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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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Manager
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Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 125
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Schools: Stern '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
WE: Analyst (Retail Banking)
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New post 18 Feb 2015, 18:00
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FROM MBA Data Guru: Tuck Acceptance Rate Analysis
Tuck Acceptance Rate Analysis

Tuck School of Business is a top MBA program with a competitive admissions process. The Tuck acceptance rate is low, at 20%. Unlike most other top MBA programs, Tuck is a self initiated interview. Anyone who visits campus can schedule an interview. In this article I will discuss which factors impact Tuck acceptance rate.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GMAT
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GMAT score has a large influence on Tuck acceptance rate. The average Tuck GMAT score is fairly high at 716. Adding a hundred points to your GMAT more than doubles your chance of admission. Even with a low GMAT of 650, acceptance rate at Dartmouth is still more than 10%, unlike Harvard where you need a 740 to have a 10% chance of admission.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by GPA
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The average Tuck GPA is a solid 3.5. It is clear that applicants with a higher GPA have a better chance of being accepted. Once graduated, GPA is set in stone, so you might as well focus on increasing your GMAT which can still be increased.

Tuck GMAT vs. GPA
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Next we look at whether Tuck prefers a high GMAT or a high GPA. The graph above shows that applicants with a high GMAT have a slightly better chance of being admitted than an applicant with a high GPA. The difference is so small that it is not very important.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Application Round
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As you can see in the graph above, the round you apply to Tuck does influence acceptance rate significantly. Round 1 and 2 have a similar admission rates of around 24%. Round 3 acceptance rate starts to drop off noticeably to 18% but not much below the 20% average acceptance rate. The Tuck acceptance rate for round 4 is extremely low, at 8%. Unless you have an incredible application or are desperate to leave your current job for business school, I recommend avoiding round 4 and waiting for the next year.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Years of Work Experience
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Tuck values applicants that have a longer work experience. Each year of work experience raises your chance of admission by a little more than 1%.

Tuck Acceptance Rate by Age
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Similar to other schools such as Columbia, Duke, Cornell and Booth, Tuck prefers applicants who are around 28 years old. I believe that this is because they have enough work experience to draw on during school but are not too old to be placed at companies during recruiting. In the above graphs I look at age and years of work experience separately, however in reality they are closely related.

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In the graph above I adjusted the original acceptance rate by age graph and added in the impact of work experience. For simplicity I assume that everyone graduates at 22 and works full time from graduation until they apply for business school. When these two factors are combined, you see that older applicants have a large advantage compared to younger applicants.

Other Tuck Admissions Factors
There are a few other factors that affect your chance of admission to Tuck. International applicants (excluding India) have a significantly higher chance of admission, at 28% acceptance rate. Applicants that worked in Venture Capital are especially prized at Tuck, with an impressive 47% chance of admission.

If you are thinking of applying to Tuck, be sure to check out my Tuck Interview Question Guide so you know what questions to expect. The data for this analysis came from GMAT Club.

MBA Data Guru - Data and analytics that will help you in the MBA admissions process
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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Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Schools: Stern '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
WE: Analyst (Retail Banking)
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New post 04 Mar 2015, 02:01
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FROM MBA Data Guru: Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis
Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Darden, UVA’s business school, is the business school ranked 11th in the US. Darden is a prestigious school at which only 25% of applicants are accepted. I built a predictive model to see which factors are most important and least important for Darden admission. The results may surprise you.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
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It is no surprise that increasing your GMAT will raise your Darden admission chance. The average GMAT score for accepted students at UVA’s business school is 706. If you were to increase your GMAT by 100 points from 650 to 750 when applying to Darden, you would raise your acceptance rate by an impressive 62%. Even at a GMAT score of 650, chance of acceptance is still over 20%.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
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Shockingly, GPA has little to no impact on your chance of admission at Darden. The average GPA of accepted students is 3.52. When I ran a regression model on factors that predict the chance of acceptance at Darden, GPA was one of the first variable eliminated. The graph above confirms my conclusion, a person with a 4.0 GPA has only a slightly higher chance of admission than a person with a 3.0. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then Darden is a great school at which to apply.

Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
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Recently I performed an analysis of MBA acceptance rates by application round. The Darden MBA acceptance rate was noticeably lower during round 3. When building the Darden predictive model I confirmed that the low round 3 acceptance rate was in fact statistically significant. It seams as though the average acceptance rate is pretty high in the graph above, which is true. The acceptance rate by round graph is for GMAT Club applicants who have a significantly higher GMAT than regular applicants. Although round 3 applicants still have a fairly reasonable 19% acceptance rate, it is still significantly lower than the round 1 and 2 Darden admission rate. If you are on the fence about applying round 3 to Darden, you might as well wait for next year.

Other Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Factors
Similar to Wharton, Darden MBA applicants from India have roughly a 75% lower chance of admission. Computer science majors also have a similarly low chance of admission, which is around 11%.

MBA Data Guru - Data and analytics that will help you in the MBA admissions process
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 14 Mar 2015, 15:01
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FROM Naija MBA Gal: Tasting the fear
I’ve officially committed to the Booth class of 2017 and I know its a great decision. So why am I afraid? There is definitely no way I will be worse off come 2017 but I’m not all about being rational. I’ve been house hunting, linking up with other Boothies, getting scared out of my mind, […]Image
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New post 24 Mar 2015, 13:01
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FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: Do you want to know a secret …still waitlisted at Wharton!
Round 2 decisions were released today. I was hoping to convert my waitlist position to an admit, but I got re-waitlisted instead. So, I’m still in the game but feels like it’s going to be a long wait. Congrats to everyone who got admitted today! Need to digest this news and plan my next move. Stay […]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 26 Mar 2015, 05:00
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FROM Scott Duncan: Top Business Schools Over the Last 20 Years
Wow...I'm still reeling from my HBS admit. Thank you once again to everyone who has helped me through this process.

Every year, USNews releases their rankings of the top business schools. But how much do these rankings really change? Well, the 2016 results just came out (labeled ‘2015’ in the charts below), so let’s take a look at the data over the last 20 years.

So, how much do those rankings change every year? Apparently, not much. This chart shows the number of times a school has been ranked a Top-Ten school since the 1995 rankings:

 

Number of Appearances in USNews “Top Ten” Over Last 20 Years:

 

Since 1996, seven schools have been in the top ten EVERY SINGLE YEAR! The super-elite M7 schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Booth and Columbia) have dominated the rankings as far back as I could get data. No wonder the competition for these programs is so high.

 

Next, let’s see the “average” rank for these schools over the previous ten years:

 

Average Rank Over 10 Years

 

It’s a close call, but HBS has a slight edge over Stanford GSB for the number one slot. Coming in at third is Wharton, followed by MIT Sloan, Kellogg, and Booth. UC Berkeley-Haas, Tuck, Columbia, and NYU Stern round out the remainder of the Top-Ten over the last decade.

 

Let’s look back 15 years. Maybe something will be different?

Average Rank Over 15 Years

 

The first seven spots are…exactly the same as before. The gap between HBS and Stanford GSB remains the same, Wharton is still solidly in the third spot, and the distance between MIT Sloan and Kellogg has inched closer.

Columbia has displaced Dartmouth Tuck, and Duke Fuqua has jumped three spots and bumped NYU-Stern out of the top-ten. Most of the motion is in the 11-20 rankings, but still, no schools have shifted more than two places other than Duke.

 

Now, let’s go back a whopping twenty years:

Average Rank Over 20 Years

 

Stanford has picked up a very small lead over HBS (due to a #5 ranking in ’96 as we will see below). Wharton is once again in the number three spot, followed by MIT Sloan, Kellogg, and Booth. Columbia and Berkeley Haas have switched places once again, and Tuck and Duke Fuqua close out the ninth and tenth spots just like in the 15 year average.

 

Looking at the 11-20 spots, no school has shifted more than one place in either direction since the 15 year average, or three places from the 10 year to 20 year average (Yale SOM & Duke Fuqua).

 

So, in other words, the rankings, whatever they mean, don’t change much.

 

But for the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at the rankings for each of the M7 schools individually over the last 20 years:

 

USNews Rankings Over Last 20 Years
Stanford GSB

 

Stanford GSB is remarkably consistent over the last twenty years, coming in either first or second every single time. How does Stanford compare to Harvard?

 

Harvard Business School

 

With the exception of 1 year, HBS has also claimed either first or second every single year since 1996. The one #5 ranking is the reason why HBS did not edge out Stanford GSB in the 20-year average ranking we saw earlier on.

 

Wharton

 

Wharton has been ranked anywhere from fifth to first (quite a jump to make in only 4 years). But, as the charts we saw earlier show, Wharton is on average coming in third place.

 

MIT Sloan

 

MIT Sloan is solidly in the fourth slot, but has been anywhere from #2 to #5 in the last 20 years, and also claimed the #1 spot in 1995 – but is not included in this data.

 

Kellogg

 

Kellogg and MIT Sloan have been neck-and-neck for much of the past two decades, but as we can see in this chart, a few years of #6 rankings have given MIT Sloan a slight edge over time. Here we see another big jump – Kellogg went from a #6 ranking to a #2 ranking in just one year, from 1998-1999.

 

Booth

 

Booth has been slowly (and erratically) been climbing the ranks since 1996. From a being ranked #9 in the early 2000’s to a top-five ranking eight out of the last ten years, Booth is enjoying an upward trend.

 

Columbia

 

Last but not least, Columbia is trending the opposite of Booth, overall, but has ended up in the same place in 2015 as is was in 1996. Once again, we see a precipitous jump from #7 to #3 in only one year, from 1997 to 1998.

 

What does it all mean?
Aside from a few huge jumps from one year to the next year, it once again looks like the rankings for the top business schools stay pretty much the same over time. It seems like the rankings deviate more as you move away from the top-5 schools, which have remained mostly the same over the past 20 years. As for deciding which schools to apply to (or accept admission at), the rankings are just a small factor compared to things like culture, your personal fit with the program, and how the program ties into your goals.

 

BONUS

Are you a nerd like me who loves data and pivot tables? Click below and get access the the data set I used to come up with these charts. And hey, if you want to drop me a line on how to improve my Excel skills, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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The post Top Business Schools Over the Last 20 Years appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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 Apr 2015, 05:01
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FROM John Thunder MBA: Update + Interview with Accepted.com
Good morning!

I have not updated my blog in a while. There really haven’t been much of an update. I already paid my deposit to go to MIT Sloan, and I am ready to attend in the Fall. I did an interview at Accepted.com (http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/iv-overrepresented-minority-mit-sloan-admit/) if any prospective candidates want to view it.

I may or may not update this blog much in the near future. The key takeaway is don’t let rejections make you overthink your credentials and effort. There are more and less “qualified” people that got in. However, qualified is such a subjective term.

Another thing for candidates more than a year out from applying. This may sound disingenuous, but I do think if you are targeting the best schools and want to have a great story, quit your job and join a nonprofit. In your essay, talk about your convictions to be a social entrepreneur. Bam, you will get to most schools. It’s a big step to do it, because you won’t get paid. However, if you already come from a family of wealth, I do not see it as a big risk. I could not do that, since I was already supporting my parents.

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New post 09 Apr 2015, 06:01
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FROM Scott Duncan: Startup Lessons from An Accomplished CEO
What I'm reading:
Negotiating with GiantsImage
 by Peter D. Johnston

Written by a Harvard MBA, Negotiating with Giants takes an interesting look at how to negotiate for what you want, even with the odds stacked against you. It doesn't matter if you are gunning for a promotion with your boss, raising money for your startup, or just trying to get your library late fees waived, this book will give you the strategies you need to face any person or organization with seemingly more power than you.

 

I had an interesting talk with the CEO of my company earlier this week. He has built several medical device companies, has been responsible for the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars of value in the medical device industry, and is directly responsible for increasing the quality of life of thousands of people, worldwide. All this, and you have probably never heard of him.

 

What started off as a minor discussion turned into a long talk about what my post-MBA plans were. I had never really talked to him about what my career goals were, but he dropped a wealth of entrepreneurship knowledge once I explained them to him. These were the four main points:

 

Find Solutions, Not Problems
 

Be a problem solver, and not a problem seeker. Have you ever worked at an organization where the only thing some of your coworkers do is point out flaws in other people’s work, provide baseless criticism, and never actually PRODUCE anything? Pointing out everything that’s wrong is easy. The only way to provide real value is to solve problems when you encounter them, not just point them out.

 

Make Decisions, Not Excuses
 

Sometimes, especially in a startup environment, it’s better to be wrong and move forward than to agonize over a decision and stay stagnant. Nothing is learned without moving forward, and having a stack of failures behind you certainly builds experience.

 

Hire for Heart, Train for Talent
 

Impassioned, driven, and hard-working people will outproduce the smartest or seemingly most competent people who lack these qualities.

 

Experience is the Best Teacher
 

He calls it “scar tissue.” Do you remember your first big project at work? I remember spending a whole week writing and editing a report that I can now write in the 15 minutes I have in between meetings. This is because the experience that you gain allows you to quickly identify what is important and what is unimportant. This was especially valuable coming from an accomplished entrepreneur who has experienced the same success that I hope to achieve in my career.

 

The qualities that the CEO of my company was talking about are not things that are “taught” in an MBA program – they’re built-in to a person’s character. Having MBA from a top program does not guarantee success, just like having a straight-A transcript doesn’t make you more likely to be a value-producing employee. And, just like the CEO of my company, these qualities are what business schools are looking for in applicants, not just GMAT, GPA, and other benchmarks.

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The post Startup Lessons from An Accomplished CEO appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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 19 Apr 2015, 21:01
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FROM My MBA Journey: Headed to the Burgh
Image

I was checking my phone all day. I wasn’t sure when I would receive the admission decision from Tepper. I received an acceptance from Goizueta in the early morning of the decision release date and from Kenan-Flagler the day ahead of time. It felt like a bit of a waiting game for Tepper on the release date. I received an email later in the day from Tepper and received great news. I opened a video that welcomed me to Tepper’s class of 2017. In addition to the acceptance, I was offered a Forte Fellowship. I am so excited to have these opportunities. Now comes the tough part. I have to decide which program I am going to spend the next two years with.

In an effort to help with the decision, my boyfriend and I visited Pittsburgh to further explore the city a few days after the admission decision was released. Tepper’s Welcome Weekend is after the deposit deadline so we wanted to visit Pittsburgh once more before we have to make our decision. We lined up a couple of apartment viewings to see what is available in the area through Mozart Management. The staff was very helpful and even willing to show us apartments over the weekend. The apartments we viewed were pretty affordable but weren’t near a downtown area. We are hoping to find housing that is walkable to school or a downtown. Throughout the rest of the weekend we explored the various sections of the city. Pittsburgh is divided into numerous sections and they all have quite a different environment. Now it’s time to reflect and work through this decision.

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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 16 May 2015, 22:01
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FROM MBA Data Guru: MBA Acceptance Rate by Concentration
MBA Acceptance Rate by Concentration

With the current semester just about over, next years application essay questions will start being posted in the coming weeks for many schools. Round one applicants should start figuring out their story and crafting their essays. The most important essay for most schools is the question: Why get an MBA and why is (insert school name here) the right choice for you? In order to answer this question you need to have a plan for how an MBA is going to help you achieve your goals. The vast majority of MBA students are looking to switch careers. Why else pay $120,000 in tuition and give up two years of salary? If you wanted to stay in the same industry, you would probably just go for a promotion or switch companies.

I was curious if the industry an applicant is trying to transition into impacts their MBA acceptance rate. My theory was that there are a lot of people trying to transition into consulting, banking and technology, so there may be oversupply for those concentrations. Perhaps a candidate would stick out if they are pursuing a more unique career. I took the business school admissions data from GMAT Club and looked at the acceptance rate by stated concentration. First I decided to look at the top 20 schools in aggregate, to ensure the results were statistically significant. I was surprised by how much the acceptance rate varied depending on MBA concentration.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Concentration
Image
The average acceptance rate for top 20 schools is 23%. Many of the concentrations towards the top are fairly small with the exception of Marketing. As you can see, there is a huge range in the acceptance rates based on school focus. With Social Entrepreneurship 2.5 times more likely to be admitted than Technology or Operations. Most of the results don’t surprise me, business schools seem to be trying to help the world right now, so it is no shock that Social Entrepreneurship, Nonprofit and Sustainability are all in the top half. With the crisis in the Healthcare industry, the high acceptance rate for Healthcare applicants also makes sense. I am a little surprised that Real Estate is so high and Technology is so low. There is not a lot of focus on Real Estate that I have seen in business school, so I didn’t expect it to be the concentration with the second highest acceptance rate. On the other hand, Technology is very hot right now, so it is shocking the admissions rate is so low.

Since this data does not have gender included, it is possible that the acceptance rates are skewed by gender concentrations. More women tend to focus on Nonprofit, Social Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Healthcare, which could have bumped up the acceptance rate. Many schools are trying to increase their female enrollment, so women tend to have higher acceptance rates. At the other end of the spectrum, industries such as Operations and Technology are more dominated by men, which could have led to such low acceptance rates.

In the end, I wouldn’t recommend outright gaming the system. Don’t say you want to pursue Social Entrepreneurship rather than Technology if Tech is really what your passionate about. It will likely show in your application. However if you are unsure of what you want to focus on, it would make sense to chose the concentration you are interested in that has the highest acceptance rate. There was a lot of variance by school. The chart below shows some of the highest and lowest acceptance rate concentrations by school. Take these findings with a grain of salt because sample size is pretty small.

SchoolIncrease Acceptance RateLower Acceptance Rate

StanfordSocial EntrepreneurshipFinance, Entrepreneurship

HarvardEntrepreneurshipFinance*

WhartonHealthcare*Finance, Entrepreneurship, Marketing

BoothHealthcare*, Marketing*Entrepreneurship, Finance, Operations*

SloanMarketing, Social Entrepreneurship*Technology*, Operations*

KelloggEntrepreneurship, Marketing, Social EntrepreneurshipOperations*, Technology*

HaasEntrepreneurship, HealthcareOperations*, Technology*

ColumbiaSocial EntrepreneurshipEntrepreneurship, Marketing, Healthcare

TuckHealthcare, MarketingFinance, Technology*

DardenMarketingEntrepreneurship, Finance

NYUEntrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing*

RossEntrepreneurship, Marketing, Healthcare*, Social Entrepreneurship*Finance, Operations*, Technology*

DukeHealthcare, Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship*Finance, Operations*, Technology*

YaleMarketing*, Social Entrepreneurship*Entrepreneurship

AndersonFinance, MarketingEntrepreneurship, Technology

CornellFinanceEntrepreneurship, Operations

McCombsEntrepreneurship, MarketingFinance

Kenan-FlaglerFinance, Healthcare*, Marketing*

TepperEntrepreneurship, Operations, Marketing*Finance

EmoryMarketingFinance

*This concentration had a very large increase or decrease.

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New post 17 May 2015, 04:01
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FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: HBS Essay: Introduce Yourself
HBS rolled out its admissions essay prompt for the class of 2018on Friday.  Dee Leopold says it’s “just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it.”  But is it?
It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom….Introduce yourself.
Hmmm…how would this play out in real life?
UC: Hi, my name’s Unlikely.  What’s yours?
[End of introduction.]
If one of my sectionmates were to actually introduce him/herself with a 5-minute soliloquy highlighting his/her crowning pre-MBA achievements, career goals, or hardships overcome, this blogger would make damn certain to find a seat on the other side of the auditorium for every class session during that RC year.
And then there’s this:
We suggest you view this video [intro to the HBS case method] before beginning to write.
What does that mean?!?  Am I supposed to demonstrate an aptitude for the case method in my introduction?   How does one even do that?
Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea here.  Can’t blame the HBS admissions committee for pushing applicants to find a more natural, authentic voice.  And I like the case method…I like its emphasis on critical thinking and its ability to transform a classroom into a dynamic, interactive learning environment.
But I just can’t love this question.  To your humble blogger, “Introduce yourself” seems only slightly less wacky than MIT Sloan’s “Write your own letter of recommendation!”
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New post 17 May 2015, 05:19
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OldSalt82 wrote:
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: HBS Essay: Introduce Yourself
HBS rolled out its admissions essay prompt for the class of 2018on Friday.  Dee Leopold says it’s “just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it.”  But is it?
It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom….Introduce yourself.
Hmmm…how would this play out in real life?
UC: Hi, my name’s Unlikely.  What’s yours?
[End of introduction.]
If one of my sectionmates were to actually introduce him/herself with a 5-minute soliloquy highlighting his/her crowning pre-MBA achievements, career goals, or hardships overcome, this blogger would make damn certain to find a seat on the other side of the auditorium for every class session during that RC year.
And then there’s this:
We suggest you view this video [intro to the HBS case method] before beginning to write.
What does that mean?!?  Am I supposed to demonstrate an aptitude for the case method in my introduction?   How does one even do that?
Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea here.  Can’t blame the HBS admissions committee for pushing applicants to find a more natural, authentic voice.  And I like the case method…I like its emphasis on critical thinking and its ability to transform a classroom into a dynamic, interactive learning environment.
But I just can’t love this question.  To your humble blogger, “Introduce yourself” seems only slightly less wacky than MIT Sloan’s “Write your own letter of recommendation!”
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In my humble opinion, I don't think HBS wants us to watch the video to say, "Case method is awesome, I love it!" I think the point is to see how relationships work within a cohort, and contemplate how best to really introduce our personalities and backgrounds so people can work with us.

I still don't know what to do with the essay, though.
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New post 03 Jun 2015, 04:01
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FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Social entrepreneurs aren't running charities
Social entrepreneurs aren't running charities:

‘It’s easy to think about it in terms of charity: it’s not. They are sustainable, trading, revenue-generating businesses. The benefit of them is that they have great social impact, they mop up social problems and fill gaps in the market.’
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New post 11 Jun 2015, 05:28
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FROM Ambitiousbusinessguy: The Road Trip East and my Very Patient and Very Pregnant Wife
In 2012, my wife and I went to Morocco.  1 week soaking in the African rays at a beautiful resort in the Atlas Mountains.  We got massages, learned how to cook Tagine, and trekked through the mountains. That was an amazing vacation.  That was also the last time we went on a vacation that didn’t have anything to do with applying to b-school.

I knew coming out of undergrad at the IU Kelley School of Business that I was interested in a full-time MBA, but I didn’t get serious until 2013.  My wife and I planned an east coast road trip for April.  My wife would see a few new states and I would make it back for some much needed Maine lobster and New York Pizza; but most importantly, we would visit 7 potential business schools, learn what we wanted in a business school and move one step closer to making my Ivy-League aspirations a reality.

Our first stop was Philadelphia, maybe the most under-rated city in America (my opinion, of course).  After grabbing some cliché photos of us running up the steps of the art museum and pretending we were Rocky, we headed to Wharton.  First impressions were mixed.  Wharton sits on a nice campus that is very walkable and easy to navigate, but UPenn is an island.  The area surrounding the school does not share its appeal and is down-right scary in spots. Class visit, tour, and info session all went well.  I couldn’t help but to notice that despite having what I thought to be a very engaging guest speaker many students were checked-out during class.  Several students were even working on other things on their laptops!  $200K investment in an education and you are checking your emails?  Our tour guide, when asked, said that she had applied to LBS, HBS, and Wharton.  After being let down from HBS, she had chosen Wharton over LBS.  She spoke of her rejection from HBS in a disappointed tone.  Could this mean she had really wanted to go to HBS? (This was a similar feeling I got from a current student at a later visit to Kellogg.)  After going to a large undergraduate business school, I was very much looking for an adult environment for my MBA.  Wharton has graduate and undergraduate students right on top of one-another. Overall, I could definitely see myself at Wharton and in Philadelphia, but I wouldn’t call it fireworks.  Time to head to one of my favorite places:  New York, New York.

Columbia is a beautiful urban campus, too bad the business school is the exception.  Uris Hall looks  like nothing has been updated since the 60s or, even worse, the 70s. Not only is it ugly, but the lack of natural light or reasonable accommodations leads to a culture where people leave after classes and meetings.  This coupled with the New York location means that no one lives on or even near campus and Columbia GSB is essentially an Ivy-League commuter school.  New York I love you, but this isn’t going to work out.

Off to New Haven, CT to visit the school that is in-between Harvard and Columbia. When I picture and Ivy-league campus, I now picture Yale. I was blown away by the Gothic Architecture and ornate fixtures.  And what is that amazing glass building under-construction?  “Future home of the Yale School of Management” (now current home), that is what I am talking about!  New Haven leaves a little to be desired, but overall Yale offers so much through its world-class facilities and art and music departments that there is no doubt it would be a great place to spend two years.  The people we met at SOM were fantastic and went out of their way to make my pregnant wife comfortable. After meeting the students and learning about and witnessing SOM’s innovative integrated curriculum, this is no longer a short stop between New York and Boston, this is exactly what I am looking for!

Off to Boston and to HBS and MIT.  Cambridge, a city I hadn’t spent much time in, is very nice.  It is what I would consider an urban suburb, quaint like a college town but crowded and lively like a city. Overall, I find Boston to be a better city to visit than live in (let’s hope I am wrong about that!). Unfortunately, our time in Boston was impaired by the man-hunt after the Boston Marathon bombing. This prevented any serious visits to Sloan.  I was only mildly disappointed, since I was afraid Sloan was too focused on Finance and Entrepreneurship and lacked the general management focus I was looking for.  Harvard visit was good.  The classroom experience and the case method must be witnessed in person.  My class was Finance a.k.a. “Fin 2” (a course that I assumed would be a terrible fit for the case method).  I was blown away by how engaging and exciting the case method was even for a technical subject like Finance.  HBS’s campus is across the Charles River from Cambridge and the rest of the university, so it offers the grown up feel and residential learning environment that were missing from Wharton. After a coffee and a long chat with a colleague studying at HBS, it was time to head to New Hampshire.

The remoteness of Tuck didn’t scare me.  As an avid outdoorsman and mountain-lover, the prospect of living on the Appalachian Trail and 55 minutes from Killington was exciting.  Plus a career in business nearly guarantees a lifetime spent in or around cities, when is the next chance I would have to live in a place like Hanover, NH? No trip to Hanover is complete without breakfast a Lou’s, so we started the morning with French toast.  Tuck’s building feels very “Ivy”.  I was half-expecting to see a 60s-something professor in a tweed jacket with elbow patches puffing a pipe next to a fireplace.  People at Tuck are also great and admissions goes out of their way to ensure you have a great visit.  They know and appreciate that you went out of your way to go to Hanover (and rumor has it that they take notice when you are applying too).  Although the classroom seemed a bit large for such a small school, I really enjoyed the Operations course I sat in on. I could definitely see why Tuck has such a strong reputation for quality teaching. The on-campus dormitories are beautiful and convenient.  However, folks with families are left to seek housing at Sachem Village, a retro-fitted military housing complex a couple miles out of town.  Although proximity to other families is certainly a plus, I worried about missing out on events and relationship-building with single classmates.

11 days and 1300 miles before leaving Hanover for Cornell certainly contributed to our tired state and possibly our opinion of Johnson. Cornell feels as remote as Tuck, but doesn’t (in my opinion) offer the same quality of outdoor recreation and small town feel.  After sitting in on a course with students and a professor I considered to be slightly less impressive than what I had seen elsewhere, I was told I had witnessed “one of the best courses at Johnson.” I guess that pretty much sealed the deal, Cornell was off the list.

2,300 miles and almost two weeks later we were back in Indy.  We had scratched two schools from the list (Cornell and Columbia), found three schools that we loved (Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth), and one school that then seemed like either the best-fit school that I wouldn’t apply to or the worst-fit school that I would apply to (Wharton) (too early to tell).  Overall a very informative, but exhausting trip and I wasn’t even pregnant!

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Thank you! Nice descriptions. This reaffirms my gut-feeling that I'd choose Dartmouth or Yale over Columbia, given the option. Not to mention the exorbitant price/living expenses (yes, CBS is "M7"... don't care).
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New post 13 Jun 2015, 19:01
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FROM The MBA Manual: Yale Essay: “Influence” Breakdown
If you decide to apply to Yale SOM, one of the essays (in addition to the video essays) that you will be required to submit is an essay focusing on how you have influenced an organization.  Specifically, the essay states,

“The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent.”

An anecdote would serve you well with this essay, especially one that focuses in on a triumph or the overcoming of an obstacle to reach your goal.  The essay only allows for 500 words, so let’s look at how you can ensure that this anecdote does as much for your application as possible.

1. Set the stage/problem (~150 words)

  • Give the admissions officers some context here.  What organization was it?  What is your typical role in the organization?  If your influence came in the form of a specific action you can point to, was there a situation in the organization that surrounded that action?  In my essay I spoke of a project I worked on throughout the summer of one of my internships.  Your influence can be broader or narrower than that, but my examples will focus on this kind of intermediate length.
“When I arrived for my first day of work in the Personal Care Division at The 3M Company this summer, I was given my assignments. As I spoke with my supervisor about the scope and expectations of each project, I couldn’t help but notice that her office was flooded with product samples. I inquired about this and she noted that the division had been so busy that they hadn’t had time to organize the samples in years.

After the meeting, I strolled around the floor to meet my new coworkers and noticed more instances of product samples hogging space. Offices, cubicles, drawers, and cabinets were all overflowing with tattered, unlabeled samples. It was then that I resolved that someone had to do something. I informed my supervisor that I had a method for remedying the issue and asked if I might take action. She unreservedly approved.”

 

2. Steps taken and hurdles overcome (~150 words)

  • Here, you can mention exactly what you did.  Be sure to show how you took initiative.  That is, reference things you did on your own, not things you did because they were delegated to you.  If you faced some obstacles along the way, mention how you overcame them.  Show your resolve and ability to stay the course even when things got difficult.
“During downtime, I interviewed stakeholders about their searching processes. I brought gargantuan recycling bins up to our floor and scheduled a division-wide cleanout project. After a week, only the most important samples were left, but they lacked information. I researched the essential product data for each of the hundreds of samples and placed all of this information, along with an image of each sample, into a database that I’d created.

 I soon reasoned that it would be necessary for the database to be searchable by multiple criteria, and so created a virtual archive that could be used to find samples quickly. I developed and integrated a cataloging system and notation to correspond with empty cabinets in the back of the office that I then labeled for continuity. This was the most arduous part of the process; at times I would spend an hour writing a formula only for it to not work. However, I pressed onward with thoughts of the potential business value.

After building the archive, it was time to populate it. I uploaded the product information for hundreds of products and placed them in their corresponding spots in the cabinets. What was once a hodgepodge of loose, unidentified samples was now two neat shelves of cataloged, searchable folders.”

 

3. Finished product/result (~50 words)

  • Here, you can briefly describe the result of your efforts.  Did you meet your goal?  Exceed it?  What was the finished product like?  If you implemented a solution that is still in place, this is a great place to mention that fact
“During my final presentation to the marketing team, I revealed the system and watched everyone’s expression shift from curiosity to elation. Everybody wanted to access and utilize the system. According to an update from my supervisor, the system is now firmly in place and is a staple of efficiency within the division.

 

4. Why? (~50 words)

  • At some point in the essay (I did it here), you may want to include why you did what you did that had such an influence on the organization.  Letting the admissions officers see what was driving you can provide insight into your passion, virtues, and ambition.  It can also teach them a bit more about you, so I’d highly recommend detailing why you decided to go above and beyond the call of duty.
  • “Nobody expected me to fix this problem of a lack of product organization. This was never my assignment and I didn’t have to get involved, but I wanted to. I envisioned the innumerable benefits that the system would provide, and I wanted to make them a reality.”

5. Bring it back to Yale (~50 words)

  • Lastly, you’ll want to tie it back to Yale and its culture.  Yale is committed to having lasting impacts on organizations, others, and the world (verbatim from my essay), and you want to make it clear that you are, too.

    “Yale’s culture is one full of a commitment to having lasting impacts on organizations, on others, and on the world. I am of the class that embraces this culture, and I aim to use my experiences, knowledge, and ambition to further it.”

As always, I’ve left a bit of wiggle room with the word count so you can tailor your essay to your own personal experiences.  If you take the necessary time to think the essay through, it’ll be that much easier for you to pick an influence that allows you to write a compelling piece, gets the attention of the admissions officers, and speaks to who you truly are as a person.

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New post 24 Jun 2015, 07:01
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FROM Grant Me Admission: My 3 Biggest Mistakes Studying for the GMAT (updated)
Last time I took the GMAT, I got a 710. As I study to take it again, I reflect on three mistakes I made last time…Image
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New post 13 Aug 2015, 06:01
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FROM Naija MBA Gal: Financing my MBA…
I promised to write this a long time ago and I have been meaning to. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of men and mice. Anyway, here it is – at long last :) When I got my offer from Booth, it didn’t come with any fellowship. Which meant that […]Image
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New post 31 Aug 2015, 17:01
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FROM The MBA Manual: Who gets into Yale SOM?
Hey, everyone.  After a hectic orientation and a weeklong course, Managing Groups and Teams, I have finally settled into the core curriculum for Fall 1, and have thus found some time to write a quick post.  Since I’ve spent the past two weeks interacting with all of my new classmates, I thought it would be fun to write about the types of people who make up the Yale SOM student body, so people thinking of attending the school can get a feel for the peers they’d be learning and working with.  Though there are a few statistics, most of the features mentioned are just observations, so take them with a grain of salt.

  • Class size: 326
  • International students: 40%
  • Women: 40%
  • Countries represented: 40
  • Altruists
    • A good portion of the people that I’ve talked to are heading into non-profit consulting or some sort of social good enterprise.  To be sure, there are still the more traditional investment bankers and consultants, but the number of people wanting to use their career to make a positive impact on the world has shocked me.
  • Environmentally-conscious
    • The most common dual degree with a Yale MBA?  Law? Medicine?  Nope.  Forestry.  Yale SOM is filled with people who care deeply about the environment and want to turn that passion into a career.
  • Teachers/Travelers
    • Of the people I’ve met, the two are almost synonymous.  There are some people who have only taught domestically, but most of the teachers I talked to have taught abroad, primarily in Africa and Asia.  Of the domestic teachers, Teach for America seems to be the main medium.
  • Amazing people
    • When you think of an Ivy League business school, what is the caricature that comes to mind?  Perhaps a Wolf-of-Wall-Street-looking yuppie with a navy blazer, khaki pants, a sizable trust fund, and an ego to match?  I had some worries that my classmates would fall into this mold but that is not the case in the slightest.  Instead, I have the pleasure of learning alongside and from the most brilliant, humble, and kind group of individuals I have ever known.  This is a luxury not afforded to students at other, more cutthroat business schools.  I have a feeling that this dynamic stems from the main interests of Yale-SOMers being following their passions and having a positive impact on the world, not trying to get wealthy and powerful.
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New post 13 Sep 2015, 00:01
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FROM Naija MBA Gal: Swing for the fences. …
I’ve been a Boothie for a while now, but I’ve actually been a student for a little under a week. I’ll be candid with you: its been a roller-coaster! And I did not expect anything different :) I have never been so overwhelmed by the sheer number of smart people in one room! Also if […]Image
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New post 21 Sep 2015, 17:02
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FROM The MBA Manual: The highest-paying MBA concentrations
As the article says, deciding on the right school isn’t the only big decision you’ll have to make.

http://qz.com/503243/the-highest-paying-mba-concentrations/

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New post 27 Sep 2015, 02:01
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FROM GNPTH: I have been screwed up so many times in life. And it’s not gonna stop me!!
Yes, I have been screwed up. Not the first time though. After a long preparation, I scored a 680(Q47, V34). I was literally shocked to see that score. I took a break for 2 days to completely forget about it. I have decided to give it one final shot, hoping to reach the elusive 740+ Score!!. Since I want to put a solid application, I will be retaking the GMAT and apply for Round-2 application cycle.

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I asked to bb(GMAT Club Founder), my fellow moderators @ GMAT Club & my family. They really motivated me. The words and encouragement from them gave me needed charge/boost to give it final shot. But this time, I’m gonna give it all and see what it takes to reach the elusive score. I have put a plan and no matter what, I’m going to stick to it.

It’s an intense 40 days plan before my last & final GMAT(November 2nd week). Materials to prepare are hard to come by as i almost finished everything. Since, the basics are still fresh in my mind, i will be just concentrating on my weakness and practicing to improve them. I have got the ESR, and analyzed where I need to concentrate more. And I will be working towards to it in these 40 days.

First of with the Quant, I need to increase the Q47 to Q50 and then maintain that level while I prepare to improve my verbal from V34 to V42 or V 44. I believe it will work, and I believe I can reach.

This is my first post after a long time. There have been so many changes in life and work. Lot of work related foreign trips and Lot of fight within myself to pursue the dream and many more. I hope to see failure behind me; and I hope to see perseverance and success ahead of me!!

Finally, I wish luck for all my fellow applicants who are applying for R1 and I wish luck for all those who are taking/retaking GMAT to get their target score and target schools.

Until next time,

GNPTH.

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