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Business and Science Meet: Insights of an IMD Grad and Forme [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Business and Science Meet: Insights of an IMD Grad and Former Medical Doctor
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now, introducing Marije van Weelden-Cuche, an alumna of IMD

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any other degrees?

Marije: “Growing up” in a family Pharmacy in the Netherlands, I have always been intrigued by health care. When it came to choosing my studies it was a no brainer for me that I would study medicine. Throughout my studies I learned that even though I loved treating patients and knowing about diseases, the exposure to our family pharmacy had also infected me with a business virus. Upon completion of my Medical Degree, I therefore went to the London School of Economics to do an MSc in Health Economics, with the objective of joining the pharmaceutical industry.

Afterwards, I worked for large international companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Astellas and had great opportunities to make a difference, for example in Astellas by establishing the Health Economics / Market Access function in Astellas’ R&D organization…and yet the business virus kept popping up. I was therefore very excited to join IMD’s class of 2010 to do my MBA.

Accepted: What was your favorite thing about IMD?

Marije: One thing that is my favorite thing about IMD? That’s a tough question! If I really have to pick one, I would choose the so-called Leadership Stream. That definitely was the most valuable part of the year for me. We had coaching sessions and 20 individual sessions with a psycho-analyst (technically this is an elective), in which we reflected on our own behavior and that of our team mates. We also had a full outdoor day where we did team exercises while being observed by a coach. This turned out to be a very effective method where I learned how I can be most effective as a leader in one-on-one and group situations. This is still useful in my professional life every day.

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

Marije: As I recently said to a friend: “I have ridiculously few complaints about IMD, I would have enjoyed even more attention to the leadership stream, but other than that, I really think the program is very valuable as it is!”

Accepted: Which other MBA programs had you considered when applying to b-school? Why did you choose IMD? How did the international reputation and its rankings play into your decision?

Marije: I had no doubt that if I would do an MBA, I wanted to do so at a good school, so reputation and rankings were my first selection criteria to narrow down the number of schools.

Having done my review of comparative schools in Europe, I quickly selected IMD as my only target due to the above mentioned Leadership Stream. In addition, the relatively small sized, “hand-picked” class, resulting in a large diversity of MBA candidates from a geographical professional perspective appealed to me.

I was not disappointed. My classmates had many years of experience in a wide range of fields (from diplomacy to civil engineering) and were able to bring valuable real-world perspectives into the classroom, making the learning go way beyond the business cases.

Accepted: What is your current job? What role did IMD play in helping you secure that position?

Marije: I work for one of the top pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland. I collaborate with the head of Europe on the pricing strategy for our products and I am responsible for ensuring that the evidence that supports our products is presented in such a way that we can clearly demonstrate that the price we ask is fair and in relation to the value of our products.

My MD and MSc gave me a strong scientific background which helped me launch my career in the R&D side of the pharmaceutical industry. IMD’s focus on leadership as well as the tools and language of business made that I became more effective in the interactions with the people I work with. I can target my messages differently, such that they resonate best with for example the finance manager, the global head of commercial or the general manager of the UK. This ultimately makes that I am more efficient and more effective at what I do.

Accepted: Clinical medicine is so different from business, do you ever miss it?

Marije: No I don’t! I actually love the combination of business and science.

In my work, I use my knowledge of being a Medical Doctor every day. Moreover, by working on drugs across Europe, I am able to provide benefits to patients on a much larger scale than that I could if I would still work in a hospital.

I also found that business and medicine are closer related than one would think at first sight. The tools that I learned in medicine help me to effectively address business issues. The best doctors are those who diagnose people quickly and prescribe the most effective therapy. The best business executive is one who is able to diagnose problems quickly and who applies the most effective mitigation…

Accepted: Looking back at the MBA application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise others facing similar challenges?

Marije: I felt that I had relevant experience as well as the drive and energy that could make me a valuable participant in IMD’s class of 2010, so I had good hopes of being accepted if I were invited to the interview day. Therefore, I saw writing the application essays as my biggest challenge.

It really helped me to start early. I remember having countless discussions with anyone who would be willing to share their thoughts on my draft answers. I drafted several responses for each question and reworked them until I felt that each question had a strong and clear answer that reflected my personality.

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

Marije: Invest in your MBA. And by invest, I don’t mean the finance. I mean give it all you have.

You might find that if for example you have a background in Finance, you will have some free time when your colleagues study for that part of the program. Use that time to do something that is valuable to you. You could do research a topic of particular interest to you with the excellent faculty that is available to you, or you could create a special interest group with your classmates that target the same industry in their job search. It may be a cliché, but the more you put in, the more you will get out!

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 IMD see:

•  IMD B-School Zone

•  IMD 2014 MBA Essay Questions, Tips

•  2013 Virtual Panel: Exploring European B-Schools with IMD, HEC Paris and ESADE

•  Leadership is King: Interview with IMD’s Lisa Piguet

Thank you Marije for sharing your story with us!

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: IMD, MBA Admissions, MBA healthcare, MBA Student Interviews

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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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View How to Get Accepted in 2015 Free Video Now! [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: View How to Get Accepted in 2015 Free Video Now!
Thanks to all of you who attended our webinar, Get Accepted in 2015: 7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application.

Linda Abraham shared excellent tips on how to apply right and we had great feedback from y’all. Now it’s time to review the webinar recording and share it with friends:

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Enjoy and let us know if you have any questions.

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: MBA Admissions, webinar

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

_________________

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

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What You Must Know Before Meeting Admissions Directors [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2014, 00:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What You Must Know Before Meeting Admissions Directors
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Keep your goal front and center in your mind.

Goals are not an afterthought in MBA admissions. They are front and center in the minds of many admissions directors. Put them front and center in your mind as you prepare to apply. Coming to MBA events with a clear goal will make you a much more appealing candidate to business schools

What’s An MBA Goal?

A strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice of target schools. A goal is something you want to do (not just study), and for MBA admissions purposes it should relate to a specific industry. For some applicants, geography is also an important element in their goal. Your goal should be based on your experience, not television, not what your parents/significant other or friends think you should do, and not simply what will make you a lot of money.

I am not saying that you can’t change careers. You clearly can because roughly 50% of MBA students are career changers, and many estimates place that number much higher. But you need to have a realistic vision of your future based on skills and character traits you have developed and experience that you have had.

Defining Your MBA Goal

Clear, well-defined goals are as much a requirement of MBA admissions as GMAT, GPA, and work experience. Define your goal in terms of the function you want to perform and the industry in which you want to perform it.

To define your objectives for b-school:

1. Look inward: What do you enjoy and where do you excel?

2. Examine what you have done off the job and see if there are lessons in your non-professional life for your professional life.

3. Clarify and mine interests and past experiences.

Then look outward:

1. Examine professional paths that will take advantage of your strengths and give you more of what you find satisfying.

2. Research the schools to find those that support your professional goals and provide an educational environment where you can thrive.

Establish specific goals you want to achieve within a given program and a career direction for your post MBA years.

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: MBA Admissions, MBA career goals, MBA fair, school visits

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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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Determining Your Needs and Wants in an MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2014, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Determining Your Needs and Wants in an MBA Program
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Everyone wants diversity it seems, but what kind: geographic, professional, functional, ethnic, religious?

“Determining Your Needs and Wants” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

Now that you did the hard work of assessing your profile, it’s time to focus on the future: what you want and need in your MBA program.

If you are visiting schools now, the visits can help you sort through these points and see them in a new light. For example, you might have thought you could never spend two years outside a city, but stopping by Tuck on a skiing trip opened your eyes to the abundant diversity and culture the campus and town offer, and you give the excellent program a closer look.

Whether or not you get a chance to visit schools before compiling your school list, consider the following factors and decide what’s important to you in each category:

  • Academics. This category includes the curriculum structure and approach (e.g., preset concentrations versus flexible), strength in particular disciplines, professors in your areas of interest, degree of analytic rigor, opportunity to take courses outside the b-school, and study abroad options.
  • Recruiting and career services. Recruiting for both internships and post-MBA positions should be relatively strong for your goals. But students’ actual need for this service varies depending on their existing contacts and resources. Similarly, some people have more need than others of career services support.
  • Extracurricular opportunities. Most people will want to see clubs and activities in their areas of professional interest. Other than that, do you want certain volunteering activities, arts or cultural activities, religious resources, or political opportunities? Are you looking for people who share your interests? If you don’t find something you need, would it be easy to initiate a club or activity?
  • Brand. This factor is critical to some, insignificant to others, and somewhere in between for most. There is brand in your own perspective, and brand in the eyes of your prospective employers. Probably the latter is more important and less open to compromise. Do not mistake “brand” for “ranking.” If you need a highly competitive program such as Columbia or Wharton, that’s fine. But the issue isn’t “top 5”; it’s the value of the specific school brands for your context.
  • Environment and ambience. Do you prefer a warm and fuzzy or a hard driving learning environment? Everyone wants diversity it seems, but what kind: geographic, professional, functional, ethnic, religious? Do you prefer a small, close-knit campus or a large, teeming one? Does it matter to you if the student body has a more conservative or liberal orientation?
  • Geography. Where would you like to be? Start broad, like continent. Many non-US applicants think globally, considering programs in Asia, Europe, or the US. Many Americans however remain fairly US-centric almost reflexively. If you are an American traveling abroad, try to visit some of the overseas MBA programs. You will be pleasantly surprised.
  • Other personal factors. Do you need quick access to an international airport? Special medical resources? Resources for a spouse or partner? Or maybe you’re really into bobsledding and want a track nearby….
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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Admissions Success, and author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last fifteen years with Accepted.

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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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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Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2014, 13:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services
According to GMAC’s just released Prospective Students Survey Report, 37% of prospective MBA students hope to go into finance after they earn their degree, making it the most popular post-MBA destination. If you fall into this crowded category, then you’ll be interested in knowing which b-schools prepare the most grads for jobs in financial services.

As you’ll see below, we’ve created two charts (based on data from U.S. News’ top 25, which happens to have 26 schools because of a tie for 25th place) that display the U.S. schools with the highest percentage of grads going into financial services and those with the highest number of grads reporting financial services jobs. We did not include non-U.S. programs because U.S. News doesn’t rank them, and we wanted the data to be consistent. There are definitely financial powerhouses outside the U.S.

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The top names on this list, in terms of absolute numbers, are the standard bearers in finance, known as Wall St. breeding grounds. I was a little surprised at how low MIT Sloan came out on both totem poles. It has very prominent faculty in finance, including Nobel Prize winner Robert C. Merton. Perhaps those smaller schools known for entrepreneurship, like Stanford, MIT Sloan, and Haas, are sending more of their graduates into non-traditional fields. Consequently they will not do as well in this kind of a ranking even though they have the curricular, co-curricular, and placement ability to support financial services goals.

Can you put less weight on attending schools at the top of the list even though you may want to go into financial services when you graduate? You can if you’ve already worked in financial services and are looking to get a broader understanding of business, management and leadership through the MBA. Those of you with that background already have valuable skills and a relevant network. Those of you looking to get into financial services for the first time, however, will probably want to look more closely at the programs higher up this list.

Realize that these lists don’t reflect the class profile of the programs or the typical credentials of admitted applicants. You need to know that information too to assess your competitiveness when choosing where to apply. Washington Olin (2nd in percentages) has an average GMAT of 696. UNC Kenan-Flagler (ranked #4 in percentages) has an average GMAT of 683. Both schools send 32% and 28% of their grads respectively into financial services. For those of you without GMAT bragging rights or other qualifications to get into Chicago (average GMAT 723), Columbia (716), and Wharton (average GMAT 725) — the leaders on this list in absolute numbers and overall USN ranking – Olin and Kenan-Flagler may be a good alternative and at least start you down your desired career path.

Much as I did with the similar data we compiled on consulting I must issue a warning: This list or ranking is valuable, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. “Financial services” is a very broad category covering everything from private equity and venture capital, to investment banking, money management, corporate financial analyst positions, and even good old bean counting (AKA accounting). Clearly your specific area of interest is critical, and you have to dig deeper into the employment reports at your target schools to confirm strong placement in your particular area of interest. Also understand how the curriculum and co-curricular activities, events, and clubs will help you do what you want to do after your MBA.

You want to attend a b-school that will help you realize your career goals. Identifying schools with exceptional track records for students with similar goals – especially for those of you seeking to change industries and enter financial services – is an excellent place to start when choosing which MBA programs to apply to, and ultimately, deciding where to attend. This list helps you focus your research. It is the starting gate, not the finish line.

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

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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

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Goal Setting, Job Searching, and Sweet Careers [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2014, 13:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Goal Setting, Job Searching, and Sweet Careers
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Job searchers, tune in! We’d like to introduce you to the woman who wants to help you refine your goals and figure out a meaningful career path.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Grace Kutney, founder and principle of Sweet Careers Consulting for some excellent advice and a run-down on the current state of career-searching.

00:02:59 – How Grace fell in love with career advising & started Sweet Careers.

00:08:37 – The importance of having a goal (and of being able to change it).

00:17:05 – The move toward unpaid internships: Image
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00:19:43 – Advice for international students & immigrants.

00:25:23 – How social media can harm or help your job search.

00:31:39 – Why and when Grace posts job listings.

00:34:04 – Is there still a place for face-to-face networking?

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Sweet Careers

Accepted.com

• Accepted Admissions Blog

Related Shows:

• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl

• Interview with Mark Babbitt of YouTern

• MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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Tags: Admissions Consulting, Admissions Straight Talk, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Job Search, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions, podcast, resume

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

_________________

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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1000+ Students to Compete in Europe’s 24th Annual MBA Tourna [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2014, 08:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 1000+ Students to Compete in Europe’s 24th Annual MBA Tournament
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Students from 13 European business schools compete to take home some sporting glory.

This year’s MBA Tournament (MBAT), a three-day sporting event organized by HEC Paris students in which 1,150 students from 13 European business schools compete to take home some sporting glory, will take place this weekend from the 8th-10th. This year there will be 23 sport competitions, including cricket, rugby, football, poker, chess, and ultimate frisbee.

According to MBAT Co-President Katrina Senn, “The MBAT is one of the best things we do at HEC Paris. The competition brings classmates together as a team and lets us show other schools what we’re capable of. In fact, this year, we’re seeing increased participation from all of the schools coming to compete as it continues to gain in popularity.”

The event, which is the largest gathering of MBA students in Europe, provides students an opportunity to network, develop team skills, and have fun.

This year’s participating schools are:

University of Cambridge Judge Business School

• Cranfield University School of Management

IE Business School

INSEAD

London Business School

• Manchester Business School

• University of Oxford Saïd Business School

• RSM Erasmus University

• TiasNimbas Business School

• ESADE Business School

• IESE Business School

• Lancaster University Management School

HEC Paris

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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Tags: HEC Paris, MBA Admissions

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

_________________

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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Top 10 B-Schools with the Most Satisfied Graduates [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2014, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Top 10 B-Schools with the Most Satisfied Graduates
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Does money buy happiness?

Forbes surveyed 17,000 alumni at 100 schools on their satisfaction regarding the following three areas: their current job, their career preparedness, and their MBA education. 4,600 alumni responded. The following ten schools received the highest combined rates of satisfaction:

One of the interesting points highlighted in this study is the age-old question: Does money buy happiness? The study (which also measured ROI – findings were publishing in October 2013) found that there are many graduates from top b-schools making $200,000+ salaries, but who offered only so-so marks on job satisfaction. (The article points to respondents from Penn, Dartmouth, and Chicago in regards to this disassociation.) At the same time, while job satisfaction may not be soaring, that ho-hum feeling doesn’t seem to stop alumni from ranking their school satisfaction extremely high.

The alumni who responded to this survey were already five years out of b-school, which means that they graduated in 2008, at the height of the recession. The Forbes article states that these alumni “overwhelmingly gave their schools high marks for their educations, but much lower scores for their current job satisfaction.” Though graduates from Berkeley Haas gave the highest marks for job satisfaction. Tuck and Booth ranked relatively low for job satisfaction, yet made it to the top 10 due to their high marks for educational satisfaction and preparedness in relation to other MBAs. (Stanford gave top scores for both these areas.)

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Tags: CMU Tepper, Forbes, MBA Admissions, Rankings, Stanford GSB, UC Berkeley Haas

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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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Weighting Your Needs and Wants in an MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2014, 08:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Weighting Your Needs and Wants in an MBA Program
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Think about and define your priorities.

“Weighting Your Needs and Wants” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

A little more work is needed on the needs and wants issue. It will be helpful to weight them—though not rigidly. Simply, understanding the importance of a given factor will save you time up front by not considering schools that don’t meet your core needs. It will also help to uncover any contradictions that you might need to resolve (e.g., prefer to attend schools in the southeast, but also want to be near boyfriend in Boston).

For each of the wants/needs you’ve identified, assign one of the following categories:

Essential – This category applies to things that you must have no matter what – without them, you can’t attend a program. If you are making a career change into marketing, you need a program with strong marketing curriculum and recruiting. Period.

Very important – This category applies to the things that are highly important to you, but are not “must-haves” like those above. Things that you would consider compromising on if you really, really had to, but really, really don’t want to. For some people that might mean a geographic location, for others a warm and open community, for others the chance to take courses in the university’s law or public policy program.

Important – Consider this the “nice to have” category—things that would make a program more attractive to you but wouldn’t necessarily be a deciding factor.

Neutral – This category means simply not a factor. Some people would just as readily have curriculum flexibility or structure; would just as readily live in Palo Alto or Fontainebleau, strange as that may seem.

The main purpose of this exercise is to think about and define your priorities. Some people may be comfortable keeping these rankings in their head as they go through the next steps; others will make a spreadsheet with them.

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

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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How Will Your GMAT Score Impact Your MBA Admissions Chances? [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2014, 15:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Will Your GMAT Score Impact Your MBA Admissions Chances?
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Do you know how your GMAT score will affect your chances of gaining admission to your top choice MBA program? Have you taken the test and are contemplating taking it again? Are you curious to know what the adcom members think when they see scores like yours?

It sounds like you could use some expert advice.

Join us on Thursday, May 22, 2014 for That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application, a free webinar during which Linda Abraham will explore the intricacies of GMAT scoring and answer the questions above.

Spaces are limited – reserve your spot for That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application now!

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Tags: GMAT, MBA Admissions, webinar

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Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essay [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2014, 13:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays
What does the adcom actually want to know about the challenges you’ve overcome? In this short video, Linda Abraham shares the answer to this often-asked question:



Do you have questions about addressing obstacles you’ve overcome in your application essays? Leave a comment below and we would love to help you out.

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

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Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To? [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2014, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To?
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Listen to the recording of Linda Abraham’s latest podcast to learn the 4-step formula for a successful graduate school application process.

00:01:17 – The secret to acceptance: applying to the right schools.

00:04:54 – Begin with the end in mind: determining your post-degree professional goal.

00:16:02 – How to analyze your goals.

00:17:02 – Researching schools: what to look for and how to find it.

00:25:47 – Evaluating your qualifications: what schools want to see.

00:33:13 – Where it all comes together: choosing the right schools to apply to.

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application

• Ask the Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A

• The Secret to MBA Acceptance

• Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services

• Consulting at Top MBA Programs

• Top MBA Programs for Entrepreneurs

Related Shows:

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

• Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers

• How to Edit Your Application Essays

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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GRE vs. GMAT: Trends [#permalink]

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: GRE vs. GMAT: Trends
A recent Poets & Quants article highlights some of the current data surrounding the decision applicants make in choosing between the GRE and GMAT. According to the Educational Testing Service, almost 10% of MBA applicants took the GRE instead of the GMAT in the 2012-2013 testing year, a 38% increase since last year’s testing period.

One factor responsible for this shift is the fact that some major MBA players (mainly Chicago Booth, UC Berkeley Haas, and Georgetown McDonough) finally decided to accept the GRE.

Here are some additional stats:

• 29% of b-schools surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep said that at least 10% of their applicants were GRE test takers. 18% of schools said that their GRE pool was at 18%. 6% of respondents said that their applicant pool was made up of half GRE test takers and half GMAT test takers.

• At Yale SOM, 21% of applicants submitted GRE scores last year, an increase of 18% since the previous year.

• 25% of Notre Dame Mendoza prospective students submitted a GRE score last year, up from 12% previously.

• At UCLA Anderson, only 3% of applicants submitted GRE scores.

• 5% of Columbia Business School applicants took the GRE last year, compared to 2% the year before.

• At Emory Goizueta, 8% of last year’s prospective students took the GMAT, up from the previous year’s 3%.

• Washington Olin’s GRE pool dropped 7% from 31% in 2012 to 24% last year (which is still high).

• Texas McCombs also took a slight dip, from 13% in 2012 to 11% last year.

• In India, the number of GRE test takers increased 68% last year, from 52,792 in 2012 to 88,884 last year. In the U.S., the increase in test takers over that same period was just 5.3%, from 401,286 test takers in 2012 to 422.668 this past year.

Reasons for the Growth in GRE

• Versatility of the GRE. Rob Weiler, UCLA Anderson’s associate dean, points out that many students are submitting scores from GRE tests they took up to a few years ago. “It’s clear that they had graduate school in mind when they took the test but were still considering the best avenue to take for their career,” he says. “Once it became clear that business school was their choice, they used their GRE score to apply.”

• Price. The GMAT is priced at $250, while the GRE costs only $195.

• Rankings and willingness to accept lower scores. The P&Q article states that admissions consultants are suggesting that applicants take the GRE over the GMAT because of the way official rankings take the GMAT into consideration. “So an admissions office might be overly sensitive to a low GMAT score, but might pass on a lower GRE,” states the article, which then goes on to compare GREs and GMATs of accepted students at Yale – the former being lower than the latter. (Using ETS’ comparative tool, the equivalent GMAT score based on the GRE scores accepted at Yale would be 660; the average GMAT score at Yale is 714. A similar phenomenon is found with other programs, with a 91 point gap at Cornell Johnson, a 126 point gap at Washington Olin, and a 118 point gap at Vanderbilt Owen.)

• The ScoreSelect option. This allows test takers to retake the exam and send only their best score to their target schools.

The following chart comes from the P&Q article and shows the percentage of 2012-2013 applicants who submitted GRE scores, as well as the GRE-GMAT differences.

School
% GRE 2013
% GRE 2012
Average GRE Scores For Admits
Predicted GRE vs. GMAT

Notre Dame (Mendoza)
25%
12%
155 Verbal/156 Quant, 4.1 Writing
530/690

Washington Univ. (Olin)
24%
31%
158 Verbal/155 Quant, 4.3 Writing
570/696

Vanderbilt (Owen)
22%
23%
157 Verbal/155 Quant, 4.0 Writing
570/688

Yale School of Mgt.
21%
18%
160 Verbal/162 Quant, 4.7 Writing
660/714

New York (Stern)
13%
NA
NA
NA/721

Texas-Austin (McCombs)
11%
13%
161 Verbal/159 Quant, 4.3 Writing
640/690

MIT (Sloan)
10%
NA
NA
NA/713

Cornell (Johnson)
9%
7%
158 Verbal/157 Quant, 4.3 Writing
600/691

UNC (Kenan-Flagler)
9%
9%
159 Verbal/156 Quant, 4.0 Writing
590/683

Emory (Goizueta)
8%
3%
156 Verbal/155 Quant, 3.9 Writing
560/681

Michigan (Ross)
7%
NA
162 Verbal/159 Quant, 4.5 Writing
640/704

Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
6%
4%
160 Verbal/163 Quant, 4.0 Writing
670/691

UPenn (Wharton)
5%
5%
NA
NA/725

Columbia
5%
2%
NA
NA/716

Virginia (Darden)
4%
NA
NA
NA/706

Duke (Fuqua)
4%
4%
159 Verbal, 159 Quant, 4.7 Writing
640/694

UCLA (Anderson)
3%
NA
162 Verbal, 157 Quant, 4.2 Writing
620/706

Source: Business schools reporting to U.S. News & World Report

My thoughts

On one hand, the focus on the comparator tool may be misplaced. When I have spoken to admissions committee members about the GRE we spoke in terms of percentile scores. I would love to see this data and the comparison between the GMAT and the GRE comparing percentile scores. I think that would be more worthwhile. I suspect it would still show similar results, but perhaps with smaller gaps.

Regardless of the validity of the comparator tool, this article suggests that the GRE may not only be cheaper, it may in a way take your score out of the public eye. And if you don’t need a high GMAT to snag an interview at an elite bank or consulting firm, and you’re struggling with the GMAT, the GRE may be a better test for you.

Although I can’t locate the blog post, soon after schools started accepting the GRE in greater numbers, I suggested that those of you with other evidence of academic ability who are struggling with the GMAT should contemplate applying with the GRE. I felt that because the GRE is not reflected in the published GMAT averages that applicants, alumni, and employers use as a quick-and-dirty reflection of student “quality,” submitting a GRE score instead of the GMAT would give admissions officers wiggle room to focus on other aspects of your application. It would allow them to consider your application without worrying about a hit to their GMAT average.

On the other hand if you can do well on the GMAT, go for it. Schools want GMAT bragging rights.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsChicago Booth, Columbia Business School, Emory Goizueta, Georgetown McDonough, GMAT, GRE, MBA Admissions, Notre Dame Mendoza, UC Berkeley Haas, UCLA Anderson, UT McCombs, Yale SOM

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The Economist’s Top 20 North American MBA Programs [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 08:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Economist’s Top 20 North American MBA Programs
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Below you’ll find The Economist’s top 20 American business schools, with a rank on the left (ranking the top 20 in the U.S. and Canada) and a rank on the right (the school’s place in the top 100 global rankings). As you’ll see, the American programs listed are all located at the top or very close to the top of the top global programs. The Economist article highlights the legacy of American programs – their size, their history, their all-star faculties (all of Wharton’s 245 professors have PhDs), and their financial magnitude.

As always when looking at rankings, you need to understand the methodology behind them. The Economist’s methodology is a weighted average going back to 2011 of some fairly quirky factors including “Diversity of recruiters,” “Number of languages taught,” and “Number of overseas countries with an official alumni branch.” If those and other factors considered by the Economist are not important to you, then this ranking probably isn’t that useful to you.

There are 16 schools on the global rankings that have an average GMAT score over 700; 14 of them are American (with Stanford GSB taking the cake with an average of 729).For opening up doors career-wise, the top 5 schools in the global rankings were all Americans – Chicago Booth, Dartmouth Tuck, UVA Darden, and Columbia. Interestingly, even with the top marks for job opportunities, graduates from American programs tend to earn less than those from European and Australian programs – the Economist article claims that this is likely due to the limited pre-MBA work experience of those accepted at American programs. (Even Stanford’s grads, who in America boast the highest average salary of around $130,000, earn less than grads from less prestigious programs like IMD in Switzerland and University of Queensland in Australia.)

In terms of cost, the American schools certainly rank at the top of the chart. A Harvard MBA will run students $112,000. A degree from Wharton costs $130,000.

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Meet David, Cornell Johson MBA Student Headed to Bain [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 08:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Meet David, Cornell Johson MBA Student Headed to Bain
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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 (or in this case, a top JD/MBA program). And now for a follow up interview with David Schuette, a second-year student from Johnson at Cornell University. (We first met David last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: How did your second year at Johnson differ from your first year?

David: The second year at Johnson is quite different from the first. Second year course load is fully customizable and activities largely focus on giving back to the first year students. It’s also a bit less stressful (though not less busy!), as most people don’t have to worry about a job search because they loved their internship and Johnson has the highest internship conversion into full-time offers of any MBA program.

Why isn’t it any less busy? Johnson second year students spend the whole first half of the year pouring countless hours into preparing first years for interacting with companies and interview prep. In fact, while the Career Management Center (CMC) is fully supportive of helping students find their way, the majority of training comes from clubs, career workgroups, and informal mentoring while the CMC provides behind the scenes structure and support to those groups. It’s a fantastic system that works well due to our supportive community at Johnson.

The second half of the year is all about second years solidifying their network of friends and having fun. There is more time for BBQs, weekend trips, or global treks. It’s also a great chance to take classes outside of Johnson; lots of people explore the broader Cornell campus taking classes ranging from programming, to philosophy, to the oft mentioned wines course at the Hotel School.

Accepted: Congratulations on your new job at Bain! How did you receive this offer?

David: Thanks! I’m really excited to be starting in Chicago this fall. The process for full-time recruiting was very similar to internship recruiting except that it happens much more quickly and much earlier (done by November versus February). The actual interview process was identical in structure to internship recruiting, meaning another grueling written case as well as the standard case and behavioral interviews.

Accepted: What was the role of Johnson in your job search and landing the position?

David: When thinking about what role Johnson had in landing my position at Bain, I believe in taking a very broad view of the question. As anybody will tell you, business is all about the network. I think it’s safe to say that it would have been impossible for me to land a position at Bain without attending a program that had a great relationship with Bain.

Similarly, I wouldn’t have been prepared for the interview if not for the collaborative recruiting mentality that we have at Johnson. My peer network was crucial in helping me prepare for my interviews, regardless of what company they were going to.

Accepted: Did your involvement in the consulting club play a role in getting your job at Bain? If so, how?

David: It’s always hard to say what factors are being considered behind the scenes. What I do know is that as VP of Education, it was my job to know the material inside and out and communicate that to first year students. I actually believe it’s the latter part that was the most helpful. Consulting is all about working a problem and then explaining that solution in a way the client can understand. By going through the process of being a teacher to first years, I believe my interpersonal skills were refined in a way that made my interviews (case and behavioral) more like conversations.

I suppose the extra reps on case practice also made me much more comfortable with the process. I didn’t necessarily learn the material any better, but by being more comfortable with it I was able to relax and let my personality come through.

Accepted: As you look back on your almost two years at Johnson, is there anything you would have done differently?

David: With time winding down, I have thought about this a lot. While there were things I didn’t get to do, an MBA is pretty packed and so trade-offs have to be made. You simply cannot do everything and I don’t want to confuse things I wish I could have done with things I wish I would have done. So I guess my only regret is that I wish I had found a way to make each day longer!

Accepted: What now is your favorite class, project or activity?

David: Management Simulation – this is a class that is as simple as it is elegant. You start by having to decide fewer than 10 numbers to input and it just grows in complexity from there. You must forecast demand, predict competitive responses (from other teams), determine pricing strategy, evaluate capital structure, and a bunch of other things.

In some ways it is just a game. But in other ways it shows just how much I’ve learned over the last 2 years. Things like cash flow, multiple market pricing strategies, return on equity, advertising and R&D investment, competitive analysis, and many other principles all play a role in running the ‘company’ successfully.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better class to round out my MBA.

Accepted: Do you have advice for MBA applicants applying in 2015?

David: On my blog for Johnson, I recently did an extensive write-up on Picking a Program, which was targeted at individuals trying to make a choice between schools, but I believe it would also be a great read for prospective students looking to apply.

In short, get connected to people and ask specific questions. I must have talked to over 10 people at Johnson prior to writing my essays to make sure I had a good sense of what the culture was. It wasn’t just to check a box – that won’t help you; you have to actually be interested for a person to open up to you. Also, I didn’t just try to talk to the president of the consulting club, but also the public speaking club, the beer club, Johnson bloggers, and a few others.

Accepted: What advice would you give MBA students starting business school in September?

David: Take time for yourself. Things can get crazy busy in an MBA. At times it is with classes and at other times it’s with social events. Some people relax with video games, others with yoga, and still others by writing. Whatever your method of relaxation, take time to do it. You might not realize how bad you need time for reflection when you’re in the thick of it, so think about it ahead of time. Block in off in your calendar. Whatever you do, take that time for you.

It’s going to be an amazing 2 years. Good luck!

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

Thank you David for sharing your story with us!

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Handling a Low GMAT Quant Score [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2014, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Handling a Low GMAT Quant Score
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A low quant score on the GMAT (at the lower end of the school’s 80% range) is never good news, but it doesn’t equal immediate rejection. As I’ve mentioned in the past, no single score is scrutinized independently, but rather your entire profile is examined as a unified package.

Interpret your scores as an adcom member would: Is the rest of your profile stellar? Do you have solid grades in quant-related courses? Is it possible that you’re just not great at standardized tests? Is your score perhaps not so low for people in your demographic group? Are you applying to schools where the average GMAT score is not far off from your lower-than-you-would’ve-wished score?

The following three tips are good strategic practices that you should utilize if you find yourself with a low quant score:

1. First, you MUST improve your quantitative abilities or demonstrate that you have them in some other way. In b-school and in the business world at large, knowing how to crunch numbers is essential. You’ll need to act quickly to show you are equipped for a spot in their next b-school class. Enroll in a calculus, statistics and/or accounting class at your local community college ASAP. (Make sure you have the prerequisite skills; you will need to earn an A! If you have time, also take additional quant-oriented courses, like finance or economics.

2. Next, in your resume and essays, highlight quantitative aspects of your work to further demonstrate your quant proficiency. Use vivid details, examples, and anecdotes that will prove to the adcoms that your low quant score was a fluke, and that it’s clear to you and those who work with you that there are no quant problems here.

3. Finally, ask your recommenders to highlight your quantitative achievements as well. Having a respected third party vouch for your skill will help you immensely.

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Important GMAT Webinar on Thursday! Grab Your Seat Now! [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 08:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Important GMAT Webinar on Thursday! Grab Your Seat Now!
Take note, b-school applicants: We’ll be hosting our MBA webinar, That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application, this Thursday, May 22, 2014!

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If you are applying to b-school and struggling to understand how your GMAT fits into your MBA profile and the rest of your application, then you won’t want to miss this event.

During the FREE webinar, Linda Abraham, Accepted.com founder/CEO and GMAT number decoding expert, will be offering specific advice on how to prepare for the GMAT, analyze your score, determine if and when you should retake the exam, and more.

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Reserve your spot forThat GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application now!

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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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Handling a Low GMAT Verbal Score [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Handling a Low GMAT Verbal Score
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If you have a low verbal score, you’d better ace those essays.

Recently I talked about overcoming the challenge of a low GMAT quant score. Today we’ll discuss how to handle a less-than-perfect verbal score.

With such a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication in b-school (and for the rest of your life as a successful businessperson), it’s no wonder that stellar written and spoken verbal skills are essential for MBA students.

If your verbal GMAT score is low (in the bottom of the 80% range or lower for your target programs), then you will need to construct expressive, flawlessly written essays. Maybe you couldn’t prove it with your test performance, but now’s your final opportunity to put your best verbal face forward. In addition, be sure to include examples and anecdotes that highlight your solid communication skills.

There are two more steps you can take if you’re worried that your low verbal score may interfere with your chances of acceptance:

•You can enroll in additional writing and/or communications courses at a local college (and earn As). This option is particularly important if you’ve received low grades in your college English courses in addition to scoring poorly on the GMAT.

• You can ask your recommenders to comment positively on your written and verbal communication skills.

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Tags: GMAT, MBA Admissions, weakness

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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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What My MBA at Harvard Did NOT Teach Me [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2014, 13:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What My MBA at Harvard Did NOT Teach Me
This is a guest post by Harvard Business School MBA student Ben Faw, who posted it on LinkedIn last week. Linda saw it and liked it, and was thrilled when Ben allowed us to post it here. It provides a wonderful perspective on the MBA experience.

For more on Ben’s HBS experience, please subscribe to our podcast. Linda’s interview with Ben will be posted in a couple of weeks.

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The only way to make an impact is to go to Wall Street.

As you can see above, more HBS graduates are heading out to the West Coast, taking positions in product management, marketing, sales, and general management. In a dramatic shift versus a decade ago, technology jobs are just as sought as roles in finance. MBA’s are proving that they can make a difference as leaders in many different industries and fields.

Money matters more than people.

Prior to attending business school, I was warned that HBS was filled with people willing to do anything to make inordinate amounts of money and that it is not the place to meet or build true friendships. Having kept an open mind, I will graduate from Harvard Business School in a few days with many authentic relationships that have already been incredibly rewarding and made me a better version of myself. These amazing bonds are priceless and define my experience here, helping me learn that people matter far more than money.

Experiences are expendable.

The MBA critic will say that most of what you learn in the class can be obtained more cheaply and more effectively by buying the books, studying on your own, and watching classes online. In reality, no case study, framework, or amazing guest speaker can match the experience of learning from your peers, both inside and outside of the classroom. You can learn material many ways, but the most meaningful learning opportunities require in-person experiences and shared time together. The full-time in-class HBS MBA experience provides both.

More is better.

HBS teaches us that we can’t have everything. From day one, we are inundated with endless mixers, social gatherings, and recruiting events. We are also exposed to hundreds of classmates who each have an incredible story to tell and would be incredible additions to our network. However, we can’t pretend to really get to know them all, just like we can’t prepare well for every single interview. We have to make tough decisions. We have to invest – fully and deeply – in the few people and things that make us the happiest. Only then can we make a truly meaningful impact as future business leaders.

Seeking out and receiving feedback is a waste.

No one is perfect, regardless of how impressive their resume. Everyone can improve if they put effort in and use their friends and peers in the process. After a semester of cases and guest lectures one theme became clear: success post business school depends less on your IQ and more on your ability to work with others. Can you motivate a team and accomplish a common task that is impossible to achieve alone? I would say no if you cannot accept and give the honest feedback that allows a team to function at an optimal level. As uncomfortable as it is to give and receive feedback, the MBA class contains people who have a vested interest in your success and want to see you “Be all that you can be.” Seeking out these people and letting them play a direct role in your development creates the potential for amazing growth.

Learning stops when class ends.

While the classroom was incredibly valuable to my development and education (both here and as an undergrad), I found my experience outside the classroom to be equally, if not more, valuable. Ranging from debates over equity investments, deep conversations on business models, or discussions around how to create a sustainable competitive advantage, outside the classroom learning never stopped. My interactions with professors, peers, and mentors beyond the teaching halls contributed the most to my personal and professional growth.

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Try everything.

Focus on your strategy, on your goals, and on what you are uniquely good at and love. The rest is noise. If you are terrible at modeling financials or hate using Excel, learn the basic competency, and then follow your passions. There will be something that makes your eyes sparkle and your face light up. Find out what that is – you have two years to do just that – and then run after it without looking back.

A special thanks to Harvard Business School for providing data on placement locations for recent graduates, and to friends at a local start-up for helping us build out a unique infographic to help tell this story in a creative manner.

To Ajmal SheikhHeidi KimJulia YooMomchil Filev, and Walter Haas: You have each been wonderful co-authors and co-editors in this writing process and more importantly dear friends, thanks for making an idea become reality. To the Professors, staff, and faculty of Harvard Business School, thanks for making this an experience unlike any other – one chapter ends, the pages turn, and another begins!

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  This post is by Harvard Business School Student Ben Faw. The original article appeared here.

Tags: Harvard Business School, MBA Admissions

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

_________________

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

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Reaches, On-Pars, and Safeties [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2014, 14:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Reaches, On-Pars, and Safeties
“Reaches, On-Pars, and Safeties” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One.  To download the entire free special report, click here.

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It’s now time to determine what types and levels of MBA programs you’re competitive and qualified for, and what if any are out of reasonable reach. I use the following categories:

  • Reasonable reach: Acceptance is not likely but with a great application is within reach.
  • On-par: With a great app you’ll have a solid chance of acceptance.
  • Safety: You will likely be admitted if you present your case credibly.
There’s a fourth category: out-of-reaches. Conceding the wisdom and validity of “never say never” and “nothing’s impossible,” there are still much, much better ways to spend your energy and time than applying to such schools.

Several factors determine your qualification for various levels of programs. Keep in mind that they all work together holistically.

First the basics: GPA and GMAT. How do yours stack up versus the mid 75-80% of students in a given program? To be fundamentally qualified you’ll want to be in the higher two-thirds of that range at least. If you’re above or in the upper one-third of this range, you’re competitive in this area. If you’re in the middle third you’re qualified, and if you’re in the lower third or below, you’re reaching.

Work experience is the next factor to consider, specifically, quality of experience. The more competitive the MBA program, the more important it is to have strong and demonstrable advancement, impact, and leadership relative to accomplished peers, regardless of your function, industry, or organization. Quality of work experience is a key factor in determining the level of program you would be competitive in; top tier programs turn down many applicants with near perfect stats who lack the requisite professional accomplishment.

Being in an overrepresented or underrepresented industry, demographic group, or global region/country will affect your competitiveness. Perhaps the largest overrepresented group is Indians in technical fields, a group that also has relatively high average stats. Schools that might be reasonable reaches for others will be almost out of reach for many in this group. On the other hand, no matter how underrepresented you are, if the adcom doubts you can handle the program, you won’t be admitted. As you can see, this factor influences what programs would be reasonable reaches, on-pars, and safeties.

A myriad of other factors will also affect your qualification and competitiveness. Having fewer than three or more than eight years of work experience or already holding an MBA from another program usually makes you less competitive.

If you have an unconventional background, such as teaching or airline pilot, you face extra burdens in making your case. However if you successfully make the case for your qualifications and need for an MBA, your non-traditional background may become a plus in this competitive process.

Qualified means you meet the basic standards of a given program. You can be fully qualified but not competitive—this is exactly the problem that many excellent Indian IT applicants face. Competitive is more nuanced; it encompasses the preferences and character of the program, the commonality or distinctiveness of your background, and even sometimes political and/or economic trends and events. When you happily conclude that you are qualified for Columbia, don’t forget to ask yourself whether you are also competitive there.

As you research and visit MBA programs, determine how qualified and competitive you are for them.

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

Tags: Best MBA Programs Series, MBA Admissions, special report

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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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Reaches, On-Pars, and Safeties   [#permalink] 20 May 2014, 14:00

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