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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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New post 10 Jan 2015, 12:01
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FROM My MBA Journey: MBA Weekend Visit Applications
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I’ve decided to apply to the U of M Women’s Weekend instead of the Kellogg weekend since they’re taking place at the same time. Really I should apply to both in case I don’t get into one. But I also don’t want to turn one down. And I’m already tight on time. These applications add up! I really wonder how much time to put into these apps. All of the apps require you to submit personal profile information, a resume, and 1-2 essays. Some of the essays will be great exercises for the actual essays I’ll need to write later. The questions are of similar nature. “Why do you want to get a MBA?” and “What have you accomplished so far in the work force?” are a few of the questions. I wonder how much time applicants are spending on these. Maybe they let everyone into the weekend but want to make sure you’re interested. Or maybe there are a limited amount of spots available and there is competition. I don’t even know how large of a group will be attending. I doubt I’ll be able to find out these answers.

I’m thinking about being a bit bold in my essays. Now’s the time to experiment a bit with not as much being on the table here. However, I did hear from an admissions member once that any communication you have with the school is part of the overall interview process and affects their perception of you. I’m definitely not going to take these essays lightly, or be too bold. But I would say boldness is part of my personality. And they want you to be sincere right? We’ll see!

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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 10 Jan 2015, 12:01
FROM My MBA Journey: Waiting Game
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Well I’ve officially submitted my applications for Women’s Weekends at Duke, UNC, and U of M. Now I just have to play the waiting game. I really didn’t expect to nervous about this. I’ve been finding myself constantly checking my email. It’s just a weekend event, not actual admission to the program. Regardless, although admissions teams say it isn’t true, I would expect admission to this event to be somewhat of an indicator of your hopes of getting into the MBA program.

Maybe not though. The school has to fund the event and pay for things such as hotel, food and some transportation costs. They probably can’t do it for every applicant.

I also wonder, does the school or the prospective student get the most out of this experience. Clearly it’s in part a recruiting tool for the school. And for the student it’s somewhat of an informal interview.

It seems like the format of most of these weekends is broken into two sections. One day is dedicated to more of an admissions information day, and the other is a leadership conference that’s not limited to prospective students. I’m equally excited about both days…if I get in. I will keep you posted.

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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]

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New post 11 Jan 2015, 21:01
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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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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 13 Jan 2015, 05:01
FROM My Journey to Business School: My Interview with Accepted.com
It got published a few days ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to checking it out until today.

Take a look and let me know what you think! :)

http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/an-indian-mba-applicant-story-accepted-to-top-3-choices-with/

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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]

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 02:01
FROM My Journey to Business School: Kellogg Video Essay Questions
Most Kellogg applicants I know are intimidated and stressed out by the Video Essay component of the application that has been in play since 2013. This year, there are some changes in the video essay section as compared to last year.

1. The applicant is expected to answer 2 questions – 1 behavioural (ice-breaker) question and 1 Kellogg-specific question.

2. Less time to prepare: Last year, applicants had 1 minute to formulate an answer to the question that was asked. This year, we get 20 seconds.

3. No option to redo the essay: Once you record an answer to your video essay question, that’s it. Irrespective of it went, there is just that one chance to record your answer.

Video Essay Questions List

I have listed real video essay questions that applicants have encountered in the 2014-2015 admissions cycle.

Behavioural Questions

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

What is your favorite TV show?

Tell us about your first job.

If you could teach any course, what would it be?

What is the one thing you have always wanted to try?

When did you realize you were good at your job?

What interesting or fun fact would you want your future Kellogg classmates to know about you?

[I found this blog by Piyush Jain immensely helpful while preparing for the behavioural question section – he’s listed out a ton of questions from last year as well.]

Kellogg-specific questions

Why are you applying to Kellogg?

What do you anticipate will be your contribution to the Kellogg community?

What makes you a great fit for Kellogg?

What is your favourite club at Kellogg?

Advice for applicants attempting the Video Essay section: Be yourself. Do not try and give scripted responses to the questions that are asked. It is good to be prepared so that you know what you want to talk about in the answer to each question listed above – so make sure you introspect to really know yourself. But apart from that, just be casual and confident. The adcom is not looking at the strength of your vocabulary or your oratory skills – they just want to know that you can speak in a clear, concise manner and that you can articulate your thoughts and communicate them to your classmates effectively.

It’s okay to be nervous, but remember that this is just one part of the application. It is an important part, as you get to show the admissions committee a side of you that they don’t get to see on paper. But it is just one piece of the puzzle, so relax and give it your best shot.



All the Best, and let me know how your video essays went!

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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 14 Jan 2015, 07:00
FROM The adventures of a (provisional) MBA student: First month at HBS
What. A. Ride. I’m only able to write this because I accidentally turned up half an hour early to something. My head is just spinning…

At HBS you’re an active participant. In everything. From class, to extra-curricular involvement, so with 100% Type-A personalities organizing a social gathering, the pace is relentless. It’s not like my undergraduate studies, and I already treasure the rare hour or two to myself I can allow myself every couple of days.

The first few weeks (edit: month and a half! Really?!) are everything I expected, and more. There’s been so much I could mention right now, and simply haven’t got room. I’ve been trying to decide how I can keep this updated in a sensible way as the initial rush begins to calm a little, considering my new workload. So I’m going to give a brief update and try and regularly cover a topic I think might be interesting to those outside the ‘bubble’.

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HBS Baker Library from across the Charles River

Section Life

HBS is divided into sections, with roughly 10% of the class in each (currently 94 in mine). I’ve been allocated to the best section, obvs! The section becomes your academic and social center. All classes are taken together – a significant piece in itself due to the case discussion methodin use at HBS.

While the professors are truly excellent teachers, you’re meant to learn from each other as much as the professor themselves. It’s an engaging experience, and certainly no falling asleep in the back row (however much you may want to)…

We’ve recently discovered that there is no ‘science’ to putting sections together, no late night evenings with lots of coffee looking at the backgrounds of the 900+ students as we’d assumed up until now. They split the class into 10 equal parts, and the only consideration is to check for a roughly even mix of international students to US nationals. The amazing diversity of the class admitted each year does the rest for them, and so far it’s incredibly successful. The diverse background of my classmates is staggerring and much more different than I’d expected based on the traditional background of your typical MBA.

If you’re looking at HBS as a possible school, I strongly urge you to see a class if at all possible (ideally two differing subjects) and if not, at least watch the video above. The level of preparation is extensive, allowing the class to take a more ‘free-form’ discussion rather than a tightly scripted one.

As well as inside the classroom, your section becomes your social unit too, actively encouraged by the school – a close bond outside the classroom fosters openness and sharing within it. It doesn’t always happen and work out (there are always whispers and rumors of the ‘broken’ section), but usually it does.

It begins from the first day and we now have an elected president, treasurer, social chairs, athletic rep, international rep. Intra-mural sporting events within the class are competed between sections, party attendance is a competition between each section for the highest… competition seems to be a theme at HBS.

Looking ahead

So far, we’ve been what feels like an incredibly busy time. Apparently it is not. Extra-curricular activities are just kicking off, the recruiting season is now about to begin (we have been protected so far at HBS, unlike some other schools, but this is about to end already) and exhaustion levels look likely to escalate.

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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 14 Jan 2015, 07:00
FROM The adventures of a (provisional) MBA student: First Semester – Diversity and the Case Method
It’s been an unbelievable first semester at HBS, and I’m still catching my breath. The first semester is notoriously tough, and things become a little more about finding your own path in the second (Elective Curriculum, EC) year, once the first year (Required Curriculum, RC) is over.

After the opening of a new year I both have a little breathing space and time to reflect on 2014, as well as my first semester. I’m lucky enough to be on my way to China (via Thailand) for the first big installment of HBS’s FIELD program so I am writing this with the best view I’ve had in quite some time…

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R&R before FIELD

With a semester down and a shocking 25% of the MBA course already completed, I can at least provide a little more depth on some of those things you probably wanted an insider’s viewpoint – I know I did – before you apply.

Attitudes and Diversity at HBS

A big one before I left, and like many I’d read this NY Times article. Would these be my sort of people? Would it really be a diverse experience? Well the answer, to me at least, is a resounding yes.

Almost every case we discuss seems to have someone with a background in that or a similar industry. Everyone seems to have an amazing range of interests, even those with a more traditional career background. There’s a really nice group of LGBT’s in my section, and a huge numbers of nationalities are represented by the flags at the back of our classroom. It’s certainly more diverse than the perception I had before I got to HBS.

In addition to the vast array of backgrounds, I have to say everyone is a whole lot… nicer and collaborative than I expected. HBS I suppose has a reputation as the a temple of capitalism and of representing the dog-eat-dog cutthroat corporate world. It is highly competitive for sure, but not at all costs, and there is plenty of kindness and great team spirit shown by my fellow students.

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HBS classroom with a wide array of nationalities represented

Case Method & Grading System

The case method has gradually been adopted by many of the leading B-schools for at least part of their teaching – Harvard (as pioneers of the method) use it the most and teach virtually all their course material by the case method. I’ll readily admit that this doesn’t always make sense, with occasional classes away from the core content sometimes appearing to be ‘an exercise in disguise’. However, most of the material does adhere to the case philosophy pretty closely.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, this videodoes a pretty good job of explaining the preparation involved in this type of class. The chance to discuss, try out your own ideas and engage with the professors is highly valuable. I’m still stunned that my (at that point future) professors were greeting me by name in the week lead-up to first class – each professor learns by pre-provided photos the name of every student, along with their academic and career background, before the semester begins.

If you’re familiar with it or watched the video, you’ll understand how crucial class participation is. HBS pushes you, hard, to participate, and this can cause quite a bit of pressure. Grading (varies with course) of class participation is roughly comprised 50% of your final course grade. This consists of how much you’ve participated and whether you have made a valuable comment.

With 94 students in each class, the average is to ‘comment’ once every two classes or so. With grades allocated as a 1 – top 10%, 2 – middle 80% and 3 – bottom 10% of each class, the aim appears to be to identify extremes while reducing comparisons between the rest of the class.

The pressure while still unfamiliar with this system is intense in the first semester. As an international student I feel fortunate to have English as my first language in this context. The English of those with a second language is genuinely superb, just a slight lag in reaction times can cause students initially to be unable to get into the conversation.

On a positive though, many of those in the class have said to me that while this format is taught initially, it is the best language lesson you can get, and already seemingly fluent speakers now sound like native speakers.

There was a revealing insight from one of my professors in the last semester;

Even just five years ago, I walked into the classroom in the first semester and I usually knew who would be my ‘three’s’ [the bottom grade]. It was the international students, as their grasp of English left them at a significant disadvantage. Today, its not at all the same – the international students all have truly exceptional language skills and you often can’t tell who is not a native speaker

Verdict so far

The loan I have is the biggest financial liability I’ve ever had (excluding a shared mortgage) and the first statement caused my parents to ask if it’s a mistake. If you’re reading this you probably know what a commitment HBS is (and many other top tier B-schools are). In that context I have no hesitation in saying I have no regrets whatsoever in taking up their offer of admission. It’s a phenomenal place to be, and the experience is only just beginning.

P.S. Good luck to all those applying in R2 this year!

Next time: FIELD2: The adventure abroad

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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 14 Jan 2015, 10:01
FROM Grant Me Admission: What do you mean I’m on Fortune?
I have been receiving a lot of emails recently. Most are encouraging; my favorites usually include phrases such as “I’m inspired” or “your blog helped me.”…Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 19:01
FROM My MBA Journey: Ross WILC
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I had the pleasure of visiting the University of Michigan for the Ross WILC weekend. There were about 30 prospective students who attended. There was an optional VIP visit which included a tour and class visit during the day on Thursday. I already participated in a VIP visit in the past, so I decided to opt out of this portion of the visit. I was taking Friday off of work and didn’t want to take two days off if I didn’t have to.

Thursday night we checked in and then had a formal kickoff dinner at the school. Three current students spoke about their experiences in the program. Alumni were also present and shared their success stories. It was really helpful to talk to them one on one and be able to ask simple questions about their experience. We’ve all read about the program, but it makes such a difference to visit the school and talk to current students. At night we went to an offsite event and got to mingle with current students.

The next day we attended the official WILC conference. Not only prospective students, but also women in business were invited to attend. The presenters were great. All of the sessions were really empowering. One of my favorite sessions featured business leader Shelley Zalis. She gave a great discussion about the value women add to the boardroom. Women are often criticized for being emotional, but Shelley made a great point about how emotions do belong in the business world. Employees are real people and if managers do not use emotions within the work environment, we will not be able to connect with our team members.

A 2014 alumni spoke about her experience at Ross and about how it has helped her in the workplace. It was nice to hear from a recent alumn. As always, Soojin Kwon gave great insights about Ross. If you haven’t already reviewed her blog, I’d recommend reading it: https://michiganross.umich.edu/admissions-blog

After the conference there was another event which allowed prospective students to meet current students. Throughout the weekend I was able to bond and connect with other prospective students. I hope to meet them again, maybe somewhere in the Fall of 2015! ;)

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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 14 Jan 2015, 21:01
FROM My MBA Journey: The Fuqua Offerings
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Unfortunately I was not able to attend Duke’s Women’s Weekend. I was very disappointed because it looked like a great event. I had a really important presentation at work and couldn’t get away. Luckily, I was able to make a visit earlier this year. While visiting I spoke to an admissions team member who answered many of my questions about the program. He provided a great perspective about the international opportunities offered. I am interested in quite a few of them! If admitted, I am unsure how I’m going to narrow down my options. One of my favorite offerings is the GATE program. With the GATE program students learn about business practices and the culture of the region they later travel to. Although some of the treks from other programs sound like fun trips, the GATE program offers a more comprehensive experience. I have been fortunate to have international experience with several of my jobs, but am seeking additional experiences.

Later in my career I want to pursue a leadership role at a nonprofit. Although I am involved with several nonprofits now at a volunteer level, I want to contribute in a larger way in the future. The Fuqua program at Duke offers a program called Fuqua on Board which allows students to join the board of a nonprofit for a term. A lot of the fellow prospective students at the events I’ve attended are interested in working in the nonprofit sector. This offering might be the experience you’re looking for. Read on for additional information: http://www.caseatduke.org/mba/fuquaonboard/

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 21:01
FROM My MBA Journey: Staying Organized
I am heading into the final preparation time before submitting my MBA applications. Luckily I started early and have given myself ample time to apply. In the Summer I was consistently checking program websites to see when the essay questions would be shared. Most programs updated their 2015 application cycle information in August. In an effort to keep organized, I created a Google doc to track information and progress.

I have a row for each program I have explored. After eliminating programs from my list I’ve hid the information to avoid clutter. The columns provide information such as links to key areas within the websites, MBA profile information, and special concentration offerings. I’ve also tracked the basic information such as deadlines, event information, and financial aid offerings.

The doc has helped reduce the amount of times I’ve needed to double check a date on a website. It’s also helped me create a schedule and keep me on track. I highly suggest creating something similar to ensure you don’t miss an application deadline.

I am probably going to refrain from blogging for awhile to ensure I stay focused. But I will definitely recap all of my experiences once I’ve finished my apps.

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 22:01
FROM My MBA Journey: Things are Looking up with an Invite from Tepper
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I was so excited to receive an invite to interview with Tepper! I visited Pittsburgh this summer and am looking forward to going back to interview. My interview and travel plans are booked. Now it’s time to begin to prepare!

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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
GMAT 1: 610 Q47 V28
GMAT 2: 650 Q45 V32
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WE: Consulting (Consulting)
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New post 15 Jan 2015, 05:00
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FROM Naija MBA Gal: On being waitlisted
The sad part of being waitlisted is that the struggle for admission is not over. The happy part of being waitlisted is that the struggle for admission is not over. Yes, you read right. No I did not make a mistake. When you’re waitlisted, first feeling is “Thank God it’s not a ding”, followed shortly […]Image
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My Journey: http://naijambagal.wordpress.com/

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New post 15 Jan 2015, 19:01
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FROM Scott Duncan: The essay that got me accepted at a Top-10 B-School
Not too long ago, I was staring at a blank page in Google Docs, trying to figure out what I was going to write my b-school essays about. First of all, I was worried about answering the question that was being asked, but there was the added challenge of having to add all of the little details of my background that wouldn’t show up in the rest of my application. How are you supposed to do this in 500 words?

This wasn’t the first time I felt this way. The exact same thing happened earlier that year, when ultimately I got rejected from all of the schools I applied to. Instead of taking the time to do all of the up-front work of figuring out why I truly wanted to go to business school, why I made certain decisions in my life and articulating this message in a coherent application, I was looking up words in the thesaurus and pumping out meaningless paragraphs. What a terrible strategy!

 

This year was different.

 

Last year: My essays need to be PERFECT

This year: My essays need to deliver a simple, clear message and add some color to my application where possible

 

And what was the result? Well, for one, this year I got accepted at MIT Sloan, one of my top choices.

I had this misconception that my essays needed to be works of art, and I was wrong. So, to prove it, I’m going to break down one of the essays that got me into MIT Sloan.

But first, as a bonus you can download the checklist I used on all of my 2014 essays:

 

QUESTION: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words or fewer)

 

From the days when Legos littered my parents’ floor to my first years of college, I saw myself as an engineer. That changed after my first product development internship. I was part of a small team developing life-changing cardiovascular products one concept at a time. For the first time, I saw that my work could dramatically improve the quality of life of the doctors and patients using our products. I also believed for the first time that instead of working in engineering for an innovative company like this one, I could lead it as the CEO. This one eight-month experience is why I spent the next seven years in manufacturing and research and development at medical device companies. The most valuable way I can advance the mission of MIT Sloan is to share the real-world insights I have developed over those seven years with my classmates.

(Before we move on, some quick notes)

  • I led with the exciting stuff
  • I’m setting the context for the rest of the essay
  • This is important: I have already answered the question in the intro!
Back into it:

At CeQur Corporation, I was employee number thirteen and developed a simple insulin infusion device for people with type 2 diabetes. Only months out of school, I was leading projects with multibillion dollar contract manufacturers and beginning to see the common communication issues that arise between product development and manufacturing teams. I had to transition between both functions as I designed something new, persuaded senior management to make the change, and then implemented the change on the manufacturing floor.

I was the tenth employee at Solace Therapeutics, and led a cross-functional team of five through the process of introducing a new urogynecological device to the market – everything from sketching the idea on the proverbial napkin to traveling to Europe and training doctors how to use the finished product. Since I was so far out of the typical realm of an engineer, I realized that the other functions within the company were just as essential to the creation of new products as engineering.[b] [/b]

(More notes)

  • I talk about some of my leadership experiences
  • I talk about some of the unique things I have learned
  • I show what that line on my resume was REALLY like and why it was valuable for me
But the most valuable and rewarding experiences I had were not technical. Scrubbing into the manufacturing cleanroom at 4:00AM to lead a team of assemblers through the production of life-sustaining devices taught me more about leadership and team dynamics than developing a new manufacturing process. Working in the field and watching tears come to the eyes of the users of our product as they described their daily struggle and how our device could change their lives was far more influential and motivating than designing new components or crunching numbers.

(Notice how I explain how the most important parts of my job were the lessons I learned outside of my discipline and allude to how these experiences are what are leading me to getting an MBA)

My past experiences are only the first part of how I will advance the mission of MIT Sloan – everything I intend to do after attending Sloan is the second part. My experience in product development and manufacturing has built part of the foundation I will need to realize my goals, however, what my experience does not include is the skill set in business fundamentals and leadership development I will need to be successful. An MBA from MIT Sloan is the next logical step and will provide the transformative experience I will need to broaden my perspective and successfully start and lead early-stage medical device companies.

(BOOM CLOSE IT OUT! I re-answer the question and explain why getting an MBA is the perfect transition for me)

 

So, there’s nothing groundbreaking here. It’s all pretty straightforward. Did I answer the question? Yes. Did I add some more background and give the reader a more clear picture of who I am and why I want this? Yes. What else does it need?

I’d love to hear your questions and comments. How did you figure out what you wrote your b-school essays about? Post a comment below.

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The post The essay that got me accepted at a Top-10 B-School appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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Current Student
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Joined: 28 Apr 2013
Posts: 177

Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 26

Concentration: Technology
Schools: Anderson '18 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
WE: Information Technology (Internet and New Media)
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New post 17 Jan 2015, 00:00
FROM Pulling That MBA Trigger: The lull before the storm
So things have been quite dull ever since I submitted my applications. I wrote the TOEFL yesterday and it was such a breeze – I actually enjoyed the exam! It’s scheduled to be about 4h 30m long but I finished it in about 3h 15m, following which I got the stink-eye from the remaining test takers. All in all, I think I’m going to manage a respectable score and I’m glad it’s out of the way. I hope the scores are sent to UCLA asap because my application is going to be put “on hold” until they receive my TOEFL score.

I’ve also been featured in this US News article which is pretty cool! When I get into a school of choice (power of positive thinking), I’m definitely going to talk about how I focused on bringing out my strengths as a female candidate. This was actually the main fodder for my essays, particularly Kellogg and UCLA.

The waiting game is still on… I haven’t heard back from any school yet but I’m trying not to read too much into it. The end of this month/the beginning of the next is going to be nuts but I’m excited! Here’s to good things coming all the Round 2’ers way!

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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 38

Concentration: Finance, Healthcare
GMAT Date: 08-09-2014
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New post 21 Jan 2015, 10:01
FROM TexasWannaBeCali: Mindless Rants and a Little Tug of War
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1. My favorite football team to infinity and beyond, the Dallas Cowboys, currently have the best record in the NFL and I’m literally riding on cloud 9 because of it. Exciting times here in Dallas…despite the whole Ebola craziness and all. But eh who cares about that when the Cowboys are on a 6 game winning streak :D

2. After much indecisiveness, I have decided on a costume for Halloween. I shall be the Cat in the Hat. The hot version of course so no need to Google image search what this costume will look like, the internet isn’t even ready for it.

3. The Women’s Weekend at McCombs is this Friday and Saturday and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve even already stalked my roommate via social media to make sure she was cool. It’s totally not creepy when you don’t have to try very hard to find them though right?

4. Recently saw Gone Girl and I have 8 words for you… “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. Like OMG!

5. I’ve already started planning my life post submitting my MBA apps in early January.

  • Read “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and FINALLY finish reading “Nice is Just a Place in France” by BetchesLoveThis (like seriously guys, I’ve been working on this one for like 500 years… i get so easily distracted ugh and don’t judge me on the book’s author because yes I sometimes am that basic betch who loves her Starbucks, yoga pants and “literally can’t even”)
  • Travel to Spain in mid May
  • Apologize to my tennis racket for the months of neglect and train like crazy to get ready for a few spring and summer competitive matches
6. I have become the epitome of Ms. Doom and Gloom. I think I’ve internalized my stress and anxiety over having so much to do in so little time being it either with work, or the GMAT, or writing essays so much so that I’m easily frustrated and my first instinct is just be negative about everything. Like I think one of my friends texted me saying that it was such a nice day out and I responded “yeah, such a nice day to be in the library ugh” Like who am i!?! This fun sucker me is worst, and even though I recognize I’m doing it and get annoyed with myself, I can’t help it. My emotions are all out of wack for sure, but luckily for me and any one that has to even breathe in my direction, in a few weekends I’ll be visiting my Alma mater for a few days and spending time with my best buds from college should be able to pull me off this emotional rollercoaster they called MBA application season. One last crazy weekend with the people I love most will be just what I need to make it through the home stretch.

7. I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with a few current students at UCLA Anderson, and it’s like they SO get me. I knew when I first started researching Anderson, that the culture was probably where I would fit in most, and the girls I’ve spoken to did nothing short of confirming everything I already loved about the program and just made me even more excited.

8. I wonder if I should change my blog name to TexasWannaBeFuqua…or really TexasWannaBeConfused or something. I feel like I’m in identity crisis mode because I started this blog dead set on California, but the more I work on my Duke essays, the more I fall in love. Damn Team Fuqua! Anderson and Fuqua without a doubt are my top 2 programs and ask me a few months ago I would’ve said UCLA without even a hesitation, but now, I can honestly say it’s about 50-50 between the 2. I love how much more open minded I’ve become though, I think it’s a sign that the 24 and 7 months TWC is a little more maturer than the 24 and 2 months version of myself. Oh what a journey this has been.

9. One of these days I hope to fall asleep before 2AM

That’s all the mindless rants I have for now. Can’t believe it’s almost November (I feel like in every post I make a reference to it “almost” being some time of the year.. when did i become so predictable yall).

Also I have a TON of current MBA applicants listed on my blog right now so please check them out if you haven’t already and for those you with interview invites, WOW the heck out of them so I can move you to the “Current MBA Students” section :) Best wishes to everyone and may the odds be ever in your favor

 

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Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 38

MBA Blogger
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Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

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Concentration: Finance, Healthcare
GMAT Date: 08-09-2014
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New post 21 Jan 2015, 10:01
FROM TexasWannaBeCali: Tis the Season… to Finally Start Getting my $#*! Together
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November already… Is this real life? Sigh…

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a “Goals” post so now that it’s crunch time, I thought it’d be rather appropriate.

1. GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT. I was way too preoccupied with work and b school biz that Halloween pretty much came and went and I didn’t even do any Halloweenie type things besides go out in a cute costume. I’m pretty annoyed with my lack of festiveness (is that a word) lately so I am holding myself accountable and will be doing the absolute most to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m talking holiday bows in my hair (got lots of compliments last year), pumpkin spice lattes and UGGs, adopting an Angel for Christmas, Black Friday shopping, caroling (okay maybe not that one), putting up decorations, watching all the classic Christmas movies that you’ve seen a million times but watch anyways because it’s a tradition… the whole nine yards. I love this time of year despite the weather so I really want to make sure I enjoy it no matter how busy I am.

2. SCHEDULE MY GMAT. Most likely going to schedule my retake for Saturday, December 13th which gives me a little over a month to prepare. My main focus is improving Critical Reasoning which I’ve been reading PowerScore for and just practicing Quant like crazy. Also any advice on improving in Reading Comp? My accuracy is so hit or miss with that section and I can’t even pinpoint it to it being a certain subject (business, social sciences, or science), it’s just sometimes I comprehend what I’m reading and sometimes I just really don’t. Maybe I just need more practice or maybe I need a miracle.

3. UPDATE MY RESUME.  First of all, so excited that I’ve now been officially promoted. As a young applicant, you’re pretty much looking for any way to show the adcom you’re ready to make this transition and that you have the skills and leadership qualities necessary to succeed in business school, so I’m hoping this is exactly the boost my profile needed even if it is for just 2 months by the time I apply. I also know that I really need to make sure I take the time to craft a great resume, one that makes the adcom want to read the rest of my profile. With most of my focus being consumed with writing essays and GMAT prep, I know that “updating my resume” will be put on the backburner until the ninth hour and that would just be a disaster. I did an overhaul of my resume this summer and while my title has changed, my responsibilities really haven’t, so I at least have a good starting point, but I honestly have no idea if the description of my job is anything close to what an adcom will be looking to read about. How do you make tax sound interesting guys!?!?

4. START ON MY MCCOMBS APP. I am specifically highlighting this program because I almost dropped McCombs from consideration. As y’all may remember I attended their Women’s Weekend a little while ago, and I must say I absolutely loved it. Exactly the culture and program I’m looking for and all the current students and applicants I met, I could see us being great friends. I just met so many amazing girls, a group of us from the Dallas area even stuck together the whole weekend and have made plans to do happy hours and keep in touch, my roommate included, who I LOVE by the way. We instantly connected as soon as I walked into the hotel room and I don’t think we stopped talking and laughing until the event was over. We’re even GMAT study buddies. Texas is a still a distance 3rd choice, maybe 4th, I haven’t decided, and while the healthcare opportunities are not as ideal as some programs offer, I don’t want to eliminate a school I love so much solely because of that when I could very well end up finding my passion in another industry once school starts. I’d rather apply now and make the decision that’s best for me when the time comes.

5. FIND AN ESSAY REVIEWER(S). I currently have 11 essays to write (Anderson, Haas, Duke, McCombs, and the Consortium) and I’ve only started 4 (all 3 of Duke’s and Anderson’s) and only 2 of the Duke essays are just about ready for Review Round 1. Sad.. I know. I’m going to hate myself come December. This I already know and have accepted. I still haven’t decided on the whole admission consultant thing and I’m not sure the a la carte essay reviewing is a better route either so I’m in quite the dilemma. I have plenty of friends I could have read over it, but I know they would all just be super positive and like “omg don’t change a thing!” and just waste my time. How lame is it that I’m actually considering letting my parents be my reviewers unless I can magically think of someone else in the meantime? They’re both pretty cutthroat… my stepdad is an investment banker so I know especially from the business side of things about aligning my goals and highlighting certain facets of a program, his opinion will be extremely useful, and then my mom.. well she’s just Black and will tell me like it is, it’s in her DNA. Either way, I think they might be my initial reviewers because I can bother them to read them whenever I feel like it, and then maybe turn to a consultant for a la carte services once it’s closer to being ready. Idk we’ll see. I need to finish the damn things first.

6. LOCK MYSELF IN THE LIBRARY UNTIL I FIGURE OUT WHAT TO TELL ANDERSON. As previously mentioned, Anderson’s essay is one of the few that I’ve started on.. for obvious reasons. I tend to just type away until I get tired and then leave the document for dead for while so once I come back to it, I can bring out some fresh ideas. Well I just re-read what I wrote and OMG guys.. I absolutely hate it. I don’t know what it is about this essay topic or maybe I’m just trying so hard that I can’t be my naturally charming self, but this essay was so terrible and embarrassing. I’m having a pretty difficult time trying to actually answer the question, but also making sure it doesn’t sound like something other applicants will have written. And then tying in your defining principles, to Anderson’s, to your goals, to their specific program and what you like about it and why…are we sure this can be done in 750 words? So much to say, not enough room, but honestly thank God for word limits because if I had continued that rambling fest I call my first draft, it would’ve put the adcom to sleep for sure. Time for a do-over.

Loving all the posts lately. I get so excited to read everyone’s updates, it’s like I’m living vicariously through y’all. Keep it up everyone and have a healthy week!!!!

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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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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 4

Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 12-30-2014
GPA: 3.03
WE: Marketing (Other)
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New post 21 Jan 2015, 16:00
FROM MBA on my Mind: Keep on Keepin’ on
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I think that’s what most of us MBA applicants are chanting to get through these next few months. I know I am! My GMAT is set for December, 22. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone these past 2 weeks, I REALLY need to break the 700 barrier. In the spirit  of breaking that 700 barrier my post is going to be tiny, I have to get back to my books.  I want to congratulate topdog, naijambagal, Vandana, Hugo, GrantmeAdmission, TheEngineerMBA on receiving good news from their schools, seeing your hard work and determination to get into a top b school pay off, is really what’s keeping me going. Thank you for that. You guys are an amazing bunch!!

Also, my interview with accepted.com just went up this week. Swing by here. Thanks accepted.com, I really didn’t think I was interview-worthy! :D 

All the very best to the rest of us Round 2 warriors with prepping for the GMAT, polishing up our essays and what not. Deadlines loom ahead. Let’s get into Business School! :D

I’ll be back soon with my updated B School Tally Board!

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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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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 4

Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 12-30-2014
GPA: 3.03
WE: Marketing (Other)
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New post 21 Jan 2015, 16:00
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FROM MBA on my Mind: New Year, New Plans
Happy New Year, Guys! Hope it’s a magical one!

I know for certain that 2015 promises to be freakin’ magical for Topdog, Naija, Vandana and Hugo! You guys have admits to the best business schools in the world, aaahhh… Ya’ll are my role models! I am sure the round 2’ers will be close at your heels and are giving their apps a good ol’ spit and shine. I am sending tons of positive vibes your way, round 2’ers. I know, like I know, you guys will have great news come March/April!

After thorough examination of the position at where I stand today, I have decided to apply for my MBA in the 2015 admission cycle. Here’s a look at the result that the thorough examination rendered –

1. My company is at the cusp of bringing in funding from an Impact funding vehicle. As one of the founders, it is imperative for me to be around to see the deal through. I can’t just head off to business school at this point, it displays lack of commitment to the vision around which my company was built.

2. We are on a massive expansion drive and expansion at a start up requires all members working to make it happen. It needs undivided attention. I hadn’t even thought through how my roles and responsibilities would be carried out, had I gone off to business school. No replacement strategy was put in place. (I feel super stupid about that)

3. Financing the MBA. I had a plan at the beginning of 2014 about how I’d finance it, but a start up literally bleeds you dry. Everything was pumped into the company, by the time December rolled around I knew I had to look for other options. Scholarships were out of the window because of my less than perfect 650 on the GMAT.

4. Of course my GMAT score. I need to fix that.

So, there we are. That’s why it’s going to be the 2015 cycle for me. I will be applying to the same schools that I have up on the tally (that’s probably the best thing I’ve done so far, figuring out my school list). A little heads up,I am going to be bothering my blogger friends for inputs, through the next few months!  :D

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Current Student
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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
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New post 24 Jan 2015, 10:00
FROM Road To My MBA: Letter of Recommendation
It has been a good week so far. After the disappointment with my GMAT score, I have started to study again, re-schedule the new test date and talked with my boss about the Recommendation Letter.

Rescheduling the GMAT

25th of November will be THE date. There´s no time to lose from now, it´s only studying and practicing.

Recommendation Letter

Asking for a Recommendation Letter is one of the most feared aspects of one´s application, specially mine, and the reason is that I´ve not talked to anyone in my work that I´m applying to MBA programs. Since I work for the same company for 4 years, my options really should be around there.

Well, I spent a long time thinking about whom I should ask to be my recommender and the reasons below helped me to make my decision towards my manager:

  • Native English speaker: although he´s Brazilian, he moved to Canada at a young age, so he has a perfect English. Besides that, he lived in NYC for a good while to work at an investment bank before joining our Firm here.

[*]MBA Abroad: believe it or not, he´s the only one in the company who earned an MBA abroad (in Canada), which is interesting since I work for a Big 4 Consulting Firm. Besides that, during our conversation, he mentioned he has done several recommendation letters before and remembered when he was the one asking for it.[/list]

[*]Technical knowledge: he has profound knowledge in corporate finance and has the CFA (which I aim to have in a couple years). I´m not sure whether this would improve the RL, but shows that he is qualified.[/list]

[*]Works with me for about 3 ½ years: a couple months after I started to work here, he was hired to be one of the managers in our area. We have worked together in several projects, so he knows a lot about my business performance.[/list]

[*]Trustworthy: this sounds obvious but I do not want my colleagues to know that I´m applying to MBA right now and I truly believe he´s someone I can trust.[/list]
All that mentioned above, our conversation went smooth, I told him the reasons I want to earn a MBA and we discussed the other aspects of the application for a while. It was a good talk, which made me feel confident of the choice of him. I will use the GrantMeAdmission “Killer Recommendation Package” to help him through the letter.

I know it is safer (and sometimes required) to have at least two recommenders, but I cannot think of anyone else at the moment.

That´s it, good luck to everyone!

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Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2015, 10:00

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