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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 28 Nov 2014, 00:01
2
FROM MBA Data Guru: Indian Application Disadvantage at Wharton’s MBA Program
Indian Application Disadvantage at Wharton’s MBA Program

Recently I discovered an Indian application disadvantage at Wharton’s MBA program while reviewing their admissions data. I have been busy over the past few months at business school and haven’t been able to post. I am attending NYU Stern school of business and loving it. I have a little bit of free time over Thanksgiving break so I decided to make a little progress towards building my MBA admission calculator. I started by analyzing Wharton’s admission data because I have far more data available for Wharton compared to other schools. This makes it easier to find statistical significance in the model. For example, there are 1,093 Wharton applicants verses 498 NYU applicants. I built a beta version of a model to predict admissions into Wharton, but plan to spend a lot more time working on it before I release it on this website.

The Indian Application Disadvantage at Wharton
In building the logistic regression, I found that the only three variables had statistic significance, including GPA, GMAT and whether the applicant was from India. I was shocked to find a significant Indian application disadvantage, the acceptance rate for Indians was 3.4% compared to 18.2% for Americans and 13.8% for non-Indian Internationals.

Image
Despite similar GMAT scores, Indian applicants had significantly lower acceptance rate at Wharton.

The difference between American and non-Indian acceptance rates was not statistically significant. However, the Indian acceptance rate difference was significant, with a confidence interval of 0% to 8%. This means we can be about 95% sure that the Indian acceptance rate is equal to or lower than 8%. For this analysis I excluded all entries that were missing both GMAT and GPA. If I had included these applicants who didn’t share their scores, then the Indian acceptance rate would have dropped to 2.8%.

I don’t know why the acceptance rate for Indian applicants is lower despite similar GPAs and GMAT scores. It could be due to trouble writing application essays or some other explanation, but I think this matter needs to be looked at closer.

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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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 04 Dec 2014, 19:00
2
FROM MBA Data Guru: Follow Up on Wharton Acceptance Rate for Indian Applicants
Follow Up on Wharton Acceptance Rate for Indian Applicants

Last week I posted an article discussing the Indian application disadvantage at Wharton. I received a request to go into more detail about how GMAT impacts the Wharton acceptance rate for Indian applicants. Given that only 5% of applicants identified as Indian and the acceptance rate is low, I don’t have enough data to look at that relationship in isolation. However, I have built a model that can predict what that relationship would be for Indian applicants based off of data from other Wharton applicants.

Wharton Acceptance Rate by GMAT
As you can see, my model predicts that there is a relationship between GMAT and the Wharton acceptance rate. This acceptance rates in the graph assumes a GPA of 3.54, which is the average for Wharton applicants. As you would expect, the higher the GMAT score, the higher the chance of getting in. Unfortunately, even with an 800, the forecast acceptance rate is still less than 10% for Indian applicants. Image

Wharton Acceptance Rate by GPA
I decided to also look at the relation ship between GPA and acceptance rate as well. Similar to GMAT, higher GPAs increase your chance of acceptance. For the graph below I used the average Wharton GMAT score of 728 to calculate the acceptance rate. Even for candidates with a 4.0 GPA, they only have an acceptance rate of 6%.

Image

After that I made a graph displaying the relationship between GMAT and GPA on acceptance rate for Indian applicants. With a 4.0 GPA and 800 GMAT, the acceptance rate increased to 12%, but that is still very low for such a qualified candidate.

Image

The final question to answer is which is more important to Wharton, GMAT or GPA.I already had suspicions that Wharton cared more about GMAT than GPA, and this analysis confirmed it. I looked at the average candidate (both Indian and non-Indian) then compared the average acceptance rate to the acceptance rate one standard deviation above and below for both GMAT and GPA.

Image
As you can see the slope for the line is steeper for the GMAT than for GPA. What this means is that a candidate who score one standard deviation above average for GMAT will be rewarded more than a candidate who has a GPA one standard deviation above average. Similarly a candidate will be punished more for having a low GMAT. This suggests that GMAT is more important to Wharton than GPA.

The data used to make this post came from GMAT Club and included applicants from 2012 through 2014.

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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Joined: 14 Jul 2013
Posts: 276
Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: 690 Q49 V34
GMAT 2: 670 Q49 V33
GPA: 3.6
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New post 06 Dec 2014, 23:01
2
FROM Farhanc85: Oxford Callling!!!!!
This is a scene exactly a year back

Wife: Why are you applying to only ISB?
Me : It's nearby, cost-effective, 1 year and it would be easy to fly down from Hyderabad
Wife: Just to be close to me, you are not applying elsewhere.
Me : Yeah and then there is money too.
Wife: We will figure that out, you apply to Oxford, Harvard.
Me: So these are the names you know that every relative uses and you have seen them in Bollywood movies
Wife: With a sly smile, but aren't they good, they are so famous.
Me: Harvard No!!!, It's a 2 year MBA. Oxford, I don't know if I have that kind of profile
Wife: You have a year start working on that stuff

Fast forward a year:

I was driving and got a text, I usually don't see any text while driving but that day I was expecting the result. Stopped the car, read the text from a fellow GmatClub buddy, he said check your email now.

I checked my email.

Dear Farhan  It is my pleasure to confirm the decision of the MBA Admissions Committee to offer you a place on the 2015-2016 MBA program

I didnt even finish reading the entire email, I read this line and called her. She was much more ecstatic than I was. She reminded me of this conversation a year back. All that moping after the ISB ding last year and after INSEAD ding last month, everything is nullified now.

Next post, I will write my application experience to Oxford.

Cheers

P.S Soon I will migrate to a different blog :)
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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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)
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New post 22 Dec 2014, 12:00
2
FROM MBA Data Guru: Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis
Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Many MBA applicants wonder what their chances of getting into a top school is. This analysis looks at Cornell MBA acceptance rate based on data such as GMAT, GPA, undergraduate major, and age at application. The average acceptance rate at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is 22%, which is higher than all of the schools in the top 10 but lower than many of the schools ranked 11 to 20.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
Image
As you would expect, GMAT has a high impact on Cornell MBA acceptance rate. Theaverage GMAT for the Cornell MBA class of 2016 is 700. Although GMAT does affect Cornell MBA acceptance rate, GMAT has a smaller importance than other schools such as Kellogg. Increasing your GMAT score by 30 points raises your chance of admission by 5% at Kellogg but only by 2% at Cornell.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
Strangely enough it appears that GPA has little to no impact on your acceptance rate at Johnson. When I ran the logistic regression, GPA was the first variable I eliminated. Even at Stanford, GPA wasn’t eliminated until almost at the end. This suggests to me that Cornell really doesn’t care about GPA. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then you should be applying to Cornell for the highest chance of admission. The average GPA from my data set, which came from GMAT Club, was 3.40 for both accepted and for declined applicants.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by Age
Image
Although your GPA doesn’t matter to Cornell, the age at which you apply does matter. Similar to other schools, such as NYU, the age at which you apply does impact your chance of admission. Cornell prefers candidates who are close to the average age of around 27 or 28. The further you deviate from this average age, the lower your chances of admission are. I believe that the schools do this for two reasons. The first is that young people don’t have as much work experience, so they tend to have less to contribute to the conversation in class. At the other end, candidates that are too old are harder to place in  recruiting because companies wonder why someone who is so old is getting an MBA. I have noticed that the women in my program tend to be younger on average than the men. I imagine that the admissions department will give women a little more leeway on applying younger because some women want to finish their MBA before they start a family.

Other Factors that Impact Acceptance Rate
Candidates who apply while living in India have a lower acceptance rate, while those applying while in the US have a higher admission rate. Applicants who majored in engineering during their undergraduate program have a lower acceptance rate. The admission rate for applicants who are currently working in manufacturing is significantly lower than anyone else.

Good luck with your applications!

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 11 Jan 2015, 21:01
2
1
FROM My Journey to Business School: Tepper School of Business – Interview Debrief
Aloha, amigos! And congratulations to all those people who got interview invites from Tepper! A few people wrote to me asking about my interview experience with Tepper, so I thought I should do a short debrief here.

I scheduled my Skype interview online with the Tepper adcom – MJ Wrobleski. The interview started just a few minutes late. I was freaking out when I did not get a Skype invite on the dot, so I searched for my interviewer on Skype and added her to my contact list and sent her a reminder that we have an interview scheduled. DUH.

For those with invites, I’d recommend you wait if your interview has not yet started. It could be that the previous interview ran long or the adcom might be busy with something else for a few minutes. Unless it’s WAY past interview time (15 minutes past), and you have still not received word from the adcom, you can then reach out. But otherwise, I’d say give them the benefit of doubt and keep calm. :)

Anyway, my interviewer was chirpy and friendly and I was at ease a few minutes into the interview. The questions I got asked were fairly standard, so you should have no surprises as long as you are prepared with the standard list of interview questions.

These are the questions that I got asked:

What are your career goals?

Why MBA?

Talk about a time you had to take an unpopular decision at work. How did it affect you and your team?

Talk about a time you motivated your team to work towards a common goal.

Talk about a time you didn’t have the skills required to do a particular job so you had to ask for help.

[I took about 30 seconds or so to think about an answer to this question, as I wasn’t prepared for this.]

Talk about a time you had to work with someone you had cultural differences with. How did you resolve these

differences?

Talk about a time you had a disagreement at work (maybe you gave an idea that was not implemented) and you had to compromise.

Why Tepper?

That was pretty much it. Overall it took just about 20 minutes to answer all the above questions.

Then we had about 5 minutes for Q&A where I asked:

[*]Are there any facts you feel like prospective applicants should know about Tepper but don’t? [/*]
[*] What’s it like living in Pittsburg?[/*]
Here are additional R1 interview experiences from candidates:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-100.html#p1428166

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-100.html#p1429210

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-100.html#p1430780

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-100.html#p1430983

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-140.html#p1434085

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-220.html#p1449752

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-240.html#p1450609

http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-tepper-cmu-applicants-2015-intake-class-of-173847-260.html#p1455297

(Courtesy: AnkurGupta03)

These links and questions were useful when I was preparing for my interview. If you have a Tepper interview coming up, I’d suggest you prepare yourself for all the questions that were asked to other applicants.

Good luck for your interview! :)

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New post 18 Feb 2015, 05:00
2
FROM GNPTH: LOVE- NO!!; GMAT- YESSSSS!!
When the whole world celebrated Valentine day and enjoyed with their Love. I was hoping that Cupid will shoot his Arrow of desire/love towards me. But instead I had to stick with my GMAT preparation.

When many MBA applicants are keen in making a decision about “Which school to attend”. I had to stick with OG and Practice for the GMAT with whatever materials I have. Not that I’m Complaining/ whining as I had already made my decision to apply for Class of 2018.

You can ask, then what’s the point in mentioning about this. I mentioning this just shout out “Congratulations” to all my fellow MBA aspirants for getting accepted into their target B-Schools. :). And all best for your decision making process, if you haven’t made it yet. Most of them had hell of ride, I was able to witness from their blogs. It certainly helped me to get ready for the application process which i will be starting this fall. Also their blogs taught me, what to expect and what not to expect once you are done with your applications and you know that you have screwed somewhere of the application.

All I wanted to say is that– “Thanks” to all bloggers who will be matriculating this year in their dream B-schools and in the process helping me/ fellow aspirants with their blog posts :). Hope their MBA/ GMAT blogs will transform into B-school life blogs soon :)

Confession: Before starting my blog I had no idea about the interview process and what questions to expect etc etc. Now I believe, I have full knowledge if not some knowledge about the key elements in a MBA Applications. Obviously, it makes me feel relaxed as I have to concentrate more on my GMAT as of now.

Coming back to GMAT, I almost done with my Preparation and getting ready for the Final countdown and assessing my performance with Mocks. Talking about mocks- i scored 680(Q-48 & V-35) recently. I felt really happy that my efforts are going in right direction. I have analyzed the mocks and noted down my key areas of improvements. I will be working towards those improvements coming weeks and make sure I get them right next time around.

I haven’t decided on the date yet for my GMAT as I lack some confidence. My thinking now is, if i’m able to pull of 710+ score in 3 mocks(I have planned to give one mock test per week(Saturdays) for next 3 weeks) then that will be my booster. And I will right away select the date for the GMAT.

Hoping everything will go according to the plan :).

Again, All the best to all my fellow blogger/MBA applicants- My Life is Bliss- Awesome going girl!! Finally everything is coming your way with interview calls- You will nail it :), Vandana- 4 out of 4? That’s really cool. You are a Star!!!, Importunate MBA, TopDogMBA- Congrats for deciding to attend MIT Sloan, Coffee beans & Tea leaves- All the best for Duke, Naija MBA Gal- Congrats for Booth, Pulling that MBA trigger- All the best for Kellogg, UCLA and Tepper. You will get the interview invite soon :). And if i have missed anyone, please pardon me as the list is getting bigger and bigger :)

Until next time,

GNPTH

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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 12 Mar 2015, 05:01
2
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FROM Scott Duncan: Stop Trying to Guess Where You Will Get Accepted
[b]

[/b]

[b]UPDATE: I’ve been quiet for a while. I was invited to interview at HBS, and I will be finding out in two weeks if I was accepted.[/b]

[b]

[/b]

 

“What are my chances” is a pointless question to ask

[b] [/b]

It doesn’t take much analysis to figure out that one of the most common questions b-school applicants ask is “What are my chances of getting into a top program?” Maximizing these chances is why people strive for a 750 GMAT or volunteer what remains of their free time at a non-profit. People seem to be obsessed with tiny little “hacks” that they think will make the difference in their acceptance. I call these “magic bullets.” What color tie should I wear to my interview? Is there a better word in the thesaurus for “leadership?” All of these are of course useless, and obsessing over whether or not you will get in can cause more harm than good.

[b] [/b]

Two years ago, I started studying for the GMAT. Every night after work I’d dedicate 90 minutes to studying, and at least 4 hours on the weekends. I took the test, and got a 680, well below what I thought was acceptable. In the middle of the summer, despite KNOWING that I wanted to get my MBA and had good reasons for doing so, I actually decided that I was not going to apply anymore. I was trying to save myself the embarrassment of applying and not getting in by not trying at all.

[b] [/b]

Clearly, I didn’t think my chances were great. I was trying to preemptively answer “What are my chances?” I then used the answer I came up with myself as an excuse to do NOTHING.

[b] [/b]

Obviously, I changed my mind and applied anyway. I learned a lot about the process of applying even though I didn’t get accepted the first time around. But, I lost a lot of time that could have been put to better use in my application. I spent more time trying to predict the outcome than actually putting the work into my essays and other elements of my application. Asking yourself “What are my chances of getting into [school]?” Is ultimately a waste of time because it will only lead you to inaction. Why do people ask themselves this question? It all comes down to fear of failure.

[b] [/b]

The real questions most people are asking when they try to predict the outcome of their applications are:

[b] [/b]

Will it be worth the time and effort I put into this application if I fail?

Will it be worth the embarrassment of telling my friends/family/coworkers if I fail?

Will it be worth the $250+ application fee if I fail?

[b] [/b]

Notice that these all include “if I fail…” I’m assuming that it will all be worth it if you get accepted. Asking these questions is shortsighted because the downside is very limited compared to the upside.

[b] [/b]

Time and effort? The time and effort put into any application is valuable because it forces you to think about why you’re applying in the first place and makes you practice articulating those reasons. Want to get better at writing your application essays? Write more. I was able to use significant portions of some essays in other essays because there was so much content overlap. Even if you “fail” to get in, all of that writing will be worth it in other essays, or if you apply a second time.

[b] [/b]

Embarrasment? Who cares? You’re trying to get into some of the most notoriously difficult schools to get into, period. Looking at the acceptance rates, between 80% and 90% of people who apply to an individual school do not get accepted. The odds are not in your favor, so embrace the fact that what you are doing has a high rate of failure.

[b] [/b]

Application fee? Just one more barrier to entry. I’m guessing that the relatively expensive application fees keep people who aren’t serious from submitting a sub-par application and seeing if it sticks. It keeps the application pool from getting watered down and reduces the amount of filtering work the admissions committee has to do eliminating garbage applications. But you’re serious right? The upside here is getting accepted and graduating with a degree that allows you to earn $120,000+ per year. That $250 application fee is pretty insignificant.

[b] [/b]

So, the underlying questions most people are asking when they try to predict the outcome of their application are…bullshit. These questions can only lead to excuses to procrastinate, or not apply at all. Don’t let these get in your way.

 

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The post Stop Trying to Guess Where You Will Get Accepted 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 18 May 2015, 11:01
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FROM The MBA Manual: Tips for MBA Video Interview Questions (Yale/Kellogg)
A new piece of the MBA application that you might encounter is a set of video interview questions.  The format is similar to a Skype call but with instead of a person on the other end you have a pre-recorded prompt/question to which you’ll respond.  Once the prompt is finished, applicants have 20 seconds (for both Yale and Kellogg) to think of an answer and then a time to respond (up to 90 seconds for Yale and 60 seconds for Kellogg).  Applicants complete 3 questions for Yale and 2 for Kellogg.

I’ve personally been through the experience and can attest to the fact that it can be very stressful.  There is no feedback, no body language to read, and no one to interject and ask for clarifications.  However, there are many things that you can do to make sure you’re as ready as possible when that camera starts recording.

  • Dress nicely
    • You’ll want to look polished and professional
    • Yes, even dress up on the bottom, too.  I dressed up all the way down to my shoes and socks, knowing full well that they would never show.  Being dressed up in full just puts you in that professional mindset.  I can easily imagine my posture being less impressive and answers being less incisive had I been rocking sweatpants and slippers under my desk.
  • Look into the camera
    • This is pretty unnatural to do at first and so will require some practice.  It is natural to look around the room when speaking, especially when there is no one there to make eye contact with.  However, looking into the camera is your method of making eye contact in this case.  It’ll allow the people who watch the recording to connect with you and feel the emotions that you’re trying to convey in your answers.
  • Take a second if you need to
    • If those twenty seconds are up and you don’t have an answer yet, don’t dive in.  Sure, you won’t have a pause at the beginning of your response but that response will likely be riddled with “uhs” and “ums” and will probably not answer the question in the end.  Instead, take five or ten more seconds to collect your thoughts.  Stay looking into the camera and never, ever apologize for nervousness.
  • Sit against a clean background
    • Admissions officers don’t want to see a messy bedroom or the dishes in your sink.  Even if you have a neat dwelling, what’s behind you might distract the viewer from what you’re saying.  You want all of the focus on you.  Find a plain wall and drag a desk or table over to it.
  • Adjust the camera height
    • Ideally, you want your camera to be at the same height as your eyes, or near it.  An upward angle is just less flattering.  If your table doesn’t reach that high, make use of some of those old textbooks until the camera is where you want it.
  • Lighting
    • Make sure that the lighting is OK where you’re going to interview.  You don’t want a bright window behind you, lest you appear as a shadow.  My apartment has naturally dreary lighting, so I found a nice warm lamp and focused it on myself.
  • Smile!
    • Admissions officers aren’t looking to invite your answers to join their MBA classes, they’re looking to invite you as a person.  Let your personality come out a bit through a warm smile and even a laugh or two, if the answer warrants it.
  • Answer succinctly
    • Both Kellogg and Yale acknowledge that applicants do not have to take the full time to respond to the prompt.  In fact, if you do take the full time, there is a far better chance that you’ve begun to ramble or go off on a tangent.  Give complete answers but be concise.
  • Practice!
    • This is most likely a type of interview that you have never been exposed to before (I surely hadn’t been), and even if you have you almost certainly have far less experience in this method of evaluation than traditional interviews.  To make sure you’re able to perform to your best ability come showtime, you’ll want to practice answering questions in the same manner that you’ll answer them in the interview.  Open Photo Booth or a similar video application, start recording, and throw a random question at yourself (closing your eyes and pointing works well).  Start a timer.  After 20 seconds, start answering.  When you feel like you’ve answered the question completely, stop your recording and the timer (hopefully you haven’t gone over in time–if you have, work on responding more succinctly).
    •  Now comes the cringeworthy part…watch your video.  It’s pretty awkward at first, I admit, but you can glean a lot of helpful information from it.  Are you making eye contact?  Are you smiling?  Are you saying “uh,” “um,” or “like” too frequently?  Are you swiveling too much in your chair?  Find where you can improve and do it.  I’ve included sets of practice questions for Yale and Kellogg based on feedback from interviewees of past application rounds.  Use them to practice with.
  • Just do it
    • There will come a time where you will feel like you’ve practiced all that you can and are as ready as you’ll ever be.  At that moment sit down and do your questions.  “But what if you still have two weeks before they’re due?”  I’d argue that that doesn’t matter.  Many people tend to psyche themselves out and make the questions into something bigger than they are.  If you put them off and put them off you give them more power over you.  When you feel ready, just sit down with that confidence and knock the questions out.  This practice really helped me out when I was completing my interview questions.
Yale SOM Video Interview Sample Questions

  • What qualities would your friends use to describe you?
  • Please respond to the following statement: “Without Arts, an education can not be accomplished” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • Please respond to the following statement: “As businesses become more global, the differences between cultures decrease.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  •  Tell us about a challenging work experience and how you handled it.
  • Tell us about how you engaged with a community or an Organization.
  • Tell us about your leadership style.
  • How did you contribute to your company/organization?
  • Please respond to the following statement: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • Tell us about a difficult decision and how you handled it.
  • Tell us about a creative solution you designed.
  • How will you resolve a conflict with your future classmates at the program?
  • What would you say is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
Kellogg Video Interview [b]Sample Questions[/b]

  • What possession or memento do you treasure most and why?
  • If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
  • What piece of technology could you not live without and why?
  • What word describes you best and why?
  • Tell us about the first job you ever had?
  • What’s the best book you have ever read and why?
  • When you have a problem, whom do you approach for advice and why?
  • What accomplishment are you really proud of?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
  • If you could witness any event..past present or future-what would it be?
  • What one interesting or fun fact would you want your future kellogg classmates to know about you?
  • If you could teach a class on any topic. What would it be and why?
  • If you were given a chance to meet anyone, current or historical, who would you meet and why?
  • What was the most interesting class you took at University?
  • Tell us about an organization or activity in which you have dedicated significant time. Why was it meaningful to you?
  • What have anyone done good for you and how did you felt about it?
  • Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it.
  • What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?
  • If money was not a concern. what would you do?
  • Why did you choose your college major?
  • What is the most meaningful thing anyone has done for you in your life? X 2
  • if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  • What food do you like? Will you be able to eat that food everyday?
  • How have you changed in the last 5 years?
  • Whom do you respect most, and why?
  • What is your favorite motto or quote, and why
  • What risk have you taken and what did you learn?
  • What impact do you have on your co-workers?
  • What inspires you?
Above all, remember that these questions are just another way for admissions officers to learn about you.  They are not looking for you to screw up; they are on your side.  I remember coming away from my Yale video interview very unsure of how I fared, but I was still admitted.  So, view this interview as just another way to supplement your application, not a make-or-break test that you need to pass.

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New post 20 Jul 2015, 10:01
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FROM The MBA Manual: My Interview with Yale
Originally, I was supposed to have an in-person interview for Yale in New Haven, CT.  However, as I mentioned in my last post about how to prepare for b-school interviews, my city was hit by a massive snowstorm, which made that impossible.  The ad-com was very understanding and accommodating, though, and set me up with a Skype interview with only a day’s notice.  As I also mentioned in my last post, I wouldn’t advise anyone to pursue a Skype interview over an in-person interview unless it is absolutely necessary, as this shows less initiative and interest in the school.  I happened to be forced into the Skype interview by circumstance while still showing that I was willing to go in person, a best of both worlds kind of situation.

The reason that I say best of both worlds is because I feel like Skype interviews are generally lower stress than in-person, at least for most people.  You get to interview from the comfort of your own home/apartment, and the day typically goes as usual until it is time for the actual interview.  I woke up in my own bed, worked out at my own gym, ate what I usually eat for breakfast at my own table, etc., and I think this familiarity really helped calm me down, especially since Yale was the first school I was interviewing with and the one that I cared the most about.  I also had some notes jotted down next to my laptop in case my mind decided to shut down mid-interview, and this crutch helped ease my mind, too, despite the fact that I never actually looked at the notes.  This is not to say that I wasn’t still insanely anxious; I spent the last 15 minutes before my interview pacing back and forth in my suit, trying to calm down.  However, those things still helped.

About 5 minutes before the interview, I checked my camera, adjusted my lighting, grabbed myself a glass of water (highly recommended–a great way to pause if you want to think for a second, though don’t overdo it), logged onto Skype and waited.  Finally, the bleep-bloop ringtone of the incoming Skype call jolted me out of my anxious stare as the icon of the admissions officer popped up on my screen.  I took a breath, said “let’s do this” in my mind, and clicked the “answer call” button.

There were two interviewers, both female, and we began with formalities.  We joked about the snowstorm that was keeping me away from campus and I began to feel the nervousness melt away in the first few minutes.  They were very easy to talk to.

After introductions, they proceeded with a back-and-forth style of interviewing, with each interviewer asking one or two questions and then delegating to the other.

The interview featured some typical behavioral questions, but focused a lot on my resume (make sure you have a copy of yours handy when interviewing).  They asked questions about each section of my resume; for example, in reference to my internships, something along the lines of, “What were your roles in each internship and how do they tie into your career goals?” or, in reference to my experience abroad, “Why these experiences?  Which one impacted you the most?” etc.

I was asked the traditional, “What are your short- and long-term goals and why is an MBA necessary to achieve them?”  I was asked “Why Yale?” (I had tons of reasons) as well as if I had reached out to anyone to ask about Yale (I had…I named them, and stated why I chose to reach out to them).

Since I was applying for the Silver Scholars program, I was asked about my age and how I think I can contribute to classroom discussion without work experience (a fairly tough question, but one I had prepared for).

One question that I found to be a bit of a curveball was “What does initiative mean to you?”  Being a first generation college student, I had my story ready and so found it semi-easy to answer, though I could see it being difficult for others.

Lastly, they said we had a few minutes left (they have a deadline of 30 minutes and won’t go much over it) and asked if I had any questions.  I had to sort of pick and choose my best ones due to the time constraint, but I still got plenty of valuable information.

Overall, the Yale interview was probably my favorite.  The questions were clear, the interview was concise, and the interviewers were on my side and wanted me to succeed.

If you interview for Yale SOM, I would highly recommend knowing about the program and figuring out why you’d fit well in it, reaching out to current Yalies to gain more information, knowing your resume inside and out, and knowing what your career goals are.  If you take these steps before the interview, you’ll be well on your way to an acceptance call in the winter.

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New post 27 Aug 2015, 12:01
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FROM MBA Data Guru: MBA Acceptance Rate by Country
MBA Acceptance Rate by Country

Most top American business schools brag about how internationally diverse they are. Although American business schools try to make sure they have students from all over the world, the reality is that there are winners and losers. Applicants from some countries have an easier time than others. In this analysis I calculated the MBA acceptance rate by country and region for American MBA programs.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Region
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Since there is limited data for many of the countries, first I grouped the countries to look at MBA acceptance rates at a high level. Not all regions apply to the schools in the same proportion. In fact European applicants tend to apply to the higher ranked schools with lower acceptance rates. On the other hand applicants from India are more likely to apply to lower ranked school with higher acceptance rates. I calculated the expected acceptance rate for each region based on the school application distribution.

The regions that have the highest acceptance rates are the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. If you limit Europe to the large western countries such as England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, then the acceptance rate for Europe jumps to 31%. The USA has a slightly higher acceptance rate than average. On the other hand, Asia, Australia and India are all at a significant disadvantage when applying to business school in the United States.

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Next I looked to see if the difference in acceptance rates could be explained by GMAT. GPA isn’t a good indicator because different regions have different average GPAs based on how much grade inflation there is in the area. Most regions are clustered around the average GMAT of 722 with two exceptions. Latin America has an average GMAT 16 points lower than average and still has an acceptance rate 6% higher than expected. Africa has an average GMAT that is 34 points lower than average but it only hurts them a small amount. Asian applicants have the highest average GMAT, however Asian MBA acceptance rate is 6% lower than average.

MBA Acceptance Rate by Country
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Next I looked at MBA acceptance rate by country for those countries with high enough application volume. I excluded all countries with lower than 20 applications. It is not surprising to see United Arab Emirates and Israel at the top given that the Middle East has a high acceptance rate. Chile, Mexico and Brazil all helped to pull up Latin America’s acceptance rate. The United Kingdom and Russia are the European countries with the highest acceptance rates.

Viet Nam, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea all have acceptance rates that are below average. The only Asian country with a high acceptance rate is Japan. Given that Asian acceptance rates are so low, I would recommend using the help of an admissions consultant if you are applying from one of these countries.

The data for this analysis came from the GMAT Club forum. If you are looking to increase your GMAT, check it out.

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New post 19 Oct 2015, 05:39
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FROM MBA For Tech: Kellogg interview
Ok, this is my post, but I have already updated AboutResearchand Test Scores pages, I want to start by reflecting on my journey so far and bringing you up to date.

So far my status is as follows:

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So, Kellogg was my the first school to interview me,

Location: Off-campus, Skype

Interviewer: Adcom

Duration: 45 minutes

Questions:

Why that undergrad school?

Why Kellogg?

Why MBA?

Why now?

Your most significant achievement at work?

Why you changed your job?

Is there anything else about yourself you want us to know?

Overall impressions:

The interviewer was very friendly and nice and allowed me to answer all the questions in full. This was my first interview and to be honest I wasn’t as prepared as I should’ve been, two major problems I’ve encountered: time limit, really 45 minutes is not enough and she had to intervene a few times, because I was taking way too much time; the other problem was the last question, for some reasong I couldn’t answer it perfectly and mumbled a bit.

I hope my application as a whole gives a better impression, and it also includes video answers that I tackled fairly successful.

Anyways, I am relieved and waiting for December to receive the results.

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New post 26 Nov 2015, 09:01
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FROM MBA For Tech: First Dings: Wharton and MIT
Yep, after all of the invites this was a bummer. First I got a ding from Wharton on Nov 3 and then from MIT.

Well, with MIT I wasn’t really disappointed, because my app was really bad, I didn’t even plan applying, but their question was similar to one of my essays, and I thought: “Why not?”, I didn’t believe that I was going to apply in R2 anyways, so this was ‘now or never’.

MIT’s application was quite easy, they didn’t require TOEFL/IELTS scores (neither did I have them), so I decided to give it a try. They have this system with 8-9 criteria based on which they review each app, and the better ones get to be in top-right corner of their coordinate system.

Now, I understand that I have made some mistakes in my approach (because of the rush) as was expected. I don’t think that ‘optional’ essays were ‘mandatory’ as some say, as some people received invites without a single click on their videos/web-sites coming from MIT.

Anyways, great school, probably a great fit for a geek like me, but an expected result.

With Wharton the situation was somewhat similar in that I wasn’t planning to apply as I didn’t like a lot about the school and wanted to apply to only one of H/S/W, but the dates for Wharton were so convenient and I already had to skip H due to an early date and S as I didn’t like my essay. I had plenty of time, though looking back now I think that my essays were a bit too professional? It’s hard to tell, I really liked the work I did and I thought that I have a decent chance, so maybe they didn’t like LoR’s or my profile or something else, maybe my essays weren’t as good as I thought, maybe they didn’t like certain things that I said about my goals, I didn’t want to concentrate on Wharton being Finance school, maybe that was a mistake. Anyways, probably we will never know.

Wharton’s ding came first, at a date they scheduled (great initiative!) and I was crushed a bit, unlike with MIT, I have no particular answer as to why I was dinged, so it makes you think you’re overall profile is not good enough, which is quite scary.

Anyways, first decision date is soon, so my focus is on that.

I want to thank MIT and Wharton alums who I reached out to and who provided me with a lot of great insights (after which Wharton got higher in my personal rating and MIT dropped a bit lower) and advice.

 

Tagged: mit sloan, Progress, thoughts, Wharton Image
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New post 07 Dec 2015, 23:01
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FROM MBA Data Guru: Strategies on Building Your MBA Application Portfolio
Strategies on Building Your MBA Application Portfolio

By Lawrence Linker

As Founder and Application Coordinator for MBA Link, one of the first things I’m often consulted on is how many schools an applicant should apply to and which ones. This is an extremely important step to get right in the application process, because there is almost no other decision you will make along the way that has a greater influence on how likely it is you will end up getting into a school with which you will be happy.

When considering your application strategy, there are a few key considerations to take into account:

  • How much do you need to go to business school this year?
  • How wide is the prestige range of schools you are looking at? ie, do you want to get into Harvard, but would you be willing to go to Kenan-Flagler if accepted?
  • What is your personal level of risk tolerance?
From a qualitative point of view, I think most applicants well understand the implications of applying to many schools, but I reached out to my friend Wayne Atwell of MBADataGuru.com because I wanted people to see hard data on how different application strategies affect their chances of admission. My comments are in black, Wayne’s are in green.

In order to make this simulation as realistic as possible, I’ve asked Wayne to use data from his pool of applicants.

Thanks, Lawrence. I would like to introduce you to our sample MBA applicant, lets call him Robert. Robert is applying round one and has a 710 GMAT and a 3.5 GPA from his undergraduate university where he majored in engineering. He is 27 and has 5 years of work experience as a consultant. He is considering applying to Harvard, Wharton, Sloan, Tuck and McCombs. Here are his predicted chances if he were to apply to just one school.

Harvard
Wharton
Sloan
Tuck
McCombs

12%
13%
14%
31%
46%

Thanks, Wayne.

Unsurprisingly, Robert’s chances of getting into each program tracks well with their known selectivity. With statistics so low, it’s easy to be discouraged. While most applicants would like to believe that if they just hit a certain GMAT number, just talk to the right people, or just want it bad enough, they are sure to get in to the program of their dreams. The statistics do not bear this optimism out.

All is not lost, however. Let’s now look at the probability of a total failure (no admission to any school) by multiplying through the probability of failure for each school. Taking the reciprocal of that gives us the probability of success in getting into at least one of the schools for the applicant. Robert has a 75% chance of being admitted to one of his top schools which means his chance of total failure is only 25%. You have to admit it is a much better looking number.

Now, let’s say Robert really is determined to start business school next year and is still uncomfortable with the above number. He needs to increase his overall probability of getting into at least one school he will be happy to go to, but he also don’t want to completely eliminate the chances of going to his dream school, Harvard.  Over to you, Wayne.

To give Robert a better chance of getting into at least one business school next year, we’re going to have him apply to some less selective programs. Here are the results.

Harvard
Cornell
UNC
Ross
McCombs
All 5 Schools

12%
47%
51%
51%
46%
94%

Thanks, Wayne. Obviously, Robert’s chances for HBS are unchanged. He has decided to swap out Sloan, Wharton and Tuck for Ross, Johnson, and Kenan-Flagler, less selective programs that offer many of the same benefits. Now when we look at the chance of total success, we see a very different figure.

Needless to say, if Robert gains admission to HBS, we expect he will have an easy decision. But it’s nice to know he is covered in case that doesn’t happen.

Now for our last example, let’s take a look at a different kind of applicant. This applicant has the same statistics as Robert, but they have a very different strategy in mind. For this applicant, it is a highly ranked school or nothing. They can live with not going to business school next year, but they are ready to go if they can get into an ultra-prestigious program.

Let’s take a look at this person’s application profile.

We’re going to have this applicant apply to only the most competitive programs. Find the statistics below.

Stanford
Harvard
Wharton
Sloan
Columbia
All 5 Schools

4%
12%
13%
14%
36%
59%

Taken individually, none of these chances are particularly encouraging, but put together, the success rate is actually not too bad! Considering this applicant is applying to only the most selective schools, this is a rate of success I would think any applicant should be happy with.

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind when thinking about which and how many schools you should apply to:

  • Applying to more schools will always give you a higher overall success rate statistically, but practically speaking there is a point of diminishing returns. A poorly executed application will always get a ding, no matter how strong your profile. In our experience, for most people, the magic number of schools to apply to is 5.
  • The above models don’t take fit into account at all. There are similarities between schools that an intelligent applicant can exploit by applying to schools with similar offerings, decreasing their need to come up with widely different rationale’s for why they want to go to each school. Put another way, actually think about what schools you want to go to, and apply to schools that are a genuine fit, rather than taking a purely random approach.
  • Applicants often have the belief that school selectivity is totally ordinal. That is to say, if you get denied by a less selective school, a more selective school will certainly deny you. That is absolutely not the case! We see this happen all the time. There is simply an element of luck or chance in the application that can NEVER be removed. But it can be mitigated! More on that soon!
The data used to predict acceptance rates for this post came from GMAT Club.

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New post 14 Jun 2016, 13:02
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FROM BschoolEng: Researching Schools
In my last post, I spoke about the importance of doing research as to which school is the best fit for you. This entails visiting the campus (if you have the chance), sitting in one of the classes, or reaching out to alumni or current students to get their perspective.

Since it is currently during the summer, it may be harder for you to sit in on a class but there are a whole host of admission events / informational sessions run throughout the year that you can attend.

Imagine for a second you were on the admissions committee reading the ‘Why do you want to attend X business school’ essay written by two candidates. One vaguely brings up generic facts about the school easily found on the school’s website vs another who in detail describes an event he/she attended and poignantly recalls an incident or statement that a faculty member had made. Who do you think will have a much more compelling essay as to why school X is a better fit? That is not to say you should name drop everywhere but the more connections and incidents you can relate to, the more the reader can truly believe that you are the type of candidate that they want and not the other way around.

If you were strapped for time and visiting schools was a far stretch, the one thing I would highly recommend doing would be to talk to as many current students or recent graduates as you can. If cold emailing is not your thing, one tip I have is to scour LinkedIn looking for students who have either graduated from your alma mater or have worked/are currently working at the same company as you are. This gives you an immediate connection with the person you are speaking to and reduces the barrier and awkwardness that may seem inherent when reaching out.

Listening to students’ perspectives have not only been instrumental in me choosing which schools to apply but have also gotten me quite excited about the opportunities that business school provides.

Here are a rough set of questions that I prepare before any chat:

  • Why did you choose to go back to school and why at that time?
  • Why did you choose this school in particular? What was your career goal at the time of applying and has it changed since?
  • Do you have a favorite memory from your time in business school? Any favorite classes?
  • Are there opportunities to participate in classes outside the business school? Did you attend any such classes?
  • How have the skills you learned translated to your current role?
  • What do you love about the city the school is in? What does an average Fri night look like?
  • Any advice you would give to someone applying?
Don’t be afraid to reach out! The students are more than gladly to take the time to answer your questions as long as you are sincere and prepare questions ahead of time. I hope with these tips that you’ll come out not only knowing more about the school but more about yourself as well.

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New post 21 Dec 2016, 19:01
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FROM Grant Me Admission: GrantMeAdmission: The End (and the Beginning)
When I started this blog I was really lost. I didn’t really know who I was, or what I wanted in life.



However, I knew that I wanted to grow my career and get out of the shrinking manufacturing industry.



So I embarked on a journey. I wanted to get the “right top MBA and help others along the way.” That was the vision. And as overjoyed as I was helping others, looking at resumes, reading essays, doing mock interviews, and seeing my peers get into HBS, GSB, Kellogg, etc, I hated that I felt stuck.



I did not get into a program. TWICE! How was I going to get a job in consulting? How was I going to leverage my consulting experience into a leadership role in a major company in a new growing industry?



The failure was tough to swallow for me and hit me hard. And in the depth of that despair, I found myself. I made the decision that this would not hold me back.



Within a month of my final rejection letter, I was interviewing at a dream job at a big company in entertainment in Los Angeles. I would be working with the top brands supporting the highest levels of the company.



I got the job and moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.



The plan was to leverage this role and experience to get into a top program after a couple of years. But as I grew in the group, fell in love with the company, I realized that I didn’t want to leave.



A mentor asked me, “Why would you leave, when ultimately you want to stay in our company?”



And then the impossible happened. I was promoted into leadership.



There I was, living my dream. This was the goal that I had, be a leader in an industry that I loved.



And so I decided to pivot.



Today, I was accepted to UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA program. It is a part-time program that will allow me to grow my career, while bolstering my abilities. This is not the journey that I had imagined, but I still got to my final destination.



To be clear, a part-time MBA is right for me, not for everyone. I still firmly believe that a full-time program is one of the best investments anyone can make.



I just got lucky.



My final piece of advice: Work hard, don’t give up, and find a way.




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Concentration: Technology, Healthcare
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New post 24 Dec 2016, 04:01
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2
FROM DLo's BSchool Debrief: b-school debrief: quick tips on letters of recommendation
An Apology

WOW! I completely dropped the ball on this. I expected my first quarter of business school to be like drinking water from a firehose, and… well that’s exactly what it was! I rarely found time to sit down, and as such let my ambitions with this blog slide, sadly.

However! I’m back for the holidays, fresh off finals and in the midst of internship recruiting for the summer. I’ve had the opportunity to represent Anderson to prospective students throughout the year via our Admissions Ambassador Corps, bringing students to class, acting as the digital face of the school, and most recently holding coffee chats in LA (and soon to be in SF) with prospective and admitted students. Through a few of these, I’ve realized the most helpful post I can come up with right now regards two topics for Round 2 applicants: your essays, and your recommendations. Let’s hit on recommendations today.

Gathering those Recommenders

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Getting those letters in line!

My process for getting my recommendations was fairly straightforward, and something most people should follow:

  • Get two people who have directly managed you and know you well
  • Make sure they can write something strong on your behalf
  • Make sure they’re reliable to get it submitted in time
I will talk most about #3, but let me jump on an aside to #1 and #2 for a quick minute – you may run into a decision point between two options:

  • A direct manager whose title is mid-level management, but has worked with you and seen you grow and evolve for 1-3 years
  • Someone with a high title (CEO, big name, etc), who you dabbled with on a short term basis, but had a good interaction with.
As almost every guideline will tell you,  it is almost ALWAYS better to go with the first option – someone who knows you well, can speak to your accomplishments and struggles in a clear and concise way, and can truly vouch for you and write for you with passion. Just because your CEO knows your name does not mean they can write something well-meaning for you. The weight of your recommender’s title or name does not matter to the adcom, no matter how much you’d wish it does. There are probably some exceptions, but being realistic, 99.999% of people are not in this exception. Go with the one who can write highly and in-depth about you.

Back to the topic at hand. Many (including myself) struggle with #3. Keeping our recommenders in line and on schedule, while staying cordial and supportive throughout so that you end up with a sparkly, beaming and adcom-aweing letter, can be hard. You need to let your recommenders know early, and give them sufficient resources for which to write a letter for you. I picked two people for my recommenders: my current direct manager, Director of Engineering, and previous manager from a rotation at another company who I knew held me in very high regard because of my impact there. I chose the first one for his obvious recent insight into my potential, and I chose the second one because I knew he saw how effective I could be, and would be happy to help me out.

Getting your recommendations on time – start early!

I was set! Or so I thought. I reached out to both recommenders 3 months early – way early, but I’m a paranoid person and I wanted my ducks in line. However, I knew how busy these guys would be, and how much I was asking of them to write a different letter of rec for me for 5 different schools. And YES, each school asks different questions (there are similarities), so they need to cater each letter to each school. So, knowing that I had a looming deadline to impose on these two, and knowing how I wanted to pitch myself to each school, I set out to make the letter writing process for them as easy as possible.

I think it should be a given, especially if you follow Essay Snark like my previous post suggested, but I’d also like to take the time here to say – DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN RECOMMENDATIONS! If your recommender can’t write something strong for you or doesn’t have the time, find a new recommender. If you went against all advice and chose a high-profile recommender who can’t write much personally about you, and asks you two write it for them, this is your 2nd chance to move on from them. Adcoms can tell when you’ve written your own, no matter how clever you think you are. In addition, your recommenders will inevitably provide a different perspective, story and overall picture of you then you could ever write about yourself. DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN!! Got it? Good.

So, it’s not only a good idea to get your recommenders lined up early, but to be active in keeping them engaged with you and the letter-writing process. Once you start filling out a school’s application, you can immediately prompt it to send the e-mails to your recommenders, which will contain the questions to be answered and the links to the webforms they must fill out to answer them. In general, you should have access to the questions as well – either they’re posted on the school’s application info site, or you can ask your recommenders for the prompts. You want to get these ahead of time, so you can help prepare them.

Guiding your recommenders

For my 5 schools, I gathered up the questions and wrote a multi-page document for both of my recommenders (unique to each) that outlined several things. This document served as the source of all information they’d need to write, and what I wanted them to highlight. I’ll detail how I structured these docs, but they’re just a framework and you can feel free to do as much (or as little) as you want; they key is simply to make their lives easier and the process faster. I broke my doc into these sections:

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The beginning of my support document for my manager

  • Thank you
  • Schools I was applying too
  • Format of the letters
  • Details on the submission system
  • Due dates
  • My “Story” (Why MBA?) – Short term, long term, and why now?
  • The Questions [More on this in the next section]
  • Thank you again
 

The flow was designed to give them a full rundown on what to expect, when to submit, where to submit, etc. Like I said, make it as easy as possible. For the “Story” portion, I detailed WHY I wanted an MBA, and WHAT I planned to do with it in the short and long term. Ideally, you would also discuss this with them in person. The bulk of the document went to “The Questions”, where I laid out each question for each school.

The Questions

Now, the b-schools tried to come so some kind of consensus (at least for 2015) on a main question for recommenders, but of course each one decided they are special and modified it – specifically, the 2015 question:

  • “How do the candidate’s ______ compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.”
The ______ here changed for each school. For Stern, it was “performance, potential, background, or personal qualities”, whereas for Haas, it was JUST “performance.” I made it clear to them the differences for each question.

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Laying out the ‘standardized’ questions for them

To make it easier, I provided a short example for each quality (performance, background, etc) that I suggested them to use if they pleased; however, I told them it was ok to use whatever they felt was a good example. My recommenders ended up using a mix of both my suggestions and their own perspective, which is ideal since they have a better view of you as a candidate than you would alone. In addition, all 5 schools asked the same 2nd question with the same wording (thankfully), which was:

  • “Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.”
I gave a quick example for this, and moved on to the individual school questions. Three of the schools I applied to added additional questions along with the previous two, so I added more examples (mostly continuations of the previous examples I had given and how they applied to these questions). As I keep saying, make it as easy as possible for them – give them the content you hope them to use, to frame the letters properly with the rest of your app, but realize it’s their prerogative to write what they feel strongest about.

Additional help / resources

In addition to this guide, I found one more external resource to be extremely helpful to them – the Essay Snark Recommender Instruction Sets (note this is a simple plug, I don’t gain anything from you using them). Through their service I was able to purchase a guide for my recommenders specifically catered to the schools I was applying to. I purchased the 3-school set, for Anderson, Stern and Columbia for $99. I didn’t include Haas or Cornell in order to save some $, and also because they were similar enough. The guide takes each school and lays out a specific strategy for your recommender to write – Start with School A, then modify that response slightly for School B, and add this for School C. In the spirit of making things easier for them, I felt this was a great tool to provide them, and ensure they’d have the least amount of friction writing so that they could submit on time!

Getting that on-time submission

Alright, so you’ve done all the upfront legwork – picking good recommenders, telling them early, prepping them for what to expect and giving them a start on the content of the letters. That’s easy enough (ha!); now you have to make sure they deliver! I can tell you that as prepared as it seemed I looked, I still had to wait down to the wire for one of my letters – and it was stressful as hell. The best you can do is put as much pre-work going into it as you can, and deal with any obstacles along the way. Some general tips:

  • Keep reminding them, but not incessantly. At most once every few days, until there’s only a week or two left.
  • Depending on your relationship, as time gets more crucial it should be OK to text or call them, but use your judgement.
  • Actively evaluate if you think they will truly get it in on time. Have a backup if you think you might risk one being unreliable.
  • Take a breath and have faith in your recommender. If your relationship is as solid as it should be, 99% of people won’t leave others hanging.
  • If they offer to let you review what they wrote, you can accept, but don’t try to change their words unless they ask. It is still their letter.
Hopefully, though, if you’ve done enough ahead of time and given them as much as possible to make their life easier, they should have your back and get things in time so you can worry about the rest of your application instead.

Final Thoughts

The letters of rec started for me as an early afterthought, but after realizing the possible pain points of the process, I made sure I optimized as much as I could control to minimize my stress. Putting the effort in ahead of time, picking quality recommenders and staying on top of things will be your best path to success. Good luck!
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New post 16 Apr 2017, 21:02
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FROM mbsingh: Foster – Class Visit
There’s something in Pacific North West that you cannot find anywhere else. The atmosphere and scenic nature are next to none, with mountains on one side and ocean on the other. I always wanted to check out Foster School of Business as it’s close to Vancouver and also because of it’s in heart of Seattle with easier access to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and other major Fortune 50 companies. So i decided to visit Foster on our long weekend and attend a class. I reached out to MBA ambassador Stephan Tomick and he set me up with Elaine for coffee chat. Image
As it turns out my cousin also goes to U-Dub (University of Washington). So he showed me around the campus and i got much more candid tour than i expected. After that we met up with Elaine and asked her gazillion  questions. From class size to diverse backgrounds of students to helpful community everything checks out. My Why MBA response ranges from Fin-tech to Management Consulting to Climb corporate ladder in Tech. Though Fin-tech will always be my reason to go for MBA, but i have to be realistic as to what if it doesn’t workout. By Indian standards i should’ve grand children by now but grad school is holding my mom back from creating an account for me on e-harmony & shaadi.com. Failed career transition + pressure from parents won’t do me any good, so i have to have some backup plan. Talking to Elaine, i found out that Foster can help with Tech placement, Fin-tech and also help me land a consulting gig (might not be at top 4) though it’ll require lot of effort from my side. Her complete honesty won more brownie points for Foster than their online MBA brochure. She also got me in touch with another first year student who got Consulting gig at McKinsey. Now this is where crazy stuff happens, i literally shook hands with Chrsitian (McKinsey intern) as he was on his way out of the classroom for a meeting. He gave me his card and told me contact him if i need help, which i did. I have never seen anyone respond so quickly to my message on LinkedIn not even the forever nagging recruiting consultants. All the three students that i talked to at Foster were more welcoming than any other MBA student i talked to since i started this journey.

Honest confession, i didn’t think of Foster as a top tier B-school and was under the impression that i’ll keep it as my Safety school. Boy i was so wrong but i am glad i decided to take time out to visit Foster. It might not be on top of B-school rankings but it has surely made it to my list of schools.

 

 

 

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Status: Prospective applicant to LBS Sloan MSe
Joined: 25 Mar 2018
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Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Leadership, Strategy
GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V44
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New post 28 Apr 2018, 04:01
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FROM nickrubick: The LBS Written Application..
After receiving positive feedback on my on my written application during my interview last week here are some ideas I’d like to share with you. if you’re going through a similar applications process yourself then hopefully you’ll find this useful.

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Referencing back to my experience during my Sloan MSc application interview at the back end of last week, The LBS Sloan MSc Interview.., it was clear that the LBS admissions team invest a lot of time in analysing an applicant’s written submissions. With this in mind, here are a few approaches that I found useful and productive while writing mine.

Prerequisites

Fortunately I had quite a lot of time leading up to my application submission as I had decided to apply almost a year ago. From my experience I would recommend the following:

  • Learn as much about the course and the school as possible:
    • If you live near by; pay the school a visit. LBS has several events throughout the year from open lectures to question and answer sessions with alumni and faculty. These will give you a more personal experience of what the school is about, hopefully they will help you pick out attractive elements that are personal to you. I would also encourage you to reference these experiences in your application as they will likely be discussed during interview. You are also likely to meet fellow applicants, who may have questions or have discovered information that you hadn’t thought of.
    • Use the wonderful world wide web to discover as much about the programme as possible. A very useful website to get you on the road to discovery is the exceptional blog written by one of the Sloan 2014 class: LBS Sloan MSc information resources. This blog is a few years old now, but still very much applicable today. It also contains other posts that give tips on the written application.
    • Contact the school! The applications team are very pro-active and helpful with any questions that you might have. Specifically I would recommend getting a copy of the Sloan MSc brochure, and also a breakdown of the elective (optional) courses that are offered on the programme. If you are making initial contact, use this link: LBS Contact.
  • Familiarise yourself with the essay questions:
    • Although one or two of these may change from year to year, not all of them will change, and they will always be on similar topics even if they do. Knowing what questions you need to answer in advance will give you more time to decide what you want to write about. In at least one essay you will be asked to describe a particular instance in your life, and how it affected you and others. The first hurdle here is to select what event you want to write about, if you are anything like me this was not easy and took quite a lot of deliberating.
  • Carefully choose candidates to proof read your work:
    • You will need people who are not only willing to read your inputs, but also are willing to offer positive criticism and amendments. This is a much bigger commitment than simply quickly browsing through your essays and then giving you a thumbs up. Many people are likely to offer to read your essays as most people will not want to say no. However when you are asking someone to read the fourth iteration of the same essay and you need to submit within the next 12 or 24 hours, you really need to have chosen wisely!
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Planning

As a great woman or man said once (it was more than likely a woman!): Failing to plan is planning to fail. With this in mind, it is very useful to be clear about the submission deadline that you are aiming for, and that you leave yourself enough time to not rush your submissions. Each and every person will have different requirements with regards to timescales needed to complete their application. Personally, I gave myself five weeks, but I was simultaneously working a full time job. I broke down the application into several main elements, these were:

  • One page CV (Converting from my standard two page CV)
  • Organisation Chart
  • Essay #1: What are your immediate and ultimate goals and how will the Sloan help you realise these?
  • Essay #2: What is the most difficult professional decision you have made in your career so far?
  • Essay #3: What are the issues faced by your region and / or sector in the next five years?
  • How do you spend your time outside of work (hobbies and interests etc.)?
  • What impact will your participation on this course have on your family and friends?
  • What do you see as being the key challenges for you on the course?
  • What are / were your roles and responsibilities of you current and previous jobs?
  • Several other smaller entries.
If you have familiarised yourself with the application in good time, hopefully you have an idea of what you would like to write for each of the above. Some will be more straight forward than others, and thus take up less time.

I would put together a loose plan of how many of the above you want to complete over time, and then track yourself against it to ensure you are not getting too far behind. I would also fire off some first drafts of one or two entries to your proof readers as early as possible, this will help you in the following ways:

  • Breaking work into small batches is one of the foundations of productivity advocated by Toyota Production System, which is the bedrock for operational excellence and efficiency across the world today: Wiki: Toyota Production System. Learn about it, live by it.
  • It will mean that they are being read in parallel to you doing other essays – increasing total productivity.
  • Giving work to your helpers in small chunks is less likely to overwhelm them, people are more likely to spend a quick 10 – 15 mins here and there to read your entries than several hours reading every piece of your application in one lump.
  • You will get these ‘chunks’ back with plenty of time to make changes if required.
  • You will get an early idea of how much time each of your helpers needs to review your work, and what feedback they will offer. This will help you plan giving the rest of your work to them, and perhaps more importantly, give you an early indication to whether you have selected appropriate reviewers who will be able to give you what you need. If you need to recruit additional or alternative reviewers, you want to be doing this sooner rather than later.
As with all good projects, it is very likely that you will end up needing more time than you anticipated, so try to leave yourself at least a little buffer of time before the deadline. Additionally, if you can have some contingency plans up you sleeve (taking time off of work etc.), this will reduce the risk of missing your deadline, but also just as importantly will hopefully reduce yours stress levels.

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The content

Finally, perhaps the most important part, what to actually write! Here are my thoughts on the main sections. Please remember that these are my own personal thoughts, there are no right or wrong things to include in your written entries.

  • One page CV: I tackled this first as I thought it was a nice intro, and would remind me of the main elements that I will be using when presenting my profile. I am happy to supply a copy of this to anyone who would like a working example to use as a reference. Basically this activity involved hacking large chunks of information out of my standard CV, hopefully leaving the more important stuff behind. The format I used was a few lines as a profile summary, followed by a short paragraph / bullet points for previous jobs, and then a few lines for my academic and professional qualifications.
  • Organisational chart: I took the official org chart presented by the company I work for and then extended it to include details of my team, and any direct stakeholders (customer / suppliers etc.). If you are using your boss as a reference, I would advise asking him or her to review it before submitting.
  • Essay #1: This is where all of your research on the programme and school will prove to be invaluable. I started by reading through the Sloan brochure, and highlighted any elements within it that I found of particular importance to myself. In this essay I also included particular experiences I have had at open events etc. at the school and the positives I have drawn from them. With regards to how these items apply to your goals – only you can answer this!
  • Essay #2: For me, the most difficult part here is selecting what event to write about. Once you have picked this hopefully the rest comes relatively easyily. I was in two minds as to whether to write about a decision that was difficult personally (eg. a career or geographic change that had an impact on me and others in my personal life), or a to write about a tough technical decision (eg. a difficult or complex technical problem and the processes involved in solving it). Eventually I plumped for a hybrid of the two, citing a job change and the impact I had on my new organisation, including a particularly significant decision that was collaboratively made while I was there.
  • Essay #3: I found this one the most enjoyable to write. I spent a fair amount of time listening to relevant podcasts, and took notes of any interesting points. I also canvassed several people within my industry who’s opinions I value. The end result was a blend of all of these inputs. I have included this essay in a previous post: My thoughts #1: The U.K. Aerospace Industry
  • Impact on those close to you and challenges: I’ll bundle these two into one section as they are kind of linked. This really is personal to you so I can’t advise much. However I think the faculty are looking to see that you have made provisions to be very busy and under duress for the duration of the programme.
  • Hobbies and Interests: This is your chance to show your human side, what makes you tick outside of work mode. Remember that the school is looking for a good fit between fellow students. I got the impression that they take this section fairly seriously and the content was brought up at least a couple of times during my interview.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: For my current job I found it effective to keep a diary for a couple of weeks and then from that describe the key activities that I do. I tend to do a lot of ad-hoc activities that if someone asked me I would not be able to instantly describe, so this diary technique really helped. For previous jobs, I used content from my two page CV and then edited it to read slightly more fluidly.
That covers most items – if there are any specific items that I have missed that you would like any advise on please feel free to contact me.

Finally with regards to technique used writing essays, I would say at first completely ignore the work counts – just brain dump, and then edit. This will ensure that you freely include any points that you can think of, and you can then do a triage to ensure you include the most important items. On one of my essays I started with over 12,00 words and eventually trimmed it down to 300 – so don’t worry about the words!

I’m pretty sure I had another nugget to share with you but I can’t for the life of me remember it now. If it comes to me later I’ll add it in here. If you are reading this however it can’t have been that important as I haven’t been able to recollect it.

That’s all for this post, I hope some of you out there find it helpful, and I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who would also like to share similar experiences.

Well almost; I’d like to thank Miriam Haywood and Daniel Noviello for selflessly helping me with my admissions essays. Without help from you guys it is significantly less likely I would have been accepted for interview. Love you guys! xx

All the best, for now..
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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Schools: Johnson '16 (M)
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New post 10 Dec 2013, 08:23
1
FROM Hamm0's Blog: The Calm Before the Storm
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week, and enjoyed the family, friends, and turkey. If you do not celebrate Thanksgiving, you should start next year – it is truly one of the best holidays out there. Literally, you get to eat tons of food, drink wine/beer, watch football on TV, and pass out.

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Now that the holiday is over, what now? My thoughts exactly. I fielded an endless barrage of questions over the holidays, some of which I will list below. I honestly felt interviews were easier than dealing with this:

  • Why didn’t you apply to HBS
  • What is Tuck?
  • Are you going to live at home?
  • Why are you quitting a good job?
  • Why not do an online program?
  • Why not go to (insert local university here)?
  • Did you get a scholarship?
  • Where are you going to intern at?
  • Where are you going to work?
  • How are you going to pay for this?
  • Didn’t you just graduate?
  • Are your parents going to pay for it?
  • I thought you were an engineer..?
  • You need an MBA to work at a bank?
  • I read something bad about HBS students – are all schools like that?
  • Are you worried about job hunting in a bad economy?
  • What if you can’t get a job?
  • I thought you had a business minor, why do you need a MBA?
  • Why do you want to move away?
  • Are you going back to school to find a future spouse? Why not?
  • I hear the MBA is overrated – why are you doing that?
  • Why can’t you just read about the subjects online?
  • Zuckerberg/Gates/Dell/Branson/Ellison/Jobs didn’t need an MBA – why do you?
  • Are you going to work part time while studying? Why not?
  • Why didn’t you apply to more schools?
  • Why did you apply to so many schools?
  • WHICH SCHOOL IS YOUR FAVORITE?
  • Every MBA I’ve met is a jerk.
Ok, the last one was not a question, but someone actually said that, lol. I just said, yep! And walked away. I guess that proved their point. I am definitely tired of fielding these questions (and thousands others). Nevertheless, what am I supposed to do now? Quick sitrep: I have applied to six schools, interviewed at four schools, and got dingedat one. I am probably due for a ding at Darden, as they announced that a majority of interview invites have gone out the other day. Make that two dings. I have a week or two more until any decisions are made, so I have been relaxing. I have relaxed so long; I forgot the passwords to my applyyourself login for a few schools!

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With a decision from Johnson pending in the next 10 days, I guess I should start some round 2 applications. You know, just to be safe. I realistically have four shots, but given the competitiveness of my schools, it is not impossible hard to go 0-for-4. I have been doing some light research on these schools, but have not actually done anything about it. I have always had them in the back of my mind as potential round two schools, but note that they are NOT safety schools. I am of the mindset that you should not apply to safety schools. The schools I have in mind are just as difficult/more difficult than the previous six that I applied to from a pure numbers standpoint. For various reasons, however, they are compromises on what I thought the ideal MBA program meant. So, I guess in my waiting I should probably get started on those essays…

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For now, though, it is the calm before the storm. Johnson is set to give me a decision on the 11th, Tuck on the 18th, Fuqua and Ross on the 20th. This will probably be my last update until I hear from Johnson, so cross your fingers and toes for me!

Filed under: About Me, Ramblings, Schools Tagged: Admissions, Off Topic, School Selection, Waiting Image
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New post 12 Dec 2013, 06:00
1
FROM Domotron's Blog: Congrats to my fellow bloggers
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Rather than talk about me (since I have absolutely 0 to update on) I want to send my congratulations to two of my fellow bloggers who have got their first admits over the last few day:

1) Hamm0 for his admit to Johnson and

2) Timbob for getting into HBS.

I know both of them have put in a huge amount of work into their applications and they both deserve a round of applause for it paying off!

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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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 12 Dec 2013, 06:00

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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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