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Differentiation by school

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Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 197

Kudos [?]: 17 [3], given: 2

Schools: Chicago Booth '11
Differentiation by school [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2008, 11:59
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As I'm conducting my research, I've determined that my initial goal for each school is to identify its main selling point then work my way to the details/fit from there. Below are the notes from my preliminary research. FYI--I've applied to HBS and Tuck. CBS, Booth, MIT, and Wharton are Rd2. I haven't really started my detailed search on MIT, CBS, or Booth so any input would be appreciated.


Tuck--gotta show them love for Tuck and Hanover. Rigorous curriculum and unparalleled access to faculty and recruiters. MBA only faculty and small size makes for an adaptive curriculum. Teaching style: study groups
CBS--just started--practice meets theory; applying what you've learned.
HBS--leadership; short and sweet..waste very few words on why you love HBS. Teaching style: case method
Booth--flexibility, challenge the status quo.
MIT--I think it's similar to CBS with the whole mens et manus. Ability to specialize your education; I'm interested in learning more about the Track in Finance


My notes on Wharton are below:
Emphasizes the fact that they have the largest curriculum in the nation--flexibility and specialization. You pick a major/specialization and it appears that most people pick two. I'm also talking about cross registration and independent research project (shows research and a broad perspective). Like Chicago, you can also "test up" in certain classes if you can prove a higher level of knowledge or experience in the field. Teaching method: learning teams

Useful websites:

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaresourc ... nning/#top
http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/studen ... /clubs.cfm
http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/a-z/
http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/ce ... es/#Ethics
http://www.upenn.edu/programs/graduate.php


Here are some classes that I found useful:

Leading Effective Teams (good for the setback essay if you led a team through adversity)
Description: This course is designed to develop students' skills in effectively designing, leading and consulting to teams in organizations This will be a highly interactive course, with emphasis on class participation and experiential learning. One of the goals of this course is to provide both the conceptual understanding and the behavioral skills required to implement strategies. To this end, class sessions will make use of a variety of approaches to teaching and learning, including the case method, simulation exercises and lectures. We will cover topics such as leading groups, group formation and socialization, diversity, creativity, group problem solving and decision-making, conflict, and knowledge sharing. Students will leave this class with knowledge of how to most effectively lead a team as well as how to be an effective team member.
Format: The class will involve a mix of case discussion, simulations, lectures, and exercises. Class participation is an important component and will represent a significant portion of a student’s grade. The course is project based. The major assignment will consist of a small group project where students will build a consulting relationship with an actual team within a "live" organization. The goal of the assignment will involve collecting primary data from the client team to help identify positive and negative elements of team functioning in order to make appropriate recommendations to help improve team performance.
Prerequisites: None.

Formation and Implementation of Entrepreneurial Ventures (used it for my goals essay)
Description: This advanced course in entrepreneurship centers on writing a comprehensive business plan and implementation plan for a venture of your choice. The course examines ways to profitably launch and exploit business opportunities (as opposed to what opportunity to explore). It will allow you to acquire the skill set necessary for crafting a winning business model for your venture - developing and writing a coherent and effective plan to start a business, in either an independent or a corporate setting. The venture must distinguish itself from existing companies through differential innovation; for example, through an innovative product or service, an innovative production process, a new business model, or by creating a new market. Students must have successfully completed MGMT 801 before enrolling in this course.
Format: Highly interactive with team progress reports delivered regularly and student expertise shared with presenters. Class participation, interim assignments, team project, and team presentation.
Prerequisites: MGMT 801 REQUIRED. MKTG 756 recommended.

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Joined: 07 Nov 2008
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Schools: Yale SOM 2011 Alum, Kellogg, Booth, Tuck
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Re: Differentiation by school [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2008, 09:25
Although I agree that it’s a great idea to make yourself attractive to each school by communicating to each school’s admin committee about your love for their program and how well you might fit into their culture, I am not sure whether this should be the MAIN point.

After all, each dean of admissions communicate clearly (during their info session) about what makes an applicant’s application stronger than others.

In my view:

1) GMAT is probably #1 ranked variable in one’s application (especially Quant score)
- Mainly because it affects each school’s annual ranking heavily……and therefore affects their reputation…
2) Work Experience (ranked higher than GPA only because many schools refuse to consider an applicant without any professional work experience. Because it’s difficult to market a student to potential employers without any work experience, I think this weighs heavily)
3) Academic GPA (more lenient than GMAT in my opinion)
4) Essays (I rank essays higher than rec letters mainly because – admin officers know that most rec letters are heavily favorable. Otherwise, why would an applicant ask for rec letter from someone who they suspect will give a negative opinion???)
5) Recommendation Letters

For the essay, I think it’s main point should express what you want to do with an MBA and express your clear goal. What would [plug in any school here] MBA help you accomplish? I heard countless times from MBA info sessions (I attended all 6 info sessions for Booth, Haas, Tuck, Stern, Kellogg and Yale) that if an applicant writes in his/her essay that he/she wants a MBA to figure out what to do with their life – they view it negatively. Also, they like the fact an applicant understand how he/she fits into their program but it isn’t as important as their professional goal for seeking MBA.

My point is that there are many other variables that one should give little more weight to than just expressing one’s love and fit for a specific program. (I am not saying that strategy is wrong – just expressing an opinion that there are more influential factors…)
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Kudos [?]: 746 [0], given: 548

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Joined: 04 Jun 2007
Posts: 5464

Kudos [?]: 408 [0], given: 14

Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
WE 1: Social Gaming
Re: Differentiation by school [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2008, 22:04
ninkorn wrote:
In my view:

1) GMAT is probably #1 ranked variable in one’s application (especially Quant score)
- Mainly because it affects each school’s annual ranking heavily……and therefore affects their reputation…
2) Work Experience (ranked higher than GPA only because many schools refuse to consider an applicant without any professional work experience. Because it’s difficult to market a student to potential employers without any work experience, I think this weighs heavily)
3) Academic GPA (more lenient than GMAT in my opinion)
4) Essays (I rank essays higher than rec letters mainly because – admin officers know that most rec letters are heavily favorable. Otherwise, why would an applicant ask for rec letter from someone who they suspect will give a negative opinion???)
5) Recommendation Letters


ninkorn, I agree with most of your post, except I wouldn't put GMAT as #1. Based on my observation and my understanding of Haas, GMAT is important, don't get me wrong, but once you get to a certain score (say 730 and above), you really won't differentiate yourself from anyone else. Like many people say, "A good GMAT score will not get you in, but a bad GMAT score will keep you out." It's a variable that the adcom looks at, checks off the box (if you're above average) and moves on to the more important things.

I would probably put work experience/background/what you've done as the most important, closely followed by essay. You're pretty spot on with what they are looking for in the essays, and I think it's more important than you listed because it tells the story whereas your WE/background/resume just lists the stats. The two together will be a major factor in the admissions process. GPA and Rec Letters will be near the bottom, as a "minimum threshold" type of thing. :)

Of course, those are just my 2 cents :P
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Kudos [?]: 408 [0], given: 14

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Kudos [?]: 762 [0], given: 5

Location: Back in Chicago, IL
Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010
Re: Differentiation by school [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2008, 22:59
ninkorn: no offense but I really disagree with a lot of what you wrote. Its overly simplistic and doesnt really capture the true picture of applicants that adcoms care about.

No way GMAT is remotely as important as work experience. GMAT and GPA are on near equal plains but yes the GMAT is slightly more important since its more recent and it is an equalizer of sorts. If you have a high GPA in a difficult major from a big name school it will help balance out a less than average GMAT. A very high GMAT can help combat a lower GPA or prove that someone from an unknown school can handle it.

Work experience is by far the most important piece. If you work at the right companies or in the right position it means a lot. Years of work experience mean nothing...its what you accomplish during those years that matter. Schools dont just look at your numbers and say well this person has 5 years work experience CHECK. They want to see years of success, career progression, and a track record...

Your resume, essays and recommendations are what illustrate your success and what you have accomplished. Your recs are especailly helpful to compare you to your peers and show just how great you are compared to those people. Schools want to admit the stars at companies not the mediocre talent. Your essays dont exactly have to be amazing pieces of literature, they just need to convey your experiences.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: Differentiation by school   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2008, 22:59
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