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Are Schools Reducing Their Number of Admissions Essays? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Are Schools Reducing Their Number of Admissions Essays?
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Is Stanford a trendsetter?

Elite schools like Yale, Wharton, and Stanford looked like they were starting a trend in cutting the number of required admissions essays for applicants, but according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 business school admissions officers survey, most U.S. MBA programs haven’t followed their lead. The survey indicates that just 13% of the participating 204 business schools say they reduced the number of essays for this admissions cycle, compared to last year. Only 3% of schools plan on further reducing the number of required essays for the next application cycle.

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Brian Carlidge, “Our survey finds that the overwhelming number of MBA programs continue to see value in applicants submitting more information about themselves. From what we’ve seen, the business schools that have cut their number of admissions essays are doing so to streamline the process, believing they can get what they need from applicants through fewer, more focused essays. While it may sound counter-intuitive, some applicants may find fewer essays and lower word counts difficult as it forces them to be more succinct. We encourage all aspiring MBAs to put effort into their essays, no matter the number or word count, as this piece of the application gives them the opportunity to show admissions officers why they’d be a good fit for the school in a way that their GMAT score, undergraduate GPA and work experience cannot.”

Analysis.

I certainly agree with Kaplan that MBA applicants need to put serious effort into their essays regardless of how many there are, but I found the disconnect between the highly publicized drop in essays for top-ranked programs vs. the relatively constant number of essays for lower ranked programs curious.

I’m going to indulge in speculating about the causes of this discrepancy:

The competition among the elite programs is intense. Application volume is a factor in rankings and also in perception of a school’s panache. Since more application work essentially raises the cost of applying, more essays could mean fewer applicants for these highly competitive programs. And they don’t want the hit to their application volume.

Perhaps lower ranked programs are more concerned about yield than about application volume. They want to accept people who put a little more effort into their applications. That effort implies the applicants are more invested in the application and are signaling more strongly that they really are interested in attending the programs they are applying to.

Finally another thought that really calls into question the validity of the Kaplan conclusions: While the Kaplan survey asks specifically about essays, it doesn’t discuss information being collected in short-answer responses and in boxes in the application. Many schools, notably HBS, have moved much of the information gathering to these boxes and short-form answers as opposed to the essays of a few years ago.

It’s a mistake to assume that those short-form answers are any less important than the essays.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsSchool-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know

How to Answer “Mini” MBA Essay Questions

Tags: MBA Admissions, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Yale SOM

The post Are Schools Reducing Their Number of Admissions Essays? appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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

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

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Cornell Tech Receives $50 Million Gift from Verizon [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Cornell Tech Receives $50 Million Gift from Verizon
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Cornell Tech’s new campus design

Cornell Tech will open its new 12-acre Roosevelt Island campus in summer 2017, in part due to a recent $50 million gift from Verizon which will go towards the innovative Verizon Executive Education Center.

According to the Cornell Tech press release, “The center will be a place for the entire tech community to gather, a convening place to leverage the impact the campus has on technology beyond its degree programs. The center will be part of the first phase of the campus, which began construction last month and is due to open in the summer of 2017.”

The center in particular and Verizon’s involvement in general will not just help contribute to active technological innovation, but will “facilitate direct collaboration with other companies and Cornell Tech students to bring cutting-edge ideas to market.” It will facilitate cross-sector learning – for students, corporations, and customers, and will increase the number of internships, full-time positions, and scholarships for Cornell Tech students.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon Chairman and CEO, says: “Our donation to Cornell Tech is an investment in the future and fits perfectly with our mission to use communications technologies to solve big challenges and make people’s lives better. The Verizon Executive Education Center will be a magnet for developers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators across all industries, building on the great talent and creativity we already have in the tech sector here in New York City.”

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Related Resources:

• 2014 B-School Grads Flock to Jobs in Tech, Healthcare, and Manufacturing

• Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC

• Cornell Tech Student Interview: Where CS Meets the MBA

Tags: Cornell, Cornell Johnson, Cornell Tech, Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post Cornell Tech Receives $50 Million Gift from Verizon appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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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Introducing Accepted! [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Introducing Accepted!
The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers!

For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best:



We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in the comments section.

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

The post Introducing Accepted! appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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
Friend Accepted on Facebook
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An HBS Reapplicant’s Success Story [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 03:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: An HBS Reapplicant’s Success Story
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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 Prerit Jain, a future MBA student at Harvard Business School.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?

Prerit: My parents moved to New Delhi when I was less than a year old. This is where I grew up, went to school, college and have worked. In fact, it’s the only city I have ever lived in. (Well, you have to discount living out of a suitcase as a management consultant; more on that later.)

I went to the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to study mechanical engineering, and did quite well academically, graduating at the top of my class.

Hoping to get diverse experiences, early in my career, I chose to start my career in consulting. Booz & Company had just opened its office in India, and seemed like an exciting opportunity. I worked there for more than three and a half years, before moving to my current role in early-stage venture capital with the First Light Accelerator Fund. I have been in my new role for only about a year now.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your application/reapplication experience? Where did you apply the first time around? What was the outcome? Where did you apply the second time?

Prerit: I submitted my first set of applications in Sept.-Oct. ’13 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘14). I had worked at Booz for about three years, had been promoted twice, had a clear idea about my long-term goals and how an MBA would help. I was sure that I needed the MBA and the time was right. I applied to four schools: HBS, Wharton, Boothand Kellogg. I was interviewed by all four schools and in my view they all went well. I felt confident of getting admitted to more than one school. However, when the decisions came out, HBS put me on a waitlist and the other three said “thanks but no thanks.” I thought the world had come to an end and spent the next 2 weeks sulking!

Thankfully, I came out of that feeling in a couple of weeks, and began looking ahead. I decided to reapply. However, I realized that my learning curve at Booz had plateaued, and I needed to pursue something else. I was lucky to quickly find an exciting new opportunity (in venture capital), and by February, I had kick-started my new role.

Six months later, I reapplied in Sep ‘14 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘15) to three schools: HBS, Booth, and Columbia. I was interviewed at all three schools, and finally received admits from HBS and Booth. I will be heading to Boston in the fall!

Accepted: What do you think went wrong the first time and what did you do when you reapplied to improve your candidacy?

Prerit: We can only speculate here! When I applied for the first time, I had only worked in one over-represented industry – consulting. Moreover, in hindsight, I perhaps did not practice my interviewing as much.

When I reapplied, I had gained some diverse work experience, and had some more interesting stories to tell. Also, I put in hours of practice before the interviews. I got several of my friends to interview me and I video recorded myself to observe softer elements such as body language and posture.

Accepted: Can you share some tips about applying to b-school as an over-represented minority? 

Prerit: Being an Indian-male-engineer-consultant, I knew I was indeed in a fiercely competitive pool. I knew I needed to show that I am both competent and interesting. I looked through the different parts of the application – the resume, application, essays etc. – and made choices about how I would use each of them.

Hard facts and stats went into the CV and the application form. The more differentiated and interesting personal qualities and experiences went into the essays.

Accepted: I see you got a 760 on your GMAT – amazing! What are your top 3 GMAT tips?

Prerit:

• A few weeks of dedicated preparation go farther than months of insincere efforts

• Practice those 4-hour full-tests. The GMAT is also a test of stamina.

• Right from day 1 of your preparation, get used to working under time constraint. Never attempt a GMAT question without having a timer in front of you.

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 Harvard see:

You can read more about Prerit’s journey by following him on Twitter at @preritjain1988. Thank you Prerit for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

• Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, a free webinar

• Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Tags: Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

The post An HBS Reapplicant’s Success Story appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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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LBS Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 03:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: LBS Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips
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In the LBS EMBA website landing page, a short introduction to the program includes the words “transform,” “transition,” and “catalyst.”  Also, “accelerate” and “propel.”  This is a clear message from the adcom: the program goes beyond conveying necessary skills for senior managers; it is for people who have a dynamic sense of their future and a willingness to change and grow, as well as to study and learn.  Your essays should mirror and convey this dynamic sense, this energy, this vigor.

Question 1: How has the scope of your management experience affected your career objectives? (500 word max)

This is a goals question, albeit rather indirect.  And the question itself reflects the dynamic perspective: rather than “what” your career goals are, it asks you to present them as a part of an ongoing process.

It’s an essay for which the most work might come before you write it – in the preliminary thinking process.  Make it an exercise: FIRST, define your career objectives (short and longer term).  SECOND, identify what factors influenced the development of those objectives.  THIRD, of those factors, single out those related (directly and/or indirectly) to your management experience.  Now, you’ve got the raw material for your essay.

In the actual essay, you could start with career objectives and work back to portray the related management experience – or vice versa.  Either way, be specific in all aspects – make your goals concrete, and use anecdote and detail in describing the influential management experience.

Question 2: What was your response to a piece of feedback that you have received regarding an area of weakness?  (500 words max)

The adcom wants to see how frankly you portray the feedback and your own shortcoming, and how insightfully you contextualize your experience.  Secondarily, it’s about change –did you grow and change as a result of the feedback?

This essay will be most compelling and engaging if written as a story.  Start right in with the story’s setting – where, who, when (ideally make it a fairly recent experience, and one that holds some meaningful stakes).  Then progress through the story, highlighting not just what you and the other party said and did, but also your thinking as the story progresses.  Finally, give a short example of how you have applied this feedback (or your learning from this feedback experience) subsequently – in other words, how you grew.

Question 3 (500 words max):  Please choose ONE essay from the following two options:

If you could choose any three people who have ever lived to join you for dinner, who would you invite and why?

OR

If you were on the cover of any publication in 10 years, what would the headline and the content of the article be?

If the first two questions are rooted in real-world, concrete experience, this question urges you to “play” a little and use your imagination, wit, creativity, and possibly broader passions in answering.

Which should you answer?  Both are equally good; it depends on which serves your needs and interest best.

There are various viable and effective approaches to this essay. One is “gut instinct” and personal appeal.  I.e., if one of these questions strikes a chord with you, engages you, and you have an idea that you like, probably it will be an effective essay.   Go with it!  BUT, do apply some objective, focused analysis as well.  Ensure that your content truly illuminates you in some new and fresh way relevant to the application, and do use detail and example to make your essay credible and vivid.

Another approach is strategic.  If your imagination isn’t tickled by these questions, instead analyze and plan.  What relevant and interesting aspects of your profile aren’t yet portrayed (or portrayed adequately) in the application?  Identify one or two such points, and work back from that to find suitable topics for one of the two questions.  BUT: don’t be too heavy handed with the essay, which wouldn’t align with the question’s tone.

Random pitfalls:

• If you choose the first question, please don’t use very obvious or overly angelic people (I’ve seen this essay answered with Gandhi and Mother Teresa more often than I can believe over 15 years.)  Rather, discuss people who show your creative thinking and/or are personally meaning to you.

• If you choose the second question, don’t turn the essay into a second goals essay.  Ensure that it extends the portrayal of you in some way.

[b] [/b]Deadlines:

For September 2015 and January 2016 start:  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis within 2 weeks of receipt.  A final decision will come 6 to 8 weeks after submission.

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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:

Ace the EMBA

• School-Specific EMBA Application Essay Tips

• The GMAT and EMBA Programs

Tags: 2015 EMBA Application, EMBA, EMBA, London Business School, MBA Admissions

The post LBS Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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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IE MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: IE MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines
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IE is a top-ranked international MBA program in Madrid, Spain. The Financial Times ranks the program 12th in the world and Bloomberg Business Week ranks it 2nd among non-US programs. Graduates enjoy job placement around the world – with the help of IE’s 50,000 global alumni and 27 representative offices building relationships with companies on every continent: 35% of the class accepted positions in Europe, 28% in Latin America, 12% in Asia, 12% in North America, and 8% in the Middle East and North Africa after graduation. Graduates enter diverse industries as well: the four largest fields are consulting (19% of graduates), financial services (19% of graduates), consumer products (14% of graduates), and technology (13% of graduates).

IE has three intakes (start dates) each year, so it truly has a rolling application review calendar. At any time of year, you can apply to IE! When applying, applicants must choose which session they are applying to (April, September, or January) and are accepted for the program date they chose AND the one thereafter, a big advantage in case of an unexpected hurdle in the way of attendance. (I’ve had many clients who have had to reapply after receiving acceptances to other programs when unexpected professional or personal changes have occurred because in most cases, top MBA programs will not offer deferred admissions.)

IE’s application offers a lot of choice, allowing applicants to shine the spotlight on what makes them special in truly unique ways. For example, there are 12 prompts, and applicants must respond to any three of them; however, only one of the applicant’s three responses must be answered with an essay of 400-600 words. The other two responses may be either essays OR photographs, drawings, videos, animations, or presentations a la Prezi or Slideshare hosted online.

Here are the 12 prompts to choose from, with my guidance in blue beneath each:

1. If you had the opportunity, what actions would you demand of the United Nations Secretary General and why?

IE’s International MBA program aims to develop leaders who understand other perspectives and challenge the status quo. This is a great question to answer if you have been politically active or involved in a global issue that is important to you since it will provide you a platform to discuss the issue, the efforts that you have made to shape it, and how the UN could play a role in addressing it further.

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2. Describe the situation with the greatest ethical complexity that you have faced in your professional or academic life, and how your input helped resolve it.

I like the phrasing of this question because it is clear where other programs sometimes obfuscate: ethical complexity means that it was not simple to determine the right thing to do; there was no one ideal path to follow. This is your chance to demonstrate the level of decision-making you have enjoyed in your career and how you have creatively navigated complicated ethical waters.

3. Describe a time when you took a great risk. What was the outcome?

IE places a great emphasis on entrepreneurship and is seeking risk takers who think unconventionally: people who are willing to leave a steady, low return behind to instead pursue an uncertain but potentially high reward. A good essay or presentation here will show the admissions office your analysis of the potential gain and what actions you took to improve your chances of success.

4. Cite at least one example of when your leadership had an impact on or changed a certain situation, and justify how an IE Master’s Degree program would help you to strengthen or improve this competence.

Leadership can turn situations around. A good answer to this question will explain or show what the situation was and why you felt it needed to be changed. Then, it will demonstrate your leadership – how you wooed, cajoled, and earned the support of others above, parallel, and below you in the organization to accept your ideas and how those ideas improved the situation. Strong essays will end with insight into IE’s Behavioral Fitness leadership training program and the areas in which IE will help you further improve your leadership skills.

5. Describe the most outstanding leader you have worked with. Indicate some aspects of the way you work that are similar to the way this leader works and others that are different.

A description of a role model’s leadership requires some insight into how he or she leads, makes use of his/her talents to gather internal and external support to make an impact. If you have enjoyed a front row seat to excellent management, then this essay will allow you to highlight what you’ve learned and how you’ve borrowed from that example in your own leadership experiences.

6. You have just participated in an important meeting with your superior. How will you ensure that every part of the instructions you received will properly reach all subordinates, suppliers and clients, located in different parts of the world?

IE’s International MBA program is comprised of students from 70 countries and myriad industries. The answer to this question is not just about an email that you cc to everyone , but rather must demonstrate that you understand the challenge and opportunity of connecting with global teams. Good answers to this prompt will not remain in the theoretical but will instead draw upon similar global experiences from the applicant’s past to prove their international leadership ability and cultural understanding.

7. Do you think that the lifestyle of the inhabitants of your town or city reflects behavior that is in line with the concept of sustainable development? In your opinion, what should be improved?

If you have been involved in municipal or local community service, this is the ideal essay to shine the spotlight on the issues in its sustainable development that matter to you most. IE seeks strong critical thinking skills in its students: the ability to assess strengths and weaknesses in the status quo, so good responses to this prompt will make use of that ability to discuss the ways in which denizens are living sustainably (ethically, responsibly, amid diversity, and with consideration to the environment) and could improve in doing so.

8. What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing the sector or industry you would like to specialize in at IE? What role do you hope to be able to play in this sector or industry in the medium term?

This essay or presentation offers you the opportunity to discuss the exciting advancements and challenging obstacles that lie on the horizon for your target industry. Good answers to this question will show your excitement for your chosen industry and your readiness for it.

9. Show us an activity you enjoy doing. Tell us how you think it contributes to your personal and professional development.

Oh well, they couldn’t all be phrased in interesting ways to make the applicant think, could they? This is an opportunity to share some of your experiences from outside of work and how they have helped you grow in the qualities and skills that IE is seeking: risk taking, innovation, cultural awareness, and leadership are among the most important.

10. How do you imagine social interaction within 10 years, taking into consideration the impact of technology on human relations?

Here’s an opportunity to think creatively and use a bit of a crystal ball to predict how communication and interaction will change by the year 2025. If you consider yourself particularly creative or prescient, this essay will offer you a perfect canvas to paint your prediction for the not-so-distant future.

11. If all of the world’s cultural heritage (sports, music, fashion, architecture, literature, painting, etc..) was contained in a time capsule, what would you include to demonstrate the legacy of your country?

IE’s student body is diverse for a reason: IE aims to expose its students to the sundry cultural mindsets around the world. This prompt offers you the opportunity to demonstrate how you will contribute to that discussion. What unique elements of your country’s culture do you feel embody its nature and uniqueness? Personal essays that inspire an emotional or visceral connection to that culture in the reader will be the most memorable.

12. How do you envision the city of the future?

Like option 10 above, this question allows you to share your vision of the future, albeit not limited to just a small 10-year jump through time. What changes do you anticipate in transportation, energy, industry, safety needs, education, population and/or family structure and how will they affect the structure and motion of future cities?

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

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By Jennifer Bloom who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 15 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

• An IE Grad Reflects on Spain, School, and Career Searching

School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

Tags: 2015 MBA Application, 2016 MBA Application, IE, MBA Admissions

The post IE MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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
Friend Accepted on Facebook
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Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
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Well before “entrepreneurship” was a household word, UCLA Anderson was one of the first b-schools to teach it. Decades later, they are still going strong.

Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview with Elaine Hagan, Executive Director of the Price Center at UCLA Anderson, and Angela Klein, ‎Program Manager at Anderson, for the scoop on entrepreneurship at UCLA.

00:01:41 – Featured Applicant Question: Should I take seriously an email from an admissions committee encouraging me to apply and even offering help?

00:05:48 – Introducing Elaine Hagan and Angela Klein.

00:07:04 – What the Price Center does for ULCA Anderson students.

00:10:10 – Changes to teaching entrepreneurship over the past 10 years.

00:11:46 – Can the “the mindset of an entrepreneur” be taught?

00:15:30 – Anderson’s approach to teaching entrepreneurship.

00:20:35 – The Knapp Venture Competition.

00:25:40 – Benefits of working for an established company first

00:28:35 – Ingredients of a successful entrepreneur.

00:30:38 – The difference between guy and gal entrepreneurs (and a word about international differences, too).

00:33:58 – What future entrepreneurs should do before arriving on campus.

00:36:46 – Will writing, “I want to study entrepreneurship” on your application convince the adcom? (And what Anderson hates more than anything else.)

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

UCLA Anderson Price Center

UCLA Anderson 2015 MBA Essay Tips

• “Start-up Costs for MBA Graduates Pay Off” from the Financial Times

Related Shows:

• MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship

• Life as an HBS MBA

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans

• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.

• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, entrepreneurship, MBA Admissions, podcast, UCLA Anderson

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London Business School Master In Finance 2015 Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: London Business School Master In Finance 2015 Essay Tips
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The relatively short LBS MFin essay questions, together, convey the adcom’s interest in both who you are and how you envision and plan your career.  Given that your classmates will be experienced finance professionals (the average work experience is six years), it’s important to deliver throughout and “across” the essays mature, informed insights and perspectives derived from your experience in your particular area of finance.

The essay questions are: 

1. What is it about Finance that interests and inspires you? (300 word limit)

Be yourself.  No need to wear a halo; while some people are inspired by the belief that finance can change the world for the better, others feel equally inspired by the high stakes and fast pace, or a technical or intellectual dimension.

This essay work best as a story – simply tell the story of how you “fell in love” with finance (whether industry or function or both—what finance means and looks like to you).  This approach will allow the reader to see through your eyes what interests and inspires you about the field.  And it will inherently lead you to provide the detail and anecdote to make the essay memorable and vivid.

2. What role do you see yourself in immediately after the programme? How will the MiF build on your current skills and experience to help you achieve this? In what geographical region do you see yourself working in immediately after the programme? If you are not successful in your first choice of role, is there another role you would consider? (500 word limit)

This is really four questions. You needn’t answer them in order, and I suggest combining the “geographical region” answer with the answer to the first question about where you see yourself immediately post-program.  That discussion should include details such as company or type of company, specific positions and titles, and what you want to achieve in that role and why – your “vision” for this step in your career. Should you mention long-term goals?  Sure, if you wish, but briefly.  Sometimes they are important for understanding your short-term goals.  The immediate goal should be consistent with the message in the first essay, and should be a realistic target that’s also appropriately ambitious.

The final question asks for your “Plan B.” In describing it, give a brief rationale as well for why it’s a suitable and appealing path.

3. What value will you add to London Business School? (200 word limit)

Feel free to discuss relevant factors beyond finance here (note the question asks not what you’ll bring to the MFin program, but to London Business School).  Some possible topic areas include unusual work experience or industry/functional exposure, personal interests (though please don’t say traveling), formative academic or social experiences, distinctive or unusual aspects of your background, etc. Think about what will round out your profile in an appealing and relevant way to prospective classmates.  With only 200 words, don’t discuss more than 3 things; you’ll still need example and detail to make the topics credible and interesting.  

Deadlines:

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If you would like professional guidance with your LBS MFin application, please consider Accepted’s essay editing and admissions consulting or our Masters in Finance Application Package.

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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:

MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance

Master in Finance: What You Need to Know

• Princeton University Master in Finance: Is It Right for You, and Are You Right for Princeton?

Tags: London Business School, Masters in Finance, MBA Admissions

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4 Tips for Team Interviews [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Tips for Team Interviews
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Win an Academy Award for your interview performance

Since so much of b-school life and learning includes team discussions, the adcom needed a tool for assessing how applicants will fit in the team-based discussion culture of their programs. Thus, the Team-Based Discussion (TBD) was born.

In team-based interviews, applicants need to use a different set of skills than they use during traditional, individual interviews. Personal interviews require one-on-one presentation, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness, while team interviews require critical thinking, listening, persuasion, and leadership.

Here are four to-do’s to help you win an Academy Award for your performance in an interview:

1. Review school material. This includes the specific materials that the school provides prior to the interview, as well as all other material about the program. As with an individual interview, you need to know the school well – its mission, curriculum, teaching style, etc. Review the school’s website and speak with current students and recent grads so you get a clear picture of what it’s like to be a student at B-School X.

2. Read Case in Point. This is an excellent book by Marc Consentino that will teach you how to state your position during team-based interviews, and then clearly and succinctly support your position.

3. Role-play. Use family, friends, colleagues, and consultants at Accepted.com to role-play with you. The more in-the-know your mock interviewer and peers are, the better idea you’ll get of how the interview will run on the big day.

4. Take notes. You are allowed to bring notes to the interview, and while you don’t want to read off a piece of paper or even refer to it frequently, it may help you feel more confident knowing that some of your key points are written down in case you need them. You never know how performance anxiety may set in, and if your brain freezes and you completely forget your plan, you’ll be glad you jotted some ideas down beforehand.

TIP: Don’t bring a 400-page stack of papers! You don’t want to spend the whole time shuffling through your notes, making noise and ignoring your co-interviewees while they speak. Paperless notes on a tablet may reduce the shuffle, but they won’t reduce the distraction – keep paperless notes to a minimum as well.

Coming up next: 4 Tips for the Interview Itself

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Related Resources:

How to Ace Your MBA Interviews

7 Tips for MBA Interview Prep

The 10 Commandments of MBA Interviews

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Interview, Michigan Ross, Team Interview, Wharton

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310-815-9553

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How to Ace Your Team Based Interview [4 Tips for the Big Day] [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Ace Your Team Based Interview [4 Tips for the Big Day]
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The key to a good TBD is balancing what to say, how much to say and when to say it.

Last week we shared our tips for preparing for Team Based Interviews. Today we’re going to move forward and offer 4 tips for acing the interview itself:

1. Don’t be confrontational. This is not a debate in which you’re trying to score points. It’s not Crossfire. It’s not a verbal battle. It’s a simulation of what you may encounter in a b-school classroom or group project, and so it’s that vibe and model that you’ll want to emulate. Interviewees should build on one another’s points, contributing to the conversation; they shouldn’t cut each other down with rude or judgmental remarks. Of course you’re allowed to disagree, and you should be persuasive and enthusiastic about your positions, but do so with respect and grace.

2. Think quality, not quantity. Participants are judged on the quality – and not the quantity – of their comments. You should add to the conversation, but certainly not dominate it. Refrain from speaking for the sake of being heard. Thoughtful and succinct comments are appreciated; chatter is not.

Don’t let this tip backfire on you! Qualitative comments are a must, so don’t hold back from speaking because you’re worried that your contributions won’t hit the mark. You need to find a balance – don’t blab on incessantly, but don’t be too shy to open your mouth either. You’re there to contribute; make sure you do!

3. Keep it real. While many of the topics or prompts given may lead you to a world of theoretical thought, you need to work to push through the theory to arrive at concrete points that are supported with evidence from your own firsthand experiences. Business schools are interested in students who have paid attention to their life stories and who are able to draw deep understanding and practical results from them.

4. Keep notes to a minimum. Just as a treatise of pre-interview notes will distract you from the interview action (as we mentioned in last week’s article), so will scribbling notes furiously during the interview. You definitely want to have a pen and clipboard or a tablet available if you need to quickly jot something down, but remember – this is a group discussion and you want to keep the flow of the conversation natural. Taking notes and then reading your monologue will certainly disrupt that flow.

Good luck!

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Related Resources:

• Get Ready, Get Set, and ACE that Team Interview Challenge!

• Four Tips for the Wharton Interview

Wharton B-Scool Zone

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA Interview, Michigan Ross, Team Interview, Wharton

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Putting Your GMAT Game Plan in Action [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Putting Your GMAT Game Plan in Action
Are you ready to nail the GMAT?

You will be once you finish watching the recording of last week’s webinar, Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT. Then you can put your prep plan into action.

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View Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT for actionable, confidence-boosting GMAT strategies that will provide you with an outstanding GMAT game plan!

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Tags: GMAT, 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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An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
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People looking for traditional 9 to 5 desk jobs almost seem to be the exception in 2015. HBS grad and entrepreneur Allison O’Kelly is all for the change.

Want to know more? Listen to the full recording of our talk with Allison, Founder/CEO of Mom Corps and champion of the Flexibility Movement.

00:01:31 – Introducing Allison O’Kelly and Mom Corps.

00:04:13 – The value of the “traditional route” of spending a few years in the workforce before launching a startup.

00:05:41 – How an I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life moment shaped Allison’s future.

00:07:27 – Pros and cons of “staffing up” your small business.

00:10:37 – How helpful is b-school for an entrepreneur?

00:16:10 – What people simply get wrong about Harvard Business School.

00:17:46 –The “flexibility movement” – beneficial for employers and employees.

00:20:52 – Want to join the flex movement? Here’s what you need to do.

00:24:23 – Thoughts on enhancing your profile for HBS admissions.

00:26:56 – Advice for future entrepreneurs. (And a word to those who “don’t have it in their blood.”)

00:29:14 – What the future holds for Mom Corps.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

Mom Corps

Relevant Shows:

• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street

• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment

• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson

Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB

• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

• Life as an HBS MBA StudentMBA Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesseshttp://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/life-as-an-hbs-mba/

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, entrepreneurship, Grad School Admissions, Harvard Business School, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, podcast

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4 Qualities Top MBA Programs Seek [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Qualities Top MBA Programs Seek
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Does your application highlight the qualities that top b-schools are looking for?

There are four main qualities that top b-schools look for when reviewing MBA applications. If you’re aiming for the top 10, then you’ll want to make sure not only that you possess these qualities, but that you’ve highlighted them in your application.

 [b]Problem Solving Skills – [/b]This is probably the most important quality, at least initially. Schools want the types of students that exclusive consulting firms like McKinsey would take interest in, and that type of student is an expert problem solver. Everyone working in firms like McKinsey needs to be adept at solving a range of “problems” – top schools recognize this and seek out students who would eventually be an excellent fit at these top firms.

[b][b]• Drive/Ambition – [/b][/b]Applicants must show evidence of longstanding drive for success in their applications, resumes, and interviews. Did you push yourself to succeed inside and outside the classroom in college? Do you have an ambitious vision for your career path? B-schools want students who will succeed in the business world once they graduate – if you prove that you have drive/ambition, then you’ll stand out as someone who they want in their classrooms, and beyond.

• [b]Interpersonal Impact – [/b]“Brains on a stick” just won’t cut it at business school and then later on in the business world. You also need to be dynamic and likable. You need to be able to work well on a team and gain the respect of your teammates, not to mention later on, your employers and employees. You can show the adcoms your interpersonal impact by highlighting your involvement in teams at work as well as in clubs, sports, or other socially driven activities. Additionally, choose recommenders who know you well and who will attest to this attribute.

• [b]Leadership/Management Capabilities – [/b]Demonstrating general interpersonal impact isn’t enough: top candidates need to show strong evidence of leadership experience and potential. Did you take on leadership positions in clubs, sports teams, and service organizations? You need to express that you are the type of person who will earn the respect of those around you so that they’ll be eager to follow your lead. In your application, resume, and interview, come up with concrete examples that show how you wielded authority with skill and integrity.

Do you need help highlighting these essential qualities in your MBA application? We’re here to help! Contact us so we can provide the one-on-one counseling you need to put together the highest-impact b-school application.

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Related Resources:

5 Ways to Make B-Schools love you – free webinar

• Leadership in Admissions

How to Prove Character Traits in Essays

Tags: MBA Admissions

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How to Get Accepted in 2016: FREE WEBINAR! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Get Accepted in 2016: FREE WEBINAR!
That’s right – we’re already talking about 2016 MBA applications! You may feel like you’ve got loads of time, but believe me…you’ve got loads to do![b] [/b]

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We’d like to help you start out on the right foot by inviting you to our upcoming live webinar, Get Accepted in 2016: 7 Steps to a Strong MBA Application, in which Linda Abraham, Accepetd.com CEO & Founder, will outline the steps you can take NOW to increase your chances of a successful application next year.

Let me repeat this point: It’s NOT TOO EARLY to get started!

Remember, the early bird gets the worm – those who are prepared to hit the ground running once those apps are released are the ones who will stand a better shot at getting accepted.

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WEBINAR DETAILS:

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

(Spaces tend to fill up quickly, so grab your spot now!)

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Tags: 2016 MBA Application, MBA Admissions, webinar

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IV With an Overrepresented Minority MIT Sloan Admit! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2015, 05:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: IV With an Overrepresented Minority MIT Sloan Admit!
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MIT Sloan (picture courtesy of Vitor Pamplona)

This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, “John Thunder”…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?

John: I’m from the midwest and went to an Ivy League to study economics and mathematics. I was a former investment banker and currently work in investment management.

Accepted: Congrats on your recent acceptance! Can you tell us where you applied and where you got accepted/rejected/waitlisted?

John: I got accepted at Sloan. Waitlisted at Wharton and Booth. Rejected at Kellogg/HBS/Stanford GSB.

Accepted: And if you get more acceptances from the waitlists, how will you decide where to go?

John: I’m fortunate to receive an acceptance to one of my preferred schools. If I get off the waitlist at other schools, maybe I will reconsider.

Accepted: Can you share some admissions tips as an “overrepresented minority”? How would you advise others who are trying to stand out from the crowd?

John: This is the tough question. If I had to re-do my 2-3 year plan for MBA, I would do 1 year of international development in the “motherland” and/or get involved with organizations in those countries. I did not do anything different to standout, except I demonstrated that sure I have similar stats and background to others but coworkers ranked me as the top analyst each year out of the whole class. Instead of thinking about other “Asians,” I saw my application holistically with the applicant group.

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

John: This is a stressful process. I took my GMAT in Fall 2013 to apply for Class of 2017. Get started early and have set goals. If you are targeting HBS/Stanford only, I recommend applying to only one of those round 1 and the other round 2 and go all-out to visit and hustle. I’ve seen success from those who did that.

Accepted: What is your post-MBA plan? 

John: Finance has lost its luster. Please hire me Google.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience? 

John: Kudos to the community created at GMATClub. I used it religiously to study for my GMATs. I just wanted to give back to that community. I was stressed out throughout the whole application process and it was helpful to see other applicants’ experiences. It’s important to pay-it-forward, and that’s what it’s about in business school.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages.

You can read more about John Thunder’s b-school journey by checking out his blog, John Thunder MBA. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

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Related Resources:

Navigate the MBA Maze

GMAT 101

Waitlisted! What Now

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA applicant bloggers, MIT Sloan

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3 Tips for Parents of Grad School Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2015, 05:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 3 Tips for Parents of Grad School Applicants
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Make sure your child’s in the driver’s seat

I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids during the admissions process; but I cringe when I see parents overstepping their bounds, attempting to control their children’s actions and outcomes.

How much involvement is TOO MUCH involvement for parents of applicants? Check out these 3 tips:

[b]• Make Sure Your Child’s in the Driver’s Seat. – [/b]When you take the lead in the admissions process, you’re essentially telling your child: “I don’t think you have what it takes to manage this process yourself.” And what you’re telling the school is: “My kid isn’t competent or ambitious enough to apply to school himself.” You can help your child apply, surely, but make sure that’s what you’re doing – helping them, and not the other way around.

[b]• Your Child’s Voice Should be the Sole Voice of this Operation. – [/b]All communication with the school should be between your child – not you, the parent – and the school. Likewise, the voice your child uses to write her application essays should be her voice – and not yours. And it should go without saying that this advice relates to interviews as well. Help, guide, coach, and edit, but please never speak for your child.

[b]• Help Your Child Deal with Disappointment. – [/b]Be it a rejection or a poor score, a parent needs to understand the role they play here. First, your child is the one experiencing this distress, not you. By showing your disappointment, you will only make your child feel worse, not to mention potentially preventing your child from continuing to move forward. Instead, allow your child time to express disappointment, provide the appropriate amount of comfort (you know your child best), and then encourage your child to persevere.  Suggest that your applicant explore alternatives and examine the factors he or she can change to improve the outcome in the future. Play the role of the motivational coach; don’t play the blame game.

Not sure you can effectively guide your child through the grad school admissions process (in a balanced, non-pushy way of course)? Browse our catalog of services to access professional guidance today!

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Grad School Statement of Purpose

• The Biggest Application Essay Mistake

•  Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

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

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MBA 2016 – READY, SET, GO! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2015, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA 2016 – READY, SET, GO!
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Deadlines are sooner than you think. Are you prepared?

It’s not even spring yet. So why am I nagging you to get moving on your MBA application prep?

Not just because those Round 1 deadlines creep up with wicked stealth and speed. But also because there is so much you can still do between now and then to improve your candidacy (sometimes a lot, sometimes on the margins, but margins matter). Also, preparing now will enable you to apply to more programs earlier, and therefore to adjust strategy in Round 2 if necessary.

So, what should you be doing NOW?

First, two obvious things.

GMAT: I’ve seen too many people leave the GMAT till late summer or early fall, get a lower score than they expect, and have to recalculate their plans. If you don’t have a GMAT score yet, NOW is the time to prepare and take the GMAT, ideally by end of spring. Then, if your score isn’t realistic for your schools of choice, you have time to retake the test, reconsider your target schools, or both. And you will have it behind you when you focus on the applications.

SCHOOL RESEARCH: It’s best to visit schools when classes are in session. So NOW is the ideal time to research schools for a preliminary list. I developed an easy-to-use resource,Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One, to walk you through this process. This effort will also get you thinking about your profile strategically.

Then there are the less obvious things.

ACADEMIC RECORD: Is your academic record a potential weakness? There is time (not much), NOW, to take a relevant course or two, complete it, and have an A or two to report to the adcom as evidence of your ability to excel academically.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Not sure whom to ask for recommendations? Sort it out NOW, while there’s time to weigh the pros and cons of various options, to possibly broach the issue (directly or indirectly) with people, and adapt as needed. You do know whom you’ll ask? NOW is time to enhance your positive visibility to them, so they can’t help but write a scintillating letter.

LEADERSHIP: You can improve – deepen, broaden, refine – your leadership NOW and every day before your application. Whether or not you have a formal leadership role, you can always find ways to exercise informal leadership. And you can’t have too much leadership in an MBA application. If there isn’t space to write about it in essays, portray it in your resume.

GOALS: Naturally, since you’re planning to apply for an MBA, you know what your goals are. But what are you going to say about them of interest? About your planned industry, company, function? Read. Books, journals, company reports, not just the WSJ. And do informational interviews (use your undergrad alumni network). An interview needn’t be longer than 10 minutes with two good questions to be illuminating! Interesting, informed perspective on your goals will make your essay jump out from the sea of merely competent essays. But do this research NOW, to digest and integrate it well.

RESUME: NOW is also the perfect time to prepare or adapt your resume for business school. You can get it at least 95% done, and adjust as needed for any new developments later. This way, if you have a chance to visit or school or meet with an adcom member earlier than you planned, you’re ready.

Six months and counting to round 1 deadlines…

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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:

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

Best MBA Programs, A Guide to Selecting the Right One

5 Tips to Assess Your MBA Profile

Tags: deadlines, MBA Admissions

The post MBA 2016 – READY, SET, GO! appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2015, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference
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Your hobby may be your ticket to acceptance

Don’t underestimate the value of extracurricular activities in your b-school application! Use the following Q&A to help you prioritize and then write about your extracurricular activities.

What are extracurricular activities?

An extracurricular activity is a non-academic, non-professional activity that you participate in. These activities include hobbies, sports, the arts, and volunteering or community service.

Why are extracurriculars important?

Extracurricular activities play a critical role in your MBA application. Here are five reasons why:

[b]1. Extracurricular activities add color and texture to an otherwise one-dimensional application.[/b] They help the adcom get to know YOU – not just the you that works nine to five (or six to ten) crunching numbers at the desk, but the YOU that also has ten state-wide blue ribbons in figure skating or that has quilted the largest quilt east of the Mississippi with the help of your town’s local special ed school.

[b]2. Extracurricular activities prove your commitment. [/b]You’ve taught piano (pro bono) to the same kid for eight years straight? You must be a committed, reliable, and dependable person. Admissions committees like that.

[b]3. Extracurriculars demonstrate creativity and passion. [/b]Extracurricular or volunteer commitments don’t need to be typical soup kitchen or Big Brother/Big Sister experiences, although those are valuable too. Think beyond run-of-the-mill examples to other things you’ve done – like all those winter breaks you spent running a camp for your autistic baby brother and two other kids from the neighborhood, or that summer you traveled to India to help run a vaccination clinic. These examples don’t specifically relate to business, but creativity and passion can easily be seen in each experience. If you share your passions, you’ll inspire your readers!

4. Extracurricular activities allow you to demonstrate initiative, as well as leadership and organizational skills. Let’s look back at our examples from above and ask a few questions: What steps did you take to set up your backyard camp? Whose idea was it? What sorts of activities did you plan and execute with the kids? And about the clinic in India: What role did you play in running the vaccination clinic? Did you just sit around and do what you were told to do? Or did you take initiative to present your own organizational ideas? Did you fund raise? Get others to commit too? In both of these cases, it shouldn’t be hard to demonstrate that you are the type of thoughtful, inspirational leader who transforms an idea into reality.

[b]5. Extracurricular activities can tip the scale in your favor when you’re up against an otherwise equally competitive candidate. [/b]Extracurricular activities and community service can make the difference between acceptance and rejection when adcoms are sizing up two applicants with similar competitiveness. A fundamental assumption of admission is that past behavior predicts future behavior. Admissions committees are proud of their schools and know that to thrive, these communities constantly need new, active, involved members. Furthermore, they want people who will also be involved as alumni and community leaders after business school. If two applicants have the same scores, equally persuasive essays, impressive letters of rec, and similar professional experience, AND if there’s only one more seat to be filled, then the adcom members will choose the applicant who has served her community or shown commitment, leadership, and all those other good things we’ve discussed above, through an extracurricular activity, over the guy who’s focused only on furthering his career.

What should you do if you don’t have long-term extracurricular or volunteer commitments?

This is a common question I’m asked, and a good one. If you don’t have much (or any) extracurriculars to write about, then it is better to start an activity, pick up a new hobby, or resume participation in a past activity or hobby just before applying to b-school so that you have something to write? Will the adcom view this as a shallow or phony move? Is it better to not mention any extracurriculars and hope that the adcoms just don’t notice, rather than highlight the fact that you just a few, or none at all, worth mentioning?

My Answer: You should start now! Here are four reasons why:

[b]1. A little volunteering or a new extracurricular activity is better than no volunteering/extracurriculars at all.[/b] The impact you can make in even a short period of time can be great. Involvement in an extracurricular activity or in community service can dramatically affect you as a person, and therefore can significantly affect your MBA candidacy as well.

[b]2. A little commitment is better than no commitment at all. [/b]Obviously a commitment that’s lasted only a couple of months will not be as effective as one that’s lasted years, but it’s still better than no commitment at all. Think of it this way: If you don’t show that you’ve been committed to a non-academic, non-professional activity, then the adcom may think that you’re incapable of doing so.

[b]3. Even a little extracurricular activity will liven up a flat application. [/b]See #1 in the first list. You don’t want to come off as a workaholic who has no time or interest in anything non-work related. Demonstrate your humanity and liven up your application – a little could go a long way.

[b]4. What if you’re waitlisted or you need to reapply? [/b]Obviously we hope for the best, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead and make room for Plan B, which is: You may be waitlisted. You may need to reapply. If yes, then won’t you be glad that you started your extracurricular/volunteer experience as early as you did? What looked like a brief volunteer encounter during your first application effort now looks like an impressive long-term experience. By now your endeavor is more impressive and has had a greater impact – on you and on others. The same goes for people who plan on applying this year, start volunteering, and then change their minds to apply next year.

So, to sum up: If you’re not already involved in an extracurricular activity, take the time NOW to find an activity that you feel passionate about. Then, follow your passions and DO something.

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Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions

How to Prove Character Traits in Your Application Essays

4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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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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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2015, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future
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Will your past allow the adcom a peak into your future?

Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive.

So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in the future? Point to the past. Most admission committees are firm believers that past behavior reveals abilities and interests and is a good predictor of the future.

Here are four tips to help you relay the message that you plan on achieving greatness by contributing to your school/community/world-at-large, by highlighting your impressive past.

1. Share the story of past achievements and quantify if possible the impact you had. – By showing how you’ve already contributed, you demonstrate that you have the initiative, people skills, and organizational talent to make an impact in the future.

2. Discuss skills you’ve developed that will aid to future contributions. – You can show the adcoms that you’re prepared to give back by proving that you’ve got the skills and the tools needed. Use evidence to support your skill development by talking about how you’ve worked to build your skill set, i.e. by taking a course or through work experience, etc. Analyze your success and failures (when asked for the latter) to reveal that you are a thinking, growing, dynamic individual. And when asked about failures or setbacks, discuss what you learned from the tough times. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

3. Show how your skills are transferable. – To contribute to your classmates or school, you’ll need to show how your unique talents or experiences can be shared with your classmates, professors, or work colleagues. Talk about how your skills, understanding, and ethics can impact those around you.

4. Mention how your target school will help. – Now the adcom readers know that you’ve got skills and that you’re ready to share them. Next, you need to reinforce the idea that their school is THE PLACE to accelerate your upward trajectory.

A good essay on your contributions will cover each of the above topics – what you’ve done in the past, how you’ve developed your skills, how you plan on sharing that knowledge, and how your target school will help you effect change. Remember, the past reveals much about the future, so share the story of what you’ve done and how you’ve reached this point and you’ll be well on your way to proving that you’ve got what it takes to contribute in the future.

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Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions

How to Prove Character Traits in Essays

Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?

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

The post 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In” [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2015, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In”
This blog post is part of a series of MBA profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?”  by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendation as well as an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

PROFILE #9: Eli, Army veteran and U.S. college student looking for investment banking “in”

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Where is the evidence that you take charge?

-BACKGROUND: American male who will graduate in 2016 from Baruch College. Completed eight month finance internship at VR, Inc. “a corporation engaged in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property.” Served two years in the Israeli Defence Force. Worked for a summer at a home for developmentally disabled adults.

Going through your profile, I feel like I’m looking at a tidy construction site with a newly laid foundation. The structure looks like it will be solid. But gaping holes have yet to be filled, raw materials yet to arrive.

So let’s talk about that foundation. It looks good. You’ve accrued a strong mix of technical and business skills at university. An internship at VR shows off your IT skills. The philosophy minor and military experience sets you up, potentially, as an insightful leader.

But where is the evidence that shows you taking charge, making an idea into a reality, or convincing a reluctant group to take on a challenge? As you have relatively little work experience, I’d have to base that judgment off your military service. By what you’ve provided on your resume, I have little to go on.

-GOALS: Sales & Trading at a bulge bracket or high end boutique firm.

This goal makes sense with your past, although an internship at a bank would be stronger than at the intellectual property firm. That’s likely why you want an MBA–to get that “in” at an investment bank.

So what do investment banks want in their new recruits?  In his how-to-book, Andrew Gutman says IB recruiters ask themselves two questions. First, would I want this person working for me? She’ll want someone who has the intellectual capacity to handle complex, fast-moving transactions, plus the physical stamina and good attitude required to put in long hours. Your grades and internship demonstrate a keen intellect. To show you’ve got the guts, bring out stories from your military experience about making tough decisions under pressure, and keeping up morale during long stretches on duty.

The second question is: would I mind being stuck at the airport with this guy? Can you handle hours of chatting about interesting subjects, or are you a bore? Your extracurriculars on campus show that you’re social. You put down snowboarding, classical music, fitness, and paintball as interests on your resume. Make these activities come to life in your essays. Show how you’re a leader, how you challenge yourself in perfecting your skills, and how you’ve developed your interior life.

-GMAT: ??

A unique choice. You’ve decided to take the GRE, but you have yet to take the test. That’s the big gaping hole.

Ad comms decided to accept the GRE to attract non-traditional candidates from liberal arts or hard science backgrounds. You, sir, fall into the traditional pool. It’s not against the rules for you to take the GRE, but you would raise fewer eyebrows if you took the GMAT.

Seek to score 720 or above.

-GPA: 3.8 with a major in finance and two minors, CIS and Philosophy.

This is a great GPA. It puts you right near the top of the competition at elite business schools. No worries here.

-EXTRACURRICULAR: Served on the executive board of the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Active Member at Baruch Hillel.

It’s difficult to decipher, from your brief descriptions, how you impacted these organizations.

Will you go down in history for the epic activities you organized, the vast network you created for yourself, or the new avenues you forged to have a real social impact on the surrounding community? In your resume you need to be much more descriptive of what you actually did. Titles are not enough.

-SCHOOLS:

I really can’t recommend any schools for you without your GMAT score. All the programs on your target list are reach choices with your profile, even if you score a 720 or above on the GMAT.

My question for you is: what will you do if you don’t get into business school right away? You’re a unique case because you’ve had military experience and you’re a fresh grad. But you’ve done little actual work in finance. You could apply right now, but you’ve got to convince me of why now is the time for you to get an MBA, instead of a couple more years out on the job.

In conclusion, the big missing piece for me is: your military experience. From my understanding, the Israeli military is much less hierarchical than the U.S. military. So you have a chance to show not only leadership, but also how you asserted your ideas, perhaps when you weren’t in the top spot and had an impact.

The pieces of your profile make sense with your ultimate goal, but start filling in those gaps.

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

 

Related Resources:

Your 3-Part Plan to Dominate the GMAT, a free webinar

• An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School

Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications

Tags: MBA Admissions, What Are My Chances

The post What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In” appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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_________________

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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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In”   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2015, 09:01

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