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Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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Re: Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2016, 09:59
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Harvard Business School has announced the application deadlines for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions cycle. They are as follows:
Round 1
Application due: September 7, 2016
Decision released: December 7, 2016
Round 2
Application due: January 4, 2017
Decision released: March 22, 2017
Round 3
Application due: April 3, 2017
Decision released: May 10, 2017

Applications are due by 12 noon on the day of the deadline. Harvard Business School anticipates that many candidates will submit their online application materials very close to 12 noon on submission deadline dates. To avoid heavy server traffic and potential delays, HBS encourages candidates to submit application materials as early as possible.

For more information, please visit the HBS MBA admissions website.
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Image credit: HBS1908  (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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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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New post 31 May 2016, 10:10
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While it’s true that going to business school with children in tow is no cake walk, many MBA moms are finding more resources and support on campus than ever before. With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to share this post on being a student mom recently published on the MBA Voices blog at Harvard Business School.

Elena Rodighiero started at HBS in August 2014 with a three-month-old son, and is graduating this spring with a second child, a baby girl this time, who is just a few months old.

The need to prioritize is paramount for MBA moms, and what I found inspiring about her post was how she took an existing student association at HBS and expanded it to better meet her specific needs and to give back to future mothers pursuing the degree.

She and other moms created a new group within the Women Student Association called moMBAs, and she says the group focuses on building community and improving the HBS experience for student-moms, moms-to-be, and everyone who is interested in parenthood.

“My classmates and I wanted to institutionalize motherhood at HBS.”

“If we could collect and curate our combined experiences (including tips and tricks on things like childcare and lactation rooms on campus) we could help future generations of moms at HBS,” Rodighiero writes.

The group also worked with HBS’s Career and Professional Development Office to create a list of coaches able to help students structure a career path that considers their family’s needs as well, Rodighiero explains.

MoMBAs at HBS also has a speaker series planned for Fall 2016, and Rodighiero shares how she has integrated her interest in the topic of motherhood into her studies.  Together with classmate Carina Rutgers, she created an independent project on motherhood that “hinged on the consideration that in our professional careers we will all deal with parenthood, as managers or coworkers, even if parenthood is not part of our own personal lives. This is an important message for students at a business school, who will encounter this issue throughout their lives.”

Pursuing an MBA as a mother has its unique challenges and requirements, but it’s definitely feasible. Every woman interested in forging a new career path should know that business school, career advancement and having children are not mutually exclusive. I invite you to read the complete post on the MBA Voices blog to learn more about experiencing Harvard Business School from this unique point of view.
Image credit: Sal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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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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Re: Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 10:36
ImageHarvard Business School continues to provide one open-ended essay question to applicants. This year the essay is required (unlike two years ago) but the essay question has changed from last year, and is instead much more flexible (like two years ago).

Last year the HBS admissions director blog noted that the “optional” element was dropped because: “this season, every applicant submitted a response. We get it. You want to tell us things.”

The most challenging part of this essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as those who deserve the chance to move into the interview round. Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities and this essay is your chance to display those qualities through the stories you choose and the voice coming through your writing.

There is one question for the Class of 2019 application essay:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

From HBS: There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

A note on word count: HBS values brevity in essays. Do not be tempted to go overboard with a 2,000 word essay, rather focus on concise and clear writing and consider keeping this essay to 1,200 words or less. Our clients have successfully composed essays anywhere from 500-1,300 words, though you should take a pass through your essay to cut any unnecessary words if you find yourself on the upper end of that range.

The goal of this essay is to know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school. Your first task should be to evaluate all of the other aspects of your candidacy – what is the story your resume tells? What do you think recommenders will say? How does your transcript communicate your skills, accomplishments and interests? Then you need to evaluate how to fill the gaps with the essay.

Last year HBS recommended a video on the case method, which is worth watching now. The video clearly shows that diverse perspectives are valuable to the case method experience. Think about what diverse experience you bring. We have found that both personal and career oriented topics can work, and most candidates tell more than one story in the essay. In the past we have observed that successful HBS essays also demonstrate a core driving passion. HBS students are ambitious, motivated and never boring.

As you consider possible stories to tell in this essay keep in mind that HBS has always been highly focused on leadership and really loves candidates with a track record of leadership impact and a success trajectory that indicates upper management potential.

Accomplishments have traditionally been a strong focus of HBS essays, and using at least one accomplishment story in this essay may be a good strategy, particularly if your accomplishments are not obvious when reading your resume or transcripts.

A note on what not to do: We see many applicants tempted to include “why HBS” type information in HBS essays. Explaining why the case method specifically is a good fit for you and your learning style is absolutely appropriate, but more detailed “why HBS” content has never been asked for in an HBS application essay question. HBS admissions is quite clear on the value of an HBS degree, and they would rather see you use the space to provide more information about yourself and your candidacy.

***

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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New post 15 Aug 2016, 09:37
Let’s take a look at who makes up Harvard’s class of 2018 (from the HBS website)…
Applications received: 9,759
Students enrolled: 942
Percent admitted: 11%
Women: 43%
U.S. minorities: 26%
Countries represented: 69
International students: 35%
Median GMAT score: 730
Middle 80% GMAT score: 690-760
Average undergraduate GPA: 3.67
Average age: 27

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Do you want to be counted among Harvard’s next crop of students? Watch a recording of our webinar Get Accepted to Harvard Business School to learn the steps you need to take to discover your competitive advantage and GET ACCEPTED!
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Related Resources:
MBA Selectivity Index
What Harvard Business School is Looking For [Blog Series]
HBS 2016 Grad Reflects on Her Experience as a Harvard MBA [Episode 154]

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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New post 06 Sep 2016, 16:01
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This sample essay is from The Harbus MBA Essay Guide Summer 2016 Edition and is reprinted with permission from Harbus.

Author’s Home Country: United States of America
Author’s Previous Industry/Profession: Operations consulting, operations management
Author Gender: Male

Analysis: The author focuses his essay on two themes - his professional experience as an operations consultant and an experience which motivated him to go for an MBA. Through the essay, the author is able to highlight his professional skills, achievement as well as give a clear picture of his long-term career plans and his reasons for doing an MBA.

I’m [APPLICANT’S FIRST NAME] and I have journeyed here from the hallowed grounds of [APPLICANT’S U.S. NEW ENGLAND HOMETOWN], where I spent my formative years amid wild dreams of achieving greatness by setting world records and winning the Olympics. As I’ve hung up my [OLYMPIC SPORT’S TRADITIONAL SHOES] in favor of business shoes, those dreams have evolved into a desire to achieve greatness in a different arena. Today, my dream centers on helping companies leverage technology to propel their operations into the future, providing unparalleled customer service and delivery, with an operational efficiency to match.

I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in [GRADUATION YEAR] and spent my first 3 years out of college working as an operations consultant. It was my job to walk into a manufacturing plant and drive significant operational change – for example, I once spent 3 months walking the sticky floors of a milk plant in [MID-SIZED U.S. SOUTHEASTERN CITY] helping plant management boost throughput by 30% in order to take on a new customer. We accomplished this goal with zero capital spend, a feat many had believed was impossible. In our projects, the biggest challenge was almost always convincing managers to reach for that extra tad of unseen opportunity hiding within the operation, because oftentimes it was very difficult to look beyond the daily struggles that plagued their operations. I worked directly with 5-8 person “rapid results teams,” coaching them on how to think about operational improvement, motivating them to sprint towards it, and leading them through the analysis required to capture it. I left those milk, water and oil sands plants with many enduring friendships and inspiring operational victories borne from our journey from ambitious goals to concrete results.

I’ve spent the past two years working in supply chain management at a private industrial goods supplier. I chose direct management because I wanted to drive these same inspirational improvements in an operation I owned. My role was to manage and improve the operation, and through my experience, I learned the nuts and bolts of the supply chain industry. However, my dream of innovating supply chain operations pushed me to consider transitioning to an organization with an ambitious, transformative purpose. In fact, last year I had a unique opportunity to reflect on what type of impact matters to me. This opportunity was my first ever trip to [NORTHWEST AFRICAN REGION], the place of my family’s origin.

On the second day of the trip, I journeyed to [LOCAL NORTHEASTERN AFRICAN TOWN], a small town nestled next an enormous active volcano that is surrounded by a wide expanse of rich volcanic soil, which is used to make wine. This wine is sipped by adventure-seeking tourists relaxing after a long day on the volcano, and thus the town’s two major industries, wine and tourism, are sustained. When we arrived at the town, I was shocked to see it buried by an avalanche of volcanic rock from an eruption [A FEW YEARS PRIOR]. As our guide lamented on the dreary prospects of the Page 2 of 2 town, I was amazed to see just how important these two industries had been to its development.

Through this real world example, I was able to clearly visualize the impact businesses can have on their broader environment, an understanding that had not been as evident to me while working in the larger, more complex American economy. For example, I had spent hours walking among the dilapidated buildings speckling the warehouse district in Cleveland, but only after my trip did I connect them to the decline of the Midwestern manufacturing industry. Upon my return, armed with this broader perspective, I decided my next step would be to attend business school. There I would gain the technical, operational and leadership skills to make my transition to an organization whose goal was to drive change in its broader industry and community, as those wine and tourism companies had done in [LOCAL NORTHEASTERN AFRICAN TOWN OF FAMILY’S ORIGIN].

So, that is how I arrived in front of you today. My goal is to humbly learn as much as I can from our section, our professors, and our experiences. I am excited to get to know you, and will always do my best to support our section intellectually and athletically (we will be the future section Olympics champions!).

How about yourself?

Word Count: 711

Author’s comments: While the initial draft of my essay did not take more than an hour or two, it was the revision process that I spent a significant amount of time on. I think the most important part of the essay writing process is to ensure that your story and personality come through - and this is perhaps the most difficult part! To help with this, I had individuals who were not as familiar with my story and why I wanted to go to business school provide me with feedback in addition to those with whom I worked closely.

Linda’s Comments:

I would hate for any of you to read this essay or any of the other essays in The Harbus MBA Essay Guide, which I recommend, and think “This is a great template. I’m going to tell a story just like this one!” Bad idea. Wrong response.

The one take-away from this essay and the other successful essays in this book is that the reader feels a little like s/he is meeting the author – not someone else and not some masked being.  Individuality is the common thread in those essays; it isn’t brilliant prose or incredible writing. It’s authenticity and humanity. And yes, the author is accomplished too.

I chose this essay from the Harbus collection because I know there many engineers applying. Some -- both in and out of their field-- think of the profession as boring or common. But this essay is neither boring nor common. I loved it because the writer comes to life, and his passion and personality shine through. He doesn't get bogged down in technicalities, industrial jargon, or an alphabet soup of acronyms. He tells his story with energy and clarity, from his perspective, and with a focus on his impact.  Now that's an example you can follow: Tell your story with energy and clarity, from your perspective, and with a focus on your impact

I realize that you are responding to a different question than the author did. This year you are directly addressing the admissions committee readers. Still, the goal is the same. You want your readers to feel like that they are meeting you — not someone else, not a scripted piece of shallow spin devoid of individuality and humanity, and not some phony combo of you and the author of an essay in a guidebook or on a website. They really and truly want to meet YOU!

So think about your story and perspective. What would you like the admissions committee to know about you that they won't know from the rest of your application?
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Related Resources:
• Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• What is HBS Looking For?
• From Example to Exemplary: What You can Learn from Sample Essays to Make Your Essays Outstanding

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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New post 16 Sep 2016, 14:45
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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 HBS grad, Phil Strazulla.

Accepted: Thanks for the interview, Phil! Where are you from? Where did you attend business school? When did you graduate?

Phil: I'm originally from a small town south of Boston called Cohasset. I grew up there and then moved to NYC to attend NYU for college before coming back to Boston for HBS where I completed my MBA in 2014.

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

Phil: Tough question. Definitely someone from the past because I just don't think we know about what life was like back then very well and that's always interested me. Probably some sort of "entrepreneurial" leader like Washington, Hannibal, or Jesus.

Accepted: How did you know that HBS was the right MBA program for you?

Phil: Obviously the brand is very strong, and incredibly strong internationally (seems like the further you get from Cambridge the more it helps). More than that, I wanted to start a company and in many ways HBS is the place to do it, even if Stanford is close to Silicon Valley. HBS startups have raised more money than YC companies, 1/3 of HBS alums start their own company, and there are insane resources on campus.

Accepted: You're now a couple years post-MBA... How has the job market been for you?

Phil: I started my own company, NextWave Hire, out of business school. We deal with hiring so I see a lot of that data. I'll say that the hiring market is still very robust for MBAs and there are a lot of opportunities. It may be tough still to break into PE, VC or hedge funds, but that will always be the case.

Accepted: You founded a startup called NextWave Hire. Tell us about it!

Phil: The average job seeker spends 2 hours researching a company before applying for a job. For most companies, they rely on generic job postings, bland career pages, and biased Glassdoor reviews. We partner with companies to build authentic employee stories to show job seekers what it's really like to work at the company, and then push that content to career pages, social media, email marketing, etc.

I learned to code in business school and started this company with a friend of mine who I met originally through the Harvard Innovation Lab.

Accepted: What valuable information did HBS teach you about the startup world?

Phil: I learned that focus is the most important aspect of entrepreneurship. Everyday we have new ideas on how to build a better product, sell, etc - but we need to focus on 1-2 things at any given time first.

Accepted: Do you have any suggestions or tips for people who are considering an MBA and going the startup route?

Phil: Enjoy your time at school. It's SO HARD to start a company while going to class. You only get to do b-school once, and it's an amazing experience. Don't dilute it by working part time on an idea...startups need your full attention to get going.

Definitely try to meet co-founders through clubs, dinners, parties, trips. Definitely learn new skills (coding, marketing, sales, product). And build your network of mentors, preferably entrepreneurs who have been there, done that.

You can follow Phil on Twitter (@philstrazzulla) or by checking out his blog. Thank you Phil for sharing your story and advice with us - we wish you much success!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages.
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Related Resources:
• Harvard Business School 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer
• 5 Practical Lessons I Learned at HBS that Helped Me Launch My Startup

 

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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New post 20 Sep 2016, 11:51
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Do you have an idea about what the number one characteristic the admissions team at Harvard Business School is looking for in MBA applicants? I recently shared my thoughts on the subject with Business Insider, based on my 15 years of experience advising clients on how to position themselves when applying to the world’s top business schools.

It may not surprise you to learn that the most important trait the AdCom looks for is high-impact leadership, or what I call the “big kahuna” at HBS.

When evaluating your leadership potential, the admissions committee will be looking for evidence that you have made a positive impact on the communities of which you’ve been a part, both personally and professionally. However, it’s not about the scale of your achievements – rather, it’s the fact that you left indelible footprints.

Click on over to Business Insider to read more about what I believe are the 10 traits Harvard Business School looks for in the ideal MBA candidate.
Image by Flickr user Chris Han (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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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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New post 01 Nov 2016, 12:59
There’s nothing like advice that comes straight from the source, so if Harvard Business School is on your short list, you shouldn’t miss this great post published recently in the student newspaper The Harbus.

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In What I Wish I’d Known This Time Last Year, Rahima Dosani (MBA ’16)  offers advice for first-year students, AKA RCs, which she wrote during her EC year.  We’ll share some excerpts here, but definitely check out her entire piece for some really helpful tips for students just getting their bearings as they settle in on campus.

You are your own worst critic. No one remembers a comment for more than 2 minutes after you make it. Sometimes not even that long. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say what you are thinking, and don’t beat yourself up afterward. Your opinions matter.

Stay in touch with your family and friends. In the craziness that is RC year, it is so easy to forget to call home and forget about your high school, college, and work friends who have been by your side for years. They may not really understand what your life is like, but keeping them close will be restorative and grounding for you in so many ways.

Quality over quantity.  Ask yourself: “Who would I want to keep in touch with or take a trip with many years after graduation?” Those are the people you should spend most of your time with. Be friendly with everyone, but don’t exhaust yourself trying to build close friendships with 95 people.

Ain’t no shame in getting a 3. Your life and career will be filled with just as much meaning, fulfillment, success, and happiness as it would be if you had gotten a 2. Guaranteed.

Professors are awesome. Share with them your concerns or thoughts about participation, class content, or just life. They value connecting with you and can be an incredible source of inspiration and comfort.

You do belong here. When you feel like you don’t fit in, can’t figure out FIN for the life of you, and don’t see things the same way as other people, just remember that’s the value you bring to the table. And other people are definitely feeling the same way – you’re not alone.

HBS doesnt need to be the best two years of your life. It’s awesome if it is. But it’s totally okay if it’s not. It just needs to be worth it for you. So “do you.” Invest in what you really enjoy or want to learn. Do what you need to do to make this time here meaningful for you.
You may also be interested in:
5 Common Interview Questions from Harvard Business School
Image by HBS1908 (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0

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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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New post 01 Nov 2016, 13:01
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This probably comes as no surprise to many of you, but Harvard Business School has notoriously low acceptance rates, which is why applicants to HBS must answer the required essay question both thoughtfully and strategically.

Business Insider recently shared my tips for this season’s crop of candidates, who, quite honestly, will probably have an easier time compared to last year’s simply because HBS decided to forgo the creative prompt for a simple, straightforward question.

It’s interesting to note how the essay at this top b-school has morphed over the past three years. Two seasons ago, there was an optional essay question that threw many applicants into a tailspin. Realizing applicants didn’t really want “optional,” the school posed this question for the Class of 2018 application essay:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

I think that the more ‘creative’ format of the introduction may have muddied some of the answers, wasting word count being cute, setting up a conversation, etc., prompting the admissions team to look toward something vastly more streamlined for this year. This is the question for the Class of 2019 application essay:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

The most challenging part of this essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as those who deserve the chance to move into the interview round. Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities and this essay is your chance to display those qualities through the stories you choose and the voice coming through your writing.

Is Harvard Business School on your list of target schools this season? If so, follow the link above to the full article on Business Insider to read more of my HBS essay tips!
You may also be interested in:
No. 1 Trait HBS Looks for in MBA Applicants
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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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New post 01 Nov 2016, 13:03
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A rendering of the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab by Shepley Bulfinch

The Harvard Life Lab, poised to open in November, is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of innovation facilities at Harvard Business School. Made possible by a gift from HBS alumni Judy and Steve Pagliuca, the lab will connect students and alumni interested in biotech, pharma, and other life sciences-related fields with a fully equipped wet lab environment and the resources they need to take their ventures to the next stage of development.

Building on the success of the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), the Harvard Launch Lab, and the One Harvard mission, the Life Lab offers shared space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars.

Over the past five years the i-lab has attracted students and faculty from across the university, some of whom want to pursue ideas in the life sciences that require wet lab facilities. Wet labs are laboratories that test chemicals, drugs or other materials that require direct ventilation and specialized accommodations.

The Life Lab will contribute to building a thriving start-up community in Allston by seeding the campus with early stage scientific ventures. Together with the i-lab and Launch Lab, the Life Lab will foster the cross-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship that will enable deeper impact and outcomes, and will reinforce President Drew Faust’s vision of One Harvard.

“The Life Lab is a vital building block in Harvard’s efforts to create an innovation hub in Allston that encourages our students and faculty to explore and nurture ideas that lead to new knowledge, new products, new services and perhaps even new industries,” says Faust.

The 15,000-square-foot facility will have fully equipped and permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies. The Life Lab will house approximately 20 ventures at a time, and typically would comprise two to five individuals who demonstrate expertise in the technology/science, as well as an understanding of the commercial/market need, and a vision for how they will build a viable business. The ventures represent eight different Harvard schools and nearly 50% have a female founder.

“We hope by building community we will accelerate their development and increase their likelihood of future success and ultimate impact on the world,” says Jodi Goldstein, Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs, who notes that the inaugural teams reflect the breadth and diversity of Harvard representing the One Harvard, cross disciplinary approach to innovation that builds community and connection among the ventures.

“We believe innovation in the life sciences is critically important to the future of our region from an economic standpoint and equally important to all of our futures in its potential to solve complex health problems,” says Steve Pagliuca.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the innovation movement at Harvard and we are excited at the potential of the ideas that will emerge from this new space,” added Judy Pagliuca.
Image via Harvard Business SchoolImage

***

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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New post 29 Nov 2016, 13:08
Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot among 87 full-time U.S. MBA programs. Stanford Graduate School of Business is number two, and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is number three. This is the second year in a row that Harvard came out on top—and this time by a wider margin.

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HBS was rated No.1 by the more than 1,000 corporate recruiters, and No.3 among alumni. Its graduates left with the second highest salaries. Competition for the No.2 spot was particularly close this year, with Stanford edging out Duke-Fuqua by .08 percentage point for its highest ever Businessweek rank.
Bloomberg’s Top Ten U.S. Full-Time MBA Programs 
  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business
  • Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
“We continue last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBAs after graduation, offer more insight into what grads can expect from their careers,”  writes Bloomberg’s Lance Lambert.

Highlights of the 2016 ranking include:

[*]Harvard had more than a nine point lead on its nearest competitor this year, up from less than two points in 2015. [*]Indiana University received the highest score among recent graduates. [*]Rutgers University’s 2015 grads had the highest job placement rate. [*]The University of Michigan does not appear in the top ten for the first time since Businessweek started the rankings in 1988. [*]This is the first year that Rice University has ranked in the top ten. [*]Alumni, recent graduates and recruiters all gave the University of Texas at Dallas better scores, helping to propel it 13 spots.[/list]
The Bloomberg ranking methodology includes an employer survey (35% of score), alumni survey (30%), student survey (15%), job placement rate (10%), and starting salary (10%).

“Our Full-Time MBA rankings comprise five elements. So it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park,” Lambert explains. “For example, Stanford which is the No. 2 school on our list, ranked No. 57 for job placement.”

This year’s rankings includes 15 U.S. MBA programs that weren’t ranked last year, moving the list from 74 programs in 2015 to 87 in 2016. “With so many new programs added to the list, we saw a lot of movement throughout the rankings,”  Lambert notes.

The top 30 full-time U.S. MBA programs will be highlighted in the print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek on newsstands Friday, November 18, 2016.

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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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New post 09 Jan 2017, 14:22
Harvard Business School (HBS) offers an excellent MBA program—this is largely a given, and we are not questioning that. However, what we will call into question is whether HBS (or any other school, for that matter) is right for you. Every year, we at mbaMission get a few calls from confused MBA aspirants who say, “I visited HBS, and I am not sure if there is a fit,” as if that indicates some sort of problem. Indeed, and this may be shocking to some, HBS is not for everyone—particularly those who do not relate well to case-based learning, those who want a lot of flexibility in their first-year curriculum, and those who would prefer a small class size (HBS’s Class of 2018 has 934 students, while the same class at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, for example, has just 252).

We hope that applicants will use this post as a jumping-off point to critically appraise their target MBA programs and determine which schools are indeed right for them. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
  • Would I prefer to be in a larger program, or would I feel overwhelmed by a larger program’s size?
  • Would I prefer to be in a smaller program, or would that feel claustrophobic?
  • Would I prefer to be at a school with a flexible curriculum and a consistent stream of new classmates and where I could make my own academic choices early on?
  • Would I prefer to learn in a comprehensive core curriculum where I am, for a period of time, learning the same material as my classmates and where academics would provide me with a course structure?
  • Am I best suited for the case method, lecture method, or programs with strong experiential components? (And do I really understand what each entails—for example, the teamwork and public speaking that is necessary within the case method?)
  • Do my target schools match my academic objectives?
  • Do my target firms recruit at my school?
  • Are alumni well placed in my industry/post-MBA location? (Are alumni even crucial to my career?)
  • Do my target schools have facilities and an environment that appeal to me?

Again, these questions are just a start—we could pose many more, but the point is that you will get far more than a brand from your MBA studies. You will gain an education and an alumni network in return for your investment of two years and thousands of dollars. You should therefore skip the rankings, determine what is important to you, and then do your homework to identify a program that truly fits your personality, needs, and goals.

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. No matter where you are in the application process, we can provide you with actionable feedback that will help you improve your MBA application. Get started by signing up today: https://www.mbamission.com/consult/

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 12:01
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In April, Harvard Business School students and alumni will compete for $300,000 in cash prizes to fund their startup dreams in the 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition. Past competition winners and participants will also return to campus for programs and a celebratory 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition Finale on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The school is offering its biggest prizes to date, with a $75,000 Grand Prize for top winners in the Student Business, Student Social Enterprise, and Alumni competitions. Additional prizes are a $25,000 Runner-Up Prize, $5,000 Audience Award, and in-kind services. Previously the Grand Prize was $50,000 in each category.

More than 200 judges will vigorously review the new ventures in several rounds of judging. Past winners include Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and GrabTaxi.

“The New Venture Competition is critical to entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School,” says Jodi Gernon, Director of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which oversees the student and alumni business tracks of the competition. “Competition winners say it was the launching point of their businesses, helped them to attract funding, and gave them the confidence, exposure, and skills to found companies.”

Matt Segneri, Director of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative, which manages the social enterprise track, says, “The winning teams developed innovative approaches—using for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid models—to tackle society’s toughest challenges, including HIV prevention and K-12 education reform.”

171 alumni teams applied in January and are being judged in 15 regions. Four alumni teams will make it to the semifinals to present and be judged at the April Finale at HBS. More than 70 student teams on the business track and 48 social entrepreneurs have already applied in advance of the March 8 deadline.

HBS also offers workshops and other support for students. You can learn more about the New Venture Competition at hbs.edu/nvc and track Harvard Business School’s 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition on Twitter at #HBSNVC.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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New post 21 Feb 2017, 12:03
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Harvard Business School is famously difficult to get into, but don’t let low acceptance rates keep you from applying if this is truly your dream MBA program. In a recent post to the school’s MBA Voices Blog, six recent or soon-to-be graduates offer their advice for future applicants eager to learn all they can about the HBS admissions process.

Tip 1: Be your authentic self

“Be honest and genuine. I spent time reflecting on what really motivates me and what is most important to me. It may sound straight-forward, but I think it’s really important to have clear direction on what you want to do and how the HBS experience will help you get there. Then make sure that your application really shows your personality and conveys this message of who you are and where you want to go.” Stephanie Marr, MBA 2016

We say: The admissions committee wants to get to know you as a person beyond the resume—don’t write anything just because it seems like something an admissions committee would want to hear.

The trick to fleshing out your human side in the application is to take just a couple of experiences, activities, or themes and expand upon them in a much more detailed and nuanced way. Don’t shy away from your true interests; illustrate how they have helped shape the incredibly dynamic and fascinating person that you are.

Tip 2: Pick your recommenders carefully

“Select recommenders who know you well enough to tell a story that covers your accomplishments and the obstacles you overcame to achieve them. I chose recommenders who had seen me take on responsibility, struggle at times, and adapt to reach my goals. I think this matters much more than having recommenders with a particular job title or connection with HBS.” Sam Travers, MBA 2016

We say: When considering potential references, ask yourself whether the person has worked closely with you, thinks favorably of you, and will put in the time to write a thoughtful, detailed endorsement of your candidacy. If you can’t answer yes to these three requirements, move on until you find the person who fits the bill perfectly. Your chances of admission to the school of your dreams may well depend on it.

Tip 3: Learn more about the generous financial aid options HBS offers

“Trying to figure out how you’re going to afford your Harvard MBA can feel very scary – I definitely remember the sticker shock I felt when I read the expected student budget for the first time. Luckily, there are a lot of ways for you to get support as you decide how you want to finance your time at HBS. Many students, myself included, aren’t able to pay for business school out of their savings and instead utilize a combination of financial aid, scholarships, and loans to get themselves through the program.

HBS has an incredible need-based financial aid program; over $36 million dollars is awarded to students each year. The administration firmly believes that funding should not be a barrier for anyone to attend business school and they ensure that no student is required to take on too much debt. HBS wants everyone who is admitted to be able to come and therefore the aid is awarded solely based on financial need. Nearly 50% of the class receives HBS Fellowships with the majority of Fellowships in the $30,000-$50,000 range per year.

The average starting salary at graduation is $135,000. Most alums are able to pay back loans in considerably less time than the terms provided. HBS also offers a variety loan forgiveness programs available at graduation for those students plan to pursue a career path in a less lucrative field—for example, there are financing options for graduates heading into social enterprise or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.” Leslie Moser, MBA 2015

We say: People will tell you that you will find the money you need to go, but we know that thinking about all those zeros can get overwhelming and intimidating. Just know that most students use multiple sources; it’s never too soon to start researching your options; don’t underestimate your costs; and rest assured that schools want you to find funding and will do everything they possibly can to help accepted applicants.

Tip 4: Keep in mind HBS is reapplicant-friendly 

“I had been dinged from HBS once and wondered if it was worth applying a second time.  Although uncertain of whether or not I’d be accepted to the program, I wanted to give it another shot.  Fortunately, and likely due to some divine intervention, I was accepted to the program.  I was absolutely elated when I received the good news.” Ryan Hansen, MBA 2017

We say: Many people in b-school right now were dinged the first time they applied. Reapplying shows you are serious about your interest in the MBA program. Make sure your letters of recommendation and your GMAT or GRE scores are rock-solid, and don’t recycle essays from the first time around.

Use the additional essay question to explain what’s changed in your situation to make you a stronger candidate this time around. Make sure to address both professional and personal advancements, but show that you are realistic and self-aware. Revealing your humanity in the form of quirks, weaknesses and flaws can often help the admissions committee to like you.

Tip 5: Don’t self-select out

“When you’re lifting your finger to hit the submit button, or when you’re walking into your interview, stop thinking about your imperfections and deficiencies. In fact, stop thinking about yourself as an individual. Rather, think of yourself as a piece of something bigger – your potential HBS class. What you do have to offer? What characteristics you bring to the table that will make your section that much better? I bet there are several things about you that no one else can claim, and that’s the good stuff. Tell admissions about them.” Peter Nolan, MBA 2017

“To those thinking about applying to HBS, I encourage you to go for it. Don’t let your own self-doubt sabotage what could be one of the best experiences of your life.”   Terrance Rogers (MBA 2017)

We say: It’s hard not to feel intimidated when you read the admitted student profiles at many of the elite MBA programs, which might include Olympians, successful entrepreneurs, decorated military officers and candidates with outstanding public service experience. However, don’t get psyched out of applying just because you can’t list anything similarly noteworthy on your application.

To stand out in the eyes of the admissions committee, you just need to provide hard proof that you made a difference. Remember, it’s not about the scale of your achievements – rather, it’s the fact that you left indelible footprints.
Image credit: Flickr user Chris Han (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

***

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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New post 21 Feb 2017, 12:05
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Are you itching to start your own company and wondering which business schools would best help you achieve that dream? Entrepreneurship is a super popular course of study at today’s b-schools. As someone who has started more than one successful company, I can attest that I leveraged a lot of my MBA classes and resources into my business ventures.

Let’s take a look at the latest Poets & Quants listing of the best b-schools for aspiring entrepreneurs. Since 2013, Poets & Quants has ranked startups based on one criterion: venture capital-backed funding.

“For the first time, Harvard Business School cannot claim to have more startups on the list than any other school. After dominating last year’s list with 42 ventures (out of 100 on the list), the HBS machine has dropped to 24 ventures raising a combined $618.29 million,” Nathan Allen writes. “Meanwhile, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (…) added a startup from last year’s list to tie HBS at 24 total ventures raising a combined $958.64 million.”

2017’s top business schools for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Harvard Business School: 24 companies
Stanford Graduate School of Business: 24 companies
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School: 12 companies
Columbia Business School: 11 companies
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management: 8 companies
MIT Sloan School of Management: 6 companies
NYU Stern School of Business: 5 companies
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business: 4 companies
UCLA Anderson School of Management: 3 companies
University of Texas Austin McCombs: 2 companies
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business: 2 companies

Sure, some of history’s most successful entrepreneurs did not go to business school, but the best MBA programs acknowledge they don’t actually create entrepreneurs…they merely nurture innate ability.

These elite programs offer a broad range of courses in entrepreneurship, as well as  opportunities for networking with established entrepreneurs, launching start-ups, and developing the skills needed to start successful businesses. Even if alumni don’t become entrepreneurs immediately after graduating, their MBA degree provides the career flexibility and the skills that help them start businesses years later.

The excellent piece in Poets & Quants takes an in-depth look at specific companies started by various alumni, as well as the role of entrepreneurship centers at the schools. To see the complete list of the top 100 MBA start-ups, check out the full data set from Poets & Quants here.
You may also be interested in:
Ask the AdCom: Share a Cool Company Born of Your MBA ProgramImage

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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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New post 12 Mar 2017, 22:20
I wanted to get ahead of something - a potential problem - I see with my clients to HBS and Stanford GSB. Frankly, it's a problem that I consistently see with most applicants answering any essay question meant to evoke an author's deepest (or cursory!) values, beliefs, norms and experiences. HBS calls it out as "overthinking, overcrafting and overwriting", I call it "overselling" your point when writing.
First, some background.
The HBS essay prompt this year is as follows:
"As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?"
This is an essay that anyone applying to top business school programs would know. However, this question prompt also has an equally known, but much lesser regarded explanatory text, which is as follows:
"There is no word limit for this question.  We think you know what guidance we're going to give here. Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand."
I do appreciate that the HBS admissions committee readily acknowledges that their advice has been around since the beginning of time ("We think you know what guidance we're going to give here.") Putting myself in the shoes of the admissions committee, this is for good reason. I can see how Dee Leopold (and now Chad Losee) and company must roll their eyes and groan every time they see an applicant disregard their sage advice. Multiply this by 10,000 or so applications, and it must be like playing the 8.5" x 11" (PDF) version of Russian Roulette.

As the applicant, you know that the admissions committee always warns "don't tell us what you think we want to hear.!" The opposite of that is not "tell us what we don't want to hear", but that is what applicants are effectively doing when they disregard the guidance that HBS puts forth and calls out explicitly alongside their essay prompt.  Rather, the correct response is being authentic and genuine, on point and on message.  Easier said than done, I know. But that's what Harvard admissions means when they tell applicants to flush the bullshit by not "overthinking, overcrafting and overwriting."
My advice
This is why I always tell my clients that I am against grandiose and big-time essay openers or introductions because what the admissions committee values, more than anything else is clarity.  You want to avoid anything that could possibly make them roll their eyes or make them search for what it is you really want them to know (or what it is a really should know).

In general, you want to spare them the dramatics because they have seen it all.  They really have.  Anything any applicant can think to write, the admissions committee has already seen.  This includes quotes or any type of riddle or any type of drama. Frankly, for any applicant or anyone who is not a professional writer, it's really hard to pull off writing that is both emotional and meaningful, or witty and on-point. What usually happens is that the author/applicant comes off as a unreliable narrator - a storyteller not to be trusted - because they rely too heavily on (dramatic) speech that oversells the point trying to be made. This is exactly why Harvard specifically gives the following advice alongside their question prompt - again - "Don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don't know your world can understand."

Overcrafting and overwriting equals overselling, which undermines confidence - the author's credibility and confidence in their story and ultimately, the reader's confidence in the points the author is trying to make in the story.  Adding too much language around any event - especially a tragedy - makes the author look like they are trying too hard.  It looks anxious.  The reader thinks - "if the author believes in the story, why do they seem so nervous about whether or not we will believe in the story?"  Top business school programs, and the admissions committee members who read your story, want applicants who are confident.

So it goes beyond a dramatic story, it goes beyond whether or not the story is true, it goes beyond even being on point, and it has everything to do with the confidence you display - so this is why I always believe that less is more when writing anything emotional or personally trying.

---

If you are in the midst of finding your most authentic voice for HBS or Stanford GSB, or if you are just starting out on your MBA applications, contact us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact for a free consultation.

Source: A Tip for Applying to HBS - "don't overthink, overcraft and overwrite" — Amerasia Consulting Group - <http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog/2016/8/2/why-does-hbs-admissions-mean-by-dont-overthink-overcraft-and-overwrite>

 

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New post 13 Mar 2017, 14:32
By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group
Time for another edition of Monday MBA Resource, where we share the things we are reading, watching, and listening to that might be helpful to people in the MBA community.  Some are more focused on applicants, others are better for students, some for both - but all of them offer great insights that are worth soaking up.
Three weeks ago we broke down the Knowledge @Wharton podcast and people seem to really be enjoying it.  Two weeks ago it was one of my favorite articles in years: "Happy Ambition: Striving for Success, Avoiding Status Cocaine, and Prioritizing Happiness" by Ben Casnocha.  Last week was The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox. Let's hope we can keep it up with this next entry, which is this blog post:

How to Prepare for and Rock a Behavioral Job Interview by Brett and Kate McKay.
WHO WROTE IT:[/b]
Brett and Kate McKay started the "Art of Manliness" blog back in 2008, which has turned into a full-scale industry with over 6 million hits a month on their website, a popular podcast, and more.  They created the site as a response to what they felt was a lack of information about how to "grow up" and become a well-rounded person.  The site may feel aimed at men (given the title), but there is great advice all over the place and I would recommend at least giving the podcast a listen.

Link to the podcast.

Article about Brett and Kate McKay.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: [/b]
This particular post is about a "behavioral interview" in the job space.  Brett talks about the first time he faced down such a task and how different it was from the usual fluff interviews.  He talks about why companies use them, the myriad questions you might face (his piece includes a link to over 100 behavioral questions), and how to structure a response.  A lot of what he suggests mirrors the exact advice I give my MBA clients to prep them for their own behavioral interviews and I somehow found this more interesting and helpful because it was about job interviews (where the stakes usually feel even higher because there is often just one position), rather than the same tired info about MBA interviews that I see out there.

WHO IT BENEFITS: 
Anyone doing a behavioral interview, obviously.  As for the MBA crowd, it is going to be especially helpful to people going through their b-school interviews right now.  Specifically:

MIT Sloan candidates - MIT famously uses a behavioral approach to interviewing and this blog post is probably the best prep you could do for it.[/*]
Other b-school candidates - Even schools that don't focus on behavioral will almost always get a few questions into the mix.  Some do it on purpose, for the theoretical reasons covered in the post and some do it on accident, just seeing that those are "good interview questions."  Either way, you are sure to see a few of these as you embark upon the MBA interview circuit.[/*]
[/list]
 
If you are looking help with your applications, please email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.  We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.

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New post 14 Mar 2017, 04:13
By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group
The common myth surrounding Round 3 of the MBA application process is that you can't, or shouldn't, apply late in the admission cycle.
"The class is pretty much full" is one refrain.  "You have to be a truly unique applicant" is another.  "Only European programs admit people that late" is yet another. As with anything, there are bits of truth in these sound bites ... but only bits.

LET'S WORK THROUGH THOSE THREE STATEMENTS:
1. THE CLASS IS PRETTY MUCH FULL. 
There are a few ways to look at this.  The first is to say that Round 1 and Round 2 make up the biggest segment of an incoming class.  That is definitely true.  However, the other way to examine the timing of all this is to note that in many cases, Round 3 applicants arrive before Round 2 admissions decisions are made.  This is done for an obvious reason, which is to generate enough wiggle room in case Rd 3 applicants come in and trump the people who are about to be admitted.  So the class is probably just about full ... but a lot of decisions are pending, in case some great people flood in late.  Which leads us to...

2. YOU HAVE TO BE UNIQUE TO GET IN.
This is not true at all.  Or, to put it another way, you only have to be as unique as you would have had to be in a previous round.  It's not an exotic species contest.  What IS relevant is whether you are A) qualified, and B) what the class mix needs.  There is no way to predict the second part, of course, but you can certainly take stock of the first bit.  A flier in Round 3 is probably not a great way to work through a low GMAT score, but if you have a good profile, you may be exactly what an MBA program needs.  Maybe School X is light on females, or marketers, or Canadians.  You never know.  So you don't have to be "unique" so much as qualified and something they might need more of in the class.

3. ONLY EUROPEAN PROGRAMS ADMIT THIS LATE.
This one is a bit of a trick statement, because programs in Europe DO tend to admit quite late.  But we throw in the "only" to once again state that many U.S. programs keep a sharp eye and/or hold back spots for the later rounds.
OKAY, SO NOW THAT WE KNOW THERE IS ACTUALLY A CHANCE, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?  FOUR CRITICAL THINGS:
1. CONSIDER THE REAPPLICATION PROCESS[/b].
Even with our rose-colored glasses, we still admit that the odds are longer for late rounds, which means you want to be thinking of the reapplication process for those schools.  Because the time frame will be shortened between Rd 3 of this year and Rd 1 of next year, you have to really think about what you are doing.  Does the school in question let you submit a new application or just a reapplicant question?  If it is the latter, you want to make sure that enough "stuff" can happen over the next seven months for you to write about in a "what have you done since your last application" question.  If you won't have the ammo there, you may want to hold off on that program.  If they do accept new applications though, you can fire away for Round 3 and even strengthen your stated interest in the program.
2. SUBMIT PERFECTION.
If you are eyeing reapplication, you still have to nail the essays and the entire application this time around.  Why?  Because you are creating a permanent record and file at that school.  Even if it is unlikely that your admissions officer will pull up both applications on the first lap around, there is a good chance that at some point, they will want to see how your goals evolved, if you have learned more about the program, are more self aware, etc.  So if you are going to seek help from an expert, do it now, before you leave one of this smeared hand prints in the concrete and live to regret it. (Note: we minimize the risk for our Round 3 clients, which you can read about below.)
3. EXPLAIN YOURSELF.
If you are applying late, explain why.  You should be hitting "why now for an MBA" anyway, so really nail it here.  Tell the reader why this is coming in the door now instead of five months ago.  Put them at ease.  Don't let them think you are firing off a panic application just because you got dinged at six other schools.  Speaking of...
4. FIGURE OUT AMENABLE SCHOOLS BY LOOKING DOWNSTREAM.
You can sometimes guess which schools are most open to Round 3 applicants by looking for "downstream" programs.  What we mean by that is a school that might get some great late arriving candidates who were dinged or waitlisted at higher ranked programs.  Many candidates are either short on time or overly ambitious and so they might only apply to a few schools in Rd 1 or Rd 2, leaving them with no options and a last-minute game plan for Round 3.  Examples include UCLA Anderson (downstream from Stanford GSB), Darden (downstream from Harvard), Texas (downstream from MIT and Haas for tech), Duke (downstream from Kellogg), and Cornell (downstream from a lot of schools).  These programs may be sensitive about this, so make sure to have really excellent reasons for applying late (beyond, "I got dinged at GSB") and make sure to nail school fit, but you are going to find that these programs probably have a few more slots saved than a place like HBS.

 

If you need help with Round 3 - either comprehensively or just stress testing your essays to make sure they hit the mark - email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com.

The arms race for consulting help usually starts in April for Round 1 of the next year, but the best value is probably right now.  You can get more distance from the field in Round 3 than at any other time and the quality of your work will make a huge difference.

To demonstrate our commitment to doing Round 3 right, we have a very unique policy: work with us on a comprehensive package for the late round and we will help you reapply to the same schools free of charge in the fall, should it come to that.

View our "Round 3 Guarantee" for complete details.

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Re: Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2017, 02:06
Business school is one of the most lucrative of all graduate degrees in terms of its potential and proven history for embellishing salary.  It’s not just in dollars and cents, either, but manifests itself in sheer employment statistics as well.
During the great recession which started in 2008, for example, the general unemployment rate was almost triple what it was for those holding an MBA degree.  It was also impossible to ignore the continuance of hiring freshly minted MBA graduates throughout this devastating period of economic turmoil.  While the percentage of graduating MBAs with jobs did fall slightly, overall there was a negligible number of MBAs who could not find the job they wanted at or soon after graduation during this time.   Of course if you found yourself among these “negligible numbers,” I am sure it felt like you may have made the wrong $100,000 decision.
THEREIN LIES THE RUB.  WHILE CERTAINLY PROVIDING A GOOD RETURN ON INVESTMENT IN ALMOST EVERY CASE, BUSINESS SCHOOL IS EXPENSIVE, AND PAYING FOR IT CAN BE ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING FISCAL ENDEAVORS YOU EVER UNDERTAKE.
The good news is the GMAC reports that one-third of MBA degree holders recouped the cost of their education in salary and bonus within a single year and all of them did so within four years, even with the cost of business school having doubled over the past ten years.  The bad news is, coming up with the money up front can be challenging, especially if you are an international applicant, in which case the schools often want demonstration of your ability to pay before they will let you matriculate.
IF YOU HAVE A STRONG PROFILE, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY APPLY IN THE FIRST ROUND, SINCE THIS IS WHERE MOST OF THE SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP MONIES ARE ALLOCATED.  MISSING A FIRST ROUND DEADLINE CAN OFTEN MEAN PASSING UP ON THESE POTENTIAL COST SAVINGS.
Some schools will offer to lower tuition, while others can offer a full ride through b-school depending on your merits and the respective size of their endowment.   If you are not a fellowship candidate and have a profile that will make you feel fortunate for even getting in, you may be relieved to “have” to shell out all that money!  But how do you pay for it?  Certainly b-schools expect to see that you have successfully saved money by the time you return to school.  This is one advantage of business school over medical school or law school, which you usually embark upon immediately after you graduate college (and we all know how broke you are after college).  Still, if you blew all that money from your job on a new car and nice digs, you will probably wind up applying for loans.
THE US GOVERNMENT IS VERY GENEROUS IN EXTENDING CREDIT TO STUDENTS, BUT KNOW THAT STUDENT LOAN DEBT NEVER GOES AWAY, AND IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE ONLY DEBTS WHICH EVEN SURVIVES BANKRUPTCY.
Taking out a $100,000 loan to pay for school is not a small decision and that $30,000 signing bonus you may receive when you take a job at the end won’t put much of a dent in paying it off, especially if you end up spending some on other things.

The most important thing to do is to have a plan.  Typically students combine all three methods, including spending money you have saved, borrowing some, and leveraging any scholarships or fellowships for which you are eligible.  When you combine all three, paying for business school seems less daunting.

 

If you are looking help with your applications, please contact us via mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or at www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact. We have seen what the competition is doing and we can say without a doubt that we go deeper, more strategic, and generate better results with our methods.  Line up a call and find out for yourself.

Source: MBA Application Advice: Paying for Business School — Amerasia Consulting Group

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Re: Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 11:46
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Harvard Business School interviews just 25% of applicants each season. On the bright side, HBS admits about half of interviewed candidates, so if you can successfully pass this hurdle in the application process, your chances of admission skyrocket.

As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the admissions team seeks applicants who can demonstrate that they share the values central to HBS culture: passion, self-awareness, maturity, integrity, focus on solutions, high-impact leadership, and case-method compatibility.

While you can’t predict which specific questions will come up during your interview, you can expect the types of questions to fall into three broad categories representing your past, present, and future. The interviewer will probe in great depth about your career goals, professional choices, and interest in the MBA program. He or she will be very familiar with your essays — so familiar, in fact, that your interviewer will seem determined to find a “hole” in your story.

The anecdotes you share about your past experiences — both successes and failures — will give the interviewer some insight into your self-awareness and maturity. Your story should reveal how you confront life choices, the values and principles that help you negotiate complex situations, your beliefs, and your worldview.

Expect to receive a number of questions that will help interviewers gauge how life has tested you, and how you responded to that test.

As you prepare for the interview, focus on the experiences, anecdotes, and answers that will showcase your strengths. To learn exactly how to successfully wow your interviewer for a shot of admission at this ultra-elite school, click on over to Business Insider to continue reading my article with the best HBS interview tips.
You may also be interested in:
5 Tips for Harvard Business School Applicants
Advice for the Harvard Business School Admissions Essay
Image credit: Flickr user Florian Pilz (CC BY 2.0)Image

***

If you are looking for guidance on your HBS 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: Harvard MBA Admissions & Related Blogs   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2017, 11:46

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