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Columbia 2016-17 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Columbia 2016-17 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
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These essay questions focus mostly on the present and future, so don’t expect to elaborately portray your professional development as a prelude to your goals. Be guided by Columbia adcom’s focus and give them what they ask for, in aggregate: a vivid sense of engagement; focused career plans; and knowledge of the program and why you need it. Considering the lack of opportunity to discuss past professional achievements and experience, your resume carries all the more weight in the Columbia EMBA application – attend to it accordingly.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (51 characters maximum)

A factual phrase or bullet will suffice; don’t worry about responding with a whole sentence. Do include function and industry.

Essays:

1. Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (100 – 750 words)

You may want to start by discussing your current career situation to set the context, and clarify how the MBA education will enable you to achieve your immediate goals. You can then naturally move on to your future goals sequentially. Give more detail in the roles you plan immediately post-MBA and the several years following; this time frame should comprise the bulk of your goals discussion. Longer-term goals need less detail, but they still should present a clear direction. In describing your goals at any given point, indicate why you are taking that step.

In discussing how the program will benefit you, be specific: identify what skills and knowledge you need, and how the program meets those needs. Refer to specific aspects of the curriculum, structure and/or special features of the program, detailing how they will support you and your goals.

As far as that length guideline, bear in mind that Columbia has always looked for practical discussion about how you’ll realize your goals, not just what they are. It’s unlikely fewer than 400 words or so would give you sufficient space to deliver the substantiating detail. I’d suggest an essay in the 500-750 word range.

2. Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA will challenge you by offering a rigorous academic experience, global exposure through the international seminar, and the opportunity to immediately apply what you learn to your career. How will you approach balancing the demands of the program with your professional and personal life while you are in school? (100 – 500 words)

Discuss the accommodations you will make at work, such as delegating more, adjusting travel schedules, etc. You don’t have to tell them every single thing you can think of – focus on the most significant two or three adjustments.

Also address your personal responsibilities and how you will meet them with this additional demand on your time and energy; even acknowledging that you’ll have less time at the playground with your toddler or mentioning the support of your significant other will show that you’re facing this issue squarely.

If you’ve already successfully balanced school and working full time, by all means mention it.

You may well not need 500 words for this essay, but don’t skimp at 100 either (you don’t want to look like you’re blowing it off). A range of 350-450 should be right for most people.

3. CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100 – 500 words)

It’s tricky, in that your audience for this essay is twofold: the adcom and your future Clustermates. Ideally you’ll want to pleasantly surprise both… Hence, let’s break down the phrase “pleasantly surprised.”

1. First, don’t repeat a resume point – “surprised” indicates something not obvious from the available information.

2. “Pleasantly” means something that will generate positive interest. It doesn’t have to be directly applicable or “useful” to your Clustermates.

It can be something from work or outside work – but if from work, do not make it a “great achievement” or “stellar leadership” type of essay – the tone of the question suggests something more revealing and touching about you as a person. If it’s far in the past, it should be something of continuing relevance. DON’T present a boring explanation. DO root your response in actual experience.

Most important: DO select a topic that will add something to your profile, something that lets the adcom know you better as a person.

If your answer puts a smile on the reader’s face, or even better elicits a happy, surprised laugh, high five!

Optional Essay. An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

This question invites you to present new material that will enhance your application, as well as explain anything that needs explaining (e.g., gap in employment, choice of recommender if not using a direct supervisor, etc.). As far as non-necessary points, since you are making the adcom read more than is required, there should be a clear value to the information you’re sharing. Finally, keep it short.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Columbia EMBA Deadlines:

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By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free  guide, Ace the EMBA. Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too – click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

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

• 5 Key Qualifying Factors the EMBA Adcoms Look For

• 3 Key Ways to Stand Out Through Your EMBA Essays

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Columbia 2016-17 Executive MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Editing Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application Essays & Get You Accep [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2016, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Editing Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application Essays & Get You Accepted
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Sure you need good content in your MBA application essays, but you also need your essays to look good, read well, and have a logical and coherent structure.

Join us Wednesday, September 14, for 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application, a webinar during which Linda Abraham, Accepted founder and CEO, will teach you how to edit and proof your MBA essays so they shine!

Linda, a renowned MBA admissions expert, knows what works and what doesn’t work when editing successful MBA essays – she’s got loads of tricks up her sleeve and is excited to share them with you!

Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Time: 10am PT/1pm ET

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Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot for 3 Hacks to Your MBA Application right now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Editing Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application Essays & Get You Accepted appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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Last Chance to Beat Accepted’s Price Increase! [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Last Chance to Beat Accepted’s Price Increase!
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REMINDER: Only 2 days left to take advantage of Accepted’s current prices before our prices go up.

Effective at 12:00 AM PT on Thursday, September 1, 2016, Accepted will increase all prices on its admissions consulting packages and hourly services.

Accepted’s admissions consultants have helped literally thousands of MBA, law, med, grad, and college applicants get accepted to the school of their dreams. Let them help you discover your competitive advantage and experience the excitement of “getting accepted.”

Purchase Accepted’s admissions consulting services now and take advantage of our current prices…before it’s too late!

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

The post Last Chance to Beat Accepted’s Price Increase! appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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Admissions at an MBA Program on a Mission: Yale SOM [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Admissions at an MBA Program on a Mission: Yale SOM
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Which MBA program just revealed that over half its alumni network gives back to the school? Yale SOM. That’s more than double most schools’ giving rate.

Which MBA program experienced a 6% increase in applications in 2016 on top of a whopping 25% increase in 2015? Yale SOM.

And which MBA program is in the top 10 for average GPA, average GMAT, and overall selectivity in Accepted’s Selectivity Index? You guessed it – Yale SOM?

And as it happens, the AST podcast we did with Bruce DelMonico about Yale SOM a few years back is one of our top 5 MBA admissions podcasts.

Bruce DelMonico joins us again today. He’s Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management. He has been on the admissions team at Yale since 2004, becoming the director in 2006 and the Assistant Dean in 2012. Welcome!

What’s new at Yale SOM? [2:10]

There’s been a lot going on in the last 2 years! When we last spoke, we were just starting our entrepreneurship program. Now we’re 2 years in: we have a dozen new courses, a startup weekend, and lots of activity and business being created.

Our Global Network for Advanced Management is celebrating its 5th anniversary this spring – there are lots of opportunities for students to engage globally.

And our centers for excellence are very active – for example, the YCCI (Yale Center for Customer Insight) brings companies to campus with real problems for students to work on.

Our leadership program is changing in an exciting way, with new and reconfigured courses. And we’re excited to have many distinguished new faculty members coming onboard. We’ve also been working on diversifying the faculty – our FT faculty is approaching 30% women.

In terms of job placement, we don’t have the final numbers for the class of 2016, but it’s on pace with the last few years. There’s a strong diversity of interest among Yale SOM grads: 130 different companies for a class of 325 (and half of the top 10 hiring companies turn over every year). More companies are coming every year: our career services are adept at sourcing opportunities.

Yale SOM’s mission is “to educate leaders for Business and Society.” Dean Snyder’s video on Yale SOM’s mission highlights 3 key elements in achieving that mission: 1) SOM’s connection to its home university, Yale, 2) Distinctively global, and 3) Best source of leaders. Practically, what does that mean? Starting with leadership. [7:55]

We really think about how our grads can lead across sectors. Our core curriculum is different from other b-schools in that we don’t divide the material into functionally discrete courses (marketing, etc). Our core orients material according to stakeholder perspectives – it’s much more interdisciplinary, and helps students to see content across functions/industries and see how sectors interact.

In terms of leadership training: we require leadership training throughout the 2 years (not a single course). This year some of those courses are being realigned. We want to scale up from individual-team-organization-perspectives in leadership.

In the first year, we used to have courses called “leadership fundamentals” and “advanced leadership.” Now they’re being consolidated into a course called “Power & Politics” (through our Organizational Behavior group).

The other big change is that in the second year, instead of lockstep curriculum, students can choose from a menu of electives to satisfy the leadership requirement.

What are some of the options for the second year? [12:08]

The courses include: Leadership Practicum; Strategic Management of Non-Profits, Human Capital Strategy; Strategic Management Across Sectors; Non-Market Strategy; Managing Global Catastrophes.

How does Yale SOM take advantage of its connection to Yale University? [13:10]

We’ve always been well-integrated with Yale, but we’re trying to emphasize that.

When you take your electives, you can take them anywhere across the university. Yale is a very open place, and taking courses in other fields (public health, law, etc.) can help you get a deeper and richer understanding of issues. Also, about 15% of our students pursue a joint degree with another program at Yale, which is a high percentage.

On the flip side, students from across the university take courses at SOM (about 1200 students from outside SOM took our courses last year).

The connectivity extends to conferences that engage students across the university (public health, medicine, nursing, law, etc.), as well as clubs that span the university (entrepreneurship, etc.).

And that connection continues in your life as an alum – there are joint alumni boards in many cities.

You can start taking electives in the spring of your first year? [17:05]

Yes. It’s a customizable curriculum.

One example: imagine a student who’s planning to go into Real Estate/Finance. In addition to courses at the SOM, s/he can take sustainable development courses at the School of Forestry and Environmental Science; real estate law classes at the law school; and classes at the architecture school.

The other part of the mission is “distinctively global.” What does that mean? [18:25]

When our integrated curriculum rolled out 10 years ago, we required an international trip. Now we have a menu of international experiences available – different opportunities than you might have at other US b-schools.

An important part of that is the Global Network – a network of b-schools across the globe. Students can participate in Global Network Weeks (during fall and spring breaks), where they travel to one of the other Global Network schools to learn there with students from a variety of other schools from around the world. The last program in Turkey had 17 participating schools.

There are also Global Network online courses – which you take with students around the world. You do projects with them in a virtual setting.

(As an aside: one of our new programs is “Global Virtual Teams.” Students learn to work virtually across time zones and geographies.)

We also have international courses: for example, social entrepreneurship in India and elsewhere. And there are semester-long international exchange programs.

The virtual global network courses are unique to Yale. [24:05]

Some of the Global Network schools are in developed countries, some are in developing countries.

Yale SOM alumni giving: to what do you attribute this impressive rate of giving? [25:55]

It’s a big achievement this year! It went up this year when other schools’ giving went down. We had over 50% giving, and over $50 million. Beyond the (impressive!) work of the development team, it speaks to the level of engagement of the alumni: there’s a sense that the school is doing good things and building momentum.

You have a new essay question this year: “Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made.” Why the change, and why this question? [28:10]

Our previous question focused on impact – we liked it and kept it for two years.

We asked this question specifically because we wanted to get a sense of how you think about commitment. To be successful here (and after graduation), you need to be someone who makes commitments, who honors commitments, who really gives of yourself.

We wanted to get a sense of how you think about that. So the question helps us focus on commitment: it helps people differentiate themselves, and helps us get information on a trait that’s important.

In looking at responses: we’re not looking to make value judgments about what commitment you choose – it’s more about demonstrating how you fulfilled the commitment (the actions you took). (On the other hand, maybe don’t tell us about committing to watching all of GOT.)

You require a video essay: how has it helped you, and how has it changed this year? [32:00]

We’ve experimented with the video for 5 years. This’ll be the 4th year it’s required for all applicants.

One major thing it allows us to do is assess English language skills. We added the video and dropped the TOEFL/IELTS requirement – so it helped us and hopefully is less cumbersome on the applicant.

It gives us a 3-dimensional view of the applicant. The application process is inherently artificial. On paper, you see only a thin slice. Adding the video allows us to see how well you think and speak on your feet, and see your language skills and presentation skills. Three to four minutes of you speaking won’t outweigh your professional background – we don’t see this as something disqualifying, but as something that can help people stand out.

There are three questions. After you submit your application, you get a link to the video questions, which allows you to record your answers using your webcam.

The first has to do with leadership. The second is a behavioral question. And the third is a “thought question” (a statement that presents a conclusion – we ask you to agree/disagree, and why. Your stance is not important – we’re interested in your thought process and how you support your stance).

There are practice questions available so you can test your connection. People often find recording by webcam to be the most disorienting part.

We understand these are extemporaneous and we don’t expect perfection.

What’s the worst advice you’ve heard given to MBA applicants? [39:55]

I haven’t heard it given directly, but we see the results. We often see applicants who’ve tried to create a non-profit orientation/angle to their application, when it doesn’t fit their profile, because someone told them we’re a “non-profit” school. My sense is that’s how people approach other schools – School X is known for X, therefore I need to say X. Just apply based on your profile. Otherwise the application looks misaligned.

[Linda: It comes down to telling the school what you want them to know vs what you think they want to hear.]

Any advice for applicants just starting out? [43:50]

Don’t overthink it! People get so tripped up in thinking about what the adcom is looking for vs just making their case. Our application isn’t overly complicated. Just keep it simple.

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Related Links:

• Yale School of Management: MBA Program

• Yale SOM 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Yale School of Management Zone Page

Related Shows:

Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management

What You Need to Know About Finding a Job Post-MBA

The Lauder Institute Changes to Reflect the World

UCLA Anderson: Cool, Chic, and Tech

Insights into MIT Sloan MBA Admissions with Dawna Levenson

Tuck Talk: IV with The Dean Of Admissions

 Subscribe:

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, MBA Admissions

The post Mission and Admissions at Yale School of Management [Episode 169] appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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MBA Admissions: Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit? [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: MBA Admissions: Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?
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YES! Don’t underestimate the value of non-academic, non-work activities! These activities that you participate in – hobbies, sports, volunteering, etc. – do tons to liven up your otherwise one-dimensional application.

Here are some reasons why you should bulk up your extracurricular quotient:

1. Extracurricular activities add life and texture to your application.

MBA applications can appear flat and single-dimensioned. Add a little stamp collecting, your involvement in your church’s softball league, a splash of trumpet lessons, and the fact that you started a neighborhood bi-seasonal clothing drive, and VOILA – you’ve got yourself one heck of a vibrant profile!

2. Extracurricular activities show you know how to commit.

You’ve been volunteer tutoring at the school for the blind in your city for the last 11 years? You must be a reliable, dependable, and committed person. Adcoms like this. Period.

3. Extracurricular activities demonstrate passion and creativity.

Your extracurricular activities don’t need to be run-of-the-mill Big Brother or soup kitchen experiences. They can include the summers you spent doing AIDS research in a hospital in Swaziland or taking your autistic nephew to the park once a week for a game of tag. Neither of these examples are related to business, yet leadership, initiative, passion, and creativity can all still be read into each experience. Share your passions and inspire your readers!

4. Extracurricular activities give you an opportunity to show leadership and organizational skill.

It can be hard in a hierarchical organization when you are in your early or mid-twenties to show lots of leadership. But in a community service or volunteer context, there are leadership opportunities galore. Grab them and demonstrate the attribute admissions committees can’t get enough of.

Many applicants ask what they should do if they don’t have long-term extracurricular or volunteer commitments. Is it worth it to start an activity or resume a hobby just a few months before applying to b-school, or will that look shallow?

My answer: A little volunteering is better than no volunteering at all, and the impact that you can make and the effect the experience can have on you can be great, even in a short period of time. Also, maybe you’ll be waitlisted, and then this last-minute volunteering will turn into a long-term commitment that will look great in a waitlist letter update, not to mention how it will add if you need to reapply.

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Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions [Free Guide]

• It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are?

• How to Write Waitlist Update Letters

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post MBA Admissions: Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit? appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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5 Tips for Improving Your AWA Essay on the GRE [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2016, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5 Tips for Improving Your AWA Essay on the GRE
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The GRE has three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). For many students, the AWA is the hardest section. Here, you need to write your own essay, rather than simply answering multiple choice questions as you would on Quants and Verbal.

Your AWA will be graded on a qualitative scale. The better a writer you are, the more points you get. Whether you are a novice writer or an expert writer, you want to aim for the best writing quality possible on the GRE AWA. Below are some tips and tricks for doing just that.

Tip # 1: Read!

High scoring AWA essays are characterized by scholarly tone and sophisticated reasoning. To create writing like this on your own, it helps to read other pieces of writing that show GRE-level academic quality.

There are quite a few websites and publications that offer GRE-like reading. Here are several:

The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal

Art & Letters Daily

The Economist

The MIT Technology Review

Tip # 2: Use GRE Verbal vocabulary in your AWA Essays

Keen observers may notice that the reading list above can double as reading practice for GRE Verbal prep. And there is another aspect of GRE Verbal practice that’s helpful for improving your AWA Essay: GRE Verbal vocabulary!

The vocabulary you learn for GRE Verbal can also be used in your AWA essays to improve your performance. Don’t worry– you don’t need to use the full range of vocabulary you’ll find throughout the GRE Verbal section. Simply mastering use of the most common GRE words can boost your AWA GRE scores.

Tip # 3: Practice GRE Verbal “Strengthen” and “Weaken” Questions

GRE Verbal has a number of multiple choice questions that ask you to identify facts that– if true– would either strengthen or weaken a written argument on the exam. This exact same skill is also used in the AWA Essays on the GRE.

In the AWA Issue Essay, you have to design a strong argument for your personal stance on an issue, sufficiently addressing any ideas or possibilities that could cast doubt on your argument. And in the AWA Argument Essay, you are asked to find strengths and weaknesses in someone else’s argument. Building your skills on the GRE’s strengthen/weaken questions will help you give well-supported opinions and intelligently dissect arguments on the GRE AWA.

Tip # 4: Take Advantage of ETS’s Official Materials

To practice with GRE AWA questions that are truly similar to the ones you’ll see on test day, you need to go to the source: ETS, the makers of the GRE exam.

On ETS’s official website, there is a large pool of example topics for the Issue AWA Essay and the Argument AWA Essay. ETS’s official GRE website also has example responses with scorer commentary for the Issue and Argument Tasks, and offers a general tutorial for the AWA section. All of these free online resources are valuable for understanding, practicing, and improving the AWA Essay on the GRE. And for a small extra fee, you can get more official AWA prep material in the GRE Official Guide.

Tip # 5: Practice Writing

At the beginning of this list, I told you to read! And now we come full circle. I’m telling you to write! And don’t just practice writing GRE essays. Practice writing in general, and make a regular habit of writing. Keep a journal of your personal thoughts and opinions. Write your reactions to things you’ve read or heard. Post your thoughts to Internet message boards, or leave product reviews online. Or do other kinds of writing; just find a way to write regularly. This will allow you to become more comfortable with writing, and to truly develop your voice as a writer. Through writing practice, you can become the writer you need to be in order to improve and master your GRE AWA Essay.

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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. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life.

Related Resources:

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

• How To Study For The GRE (Part I)

• 5 Ways to Increase Your Admission Test Score

Tags: Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

The post 5 Tips for Improving Your AWA Essay on the GRE appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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How to Fund Your International MBA in the U.S. [On-Demand Webinar] [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Fund Your International MBA in the U.S. [On-Demand Webinar]
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We’re  happy to report that our recent webinar, How to Fund Your International MBA in the U.S., was a great success! Our guests left with important information and tips on how to approach those pricey U.S. b-school bills as a foreign student.

If you missed the webinar (or attended, but want a review), don’t fret. The recording is now live on our website and you can watch it right now!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post How to Fund Your International MBA in the U.S. [On-Demand Webinar] appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writing His Way [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writing His Way
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Keith Riegert….

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

Keith: My name is Keith Riegert, I’m originally from Berkeley, California—just across the bay from San Francisco—and I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Accepted: Can you share three fun facts about yourself?



Keith:

1. For fun, I moonlight as a book author with my writing partner, Samuel Kaplan. Together we’ve written eight books over the past eight years; and every year we get to learn, in depth, about something new.

2. In my application to Stern, I wrote my “Personal Expression” essay on my visit to Manhattan’s North River Wastewater Treatment Plant for a book project we were working on. I think in the great canon of admissions essays that has to be original. We visited the plant on a very hot day in July—not recommended.

3. I cannot clap and sing at the same time. It’s embarrassing.

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

Keith: Right now, I’m about to start my second year at NYU Stern School of Business. I’m enrolled in Stern’s two-year accelerated program for part-time students.

Accepted: How did you decide NYU Stern was the best fit for you? Anything in particular that drew you to that program?



Keith: I’ve lived in New York for about five years now and knew that I wanted to pursue my MBA here. There is no place in the country that offers a better business education than New York City—this is the heart of commerce, banking and innovation. At Stern, we’ve got the Fed, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Silicon Alley all within walking distance of campus.

As far as NYU Stern, I was really drawn to the school’s increasing focus on business analytics and entrepreneurship—both of which I’ve chosen as my areas of specialization. The school’s fostering of programs like the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab have put Stern at the forefront of the push to make business schools more future- and forward-leaning. Moving away from a historically finance-oriented program has also created a student body at Stern with a remarkably diverse set of skills and backgrounds. The students I met when I first visited Stern, as well as the students in my cohort, have all been some of the most intelligent, interesting and driven people I’ve ever met.

Accepted: You recently became the co-President/Editor-In-Chief of NYU Stern’s Graduate Student Newspaper, the Stern Opportunity. Tell me more about why you took this opportunity, and why you’re so passionate about writing.

Keith: Of all the amazing student organizations Stern has to offer, I was most drawn to the newspaper. Business school is fast, tough and over in a flash, and it’s hard to get a grasp of everything that’s going on around you, especially if you’re also living in a bustling place like New York. I think the opportunity provides a link between students and the community (both at Stern and in the city) that has the power to ground you while you’re pushing through intense semesters. We strive to publish articles from every student organization and highlight as many on- and off-campus events as possible. In addition, as students of business, I think the paper allows us to explore the world of innovation and change happening around us in tech, finance, energy, economics, advertising, etc., in ways we don’t get to through coursework. Personally, I find writing for the paper provides a critical bridge between what I learn in the classroom and what I see playing out in the world of commerce.

In a shameless plug, I highly recommend checking out our work: www.sternoppy.com (you can also find us on Twitter @sternoppy)

Accepted: Where are you currently working?



Keith: As a member of Stern’s Langone Part-Time Program, I never actually stopped working when I started at NYU. I am currently the Director of Analytics and Market Research for the independent book publisher, Ulysses Press. I also launched my own start-up publishing company just over a year ago called Kingfisher Press that specializes in crafting data-driven, quick-to-market books.

Working while pursuing an MBA has been challenging (and exhausting); but having the opportunity to apply lessons from the classroom the next day at work is not something I could imagine giving up. Every class I’ve taken has worked its way into my professional life.

Accepted: What advice do you have for those who are just starting out with their MBA? Anything you wish you would have known before starting your program that you’d like to share?



Keith: I think the most important piece of information I have from my own experience is that, regardless of your experience, you can thrive in a top-tier MBA program. I have a background in the humanities and I was very nervous about starting at a disadvantage in a program steeped in high-level mathematics. I had no idea how I was going to fare.

I found the first step toward feeling comfortable with the MBA coursework was definitely studying for the GMAT. My advice is, regardless of where you plan on going (and how well you need to score), take the test seriously and study hard—beyond the score, it’s actually a very accurate representation of the skills you’ll need to excel in a business program.

Next, before you plunge into coursework, recognize any areas that you are not fully prepared for—whether that’s essay writing or derivatives—and work to get yourself ready. Take advantage of any prep courses your school has to offer and don’t be shy about asking peers for help.

Finally, don’t go into the program laser focused on where you are going to end up after your MBA. If you can keep an open mind about your future, you’ll find immense value in every course you take—from Marketing and Leadership to Global Economics and Operations Management—despite the fact that some classes are just not going to fit with what you end up doing. Barring a PhD, this may be the last time in your life where learning is a top priority. Savor that.

You can learn more about Keith’s MBA journey by checking out his website www.keithriegert.com and by connecting with him on LinkedIn. Thank You Keith for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!

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

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Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options and NYU Stern [Podcast]

• NYU Stern 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writing His Way appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writes His Way  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2016, 12:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writes His Way to Success
Image
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Keith Riegert….

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

Keith: My name is Keith Riegert, I’m originally from Berkeley, California—just across the bay from San Francisco—and I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Accepted: Can you share three fun facts about yourself?



Keith:

1. For fun, I moonlight as a book author with my writing partner, Samuel Kaplan. Together we’ve written eight books over the past eight years; and every year we get to learn, in depth, about something new.

2. In my application to Stern, I wrote my “Personal Expression” essay on my visit to Manhattan’s North River Wastewater Treatment Plant for a book project we were working on. I think in the great canon of admissions essays that has to be original. We visited the plant on a very hot day in July—not recommended.

3. I cannot clap and sing at the same time. It’s embarrassing.

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

Keith: Right now, I’m about to start my second year at NYU Stern School of Business. I’m enrolled in Stern’s two-year accelerated program for part-time students.

Accepted: How did you decide NYU Stern was the best fit for you? Anything in particular that drew you to that program?



Keith: I’ve lived in New York for about five years now and knew that I wanted to pursue my MBA here. There is no place in the country that offers a better business education than New York City—this is the heart of commerce, banking and innovation. At Stern, we’ve got the Fed, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Silicon Alley all within walking distance of campus.

As far as NYU Stern, I was really drawn to the school’s increasing focus on business analytics and entrepreneurship—both of which I’ve chosen as my areas of specialization. The school’s fostering of programs like the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab have put Stern at the forefront of the push to make business schools more future- and forward-leaning. Moving away from a historically finance-oriented program has also created a student body at Stern with a remarkably diverse set of skills and backgrounds. The students I met when I first visited Stern, as well as the students in my cohort, have all been some of the most intelligent, interesting and driven people I’ve ever met.

Accepted: You recently became the co-President/Editor-In-Chief of NYU Stern’s Graduate Student Newspaper, the Stern Opportunity. Tell me more about why you took this opportunity, and why you’re so passionate about writing.

Keith: Of all the amazing student organizations Stern has to offer, I was most drawn to the newspaper. Business school is fast, tough and over in a flash, and it’s hard to get a grasp of everything that’s going on around you, especially if you’re also living in a bustling place like New York. I think the opportunity provides a link between students and the community (both at Stern and in the city) that has the power to ground you while you’re pushing through intense semesters. We strive to publish articles from every student organization and highlight as many on- and off-campus events as possible. In addition, as students of business, I think the paper allows us to explore the world of innovation and change happening around us in tech, finance, energy, economics, advertising, etc., in ways we don’t get to through coursework. Personally, I find writing for the paper provides a critical bridge between what I learn in the classroom and what I see playing out in the world of commerce.

In a shameless plug, I highly recommend checking out our work: www.sternoppy.com (you can also find us on Twitter @sternoppy)

Accepted: Where are you currently working?



Keith: As a member of Stern’s Langone Part-Time Program, I never actually stopped working when I started at NYU. I am currently the Director of Analytics and Market Research for the independent book publisher, Ulysses Press. I also launched my own start-up publishing company just over a year ago called Kingfisher Press that specializes in crafting data-driven, quick-to-market books.

Working while pursuing an MBA has been challenging (and exhausting); but having the opportunity to apply lessons from the classroom the next day at work is not something I could imagine giving up. Every class I’ve taken has worked its way into my professional life.

Accepted: What advice do you have for those who are just starting out with their MBA? Anything you wish you would have known before starting your program that you’d like to share?



Keith: I think the most important piece of information I have from my own experience is that, regardless of your experience, you can thrive in a top-tier MBA program. I have a background in the humanities and I was very nervous about starting at a disadvantage in a program steeped in high-level mathematics. I had no idea how I was going to fare.

I found the first step toward feeling comfortable with the MBA coursework was definitely studying for the GMAT. My advice is, regardless of where you plan on going (and how well you need to score), take the test seriously and study hard—beyond the score, it’s actually a very accurate representation of the skills you’ll need to excel in a business program.

Next, before you plunge into coursework, recognize any areas that you are not fully prepared for—whether that’s essay writing or derivatives—and work to get yourself ready. Take advantage of any prep courses your school has to offer and don’t be shy about asking peers for help.

Finally, don’t go into the program laser focused on where you are going to end up after your MBA. If you can keep an open mind about your future, you’ll find immense value in every course you take—from Marketing and Leadership to Global Economics and Operations Management—despite the fact that some classes are just not going to fit with what you end up doing. Barring a PhD, this may be the last time in your life where learning is a top priority. Savor that.

You can learn more about Keith’s MBA journey by checking out his website www.keithriegert.com and by connecting with him on LinkedIn. Thank You Keith for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!

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

Image

Image

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

Exploring the Part-Time MBA Options and NYU Stern [Podcast]

• NYU Stern 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post NYU Stern MBA Student, Published Author and Journalist Writes His Way to Success appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2016, 10:00
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer
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This sample essay is from The Harbus MBA Essay Guide Summer 2016 Edition and is reprinted with permission from Harbus.

Author’s Home Country: United States of America

Author’s Previous Industry/Profession: Operations consulting, operations management

Author Gender: Male

Analysis: The author focuses his essay on two themes – his professional experience as an operations consultant and an experience which motivated him to go for an MBA. Through the essay, the author is able to highlight his professional skills, achievement as well as give a clear picture of his long-term career plans and his reasons for doing an MBA.

I’m [APPLICANT’S FIRST NAME] and I have journeyed here from the hallowed grounds of [APPLICANT’S U.S. NEW ENGLAND HOMETOWN], where I spent my formative years amid wild dreams of achieving greatness by setting world records and winning the Olympics. As I’ve hung up my [OLYMPIC SPORT’S TRADITIONAL SHOES] in favor of business shoes, those dreams have evolved into a desire to achieve greatness in a different arena. Today, my dream centers on helping companies leverage technology to propel their operations into the future, providing unparalleled customer service and delivery, with an operational efficiency to match.

I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in [GRADUATION YEAR] and spent my first 3 years out of college working as an operations consultant. It was my job to walk into a manufacturing plant and drive significant operational change – for example, I once spent 3 months walking the sticky floors of a milk plant in [MID-SIZED U.S. SOUTHEASTERN CITY] helping plant management boost throughput by 30% in order to take on a new customer. We accomplished this goal with zero capital spend, a feat many had believed was impossible. In our projects, the biggest challenge was almost always convincing managers to reach for that extra tad of unseen opportunity hiding within the operation, because oftentimes it was very difficult to look beyond the daily struggles that plagued their operations. I worked directly with 5-8 person “rapid results teams,” coaching them on how to think about operational improvement, motivating them to sprint towards it, and leading them through the analysis required to capture it. I left those milk, water and oil sands plants with many enduring friendships and inspiring operational victories borne from our journey from ambitious goals to concrete results.

I’ve spent the past two years working in supply chain management at a private industrial goods supplier. I chose direct management because I wanted to drive these same inspirational improvements in an operation I owned. My role was to manage and improve the operation, and through my experience, I learned the nuts and bolts of the supply chain industry. However, my dream of innovating supply chain operations pushed me to consider transitioning to an organization with an ambitious, transformative purpose. In fact, last year I had a unique opportunity to reflect on what type of impact matters to me. This opportunity was my first ever trip to [NORTHWEST AFRICAN REGION], the place of my family’s origin.

On the second day of the trip, I journeyed to [LOCAL NORTHEASTERN AFRICAN TOWN], a small town nestled next an enormous active volcano that is surrounded by a wide expanse of rich volcanic soil, which is used to make wine. This wine is sipped by adventure-seeking tourists relaxing after a long day on the volcano, and thus the town’s two major industries, wine and tourism, are sustained. When we arrived at the town, I was shocked to see it buried by an avalanche of volcanic rock from an eruption [A FEW YEARS PRIOR]. As our guide lamented on the dreary prospects of the Page 2 of 2 town, I was amazed to see just how important these two industries had been to its development.

Through this real world example, I was able to clearly visualize the impact businesses can have on their broader environment, an understanding that had not been as evident to me while working in the larger, more complex American economy. For example, I had spent hours walking among the dilapidated buildings speckling the warehouse district in Cleveland, but only after my trip did I connect them to the decline of the Midwestern manufacturing industry. Upon my return, armed with this broader perspective, I decided my next step would be to attend business school. There I would gain the technical, operational and leadership skills to make my transition to an organization whose goal was to drive change in its broader industry and community, as those wine and tourism companies had done in [LOCAL NORTHEASTERN AFRICAN TOWN OF FAMILY’S ORIGIN].

So, that is how I arrived in front of you today. My goal is to humbly learn as much as I can from our section, our professors, and our experiences. I am excited to get to know you, and will always do my best to support our section intellectually and athletically (we will be the future section Olympics champions!).

How about yourself?

Word Count: 711

Author’s comments: While the initial draft of my essay did not take more than an hour or two, it was the revision process that I spent a significant amount of time on. I think the most important part of the essay writing process is to ensure that your story and personality come through – and this is perhaps the most difficult part! To help with this, I had individuals who were not as familiar with my story and why I wanted to go to business school provide me with feedback in addition to those with whom I worked closely.

Linda’s Comments:

I would hate for any of you to read this essay or any of the other essays in The Harbus MBA Essay Guide, which I recommend, and think “This is a great template. I’m going to tell a story just like this one!” Bad idea. Wrong response.

The one take-away from this essay and the other successful essays in this book is that the reader feels a little like s/he is meeting the author – not someone else and not some masked being.  Individuality is the common thread in those essays; it isn’t brilliant prose or incredible writing. It’s authenticity and humanity. And yes, the author is accomplished too.

I chose this essay from the Harbus collection because I know there many engineers applying. Some — both in and out of their field– think of the profession as boring or common. But this essay is neither boring nor common. I loved it because the writer comes to life, and his passion and personality shine through. He doesn’t get bogged down in technicalities, industrial jargon, or an alphabet soup of acronyms. He tells his story with energy and clarity, from his perspective, and with a focus on his impact.  Now that’s an example you can follow: Tell your story with energy and clarity, from your perspective, and with a focus on your impact

I realize that you are responding to a different question than the author did. This year you are directly addressing the admissions committee readers. Still, the goal is the same. You want your readers to feel like that they are meeting you — not someone else, not a scripted piece of shallow spin devoid of individuality and humanity, and not some phony combo of you and the author of an essay in a guidebook or on a website. They really and truly want to meet YOU!

So think about your story and perspective. What would you like the admissions committee to know about you that they won’t know from the rest of your application?

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Related Resources:

• Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• What is HBS Looking For?

• From Example to Exemplary: What You can Learn from Sample Essays to Make Your Essays Outstanding

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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Is Ten Days per Business School Application Enough? [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Is Ten Days per Business School Application Enough?
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There are a number of steps involved in the MBA application essay writing process: contemplating the questions, choosing the topics, and crafting a collection of short stories that tell a tale and appeal to an admissions committee. Each of these steps takes time. But HOW MUCH time do you actually need? A day? A week? A month?

I think the best way to maximize efficiency is to give yourself plenty of time – about one to two weeks – per application. The following tips should help you get organized:

1. Do the easy stuff first.

Before you sit down to focus on your essays, make sure that you’ve already taken care of the application basics – get your GMAT squared away, school selection finalized, transcripts sent out, recommenders lined up, resume polished, etc. There are two benefits to this: First, you’ll be able to focus better on your task at hand after you’ve already crossed off so many things on your to-do list; and second, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your admissions profile once you’ve tackled these objective application elements.



2. Reserve more time for your first application.


The first essay and application almost always take the longest to complete. It rarely comes naturally to applicants to think and write about their accomplishments and failures, career background and goals, leadership and teamwork experiences, and turning points in life. Getting used to writing in such a way takes practice. After you’ve forced yourself to think and write in this new way, you’ll find subsequent essays less challenging.



3. Leave time for the tricky ones.


There’s always a tricky essay that holds up the schedule, and that essay is different for every applicant. You may be blow through a 500-word career goals essay only to get bogged down in a 200-word culture-shock essay. Mental blocks don’t adhere to a schedule. Be prepared for the unexpected!



4. Understand that life happens.


A project at work suddenly requires overtime or travel, a family need suddenly fills a weekend, a recommender suddenly has no time to write a recommendation. Unanticipated events may cause you to put your application on hold, even after diligent and steady progress, leading you to delay submitting several applications until Round 2.

So yes, set a schedule, try to stick to it, but recognize that an application is ready when it’s ready. Recognize that submitting a GREAT application in the second round is far better than submitting a mediocre application in the first round. Mediocrity doesn’t get accepted to top, highly selective business schools.

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Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement

• 6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays

• Personal Statement Tip: Less is More

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Is Ten Days per Business School Application Enough? appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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How to Get Started on Your Personal Statement with One Easy Technique [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: How to Get Started on Your Personal Statement with One Easy Technique
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Okay, you’ve calmed down after your initial essay-writing anxiety, and you still don’t know where to begin. How do you capture your whole life in the meager number of characters allotted?

Whether you’re feeling stuck or feeling overwhelmed by all the ideas bouncing around in your head, a stellar technique to start with is called Clustering, also known as Mind Mapping. Clustering is a visual form of brainstorming that allows you to free associate around a chosen topic. Although it can seem random on the surface, it usually reveals deep connections. It’s perfect for excavating the personal experiences you’ll want to draw on to enliven your essay.

How to Make a Cluster, or Mind Map, for Your Personal StatementImage


Step 1: 10 seconds. Take a blank sheet of paper, write your name in the middle of it, and draw a circle around it. Alternatively, you could use one of the many electronic mind mapping programs available online, some with free trials, or even a large drawing pad.

Step 2: 5 – 10 minutes. Free associate from your name, writing down words as they come (include feelings, ideas, memories, experiences, accomplishments, sensations; anything goes). Create a new branch or cluster for each new theme that emerges, using lines to connect the words. Most people experience an “aha moment” after about 7 minutes.

Step 3: 5 minutes. Review your cluster and write for 5 minutes to synthesize your findings. What do you notice? Any patterns? Surprises? What items are you passionate about? You might want to go back and highlight areas you believe will be useful for your personal statement.

Total Time Invested: 10 – 20 minutes. And it’s likely that you’ve uncovered a theme for your essay along with a wealth of supporting examples!

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Related Resources:

3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Applications [webinar]

• The Miraculous 15-Minute ROUGH, ROUGH Draft

• The Biggest Application Essay Mistake

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

The post How to Get Started on Your Personal Statement with One Easy Technique appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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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Editing Hacks to Make Your Essays the Best in the Pile [Webinar!] [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Editing Hacks to Make Your Essays the Best in the Pile [Webinar!]
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Our 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 14th at 10am PT/1pm ET.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn must-know editing and proofing techniques that will boost your essay’s appeal and your chances of getting accepted.

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Spaces are limited! Reserve your spot for 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application now.

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Editing Hacks to Make Your Essays the Best in the Pile [Webinar!] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Writing Techniques From a Pro [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Writing Techniques From a Pro
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I like to read biographies and personal profiles (that’s one of the reasons I like my work so much). I recommend that you check out Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, in which he clearly demonstrates the journalist’s ability to engage — you can learn from these techniques when you sit down to write your personal statement.

 Here are a few that he uses most effectively:

1. Replace or support declarative statements with vivid details.

For example, instead of saying that those who served during WW2 came from diverse backgrounds, Brokaw writes, “They left their ranches in Sully County, South Dakota, their jobs on the main street of Americus, Georgia, they gave up their place on the assembly lines in Detroit and in the ranks of Wall Street, they quit school or went from cap and gown directly into uniform.”

2. Use numbers to emphasize magnitude.

Brokaw wrote “the 442 Regimental Combat Unit would become the most heavily decorated single combat unit of its size in US Army History.” He also added “8 Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations and 18,143 individual decorations including one Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars and 28 Oak Leaf Clusters in lieu of a second Silver Star, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 1,200 Oak leaf Clusters representing a second Bronze Star, and at least 9,486 Purple Hearts.” Note the power added by those stats — far more compelling than stirring declarations about incomparable heroism.

3. Involve the senses to paint a portrait.

In describing the conditions for an American POW held by Germany, Brokaw writes, “…it was the beginning of the long, cruel fight to survive, days of watching other inmates getting shot as they tried to escape, the same meals of watery cabbage or turnip soup, the cold nights with only a thin blanket for cover.” You can practically taste the lousy soup and feel the chill through the POW’s blanket…

Use these techniques as you write your personal statements and application essays to make your experiences come alive.

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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 Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Grad School Statement of Purpose [Free Guide]

Personal Statement Tip: Less is More

6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays

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

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Generic-itis Prevention [Warning: If Untreated, Can Cause Rejection] [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Generic-itis Prevention [Warning: If Untreated, Can Cause Rejection]
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Each year,  Accepted editors are witnessing a recurring epidemic. And it’s worse than you can imagine: Generic–itis.

The symptoms:

• Mind-blowing, meaningless, and grand generic declarative statements, related to why an applicant wants to attend a certain program.

• Irritation to admissions readers, causing them to believe that you know nothing about their school and don’t belong there.

Treatment:

• For the Adcom: Deny the application as quickly as possible and move on to the next one.

• For Applicants: See below.

Here is an example of a severe case of generic–itis that I drafted based on several different examples I recently read, along with 20 years of experience in this business:

I find Top Choice’s global MBA program very exciting and interesting. With it, I will be able to elevate my already diverse knowledge of the world to a higher and more sophisticated level. Combining the business analytical skills that I will obtain at Top Choice with my advanced mathematical skills, I will be able to help the fast-growing industry of clean energy progress and profit. Moreover, I will explore Top Choice’s other outstanding academic fields, thus exposing me to resources outside the business school — not to mention Top Choice’s amazing students and alumni, who will become my colleagues and the network with whom I will share these transformative experiences. Top Choice will certainly add to my expertise and help me achieve my goals in the future. Having ambitious goals, I need the help of a great school like Top Choice, a school that also has lofty goals.

I can and will use Top Choice’s education to the fullest possible extent. Today, I would be proud to join the community of Top Choice, and tomorrow, Top Choice will be proud to have me as an alumnus, connecting Top Choice to the world of sustainable business and clean energy.

I hope you are thinking that no one really writes like this. In that case, your immune system is strong even if your conclusion is incorrect. However, if the above bears any resemblance to the reasons you provide for wanting to attend a specific program, you are suffering from generic–itis.

Your treatment:

• Find specifics in the program that compel you to apply and attend.

• Tie those specifics to your future goals or to your educational preferences.

Although the example above is for an MBA application, if you are writing “Why this school” essays or paragraphs for college, law, medical school or any other program, you too could be suffering from Generic–itis.

Have yourself tested for generic-itis today! Accepted’s staff of experienced, professional consultants would be happy to help you just as we have helped thousands of other generic-itis sufferers.

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Related Resources:

• Dangerous Cliches to Avoid [A Poem]

• 10 Tips for Better Essay Writing

• Writing Techniques From a Pro

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

The post Generic-itis Prevention [Warning: If Untreated, Can Cause Rejection] appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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From Chile to HBS: Interview with Maximiliano Grass [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: From Chile to HBS: Interview with Maximiliano Grass
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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Maximiliano Grass…

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

Maximiliano: I am originally from Santiago, Chile. I majored in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the University of Chile, which is the oldest public university in the country. It is also the most diverse one in terms of the socioeconomic background of is students, which I thought was an essential part of the college experience, as one does not only attend university for its courses, but also to broaden one’s view of the world and understanding of reality. During my undergrad I also had the chance to do a one semester exchange at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where I first experienced case based classes and realized how much more I enjoyed them that just plain lectures. This was what got me thinking about eventually doing an MBA in the US.

Accepted: Can you share three fun facts about yourself?

Maximiliano:

1. When I was in fourth grade we were asked to do a research project on an animal and for a reason still beyond my understanding, I chose the rat.

2. In junior year of high-school I joined a young firefighters brigade.

3. I have a dog named Orwell after George Orwell and a fish named Huxley (after Aldous). I guess you can see the pattern.

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

Maximiliano: Harvard Business School. I’m currently in my second year.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program? What is your favorite thing about it?

Maximiliano: HBS’s MBA program has the attributes I was looking for: a general management focus as the key to exploring ever-changing business, society and policy challenges, cutting edge speakers and professors, and amazing opportunities to drive change through collaborative relationships among a very diverse student body. I also greatly appreciated that the case method was the preferred teaching format, as it allows us to put ourselves in close to 500 real situations decision makers faced and train ourselves to think methodically what would we have done. The fact that the school has decided to complement this with the FIELD classes, where we get the change to go from thinking like case protagonists to actually being decision makers ourselves, has also been a rewarding and useful experience. Last but not least. the school’s mission, “to educate leaders that make a difference in the world,” resonates with me. And my favorite thing about the program so far? The first year section experience! Getting to share a whole year with the same classmates is a pretty effective way of building friendships that last a lifetime.

Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering HBS and current activities)? How have those activities helped shape your career?

Maximiliano: Back home and before starting at HBS I was actively involved in the leadership of Chile’s Jewish Community. I was one of the Chilean Jewish Student Union’s founders and its first president, giving the organization its focus on representing Jewish students across university campuses but also increasing their engagement in civil rights and other social issues. While in charge of the union I had the opportunity to lead its participation in the Civil Rights movement that united multiple minorities (e.g LGBT groups, native Indians, immigrants) in the demand for an Anti-Discrimination law that my country lacked. Through protests and lobbying efforts, we finally got Congress to approve a law in 2012 which is something I am really proud of. That role shaped my career by helping me believe that I could align people behind a vision and by allowing me to realize that I care passionately about civil rights and other social issues, and would therefore be incapable of working in a company that didn’t allow me to freely speak my mind on those issues. At HBS I am now one of the co-presidents of the Jewish Student Association, role through which I hope to keep contributing to my community and enhancing its engagement with other affinity groups and relevant causes.

Accepted: How was the MBA application process for you? Did you find anything in the process particularly challenging?



Maximiliano: I treated the MBA process as a unique chance for reflecting upon what I had done so far and what my goals were. What was most challenging was looking backwards and trying to make sense of the life choices that I had made so far in a way that allowed me to explain them as a pattern, as having a leitmotif. It’s not that they didn’t relate to each other, they certainly did, but rather that I had not previously given myself the time to stop and think about what connected the dots. And I think this holds true for many applicants, which is what makes the reflection process interesting. Once you identify what the guiding principles on your decision making have been, and if you think that they still hold true, then it is easier to frame what your future goals are. Once you have those two things, explaining why you want to do an MBA is not hard. In this sense, my thought process was first reflecting what my previous decisions said about what things I cared deeply about in life, second interpreting how this related to what I thought I wanted to do with my future, third explaining why an MBA made sense as a next step, and finally identifying what school was a better fit for me in terms of its culture and program.

Accepted: What are your plans after graduation?

Maximiliano: I will be joining McKinsey & Company’s Atlanta office. I had done consulting in my previous life but in a boutique firm that only had a presence in my home country, and therefore wanted to experience what working for a global, world-class consulting firm would be like. McKinsey gave me that chance during the summer and I really enjoyed it, to the point where I signed my offer on the spot. Several things informed that decision: The kinds of problems McKinsey solves are just incredibly interesting and impactful, the sheer size of clients we worked with was impressive, people at the firm were amazing and truly cared about each other’s development, and finally the amount of resources the firm puts at your disposal to do great work is almost endless. I am thrilled to be going back to the firm once I graduate.

Accepted: Lastly, can you share a couple of your top tips for those currently going through the MBA application process?

Maximiliano: My first advice would be to treat the process like an opportunity for valuable self-reflection. That will make it much more rewarding. In line with that, conduct all the due diligence possible, not only on yourself but also on the programs you are considering, as the fit has to be mutual. In terms of the application itself, think of your CV as the skeleton to which you add flesh and soul with the essay and interview. Don’t shy away from communicating your impact in your CV: share all the numbers you can which will help admissions have a point of reference for what you did, people you got onboard, savings you achieved, whatever number you can get your hands on.

If possible use the essay to explain what has been the driving force behind your decision making (i.e your passion), and don’t forget to explain why you need an MBA (and why from that school) to go where you want to get. Finally, if you get invited to an interview, be ready to focus on the why’s and how’s of your life: Why you chose your major/college/job, how you led/executed that project or extracurricular, etc. And whatever you do, don’t waste time preparing oddball interview questions, as the chances of you getting one you read online are slim and in any case they are usually only meant to see if you can be spontaneous and think on your feet when asked something you didn’t expect.

You can keep up with Maximiliano’s journey by following him on Twitter or by connecting with him on LinkedIn. Thank you Maximiliano for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck!

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

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Related Resources:

• Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

• Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer

• 2018 Harvard Business School Class Profile

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post From Chile to HBS: Interview with Maximiliano Grass appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Do You Know the 4 Factors for Assessing Your MBA Profile? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Do You Know the 4 Factors for Assessing Your MBA Profile?
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One of the first things you’ll do when choosing where to apply to business schools is assess your profile. Otherwise, how will you know which programs will be appropriate for you? It’s best to evaluate the following four elements of your profile ASAP; the sooner you know how qualified you are, the sooner you’ll be able to generate a realistic list of target business schools.

Consider the following four profile components:

1. Your academic record

What is your GPA? What is your GMAT score? Do you have relevant coursework? Have you taken rigorous honors courses? If you have a less-than-desirable GMAT or GPA, have you taken steps to improve them or compensate (i.e. retake the GMAT or take a college-level statistics, accounting, calculus, and/or economics course to help boost your math skills)?

2. Your work experience

What sorts of jobs have you held since college? Do you show growth on the job? Do you have strong leadership experience? What strengths have you developed in past and current positions? How have you worked to iron out weak spots? Make sure you know how many years of work experience your target program requires – if you have too few or too many, you may not be competitive.

3. Your goals

What are your post-MBA goals? Start thinking about why you need an MBA – how will each MBA program on your list of potentials help you achieve your goals? You’re going to want to attend a program that has strengths that will help you realize your MBA dreams.

4. Your extracurricular activities

What are you passionate about? Which of your hobbies and interests set you apart from the rest of the highly qualified people applying to b-school? Will your target programs support your interests? Will you be able to continue involvement in your non-academic pursuits alongside your studies?

Evaluating these four factors enables you to establish both your competitiveness and establish “fit” with each of your potential programs. Assessing early (like now) also tells you what steps you need to take to become a viable candidate at schools that appear just beyond your reach. Once you can confidently say, “Hey, I can totally see myself at Top B-School X, plus, I’ve got a fair shot at getting in,” then you can sit down and begin filling out those applications!

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Related Resources:

• Focus on Fit, a podcast episode

Business School Selectivity Index, a tool to help you discover the schools where you are competitive

• What Are My Chances?, an MBA profile evaluation series

Tags: MBA Admissions

The post Do You Know the 4 Factors for Assessing Your MBA Profile? appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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

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Tone Up Your Writing: Confidence vs Arrogance [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: Tone Up Your Writing: Confidence vs Arrogance
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“Tone” is often one of the aspects of writing that applicants find most difficult to pin down. And yet, when you’re writing, it is also one of the most important to control so that you maintain an appropriate tone for your purpose.

One way to think about “tone” is to understand it as conveying your attitude toward your subject. Two key steps can help you become more aware of your tone. First, pause and consider who your audience is and what you are trying to communicate to them. Second, read your writing aloud: hearing your words can enable you to recognize connotations and overtones that you missed on the page.

What type of tone should you strive for in your admissions essay? And how can you ensure your writing conveys the right attitude?

Your tone should be confident, professional, and courteous. It should convey your spirit of intellectual curiosity/inquisitiveness and your collaborative mindset.

Confidence
Let’s start with the issue of confidence.

How can you make sure your tone is confident – without sounding arrogant? Here are five tips for just-the-right tone:

1. When you describe your skills and qualifications, do so with self-assurance. Don’t diminish or hide your contribution – and don’t sound uncertain of yourself.

2. At the same time, focus on showing what you did, how you contributed, and what you learned from it, instead of simply making unsupported statements. For example, instead of just saying “I have strong communication skills,” illustrate those skills in action: “As a research assistant, I met regularly with all members of the research team and made formal presentations of my findings each week.”

3. Quantify whenever possible and provide relevant, impressive specifics. “Led team of 5 on 3 continents” is better than “Led team.”

4. Beware of words and qualifiers that make you sound uncommitted to your position. (“Seems,” “appears,” “might be,” etc.) If you mean “is,” say “is.” Better yet, use strong verbs. (If you’re describing provisional research findings, provisional-sounding words are ok!)

5. Remember what you’re interested in. What truly attracts you to this program? Highlight your real enthusiasm, and let your confidence shine.

To summarize:

• Back up your assertions with illustrations and details.

• Watch out for words that weaken your position by making you sound uncertain.

• Find the source of your confidence: the reasons you’re applying to the program in the first place.

Arrogance
The negative flip-side of confidence is arrogance. It is an application killer and a quality you must avoid.

We can’t really overstate how important it is to root out any whiff of arrogance in your essay. Since so many grad programs rely on teamwork, adcoms are looking for candidates who will be good colleagues. it’s critical to come across as someone who works well with other people. How can you avoid errors in tone that project arrogance?

Here are six tips to eradicate arrogance from your essays:

1. As you describe your contribution, don’t make your team’s work sound less important, inflate your work, or (explicitly or implicitly) describe yourself as being smarter or better than your colleagues.

a. Most people don’t make this error explicitly, but I have seen essays where people wrote some variation of “I left this job because I was so much more advanced than my colleagues there.” Please don’t write that or anything close to it.

b. If you’ve left a position, express the decision in a positive way: instead of saying, “I was more advanced than my colleagues there,” or “I didn’t like the environment,” write that you moved to the new position in order to do XYZ, or develop your skills in ABC, or because it gave you more responsibility.

2. Don’t present yourself as being the only qualified candidate. No matter how great you are, there are a lot of other great candidates. So don’t say things like “I am the only one to…”

3. Don’t belittle other people. If you excelled or had a great opportunity, talk about that opportunity and what you did; don’t imply that other people from your school or company were not as successful, ambitious, or prepared. In other words:

i. Instead of: “Coming to college was a revelation, because I had been surrounded by unmotivated students all my life.”

ii. Try: “In college, I was in my element, surrounded by other motivated students.”

4. Don’t boast about test scores, grades, or other info that probably shouldn’t be in your essay anyway (ie, things that are on your CV or application form).

5. Avoid words that can connote arrogance, especially if you use then primarily in reference to yourself and your own accomplishments. (Words like “superior” or “exceptional.”)

6. Similarly, make sure you convey genuine enthusiasm about the program: don’t write as though they should be lucky to have you, but as though you know that it is the right place for you.

To summarize:

• Don’t belittle other people.

• Don’t exaggerate your contribution.

• Remember the adcom is considering you as a potential colleague – not just weighing your stats.

As I said above, a helpful way to check your tone is to read your essay aloud. Ask yourself: Do I sound confident? Do I sound like I am making a judgment about something I don’t really mean to be judgmental about? Have I used “I” too much when talking about a group project?

This is also where it’s very helpful to ask someone else to read your essay. Ask them to pay attention to your tone, and mark any places that sound negative or un-collegial.

Next time, I’ll address how to maintain a professional tone.

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By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. Want Rebecca to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]

• Generic-itis Prevention [Warning: If Untreated, Can Cause Rejection]

• Writing Techniques From a Pro

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

The post Tone Up Your Writing: Confidence vs Arrogance appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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This Week’s MBA Essay Editing Webinar Details [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2016, 10:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: This Week’s MBA Essay Editing Webinar Details
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This is your last reminder! 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application will air live on Wednesday the 31st at 10am PT/1pm ET.

If you haven’t registered yet, make sure that you do so NOW or you’ll miss the boat on this important webinar that will help you get accepted to your dream school!

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Register now to reserve your spot!

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Tags: MBA Admissions

The post This Week’s MBA Essay Editing Webinar Details appeared first on Accepted Admissions 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

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

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

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5 Pointers for Projecting Professionalism in Your Statement of Purpose [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM Accepted.com Blog: 5 Pointers for Projecting Professionalism in Your Statement of Purpose
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In my previous post, I discussed the importance of maintaining an appropriate tone in your admissions essay, and provided tips for checking your tone, specifically for finding a confident tone and avoiding arrogance.

Once again, “tone” refers to a writer’s attitude toward their subject (and their reader). Your tone comes across in your choice of vocabulary, whether you choose formal or informal language, and so on. It can be subtle, but it is very important.

A strong personal statement or SOP communicates confidence and professionalism, along with your spirit of collaboration, your intellectual curiosity, innovation, and inquisitiveness. How can you ensure your writing conveys the right attitude?

Professional Tone
Here are Five Pointers for Professional Tone:

1. First off, what do I mean by “professional” tone in this context?

Think about whom you’re writing for: admissions professionals, and possibly professors (depending on your field). In other words: a. educated professionals; and b. members of the field you’re hoping to enter. This means that you should address them as you would someone you respect. No need for stilted formality – but this isn’t an email or text message to a friend, either. Grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation all count.

2. Follow all of the adcom’s directions.

This means several things: answering the questions as they are asked; keeping to the requested length; not submitting additional materials they haven’t asked for; etc.

3. Describe your experiences, interests, and goals in a thoughtful way that shows your mature engagement with your field.

There is, for example, both a content and a tonal difference between saying you want to study a particular language because it will give you the skills to work in international development in country X, and saying you want to study that language because you just always liked the way it sounds.

4. Let your tone show your positive, collaborative outlook.

When you describe work you did with a team, use language that reflects that cooperation (“we”), and take a positive tone (for example, show what you gained/learned from your collaboration and how it prepared you for graduate school).

5. Remember that your professional tone should extend to every interaction you have with the school – whether written or spoken.

Each email, phone call, visit, interview – every interaction with every person you meet at your target school must contribute to their overall picture of you as a courteous, professional, positive candidate.

To summarize:

• Keep your audience in mind.

• Keep every interaction you have with the adcom professional, courteous, and positive.

• One of the most common miscalculations in tone relates to this very issue of positivity. If your tone veers into the negative, the adcom will have reason to worry about your attitude.

Avoiding Negativity
Here are some tips for avoiding negativity in order to keep your tone professional:

1. We’ve written elsewhere about how it’s more compelling to read statements that are phrased positively than negatively. In other words, if one experience didn’t work out, don’t say that you decided to do something new because it was not great or a negative experience; say that you chose to move on to a new opportunity in order to develop your skills or explore an area you were excited about or assume greater responsibility. This is important both for the energy and strength of your writing, and also for your tone: if you phrase statements in a negative way, you risk coming across as negative. It’s much better to be moving towards something attractive than fleeing something ugly.

2. Another way that your writing can create a negative tone is through qualifying words. I taught undergraduate composition – I know that writers sometimes use adverbs to pad their writing! And I’m not saying that all adverbs are bad. Deployed carefully, they can help you pinpoint exactly the description you’re looking for. But sometimes, qualifiers can pull your sentence into territory you should probably avoid. Take these sentences as an example:

“In the end, I found the experience genuinely enjoyable.”

“I actually enjoyed it.”

These words can have the effect – not always intended by the writer – of making the experience sound not truly enjoyable or impressive. (To say you “actually” enjoyed something makes it sound like you didn’t expect to – and why risk raising the adcom’s doubts about your attitude?) A more positive phrasing would simply be: “I enjoyed the experience.”

3. Don’t comment negatively on your undergraduate program (or a company you worked for). If you’re trying to explain a low GPA or other academic challenge, straightforwardly take responsibility for it and do not attribute your struggles to anyone else.

To summarize:

• Phrase sentences positively (focus on what you DID, not what you didn’t do).

• Avoid qualifying words that make you sound halfhearted or grudging.

Make a tone check part of your editing process, and you’ll be on your way to finding the sweet-spot: professional, positive, and confident.

[For more advice, check out my previous post, Tone Up Your Writing: Confidence vs Arrogance.]

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By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. Want Rebecca to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• From Example to Exemplary [Free Guide]

• Generic-itis Prevention [Warning: If Untreated, Can Cause Rejection]

• Writing Techniques From a Pro

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

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5 Pointers for Projecting Professionalism in Your Statement of Purpose   [#permalink] 13 Sep 2016, 09:01

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