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MBA Admissions Consultant
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Location: Los Angeles CA
Send PM
MBA Admissions Consultant
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Location: Los Angeles CA
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7 Tips for Writing a Memorable Thank You Email [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 7 Tips for Writing a Memorable Thank You Email



You’ve finally finished your b-school interview and are looking forward to heading home and crossing this experience off your MBA application to-do list. However, before you file the day away, it’s appropriate to send thank you notes to all of the people who helped you during the day. You can really make an impression by sending handwritten notes, but an emailed thank you can also be impressive if done properly.

A thank you email starts and finishes with gratitude. It follows a lot of the same rules as other electronic correspondence – a greeting, a reason why you’re writing, body content, and a farewell. However, unlike other emails, a well-written thank you can elicit an emotional response, create bonds, and nurture the development of relationships…and in this case, give you one more way to become a memorable b-school candidate.

Follow these 7 tips to write a thank you email that will be remembered:

1. Start with the right greeting.

Be sure to address the person formally. Use their appropriate title, like Dr. Smith or Prof. Jones or Ms. Johnson. Even if the person encouraged you to use their first name in the interview, it shows respect to use the more formal form of address in written correspondence.

 2. Note the reason why you’re writing.

This comes right after the greeting. Have a good reason for writing, and state it clearly. “I’m writing to thank you for speaking with me on Monday.” Or “I’m writing to thank you for the tour of the campus.”

3. Explain how their help or thoughtfulness affected you personally.

Write about the positive interaction you had with the person. Describe what it meant to you. If you do this well, the reader will value your honesty and take your compliments to heart.

4. Show how you learned more about the program from the conversation.

Give specific examples of how their contributions helped you better understand your target program and your goals. Did you discover something new about the program that you hadn’t known before? Did you find out about an exciting opportunity? Did the person share something in common with you that influenced how you now view your own positions or goals?

5. Follow up with information you offered to provide or with any questions you have.

Be sure to follow up on any points or areas you said you would. This is the place to ask any questions that occurred to you after your interaction with the person. Don’t make up a question to have something to ask – you don’t want to appear insincere.

6. Provide relevant or necessary updates.

This can include new publications, awards, or grades. Although you want to send your thank you note as soon as possible, if you have to wait a day or two to send a thank you that includes meaningful updates, it’s better to do so.

7. Restate gratitude.

Don’t be afraid to strengthen your expression of gratitude through repetition. Just state it another way at the end of the email.

Following these seven tips will assure that your thank you email is read, appreciated, and remembered, and will hopefully bring you one step closer to receiving that acceptance at your top choice MBA program!





Related Resources:

Perfect Answers to Your MBA Interview Questions

• 6 Steps to Follow After You Receive Your MBA Interview Invite

• An Interview about Interviewing at HBS: An Accepted Student Speaks

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Accepted’s Holiday Hours [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Accepted’s Holiday Hours



We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, enjoying time with family and friends. That’s how most members of Accepted’s staff will spend December 24, 25, 26, 31, and Jan 1 and 2.

However, we also know that deadlines are looming for many of you. Over the holiday weekends we will periodically check our email for new orders and inquiries. We also have a few consultants willing to work over the holidays.

Our best suggestion is to purchase as early as possible to reserve a consultant’s time. (If you want 1-business-day turnaround or need someone to work on the dates listed above, you need to pay rush rates.) However, if things get too busy and despite your best intentions you find yourself needing our assistance over the holidays, head over to our website and purchase the service that best suits your needs or just give us a call at .

We look forward to helping you get accepted this year!





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

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Yes, People DO Get Accepted Round 3: From Rural Ohio to a Global MBA a [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Yes, People DO Get Accepted Round 3: From Rural Ohio to a Global MBA at George Washington



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 Molly Weaver…..

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

Molly: I’m a native of a rural farming town in Ohio called Versailles [ver-sales]. I often joke that it’s spelled the same as the region in France, but we mastered the enunciation. I went to undergrad at Miami University of Ohio and studied Mass Communication, with a minor in Special Education. Growing up, I spent many weekends attending sporting events at Miami. My grandfather played football there and was inducted into the Hall of Fame a few years before I attended. My father and three aunts also went to college there, and I was proud to carry on the family legacy.

Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school book?

Molly: That’s a toughie. Recently, I’ve noticed that every book I’ve picked up has had the word “girl” in the title. In the last few months I’ve read The Girls by Emma Cline, The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell, The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, and The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I think these thriller genre books have been a nice escape from my textbook and case study readings, but I wouldn’t put them at the top of my list.

Perhaps my all-time favorite book is C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. I actually read it in high school, and still have the book which is about twice its original size since I filled every page with multiple sticky notes. The book is a collection of 31 letters written by a demon named Screwtape, who advises his incompetent nephew, Wormwood, on ways in which to guide his current “patient” (a newly converted Christian man) towards evil through everyday temptations. C.S. Lewis refers to his work as “diabolical ventriloquism,” and it’s just that. While satirical in nature, the book is incredibly thought provoking and I find that I commonly revert to my insights and ‘lessons learned’ still today.

Accepted: If you could meet any famous person – past or present – who would it be and why?

Molly: Mother Teresa, hands down. Putting faith and religion aside, I’ve always been inspired by altruism and have spent a lot of time reading about how it can (or cannot) be applied in a business environment. Mother Teresa lived a life synonymous with the word, and I think the opportunity to recount her experiences and observe her worldview first-hand would be transformative.

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

Molly: I’m currently a first-year Global MBA candidate at The George Washington University School of Business in Washington, DC.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?

Molly: After graduating from Miami, I immediately moved to DC and have worked at two DC-based consulting firms over the last six years. When I decided that I wanted to pursue my MBA, I knew that I wanted to stay in DC, so that certainly narrowed down the number of potential schools. What set GW apart from other schools in the area was their campus culture and global vision. GW’s Global MBA program is a full-time, two-year program that extends beyond training in traditional business skills by focusing on application in a global context. One of the main drivers of my decision to attend GW was the “Consulting Abroad Program (CAP),” which is a required course that gives first-year students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience consulting for a client abroad.

Accepted: Are you currently working? How is it balancing work, life and a rigorous MBA program?

Molly: I consider my MBA to be a full-time job, and it certainly is. Prior to starting b-school, I had weighed the idea of continuing to consult for a limited number of hours per week. I ultimately decided against this, and I’m glad I did. B-school is a lot of work and requires a lot of time, energy and focus. Balancing school and my social life alone has proven to be quite the task, so I have a lot of respect for students who have taken on all three.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge?

Molly: I enjoyed the application process because it was an opportunity to further explore my ambitions and it helped to clearly define my short and long term goals. Unfortunately, I didn’t come to the realization that I wanted to pursue my MBA until the third round of the application process. This timing not only added a sense of urgency, but it provoked a lot of uncertainty in terms of the likelihood that I would be accepted into my target schools. (Suffice it to say I probably spent a little too much time Googling acceptance-rates- per-round.) To that end, my greatest challenge was overcoming these mental barriers, enabling me to focus on the many reasons I was a qualified candidate. I’m proud to say that I was accepted into my top choice, and I hope that this can be a testament to the fact you’re not necessarily doomed if you wait until third round to apply!

Accepted: Lastly, can you share your top three tips for b-school success?

Molly:

1. It’s never too late, but don’t wait. Based on my previous answer, I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating for anyone to wait until the last minute to apply to b-school. The more time you allow yourself to work on letters of recommendation, essays and other application materials, the better.

2. Be true to yourself. It can be easy to fill in the blanks with things that sound good on paper. Maintaining a sense of authenticity will be especially helpful during the interview process, as well as when you start to form interpersonal relationships with professors and fellow students.

3. Be present. Be present in classes, in conversations with classmates, and every activity you engage in as part of your MBA program. The experience goes by quickly, and you can walk away having learned a lot more than what’s on the curriculum if you embrace every moment of the experience.

You can follow Molly via Twitter (@Molly_Weaver) or by connecting with her on LinkedIn. Thank you Molly for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!

[b]For one-on-one guidance with your b-school application, check out our MBA Application Packages.[/b]





Related Resources:

• Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

Should You Apply to B-School Round 3 or Next Year?

• MBA Maze: Application Timing

Tags: MBA Admissions

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More Business Schools Accepting GRE than Ever Before [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: More Business Schools Accepting GRE than Ever Before



Kaplan Test Prep has completed their 2016 survey of over 220 business school admissions officers. The survey was conducted between August and October 2016 and found that 92% of business schools are now accepting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. This is a huge jump from 2009, the first year Kaplan asked the question, when only 24% of business schools accepted GRE scores.

Other findings include:

• Although there is almost universal acceptance of the GRE, the GMAT may still give applicants an advantage at some schools. 26% of admissions officers say that candidates submitting a GMAT score have an admissions advantage over those submitting a GRE score. A mere 2% say that those with the GRE have the advantage, while 73% say that neither exam taker has an advantage. This is unchanged from Kaplan’s 2015 survey.

• Business schools have argued that accepting GRE scores in addition to GMAT scores will open the pool of applicants to those without “traditional” MBA backgrounds. 61% of business schools surveyed say that offering the GRE option has resulted in the acceptance of more students from non-traditional backgrounds.

• The GRE hasn’t significantly contributed to more female students (25%), students of color (24%) or low income students (18%) enrolling in business school.

If you come from a non-traditional background you can rejoice that the GRE is on equal footing with the GMAT for most business schools. To read the complete report, check out the Kaplan 2016 MBA Survey.





Related Resources:

To GRE or Not to GRE? That is the Question

Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE?

• 5 GRE Myths and Misconceptions

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Warm Holiday Wishes [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Warm Holiday Wishes



 



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

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Bloomberg Businessweek Announces the Best International Business Schoo [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Bloomberg Businessweek Announces the Best International Business Schools of 2016



MBA seekers frequently go abroad in search of the best MBA programs. Having an international MBA often gives a head start to those seeking jobs in the global business world. However, determining which is the right MBA for you outside your home country can be even more daunting than choosing a domestic MBA program.

Bloomberg Businessweek has compiled data from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent grads. Their methodology focuses on how well MBA programs prepare their graduates with relevant skills and how thoroughly students have been prepared for the workforce.

Rankings are comprised of five parts: Employer Survey (35%), Alumni Survey (30%), Student Survey (15%), Job Placement (10%), and Starting Salary (10%). This weighted ranking allows a program that is not the highest in all areas to still receive a high ranking.

Findings include:

• Job placement three months post-MBA: 85.9%

• Average MBA debt for new grads: $40,000

• Top industries for new grads:



2016 Top 20 International Programs:



To read the complete report, check out BW’s International Rankings.

Remember: the data in the rankings is more valuable than the rankings themselves, unless you value what the rankings measure. The rankings should be way down the list of things to consider when you research an international MBA. Finding the programs with the best overall fit for you will ensure the best experience possible.





Related Resources:

• The Economist 2016 Full-Time MBA Rankings

• Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Business Schools of 2016

• Poets&Quants 2016 U.S. MBA Ranking

Tags: MBA Admissions

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The Importance of Obstacles in Your Application Essays [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: The Importance of Obstacles in Your Application Essays



When applicants write about their accomplishments, whether in personal statements for graduate school or in b-school essays that ask for greatest accomplishments, challenges, and the like, they almost always come up with real accomplishments: driving innovations that led to revenue boosts for their firms, conducting original and meaningful research in their fields of study, or leading a volunteer group on a major community service initiative. But as genuine and significant as these accomplishments are, many of these initial essay drafts are often missing a key ingredient: obstacles.

Obstacles are ubiquitous in everyday life – the traffic detour, the rude tech support representative, even the mean-looking dog on your favorite walking route – and inevitable when it comes to business initiatives. But too often when asked to talk about their accomplishments, applicants contract immediate amnesia for the things that got in their way en route to their achievement, even though getting past them was often as challenging as executing all the foreseen elements of their plans.

The result: bland essays, such as this example:

As the leader of my product research group, I came up with a plan for a new widget that would save us 10% in costs. After communicating my vision to the team, we worked hard for four weeks on a prototype, completing it by the deadline, to the delight of management. Today my widget is still the standard for my company, saving us over $300k annually.

Sure, it sounds like a solid accomplishment, but would you remember it as well as the following, obstacle-rich version? Take a look:

As the leader of my product research group, I came up with a plan for a new widget that would save us 10% in costs. But when I communicated my vision to the team, two senior engineers immediately pointed out key flaws in the design, and I had to revise my plan to correct them. We worked on a prototype for two weeks before discovering that the material we planned to use for the product had become over 30% more expensive in the last month, so I pulled an all-nighter researching alternative materials, and we chose one. We met our four-week deadline and presented the prototype to management, but the VP of Manufacturing argued that we would need to purchase major new equipment to produce the widget. I convinced the team to work long hours on a manufacturing proposal that proved we could make the product with existing equipment. Today my widget is still the standard for my company, saving us over $300k annually.

See the difference a discussion of obstacles makes? Obstacles make your essays more memorable in at least two ways: they heighten the drama of the story, and they give the reader more elements and images to associate with you. In the second version, it’s easy to imagine the two dissenting engineers, the surprise of discovering the price hike for materials, and the VP’s frown. In the first, there’s little to imagine but an employee smiling about a job well done.

So don’t forget to include key obstacles in your essays, along with how you negotiated them. Showcasing your ability to overcome the unexpected is actually more powerful than proving you can execute on a well-defined plan.





Related Resources:

• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

• Approaching The Diversity Essay Question

• Application Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details

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

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Self-Employed MBA Applicant? Here’s How to Present Your Work Experienc [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Self-Employed MBA Applicant? Here’s How to Present Your Work Experience



Creating a resume as a self-employed individual presents some challenges. If you already have an established business, some of this information is superfluous, but if you have been doing contract work, there are details to manage beyond the summary of the work you have been doing.

Company Name

If you own an established business, you probably already have a company name, but if you are doing freelance work or contract consulting, you might not. You need to put something in for company name that helps the reader understand you are indeed self-employed but also has some gravitas to it. It could be something as simple as “Jane Doe XYZ Consulting” (assuming your name is Jane Doe, of course!).

Job Title

If you are doing contract work, you want to avoid putting, “Self-employed” or “Freelancer” as your title. While this may technically be what you are doing, again you want to label yourself in such a way as to lend credibility to the work you are doing. Consider “CEO/Founder,” or if that is overreach, something like “Senior Consultant” or “Senior Engineer.” Choose something that is as close to what your title would be were you employed by someone else without being too self-congratulatory. For those of you with existing businesses, the “CEO/Founder” designation is most likely an accurate depiction.

Work Experience

If you are running a business with tangible goods or services, it should be fairly straightforward to map out your experience. Hopefully you have been keeping careful tabs on the successes you have had. For contractors, you should discuss projects you have worked on for various firms, listing out details on those particular projects as much as you can without risking the breach of any confidentiality agreements you have in place. With any luck you have some good, quantifiable results that you can point to as well. Here are some examples of how you could present projects:

“Overhauled payment system for $XMM automotive parts manufacturer, resulting in reduction of A/P by 20%.”

“Performed research and presented findings related to a proposed expansion of a non-profit into a new territory. Research results were subsequently shared with existing donors, who then funded 100% of the planned expansion.”

“Designed website and implemented social media strategy and tactics for eight-member startup in the energy industry.”

Bottom Line

Admissions committees want to admit people who have interesting experience to share with classmates. Review the core and elective course offerings at the schools you are looking at, and think about how the work you have done on your own could allow you to contribute to class discussions. Take those examples that come to mind and present them in your resume, and possibly later on in more detail in essays.

This is the third blog post in our MBA Work Experience Series.




Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Want Jen to help you get Accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application [Episode 181]

• Application Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details

• What Qualifies as “Good” Work Experience to an MBA Admissions Committee?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Why London Business School Might be the School for You! [Episode 186 – [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Why London Business School Might be the School for You! [Episode 186 – Encore]



As most of you slow down for the holiday season, and some of you speed up to make the upcoming admissions deadlines, we thought it would be a great opportunity to do an encore of Linda’s excellent interview with Jamie Wright, the Senior Recruitment and Admissions Manager at London Business School – Early Career Programs.

For the full show notes, click here.



Related Links:

• London Business School Masters in Management

London Business School Global Masters in Management

London Business School Masters in Financial Analysis

London Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips

London Business School Zone Page

Related Shows:

The Scoop on the London Business School Masters in Management Program

The CEMS MIM: A Truly International Masters in Management

UVA MS in Global Commerce: 3 Continents, 2 Masters, 1 Amazing Year

The Schwarzman Scholars Program: Leaders of the Future Unite

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Tags: Admissions Straight Talk, Grad School Admissions, MBA Admissions

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4 Traits That (Most) HBS Students Share [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: 4 Traits That (Most) HBS Students Share



Harvard Business School admissions doesn’t just embrace diversity, they obsessively (and methodically) seek it. HBS sees diversity as essential to its learning environment—the renowned “case method” requires a wide variety of viewpoints to challenge and teach students.

But admissions is only one part of HBS’s diversity push. 900+ matriculating students are carefully sorted into 10 sections, with results that would make the Hogwart’s Sorting Hat jealous. Perhaps unsurprisingly, each section has a near-perfectly balanced composition of industry background, nationality, gender, military experience and dozens of other less obvious traits and experiences. These ultra-diverse super sections provide the opportunity to learn from (and network with) a rich portfolio of experiences and backgrounds.

Despite the differences, accepted HBS candidates often share a few common, noticeable traits. HBS admissions speaks to what they are looking for on their website, but I’d like to add to the list. If you’re a prospective student, here are 4 traits that may help you determine if you might fit into one of these super sections.

1. Confidence

Confirmed. Plenty of confidence to go around. The joke is that you spend your first week at Harvard thinking, “How did I get in here?” and the next two years feeling confident that you belong but wondering how everyone else was accepted.

2. Social Grace

You probably won’t be surprised (and it’s well-discussed) that there are more extroverts than introverts at HBS. This leads to a culture where extroversion is almost an expectation, and an extremely active social agenda among students is almost a given. However, minority introverts and majority extroverts alike have exceptional interpersonal skills. Sit down, grab lunch, and meet a new classmate; it’s likely that regardless of whom you’re speaking with, the conversation will be engaging and flow effortlessly.

3. Opinionated

If you visit a class at HBS, you’ll see 90 students sitting on the edge of their seats ready to passionately provide their viewpoints. I loved it. I hope you witness a heated argument! Without my classmates sharing their strong opinions, my education (and entertainment) would have been severely diminished. The case method motivates a deep and broad understanding of issues. People who form and articulate sound opinions, even with limited information, thrive.

4. Planner

HBS students love “treks.” A trek is simply traveling somewhere in the world with classmates, mixing fun with an optional set of business introductions or experiences. Whether you are mostly adventuring, or straight-up vacationing with your classmates, each trip comes complete with a published itinerary. You’ll probably have two or three information sessions beforehand to review the dense itinerary. It’s both overwhelming and fantastic. I still reach out to my classmates to get old itineraries for places I didn’t visit as a student but intend to go now.

What does this mean for HBS candidates? If you are ready for a calculated, highly social, argumentative two-year trek, then Harvard may be the perfect place for you. Do you think being suffocated by those traits for two years may kill you? Well, you can survive–no super section would be complete without two or three medical students to revive you.





Jaren Nichols is part of the HBS ’15 graduating class. Jaren currently heads up revenue at ZipBooks. Previous to InsideSales.com, Jaren worked for Dropcam, Nest Labs, and Google.

 

Related Resources:

• HBS 2016 Grad Reflects on Her Experience as a Harvard MBA [Episode 154]

• Harvard Business School 2017 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

What is Harvard Business School Looking For?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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GMAT Study Tips (For When You Don’t Have Time to Study for the GMAT) [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: GMAT Study Tips (For When You Don’t Have Time to Study for the GMAT)



Do you want to get into b-school, but feel like you just don’t have the time? Well, I have some good news: there are ways to fit GMAT prep into your busy schedule.

Practice general reading, math, and writing skills in your spare time

Not every GMAT prep session has to be a lengthy at-home, sit-down round of test prep. The general skills for the GMAT—math skills, reading skills, and writing skills—can be practiced in small amounts throughout the day. Your daily life is full of opportunities to improve your GMAT IR, Quant, Verbal, and AWA skills.

Look for little opportunities to do math. Calculate your shopping totals, with sales tax, in your head. If you work any overtime, mentally calculate how much you’ve just earned. Then, as a bonus math activity estimate the percentage increase in your earnings, based on the overtime. You can also estimate how long it will take you to travel somewhere, based on distance and your average travel speed. These kinds of mental math calculations help you get ready for the Quant section of the GMAT. GMAT Quant is full of similar kinds of calculations that are complicated, yet can be done without a calculator. (As you probably already know, you can’t use a calculator on GMAT Quant.)

Additional Integrated Reasoning, Verbal and AWA prep can be done online without disrupting your busy schedule. Do you ever have any down time where you surf the web to relax? Of course you do, and you probably get several of these brief mental breaks throughout your day. This down time can double as GMAT reading practice quite easily.

If you aspire to business school, you no doubt have an interest in business, and enjoy reading business news online. You can use this interest to prepare your reading comprehension for GMAT IR, the part of the GMAT that contains highly detailed business reports and figures The next time you browse the web for news, make a point of reading some business articles that include a lot of numbers. Seek out articles on company profitability, economic statistics, and so on. As you read, take a moment to stop and think about what the numbers in the article really mean.

You may even want to use a calculator to play with some of the more complicated business figures you see. This too can help you prepare for the Integrated Reasoning Section of the GMAT, since IR is the one part of the exam where calculator use is allowed.

A much wider variety of reading materials can prepare you for GMAT Verbal. Here, all kinds of formal, educational reading can do. Crawl through websites full of news reports and informative articles that stick with material that has an academic tone. Opinion pieces on major news websites like CNN or Time are good for this. So are movie reviews and television recaps on websites. Plenty of other reading materials can help you prepare for the test too. Look at GMAT Verbal passages (such as this example GMAT RC passage from the Magoosh GMAT Blog), and you’ll get a feel for the similar passages you can read the next time you go online.

There are even chances to build GMAT AWA writing skills in your spare time. You have chances to write throughout your day, either by sending emails or posting to social media. You can turn this “incidental writing” in your life into GMAT AWA prep. How, you ask? Well, first, you should carefully read this list of GMAT AWA strategies. Then, apply as many of those strategies as possible to any writing you do from day-to-day.

Carefully organize your schedule so that you make time for GMAT prep

Turning your spare time activities into GMAT prep is huge, and can really help you get ready for the exam. But to succeed on the test, you also do need some of those longer, sit-down GMAT study sessions I mentioned before.

It’s important to remember that no matter how busy you feel, there are almost always ways to organize your time better, so that you have blocks of time just for test prep. This where a good GMAT study schedule comes in.

The web is full of guidance on how to plan and structure your GMAT prep. This GMAT study guide from Magoosh is particularly useful, since it specifies how to manage your time as you get ready for test day.




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

Related Resources:

• How to Study Like the Highest-Scoring GMAT Test Takers

• Why Some High-Scorers Still Retake the GMAT

• Time Management Tips to Make the Most of Your Test Prep

Tags: MBA Admissions

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You Need These Transformative MBA Editing Hacks [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: You Need These Transformative MBA Editing Hacks



Did you miss our webinar, 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application? Bummed that your essay will suffer a slow death without these reviving editing secrets?

Don’t be so glum! You can now catch this important webinar on-demand on our website any time you want!

Some of the topics Linda addresses during the webinar include:

● How to edit your MBA essays from top to bottom, from context to particulars

● The secret to professional-grade proofing

● The ingredients of a good edit

…and more!

View 3 Hacks to Your MBA Application Essays now!





Tags: MBA Admissions

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My Reflections of 2016 [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: My Reflections of 2016



I just want to take this time to wish you a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

I think that as the year draws to a close, it’s important to reflect on the good that has come one’s way in the preceding year and to be appreciative of the many blessings we have enjoyed. While I am first and foremost thankful for my family and good health, I want to speak professionally for a moment. As the founder and president of Accepted, I want to express my profound appreciation to four groups of people who all deserve recognition and thanks:

• Accepted’s “back office” staff. The people who support the consultants, publish our materials, keep the site running, and provide non-admissions customer service. They are the unsung heroes at Accepted.

• The admissions professionals, students, applicants, alumni, and test prep experts who generously share their questions, thoughts, experiences, and expertise in Accepted’s community via our blog, The Admissions Straight Talk Podcast, and social media.

Accepted’s amazing staff of admissions consultants – I’m so fortunate to have a wonderful staff of talented, dedicated admissions consultants who put their hearts and souls into helping our clients submit winning applications.

• Accepted’s clients, friends, fans, and followers – Without you, I wouldn’t have the joy of getting so many ‘Linda, I’m in!’ emails throughout the year, Thank you for allowing Accepted to be part of your lives and educational journey.

Thank you to all of you. And best wishes to you and your family for a Happy and Healthy 2017!

Linda


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 SchoolsCollege Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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How Does Your GMAT Score Fit into the Holistic MBA Application Puzzle? [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: How Does Your GMAT Score Fit into the Holistic MBA Application Puzzle?



There’s a lot of talk about the holistic approach admission directors take to evaluate applications. How much weight is really put on different aspects of the application during evaluation? If the approach is so holistic, then why do so many applicants with low GMAT scores get dinged compared to applicants with high GMAT scores?

Here’s how it works: Admissions committees do review entire applications in order to admit the best candidates and create classes that are diverse. So while an admissions committee’s approach is holistic, the process is still highly competitive. Applicants are still competing with each other and the numbers count.

How GMAT Scores Fit in the Picture:

The GMAT is one indicator that helps an admissions director determine if the candidate will succeed in the program academically. It is also an indicator that they must report to the media for rankings. And the higher the ranking, the more candidates want to attend that specific program.

If you’re looking at schools with an average GMAT of 650, then you’ll probably see more diversity of GMAT scores in the acceptance pool (i.e. lots of applicants with lower GMAT scores will still get accepted). But if you’re looking at programs with an average GMAT over 700, then it’s true – you’ll see fewer applicants getting accepted with low scores, even though the applications are looked at holistically. What are these schools’ incentives to admit candidates with a 650 or lower? [If you want to figure out which programs you have the best chance of getting into, check out the Business School Selectivity Index.]

Perhaps, the adcom is certain the candidate can succeed in the program academically, but more importantly the candidate offers something else in his or her background that is so amazing that they are willing to overlook a GMAT score well below their average.

If, however, the candidate looks like thousands of other candidates, the adcom will accept the candidates with the highest GMAT. The consumers (students) demand it, the suppliers (faculty) demand it, and the ultimate customers (hiring companies) demand it.

So while you can’t guarantee admission to your dream school regardless of GMAT score, just as you can’t guarantee anything in life, you can and should position yourself strategically to stand out in the applicant pool.




By Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, an accomplished Accepted consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey. Want Natalie help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application [Episode 181]

• How to Give Your Application as Much Weight as Possible

• How to Apply to B-School with a Low GPA: Providing Context

Tags: MBA Admissions

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A Review of the Magoosh GRE Prep Program [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: A Review of the Magoosh GRE Prep Program



Applicants preparing for the GRE have a lot of options – from self-study using books and practice tests, to in-person courses, to private tutoring. Today I’m reviewing one test prep option: Magoosh’s online GRE prep course.

What is it?

It’s a comprehensive, flexible online GRE prep course, which includes videos, general information, test prep strategy, substantial banks of practice questions, and full sample exams. There are also resources to help you study, such as flashcards for math and vocabulary.

How does it work?

You can move through the resources at your own pace (helpfully, Magoosh also supplies recommended study schedules, depending on how much time you have until your test date). I started by watching the introductory videos, which provide an overview of what the GRE tests and are a good introduction to test-taking strategy. The video guides for each section of the exam are also clear and helpful, providing a concise overview of concepts you may have forgotten while focusing on the logic that governs the test.

Then there are the practice questions: hundreds of sample questions for the verbal and math sections. You can customize your practice (setting the length of your session, the difficulty of the questions, etc), and you can review your practice questions to learn from what you got wrong. You can also take full-length practice exams.

Who is it right for?

This is a strong, comprehensive GRE prep course that has the advantage of flexibility: you can access the flashcards and practice questions from anywhere, so if you have a few minutes and your phone, you can fit in some study time. The course provides guidance and strategy, and the Magoosh team responds quickly to inquiries (when I messaged their helpdesk, I received a reply within a few hours; they say they normally respond within a day). But working through a self-paced online course does require a certain amount of motivation – if you know that you’re the type of person who needs the structured environment of a classroom (or a one-on-one tutoring interaction), then you might want to look elsewhere.

Overall?

I think this is an impressive resource. It’s flexible, well-thought-out, easy to use, and provides both a wealth of study materials and the support to use them effectively.




By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, has helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She’s also an expert on grad school funding and scholarships. Want Rebecca to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

5 Killer GRE Prep Tips [on-demand webinar]

• More Business Schools Accepting GRE than Ever Before

• Where to Find Good GRE Practice Questions

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

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Non-Traditional Work Experience in MBA Admissions [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Non-Traditional Work Experience in MBA Admissions



A common concern from prospective clients with non-traditional work experience is whether or not that experience will be considered relevant in an MBA classroom. I have heard this from doctors, lawyers, military officers, and more. Believe it or not, the less traditional one’s work experience, (often) the more an admissions committee is interested!

When putting together a cohort, admissions committee members strive to make it as diverse as possible, in every way possible – job function, industry, culture, etc. Imagine if a class was made up of just bankers? Or IT engineers? How rich would the discussion be across all courses? Not very! As such, schools are delighted when non-traditional applicants apply, and you can be assured that your application will get noticed. The assumption is that individuals coming from a non-business background will approach issues and problems with a different perspective and set of priorities that may allow for additional learning opportunities for their classmates (and possibly even the faculty!).

There are a few things to be cognizant of as a non-traditional applicant. While generally speaking an admissions committee will be interested in you simply based on your background, there are two things you need to have solidly in your profile in order to be seriously considered for admission:

1. Stellar grades in a few courses that can indicate your ability to succeed with quant work (e.g. statistics, calculus) in a demanding MBA program, and/or a top-notch GMAT or GRE score

Since much of your degree’s coursework may not be directly relatable to a business program’s curriculum, the school needs to be confident you will be able to handle the MBA courses. If quant courses are missing from your transcript (and if you don’t knock the GMAT or GRE out of the park), you should consider taking an algebra, business math, or statistics course at a local community college or online to alleviate any concern there (aim for a B or better).

2. A solid reason for needing an MBA

Believe it or not there are serial degree seekers out there. Since the reason you are interested in an MBA will most likely not be obvious based on your previous work experience, you need to do an even better job of presenting your career goals and objectives. Why is an MBA necessary to get you where you want to go?

Bottom line, you are going to attract positive attention from an admissions committee based on your non-traditional background. Now that you have their attention, make your case for acceptance with a mind-blowing application that shows them you fit in, i.e. that you will thrive in their program and need the education their program provides to achieve your dreams.

This is the final blog post in our MBA Work Experience Series.




Jen Weld worked as an admissions consultant and Former Asst. Dir. of Admissions at Cornell’s EMBA program (4 years) prior to joining Accepted. She has an additional 10 years of experience in higher ed and corporate marketing. Want Jen to help you get accepted to business school? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• 4 Steps for Showing Fit in Your MBA Application [Podcast Episode]

• What Qualifies as “Good” Work Experience to an MBA Admissions Committee?

• Write an MBA Goals Essays that Turns the Adcom into Your Cheerleaders!

Tags: MBA Admissions

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Open Letter to 2018 MBA Applicants: Start [#permalink]
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FROM Accepted.com Blog: Open Letter to 2018 MBA Applicants: Start



To: All 2018 MBA Applicants

From: Linda Abraham

It’s time for my annual memo/harangue/plea/rant.

If you are planning to apply Round 1 in the fall, but have not yet thought about why you want an MBA, taken the GMAT/GRE, researched schools, or evaluated your qualifications, please please please keep reading. And then get started!

I would like to help you avoid the harried hassle and diminished application quality that accompany rushed applications. Just to be clear: Rushed applications are started just a few weeks before the deadlines by applicants who cogitate, procrastinate, or just start thinking about applying late in the cycle. Instead follow the example of those many applicants who start their applications months before applying and who work steadily to complete them by their deadlines.

Those people are getting started now.

My 20+ years in this business tell me that those who start the application process 9-12 months before they apply:

• Get into more and “better” schools

• Are more likely to get scholarships

• Are more prepared for b-school when they arrive on campus

They simply do better in the MBA application process than those who wait until the eleventh hour (or even the tenth).

Those better prepared applicants – they are your real competition. And the best way to compete is to start the race now.

Not tomorrow. Not next week or month or quarter. Now.

Start Your GMAT or GRE Prep

Once you determine that you have a goal that requires an MBA, start preparing for the GMAT or GRE. Don’t wait for the summer or “later.” Your test score is a critical element in your application. Choosing schools without knowing that number leads to all kinds of aggravation, stress, and unpleasant surprises.

Every year I get calls, emails, and comments from applicants who bombed the GRE or the GMAT and don’t have time to retake it. They are torn between applying to the programs they really want to attend but where their test score (and perhaps other elements) are less than competitive, and applying to programs where they are competitive but where they aren’t dying to go.

It’s a dilemma you can avoid by allowing yourself the time to retake the GRE/GMAT, if necessary.

Lower than expected test scores can throw a major monkey wrench in your plans when you take the test within two months of your target deadlines. However, if you bomb it in the spring, you will still have months to prepare again and retake the exam before the deadlines – even the first round deadlines.

Where to Apply: Dartboard vs. Intent

And then there are the applicants who don’t understand the importance of fit in the application process. They just know they want an MBA from a Top X-ranked school. They may or may not have a specific goal or reason to pursue an MBA, and they really could just as easily be throwing darts at a list of schools to determine where to invest their time and money.

Or maybe they just started too late to do the research and reflection that they could’ve and should’ve done had they started earlier. Like now.

In any case, this superficial approach could lead to rejection, a very expensive mistake, or a less than optimal MBA experience.

Apply purposefully to specific programs that support your goals and at which you are competitive. Don’t apply to rankings. You won’t attend rankings. You’ll attend a graduate business school.

Writing is Rewriting & Requires Time

Some of you know why you want an MBA, have good reasons for selecting the school you will apply to, and will get the GMAT or GRE score that you want the first time you take the exam; so you may be feeling a little smug. Okay, so you got the first part of the application process done. Yay!

However, if you slack off and wait for the last minute to complete your applications, you will end up rushing the writing process for your essays, short answer questions, and resume, or the practice/filming process for video options on your application. Either way, you will end up rushing.

Bad idea. And bad ideas lead to bad results.

Writing – whether long essays, short essays, scripts, activity descriptions, or resumes – benefits from time. Temporal distance between revisions improves critical analysis and editing. In contrast, scrambling to slap something together leads to sloppy thinking and writing.

Getting the GMAT or GRE out of the way, thinking profoundly about fit, and starting your essays early are all important steps, but you can’t just assume that ticking items off of your checklist will get you into b-school. You need something more comprehensive than that…

A Holistic, Purposeful Approach to the MBA Application Process

New Year’s Resolution: Proceed purposefully, methodically, and thoughtfully so that you submit a superior MBA application to the most appropriate schools at the most desirable deadline for you.

We’ve all made resolutions this year, but do yourself a favor and make the resolution above the 2017 resolution that you stick to.

I’m going to help you keep this one by laying out the process holistically from January through September so that you can present a superior application. It’s not just the test score or the GPA or the years of work experience or solid extracurriculars. It’s all of the above.

I’ve mapped out the process for you here. [Click here to view full size]



If you are aiming for the Round 1 deadlines, you can download the PDF, print it, and tape it on your mirror, wall, fridge, or wherever you’ll regularly see it. Alternatively we have created a public Google doc that you can copy and paste and modify to suit your needs. Then using the timeline as a guide, add the above tasks to your calendar. And do them.

If you follow this MBA timeline, your MBA dreams will not be a mad, breathless sprint to the finish line, but a long, steady jog that allows you to successfully complete the MBA application marathon.




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 SchoolsMBA Admissions from A-Z: 26 Great Tips [Free Guide]

Navigate the MBA Maze: 9 Tips for Getting Accepted

Business School Selectivity Index: Do You Have Competitive Stats for Your Dream School?

Tags: MBA Admissions

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