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Application Timing: When Should You Submit? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2014, 15:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Application Timing: When Should You Submit?
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Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham’s important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance.

00:01:56 – The simple answer to when you should apply.

00:03:45 – When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3?

00:06:09 – The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT.

00:06:52 – MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply?

00:09:21 – Medical school applicants – the importance of being early!

00:09:50 – Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs.

00:10:25 – Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it’s ready? Think again!

00:11:13 – The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application.

00:12:40 – The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break.

00:14:18 – Linda’s rule of timing when applying to grad school.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

•  MBA Application Timing

•  MBA Round 1 Timeline

•  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical

•  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT?http://reports.accepted.com/mba/stanford_graduate_school_of_business_webinarApplying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

Related Shows:

Waitlisted! What Now?

How to Edit Your Application Essayshttp://blog.accepted.com/2013/07/11/med-school-application-process-amcas-secondaries-interviews-decisions-more/MBA Admissions According to an Experthttp://blog.accepted.com/2013/07/11/med-school-application-process-amcas-secondaries-interviews-decisions-more/Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Consulting, Admissions Straight Talk, Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions, podcast

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310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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MBA/MMM Interview with Kellogg Student: Using Empathy to Succeed [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA/MMM Interview with Kellogg Student: Using Empathy to Succeed
[img]http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Michael-Nguyễn-300x300.jpg[/img]
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Michael Nguyễn, a student at Northwestern Kellogg’s joint MBA/Masters in Design Innovation program.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where are you currently studying?

Michael: I was born and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was unfortunately a mediocre student at Cal (UC Berkeley) because I spent a lot of my time playing video games. Thus, even though I started in Computer Science and really enjoyed it, I eventually changed to Comparative Literature (which is actually really difficult – I did not know this when I switched) after a couple of years. However, the time spent in both majors has helped me immensely throughout my career.

I am currently at Kellogg (Northwestern) in its newly revamped MMM program, which is a dual-degree MBA and Masters of Science in Design Innovation program run in conjunction with the McCormick School of Engineering and Segal Design Institute.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about your joint degree? What does “Design Innovation” mean? What do you plan on doing with your degrees?

Michael: The MMM program ends at the same time as the normal Kellogg two year MBA program but now starts one quarter early, in the summer. Though this does come with additional cost, this also means you get to enjoy the summer in Chicago! Another great benefit is that you will become very close with your MMM program mates, the other 59 students (the program is limited to 60 per year).

I personally define Design Innovation as an end-user empathy lens for looking at the world, but one that is not just relevant to developing products. If you manage a team, you need to be able to put yourself in team members’ shoes before you can create a rally point. If you are trying to sell a product, you need to know what your target customer is thinking – who they are, why they do what they do. It’s not that someone is just “stupid” or one of “those people” you can generalize. Everyone is unique and design thinking helps you use those lessons in your career.

From my time working in Southeast Asia, I used empathy in order to succeed at creating compelling products for different types of people as well as to win trust and motivate teams despite cultural and language barriers.

After the program, I am looking to return to smaller tech startups or perhaps start my own. However, the range of careers that others in the MMM program are seeking is very broad. Many are looking to enter into consulting, with more top firms now embracing design innovation, but there are also students looking to go into finance, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and technology.

Like the MBA, I think the Design Innovation degree is a toolset you can adapt for any career trajectory. Simply, the Innovation is the change you make in an existing product, process, or organization; the Design is the user-driven approach.

Accepted: It looks like you’ve got an interesting work history! Can you talk about a few of your most recent projects?

Michael: Previous to Kellogg, my professional background for the last decade has been in Business Operations at multiple startups. My first work experience was helping RedOctane become acquired for the Guitar Hero game franchise by Activision. I ran its e-commerce operations, including shipping logistics and customer service.

I then spent 7 years in Vietnam, becoming COO of the first social networking service there, Cyworld Vietnam, a 70 person startup funded by SK Telecom and IDG Ventures Vietnam. During my time in Vietnam, I worked closely with partners such as Nokia, LG, and Yamaha as well as local mobile carrier giants such as Viettel within the restrictions of one of the rare capitalist-socialist governments in the world.

During this time, I co-founded the most popular Vietnamese microblogging service, Mimo.vn, in 2010, helping it grow to 2 million users. Before I left Vietnam, I also worked on another side project which became a dating app called FriendsPlus. It was sold pre-launch to the largest dating service in Vietnam, Noi.vn, and the technology and service concept was integrated into Noi.vn as a whole.

In general, I have a deep interest in how different types of people connect with and add meaning to each other’s lives.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Kellogg so far? 

Michael: When you are in a good class (happens more often than not thankfully), you can compare it to seeing a brilliant performer, whether that be musical, athletic, or theatrical. In many ways, that’s exactly what it is – a professor with a tremendous academic and real work pedigree who is educating you about different aspects of business. Because of this, I actually like to sit in the front to get the best view. After all, I am paying over $60,000 a year for this show!

What most surprised is me how every class links to each other. In a business setting, that wouldn’t be surprising because well, that’s business. If you run a company, you cannot just be a product guy with no understanding of finance and vice versa. But in this class format, you will see each class bring in aspects of the entire MBA education. Thus, if you are taking Finance, you are not asked to just do math. You are asked to think about what firm and market strategies change the math in the real world and how you sell that story to someone else (your boss, management, investors, etc.).

I feel that in every class, you are not challenged to solve the problem but to create and then sell the story so it can be implemented in a company.

Accepted: If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Michael: In the busy lives of the MBA students here (classes, groupwork, recruiting, competitions), it’s not easy to make deep connections with others in the student body. I think this problem likely exists at many schools, so despite Kellogg’s reputation as a great school to make friends and be around team-focused individuals, no school can create the perfect social setting for everyone.

Thus, if you are an international student or more of an introvert, Kellogg’s emphasis on big social group events may be uncomfortable at times. CIM week can feel like a rehash of your undergrad years where the majority of students solidify their social groups within the first few weeks and do not go outside their comfort zones to befriend people that may be unlike them.

It is something that Kellogg is aware of and looking for initiatives to help address the issue. In fact, a friend and I are working on a mobile product that we hope will help with this and we are looking to get the Kellogg administration’s support for it as well.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise others who may also be facing that challenge?

Michael: I actually decided to apply to MBA programs two months before Round 1’s began, and I also wanted to make sure I applied for Round 1. This meant I needed to prepare for the GMAT and every other part of the application in a very short amount of time – an MBA was something I had not seriously considered for the previous five years. Fortunately, things worked out, and I got into a great school.

However, others should not follow this route. An MBA program is a very serious time and financial commitment, one that is essentially your last chance to use an academic setting to create a long term impact on how people view you professionally. Do spend the time (at least 1 year in advance) to prepare your applications properly to maximize your chance into getting the program that’s best for you. Beyond that, also use that time to get a proper understanding of which schools you can actually get into.

I am not a big believer in backup schools. If you there is a school you absolutely want to go to, and your background is a good fit for that school, spend the most time on that school. Even if that means working an extra year to improve your professional accomplishments, I say do it!

Accepted: Do you have any other admissions tips for our readers?

Michael: Although we are asked to pretend we know what we want to do after our MBA, few people really do. Because of this, don’t be worried if you really will follow-up on everything you talk about in the application. What’s most important is to think about what you would want to do right now and think through how going to a particular school is well suited to help with those specific goals. I think schools like Kellogg are not judging your ambitions but your ability to construct plans and build towards them.

For Kellogg MMM specifically, it’s a great program that is not getting a lot of publicity right now, likely due to the recent curriculum change. However, I recommend (to everyone) to look at it more closely and talk to people in the program (like myself). Many people I’ve met at Kellogg regret not applying for it because they had misconceptions about the program or thought it wouldn’t be relevant to their career. Once they better understood how the program works, however, they realized its applications were much more broad than the words “Design Innovation” may initially suggest.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Kellogg please see:

Kellogg 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, & Tips

2015 Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Tips

You can read more about Michael’s journey by checking out his LinkedIn profile and his blog, I Spit Hot Fire. Thank you Michael for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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Related Resources:

Are You Growth Minded? Mastering Kellogg’s Changing Brand

Insights of Tennis Player Turned Kellogg MBA

5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews, Northwestern Kellogg

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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MIT Sloan Fellows 2015 Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2014, 13:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MIT Sloan Fellows 2015 Essay Tips
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MIT Campus

Your three MIT Sloan Fellows essays must collectively convey the unmistakable message that you surpass your peers through consistently outstanding impact, and that you are destined to become a leader in your company and even industry.  Simultaneously, the essays must convey fit with MIT Sloan’s enduring emphasis on being an innovative leader and agent of change.  Use the three essays to present different aspects of your accomplishments and your character, to show that you envision and drive change, and to portray your rightful place in the “global leadership community.”

Essays:

Statement of Objectives: What are your immediate (1 – 5 years) and ultimate (>15 years) professional objectives for attending the program? Specifically, please indicate your objectives and how they fit with the purposes of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. How would your unique background contribute to the diversity of the Sloan Fellows community? (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Let’s break this question into its three parts:

First, your professional objectives.  Be specific about position, company/industry, expected scope of responsibilities, and vision for what you want to accomplish. Give more detail for the 1-5 year segment.  For the longer term goals, show direction – but not as detailed.

Second, your objectives’ fit with the program.  Identify and describe specific aspects of your objectives that align with the values and purposes of the program.  Focus on the 2-3 key elements of this fit – fewer, with thoughtful discussion, is far better than a “laundry list” of fit points.

Third, your potential contributions to the community.  Again, focus on the 2-3 key aspects.  “Unique background” certainly could refer to professional background, and it can also include other relevant, interesting experiences if they represent a potential contribution, such as intimate knowledge of a poorly represented geographic region.  This section can be tricky – interesting facts alone don’t show potential contribution; you need to add your insight to make it meaningful.

Essay 1: Discuss an event in your life that has defined who you are today. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

This question essentially asks for a story.  Also, note “event” – it can cover a big range, from personal or family events, to large, geopolitical events (unfortunately, war comes to mind). Balance the “interest factor” with the actual influence on you – while it’s great to have an inherently intriguing topic, the point of the essay is not the drama or rarity of the event; rather it is (a) the influence of the event on you and (b) your perception of that influence, and of how you responded and grew.  MIT has always had an interest in your self-understanding and your responsiveness, and this essay continues that trend.

With only 500 words, don’t waste any on a “conventional” intro that gives the ending away. First tell the story, then add a paragraph reflecting on why and how the event was formative.

Essay 2: Tell us about a personal or professional decision in which you took a minority perspective in a group and what did you learn about yourself from this experience. (500 words or less, limited to one page)

Another story; follow the above suggested format and structure.

Since the first essay will likely involve a somewhat older event, I suggest using a recent story for this essay, to make the essay do “double duty” strategically by also showing you performing in a high-stakes, challenging situation. Whether or not you win over the group to your view is not important for this essay.  Rather, the quality of your evaluation of your effort – how insightful, frank, and nuanced it is – will matter a lot.  It won’t hurt to briefly mention how you’ve since then applied the learning as well.

Second deadline: January 5, 2015

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, “Ace the EMBA.” Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too!

Related Resources:

A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program

MIT EMBA 2015 Essay Tips

Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right

Tags: MBA Admissions, MIT Sloan Fellows

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Should You Retake the GMAT Exam? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Should You Retake the GMAT Exam?
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You have the time to prepare & study to achieve a higher GMAT score

There’s no yes or no answer here, but I will give you some points to consider that will help you make your decision.

You probably should retake the GMAT if…

• You have other weaknesses in your profile and you feel a high GMAT score will help you compensate for them.

• You have the time to prepare, study hard, and change the outcome.

• You are a reapplicant who has received feedback that suggests you need to boost your GMAT score.

• You blame you’re not-so-brilliant score on a bad day and know that if you retook the GMAT you’d have a meaningfully higher score.

You probably shouldn’t retake the GMAT if…

 • You proudly overshot the 80-80 hurdle. (Note: If you scored above the 80th percentile in both the verbal and quant sections of the GMAT, then you generally don’t need to retake the GMAT, even if you apply to a school at the tippy top of the tier.)

• You’ve already taken the GMAT 3+ times. (Think about the law of diminishing returns.)

• You are aiming too high and know deep down that you should probably just apply to b-schools with lower average GMAT scores at matriculation. If your GMAT is high enough for schools that you would be happy to attend, then you don’t need to retake it.

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Related Resources:

GMAT & MBA Admissions: True or False?

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Terrific Tips

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

Tags: GMAT, MBA Admissions

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Purdue Krannert 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Purdue Krannert 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Purdue Krannert

First, the statement of purpose will introduce you to Krannert –it is in essence a classic goals essay. Then you must address an issue clearly of high interest to Krannert in the required essay: integrity.  That essay will illuminate not only what you think about integrity, but also your thought process itself.  The key to making these very different essays work together is to create a synergy between them – i.e., the experiences and plans you portray in the statement of purpose will form a vivid foundation for the thoughts, examples, and ideas you discuss in the required essay. 

Essays:

Statement of Purpose – Please submit a statement introducing yourself to the admissions committee.  (500 words max)

Some topics you may wish to discuss include:

a.  Brief academic and professional background

b.  Reason for seeking an MBA or Master’s degree at Purdue

c.  Desired career path after graduation

d.  Your thoughts on giving back as a student and as an alumnus

This question doesn’t technically require you to discuss the a-b-c-d points.  But if the adcom mentions them, you can be sure the adcom is interested in them.  So you can’t go wrong in addressing these points, even if you weave in something else as well.

A natural and effective approach is to portray aspects of your experience (educational and/or professional) that animate your goals, and then elaborate on your goals.  Use your response to point “b” to demonstrate understanding of the program.  Point “d” gives you an opportunity to present distinctive experiences, including ones that may not necessarily relate to your goals, but that will enable you to enhance and invigorate your MBA class.

Required essay: Integrity – What does integrity mean to you? How does integrity relate to building communities of trust in academic, personal and professional settings? What expectations should Purdue have towards its students with regards to academic integrity? What consequences should students who do not uphold these standards face? (500 words max)

This is really four questions (each one of which could use more than 500 words!).  Your answer to the first question, what integrity means to you, will shape the essay and guide your responses to the subsequent questions.  Answer this initial question with a succinct definition and illustrate it with a concrete example showing what integrity means to you and why.  Address the subsequent questions in a way consistent with  your initial definition, adding further brief examples as warranted.  In the part about Purdue’s expectations, weave in specific details of Purdue’s program structure or approach.

Optional essay  – If you feel there are any parts of your application that require additional explanation, or if there is any additional information you wish to share with the admissions committee, please use this optional essay as an opportunity to do so. (250 words max)

This question invites you to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not direct supervisor, a bad grade, etc.) – and also to present new material that will enhance your application.  If you choose to do the latter, make sure it’s a point that is essential for a clear and full picture of your candidacy.

Remaining Deadlines:

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If you would like professional guidance with your Purdue Krannert application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Purdue application.

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You

2015 School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays

 

Tags: 2015 MBA Application, MBA Admissions, Purdue Krannert

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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MBA Interview Questions: What Questions Do You Have? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2014, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Interview Questions: What Questions Do You Have?
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Reason for asking the question: To make sure the candidate has all pertinent information necessary about the school, as well as to confirm that he or she has thoroughly researched the program and consequently has thoughtful questions.

How to prepare: This will most likely be your last opportunity to ask questions of the program before you find out the admission decision, so make sure the questions count. Take enough time to consider this prior to your interview, since this is perhaps the only question you can be positive will be asked in the interview. Write your questions down if need be.

You do not want the questions to be procedural in nature, such as, “When will I find out about your decision?” Those types of questions can be asked at the very conclusion of the interview (if necessary), but well after your primary questions. Questions should be well thought out and perhaps give the interviewer pause before answering. After all, the interviewer has had YOU in the hot seat for the last thirty minutes with challenging questions, so you should have some in return!

The best questions are the ones that make the interviewer have to dig deep into his/her knowledge to answer, or better yet, might be ones the interviewer can’t answer then and there. In this case the interviewer will need to check into a question and get back in touch with you. YES! One final opportunity to have a connection with someone critical to your admission decision. Thoughtful questions could focus on “big picture” things like school strategy, trends or specifics related to particular coursework.

Important things to remember: Even if you have memorized all the content on the school’s website, visited campus and already asked (and had answered) all the questions you think you could possibly ever have, you better not have a blank stare, or a simple, “None,” answer.

Additional things to consider: As a general rule of thumb, plan on two-three questions (not of the procedural type).

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Jen Weld, has guided clients to acceptances as an Accepted admissions consultant since 2010. Prior to joining Accepted, she served as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program for four years. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Let her help you market yourself to top MBA and Executive MBA programs.

Related Resources:

MBA IV: Ace Your MBA Interviews

• How to Prep for Your MBA Interviews

Seven Tips for MBA Interview Prep

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Interview, MBA Interview Questions Series

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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Increase Your Chances of a Chicago Acceptance… [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2014, 11:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Increase Your Chances of a Chicago Acceptance…
…by attending our Get Accepted to Chicago Booth webinar TOMORROW!

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There’s no better way to optimize your Chicago Booth application than by gathering as much information and arming yourself with as many expert tips as possible! NOW is your chance to obtain that information and sharpen your Chicago Booth edge!

Register now to reserve your spot and we’ll see you tomorrow (December 17th) promptly at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST.

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Tags: Chicago Booth, MBA Admissions, webinar

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USC Marshall 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2014, 13:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: USC Marshall 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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USC Marshall School of Business

On one hand, the new USC Marshall MBA essay question is very focused: goals, why Marshall.  There is a little twist, however, which gives the question an intriguing complexity: personal and/or professional goals…  What does this twist say about Marshall?  That the adcom trusts you to frame your goals in the most meaningful way, and to reveal or not reveal personal considerations and plans as you see fit. Knowing yourself – what you want and need and why, and knowing how to present and share what’s important about you will be keys to contributing to Marshall’s collaborative community and making productive use of Marshall’s flexible program. In this one essay, convey that knowledge.

Required Essay: What are your short-term and long-term personal and/or professional goals following graduation from USC Marshall? How will USC Marshall enable you to develop or improve your skills in order to reach your goals? (500-700 words)

Most people will want to address professional goals in this essay, and I suggest doing so.  As far as personal goals, there is no one formula that works for everyone; some may address this point extensively, and some not at all – and both approaches may be exactly right for those particular applicants.  That said, there is not necessarily a solid line between personal and professional goals, and so if you address (a) how you intend your career to develop and (b) how you want to grow through the MBA experience, that will likely be just fine, and you needn’t worry about personal versus professional.

The key is to be specific about whatever goals you do discuss.  Clarify why the goal is important to you, and give some concrete and practical expression of what achieving it will look like.  Don’t forget to discuss both short- and long-term goals, and for the former, for professional goals be specific about industry, function, type of company, perhaps geography.

In explaining how USC Marshall will facilitate these goals, cite particular qualities and aspects of the program that address your learning and growth needs, and/or your academic or professional interests.  Rather than citing 10 things you like about the program, focus on the top 2-4 in some depth, with thoughtful insight about their applicability to you.

Optional essay: Please provide any additional information that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (250 words)

This question invites you to both discuss points that will enhance your application and explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender, etc.). For the former, if you ask the adcom to read additional material, make sure that it truly illuminates and is germane to your candidacy.  It should not be something that is just nice for the adcom to know.

Re-application Essay: Please describe any significant professional, personal, or academic growth since your last application to the USC Marshall School of Business. Discuss your specific professional goals and how the USC Marshall Full-Time Program will help you achieve these goals. (500 words)

The key to a successful reapplication is to show growth and that’s the job of this essay. At least one of the growth points you present should be professional – there are the obvious things like a promotion or a new project to lead, and less obvious things like new industry or functional exposure, informal leadership, a challenge or problem that “stretched” your skills and perspective. In describing goals, if they’ve changed from the previous application, note why.

Deadlines:

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Cindy Tokumitsu is the author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and admissions guides, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats

4 Goals of an MBA Application

Why Do YOU Need an MBA?

Tags: MBA Admissions, USC Marshall

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Is Columbia Business School Calling Your Name?
Learn how to get Columbia’s attention by following the tips in Get Accepted to Columbia Business School, an on-demand webinar that we just posted to our site for anytime viewing. The webinar aired live last month and was a huge success, so if you missed it or if you attended and would like to review, then you’ll want to tune in to the online recording for not-to-be-missed advice on how to snag that Columbia acceptance.

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Don’t you want to make sure you’re approaching Columbia’s application properly? View Get Accepted to Columbia Business School for free now!

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Tags: Columbia Business School, MBA Admissions, webinar

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Life as an HBS MBA [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2014, 14:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Life as an HBS MBA
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Meet Philip Blackett, a proud member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2016, the founder of Magnetic Interviewing, and the host of the podcast Life in the MBA.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Philip. He has a fascinating story!

00:02:35 – Fulfilling an 11 year promise to his mother and grandmother.

00:06:20 – Why HBS?

00:07:23 –  How Philip’s failures in real estate may have helped Philip get accepted to HBS.

00:11:43 – “Whichever school you apply to, make sure you give it your very best so you wont have any room or reason to feel bad about yourself.”

15:10 – The importance of team-work.

17:25 – Becoming a leader. (This is what HBS wants to see!!)

18:34 – What the HBS adcom looks for in your failures.

19:27 – Getting rejected by Harvard Business School. What now?!?!

22:01 – The best parts of life at Harvard Business School.

24:14 – Don’t be intimidated by the size of HBS.

25:23 – The importance of time management and priority management.

29:09 – What Harvard Business School needs to change.

30:15 – The benefits for the case study method.

35:42 – True or false: The competition among HBS students is cut-throat.

39:30 – The feeling of camaraderie among students (and professors.)

41:32 – Case Method – Individually prepare, then share among 5 people, and then share among 90 people.  And after class your perspective will be completely different than it was before.

46:35 – $$$ and social life at HBS.

53:55 – A field project in Mumbai, India.

56:32 – Why start your own podcast?

1:00:41 –  Magnetic Interviewing – The story of Philip’s startup.

1:06:23 – Innovation labs at Harvard Business School.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

Related Shows:

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, podcast

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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From Rwandan Advertising to Wharton Entrepreneurship: The Unconvention [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2014, 14:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: From Rwandan Advertising to Wharton Entrepreneurship: The Unconventional MBA Path
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Mary Patton S. Davis, a first-year student at Wharton.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where are you in business school and what year?

Mary Patton: I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, which some may argue is not the South, but I beg to differ. Tampa is culturally Southern in many ways, and most of my family is from Alabama – hence the double name. I moved “up north” to Washington, DC to study French and International Relations at Georgetown University and graduated in 2010. I was always convinced I would work in government and security/intelligence, but life had other plans! That’s how I wound up at Wharton, by way of East Africa, to enter the class of 2016 with a focus on Entrepreneurial Management.

Accepted: Looks like you’ve been doing some really interesting work in Rwanda. Can you tell us about some of your recent jobs and projects there?

Mary Patton: My path to business school has been a very unconventional one. After Georgetown I joined political communications firm GMMB, working on media buying for the 2010 midterm elections and account management for political action committees. In the summer of 2011 I traveled to Rwanda to visit my older sister Elizabeth and the organization she founded in 2009: the Akilah Institute for Women, a three-year college specializing in hospitality, information technology, and entrepreneurship for young women from low-income rural communities. I fell in love with the country and the organization, and Elizabeth asked if I would move there to build their communications and marketing strategy. So I did what any responsible, rational person would do: I quit my job, sold my belongings, and moved to Rwanda in January 2012 for an indefinite period of time. It can take a giant leap of faith outside your comfort zone to discover your true passions, but I believe it’s one worth taking!

I built out Akilah’s marketing and communications throughout that spring and summer. At the same time I had begun teaching horseback riding lessons on the weekends and met the owner of the barn, a well-known expat businessman. One weekend he mentioned he was looking for someone to build a digital marketing department and drive new business development at his advertising agency. My response was, “Interesting, but I can’t think of anyone who fits that description.” He laughed and replied, “No, I want YOU to come in and interview!” You never know where your next job offer will come from…

I began working for the ad agency that summer, and stayed with them for over a year and a half. I became Director of Operations, tackling projects from refining internal processes, to landing new clients, to expanding our digital marketing services. Through this job I realized my passion (and aptitude!) for management, business development, and “intrapreneurship”, which led me to apply for an MBA. Managing a team of twenty-five people at the age of twenty-four impacted me greatly both personally and professionally, and was an opportunity for which I’ll always be grateful.

Accepted: What is your post-MBA career plan? Is it related to your work in Rwanda?

Mary Patton: I came into Wharton with several areas of interest, knowing that my post-MBA career plans would involve some, if not all, of them: Africa, technology, entrepreneurship, and fitness. My passion for fitness and entrepreneurship grew out of a company I co-founded while working at the ad agency: Yego Yoga Rwanda, a chain of yoga studios operating in six locations across Kigali with eleven instructors. I’ve furthered this interest here in the US by continuing to teach yoga and developing several business ideas in that area. For now I’m focused in that direction but who knows, maybe I’ll find a way to pursue all four of these interests!

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up yet for next summer? If so, what will you be doing and what was the internship application process like at Wharton? If not, what steps are you taking now to plan ahead for the summer? How early does internship recruiting start at Wharton?

Mary Patton: There are many recruiting timelines – it all depends on what industry you’re pursuing. Mature recruiting (mostly for finance and consulting) begins as early as mid-October, while start-up recruiting doesn’t intensify until the spring. I’m personally interested in tech and start-ups so my recruiting hasn’t begun yet, although I’ve had informal offers from tech companies in Africa and start-ups on the West Coast. Right now I’m focused on working on my own business idea, so entrepreneurship is my number one summer internship choice!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your involvement in the Wharton Business Plan Competition?

Mary Patton: I believe it’s important to surround yourself with the type of people and situations that support your long-term goals, so I knew I wanted to immerse myself in the entrepreneurial environment of the WBPC. Given my background, my biggest value-add to the planning committee is in a marketing role. As Director of Marketing my mission is to grow awareness of and engagement with the WBPC both within the Penn community and without. I’m excited to see what this year’s competitors have in store for us, and how the WBPC contributes to future Penn-born businesses! To learn more about the competition, visit us at http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu/.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Wharton so far? Is there anything you’d change about the program?

Mary Patton: My favorite thing about Wharton is how holistic the growth experience has been. Wharton is fully committed to developing students not only academically, but also professionally, personally, emotionally, and socially. All at once, Wharton is exciting and terrifying; rewarding and challenging; social and lonely; invigorating and exhausting; intellectual and obnoxious. Without all of those emotions, you wouldn’t be getting the full experience.

The only thing I would change: I wish there was more interaction between the Penn grad schools. I would love to have more opportunities to meet fellow students from the law, med, engineering, and education schools. I think this would enrich the experience for all of us, and keep us from talking about our econ problem sets and statistics projects all day long!

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips for applicants aiming to go to Wharton?

Mary Patton:

1)  Be unique.

Admissions officers sift through thousands of applications looking for the diamonds in the rough. Imagine them sitting around at the end of the day recalling and discussing hundreds of essays – how will yours be remembered? When I met Wharton’s Director of Admissions at Winter Welcome Weekend, she exclaimed, “Oh, I remember you! You’re the yoga girl from Rwanda who worked in advertising.” How will your application stand out? What interests/projects/talents/experiences make you unique?

2)  Paint a compelling story.

Regardless of whether your career path is streamlined or as unusual as mine, your application should show progress and a desire to grow professionally and personally. Draw a clear thread throughout your jobs and experiences to demonstrate how you’ve arrived at this point where you feel compelled to apply for an MBA. Did you change jobs to follow your newfound passion for that industry? What extracurricular activities support your interests and show your proactive nature to learn more? How have you challenged yourself and stepped outside your comfort zone?

3)  Be clear about your ambitions.

Now that you’ve explained the narrative behind your career path, be clear about what you plan to do post-MBA. Schools want to see direction not only in your actions up to this point, but also in your goals beyond the MBA. Even if you don’t know the exact job you want three years from now, offering examples of what most interests you in a long-term career helps give schools an idea of how you’ll fit into their MBA class. Make sure to also explain WHY – what problem are you most passionate about solving? Which industry are you most intrigued by? What types of jobs most excite you?

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? What role does social media play in your life?

Mary Patton: I started blogging while backpacking through SE Asia and India, but since starting school I’ve pivoted from travel to business-related topics. I naturally identify and write about topics I find interesting; luckily other people find them interesting too! I like to highlight topics that are relevant to my peers – global and industry-agnostic, but with a focus on entrepreneurship and technology.

For me personally, my blog keeps the creative side of my brain alive during the quantitative and analytical MBA experience – my biggest problem is finding time to blog as much as I’d like! Our generation is increasingly social and transparent, so I think it’s important to confront that issue head-on by taking control of your personal brand. My blog is a “stretch experience” for me and connects me to interesting people and opportunities – such as this interview with Accepted.com!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Wharton see:

You can read more about Mary Patton’s journey by checking out her blog, MP is for Mary Patton. Thank you MP for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

 

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Related Resources:

Meet Ashley: A Wharton MBA Student Making an Impact

Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute

Wharton 2016 Class Profile

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews, Wharton

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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4 Reasons You Got Dinged (And What You Can Do About It) [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Reasons You Got Dinged (And What You Can Do About It)
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The adcom may ding you because you failed to present your qualifications effectively.

Many top MBA programs released decisions in the past several days, including: Chicago Booth, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua, Michigan Ross, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, UVA Darden, and Wharton.

Did your app hit the chopping block? Here’s why:

1) You didn’t qualify.

You gotta call a spade a spade sometimes (or always, really). If you had weak test scores, low grades, or inadequate work experience either quantitatively or qualitatively, then you’re just not going to measure up at the top schools. In essence you fail to convince the school that you can handle the work or represent the school well to recruiters…and you’re toast. …and they may be right. (Sorry to be tough here, but not everyone is qualified to attend H/S/W/C.)

TIP: Apply R2/R3 to different, less competitive programs OR reapply next year to the same schools after you’ve strengthened your profile (improved test scores, taken additional coursework, increased work responsibilities, etc.).

2) You didn’t present your qualifications, fit, or goals well.

There are a number of points to be made here. B-schools seek applicants with multiple talents, and you need to demonstrate that you’ve got them. Competitive stats are frequently necessary for admission, but not sufficient. For example, if you have the stats, but didn’t show the soft skills, didn’t show fit, didn’t explain why you need the degree from this particular program, or failed to present your achievements in an authentic, thoughtful, and compelling way, then the answer could easily still be DECLINE. The adcom may ding you for lacking such qualifications, even though you may have them, because you failed to present them effectively.

TIP: Apply R2/R3 or reapply next year with a stronger application that clearly highlights your qualifications, fit, and goals.

3) You were a victim of the numbers at intensely competitive programs that reject more qualified applicants than they can accept.

This is true of most top 15 programs especially if someone comes from an over-represented group in the applicant pool.

TIP: Apply R2/R3 to different programs or reapply next year to the same ones and keep your fingers crossed for better luck!

4) Combination of the above.

Most likely you weren’t rejected for one single reason, but due to a combination of various factors.

For more on understanding your rejection (and then doing something about it!), please see http://www.accepted.com/mba/rejection-acceptance-videos.aspx#2.

And let’s face it, it’s hard to be objective about your application. If you’re unsure why you were rejected or what you can do to change the outcome next time around, check out our MBA Application Review. You really don’t want to repeat the same or similar mistakes again.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsThe MBA Admissions Directors’ Recipes for Rejection

4 Reasons for Rejection

Tips for Executive MBA Reapplicants

Tags: MBA Admissions, reapplication, rejection

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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310-815-9553

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5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2014, 14:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications
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Give your application a final check before submitting

Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps:

1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you.

Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. When the admissions readers have finished reading your entire application, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a well-rounded and unique individual.

2. You’ve demonstrated fit with the program.

To demonstrate that tight fit that adcoms are seeking, you’ll need to have done some serious thinking about who you are and about how that person is compatible with the school’s mission, ideals, and culture.

3. You have selected the best recommenders.

The best recommenders are those people who really know you well and who will be able to draw from their unique experiences with you in composing their LOR. If your recommender doesn’t know you well, then his or her assessment of you may end up sounding generic and superficial. Plus, it may not be accurate.

4. Proofread, edit, and then proof some more!

Read your essay, as well as all other application components, aloud to make sure that you hear mistakes that your eyes may have glossed over. You may also want to recruit a friend, colleague or family member, or hire an admissions consultant, to help you edit your essays to perfection.

5. You’ve given yourself some time.

Don’t submit your app at the last minute. Rushing your application will create more room for error, the schools’ servers may be overloaded just before the buzzer, and you may lose your chance to apply on time if you wait until the last minute.

Think you’re ready to submit? Why not run your application by the experts for a final stamp of approval? Our admissions consultants and editors are standing by, ready to help you construct an application that shines, one that shows off your greatest achievements and talents, one that you’re truly excited and ready to submit. Contact us now for more details on how we can help.

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Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Essays!

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

How To Edit Your Application Essays

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

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Your Holiday Gift Awaits! [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Your Holiday Gift Awaits!
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Grab your holiday gift!

We’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season by offering you a gift – a free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a guide that will teach you how to create a stand-out resume that will help you get accepted! In The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and tricks for marketing yourself in your resume – putting your most impressive experiences and qualifications front and center so that when the adcoms take that initial glance at your resume, they’ll want to immediately read on to learn more about who you are and what you’ll contribute to their next class.

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Grab your gift of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes now and have a very happy holiday!

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

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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5 Tips to Assess Your MBA Profile [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5 Tips to Assess Your MBA Profile
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Your goals should should draw a clear connection from your past to your future.

I often tell my clients that an MBA application is like a mosaic. Each element contributes to create a full picture of who you are. Some pieces will be brighter or more colorful than others. Others fail to sparkle. You can either address those weaknesses — polish those dull stones — or decide to re-evaluate your school choices to be more competitive.

Here are five tips you can use to assess yourself as you narrow down your list.

1.    GMAT/GPA

Accepted.com’s President Linda Abraham summed it nicely in a post for Poets&Quants:

“If your score is more than 30 points below the average listed at your target school than you’ve got two realistic choices: You can either adjust your list of target schools and aim for MBA programs that have lower GMAT averages, or you can keep your list and retake the GMAT.”

That being said, it’s only one factor in your application. If you scored low on the GMAT, you may be an outlier in another area, which could mitigate your score.

Your undergraduate GPA is another factor the adcom considers. Those with a 3.6 and above are generally fine at top schools. If you had a wobbly semester or two, use the optional essay to provide context and discuss what you’ve done to address those weak areas. Perhaps you retook a few classes, or later enrolled in a continuing ed course to brush up your skill set.

2.    Work Experience

Top business schools are generally looking for folks with between 3-7 years of work experience. Certain professions are highly represented. At Harvard, the top professions pre-MBA are consulting, financial services, VC/PE and “High Tech/Communications.”  At Wharton, it’s consulting and military/gov’t/non-profit. At Stanford it’s consulting, VC/PE and military/gov’t/non-profit.  If you’re not a consultant, in finance, or a government wonk – that doesn’t mean you’re not competitive! MBA programs are also looking for diversity to bring differing viewpoints to class discussions. Take a look at this “fox in the henhouse” admitted to Harvard. What you need to communicate is how your achievements are extraordinary and how your background will add to the school’s diversity. That’s what will stand out.

3.  For international applicants, it’s work experience + international exposure. Or work experience + extraordinary accomplishments.

Take a look at profiles of students who head up international clubs at top US and UK b-schools. More likely than not they have one of two boxes checked.

1.  They have significant international experience working outside of their home country, often with a       multinational company or recognized global organization.

2.  They’ve done something truly extraordinary in the context of their profession.

If you have never traveled or worked outside your home country, then your accomplishments should stand out anywhere around the globe. I don’t mean test scores here. I mean introducing significant innovation at work, developing a skill, creating a business, or founding a socially-oriented activity that’s unique and interesting.

Are you networking for international assignments at work? If not, start doing so now.

Would you consider what you’ve done, extraordinary? If not, stop dreaming and start doing it now.

4.   Goals

Your goals need to make sense based on your past experience. They should draw a clear connection from your past to your future.

‘But wait!’ you say. ‘What if I want to switch careers?’ That’s fine – just show the admissions committee that you’ve already gained some exposure to the industry, and why your past experience will be an asset as you move forward.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the adcom will likely assess your employ-ability. Will your background + an MBA make sense to recruiters? Are you an international student? You may have a harder time getting hired by a firm outside of countries where you are already permitted to work. It’s best to show in your application that you’re flexible – you’re willing to return to your home country, get some more experience, then branch out based on your own networking.

5.   Fit and familiarity

Finally we get down to what I call,”fit and familiarity.” For example, have you taken a summer session course on campus? Are you an alum of the undergraduate program? Have you worked in the city where the school is located? You can then make a better case of being familiar with its curriculum and community.

Another factor is your post-MBA plans. Do you have experience in a school’s specialization? Do you have family in the area, or previous business connections that would lead you to happily settle in the school’s locale after graduation? Are you a big city kind of person, or do you enjoy the strong connections forged in smaller communities?

Be HONEST with yourself. If you don’t know, I strongly recommend a visit to campus if you can afford it. Rankings and name recognition are a place to start, but ultimately—this is a HUGE investment. Don’t make it the worst two-year vacation you went into debt for and will spend a lifetime paying back. Make it a transformative experience. Find an environment where you will thrive.

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Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

 

Related Resources:

MBA Action Plan: 6 Steps for the 6 Months Before You Apply

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

MBA Rankings: What You Need To Know

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Indiana Kelley 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Indiana Kelley 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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These questions are a straightforward mix of professional and personal.  The adcom wants assurance that you have a clear professional focus and a solid plan for using the Kelley MBA resources.  Beyond that, they’re looking for engaging applicants who are willing to share their life experiences and understand what they have to contribute.  Strive for balance and coherence among the essays overall: use them to show different facets of your character, while avoiding contradictory qualities (i.e., you can be a vigorous risk-taker in one and a tender-hearted soul in another, but not a vigorous risk-taker in one and tentative or overly cautious person in another).

Questions:

Your essays will give us an idea of your personality, perspectives, and opinions and will let us know how closely your professional objectives match the objectives of the MBA program. We encourage you to be honest, informative, creative, and concise.

Required:

1.  Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

This question encourages you to present your goals in the context of your experience and to integrate your MBA plans with both.  With only 500 words, be selective and thoughtful about what points from your career to use to contextualize your goals.  Also, the question specifies short-term goals.  While it would be fine to add a sentence or a phrase about longer- term goals or overall career vision, keep your goals discussion focused on the same time frame the question focuses on: immediately post-MBA.  This question is asking for linkages among your experience, your short-term goals, and your anticipated MBA experience, so think about how you will form an integrated message out of these elements.

In answering the last point, continue the linkage approach: the alternatives you identify should build on your experience in some way and be consistent with your expressed career interests.  Show that you are adaptable and strategic, informed about the options, and resourceful in your thinking.

2.  Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

a) My greatest memory is…

b)  I’m most afraid of…

c)  My greatest challenge has been…

d)  I’m most proud of…

Consider which question will give you the best avenue to both (a) round out your profile and (b) showcase an interesting and relevant aspect of your life and/or experience.

Once you decide on a topic and question, write this short essay in mini-story format.  Sometimes the story itself will convey the message and/or insight, sometimes you may want to add a concluding sentence with this information.  And be sensitive to the tone and presentation of the question – it really is asking for something engaging, meaningful, and lively.

3. Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you. (25 words)

Your topic selection here should balance the topic in essay 2 and reflect another aspect of you.  Also, if you choose an older story above, make this one more recent.  (It’s fine to have them both be recent, but not so great to have them both be far in the past.)

4.  Optional: Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

This question first and foremost invites you to explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not using a direct supervisor, etc.). As far as non-necessary points, that last phrase is polite warning that anything extra must be pretty darn important.

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

Maximize Your MBA Application: 5 Tips for Succinct Essays

Are MBA Rankings Really Important?

Showing the Adcom That You Can Accept Criticism

Tags: 2015 MBA Application, Indiana Kelley, MBA Admissions

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Happy Holidays from Accepted! [#permalink]

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Happy Holidays from Accepted!
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Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Interview with Josh: An Inside Look at the Tepper MBA Family [#permalink]

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Interview with Josh: An Inside Look at the Tepper MBA Family
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“Tepper feels like a family”

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Josh Howatt, a second-year student from CMU Tepper. (We first met Josh last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Last we spoke you had just been accepted to Tepper. Can you please bring us up to date? How have you been the last year and a half?

Josh: My time at Tepper has been absolutely fantastic! Currently, I’m pursuing the Management of Innovation and Product Development track, and working with other CMU schools in Engineering, Public Policy, and Design Schools for my Capstone. We’re collaborating on real-life problems with F500 companies and start-ups. It’s great to be putting the tools we’ve learned into practice. Also, I’m concentrating in Marketing, Strategy, and Information Systems – a far cry from where I originally intended in CPG. The curriculum is rigorous and highly quantitative, but also provides its fair share of soft-skill classes, e.g. Managerial Communications, Negotiations. So far, it’s been an amazing (see: challenging) experience.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Tepper?

Josh: My favorite thing about Tepper is that it’s a small program, so the feeling is collegial. It’s absolutely true that if you work at it, you can get to know every single person in your class. This also makes for a great teacher to student ratio. Meaning, there is plenty of opportunity to engage in discussion with your professors outside of the classroom. With regard to the student body, everyone has certain expertise and is more than willing to lend a hand or teach what they know. Tepper feels like a family, and I don’t think you fully realize how true that is until you visit and see it firsthand.

Accepted: Where did you intern this past summer? Can you talk about the process by which you secured the position and how Tepper helped along during the process?

Josh: This summer I interned at Autodesk as a Thought Leadership, Content Marketing Intern. Tepper was instrumental to me landing this position. We have a fantastic COC that allows you to meet with as many counselors as often as you like. Fortunately, I loved my originally assigned counselor from the start. She was fantastic at connecting me with alumni in companies I was interested in, and often times would shoot off an email right then and there during our meetings. The COC is also great in preparing students for the recruiting process; everything from developing your STAR stories, to getting your resumes and cover letters into pristine condition. One of the most helpful parts of the process is the month-long BaseCamp before Mini 1. Not only do you get an opportunity to engage with your future classmates, but you get a jumpstart on the recruitment process, because it starts SO EARLY.

Accepted: Do you have a job lined up yet for next year? 

Josh: I do! I will be starting as a Sr. Consultant for Verizon in their Marketing Leadership Development Program. I can’t even tell you how excited I am!

Accepted: Congratulations on your job with Verizon!

Can you tell us about the difference between “concentrations” and “tracks” at Tepper? How early in your studies do you need to declare these specifications? 

Josh: I would equate concentrations and tracks to undergrad minors and majors. Concentrations are specializations that require completion of 3 elective classes within a certain field (so you could essentially have up to 3 or 4 concentrations). Tracks go much deeper in that they involve completing core specialization classes, and then choosing from specified electives. You typically apply to be part of a track, and choose only one.

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Josh: I’m VP of Technology for our Marketing Club and VP of Marketing for Out&Allied (Tepper’s LGBT club). I’m also a member of our Business&Technology Club and the Public Speaking Club. Club involvement in very central to student life at Tepper. Outside of board duties, at least twice a week I’m participating in a club sponsored event, which is great! There’s always something interesting going on, whether it’s a social event, educational series, or recruiting prep.

Accepted: Do you have any tips to incoming Tepper students? What do you wish you would have known when you were starting out?

Josh: My best advice for incoming Tepper students is: realize you are only human and don’t be so hard on yourself! There’s going to be so much interesting stuff to do, and you’ll want to do it all, but that’s just not possible. I was a huge stress case my first two Minis (my friends will attest to this, and is sort of a running joke now). Get used to saying “no” and learn to prioritize what’s most important to you and your Tepper experience. Between classes, recruiting, social events, club events, corporate presentations, career fairs, and everything else in your life, your head is going to spin. Just know that ahead of time. Find a way to balance school and life. Take time for you. And if you find yourself starting to lose it, just know that there is a Tepper family there to help hold you together.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Tepper see:

Thank you Josh for continuing to share your story with us!

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Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

CMU Tepper B-School Zone

Tags: CMU Tepper, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

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Swoon-Worthy MBA Application Tips Viewable Now! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Swoon-Worthy MBA Application Tips Viewable Now!
Earlier this month Linda presented an exciting webinar – about how to make top b-school adcom fall in love with you. That webinar, 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You, is now available for online viewing, anytime and anywhere.

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Some of the topics that Linda addresses during the webinar include:

•  How to prove that you will excel at your target program.

•  Ways you can show how you and your target program are MFEO through your shared goals.

•  What to do and what not to do to make sure your MBA application takes the adcom’s breath away.

 …and more!

 View 5 Ways to Make Top B-Schools Love You now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions, webinar

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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2015 Duke MBA—Cross-Continent Essays Tips [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 2015 Duke MBA—Cross-Continent Essays Tips
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The Duke Cross Continent MBA program is unique in its format and mission, and it targets a special segment of the MBA applicant pool: those who intend to continue working during the MBA and whose work and goals have a global focus.  The average age of Cross-Continent students is a couple of years older than that of traditional MBA students.

Given the above, it’s not surprising to see the essay questions both addressing, directly and indirectly, fit with this one-of-a-kind program.  And that’s exactly what you should keep your eye on as you develop your essays.  While creating essays that answer the questions and also showcase your strengths, spotlight those experiences and elements that demonstrate both your understanding of the program’s specialness and how you align with and will enhance it.

Required Short Answer Question:

What are your career goalsRespond in a maximum of 100 words.

Give the basic facts – position, company example, industry (if not apparent from the company) and a word about responsibilities and desired impacts. Don’t repeat the question (it wastes space).

Required Essays:

1. How will your skills, training and background enhance your cohort’s experience? Please include both personal and professional insight that may not be apparent through your resume and other application materials. Your response should be a maximum of 250 words.

This question is asking you to look behind your accomplishments and identify what “drives” or enables your success.  The quality of your insight in this regard is the key point.  With only 250 words, focus on 2-4 things; probably 3 would be ideal.   Draw from at least 2 of the 3 categories (skills, training, background) as each category has a different type of influence.

Use examples and anecdotes to make the actual points – it they will make the essay more vivid, memorable, and credible. Obviously you won’t have room for lengthy stories, but you can sometimes convey an anecdote in one sentence, e.g., “When confronted with ABC, I drew on my [specific background/skill/training] and did DEF, resulting in XYZ.”

2. Duke University is embedded in the world’s most important economic regions. As a result, our students experience a unique learning environment in which programs are delivered on 4 different continents, by our world-renowned faculty. Our diverse student cohorts represent a vast array of professional backgrounds, nationalities, interests, and experiences. Serving students who are also working professionals, The Duke MBA—Cross Continent program allows student to apply new skills immediately in the workplace and reap the benefits from their first-hand global experiences.  Explain how you and your organization will benefit from the global education offered at Duke. Your response should be a maximum of 500 words.

There’s a lot of preamble before the actual question, “Explain…”  Don’t gloss over it – this intro encapsulates Duke’s vision for this program, and it can help you focus your goals essay accordingly.

Start with the immediate and short-term – discuss what you want to accomplish while in the program, and how applying the MBA learning “in real time” including its global aspect will enable you to do so.  Be concrete, be specific.  Discuss benefits to you (how you’ll be able to achieve more, grow, strengthen your impact) and to your company – they will connect with your impacts.  Being specific in this discussion will also convey what you’ll bring to the table in terms of issues you’re addressing and working on, your industry and functional perspective, etc. so select points that will be interesting to the adcom and future classmates.

Finally, add a similar discussion for longer term goals, but make it shorter and less detailed.

Optional Essay: If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the admissions committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weakness in your application). Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area. The Optional Essay is intended to provide the admissions committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.

This optional essay should focus on matters that require explanation; it does not invite you to further market yourself. Only write it if you do indeed have extenuating circumstances to discuss for a full and clear presentation of your candidacy.

[b] [/b]Re-applicant Essay:

An additional essay is required for re-applicants. It is not uncommon for it to take more than one try to achieve a goal. Please share with us the self-reflection process that you underwent after last year’s application and how you have grown as a result. How did it shape your commitment to Fuqua and inspire your decision to reapply?

The reapplicant essay focuses on “how” you approached growth and change as much as “what” that growth was.  They are not just looking for updates on new achievements – they want to know that you have deliberately pursued a path of growth and development, what they results were, and, finally, how it spurs your reapplication to Fuqua.  To avoid the potential pitfall of a lot of explanation in this essay, make the main part of the essay – the self-reflection and the growth – into a story, and conclude with how it incorporates Fuqua.

The deadlines are:

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[b] [/b]

By Cindy Tokumitsu, author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with Accepted.com.

Related Resources:

 Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right

• 4 Goals of an MBA Application

• 7 Signs an Experience Belongs in Your Application Essays 

Tags: 2015 MBA Application, Duke Fuqua, MBA Admissions

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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2015 Duke MBA—Cross-Continent Essays Tips   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2014, 12:00

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