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Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines
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The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference. 

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants listen to “Tuck Talk: IV With The Director Of Admission,“ my podcast interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck. I also recommend you review Dartmouth’s six evaluation criteria for admission.

Tuck changed its Essay #1 and #2. Both now have global element. Tuck’s guidelines also give a longer guidelines for Essay 1 than last year. Several schools have loosened word limits this year. Use the latitude well.

Tuck provides length guidelines, not limits.  That “encouragement” and gentle suggestion give you a little leeway. Please don’t make the mistake of abusing that typical Tuck friendliness. It is an opportunity for you to show judgment and consideration of your reader by still being succinct.

Accepted has been helping applicants to Tuck gain acceptance for roughly 20 years. Explore our services to learn more about how we can help you prepare your Tuck MBA application.

Essays:

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 to 700 words for Essay #1 and 500 words for Essay #2. Please double-space your responses.

Essay 1.

(Required) Tuck educates wise leaders who better the world of business. What are your short- and long-term goals? How will a Tuck MBA enable you to become a wise leader with global impact?

Tuck did ask about goals last year and Why Tuck, but the “wise leader” and “global aspects” of this year’s question are new.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The MBA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That’s why Tuck (and many other schools) ask question like this one. Tuck wants to know that it can help you achieve your goal. So clearly you have to have both short- and long-term goals to respond to the question.

You also have to be able to show the qualities of a wise leader with the potential for global impact. When have you shown the maturity to lead and influence in a way that improved either your company or some other entity that you were a part of?  How did that experience influence your short- and long-term goals or show that you have the ability to achieve those goals?  What is the benefit to society if you achieve what you want to achieve?

One possible approach to the essay: Start this essay with a brief anecdote showing that you have the maturity, restraint, listening  vision, and interpersonal skills (AKA wisdom) to influence, motivate and lead. The anecdote should also relate to your goals. Then discuss your goals and the path you intend to take and the hoped for impact of your realizing those dreams. The path should include the aspects of Tuck’s program that attract you to Hanover and will help you accomplish your goals and “better the world of business.”

Essay 2.

As a diverse and global community, our students arrive at the same place from many different paths.  Tell us about an experience in which you have had to live, learn and/or work with other people very different from yourself.  What challenges and/or opportunities did you experience, how did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

Unlike Essay 1, which focuses on the future and the hypothetical, this question is about one experience in the past.  It is not hypothetical at all.

Tell them a story about the challenges you have faced when dealing with people different from you. Choose one story to relate.

A CAR approach will work well here:

Challenge

Action

Result

Keep it specific and concrete or you will blend in with others writing in generalities. What did you learn is going to be critical in responding to this question.

Keep in mind that Tuck treasures its close-knit, collaborative culture and values teamwork, as well as the leadership sought in Essay 1. Since the student body is diverse, Tuck wants to make sure that all members can handle that diversity. Plus the ability to deal with people different from you is critical to success in business. And life.

Essay 3. (Optional)

Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for two (or even three) 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT/GRE score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere. Let this essay add value to the reader’s understanding of you and to your candidacy.

Essay 4. (Required from Reapplicants)

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. It is critical that every reapplicant be able to answer it for every school they are reapplying to: What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

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

Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 Application Deadlines:

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Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsThe Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement 

Dartmouth Tuck Zone Page

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.
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 5 GMAT Practice Resources: Why Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfec [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Top 5 GMAT Practice Resources: Why Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect
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With so many GMAT resources out there, it’s impossible to tell the difference between them. This guide explains what’s in the most popular practice resources, and why these may not be as worthwhile as they appear if you don’t pracise smart. Of course, we also offer you an alternative solution!

1. The New Official Guide 2017

The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017 is written by the makers of the GMAT exam. You’ll find success strategies and test-taking tips, as well as a grammar and math review. A diagnostic test is supposed to help you prioritize your study time, while the companion website lets you create your own practice tests. Over 900 past exam questions are answered with explanations, and actual example essays are included with scoring information.

2. GMAT Club Tests

The new GMAT Club Tests have been redesigned based on user input. The test system has 1274 hard questions, and offers computer adaptive tests and targeted quizzes.

The GMAT Club also offers free tests. These are quite hard, as they are designed to be representative of the GMAT Club’s pool of questions. They aim to give a similar overall experience to the full tests and have the same user interface and explanations.

3. Beat the GMATfree questions

Theseare free GMAT prep resources from various sources, offering free online practice test options that help you become familiar with what to expect on Test Day: the question types, what taking a timed GMAT is like, how to pace yourself, and which areas to focus on. They also claim to predict what your score would be if you took the exam today.

4. Practice CAT tests

Computer Adaptive Tests adapt to your ability level and draw from a bank of many questions of varying difficulty. This means that every question you answer right or wrong determines what questions you will see later in the CAT. CATs, done on desktop devices, are usually the best simulation for the real GMAT test.

The main GMAT test prep companies offer CAT tests and they also giveone or two CAT tests for free. CAT tests are ideal for students who want to prep for the GMAT with realistic practice exams.

5. GMAT prep mobile apps

Preparing for the GMAT is time consuming, and people feel they never have enough time to study. That’s why GMAT prep mobile appshelp you study wherever you go, without having to carry books everywhere.

Mobile apps are a usually limited due to their small screen – which is why they either provide flashcards or short questions and explanations. There are some which will provide a full course but this part is usually left unused by the students due to the fact that reading from small screen can be very exhausting.

The verdict

Each one of the resources mentioned above is great if we are to assume that practice makes perfect. If that were true we would see many more people just taking a week, or even a month off work to study and hit the 800 mark. But in reality, it’s not really about how much you practice. It’s how and what you practice.

Just solving thousands of questions will add up to a trillion ways of confusing you! Yes, there are plenty of different (great!) ways to solve these questions – but you are still left wondering which one is best for you.

The important question is not “where do I stand?” but rather “where do I WANT to stand?”, and more importantly –  “HOW do I get there?”

The main problems with how you practice with these resources

1. When answering questions, students usually start with the first thing that comes into their minds, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll try a different approach, and so on. They end up wasting a lot of time.

2. You only know what you were taught, and the tool you are using might not been the best tool for the specific sets of problems you are trying to tackle. If there’s no one by your side to mention that, you can practice forever without ever optimizing your performance.

3. Many of these resources show you just 1 way to solve the problem you got wrong. That might not be the right solution for you. It can also be a different approach than what you were taught and cause even more confusion.

Practice smart, not hard

examPAL has  developed one simple method to help students find the fastest way to solve each question. That’s the PAL in examPAL – Precise, Alternative, or Logical. And when there’s more than one way, the system studies the way  students think in order to find THEIR best way to the right answer. It’s called ‘The PALgorithm.’

The greatest benefit of PAL is having one clear way of thinking, which makes all solutions easier and faster. It also leads to an easier preparation process and to better assimilation and absorption of the materials. In fact, the PALgorithm changes the entire perspective on practice. You don’t just solve questions and get easier or harder solutions. You work with the best possible private tutor: one who monitors each and every answer you give, sees all the answers that thousands of other students have given, and finds the perfect match between your way of thinking and what proved effective to others.

If you want to ace the GMAT, it isn’t enough to find the best solutions. It’s about making your mind “flexible” enough to move from one approach to another very quickly. As in any other kind of fitness, it takes some time to master, but once you are “in the zone,” you’ll be able to reach your highest possible score in no time.

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Richard Kampel, Senior GMAT Tutor at examPAL, is an experienced actuarial analyst who has been tutoring for the past 8 years in subjects including GMAT prep, financial statistics, english, physics, and accounting.

 

Related Resources:

• Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE?

• Should You Retake The GMAT?, short video

• The GMAT and the Law of Diminishing Returns

* This blog post is sponsored by examPal.

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Top 5 GMAT Practice Resources: Why Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.
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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What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA
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We’re joined today by Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, and by Doreen Amorosa, Associate Dean and Managing Director of Career Management at McDonough. They’re here to discuss what’s changing in the job search landscape, as well as what’s new at Georgetown. Welcome!

How have career services changed due to students’ interest in startups and smaller companies – and to changes such as increased off-campus recruiting? [2:20]

Dean Amorosa: Entrepreneurship continues to gain steam. It’s a focus area here, and McDonough is ranked high for entrepreneurship. We’ve shifted the way we think of access to employers in a significant way: more employers are focusing on off-campus recruiting.

Goldman Sachs is now recruiting undergrads entirely off-campus— is this the beginning of a trend in financial services? [3:50]

This gives them broader access to the talent base at the undergraduate level. We see it continuing into the MBA arena in the future.

How has this changed what students need to do when looking for internships? [5:10]

From the time students arrive on campus, we work with them on analyzing their skills and focusing the direction of their internship search. Once they have career coordinates (industry-function-geography), we help them think through access channels from the employer perspective to get them to the internship opportunities. They have to be focused.

For example, a student wants to work in brand marketing. She needs to think through target companies. Where will you encounter companies and how? (Ie, career fairs, virtual opportunities – alumni outreach – etc.)

The traditional concept of the internship is a 3 – month interview. Is that still the case, or are students shopping around more, or trying non-traditional internships? [8:00]

A lot of students take the traditional path. But other students are taking internships with smaller companies – we see that trend continuing.

Dean Hubert: Georgetown’s entrepreneurship initiative provides some small stipends for students to take internships at smaller/more entrepreneurial companies.

Dean Amorosa: There’s also a summer incubator program. And a fellowship where students work with venture capitalists. There are some unique opportunities.

How has increased off-campus recruiting changed the way students find full-time positions? [10:45]

As it changes at the internship level, it also changes at the full-time level. Some changes have to do with shrinking travel budgets (i.e., virtual interviewing is becoming more popular).

We’re also seeing more companies using predictive hiring tools to manage the candidate pool early in the application process – i.e., they’re incorporating assessments into the screening process to narrow the pool. (Amazon now requires essays and tests at the first application stage.) It’s not just about behavioral interviews anymore.

An important part of gaining the right position is your networking approach. [14:05]

We launched a platform which enables students and alumni to conduct informational interviews virtually. Students can also do interviews with each other. If you sign up, you commit to helping someone else: this is part of Georgetown’s values.

Has the changing job search changed the application process? [16:55]

Dean Hubert: If you’re proposing to change careers/job functions, you need to be prepared, and understand your strengths and skills. Understand your transferable skills. Combine flexibility with realism. Be prepared.

What should applicants who seek a non-traditional post-MBA path do to prepare? [19:30]

Nothing different!

Take a career inventory: what am I good at, what do I like to do, etc. Complete your resume. So that when they arrive on campus, they have an informed vision of where they would like to go, and a sense of how to approach the internship search. The word “non-traditional” is a bit of a misnomer – and can be a strength.

The WSJ article on Goldman Sachs recruiting: Goldman wants to cast a wider net and recruit people who are committed to finance as a career (not a 2-year boot camp). Do you see management consulting firms going the same direction? [25:30]

Potentially. I think this is the tip of the iceberg.

As a former corporate recruiter, I know the challenges corporations have finding top talent. With this approach, talent can find Goldman Sachs from anywhere. It levels the playing field. If they extend this approach to MBA recruiting, smaller MBA programs will benefit. Tech disruptions happen in recruitment every so often.

Any other tech changes coming? [27:05]

A wider use of predictive hiring – using assessments tools earlier in the hiring process to help companies see who the best candidates are.

What’s new at Georgetown? [28:30]

We have a new essay prompt, and a new video. For the essay, we reduced the word count from 750 to 500. And the new prompt is: What matters to you? Please share an experience from your past that illustrates why this matters to you and how it will enable you to contribute during your MBA program. NOTE: This does not necessarily need to be related to your professional goals.

We’re trying to get at what’s important to them – but from an angle of how they’re going to contribute. Be specific with the experience and justify it. We also wanted to tie it into the ethos of Georgetown: giving back, generosity of spirit. That’s why the question asks about how they’re going to contribute.

The second thing is a 1-minute video introducing themselves to their classmates. We wanted a more dynamic, multidimensional way of hearing from candidates – a sense of how they might show up.

What’s new at Georgetown generally? [32:55]

We’re focusing strongly on support for MBAs with families. For example, we have social events throughout the year that include students’ spouses and families. And at the end of the year, we had an event for families and children called the Sippy Cup Challenge. On campus, we have a mothers’ room. And career services offers a partner support program to help place students’ spouses.

We want to be supportive – it’s part of the school’s Jesuit values.

More about the video? [36:07]

Just upload a link to the video – it can be on youtube, etc. It doesn’t need to be professionally produced – they can make it on their phone. We just need to get a sense of who they are.

What is McDonough’s new 1-year MA in International Business and Policy? [37:20]

It’s a 1-year masters for working professionals (with a minimum of 5 years’ professional experience). Students complete 2 modules online and 2 overseas (along with a social action project). It’s a partnership between the School of Foreign Service and McDonough, and takes advantage of Georgetown’s location in DC.

We also have a new Non-Market Strategy Certificate, which will welcome its second cohort this fall. This is another program that takes advantage of the best DC has to offer (social, political, etc).

Do you have any advice for MBA applicants? [39:55]

Dean Amorosa: Think about career decisions early and often! Think clearly and be able to articulate clearly. Have a coherent story.

Dean Hubert: Know yourself, and get to know us. Academically, most top schools are comparable. So learn about the other aspects of the program you’re looking for.

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Related Links:

• Georgetown McDonough B-School Zone

• Georgetown McDonough 2016 Essay Tips & Deadlines

• The Path From Harvard and Yale to Goldman Sachs Just Changed

Related Shows:

• The Georgetown McDonough MBA: Everything You Need to Know

• Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship

• Picking a Career, Interviewing Right, and More Job Talk

• The MBA Career Search and Life as a Chicago Booth MBA

Subscribe:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions

The post What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA [Episode 164] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.
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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10 Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2016, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 10 Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation
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Pass these tips on to your recommenders for LORs that impress the admissions officers and ensure that they want to accept you.

10 Tips for Recommenders:

1. Review a copy of the applicant’s personal statement or application essays so that your letter of recommendation can dovetail with–not conflict with or duplicate–the rest of the application.

2. Ask the applicant to supply you with additional information such as a resume.

3. Describe your qualifications for comparing the applicant to other applicants.

I have been teaching for twenty years and have advised approximately 450 students on independent research projects over the last five years.

I have personally supervised ten interns every summer for the last five years plus worked with over two hundred college graduates in my capacity as trainer for Big Bank Corp.

4. Discuss how well you know the applicant.

I was able to get to know Mr. Doe because he made it a point to attend two of my sections every week when only one was required.

Ms. Smith reported directly to me for two years prior to her well-deserved promotion to the position of Senior in our Big Six Accounting Firm.

5. Choose two to three qualities that you observed in the applicant.

Jane has a rare blend of top writing and interpersonal skills.

The combination of tenacity, analytical abilities, and good communications skills found in Mr. Doe is truly unique.

6. In discussing those qualities, support your statements with specific instances in which he or she demonstrated those attributes. Be as concrete and detailed as possible.

He is the only student I ever had who came to all my office hours as part of a relentless, and ultimately successful, drive to master financial theory. He was one of just ten percent in the class to receive an A.

Because of Jane’s writing skills, I didn’t hesitate to ask her to write a report which was used by our PAC as the basis for a major policy statement. Congressman X eventually used the statement, based on Jane’s sophisticated 20-page analysis of Middle East politics, in lobbying for increased funding.

7. Try to quantify the student’s strengths or rank him or her vis a vis other applicants that you have observed.

He was in the top 10% of his class.

She has the best analytical skills of any person her age that I have ever supervised.

8. Avoid generalities and platitudes.

9. Include some mild criticism, typically the flip-side of a strength.

The only fault I have encountered in him is his retiring nature. His modesty sometimes hides a young man of remarkable strength and broad interests.

Occasionally, her fortitude and persistence can turn into stubbornness, but usually her good nature and level-headedness prevail.

10. Discuss the applicant’s potential in his or her chosen field.

I enthusiastically recommend Mr. Doe to your business school. This well-rounded student will be a fine businessperson.

With her exceptional leadership, writing, and quantitative skills, Ms. Smith will be an outstanding strategic consultant and a credit to the business school she attends.

Good luck!

Need help composing a letter of recommendation that presents a compelling case to the admissions committee? Check out Accepted’s Recommendation Letter Assistance Packages!

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Related Resources:

• What if the President of the United States Wrote Your Letter of Recommendation?

• Recommenders And Recommendations

Advice for MBA Letters Of Recommendation

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

The post 10 Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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

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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
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Welcoming Keith Vaughn to the Accepted Family [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Welcoming Keith Vaughn to the Accepted Family
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We’d like to warmly welcome Keith Vaughn, one of our new MBA admissions experts and consultants. Keith brings with him to the Accepted table 20 years of experience in MBA admissions, including seven years as Assistant Dean of Admissions at USC Marshall School of Business. There he reviewed thousands of applications for full-time, part-time, and EMBA programs. He has also served on GMAC and CGSM boards, providing additional insight into all top MBA programs.

Keith holds a BA in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Do you want an experienced MBA admissions expert on your side during the application process? Keith is ready to guide you through the admissions maze, helping you arrive at your final destination: acceptance at your top choice MBA program.

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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

_________________

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

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

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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Introducing the Common Letter of Recommendation [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2016, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Introducing the Common Letter of Recommendation
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The you-write-it-I’ll-sign-it letter is a complete waste, and it’s understandable why schools don’t want it.

In an effort to streamline and simplify the letter of recommendation writing process, a few top business schools with the cooperation of GMAC have released the new Common Letter of Recommendation. This is an initiative, according to the GMAC website, to “help reduce the burden of asking for – and submitting – letters of recommendation.”

The Common LOR will provide a single set of questions for recommenders whose answers will be sent to participating schools. Recommenders win because they won’t be over-tasked with writing multiple letters for multiple schools for multiple students, and applicants win because they’ll be more comfortable requesting letters from their busy mentors, professors, or employers.

Participating schools (per the Ross admissions blog) include Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern, and Stanford GSB. Other schools are expected to join these in the coming year. Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, clarified that this year NYU Stern is using the open-ended questions from the Common LOR, but not the form in its entirety.

You can view the Common Letter of Recommendation Template (PDF) here. It is available in English, Chinese, Korean, and German, and GMAC hopes to add additional languages in the future. For U.S. schools, recommendations are normally submitted in English. However, by making the form available in multiple languages, GMAC hopes to reduce the potential for misunderstandings by recommenders who are not native English speakers.

The form asks recommenders to rate applicants on 16 “competencies and character traits” that are important to leadership and management. The competencies are divided into four groups:

1. Achievement

• Initiative

• Results Orientation

• Communication

• Influence and Collaboration

• Professional Impression, Poise, and Presence

2. Influence

• Respect for Others

Team Leadership

• Developing Others

• Change Leadership

3. Personal Qualities

• Trustworthiness/Integrity

• Adaptability/Resilience

• Self-awareness

4. Cognitive Abilities

• Information Seeking

• Analytical Thinking

• Problem Solving

• Strategic Orientation

In addition, recommenders are asked to respond to the following three questions:

1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)

2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (500 words)

[b]3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)[/b]

My Thoughts

Accepted consultant Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, a former admissions director and GMAC volunteer, emailed me yesterday that she had tried for years when she was an admissions director to institute a common LOR system through GMAC. She hadn’t been successful.

Fast forward a decade or so. After the 2013 AIGAC survey revealed that almost 40% of MBA applicants were asked to draft their own letters of recommendation for their recommenders’ signature, schools realized there was a problem with the authenticity (and value) of the recommendations they were receiving. Some programs decided for the 2014 and 2015 application cycle to ask the same long-form questions of recommenders. Their intent was the same as that announced on GMAC’s Common LOR page: “reduce the burden of asking for – and submitting – letters of recommendation.”

This year’s move to a Common Letter of Recommendation form is long overdue in MBA admissions. I applaud the four pilot schools and GMAC for taking the initiative on this. The questions posed are excellent. Although the length of the form is a little intimidating, the ratings won’t take a lot of time. Drafting the two 500-word responses will take more time, but at least they can be used for multiple schools, and in the future if things go as they should, most or all schools.

The writing requested of recommenders is ironic because some programs with more restrictive word limits, will end up seeing more of the recommenders’ writing than the applicants’. But that’s the way it is when many programs prevent or at best strongly discourage applicants from submitting anything approaching 1000 words.

Moving away from that unintended consequence and looking at the hoped for result of the Common Letter of Recommendation: If the recommendations are less burdensome, students will have an easier time requesting the favor of providing the recommendations from their bosses and colleagues, and recommenders will be less likely to ask applicants to draft them.

The Common LOR will reduce the you-write-it-I’ll-sign-it syndrome, but it won’t eliminate it. 1000 words is still a lot to ask of time-pressed recommenders. Since the whole point of the recommendation is to get another party’s perspective on the applicant’s candidacy, you-write-it-I’ll-sign-it is a complete waste, and it’s understandable why schools don’t want it. The new common recommendation will make the system work more effectively and give the schools more of what they want while easing the burden on recommenders and applicants.

And who knows, maybe someday schools will want to hear as much from applicants as they do from recommenders.

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Related Resources:

MBA Letter of Recommendation Assistance

• How Not to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

• UT McCombs Now Allows LinkedIn Recommendations

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Introducing the Common Letter of Recommendation appeared first on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.
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The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Program [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Program
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The Wharton MBA adcom itself offers you some help in shaping your Wharton application – by clearly and succinctly defining the four core components of “the Wharton difference.” Understanding these components is a key to conveying your fit with the program.

These four components are encompassed in Wharton’s emphasis on “putting knowledge into action.”  This value should guide your application approach: action is always specific, anecdotal. Therefore, make your resume, essays, and application answers specific, anecdotal, and action focused.

In this post I’ll discuss two of the four components that are tightly correlated, then I’ll do one post each for the remaining two. In all, I’ll keep on the radar screen the overarching value of “putting knowledge into action.”

Largest Global Network and Culture of Engagement are the two interconnected components.  They go hand-in-hand:

• The vast global alumni network is an immense resource, and culture involves using, synthesizing and creating new resources.

• A network and a culture are both built by and serve people.

• On the Wharton website, the Global Network component uses the phrases “call on” and “tap into” while the Culture of Engagement component uses the words “join” and “collaborative” – all reflecting dynamismconnectionproactivity.

There is another fascinating, but perhaps less intuitive, point of alignment between these two components: impact.

• “Increase your impact through the resources of this diverse, connected community” (from Global Network).

• “…Turning knowledge into impact” (from Culture of Engagement).

What does all this add up to?  PEOPLE TAKING ACTION CREATE IMPACT.  That’s basic.  What you want to demonstrate, and what Wharton seeks, is you being part of PEOPLE TAKING ACTION TOGETHER TO CREATE CONSTRUCTIVE, DESIRED IMPACTS.

Here’s how you can demonstrate fit with Wharton by incorporating these values into your application:

• Refer specifically in your application and your interview to how you will use the global alumni network to advance your goals and/or how you will engage with it (specific actions as opposed to the ubiquitous but bland “contribute to”).

• Give examples and anecdotes in essays that illustrate your resourcefulness and collaboration leading to concrete outcomes.

• In discussing how you will achieve your goals, include these elements, which also align with the action orientation.

• Ensure that your resume reflects these values, and start bullet points with verbs to underscore action.

•If your recommenders are open to your input, ask them to use examples and present strengths that reflect these attributes (and not just “ability to” but also achieving impacts).

• In your interview, frame your answers and points to reflect these elements and even refer specifically to them, if you can do so naturally.

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

Related Resources:

• Wharton 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• Wharton MBA Student, Single Mom, Entrepreneur [Episode 152]

A Free Guide to Answering the “Why MBA?” Question

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Introducing Our Newest Accepted Consultant…Philippe Barr [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2016, 09:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Introducing Our Newest Accepted Consultant…Philippe Barr
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We are excited to introduce you to Dr. Philippe Barr, our new MBA and graduate school admissions consultant!

Philippe has worked for over ten years in higher education, serving as Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and as Assistant Director of MBA Admissions for UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Philippe has reviewed thousands of MBA applications, interviewed hundreds of applicants, and knows how to help prospective students present their competitive advantage on paper and in-person. He holds an MA from McGill University and a PhD from New York University.

Do you need help drafting your personal roadmap to academic and professional success? Philippe knows how to guide you to an acceptance at your top choice MBA or graduate school program.

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Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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Innovative Leadership Learning: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2016, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Innovative Leadership Learning: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Program
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My previous post on defining your fit with Wharton addressed two of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network and Culture of Engagement). Here I’ll look at the third component:

Innovative Leadership Learning.

On the Wharton website, the short paragraph introducing this component contains the keys to unlocking its real meaning and import. Let’s look at those keys – literally, the key words and phrases. They reveal the adcom’s core interests and values.

• “You’ll find your leadership style…” Leadership isn’t the pivotal word here, but rather find, which is, unsurprisingly, the verb, the action word. Of course MBAs are about leadership. But “find” indicates that the adcom wants people who are “in process” – seeking, growing, and changing in response to what they learn.

• “…by participating in unmatched entrepreneurship and leadership activities.” What’s the pivotal word here? Yeah, participating. It means active involvement. The little word by is important too, because it indicates that this participation is the way through which you grow, change (including finding your leadership style).

• “You’ll take risks, try new roles…” Wharton adcom equates risk-taking with action; putting yourself out there; opening up not just intellectually but personally. Wharton’s leadership and entrepreneurship (and other) resources offer avenues for risk-takers to try new roles. And note the word try: you don’t have to follow a straight, smooth path to a goal; the adcom recognizes the growth value in varied experiences, which you internalize and synthesize along the way.

• “…inspire others, and work with peers to shape your experience.” In a word, collaboration. In Wharton’s culture, it’s the magic through which the alchemy of growth happens. The verbs inspire and shape imply deep experience and profound, transforming outcomes. Innovative Leadership Learning clearly is more than “gaining skills” and “building networks”…

Here’s how you can portray the “Innovative Leadership Learning” component to demonstrate fit with Wharton in your application:

• Throughout your essay(s), weave in anecdotes and examples that show you participating, taking risks through collaboration, inspiring others in the process – and growing as a leader as a result.  Given the tight word counts, you can even do this within 1-2 sentences, e.g., “When I [did some activity/initiative], it challenged me to [think differently in some way; be specific], which proved valuable when I subsequently [led in a new capacity].

• The Wharton interview process is a natural extension of this component – develop a strategy for portraying these qualities in a way that is natural to you.

• In your resume and application form, mention activities where you took initiative and/or drew others in and/or “stretched” beyond your comfort zone. These won’t be as in-depth as the essays, but they’ll enhance the related points elsewhere in the application.

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

Related Resources:

MBA Selectivity Index

• Wharton 2016- 17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• The “Wharton Difference” And Fit With The Program

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Georgetown McDonough 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Georgetown McDonough 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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Two major changes to Georgetown McDonough’s application this year

1. A new essay prompt: A little more focus and 250 words shorter than last year’s question.

2. A one-minute video.

I recently interviewed Georgetown McDonough’s Dean of Admissions, Shari Hubert for our Admission Straight Talk podcast. While the main topic of the podcast is the evolving nature of the MBA job search, Dean Hubert did discuss both these changes and the reasons for them in the podcast. I highly recommend you listen to the entire interview. However, if you don’t have time for the 40-minute interview, make time for the portion discussing this year’s application, which starts at 28:30.

My comments are in blue below.

Essays:

We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

Essay 1: 

We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: “What matters to you? Please share an experience from your past that illustrates why this matters to you and how it will enable you to contribute during your MBA Program (note: this does not necessarily need to be related to your professional goals).”



If you listen to thepodcast mentioned aboveor the earlier one with Dean Hubert, it will quickly become clear that giving and contributing are important values at Georgetown. So choose an experience that shows you as a contributor or giver to a cause or value that matters to you. It does not necessarily need to be “what matters to you most” as in Stanford’s Essay A, but something that matters enough to you so that you took action.

Then relate your initiative to a need or opportunity at McDonough. How does what’s important to you show that you will contribute at Georgetown? How will you choose to leave your mark at this business school guided by its Jesuit heritage?

A possible structure: Start with an anecdote that illustrates why this issue matters and then define what exactly does matter. Then relate it to events, groups, or activities at Georgetown.

Video Essay: 

The required video essay is an opportunity for you to bring life to your application. Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort in a one minute video.

This is one of those questions when you are not supposed to think about the fact that your essay is being read by admissions people. You are supposed to address your peers, your professional network to-be, and your future friends i.e. your classmates.

What would you want them to know about you?

They’re looking for more than just spreadsheet skills or professional mojo here, although that might creep in. Balance personal and professional. As Georgetown says, “bring life to your application” with this video.

Take the time to sketch out what you want to say in these 60 seconds. I don’t recommend that you write it out and memorize it, but definitely have a plan. And then practice. It’s really strange to speak to a camera. The camera gives no feedback, has no affect, and is completely wooden in responsiveness. You may be tempted to behave similarly. Bad idea. Either practice by yourself and view the videos of your practices so that you improve, or ask an encouraging friend to film you so that at least you have your friend’s reactions to respond to.

What is the Georgetown admissions committee looking for in this video? They are trying to imagine you as a member of their community. They also want to see how you present yourself without going to the trouble and expense of an interview. They want to assess your presence: How are you going to appear to a potential employer?

Optional Essays:

1.  If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Show them that you are using this period of unemployment to acquire new skills, contribute to your community, or grow in some way.

2. Please provide any information that you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Please see “Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them

Re-Applicant Essay:

How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

This is a key question (whether asked explicitly or not) for all reapplicantsto any MBA program. What has changed? How are you “new and improved” since last year — when you were rejected? Georgetown does you the favor of providing this explicit prompt so you can address this question while retaining the ability to address the main essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown McDonough School MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Georgetown McDonough MBA application.

Georgetown McDonough 2016-17 MBA Application Deadlines:

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business SchoolsLearn How to Demonstrate Leadership in Your Application, free guide

What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA [Episode 164]

School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

Tags: MBA Admissions

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How Do You Deal with Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Want to Know [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Do You Deal with Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Want to Know
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How did you handle being criticized?

Many MBA essays ask you to write about a time you were given criticism and how you dealt with it. This may not be the kind of question you wished they had asked, but it is one that provides an excellent opportunity to show the highly prized quality of emotional intelligence (or EQ). Additionally, the people writing your letters of recommendation are almost sure to be asked to assess you in this same sensitive area: Did you respond with maturity and self-reflection, or did you struggle to suppress your anger at the perceived insult?

How Criticism is Viewed by Millennials

Adcom members remain acutely interested in candidates’ EQ. This may be due, in part, to the fact that today’s millennial applicants (especially Americans) have been raised without much constructive criticism, and in fact, have been taught to expect lavish praise for things previous generations did with no expectation of rewards or perks. Adcoms need reassurance that millennial applicants can accept criticism with grace, self-reflection, and maturity. This ability to turn a negative experience into an opportunity for growth is key to demonstrating your EQ – and your management potential.

7 Ways to Prep for the Question on Criticism:

[b]1. Stay current.[/b]

Choose an experience that took place within the last two years. It will be a more accurate gauge of your current maturity.

[b]2. State the circumstances leading up to the criticism briefly and forthrightly.[/b]

Did you discover the new software product still had bugs during the testing just three weeks before launch, but were afraid to report the bad news to your supervisor? Had you become angry with a colleague who was difficult to work with? Were you asked to mentor a new-hire, but found the job thankless and managed to evade some of those mentoring responsibilities? Whatever the situation, just tell it like it was.

[b]3. Show your response honestly.[/b]

Did you expect what was coming, or were you blindsided?

[b]4. Most important, show how you responded to the criticism.[/b]

The adcoms will be alert to answers that seem shallow or lacking in sufficient detail. Did you respond instantly to the critic, or let him know you thank him for the feedback and would like a day to get back to him? Show a bit of the conversation you had with your critic and what you learned from that conversation.

[b]5. Reveal what you did to improve or mitigate the situation that led to the feedback.[/b]

What actions have you taken to address your weaknesses? How did you improve after receiving this particular piece of feedback? And if the feedback was recent and you haven’t yet addressed it, what do you plan on doing?

[b]6. Show growth.[/b]

What have you done to avoid future episodes like this? Don’t gloss over this with a one sentence answer, such as “From this situation I learned to be more sensitive to how my colleagues were feeling.” Go deeper. For example, did you begin to spend more time talking to those colleagues on a regular basis, evaluating their view of events? Did you read any books on successful communication skills, or workplace dynamics? Did you set up regular times to meet with your supervisor to make sure you were on the same page with projects? Your changes have to be believable as a result of honest self-reflection and action.

[b]7. Put yourself in the critic’s shoes.[/b]

What if you felt the criticism was unfair or unwarranted? If this is the case, it will still be important to show that you dealt with it in a mature way. Show how you tried to put yourself in your critic’s shoes: How was it possible he or she viewed the situation that way? The ability to consider another person’s point of view, even if it is erroneous, and then respond with tact, is an important element of EQ.

Everyone makes mistakes in life, and everyone is on the receiving end of criticism from time to time. One thing that can distinguish you from other applicants is your ability to embrace such uncomfortable situations, and to turn them to your advantage through greater self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional growth.

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By Judy Gruen, MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools9 Secrets to Standing Out in Your MBA Application, free guide

• 6 Tips for Talking About Your Weaknesses

• Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Seats Running Out at Our Wharton Webinar… [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Seats Running Out at Our Wharton Webinar…
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If you are applying to Wharton – then you’ll want to tune in next week August 10th for our webinar, Get Accepted Wharton.

Access winning tips that put you ahead of your competition including the 4 key strategies you need to get accepted and advice for your team-based discussion.

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Don’t get left behind – reserve your spot for Get Accepted Wharton now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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Global Opportunities: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Progra [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Global Opportunities: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Program
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Today, everyone working anywhere can directly or indirectly identify a global dimension to their work. My previous posts on defining your fit with Wharton addressed three of the four components of “The Wharton Difference” (Largest Global Network, Culture of Engagement, and Innovative Leadership Learning). Here I’ll look at the fourth, final component:

Global Opportunities.

BUT… you might think, all top MBA programs have a global dimension; why is it part of The Wharton Difference?

The answer lies in how those specific opportunities align with the other three components by emphasizing connection, growth through experience, sharing/collaboration, and exploration. This is evident in the following phrases:

• The Global Opportunities prepare you for “an interconnected world.”

• You will “immerse yourself” in local cultures and business approaches.

• You will “extend” your experience to your classmates as part of a “global community.”

The bolded words above reveal the adcom’s distinct lens on the global dimension: its global resources start with you connecting with other people and groups to understand and eventually impact global business holistically.

BUT… What if your goals don’t include global enterprise? Perhaps you plan to launch an IT initiative in a region of the U.S. where coal mining is dying. Perhaps you plan to develop strategy for domestic healthcare provider chains. In the first case, other countries, e.g. Poland, face the same challenge; perhaps there’s a prospective global collaboration on the horizon! And you’ll likely want to market your IT product/service globally. In the second case, perhaps learning from countries with different healthcare systems would give you valuable ideas to adapt; you can learn from their successes and failures.

Today, everyone working anywhere can directly or indirectly identify a global dimension to their work. If it’s not immediately obvious, think further, and you will surely discern how it’s so in your own situation.

To demonstrate fit with Wharton, portray the “Global Opportunities” component in your application:

• Familiarize yourself with both the academic opportunities (majors, Global Modular Courses, Global Immersion Program, and Global Consulting Practicum, and exchange programs) and the extracurricular opportunities (conferences, International Volunteer Program, and Global Career Treks), decide which ones best meet your needs, and discuss how and why in your essay and interview.

• In your essay and interview, as appropriate, include anecdotes and examples about global experiences and the human, cultural, and values-oriented factors beyond the hard facts and numbers (you can include non-business experiences if relevant, even interactions with colleagues from other countries/cultures if you don’t have first hand international experience).

• In your resume and application form, mention activities with a global or international element.

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

Related Resources:

• MBA Selectivity Index

• Wharton 2016- 17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Innovative Leadership Learning: The “Wharton Difference” and Fit with The Program

Tags: MBA Admissions

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When the MBA Optional Essay is No Longer Optional [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: When the MBA Optional Essay is No Longer Optional
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If your grades plummeted your sophomore year in college, this is the place to explain.

You’ve already written the required essays that most business schools ask for – do you really need to write the optional essay?

If you’re a strong applicant who doesn’t need to explain weaknesses, low stats, or application inconsistencies, then you may be able to skip the optional question.

But the optional essay is NOT AN OPTION in the following two cases:

1. There is a weakness or inconsistency in your application.

If your grades plummeted your sophomore year in college, this is the place to explain that you underwent surgery that semester. Or, if there is a gap in your employment, you provide the explanation. In other words, don’t leave the admissions committee guessing or assuming the worst.

When using this essay to address a weakness, keep it short and keep it simple. State the facts, the pertinent reasons surrounding the facts, and what you learned or what you did subsequently to improve or change, to the extent possible, the outcome. A straightforward presentation is the goal. Your goal is to provide context for events that may not reflect well on you; it is not to make excuses. Either show that circumstances that no longer exist impeded your performance, or that you have learned how to handle those circumstances so that they no longer impede your performance.

2. You have additional information to share.

Some schools are blunt and ask that the optional essay be used to address weaknesses; other schools ask a more open-ended optional essay question. Note, however, that schools do not ask for a summary of your essays, so take a look at your entire application. Have you presented a well-rounded picture of your candidacy? If you have nothing to add, then you do not need to write an optional essay just because it’s there. Are your essays heavily weighted to professional experiences? If yes, use the opportunity to showcase another dimension of your life, perhaps your community service activities or involvement in a sport. If you are still uncertain, consider what you could add that provides another reason to accept you.

Use or do not use the optional essay to your advantage to add value to your application.

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 Robbie Walker is a writer, columnist and editor who received her MBA from Chicago Booth. She is happy to assist you in targeting the right schools and identifying the details that best highlight your candidacy.

 

Related Resources:

• The Importance Of Extracurriculars And Community Service

• Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them, short video

• MBA Interviews: Tell Me About Your Weaknesses

Tags: MBA Admissions

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6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
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Once you BEGIN writing, your brain will begin to generate ideas that will inspire you to CONTINUE writing.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a personal statement or application essay for college or grad school is finding the discipline to sit down and focus. Often, once you accomplish that, the ideas begin to form and the words begin to flow. The following 6 tips will help motivate you to start writing, and then to continue writing until you’ve got some solid material for a compelling essay.

1. Words beget more words.

Here’s an important concept to think about when it comes to getting started – one word leads to another. Once you BEGIN writing, your brain will begin to generate ideas that will inspire you to CONTINUE writing. So even if you don’t think you have anything to say, just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Set a timer for 10 minutes and don’t stop writing until the timer dings. I guarantee that when the buzzer goes off, SOME idea will have surfaced.

2. Write now, edit later.

Do NOT get bogged down in the editorial details of your essay during the early writing stages. Now is the time to simply get your ideas out on paper (or computer screen). Write as you think – in fragments, in run-on sentences, or in vivid descriptions of images as they pass before your mind’s eye. Work on making them sound good later on.

3. Use details.

During the brainstorming phase of your writing, as well as later on when you’re clarifying your work, you’re going to want to include details that will engage your reader. Think about what attracts someone to a good book – is it boring summaries and abstractions, or a few descriptions of people and places or specific dialog?

4. Include meaning.

Description is key, but if you don’t internalize (and then show that you’ve internalized) the MEANING of the scene you’ve described, then the adcoms won’t care much about it. What do your experiences say about YOU?

5. Prove impact.

Now that you’ve expressed what your experiences say about your qualifications or characteristics, it’s time to explain how those traits and strengths will contribute to your class. You’ve proven that you are a leader; how do you plan on using those skills?

6. Have faith.

Maybe you’ve hit a wall and feel like you’ll never spin your ideas into a coherent essay. Have faith – the writing process takes time. Take a break and then return to your computer with a clear mind and a positive attitude to begin the brainstorming process from scratch.

Now, sit down, think, and start writing! Good luck!

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Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on your Personal Statement

• First Drafts Of Personal Statements: Let Yourself Go

• 3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

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

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Wharton: “Putting Knowledge Into Action” [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Wharton: “Putting Knowledge Into Action”
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Does the oldest business school actually have a brand?

Does the oldest business school actually need a brand?

Ironically, Wharton is a more powerful global brand than the elite Ivy League university of which it resides.  In fact, many people don’t know that the University of Pennsylvania is a highly regarded Ivy League institution. Outside the United States the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton’s “parent” university is often confused with Penn State University, the “parent” university to the Smeal College of Business, to the humorous consternation of both schools.

As I searched through Wharton’s collateral, it was difficult to zero in on its point of view. However, its tagline, putting knowledge into action, was easy to find. But I ask, is Wharton’s tagline synonymous with its brand? I will go out on a limb here and say, “no.” Wharton is its own brand. Wharton is Wharton. But the admissions officers and their marketing colleagues are giving you a hint through this tag line that they are seeking students who can “put knowledge into action.”

How does one “put knowledge into action”? Well, I would venture to say that you would put knowledge into action the same way Columbia students “bridge theory with practice” and how Michigan Ross students put “thought into action.” These taglines sound extremely similar, but they do get to the crux of the type of student these schools seek.

Wharton seeks a student who can take the information that he or she gathers from school, the workplace, the community, and the world, process the information and then act on the ideas and concepts acquired. As an applicant you need to demonstrate that you not only know the information, but that you have implemented the concepts that you’ve learned. For more information on how to do explain this process in an essay, read my blog post “Show me, Don’t Tell Me.” While I wrote the blog for PhD students, the “theory” applies to MBA candidates as well.

In the application, the main essay looks toward the future, so you can’t demonstrate that you have the trait to turn your knowledge into action in the main essay. You can only explain that you can act on your knowledge in the work experience, extracurricular activities and community service section in the application. You can also establish that you offer this trait on your resume and in optional essay 1.

I’ll focus on optional essay 1 for the purpose of this blog. I suggest exhibit how and where you learned about something and then acted upon it in optional essay 1. Did you read about a theory in a book and then test it out in the real world? Did you hear a political pundit on the news describe something and gather your friends in a grass roots effort to implement or refute the pundit’s opinion? A great example comes from a environmentally astute MBA. He believed that if areas of the world that don’t have access to potable water were given access to potable water that it would lessen the political unrest in these countries where access to water is a big issue. He researched his theory through expert white papers and journal articles. He tested his theory by creating a process to make polluted water potable and distributed his patented invention to several regions that suffered from political unrest. He put his theory into action, and had results that proved his theory worked in over half of the regions where he distributed this process. He is now working with a manufacturer and an NGO to gain more distribution throughout the world.

While your example doesn’t need to have the kind of impact that changes the world, it does need to describe in detail, what you did to make a difference. Did your Relay for Life impact the latest therapies for cancer? Did your understanding of the book Trading Systems that Work lead you to pursue a finance degree? Did your Improvisational class at school help you become a skilled public speaker? Did you learn something from a colleague at work or at school that enabled you to arrive at a better answer.

Their tagline is put to the test during their Team Based Discussions. If you are invited to participate, you are given a mini-case, asked to present a solution and then work for 35 minutes with a team of potential future classmates to come up with the best or optimal solution. The evaluators will observe how you synthesize the information around the table and use it to come up with a viable action Wharton can use in the future.

So while Wharton’s brand stands alone, its tagline is instrumental to the success of your application. For more information about successful strategies on your Wharton application, register for Accepted’s Get Accepted to Wharton webinar and contact our consultants for assistance with your application.

This post is part of our Big Brand Theory Series for MBA applicants.

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By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, an accomplished Accepted consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

 

Related Resources:

• Wharton 2017 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

The Wharton Difference

• Wharton B-School Zone Page

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Future Whartonites…Tune In on Wednesday! [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Future Whartonites…Tune In on Wednesday!
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The webinar you’ve all been waiting for, Get Accepted Wharton, will take place on Wednesday, August 10th at 10am PT/1pm PT and then again at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

Reserve your spot now and tune in on Wednesday to hear important Wharton application tips that could transform your Wharton dream into reality!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

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Where to Find Good GRE Practice Questions [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Where to Find Good GRE Practice Questions
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GRE help is out there. Here’s where to look.

An important part of preparing for the GRE is practice questions, and lots of them! But where can you find good practice questions for the GRE? Today, we’ll look at a few reputable sources.

GRE practice questions from ETS, the maker of the GRE

They say there’s nothing quite like the real thing, and this is especially true when it comes to good practice materials for the GRE. You’ll be happy to know the ETS, the cvccddddfompany that makes the GRE, offers many real practice questions, taken from actual GRE exams.

ETS’s GRE Powerprep package offers two full practice exams, downloadable online for free. The ETS website also has tons of free practice questions for the GRE AWA. Start out at ETS’s official GRE Analytical Writing homepage to get links to a pool of Issue AWA questions, a pool of Argument AWA questions, and sample essays with scorer commentary.

All of the web-based practice question sets I just mentioned are free, along with several other question sets linked to the GRE general preparation page. And for a reasonable price, you can get many more GRE practice questions in ETS’s official GRE books. The Official Guide to the GRE includes practice tests, additional practice questions, and strategy tutorials. In addition, ETS has put out full books of GRE Verbal Reasoning and GRE Quantitative Reasoning practice questions.

GRE practice questions from other sources

There are quite a few third party providers of GRE practice questions. But be careful– the quality of these questions can be hit or miss. To properly prepare yourself for the exam, you’ll need to choose unofficial GRE questions that are very similar to the real stuff from ETS.

Manhattan Prep’s GRE books are excellent for GRE math practice. The quality of Manhattan’s Verbal practice questions are not quite as universally good. Their Reading Comprehension practice is decent, but Manhattan’s Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion are more complex than the ones on the GRE, focusing on harder vocabulary words that you won’t actually need to know on test day.

For the best unofficial GRE Verbal practice questions, look online. Magoosh GRE offers hundreds of GRE Verbal questions through a web-based subscription. Magoosh’s quantitative GRE practice questions can also be a nice companion to Manhattan and ETS Quants practice.

How to find other good practice questions

This mini-guide to finding GRE practice questions covers three top sources of practice materials for the GRE. But there are many other GRE prep resources out there. As you look for other sets of GRE practice questions, be an informed consumer. Always compare third-party practice materials to the ones from ETS so that you can check for accuracy. And be sure to read customer reviews before you use any non-ETS materials that you come across.

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David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent.

Related Resources:

Planning on Taking the GRE? How Much it Can Run You?

• Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety & Perform at Your Best

Important Facts About GRE Scoring

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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2017 Wharton Business School Class Profile [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 2017 Wharton Business School Class Profile
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Let’s take a look at who makes up Wharton’s class of 2017 (from the Wharton website)…

• Applications received: 6,590

• Students enrolled: 861

• Women: 43%

• U.S. students of color: 30%

• International students: 32%

• Average GMAT score: 732

• Middle 80% GMAT score: 700-770

• Average work experience: 5 years

Breakdown of Undergraduate Majors:

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Do you want to be counted among Wharton’s next crop of students? Come to our webinar Get Accepted to Wharton Business School to learn the steps you need to take to discover your competitive advantage and GET ACCEPTED!

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Related Resources:

• Wharton 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

The Wharton Difference [Blog Series]

• Wharton, Google & Submarines: Steve’s MBA Story

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Too Old for an MBA? Check Out 3 Outstanding MBA and EMBA Alternatives  [#permalink]

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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Too Old for an MBA? Check Out 3 Outstanding MBA and EMBA Alternatives [Episode 166]
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Today we’re discussing a unique MBA option for mid-career professionals – an option to study in a full-time, immersive program with other professionals at the same level.

Joining us today are: Stephen Sacca, Director, MIT Sloan Fellows Program; Silvia McCalliser-Castillo, Director, London Business School EMBA-Global and Sloan Programmes; and Mike Hochleutner, Director, Stanford MSx Program. Welcome!

Why pursue mid-career graduate education in business? [3:00]

Stephen: It’s not easy to hit the pause button in an established career that’s gaining momentum, but it’s really to pause and reflect on what you’ve done and what you’d like to do. I think of it as a reflection year from a personal perspective.

Mike: The world has evolved a lot. People are marrying later, having children later, etc. And they’re going through more career transitions and working longer. The notion that early career training/education will train you for a full career isn’t as accurate as it once was.

Silvia: I absolutely agree. Careers are evolving – people are living longer and working longer. Our program is actually trending older (more years of experience). The opportunity to study with other mature students with a similar amount of experience is really compelling! Students gain exposure to new frames of reference, new industries, new ideas.

Can you give us an overview of your programs? [6:35]

Mike: These three programs have some common heritage. The program at MIT was started with the support of Alfred Sloan, the retired CEO of GM – a forward thinking CEO. The idea was to create a model of education for people who already had some experience, and the potential to run great companies on a global level.

Here at Stanford, our program is in its 60th year. The MSx program is one of only two grad programs in the b-school. We require a minimum of 8 years of work experience.

The MSx program is integrated with the FT MBA: for electives, MSx students have free rein within the GSB and the full university (you can take classes across the campus). We have a global and diverse cohort. We want to help students create a network they’ll draw on for the next 20, 30, 40 years.

Silvia: The LBS Sloan Fellows Programme is a master’s in leadership and strategy. Our students have, on average, 15-18 years’ experience (no less than 10 years), and their average age is 42-44. They take a core curriculum in cohort, all together: some of our areas of emphasis include globalization and strategy in a changing world. LBS has a lot of master’s programs, EMBA programs and partnership programs. Sloan students can take electives with the entire b-school, or with part time students.

Stephen: MIT’s Sloan Fellows Program is in its 87th year. Alfred P. Sloan started the program for people with exceptional potential to lead dynamic organizations. It’s a combination of academics and practice. We emphasize 3 pillars: Academics, leadership, and global perspective. We have 110 students from 35 countries. The minimum is 10 years’ experience, and the average is 14. Our cohort is 70% men and 30% women.

Mike: The minimum experience for Stanford’s MSx program is 8 years. We’re looking for people who have experience in a managerial role: people who have grappled with management challenges.

What is the application process? [13:50]

Silvia: At LBS, we have a unique process for the Sloan Fellows. First, we ask interested candidates to submit a copy of their CV and have a chat with a recruitment coordinator to see whether it’s a good fit. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time. If it’s not right, we may recommend another program at LBS, or waiting a few years to apply, or even applying to a different school. If it’s a good fit, we encourage them to apply. In terms of the application process, it’s an online form (essays, LORs), and they submit their scores from the GMAT or the new Executive Assessment.

[Do the other programs accept the Executive Assessment? MIT: talking about it! Stanford: GMAT or GRE is required.]

Silvia: The process continues with interviews. We’re looking for people who’ve had important responsibility. Our cohort is only about 50-60 people, so it’s important to get the class dynamic right!

Stephen: The process is similar for the Sloan Fellows at MIT. There’s a registration form on the website. We contact people who seem like a good fit and invite them for a campus visit. We also do global visits in the fall. We normally interview about 40% of the applicant pool. If applicants would be a better fit elsewhere, we often counsel them to consider other programs. Our cohort is about 110.

Mike: There are lots of opportunities for people to learn about the MSx program. We do an initial review to see if it’s a good fit, so people can assess before they go through the process. We’re looking for three things: 1. Demonstrated leadership and accomplishment (made an impact) 2. Intellectual vitality (aptitude and attitude) 3. Clarity of purpose. The third point is very important! This is a 1-year program. It’s important to know what you want to do with the program. If you don’t know what your plans are, you might spend the year going too many different directions.

We ask for essays, test scores, LORs. We also consider work experience. And we work hard to assess fit.

What kind of career services support does your program offer? [22:00]

Stephen: We have a shared career services office – within that office, we have people who have experience with executive level career searchers. We’re not seeking career changers, but if they come, we’ll give them what we can offer them. There’s no on-campus recruiting. But we provide coaching on resume development, how to approach the search, etc. And we have tailored help for international students. We expect students to be fully engaged in the program. We had 46% sponsorship this year, and we would like to increase that. If somebody’s looking to pivot, we’re happy to help them, but they have to have a plan.

Mike: The career situation for mid-career folks returning to school is a bit of a quandary. We made a choice: focusing entirely on sponsorship wasn’t in our interest. About 30% of our fellows are sponsored. We have a dedicated team in our career management center that works with our students and sees how they’re different from MBA students. We also work with our employer relations team to make sure they’re aware of our more experienced students. It’s very much a networking-based job search process. It can be a challenging cohort to work with from a career development perspective. But one of the things we can help give people is a set of skills.

Silvia: The LBS Sloan Fellows are a mix of sponsored students, entrepreneurs, and self-sponsored students looking for a change. We don’t have on-campus recruiting. But we work with our contacts to promote our students. And we teach our students to manage their careers. We provide career coaching, mentoring, and advice. Each student is expected to come in with a plan. And the coaching continues after graduation.

What kind of contact do students have with the wider b-school community? [35:45]

Silvia: During electives, our students might work alongside both fellow Sloan fellows with decades of experience and 23-year-old MiM students. We also promote social interaction through clubs and societies.

Stephen: MIT Sloan offers 10 degree programs; 56% of the courses the Sloan Fellows take are electives that are integrated with other students (other courses from the b-school, and the whole MIT campus – as well as Harvard). Our competitions engage the full campus. And every year we have the 1 Sloan Initiative, to bring the school together.

Mike: The GSB has 150 electives for the MBA and MSx programs. And about 15% of the required units can be taken across the full campus, in any division (engineering, education, etc).

How would you coach somebody deciding between the MBA and MSx? [39:20]

Mike: They’re similar in terms of content. What’s different is the individual learning process. (For example, there are smaller sections in the MSx.) Some people want a 2-year program. The core of the MSx is that it’s building on what they’ve already done. If you have over 10 years of experience, that’s what they probably should be doing. We let people make the choice in terms of what’s most appropriate for them. If I think they can get more from another program, I’ll direct them in that way.

MIT has a full menu of programs – who should choose what? [42:50]

Stephen: We’re up-front: we share our portfolio of programs so people can see which program will be most appropriate for them. We’re up-front about our minimum criteria. We don’t encourage people to apply to both the Sloan Fellows and the MBA.

How do you help people determine which LBS program is right for them? [44:30]

Silvia: A lot of Sloans already have an advanced degree. Often, people who choose the Sloan program over an EMBA are people who are looking for a full-time degree.

We encourage people to talk to their employer if they’re hesitating between the EMBA and Sloan Fellows. Sloan is differentiating more and more from other programs. A lot of EMBAs are hoping to accelerate their careers. And we’re finding that Sloans are looking to take a step back, think about their legacy – many are considering entrepreneurship or other pivots (social enterprise, etc).

What do you consider the strengths of your specific programs? [48:00]

Stephen: Sloan is the business brain of MIT, where we have unparalleled strength in science and engineering. We’re also in a densely populated university environment in Boston-Cambridge, which provides a unique environment.

Mike: The strength is Stanford. It’s a unique school and a unique environment at the heart of the innovation economy – it places students in a special ecosystem in Silicon Valley, amid innovative companies in every industry. It’s a global center of innovation.

Silvia: For us, the London experience is critical. London is a world city with a global outlook. We just set a Guinness World Record for a song sung in the most languages here at LBS – and it wasn’t even difficult. This was the first non-US business school to have the top-ranked MBA program.

Can you tell us about a recent grad doing great things? 53:45

Silvia: We had a recent student from Northern Spain who wanted to grow his network in the UK for entrepreneurship. He invested in a classmate’s startup (she’s from Mexico and had been working in the US). It was such a great story of people working together who wouldn’t have met except for the program.

Mike: We had a couple of students, one from a tech background and another from consumer marketing, who were in class, and talking about how social norms can be as motivating as financial incentives when it comes to paying back loans. This led to the idea behind SoFI. A team of 4 students raised $50K in seed money from their classmates, then $70 million after graduation. And now the company is the largest financer of student loans, and it’s moved into mortgages, and is valued at $4 billion. From an insight they had during the program and their work together, this is what they created. It’s not a typical story! But a phenomenal one.

Stephen: A couple of recent grads – one from the US and one from Mexico – had sold their ventures before coming to Sloan. They did a joint thesis, and have now launched a new venture with several of our faculty members on the advisory board. Funding is looking very promising! The program allows people who have mid-career experience to harness their opportunities in ways other people might not see.

The importance of the immersive experience: it gives participants a chance to unplug, but also a chance to get skills (strategy, leadership), along with perspective. [60:50]

Can you share one piece of advice for prospective applicants? [61:55]

Stephen: Be very clear on your objectives and how the program will help. We take the essays very seriously. We want to know why you’re interested in this program, and why now – your real interest and motivation. This year we’re adding a short video.

Silvia: I agree completely! Also: talk to alumni. Sometimes people have forgotten what it’s like to be a student and underestimate how difficult it can be to return to school. Get a sense of what it’s like.

Mike: One of the criteria we look at is clarity of purpose. This is not a program for people who’re trying to decide what they want to be when they grow up. Set priorities. And get clarity in order to explore the program and also get the most out of it.

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Related Links:

• MIT Sloan Fellows

• Stanford MSx

• London Business School Sloan Fellows

• EMBA 101

Related Shows:

A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program

Insights into MIT Sloan MBA Admissions with Dawna Levenson

The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans

The Scoop on the London Business School MiM Program

How to Become a Corporate Executive

Excellent Executive MBA Admissions Advice

The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View

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