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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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Manager
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Status: Celebrating!
Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 55
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Operations, General Management
GMAT 1: 720 Q47 V42
WE: Operations (Manufacturing)
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New post 28 Oct 2016, 18:00
1
1
FROM The adventures of a (provisional) MBA student: 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

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Joined: 21 May 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Peru
GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
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New post 30 Oct 2016, 17:02
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FROM Oh Kay MBA: My first interview: The details
Earlier this week, I had my interview with Booth. Given that this was my first one, I had a lot of doubts: from how to approach some of the questions to what to wear.

The day of my interview, I arrived 25 minutes before at the coffee shop where we had agreed to meet. The email from Booth said to arrive 15 minutes in advance but I did not want to take risks with the traffic, so I ended up arriving earlier than planned.

Exactly at the set hour, my interviewer showed. We greeted each other and he introduced himself. I already knew a good deal of details about him, as I had obviously stalked him a little before the interview. He is a recent graduate, class of 2016. My first impression was that he was a highly empathic person. I was a bit nervous, but this feeling lasted only for a few seconds as my interviewer made me feel at ease.

What did we talk about?

  • First, we went through the general questions: professional experience, goals and why MBA. I had no trouble with these questions, as they were the ones I had practiced the most.
  • After that, it was time for the behavioral questions. Some that I remember would be:
    • Tell me about a time when you had to sell an idea.
    • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership in adversity.
    • Tell me about a time when you had a bad relation with a coworker.
    • Tell me about a time when you failed.
  • Later, we went a little deeper into interests and personal contribution. Some of the questions were:
    • What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    • What clubs are you planning to join?
    • What would be your contribution to campus?
  • Finally, I was asked if I had any questions. Luckily, my interviewer had similar goals to mines. He is working for MBB consulting post MBA. Therefore, I had a lot of questions about the recruitment process and the support you can get from the school and current students. We talked for about 20 minutes, mostly about his experiences.
Overall, we had a great conversation. I got the feeling that this guy was really interested in knowing about me, as he would not interrupt me or challenge my answers, but instead ask to know for more details of a story. I think that I could show my true self and was concise with my answers, so I am really expecting good news from this school.

Now, another long waiting begins to hear the final decision from Booth. December 10th seems so far away.

 

 

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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: 21 May 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Peru
GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
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New post 02 Dec 2016, 22:01
1
FROM Oh Kay MBA: The hardest stage
Since my last post, I’ve got the interview decisions for the other two business schools I applied to: Denied by Wharton and Invited to Interview with Stanford. It all happened so fast that I already had my interview with Stanford. It is all said and done, now.

The hardest days

About two months ago, I thought that there could be nothing worse than waiting for interview invites. Now, however, I find myself at the most painful stage of this process: waiting for final decisions. I hate feeling that I have no control over the result anymore. Moreover, the days until the final decision seem endless, as if I were seeing the world at a slow motion, a situation that just helps increase my agony.

Something that is helping me though is that I have a lot of events going on right now that demand lots of concentration: a new project at work, the upcoming show at my dance academy, the closing event at the organization where I volunteer. But, wait a second! I am forgetting something important. Even if I am constantly trying to inject myself with positive thinking based on the fact that my interviews went really good, I should be prepared for the worst.

Round 2 applications

I am doing Kellogg and Columbia for round 2. Am I already preparing my applications? I made a first draft of the essays, but I have barely made any progress to be honest. I find really hard to put all my effort in these applications at the moment because I can’t help but thinking that I may not need to submit them at all. To make things worse, the timing is awful. I will be hearing the first final decision on December 8th and by then it will be too late to start round 2 applications, so I should get to work right now.

About a week from now, round 1 will be over and hopefully the whole application process too. However, until then I guess I will be working on my applications for round two.

Good luck with your applications!

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I’m just doing some drawing to deal with the anxiety.

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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
Manager
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Status: Current Student - UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Posts: 159
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Technology
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
GPA: 3.43
WE: Operations (Investment Banking)
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New post 06 Dec 2016, 10:01
1
FROM MBA Reapplicant: Re-introduction
It’s quickly approaching two years since I last wrote anything on this blog. A lot has happened since then. When I last posted, I had just gotten back from spending time with family during the holidays and was entering my second quarter of my first year at UCLA Anderson. Classes, b-school social life, and internship recruiting were in full swing...

Two years later, I am now living in the Seattle area, working as a Digital Marketing Manager for Microsoft. Since my last post, I have frequently thought about writing about my journey, but in hindsight, I am glad I have waited until now to start back up again. The time has given my perspective on the MBA experience that I think will allow me to contribute in a more meaningful way to those who are thinking of getting an MBA, are in b-school now, or who are just at a place where they are evaluating their career goals.

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I am not claiming to have all the answers to finding a meaningful and fulfilling career, or any answers along those lines for that matter. But I do have a perspective that I wish to share一and maybe that perspective will influence one or two people out there for the better. And if that’s all it does, that’s cool with me.

With all that being said, I just realized since I started this blog, I never really introduced myself. So, here we go.

My name is James Huntington. I am a husband, father, and a despiser small talk. I love writing, design, visual communication, and storytelling. I was born in Okinawa, Japan. Contrary to most assumptions, my father is not in the military. My mom is Japanese and my dad is from California.

I moved back and forth between Okinawa and California quite a bit. In total, I spent about eight years in Japan and the rest of my childhood in California. I am sure I will talk plenty about my career in future posts, so I am not going to today. I just want to talk about the important things. I am married to the coolest girl I know, and we have three crazy little boys with the wildest of imaginations. My family is my inspiration. I am trying my best to live a ridiculously intentional life, and be the kind of grown-up my kids will be excited to be like (because let’s face it, most grown-ups are lame, but they don’t have to be).

I don’t know where this blog is going to go. I have a lot of ideas, but don’t necessarily have a concrete plan. I am just hoping that some of the ideas and thoughts I share will turn into meaningful conversations. Well, let’s get this started… or, ah, restarted!
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 MBA blog: http://www.mbaafterlife.com/
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamjameskenichi
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameskhuntington
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Joined: 21 May 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Peru
GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
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New post 17 Dec 2016, 17:01
1
FROM Oh Kay MBA: Welcome to Chicago Booth!
Flashbulb

I was paying for a yogurt and a sandwich when I saw the Chicago code on my phone and started freaking out. I literally abandoned my food at the counter and went somewhere else to take the call. I remember the warm welcome to Booth and the invitation to First Day in February. The call lasted for about 5 minutes and my voice was especially high-pitched the whole time.

There are memories so emotionally charged that even several years later we can remember the situation with every detail. These are called flashbulb memories. That is how Americans can remember what they were doing on 9/11 or Catholics can remember the moment they heard of Pope John Paul II’s death.

The moment they were accepted to business school must be unforgettable for any candidate. The moment I got accepted to Booth has become my new flashbulb memory.

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The last ding

For two whole days, I was waiting for the GSB call, but I never got it. Honestly, I am a bit disappointed, but not as much as I thought I would be. I guess, the hurt of this rejection can’t overshadow the excitement of being accepted to Booth.

Closure

This year was all about the application process: studying for the GMAT, drafting essays, preparing interviews and stressful waiting. Although, the experience consumed a lot of my time and energy, it was also enriching in a personal level. Nevertheless, I am so glad the application process is finally over.

I know I will be going to Booth, so I am withdrawing my Kellogg application and starting to plan my next two years. Having some peace of mind for the Christmas season was all I could ask for.

 

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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
Manager
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Status: Current Student - UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Posts: 159
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Technology
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
GPA: 3.43
WE: Operations (Investment Banking)
Reviews Badge
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New post 07 Jan 2017, 17:01
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FROM MBA Reapplicant: Reflections on UCLA Anderson
Image

Happy New Year everyone!

Before I get started on this post, and well, restarted on this blog in general, I wanted to mention something. For the past several months, I have thought about how to approach what I am putting out in this space. Do I write about b-school, career, life, etc. as an “expert,” or do I just tell my story? In fact, I have written several “posts” and played around with a variety of ideas. I have quickly realized I am not an expert, far from it, and to position myself as such would be inauthentic and fraudulent. But what I can and will do is, offer my perspective as one person who has gone down this path, with the hope of adding value to someone’s life.

So, this is my story. Raw. Unedited. Messy. And far from finished.

I was recently asked by an admissions consultant on a b-school forum if I would write about my experience at UCLA Anderson. As I begin jotting down some thoughts to post in response to her request, I realized that it might be valuable to expand on my reflections here.

In the coming weeks, I plan on writing about the following topics about my experience at Anderson:
  • Admissions 
    • Resume 
    • Essay 
    • Interview 
  • Career services 
  • Recruiting 
  • Summer internship 
  • Academic internships 
  • Full-time recruiting 
  • Academics 
  • The Applied Management Research Program 
  • Student life/culture 
  • Clubs/extracurricular 
  • Alumni 
To get this all kicked off, I want to post my response to that admissions consultant:

“It’s difficult for me to successfully depict my experience at UCLA Anderson in such a limited space. This usually works much better for me in one-on-one conversations, but I will do my best.

“For me Anderson was a place where I met amazing people, pushed myself intellectually, and ultimately transformed myself professionally and personally.

Academics 
“The academic experience overall was great! I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t love all my classes or professors, but on the whole I found myself learning and challenging my own understanding of business on a daily basis. One of the things I loved most about the academic side of Anderson was the diversity of learning experiences and methods I was exposed to. It wasn’t all cases or just lectures. It was a nice balance of those two, plus a healthy amount of experiential learning. Not only were the majority of the professors solid, we also got some amazing guest speakers—Alex Rodriguez, the President of Adidas North America, one of the founding members of CAA, David Aaker, Al Michaels, and Jessica Alba just to name a few.

People 
“One of the main reasons why I decided to attend Anderson was the people. During the application process, Anderson was the only school where 100 percent of the people I reached out to actually got back to me. Those I spoke with were sharp and really knew their stuff. However, the thing that won me over was how noticeably happy they all were. Needless to say, I came into the program with high expectations for my peers. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Not only was I surrounded by incredibly accomplished and intelligent individuals, they were also down-to-earth and approachable. During my two-years at Anderson, I made some of the best friends I will probably ever have. Simply put, the student culture at the school was amazing!

Career
“Although there are many other positive aspects of my Anderson experience, the last one I will mention here is career. The Career Services Center at Anderson is second to none. I would put them up against any other school’s career center. The people I worked with not only wanted to help me get a job, they were invested in helping me better understand myself, my motivations, and my skills so that I could land the right job. I spent many hours with my advisors researching jobs, identifying target companies, prepping for interviews, etc. Without all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Another big asset of Anderson on the career front is the location of the school. The business community in LA is thriving and the opportunities to work within that community to gain real experiences during school are endless. Not only did I do a full-time summer internship, I also did three part-time internships during the school year that enabled me to make the dramatic career shift that I did—operations at Goldman Sachs to marketing at Microsoft.

“In the end, the 21-month experience cost me over $100,000, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The experiences I had, the friends I made, and the opportunities that have been opened up for me wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t gone to Anderson.”
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 MBA blog: http://www.mbaafterlife.com/
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamjameskenichi
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameskhuntington
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Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 13
Concentration: Finance, General Management
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New post 20 Jun 2017, 00:51
1
FROM lillianmbula: PTSD
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I think this the most ‘raw’ post I have ever written to date.

As I said in a previous post one of the reasons I have taken so long to get to apply my MBA is because I had PTSD.

For the clueless ……..

What Is PTSD?

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

Source

So how did I get here???

Well the company I used to work for sold its African operations. Since I was recruited for the African operations and the company head offices were in the Middle East we were asked to relocate.

I was sent to do on assignment in Baghdad

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and returned with…….PTSD. Battling PTSD in Kenya a country where mental illness is considered witchcraft and therefore ostracised and stigmatised was a harrowing experience.

But I made it……….

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Thanks to loads of counselling and medication. SO here I am now ready to take on the GMAT.

 

 

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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
Manager
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)
Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 15:01
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FROM MBA Data Guru: MBA Interview Probability for top schools by GMAT and GPA
MBA Interview Probability for top schools by GMAT and GPA

With round 2 application deadlines rapidly approaching, many applicants may wonder what their chance of getting an MBA interview with their favorite schools is. I analyzed the MBA interview probability for the top 25 schools over the past 5 years by GMAT and GPA. Unsurprisingly, for most schools the MBA interview chance increased for high GMAT and high GPA candidates.

Some interesting insights I found:

  • At Booth, GPA has little to no impact on likelihood of getting and interview unless your GMAT is under 700
  • At Columbia, GMAT and GPA are very important for your interview chances
  • At Cornell, GMAT is far more important than GPA for getting an interview
  • At Duke, neither GPA nor GMAT seem to have much of an impact on interview odds
  • At Emory, strangely, if you have a GMAT of 700 or higher then low GPA applicants actually have a higher chance of getting an interview
  • At Georgetown, chance of getting an interview for 740+ applicants is no more than for those in the 700 to 730 range
  • At Stanford and Harvard, chance of interviewing is depressingly low, both GMAT and GPA are very important
  • At Ross, GPA doesn’t seem to matter if an applicant has a GMAT of 740 or higher
  • At NYU, having a very high GMAT dramatically increases your chance of getting an interview
  • At Wharton, having a high GMAT only appears to matter if the applicants GPA is over 3.40
  • At Yale, both GMAT and GPA have a huge impact on chance of getting an interview
University of Chicago (Booth) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
33%
52%
68%

3.40 – 3.59
28%
53%
67%

3.60+
58%
59%
73%

Arizona State University (Carey) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
56%
53%
75%

3.40 – 3.59
58%
33%
100%

3.60+
52%
62%
75%

Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
67%
61%
74%

3.40 – 3.59
48%
62%
80%

3.60+
53%
49%
77%

Columbia University MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
19%
25%
43%

3.40 – 3.59
17%
34%
54%

3.60+
28%
43%
55%

Cornell University (Johnson) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
46%
62%
69%

3.40 – 3.59
48%
61%
68%

3.60+
54%
58%
72%

Duke University (Fuqua) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
58%
64%
65%

3.40 – 3.59
57%
58%
62%

3.60+
76%
63%
66%

Emory University (Goizueta) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
47%
55%
78%

3.40 – 3.59
44%
52%
57%

3.60+
52%
43%
62%

Georgetown University (McDonough) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
65%
74%
72%

3.40 – 3.59
65%
88%
85%

3.60+
71%
85%
89%

Stanford University (GSB) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
3%
3%
12%

3.40 – 3.59
6%
12%
18%

3.60+
13%
14%
22%

University of California—​Berkeley (Haas) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
12%
27%
22%

3.40 – 3.59
28%
27%
44%

3.60+
27%
39%
50%

Harvard University (HBS) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
5%
10%
13%

3.40 – 3.59
12%
15%
18%

3.60+
12%
24%
27%

Indiana University (Kelley) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
44%
57%
75%

3.40 – 3.59
39%
70%
70%

3.60+
34%
76%
84%

Northwestern University (Kellogg) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
67%
82%
80%

3.40 – 3.59
56%
77%
86%

3.60+
60%
76%
83%

University of Texas—​Austin (McCombs) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
44%
68%
76%

3.40 – 3.59
51%
74%
81%

3.60+
60%
75%
82%

Washington University in St. Louis (Olin) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
58%
76%
88%

3.40 – 3.59
62%
77%
91%

3.60+
74%
86%
80%

Vanderbilt University (Owen) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
74%
80%
56%

3.40 – 3.59
66%
74%
83%

3.60+
94%
83%
92%

University of Michigan—​Ann Arbor (Ross) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
50%
57%
72%

3.40 – 3.59
54%
65%
70%

3.60+
50%
68%
70%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
14%
26%
24%

3.40 – 3.59
0%
24%
33%

3.60+
26%
39%
39%

New York University (Stern) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
24%
28%
44%

3.40 – 3.59
35%
41%
58%

3.60+
13%
37%
56%

Dartmouth College (Tuck) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
58%
66%
71%

3.40 – 3.59
38%
64%
82%

3.60+
65%
73%
74%

University of California—​Los Angeles (Anderson) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
26%
40%
57%

3.40 – 3.59
23%
60%
70%

3.60+
24%
60%
69%

University of North Carolina—​Chapel Hill (Kenan-​Flagler) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
72%
68%
89%

3.40 – 3.59
59%
71%
83%

3.60+
63%
73%
90%

University of Southern California (Marshall) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
38%
74%
67%

3.40 – 3.59
52%
74%
75%

3.60+
28%
71%
85%

University of Virginia (Darden) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
40%
41%
58%

3.40 – 3.59
36%
39%
73%

3.60+
50%
54%
60%

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
29%
35%
33%

3.40 – 3.59
26%
27%
46%

3.60+
29%
36%
55%

Yale University (YSOM) MBA Interview Probability

< 700
700 – 730
740+

< 3.40
15%
31%
42%

3.40 – 3.59
24%
41%
63%

3.60+
34%
53%
67%

MBA Data Guru - Business school admissions data and analysis
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 04:20
1
lillianmbula wrote:
FROM lillianmbula: I have TB!!!!!!
So It’s Official: I have TB. TB in the ear. I am apparently the second person in 20 years that my doctor has seen with this condition. (Help???!!!!!)

Tuberculosis. Who would have thought. For those unaware:

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis.About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those infected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.[1] The historical term “consumption” came about due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis

I will be offline as I battle this since the medication has given me peripheral neuropathy.
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


I am sorry to hear that and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Get well soon.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2018, 02:02
1
FROM lillianmbula: GMAT……..again
So I am ready to attempt the GMAT again. Image

I know I know but with empowerGMAT and GMATClub I am sure I will get my target score.

https://empowergmat.com/

http://www.gmatclub.com

Next time I write about the GMAT it will be

Image

Yup done and dusted.

 
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: 25 Mar 2018
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Concentration: Leadership, Strategy
GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V44
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 20:44
1
FROM nickrubick: The LBS Sloan MSc Interview..
That’s right folks, the Sloan admissions interview has been and gone, on a brilliantly sunny day last Friday, I found myself walking through Regent’s Park on route to what could possibly be a life changing moment.

Image

Quite simply put, leading up to the event I was a bag of nerves. I think this feeling hit a crescendo shortly before I arrived at the LBS campus. Running through my head uncontrollably were hundreds of possible questions that I would be asked, and how I would best answer them. My biggest fear was that I would find myself tongue-tied unable to articulate a decent answer.

In actuality I should have had no fear, as quite contrary to this I found myself if anything speaking too much. In several instances the interviewer was about to move on to the next question, but I had one or two things that I just had to quickly fit in before we changed topic. I only hope what I had to say was reasonable and relevant!

So how did I do, this is a question that I really do not want to answer until I hear back from the school in 10 working days time. However, it does give me an excuse to use my favourite info-graphic…

Image

I can hand on heart say that I answered all of the questions to the best of my ability, there was good two way discussion about several topics, and also the interviewer was much more complimentary about my application content than I was expecting.

Some instant takeaways from this are:

  • Firstly, it is of the upmost importance that you really put the time and care into your written application. I’m sure this goes for all courses at a leading business school, not just the Sloan LBS. To this end I will do another post covering my  approach to the written application in the near future, as hopefully this will be useful to anyone else going through a similar process.
  • Secondly, the time and effort invested by the Sloan MSc applications team into reading and digesting my application was clearly significant. I can only thank them for that. This is not just the essays that I submitted, but all aspects of the application, from hobbies and interests through to my specific expectations of what I will get from the programme if I am accepted.
The kind and insightful feedback of my written submission certainly helped me to ease my nerves, and in turn helped build my confidence during the interview. It was an intense hour of discussion, but if enjoyable is too strong a word, it was certainly not as difficult as I was fearing. This is where a strong written application will really help you, as I would imagine if there were perceived holes in it then the questions may have been more probing (or at least would have felt more probing to me).

Some key topics of discussion were:Elaborating on my essays, specifically one where I describe my most difficult professional decision made to date. With this I was asked to explain the factors that lead to the decision, and how I persuaded stakeholders that it was the right thing to do.

  • A brief introspect into my life in general, and my approach to solving problems. Specifically I was asked ‘when do I get time to think?’ which was an interesting question; if there is anything I feel I do a lot of, it is stopping and thinking! Perhaps my depicted profile was a bit more action packed than I intended.
  • I was also asked about my experience working with different cultures, specifically with my time in the Philippines, and also working remotely with teams in the U.S.
  • I was then asked about my expectations with regards to the programme. As the course in relative terms is very expensive and time consuming, I think the faculty wanted to ensure I don’t see the MSc as a magic wand that will fix all of my career aspirations in one fell swoop.
  • Finally I was asked what questions I had, of which I had a few, some of which were:
    • Could I join the many clubs and open evenings at LBS once I had been accepted, or would I have to wait until the start of the programme? (Yes access to these will be immediate).
    • Would I have the opportunity to get to know the fellow future students in advance of the course start date? (Yes)
    • What could I study to help me prepare (I was advised to speak with a CFO or equivalent who had completed a similar course – see what they propose as effective study / reading material).
  • At the end of the allotted time, the interviewer explained that I would hear back within 10 days, and even if I wasn’t successful I would receive detailed feedback. Once again this shows how much time LBS are investing in each applicant, even if you will not be joining the programme.
Once complete, I was very grateful to myself for selecting a Friday afternoon time slot, as it meant that I could walk away and have the whole weekend to unwind from the experience before attacking work again on Monday morning. The simply fantastic weather also helped.

My final words on the whole experience are to go back and describe my nerves pre-interview. If I wasn’t nervous, considering it was something I had worked towards for over a year, there would be something wrong.  I resolved to draw on the spirit of David Bowie, which is a playful way to try and settle myself, as touched upon in an earlier post: An ode to David..

What Really steadied myself however was when I remembered  the last time I had felt so nervous; it was just before my GMAT exam, which I had done considerably well in. So If I could harness the nerves and turn them into positive energy as I did back then, hopefully I would be OK.

I discovered a very useful Ted Talk by Lisa Feldman Barrett on this topic earlier this year; in it Lisa explains that your emotions are actually similar habits. Thus if you can train yourself to think in a certain way under certain circumstances, this will eventually gain momentum, and will become easier over time. I would recommend a listen – see link below.

 

Now the dust has settled, my main concerns would be that I may have come across too confident, and talkative, quite the opposite of my initial fears leading up to the interview. In addition perhaps I didn’t show enough high level business experience, although I did try to convey as much as possible what I could offer to the class to make up for this (experience of working in intimate teams, strategy ‘implementation’ experience, and a strong empathy and agreement of many of the philosophies developed by the school).

However, when all is said and done, there is no point worrying too much; the decision is now out of my control. As interviewees, we can second guess but we simply do not know the exact profile of the candidates the interviewers are looking for. This concept is explained very concisely by the amiable Dilbert cartoon below.

Image

I’ll be sure to post again as soon as I hear any feedback, as well as another post to give any perceived tips on the application process.

Thanks for reading, and once again, wish me luck!
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2018, 11:56
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FROM Nomadsmba: Video essays…
This was the worst! I didn’t realise how hard this will be to do.

Some schools, McCombs and Rice in my case, give you the option to tell them who you are via video. It is only an option and is not compulsory. They tell you your choice of written or video essay will not affect your application. I really hope this is true or I am screwed as I did not opt for the video option. I do know a current McCombs MBA student who did not choose the video option so I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

I had initially insisted on doing a video for the McCombs essay but realised during the week of the deadline that I would not be able to do this. I had decided to do it myself (which is not a good idea in my opinion) and was not happy with the results. I believe you need to get advice from someone who is good at making/producing videos. You are also encouraged to let your character show which is not as easy as you think. A lot of applicants have posted their videos on youtube (I noticed you don’t usually get told if the video applicants were admitted or not though!) and there are also tips on how to produce a good video essay.
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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R1 Strategy and Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 11:13
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FROM AUSJ: R1 Strategy and Essays
Last week was my final application for R1 (Duke) and has finally given me some time to breathe and start writing this blog.

The schools I applied to R1 are as follows;

  • London Business School
  • Dartmouth Tuck
  • Berkeley Haas
  • Duke Fuqua
  • Yale SOM
I’d also intended to apply to INSEAD and Ross however I massively underestimated INSEADs essay and had issues with the LOR for Ross, meaning I will push those schools back to R2.

Why did I chose these schools?

I wanted schools that ;

  • Are well known internationally and travel well (particularly in Australia / Asia)
  • That place relatively well into consulting &/or tech
  • That I head a realistic shot of getting into with a below average GMAT.
 

As for the essays, I cannot understate how draining writing and editing essays is, particularly if you are applying to many schools. As mentioned, I’d originally planned to apply to 7 schools in R1 but only ended up applying to 5. I also started writing them very late in the application cycle (mid-August) which gave me 6 weeks max for Duke and only 4 weeks for LBS.

Thankfully I began with Ross and the 3 mini essays as well as standard career goals essay formed a solid base for the rest of my applications. Once I had my career goals and why MBA story nailed, much of the other essays were significantly quicker, i.e LBS and Haas.

The essays I spent the most time on where definitely Duke and Tuck. Duke’s 25 random thing seems easy but is actually incredibly challenging. I consider myself to be a fairly interesting person with a lot of unique experiences but still struggled once I hit the 20 mark. Tuck’s ‘Nice Essay’ was also very difficult. Explaining in detail a time when I helped someone else succeed in 500 words took a lot of reflection and introspection, something that I found much more challenging than the traditional why MBA essay.

Key Takeaway

Start with career goals and why MBA essay first and get a solid story locked down. You should be able to use this as a base for all other schools. Then move onto the personal and reflection essays allowing yourself significant time for introspection.

 
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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Me, Myself & OPT  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2018, 04:02
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FROM Nomadsmba: Me, Myself & OPT
This is probably the most concerning issue for us international students. Getting a job in the US post MBA. I constantly ask myself what the job prospects are as an international student? How my lack of US citizenship/green card impacts my chances of landing internships? What will be the impact of the current climate – Trump and all – on me? From my interactions with current students and alumni these concerns are valid and is something we as international students seriously need to consider when applying to business schools in the US.

As international students on F1 status, we are entitled to the OPT. What is OPT? According to Wikipedia, OPT (Optional Practical Training) “is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than three months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for one year on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their education.”

If you complete a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) designated program, and meet other specified requirements, you are allowed to apply for a 24 month extension after completing your OPT, giving you a total of 36 months of OPT. So what is the point of all this information I am giving you. Let me try and break it down.

Firstly, my chances of landing an internship are reduced because I am not a US citizen/green card holder. This is the feedback I have received from current international students. One student I spoke to chose her location because they have a large number of tech startups and technology is her passion. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to land an internship with any of them as they do not consider international applicants. Companies argue that they employ graduates from business schools for the long term and the investment is huge. The risk of losing you after one year because you are unable to stay beyond your 12 month OPT is one they are not willing to take.

Secondly, if you are seriously considering working in the US for more than the 12 month OPT, you want to look for a way to get a STEM designation. This is where it gets complicated. Not many of the top business schools have STEM designated MBAs. From my research, University of Rochester became the first school to offer a STEM designated full time MBA. This only happened in 2018. There are a number of schools who already offer specialty Masters of Science degrees that are STEM eligible. McCombs have advised their MSF program will be getting a STEM designation this year. A number of schools offer Master’s degree programs in Data Analytics and Supply Chain Management that are STEM eligible but these are all specialised degrees. University of Wisconsin offer a Supply Chain Management specialization, which is STEM-designated and so do a number of other schools listed in this article. This then brings me to my next point.

This then got me thinking “Isn’t there a way to combine these into one program?” Let me expand. The curriculum for a lot of the MBA programs I looked at have core classes in the first (and sometimes second) semester. After this, are electives where you get to choose your classes. Some schools offer concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Operations, Real Estate etc. where you have to sit a number of specific classes to graduate with a concentration in those areas but generally you are allowed to design the program to suit your interests. I began to wonder if, for example, I go to McCombs, can I pick as my electives all the classes in their MSF program and graduate with a dual degree (MBA/MSF) which will then give me the STEM designation I desire? I have asked this question and am waiting for their response.

Remember I mentioned in my last blog that I will expand on the dual degrees and self initiated degrees at Ross, Michigan. This is an advantage I believe Ross has. They have a number of dual degree programs for the MBA but more importantly they allow students initiate their own dual degree programs so you can pick a program that will qualify for STEM and do it in tandem with your MBA. As previously mentioned, you will have to apply to and be accepted by both programs you are interested in. As an FYI, their Masters in Supply Chain Management is STEM eligible and can be done in conjunction with an MBA.

I personally believe it is important to consider all this while having discussions with potential MBA schools. We need to look beyond just the strength of the school or the program but also the opportunities that will exist in the US (if this is where you will like to work) post graduation. You should ask schools about their STEM eligible programs, whether there is a way to tailor these around an MBA and employment opportunities for international students. Do not think these are no go areas. Schools are aware the applications from international students on the whole has dropped in recent years and they are happy to have conversations on how this can be improved.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2013, 02:00
bb wrote:

New feature on GMAT Club - Applicant Blogs



"The best advice I have ever received was from my fellow applicants" - this is a quote I hear almost daily from GMAT Club members. This thread is bringing you the latest and greatest from the MBA blogosphere! This thread will be a collection of GMAT Club member blog posts brought directly from their blogs. You can pick up what they have found to be worthwhile and get the news that matter to people in your situation. You can now learn a lot more about your fellow members and I encourage you to visit their blogs (linked in the header to learn even more).

Here is a list of users/blogs that are currently participating (want to add your blog? You can do it here)

1. Domotron - http://domotron.wordpress.com/


Thank you! bb for this new feature. Pretty helpful
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2013, 16:00
FROM Hamm0's Blog: Decision Season
Well, it is that time of year. As foreshadowed by my last post, the storm is here. The once quiet gmatclub chat room is now bubbling with 30-50 people hiding from work waiting for decisions. Every piece of data from the admissions office is posted, analyzed, decomposed, and re-analyzed. For me, this week represents my first decision date. Cornell Johnson is set to release decisions tomorrow, 12/11 for all round 1 applicants. Knowing this, I expected calls to start today.

Image

I spent the morning hiding my phone in places where I could not see it, but could hear it vibrate if needed. That lasted for about 20 minutes when my mother called me to see how much snow I got and I almost fell out of my chair trying to answer the phone. Do not ever call an MBA applicant in the 48hrs preceding a deadline. Around 11:00, with still no news on the forums, I decided it was time for an extended lunch. I grabbed my coat, and hit the gym. For those of you that are still waiting, or will be waiting in the future, definitely do this. The gym is a great way to reduce stress and take your mind off something that is swaying your attention from everything else. I figured it would be fitting that when I came back to my locker after my shower, that I’d have a missed call. At least I hoped.

Image
Get away from me phone!

Phone check #496 on the day yielded an unimportant email from work, so I headed out into the cold for some lunch. Maybe food would help me relax. After all, I do love my noms. When I got back to my desk with my bounty, I realized they grabbed me the wrong flavor of chips – I hate sour cream and onion. At least my wrap was good. Maybe it was just going to be one of those days. I woke up late and had to shovel the snow from the driveway, which made me late for work. I was even more late because the snow-caused traffic jam. And now I got the wrong chips. Then it started.

Image
It was looking like one of those days….

While suffering my way through the aforementioned chips, I instinctively checked gmatclub to see if anyone had heard from Johnson. Yup. Someone from the east coast was reporting an acceptance. And then there was another. And another. If you are an avid reader of Boots to Suits, you know I refer to application anxiety by a scale called the mpg scale. Assuming the scale of 0-10, 10 being the highest, I moved to about a 9.86. All of the admits were from the east coast. I am from the east coast. Like any neurotic applicant, I took to my phone, and started texting a friend who know what I was going through to pass the time. At least this way, if the phone rang, I’d have it in my hands.

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Waiting waiting waiting waiting.

Mid-text, I got a call from a number I did not recognize. My heart leapt, but then I realized it wasn’t the area code I was looking for. Who is calling me from Palmdale? I don’t know anyone in Palmdale. I ducked in a conference room and timidly answered. The voice began to say something – and all I heard was “…from the Johnson school of Management at Cornell – do you know why I’m calling you today?” I beamed. “I think so, but I want to hear you say it” was my awfully cheesy response. The rest of the call I don’t think I could choke out anything but lots of “thank you’s”.

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Johnson adcom listening to me on the phone

So there it is – I’m in at Johnson. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. Those that know me know that I’ve been working towards this for a long time. I would like to thank all of you for all of your efforts, advice, and dealing with my mpgs. You people are the best. Looking forward, I have 3 more decisions coming up next week: Fuqua, Ross, and Tuck. You will definitely get another update by the end of next week, but for now, its celebration time.

Filed under: Admissions Tagged: Accepted!, Admissions, Business school, Johnson Image
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New post 16 Dec 2013, 14:54
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: The December game plan
 

Right. So after my poor GMAT score. I’ve taken a couple of days to reflect, to research and to come up with a new game plan.

Aim

My aim is to apply for two American business schools in round two.

The schools are Harvard and Duke and both have a submission deadline of the 6th January.

To do this successfully I need to:

  • Sort references
  • Write essays
  • Fill in applications
  • Shorten my CV
  • Resit GMAT
References

First step is finalising who I’m going to ask to be references for each business school. To help choose, I’m going to be guided by the questions the recommenders need to answer. Harvard wants both recommenders to talk about what constructive criticism they have given me and how I’ve responded. While Duke wants references that can comment on my interpersonal and team working skills. Thankfully I think I can ask a couple of people, so no one needs to do more than one business school.

Essays

For the Harvard essay I can reuse a lot of the personal statement essay from the Fulbright application. A lot of the qualities they look for are very similar between the two. Just need to tweak it and focus more on what I can bring to the Harvard community.

I’ve done the first draft of the 25 random things for duke. But I will need to rewrite and ensure it compliments the rest of my application. I need to write an essay on why duke. Truthfully I need to do a bit more research to make this truly sing. But I can make a good start and then focus on the areas where I need to fill in the gaps. First step write emails to some more student groups.

They also want me to write three short essays on my post MBA goals. Again while I my Fulbright essay on research objectives can be used as a starting point. I think I need to make the aims and objectives alot more punchy and focused.

Fill in applications

This is the faffy bit. To reduce any last-minute stress this is best done early with a glass of wine in hand. I have all my transcripts PDFed and ready to go. So it looks like a Friday night or a Saturday after hockey is application time. I don’t foresee any issues with this section.

CV

I’ve got positive comments on my CV in terms of length and content. However for business school I need to reduce it to a page. From what I’ve seen I need to focus more on impact. Mmm how do you that in a public sector research context? Need to think a bit more about that but I’m hoping I have a good starting point.  I think  I can re-write this over Christmas so no need to worry now.

Resit the GMAT

Ok, I need to resit the GMAT. This is my final shot. Based on the last two times I need a different strategy. My new strategy is based on two aims:

  • Reduce performance gap between practice test and test day
  •  Improve overall level of performance
To reduce the performance gap I need to sit alot more practice tests. Downside for me one test takes four hours. So there is only one day of the week I have enough time to sit them which means there is a natural limit to how many I can do. I also need to improve timing and thinking under pressure. There are two basic approaches to this. Do questions under timed conditions and really know inside out and backwards the approach I should take to each question type.

Since some of the performance gap might be due to the incorrect accommodations I’ve asked my educational psychologist for their advice just to be sure.

Since I’m going to work under the assumption of that I have a performance gap I need to improve my overall level of performance. So I want to improve my verbal score to the 99 percentile. This is very achievable. Just need to nail sentence correction. Downside as a dyslexic this is where I struggle in normal life. So I have my work cut out for me. I can often tell if the sentence is wrong but I can’t say why. Upside I’ve seen a course which might help, which is offered by GMAT pill. I also need to do more work on the Quant and see if I can improve it towards the 70 percentile. Help! Seriously I know the concepts, how to approach questions and the strategies to use. But I can’t seem to translate that to test day. So it’s a combination of the basics and learning how to tackle the tough stuff. Some if that is just deciding which subject areas I want to get to an advanced level in. So that really knowing my strengths and weaknesses.

I also think I need to change my online course. I’ve used Magoosh and its been brilliant at moving me from 25 percentile to about 50 percentile. But I’ve now gone through the videos twice. I need a new resource which also covers the advanced stuff. Any suggestions?

I also have a maths tutor who has also been really helpful at bringing up my score and showing me answer strategies.

I’m tempted by GMAT pill, but I would love to try something offered by Manhattan GMAT, if only it offered something which was only quant focused.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2013, 14:54
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Oops. Stress makes a come back.
I was doing so well. I had a routine at work, strict rules about bed time and it was working. All this meant I was keeping a handle on my stress.

But Darn, the last three weeks I had fallen into bad habits and the stress monster came back. Feel a bit disappointed about getting stress again. Here are a list of my sins:

  • I forgot to take proper lunch breaks
  • No mid-week exercise in two weeks
  • Late night study session
  • No break after my exam. I socialised too hard
  • Then this week, no social life. Bad me.
And I’ve need to take steps to bring my life back in balance. Unfortunately this has meant less GMAT study and business school apps. Bringing my life in balance has included a night out with friends to the dogs, betting on move over Obama, a lovely greyhound. Then an early night, a game of hockey and then a night out with another set of friends to see watching the Dame Edna tour. Then a lazy Sunday which has included reading a book, catching up on TV, a Skype chat and lots of tea. Hopefully this means I will be firing on all systems for Monday.

So what does this mean for rest of December?

No excuses I must exercise once during the week. I must take one night off during the week to socialise. I might also need to start ignoring GMAT-pill’s study plan. A bit too intense.

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New post 16 Dec 2013, 15:03
FROM The adventures of a (provisional) MBA student: Harvard – The interview with a sprinkling of wine & cheese
A large part of my HBS interview experience was associated with the ‘extras’. A mere 30 minute interview doesn’t do the day justice, so much of my state of mind hinged on the day around it. So you’ll get the full account, Dear Reader

Build-up

With the build-up, comes nerves. Falling asleep to ‘snow overnight in England’ brought back my memories of my GMAT – where I almost missed my exam slot after my train dragged its way painfully over partially frozen rails. This did nothing for my anxiety. Thankfully, the weather was clear and bright on the day.

My preparation in the morning consisted of reading my application what seemed over 100 times in the preceding days, until I knew it backwards. I also spent significant time answering common questions (although it felt a bit overpriced, I do recommend ClearAdmit’s interview guide- http://www.clearadmit.com/products/interview-guides/ - all the information is freely available elsewhere on their site but it is a useful summary of possible questions. Their school guides are better though). Several questions found on forums were actually asked in the interview, so perhaps not wasted time going through these thoroughly, if nothing else to get some themes in your head you’d use to answer each one.

My last half hour on the train & tube I turned off. So I was fresh I just read the newspaper on the way in.

The Preamble

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Park Lane: More expensive now

HBS had taken a few hotel business rooms on Park Lane for the week in London. Probably the most exclusive hotel area in the city, I actually felt a little out of place. This territory is normally reserved for high rollers and unfathomably wealthy Chinese tourists.

Arriving 20 minutes early, I bumped into the previous interviewees having a drink before they left. They looked calm. Fresh. Almost… casual? (B******ds!) However, my nerves started to dissipate. Talking to my fellow applicants was actually interesting, if a little intimidating. One had traveled from Rwanda to be there. This is a LONG way. I almost forgot I was about to be interviewed.

After they left, I had the chance to talk to one of the Admissions team, again completely off-topic and just soothing before the big event. If nothing else was gained during this day, at least I handed out a useful tip on where to get theatre tickets for the West End. Suddenly, I was on. ‘Tim?’

The Interview

After all I’d read, a surprisingly relaxed experience. My nerves had settled slightly by then, and the interviewers were friendly and welcoming – not at all like the fierce HBS interviews I’d read about as expected.

The interview itself was very free flowing. I don’t really see the point in listing the questions in detail, as I got the impression they were chosen from a very long list based on my own circumstances. However, most were about fine details in my application. I’d suggest making sure you’re able to expand on each and every aspect in there.

I mean, every one. I was even asked about my childhood and a particularly notable part of where I grew up – “did it influence you?”. Err…

The 30 minutes went really quick. So quick I was stunned when we finished. Some points I wanted to get across in the interview, simply didn’t come up due to time. I can understand why its short – for the Admissions Committee to interview everyone personally around the globe as they do at HBS, they have a huge number to get through and an enormous amount of travelling. The logistics of it must be a nightmare.

Funnily enough though it’s not often you can say you actually enjoyed an interview, whatever the outcome. I still have no idea about my chances, I stumbled in a few places but was confident in others. It was made clear that this is only part of my application and the application as a whole gets taken into account in the final decision.

I suspect mix and diversity is a key part at this stage too, as the numbers dwindle. If there’s more than a few European-based Operations applicants still standing, I may be sunk whatever my own performance. The converse is also true. I’ve now allowed myself to be slightly hopeful as the odds shorten. Idiot. I’m sure I’ll regret this.

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane” – Morgan Freeman, in ‘Shawshank Redemption’

Post-Interview Wind Down

Then I had a two hour gap. HBS had organised a private Alumni Q&A session in the evening. Only one thing to do, in the rain in London. Pub.

My pen I had on the way in was missing. I panicked briefly that it had fallen out in my pocket during interview, the interviewer had slipped on it after I left and he was now waiting for paramedics. This would not do my chances any good. [Your imagination does crazy things at times like these...]

I wrote down every question I could remember from the interview, and assumed I’d remember my answers. (Next morning, I realised actually I really didn’t so perhaps take some notes on key points of the answers too?). Useful for the post-interview reflection, a new part of the applcation at HBS where you have 24 hours to write a final note & mini-essay.

Wine (After beer…)

The Alumni panel in the evening was an absolute joy. I was joined by my fiancé (invited by HBS – a nice touch) and we got the chance to ask a lot of private questions about everything from post-HBS experiences to the housing lottery. The alumni were great, enthusiastic and blew off a lot of cobwebs from the traditional HBS image. I left thinking it was not possible to be more enthusiastic about anything so I guess the evening did its job. The cheese was good too.

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The scene of battle polite conversation: Park Lane

The Wait

So it’s now four days later. 4/23. The notification deadline of December 11th looms large. Already it’s like some sort of terrible torture. I’m a little more philosophical now about the outcome, but I am certainly both allowing myself at least some hope which usually precedes a terrible disappointment for me.

I can’t imagine a better interview day experience though. It was clear a real effort was made to get to know the real me, and not try and catch me out or trip me up. Well done to HBS.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2013, 16:00
FROM Domotron's Blog: Ding #2 – Wharton
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Wharton said thanks but no thanks. I honestly thought my team-based discussion and subsequent interview went well. I guess it may not have compensated for a somewhat marginal application in the first place. A real mixture of emotions at this point. The tough thing was getting closer with Wharton (i.e. receiving an interview invitation) but still no end result as yet.

This leaves Booth as the last school standing in R1 with calls due tomorrow and final decisions on Thursday. Not feeling at all optimistic at this point about my chances at Booth but we will see. Tomorrow is another day and it’s completely out of my hands now! Congrats to those who received good news today from Wharton. A whole bunch of schools are releasing their decisions tomorrow so best of luck everyone.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2013, 16:00

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