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Current Student Blogs

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BSchool Forum Moderator
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Status: Current Tuckie!
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
Posts: 541
Location: United Kingdom
Schools: Tuck '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V36
GMAT 2: 740 Q48 V44
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New post 24 Sep 2014, 02:00
FROM Domotron's Blog: Part 4 Recommendations – Elements of an MBA application series
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Apologies for my hiatus, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind over the past month or so. I will try and put a post up at some point everything I have been up to. Before then, it’s time to head back to my Elements of an MBA application series. Pretty good timing too as schools have recently started releasing their deadlines and essay prompts for this fall. This post is all about how to plead for a recommendation!

Getting recommendations can be a really simple process or incredibly awkward depending on your work situation and industry. For applicants from consulting and banking, you will have an easier time because your industries are big feeders into MBA programs. Chances are your recommenders will have written MBA recommendations before and may even have an MBA themselves. Throw in the fact that MBAs is almost part of the career progression in those industries, your recommenders should not be surprised or fazed by the process.

For those less fortunate, you will be coming from a non-feeder industry or maybe even a pretty non-tradition background. This post is more for this type of applicant because you will have to guide your recommender through the whole process. From my experience, the recommendation process can be broken down into the following components:

  • Breaking the news – Chances are you are a driven high achiever at work so it may be a shock to your recommenders that you are plotting your escape. You will want to sit them down individually on a 1-on-1 basis to talk through your rationale for an MBA. Making them understand your decision will help when they write their recommendations.
  • Putting together a guide for your recommenders – You, as applicants, will want to take your time over this stage. The recommenders guide is the key document that will help your recommenders through the process. In it, you will want to detail what you think are your most impactful experiences and contributions that you want your recommenders to think about. Do keep these points brief as you don’t want your recommenders just to copy and paste your words. Do tell them up front how incredibly difficult it is to get into business school. In all honesty, you probably don’t want a recommendation that says your performance is fair to middling. You really need it to say you have amazing potential and are a standout performer. For British applicants, this is especially pertinent. Understatements and deprecating comments will not help you.
  • Setting deadlines – It’s a tough ask for recommenders to do all this extra work on top of their day jobs. Therefore inevitably they may struggle to meet deadlines you set for them. My tip is to tell them the deadline is at least 2 weeks prior to the actual deadline for submitting your application. Therefore you have a good buffer in case they come across an unexpectedly heavy workload and don’t complete your recommendations in time.
Hopefully, by following these 3 steps your recommendation process will be straightforward. For me, it was tough initially as my recommenders struggled to get to grips with the whole process but they definitely improved as the process went on While you can’t tell them what to write, make sure they understand that you are still a resource to help them through the recommendation process.

FAQ and debunking some myths

  • How many recommenders should I use?

    Really, it depends. I only used 2 because they were by far the best people to talk about my strengths and weaknesses. If I used more, then I think my recommendations would have suffered. However, the process was pretty tedious for them because they had to write 5 individual recommendations each. If you plan on applying to 4+ schools, it may be an idea to recruit more than 2 recommenders to spread out the load.
  • My recommenders asked me if I could just write it for them, what do I do?

    Whatever you do, DO NOT write your own recommendations. Some people try and the admissions teams have reviewed a lot of recommendations and they can spot a fraudulent one a mile away. If this recommender is not willing to invest their time into helping you, they are probably not the best advocate for you anyhow.
  • Can my recommenders write one generic recommendation and submit it to schools?

    Absolutely not. Think about it, why would a school go out of their way to admit someone who cannot follow the simplest instructions like every other applicant. Again, if your recommender suggests this they may not be the best advocate for you.
  • How much guidance should I give to my recommenders?

    This a very tricky question. Personally, I think it’s fine to give them a lot of raw materials to work with by giving them bullet points about great achievements and experiences in your recommenders guide. What you shouldn’t be doing is telling them which to use or discourage them from using their example. Remember, your recommenders probably know you far better than you think and may have a really insightful anecdote that you have forgotten.
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BSchool Forum Moderator
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Status: Current Tuckie!
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
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Schools: Tuck '16 (M)
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New post 24 Sep 2014, 02:00
FROM Domotron's Blog: Embracing the downtime
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Honestly, it’s been a long time since I felt so relaxed. I am definitely making the most of funemployment before school starts. I finished my job at the end of June but have been winding down for a while now. In my line of work, I didn’t really have any projects or work for the entirety of June which worked perfectly as I spent time getting up to speed with my visa, vaccinations requirements, finances, and pre-matriculation math work.

So for those applying this year, my top tip is don’t hang around and work until the last possible moment. Take some time out for yourself. It’s one of the last opportunities you will get an extended period of time off from work or school. Also you may need that time to work on your pre-matriculation requirements. It is definitely not worth that extra pay check or two. You will probably never have a chance at such an extended break again!Since the end of June, I have mainly been spending my time on the following:

  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Meeting up with other Tuckies and other Tuck related events like an admit dinner
  • The occasional recruiting event. Yup some companies already start hosting drinks receptions for admitted students!
  • Reading novels, watching films/TV shows, just the kind of stuff I probably will be too busy to do
  • Work out
  • Buying things that I will need to take with me
With only two and half weeks to go, it is really starting to feel very real now!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 25 Sep 2014, 07:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Christian Rudder
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Topic: How New Media Permits Data Mining and Allows Us to Predict Behaviours and Patterns with Previously Unimaginable Accuracy

Date:

September 25, 2014

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 25 Sep 2014, 07:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Class diversity is more than just a B-school buzzword
As a first year student, what I really believed to be awesome is its amazing class diversity, and when we say diversity, it’s not just about nationality, ethnicity, gender, and so on. It means more than that.

Check out Mr. Moses’ admission blog post on what it really means.

http://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/admissions/

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 28 Sep 2014, 10:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Advice to First Year MBAs: Focus On Leadership Development
As all first year MBAs probably know by now, there are a lot of ways to develop as a leader in the first year. There's the first year teams (C-LEAD teams at Duke Fuqua), first year club leadership positions, admissions coordinators, and the list goes on. However, leadership development can be de-prioritized given how overwhelming the first year is.

I'll be the first to admit that when I was a first year MBA, I didn't spend much time on leadership development. It just felt so distant. I had immediate fires to put out - cases to read, exams to study for, group projects to do, recruiting, etc. I'm sure many of you may already feel the same way.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 02 Oct 2014, 18:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Last final exam
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It felt like just a few days ago when I was attending the orientation week at Rotman, and before realizing, I am already having my very last final exam of the first term: Foundation Term.

The foundation term is basically, well, foundation. It’s one month intensive study month that teaches you in the areas of data-driven decision making processes, ethics as a business person, and economics at a managerial level, to help students prepare for the upcoming serious courses. For that reason, course credit weights are indeed half those of Term 1 courses that start this October.

My thoughts so far on the courses:

-review materials and prepare for next ones as much as possible. It does get difficult with group projects and meetings, but I think at least keep studying and refreshing them little by little every day is better than cramming before the exam.

Hopefully, I can do well on the exam tomorrow and share some more thoughts soon.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 04 Oct 2014, 12:01
FROM Reaching the Thirties: Second Year Recruiting at Fuqua
Yep! I’m re-recruiting, as they call it in the MBA. I have a fantastic professor in Negotiations, one of the classes I’m taking this term, and she told us something that should be obvious to all of us. If you don’t negotiate any deal or don’t look for comparisons, how would you ever know whether you … Continue reading →Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 06 Oct 2014, 08:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): MBA Case Competition Learnings
One popular event with MBA students are case competitions. It's a great way to practice analytic and presentation skills, which are key for consulting roles. In addition, teams are under tremendous time pressure because of the short time frame of the competitions. It's a great way to practice leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. In March 2014, I formed a team and participated in the Wake Forest Biotech Case Competition.

My Advice to First Year MBAs Series will continue after this post. A reader and classmate had asked about case competitions so thought I'd post this now.
Continue reading »
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 06 Oct 2014, 20:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Chicken
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healthy. yum

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 06 Oct 2014, 20:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Rotman Open House 2014
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Exciting Saturday where you get to visit Rotman in person and see what being a Rotman student feels like. Sign up now!

www.rotman.utoronto.ca/openhouse

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Joined: 13 Apr 2013
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Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: Cambridge'16 (S)
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New post 07 Oct 2014, 02:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Back on the MBA wagon
Know how I said, i’il do a part-time MBA? Well, I’m thinking of climbing back on the full-time MBA wagon. This time with a European focus.

I’ve climbed on to the wagon far enough sign up for the forte event in London this evening.

Only one downside, I might need to take either the GRE or the GMAT again. I thought the GRE might be easier as they are more dyslexic friendly. Justing reading what the GRE entails got me very anxious, specially when I saw the maths. So might need to reconsider that plan.

I might need to consider living with my GMAT score and focusing on schools which run their own tests or have an open mind regarding GMAT scores.

Anyone got any thoughts on the GRE v GMAT question?

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 07 Oct 2014, 06:01
1
FROM Timbob: First month at HBS
What. A. Ride. I’m only able to write this because I accidentally turned up half an hour early to something. My head is just spinning…

At HBS you’re an active participant. In everything. From class, to extra-curricular involvement, so with 100% Type-A personalities organizing a social gathering, the pace is relentless. It’s not like my undergraduate studies, and I already treasure the rare hour or two to myself I can allow myself every couple of days.

The first few weeks (edit: month and a half! Really?!) are everything I expected, and more. There’s been so much I could mention right now, and simply haven’t got room. I’ve been trying to decide how I can keep this updated in a sensible way as the initial rush begins to calm a little, considering my new workload. So I’m going to give a brief update and try and regularly cover a topic I think might be interesting to those outside the ‘bubble’.

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HBS Baker Library from across the Charles River

Section Life

HBS is divided into sections, with roughly 10% of the class in each (currently 94 in mine). I’ve been allocated to the best section, obvs! The section becomes your academic and social center. All classes are taken together – a significant piece in itself due to the case discussion methodin use at HBS.

While the professors are truly excellent teachers, you’re meant to learn from each other as much as the professor themselves. It’s an engaging experience, and certainly no falling asleep in the back row (however much you may want to)…

We’ve recently discovered that there is no ‘science’ to putting sections together, no late night evenings with lots of coffee looking at the backgrounds of the 900+ students as we’d assumed up until now. They split the class into 10 equal parts, and the only consideration is to check for a roughly even mix of international students to US nationals. The amazing diversity of the class admitted each year does the rest for them, and so far it’s incredibly successful. The diverse background of my classmates is staggerring and much more different than I’d expected based on the traditional background of your typical MBA.

If you’re looking at HBS as a possible school, I strongly urge you to see a class if at all possible (ideally two differing subjects) and if not, at least watch the video above. The level of preparation is extensive, allowing the class to take a more ‘free-form’ discussion rather than a tightly scripted one.

As well as inside the classroom, your section becomes your social unit too, actively encouraged by the school – a close bond outside the classroom fosters openness and sharing within it. It doesn’t always happen and work out (there are always whispers and rumors of the ‘broken’ section), but usually it does.

It begins from the first day and we now have an elected president, treasurer, social chairs, athletic rep, international rep. Intra-mural sporting events within the class are competed between sections, party attendance is a competition between each section for the highest… competition seems to be a theme at HBS.

Looking ahead

So far, we’ve been what feels like an incredibly busy time. Apparently it is not. Extra-curricular activities are just kicking off, the recruiting season is now about to begin (we have been protected so far at HBS, unlike some other schools, but this is about to end already) and exhaustion levels look likely to escalate.

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

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New post 08 Oct 2014, 07:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: @CDW
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Welcom to Career Decision Week 2014.

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New post 08 Oct 2014, 16:00
1
FROM The Oxford Comma: Summer Term: Weeks Seven to Ten
Job Hunting:

Got my first interview of the year and it was such a relief to finally kickoff the job hunt. I’m interested in Product Manager roles and was interviewed by a small company in Cambridge. I cleared the technical phone interview and was invited for an onsite interview. The trip to Cambridge takes close to four hours by bus and I was exhausted when I got there. The interviewers was conducted in a very friendly manner and I felt that it would be a good place to work. Unfortunately I was unable to clear the on-site interview. The behavioural portion of the interview was fine, but there were some technical aspects of the interview that I was a bit rusty on. Furthermore, I was also quite rusty on the case frameworks and has not prepared adequately for this part of the interview and hence was not strong in this area. I will reiterate the advice that I have given in the past – Prepare for case interviews even if you have zero interest in consulting! If I had followed the case framework for the business case that they gave me, my answer would definitely have been stronger. Nevertheless, it was a good learning experience and the feedback that they gave me was very helpful and I now know on which areas I need to improve. Apart from this one interview, the SCP was so demanding that I was not able to devote much time to look for jobs. I will have to restart once I graduate.

Strategic Consulting Project:

Speaking of the SCP, this ended on a rather disappointing note. After telling us that we were doing well and that we were on the right track, Gartner said that the final report was not upto their expectations. This was after giving us a challenging and cryptic project mandate and then failing to help us at the final stage when we were stuck because most retail executives that we needed to interview were on holiday. They then refused to pay the meagre amount of 1000 pounds for six weeks for work because they were not ‘mesmerized’ by our final report. It’s puzzling why they chose to act in this way, but unfortunately there is little that my team can do apart from warning any MBA’s from working with them. Fortunately our SCP grade will not be affected as the evaluation is on the presentation to the school along with a 15,000 word report and is independent of the company’s opinion. Overall, I still think that the SCP represents the best learning opportunity for MBA’s. Obviously if you are offered an internship at a company that could turn into a job, you should take it. But if you are deciding between the electives and the SCP, if you have a good team you should do the SCP. If there are elective that you really want to attend, you can do as I did and pick an SCP that is based in Oxford and audit the electives. I learned a lot about myself during the SCP. In particular they were areas that I now know that I need to improve on as a teammate and leader and hence I do not regret doing the SCP, although I really wish we had picked Quandoo (another SCP option) rather than Gartner.

Capstone:

Capstone is a weeklong affair that is one big party and it’s really just a chance to say goodbye to all the friends that you made over the last one year. Capstone week culminates in a (fake) graduation ceremony that is typically held at the Sheldonian Theater. The official graduation ceremony is usually held in April-May of 2015 and it’s done by your college and not by the business school. Furthermore, most SBS grads will return to their home countries once they finish the course and hence the business school arranges a separate ceremony in the middle of September in order to enable everyone to attend and ‘graduate’ together. The commencement was held in the afternoon and in the evening we were invited to a black tie dinner at the University club. It was a fitting end to an amazing year and though everyone is sad that it has come to an end, there was a lot of excitement/anticipation at the thought of what the future holds for all of us.

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

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New post 08 Oct 2014, 16:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Business Information Centre
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This is Business Information Centre and is my favorite place in Rotman where I get to see the entire Toronoto. Great place to get some air. Just because you’re special, I am sharing this with you :)

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 08 Oct 2014, 20:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Dataclysm
Author: Christian Rudder, Founder of OkCupid

Reading Start: Oct. 8, 2014

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So I borrowed my first book at Business Information Centre today, and I chose Dataclysm by Christina Rudder, who visited the Rotman a few days ago as a guest speaker.

As I wanted to know more about data in practical applications, I was interested.

Regarding that graph above:

black: male responses of their female date appearance from rating 1 to 5

red: female responses (haha)

This is what the data says. But, what does it mean? does it mean females are harshier graders? find the answer at ‘Dataclysm.’

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 08 Oct 2014, 20:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Finance calculator
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I never learned finance before, but I am ready to roll. Let’s do this.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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New post 11 Oct 2014, 13:51
FROM gamalhot: Art of gathering information from admission officers/current students
Art of gathering information from admission officers/current students

Onset of August unofficially kicks off the preparation for applications to B Schools. Applicants start reaching out to admission officers/current students and gathering intelligence about admission process, courses offered, career opportunities, clubs, culture etc. This is a fantastic way to not only evaluate your goal alignment and fit with the school – a place where you will be investing 2 years of your life and considerable amount of financial resources, but also to start building your network and impress the school with your skills, personality and passion.

Every school has its own unique culture and they are always on lookout for applicants who display/possess some key qualities/characteristics that complement their culture. Good insights about a school will help you in unraveling what those key characteristics are and in writing high quality admission essays. During interviews you will be a lot more confident, able to easily distinguish yourself with the plethora of information and immediately strike a chord with your interviewer. Once you do that, then nothing stands between you and your admission offer.

But reaching out for information is a process that requires skill, a systematic approach and above all patience. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that applicants should keep in mind as they reach out to current students/admission officers. You will be able to extract quality information in least amount of time, build your network and leave a good impression.

DO’s

  • Do your own homework on basic information:-
This seems very basic. However, many students skip going through the school website and rely on current students for information such as class size, class profile, placement stats, clubs and specialization offered etc. Websites contain a wealth of information and are regularly updated with latest information that even current students may be unaware of. Not doing your basic research reflects poorly on the applicant.

 

[*]Do give a short 2 line background about yourself.[/list]
Always give a short 2 line description about yourself when reaching out to someone for the first time. It will help the other person build a mental impression about you. Include your prior industry experience, future career interest and nationality if you are an international student. Leave out all personal details.



[*]Do give reference of people[/list]
If you are contacting someone in school because some third person recommended him/her, then give your recommender’s reference when you introduce yourself. Your chances of getting a response then increase exponentially. More so because may be the admission staff/student greatly values his/her relationship with your recommender. Also make sure to keep your recommender updated about your meetings. It shows that you respect and take his guidance seriously and can seek out his help next time.

 

[*]Do try to get an appointment as a first step rather than information.[/list]
This is something I have learnt from my experience in retail & service industry. When you are making a sale or need something from someone, first try to build a relationship. Once you do it, your next steps are a cakewalk. So focus on building a relationship rather than simply asking for information during your first interaction with current students/admission office. People love to talk about themselves and their work. So a good starting point is by asking students about their work and achievements. Each interaction will tell you something new about that student and give you a starting point for your next conversation. Keep on strengthening that bond and you will see the student/admission officer gradually turning into your strong advocate.



[*]Do give students time to respond.[/list]
July, August, September and October are super busy months. Students are busy wrapping up internships or preparing for full time job placements. So expect a delay in getting a response. Patience is the key here.

 

[*]Be courteous.[/list]
While writing emails, be courteous. Recognize the fact that the other person is helping you out for no apparent benefit. Sometimes people unknowingly give a perception of things that is different from reality. Make sure that even with your best feelings in heart you are not giving a wrong perception. If that is the case, be clear that you will not get a response and your probability of getting an admission reject also sky rockets.



[*]Do proof read[/list]
Always ask someone else to proof read your emails before sending them out. Grammatical errors can sometimes leave a bad impression and project you as someone who is sloppy or does not give attention to details.

 

[*]DO send a thank you note after your interaction[/list]
Always send a well-crafted thank you note whenever you speak/Skype/call an admission officer or current student, preferably within 24 hours. Acknowledge their efforts. It leaves a positive impression. Though sending a thank-you note is not going to increase your chances of admission but not sending might dent, though in rare cases. But why take chances.

 

DONT’s

 

  • Don’t come up with a laundry list of questions.
I sometimes get emails from applicants asking me anywhere from 10 to 15 questions. Never do that! It is a big turn off and your email will most probably end up in trash folder. No one has time to read so many questions, leave aside answering them. In emails, limit yourself to maximum 3 most pressing questions. Later on as you strengthen your bond, you can reach out and ask more questions.



[*]Don’t ask open ended or vague questions.[/list]
Applicants regularly ask questions like – “How can your school help me break into consulting”? Such questions are very broad and open to diverse interpretations. The answers can be long and people will tend to skip/avoid answering them. Try to be as specific as possible in your questions, like mention which industry/function you want to break into as a consultant. It will help people give you relevant and quality information.

 

[*]Don’t ask for profile evaluation please.[/list]
Please! Please! Please! Never ask any admission officer or student to evaluate your profile. First of all, it is a fruitless exercise. If there was any one who could predict your future with certainty, he would have been a billionaire by now. Being a MBA student or working as an admissions coordinator would then be the last thing in his mind. Secondly, no one knows what you are capable of achieving in your life except YOU and you don’t want anyone else to define the boundaries or set limits to your aims/aspirations.

 

[*]Don’t lose heart if you don’t get any response.[/list]
Reaching out to schools/students for information is a tedious process and if you don’t get success initially, it can be disappointing/demoralizing. I would only suggest – don’t lose heart and keep on trying. It is all about perseverance, patience and the right approach. See it as a preparation to what awaits you ahead in B school life. I can say with full conviction that in today’s world, figuring out the correct people, reaching out to them and asking them the right questions in the right manner are some of the fundamental skills required to be successful and neither many people have those skills nor do they get a chance to develop them. So make full use of this opportunity.

(Disclaimer: The writer is currently a student at Kelley School of Business and is a volunteer at Hoosier Host – a students outreach program at Kelley for prospective students. However  the views expressed over here are writer’s personal views and have no relation to Kelley School of Business)

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New post 11 Oct 2014, 13:51
FROM gamalhot: MBA admissions essay writing tips
It has been more than 2 months since I wrote a blog. Returning from my internship, excitement of meeting new friends coupled with the weight of new subjects and to a large extent kind of my laziness, kept me occupied. However, thanks to one of my friends I got the motivation to squeeze some time from my daily sleeping quota and return to blogging.

In my last article I covered the best practice of conducting informational interviews for short listing B Schools. Hopefully that was helpful. Next comes writing admission essays. Essays are undoubtedly most important, toughest and time consuming. Here are couple of my thoughts on how to write essays that make you standout:-

  • Deeply reflect on your past and jot down everything at one place.
Strain all your brain cells, go back in your past and jot down all your achievements – academic, sports, extracurricular, any social activity or movement you were part of, no matter how small your participation was. At this point don’t think much about how it is going to help in your application.Take about a week for this activity. Keep thinking non-stop about this, even when you are doing your mundane daily activities. The moment you think of something, immediately write it down lest you forget it later. Once you have everything written down, you will be surprised to see how much you have achieved in your life till then. Give yourself a pat on your back.

 

[*]Now jot down what you want to do in life or are really passionate about.[/list]
Well, this in a way answers your short term and long term goal questions. For people who have a clear cut idea of what they want to do in life or are really passionate about need no guidance.- they deserve a big Wow and Congratulations! Put your hands behind your head and relax on a rocking chair, there is nothing much to tell you awesome people except have fun for next 3-4 days. For the rest I have all the sympathy, since I was also in the same boat when I was applying for my admissions. I used to think that it is really unfair for B Schools to expect or force 25-26 year old students to have their life goals all planned and sorted out by now. Thankfully, I was wrong. B Schools don’t expect you to have everything planned out well in advance, but at least have a general sense of what your passions are, what your tentative goals in life are or give them a general sense of direction you want to take post MBA. That should be doable. For those who are still struggling,my suggestion would be to figure out what your strengths are – analytical skills, people management, data analytics, client management etc.,etc. Then look at what different industries and job roles your strength compliments the most and choose that career path. This approach may not be the best, but again life is not always fair and under given circumstances this looks to be your best approach. You will have all the time while doing MBA to have a relook at your career ambitions and modify these accordingly.

 

[*]Why an MBA and why XYZ school?[/list]
 Explain why or how an MBA can act as a bridge between #1 and #2. Connect the dots and try to show a coherent theme with your past activities and future goals and how MBA would fit into this whole set of things. People do MBA when they really want something or are running away from something. It can be a career change, career advancement, building networks or just taking a break from corporate world. Do detailed research on the school and mention how you intend to leverage school resources or what attracts you the most in the school. Pour out your heart on why you are so passionate about that school.

[*]Write as if you are narrating a story to a 5 year old kid.[/list]
 No. Seriously, write your essays as if you are narrating a story to a 5 year old. Illustrate your skills/strengths with small stories. Stories leave a big impact, even on adults and especially on Admission officers (AO). Stories stick. An AO may not remember 100 names, but will definitely remember 500 stories. When a school receives 5k essays, all filled with catchy synonyms highlighting applicant’s strengths, it only helps them in segregating the good applicants from the rest. Conveying your strengths in a story format is what differentiates a powerful application from a good application.

 Ensure simple and plain English. When an admission officer is racing against time to read 100 applications in a day, some of them super boring, the last thing they want is to put any strain on their mind by reading essays written in flowery Shakespearean English.

[*]Project your whole personality, be creative and add a bit of humor[/list]
 Don’t restrict yourself by mentioning only academic achievements. Highlight achievements in other fields like sports, dance or social causes that you were part of or any initiative you took no matter how small it was. The key is to share the learning or takeaways. Also try to add a bit of humor in your essays if you can, but don’t go overboard with it.

[*]Proof read your essays and get different opinions.[/list]
 Lastly, once you are done with your essays, make sure you proof read it multiple times. There are many a software that you can use to help you catch any grammatical errors. I would also recommend that you share your essays with your close friends or mentor and ask for feedback. See if they can relate to your essays/vision or story that you want to highlight.

 Please let me know if you found this article interesting. If you have any success stories or amazing experiences during your application process, please share them in comment box below. Thanks!!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013
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New post 12 Oct 2014, 20:01
FROM uwengdori - Current Student: Walk around Rotman
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Re: Current Student Blogs &nbs [#permalink] 12 Oct 2014, 20:01

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