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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2015, 05:00
FROM Scott Duncan: Charlie Munger, Inversion, and Business School Applications
Note: You’re going to start seeing links to books I'm reading. In the interest of total transparency, I'll earn a small commision every time you click one of these links and then purchase the item. You don't pay any extra! These small commissions will help offset the cost of running this site. Thanks for your support! Back to our regular scheduled post.

“Invert, always invert.” – Charlie Munger

If you’re applying to business school, you have a problem…getting accepted. There are so many components of the application to get right – essays, letters of rec, your resume, and this is all before the interview. Is there a better way to approach this problem rather than trying to get everything “right?”

Let’s look at the problem of getting accepted to a top business school in a different way.

I’m assuming that anyone applying to business school already knows who Charlie Munger is, but I will introduce him anyway. Munger is the Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, business partner of Warren Buffett, and a billionaire. Munger is also a deep-thinker who relies heavily on mental models.

You can learn more about him in this book: Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger. I will be reading it along with you.

According to Wikipedia, mental models are “representations of the surrounding world, the relationships between its various parts and a person’s intuitive perception about his or her own acts and their consequences.”

One of the mental models Charlie Munger is known for employing is inversion, or looking at a problem backwards. For example, imagine that you are trying to get more done at work. Let’s start by looking at the problem forwards. You could use a new to-do list manager. You could rearrange your schedule to batch process tasks like emails or phone calls. You could work more hours.

Looking at the problem backwards however, is much more interesting. Instead of asking “How do I get more done?” the question becomes “How do I get LESS done?” You are essentially asking what would ensure diminished productivity. Solutions to this now inverted problem could be: get distracted more, have more meetings, waste time around the water cooler etc. Now that these solutions have been identified, you simply DON’T do them, and you are on your way to solving the problem.

As Shane Parrish says at his Farnam Street Blog- “Avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance.”

Applying Inversion to business school
So, what could make you NOT get into business school? Let’s imagine you wanted to apply, but fail to get in.

There are the obvious answers, like “bomb the GMAT”, or “murder someone” (although that might make a good application essay). Let’s take it deeper.

More subtle ways to fail include: having a disjointed and confusing story, not sounding interesting, and not building a connection with the reader of your application. Avoiding all of these mistakes help make you memorable. Even an applicant with strong fundamentals (GMAT, GPA, etc.) will not have their best possible application if they fail to do these things.

So, when you are putting together your application materials, remember to avoid stupidity rather than seek brilliance.

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The post Charlie Munger, Inversion, and Business School Applications appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2015, 03:01
FROM Grant Me Admission: Demystifying MBA Rankings
Hello everyone! I’m started to get ready to boot up my GMAT brain…. how tough it has been to get motivated. I really have to get…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 22 Mar 2015, 19:01
FROM My MBA Journey: Welcome to the Kenan-Flagler Family
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One day ahead of the admissions deadline, I received a phone call from a Kenan-Flagler admissions team member welcoming me to the family. Unfortunately I was out on a trail walk and didn’t have my phone with me and missed the call. I couldn’t believe the admissions team was taking time on a Sunday to personally call admitted students. This personal touch meant a lot to me and further proved the family-like culture at Kenan-Flagler.

I also received an email today, on the admissions deadline, directing me to the student portal where the admission decision was posted. For once I wasn’t holding my breath while the web page loaded. The portal directed me to a newly admitted students’ website with information about the program and MBA Experience Weekend (aka Welcome Weekend). I was also invited to join a private Facebook group for admitted students. All of the information within these sites is so helpful. I’ve done my research and visited Chapel Hill a few times, but advice from current students is invaluable. Within the Facebook group admitted students can introduce themselves and set up meet ups in their hometown. It’s also a way for students to find roommates. Current students and a few admissions team members are also present within the group. They have been so willing to answer any of our questions.

There are a plethora of events scheduled throughout the Experience Weekend. From financial aid sessions to field day events, the Kenan-Flagler team has planned it all. These weekends are a great opportunity to meet future classmates, learn even more about the school, and finalize decisions. I was told 90% of the students who attended Experience Weekend last year ended up accepting their admission offer. During this weekend it’s also a great time to further explore the surrounding area and view housing options. I am definitely going to line up some apartments to view throughout the weekend. I’ve heard it’s best to secure housing pretty shortly after Experience Weekend if you want a good selection of options. Since I completed my interview during the Women’s Weekend at Kenan-Flagler, I haven’t been to Chapel Hill since the fall. I’m looking forward to heading back to NC in a few weeks!

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New post 24 Mar 2015, 13:01
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FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: Do you want to know a secret …still waitlisted at Wharton!
Round 2 decisions were released today. I was hoping to convert my waitlist position to an admit, but I got re-waitlisted instead. So, I’m still in the game but feels like it’s going to be a long wait. Congrats to everyone who got admitted today! Need to digest this news and plan my next move. Stay […]Image
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New post 24 Mar 2015, 18:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: I failed… should I even try again?
It’s been ~80 days since I revealed that I was denied at all five of my schools. I have spent a long time thinking. Maybe even too…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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FROM Scott Duncan: I got into HBS
 

After two years, three attempts at the GMAT, and five rejection letters, I have been admitted at HBS.

 

I’m speechless…

 

All I can say is thank you to all who have helped me through this process – friends, family, coworkers, mentors, and of course my readers.

 

Thanks.

 

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

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New post 26 Mar 2015, 00:00
FROM MBA Data Guru: MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank
MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank

At this point in the year many applicants have been placed on the waitlist for the school of their dreams. It is a frustrating experience that I personally have experienced. This articles shows the MBA waitlist acceptance rate for the top MBA programs. The data for this analysis comes from GMATClub. These acceptance rates are meant to give a rough idea of the waitlist acceptance rate and should be taken with a grain of salt. The sample sizes vary by school; Olin, Emory and Stanford have the lowest sample sizes.

MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate by School Rank

US News RankSchoolWaitlist Acceptance Rate

1Stanford9%

2Harvard2%

3Wharton6%

4Booth15%

5Sloan8%

6Kellogg6%

7Haas4%

8Columbia6%

9Tuck10%

10Darden16%

11NYU3%

11Ross11%

13Duke4%

13Yale3%

15Anderson18%

16Cornell11%

17McCombs8%

18Kenan-Flagler46%

19Olin30%

20Tepper13%

21Emory4%

MBA waitlist acceptance rate ranges widely from 46% to 2% depending on the school. It tends to vary quite a bit from year to year, so these acceptance rates should only be used as a guide. For example Dartmouth’s average waitlist acceptance rate is 10%, however for the class of 2016 it was only 2%. The top ten schools on average have a slightly lower waitlist acceptance rate at 8% while the next ten schools average a noticeably higher acceptance rate at 14%.

MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank

Acceptance RankSchoolWaitlist Acceptance Rate

1Kenan-Flagler46%

2Olin30%

3Anderson18%

4Darden16%

5Booth15%

6Tepper13%

7Ross11%

8Cornell11%

9Tuck10%

10Stanford9%

11Sloan8%

12McCombs8%

13Kellogg6%

14Wharton6%

15Columbia6%

16Emory4%

17Duke4%

18Haas4%

19Yale3%

20NYU3%

21Harvard2%

The schools with the highest mba waitlist acceptance rates are Kenan-Flagler, Olin, and Anderson. At the other end are Harvard, NYU and Yale with the lowest waitlist acceptance rates. Although NYU has the highest interview acceptance rate, it rarely accepts anyone off the waitlist.

MBA Data Guru - Data and analytics that will help you in the MBA admissions process
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FROM Scott Duncan: Top Business Schools Over the Last 20 Years
Wow...I'm still reeling from my HBS admit. Thank you once again to everyone who has helped me through this process.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Average Rank Over 10 Years

 

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

 

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

Average Rank Over 15 Years

 

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

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

 

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

Average Rank Over 20 Years

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

USNews Rankings Over Last 20 Years
Stanford GSB

 

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

 

Harvard Business School

 

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

 

Wharton

 

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

 

MIT Sloan

 

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

 

Kellogg

 

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

 

Booth

 

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

 

Columbia

 

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

 

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

 

BONUS

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

 

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The post Top Business Schools Over the Last 20 Years appeared first on Scott Duncan.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 26 Mar 2015, 12:01
FROM Pulling That MBA Trigger: Kellogg and Tepper – Ding #2 and Ding #3 + Updates
So March 25th was D-day for both Kellogg and Tepper, but since I pretty much knew what the outcome was going to be, I didn’t really care that much to be honest. Kellogg waived my interview and anecdotal evidence showed quite early on that once you’re waived, it’s pretty much over for you. At least, that’s how it was this admissions cycle, particularly if you’re Indian.

I’d like to say I was surprised that Tepper dinged me, but I’m not. My essays for Tepper were hastily edited versions of my essays from other schools, and trust me, it showed. In hindsight, it was dumb of me to apply just for the heck of it. I hadn’t spoken to any current students, I had no real connection with the school and I applied anyway because I thought it was ‘safe’. Don’t make the same mistake I did! I don’t know exactly how, but your interest (or lack thereof) in a school’s program can be clearly gauged by the admissions committee. They can see right through a last minute application, so even if your stats look good on paper, you will have a tough time of it. I also noticed a typo in my essay a week or so ago. This is what happens when you blearily try to mishmash content from three other essays at 3 a.m, two hours before the deadline. I repeat, don’t do this!

To prove the point I made above, I interviewed at Anderson, which for all intents and purposes is more ‘difficult’ to get into than Tepper and the only reason I made it this far is because I worked my butt off on that one essay and I spoke to at least 5 different students throughout the process. The result will be out on April 2nd, not too far away now.

How am I dealing? Well, mentally I’m prepared for a ding. With five other dings already, it’s not that much of a stretch. I’ve been trying to shift out of my engineering function into product management, which was basically my post MBA goal anyway. I figure if I have to reapply next year, it might be good to show that I’ve already made that shift. Besides, it’s where my true interests lie so I’m going to be much happier there. I’m also going to be heading to South Africa for about 10 days in May. It will be my second trip to this gorgeous country and I can’t wait to take a break from all this madness and come back refreshed to do it all over again.

Also, congratulations to everyone who’s made it to their target schools… looking at you Scott and My Life of Bliss!

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New post 31 Mar 2015, 04:01
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: Tomorrow never knows …UPDATED
When I wrote this original post exactly nine months ago I had no idea how things would work out and more than a little self-doubt. I was still depressed and struggling to come to terms with my five dings in 2013/14. In many ways 30 June 2014 was the low point for me, when I realised […]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 02 Apr 2015, 02:01
FROM Pulling That MBA Trigger: Waitlisted at UCLA Anderson!
So when I didn’t receive a phone call yesterday, I thought it was pretty much over for me. Since I was expecting a ding, I wasn’t heartbroken about it. I went on with my day, went out for a fancy dinner to celebrate my failure and then went to bed with a huge sigh of relief because the whole waiting game was over.

But it wasn’t. I received a mail this morning asking me to check my application portal and there it was. Waitlisted.

If there is one thing I’m absolutely terrible at, it’s waiting. I am all about instant gratification and I am the least patient person I know. This for me, is the equivalent of a death sentence. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. It’s great that I wasn’t rejected outright. Being waitlisted means there is still a chance I could get in but in my mind, it’s just postponing the inevitable. That doesn’t mean I’m going to take it lying down though.

There’s a lot of good advice about being waitlisted that is floating around the interwebz, so I’m going to take full advantage of that. If anyone reading has any ideas/suggestions about how to get off the waitlist and what kind of updates to send, please let me know. Despite all the complaining, I am happy that Anderson is giving me an opportunity to strengthen my case. It is such an amazing school, full of the most amazing people, so I’m going to make the most 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 02 Apr 2015, 05:01
FROM Scott Duncan: Why it is Better to Be Authentic
Two years ago I got my hands on a resume book from HBS. Scrolling through the PDF like a madman, I thought “Holy s***! I’m NOTHING like these people!”


I didn’t have the Ivy-League background. I didn’t a name-brand firm on my resume. I had so little exposure to finance, I couldn’t even spell “P&L.” All I had was a solid reason for getting my MBA and a resume with so many references to gynecology, reading it would make an iron worker blush (I’m a medical device designer in case you didn’t know).


Basically, I thought that the fact that I was so different from all of these other people meant that I stood NO chance of getting in. And because of this mindset, I was right.


This attitude caused me to make one of the biggest mistakes I made during my first attempt at applying. I tried to explain in my applications how I was similar to all of these other types of applicants, rather than accentuate how my unique experiences would add to the education of my classmates. If you have been following this blog for a while – you know how that turned out. I was rejected by every school I applied to. Every. Single. One.


Over the past few weeks, a few of my readers have reached out and asked if they were in the right career path to be accepted at a top business school. Well, I’m not qualified to give career advice, but I have a hunch that telling an authentic story about why you are in the position you are is far more valuable than changing careers or employers just in the hopes of getting an acceptance letter.


Like I have said before – there are no magic bullets. You are better off telling the story you have, not the story you think the admissions committee wants to hear.


“Be yourself.” “Be authentic.” “Relax.” On the official admissions committee blogs you see the same advice for writing a good application, but the fact that they need to continuously reiterate these seemingly simple points indicates that many people are still missing them.


Give the admissions committee some credit. In the essays and interviews, they are far more interested in WHY you did something than HOW you did something. It doesn’t matter which investment bank you went to after two years in your post-undergrad position. What matters is the reason for making that decision. Why were you unsatisfied? What did you think you could learn from changing positions? What transition had to occur for you to make the jump? Do you think the adcom wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between someone who thought long and hard about where they wanted their career to go, and someone who got a new job “because it’ll get me into b-school”? They’re professionals, and they can tell the difference.


So, stick with what you know and explain it passionately. Doing things just for the sake of “getting in” makes for a pretty boring story. Owning my story and telling it with pride made the difference for me.

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FROM The MBA Manual: What is your dream b-school?
Take Our Poll

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FROM The MBA Manual: Welcome to the MBA Manual!
I am a first generation college student.  I was admitted to Stanford GSB, Yale SOM, and Cornell’s Johnson SOM from state school and with no full-time work experience.  You can do the same, and I’m going to show you how.

I’ve created this blog to aid you in getting admitted to your dream b-school…for free.  This is not an admissions consultancy site that will demand $4K before it will even begin to help you.  This is a blog made by someone who has been through the gamut and knows what it’s like to do it with too little information.  Feel free to check out the extended version of why I wanted to start this site here, scroll down and read some posts, or use the icon in the top right corner ( Image
 ) and click on “categories” to get the specific info you’re looking for.  Best of luck!

-Ryan

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FROM The MBA Manual: Craft the Perfect Application Resume
The resume is an integral part of your application.  It is probably one of the first things that admissions officers will use to winnow you out (or, more optimistically, keep you in).  Your resume needs to pack a lot of information into a little space (1 page front and back), and it needs to look clean while it does it.

The Template

I’ve tried quite a few resume templates over the years, and the one that I’ve found to be the best at showing what I’ve done simply and cleanly is the Curriculum Vitae template from Microsoft Word.  Check out the template below.

Curriculum vitae template

Now, the problem with the template is the headings it uses.  They are better fit for a PhD program.  We need to tailor these headings to make them more appropriate for an MBA candidate.  So, what headings shall we use?

 

EDUCATION

You’ll obviously need an education section.  It should look something like this (including formatting):

 

NAME OF UNIVERSITY

Name of Degree                                                      Year

Concentrations

Distinctions

Honor Societies

GPA

 

A few quick notes:

  • If you haven’t graduated yet, put “(Expected)” after the year.
  • If you are unsure if you should list an Honor Society or not, read this post.  If it’s something like Phi Beta Kappa or Beta Gamma Sigma, definitely put it.  Otherwise, think it over.
  • Always put what your GPA is out of (e.g. 3.75/4.0, 4.5/5.0, etc.).  Also, if it is above a 3.75 out of 4.0, bold it.  You can also add Latin honors after you graduate, though this is preference.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

This should highlight your full time work experience or, if you’re an early career candidate, your internship experience.  Your experiences should be listed in order of recency (most recent at the top).  The format is something like this:

 

Company Name, Company Location

Position Title                                                               Month Year – Month Year 

  • Bullet point starting with action verb detailing role, responsibility, or project
  • Bullet point starting with action verb detailing role, responsibility, or project
  • Bullet point starting with action verb detailing role, responsibility, or project
 

A few quick notes:

  • Action verbs are a must.  Strong action verbs can make a good project performance sound great.  I’ve attached a list of action verbs that you can draw from in crafting your resume.
  • Aim for 3 to 4 bullet points per company/position
  • You do NOT need commas between the month and year.  If you write “May, 2015 – August, 2015″ it is an error.

 

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Here is where you will list all of your international experience, including your volunteering abroad and study abroad experiences.  If you do not have any such experience, you’ll want to read this post and start working towards getting some.

 

City, Country

Program Title and Role (if applicable)                           Year 

One sentence detailing what you did there.

 

A quick note:

  • If you studied abroad during a semester that only had one course (e.g. a short summer session or a winter session), list the letter grade you received after the year.  For example,
    • “Asian Business and the Global Economy”                      2014   A

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Again, if you have not yet completed an independent study, check out this post for more info.

 

University Name, City, State

“Course Name”                                    Grade Received

One sentence describing the course/project.

 

GRADUATE COURSEWORK

See this post if you have not yet completed any graduate coursework but would like more info on how to do so.

 

University Name, City, State

“Course Name”                                    Grade Received

 

 

NOTABLE RESEARCH, PAPERS, & CONFERENCES

For information on conducting research, click here.  Good research will lead to papers, and you should make every attempt to present your research at every conference you can (it demonstrates an ability to speak publicly and a confidence in your work while enhancing the academic clout of your resume).  Thus, the three fall under one heading (it also saves precious vertical space).

 

Title of Paper, Project, Research

Awards won by paper

Journal published in/ Conference presented at                 Year(s) worked on

 

 

AWARDS

I tend to do my awards in one-line format so I can fit more of them while utilizing as much space as I can.

 

Year  Award Name

 

 

Some final tips:

  • Try to keep the break between pages natural.  That is, don’t have half of your bullet points for one professional position on page one and the other half on page two.  It looks too sloppy.
  • Something that I realized while filling out my applications is that a lot of times there will be places in the application for some of this information (but not all), and I always adjusted my resume accordingly.  For example, if one school has a place for you to list your awards, you can nix the AWARDS section on your resume and put something else in its place (or just make more space).  Many times the application will allow you to put a few awards (like your top 3), but will cap you at that amount.  If you want other awards you’ve won to be considered, you’ll want to include them in your resume (just don’t repeat the ones you’ve already listed in your application…it’ll just waste space).  Volunteering almost always has a spot in the application (hence, why it’s not a heading in the resume template), but international experience might not be.  Just be sure to keep tabs on what you’ve mentioned and what you’re missing in each application.  You want to be sure that each school is getting the fullest picture of you.
  • One last thing that I’ve done in order to save space or give my resume a little something new is take 2 headings and make them into a two columns (see below).  This works especially well if they are short sections that complement each other (e.g. independent study and graduate coursework).
This…

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Turns into this.

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It’s all personal preference but I just view this as cleaner and it saves a ton of precious space.

Finally, I’ve included a modified MBA version of the CV template using the headings and tips mentioned above.  You can download it below.

MBA Curriculum vitae template

 

 

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FROM The MBA Manual: The “It” factor, Developing your story
I’ve had a lot of feedback on this blog so far. Many people have questioned as to if there was a secret to getting into a top-tier business school that most applicants don’t know about. They assert that there are dozens of people with amazing stats, great work experience, a stellar resume, etc., etc. and demand to know why they didn’t get in, too.  The truth is, I don’t know.  I never will know.  I am not an admissions officer, nor do I know any, so there is no way for me to ascertain why they would accept or reject this person or that person.  However, I can speculate.  Based on my experience with the application process and my interactions with those admitted, f I were to try to pin down the one thing that keeps applicants with all the right numbers back, it would be the lack of a cohesive, purposeful story.

The point of a business school is to mold people into the leaders of tomorrow.  Business schools’ reputations are built upon the notable alumni that have graduated from there.   They want you to come out of that school and go change the world.  They want you to be someone who revolutionizes your field, someone who shakes up the status quo, someone who makes a difference.  They want you to soar to world-renowned recognition in your area of industry; those are the people who reflect the most favorably on the school, the ones who build the brand name.

Picture this.  You are an admissions officers.  You have 2 applications in front of you and 1 spot left in your program.  The two candidates look something like this:

Candidate 1:

  • 750 GMAT
  • Internship with investment bank
  • Volunteering: picks up trash on campus
  • Took courses in France
  • Member of tennis club
  • Essay: about how he wants to further his career in investment banking
Candidate 2:

  • 690 GMAT
  • Internship with biotech company
  • Volunteers in hospital
  • President of medical fraternity
  • Medical service trip abroad to Peru
  • 3 years of research in chemistry
  • Computer science independent study
  • Essay: about how he wants to found a new biological technology company to fight MLS, in honor of his mother
Candidate 1 by himself seems like a pretty solid candidate, right?  He’s got the GMAT score, the investment bank internship, etc.  However, when we compare him to candidate 1, we notice something.  Candidate 1’s experience don’t mesh all that well together.  They’re certainly impressive feats, but we don’t get the sense that these experiences are connected or working towards some larger goal.  With candidate 2, though, it seems like everything was done with a purpose.  All of his experiences tie together and give us a a far clearer picture of what his story is, how his experiences are interrelated, and where he wants to take them.  This is the type of person that a business school wants.  This person is passionate and purposeful.  He has a clear goal in mind and is using every medium to make it happen.  He will be the person to make an impact in his field and contribute to the brand equity of the business school.  Candidate 1 will probably make a lot of money, but it’s not clear what else he will do besides that.

So, when you wonder how a person with an astronomically high GMAT score and an internship at Goldman Sachs could get denied by a top-tier business school, think back to this example.  Admissions is based on more than just numbers, it is based on your passions (What do you care about?), your goals (What do you want to do?  Will this make a difference and/or boost the school’s reputation?), and the experiences you undertake in order to blend the two into your career.  Your story weaves these elements into a narrative.  It will come out in your essays and you will be asked about it in your interviews (e.g. “Why do you want to go to business school?  What are your short and long term goals?”  etc.).

How do I form my story?

  • Well, the first step is to think about what you’re really passionate about and how this might fit into a career (e.g. I love education, so I’m going to start an education nonprofit).  The other way to do this is to think about your career goal and then think about why you’re passionate about it (e.g. I want to be a market researcher because I love discovering the reasons behind why people do what they do).
  • Second, if you’re in undergrad still (or if you’re early career), you’ll want to start selecting experiences surrounding these 2 concepts.  Want to work in finance?  Become president of your university’s investing club.  Develop a financial literacy for local high schools.  Travel to Hong Kong to learn about the Asian Economy.  Since you’re still picking your experiences, you have many opportunities to prove that you are passionate about and also want to make a difference in your field.  If you’re near application time, this advice doesn’t help you much.  However, you are not out of luck.  Still do step 1, but instead of going out and doing experiences that relate to and further your goals, think deeply about how the ones you’ve already been a apart of do.  Make a list of every notable thing you’ve done since entering college.  Lists all of your clubs, extra-curriculars, international experience, graduate coursework, independent studies, research, honor societies, awards, etc.  What do they have in common?  How do they point to your passion?  How can they relate to your career goal?  Did the experience teach you a certain skill that will help you in your field?  Did it give you experience with diversity, something that resonates particularly well with your career goal?  If you’ve been active, you should be able to see your passions and interests hidden in your experiences.  Your job is to bring them out and to the forefront for the admissions officers.
Overall, developing your story is vital to your business school application.  You want to be viewed as someone who is passionate, looking to make a difference in your field, and is already working towards doing that.  You want to be seen as someone who will help the brand of the business school grow, not someone who will make big money and that’s it.  This concept is going to be central to several of your essays (specifically Stanford’s — a post on that coming soon!) and very important in your interviews (a post on that coming soon, too).  I would really take the time to sit down and draft out what your story is and how you wish to present it come application time.  You’ll be thankful that you did.

 

 

 

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FROM Grant Me Admission: The GrantMeAdmission MBA Application Model
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FROM Grant Me Admission: The GrantMeAdmission MBA Application Model
I’ve been busy speaking to a LOT of people regarding MBA’s. With most of the decisions out, I have had the opportunity to speak with many…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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FROM Pro GMAT: Pick up the list again
It’s been more than 2 months that I have posted here. This blog was meant to be my GMAT/MBA journey book but I was not able to continue it as I shifted my GMAT/MBA goal to next year. I have not posted anything because I was not making any progress on this lane. What I […]Image
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FROM Grant Me Admission: Applying Again: Pre-MBA Programs, MOOC’s and the GMAT
I LOVE life right now. Work is going great, my non-profit initiative is making great progress, and I am enjoying the fantastic California weather. However, April…Image
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