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Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2015, 22:36
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By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group
This is a post I write basically every year because it comes from what I'm seeing each round, every day, on basically every application.  That drum beat is really rigid, hard-to-read Why School X sections on essays.  I give the same note to every single client so now I'm giving it to everybody: the simplest and most important thing you can do to improve your Why School X portion of career goals essay is to personalize any and all content.   This is a great way to avoid writing something off-putting, as well as a quick and easy method for making your essays warmer, more personal, and easier to connect with.

So, what do I mean by "personalizing" this part of the app?  Simple: make anything you write about the school specific to you, your experience, your desires, or what you require from a program.  Never just state absolutes, generalities, or even known truths and facts - always make them personally-held viewpoints.  Examples are the best way to understand this (after the jump):

Example #1

GOOD - "I am seeking an intense MBA experience, which is why INSEAD is my top choice."

BAD - "INSEAD is one of the most intense MBA programs in the world."
WHY - The first sentence is a statement about what you want (an intense experience), which is used as justification for pursuing the school.  It doesn't matter whether you are right or wrong in your assessment, so long as you believe it and can then base a decision on that belief.  Whereas in the second sentence, you are simply stating a fact.  There are multiple problems with this: A) you might be wrong, B) even if you are right it might sound lecturing (which can irritate a reader who is far more of an expert on the subject than you are), or C) even if you are right and the reader is not mildly irritated, you still miss a chance to express something about you.  Anything in any essay that doesn't tell the reader more about you, your world, and what you want is wasted space.

Example #2

Good - "One thing that drew me to Duke right away was the small class size, which has always been the ideal setting for me to grow and learn."

BAD - "Small class sizes are the best way to learn, which is why I love Duke."

WHY - This one has a wrinkle, which is that the "bad" sentence sort of seems to personalize the statement with the "why I love Duke" part.  The problem is that the revelation is still not based on a personal belief, but rather a statement of fact.  Indeed, this statement of fact is even more egregious than the INSEAD statement above because it's offering up as concrete fact something that is highly debatable.  Maybe large classes are the best way to learn.  Maybe it's online.  Maybe it's one-on-one.  Who are you to say?  Who am I to say?  None of us are experts in the sphere of ideal learning models, so this just sounds completely arrogant.  Whereas in the "good" example, we see that it's simply a personal preference that is the basis for further interest in Duke.

I could go on and on and write 10 examples, but two is probably enough.  The main thing is to read every single sentence you write about a program and make sure that it's always personal - told from your perspective, your opinion, your beliefs, and your desires.  If it dissolves into "brochure writing" - just statements of fact, no matter how benign or flattering to the school - there is zero upside and plenty of downside.
It's a small thing, but we see it crop up in probably 90% of the essays we read, so it's obviously a fairly widespread problem.  And while it may not be the entire difference between being admitted or denied, it can definitely be the difference between getting a good or a bad read of your file.  And in our experience, *that* is often the difference between being admitted or denied.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are interested in making sure your essays are personalized (as well as everything else they need to be), hit us up at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.  

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Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 17:47
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Duke Fuqua is a community focused MBA program that seeks “leaders of consequence.” Fuqua sees a new business environment, where impeccable ethics, a disruptive attitude and other personal attributes are more and more important.

This set of essays provides significant room to explain who you are and why Fuqua is the right next step for you, both personally and professionally.

In this essay set you are asked for 25 new facts, to outline your career goals and explain why Fuqua to round out your resume, academic profile and recommendations.

As always, it is important to demonstrate that you know Duke Fuqua well and are a strong fit with the program. Starting your research and personal networking now will put you in a solid position to prepare the most specific and effective essays.

Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you prepare a compelling, individualized strategy to approach your Duke Fuqua application this year, contact us to learn more.

REQUIRED SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
2. What are your long-term goals?
3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

This career goals essay asks for your plan in three parts. First, you should describe what you plan to do immediately after your MBA. Then you’ll explain the long-term vision for your career. Finally, Duke admits that many career paths are forged through circumstance, and asks you for your Plan B.

Think big picture and focus on the overall story trajectory. What would be the most logical (and interesting) progression from your current skill set and MBA education? How will your next step flow from the combination of those experiences? And your alternative path ideally isn’t a massive departure, but simply shows the areas you could see yourself exploring if your primary plan doesn’t materialize.

For example, perhaps you are focused on becoming a marketing executive within the consumer packaged goods industry, such as General Mills. If you don’t find the suitable position after Duke, maybe you would consider marketing for a retailer, such as Target, as your alternate career path because marketing is still the function you are interested in developing a career within.

Alternatively, you may have two disparate interests and want to consider both of them. Perhaps your Plan A is to join a strategy consulting firm after graduation, but if you don’t receive a spot among your top choices you would think about co-founding a start up as another possible path. Think about your range of interests and go from there.

Because you have limited space, you’ll have to boil your plans down in a clear statement of what you plan to do, but ideally any plans are supported by the information provided in your resume, recommendations, and other essays.

FIRST REQUIRED ESSAY: 25 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF

Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.”

As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript.

You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

This essay is entirely open ended and you can cover topics spanning your personal background, work experiences, values and hobbies. If you have a particularly interesting story in any of those areas, this is the place to tell that story.

Whatever areas you choose to highlight, make sure you are following the admissions committee’s advice to share what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

Coming up with 25 random things to list in this essay may seem daunting at first. To jumpstart your creative process you may want to brainstorm with friends and family about what is most interesting and memorable about you. Or keep a notebook with you to record thoughts as you go about work and personal activities.

Once you have 25 random things, how do you structure your list? There’s a few possible ways to proceed: chronologically, chunking the list into themes, or even alphabetically.

You may want to organize the list so that it builds from shorter to longer items, or you may want to intersperse some of the 25 random things that require a paragraph explanation between sets of things that are easy to understand in one sentence.

Structuring the list to make it easy to read and follow will be appreciated, but resist the urge to package the list too perfectly. Content is always the most important factor and remember that the primary purpose of this essay/list is to show Duke your multi-faceted life and interests.

SECOND REQUIRED ESSAY

Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society.

Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

The best essays will be both specific and personal, while demonstrating you have done your homework on Fuqua. While everyone benefits from a diverse alumni network, what specifically do you want to give and receive from your classmates?

If you describe clubs and classes you are attracted to, also offer specific examples from your past experiences to show your consistent personal or professional passions.

Your fit with the program is crucial, and therefore you must exhibit the qualities Duke is seeking as well. The Duke MBA program is especially interested in your role within the community, and will place significant weight on this factor. If you research thoroughly and are specific, you should be able to clearly demonstrate why you are going to be strong contributor and teammate.

This essay can also be a place to talk about how the Duke MBA fits into your career goals. What do you know now that will be enhanced through your MBA education? And what crucial aspects of the skill set required for your future career will be augmented by attending Duke?

However, the main focus should be your community involvement and how you plan to improve the experience of others at Duke both in and outside the classroom.

Optional Essay

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.
• Limit your response to one page.

As with most optional essays, the Duke MBA asks that you use this space only to explain extenuating circumstances. If you have a low GPA, lack a recommendation from your current supervisor or have gaps in work history this is the correct place to address those issues. If you do not have any of those areas to explain, it’s best to skip this question and focus only on the previous three essays.

When approaching any concerns about your background in the optional essay it’s important to focus on recent performance, whether academic or professional, and what such performance demonstrates about your ability.

Your goal is to remove questions from your application and to address in a factual manner any information the admissions committee needs to know to fairly evaluate your application. The essay should convey, in a positive manner, that you know there could be questions about your background but you have thoroughly improved in any areas necessary.

Image
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 17:49
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The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has posted the application deadlines, three short-answer questions and two required essay questions for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions season.
Deadlines
Early Action
Deadline: September 13, 2016
Decision notification: October 20, 2016

Round 1
Deadline: October 13, 2016
Decision notification: December 16, 2016

Round 2
Deadline: January 4, 2017
Decision notification: March 15, 2017

Round 3
Deadline: March 20, 2017
Decision notification: April 17, 2017

The Early Action option is ideal for applicants who have completed their MBA research and have decided that this is the best program for them. Applicants admitted in Early Action must submit a tuition deposit along with official transcript(s) by December 9, 2016.

If your ability to enroll is dependent upon receiving merit-based scholarship assistance, you should apply during Early Action, Round 1, or Round 2.

International Applicants: you must apply during Early Action, Round 1, or Round 2 for visa processing.

Re-applicants: reapply for during Early Action or Round 1.
Required Short Answer Questions
Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).
  • What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?
First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself
Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.
Second Required Essay
Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?
Optional Essay
If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).
  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.
  • Limit your response to one page.

For more information, please visit the Duke MBA admissions website.

Image
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2016, 14:32
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Leadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.

My tips are in blue below.

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.
• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Do not copy the essay question in the document you upload with your application.
• Respond fully and concisely. Length requirements vary by question, and are detailed below.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Application Tip: Check out Fuqua's selection criteria.

Required Short Answers Questions

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1.[/b] What are your short term goals, post-MBA?

State what you see yourself doing immediately after you earn your MBA in terms of function and industry. If location or geography are important to your goal, include them. If you know the type of companies you would like to work for, you can include that information too, but don’t say you want to work for Company X, unless Company X is sponsoring you. Without sponsorship, a "Company X" answer is probably too narrow, but saying you would like to work for a firm like Company X would work.

2. What are your long term goals?

Your long term goals should flow logically from your short-term goals. They can be fuzzier both in terms of direction and timing. But you should have them. They can, but don't have to, include larger aspirations and present a broader perspective on where you are headed. But please don't go so general and say something like "I aspire to be a good person" or "I strive to leave a lasting impact on my community." Nice sentiments, but way too vague.

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

What’s your Plan B? If you can’t get a job at a leading strategy consulting firm -- your first choice -- what do you want to do? If Plan A is investment banking, what’s Plan B?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.

Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the questions asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript." So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band or the fact that you took violin from ages 6-18 or your membership in a gospel choir or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends.  For more insight into this question and the  motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay's, the former Director of Admissions’, advice. Yes, it's old, but I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly.

Second Required Essay: 

Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Then look at Duke's multi-faceted definition of "Consequential Leaders." Which do you most identify with? Imagine how you would participate and sometimes lead. While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua.

One approach to responding to this question: Address a letter to a close friend or colleague and tell her how you would contribute to this very participatory culture. That letter could morph into this essay.

Optional Essay Question:

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).
• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.

Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Application Deadlines:

Image

If you would like professional guidance with your Duke Fuqua MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Duke application. 
Image

Image
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Related Resources:
How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua [Podcast]
• Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
• 2016-17 MBA Application Essay Tips

This articleoriginally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b­-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get
accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your
application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.
Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!

Kudos [?]: 234 [0], given: 0

Director
Director
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 567

Kudos [?]: 234 [0], given: 0

Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2016, 14:41
Image

Leadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.

My tips are in blue below.

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.
• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Do not copy the essay question in the document you upload with your application.
• Respond fully and concisely. Length requirements vary by question, and are detailed below.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Application Tip: Check out Fuqua's selection criteria.

Required Short Answers Questions

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1.[/b] What are your short term goals, post-MBA?

State what you see yourself doing immediately after you earn your MBA in terms of function and industry. If location or geography are important to your goal, include them. If you know the type of companies you would like to work for, you can include that information too, but don’t say you want to work for Company X, unless Company X is sponsoring you. Without sponsorship, a "Company X" answer is probably too narrow, but saying you would like to work for a firm like Company X would work.

2. What are your long term goals?

Your long term goals should flow logically from your short-term goals. They can be fuzzier both in terms of direction and timing. But you should have them. They can, but don't have to, include larger aspirations and present a broader perspective on where you are headed. But please don't go so general and say something like "I aspire to be a good person" or "I strive to leave a lasting impact on my community." Nice sentiments, but way too vague.

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

What’s your Plan B? If you can’t get a job at a leading strategy consulting firm -- your first choice -- what do you want to do? If Plan A is investment banking, what’s Plan B?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Instructions: Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.

Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the questions asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript." So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band or the fact that you took violin from ages 6-18 or your membership in a gospel choir or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends.  For more insight into this question and the  motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay's, the former Director of Admissions’, advice. Yes, it's old, but I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly.

Second Required Essay: 

Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Then look at Duke's multi-faceted definition of "Consequential Leaders." Which do you most identify with? Imagine how you would participate and sometimes lead. While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua.

One approach to responding to this question: Address a letter to a close friend or colleague and tell her how you would contribute to this very participatory culture. That letter could morph into this essay.

Optional Essay Question:

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).
• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.

Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Application Deadlines:

Image

If you would like professional guidance with your Duke Fuqua MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Duke application. 
Image

Image
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

 

 

Related Resources:
How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua [Podcast]
• Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
• 2016-17 MBA Application Essay Tips

This articleoriginally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school?
The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their
dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your
interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.
Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!

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Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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Looking for the best possible admissions advice?

How about admissions advice from the admission committee members themselves?

Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted and host of the Admissions Straight Talk podcast has a collection of highly enlightening interviews with directors of admissions and adcom members of top business schools!

Listen in as Linda asks her adcom guests pointed and to-the-point questions about the school, the admissions process, how to get in, and…how to get rejected.

Listen, enjoy, and apply successfully!

Columbia Business School
Emily French Thomas, Director of Admissions

Yale School of Management
Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions

USC Marshall
Keith Vaughn, Former Assistant Dean of Admissions

Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business
Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of Admissions and Doreen Amorosa, Associate Dean and Managing Director of Career Management


UCLA Anderson
Jessica Chung, Associate Director of Admissions 

MIT Sloan
Dawna Levenson, Director of Admissions

Rotman School of Management
Niki da Silva, Recruitment & Admissions Director

Tuck School of Business
Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions

Univ. of Michigan’s Ross School of Business
Diana Economy, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, and Terry Nelidov, Managing Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

The Fuqua School of Business
Liz Riley Hargrove, Associate Dean for Admissions

HEC Paris
Philippe Oster, Director of Communication, Development and Admissions

Johnson at Cornell University
Ann Richards, Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid

For a varied menu of thought-provoking and informative conversations with business leaders, entrepreneurs, MBA students, and more, check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast:

Subscribe:

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This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!

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Re: Duke Fuqua MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to read, what mobile apps are amazeballs, what are the can’t-miss courses, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that makes lifelong memories for students.

So dig in…We hope you enjoy their insights!
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Today’s question is: What’s a great place to eat around campus?
Allison Jamison, Admissions Director (Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business), says: There are a ton of great restaurants around Durham!  Durham was recently named the Foodie Capital of the South by the New York Post.  Depending on your mood, you can enjoy the gourmet eatery Parker & Otis, or a gourmet wood-fired pizza at Pizzeria Toro.  If North Carolina barbecue is on your list, don’t miss The Pit – amazing food and a rooftop view of Durham.  For Mexican fare, try Nana Tacos, or try Spanish food at Mateo.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions (Berkeley-Haas School of Business), recommends: Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ famous Berkeley restaurant; Comal for upscale Mexican, great margaritas & an outdoor patio; and Dumpling Express for homemade Shanghai soup dumplings on the go.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean, MBA Admissions (NYU Stern School of Business), just can’t decide, since: NYU Stern is located in the heart of Greenwich Village.  You can find every cuisine imaginable just steps from our building.

 John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions (SMU Cox School of Business), says: Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant is a classic Dallas Italian restaurant that dates back to the early 50s.  The name is misleading as it has nothing to do with Egyptian food.  The story is that when the Campisi family moved into the location near SMU, they spent all of their money on renovations to the space and chose to leave up the sign for the previous tenant “The Egyptian Lounge”. Walking into the place is like stepping back in time to 1950s Dallas.  The pizza is amazing and just about every big name in Dallas can be found there at one time or another.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions (CMU Tepper School of Business), recommends: The Porch at Schenley Park, and Joe’s hot-dog cart.

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions (UT McCombs School of Business), says: For a casual spot near campus, Torchy’s Tacos or Verts (started by MBA Alums!). There was a nice article on Poets and Quants about Verts earlier in the year.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions (Yale School of Management), says: We recently welcomed the newest admissions officer to our staff with a lunch at Prime 16 Tap House & Burgers on Temple Street in New Haven, and it’s my new favorite if you plan to do nothing productive for the rest of the day! Their fantastic burger selection covers everything from the Honey Truffle Burger to the Cajun Patty Melt. Finish off your meal with Truffle Parmesan Fries and a draft from their rotating selection of local beers.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean, MBA Admissions (Georgetown McDonough School of Business), recommends The Tombs – it’s a Georgetown landmark founded by one of our alumni.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid (Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management), asked students and alumni for suggestions, and they recommend:

******

Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom where’s a good place to study on campus.

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***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

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Leadership, teamwork, ethics, and a global approach to business are essential elements of the Duke Fuqua MBA, which is why you’ll need to make sure you express your passion for these ideals in your application essays. Impress the Fuqua adcom by positioning yourself as an innovative leader and team player, as someone who can see the big picture, work collaboratively, and shape global business.

My tips are in blue below.


Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.

• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Do not copy the essay question in the document you upload with your application.
• Respond fully and concisely. Length requirements vary by question, and are detailed below.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Application Tip: Check out Fuqua's selection criteria.

Required Short Answers Questions:

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1. What are your short term goals, post-MBA?

State what you see yourself doing immediately after you earn your MBA in terms of function and industry. If location or geography are important to your goal, include them. If you know the type of companies you would like to work for, you can include that information too, but don’t say you want to work for Company X, unless Company X is sponsoring you. Without sponsorship, a "Company X" answer is probably too narrow, but saying you would like to work for a firm like Company X would work.

2. What are your long term goals?

Your long term goals should flow logically from your short-term goals. They can be fuzzier both in terms of direction and timing. But you should have them. They can, but don't have to, include larger aspirations and present a broader perspective on where you are headed. But please don't go so general and say something like "I aspire to be a good person" or "I strive to leave a lasting impact on my community." Nice sentiments, but way too vague.

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

What’s your Plan B? If you can’t get a job at a leading strategy consulting firm -- your first choice -- what do you want to do? If Plan A is investment banking, what’s Plan B?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Instructions:Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.

Have some fun with this list. It certainly allows a more creative approach than permitted by most essay prompts. Note that the questions asks you to go “beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript." So you can list your Pez collection or perhaps your brief membership in a rock band or the fact that you took violin from ages 6-18 or your membership in a gospel choir or your volunteer work in a hospital, your needlepoint, your favorite recipe or photo. Gosh the list is endless. Just let it reflect you. Think of this list as an introduction to potential friends. For more insight into this question and the motivation behind, please read Megan Overbay's, the former Director of Admissions’, advice. Yes, it's old, but I believe you will find it helpful. And very friendly.

Second Required Essay:

Instructions: Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

Do your homework about Fuqua (and yourself) before responding to this question. What activities and groups appeal to you? How do you see yourself participating? Making a difference? Then look at Duke's multi-faceted definition of "Consequential Leaders." Which do you most identify with? Imagine how you would participate and sometimes lead. While you can reference similar activities in the past, keep the focus of this essay on what you would do at Fuqua.

One approach to responding to this question: Address a letter to a close friend or colleague and tell her how you would contribute to this very participatory culture. That letter could morph into this essay.


Optional Essay Question:

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
Limit your response to two pages.

Why isn’t your current supervisor writing your rec? Why is there a six-month gap on your resume? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Application Deadlines:

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If you would like professional guidance with your Duke Fuqua MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Duke application.

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By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Related Resources:

How To Earn A Spot On Team Fuqua [Podcast]
Culture, Location, and Support: A Duke MBA Speaks
2016-17 MBA Application Essay Tips

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!
_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
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New post 29 Nov 2016, 13:13
Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!
Today’s Question is: What are some fun student clubs?
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Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says the most popular student clubs are the Culinary Club, Brewmeisters Club, Poker Club, Robber Barons, Tepper Cares, and the Soccer Club.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management: The Design & Innovation Club, one of the largest clubs at the SOM, introduces students to design frameworks, ideation strategies, and the value of rapid prototyping and experimentation. Through workshops, club members put their D&I and integrated MBA curriculum into action by completing real world, hands-on client projects for organizations like SYPartners and IDEO.

Their fun social events include drink and draw, game nights, Closing Bell (Thursday night happy hour), and #openEVANS. They also facilitate relationships and career opportunities with design organizations and design thinking leaders through job treks, Mock Madness, career coaching, and visiting speakers from Disney Imagineering, Dalberg Design Impact Group, PepsiCo, Citi Ventures, and others.

One of SOM’s longest-running traditions is the Internship Fund, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in stipends to students interning in the nonprofit and public sectors and each year subsidizes approximately 10% of the class. In 2016, 96% of the Class of 2017 supported the Internship Fund by participating in the Internship Fund Auction, Fit for Thought (a student-run Evans Hall gym), and Student Fundraising Week.

The popular, themed Internship Fund Auction is attended by over 300 students, faculty, and staff, and past auction prizes have included skydiving with a professor, a trip to a Guatemalan coffee farm and nature preserve owned by SOM alumni, a week in the Virgin Islands, cooking lessons with a professional chef, golf with Dean Snyder, and a behind the scenes look at NBA Entertainment.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: The Wine Club is a very popular student club that hosts an Around the World event every term.  Students say it’s a great way to meet and get to know other classmates through this event in which hundreds of students participate.

There is also Fuqua Vision, our version of “Saturday Night Live,” which hosts a spoof show each term, and the Culinary Club, that hosts potlucks for those who like to cook.  The Latin American Student Association (LASA) is famous for its barbeque parties, and the Improv Club is cited by our international students as being a great way to break through communication barriers and learn some good jokes.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business: We have a number of industry-specific clubs that support students in their job searches. Some of our social- and community-focused clubs include Q@Haas for LGBT students and allies; the Haas Beer Club, the Wine Industry Club, and Culinary Club which take advantage of the Bay Area’s foodie community; an Investment Club & even a Golf Club. Women in Leadership offers a fantastic community, and the Haas Partners Club welcomes students with partners and families.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business: The Cox Wine club is a popular club at Cox.  It is an educational and social origination focused on increasing students’ knowledge, respect, and enthusiasm for wine, spirits & craft beers through formal tastings, education, and networking events alongside industry professionals. Most students will be involved in intramural sports as a way to de-stress on throughout the semester.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management polled students for their recommendations:
  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Johnson on Tap, Greater China Business Club
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: As former club president, my vote is for the Wine Club. We meet bi-weekly for education about wine production, tasting and the industry.
  • Najeen Riazi,MBA ’17: Wine Club for the Luxury Champagne tastings, Johnson on Tap for the social aspect, and Hispanic American Business Leaders (HABLA).
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Johnson on Tap

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business: Some of our most popular social clubs include the Graduate Wine Club, The MBA Brew Club, and one that is uniquely Austin – The MBA Live Music Association!
******
It seems like most of the recommended clubs included a “spirited” theme, right? Cheers to that! Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about popular annual activities on campus.Image

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Let Stratus Prep help you with a Ding Analysis to improve R2 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 15:58
If you got some bad news in R1 and want to maximize your chances in R2- consider getting a Ding Analysis from us! Here's what one of our clients said about using us for this package:

I applied to 4 schools in Round 1 and so far have been denied to 2, HBS and Booth. While I knew that my GMAT was below the average, but within the 80% range, I felt that there were likely other reasons beyond the stats that were holding me back. While I had theories, there was no way to truly confirm them and so I began looking online for the next best thing.

I also was considering a full Consulting package to help bring together disparate parts of my application in a cohesive way. The Ding Analysis in my view was a way to affirm my theories and serve as a trial run for a consulting package. I wanted to ensure that I would be getting value beyond the affirmation of my own theories. The fact that I could roll in the Ding Analysis cost was a large contributor to my purchasing the consulting package as it allowed me to hedge in essence.

The Ding Analysis itself was very helpful. Not only did it affirm what I had suspected, it also clued me into areas of my application that I hadn't considered improving. While I wouldn't have gone with every last suggestion, there was plenty of detail both in the report itself and in the phone conversation for me to leverage for a more effective app. Primarily though, it convinced me that while I could have made changes on my own moving forward, the value i would ultimately receive in a consulting package would likely be money well spent, particularly considering the razor thin line that can occur between an admit and a deny.

The Ding report provides a check against your own thoughts from a reputable source, additional ideas and suggestions for improvement, and frank feedback on where you went wrong. If you're considering applying again, and unsure of the mistakes you might have made, this is for you. Stratus has a structured program (very important to me) and informed consultants and, in the end, this was my deciding factor.

Here's a link to 5% off any service and a way to do a free consult to find out how we can help you in Ding Analysis or any other way for R2!
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Fuqua Student Shares Advice for Aspiring MBAs [#permalink]

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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Noelle Kelly...

Accepted: We'd like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Noelle:
I was born and raised in Goldsboro, NC, a small town in the Eastern part of the state, and attended the same high school that my parents attended. My grandparents lived nearby, so it was great having them close as I grew up. I studied Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and graduated in 2012. I thought I would pursue a career in medical device manufacturing, but I quickly learned that I was more interested in a career in business.

Accepted: What's your favorite non-school book?

Noelle:
I love The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.

Accepted: If you could meet any famous person - past or present - who would it be and why?

Noelle:
I would love to meet Dr. Maya Angelou. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at the Duke Chapel when I was an undergraduate. Her words and legacy have been so inspiring to people everywhere - particularly women of color. I would love to receive her guidance on achieving happiness and prosperity while building up the communities around me as I transition to a new phase of life.

Accepted: Where are you currently going to b-school? What year?

Noelle:
I decided to return to Duke in 2015 to attend The Fuqua School of Business. I will graduate in May 2017 with a certificate in Health Sector Management.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?

Noelle:
Fuqua offered the opportunity for me to pursue my passion for healthcare through its renowned Health Sector Management Certificate program, to learn in a supportive environment anchored by our six paired principles of consequential leadership, and to develop strong relationships with a host of amazing classmates, faculty, and administration. Furthermore, I was thrilled to return to my alma mater and my home state of North Carolina. It was tough for other schools to compete.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge?

Noelle:
Figuring out how to best present myself in my essays was definitely my most challenging part of the application process. I struggled with how much of my personal experience and background I should include. Ultimately, after sharing my essays with family, friends, and co-workers, I found the best balance for me to share my personal journey while also appealing to each school's culture. Getting feedback from those who know me best was instrumental in helping me strike the right balance.

Accepted: The GMAT... How did you prepare for it? How would you advise others to focus their study time?

Noelle:
I first took the GMAT the summer after graduating from Duke before I started my first job. I would HIGHLY recommend this approach to those who can take the time to do this. Finding the time to study while you're working is possible, but it can be difficult. The score from my first attempt was pretty strong, but I wanted to try to improve it. I spent a few months studying after I started work and improved my score slightly, but not as much as I had hoped. I made the decision during the summer before I applied to stick with the score I had and to focus my efforts on the other parts of my application moving forward. My advice is to quickly identify the areas where you need additional help with the GMAT, focus on improving in those areas (including getting a tutor if you need to), and then do several practice exams under real practice settings.

Accepted: Can you share your top three tips for success for those just starting out on their MBA journey?

Noelle:

1. Enjoy it!
Business school is a gift you have chosen to give to yourself. There will definitely be times when you are stressed, overwhelmed, and challenged beyond what you imagined. But there will also be times when you can't believe how lucky you are to have made friends with such amazing people, to travel across the world with your classmates, and to pursue the career you have always wanted. Whenever you are feeling stressed, try to take time to remember why you made the decision to get an MBA and how incredible this opportunity truly is.

2. Spend some time thinking about how you want to spend your time in business school before you get there. Decisions about which student organizations to join, where to study abroad, and what concentration to pursue will come up quickly. You will definitely learn more when you get to campus, but having some ideas in mind before you start school can help save you some time.

3. Get out of your comfort zone! Business school is such a great time to get to know a diverse group of people and to experience things that you never thought you would encounter. This could mean taking more challenging courses in your concentration area, going on a trek to a new country, or even pursuing a new career that wasn't even on your radar when you first got to school. You never know what may come of these amazing two years...take a chance and find out!

You can follow Noelle's journey connecting with her on LinkedIn. Thank you Noelle for sharing your story and advice with our readers. We wish you continued success.

For one-on-one guidance with your b-school application, check out our MBA Application Packages.

Do you want to be featured in Accepted’s blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.


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Related Resources:

The GMAT: Low Scores, Retaking & Strategies for Success [On-demand webinar]
Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!
_________________

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Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Connecting Duke Fuqua's Education and Israel's High Tech Industry [#permalink]

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This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Amir Zur...

Accepted: We'd like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Amir:
I was born and raised in Herzeliya, Israel, a suburb 15 minutes away from Tel-Aviv. When I turned 18, I was recruited to the Israeli Intelligence Force and served as a Project Manager for three years. For undergrad, I studied Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center, a private college in my home town. Before business school, I was working for a startup company as a senior product manager.

Accepted: If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Amir:
Innovator, problem-solver, modest.

Accepted: If you could meet any famous person - past or present - who would it be and why?

Amir:
It will sound like a cliché but I would want to meet Michael Jordan. I grew up playing basketball and obviously, MJ was my idol. Not only because his performance on the court but also because his attitude off the court. MJ recently received the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award for exceptional meritorious service in the US, and there are countless reasons why.

Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?

Amir:
I am a second year student at Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business.

Accepted: Why did you choose that program? How were you a good fit?

Amir
: For me, I was looking for a school that combines the following: collaborative culture, strong network and quality education. When I traveled to the US before applying, I visited several campuses and Fuqua just clicked for me. The students, with support for the admissions team, planned a two-day itinerary filled with activities on and off campus which included a tour, networking with students and professors, visiting class and getting to know the greater Duke community. I know that most schools are collaborative, but Fuqua stood out for me because of how much of the school’s operations is led by students. Everything at Fuqua, from interviewing the next entering class, to clubs and conducting thorough recruiting plans for first year students, is led by the students. This, in my eyes, creates an entrepreneurial environment where anything is possible – and this is exactly what I felt when I first visited campus.

In addition, I was amazed by how responsive Fuqua alums were when I reached out to them. If I remember correctly, I reached out to approximately 15 alums before applying to Fuqua. All of them responded relatively quickly and were willing to spend as much time as needed to answer all my questions. Speaking with them fortified my belief that Fuqua is the right place for me, and that has proven itself a year later when I was recruiting for an off-campus product manager role.

Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities (both before entering Duke and current activities)? How have those activities helped shape your career?

Amir:
At Fuqua, I took on several leadership roles and I participate in several extracurricular activities:

1. Jewish Business Association president – leading the JBA was a goal of mine even before arriving to Fuqua as I really wanted to expose my classmates to the Jewish culture and Israel – a startup nation. This leads me to my second point.

2. Last year, as a JBA cabinet member, I led the Startup Nation 2016 Conference. Every year the JBA hosts a “Fuqua Startup Nation Conference” to expose the Duke academic and business community to the unique Israeli business environment, to promote Israeli companies, and to incubate business relations between Duke MBA students and Israeli companies. We had a successful conference with over 150 attendees.

3. iTrek leader – This year during spring break I will be co-leading 90 students to Israel for a 10 day trip. The iTrek is known to be among the best trips at Fuqua.

4. Fuqua Blogger – I love to write, so when I arrived at Fuqua, I volunteered to write for the Fuqua Blog team.

5. Venture scholar for G51-Amplify, a research/VC firm from Austin, TX. Fuqua offers several opportunities to get involved and help different organizations solve real-life problems. I chose the mentored study program where students are paired with startups or VCs to gain more working experience. My long-term goal is to start my own company, and looking at things from the VC perspective was something that I wanted to learn. Therefore, I started working with G51, where I evaluate early-stage startup companies and deliver my recommendations to the venture partners.

All these experiences have helped me grow on both personal and professional levels, as I had to constantly challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and prioritize my time efficiently. I've become more culturally aware and gradually strengthened my communication, critical-thinking and leadership skills.

Accepted: Looking back at the application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise other applicants who may be experiencing similar challenges?

Amir:
For me, these aspects were most challenging:

1. Researching the program that is right for me and understanding the differences between MBA programs

2. Connecting my background and story to the programs and differentiating myself from others

In my eyes, research is fundamental for almost anything. Most MBA programs use similar value propositions and offer the same curriculum, so how can one choose the right school for him/her? To overcome that, I started networking with current students and alums. Even if I didn’t have any connections in a certain program, I emailed the admissions committee and they connected me with students and alums. Hearing about their experiences firsthand was invaluable, and I highly suggest any candidate to speak to as many students/alums as possible.

Next, understanding the values of each school and how to connect one’s background is important. There are thousands of applicants that apply to each program every single year. Why should they pick you? Why are you special? Telling your story is easy, but telling it with the right context is hard. Each candidate should ask himself how the school’s values fit with his/hers background. How can I give back to the program and surrounding community? And most importantly, will this program help me to find my dream job post-graduation?

Accepted: Lastly, can you share your top three GMAT tips for MBA applicants?

Amir:


1. Practice makes perfect, the more questions you solve the better you’ll be.

2. Be mentally strong. A lot of students are stressed before/during the exam which directly impacts their total score and confidence (don’t be afraid to take the GMAT more than once).

3. Remember, the GMAT is just one part of the application, and admission teams are looking for diverse candidates with unique backgrounds and fit.

You can connect with Amir via LinkedIn. Thank you Amir for sharing your story with us. We wish you much success!

For one-on-one guidance with your b-school application, check out our MBA Application Packages.

Do you want to be featured in Accepted’s blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.



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Related Resources:

9 Secrets to Standing Out in Your MBA Application, free guide
What I Wish I Knew Before Entering the Duke MBA
Duke Fuqua 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.
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Connecting Duke Fuqua's Education and Israel's High Tech Industry   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2017, 03:48
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