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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 95

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Duke '15 (M)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2016, 18:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Love the Industry you're in and Be an Expert
There is without a doubt a stereotype for recent MBA grads – folks who are ambitious, smart, hard-working, but oftentimes lack experience or domain knowledge. Looking around and at myself, I think this is somewhat true, but there are steps to take to quickly be treated as a peer among veterans in the industry of your post-MBA career.

Here’s what you gotta do.

This is the 5th and final post in my series, Career Development 101, tailored specifically for professionals with MBAs, doing their MBA, or thinking of doing an MBA.
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

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 95

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Duke '15 (M)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2016, 19:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Career Development 101: Love the Industry you're in and Be an Expert
There is without a doubt a stereotype for recent MBA grads – folks who are ambitious, smart, hard-working, but oftentimes lack experience or domain knowledge. Looking around and at myself, I think this is somewhat true, but there are steps to take to quickly be treated as a peer among veterans in the industry of your post-MBA career.

Here’s what you gotta do.

This is the 5th and final post in my series, Career Development 101, tailored specifically for professionals with MBAs, doing their MBA, or thinking of doing an MBA.
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

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 22

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 1

Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Management Consulting (Internet and New Media)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2016, 23:01
FROM SLOAN LIFE - Sharing my journey through Stanford GSB: Blogging and analytics tools
I’m surprised no one has asked this until now – but I’ve had a couple people ask about the mechanics of blogging.

1: It’s a bigger time commitment that you could possibly imagine (ok, it’s really not that much time in aggregate, but forcing yourself to do it is harder than it sounds).

2: Free tools usually suck: If you’re going to blog, expect to pay for things that make your life easier, make your blog prettier, etc. But, you don’t always have to pay a lot!

3: Writing is easier than cat-herding: Even though I just told you how hard it is to commit to your own blog, you have no idea how difficult things can get until you try coordinating multiple creatives… Unless you write their paychecks, your volunteer blog contributors will inevitably have writer’s block, lack of inspiration or competing priorities that prevent them from writing to a set schedule.



For those of you out there like me – straight out of grad school, two startups, one Kickstarter campaign and a blog – analytics are crucial to learn where to spend your time. But, if you’re in the same boat as me, you also know that Cash is King (see, I was listening Prof. Ilya)!

Occasionally, you run into great tools that are not expensive! Sure, Google Analytics are available too (and free), but have you ever tried to use it? It isn’t very user friendly and I can’t figure out if the functionality is limited or maybe I just don’t know how to use their tools…

Hosted WordPress

This website, DecadentMinimalist.com and blog.hinted.com are all run on different flavors of hosted WordPress… Why different flavors? WordPress.com takes the open-source wordpress.org blogging platform and turns it into an easy-to-use and nearly bullet-proof hosted platform – that ease of use and security also come with some restrictions. You can’t install most WordPress plugins and many of the nice looking templates are fee-based add-ons. So what starts cheap can get quite pricey… WordPress hosted at external vendors (like GoDaddy or any number of other hosting companies) have the advantage of using unaltered wordpress.org tools – so the full suite of plug-ins and 3rd party tools are at your disposal. But now you are partially responsible for keeping your stuff up-to-date and running smoothly. You need to decide which is more important…

S3Stat – tastes great & less filling!

But, if you host any static content on Amazon S3, there is a great, easy to use tool that gives you detailed analytics – easy to use, easy to decipher and a pretty dashboard to boot. No software installation required either – just tell S3Stat where to find your S3 logs and it starts digesting that data into useful views. Easy as pie. By hosting pictures, documents, media – any static downloadables – on S3, you can easily get around space limitations that you face on hosted blogging platforms – and at the same time, get much better logging visibility by using S3Stat!

Hope this helps!

-E





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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

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 1

Manager
Manager
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 95

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Duke '15 (M)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2016, 13:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Is an MBA Worth It? 1-Year Post-MBA Reflection
In early 2012, when I was working as a biomedical researcher at the National Institutes of Health, I decided that I wanted to get an MBA and make the transition into the business side of health care. That was almost 5 years ago. Now as I pass my 1-year mark after getting my MBA from Duke, I decided that it is a good time to do some reflecting and see what the MBA has done for me so far.

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

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Manager
Manager
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Status: Celebrating!
Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 59

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 11

Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Operations, General Management
GMAT 1: 720 Q47 V42
WE: Operations (Manufacturing)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2016, 18:01
FROM Timbob: Wrapping Up (Part 1) – Academics at HBS
What’s Coming Up

It’s been common refrain at HBS that we do a lot of ‘reflections’ – on our personal lives, careers, future direction in life, etc. But as a line in the HBS show said “now you must reflect deeply… within the next 10 seconds“.

It’s a whirlwind experience, and you hardly have time to breathe – especially in the RC (first) year.

Now, I’ve had almost 6 months since graduating and I truly have a chance to reflect on the last two years, and have the opportunity to try and provide an objective assessment on my experience at HBS – did it live up to my expectations? Did I wish I’d chosen differently? How cold is it REALLY on the bridge across the Charles river in January (answer: very).

A few requests I’ve had for topics revolve around three areas, but in general most people wanted an overview of the experience from someone who’s been there. So I’ll cover the HBS triangle: Academics, extracurricular activities, and career opportunities.

“You can only choose one to excel at, perhaps two without sleep. HBS is all about forcing you to make choices” – Anonymous Student

This is the first post covering the academic experience, and I aim to follow up before the year is up with the other two sections. I’ll be back before the end of the year to finish this off, I promise dear reader!

Starting Out in the Classroom: Cold Calls & The Case Experience

I was a recipient of my section’s first cold call in class, on the very first day. It’s a strange experience. By this point you’ll have heard a little about how the classroom format works (if not, check youtube here), maybe visited or even had a practice run at an admit weekend.

But there’s little that can compare to being asked to critically analyze a case in front of 90+ of your newest friends. This is an quintessentially HBS moment – and utterly brutal.

First, after a brief introduction, for me the professor started with “I always like to begin a new year with the person who is now sitting in my old seat”. His head turns to look me directly in the eyes… immediately my peripheral perception shuts down, and all I can see through my tunnel vision is the professor looking straight at you. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch all of that, could you repeat the second part of your question?”

During the brief respite comes the tightening in the chest. The voices in your head start early too: “Don’t say that, it’s a stupid thing to say”. “I hadn’t even considered that point of view”. “Oh dear..”.

Eventually, I begin with “Well, I can see both sides of the debate…” and is immediately met with the response “A CLASSIC HBS answer! Pick a side! You’re her, so what would you DO…?”. The class giggles slightly as a collective (translation: “thank the heavens that isn’t me”). And so it begins…

Workload

After two years, I’ll have read over 500 cases, at a rate of two to three a day. In the beginning, it’ll probably take well over two hours to prepare for each class. Each class is 80 minutes long, and the curriculum is front-loaded so 3 case days are the norm to begin with, which adds up to at least 12 hours just for academic work.

You can add to this the usual socializing activities, getting to know your classmates, or within the first two weeks information sessions on various career paths begin. It’s a punishing schedule from the outset and time is scarce.

After a while, perhaps halfway through the second semester, this reduces down to between an hour, and an hour and a half (or less, depending on your level of interest and attentiveness) in total prep per class. This means that time becomes more flexible, but by then you’ve been thrown into first year recruiting (most likely – for summer internships) which soaks up most of this time, and if anything is more intensive.

The Section Experience

It’s a massive buzz getting your name card at such a well-respected institution. It sits in front of you for the whole year, and I got strangely attached to mine. You don’t move seats at all in the first semester, so you get to know your amazing seatmates pretty well too. They’ll almost certainly become good friends.

Over time you’ll meet the rest of your section. I’ve been genuinely open mouthed at some of the stories that sneak out during classroom discussions (or even more often outside). Even with the typical MBA concentration of consulting and finance backgrounds, the range of expertise in an HBS classroom is staggering. I found that those with more traditional backgrounds had ‘something else’ about them that meant they really stood out. Without exception it’s an exceptional group of people. I’ll write more about this in a later post.

Knowing each other so well, even after a few weeks in such an intense environment means discussions become raw quickly and opinions are free-flowing. This is a great thing. The professors can often go 5 or 10 minutes without talking, only pointing to the next raised hand to continue the discussion (this is quite a skill to do well, do not think this is a free-ride compared to lecturing at the front of the class).

I found in my group there was a great respect for the opinions of others, there was also a healthy appetite for debate and frank discussion. My own stand out moments include a section mate bluntly calling out a guest on his slightly dubious attitude to his staff, leadership lessons ACTUALLY ‘from the front-line’ and ‘while under-fire’ in Iraq & Afghanistan, or being expertly coached on the finer points of diversifying your asset portfolio by a former high-flying hedge fund analyst who sat a few seats away to my right.

Teaching

I hesitate to definitively assess any aspect of HBS, as I lack a point of reference at some of the other top institutions that are undoubtedly also excellent. But if I had to, the level of teaching is one area I’d generally give full marks. Compared to my undergraduate experience, the care, attention to detail, and knowledge of the staff (I include all staff, not just professors) is exceptional.

Professors have to spend one of the two semesters each year dedicated to teaching and writing new cases and it shows. They know you, your name, your background, and what cases you may be able to bring unique outside knowledge into the classroom, even before they set foot in front of your section. At the beginning of the semester, the professors have a seating chart with handwritten notes all over it, hanging behind their desk in their office. The preparation is outstanding – apparently a single case takes around two days to prepare to teach.

This is a contrast to many other top schools, where star professors are left to their own research and rarely leave their office. Of course, it is a big school and they are in demand, internally as well as all over the world in many cases. But over two years you will get enough time to get a real taste for top class academic thought. I could cite many examples, such as listening to Clayton Christensen explain the original thinking behind ‘disruption’, as opposed to it’s highly corrupted recent definition, is a real thrill and added a huge amount to my own understanding.

I’ve been fortunate to meet and get to know some of my professors personally. At times their families, and outside the classroom. They’re passionate, warm people who want to learn from you and your experiences as much as you do from them.

Curriculum

An oft-cited cause of concern amongst aspiring MBA’s is the RC (‘Required Curriculum’) at HBS during the first year. In contrast to Wharton for example, the first year is fully prescribed. There are no electives – you get what you’re given. Courses range from Finance (1&2), to Marketing, to ‘Lead’ (Leadership and People Management) to BGIE (Business, Government, and the International Economy).

You don’t get to choose any of your courses in your first year… the horror of enduring FRC (Financial Reporting and Control)! But with hindsight there is a good reason for this: a standard base in the class’s knowledge is a) is useful to you, why learn what you already like and know, not something new from sometimes genuine experts in the room?

And it’s also b) useful to others: in the second (EC – ‘elective curriculum’) year discussions are much better with some shared knowledge and base level of understanding in some quite niche topics. You reach a greater level of depth, faster as a result. And FRC is actually quite interesting… sometimes!

Of course, you could go elsewhere and dedicate yourself to 20-odd courses in the detailed assessment of fast-growing startups (or similar). But don’t expect everyone a) to know exactly what they want to learn, and b) don’t expect yourself to be comprehensible to others afterwards anyway.

Personally I’ve enjoyed the ability to pick completely new topics to me in the second year, with the safety net of knowing I won’t be completely out of my depth basing myself on the much broader RC year. And I’ve benefited from it.

“So, to summarize…”

It’s said HBS students get great at picking a position, talking a lot and arguing strongly for it. But they may lack in execution, compared to thinking and speaking. But most people at HBS already ARE doers. It’s an incredibly action-orientated and self-starting community. So while I can see why people may see this highly negatively, I’m more inclined to see this as a way of rounding out some rough corners on some already pretty talented individuals.

HBS is smart too. You’re in the family now. They want you to engage, discuss, challenge, and argue at every opportunity. And that’s the best way to learn – this isn’t undergraduate level getting spoon fed content out of a book – and you get out what you put in. In an academic context, they understand that in future you will become their next case protagonists.

A hugely surprising proportion of cases are from the perspective of HBS alumni. And many of them come back to class, to share their experience first hand. And then listen to what we think. What an endorsement.

Thanks to all those at HBS (fellow students and the dedicated staff) who made sitting in the classroom such a phenomenal experience for me over the last two years.

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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

_________________

My blog: http://timbob101.wordpress.com/

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 11

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 95

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Duke '15 (M)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2016, 18:00
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Book Review: Getting to the Top, Strategies for Career Success
On this blog, I talk a lot about how my MBA from Duke has helped me successfully transition from science into business. However, since the time I graduated, I found that that I needed to continuously learn how to navigate the next steps in my career – something the MBA did not prepare me for. I think the MBA – albeit rightfully – is focused on career transition, whereas after school one must shift focus onto career progression.
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

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Manager
Manager
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Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 93

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 3

Location: India
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2016, 17:01
FROM mybjourney: Of farewells and future
I observe that many farewells for me lately have been abrupt and sudden. I am already physically or mentally withdrawn from the place and situation by the time I am in a position to take cognisance of what I am leaving behind. It feels as if I subconsciously withdraw myself from a proper chance to pause and say my goodbyes to my heart’s content.

But then, when have goodbyes seemed enough and left you satisfied about leaving? In hindsight I am mildly relieved that I choose to leave hurriedly before reality smacks me on my face. That feels easier to deal with than the big emotional wreck I turn into, clinging on to the last shred of hope that it is not all over.

Today it has been two months since the course ended. I landed back to London from my internship in India two days before the end of course ceremony, and missed the Capstone entirely. My parents flew over too and I was glad to have them and my brother with me for the farewell. This has been a very special journey and it would’ve felt incomplete without my family by my side at the ceremony, for their constant support and unconditional faith in me shape the person that I am today.

The rigour of Oxford MBA, packed in a year of wanting to do more things than one has the capacity for, leaves with little time to sit back and reflect. For me, to now look back to the year that was, it feels like a time warp. We were transported in a safe cocoon, challenging our beliefs and ideas each day, learning to become better versions of ourselves, in a place more than thousand years old where countless faces came and went, each carving their own journey. The year feels as fresh as yesterday, but at the same time seems like a distant memory now.

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Farewell dinner, Oxford MBA 2015-16

 

So what next? Back to the real world, most of us are regularly asking and are being asked this question. While many peers have gone ahead to pursue their post-MBA goals, returned to their previous jobs, gone back to their home country, others have chosen to stay back in London and make their next move. With changing political and economic scenario in many countries, falling GBP, Brexit (and now USA elections), there is obviously a sense of uncertainty around in the batch that no one has definite solution to. The new batch has commenced their program <sniff> and are eager to know where we all land, prospective applicants have been approaching asking to share our experience. I hope to write more on that in future, and be more regular with updating this blog (now that being busy with academic rigour can no longer be blamed!).

For now, I have moved to my brother’s place in London and working on my ‘what next’ from here. I am evaluating the tradeoffs between finding the perfect role for myself and following my original plan of returning to India after MBA. Expect to read more on the employment scene in the coming weeks, and also on a few most commonly asked queries by applicants. So long!

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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

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 3

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Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 173

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

Location: New Zealand
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.88
WE: Marketing (Consumer Products)
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Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2016, 12:01
FROM Xyeek: Where Has Time Gone? 10 Things I've Learnt in the Last 4 Months
Most MBA
blogs tend to have lots of content at the start and then generally fade out in
the middle. Now being 4 months into the MBA, I find myself and this blog in the
same state. In short, life as an MBA student is so full-on you really don't get
a chance to write. I've composed probably 20 or so half-posts in my head on my
way to classes, events etc, but none of them have actually made it into
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

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

Manager
Manager
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 95

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Duke '15 (M)
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2016, 22:01
FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Marketing Roles - What Companies Look For in MBA Candidates
Marketing is one of those functions, that if done successfully, requires a little bit of everything. In other words, it is highly cross-functional and requires a lot of different skills. In Kathryn Ullrich’s Book, Getting to the Top, Strategies for Career Success, she states that close to a third of CEOs have a sales/marketing background, which also turns out to be the biggest bucket for CEO background functions.

Being somewhat new to business, this was something I did not know before or during my MBA at Duke. I think my biggest misconception back then, which many other non-MBAs also had, was that marketing equated to advertising – the kind that went on cereal boxes at the supermarket.

Advertising, while a tactic that results from the development of marketing strategy, is only a very small portion of a marketer’s role, and probably the one that is the least impactful from a value-add perspective.

Where marketers add more value is in developing the strategy of a brand and deciding how to position it in the marketplace. This is the strategic side – after this marketers rely on leadership and operational skills to align teams and ultimately execute the plan. As you may imagine, the newer the brand, and the more brands that compete in a market segment, the bigger the challenge to marketers. Here's my experience taking the Marketing Strategy course at Duke Fuqua.

Here’s what hiring managers and commercial leaders look for in MBA candidates recruiting for marketing roles. Before you read on, here's a backgrounder on commercial/marketing roles in the pharma industry.

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

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 9

Current Student
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Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 173

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

Location: New Zealand
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.88
WE: Marketing (Consumer Products)
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Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2016, 18:01
FROM Xyeek: Consulting Recruitment Opportunities at LBS
So Round 1 results are out for the LBS Class of 2019 so congrats to all the new LBS MBA Admits - you made it!!! If you decide to go ahead with an MBA at LBS, it will be the start of one of the most challenging, intense, fun and exhilarating periods of your life.

That said since I've had a few PMs regarding school choice from admits, I thought I should perhaps do a quick post primarily for those
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

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 173

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

Location: New Zealand
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.88
WE: Marketing (Consumer Products)
Reviews Badge
Re: Current Student Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 18:01
FROM Xyeek: Crazy Rush to the End of Term 1
It's completely insane how Term 1 is already over. We have 3 exams to do over this weekend and then that's it. This week has been a crazy whirl of final classes, exam tutorials, final assignments (strategy assignments are pretty killer), more recruiting events, study, study....study.

It has been an exhilarating, stressful, fun, frustrating, exciting, tiring and 1000% intense term. I confess to
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

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 14

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Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

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New post 14 Dec 2016, 02:01
FROM gmat4IMD: The best year yet!!!
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Finally at the end of one of the best years of my life. I would rather say it has just paved the way to a completely new beginning.
The best part about IMD is how close knit the peers are. Rather than saying the traditional goodbyes we all said “See you soon” as we all are waiting for our first year reunions. It was an emotional farewell to all the peers, staff, IMD campus (where we spent most of our time) and Lausanne (one of the best places to live).
As we were trained in a “Real world, Real learning” environment, we do understand that life moves on and there is always WhatsApp and FaceTime to ensure that distance doesn’t matter. :*)
In a months time, I’ll be moving back to Europe to work for the biggest e-commerce retailer in the world. Thanks to IMD. Overall, I don’t think I could’ve ever taken a better decision in my life than IMD. From the high seas to the e-commerce giant, no other B-school could’ve made this huge transition feel like smooth sailing than IMD.
Thank you very much for reading this blog!!! Good luck for the MBA and an amazing future!!!
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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 Jan 2017, 23:01
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FROM The Oxford Comma: 2016: Year in Review
It’s the start of a new year, so it’s time to reflect a bit on 2016 and look at what went well and identify where I can improve.

Reading
My target in 2016 was to read 12 books and to write about the ones that I found interesting. Writing about what you have learned improves your ability to retain information. I also get outside my comfort zone of self-improvement books and explore biographies and history. In 2016, I managed to read a total of six books (and write about three).

  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport
  • The Elephant Complex
  • The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
For 2017, I am planning to retain my target of 12 books. More than the number of books, I want to use the knowledge in them to become better. This is a hard goal to measure but important nevertheless. Another target is to read more about emerging trends and understand them – for 2017, I plan to read about Artificial Intelligence.

Writing
I had neglected this blog from mid 2015 to mid 2016 at which point I had resolved to start again and get to 12 blog posts for 2016. I managed half that number and stopped just three months after I began. The blog received a total of 500+ visitors this year which was about a 50% drop from last year.

The main factor that limited my blogging  was that I wanted to get serious about investing and the scene in India is very different than in the USA. Hence, I spent a considerable amount of time reading and researching the topic. It took nearly three months before I settled on a strategy and I should have more time going forward.

In 2017, I am targeting 18 blog posts. In addition to the PM posts, and the book summaries, I plan to start adding in a few posts about my travels. I visited Sikkim, Udaipur, Agra, Bali, and Sri Lanka this year and plan to visit many more in 2017 so that should add to the number of blog posts.

Career
2016 marked my first year as a Product Manager and was fairly eventful. My team launched our first big feature (We started development in 2015, but did not ship until early 2016), expanded in size, and began an agile transformation.

Even though I fancied myself as a PM who would take on a design and business specialisation, my role in the API and Developer platform team saw me enhancing my technical PM skills. It’s definitely a welcome skill, but I still have not decided if that’s the path that I want to take going forward.

In 2017, one area that I want to focus more on is my managerial/leadership skills. This is an area I had not given much thought to in the past, but as the team has grown and I move into a more senior role, it will become more important.

 

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New post 07 Jan 2017, 07:01
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FROM j2insead: The Wharton Exchange- worth it?
I never thought I would be writing this post after my INSEAD experience but that says a lot about the long transformative year that 2016 was. I am now a proud INSEAD alumnus and while the euphoria is yet to abate, I thought it wise to keep to my words and return back to this blog to share more about my INSEAD experience. This post is solely about the Wharton exchange as I have had countless requests about this.

So after an intense bidding period for campus exchanges in P1, I finally got my slot to participate in the Wharton exchange in P4 of my INSEAD year. I really wanted to embark on the exchange for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted the classroom experience of being in a US educational institution and believed it would provide a different perspective to what I was used to at INSEAD. I also liked the Wharton brand (Thanks to DJT and Adam Grant) and the idea of having it on my resume sounded cool (oh such vanity!). Finally, though I had visited the US a number of times, I had never spent much time on the East coast. The exchange was going to give me the opportunity to visit some US cities on my travel list and I looked forward to the experience.

Getting a slot for the Wharton exchange is competitive. There are a limited number of slots available for each period. There are three criteria to get on the exchange: academic standing as at end of your first period at INSEAD-P1, a motivational essay and bid points. Each criterium is weighted differently to arrive at a score that then determines who goes on the exchange or not. This is the best way I can explain it. Academic standing is measured by a minimum GPA, motivational essays are scored and bid points are based on the allotted points received by each MBA participant. I remember I tried to write a good motivational essay stating clear reasons why I wanted to do the exchange, met the grade requirements and also bid sufficiently using historical bid points data made available by the INSEAD MBA program team. So voila! I got selected!

Now on the question of if the exchange is right for you or not- it depends. Be clear about your motives/expectations and speak to people who have embarked on the exchange in time past. For the December promotion (starting January), P4 coincides with Wharton’s MBA recruiting season so you would still get similar opportunities while on the exchange. If you want a job in North America post-INSEAD, you should really consider doing the Wharton or Kellogg exchange since most of the firms who recruit at these schools mostly do so for roles in the US and Canada. However, you still get to interview for offices outside of the US especially if you are interviewing with Consulting companies like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Roland Berger, Strategy&, etc. I did get an offer in the US even as a non-US citizen so for the December class, recruiting is not a major problem.

Academically, I found no considerable difference between my classroom experience at INSEAD and at Wharton. Professors are experts in their academic fields and most are also seasoned professionals which made the learning experience wholesome. One of my best classes during my MBA year was during the Wharton exchange- “Entrepreneurship through acquisition” by Professor Bob Chalfin. It was great learning from a seasoned serial entrepreneur who over the last 30 years has acquired numerous businesses across the US. Class sessions with Bob were very insightful and I was immediately able to apply some of the learnings to a personal project I have been working on. The other courses I took were also valuable though one thing to be away about is that since you would spend only a half-semester at Wharton, your course options are restricted to mini-electives which are limited in number.

On the social side, I found Wharton and Philly to be lovable. Being located in the heart of Philadelphia meant access to all the city had to offer. So if you like touristy stuff, you will definitely love Philly. Some of the highlights of my exchange include attending a ClintonKaine rally and hearing Obama speak, getting to savour the much-talked-about Philly cheese steak, running up the steps in front of the museum just like the movie “Rocky”, seeing the Liberty bell, visiting the US Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, The White House and more. In all, I had as much fun during the exchange as I would have had in Fonty or Singy (I actually didn’t miss being in France!). Not to forget, I also made a few friends in Philly- some Whartonites and other “city people”.

So yes, the exchange was worth it for me as I had an amazing experience and gained more perspective. It also gave me time to reflect on and put together a solid post-INSEAD plan which I am currently executing with all I’ve got. If you are considering the Wharton exchange, I encourage you to go for it but always remember that you are responsible for creating the kind of life experiences you want, and this is no different.

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New post 07 Jan 2017, 08:01
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FROM j2insead: GRADUATION!!!
The words of John O’Donohue ring in my head every time I reflect on the transformative, euphoric, life-changing, demanding, emotional, and great year that 2016 was! The fourth to sixth stanza of his poem “For a New Beginning” encapsulates my INSEAD experience:

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

I am now home in a new rhythm, one that could not have happened without INSEAD. My quest for knowledge and a new experience made me embark on my MBA journey. But I got a lot more than I bargained for. Not only did I get deep and extensive knowledge in the course of my MBA, my experiences were enriched and I believe more in the power of social capital (I am proud to say I am wealthy in this regard).

I graduated from INSEAD Business School in the grand ballroom of the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on the 20th of December 2016. As I walked up the stage to receive my diploma, my heart was filled with gratitude to God for making the journey possible and to all those who played a part in making 2016 memorable. To Olam for supporting with the tuition scholarship, to my family for being there all through the tough economic year despite the recession that hit Nigeria mid-2016, to my numerous friends from all over the world- encouraging and rooting for me all I advanced from one stage to another. Receiving my INSEAD MBA was a dream come true, but beyond a dream- days of relentless hard work, steadfast faith in God and hope for a better future.

Now it is all over and I have stepped into another phase of my life, also age-wise. I clocked 30 in September 2016 and much more than ever, I have come to appreciate the value of time. Now I am set on a collision course with opportunities and bigger dreams as I set forth my sight on age 40. Yes, this will be the best 10 years of my life both professionally and in my personal life. I have set and am still setting bigger goals, ensuring that my time on earth is spent wisely and in a fulfilling way. My INSEAD year taught me this- one year is a long time to do as much as you can, yet a short time because it goes by really quick. So here is how I spent my 2016:

I started my MBA at INSEAD in January, lived in the beautiful town of Fontainebleau in France, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Singapore; travelled to numerous cities in Africa, Europe, America and Asia- Barcelona, Tilburg, Amsterdam, Angers, London, Abidjan, Yamassoukro, Casablanca, Baltimore, Washington DC, NewYork, New Jersey, SanFrancisco, Seattle and Bangkok, excluding the layovers in others; delivered a speech at TEDxINSEAD on Ubuntu; co-chaired the 2016 INSEAD Africa Business Conference; interned with a private equity fund in London focused on insurers in emerging markets; attended a democratic rally in Philadelphia where for the first time I saw Obama speak live (#LifeGoalAchieved); visited iconic sites in the United States and Singapore; and did all these and more while taking intensive MBA classes from Fonty to Philly to Singy and also managing the job search craze that hit us all in P4. Talk about being a super human…

So as I walked on the stage with all these memories flashing before me, I said to myself: “Dude, you have no excuse to fail. You need to take all of this and make sure you impact your world like it only depended on you.” These experiences have conferred on me a deeper sense of responsibility to society and though I feel that sense of pride like every other human who just accomplished no mean feat, I am happy because I know this is just the beginning of greater things to come.

So good ol’ John, your poem still has a deeper meaning even at this hour. There would always be a new beginning, always…mic drop!

 

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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: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 107

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Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Technology, Leadership
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New post 09 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM NandoParrado: Year 1 (and 1/3) in retrospective: academics
Happy 2017! Here is another update, 7 months later. With this pace I might add only one more post before the end of the GSB! However, I promised that I would summarize some of the key aspects of my experience, and … 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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my blog about the Stanford GSB experience (class of 2017): http://inacityofthefuture.fm/

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Joined: 18 Jul 2015
Posts: 173

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Location: New Zealand
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.88
WE: Marketing (Consumer Products)
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New post 19 Jan 2017, 18:01
FROM Xyeek: It's Recruitment Season!
Happy new year folks! I can't believe it's already 2017. So since my last post last month, I had the joy of finishing exams, spending an awesome week on the ski trek (great skiing in Val Thorens and partying!) and travelling to Iceland and Ireland over December. Oh and catching up on sleep - precious sleep that is now back to being a distant memory.

Like most other MBAs planning on trying
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 21 Jan 2017, 17:01
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FROM From Bench to Board (Fuqua): Book Review: The Unwritten Rules, The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level
Post-MBA I became very intrigued by how senior leaders navigated their career progression. It was also at this time that I realized I learned nothing about this during my MBA and needed to fundamentally teach myself this from the ground up.

I started looking around for a good read on this topic, and stumbled upon John Beeson’s book – The Unwritten Rules: The 6 Skills You Needto Get Promoted to the Executive Level. I was specifically searching for a book on executive presence, but this book fit the bill.

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 29 Jan 2017, 08:01
FROM The Oxford Comma: The Ascent of Money
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Written by Scottish historian Niall Ferguson, the book is subtitled “A Financial History of the World”. There is also a long documentary of the same name that the author produced for PBS and the BBC that you can watch. The book is an good read for anyone interested in how and why the major components of our financial system such as banks, credit, debt, equity etc got started.

1) Credit and Banks
Without credit, only those with capital could participate in commerce as merchants typically require an initial investment to buy goods in order to then sell them and earn a profit. However in Italy, the Church had banned the practice of Usury; charging your brother interest was forbidden and this had this removed the incentive to give loans to aspiring entreprenuers.

To get around this, Venice allowed Jews (whom they did not consider brothers) to give out loans to Christians. This historical fact accounts for why a large number of banking institutions were founded by the Jewish minorities. However, loan giving was problematic for a small minority owned bank. Powerful borrowers would default on their loans and turn the local populace against the minority.

To counter this, the Medici family in Florence diversified into several markets and grew larger. Although, the way in which they made money was not new, they applied it on a scale that has never been seen. This allowed them to spread the risk of default and they prospered becoming rulers in Florence.

2) Bonds
Bonds were made necessary by the appetite of nations for war. They allowed the financing of wars and the victors forced the losers to pay back the bonds through reparations. Because the loser could not pay back debts to its own bondholders, it was hard to borrow if you were a likely losers and Ferguson cites the role of bonds in deciding outcomes in famous battles such as the American Civil war.

3) Equity
The establishment of colonies required a large initial investment. This enabled colonisers to hire soldiers, establish forts and other defences. Then over a longer period, they could get income from the colonies. This led to the formation of equities where shareholders pooled resources to come up with working capital. Since shareholders sometimes needed the money that they has invested, they were allowed to trade their holding to other investors leading to the establishment of the equity markets.

4) Insurance
You may wonder why a whole chapter is devoted to insurance. Is it really that large of a sector? The answer is that the modern welfare state that accounts for a large portion in a  developed country’s budget had its origins in insurance.

Primitive insurance was little more sophisticated than gambling; it was bets placed on whether ships would make it safely back on harbour. Several mathematical discoveries such as probability made true insurance possible. The first was a scheme to provide pension for the widows and orphans of Scottish clergy.

5) Housing
Housing and mortage are a huge part of the the financial sector. But it wasn’t always this way. For a very long time, only the elites and aristocrats owned houses while the vast majority owned rents. As democracy took hold, Governments have tried to democratise home ownership through policies such as subsidies loans, interest deduction etc with varying degrees of success.

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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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Posts: 96

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 14

Location: United States
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New post 26 Feb 2017, 12:01
FROM The Oxford Comma: INSPIRED: How to Create Products Customers Love
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Marty Cagan is founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, a consulting firm that helps companies with their product strategy. Prior to that he held product roles at EBay, Aol, Netscape among others. He is a well respected product thinker and several of the ideas in this book can also be gleaned from his insight blog on the SVPG website.

I had bought this book over a year ago as it was one of the highly recommended books for new PMs, but it sat in my Kindle until I finally got around to it recently. I concur with the advice about this book being an excellent read for new PMs, it covers an incredibly broad range of topics.

There are more than 40 (short) chapters in this book, so it’s impossible to talk about them all, but here are the parts that resonated the most with me.

Importance of product design – Even though the author was a platform product manager, much of the book is targeted towards products which have a UI and therefore there is a lot of advice on the importance of designers. He recommends doing away with PRDs in favour of high fidelity prototypes that can be tested on actual users.

Startup vs Large companies – Startups that are still trying to find product market fit are places where the emphasis is on getting things out of the door. They learn by shipping and mistakes are accepted. By contrast, large companies have a lot to lose by shipping an ill thought out feature and are much more risk averse and detail oriented.

Leadership by objective and roadmaps – This management style advocates giving people a goal and letting them figure out how to achieve it. Marty advocates a similar approach to road mapping. Leadership comes with a central theme and then rather than features, gives individual teams a set of goals and lets them decide what features to ship in pursuit of that goal.

Role of emotion in purchasing decisions – In the enterprise the dominant emotions are greed (If I buy this, I can save money or time) and fear (If I don’t buy this, I will lose to my competitors). In the consumer space, the emotions are more personal – pride, greed, love, lust etc.

Platform product management – There are three user personas a platform PM has to consider 1) Developers 2) Business head of the developers, and 3) End users. A common error is to think that since developers are the most important as they use the platform to create apps for end users. However, the reality is that the end user and the business head are much more important.

This resonated with me as it was a mistake that I made. It can be hard when your passionate development team comes up with lots of ideas on how to improve the development experience. You give in only to realise later that they didn’t really make a difference to the key objective of the product.

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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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Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 14

Re: Current Student Blogs   [#permalink] 26 Feb 2017, 12:01

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