast Episode 525 with Lindsay Loyd, executive director for MBA admissions on “How to Get Accepted to NYU Stern.[/url]”

[b]For expert guidance with your NYU Stern 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 NYU Stern’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too![/b]

NYU Stern application deadlines

First deadline:September 18, 2023Second deadline:October 18, 2023Third deadline:January 18, 2024Fourth deadline*:April 18, 2024

Source: [url=]NYU Stern website[/url]

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with NYU Stern directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***

NYU Stern Class Profile

Here is a look at NYU Stern’s full-time, two-year MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the [url=]NYU Stern website[/url]):

(NYU Stern has adopted the Graduate Management Education [GME] Admissions Reporting Standards.)

Applicants: 3,553

Admits: 962

Admission rate: 27%

Number enrolled: 324

Women: 45%

U.S. military veterans/active duty: 11%

Countries represented: 41

Students with international citizenship: 44%

100% Age range: 23-42

Race and ethnicity (Per federal guidelines, all students identifying as both Hispanic, Latino and any other race are represented as Hispanic, Latino only. Students who identify with more than one race, but not Hispanic, Latino, are represented as Multi-race. Per multidimensional guidelines, students can identify with more than one race.)

Minorities: 47%

Underrepresented minorities: 21%

[b]Race and ethnicity[/b][b]Federal guidelines[/b][b]Multi-dimensional guidelines[/b]American Indian, Alaska native,
American Indian, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander0%           02%           5African American, Black6%          13    8%          17Asian American25%        527%        60Hispanic, Latino13%        2813%        28White, Non-Hispanic45%      10157%      127Multi-race4%          914%        32Did not specify8%          178%          17

[b]GPA statistics:[/b]

Average: 3.62

80% range: 3.34-3.89

100% range: 3.03-4.00

[b]Standardized test type:[/b]

GMAT: 49.4%

GRE: 21.3%

Test waiver: 10.5%

EA: 9.2%

NYU test waiver: 5.9%


[b]GMAT statistics:[/b]

Average: 733

80% range: 700-760

100% range: 640-800

[b]GRE statistics:[/b]

Q Average: 163

Q 80% range: 158-169

Q 100% range: 153-170

V Average: 162

V 80% range: 157-167

V 100% range: 150-170

[b]Professional experience:[/b]

Students with work experience: 98%

Average years of work experience: 5.0

100% range years of work experience: 0-14

[b]Prior industries:[/b]

Financial Services: 24%

Consulting: 12%

Other: 9%

Consumer Products/Retail: 8%

Military, Government: 8%

Technology: 7%

Nonprofit, Arts, Education: 6%

Entertainment, Media: 5%

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals: 4%

Real Estate: 4%

Advertising, Public Relations: 4%

Law: 3%

Manufacturing, Import/Export, Trade: 3%

Energy: 2%

Engineering: 1%

Are you considering applying to business school?

We have the resources to help you navigate the options and make the right choice:

[*][url=]M7 MBA Programs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How to Prepare for Interviews at Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton[/url][/*]

[*][url=]The MBA Admissions Calculator[/url][/*]

Is NYU Stern at the top of your wish list?

Get the competitive edge with actionable advice and inside information. 

[*][url=]How to Get Accepted to NYU Stern[/url], podcast Episode 525[/*]

[b]Can you see yourself as part of NYU Stern’s MBA class of 2025? We know how to get you there. Partner with one of our[url=] expert MBA Admissions consultants[/url] to unlock your competitive advantage and GET ACCEPTED![/b]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

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

[*][url=]Navigate the MBA Maze: 10 Tips to Acceptance[/url], a free guide[/*]

[*][url=]Top STEM MBA Programs: A Comprehensive List and Overview[/url][/*]


Dr. Christie St-John has more than 25 years of higher ed and admissions experience, including ten years in admissions at Dartmouth Tuck. She was formerly the director of MBA recruiting and admissions, director of international relations, and an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University. Having also served on the board of directors of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance and the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, Christie has a deep knowledge of MBA and other graduate admissions. [url=]Want Christie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url]

The post [url=]NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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How to Choose the Right MBA Program [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Choose the Right MBA Program

Business schools vary in many ways: location, cohort size, program culture, degree customization offerings, and employer relationships, to name a few. What factors matter most to you? To ensure that you have an optimal b-school experience, you should explore different program types and compile a list of schools that interest you. 

[b]Start with the websites.[/b][b]      [/b]

Yes, the various MBA programs can sometimes seem very similar, but to start identifying their differences, you need to go deeper than the “About us” page on the schools’ sites. Most importantly, look for student admissions reps, who are often referred to as “MBA ambassadors.” You should be able to find contact information for these students, who have volunteered to respond to questions from applicants. You can get a lot of insider information from them and learn interesting things about the school that you won’t see on its website.

[b]Look at the reports.[/b]

Look at your target programs’ employment reports to see where students go geographically after graduation, what industries and functional areas they enter, their salary ranges, and which companies recruit there to be sure the area you are interested in is represented. Go deeper into the curriculum and explore concentrations or majors the school offers, plus electives. 

[b]Explore extracurricular offerings.[/b]

Don’t forget to check out what student clubs are available at your target programs, because they will be a major part of your daily experience in b-school. Student organizations range from functional clubs (e.g., the Consulting Club, the Finance Club) to affinity clubs (e.g., the African American Business Association, the Hispanic Business Association, the LGBTQ Association, Women in Business, the Armed Forces Club). Then there are extracurricular clubs (e.g., Outdoors Club, Culinary Club, Soccer Club). You will most likely find something in your area of interest, but if you don’t, be sure to ask how you can start your own club. That is a good way to become engaged with the school and its students and is also something you should mention in your essays and interviews to show that you have indeed done your research on the school and are interested in being involved. 

Business schools generally offer a variety of programs, most of which will have different application requirements. Make sure to research all relevant and intriguing programs to identify your best fit. If you do not have work experience, check out the specialized master’s programs in finance, marketing, business analytics, operations, and other such areas. These are ideal if you want to break into the business world with a solid background. Many schools also offer you credit for those programs if you later return in a few years to complete the MBA program, allowing you to finish it in less time. 

Each program will have a different application process and deadlines. Almost all offer virtual admission sessions and scheduled on-campus events at which you can chat with staff, students, and faculty.      

Executive MBA Programs

An executive MBA (EMBA) program is a great option for professionals with approximately 8 to 15 years of experience who want to advance within their organization. If you are in a position of influence at your firm, you could be a strong EMBA candidate. These programs generally form “C-suite teams” that represent the business functions of an organization so that everyone on the team provides a different point of view. Most EMBA programs assume that your company will be sponsoring you either financially or by giving you time off to participate in coursework. EMBA programs offer virtual information sessions as well as on-campus events at which you can meet alumni and students and perhaps even sit in on a class (or mock class) to see how being an active student feels. 

Don’t select schools based solely on rankings. A program’s rank will tell you very little about the school and its personality. Actually visit the schools you are applying to, if at all possible. No online presentation can give you the same experience as a personal visit; you need to see and interact with the community firsthand to best judge your fit with a program. But if you can’t travel to campus, at least sign up for a few virtual sessions with admissions representatives and students. And don’t be afraid to ask questions – that is what these sessions are for!  

Are you applying to an MBA program? [url=]Schedule a free consultation[/url] with an Accepted consultant to learn more about the process and how we can help you get ACCEPTED.


Dr. Christie St-John has over 25 years of experience as MBA admissions director, career coach and Chief Military Recruiter at Vanderbilt University and Tuck School of Business, consultant at Université de Nice, and adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt. Christie has a deep knowledge of MBA and graduate admissions. [url=][b]Want Christie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

Related Resources:

[*][url=]Applying for Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal in Town[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Deferred MBA Programs and Other Options for MBA Hopefuls With No Work Experience[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How an Admissions Committee Views Your MBA Work Experience[/url][/*]
The post [url=]How to Choose the Right MBA Program[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Which B-School is Best for You? [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Which B-School is Best for You?

You’ve decided to go to business school. Now what? With so many types of MBA programs available, choosing the right one for you might seem like an overwhelming task. However, using the points we outline in this post will help you determine which business schools to target given your individual profile and characteristics. 

[b]With so many options, which MBA program is best for you?[/b]

Once you have decided that you want an MBA, keep in mind these three important factors:

[b]Your career goals [/b]

Is your intention to use the MBA as a springboard to change sectors or industries? Or do you wish to stay where you are but grow within your organization? Is your plan to start your own venture? Or do you expect to take over the family business? While the MBA will help you clarify your career goals, having an idea of what you will do after you graduate will help you determine the type of program that will best suit your professional needs.

[b]Your academic goals [/b]

Your career aspirations should go hand in hand with the MBA curriculum. It’s important that you choose a program that will teach you what you need to know to succeed at what you want to do next in your career in both the short and long term. For instance, if your goals are in line with starting your own business, a program offering courses with an emphasis on entrepreneurship would be an ideal choice. 

[b]Your specific interests and requirements [/b]

Consider factors such as the program’s cost, reputation, location, career resources, alumni network, and extracurricular opportunities. Determining what factors are most important to you will help you narrow your search accordingly.

Along with evaluating the different programs, you need to evaluate your profile – that is, the qualifications and elements that form your MBA candidacy. These include the following:

[b]Your undergraduate performance[/b]

Even if it has been some time since you graduated, those years in college are very important for your MBA application. Your grades will be carefully evaluated, particularly from the most rigorous courses. Any anomaly or particularly lower grades should be explained in your application.

[b]Your GMAT or GRE score[/b]

The vast majority of MBA programs require applicants to submit a GMAT or GRE score. A lesser number accept the Executive Assessment (EA), and some allow candidates to waive the test requirement altogether if they are able to provide specific evidence of quantitative strength in their academic or professional background. For the business schools that require a test score, know that it plays a very important part in your application, particularly if your undergraduate GPA was not as strong.

[b]Your work experience[/b]

Most programs recommend a minimum of two years of post-college work experience. Although business experience is not required, some level of leadership or management experience is ideal and can serve to improve the quality of your application. Nonetheless, there are schools that welcome candidates straight from undergrad, and some allow candidates to apply now but enroll later, once they have gained some full-time work experience (these are known as deferred MBA programs).

[b]Your extracurricular activities[/b]

In addition to evaluating applicants’ academic performance and work experience, many programs look to see whether candidates have been involved in interesting activities outside of their job, particularly in ways that benefit the community. These activities can be as simple as coaching a local soccer team to occupying a leadership role in a volunteer organization. It’s not a requirement, but having nonprofessional, responsible roles will definitely give you an advantage.

[b]Your English fluency[/b]

Finally, if you are an international candidate and your undergraduate courses were not taught in English, it is important that you prepare very well for any language-related exams required by the school, be it the TOEFL, IELTS, PCE, or any other exam of English as a second language.

No one is perfect, and the majority of MBA candidates are strong in some aspects but lacking in others. That’s why it’s important that you analyze each and every one of these elements and develop a plan to [url=]work on your weak points[/url] and boost your strengths.

In subsequent articles, we will explore what to do to improve or strengthen each of these areas, even the ones that appear unfixable ([url=]such as a low GPA[/url]), and you will realize that with the appropriate dedication, discipline, and commitment, you will be able to get admitted to the right MBA program for you – one that aligns with your profile and goals.Do you want a professional to help you with your MBA application? Check out [url=]Accepted’s MBA Application Packages[/url] for general counseling, essay editing, interview prep, resume review, and other assistance – we have a package for every aspect of your application!


Esmeralda Cardenal is a former associate director of admissions at Yale SOM, director of MBA admissions at Michigan State University Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom. Since 2014, she has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs, including MBA and master’s in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. [url=][b]Want Esmeralda to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Six Ways to Mitigate Low Stats in Your MBA Application[/url][/*]

[*][url=]5 Factors to Consider when Assessing Your MBA Profile[/url][/*]
The post [url=]Which B-School is Best for You?[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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Behind the Scenes in MBA Admissions [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Behind the Scenes in MBA Admissions

Ever wonder what happens to your application once you send it in? Does it enter a black hole in space and come out the other side with an admission or a deny? What transpires between the moment you click the “submit” button and when you receive that decision letter? Let’s go behind the scenes to find out.

The first step involves getting your application into the school’s system for processing. There is usually a quick review by the operations team to make sure all the required documents have been included. If anything is missing, they will contact the candidate. Next is a first read by a staff member, or sometimes a second-year student, to determine whether the candidate is qualified (with respect to their GMAT/GRE score, GPA, work experience, and so on).


If the candidate meets the basic criteria, they will be sent an invitation to interview; if not, their application either goes to the waitlist or is given a deny status. If a candidate is planning to retake the GMAT/GRE, about to receive a promotion, or on the verge of changing jobs, or if they have any other material change in their application, they must notify the admissions office. This could result in (1) a hold on the decision or (2) a waitlist instead of a deny until the additional information is received. 

Who is on the admission committee? This varies by school and by the number of applications the school receives. Huge programs might have second-year students reading applications, interviewing, and making recommendations for admission as well as staff. Other programs might use recruiting staff, career office staff, and/or outside readers during the decision-making process. A few schools also have faculty members or deans on the committee. 

The admissions committee, whatever the makeup, is looking for four main things:

[*][b]Academic ability [/b]as shown by undergraduate grades and courses, and by GMAT or GRE scores. There is a definite correlation between test scores and success in the first year of the MBA program. No school wants to admit someone who appears highly likely to fail or have significant difficulties with coursework.[/*]

[*]Relevant [b]work experience [/b]and awareness of one’s abilities and flaws[/*]

[*]Clear [b]focus[/b] on potential post-MBA career paths[/*]

[*][b]Understanding[/b] of what the MBA is, how the school will help in career progression, and fit with the program[/*]

Sometimes a candidate’s entire file is thoroughly evaluated before their interview, and then their application is given a quick second read after the interview. The interview serves a very specific purpose, so do not treat this step lightly! 

The interview helps reveal more about the candidate’s personality and adds to the basic information provided by the paper application. It helps the adcom ascertain whether the applicant’s goals are feasible and the candidate is “coachable.” Some questions provide an indication of the applicant’s fit with and interest in the program. Behavioral questions generally give an idea of how the candidate might perform in front of a corporate interviewer or with high-ranking alumni. And finally, the interview can elicit information that is not in the application.

If the interview goes badly, and the interviewer does not recommend the candidate for admission, their application will go onto the waitlist or into the deny bucket. If the interview goes well, the candidate’s application goes to a second evaluator. Usually, this second read is “blind,” meaning that the second evaluator has no access to the first evaluator’s notes. The application is then either sent to the admissions director or presented to the entire admissions committee for a final review and decision. Admissions committee members present applications in either top-down GMAT score order or definite admits first, then move next to the neutral or questionable admits. Staff members present to the team, and decisions are usually voted on by the entire team. In some instances, the admissions director will simply pass the clear admits and clear denies on for processing, and the team will discuss only the “maybe” candidates. 

Decisions can be released on a rolling basis or on a specified date (shown on the school’s website) for each round. If denied, the candidate may not reapply in the same year but must wait until the following year to do so. Some schools will offer feedback at the end of the year but not during the application period. Some do not offer feedback and will refuse to discuss a candidate’s decision.

If an applicant is waitlisted, some schools offer feedback to help them improve, though others do not. Be sure to check the policy of each school. It IS possible to get off the waitlist. That is actually a good place to be, because it means the school likes something about you and your application. You should be self-aware enough to figure out what your weakness is (or weaknesses are) and start working on it (them).

What are some of the reasons for a “deny” decision? The most obvious is a clear lack of academic ability, especially quantitative ability, or a willingness to improve on one’s weaknesses. Evidence of plagiarism or falsification of any information contained in the application is also a clear deny. Sometimes, an EQ (emotional quotient) deficit or a lack of interpersonal skills will result in a deny. Information relating to the applicant’s career goals can also be a danger zone. If the candidate seems totally clueless about their career path or what it takes to change careers – or even why they are pursuing an MBA – they are not ready for the program. Equally detrimental (and a reason to examine the school’s employment data) is having a career focus in an area that the school has no expertise in and for which it hosts no companies that recruit. Rudeness or any other inappropriate behavior toward staff members or students during an on-campus visit, interview, or class visit can quickly eliminate a candidate from consideration. And finally, believing that the MBA is a magic wand that will lead you to a CEO position after graduation indicates a lack of maturity and connection with reality. 

All this to say that everything in the application serves a purpose. Schools don’t require applicants to complete applications because they have nothing better to do Their essay, interview, and recommendation questions are all carefully considered. The adcom wants to know who you are, what you want to do, why you want to do it, how you will add to your classmates’ learning and MBA experience, how you will be involved at the school, and what kind of graduate you might be. 

Our team of MBA admissions experts includes former admissions directors, published authors, and highly experienced business school admissions consultants. And we are all 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. [url=]Schedule your free consultation today.[/url]


Dr. Christie St-John has over 25 years of experience as MBA admissions director, career coach and Chief Military Recruiter at Vanderbilt University and Tuck School of Business, consultant at Université de Nice, and adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt. Christie has a deep knowledge of MBA and graduate admissions. [url=][b]Want Christie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]How an Admissions Committee Views Your MBA Work Experience[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How to Choose the Right MBA Program[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Applying for Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal in Town[/url][/*]
The post [url=]Behind the Scenes in MBA Admissions[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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Nine MBA Resume Mistakes to Avoid [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Nine MBA Resume Mistakes to Avoid

What are the most important things you want the business schools you’re targeting to see about you? Applying to an MBA program is a competitive process, and your resume is one of the most essential pieces of your application. A well-written resume can help you stand out and increase your chances of acceptance. However, I usually see some common mistakes that can hurt a candidate’s chances for admission. Here are nine MBA resume missteps to avoid:

Multipage resumes.

You do not need to list every single thing that has happened in your career or education. Choose the highlights, and limit your resume to a one-pager. If an admissions committee member has only 60 seconds to review your resume and it’s more than one page, they might not ever make it to page two or three.

Unnecessary information.

You do not need to list every activity, award, or honor. You do not need an objective, given that your goal with this resume is to obtain admission to the school that is reviewing your resume (and the admissions committee already knows that). You do not need a personal summary. You do not need to list any research.

Highlighting responsibilities.

You want to highlight your achievements, not your duties, for MBA programs. Most MBA applications include a section in which you can describe your responsibilities, so let the resume serve as your key piece of advertising and demonstrate your impact.

Starting bullets with nouns, adverbs, or adjectives.

Each bullet point should begin with a verb so you can describe your impact. Rather than “responsible for,” consider “created,” “developed,” “led,” “initiated,” “negotiated,” “executed,” or “completed.”

Not including quantifiable results.

Admissions committees want to see what you’ve accomplished in your career. Include specific, measurable results in your resume to demonstrate your impact. For example, rather than saying, “increased sales,” say, “increased sales by 15%.”

Crowding the margins.

If you need to reduce your margin size from normal to narrow (or even smaller) to make everything fit, you are not leaving enough white space on your resume for it to be easily readable. Your resume should look clean and crisp, so edit, edit, edit so your words do not fall off the page.

Using jargon.

Avoid using jargon or technical terms that the admissions reader might not understand. Instead, use clear and concise language that anyone can follow.

Making grammar and spelling errors.

A resume with grammar and spelling errors will make you look careless. Be sure to proofread your resume carefully before submitting it.

Not getting feedback.

Once you’ve written your resume, getting input on it from a trusted friend, family member, or admissions consultant is a good idea. They can help you identify any areas that need improvement.

Following these tips, you can construct an MBA resume that will help you stand out from the competition.

Need help perfecting your MBA admissions resume? [url=]Check out Accepted’s Resume Services[/url], and work one-on-one with an admissions expert to create a coherent, compelling resume that will convince your target school’s adcom that they should keep reading.


By Natalie Grinblatt, a 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=]Want Natalie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]How to Quantify Accomplishments on Your Resume[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Six Ways to Mitigate Low Stats in Your MBA Application[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Four Tips for Highlighting Your Strengths in Your Application Essays[/url][/*]
The post [url=]Nine MBA Resume Mistakes to Avoid[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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How to Get an MBA at Columbia Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: How to Get an MBA at Columbia Business School

In this episode, the Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management at Columbia Business School explains why there isn’t one right answer to the application essay – but there is a true answer.  [SHOW SUMMARY]

Are you interested in an MBA that has the goal of preparing you for a career in innovation and entrepreneurship? With a record of excellence and a powerful alumni network? Columbia Business School is known for its cluster system of classes that fosters innovation amongst students. Sounds interesting? Listen to this episode where CBS’ Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management provides insight on how to get accepted to its elite MBA programs. 

An interview with Clare Norton, Columbia Business School’s Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management. [Show Notes]

Welcome to the 528th 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’sMBA admissions quizcan give you a quick reality check. Complete the quiz, and you’ll not only get an assessment of your chances, but tips on how to improve them. Plus it’s all free. 

It gives me great pleasure to have for the first time on a Admissions Straight Talk, Clare Norton, Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management at Columbia Business School. After earning her bachelor’s at Notre Dame in Indiana, Clare became a New Yorker through and through. She started her career as a trader with Citigroup and then moved into admissions first at Hunter College and then at CUNY and Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. Along the way, she also earned her master’s in higher education administration from Baruch College. She joined Columbia Business Schoolin January as Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management.

Congratulations on your new position and welcome, Clare,  to Admissions Straight Talk. [1:48]

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Can you provide an overview of Columbia’s MBA program for listeners who may not be that familiar with it? [1:59]

I think to me, the key point about the Columbia MBA program is actually the flexibility, is that we do really think of it as something that can be crafted and changed to meet the needs of individual students. I think that that’s part of what makes it so exciting is the opportunity to understand about yourself, what your gaps are and what your strengths are, and to really craft an experience that is personalized to get you where you’d like to go.

We, or Columbia, have several different kinds of entry points to that MBA.  So we have a full-time MBA entry in August. We have a full-time MBA entry in January, and then we also have a number of Executive MBA programs. EMBA programs on both a Friday-Saturday, a Saturday, and a global program that’s a dual degree with London School of Business. So a lot of opportunities to come in and do the MBA.

This year we have also created a brand new program called MBAxMS, which is a dual degree program with our School of Engineering. So our first cohort will start with us this August.

What’s new at Columbia Business School in terms of the program changes to the program, innovations to the program, you mentioned, the MBAxMS; anything else you’d like to highlight? [3:23]

I’d like to share a little more, about XMS than what I said, which is that it’s really a program that equips students with both the management skills and the science and technology core that should enable them to move seamlessly from classroom to product development to large scale innovation, and ultimately help create and grow companies and drive change.

So it’s really something that covers those core engineering courses in the curriculum on the areas of tough tech, applied science foundations, but also the essential business courses in leadership and strategy, finance, economics, marketing. So I think it’s a really exciting program, and it’s one that’s been in the works for quite a while, but I think when you recognize what’s happening in the world at the moment, you get just a small insight into the forethought and the innovative culture and nature that is Columbia Business School.

So everybody now is talking about the importance of these roles and the impact of AI and all those kinds of things, but we’ve really been working in this direction for quite a while. So that’s something that’s new, but also I think really representative of what’s great about Columbia Business School.

How long is the dual degree program? [4:47]

It’s still a two-year program.

But I assume it’s probably fewer electives. [4:56]

Yes, a bit fewer electives. Not no electives. There are electives in the program, but fewer, and students start with the engineering coursework and then move on to focusing more on the MBA.

Where are CBS MBAs finding jobs in terms of geography, industry and function? [5:12]

So I think it’s easier to say where CBS graduates are not finding jobs. Truly everywhere, and in everything they’re finding jobs. Again, what’s of note maybe is that our alumni continue to be involved in all the traditional sectors, but seeing lots of folks still in financial services, in investment banking, in consulting, but also a real growth in students who are focused on more entrepreneurial tracks, students who are focused on more tech oriented tracks, students who are really interested in roles that involve sustainability, which is something that they really get an opportunity to have exposure to here at Columbia Business School and truly all around the globe. There’s nothing I can really think of that you could want to do that you don’t get good preparation for here.

Sometimes I hear from applicants, or potential applicants, that while New York City provides fantastic opportunities, it’s also replete with distractions, and those distractions can hinder the formation of some of the close ties that some other business school communities have. How would you respond to that concern? [6:14]

I’ll say it just has not been my observation. So as you noted, I’m still relatively new, but even in my time, I have gotten to know so many students just in the hallways, attending events, who I then see day after day around campus who are saying hello and popping in to check on things. When I talked to students about the experience, which I did, I just attended our graduation ceremonies, and they were just full of recollections of the exciting engagements that they participated in with their student colleagues.

They are very, very connected to their cluster. So their CBS cluster is something they, I think, take with them forever as a point of pride. But the involvement in student clubs, I had the opportunity to attend our January Club Fair, which is really targeted more at our January incoming term, and that’s a smaller student cohort.

When I tell you that the space was packed not only with new students who wanted to learn more, but actually all of the students representing the various organizations, there were many folks deep to make sure that everybody knew what exciting things they had going on. And I think it’s just representative of how connected and involved they really are. Our beautiful new campus I think really draws folks to be here and to stay around and hang out.

So we do, of course, have the connection with New York City, and that’s amazing, and it allows students to have that coffee meeting in the middle of the week with a remarkable alum or participate in a semester internship because they can get back and forth. But I don’t think that it in any way detracts from the connection that they feel to the campus to one another, to our leadership, to the broader Columbia community. I think there’s really a very strong tie there and so it is honestly the best of both worlds.

Now let’s move to admissions, and you were kind enough to tell me that Columbia has moved to rounds. Columbia historically has always had rolling admissions, and this year it now has rounds. So what are the deadlines? How many rounds? When are they and why? [8:39]

Yes. So for our January entry, we’ll continue to be rolling at least for this January entry, partially because we consider folks from that August and January entry to all be part of the same graduating cohort. And so we wanted to use the same process there. So if you’re interested in January 2024, then the application deadline will be September 13th, but rolling until then. So encourage folks to do sooner rather than later if that’s something that interests you.

For August of 2024, we’re planning three rounds. So our first round will also have a September 13th deadline. And then the second one will be a January 5th deadline and followed by our final round, which will be an April 3rd deadline. We really felt like this was just an opportunity to rethink some of what we’ve been doing and to align with peer schools, I think it can sometimes be additionally stressful and complicating for students that we weren’t necessarily aligned with many of our peer schools and places that they were also looking at and I think led to some anxiety about how were they supposed to approach those rounds as compared to the rolling admissions?

So we really felt that it would be helpful to our prospective students to get a little more aligned and to be able to speak in the same terminology that others are using and give folks an opportunity to really know what the timeline will look like and plan for that. So those were the why.

Previously, Columbia had a fellowship deadline or the scholarship deadline consideration was the January date. Is the round two deadline going to be the scholarship consideration deadline also, or no? [10:36]

We are encouraging folks to apply in rounds one or two who are really hoping for scholarship and fellowship consideration. There won’t be the same deadline like the one we had in the past because of the rolling process. But certainly there will be a benefit from a consideration for financial support perspective to being in those first couple rounds.

That’s definitely news. [11:18]

Yes. Hopefully it will be received happily by folks. It really was our intention to try to make things simpler and more streamlined.

I know there were some changes to the essays, and we’re going to get to that in a second, but do you see any changes coming in terms of the test policy Columbia has? In the past required the GMAT, the GRE or the EA, any changes there? Are they going to be required? Are other tests going to be accepted? [11:42]

So certainly we’ll continue to accept those three. Planning still at the moment to require some tests. And so one of those. Obviously, there’s some additional new tests coming into the offering both in the GMAT and the GRE space. So we’ll be taking a look at those. But for now, we’re planning to accept those that have traditionally been offered and looking for folks to have at least one of those as part of their application.

You did make some changes to the essays. Could you review those? [12:28]

Sure. So we have always been interested in learning from students. What is it that they are planning to do that has encouraged them to want to pursue an MBA and how do they really feel that Columbia fits into that plan for them? And so that question remains as it always has, as does why Columbia Business School? Where we’re really looking for students to help us understand why we’re a fit for them and why they’re a fit for us.

So really what is it about our programs, our curriculum, our student organizations, our faculty, the variety of opportunities that exist here that are unique to our particular school and experience and how does that really fit? I think those two, I mentioned them together because I think there’s a thread there. So ideally, we’re looking for someone who, in that why Columbia Business School can take further the information that they’ve presented in that first question and really make it clear to us how the various opportunities and supports and things that exist here are going to be influential for them in achieving the goals that they see for themselves.

We know that people are going to come and have experiences and some of that is going to change and we’re happy to have that be the case, but we really just want to understand – 

They’re not signing a contract? [14:01]

Correct. Yes. No, no commitment required to the plans that you’ve put forward. But I think we just want to really get a sense of thought process. And again, why does this feel like something you want to do, and why does this feel like someplace that you want to do that? It’s a major investment you make going to graduate school. And so we want to understand how you’ve come to the decision that that’s an investment that you want to make.

We’re then adding back in a question this year that we have used in previous years that speaks to our inclusive leadership interest at the school and understanding how folks have been able to address challenges in one of a variety of areas that are highlighted in our PPIL program. So we’re excited to bring that one back. I think it’s something that provides insight into what we value.

So it’s partially there to have folks really engage with what are the pillars that we’re looking at in a program like that and what is it that we hope to be able to develop in leaders that are graduating from Columbia Business School and how can they share with us some of the ways that they’ve engaged with some of those topics in the past. So that’s why we’ve decided to add that one. We have enjoyed over the last number of years the opportunity to hear from folks about their favorite books and all of that, but we felt that this was maybe more representative of what’s important to us and the special opportunities that we think students have in the classroom here.

And then the optional essay, there’s also that, right? [15:49]

Right, yes. So yes, still an optional essay and it’s always really helpful. I tell students all the time that if you step back and look at the things that you’ve presented in your application and there’s something that you recognize that we should know, but it’s not in there, that absolutely is a place for you to take advantage of that. Whether that’s had some kind of challenge academically, historically that maybe you feel your GPA or test scores are not reflective of your potential or whether that you have had an opportunity to be engaged in some kind of activity that’s quite meaningful to you, that is only mentioned briefly in your resume.

That’s a place where anything that’s really an important part of who you are and that you think we need to understand about you as a candidate, that’s absolutely the place to use it. And so I encourage folks to do so if they feel that they can identify those gaps in their application.

What makes an application, or more specifically, what makes an applicant come alive for you? [16:58]

So I mean, I think it’s funny, and you and I were together with some other colleagues having a conversation around this same topic recently. I think it really is about being true to yourself, trying to… I think often in life we are nervous that we should be trying to tell someone what they want to hear, and that this is absolutely not a place to do that. That reads quite generic and not at all in the truly personable kind of way that was is what we want to see.

So I think it’s really important to say, “Whatever I’m writing here, do I feel like if I put this in front of somebody who knew me but they didn’t know it was mine, could they read it and recognize me? Can they see my personality, my motivations, my growth over time? Are those things really there?”

There’s not a right answer to the questions we’ve asked, right? There’s a true answer and applications that have the true answer always stand out as compared to those that are, I think trying to answer what they think is what folks might want to hear in response to those questions.

Do you see ChatGPT as a problem in the application process, specifically regarding the essays? [18:25]

So I don’t. I mean, I think ChatGPT is a tool, and there are many, many tools that we have now that we did not once have. Right? At some point in time we thought to ourselves, if people use a calculator, will they understand math? Yes, they do still understand math and in fact probably higher level math than they understood before that was utilized broadly.

I suspect ChatGPT will be quite similar. We’ve made it very clear to students in our application process that it’s a tool that can be utilized, but generative AI is not something that can write the whole answer. It’s the kind of thing that could do some editing for you or provide you with some ideas to make sure that you’ve touched upon, but that the work must be your own.

So from that perspective, I think we’re quite clear. But also I think actually back to what we were just talking about, the best applications are reflective, truly of the individual. And our essay questions in particular. We are really asking you to say for you personally, what is it about this that is going to connect, assist you, help your growth, engage you in new ways? Generative AI is not capable of saying that in a way that is authentic. So that’s really what we’ll be looking for. So I think, again, it’s nice to have something, maybe check your grammar, right?

It’s there for those kinds of things, but it’s never going to give an answer that can tie together across the application.

I have a daughter who loves to bake. Packaged cookies just don’t taste as good as her fresh-made cookies, out-of-the-oven bread, or whatever it is that she likes to bake. [20:18]

Yeah. There’s a little bit of her in that recipe that just can’t be replicated. So same for this. So I think it’ll actually be exciting to see what it does. We as a school are, obviously, as I mentioned earlier, thinking about what kind of training do our students need and how do we engage with it as a tool and make sure that they know how to engage with it as a tool and think about what kind of management is required and what data is missing from the data sets that these kinds of tools are drawing upon.

So there are lots of great and important questions for us to engage in the classroom. So we’re certainly not shying away from it. It’s something we think is important, but I think it won’t be problematic from an admissions perspective, given again, the fact that A, we’re letting people know what our honor code is and how we expect them to utilize it, and that we also really are looking for personal insights in our essays.

What can an interviewee, somebody lucky enough to be invited to interview at Columbia Business School, expect if invited to interview? Are they virtual or in person at this point? [21:26]

So they will be virtual this season. They have been both in the last several years, but again, we’re thinking that it’s a nice idea to be able to offer a standard experience for folks. So we’ll be doing that in that way across the board this year. It’s a great opportunity I think, to engage with our alum. Our interviews are mostly led by our alumni. Although in some programs, some others of us are participating. I realize now that when I was talking about entering our MBA, I didn’t mention our DEP program, which is obviously another fabulous road into Columbia Business School and one where you might see an admissions officer in the interview as well.

But I think how to behave and what to expect are very much the same kinds of things that we were just talking about for the essay. We want to see that authenticity again. You want to be prepared to talk about why you feel that this place is a fit for you and what your aspirations are for yourself. I think it’s a great idea to think to yourself and what’s the one or two key things that you might want to find out from someone who’s had the experience.

Obviously, the interview hopefully is not the only place that our prospective student is interacting with members of our community. Hopefully, you’ve come to some events, and you’ve had the opportunity to see some student panels and engage with faculty and all the different folks who make our community so special. But this is another one of those opportunities. So I think it’s also important not to forget that you should also be interrogating still like what is it about this that’s going to be special and is it the right fit for you and that this is an opportunity to do so by asking that person one or two key things that might be quite important to you.

Is the interview blind? [23:29]

Yes, it is.

So they only see the resume, right? [23:32]

They only see the resume. That’s correct.

Sometimes people don’t get in the first time, they might have to reapply. Do you have any suggestions for re-applicants since it’s that time of year also where I think the re-applicants are around more. [23:40]

True. I’ll open by saying we love re-applicants. Often, it’s that it’s just not the right moment either for the person for some reason or in our process or given our class and how it looks. It doesn’t mean that we can’t imagine that that person would be a great part of our community and a great contributor to our community. We look highly upon folks who take a step back, consider their options again, and say, “You know what I really do feel that this is the right place for me and here’s why.”

I think it’s important, again, in those moments to just say, “Is there anything that you may not have conveyed?” That question from the beginning about the optional essays and the places that your application might not show all the parts of you. That’s another moment to say, “Okay. Well, obviously this process is time-consuming and folks are juggling their lives at the same time that they’re applying.”

Sometimes you probably take a little bit of a shortcut or maybe don’t give your very best effort at doing these really finer point things of taking a step back and really taking a look at the application and making sure that we’re really able to understand you in a holistic and comprehensive way. So I recommend you have a little more time now. You’ve done all those other parts. You’ve already asked recommenders to write for you, and you’ve already put together essays, and now you can look at it with a fresh eye and say, “What might be missing from this application?”

Every so often I’ll talk to an applicant, a re-applicant and they’ll say, “My GMAT was low. I retook the GMAT and this time I got a 740. But I don’t really want to change the essays. I don’t want to have to rewrite them. I don’t want to get new letters.” What would you say to that applicant? [25:29]

There’s a lot of questions actually that I would sort of ask them. I would say, “Well, how long has it been since they applied? Is it a very short window in which case, maybe that’s more applicable?

It’s a year ago. [26:00]

So I mean, I think sometimes then there really might be pieces of information that were not true about you a year ago that are true now and that are not reflected in that. So I think it’s absolutely worth reconsidering what you’ve submitted and taking a look at that, at least again, with an eye to edit. Maybe you’re not starting from zero as you had to the first time around, but at least to be sure that what you’re submitting you really feel is your best effort and most representative of you and how you connect with and respond to the questions that are posed throughout our application, not just even in the essay, but all throughout.

So I think you do have to be willing to do some of that. Again, this is a really major commitment that you’re making to yourself and a major investment that you’re making in yourself. So you want to do that quite seriously. So if it feels too hard to take half an hour to look through this, then I think, you want to wonder if a two-year investment or a 18-month investment is something that you really want to make at this point in your life, in your career.

So I think that’s a good gut check for you is if you’re not willing to even take a look again and interrogate, what have you put in there and are there ways that you might communicate it better. Then maybe now is not the moment.

What I typically tell applicants is, A) you can’t be sure that your essays didn’t have any influence on the rejection, and B) Even if you applied a year ago and you used the exact same essays and the exact same resume except maybe changing the date, then you’re not showing any growth in the last year. [27:35]

Right. Absolutely. Totally agree. I think you make an excellent point, which is it’s a holistic process. So students regularly will say, or applicants regularly will say, “Oh, well I know that it was this thing.” And sometimes you look back at the file and you think to yourself, “No, that is not the thing.” You actually got a really strong rating in that area. The place where we didn’t see it was over here. Right?

So I just would caution people to presume that any part of their application was the “decision maker” because it really is a whole holistic process. And again, it’s not only a holistic process for you as an individual applicant, but it’s a holistic process of building a class, right? So what are the interests of the students around you? What are the things happening? So it’s more even than just what you yourself can contribute.

So yes, you should never assume that you’ve figured out what that one data point is, and that doesn’t mean I encourage people who feel that they have an opportunity to do better on any part of their application to do that. So if that happens to be testing and that’s a place that you think makes sense for you, then go for it. But don’t hang your hat on that.

Applicants now have about two and a half months, a little more than two and a half months until your first round deadline and maybe a little less than six months until the second round deadline. What should they be doing? [29:19]

I mean, the essay prompts are posted already. So while we have not yet opened our application, those are there, and you should absolutely start taking a look at those to pull that together. You should absolutely be thinking about who your recommender will be and making that ask so that someone has a lot of time to prepare.

Just one recommendation? [29:55]

Just one for us, yeah. So you want to really think about who’s going to be able to add something to your application. And this is a little bit of an aside, but it’s common for folks to ask, “Should I have the CEO who I sort of know, or this other person who I’ve worked quite closely with?” In that scenario, I would always say, “Go with that other person. We want someone who’s going to be able to really provide details.”

We’re not looking for there to be a connection to someone “important”. We’re looking for somebody to be able to talk to us about how you collaborate with others, what your learning style is, how you engage in a community? What motivates you? Who you are as a person. And so if that other person can’t say that about you, then that’s not going to be a great recommendation that adds a lot to your application. So start really thinking about those questions and providing folks with plenty of time to get those things in because you will have to have all the supporting documentation into your application by the deadline or else you get moved to the next round for consideration. So that includes that recommendation letter.

But also take advantage of the fact that we’re on the road all over the place. Tomorrow, I’m in London and Thursday I’m in Amsterdam, and we have folks all around the world in the next several days, weeks, months. So take advantage of that. Take advantage of the opportunities to visit us on campus. There’s opportunities to sit in on classes, and there’s so many events happening all the time. So everything doesn’t even have to be an admission event, but an opportunity to really understand the community and get a better sense for how are you going to choose to engage with that community. How are you going to choose to engage with those resources and opportunities?

So do that as well. Obviously, if you still have tests to take, then you have some studying to do, but I think those other parts are the more important, honestly, in terms of making sure that you’re going to be ready to put together a great application.

You touched on the deferred admissions program at Columbia and the advice for college students interested in Columbia’s deferred admissions program. Who is it really geared for? [32:12]

Yeah. I love the deferred admission program. I have worked in other schools and places as you mentioned, and I think that this is honestly a really remarkable opportunity that’s not available in a lot of other fields. I think that one misconception is maybe that it’s for students who are already in business whereas I would say it’s for students who recognize that leadership is going to be important in their lives down the road and who want to be somewhere where inclusive leadership and socially responsible leadership are some of the kinds of things that are going to be a focus.

Innovative leadership that’s aware of all these changes that we’re seeing in the world and preparing for those things. So I think it’s a much broader swath of individuals than maybe sometimes undergraduates think. But we do want someone who, again, has an idea of why this is eventually going to be useful to them.

As I said earlier, even more so with this population, we recognize that that will very likely change. You’re going to graduate from your undergraduate program and get into the working world and have some different experiences and meet more folks and be asked to do things in your professional life that are going to stretch you in different directions and open you up to new possibilities. But we at least want to see that, you recognize why this is going to be valuable to you professionally down the line, even if not in a very specific end goal kind of role, but just how do you see it? What are you going to be doing or what do you hope to be doing when you first finish up your undergraduate degree?

How can you imagine that that might roll out? How are things going to change for you as you start to have those experiences and where do you see an MBA program eventually adding value for you and being the right next step? So folks who can start to imagine and think about those things are the folks for whom this is a great program.

Would you be interested in a humanities or science or social science, liberal arts kind of person, not a math quant type of person? [34:29]

We absolutely would. Listen, we’re going to need to see that you have some strength in those areas. And so for students who don’t have any of it on their transcript, it’ll be important how they bring to life, the ways that they’ve utilized it, maybe outside of the classroom to the extent that you’ve done anything where you’ve been engaged with quant-like projects. And then obviously that’s also why we offer the opportunity for folks to test because it gives us a different input than the course trajectory that you happen to have been on. Different schools require different coursework of students or don’t require specific courseworks of students, and we don’t want whatever that early academic advisement was that matched the goals that you had at that point in time to deter you from being able to do something that you feel is a fit now. So that’s really where that piece of information can come in as quite helpful.

But I think there certainly are students who have lots of different kinds of backgrounds who already have been part of our DEP program, and it’s been sort of a hallmark of the MBA program always. We actually joke around that students will sometimes say to us, “I’m a non-traditional MBA student.” And we say, “Everybody is a non-traditional MBA student, or everybody is a traditional MBA student.” So there’s always folks. There’s always a dancer. There’s always an opera singer. There’s always a nurse.

Sports athlete. [36:25]

Right. There’s always a former lawyer. There’s always someone who’s only worked at their family business. There’s always someone who has lots of experience in scientific research. When you walk around in the classes, there is all this representation in every class. Folks with military experience. All different kinds of things. And that is the richness that we’re looking for.

I mean, that’s one part of the diversity that is part of the experience that we really value. So we don’t want everyone to have had all the same coursework and have all the same career goals. That’s not the idea. You have to take this MBA and use it in the world. And if you’re going to do that, you’re going to interact with a lot of different people with a lot of different perspectives, a lot of different ways of thinking about things, a lot of different ways of bringing those things to fruition.

So we want that to be the students in the classroom. So I absolutely want, as I said, anybody who can understand why this educational opportunity is going to be the right path for them to consider that.

What question would you have liked to answer that I didn’t ask? [37:43]

Good question. So I think what I would like to answer that you didn’t ask is, or I guess you did ask it, but maybe I went a different way, but what’s exciting at CBS now?

Okay. Go ahead. [38:01]

I think the answer to that is how much this place continues to evolve. We have a dean who is really excited by, and believes in, disruption and innovation, and I think our vision follows suit. So when you look at the coursework that we offer now and the coursework that we offered five, 10 years ago, the number of new courses is kind of mind-blowing to me in all of these. In entrepreneurship, in environmental, 50% of our students are taking at least some coursework with an environmental focus.

That was not true at some point in time and it’s a critical part of what businesses will be trying to address regardless of the area of business that someone becomes involved in. So I think you really see that happening, and I would expect to see new CBS developments, some of which have already launched or sort of underway, but in entrepreneurship, in digital future, in 21st century finance, in climate and sustainability and in business and society. I think those are really the areas that we think are going to be important for folks over the course of the next many years.

We’re really investing there to make sure that our students will be able to think in a proactive kind of way about where things are likely to be down the road and how they can help to develop solutions and organizations that will be successful in those environments.

Thank you very much for adding that. Where can listeners learn more about the CBS MBA? [39:36]

Yes, so All our great insights will be there and all the information about deadlines and programs and how to get in touch with us, how to visit. So please head there and find out more.

Relevant Links:

Related shows:



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Academic Performance in Your MBA Admissions Profile [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Academic Performance in Your MBA Admissions Profile

In my previous article, I laid out the five elements of your candidacy that you must pay attention to when planning your MBA application. We will talk about the first one in this post: undergraduate performance.

Your academic performance as an undergrad, from your first year to your last, is extremely important to any graduate program, and MBA programs are no exception. Traditionally, admissions committees analyze three aspects of your academic record:

  • Your performance in each of your classes, particularly in the most rigorous courses and/or those most relevant to the MBA. It’s important that you provide context for any dips in gradesthat are significant enough to merit an explanation; many schools offer the opportunity to discuss any gaps or discrepancies in the optional essay. This is the place to clarify whether your grades suffered because you were trying to balance a job with your studies, dealing with a personal or family situation, or navigating any other unusual event that negatively affected your grades.

  • The reputation and selectivity of the institution where you studied.If you have reason to believe that your undergraduate institution will not be familiar to the business school you are applying to, it’s important that you provide the admissions committee with objective information regarding its reputation, rankings, and selectivity. For example, some universities select their students through a very rigorous admission exam. If this was the case with your school, and you were therefore one of the few selected, make sure to include that information in your application.

  • The continuity of your performance.Adcoms look very carefully at the academic workloadyou carried each semester and pay particular attention to periods in which you might have lessened your workload. For example, perhaps you took a semester-long break to work full-time or decided one year to take two classes instead of the usual five. Be prepared to justify and/or explain your decision in the appropriate part of the application.

If your grades in math and/or other quantitative classes are low, I recommend that you take pre-MBA courses in subjects such as accounting, finance, calculus, and statistics. You can take these at any accredited university or community college, but make sure you earn solid As in all of them. This will  on the success of your application because you will be showing that you are now able to handle the academic rigor of the MBA curriculum.

Finally, make sure to demonstrate your academic capacity with a strong score on the GMAT or GRE, which is the topic of the next article in this series.

Do you want a professional to help you with your MBA application? Check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages for general counseling, essay editing, interview prep, resume review, and other assistance – we have a package for every aspect of your application!

Esmeralda Cardenal is a former associate director of admissions at Yale SOM, director of MBA admissions at Michigan State University Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom. Since 2014, she has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs, including MBA and master’s in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply• How to Apply Successfully to Grad School Despite a Low GPA, a podcast Episode 458
• So, You’re Applying to Business School with a Low GPA or GMAT Score?

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UVA Darden MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: UVA Darden MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile

The University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program boasts the case-based method of learning to put students in the role of business leaders faced with challenging situations. Through this discussion-based approach, students are active participants as they learn to make decisions in real-world scenarios. Darden is one of the largest case publishers in North America, and because of the school’s commitment to the case study method, a Darden student will examine literally hundreds of business cases over the course of their two years of MBA studies.

Darden has tweaked its essay questions in a few minor ways since last year, focusing primarily on getting to know you and how you will affect the school’s overall community.

Ready to get to work on your Darden application? Read on.

Darden application essay tips

For the 2023–24 application cycle, we will again feature short essay questions, which provides a broader platform for applicants to highlight their experiences through multi-dimensional narratives. These questions are a great opportunity for you to help the Darden Admissions Committee understand who you are and who you will be at Darden.

Darden Essay #1

Community of Belonging: What would you want your classmates to know about you that is not on your resume? (100 words)

Darden is one of the smaller MBA programs, with just 348 students in its Class of 2024. As a result, every single student needs to be congenial and contribute a unique perspective. 

With the brevity of this essay, the hardest part might well be identifying the best topic(s) to cover. I suggest just one or two topics; the key will be to dig in and  to really make your submission come alive for the reader. A potential topic might be a relevant formative experience or relationship, or a nonwork activity or passion. Ground your essay in example and detail. To select the best subject matter, look at the application overall, including the other essays, and think about what would really add to and further animate this holistic picture.

Darden Essay #2

Inclusive Impact: Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating a welcoming, global community at Darden. (300 words)

First, note that the requested example can come from work or outside work. While it’s great to show that you promote an inclusive work environment, if you have a dynamic, impactful example from outside of your job, feel free to use that.  (e.g., ethnicity, geographic background, sexual orientation) to encompass less-obvious elements, such as political perspective and socioeconomic background. Devote most of your essay to narrating your story, showing how it promotes inclusivity. At the end, add a reflection with some specific detail about how this will enable you to help create an inclusive global community at Darden.

Darden Essay #3

Careers With Purpose: At this time how would you describe your short-term, post-MBA goal in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (200 words)

Darden’s prompt basically guides you through the requisite details the adcom wants you to provide. Even with the tight word limit, I suggest contextualizing the requested information in a couple of ways. First, start with just a phrase or sentence indicating how the goal arose. In other words, what is the “origin story”? Second, express what you hope to accomplish – what impact you’d like to have – by pursuing and achieving your stated goals. These two elements together constitute your motivation, and that is what will help the adcom feel engaged by (and ideally invested in) your goals.

Darden application deadlines

RoundApplication DeadlineEarly ActionSeptember 7, 20241October 4, 20232January 4, 20243April 3, 2024
Source: UVA Darden website

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with UVA Darden directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***

Darden class profile

Here’s a look at the UVA Darden MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the UVA Darden website):

Class size: 348

Countries represented: 48

International students: 43%

Women: 37%

U.S. minority: 20%

Consortium members: 41

Military service members: 8%

Average age: 28

Average GMAT score:720

Average GPA: 3.51 

Average GRE (combined): 319

Average years work experience: 5.8

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

As the former executive director of admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School and assistant dean of admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School and the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School, has 23 years’ experience overseeing admissions committees and has reviewed more than 38,000 applications for the MBA and master’s programs in management of information systems, computational finance, business analytics, and product management.  Want Kelly to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

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Eight Tips for Attention-Grabbing Resumes [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Eight Tips for Attention-Grabbing Resumes

What should you include in your application resume? What should you leave out? What sort of tone should your resume have? The following eight tips will help you create an impressive, persuasive resume:

1. Learn what your target program is looking for.

The best way to convince the admissions board to offer you a spot in the school’s next class is to understand what makes a strong applicant for their program. Before starting to work on your resume, learn as much as you can about what sorts of candidates your program seeks. Then, customize your resume to reflect the aspects of your background that are most relevant to the school you are applying to. 

2. Know yourself professionally – your skills and your accomplishments.

What are you particularly good at? What accomplishments are you proudest of? What have you achieved that gained you the most recognition? Interview yourself and inventory your previous jobs, the skills you acquired, and your “greatest hits” as a professional – the times when you contributed to your organization the most. Look through your formal performance reviews for glowing appraisals, and scan your work files for successes you might have forgotten about. Now is a great time to start keeping a personal career folder in which you track the new skills you learn and positive comments from your managers and happy customers.

3. Stand out personally.

Escape negative stereotypes about your profession by showing that you are exceptional. If you are an accountant, for example, admissions committees tend to assume you are risk averse, so you need to include material in your resume that shows some of the bigger risks you’ve taken (e.g., entrepreneurial efforts, motorcycle racing). If you’re a finance type, you might be perceived as conceited or aloof, so you should include evidence of your social skills and humility (e.g., community service efforts, mentoring). Similarly, if you are in a crowded applicant pool such as finance or consulting, don’t list every transaction or engagement you have served on; instead, detail those that you made unique contributions to.


4. Be concrete, specific, and quantitative.

Unless you have a very unique job, the admissions committee understands what the general responsibilities of your role entail. Don’t waste space in your resume describing responsibilities; rather, share your impacts. 

Details and context are essential to qualify the magnitude of your impacts for the admissions readers. For example, don’t say, “Developed e-commerce plan that was selected for implementation”; instead, share details like “Designed $5M e-commerce strategy that increased revenues by 12% and attracted 6 new clients.” While we are on the subject of quantifying, our advice is to use numerals for numbers in resumes, both because they are more attention grabbing and because they require less space. 

When data must remain confidential, anonymize names, refer to percentage increases or improvements, or cite the improved industry ranking of the organization’s product or performance as a result of your contributions. Think of numbers and other hard details as essential proof that you are a superior performer.

5. Know how far back to go.

As a general rule, if you are applying to graduate school and have at least two years of work experience, your high school activities should NOT[b] [/b]be included in your resume. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you won a prestigious national award in high school, you could consider including this important recognition.

6. Don’t lie.

Making up degrees, accomplishments, and other personal and professional facts is always a bad idea. Don’t do it – it’s unethical and self-destructive. After accepting an applicant, most programs will run a basic background check to confirm the dates and titles in their resume, and the adcoms won’t hesitate to show candidates the door if they learn that any element of the person’s resume is untrue. 

7. Know your negatives.

The vast majority of us have encountered detours once or twice in our careers. Maybe you’ve been downsized, locked in a dead-end job, or realized that your initial career choice or direction was not a good fit for you. You can’t lie about these professional plateaus in your resume, but you can present them in the best possible light. Think about what aspects of the role you explored and took risks in, and where you made an impact, and focus on communicating those points.  

8. Be strategically creative.

Bring to the preparation of your resume the same capacity for thinking outside the box that you bring to your career. For example, if the traditional chronological resume format will bury your best material near the bottom, consider using a “functional” resume format instead or even a hybrid of the chronological and the functional. Similarly, if you paid for your entire college education, add a line mentioning this in your resume’s Education section. Highlight any areas where you provided a unique contribution or gained a perspective that might be rare. For example, include the affinity and community organizations that you have volunteered with – leader of a campus LGBTQ+ group or Native American students group, for example – and how you have helped these communities through your role. 

The logic underlying all these points is that your resume is not just a list of your experiences; it is a strategically assembled document that highlights your uniqueness and makes a case for what a great fit you will be in your target program.


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

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]38 Ways to Harness the Power of Numbers in Your Resume[/url] – a free checklist[/*]

[*][url=]How Much Overlap Can There Be Between My Resume/CV and My SOP?[/url][/*]

[*][url=]The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [/url]– a free guide[/*]
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Business School: How to Pay for Your MBA [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Business School: How to Pay for Your MBA

Congratulations – you did it! You’ve been accepted to your dream business school, and you are ready to go. But once the euphoria wears off, reality will set in, and you’ll realize the amount of tuition you’ll be expected to pay. If you are lucky, you might have gotten a scholarship, or maybe your company is sponsoring you by paying your tuition.  For most of us, though, the responsibility of financing our two years of b-school falls on us. So what do you do now if you don’t have a trust fund?

If you are planning on going to business school, this is not the time to buy a new car or take an expensive vacation that will max out your credit cards! Many students expect the school to give them the amount they need to pay for their studies. They seem to have the impression that schools are banks, ready to provide them all the money necessary for tuition and living expenses, but that is far from the truth. While scholarships are most appealing because they don’t have to be paid back, they are also hard to get. And schools do have limited scholarship budgets.



Scholarships are generally funded by alumni or corporate sponsors who want the funds they provide to be directed in a specific way, usually a way that benefits the school or serves a specific subgroup in the applicant pool. Consequently, the majority of scholarships are merit based rather than need based, and schools must follow the donor’s wishes in choosing the eventual recipient. Therefore, if you are hoping to secure a scholarship award, you need to be above average in every category shown in the school’s Class Profile (e.g., undergraduate GPA, test scores, work experience), as well as in employability and interpersonal skills. Of course, some scholarships are designated for special groups, such as veterans, women and underrepresented minorities, and candidates with disabilities. Those scholarships might not be 100% merit based, but the recipients must still present a competitive application There are also grants and small awards for students going into specific fields, such as analytics, science, and finance. These can be easily found by searching online for “scholarships” in your field of study.

Financing options

The first financing option students should look for – beyond their personal funds – is a local bank, a federal or state agency, or a private lender, such as Prodigy Finance. These organizations have reasonable interest rates, and repayment doesn’t normally begin until after graduation, when the student is employed. Schools tend to have lists of outside funding sources on their webpages under Tuition and Financial Assistance, so this kind of information is easy to find. 

As with any loan, you are expected to repay the loan amount plus interest. Luckily, most MBA graduates increase their salary substantially after completing the program and can therefore pay off their loan in a few years. This is a good way to establish a strong credit rating if you are young and just starting out.

Like finding the right MBA program, finding the right lending agency requires a lot of research. Some agencies are better than others with respect to repayment terms, but of course, the interest rate you pay will depend on your credit score. Every school has a Financial Aid Office, and the officers have a wealth of knowledge and can be very helpful in directing candidates to outside sources of funding.

Alternative resources

Many schools have information about “alternative resources” on their website, where you can find a list of international governmental funding or  special groups that offer scholarships, so start digging around to learn more about those options. State and local governments can also be sources for scholarship, grant, or loan information. Contact your state department of education for details. I also suggest approaching your local fraternal and service organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis or Lions Clubs, and local chambers of commerce, which often have competitions for scholarships. These will not cover the total cost of the program but will certainly help ease the burden of debt.      

International students should investigate funding sources in their home country. Some organizations, such as Fulbright Commissions, COLFUTURO, the United Nations, and the Organization of American States, offer scholarships to international students. However, be aware that there are strings attached to these.

Employer tuition programs

Employer tuition programs were far more common ten years ago than they are now. And some firms that offer to cover the cost of a student’s tuition actually require the student to pay the tuition first and will then reimburse them once they return to work at the firm after graduation. I always encourage candidates to ask their supervisor or someone in their company whether employer funding is possible. The worst that can happen is that the company says no, but if they like you and trust that you will return after graduation, they might be willing to help. I have seen this numerous times. So don’t be shy – ask.

Co-op programs

There are a few universities that have co-op programs in which the student works during the semester and is paid in addition to receiving academic credit for the work. Work-study programs are also sometimes available and pay a small salary. Students in two-year MBA programs get summer internships, whose salaries are quite good and provide some income. 

An MBA is an investment in yourself and your future. And like most investments, be it a home or a business, it requires financing. However, GMAC data show that MBA alumni are overwhelmingly satisfied with their return on investment, so don’t let the challenge of securing financing stop you from proceeding. You are worth it, and you can do it.  to speak with an MBA admissions consultant – never a salesperson. 


Dr. Christie St-John has more than 25 years of higher ed and admissions experience, including ten years in admissions at Dartmouth Tuck. She was formerly the director of MBA recruiting and admissions, director of international relations, and an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University. Having also served on the board of directors of the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance and the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, Christie has a deep knowledge of MBA and other graduate admissions. [url=]Want Christie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url]

[b]Related Resources[/b]

[*][url=]Which B-School is Best for You?[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Behind the Scenes in MBA Admissions[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Applying for Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal in Town[/url][/*]
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Interact with Kelly Wilson, Accepted Expert Consultant, at the MBA Tou [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: Interact with Kelly Wilson, Accepted Expert Consultant, at the MBA Tour Washington, D.C.

Join us on Saturday, July 22,  2023 at The MBA Tour Washington, D.C., a free in-person event!

Whether you’re just beginning your research or preparing your application, this event is a great opportunity to network with our staff, get answers to your questions, and learn about our programs and community.

Interact with Accepted’s Kelly Wilson, a former admissions director with 23-years of admissions experience, at our booth during the networking fair for insights about your candidacy and how we can help YOU get accepted. Later, join our MBA Talk about how to choose the best MBA program for YOU!

The MBA Tour Washington, D.C.
Saturday, July 22,  2023
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Marriott Marquis Washington DC
901 Massachusetts Avenue NM, Washington, District of Columbia, 20001, USA

As the former executive director of admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School and assistant dean of admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School and the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School, has 23 years’ experience overseeing admissions committees and has reviewed more than 38,000 applications for the MBA and master’s programs in management of information systems, computational finance, business analytics, and product management.  Want Kelly to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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All You Need to Know About the New, Shorter GRE [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: All You Need to Know About the New, Shorter GRE

In this episode, Rohit Sharma, Sr. Vice President of Global Higher Education and Workskills, explains how ETS made the GRE almost two hours shorter (without cutting any sections) and why that’s a good thing for test takers – and institutions. [SHOW SUMMARY]

Are you wondering what the new shorter GRE is about? What does it mean for you as applicants and test takers? This episode is for you! We’ll be discussing the new shorter GRE format and how it affects test-takers with ETS’ Sr. Vice President of Global Higher Education and Workskills.

An interview with Rohit Sharma,Sr. Vice President of Global Higher Education and Workskills at ETS. [Show Notes]

Welcome to the 531st episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Today’s show is all about test prep, and I’d like to start with a quick one-question quiz. What is the paradox at the heart of graduate school admissions? Well, I’ll tell you. You have to show that you belong at your target programs and simultaneously that you stand out in the applicant pool. Doing so is paradoxical and challenging. Accepted’s free download, [url=]Fitting in and Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions[/url], will show you how to do both. Master this paradox, and you are well on your way to acceptance. 

Our guest today is Rohit Sharma, Senior Vice President of Global Higher Education and Workskills at the Educational Testing Service, better known as ETS. Rohit earned his bachelor’s in engineering from IIT Kanpur in India and his MBA from UVA Darden. He has worked as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group and for over 20 years he has contributed internationally in management and product design and development in the fields of digital skills training, assessment, and higher education.


Rohit, welcome to Admissions Straight Talk. [2:03]

Thank you, Linda. Thank you for having me.

I’m delighted to speak with you today. So GRE is undergoing some transformations, right? ETS is giving us a whole new GRE. How is the new GRE going to be structured? [2:07]

Great, thank you. First of all, the GRE is going to be similar in many ways to the old one in terms of having the same three sections that we have always had, which is the verbal reasoning, the quantitative reasoning, as well as the analytical writing section. So those three things remain unchanged. But the big news here is that the time that the test used to take previously, which was close to four hours, is going to be reduced in half to just shy of two hours. So that’s a big change that we are making.

And then I assume you’re not sacrificing any kind of predictability or validity to the test in cutting it in half. [2:51]

Of course, that was almost like I left it hanging there so that you asked me that, but it goes without saying-

I fell for it. [3:09]

Yes, no, thank you. But it goes without saying that as you know, ETS has a very long history of over 75 years that we have been around, and one of the things that we are so proud of is the research that goes behind all of our assessments. So the validity, the reliability of these measures, these assessments, the constructs that they measure continues to remain the same as it was before.

So the total time is much less. You still have the same three sections. So is each section just basically cut in half? [3:32]

So there’s a couple of things that we have done. So in many of these assessments, Linda, historically, there’s always been an unscored section. And before the world of generative AI, as well as other technological advances that was needed to make sure that we can test out items that we can then put in future tests because these items have been tested in a particular way.

So first of all, we remove that unscored section so that itself produces a certain amount of time. The second thing we did was in the longer version of the test, which is the current one, there was a break in the midway for around 10 minutes. So we removed that given that the assessment is now shorter, and then we looked at each one of our sections. And over time as technological advances have been made, we have updated our item banks, the question types, so that we are able to measure the same constructs, whether it’s around verbal reasoning or quantitative reasoning with lesser number of questions. So then the third thing that we did was to reduce the number of questions in each of the three sections.

So the main motivation was that you feel that with current technology, current understanding of testing, you needed fewer questions to have a valid test. Is that kind of what was going on? Am I understanding you correctly? [4:52]

Yeah, so look, we always are constantly seeking feedback from our ecosystem, which we define as a, two-sided marketplace. On one side, we have institutions that are consuming the outcome of these assessments as one of the many data points that they use in the decision-making process. And on the other side there is the test taker who is taking the test. And as we all know taking any kind of a test can be a stressful experience for many of us. We’ve all been through that.

And so as we have constantly sought feedback from both sides, this was one of the areas that we wanted to make sure we are incorporating wherever technology has made progress as well as our research methodologies have been updated to reduce the total testing time. So that was to ensure that we have a better test taking experience as well as from the institution side, we have also reduced the time it takes to deliver our results. Previously it used to take around 10 to 15 calendar days, and we are reducing that by roughly half of that. And so the institution as well as obviously the test taker would be able to get the results much sooner, and that’s the start of a journey in our continuous improvement that we are doing.

So this has been in the works for a while. It’s not something that happens suddenly. [6:21]

No, no, it’s not that we woke up one day and said, let’s reduce the-

Exactly. [6:30]

There’s a lot of work that continues to happen over years and months, making sure that we are at a point where we are then able to announce it to the outside world because we have been testing many of these things behind the scenes.

Got it. When is the change occurring? [6:40]

So the test administration starting in September, I’ll look at the actual exact date starting on 22nd of September. Any new administration that is going to happen starting 22nd of September will be this modernized version of the test, the shorter length in time.

Would there be any reason why somebody would want to rush to take the new test? I mean, is prep material out? Are the test prep companies prepared for the change or do they even need to change anything because the test is basically testing the same thing? I think there’s one section you dropped, right? [7:05]

No, we did not drop.

So you didn’t drop any sections. So the content is the same? [7:24]

Exactly. So the content is the same. We have reduced the number of items in each of the content. So I think what you were probably referring to is in the analytical writing section, we used to have two items and we dropped one of those items. But look, I think as people who are preparing for this assessment, if they feel that they are ready, they’ve done the right preparation and they have scheduled their exam in the next couple of months before September 22nd, they should go ahead and take it. There’s no reason to wait. But for those who are starting the preparation and also have the flexibility or the schools for which they’re applying, when is the deadline perhaps always taking a shorter test is more palatable to some folks. And so-

A lot of folks. [8:13]

A lot of folks, so they may choose to wait a bit, but there’s no difference from a test prep standpoint because even those who are in the test prep business so to speak, it’s the same items. It’s just item types have been reduced.



Now, one of the trends in higher ed, certainly since 2020, but I think it even started before that, is to move away from testing. And more and more graduate programs have gone test optional or are issuing test waivers or are simply not requiring a test, and they’re sometimes criticized for increasing inequity and lack of diversity in higher education. Two questions. First, what are the benefits of having a test and test score for applicants when the test is optional or waivers or issued? And then we’ll get to the equity question next. [18:06]

Great. So we strongly believe, and this has been the feedback also that we have gotten from several candidates that have taken the GRE, that GRE scores enable prospective applicants to differentiate themselves from other applicants in the field. So that is clearly one advantage, a person, whether a GRE score could be getting as their application is being evaluated, that they have a GRE score, which is a great indicator of their graduate level readiness. I think the second is I also feel that as you embark on this grad, any kind of a graduate program, it is a commitment you’re making to yourself. It’s a financial commitment, it’s a social commitment. It’s going to change your life around it.

And so you need to also make sure that you are confident that you are ready for graduate level work or not. And I would argue that those are two things for which we would strongly encourage people to think about it, and especially on the first one, as you stand amongst a pool of applicants. We have also heard anecdotally from many of our candidates that it has helped them in many cases to be considered for additional scholarships of financial aid, everything else being equal. As you can imagine, it’s a very competitive world out there. You want to stand out in a crowded field.

I would like to add one, if you don’t mind. [20:08]

Yeah, please go ahead.

And that is, if somebody, let’s say was immature in college and their grades were not the best maybe until their senior year or they weren’t the best, one of the ways of showing academic aptitude on the graduate level is to take the GRE and get a good score. [20:11]

Absolutely. No, thank you. Thank you. You hit the nail on the head on many cases where people, for variety of reasons, undergraduate education did not pan out as expected, like you said. And that is a great point, Linda.

So now getting to the equity question. Again, aptitude tests are sometimes criticized for increasing inequity. How would you respond to that concern? [20:43]

I would say that we need to take a step back as a society and in this particular issue of why are tests being made optional. And I would argue that it is at this point largely a US institution phenomena. And it is largely driven by, I would say, commercial decision-making as we are all aware that the higher education institutions in the US are seeing an enrollment decline. And part of the variety of reasons behind that, and that will probably require another podcast, but part of it is the high cost of education. And as a result, people, whether they are able to see the return on their investment in education or not, we still strongly believe that long-term education is a great investment in somebody’s own future. And so if you are an admissions director or even a vice chancellor at a particular institution and you are looking at how do I get more students, you want to remove every friction point that is there in the process.

And so many of the decisions around, not all, but many of the decisions around making test optional or waiving a particular assessment is driven because of that. Now, having said that, I think we as key players in this assessment space also recognize our responsibility to ensure that we continue to improve upon and remove any unintended biases that may be there in our assessments. Obviously, our assessments go through so many different levels of rigor and testing before we put an item out, but at the same time, we also recognize just like every other human being who’s writing an assessment, there could be inherent biases that people may or may not be aware of. So we are constantly, and we made a commitment that as with every new version that is out, we are reducing if there are any biases out there. But I think to also take a very utopian view and say that just removing the assessment improves equity levels as well as access for all, I think is also taking a very simplistic view of the whole issue.

Maybe throwing out the baby with the bath water. [23:04] 

Yeah, thank you. You said that. But no, look, I think it is a complex issue. On one hand, we want to make sure that more people have access to education. And so, one of the things that we do is people who may be coming from economically weaker sections of society and for variety of reasons, if they cannot afford to even pay for the assessment, which is just a few hundred dollars compared to tens of thousands of dollars for the actual study, we have a process through which people can apply for waiver or reduced fee. So we’re doing our bit to make sure that we don’t become that hindrance in somebody’s access to higher education. But at the same time, it’s a broader societal issue that we all need to grapple with. Because on the other hand, if you look at countries outside of the US where there are regions of the world where assessments are just on the norm, that’s one way to ensure that you are ensuring “meritocracy” in the system that you are taking in the best and the brightest on certain fields as an example.

All right, let’s change it a little bit. Now that we’ve, I think covered the new test, do you have any GRE prep tips for our listeners? [24:07]

Yes, absolutely. So I would say you should always, best to start with a practice test because it’s taking almost like a diagnostic and seeing where you stand. And that will also then allow you to focus on your preparation because depending on what has been your background, your undergraduate field of study, the kind of work that you’ve done, you may be stronger in certain areas compared to other areas. And so by taking a practice test where the gaps are so as to speak, and then you can focus your test prep on closing those gaps. Other tips include –  education is a discipline, so even preparing for any kind of an assessment is getting ready for that marathon. So set a schedule, try to stick to that schedule. It’s always important to do that. And then taking advantage of the resources that we offer, we have several free resources, including our monthly test prep workshop. We have the GRE mentor course, we have our practice test. Many resources are free, some are available for purchase as well, but you can always look it up on our website at [url=][/url].

What would you have liked me to ask you? [25:32]

We are in the assessment industry, so perhaps let’s chat about the future of assessment where assessments are going.

Where are they going? That’s a great one. I wish, I would’ve thought of that one. [25:47]

It is evolving to be fair. Assessments are going through a change. What we have started here with the GRE, and we are also doing it with some of our other assessments is first improving the test-taker experience. We want to make sure that the test-taker historically has been a secondary actor in the whole assessment space, and we are making sure that we are improving the test-taker experience. This change that we have done in terms of shortening is just one of the first of many steps that we are going to continue to do to improve the test-taker experience. But as we think about any kind of improvements that we do also will need to continue to come along with the relevant reliability and validity of the test. 

So as we think about where the future of assessments are going, Linda, I think that summative assessments, this is high stakes, sometimes called high stakes or summative assessments, there’ll always be a role for these assessments for purposes like an admissions, which is a life-changing event and hence high stakes. But there’s also a growing need for formative assessments to measure many other skills. So in some ways what we largely talk about in assessments like the GRE or cognitive skills, your verbal reasoning, your critical thinking, but there are also other skills that are equally important to make sure that the person is successful in any endeavor that they’re taking. Whether these are other kinds of what we call the affective skills. These are skills that are around things like can you recognize emotions? Do you have empathy? Can you regulate your emotions? But also, there’s affective, there’s behavioral skills like things like leadership, your perseverance, and then the core cognitive skills around like we talked about, your critical thinking, problem solving and things of that nature.

So assessments are going through an evolution where there’s going to be more of formative assessments. That means that early enough, making sure that they are regular dipsticks that are happening, that can give you feedback around where the gaps are so that you can work to close that gap rather than just providing a score at the end. But then also expanding the scope of assessments from just pure cognitive to other areas of skills measurement that have been very difficult and hard to measure historically. And that’s where we are also putting a lot of research into making sure that we are coming up with those constructs that can measure those in the right environment.

Fascinating. I[url=] interviewed a few months ago Dr. Kelly Dore[/url], who’s the developer of a situational judgment test used by medical school admissions. And I think in medical school there is a lot of development experimentation, innovation because they’re also trying very hard to test competencies as opposed to just specific knowledge. And again, you have the whole situational judgment test that they’re using as a supplement to the MCAT. [28:29]

Correct. So again, in that situation, I think there is not going to be one silver bullet that you have one assessment that gives you everything that you need to know about somebody. I think a combination of things that used in the right conjunction can provide enough insight into a candidate or a candidacy of somebody that allows you to make a decision with better confidence. That’s what these assessments are supposed to do.

Do you see assessments ever being used by individuals as a way to guide them in a decision-making process. In other words, if you’re going to be assessing leadership skills or teamwork skills or some affective element factor in your own development, would you want to know what area needs work? [29:31]

Absolutely. And we’ll see a lot of movement towards that… The same way we’ve been talking about the whole re-skilling, upskilling revolution that is happening. It’s not necessarily going to be confined to technical areas. Yes, you need to know about the latest ChatGPT and how to deploy that. But at the same time, if you’re not able to then deploy it in the context of an organization where you have to not just solve for a problem, but you have to do collaborative problem solving, then you’ll only be so much successful. And so I think people who are more self-aware, understanding and some things are more, as they say, your personality, right? Which there’s an argument that personality is difficult to change, and that is true for a large extent. But I think being aware of what your personality is and how you behave in certain circumstances, that awareness itself for people is a very key step in their own development.

Because if I behave a certain way under stress, then I know that if I do certain things when I’m under a stressful situation, at least I’m aware of it. So that when I’m in a professional setting and it’s a stressful situation, I’m making a mental note to myself that don’t bite my fingers or don’t shout at somebody as an example, whatever the case may be. And so I think that is going to be very important to people who have that level of self-awareness, in my view, are going to be much more successful. And part of that is to understand and to understand. You need to “assess”.

That’s fascinating. I’m so glad you asked that question. Thank you, Rohit. In addition to, thank you for that last question and answer, I want to thank you for joining me today. It’s been a delightful conversation, utterly fascinating. 

Where can listeners and test takers learn more about the new GRE and the prep materials that ETS offers? [31:36]

Listeners can go to [url=][/url] to learn about the new GRE and then to [url=][/url] to get access to the test materials, to the test prep materials.


[b]Relevant Links:[/b]

[*][url=]ETS GRE[/url][/*]

[*][url=]About the Shorter GRE[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Free GRE prep materials[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Shorter GRE Test Coming September 2023[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Fitting In & Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions[/url][/*]

[b]Relevant shows:[/b]

[*][url=]Testing, Testing, 1-2-3: What’s the Right Test Prep For You?[/url] – podcast Episode 443[/*]

[*][url=]Crush the Test by Crushing Your Test Anxiety [/url]– podcast Episode 521[/*]

[*][url=]How to Eliminate Test Anxiety[/url] – podcast Episode 427[/*]

[*][url=]What’s New at Cornell’s Masters in Engineering Management – podcast Episode 516[/url][/*]




Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top colleges and universities for 25 years. Our team of admissions consultants features former admissions committee members and highly experienced college admissions consultants who have guided our clients to admission at top programs including Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, University of Chicago, and Yale. [url=][b]Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/b][/url]

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

The post [url=]All You Need to Know About the New, Shorter GRE [Episode 531][/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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What SCOTUS Decision on Affirmative Action Means for Applicants [#permalink]
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FROM Blog: What SCOTUS Decision on Affirmative Action Means for Applicants

Most higher education institutions promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as core values attached to their institutional mission, because doing so is crucial for ensuring a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff. Best practice recommends that DEI senior officers answer directly to a university or college’s president, thereby ensuring that DEI concerns have representation and an enduring voice in leadership matters. Schools’ DEI officers design and implement strategies to promote diversity and inclusion, address issues of bias and discrimination, and develop policies and practices that promote equity and fairness on campus. Some schools pair DEI initiatives with Title IX initiatives (Title IX assures gender equity on college campuses) and antidiscrimination human resources procedures related to disability, age, pay, gender, and hiring practices. 

DEI initiatives promote social justice as a value that is actionable; decisions are made and actions taken to remodel institutional infrastructure so that it aligns with improving all students’ well-being, safety, access to opportunity, and rights to an education for an increasingly diverse student population. DEI also promotes cultural diversity via campus activities such as multicultural events, celebrations, and programs built with diversity and inclusion at their core.

However, as of June 30, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a suit brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina in which an organization named Students for Fair Admissions alleged that both universities discriminated against Asian Americans, a minority group that is largely represented in higher education. The Supreme Court decided that higher education must not consider race in the admissions process. Let us look for a moment at the history of this workplace and educational equity issue. 

In the early 1960s, the civil rights movement advocated for equal rights and opportunities for marginalized groups, particularly African Americans. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, which introduced the concept of affirmative action in the workforce. This order required government contractors to ensure that individuals were employed without regard to their race, color, religion, or national origin. It aimed to promote equal opportunity and to address discrimination in the workplace.

This executive order laid the foundation for future affirmative action policies, taking steps to eliminate discriminatory practices and promote equal employment opportunities. Since 1961, higher education policies and practices have aimed to increase access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in admissions. Colleges and universities began to examine demographic deterrents to education and opportunity, turning them into favorable factors in the admissions process to promote diversity and address historical inequality. By considering an applicant’s background, universities can acknowledge and address the systemic barriers and disadvantages certain racial and ethnic groups face, ultimately striving for a more equitable education system.

In the 2016 Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the affirmative action policy of the university was challenged. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the university, affirming the constitutionality of its admissions process. The case highlighted the positive impact of affirmative action on promoting diversity and educational benefits. The University of Texas argued that considering race to create a diverse student body enriched the learning environment. The school presented evidence that its affirmative action policy had contributed to increased minority enrollment and improved campus climate.

Until recently, diversity in higher education was a compelling state interest, recognizing the educational benefits of a diverse student body, including improved critical thinking, cross-cultural understanding, and preparing students to excel in a diverse workforce. However, nine states already had laws or referendums barring affirmative action at public universities. 

Today, it’s federal law, which applies everywhere.

Now what? Many newspapers are already citing statements released by major institutions of higher education, such as Harvard, that establish the unflinching value of diversity in higher education. Harvard’s senior officers and deans signed this decree, “We . . . reaffirm the fundamental principle that deep and transformative teaching, learning, and research depend upon a community comprising people of many backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences.” Moving forward, Harvard will still “preserve, consistent with the Court’s new precedent, our essential values” for diversity and equity. Meanwhile, The New Yorker magazine contextualizes this ruling as cause for a proper obituary for affirmative action, with the caveat that the health of affirmative action had been in decline for years.

The law will begin to play itself out with next year’s college and graduate program applicants, beginning with early decision candidates this fall. Multiple news sources anticipate that admissions committees will adapt to this ruling by asking applicants to share their or their family’s stories related to challenges and disadvantages. In doing so, stories of poverty, hardship, immigrant struggles or triumphs, and first-generation challenges or achievements would likely provide an important pathway toward preserving a value for diversity in higher education. Accepted’s founder Linda Abraham weighed in on Poets&Quants, saying, “Admissions offices still value diversity, equity and inclusion, and admissions offices for years have maintained that diversity doesn’t exclusively mean race and ethnicity. Instead of relying on a box ticked with a specific race or ethnicity, adcoms will seek the qualities and experiences that contribute to diversity and inclusiveness. They will still strive to create the rich and diverse learning environment that they value.” She then added, “Business schools have been preparing for the possibility that race-based affirmative action will be struck down by SCOTUS. They have prepared by asking questions that don’t ask about race but do ask about the attributes and character strength that come from overcoming challenges, prejudice, and/or hardship or about experiences contributing to or creating an inclusive environment.” 

In 1996, when California banned affirmative action in higher education, the state’s public universities initially felt the backlash of prohibitive access to education among students of color, which might just serve as a litmus test for what’s to come nationally. In time, California was able to reacclimate and improve the enrollment of minority students once again. 

It is likely that the Supreme Court ruling will ripple notably and adversely through the admissions processes at the more competitive colleges, universities, and elite private schools, triggering a backsliding to a time when access to superior education was based on unimpeded legacy or meritocracy – both of which bolster institutional bias that privilege white privilege – reestablishing institutional barriers that undermine social justice, which is what Harvard is trying to stand against. For now, we will wait and see whether schools adjust their essay questions, parts of their application, or even the interview. Stay tuned to the Accepted blog as we bring you our advice during these changing times in the world of admissions.  

Higher education accreditors, including the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, have standards related to diversity and inclusion that institutions must meet to maintain their accreditation. Consequently, a majority of private colleges now elect to keep in step with state legislation that requires DEI initiatives at institutions of higher learning. Additionally, DEI policies that help colleges create a more inclusive and equitable environment can lead to better outcomes for all students, including increased retention rates, higher graduation rates, and improved academic performance.

DEI does not change affirmative action legislation, which allows race to be a component in college admissions decisions. 

Dr. Mary Mahoney, PhD, is the medical humanities director at Elmira College and has more than 20 years of experience as an advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. She is a tenured English professor with an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in literature and writing from the University of Houston. For the past 20 years, Mary has served as a grad school advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. Want Mary to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

What SCOTUS Decision on Affirmative Action Means for Applicants [BONUS Podcast Episode] – July 13, 2023

In this bonus Admissions Straight Talk podcast episode, Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted, discusses what applicants should make of the recent SCOTUS decision to reverse affirmative action.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued two decisions that have essentially ended race-conscious admissions decisions. I’ve decided to provide a brief bonus episode to discuss implications for graduate school applicants and what applicants should do in response to these decisions. 

I’m not going to praise or condemn the Supreme Court’s decision. I’m just going to give my advice based on 25 years, almost 30 years as an admissions consultant, regarding the decisions, implications for applicants, and therefore how applicants should respond. Keep in mind that I have interviewed probably hundreds of admissions directors at this point, both through Admissions Straight Talk and through our old text-only chats in the 2000s. So I feel qualified to give this advice and share my opinion. 

I hope I’m not going to shock too many people here, but I realize I’m in the minority. I do not believe that the Supreme Court’s recent decision is going to mean massive changes in the graduate admissions landscape.

So whether you were applauding the decision and jumping up and down for joy or despondent because you think it’s a very bad decision, I would suggest that you not be taken in by the hype and the hand-wringing. 

Four reasons I think this decision won’t make a dramatic difference in admissions [1:52]

Here’s why I do not believe that the recent decisions are going to devastate diversity or really dramatically change the admissions landscape. 

1. Diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity [2:00]

Admissions offices for years have said that the diversity they seek is about much more than race and ethnicity. It’s about different perspectives, varied life experiences, and a diversity of thoughts and opinions. If that is really true and has been true, then this decision should not change all that much. 

2. Diversity is a high priority in graduate schools [2:22]

Graduate schools at all levels and specifically the people evaluating applications will still value diversity of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, thought, ideas, experiences, et cetera. They feel it is a high if not the highest, priority in creating their classes and communities.

That has not changed. Nothing that happened in the Supreme Court’s decision has changed the values or the perspective of the people evaluating your application. Notice they’re going to want to stay on the right side of the law and the Supreme Court decision, but they still have their values and perspectives. 

As I told the MBA admission site Poets&Quants, “Instead of relying on a box ticked with a specific race or ethnicity, ADCOM will seek the qualities and experiences that contributed to diversity and inclusiveness. They will strive to create the rich and diverse learning environment that they value.”

3. Schools have been anticipating this decision [3:26]

Schools have been preparing for this anticipated Supreme Court decision for a long time. How have they done so? They’ve added questions that elicit information designed to reflect both ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.

For example, AMCAS added this year its other impactful experiences essay. This is a little bit broader and it is less focused on ethnicity and is designed to elicit the qualities that schools value. And it asks, “Have you overcome challenges or obstacles in your life that you would like to describe in more detail? This could include lived experiences related to your family background, financial background, community setting, educational experiences, and/or other life circumstances.”

That would be a perfect opportunity for somebody to discuss how coming from an underrepresented group, facing certain cultural challenges, and being the other for any variety of reasons could make them a better doctor, more empathic, more sympathetic, perhaps a better listener, and perhaps more culturally attuned to different cultures because they have been a different culture. 

Many secondary applications to medical school ask about contributions, diversity, equity, and inclusivity, or lived experiences with systemic racism and inequity. That is your opportunity to address those issues in ways that will show you have the experience to both contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to add a specific dimension to your class. MBA programs, including Darden, UT McCombs, UC Berkeley, Haas, UCLA Anderson, Chicago Booth, Columbia Business School, and Wharton, have questions that encourage applicants to show the strength of character, resilience, persistence, and attributes that come from overcoming hardships and challenges. By the way, that is not limited to any specific race or ethnic group. 

Law schools allow for addenda. Some specifically ask for information about challenges overcome or diversity. For example, Georgetown Law and UC Berkeley Law are among the many law schools that ask for an optional diversity statement. Many other graduate programs ask about contributions to diversity, inclusiveness, and about other information that you may want to share with the admissions committee.

4. Schools conduct holistic reviews [5:56]

Schools are committed to evaluating applications on a holistic basis. Holistic admissions means that there is no formula and no numerical weighting for acceptance. However, there are four key, and I’ve defined them very broadly, ingredients to a successful graduate school application. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

What graduate programs are looking for [6:14]

Graduate programs are looking for four things. 

The first thing is the academic ability to succeed in their program. That is simply foundational. No one wants to admit somebody who’s going to flunk out. You might struggle a little bit, but they really want you to succeed once you’re in there. 

The second thing is goals that their program is well qualified to support, both while in attendance and professionally after completion of whatever degree you’re going for. So if you say you want to practice law, law school is the way to go. If you want to be a clinical physician, then medical school or osteopathic school is the way to go. If you want to be a leader in business, then the MBA is a great way to go. There are an infinite number of graduate degrees, and if you show that their program is going to help you achieve your goals and they support your goals, then that is something that they are looking for. 

The third thing is fit with the program’s mission and values. Look that up when you’re starting to work on your applications for each school. 

The fourth thing is desirable character traits, which almost always include leadership, teamwork, resilience, and persistence. Make sure that in different ways, in different places in your application, whether it’s application essays, the primary application, secondary applications, or supplemental essays, you’re revealing what the schools are looking for. 

Advice for applicants in underrepresented groups [7:57]

My advice to any graduate school applicant, but particularly those applying from historically underrepresented groups, is to show the qualities that schools are looking for. Use the essays asking for impactful experiences, and those that ask for the non-professional and non-academic side of you to show that you have overcome obstacles, are a resilient individual and have contributed to creating inclusive communities. Show that you share the values of the people reading your application.

That isn’t just my opinion, by the way. In a recent Admissions Straight Talk interview provided before the Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision, Dr. Joel Maurer, assistant dean of admissions at the medical school at Michigan State University, advised applicants if on a common application, you are allowed to share personal identities as it relates to demographic information to fill it out. He was anticipating the decision that came down a few weeks after I spoke with him. 

Going back to his comments, and if you also identify in a community in which you believe society has discriminated against you historically and ongoingly, figure out a way to share that if the SCOTUS decision allows you to do so. I think if you don’t, you are making a big mistake.

Furthermore, Harvard’s president, Dr. Lawrence Bacow, in his letter response to the Supreme Court decision, which was also signed by 13 Harvard deans pledged, “The Court held that Harvard College’s admissions system does not comply with the principles of the equal protection clause embodied in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The Court also ruled that colleges and universities may consider in admissions decisions ‘an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.’ We will certainly comply with the Court’s decision.”

Some members of historically underrepresented groups may feel, as Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, which was the Harvard lawsuit, and the similar UNC decision discourages you from applying. Please, please, please don’t feel that way. Don’t be discouraged. Prepare, work hard, give it your best shot, and show that you have the academic ability and the lived experiences that will contribute to your target program’s class, community, and ultimately its reputation. 

Many critics of last week’s Supreme Court decision point to the experience of the University of California after California passed Proposition 209, also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative, way back in 1996. That initiative prohibited public universities from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in admissions decisions.

There was an immediate and sharp drop in USC’s undergraduate enrollment from historically underrepresented groups when the initiative took effect. 

Critics of the SCOTUS position and also of my position that this is not going to have an enormous impact, point to that example immediately. However, I looked at 2022 stats for enrollment in full-time MBA, MD, and JD programs at the University of Southern California and Stanford, both private and unaffected by Proposition 209 and located in California. And I compared enrollment in those programs at those two universities with enrollment stats for UCLA and UC Berkeley and for the medical school. I used UCSF to compare the stats for underrepresented groups. 

I found that there was no consistent difference between the private institutions, which were practicing affirmative action, and the public ones, which had to rely on holistic admissions to diversify their classes. In fact, UCLA and UCSF medical schools had distinctly higher percentage enrollments of African-American, Native American, and Hispanic students than did Stanford and USC medical schools, the private medical schools that could have and did have affirmative action. The MBA programs I examined were inconsistent. In other words, well, you couldn’t draw any conclusion from the four that I looked at. The public law schools had a slightly higher percentage of minority enrollment than the private ones did. 

When people talk about the experience of California’s UCs in 1996, especially when you’re talking about graduate school, I would say we need to look at the states that forbade affirmative action like California or Michigan, versus the private institutions in those states. Was there a difference? 

I took a quick look at those four schools, and what I saw either showed that the public institutions did better in terms of racial and ethnic diversity or there was no significant difference. 

If you are a member of an underrepresented group, do not be discouraged by the hype about the end of race-conscious admissions and the absence of formal affirmative action programs and applying to graduate school. I don’t think much is going to change.

Choose the programs that support your goals and where you are competitive, then show that you belong at those programs. You don’t need to reject yourself. Let the schools do it, or better yet, let them admit you because you’re a great candidate and you’re going to add to their class and community. 

Advice for applicants in well-represented groups [13:17]

For those of you in well-represented groups, you also need to show that you share the values and have the experiences schools value. That hasn’t changed, and it is not going to change in the foreseeable future. Whether you belong to an underrepresented group or an overrepresented group in admissions, the consultants at Accepted are here to assist you in putting your best foot forward, including showing that you have the qualifications and the qualities that admissions committees have sought and will continue to seek in the students that they admit to top graduate programs and professional schools.

Related Resources:

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FROM Blog: UC Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024], Class Profile


While the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, has made it very clear that applicants need outstanding academics to get in, the program will not compromise its values to maintain it high stats. Haas’s four Defining Leadership Principles are taken very seriously by the school’s administration and admissions team. You will need to show that you share and live by those principles if you are to receive serious consideration as an candidate. The four principles are as follows:

[*]Question the Status Quo

[*]Confidence Without Attitude

[*]Students Always

[*]Beyond Yourself[/*]

Keep those principles very much at the forefront of your mind as you prepare your Haas application.

Ready to get to work on your Haas application? Read on. 

[*][url=]Haas application essay tips[/url][/*]

[*][url=]Haas application deadlines [/url][/*]

[*][url=]Haas class profile[/url][/*]

Haas application essay tips

Haas Essay #1

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Just reading this question excites me because it conjures up memories of my first SCUBA dive, playing tag with my stepsons when they were children, singing songs with my dad when he was ill, laughing until I cried at my husband’s jokes, and getting legislation passed that helps cancer patients live better lives. These are just some of the things that give my life meaning and purpose. 

So sit back and relax before you start writing this essay. Take some time to really consider the things that put a smile on your face. Is it spending time in nature? Being in nature helps us not only de-stress but also appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Is creating something new what makes you feel alive? Writing a poem, playing the guitar, painting a picture (or a house), building furniture, gardening – these can all be enriching experiences. Creating something from nothing allows us to express ourselves and share our talents. Does helping others make you happy? Making a difference helps us feel good about ourselves, enables us to connect, and builds strong relationships. 

Whatever your “it” is, it can be as common as a morning run or as unique as walking a tightrope – or as tasty as making barbeque sauce (for Ted Lasso fans). Regardless, it’s an activity you repeat because you just can get enough of it. It fills you with energy, love, and a need for “it” in your life. So, don’t try to guess what you THINK the adcom wants to read and write about that. The truth is that they want to read about your authentic self. Be descriptive so they can be in the moment or activity with you. And remember to write about why your “it” makes you feel alive, because the “why” is more important than the “it.”

Haas Essay #2

How will an MBA help you achieve your short-term and long-term career goals? (300 words max)

To write this essay well, you must first understand and share [url=]Haas’s four Defining Leadership Principles[/url] (as presented on the Haas website): 

[*]Question the Status Quo: We thrive at the epicenter of innovation. We make progress by speaking our minds even when it challenges convention. We lead by championing bold ideas and taking intelligent risks.[/*]

[*]Confidence Without Attitude: We make decisions based on evidence and analysis, giving us the confidence to act with humility. We foster collaboration by building a foundation of empathy, inclusion, and trust.[/*]

[*]Students Always: We are a community designed to support curiosity. We actively seek out diverse perspectives as part of our lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth. There is always more to learn.[/*]

[*]Beyond Yourself: We shape our world by leading ethically and responsibly. As stewards of our enterprises, we take the longer view in our decisions and actions. This often means putting the collective good above our own interests.[/*]

I recommend one of two approaches:

1.     Start by describing your long-term goal, and then explain how your short-term goal, combined with a Berkeley MBA education, with help you achieve it.

2.     Start by describing your short-term goal and build toward your long-term goal, explaining how a Berkeley education would be the catalyst to achieve both goals.

With respect to your short-term goal, be realistic. As for your long-term goal, consider the big problems you want to solve using business tools. 

Regardless of how you start your essay, be sure to address how Haas’s four principles align with your goals. Since they only give you room for 300 words and you need to discuss how Haas’s resources will enable you to become a better leader, you can focus on one or two principles on which to elaborate. You will have an opportunity later in Haas’s video essay to elaborate on another principle.

Discuss how Berkeley Haas’s curriculum and resources can help you achieve your goals. For example, you could discuss how the program’s strong focus on entrepreneurship can help you launch your own business, or how its commitment to social impact can help your future company solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Also, explain how Berkeley Haas’s unique culture can help you develop into a better leader. For example, you could discuss how Haas’s emphasis on collaboration and teamwork can help you build stronger relationships with your colleagues, or how its commitment to diversity and inclusion can help you become a more inclusive leader.

Finally, summarize why Haas excites you most and how you will grow personally and professionally by earning a Berkeley MBA.

Haas Essay #3 (Video)

The Berkeley MBA program develops leaders who embody our four [url=]Defining Leadership Principles[/url]. Briefly introduce yourself to the admissions committee, explain which leadership principle resonates most with you, and tell us how you have exemplified the principle in your personal or professional life. (Not to exceed 2 minutes.)

Berkeley Haas has joined other MBA programs in asking applicants to submit a personal video. With a video, Haas accomplishes several things:

[*]The admissions committee is able to see and hear the applicant in action. They get to assess the individual’s communications skills, personality, energy, and overall fit before they request an interview. Videos cut down on the resources the school needs to conduct interviews.[/*]

[*] Each member of the admissions committee can review the video, and the team can then discuss it, whereas they must rely on just one person’s opinion and notes with an interview. The video makes the process more comprehensive and universal.[/*]

[*]The committee can evaluate the applicant’s creativity and originality.[/*]

[*]It can make the process more personal for the committee.[/*]

[*]The committee can analyze how the applicant shares their chosen defining leadership principle.[/*]

As for how to approach the video, you’ll need to start by identifying which [url=]principle[/url] you want to address. Review the school’s list, and keep in mind any that you have already discussed in your written essays for the school. 

When the time comes to record your video, briefly introduce yourself to the committee in [b]30 seconds or less[/b]. Remember, you have only two minutes for the entire video! Explain why you are interested in attending Haas. The adcom wants to get to know you, so include a little color in your background, and don’t mention things they can learn from your resume or other parts of your application.

Then, note the leadership principle that resonates most with you, and explain why it is meaningful to you. The entire defining principle section should take [b]45-60 seconds.[/b]

Next, describe how you have exemplified the principle in your personal or professional life. Use the STAR format to do this:

S = situation (the background)

T = task (the goal)

A = Action (how you solved the problem or enhance an issue)

R = Result (what the quantifiable outcome was)

[b]Do not exceed two minutes![/b]

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

[*]Be yourself: The admissions committee wants to get to know the real you, so be yourself in your video. Don’t try to present yourself as someone you’re not.[/*]

[*]Be natural: Don’t try to memorize your lines or read from a script. Just act and speak naturally.[/*]

[*]Be positive: The admissions committee wants to see that you’re excited about attending their school. So be upbeat and enthusiastic.[/*]

[*]Be concise: Keep your video short and to the point – no more than two minutes.[/*]

[*]Practice, practice, practice: Rehearse over and over again for your video before you submit it. Practicing will help you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Most of my clients do 10-30 takes.[/*]

[*]Invest time: Take the time to make a well-crafted video that showcases your best qualities.[/*]

[*]Use good lighting: Light the room well. Consider using a circle light if you have one. [/*]

[*]Reduce distractions: Make sure there’s not a lot of outside or background noise.[/*]

Haas Essay #4 (Short Answer)

Can you please describe any experience or exposure you have in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging whether through community organizations, personal, or in the workplace? (150 words max)

To craft your response to this prompt, we suggest beginning by discussing the importance of inclusion. Then, provide evidence to support your claim by using the STAR format (explained in our guidance for Haas’s video [Essay #3]). Regardless of your answer, make sure to explain how inclusion can help create a sense of belonging for everyone and how diversity helps make both teams and organizations stronger.

Haas Optional Essays

The admissions team takes a holistic approach to application review and seeks to understand all aspects of a candidate’s character, qualifications, and experiences. We will consider achievements in the context of the opportunities available to a candidate. Some applicants may have faced hardships or unusual life circumstances, and we will consider the maturity, perseverance, and thoughtfulness with which they have responded to and/or overcome them.

Optional Information #1

We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements.

Berkeley Haas is committed to diversity and inclusion, fairness and equity, leadership and innovation, and of course, social impact. The adcom wants to understand the challenges you have faced, the obstacles you have overcome, and the injustices you have defeated to get to where you are today. 

For example, were you raised in a single-parent household? If so, how did that impact your decisions later in life? Are you an immigrant or an international student whose parents arranged your marriage when you were just 2 years old? Have you had to work to help your family thrive since you were 10 years old? Are you a first-generation college student, and if so, what does it mean for your family to see you go to graduate school? While these situations might have affected your grades or test scores, the key to this essay is demonstrating that despite your circumstances, you have beat the odds.

If you have not faced obstacles in your life, describe your commitment to working toward a more just and equitable society. How did this kind of thinking develop in you? Did you discuss social issues at the dinner table? Did you march against (or for) Dobbs? Have you composted and recycled your garbage since the age of 7 in hopes of leaving a better climate for your future children and your children’s children? Did you foster animals during the pandemic (yes, animals deserve fairness, too)? Do you advocate for legislation that will help the elderly or infirm? Have you started or are active in an NGO that educates children who can’t afford a proper education?

As you answer this essay question, consider the following:

[*]Your involvement in community organizations that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging[/*]

[*]Your efforts in the workplace to create a more inclusive environment[/*]

[*]Your belief that everyone deserves to feel welcome and respected, regardless of their background or identity[/*]

Optional Information #2 

This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

Haas’s optional essay #2 allows you to ensure that the admissions committee does not have to guess the reasons behind any of the following situations (or a similar one):

[*]You had terrible grades in your first year at university (Perhaps your parent became ill, and you flew back and forth to care for them, or you worked 30 hours/week to make ends meet.)[/*]

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

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

If you have multiple excuses, take care to not sound whiney. Instead, discuss how you have rebounded from poor grades or can demonstrate how you will perform well in grad school courses because you have taken additional coursework and received As.

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

Haas application deadlines

[b]Application Deadline[/b][b]Decision Notification[/b]Round 1September 14, 2023December 7, 2023Round 2January 4, 2024March 21, 2024Round 3March 28, 2024May 2, 2024

Source: The deadline chart can be viewed inside [url=]Berkeley Haas’ online MBA application[/url].

Haas class profile

Here is a look at the UC Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the [url=]Haas website[/url]).

Class size: 247

U.S. minority: 45%

Underrepresented minority: 17%

Female: 46%

LGBTQ+: 16%

Veterans: 4%

Average years of work experience: 5.6

Middle 80% range of years of work experience: 3.2-8.2

International: 41%

Countries represented: 45

Average undergrad GPA: 3.64

Middle 80% range undergrad GPA: 3.4-3.92 

Undergraduate majors:

[*]Engineering: 23%[/*]

[*]Economics: 15%[/*]

[*]Social Sciences: 15%[/*]

[*]Business/Commerce: 13%[/*]

[*]Other: 11%[/*]

[*]Finance: 6%[/*]

[*]Natural Sciences: 5%[/*]

[*]Arts/Humanities: 4%[/*]

[*]Math/Physical Sciences: 4%[/*]

[*]Computer Science 3%[/*]

Average GMAT score: 729

Median GMAT score: 730

Middle 80% range GMAT score: 700-760

Average GRE Verbal score: 161

Median GRE Verbal score: 162

Middle 80% range GRE Verbal score: 153-167

Average GRE Quant score: 163

Median GRE Quant score: 163

Middle 80% range GRE Quant score: 155-169

Pre-MBA industries:

[*]Consulting: 23%[/*]

[*]Financial Services: 18%[/*]

[*]Other: 15%[/*]

[*]High Technology/Electronics: 13%[/*]

[*]Health/Pharma/Biotech: 9%[/*]

[*]Not-for-Profit: 6%[/*]

[*]Energy: 5%[/*]

[*]Consumer Products/Retail: 4%[/*]

[*]Real Estate: 4%[/*]

[*]Military: 3%[/*]

Which MBA program is right for you? Want to know which schools to target for your best chance of admission? Check out these resources to help you make your decision:

[*][url=][b]Top STEM MBA Programs: A Comprehensive List and Overview of STEM-OPT Eligible B-Schools [/b][b][/b][/url][/*]

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

[b]Getting into Haas, or any other top-tier MBA program, is a very competitive process. Our [url=]MBA Application Packages[/url] include all the resources and support you need to get you there. We’ll match you with an experienced admissions consultant who will work with you one-on-one to create an outstanding application and prepare you to ace your interview. So give yourself an edge, and get ACCEPTED![/b]


By Natalie Grinblatt, a 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=]Want Natalie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]Leadership in Admissions[/url], a free guide[/*]

[*][url=]Four Tips for Displaying Teamwork in Your Application Essay[/url]s[/*]

[*][url=]Admissions Straight Talk Podcast for MBA Applicants[/url][/*]
The post [url=]UC Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024], Class Profile[/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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FROM Blog: London Business School MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024]

If you are looking for a globally focused MBA program in a city bursting with culture, finance, and industry, then London Business School (LBS) is certainly one to consider. 

Strong applications to LBS demonstrate applicants’ global interest (even without global experience, per se), curiosity to learn alongside people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and a passion for impact.

Ready to get to work on your LBS application? Read on.

London Business School application essay tips

LBS required essay question

What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)

This question is a mainstay in the LBS application – a straightforward career goals question. You need to demonstrate in the first paragraph that you know what you want to be doing after the MBA, and it had better excite LBS. They are looking for applicants who have a global outlook, are committed to challenging the status quo, and want to make an impact on business.

In general, I find that for this essay, you should apply one-third of the word limit to defining your goal, one-third to summarizing what you have gained from your career and how it has prepared you for your intended career path, and one-third to how the LBS education will complement that experience to propel you to attain your goals. Please note that devoting one-third to each section is a guideline, however, not a rigid rule.

London Business School optional essay question

Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)

LBS has allotted a decent amount of space for this essay, which is a subtle hint that the adcom is open to hearing more from applicants here. I always advocate writing the optional essay, but in this case, I highly recommend it because the program’s one required essay gives you limited room in which to share details about your past experiences.

In particular, , changed the status quo, made an impact, or navigated cultural differences would make great stories for this essay if you weren’t able to include them in the required essay.

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

London Business School 2023 – 2024 application deadlines

Consult the London Business School website for the most up to date information.

London Business School class profile

Here’s a look at the LBS MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the LBS website):

Enrollment: 509

Women: 37%

Nationalities represented: 74

Nationality by region:

  • Central/South America: 17%

  • Europe (excluding United Kingdom): 15%

  • North America: 15%

  • South East/East Asia: 15%

  • United Kingdom: 9%

  • Middle East: 7%

  • Oceania: 4%

  • Africa: 3%

Industry backgrounds:

  • Consulting: 30%

  • Finance/Accounting: 25%

  • Other: 10%

  • FMCG/Retail/Luxury Goods/E-commerce: 9%

  • Manufacturing/Engineering/Construction: 6%

  • IT&T: 5%

  • Energy/Power Generation: 5%

  • Automotive/Aerospace/Transport/Logistics: 3%

  • Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals/Biotech: 3%

  • Public Sector/Not for Profit/Education: 3%

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

Related Resources:

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FROM Blog: Georgetown McDonough MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024]



This year, Georgetown requires two essays from all its applicants. Sharing the same structure as last year, the first required essay allows you to choose to answer one of three prompts. The prompts have changed from last year’s, however. The program’s second required essay is again a video essay, with a different prompt this year. The admissions office also provides an optional essay and a reapplicant essay. 

Don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunity to be granted an application fee waiver. You’ll find the details about how to do so in the Application Fee section of McDonough’s [url=]Applications Component page[/url]. 

Ready to get to work on your McDonough application? Read on. 

[*][url=]McDonough application essay tips[/url][/*]

[*][url=]McDonough application deadlines[/url][/*]

[*][url=]McDonough class profile[/url][/*]

McDonough application essay tips

Required essay

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

Each prompt provides a different perspective on your candidacy. When deciding which option to respond to, consider which one resonates with you most and will allow you to showcase yourself best.

Essay Option One – Georgetown Community

Our mission is rooted in Jesuit principles of equality and respect for everyone and an ethos of caring for the whole person. Inclusivity and diversity are core to supporting a community of people with an intersectional understanding of themselves and the world around them. Share how your educational, familial, cultural, economic, social, and/or other individual life experiences will contribute to the diversity of perspectives and ideas at Georgetown University.

Community is a vital aspect of any MBA program experience, and Georgetown’s Jesuit values underscore the importance of contributing to this community. Throughout your life, you have had many experiences that have shaped who you are and are the basis for your unique perspectives and ideas. This essay provides an opportunity to consider your most impactful experiences, how they influenced you, and how you will add value to your community because of them. Consider how your presence and contributions to the community will enrich your classmates.

​Essay Option Two – Leave Your Legacy

Commitment to service and community is an important value that Hoyas share across Georgetown McDonough’s 40+ MBA student-run clubs and organizations, nine centers and initiatives, and various other co-curricular activities. What do you want your legacy to be as a McDonough student and alumni? Be as specific as possible.

Perhaps when you were talking with a McDonough graduate or student about an activity they were involved in, you immediately thought, “That is absolutely something I want to be a part of and would like to take it to the next level.” Or, maybe the conversation sparked an idea of something you could introduce to the community. Either way, can you see yourself making a sustainable impact long after you leave the Hilltop? Share your proposed activity or idea, and explain how you came to learn about it. Focus your answer on what your legacy will be, and provide details about how you will make your mark on the McDonough MBA experience.

Essay Option Three – Magis

Magis is a Jesuit value that instills the sense of achieving “more” or “greater” excellence. Share how you achieved magis during a professional experience as evidenced on your resume. Describe why this experience exemplified excellence and what about your involvement (i.e. strengths or skills) contributed to the excellence.  

This essay option allows you to showcase professional excellence from a personal perspective. Not only will you share the experience referenced in the prompt, but you will also describe in detail how you contributed to achieving excellence. Consider whether you want to share an example of a time when you worked with a team versus one in which you were an individual contributor. What does one communicate versus the other? Make sure you share specifics about what YOU did. What motivated you to take the action you took? Did you consider any options? How did you include others in the process? How did you decide to pursue the direction that led to achieving excellence? As the prompt indicates, share strengths, skills, and ideas – and don’t forget to describe the outcome and impact on your organization.

Video Essay

Building a cohort of diverse and unique individuals is important to the admissions team. We want you to bring your whole self to Georgetown McDonough. Throughout the application, we’ve learned about what you would add as a professional and leader. Just as important is learning about your interests outside of work. In one minute, please share 5-10 random facts about yourself that are not on your resume and how these facts contribute to who you are as a professional and leader.

[*]You may use your phone, computer, or other means to record the video, but please ensure all audio and visual components are clear. We recommend a well-lit room and minimal noise distraction. [/*]

[*]The admissions committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video.[/*]

[*]We recommend unscripted, conversational videos – help us get to know the real you![/*]

[*]Upload your video to an accessible website (such as YouTube, Vimeo, Youku, or Tudou), and submit the direct video URL into your online application. [/*]

[*]Please note that all videos must remain active and accessible to the admissions committee online for a minimum of five years for record retention purposes.[/*]

[*]For your privacy: Do not include your name in the title of your video. You may submit “unlisted” videos via YouTube or password protected videos through Vimeo. If using a password, please include immediately after your link in the text box below. [Ex:, password: Hoyas]  [/*]

The great thing about the video essay is that you get to present yourself to the admissions committee. For some, this might be intimidating. But, with preparation and practice, you can confidently submit your video essay. This essay is an opportunity to share facts about your life outside of work and connect them to how you show up professionally and as a leader. As the essay prompt states, your resume does not include the facts you will share in this essay response. There is no wrong answer here, as long as you can tie the fact to how it has shaped you as a professional and a leader. 

The essay allows various adcom members to view your video. Start your essay by briefly introducing yourself, and remember to smile! While it might feel strange, given that you are talking to the camera, smiling will help you come across as warm and friendly. If it helps, imagine you are sharing your facts with a friend instead of the admissions committee. Remember, you want the recording to capture your authenticity so the viewer can imagine you as a member of the McDonough community!  

For example: “I work with a local youth group, and each summer, we take the group on a white water rafting trip on the Youghiogheny River. I enjoy working with kids unsure of their ability to complete the journey. I enjoy coaching them and helping them realize that they can learn how to work with the others in their group to maneuver that raft on the rapids. I take this same approach at work, supporting new hires on my team to find their footing in a new environment and helping them achieve success in their roles.”

Here are some practical tips to remember when recording your video:

[*]Prepare at least five and no more than ten facts to share in the 60 seconds.[/*]

[*]Write a few bullet points to help you recall the experience you will discuss.[/*]

[*]Do not read from a script. You want to come across as relaxed and conversational.  [/*]

[*]Start the essay by briefly introducing yourself – and remember to smile! [/*]

[*]Practice your essay, recording yourself, and review the recording to make note of how you sound and appear. Make adjustments before recording your next practice video. Do this as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable![/*]

[*]Follow all the instructions that the admissions office outlined.[/*]

Optional Essay

Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included (300-350 words, approximately one page, double spaced).

Is there an experience, circumstance, or information you couldn’t convey in other parts of your application? The optional essay is the place to do it. Here are some topics to consider:

[*]Do you have a gap in your employment, or are you currently unemployed? [/*]

Provide the details of the period of unemployment, including ways you were or are engaged in your community or otherwise enhancing your skills or preparing for business school.

[*]Did your grades suffer during a period in college?[/*]

You might have had a difficult period during undergrad for many reasons. Perhaps you were a first-generation college student and didn’t have sufficient parental guidance, or you were ill during a given semester. Whatever the reason, rest assured that the admissions committee took note when reviewing your transcripts. Use this space to explain the circumstances of the situation.

[*]Have you overcome difficult personal circumstances?[/*]

Often, situations we have overcome personally impact how we view the world and interact with others. Share information demonstrating “grit” or your ability to succeed despite the circumstances. 

[*]Have you been involved in supporting others who are less fortunate, with the goal of providing opportunities and the chance for a better life? [/*]

Georgetown University is committed to social justice and life-changing service. Your work in this area aligns with the Jesuit identity of the university and will resonate with the adcom.

One important thing to remember is that if the information you want to share is deeply personal, ensure that you provide enough detail to convey the situation but aren’t oversharing. Part of what the admissions committee will consider is your judgment regarding what you include in the essay. 

If you feel you have thoroughly communicated your candidacy in other areas of the application, you needn’t feel compelled to provide this essay.

Reapplicant Essay

Required for reapplicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally (300-350 words, approximately one page, double spaced).

This essay is straightforward. Update the committee about how you have improved your candidacy since you last applied. In addition to having another year of work experience, what achievement can you share? Did you work on any special projects? Learn new skills? What interesting things have you done outside of work that might impact your contributions to the community? If you retook a test and improved your score or took additional classes to prepare for the MBA, note that in this essay, even if there is another place to include the information in the application as a data point. The reapplicant essay should comprehensively summarize what you have done to strengthen your candidacy.

McDonough application deadlines

[b]Application [/b]d[b]eadline[/b][b][/b][b]Decision [/b]n[b]otification[/b][b][/b][b]Round 1[/b]October 2, 2023December 7, 2023[b]Round 2[/b]January 4, 2024March 18, 2024[b]Round 3[/b]March 26, 2024May 1, 2024[b]Round 4[/b]April 30, 2024May 29, 2024
All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on the deadline day.

Source: [url=]Georgetown McDonough website[/url]

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with Georgetown McDonough directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***

McDonough class profile

Here is a look at the McDonough MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the [url=]McDonough website[/url]):

Applications received: 1,537

Enrolled: 249

Female: 34%

U.S. diversity: 38%

Underrepresented minorities: 17%

International: 42%

Countries represented: 39

Military: 9%

Average years of work experience: 5.7

Average age: 29

Average GPA: 3.29

Mid 80% GPA range: 2.82-3.77

Average GMAT: 697

Mid 80% GMAT range: 640-740

Average GRE: 317

Mid 80% GRE range: 307-327

Percentage taking GRE: 48.6%

Undergrad fields of study:

[*]Business: 31.7%[/*]

[*]Engineering: 19.7%[/*]

[*]Economics: 16.9%[/*]

[*]Humanities: 13.7%[/*]

[*]Social sciences: 6.8%[/*]

[*]Government & international studies: 4.8%[/*]

Industry backgrounds:

[*]Financial services: 20.1%[/*]

[*]Consulting: 10.4%[/*]

[*]Tech & media: 8%[/*]

[*]Government: 4.8%[/*]

[*]Construction: 4.4%[/*]

[*]Healthcare: 4%[/*]

You’ve worked so hard to get to this point in your journey. Now that you’re ready for your next achievement, make sure you know how to present yourself to maximum advantage in your Georgetown McDonough application. In a hotly competitive season, you’ll want a member of Team Accepted in your corner, guiding you with expertise tailored specifically for you. [url=]Check out our flexible consulting packages today![/url]


As the former executive director of admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School and assistant dean of admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School and the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School,Kelly Wilson has 23 years’ experience overseeing admissions committees and has reviewed more than 38,000 applications for the MBA and master’s programs in management of information systems, computational finance, business analytics, and product management.  [url=]Want Kelly to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch![/url]

[b]Related Resources:[/b]

[*][url=]Can Artificial Intelligence Help with Your MBA Applications?[/url][/*]

[*][url=]How to Get Into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA Program[/url], podcast Episode 512[/*]

[*][url=]Eight Tips for Attention-Grabbing Resumes[/url][/*]
The post [url=]Georgetown McDonough MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024][/url] appeared first on [url=]Accepted Admissions Blog[/url].
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FROM Blog: MIT Executive MBA 2023 Class Profile

Here’s a look at the MIT EMBA Class of 2023 (data taken from the EMBA brochure on the MIT website):

  • Global executives: 126

  • Average years of work experience: 17

  • Average age: 41

  • Advanced degrees: 61%

  • Director-level and above: 90%

  • International origin: 48%

  • Non-local (outside MA): 67%

  • Women: 33%

  • Underrepresented minority: 11%

  • Employed full-time: 100%



Company size (employees)

10,001+40%101-50020%2,501-10,00017%25-10011%501-2,5006%Fewer than 256%


Director53%Vice President21%C-level19%Manager10%Founder6%


Healthcare/Hospitals22%Software/Technology18%Banking/Financial Services14%Pharma/Biotech/Medical Devices13%Government/Military7%Machinery/Manufacturing7%Education/Non-Profit4%Management Consulting3%Other3%Construction/Real Estate2%Life Sciences2%Agriculture/Distribution/Investment/Wholesale1%Food and Beverage1%Outdoor Sports1%Transportation1%Utilities1%

Applying to the MIT EMBA program?

MIT’s EMBA program is one of the most competitive executive MBA programs out there, but our advisors have all the expertise you need to get your application acceptance ready. Check out our EMBA Admissions Consulting and Advising services to learn more about how our experts will get you 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, and London Business School. Want an MBA admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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