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MBA Admissions Consultant
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Location: Los Angeles CA
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Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why Extracurriculars Activities Make a Difference

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.





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

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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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.





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

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What Are My Chances? Young Veteran Looking for Investment Banking “In” [#permalink]
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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 https://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances.

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


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.




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

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AIGAC’s 2015 MBA Applicant Survey [You Can Win $500!] [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: AIGAC’s 2015 MBA Applicant Survey [You Can Win $500!]

As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs.

We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process.

Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and our sincere gratitude! The anonymous data will be shared with admissions officers from top programs. Make your voice heard!

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Everyone completing the survey will be entered to win $500 cash (contact email will be used for prize purposes only). We’ll also be sharing the results of the survey this spring to help candidates better understand the nature of today’s applicant pool.





Tags: AIGAC, MBA Admissions

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The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree

Admit it. You just can’t stop thinking about the GMAT.

If you are a b-school student (present or future), then Rich D’Amato, Vice President of Global Communications at GMAC, has some important info to share with you.

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Rich for the scoop on new GMAT features, the MBA Alumni survey, the relevance of the MBA degree, and more.

00:02:44 – The low-down on GMAC’s Enhanced Score Reports and how they can help you prepare effectively and score higher on the GMAT.

00:08:17 – The new Score Preview feature: how it works and how it can help you.

00:11:22 – Featured Applicant Question: Can I retake the GMAT, and then cancel the score and reinstate the original score?

00:12:08 – The case for the GMAT in the GMAT vs GRE battle.

00:15:24 – The role of “entrepreneurial traits” (and an MBA education) in career success.

00:19:16 – Is the end of the MBA degree in sight?

00:21:54 – The growth of specialized business degrees.

00:26:36 – Rich’s awesome advice for future test-takers.


*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• The Official GMAT Website

GMAT NEWSFLASH: GMAT to Feature Score Preview

• GMAT’s New Enhanced Score Report

GMAT Unofficial Enhanced Score Report FAQs

Control Your GMAT Experience with These Three Features

Related Shows:

• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well

• The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes

• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep

• Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:




Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, GMAC, GMAT, MBA Admissions, podcast

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A Window into Life at Harvard Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: A Window into Life at Harvard Business School

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 Tim Massey, who is about to complete his first year at Harvard Business School. (We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Since we last spoke you applied to and got accepted to HBS. Congrats! How has your first year been so far? It b-school as you expected it to be? Any surprises? 

Tim: The first year has been an incredible ride. I’ve really enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it so far and I haven’t regretted my decision to study in the US for a second. The students here are an incredible bunch of people, and it’s really evident that the professors love teaching here. We’re fortunate enough to meet many of the protagonists of our cases or leading business leaders who come to visit our campus. The worldwide draw of HBS really enhances the experience. Without particularly seeking these opportunities out I’ve been able to listen to Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal and hugely successful investor), and Alan Mullaly (former CEO of Ford and Boeing).

HBS also is far more friendly and collaborative than I expected. It has a reputation for being a tough dog-eat-dog place, and that’s not really been my experience at all. Yes, it’s competitive but certainly not at any cost.

My biggest surprise is quite how busy I’ve been (despite HBS’ reputation) – it’s very different from my undergraduate studies and I’ve barely had a minute to myself from when I started right up until the Christmas break at the end of the first semester.

Accepted: Which MBA programs did you end up applying to? Was HBS your first choice? 

Tim: I described HBS originally as my joint first choice. As an engineer, I was also keen on MIT, but MIT made it an easy decision for me! I had a few other applications that I withdrew from early as I knew where I was going to be, and HBS is pretty much one of the first decisions you get in Round 1.

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

Tim: My least favorite aspect of the whole MBA experience has undoubtedly been recruiting season. In contrast to many other parts of the experience, which tend to focus on self-growth and really achieving something meaningful, this seems very much stuck in the past.

I am sure this is borne out of necessity to compete with other schools and maintain league placing high up the recruitment league tables that applicants look at. But depth of support is really variable between traditional MBA industries (finance/consulting) and other more creative directions. It is very much at odds with the rest of the course and HBS’s mission to ‘educate leaders who make a difference in the world.’

I have a strong suspicion this is not unique to HBS and I think the competitive stats-based ranking system for admissions to the top business school really influences behavior here. Any school that deviates from promoting the top highly paid starting salaries and internships will suffer from a disadvantage in these metrics, and this promotes a ‘groupthink’ approach.

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

Tim: There is a pretty huge array of clubs on campus to join, HBS definitely benefits from its size in this respect with members forming based on range of different interests. The majority are based around either professional/career interests (e.g. VCPE club (venture capital/private equity), Tech club), geographical locations (e.g. Euro club/LatAm club) or sports, with some special interests thrown in.

I’m been involved in helping to organize several of these, which is a bit of a throwback to my undergrad days when I was also heavily involved in the student body.

The main difference is a slightly more ‘professional’ edge than undergraduate clubs, with most designed to help navigate and network amongst the diverse student body, and attract specific career opportunities to campus.

Accepted: Can you tell us about  your experience with HBS’ FIELD program?

Tim: So far, I’ve travelled to Chengdu in China on FIELD 2, working with a social enterprise focused on promoting recycling electronics (I wrote about this in a little more detail on my blog here). It was a great project and really allowed me to get a unique perspective on awareness of environmental issues in China. As a whole experience, it really challenged some perspectives I had before I went.

At the moment I’m in the thick of FIELD 3, in the early stages of starting my own business with a group of other students. I’ll be sure to write more about it as we make progress!

Accepted: Have you been keeping up your blogging? Can you direct us to one or two posts that will further help us get up to date with your b-school adventure?

Tim: In addition to my post about FIELD above, I wrote down some of my perspectives on the first semester here.

I’m trying to keep up the blogging, but the strain on my time commitments makes it a bit more difficult to find time than it used to be! I try to write once a month or so – I’m in an incredibly fortunate position to write about what’s it like on the inside – I try to answer the questions I had as an applicant, and if anyone has any suggestions of things they’d like to know more detail about, I’m happy to take requests!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.  To read more about Tim’s b-school journey, please check out his blog, The Adventures of a MBA Student. Thank you Tim for sharing your story with us! 





Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One• What Does Harvard Business School Want?, a video

• Life as an HBS MBA Student

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

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Tips for Applying to European B-Schools [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Tips for Applying to European B-Schools

Do you know what you need to do to get admitted to a European MBA program?

Applying to a European MBA program isn’t quite the same as applying to an American program. The programs themselves often have a different focus than U.S. schools, and adcoms therefore look out for different skills and qualifications. I’d like to direct you to the following resources on our website – blog posts that focus specifically on how to answer specific questions on specific European b-school applications. Please check them out and be in touch if you have any questions!

Tip Posts for European B-Schools:

• ESADE 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HEC Paris 2015 MBA Essay Tips

HKUST 2015 MBA Essay Tips

IMD 2016 Essay Tips

INSEAD 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School 2015 MiM Essay Questions and Tips

NUS MBA 2015 Essay Tips

Oxford Said 2015 MBA Essay Tips

For more advice, I recommend you check out these podcasts that feature interviews with adcom members from top European b-schools – it’s always good to get advice from the source itself!

• The Scoop on the London Business School Masters in Management Program

• Interview with Philippe Oster of HEC Paris

• An Inside Look at INSEAD




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 SchoolsESADE, European B-Schools, HEC, HKUST, IMD, INSEAD, international student, London Business School, MBA Admissions, NUS, Oxford Said

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Student Loan Luck [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 3 Ways to Make Your Own Student Loan Luck

Luck can’t pay off student loans, but YOU can!

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin

If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  Unfortunately, neglecting to understand the various loan repayment options can be just as foolish, because you may be missing out on opportunities to reduce or even eliminate your debt burden. Essentially, leaving your loans to chance could mean leaving money on the table.

Rather than wait around for good fortune to find you, take a proactive approach by seeing if one of these three options apply to you:

1.  Spend money to save money
. All education loans, whether federal or private, allow for penalty-free prepayment, which means that you can pay more than the monthly minimum or make extra payments without incurring a fee. Prepaying may sound painful, but the benefits can be huge. The more you do it, the sooner you’re done with your loans – and the less interest you spend over the life of the loan.

Let’s say you have a $100,000 student loan balance at a 6.8% interest rate and 10-year term. If you increased your monthly payment by just $100, you’d save about $5,600 in total interest and pay off your loans about a year early. Or perhaps you pay down an extra $2,000 per year using your annual bonus, saving yourself about $7,400 in interest and paying off your loans about 1.5 years early. Every borrower’s situation is different, but you can do the math on your own loans with a calculator like this.

One thing to note – prepaying is most effective when the extra cash is applied directly to your principal, rather than being earmarked for future payments.  It’s best to check with your loan servicer to see what their policy is before increasing or adding extra payments.

How to get lucky: Commit to increasing your monthly student loan payment each time you get a raise and/or putting a percentage of every bonus toward your loan balance.

2.  Recalibrate your rate
. One of the fastest ways to slash your student loan burden is to lower the interest rate on your loans, which can only be accomplished through the act of refinancing. In addition to reducing the amount of interest you pay on your loan over time, refinancing can allow you to make lower monthly payments or shorten your payment term (so that you can be done with your loans sooner).

Student loan refinancing is still a relatively new option, so many borrowers who could be eligible to refinancearen’t even aware the opportunity exists. Which is unfortunate, because the savings can be significant.  For example, the average SoFi borrower saves $9,400 when they refinance with us.*  In addition, some private lenders offer additional benefits to borrowers when they refinance, such as complimentary career coaching and entrepreneurial support.

How to get lucky: When shopping around for a refinance lender, be sure to compare interest rates as well as other potential benefits.

3.  Ask for forgiveness. What borrower hasn’t fantasized about winning the lottery and paying off their loans in one fell swoop?  Unfortunately, you’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than win a seven figure jackpot. So what’s the next best thing? How about making your student loan balance magically disappear.

It sounds too good to be true, but this is the basic idea behind student loan forgiveness. Surprisingly, there are quite a few ways to get your loan slate wiped clean, but the most well-known one (and the one that applies to the most people) is the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Under the program, borrowers who work full-time for a qualifying public service organization may be eligible to have federal loans forgiven after 10 years of on-time monthly payments.

Before you skim over this section and assume that PSLF won’t apply to you, consider this: The CFPB estimates that about one in four working Americans has a job that meets the definition of “public service”, and yet they believe a “substantial sum” is left on the table by borrowers who don’t take advantage. This may be because the definition is broader than what most people would expect – for example, soldiers, doctors at non-profit hospitals and public defenders are all examples of professions that may qualify a borrower for PSLF.

How to get lucky: Find out if you qualify for PSLF or other forgiveness programs by contacting your student loan servicer

*SoFi average borrower savings assumes 10-year student loan refinancing with a weighted average rate of 7.67% and a loan balance of $86,000, compared to SoFi’s median 10-year rates of 5.875% (with AutoPay).

This post is by Anna Wolfand originally appeared on the SoFi Blog. SoFi connects alumni borrowers and investors to refinance private and federal student loans.





Related Resources:

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans

Tips for Financing Your MBA

• PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, and How to Earn It

Tags: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions, SoFi

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The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview

At its core, the MBA is a graduate program in business administration for professionals who seek knowledge, skills, a credential, and/or a network to advance in business and to maximize their business performance.  While “MBA” makes many people automatically think of a two-year, full-time program, in recent years the variations on the MBA theme have multiplied, in order to meet changing and diversifying needs and interests of students and organizations.  Here’s a roundup of the main MBA options that are currently available, and their benefits and drawbacks.

Full-Time MBA Programs: This is a two-year, full-time program with an internship in the summer.  It targets business (and sometimes other) professionals with roughly 3-8 years of experience.  Obtaining a new position post-MBA is often a major focus of students, and recruiting by potential employers is a significant benefit of attending a full-time MBA.

Pros: close and sustained interaction with other full-time students, ideal for career changers, internship opportunity, strong recruiting.

Cons: significant opportunity cost, time away from industries that are undergoing rapid change.

Part-Time MBA Programs: Ideal for people who don’t want to leave their company or industry for any significant period or who can’t afford to stop working. Such programs target people who are employed full time, under the premise that students’ ongoing work will inform classroom discussion and projects. Part-time MBA students trend a little older than full-time MBA students.  While these programs have traditionally served local students, increasingly they are offering varied structures and online components to attract distance students.  They do not generally offer access to recruiters.  Often admission is less competitive than for the same school’s full-time program, enabling part-time students to obtain a “brand” they may not qualify for otherwise.

Pros: can continue to work/earn, apply learning in real time, access to top-tier programs.

Cons: take longer, no internship, usually no recruiting, it can be grueling to work and study simultaneously.

One-Year MBA Programs:  Of course, most European full-time MBA programs are one-year.  Some top US MBA programs, e.g., Cornell’s Johnson and Northwestern’s Kellogg, have offered one-year options for a while, and others are joining the fray as demand for such programs grows.  Often these one-year programs have special requirements, such as some prior business education or an advanced degree.  They are ideal for people who don’t need an internship and who have a strong base of experience; not usually the best path for career changers.

Pros: the intensity of a full-time program with less opportunity cost, usually regular recruiting, ability to quickly rejoin a fast-moving industry.

Cons: no conventional internship, less time to network with students and faculty.

Executive MBA Programs:  EMBAs are part-time programs targeting seasoned managers and entrepreneurs, typically people from mid-thirties to late forties (depending on the program) whose rise to senior manager level is imminent or who are already in senior management.  There is range within this category in terms of desired/required length of experience.  While coursework covers the same topics as regular MBA programs, it’s developed and presented with the higher level perspective.  A great benefit of EMBAs is the chance to network and form relationships with peers from a variety of industries and functions at a career phase when a fresh perspective is quite valuable but sometimes hard to obtain.  These programs don’t target career changers, but are increasingly used by and open to them, even though most EMBA programs don’t offer formal recruiting.

Pros: can apply learning immediately at work, breadth of exposure at a pivotal professional moment, valuable credential.

Cons: challenge of school plus demanding career and personal/family responsibilities, usually no formal recruiting for career changers.

Specialized MBA Programs: These programs offer the MBA course with focus on a specific industry or function; there are such options among both regular and executive MBA programs.  They vary in their formats and approaches.  Boston University’s Public & Nonprofit MBA is an example of a two-year specialized MBA; UC Irvine’s Health Care Executive MBA (HCEMBA) is an example of a specialized EMBA.  A relatively new one-year specialized MBA is Cornell Johnson’s Tech MBA.

Pros: intensive focus on area of interest with coursework adapted accordingly, network of colleagues with related experience and goals.

Cons: missing out on the diverse perspectives from other industries/sectors that can refresh and invigorate your thinking.

While you can’t apply to two different types of MBA programs at the same school in the same admissions cycle, you can do so in different cycles.  And you can apply to different types of programs at different schools at the same time.  For example, if someone is between regular and executive MBA in terms of age or length of experience, he could apply to some regular MBAs that trend older and some exec MBAs that trend younger.  Or someone may apply to full-time MBA programs but also apply to a part-time program nearby as an acceptable back-up.

Please do keep in mind, and address in your application, the nuances of the type of MBA as well as the particular program!




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

Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs

• Ace the EMBA

Tags: EMBA, MBA Admissions, Part time MBA

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Interview with a Techie at Chicago Booth [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Interview with a Techie at Chicago Booth

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 Andrew Edelman, a student at Chicago Booth.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What was your most recent pre-MBA job?

Andrew: Thanks for featuring me on Accepted.com! I was born in Paris, France, but grew up here in the U.S. where I spent most of my youth in the Boston area. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl!

I attended Davidson College in North Carolina where I received a B.A. in Economics with a Concentration in Applied Mathematics. At Davidson, I was captain of the Men’s Division I Swimming team and met my future wife who was captain of the volleyball team. We now have two amazing sons, the second of whom was born during my first week at Chicago Booth. I always say my wife is my secret weapon during this business school journey.

Immediately before attending business school, I was a Vice President at Corrum Capital Management, a boutique alternative investment management firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Upon moving to Chicago and before starting classes, I did a two-month internship with a classmate’s startup that was participating in Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center Accelerator Program. My experience was actually featured in a recent WSJ article about pre-MBA internships and was an exciting opportunity to diversify my skill set before starting summer internship recruiting.

Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?

Andrew: I’m a second year at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It’s hard to believe I’m already entering my final quarter; graduation is less than 100 days away!

Accepted: Why did you choose Booth? How would you say you’re a good fit for the program? Which other programs had you considered?

Andrew: I choose Booth because I wanted to surround myself with extremely intelligent, high quality people. From the incredible faculty to my impressive classmates to the accessible alumni, I’ve been fortunate to learn from such a diverse and humble group.

I’ve personally benefitted most from Booth’s pay it forward mentality that permeates career preparation and recruiting. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to give back as a member of the Graduate Business Council and co-chair of the Booth Technology Group.

My business school decision came down to Booth and UC Berkeley (Haas), both great programs. It was a difficult decision, but after visiting Booth during the admitted students weekend, now called First Day, I knew it was the right fit for me.

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

Andrew: With evening, weekend, and PhD programs, Booth is unique in the sheer number of working professionals concurrently pursuing their MBAs. Although I’ve taken a couple evening classes at our downtown Gleacher Center, I feel that most of my academic experience has been centered down at the Harper Center in Hyde Park and kept separate from evening/weekend students. With more work experience on average and equally diverse backgrounds, I wish I had more organized opportunities to interact with these students to expand my network and learn from their experiences.

Accepted: Where did you intern last summer? Can you tell us about the role Booth played in helping you secure that position?

Andrew: I did my summer internship at Google in Mountain View. I was an MBA intern with the Global SMB Solutions team, which is responsible for increasing product adoption and driving revenue growth with small and medium businesses. It was an amazing experience!

As a career switcher, from financial services to tech, the preparation and mentorship offered through Career Services and the members of the Booth Technology Group were invaluable to my success securing a coveted spot at Google. I also benefited from the advantages of Booth’s flexible curriculum that permitted me to take courses early in my first year to prepare for the internship, including the experiential Developing New Products & Services course that paired my group with a leading digital media company for a consulting project.

Many people assume that because Booth is in the Midwest there are fewer opportunities in the technology industry, but that’s a common misconception. I had internship interviews with five of the largest technology companies in the world and was one of a dozen Boothies at Google this summer. In fact, Booth placed more students from my class in tech internships than investment banking, second only to consulting. It’s a trend that is developing at business schools across the country and it’s exciting to see Booth leading the way!

Chicago also has a very underrated tech scene that is booming. Booth has been a large contributor with successful startups growing out of our New Venture Challenge like GrubHub, BrainTree, and MuSigma.

Accepted: Likewise, if you have a job lined up for next year, can you talk about how Booth was involved in that process? What’s recruiting like on campus? How early does it start?

Andrew: I’m excited to be returning to Silicon Valley as a Management Associate with Box in their Rotational Leadership Program. I was looking to join a smaller tech firm full-time, so the majority of my recruiting this year was done off-campus. I was able to leverage the Booth network and my experience at Google to gain access to several high-growth tech companies.

Although I didn’t participate in on-campus recruiting for my full-time search, I can tell you that it does begin very quickly, pretty much right when we all return from our summer internships in late August. There tends to be a flurry of on-campus activity the first two weeks back, which this year included tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung.

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your biggest challenge? How would you advise others who are facing a similar challenge?

Andrew: The biggest challenge for me was managing the surprisingly demanding application process while balancing my career and family responsibilities. Looking back, I wish I had started the process earlier to meet the Round 1 deadlines and not felt obligated to push my applications back to Round 2. In addition, it’s become increasingly difficult to fully showcase your whole self in such a short amount of space and limited word count. Getting to an interview was my biggest objective because I knew I could better convey a sense of self than I could in an essay.

Accepted: How are you enjoying your time in Chicago? How does student life differ there than in North Carolina?

Andrew: My wife and I always joke that if you could remove the harsh winters from Chicago it would easily be the best city in the U.S., if it’s not already. We’ve honestly loved our time here in Chicago. We live downtown where we have several world-class museums, an abundance of amazing restaurants, and even the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan right at our doorstep. Having grown up in the Northeast, the winters have not been too bad for me, but I definitely feel for my classmates from South America who are experiencing true winter for the first time.

It’s hard to compare my undergrad experience in Davidson, NC to my graduate student experience here in Chicago. Overall, studying business at Booth in a big city like Chicago has been a great complement to my liberal arts education at a small school in rural North Carolina. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both experiences!

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

You can read more about Andrew’s journey by checking out his Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Thank you Andrew for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!





Related Resources:

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

Chicago Booth 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips• Chicago Booth: A Social Experience Outside of My Comfort Zone

Tags: Chicago Booth, MBA Admissions, MBA Student Interviews

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INSEAD Essay 3: Writing About Cultural Diversity [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: INSEAD Essay 3: Writing About Cultural Diversity

Ready to answer the diversity essay question?

For those of you struggling with INSEAD’s cultural diversity question [Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.) and the INSEAD EMBA choice of questions for Essay 5. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? OR Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock. (500 words max.)], Pamela Druckerman has provided an interesting starting point in her New York Times Op Ed piece “Decoding the Rules of Conversation”.

Druckerman is an American expatriate in France and typically writes about the cultural differences she notices in French child rearing. On the other hand, “Decoding” explores not only how her de facto French children speak and interact, but also how French adults do, with added insight into UK culture thanks to her husband’s British background.

While Druckerman’s mention of British self-deprecation is well known, her description of the French emphasis on one-upping and even humiliating others will certainly come as a culture shock to many. Non-French INSEAD applicants exposed to these behaviors could discuss their own experiences navigating the team environment in France where, according to Druckerman, it is de rigueur to emphasize one’s intelligence at the expense of his or her peers’. Conversely, a French professional working in a global environment could share his experience adapting to a culture that places more emphasis on teamwork and gaining support from others – where he could no longer employ the French strategy of putting everyone else down.

Druckerman demonstrates the cultural astuteness that INSEAD is seeking in its students. Sharing an example of your own cultural insight and response to cultural challenges is essential to any applicant to this renowned international business school.




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 Program: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

• An Inside Look at INSEAD

• Tips for Applying to European B-Schools

Tags: INSEAD, MBA Admissions

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Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options at NYU Stern

Not all b-school students are career changers. Not all seeking an MBA want a full-time program that requires them to leave the work force.

Enter the part-time MBA, specifically the part-time MBA program at NYU Stern Langone, the option for students who want to keep their jobs while earning a top MBA.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions for NYU Stern for a run-down on the flexible MBA programs at Stern.

00:00:54 – Featured Applicant Question: Is finding a home for two stray dogs community service?

00:03:15 – An overview of the part-time programs at NYU Stern.

00:06:12 – How the new Accelerated Program works.

00:13:26 – Admissions requirements/standards for the part-time MBA programs.

00:18:09 – Stern’s Career Center for Working Professionals.

00:21:51 – The Advanced Professional Certificates in Finance, Marketing, and General Business. A non-degree alternative.

00:29:36 – Time management is essential for part-time MBA students. Is the adcom looking for candidates with this skill?

00:31:46 – Great advice for potential applicants.


*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

• NYU Stern Langone

• Accelerated Part-time MBA Program with sample schedule

• Advanced Professional Certificates

• NYU Stern 2015 MBA Essay  Tips

• NYU Stern Langone 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• Nik’s Comment

Related Shows:

• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke

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

• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:






Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions, NYU Stern, NYU Stern Langone, Part time MBA, podcast

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How Much Will a Top MBA Earn You? [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Much Will a Top MBA Earn You?

Poets & Quants released some excellent data last week on the value of an MBA, concluding that b-school grads did very well in 2014 in regards to average salary and bonus. Here are some highlights from the article:

• In 2014, Harvard and Stanford grads earned average salaries that exceeded pre-recession levels for the first time. For Harvard MBAs, the average salary was $144,750, compared to $144,261 in 2008. The average salary for Stanford MBAs was $142,834, compared to 2008’s $140,771.

• There were a total of seven b-schools that reported average pay above $140K. Michigan Ross was one of these schools whose salary and bonus package jumped 20.9% in five years to $140,497.

• Washington Foster experienced a huge increase in average salary and bonuses, from $91,593 in 2010 up 36.9% to $125.367 in 2014. Average salary and bonuses also took huge leaps at Rochester Simon (30.6% – from $78,083 to $101,961) and at Emory Goizueta (28.0% – from $100,300 to $128,347).

• In 2010, only 24 U.S. business schools landed job that paid six-figures; in 2014, that number increased significantly to 44 schools.

• The top five schools with the most highly compensated grads were HBS, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton, and Tuck.

• A few schools saw year-over-year decreases, including USC (from $116,011 to $114,129), Boston Carroll (from $96,915 to $94,963), and Minnesota Carlson (from $117,972 to $112,828).

See the P&Q article for more details.





Related Resources:

MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance

• Does it Pay to Get an MBA?

• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA ROI

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Columbia Jterm App to be Released Early [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Columbia Jterm App to be Released Early

Columbia releases its Jterm application in April.

For those of you who can’t wait to move forward with your 2016 MBA applications — especially those of you interested in Columbia Business School‘s January entry option (AKA Jterm)–I’ve got good news:

The Columbia Jterm application for the 2015-16 application cycle will be available on April 23, 2015.  You can learn more by registering for Columbia’s MBA Virtual Session: January Entry Experience to be held on April 22.

And you can become an absolute expert on Columbia admissions by tuning into the Admissions Straight Talk April 22 show, when I will explore CBS MBA admissions with a special focus on JTerm by interviewing representatives from CBS’ MBA admissions office.  (Even better: subscribe to ASTand then you can’t miss it!)

There will also be an On-Campus Information Session in July for Columbia Jterm applicants. (Registration & exact date TBA).

The application deadline for Columbia Jterm is October 7, 2015.

Can you believe it? The 2014-15 MBA application season isn’t even over, and the next one is beginning. It’s almost like ever-expanding sports seasons. Let the fun begin!




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 SchoolsMBA Rankings: What You Need to Know

• Columbia Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• MBA Application Timing

Tags: Columbia Business School, MBA Admissions

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MBA School Visits: Start Off Right [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA School Visits: Start Off Right

A meaningful nugget of information can ripple to great conversation.

Last season I was often asked, “How should I act during my MBA visits?”  It’s wise to consider, because adcom members start to assess your social intelligence even at this early stage.

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

Your elevator pitch should be one to two sentences only.  Its content should usually focus on present and future.  The key is to convey core information in a way that is engaging.   Here are two examples:

• Hi, I’m Mary Liu, a consultant in McKinsey’s supply chain practice.  I hope to develop and lead the next-generation of supply chain innovations in emerging markets.

• Hello, Manish Das here.  I’ve been troubleshooting Bank Paribas’ risk management applications in Eastern Europe during the global financial crisis.  Post-MBA I want to focus on developing new risk management strategies to avert such crises.

If there is something important in your past to add for a clearer picture, mention it.  E.g., a listener would probably assume Manish Das grew up in India.  What if Manish grew up in Kenya, an interesting tidbit: “Hello, Manish Das.  I grew up in Kenya.  I’ve been troubleshooting…”

Finally: practice!  Your pitch should be natural for you to say, and practicing will help you adjust it to make it so.

Enjoy your school visits!




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:

• 6 Top Tips for Visiting Schools

• How To Pay an Effective “Virtual” School Visit

Tips for Researching MBA Programs

Tags: MBA Admissions, school visits

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Welcome Aboard, Esmeralda Cardenal! [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Welcome Aboard, Esmeralda Cardenal!
Esmeralda Cardenal has served on MBA admissions committees for over 10 years—including as Admissions Director at Michigan State’s MBA program. As Associate Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, she led the school’s initiatives for women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting prospective students around the world and reviewing countless applications. Most recently, she has worked as a consultant for Cardiff Business School in the UK.

After growing up in Nicaragua, she earned a scholarship to pursue her undergraduate degree in the US. She also holds an MBA from Michigan State.

Esmeralda’s extensive experience on the other side of the table has given her deep insight into what makes an application successful—or unsuccessful.

We’re thrilled to have her as part of our team!





Tags: MBA Admissions

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A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees

BankMobile is bank with a vision, ATMs everywhere, no fees, and no branches.

Want to know more, right?

For the full scoop, listen to the entire recording of our conversation with Luvleen Sidhu, Wharton alum and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the mobile-only, fee-free bank for Millennials.

00:01:40 – Introducing Luvleen Sidhu and the many benefits of BankMobile.

00:07:05 – BankMobile is planning to become the “Uber of banking.” True or False?

00:09:09 – Up and coming at BankMobile: The “Can I Buy” feature.

00:10:58 – How BankMobile came to be.

00:13:40 – Did you really learn anything in b-school?

00:17:55 – What Luvleen wishes she knew before b-school: The application process doesn’t end after you are admitted!

00:20:19 – The best and worst about Wharton.

00:26:41 – Advice for Wharton applicants and future entrepreneurs.



*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

• Bankmobile

• BankMobile Aims to Become the Uber of Banking

• Wharton 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips

Get Accepted to The Wharton School

Related Shows:

• CommonBond: How Two Wharton Grads Revolutionized Student Loans

• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View

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

• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment

• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility

• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson

• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship





Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, entrepreneurship, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions, podcast, Wharton

The post A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.

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