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What Should A Complete College Application Include?
Are you close to pressing the “SUBMIT” button on your college application? Before you do, look through our list below to make sure you have all the pertinent documents prior to your college deadlines. 1. Application form(s); First and foremost, review the application instructions thoroughly, especially the necessary requirements and relevant documents for your area of study. Fill each section accurately and completely, re-checking for any errors. If you have any questions or concerns send an email to the appropriate department at the University for clarity. 2. Supplemental Form(s); make sure you have all the relevant application forms. For example, if you are an undergraduate student applying to colleges in the U.S. then in addition to the Common Application, you may be asked to fill a supplemental form. Look at each school’s website to see if they have this requirement. 3. Application Fees; these can vary by University and range from $20 to $250. Check if you are eligible for a waiver. For example, applicants for a full-time MBA at a prominent East Coast University can apply for a fee waiver if they meet certain criteria, including a GMAT score of at least 670 and a minimum of 4 years of work experience. 4. Test Scores; you will need to send the official reports of the exam(s) your institution requires directly from the official reporting agency. At the undergraduate level this may be your ACT / SAT I / SAT II results and at the postgraduate level this could be your GRE / GMAT scores. A college may have a separate standardized test submission deadline, which may be different to the application deadline. 5. Test Scores; you will need to send the official reports of the exam(s) your institution requires directly from the official reporting agency. At the undergraduate level this may be your ACT / SAT I / SAT II results and at the postgraduate level this could be your GRE / GMAT scores. A college may have a separate standardized test submission deadline, which may be different to the application deadline. 6. Grades; remember – most institutions require official transcripts of grades for subjects studied in School (for undergraduates) or College (for postgraduates). Some Universities may ask you to use an academic credit verification service to obtain a course by course report. 7. Essays or Statements of Purpose; each college has their own requirements when it comes to essays, so make sure your essays communicate that you are a right fit. 8. Letter(s) of Recommendation; have your recommenders uploaded their letters yet? Clearly articulate the deadlines to them and don’t hesitate to follow up and remind them as the deadlines get closer. Please be sure to write a formal thank you letter/email to your recommender(s) after. 9. Resume; does your resume provide a snapshot of all your academic, professional and personal accomplishments? 10. Additional requirements; if you are applying to a program that needs additional materials e.g. portfolio, ensure you have met all their specifications. 11. Financial Aid; gather updated tax returns, income statements and list of assets well in time to fill an accurate form, and don’t forget to submit your application by the financial aid priority deadlines. Research and see the various student loan options available to you as well. 12. Interview; the interview is your critical final step in the application process. Make sure that you spend enough time prepping for the interviewer, as this is when you really have the chance to “wow” your admissions board and/or alumnus interviewer. Now that all these items are checked off on your list and you are ready to press “SUBMIT”, double check one last time or have someone else proofread it to make sure no omissions, spelling errors or silly mistakes have crept in. Good Luck!
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Last edited by ReachIvy on 22 Nov 2016, 00:23, edited 1 time in total.
What You Need To Know When Writing The Goals Essay In Your MBA Application?
The essay component is one of the most critical elements of the MBA application. There are a significant number of schools that require you to share your post-MBA goals with them, either in the form of an essay, or in the application itself. The goals essay is particularly influential because it reflects your post-MBA recruitment potential. That is, the probability that you will be able to find a job and build a successful career upon completion of the MBA program. As you sit down to think about how you will strategize and articulate your goals, please keep the following parameters in mind: 1. Define your goals. Start with your reasoning behind applying for an MBA in the first place. There are three primary reasons why you are applying to business school: to build your career in a specific industry, to switch career paths, or to accelerate your career in an industry in which you have already had some professional experience. You first need to think about which of these categories you fall into, based on your past career trajectory and your future desired career path. 2. Be realistic. If you have, for instance, had a strong background at a large company in business development in real estate, stating that you want to pursue an entrepreneurial career in e-commerce may not be the right fit. Your goals need to be directly tied to the skillset and industry knowledge that you have developed thus far, even if you are looking to switch careers. You should be able to corroborate your goals with contextual intelligence, borne out of experience, for your chosen industry and role. 3. Be specific. The more specific you are when stating your goals, the more impactful they are. For each of your short and long term goals, you need to state the specific industry and role you are interested in, as well as the specific company names and official designations you are wishing to achieve upon graduation (such as: Product Manager at Dropbox or Business Development Manager at Amazon). For each type of role, you also need to state the specific functions you would be responsible for. Refer to the official job descriptions for this data. 4. Ensure you have a compelling answer to the question – Why? This is the most important part of the goals essay. You need to talk about why you are drawn to a specific industry, the market opportunity, what is missing in the market, what you will do exactly to address this gap, and how you will do it. This is why it is important to choose goals based on your experience – the more specific you are, the more impactful your answer will be. 5. Answer the question. Although you will come across a question related to your goals for many schools, each school words this question differently. For instance, some ask you to tie your goals to your previous experience and developed skill sets, while others ask you to only focus on the future. Make sure to constantly go back to the question, to make sure that you are addressing its specific components. 6. Address specific skill gaps. Often, a key component of the goals essay is to answer why you are applying for an MBA, and why you are doing so at a specific school. To address this sub-question, it is important for you to identify your key skill gaps as they relate to your goals, and relate it to the specific offerings and priorities of each school you are applying to. For instance, if you have an engineering degree, a skill gap could be a theoretical understanding of business frameworks such as finance and strategy. 7. Manage your expectations. It is categorically imperative for you to understand that business school helps you develop a specific skill set, and that it does not guarantee a job. Most schools have robust career resources and departments, but they are not a pipeline to specific companies and cannot guarantee your placement. They provide you with the tools to find a job for yourself. Make sure this is clear in the way you articulate your goals, and that you outline the precise steps that you would take to leverage on and off campus resources to achieve your goals.
Need help defining your career path and your MBA goals? ReachIvy can help!
Please see below a list of questions we suggest you ABSOLUTELY prepare for before going in to the interview.
A. Undergraduate Education 1. Why did you choose your undergraduate major(s) and/or college? 2. What was your favorite class in college? 3. Tell me the most important thing you learned at college.
B. Career 1. Walk me through your resume. 2. Discuss a decision you made in your career that you wish you could change. 3. What would be your dream job (if you had no considerations for money)? 4. Explain your career path to date; why did you choose the jobs you have had? 5. Which companies do you plan to work in post this degree? How will the degree help you get there? 6. Why can’t you work there now?
C. Current Job 1. What does a typical day at work look like for you? 2. What do you like about your job? What do you not like about your job? 3. If you got promoted today at your job, what changes would you implement? 4. Why did you choose your current firm / current position?
D. Why THIS DEGREE? 1. Why are you applying to our school? 2. Why is this the right time for you for this degree? 3. Why are you interested in a general this degree program? 4. What specific skills do you want to get out of this program?
E. School Specific 1. Why does this school appeal to you? 2. What interactions have you had with our school? 3. Businesses are moving to emerging economies. Why don’t you graduate from a local school in your home country? 4. What would you like to do at the school outside of the classroom?
F. General THIS DEGREE 1. What part of the THIS DEGREE program do you foresee struggling with most? 2. What do you see yourself doing for your summer internship after your first year? 3. What do you specifically have to bring to the classroom versus the many others who come from a similar professional background as you? 4. What would you uniquely add to the class?
G. Personal Characteristics 1. Who’s the leader you admire most? Why? 2. How would co-workers describe you? 3. Your favorite film? 4. Why do you think you are successful at what you do?
H. Career/Professional 1. What are your long- and short-term goals? Why? 2. What do you not want to do? 3. What do you think of (some current global issue: politics, economics, etc.)? 4. What is the main challenge your industry/company is facing?
I. General Leadership 1. What makes someone a good leader? 2. How did you motivate someone?
J. Leadership Stories 1. Time when you've been challenged as a leader and what you learned from it. 2. Give an example of leadership that you didn't discuss in your essays 3. Tell me about a specific situation in your professional career where you solved an important problem.
K. Lessons Learned 1. Most valuable feedback you have received, who gave it to you and how did you respond?
L. Team Environment 1. Have you worked in a team environment? What were your contributions to the effort? 2. What would you do if a team member wasn't pulling his own weight?
M. Challenging Situation 1. Tell me about an instance where you had to negotiate something on the job. How did you convince your colleagues and/or seniors?
N. Failure 1. What are your 3 biggest failures? 2. Tell me about a recent disappointment that you faced.
O. Ethical Decision 1. Talk about a time when your values were challenged and you had to consult your moral compass.
P. Difficult People 1. Tell me about a time you faced conflict at work- either between you and another person or between two co-workers and how did you deal with it.
Q. Closing the Interview 1. What questions do you have for me? 2. What did you hope we would ask you during this interview but didn’t.
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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is a graduate business school located in Chicago, Illinois, at the University of Chicago. The school belongs to the M7 group of elite MBA programs which recognize each other as peers, consisting of Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago Booth, Kellogg and MIT Sloan.
Find below the MBA Class Profile (2017) to understand your chances:
Here are top 5 reasons to consider a MBA from Chicago (Booth).
1. Experiential learning – Students get the chance to strengthen the connection between theory and practice with experiential learning. Testing the skills and knowledge you have gained in a practical setting will stretch and prepare you for business leadership.
2. An academic connection with the University– Chicago Booth is part of one of the greatest research institutions in the world – the University of Chicago. Through the joint degree programs they offer, you can increase the value of your MBA by combining it with a degree from one of the University’s other world-renowned programs.
3. Chicago Booth Campuses – Chicago Booth has the finest set of facilities. Each of their locations reflects the architectural traditions of its environs while offering a state-of-the-art learning environment.
4. Financial Aid – Chicago Booth is committed to assisting all admitted students in financing their MBA, regardless of citizenship. Financing is available for all admitted students in the form of student loans and merit-based scholarships and fellowships Chicago Booth does not offer need-based financial aid.
5. Career Management – Career Services at Chicago Booth will support you in your job search. Career Services has a strong team of professionals, ready to provide you with coaching, career management tools and programming, and career resources to help you refine your career goals and navigate the recruiting process.
An increasing number of MBA programs have started to integrate an on-the-spot video essay into the MBA application itself. Before you are allowed to hit the submit button, you are required to record timed video answers to questions asked by the admissions committee on the spot. The answers are usually 60 seconds each.
MBA programs want to get a more direct understanding of who you are, and are using these 60-second video essays to corroborate the authenticity of your story, and get an elevator-pitch glimpse into who you are as a person.
Here are a few tips on how to ace the MBA video essay:
1. Eliminate background noise. Ensure that you are shooting the video in a quiet room. There should be no distracting noises from the street (traffic, parades) or within your house or office (television, people talking).
2. Make sure you have the right lighting. Make sure that the room you are in is well lit, where the light is on you, so that the interviewers can see you clearly.
3. Have a neutral, non-distracting background. Please ensure that the wall behind you is blank and has a neutral tone. It should not have distracting décor, or any shelves or objects that can draw the eye of the interviewer away from you.
4. Test all technology. Make sure that you are using a high quality mic and camera, and a fail safe internet connection. Test these extensively in advance so that the technology does not fail you when you need it the most!
5. Turn off your cell phone and notifications. Your phone should be in airplane mode, and desktop notifications and background applications should be turned off. You should be recording the interview in full screen mode.
6. Make sure the room you are in is at the right temperature. If you feel too hot and are prone to perspiring easily and visibly, please turn on the fan or air conditioning, but ensure that it is not too noisy.
Delivery and Presentation
1. Stick to a business formal dress code. Treat the video essay as though it were an MBA interview, where the dress code is business formal. Take care of how you present yourself. Men should be clean shaven and women should not be wearing distracting makeup or jewelry.
2. Practice and practice again, in the actual recording environment. Record yourself as you practice so you can see what you look like.
3. Maintain the right pace. If you need to think before you answer, pause for a few seconds to avoid hemming and hawing. However, watch your timing for each question to make sure you are delivering your answer at the right pace.
4. Perfect your pitch. Make sure that you are delivering your answers in a professional but fluid tone that conveys your conviction and passion. Remember, the way in which you deliver your answer can be as important as the content itself.
5. Watch your language. Please do not speak casually or use colloquialisms or foul language. Your language should be professional yet simple and relatable, sans jargon.
6. Keep an eye on your body language. Calibrate your facial expressions. Maintain eye contact. Sit up straight, maintaining the right posture, but lean in lightly to show interest. Avoid excessive gesticulations.
1. Be authentic. The admissions committee is trying to get to know who you are, not how nervous you are! Pick compelling stories and anecdotes that positively reflect and represent your personality and passion.
2. Do your homework on your interviewers. Research the admissions committee, scour the web for articles and videos on committee members, and engage with current students and alumni to learn more about them and what they are looking for in a candidate.
3. Prepare like you would for an MBA admissions interview. The questions are often similar to those asked in the interview, so prepare and practice answers to a comprehensive list of potential questions. Watch interview preparation tips, or avail of our interview prep service.
4. Focus on answering the question. Make sure that the answers that you have prepared first directly address the question, and that you corroborate each statement with illustrative examples or anecdotes.
Remember to smile and look like you are enjoying yourself!
LBS awards only post-graduate degrees (Masters, MBA, and PhD) and is one of the few schools in the world to have the triple crown accreditation (AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA). LBS also has several programmes for Executives. Its Master of Business Administration is one of the most prestigious programmes in the world.
Find below the MBA Class Profile (2017) to understand your chances:
Here are top 5 reasons to consider a MBA from London Business School (LBS):
1. Learning Environment – London Business School brings together ambitious and engaged people from around the world in a stimulating, challenging and multicultural learning environment. 2. Activities, conferences & events – The 70 student clubs at LBS create important networks, as well as opportunities for students to explore your personal interests and develop leadership and management skills. The clubs host a variety of entirely student-led events, from ad hoc social events such as wine tasting to more regular weekly speaker events and networking drinks. 3. Expertise and academic rigour – The faculty at LBS works at the forefront of innovative business thinking, influencing business leaders, managers and policy-makers across the globe, creating world-class research that explores the key practical and academic issues facing the business world. The faculty is made up of over 30 nationalities from across the globe, with an age range of 29 to 73. 4. The Student Association – The Student Association (SA) represents students’ interests and concerns throughout the school, runs social events and supports student clubs. There are SA officers on many School committees to ensure the interests of students are taken into account by senior management before any decisions are made. The SA Executive Committee is elected annually by the students themselves. 5. Career Impact – Studying at London Business School offers a huge opportunity to build your career in business. The skills you will develop, the networks you will build and the support you will receive all work together to move your career in the direction you want to take.
How To Make The Most Of The STAR Approach When Writing MBA Application Essays
The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach is one of the most basic and versatile structures that an applicant can use to frame answers to your application essays. Once you have picked an appropriate story that you want to tell, this approach helps you draw the story out in a compelling way, and also helps you stick to the required word count.
When should you use this approach? The answer is simple. It is whenever a question is asking you to share a specific experience, whether it is your greatest memory or challenge, a time when you showed leadership, or a recent accomplishment.
These are the main sections of the STAR approach:
Situation: This section is where you succinctly set up the context for the essay. This is where you outline the stakes, or where you share the watershed encounter that led to your subsequent actions, impact and learning. For instance, if you are telling a story where the question asks you to describe a time when you received professional feedback and how you responded to it, you could start your essay with the specific quote your supervisor used when sharing this feedback with you. You need to ensure that you do not spend too much time or space in the essay on this section, especially when you have a limited word count. The context should be concise, clear and punchy.
Task: This section is where you describe the specific task that is in front of you, based on the context that you have previously set up. Again, the task ahead should be one specific task that you are addressing – like executing on the feedback that you received from your supervisor, or meeting a challenging, high-stakes deadline with minimal resources. The context is already set up, here you are just clearly, and in one line really, stating the specific challenge that lies ahead.
Action: This section is where you often end up spending a significant proportion of your time and word count real estate in the essay. The main premise of this section is to describe how you went about executing your task. The mistake that is often made is when you share a series of statements stating what you did, without explaining exactly how you did it. For instance, if you are describing a time when you led a team to close a deal, you need to talk about how you negotiated with the client, how you empowered your team to take responsibilities, etc. By explaining how you did what you did, you are demonstrating your ability to execute.
Result: This section is where you state the impact of your actions in the context of your task. Did you close a multi-million-dollar deal, or win a national award? This is where you would state the result you have achieved for the organization or institution, or your inability to do so, if the question asked is focused on describing a failed endeavor. This section should also use minimal word count, be clear and punchy.
Learning: This section is often the most critical section in the essay, especially in questions which ask you to share how you have grown personally and professionally, or specifically state that you need to share what you have learned. It reflects your mindfulness and self-awareness, and the depth and quality of your insights. This is the space in the essay where you have an impactful answer to the question, why? Why is the impact you made significant not just to the organization, but to you?
It is extremely important to understand:
* the nuances in the questions, and to then accordingly give word count weight age to the sections described above so that you are clearly answering the question and not force-fitting a story. * how to stylize the answer – you need to be able to tread that fine balance between authenticity and sharing a powerful, passionate story that is not disingenuously hyperbolic.
The MIT Sloan School of Management (also known as MIT Sloan or Sloan) is the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
MIT Sloan offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs, as well as executive education. Its full-time MBA program is one of the most selective in the world.
Find below the MBA Class Profile (2017) to understand your chances:
Here are top 5 reasons to consider a MBA from MIT (Sloan):
1. Student Life – Life on campus is a vibrant, ever-changing mix of opportunities and activities, with more than 60 student clubs and leadership organizations hosting events, planning conferences, and welcoming new members. Spearheaded entirely by students, new clubs form every year.
2. Global Reach – MIT Sloan has a rich history of global engagement, with a global footprint that today spans seven major international regions. MIT Sloan draws on its international convening power to bring thought leaders together to affect global management practices and improve the world.
3. Diverse Culture – MIT Sloan is a diverse and engaged community. With students, faculty, and staff from around the world, the School prides itself on welcoming people with a wide range of backgrounds, experience, and interests.
4. Faculty – MIT Sloan’s faculty members are leading economists, public policy experts, entrepreneurs, and executives of companies large and small. Their research is conducted alongside private sector leaders and practitioners with the support and partnership of MIT Sloan students.
5. Center’s and Initiatives – The School’s centers and initiatives provide a collaborative environment for faculty, students, private sector partners, and public policy experts to work together to seek answers and make discoveries that will advance management practice and improve the world.
Top 5 Tips To Keep In Mind When Choosing Your Stream
Once you have completed 10th grade, it is always a tough call to choose an academic stream that suits you best. When I was making this choice, I remember being really confused and senile. I loved physics, which is why I was inclined towards Science, I wanted to pursue journalism in the future which meant I should go for Humanities, and my parents advised me to opt for Biology and become a doctor! I fretted for a few months, changed my mind a couple of times, before I finally decided to take physics, chemistry and math.
I am glad that I thought this through before I made a final choice, as a lot of students end up selecting a stream that does not align with their goals and interests.
Here are my top five tips that can help you choose the right stream:
1. Evaluate yourself. The first and foremost step is to identify your interests, define your goals and understand your aptitude and skill sets. Ask yourself questions like: Which subjects interest me the most? What are my highest scoring subjects? What do I want to do in the future? It is important that you do a detailed strength-weakness analysis while choosing a stream as it will determine your future career path.
2. Research ALL streams. Now that we have established the importance of knowledge about your personality and interests, it is necessary to grab as much details about the streams as possible. Delve into identifying what are the important subjects in a given stream, potential career paths, scope in the future, difficulty level, aptitude requirement, etc. Once you have these details, you can match them with your interests and competencies and arrive at a conclusion.
3. Scope of a particular stream. take your first step towards building a rewarding career, you should give adequate importance to this step. Analyze each stream in terms of its career prospects. A lot of students are unsure about their career paths when they are in 10th grade, therefore, learning about the scope of career paths associated with a particular stream will help them better understand what their future would look like! For example – Both engineers and commerce graduates work as business consultants, how will you choose among the two then? Let’s say you are fascinated by the job of a consultant (because your uncle is one and he leads a pretty amazing life!) and you also enjoy reading about engines and their working – in this case, you should opt for engineering as that will open doors to both your interests and commerce won’t!
4. Visit an educational counselor. A qualified counselor would be able to identify your strengths and interests and will find a stream that suits you the best! They have special tests that are scientifically designed to help the students pick the right stream based on their likes & dislikes and strengths & weaknesses. Find a counselor that has considerable experience and offers you customized help. It is extremely vital that the advisor understands your background and interests, and gives tailor-made advice.
5. Discuss with your seniors/parents/teachers. We, as students, tend to make impulsive and biased decisions due to lack of knowledge, which is why it is important to seek advice from people who have been through this phase and learn from their bittersweet experiences. They will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and they will open your eyes to the challenges and perks associated with each choice. However, these discussions should not be one-sided, raise your concerns and express your opinions clearly and take a decision only when you are fully convinced.
Deciding the right stream for yourself will be a boost to your future and the small steps taken at this stage will serve as milestones in your career journey. So take your time in making this decision, follow the above steps and you are good to go!
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (also known as Stanford Business School, Stanford GSB, or GSB) is one of the seven schools of Stanford University.
Stanford GSB offers a general management Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, the MSx Program (which is a full-time twelve-month MS in Management for mid-career executives) and a Ph.D. program, along with a number of joint degrees with other schools at Stanford including Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Law and Medicine.
Find below the MBA Class Profile (2017) to understand your chances:
Here are 5 reasons on why to consider a MBA from Stanford GSB:
1. Faculty – Stanford GSB has 111 faculty featuring Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. During your time at Stanford GSB, you’ll have direct access to their expertise and insight.
2. Global Perspective – Faculty at Stanford teach management in the context of an international economy. They ensure that your awareness of global issues will be developed through coursework, international study trips, internships, or programs offered worldwide.
3. Diverse Student Population – At Stanford students arrive from 50 countries, with many different educational, professional, and social backgrounds. Their collaborative educational process benefits from these diverse backgrounds, encouraging a range of perspectives and approaches to real-world problems.
4. Suitable Surroundings – Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, Stanford GSB is the most suitable place to study business. The San Francisco Bay Area provides endless opportunities for cultural enrichment, easy access to the outdoors, and fun.
5. Student Organizations – There are nearly 70 student organizations at Stanford GSB, a large number of student activities focuses on broadening exposure to the entrepreneurship community and sharing ideas.
A resume is a very important tool for all of us – whether we are students looking to get into our dream college or professionals looking to enter our dream job. Think of the resume as a snapshot – not only of your professional accomplishments but academic, personal and community. It’s an opportunity to showcase how strong a fit you are for the school or company.
So how do you maximize the impact the resume can make? Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Relevance. First and foremost make sure you tailor the resume to where you are applying. Highlight your relevant strengths. Additionally, make sure that you do your homework on the specific requirements the company or college may ask for. For example, an MBA application resume generally needs to be 1 page long, where as an employment resume can be longer.
2. Action Verbs. Describe each of your accomplishments with strong verbs that clearly demonstrate both the breadth and depth of experience. Additionally, avoid using the same action verb multiple times.
For example, instead of writing:
* Handled business development for…. * Handled campaigns for… * Responsible for handling….
Replace with alternatives like:
* Spearheaded business development for…. * Led campaigns for…. * Managed….
3. Quantify. Provide numbers where possible. Instead of general statements include numbers that provide specifics including time, money or amount. Read the two bullets below and decide what leaves a larger impact on you:
* Headed a project to streamline business … * Led at team of 6 to streamline a $15,000 infrastructure project…
4. Be specific. Avoid generic statements. In addition to explaining to the reader what you did, include why and how you did it. What was the outcome. Since you have included it in your resume, the reader should be able to understand the role you played and why this activity is significant.
For example – instead of writing “Led the payment process initiative” or “Established the technical operation guidelines” explain what prompted you to do this (e.g. identified gaps in…) or how you did it (e.g. analyzed past data….) and was it successful (e.g. reduced time spent…).
5. Avoid Silly mistakes. I know this seems obvious but with stress levels high or deadlines around the corner this happens too often. Silly mistakes come in many forms including spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or inputting the wrong word by accident. Can you spot what’s wrong in the statements below?
* Discussed growth opportunities with senior management. * Took a career break in 2003 to renovate my horse * Bachelor in Science * I’m attacking my resume for your review * Managed the the daily operations
You cannot proofread your resume too many times. The very best of us continue to make errors like these every day. If you feel like you’ve read your resume over 50 times and there are no more mistakes – take a break and come back to it later. You will definitely see something else. Send it to close friends or family. Every eye gravitates toward and catches something different.
Remember – An excellent résumé is one of the cornerstones of a successful application. It gives you the opportunity to provide a consolidated view of your accomplishments and showcase the extent to which you are a strong, well-rounded and suitable fit. Good Luck!
Columbia Business School (CBS) is the business school of Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City. It was established in 1916 to provide business training and professional preparation for undergraduate and graduate Columbia University students. It is one of six Ivy League business schools, and its admission process is among the most selective of top business schools.
Here are top 5 reasons to consider an MBA from Columbia (CBS):
* Research Computing – Columbia Business School provides a state-of-the-art research computing environment, known as the Research Grid, for faculty, PhD students, and researchers.
*MBA Scholarships - Columbia Business School offers partial-tuition scholarships to qualified candidates, both domestic and international. Scholarships are mostly need-based, however, certain named scholarships have a merit component.
* Career Management – With an MBA from Columbia, the students career prospects multiply exponentially. Students begin the transformation of their professional life with a visit to the Career Management Center. The CMC helps students connect with opportunities, from internships to full-time employment, and provide guidance throughout the cycles of your career.
* Academics – The only constant today is change, and Columbia Business School prepares its students not just to navigate change, but to use it to create new opportunities.The School’s comprehensive core curriculum builds the foundation necessary for success in any field, while electives offer insight into specialized areas of expertise.
* Diversity – Columbia Business School believes that diversity strengthens any community or business model and brings it greater success.Columbia Business School is affiliated with a number of diversity focused programs and associations, including Management Leadership for Tomorrow, the National Black MBA Association, the National Society for Hispanic MBAs, etc.
Strategies to get strong Letters of Recommendation
Strong recommendation letters are critical to getting in to a top global business school. They can tip the scales towards an acceptance offer, as they provide the admissions committee with:
(a) Insight into your performance and potential for career success, in the eyes of a credible supervisor
(b) Corroborating evidence in terms of the story arc you have built in the rest of your application
So how do you build and present the strongest possible recommendation/s from your supervisor/s
1. Figure out the logistics:
(a) Check the recommendation requirements for each school. Check how many are required; whether they are seeking personal or professional recommendations, or both; understand submission procedures and deadlines.
(b) Give your recommenders ample time. Start working with recommenders 6-8 weeks before the submission deadline, so you have enough time to put together preparation materials, meet with them to request the recommendation and share these materials, and to respond to any questions that they may have.
(c) Explain the submission process to the recommender. Show them how to submit the recommendation, and ensure that they submit it directly. Many business schools have back-end technology which gives them insight into where the recommendation is being uploaded from, so they can tell if it’s being uploaded from the same IP address as your application.
(d) Find the right balance when following up. Make sure you keep track of submissions and deadlines, but find that balance between not being overwhelming or remaining incommunicado with your recommender.
2. Be strategic when choosing a recommender:
(a) Choose a direct supervisor or senior who knows you well, and who has an understanding of your work style and performance on a daily basis. Do not ask the CEO or a Senior VP for a recommendation if they are not in touch with you about your work on a daily basis, even if you have a congenial relationship with them.
(b) Your ideal recommender is someone who:
– knows the value of an MBA or have one themselves
– is your champion – they are extremely supportive of your applying to business school and confident in your future success
– is punctual, so you do not have to spend too much time following up
– has some experience writing recommendations for successful admits, if possible
3. Provide the recommender with a set of preparation materials:
(a) Share background materials that would be helpful, such as your resume that you are using in your application, list of schools you are applying to and their deadlines, application essays, and any relevant workplace documentation.
(b) Share a set of talking points. The recommender should corroborate the content and tone you have written about throughout the application, but use different examples to shed light on a wider range of experiences and strengths.
(c) Get your stories straight. The stories should focus on the recommender’s direct interactions with you, and not be commentary on your third party professional or extracurricular experiences. For each statement he/she makes, request an example, focusing on how you accomplished your task and why it is significant for the organization.
Remember to send each recommender a personalized thank you letter as soon as they have submitted the recommendation, and them posted on your admissions statuses as the decisions start rolling in!
A few weeks ago, I was helping my cousin who is in the 11th grade with her school project. After we were done discussing the project, she and I chatted about school in general, how her life has transitioned from high school to adulthood. She asked me endless questions about college, career choices, hobbies, entrepreneurship, long-term importance of extracurricular activities, etc. She was very eager to learn and I was more than impressed by her thirst for knowledge. During this conversation, she asked me one question that I liked the most and I had to think before answering this one. She said, “What am I not learning in my classroom?” and as I cleared her doubts, I was sure I wanted to turn this into a blog so that I can share my answer with everyone and help them understand what is it that they are missing out on by JUST following their curriculum.
Knowledge in subjects like Math, Science, Business or Technology is vital for any student, but these lessons alone will not help. You need to complement them with your Soft Skills. Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Soft skills characterize one’s relationship with other people. They enable you to work well within groups, solve problems, manage your time and take personal responsibility for your work.
Soft skills are increasingly becoming the hard skills for today’s youth. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door of opportunities, your people skills are what will open most of them. If you are a high school student, these skills will allow you to stay on the top of the class, will give you a confidence boost and enhance your personality, which means better chances of admission to a good college. If you are in college, these skills will enable you to build your profile significantly; they will polish your personality and set you apart from the candidates while applying for your dream job. If you are a working professional, you need these skills to be on top of your work, manage time efficiently, take decisions that will benefit your company, manage your team, maintain a pleasant work culture and stand out in whatever it is that you do.
So what are Soft Skills? Here are the five most important ones for me:
1. Leadership Skills: Leadership skills are the strengths and abilities in an individual that help them in overseeing processes, guiding initiatives and steering their team members towards achievement of goals. These skills will help you develop confidence, enhance your Communication Skills, build accountability, increase recognition, grow networks, boost your Problem Solving skills and will strengthen your resume. To develop them, few things you could do are: take initiatives, accept responsibilities, be passionate, motivate people, be patient and develop critical thinking.
2. Communication Skills: Communication is the act of transferring information from one place to another. This can be in numerous forms including vocally, written (e.g. using printed or digital media), visually (e.g. utilizing charts or graphs) or non-verbally (e.g. using body language or gestures). Effective communication skills are the ability to express yourself clearly and concisely, in a way that things are understood and done. To polish your Communication Skills, become an active listener, learn articulation, tailor your message according to the audience, work on your body language, learn new skills and do not be afraid of making mistakes; they only make you better.
3. Time Management: Time Management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time.Invest some moments in reading this guide and save yourself a lot of time in the Few tips that will help you productively schedule your day are: Prioritize important work, create time logs on a regular basis, avoid procrastinating, review your progress, focus on one thing at a time, take breaks to avoid stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
4. Public Speaking: Remember all those times when you had to stand in front of a bunch of people and speak? You prepare and gather material on what to say and express your thoughts in front of an audience – this is public speaking. To be more definitive, it is an act of presenting your thoughts before an audience in order to inform, influence or entertain them. To improve your Public Speaking skills: prepare your speech well in advance, put your best foot forward, tailor your speech according to the audience, practice, assess your performance, smile while speaking and keep your talk short and sweet.
5. Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups.Whether you are a part of a college club or applying for a job, your interpersonal skills matter. These skills ensure your overall growth and differentiate you from others. Here are a few ways that might help you develop these life skills: become an active listener, appreciate others, smile and use positive body language, inspire team spirit, communicate efficiently, resolve conflicts and learn to understand.
Some other Soft Skills that are absolutely vital for a holistic development include Numeracy Skills, Research Skills, and Negotiation Skills. Good soft skills will help you at each stage and age of your life, not only within the office or classroom walls but also beyond. Hope this blog helps you stand out from the crowd!
A limited pipeline of qualified female applicants leads to a limited pipeline of female graduates for the workforce, thereby creating lower female participation at the Board level in the future. Business schools are both cognizant and sensitive of this gender gap, and are seeking to create a strong foundation of highly qualified female applicants that can achieve Board-level success in the future.
Concurrently, there are an increasing number of female candidates applying to top business schools from India. In an interview with the Economic Times, ReachIvy CEO Vibha Kagzi said, “Interestingly, we get a lot of parents calling to enquire for their daughters and taking a very active interest in their post-graduate academic work. This is a new phenomenon but most welcome. We believe this is a cultural change in India”.
Gaargi Desai, Counselor and Chief Partnership Officer with ReachIvy, recently attended the Forte Forum in San Francisco. This forum is held yearly by the Forte Foundation, which is a nonprofit consortium of top global business schools that enables access to an MBA education, business opportunities and successful career paths for well-qualified women through information, networking and scholarships. Grishma Nanavaty, Lead Counselor with ReachIvy, has been interviewing a host of senior admissions officers from top business schools to glean more on the ideal applicant profile in ReachIvy’s Know Your Top College Series. Here are a few key insights, based on their interactions:
1. Be authentic. According to Jeff Carbone, Associate Director, Admissions at MIT – “Be yourself! We want to learn as much as we can about you throughout the application and interview process. Be authentic and tell us about your experience and interests.” Business schools are able to tell pretty quickly if your stories are contrived or coopted, so showcase consistency in your narrative, and be true to who you are.
2. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Since the schools are receiving an increasingly large number of applicants, and an especially large number of Indian candidates, they are looking for candidates with diverse profiles and portfolios. The best way to showcase how you are different is to build the right story arc, focusing on specificity in how you speak about a range of personal, professional and extracurricular activities.
3. Show your passion. According to University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ Katherine Alford and Kristen Egan, “Take time to reflect on who you are, the experiences you have had, where you want to go and why this degree and program are important to you. The more time you take to reflect on your story the easier (and hopefully more fun) it will be to authentically share this with us throughout different parts of the application.”
4. Do your research on the program’s offerings for alumni. “Many prospective students are quite focused on the resources available for current students at a program, but spend less time thinking about how they will leverage a university as an alum. If you think about it – you will be an alum for much longer than you are a student!” When you are taking specific steps like interactions with students, professors and alumni, also focus on the alumni-only content that would be available to you.
In addition to focusing on these tips on how to present the best version of yourself in your application, research the various ways business schools are now trying to identify and interact with qualified female candidates (like Harvard Business School’s PEEK program), and strategize how you can find your fit with their respective priorities.
ReachIvy Exclusive: Top College Series – An Interview with University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
Name: Katherine Alford & Kristen Egan
Designation: Senior Associate Director of Admissions & Associate Director of Admissions
School Name: University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
1. Being able to pick the right program is crucial given the number of options available in the market. At ReachIvy, we meet a lot of students who face this decision. Who should ideally be applying for the MBA program at University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business?
Most applicants applying to MBA programs fall into at least one of five areas: career switchers, career climbers, entrepreneurs, transitioning military and those looking to enhance their management skills and business acumen. These are all great reasons to apply to an MBA program, but among the top MBA programs, there are vast differences, and it is important for applicants to do their research and apply to the schools where they feel they will do their best work.
For example, schools use different methods of instruction. Darden is one of 2 MBA programs whose core curriculum is taught entirely using the case method. Ideal Darden applicants prefer this style of learning. Darden candidates are excited to leave their homes and their communities for 2 years to immerse themselves in our business school community located in Charlottesville, VA. Darden’s community is tight-knit, collaborative and supportive. Ideal Darden candidates are ready to invest in this community, lead in this community and learn from those around them. Darden students are friends during the week and friends on the weekend while exploring Charlottesville restaurants, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the music scene, and the local wineries and breweries.
2. Can you share with us what background / profile / traits you are looking for in your incoming class?
We are looking for students who come from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, industries and experiences. As a case method school, our students benefit from having classmates who bring many different perspectives, and the Darden classroom is a place where all perspectives are valued. One common theme across our incoming class is that all of our students are leaders who are ready to make an impact. For information on the Class of 2017, please refer to our class profile or read more about our diverse MBA community online.
3. Can you tell us about your most interesting classes and professors?
Ask 5 students to talk about their most interesting classes and professors and you will get 5 different answers. One may highlight writing, producing, and acting in a play as part of Ed Freeman’s theater class, another researching, writing, directing and producing their own Daily Show style satire clip in Bobby Parmar’s Collaboration lab, another hiking through a rocky canyon in Arizona as part of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) class led by Yael Grushka-Cockayne from our Quantitative Analysis faculty, still another studying the business of film at The Cannes Film Festival, and another walking through the streets of Barcelona with Jeanne Liedtka of Strategy, Ethics and Entrepreneurship as he or she thinks about how to use Gaudi’s architecture to think more innovatively about business solutions. Most of the first year is spent completing the Core Curriculum. During the last quarter of the first year and throughout the second year students can choose from more the 100 Elective Areas to customize their experience.
4. What are some of the facilities and faculty resources available to students who want to switch careers or pursue entrepreneurial interests while in the program?
More than 70% of our students come to Darden intending to switch careers or pursue an entrepreneurial interest. Another group of students come to Darden not planning to switch careers or pursue entrepreneurship, but may change their minds during the program. Darden offers a variety of resources for career switchers including career discovery programs and industry panels, professional career advisors, second year student career coaches, and the Batten Venture Internship program. For more information, please read more about our resources for career switchers.
For those wishing to pursue entrepreneurial interests, Darden awards over $1million in scholarships annually, offers more than 35 academic courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, has a large portfolio of co-curricular entrepreneurial activities, hosts four major entrepreneurial competitions, runs a Venture Capital bootcamp, and sponsors a number of related student clubs. Did we mention the iLab? Financial Times recently recognized Darden’s robust entrepreneurial support, ranking Darden the No.3 MBA program in the world for entrepreneurship.
5. There is a lot of curiosity among our students on what a classic day would be like in the MBA program at Darden. Could you describe it for us?
If you are looking for a quick glimpse into a day at Darden check out this 90 second video for the highlights. You’ll see that most days at Darden involve first coffee or tea, a case discussion and a lot of community interaction. During the first year, a typical day kicks off at 8am with the first class, followed by First Coffee, two more classes, the afternoon preparing cases or meeting with student clubs and organizations, and in the evening students regroup with their learning teams to prepare their cases for the next day.
During the Second Year it is much harder to define a “typical day” as student schedules will vary greatly depending on which elective courses they select, their leadership roles in any of the 54 Student Clubs and Organizations, their recruiting timeline and any global opportunities they may be participating in, which could include consulting projects, global business experiences, and exchange programs with other top global business schools. Reach out to one of our student ambassadors to ask them what a typical day looks like for them.
6. How does Darden assist current international students with career guidance and placement? For students looking to return to India – what type of support would they receive?
All students benefit from one-on-one career counseling from functionally aligned career advisors who provide career related support throughout the entire program. From career kick off meetings with every student the summer before the first year, to regular counseling support, mock interviews, programming on international careers and ongoing networking opportunities, the Career Development Center (CDC) takes a very personalized approach in helping students navigate the recruitment process. Additionally, First Year students are paired with a Second Year career coach, an experienced peer in the internship search process with similar career interests, to receive guidance and mentoring.
International students have the added benefit of working more closely with Senior Associate Director of International Programs and Opportunities, Denise Karaoli, who provides more customized support in navigating post-MBA careers around the world. Read more about career resources for international students or check our Admissions Talk Show where Admissions Dean Sara Neher interviews Denise on her role and how the CDC supports international students.
7. Is there any type of financial aid available to international students applying for this program? If so, can you tell us more about who the ideal candidate would be?
Students who are offered admission to Darden are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. In addition to scholarships, Darden has a Loan Program agreement with Discover Bank for incoming qualified international and domestic student loans. Darden is committed to helping students meet the financial requirements necessary to obtain an MBA and Darden’s Financial Aid team works closely with incoming international students to help them navigate the financial aid process.
8. If you had one piece of advice to give to students interested in applying to this program, what would it be?
Be authentic. Take time to reflect on who you are, the experiences you have had, where you want to go and why this degree and program are important to you. The more time you take to reflect on your story the easier (and hopefully more fun) it will be to authentically share this with us throughout different parts of the application. We love our jobs because no one application is like any other. From the food you love to the books you read and the impact you want to make in the world, we’re excited to learn about YOU.
To keep in touch with us throughout the application process subscribe to our Admissions blog Discover Darden, follow our Admissions Dean on Twitter, or watch her video blog. Contact us at email@example.com if we can provide additional resources or support as you learn more about Darden!
Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Framing and Writing Your Business School Essays
Your business school essays are one of the most critical components of your application. It influences whether or not you make it to the interview round, and is one of the driving factors for admission to a top university.
Here is a list of common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs:
1. Not answering the question. It sounds counter intuitive, almost, but this is one of the most common mistakes students make. Your essay is doomed for failure once you start responding to hypothetical questions, that is, writing what you think the admissions committee wants to hear, instead of articulating a response to the question that has been asked clearly and directly.
2. Using the wrong tone. If you are negative, brazen, whiny or egotistical in the tone with which you write your essays, they will most likely not work in your favor. Most schools are looking for curious, conscientious and collaborative candidates, who are able to demonstrate leadership potential and articulate a specific way in which they will drive large-scale impact.
3. Thinking the word count is a moving goal post. It is not. Admissions committees have had significant experience and institutional memory to draw on when developing essay questions. So when they set the rules, please follow them and tow the line with the word count.
4. Making an essay about somebody else. The stories need to be focused on you, so copying someone else’s story and talking about how it changed your life is not just ineffective, but is also not likely to be taken well. Business schools are interested in how you engage and interact with the world, which means articulating your role in your personal and professional encounters, and where, how and why you have influenced or been impacted by others.
5. Not picking the right stories. If the question is asking you for a leadership experience, for instance, focus on a recent personal or professional story. Stay away from talking about how you won Model UN in high school. Even though this may have been a highlight on your timeline, it makes the reader think your growth has stymied since this experience, since this is the one you are choosing to highlight. Make sure you are thinking carefully and strategically about the appropriate stories for your essays.
6. Not getting a thorough, ‘fresh eyes’ edit. It’s easy to develop horse blinders when you would likely be scrutinizing your essay as much as you have. This can lead to compromises in structure, language and the essay’s overall impact. Get a family member, mentor or professional to take a look and give you critical, constructive feedback.
7. Not researching your school and program enough. Many schools want you to talk about your fit with the school in the essays. You want to be as specific as possible here, referencing the homework you have done to learn more about the school, as well as the offerings that the school has that are consistent with your strengths and interests.
8. Not reworking the essay when applying to multiple schools. Two schools may ask you to describe an experience you are most proud of, but often enough, the next part of the question is likely to be different. One may ask you about your impact, where as another may ask you about how the experience helped you grow. Make sure you are editing your essays to tackle the nuances so that you are answering the question.
9. Not articulating focused goals. Your goals should be consistent with your background, and should not encompass an industry that you have not had any interaction or experience with. You need to introspect about your desired career path based on your aptitude, and ensure that you articulate this. Admissions committees are consistently considering your ability to get a job after business school, so a lack of focus here is a mighty faux pas.
10.Using quotes incorrectly. Please do not quote clichés or popular luminaries like Gandhi or John F. Kennedy. Use quotes from definitive real life interactions that you have had. It could be a watershed or even an everyday moment where you are quoting to contextualize and stylize the fabric of your story.
ReachIvy Exclusive: Top College Series – An Interview with Director, Master of Finance at MIT Sloan
Name: Heidi V. Pickett
Designation: Director, Master of Finance Program
School Name: MIT Sloan School of Management
1. Can you please provide an overview of the MFin Program at MIT Sloan?
Created in direct response to the 2008 financial crisis, the MFin Program provides a comprehensive study of finance and its application to addressing financial and economic challenges facing our world today. This STEM designated program offered in both a 12 and 18 month format has a rigorous and flexible curriculum led by world-renowned faculty where you can explore complex issues impacting finance and engage with globally recognized industry leaders on important finance problems.
Students who wish to further specialize there area of focus can choose a concentration in Financial Engineering, Capital Markets or Corporate Finance.
** The STEM Classification is new and announced on June 2, 2016.
2. Being able to pick the right program is crucial given the number of options available in the market. At ReachIvy, we meet a lot of students who face this decision. Who should ideally be applying for this program?
MFin targets early-career professionals (0-4 years experience) who are interested in finance and have some prior exposure industry either through an internship(s), f/t experience, or research.
3. What advice would you give students who are debating between the MBA and the MFin programs?
MFin is for early-career professionals who are interested in a deep-dive into finance. The traditional MFin student has less experience than an MBA and will take nearly double the amount of finance classes in their respective programs. MFin students tend to be more quantitative which aligns well with the direction of the finance industry.
4. Can you share with us what background / profile / traits you are looking for in your incoming class?
We look for candidates with academic success including a solid foundation in math, excellent language and communication skills, professional presence, and global diversity.
5. Can you tell us about your most interesting classes and professors?
Modern finance was born at MIT Sloan by the pioneers who continue to teach in our program including Robert Merton, John Cox, and Andrew Lo, among other renowned faculty. Our curriculum includes a solid foundation in finance theory, financial markets, corporate finance and analytics of finance. Our extensive list of electives is ever evolving to meet student interest and industry needs, i.e. Entrepreneurial Finance & Venture Capital, FinTech, Behavioral Finance, and Financial Engineering. Action learning is a key component of the MFin experience and an opportunity for students to put theory into practice by partnering with industry leaders to solve real word problems.
6. What are some of the facilities and faculty resources available to students who want to pursue research or entrepreneurial interests while in the program?
MFin students may pursue research by undertaking an independent study, completing a thesis, or participating in research projects in our Center of Finance & Policy.
MIT is known for innovation and entrepreneurship, MFin students have access to courses, labs, makerspaces, competitions, etc… to learn about entrepreneurship and pursue ideas.
7. There is a lot of curiosity among our students on what a classic day would be like in the MFin Program at MIT Sloan. Could you describe it for us?
MIT is a dynamic campus with unlimited opportunities – no one day is “typical”. That said, the classic day for an MFin is to attend class, participate in a group or club meeting over lunch, attend a company presentation or cultural event in the evening and end the day with studies/coursework.
8. How does MIT Sloan assist current international students with career guidance and placement? For students looking to return to India – what type of support would they receive?
All MFin students are eligible for Career Core (comprehensive programming in preparation of a job search), on-campus recruiting, job fairs, networking opportunities, an extensive list of job postings, and personalized career advising – all of this and more is offered by our MIT Sloan Career Development Office. MFin students seek opportunities all over the world and have access to career advisors, employer partners, and the MIT Alumni Network to help them be successful in their search.
9. Is there any type of financial aid available to international students applying for this program? If so, can you tell us more about who the ideal candidate would be?
We have a limited number of merit-based fellowships that are offered to applications admitted to our MFin program. Fellowships are awarded on the basis on academic success, personal achievements, and professional promise. Both international and domestic admits are considered for these fellowships.
10. If you had one piece of advice to give to students interested in applying to this program, what would it be?
Have a passion for Finance!
Ms. Heidi V. Pickett is the Director of the MIT Sloan Master of Finance program with responsibility for developing and implementing new programing, engaging external stakeholders, and executing strategies supporting the mission of producing the next generation of global financial leaders. With over 20 years in financial services, Ms. Pickett has expertise in corporate development, business strategy, and global operations. Prior to joining MIT Sloan, she served as Senior Managing Director at State Street Global Markets, where she managed global business integration and led the sovereign wealth fund initiative.
Are you interested in applying for an MBA this fall? Are you going back and forth on whether you need professional help to get to your dream program?
There are many factors to consider when making this decision, and also a set of expectations that you need to manage in terms of what you will and will not get from working with an admissions consultancy. Here are a few ways counselors can best help you:
1. Find the right fit. There are many different types of MBA programs (full time, part time, online, executive), as well as many different characteristics and specializations that distinctly define these programs. Given the smorgasbord of choices that lie ahead, and the amount of time and money you will be spending on not just the application process, but in the program itself, this is probably the most critical point at which you require guidance. A high-quality admissions consultant will be able to guide your program selection process, and help you find your specific fit with a particular program, so that if admitted, you end up thriving and getting the most out of it.
2. Build your story arc. The number one requirement across the board is authenticity in your application. For instance, Jeff Carbone, Associate Director of Admissions at MIT Sloan said in an interview with ReachIvy , “We want to learn as much as we can about you throughout the application and interview process. Be authentic and tell us about your experience and interests.” A strong admissions consultant will be able to guide your introspection, and brainstorm with you to find common themes and the most impactful stories to articulate in your application. This is particularly important for candidates with a nontraditional background. That is, you are not from a mainstream banking or consulting background, or you have held multiple jobs across industries and functions.
3. Address specific areas of your application. Were you dinged from your dream schools when you applied the previous year? Are you interested in getting an extra set of eyes on your resume? Are you looking for help with cracking your interview? Are you looking to build a compelling case to receive financial aid? A knowledgeable and insightful admissions consultant would be able to get granular on the specific elements of your application where you need help the most. For instance, if you were dinged the previous year, they would help you assess where you specifically went wrong, so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Another example is cracking the interview – you need to be able to corroborate the story your written application and recommendations tell when you walk into your interview. You need to be able to do so with humility, and confidence at the same time. An experienced admissions consultant will help you find this balance
It is important to note that an admissions consultant will not be able to:
* Write your applications and/or recommendations for you. This not only goes against the ethical grain of the admissions process, but it would also misrepresent who you are and your application would not be authentic. Most importantly, admissions committees have read thousands of applications over the years, and they most likely know when you are faking it. It is important to stay true to yourself in the application, whether or not you decide to use a consultant. * Able to guarantee admission. A creditable admissions consultant will never guarantee admission to a school. This is important to understand and internalize. They can share their track records of successful admits with you, but guaranteeing admission would be a phony offering on their end, and an unrealistic expectation on yours.
Given the cost and opportunity cost of investing in an MBA, the incremental cost of hiring an admissions consultant is often worth it to make sure that you: (a) apply to the right programs, (b) are able to articulate the most impactful version of yourself, and (c) are able to identify and address specific, weaker elements of your application.