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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 103
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: Cambridge'16 (S)
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
GMAT 3: 590 Q32 V38
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
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New post 15 Feb 2014, 13:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Questions about living in America
As there now a small chance I could be living in America from September here’s my list of random questions:

Accommodation

Should I be worried if there are roaches living in the same building as me?

What facilities are should I expect in a reasonable flat? Should I expect a washing machine or swimming pool?

Food

Where can I get decent tea bags?

Does America sell kettles? (Yes, I’m British.)

What a decent chocolate brand? Hersey doesn’t count.

I have questions more about North Carolina and Durham, but I’il ask those if I get in.

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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: 05 Jul 2010
Posts: 9
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New post 18 Feb 2014, 06:00
FROM MBA Pensive - Roadmap to MBA Admissions: Have you joined the MOOC Mania?
I did ! It’s wonderful to be part of the revolution in in Education industry. Massive Open Online Courses, commonly known as MOOCs made news recently when Noble prize winning Yale Professor Bob Schiller announced his MOOC course on Financial Management. I was passively witnessing the MOOC revolution but such news in recent time forced me to think seriously about taking MOOCs. I browse through some MOOCs and instantly fell in love with few courses and I signed up for them.

I have signed up for a Wharton Business School’s Operations Management core course which is scheduled to start in first week of March. I have invested 8+ years of life understanding Manufacturing/ Operations in Automobile industry and hence I am excited to know how Operations function work in other industries such as Hospitality, Banking and other service sectors. I fell in love with the course after watching the class intro video. I also liked particularly the real life assignment component track. There are 2 tracks in completing the course either taking series online exams of implementing the knowledge and skills learnt during the course to solve a real life problem. I will be choosing the real life program component because I see lot of problem related to Operations in my day to day life. I am also planning to apply for a verified certificate from Wharton professor with $49 charge at the end of the course.

I have signed up for another interesting course – ‘ What Managers can learn from Philosophers?’. I love philosophy and have been reading about Buddha, Osho and Jiddu Krishnamurthy since my adolescence. I have also been practicing Vipassana – a Buddhist meditation for last 10 years or so. Considering this I was intrusted in understanding the connection between Business and Philosophy. The course is offered by Ecole University, Paris. I am excited to learn from the course and implement those perspective in my daily life.

In my opinion, if you are already done with your GMAT or waiting for the next application cycle or waiting for R2 decisions then MOOC is a great way to complement your Business school aspiration. There are currently two great MOOC sources – edX and Coursera. Although edX is associated with more ivy league universities, I personally liked Coursera because it has more relevant Business courses. Wharton’s entire Core curriculum is available on Coursera and that’s really exciting.

Although the dropout rate after signing the courses in approximately 90 % or so, I am committed to completing the course on schedule with proper scheduling of my time and resources. I am beginning to realize that if there is one thing that excite me all the time is LEARNING new things and MOOCs are genuine treasure for me.

I encourage readers of this blog to at least go through the Coursera and edX sites and I am sure your will come across something that really excites you. Go for it !!

Filed under: MBA Application Process Tagged: Why so serious? Image
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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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Visit me at http://www.mbapensive.wordpress.com
MBA Blogger
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Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 103
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: Cambridge'16 (S)
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
GMAT 3: 590 Q32 V38
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
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New post 18 Feb 2014, 07:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Interview with acceptedc.om
This is interview season.

My interview with accepted.com has just been published: http://blog.accepted.com/2014/02/17/mba-applicant-blogger-interview-with-sarah/

Below are some my favourite posts from their back catalogue:

http://blog.accepted.com/2013/12/20/aiming-for-imd-an-admitted-student-shares-his-story-and-advice/

http://blog.accepted.com/2013/10/25/interview-with-nonprofit-older-b-school-applicant-mba-my-way/

http://blog.accepted.com/2012/10/19/mba-applicant-blogger-interview-sassafrass-journey/

http://blog.accepted.com/2012/10/18/how-to-juggle-work-and-school/

http://blog.accepted.com/2013/06/21/mba-applicant-blogger-interview-with-tim/

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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 18 Feb 2014, 10:00
1
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Completing the INSEAD Interviews
Tom.gif

I finally completed my INSEAD interviews last week. From the tone of our interactions before the interviews, I classified the first interviewer as the “bad cop” and the second interviewer as the “good cop”. But the experiences with them turned out to be the reverse.

The first interviewer was a chilled guy who graduated from INSEAD in 2003. I assumed that he was going to be the bad cop, but we really ended up connecting. He asked me the following questions:

  • Tell me about your career since you graduated from the University
  • Give me an example of a change you were able to make while working with your current employer
  • What is the greatest challenge you have faced with your employer?
  • Why INSEAD? What do you hope to gain by going to business school
  • How do you intend to fund your stay while at INSEAD?
  • Which other schools did you apply to? Why?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Give me an example of a culture shock that you experienced, and what you gained from it.
Then we got talking about various investment strategies, and I ended up drafting a mini investment policy statement there. We also established some common grounds on our long term goals.

The interview lasted for about 1 hour 50 minutes before he remembered that he had a plane to catch.

I had to fly out to Lagos for the second interview. I have interviewed for jobs and other stuff before in the past but this was the strangest interview I have ever had in my life. Another strange thing was that this interviewer who graduated in 2001 interviewed my first interviewer when he (my first interviewer) applied to INSEAD!

He also asked me the following questions:

  • Why MBA? Why INSEAD? Why now?
  • Have you ever been in a position of leadership?
  • What role do you play in a team?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Tell me a time when you experienced a culture shock. (That pesky question again)
He challenged me about some of my views and the reasons why I wanted to go to a business school. I looked for a way to work round the challenges he threw at me to tie it into why I need to go to business school. This happened on two occasions. The first challenge he threw at me was that Nigeria was not ready for the privatization of the healthcare industry because of vested interests. And my response was that I need to go to business school now to acquire the skills before Nigeria becomes ready.

The interview lasted for about 2 hours 30 minutes and I had approximately 15 – 20 minutes of talk time. If there was anything I was able to gather from him, he was really passionate about INSEAD.

At the end he said he would recommend me to INSEAD.

Strange interview.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: July 27, 2014
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New post 20 Feb 2014, 06:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Waitlisted by INSEAD
I just got the e-mail from INSEAD. I have been placed on the waitlist, and I have accepted it.

This is so hard to take.

I called my interviewers and told them about the outcome. They were both surprised because they said they gave me very strong recommendations.

If there is anything I have learned from the interview application process… it is the fact that there are so many qualified candidates out there and the competition is off the wall.

Another thing I have learned, the hard way, is that the application process is not good for the heart.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: July 27, 2014
MBA Blogger
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Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 103
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: Cambridge'16 (S)
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
GMAT 3: 590 Q32 V38
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
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New post 20 Feb 2014, 13:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Magoosh GMAT online course: review
I was really pleased with Magoosh GMAT online GMAT prep. It is Good value and does what it says on the tin. I bought complete package both quant and verbal and it done the business. Definitely recommend it for GMAT prep.

The look is fairly basic. It’s mainly PowerPoint with voice over but it does the trick. There is an opportunity to personalise practice questions to reflect what you learnt and there are good video explanations of every question, Which is very useful. You can also adjust the time you have on questions which I appreciated.

I could even use the app for lessons on the go. However it would have been great if this also extended to their question bank.

Verbal

The section helped moved my score from the 60th percentile to the 80th percentile. So it definitely works. It shows you the key strategies for critical reasoning and they work. Disliked the sentence correction as there was too much focus on grammar. However I do know more than I once did and it has improved my general writing.

It’s really good at teaching you the content you need for the test.

Quant

This combined with my maths tutor moved my quant score on paper from 24th percentile to about the 50th. So it certainly teaches the content. It is broken down in to very digestible chucks. I would say its suitable for someone starting from a low base. I’m not convinced at how useful it is for learning the advanced strategies you need to score 700+. Though I think Magoosh recognises this and there advanced study plan recommends using manhattan study guides.

Overall

Good value for money, if you need to brush up in the basics go here but if need the advanced content go elsewhere.

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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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Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Schools: Stern '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
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New post 22 Feb 2014, 23:00
FROM MBA Data Guru: How Much Does Your Industry Affect Your Acceptance Rate at Wharton
If you have any doubt that the industry you are in and what company you work at affect your acceptance rate at top MBA schools, then I have wonderful bridge I can sell you for a bargain. I know, my joke is lame, I should stick to the numbers.

We all know that your industry has a big impact on your acceptance rate, but which industries are the best to work in if you want to get into  a top MBA program like Wharton. First, lets take a look at the distribution of applicants at Wharton by industry. I removed all industries with fewer than 20 applicants over the 3 years I analyzed.

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As you can see, the greatest number of applicants came from consulting and investment banking. I removed the “Other” category from this graph because it was too large in comparison to each individual industry. There were 883 “Other” applicants.

Now what you all are waiting for, which industries are best for getting into Wharton? The answer shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, it is Venture Capital. The biggest surprise for me was that military and defense came in second by a wide margin. I guess risking your life for your country may pay off for some lucky soldiers. I expected consulting acceptance rate to be pretty high, but it was only slightly above average. If you work in manufacturing or mutual funds, then you might want to give up your dream of going to Wharton, my magic eight ball says “Outlook not so good”.

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If you are really passionate about applying to Wharton, then you have probably already noticed that the average acceptance rate in my graph is only 13% and not the actual acceptance rate of 20%. This is because I get my data from GMAT Club, and not everyone updates their profile with the final decision. I considered scaling all of the numbers up 63% to account for this but the venture capital acceptance rate got a little crazy up at 54%. My theory is that venture capitalists are a lot more likely than your average candidate to update their profile on GMAT Club when they get it.

What is going on with the investment bankers having a below average acceptance rate? Perhaps they come across as too aggressive and arrogant in their interview, or maybe they are too busy working 100 hour weeks to update their profile once they are accepted.
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 23 Feb 2014, 08:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: The Life of an MBA Applicant
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At every school that you apply to, your dreams lie at the feet of the Admission Committees. If you an average applicant who did not go to a well known school, and/or study a course that does not have GPA, and/or you are a few years above 30, then you feel like a gladiator in front of Commodus who will decide with his thumb whether your MBA dreams should be killed or given a chance.

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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: July 27, 2014
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New post 23 Feb 2014, 08:00
FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Never Give Up on Your Dreams
If you want a thing bad enough

To go out and fight for it,

Work day and night for it,

Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,

If only desire of it

Makes you quite mad enough

Never to tire of it,

Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it,

If life seems all empty and useless without it

And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you’ll sweat for it,

Fret for it,

Plan for it,

Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want,

With all your capacity,

Strength and sagacity,

Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,

Nor sickness nor pain

Of body or brain

Can turn you away from that thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,

You’ll get it!

~ Berton Braley

Never Give Up on Your Dreams
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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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Blog: The MBA Journey of an African Doctor

Blog updated: July 27, 2014
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Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 103
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: Cambridge'16 (S)
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
GMAT 3: 590 Q32 V38
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
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New post 24 Feb 2014, 15:00
FROM Sarah's MBA Journey: Side benefits of an MBA
I read a really interesting article in the FT today. It explained that while an MBA might not help Indian’s in the job market it might help in the marriage stakes. Essentially a MBA is a good selling point and less common than a degree.

This got me thinking what are the unusual benefits of studying for a MBA?

  • Successful author Publish a book on the experience: What are they teach you at Harvard Business School.
  • Another chance at the uni marriage mart. Here’s a blog entry on the rules.
  • Play a new sport; anyone heard of a signing?
  • Form a successful music group. (There is bound to be a story; anyone heard of it?)
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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 24 Feb 2014, 21:00
FROM Hamm0's Blog: What Now?
Domotronand I were the other day, and both came up with the same sentiment; there is not much to write about after being accepted. Back when I was beginning my blog, I had been thinking about MBA applications for about a year. Though I had only recently passed the GMAT stage of the process, I already had a good idea of the schools that I would apply to, what type of jobs I wanted, and most importantly, what was coming next. There is plenty of information about the application process at top MBA programs – hell there is a whole industry devoted to it. Because of that, I knew that while it would be a tough mountain to climb, the path was already well documented and traveled.                       Image

Now, my current path is well traveled…but no so well documented. Turns out, MBA students are pretty busy people! Looking at threeof the blogsthat really pushed me to start my own, and two have not been updated since last fall, and another the past summer. I have spoken to all of them during the past few months, and I can confirm they are alive. They just do not have the time so much anymore, which is completely understandable. I, on the other hand, have plenty of time on my hands now that I am not spending 2-3 hours a night reviewing essays or studying for the GMAT. It feels like I have an extra day in the week now! So what gives? Why no posts? Well, as I mentioned above, I do not know what I am doing anymore. Before, it was so easy to learn about what the next steps were, and share my experiences as I hit each step. Now, I am floundering around trying to do several things at once – housing, roommate, studying for core exemption (stats!), researching recruiting opportunities, networking with my class, background checks, etc. The list is massive, and really – hard to convey in a blogging scenario. Image

I will say, though, that I have found a roommate, and we are wading through some of our housing options. All the housing at Johnson is off campus, and is pretty well confined between a few apartment buildings, with the occasional house as well. A guide is here, if you are so interested. On one hand, I do not want to repeat my episodes of undergrad living in a large, dilapidated house for the bare minimum each month. On the other, money is a precious resource when considering the cost of attending a top program. On the third (??) hand, if you are already spending over $150,000, what are a few extra c-notes? Some tough decisions lay ahead for me. I also submitted my payment for ReVera to conduct a background check on the facts presented in my application. Should be interesting to hear if anything comes up – not that I am expecting it, but considering how unstructured my previous job was, I can see some confusion. Oh well – we will cross that bridge when we get there. In addition, I set my final day at work! I have only a few more months left, and I will be off enjoying myself before gearing up for school. I am planning to see family, traveling, relaxing, and sleeping. I know this is a point of concern for many accepted students, as it is never a fun conversation to tell your boss that you are leaving (unless you are in a bridge-burning mood…), but luckily I dodged that issue. Now all I have to do is survive the final few months of work, while pretending to be active and enjoying what I am doing! Finally, I want to congratulate all the Round 2 applicantsthat found out their destiny over the past few weeks. You people worked very hard, and have the results to show for it! Congrats!

Filed under: About Me, Admissions, Financials, Ramblings Tagged: Johnson Image
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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 25 Feb 2014, 13:11
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Sharing My Experience - Where am I going?
Over the past two years or so, I've been pretty active on Beat The GMAT and GMATClub. I've been so incredibly thankful for the support and encouragement the communities offered. From studying for the GMAT, to writing essays and applying to schools, to interviewing and waiting for news, this journey hasn't been easy. I'm now in the fortunate position of having acceptances (with scholarships!!) to some pretty amazing programs, including Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, and Duke. In addition, HBS is still out there as a dark horse for Round 2, but I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch (I just wrapped up my interview a few days ago). I'm still kind of in disbelief regarding how things have worked out.

Anyway, several of my fellow applicants have messaged me lately asking for application tips, details about my strategy, or just wanting to know where I'm headed next year. So, I've decided to start a blog. After all, following a crazy year of studying and working on apps, I now have waaaay to much restless energy.

So this is my first official blog post. I'll provide details about my app strategy and what-not in subsequent posts, but for now I'll just answer the most pressing question of where I'm headed...

And the answer is... I still have no clue!!
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 25 Feb 2014, 13:11
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Narrowing the field by 50% - Declining Fuqua and (Probably) Yale
Pretty early-on, I decided to decline the offer from Fuqua. Don't get me wrong, it is an absolutely amazing program that I would be so fortunate to attend. I liked the facilities, the people I met were incredibly genuine, and North Carolina weather is sooo much better than that of New England and the Midwest. However, I just didn't feel the same "fit" with Fuqua as I found with Kellogg, Yale, and Tuck.

Before receiving my acceptances, I had heard numerous current students and alumni talk about "fit," but I didn't really understand what they meant. I was just hoping to get in somewhere. It funny, now that I'm on the other side, I finally get it. It's hard to describe exactly what fit is, but you just know it when you have it (or when you don't).

So anyway, after that, I was left with three great programs. And in the last day or so, I've made the decision to (most likely) decline the Yale offer. It's crazy even putting those words in writing. I fell in love with Yale when I visited, and up until recently I was pretty sure I would be matriculating at SOM this fall. The first seeds of doubt arose when Tuck offered me a full scholarship two weeks ago. I am in the education sector, so my lifetime earnings will likely never be as high as my peers who choose more traditional post-MBA careers. Therefore, while money shouldn't be the primary factor in choosing a school, it is something that I need to heavily consider.

And so, the field is cut by 50%. Two schools down, two more to decide between...
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 27 Feb 2014, 09:27
Good luck! Fantastic job with applications! I guess it will make the choice easier but will take longer.....
Very cool!
Best Regards,
BB


DefyingGravity wrote:
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Holy crap, I've been invited to interview by Stanford!
There's one school about which I've been pretty quiet. It's that "other" school on the west coast. You know the one I'm talking about, the one and only Stanford GSB.

I applied to Stanford in Round 2, after having received a couple of acceptances from other programs. I had already written my Round 2 essays, before having any acceptances, so I decided there was no harm in just submitting the application. Even though, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. After all, the GSB now has an acceptance rate below 7%. Those are some crazy odds. I figured my application fee would probably be more like a $275 donation.

So, as the weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, I really wasn't stressed. Then, February 25th passed, the day by which "the majority" of interview invites would have been sent. People on GMATClub started to go a little wild, and speculations were running rampant. "Welp, guess I didn't make it," I thought. I've been oddly calm about this one.

Thus, imagine my surprise when I casually checked my email last night and saw a message inviting me to interview. Holy crap, I was invited to interview by Stanford GSB!! I was, and still am, in absolute disbelief. I read the email about 5 times just to make sure that it was real, and then I checked it again this morning.

I now have 10 days to arrange a mutually convenient time and location with my assigned alumni interviewer. Hence, I am kicking my interview prep into high gear... and trying not to freak out...
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New post 27 Feb 2014, 15:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Goodbye, Yale.
It's official. I just clicked "submit," declining the Yale offer. I've planned to do this for a few days, but this one was just really really hard to do.
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 28 Feb 2014, 09:00
FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Kellogg vs. Tuck - The Battle Royale
Kellogg's enrollment decision deadline is in 5 days! 

That means that I'll need to make a decision before I hear from HBS and Stanford at the end of March. So, assuming that I don't get into those schools, I have to decide between Kellogg and Tuck within the next few days.

After Tuck offered me a full scholarship, I was pretty sure that's the program I would be choosing. However, Kellogg recently increased my scholarship offer, which is amazing, but also makes the decision harder. I was using money as the tie-breaker, but now I'm not so sure.

Kellogg:
  • Scholarship for 50% of tuition
  • Hands-down a marketing powerhouse, plus a surprisingly strong social enterprise program.
  • Although I would prefer to be on the east coast, I think Evanston is really cute and the proximity to Chicago is nice
  • Slightly higher-ranked b-school, but parent university has less brand recognition to layman
  • A large, strong network, but fear of getting "lost in the crowd" in a larger program
  • Need to submit a $2,000 deposit before I hear from HBS and Stanford
Tuck:
  • Full scholarship, which would allow me to take full advantage of the MBA experience without worrying as much about money.
  • Smaller program where I would get more intimate attention. This is especially helpful since I may be choosing a more niche career field.
  • East coast, which I prefer
  • Top 10 program, with a highly-regarded parent university
  • Deposit due after I would hear from HBS and Stanford 
So basically, I really like both programs, and I could see myself being happy in either environment. I know that there's no "wrong" decision, but this is a freakin' huge decision, and I don't want regrets.
    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 03 Mar 2014, 16:00
    FROM Defying Gravity - The MBA Journey: Stanford GSB Interview Scheduled!
    It was initially a bit challenging getting in touch with my alumni interviewer, but I have finally heard back and have scheduled a date. OMG, it's real now! This will be my final admissions interview, and I'm really hoping it goes well. 

    It's crazy to think that since I've made it to the interview stage, I now have a 50-50 chance of being accepted. Seriously, this is bananas!! I've said it before, but it bears repeating: When I began this application journey, I was honestly just hoping for one admit. I absolutely never imagined myself being in this position, and I am so incredibly grateful for these opportunities.

    To prepare, I've been reviewing the feedback on Clear Admit and practicing responding to behavioral questions, (which the GSB apparently loves).

    The most frequently asked questions include the following themes:
    • Why Stanford?
    • Why MBA?
    • A time you failed
    • A time you led a team
    • A time you persuaded or influenced others
    • A time you went outside of what was expected
    • Your biggest accomplishment
    I've prepared for these types of questions for other interviews, especially the Kellogg interview, so I think I'm actually/hopefully already in pretty good shape. One thing that I probably haven't done as well as I should is to stay on top of current events. I watch my local news every morning, but I need to spend some more time reading business news, such as that of the WSJ or Economist.  And so, I have a plan to keep me busy for the next week.

    ... oh, yeah, and in the meantime, I still need to decide whether or not to submit the Kellogg deposit on Wednesday! Ahhh!
    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 03 Mar 2014, 21:00
    FROM MBA Data Guru: The Most Common MIT Sloan Interview Questions
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    At this point all of the Sloan interview invites have been sent out for this year. Unfortunately, I did not receive an invite from Sloan, but I am happy to say that due to all of my preparation, my interview with Wharton went very well. Although the team based discussion is a new interview format, I was able to assume a leadership role without being aggressive or obnoxious about it. Since I had already started preparing for a Sloan interview incase I got an invite, I decided to post the Sloan interview preparation I was working on for myself. I hope this is helpful for those who will be interviewing with sloan over the next few weeks. Interviews can take place on campus, in hub cities or even at the offices of alumni. Most interview last 40 to 50 minutes, but some have been as short as 15 minutes. I have listed out the questions found in Clear Admit over the past 2 or 3 years in order from most common to least common. The number to the right indicates how many times it was asked.

    • Why MBA? (5)
    • Describe a time I had to resolve a conflict.  (5)
    • Anything new to add to your resume since submitting application? (4)
    • Why Sloan? (4)
    • What do you me to get across to the admissions committee about you? (3)
    • Questions? (3)
    • Tell me of a time you received feedback and how did you respond? (3)
    • Tell me about a time you helped a colleague who was struggling professionally. (3)
    • Tell me of a time when you had to mentor someone. (3)
    • Describe a time when one of your ideas was rejected and what you did. (3)
    • Why get an MBA now? (2)
    • Tell me about a time you had to persuade your colleagues. (2)
    • Walk me through your resume. (2)
    • Describe a time when you had to rally a team  (2)
    • Describe a major initiative that you have worked on. (2)
    • What would your recent team members say about you, if they were asked what its like to work with you?
    • Tell me about a company in your industry that has caught your eye.
    • Given your role at your company (work for a startup), what will it be like when you leave?
    • Describe a time when you took a big risk.
    • Elaborate on your leadership role in your extracurricular activity.
    • Why did you change jobs from (company x) to (current company)?
    • You have an offer from (current company) to return. Do you intend on taking it?
    • Explain what your prior employer does, your contributions there and why you decided to move to your current job.
    • Will you return to your employer after graduation?
    • Describe a time when you had to say “no” to a boss.
    • Tell me about your biggest achievement.
    • Did you talk to someone about the Sloan program?
    You will be in good shape if you prepare for the 10 to 15 most common questions. It may be helpful to look at the questions that have only been asked once, but I would not spend too much time prepping for them. I prepare for interviews by writing out my answers for a question, then video recording myself answering the questions. I then critique myself and continue to practice. After I have mastered my responses, I will do a mock interview with a friend or colleague to get feedback. Then I incorporate the feedback into my answers and record my answers again. This may be a little overboard, but if you are prepping for your dream school, is anything really overboard?
    ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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    New post 04 Mar 2014, 15:00
    FROM The MBA Journey of an African Doctor: Another ding from Stanford… and way forward.
    It was not quite unexpected.

    When Harvard and Wharton ding you without an interview, then you know your chances at Stanford are slim to none. I hold nothing against them because I am pretty sure there are many great applicants to pick from. I had to take a cold hard look at myself after the Wharton ding, and I came to the realization that there was really nothing I could do about who I am. I made good use of all the opportunities that came my way, but the fact that I came from a poorly understood culture did not really help matters. The Admission Committees simply did not understand me.

    I make investment decisions that potentially impact the Nigerian financial markets almost on a daily basis, and I am involved in activities that have changed the actions of the managements of some listed companies in Nigeria. I am pretty sure that if these schools were Nigerian schools, they would have understood the context of candidacy and I would have stood a better chance.

    Enough of the whining.

    Now I know that I might have to look towards more internationally focused schools, schools that are more likely to understand the context of my candidacy. American schools have exposure to 35 – 40% international applicants. Americans with a population of about 300 million have slots for 60 – 65% of the seats while the remaining 6.7 billion of the World population fight for the remaining seats.

    Now, I have to work out a strategy to get off the INSEAD waiting list. And I have a month to apply to London Business School and IESE Business School. If I have the time, I may throw in Chicago Booth into the mix, just for the fun of it.

    No, the MBA dreams of the African Doctor is not dead.

    I may be bruised and battered but like King Leonidas and his 300 men, my chin is up in the sky, and I will fight on.

    Meanwhile, the views on my blog have almost touched 2,000. I am humbled by your belief in me, and I am grateful to those who have encouraged me all along.

    I am sorry I do not have better news for you.

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    ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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    New post 04 Mar 2014, 15:00
    FROM MBA Data Guru: The Most Common Stern/NYU Interview Questions
    Image
    Back in December, I interviewed with Stern. I am happy to say that I was accepted. I used Clear Admit to prepare, and it was very helpful. I felt completely prepare and don’t remember being caught off guard. I have created a list of the most common questions you can expect during an interview because I want to help all of my potential future classmates. Most interviews are around 30 minutes and conducted by an admissions staff member who has read your full application. My first question was about a unique activity that I participate in that I mentioned in the interview. When you arrive, you will receive a folder with information about clubs/programs you mentioned you would be interested in. You will also be given a Stern shirt so you can show your pride if you are admitted. I interviewed right before winter break so I didn’t hear back for almost 3 weeks, but often candidates get their decision in as little as a few days. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your transcripts, your application cannot proceed without them. I forgot mine and had to overnight them when I got back home.

    • What questions do you have for the interviewer? (10)
    • What is your back up plan if you don’t get a job in your desired post-MBA role? (9)
    • Why do you want to attend Stern? (9)
    • How did you come to work for XYZ company? Or why did you transition for XYZ company to ABC company? (8)
    • What programs would you get involved with at Stern? (8)
    • Describe a conflict you had at work (or challenging situation or time you failed) and how you overcame it. (7)
    • What is your proudest professional achievement? (7)
    • What companies do you want to work at post MBA? (Have a list of 5 companies and reasons for each one) (6)
    • How would your (friends, manager or colleague) describe you? (5)
    • Where would you like to intern between your first and second year? (5)
    • How is your post MBA goal different from your current role? (4)
    • How do you plan to market yourself to your target industry? (3)
    • Tell me about yourself or walk me through your resume. (3)
    • What is the weakest aspect of your resume? (3)
    • If 25 years from now you were asked to return to Stern to speak, how would you want to be introduced? (3)
    • If you are admitted to all of the schools you applied to, how will you decide which school to attend? (2)
    • What is your role within a team? (2)
    • Why do you want to get an MBA? (2)
    • What other schools are you applying to?
    • What other schools did you apply to? How would you decide where to attend?
    • What frustrates me the most at my current role?
    • What role would I prefer to take (if any) in a student organization?
    • Tell me about what you’ve learned working at your current company?
    • What’s the best constructive criticism your boss has given you?
    • What do you hope to learn from your future classmates?
    • How did you choose to attend ABC for undergrad? What is your best memory of your time there?
    • How did you first hear about Stern and in what ways did you learn about the school?
    • What most surprises you about Stern?
    • Is international experience important to me in my business school experience? Why?
    • Tell me what you like to do in your free time.
    • What do you like about New York? What neighborhoods would you consider living in?
    • What would you change/enhance on the Stern website?
    • Why do you want to pursue your short-term post-MBA goals I had lived and worked abroad and given this context, she asked if I had a country I could visit as part of the ‘Doing Business In’ programme, which one would it be?
    • What makes Stern’s culture different from other schools?
    • What else would you like to address the adcom?
    • During the first few weeks at Stern, how will you distinguish yourself from the other students?
    • Why do your MBA in New York City? (about the city.. not the school)
    • As an international, how would I find a job in the field that I want?
    • Ok, but why will they hire you and not someone else?
    • What do you bring to the class?
    The one question that rubs me the wrong way is the question about what your back up plan is if you don’t get into the post-MBA role you want. As a potential member of the class of 2016, I wonder is it so common that Stern students fail to get the job they want post MBA that Stern need to ask almost every student this question?

    Other interview preparation articles:

    MIT / Sloan Interview Question Preparation

    Wharton / Upenn Interview Question Preparation

     
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    Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2014, 15:00

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