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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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New post 16 Jun 2015, 13:01
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: The word – part 3: …and the ugly
With the current application season winding down and attention turning to R1 applications due later this year, I’ve been contacted by a number of aspiring MBA students to discuss strategy and whether to even bother applying given the tough competition out there. While I often don’t feel qualified to give advice, I’m always happy to […]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 18 Jun 2015, 10:01
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FROM Grant Me Admission: 5 Tips on Getting a 700+ on the GMAT (updated)
So I have taken the GMAT twice and gotten a 710 twice. My splits were (Q49, V38) and (Q47, V41). This blog post is going to…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 18 Jun 2015, 11:01
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: Do you want to know a secret …dinged at Wharton!
You heard it hear first folks! I’m a bit disappointed not to have secured an admit trifecta (together with INSEAD and MIT Sloan), but this outcome was pretty inevitable at this late stage. I feel privileged to have been selected for the waitlist at Wharton and am fired up about matriculating at MIT Sloan this fall (more on this […]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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TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail - http://topdogmba.com/

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 11:01
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: There’s a place
So, my final tally is in. I applied to three b schools in total this season: INSEAD – admitted MIT Sloan – admitted Wharton – waitlisted and dinged No MBA application process is complete without at least one ding – I know people who secured H/S/W admits and were still dinged by other schools! – […]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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TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail - http://topdogmba.com/

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New post 19 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Course Descriptions - University of Michigan Business School
Course Descriptions - University of Michigan Business School: Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid — The condition of the world’s poor is the subject of growing attention. Global poverty is increasingly seen as an unacceptable outcome of the current economic system, and there is interest in exploring new market-based approaches to poverty alleviation. The emerging base of the pyramid (BoP) perspective aligns business-oriented incentives for growth, innovation, and profits with the development community’s efforts to create a more inclusive capitalism. In fact, the relationship between profits and poverty alleviation in pursuit of mutual value creation is a central component of the BoP perspective.
To explore these issues, this course integrates concepts of strategy, international business, non-profit management, and poverty alleviation to stimulate the leadership skills and competitive imagination needed to design BoP ventures. Through combination of cases, readings, lectures, videos, and outside guests, class session will engage students in discussions aimed at: 1) identifying the opportunities associated with a new perspective on serving BoP markets; and 2) developing the strategies, business models, and partnerships required to productively explore those opportunities.
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 20 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Global Impact Speaker Series — The William Davidson Institute
Global Impact Speaker Series — The William Davidson Institute: The William Davidson Institute Global Impact Speaker Series features thought leaders, practitioners and innovators who work in emerging markets economies.  It has brought highly successful business leaders from various organizations and companies to campus to share their experiences, provoke thought, and stimulate discussion around the opportunities and challenges of international development, specifically healthcare issues and poverty alleviation in emerging markets.  Past speakers include Dr. Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada, President of the Gates Foundation Global Health Program; Paul Farmer, the co-founder of Partners-In-Health; Brian Trelstad, Chief Investment Officer at Acumen Fund; Dieter Zestche, then CEO of DaimlerChrysler; and the late C.K. Prahalad.
The monthly series provides students an opportunity to meet, hear from and interact  with some of the people who have shaped and influenced development in emerging economies.  Visiting speakers also have the opportunity to meet Ross School of Business MBA students and faculty in small group settings to further explore issues affecting international business and public policy.
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 21 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: The Erb Institute at Michigan Ross
The Erb Institute at Michigan Ross:

The Erb Institute is committed to creating a socially and environmentally sustainable society through the power of business. Building on nearly two decades of research, teaching, and direct engagement, the Institute has become one of the world’s leading sources of innovative knowledge on the culture, technologies, operations and governance of business in a changing world. The Institute’s impact is realized most powerfully through our vibrant global network of students and alumni who are the transformative change agents in business, government and the non-profit worlds.
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 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations
Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations:

Our mission is to inspire and enable leaders to build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people. We are a catalyst for the creation and growth of positive organizations.
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 Jun 2015, 11:01
FROM Grant Me Admission: The most important technique to boost your critical reasoning score
This week I am excited to have a guest blogger. Eliza Chute is an independent GMAT tutor, and she runs the helpful site http://bestgmatprepcourse.com/ (check it…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 23 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Impact Challenge
Impact Challenge: What is the Impact Challenge?
This year-long Ross effort seeks to create a profitable venture with a social mission in Detroit. It begins with a series of workshops, community conversations, team challenges, and pitch competitions that engage more than 1,500 students across five academic programs at Ross. It continues with eight months of engagement with individuals and organizations in Detroit, and culminates in the launch of a new, high-impact venture. Built into the process, awareness-building activities, feedback mechanisms, and reflection sessions maximize your leadership development.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 23 Jun 2015, 14:01
FROM The MBA Manual: Cornell Johnson Essay: “Table of Contents” Breakdown
This essay is a creative submission that states the following:

“You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2000 characters or less, please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.”

So, essentially you need to break down your life into a series of chapter titles that convey what you want to the admissions officers.  These titles should integrate seamlessly into your story.  For me, I wanted to demonstrate how I’ve gotten to be interested in the field of education and where I intend to take it, all while showing some of my personality that wouldn’t otherwise be expressed in the application, such as humor and attention to stylistic detail.  Think about what portrait of yourself you’d like to convey and start brainstorming chapter titles that work towards that portrait.

My Table of Contents example can be found here.  Feel free to take a look as I dissect it.

I chose to separate my book into six main sections (representative of six of the main sections of my life so far), and provided a small blurb about each section.  Some of the sections are supposed to be lightly humorous (such as the foreword by Will Smith), while others are supposed to be a bit more serious.  The sections and blurbs were as follows:

Page 4  Foreword by Will Smith  A few kind words about our lifelong friendship

Page 16 The Beginning  Where the seed of a love for learning was sewn

Page 48 Taking Leaps  An intimate chapter focused on world travel and personal growth

Page 77 College and a Calling  When my passions and career path began to mesh

Page 105 My Johnson MBA  2 years of learning, development, and life-changing experiences

Page 139 A New Frontier  How and why I changed the world of education

Some of the things that I think I did well with this creative submission and that you might like to implement in yours are the following:

  • Use some humor
    • The admissions officers are reading thousands of these submissions.  If you can make them chuckle a bit without going overboard your submission will be that much more memorable.  I included a foreword by Will Smith and added a publisher’s logo for “Corn L. Publishing” (an ear of corn).
  • Use images
    • I used images from my real life to supplement my titles and say many things that words cannot.  I included a picture of a young, happy me showing off my school work to demonstrate how deep my love for learning runs, and a picture of me jumping off of a bridge to symbolically represent me taking the figurative leap into business school right out of undergrad, among others.  These pictures give some validation to the claims that I’m making and can help you squeeze in more conveyed information if you’re nearing your 2,000 word limit (which you shouldn’t even get close to in my opinion).
  • Do not neglect style
    • Sure, you’re not applying to art school, but you still want to show that you pay attention to detail and have at least the slightest eye for the art.  Keep title colors, fonts, sizes consistent.  Do the same with page numbers and blurbs (if you include them).  Develop a color scheme with colors that go well together.  Line things up.  Choose clear images that pop.  Put borders on your images that match your color scheme.
This submission, perhaps more than any other, represents you.  It gives you essentially free reign to do what you’d like creatively in order to represent something you know best:  your life.  Don’t think less of this submission because it’s not an essay.  Don’t miss the opportunity to really “WOW” the admission officers with it.  Make it informative, make it look nice, and most importantly, make it your own.

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

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New post 24 Jun 2015, 07:01
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FROM Grant Me Admission: My 3 Biggest Mistakes Studying for the GMAT (updated)
Last time I took the GMAT, I got a 710. As I study to take it again, I reflect on three mistakes I made last time…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 26 Jun 2015, 04:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Wharton Social Impact Courses
Wharton Social Impact Courses
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 01 Jul 2015, 16:01
FROM The Unlikely Capitalist: Economic development in Mozambique.
Economic development in Mozambique.
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 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM Grant Me Admission: Want to meet the Top Schools all at once?
Hello everyone! Researching, networking, and understanding the “feel” for a school are all part of the essential journey to a top MBA. Wouldn’t it be great…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 06 Jul 2015, 11:02
FROM The MBA Manual: Cornell Johnson Essay: “Targeted Job Type” Breakdown
This is going to be a shorter post for two reasons:  one, the essay is pretty black and white, and two, the essay is very short (2000 characters max).  The prompt is as follows:

“What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2000 character limit, including formatting characters)“

Let’s break this down.

1.  Frame (~300-350 characters)

  • Give the ad-com a bit of background of the field you’re seeking to break into.  Try to think of how you would answer the question, “why does this matter?” and explain why you want to do what you’re trying to do.  Keep it brief at 2 to 3 sentences.
  • “Uncontrollable barriers should not have the ability to hamper people’s ability to learn, grow, and live a life that they are happy with. Unfortunately, they can and often do, and this truth is one of the most grossly unjust parts of life. This is why I wish to dedicate myself to working ceaselessly to eradicate these barriers.”
 

2. Short-term Goals (~550-600 characters)

  • There is a good chance that once you get your MBA you won’t immediately be able to realize your ultimate goal.  That’s expected.  However, show the admissions officers how you intend to get there.  What are the immediate post-MBA steps and how are they going to help get you to where you need to be?
  • “The importance of equal opportunity in an educational sense has imbued my career path with a certain vitality and direction. In the short term, I seek to work with companies that both value equality and also can work towards a solution to the extensive problem of disparity in access to educational opportunities. I aim to place myself in a managerial or marketing role in an education or EdTech company, working to develop new methods of accessing and bettering education, and distributing these developments to the masses.”
 

3. Long-term Realization (~550-600 characters)

  • Now that you’ve set up how you’re going to get the ball rolling, let the ad-com know what those earlier steps will lead to.  What is going to be the fruit of all of your labor?
  • “My long-term career goal is to launch a major startup dedicated to bettering education and creating educational opportunities where they do not currently exist. I look at startups like Codeacademy, edX, and AltSchool that have advanced the field of education and I know that, provided with the right tools and experience, I can excel at doing the same. I wish to be an agent of change in the field and be an integral part of giving people the chance to show that they can work hard, that they can learn, and that they can flourish.”
 

4. Wrap-up (~300-350 characters)

  • Reiterate the problem you wish to tackle or field you wish to enter and affirm your dedication to that issue/field.  Be sure to tie it back to Johnson if it is obviously relevant.
  • “The problem of unequal educational opportunity is widespread and unjust, and is one that I intend to remedy. I want to work with others to change the world of education, and I know that there is no better place to do this than the Johnson School of Management.”
On a final note, I think an important piece of this essay that might not be obvious is that one needs to show that the job that they are shooting for actually would require having an MBA.  If you can get that job or start that business/startup/non-profit now, then why are you pursuing an MBA?  If, on the other hand, you need certain skills, experiences, or resources provided by an MBA, then you need to somehow make that apparent to the admissions officers here.

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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 15 Jul 2015, 11:02
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FROM The MBA Manual: How to prepare for b-school interviews
If you are invited to interview at one of your dream b-schools, congrats!  Not many candidates will get to this point, and the fact that you’re being invited indicates an already strong interest in you on behalf of the school.  Now it’s time to seal the deal.

Pre-interview

When I found out I had an interview at Yale SOM, I was first ecstatic, then panicked.  “What if I mess up?  What if I blank?  What if I seem like a much better applicant on paper than I do in person.”  These are all completely normal responses to have.  The key is to use that anxious energy positively in preparing for the interviews rather than negatively by crippling yourself with fear.

How to practice 

The first thing I did was scour the internet for the most common MBA interview questions.  Here are some of the obvious:

  • Tell us about yourself,
    • Keep this short, sweet, and on topic (no talk about family, hobbies, etc.)
    • Undergraduate major chosen and why
    • Career experience
    • Future goals and how the MBA will help you in achieving those goals
  • Why do you want to earn an MBA?
    • You must show why an MBA is necessary for achieving your desired career goals
  • Why are you interested in this school?
    • Do.  Your.  Research.  What makes this school different from others?  The class size?  International program?  Expertise in entrepreneurship?  How does that fit in with your career goals?  Why is this the perfect fit for you?
    • I tried to reach out to one student leader/correspondent and 2 club leaders from clubs I intended on joining once on campus per school.  This gave me more substance in answering and by naming the club leaders when responding, it was easy for me to show that I did my research and that I was especially interested in the school.
    • I also looked over each school’s course catalog and wrote down all of the courses I was interested in.  If a school offered an online sample class of one of its courses, I watched it.  This exposure made talking about the program that much easier because, to the slightest degree, I had experienced it.
  • What are your short- and long-term goals?
    • Again, why is an MBA necessary to achieve these?
  • Talk about your accomplishments as a leader (Usually asked in a behavioral question format).
    • More on the STAR method below
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • Back up strengths with mini-examples (don’t take away from your behavioral question responses too much).
    • Never ever ever use a positive for a weakness (e.g. “I’m a perfectionist,” “I’m overly organized,” etc.).  It’s passively braggadocious and not what the ad-com is looking for.
  • Do you have any questions for us about the program?
    • You must.  Ask questions (I shot for 4 per interview) that cannot be answered via an easy internet search.  Ask probing questions.
    • Some examples of questions I asked are:
      • What, in your opinion, is the best aspect of the ABC MBA program?
      • What have you observed to be the biggest difficulty in earning an MBA? What do people do to mitigate this?
      • What is it like living in city X?
      • If you had to sum up the ABC school culture in one word, what would it be?
      • Why did you choose to become involved with the ABC program?
I popped these interview questions into Quizlet.com (you may recall this strategy from my Landing Big Name Internships post), along with specific questions that the schools I was applying to were known to ask.  I turned the Quizlet flashcard audio on, put the cards on shuffle (so I would get used to answering questions randomly rather than in a set order), and then clicked the view next card button.  I set myself up in an office chair facing a mirror so I could practice making eye contact with myself while answering the questions (strange, but effective).  Also, I found it advantageous to not look at my laptop at all while practicing in order to get myself used to only hearing the questions and not reading them, too.

Since, at most schools, you get to schedule your interviews yourself, try to space them out as much as possible.  The reason for this is it allows you to “get in the zone” completely for one interview at a time.  If you had all your interviews back-to-back-to-back, you might slip up and name drop someone you had correspondence with, talk about a club you liked, or mention a course you were interested in… FROM THE WRONG SCHOOL.  The good news is that once you’ve prepared for one school, a lot of your answers will stay the same (career goals, why you’re pursuing an MBA, strengths/weaknesses, etc.).  You’ll just need to adjust your more specific answers about the school itself.

One last tip about practicing:  try to practice naturally.  What does that mean?  Don’t work off of a script of any sort.  If you approach your interviews with a script in mind and somehow fall off of that script mid-interview, you’ll panic.  Not only that, but even if you nail it verbatim, you’ll probably sound too rehearsed.  Rather, have a set of ideas that you want to touch on.  Don’t focus on the exact phrasing; let the wording come naturally based on those ideas.

Pre-interview

In some cases, you will be offered the choice between an in-person interview or a Skype interview.  Unless there is some extreme circumstance barring you from being able to swing it, choose the in-person option.  It shows a certain dedication and commitment to the school that settling for a Skype interview does not, especially if you have to travel a far distance.  In fact, if you are rather close in location to the campus, it may reflect poorly on you if you opt to do a Skype interview rather than make the commute.  I’m not saying people who choose the Skype option don’t get in, because they obviously do.  It’s especially understandable if you’re from another country (or continent). However, if it’s possible for you to do the in-person, do it.

Tips for a Skype interview

Sometimes circumstances prevent you from attending in person.  For me, it was a snowstorm that hit my city and left it with seven feet of snow.  Trapped in my apartment, I had to switch gears and request a Skype interview for my Yale interview.

One thing to realize about Skype interviews is that notes aren’t “against the rules.”  You can have your resume next to you or a few key examples that you’d like to touch on.  However, you cannot blatantly read these notes, you should only glance at them if you get stuck.  I have even heard of applicants writing things they want to touch on on a white board behind their laptop.  If you choose to use notes, you need to practice discreetly referencing them.  Film yourself with your webcam and practice glancing at your notes if you were to get stuck.  If you can’t do it without looking like you’re reading right from the notes, then just don’t do it.  If you can, though, then maybe have a few things jotted down just in case.  From my experience, the people who do this end up not even looking at the notes, but they are a confidence-boosting safety net.

Additionally, even though it’s a Skype interview, you should still dress professionally, and do so all the way down despite the fact that only your torso is showing.  Being professionally dressed down to the shoes puts you in the professional mindset, something that rocking pajama pants and slippers with your suit coat might not do (no matter how comfortable).

Lastly, and I’ve already touched on this, practice by filming yourself answering questions speaking into the webcam.  You need to see if you’re doing right.  Are you fidgeting or swiveling in your chair?  Stop it.  Are you looking directly into the webcam to simulate eye contact?  It’s pretty unnatural, but you can get good at it through practice.  Are you smiling?  You should be!  Practicing in the element of the interview will make it feel much more natural once the time comes and I cannot recommend it enough.

Tips for the in-person interview

Obviously, if the interview is in person, you’ll want to wear business professional.  Make sure your clothes are ironed and you look well-groomed.  I went as far as wearing a tie of the school’s color in a attempt to “subliminally” hint that I’d fit in well with the school.  Did that work at all?  Probably not, but it made me feel better.  If you want to freshen your breath, opt for mints and not gum (no chomping).

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the location.  Being late might be a fatal blow to your application.

When you first interact with your interviewer, stand up to greet them if you aren’t already standing.  Give them a firm (though, not hand-crushing) handshake, look them in the eyes, and smile.  First impressions aren’t everything but they’re definitely something.

When you’re first starting the interview, try to get a feel for your interviewer and respond accordingly.  If they’re more serious, be more professional.  If they’re joking around, be more friendly.  This is especially true of the Stanford interview, which is conducted by alumni all around the country and can vary greatly from interview to interview.  Personal bias shouldn’t play a role in interviews, but it does.  A slight shadowing of your interviewer helps.  People like people who are like them.  

In either case…

  • SMILE!  Be friendly, be enthusiastic, and let your excitement for the school show through.
  • Have five or so “power stories” ready.  These are substantial stories that show different aspects of your personality (e.g. a leadership example, a teamwork example, etc.).  However, make sure to be flexible with your usage of the stories.  Don’t think that you can only use your leadership example if you hear “leadership,” as “time you took control of a situation,” “time you were in charge of others,” etc. should also bring your leadership example(s) to mind.
  • Don’t panic if you lose your train of thought or can’t think of a response immediately.  During my Cornell interview, I had a pause of around 7 solid seconds where I just thought through my response.  While this might be unnatural at first, it’s a much better alternative than jumping right in and regretting your choice.
  • Answer the questions, but be concise.  Don’t ramble.  Use the STAR method when responding to behavioral interview questions.
  • The night before interview, relax!  Don’t try to go to bed earlier than normal.  The nervous energy will keep you awake and then the whole “I’m not falling asleep…oh god I’m going to mess up my interview now” thing might kick in and REALLY keep you up.
  • On the day of interview, do everything that you would normally do.  Eat your normal breakfast and workout if you typically do.  Act as if it’s just another day.  This will help keep you relaxed.  Right before the interview, turn your phone off, cut out distractions, and just calmly focus on the task in front of you.
I’ll leave you with something that I read while I was freaking out over one of my upcoming interviews.  It was from Stanford GSB, and went something like, “Don’t view this interview as a make-or-break or a final hurdle that you have to leap over.  View it as a chance to tell us more about yourself and learn about us, as well.”  That’s what the interview is.  The school already likes you, just help them confirm what the application can’t show, that you’re confident, friendly, and excited to attend their school.

Be on the lookout for upcoming posts about my personal interviews with Stanford, Yale, and Cornell, including the difficulty, format, types of questions I was asked, and a review of the overall experience!

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 07:52
Hey everyone,

I'm a second year MBA student and I'd like to share my 2 cents of advice with you.

B-school is awesome, and you will enjoy it very much.

It's never too early to begin your career search. You need to arrive with a game plan. A very cool and helpful resource i've been using since I started my MBA is pymetrics. pymetrics is a neuroscience game-based career assessment test that reveals your cognitive and social traits. Then you receive a full career profile that determines in which industries and functions you are most likely to succeed. The platforms suggest you companies and actual jobs that are posted there. If you are a match and express interest, you will likely be contacted by the company.

It's awesome for internships and full time offers. Instead of writing endless cover letters and tweaking your resume, you play games: literally.

Check it out:
http://bit.ly/1JxEviS

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 22:26
Hey thanks for sharing this. I'd be interested to find out how pymetrics assesses career choices, is it based only on skill/aptitude or do they also have a way of factoring in motivations and inspiration.

Funny thing, I got PE/VC recommendations, and I kid you that's what I have been itching to do after B school, although I come from a completely different non-finance non-tech world. If only I can tell adcom and recruiters to take me because pymetrics says so!

ca662 wrote:
Hey everyone,

I'm a second year MBA student and I'd like to share my 2 cents of advice with you.

B-school is awesome, and you will enjoy it very much.

It's never too early to begin your career search. You need to arrive with a game plan. A very cool and helpful resource i've been using since I started my MBA is pymetrics. pymetrics is a neuroscience game-based career assessment test that reveals your cognitive and social traits. Then you receive a full career profile that determines in which industries and functions you are most likely to succeed. The platforms suggest you companies and actual jobs that are posted there. If you are a match and express interest, you will likely be contacted by the company.

It's awesome for internships and full time offers. Instead of writing endless cover letters and tweaking your resume, you play games: literally.

Check it out:
http://bit.ly/1JxEviS

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2015, 08:06
Hi Starlord,

As far as i'm concerned, the assessments look at cognitive and emotional traits - they are not IQ tests or skills tests. The games are actually pulled from neuroscience and psychology, and provide a very objective and accurate assessment of the traits they look at. As such, they do not take in motivation/interest/personal passion. However, if there is something that pymetrics doesn't recommend as a fit, but you are truly passionate about, by all means, pursue what you love! pymetrics is simply helps you explore the options that are out there that fit the way your brain works.

The industry profiles are built from data they've collected from high quality users that work and have seen success within those particular industries.

Their partner companies source and interview candidates from the platform based on compatible trait profiles, rather than traditional resume review processes. I know an environmental engineer from MIT that was hired as an equity research analyst by a financial services company this summer. More and more corporations are seeing that talent isn't necessarily defined by previous experience, pedigree, GPA or test scores.

Hope this helps and answers your question!

btw, if you get a match with a company that does not recruit through pymetrics but that you are interested in, it doesn't hurt to write in the cover letter for this company that pymetrics said you had high compatibility with. It's a long shot, but hey - you never know!

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2015, 08:06

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