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Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 10:46
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https://www.personalmbacoach.com/single-post/2017/06/28/Highlights-from-the-2017-AIGAC-Conference-with-Admissions-Directors

Personal MBA Coach just came back from a great week at the annual Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) conference in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Los Angeles. Thank you to Berkeley Haas, Wharton San Francisco, Stanford Graduate School of Business and UCLA Anderson for generously hosting AIGAC.

The highlight of the conference was a presentation of learnings from AIGAC's annual survey, this year examining how Millennials approach the MBA admissions process. As a member of the survey committee, I presented findings on the application process from the candidate view to admissions directions from leading MBA programs throughout the US, Europe and Canada. The survey was focused on the applicant perspective of the MBA application process including common sources of applicant information, use of consultants, tuition funding strategies and number of schools applied to.

In addition to offering a great opportunity to share the results from this eight month long effort along with fellow committee members, the AIGAC conference provided Personal MBA Coach and other AIGAC members the chance to discuss trends in MBA admissions with admissions directors. Learnings included how schools evaluate candidates and how demand from post-MBA recruiters uniquely factors into the applicant selection process. Also discussed were the latest updates in the application process, the increasing use of technology, an update on international candidates, and news on school programs and changes in curriculum and staff.

Staying on top of the latest news is my top priority in running Personal MBA Coach and I came away from this great week excited to help candidates tackle the upcoming application year and select the program and school most suited for each candidate’s specific goals. With more and more schools releasing their 2017-2018 applications (check here for the latest school specifics), this conference could not have come at a better time! Thank you AIGAC for organizing such a great conference!

Here are Personal MBA Coach’s top 5 highlights from this year’s survey and my thoughts on their implications:

1. Candidates are applying to an average of 5 schools: This point underscores the importance of widening your school list. With admissions rates at some schools in the single digits, there are many more qualified candidates than there are spaces. Candidates are clearly recognizing this as they determine the number of schools to apply to.

2. Advising candidates to: apply to a school that I did not previously consider was the most common way admissions consultants influenced an applicant’s school decision process: Be open minded as you select target schools. Schools vary considerably in terms of culture, importance of specific admissions criteria and industry expertise. Some schools might greatly discount an applicant with a low GMAT or GPA while other schools are likely to weigh the overall story higher than the numbers. Consultants consider these unique Adcom perspectives when advising candidates on where to apply and it is this thinking that led nearly 40% of respondents to consider a school they wouldn’t have otherwise.

3. 70% of applicants are getting information from other MBA students: This information is also considered the most valuable school supplied information. You must go beyond the website to truly learn about a school. While the website is still the most commonly used source of information, applicants are using many sources including blogs, on-line and off-line information sessions, third party websites and MBA fairs to get information. To truly stand out in the admissions process and select the best schools for you, it’s crucial to talk to current students and seek out many other sources of information.

4. 79% of applicants use MBA rankings: US students use US News and World Reports most often while International students refer to the Financial Times. While these rankings are very commonly used, remember they are not the be all end all and many other rankings are available. As I have advised in the past, use these rankings to get your initial list but don’t stop there. Additionally, remember to consider how these rankings vary by industry, geography and over time.

5. Reputation, ranking, culture and location are the top 4 factors in selecting a school: Culture is ranked third and tied with location, underscoring the importance both applicants and admissions directors place on fit in the application process. Take the time to get to know the programs and identify which schools are best suited for you. This will be key to your success convincing admissions directors throughout the application process and your future success on campus.

See full survey details here.

Personal MBA Coach is here to help with all aspects of the application process! If you would like individual and personal support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help! As an MIT Sloan BS graduate and Wharton MBA grad, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Email me today at: scott@personalmbacoach.com

https://www.personalmbacoach.com/single-post/2017/06/28/Highlights-from-the-2017-AIGAC-Conference-with-Admissions-Directors

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Re: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 11:17
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Beginning with the HBS MBA Class of 2020, Harvard Business School has announced it will award a new Forward Fellowship to support MBA students from lower-income backgrounds to ensure that students from all socioeconomic walks of life continue to be part of the rich diversity that fuels the HBS community and the case-method classroom.

The fellowship is designed specifically for students who carry significant financial burdens or obligations as a result of their family background and circumstances.

Awards will range from $10,000 to $20,000 in each year a student applies, above and beyond the need-based aid that the school offers.

“At HBS, we are intent on and proactive about maintaining the diversity of our student body and supporting individuals from all backgrounds,” said Chad Losee, the Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. “We believe it is important to acknowledge both where each of our students is now and how far they have come. The information we gather in the Forward Fellowship application will enable us to identify incoming students for whom this additional aid will go a long way.”

Unlike regular need-based fellowships that consider a student’s individual financial situation, the Forward Fellowship’s application process will take into account the student’s family circumstances and financial history so the available funds can be distributed to those who need it most. The awards are intended to alleviate some of the financial concerns associated with earning an MBA and to help these students make an investment in themselves.

“We are grateful for the generous support of our alumni and friends, who share Harvard Business School’s commitment to investing in our students and who make fellowships possible,” Losee said. “We are excited about the Forward Fellowship’s potential to support talented and ambitious students during their two transformative years here and as they head out to make a positive difference in the world.”

 
***

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: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2017, 12:45
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The 2017–2018 application season is in full swing, as business school hopefuls around the world hone their essays or perhaps have already clicked “Send” on their applications and crossed their fingers for good luck. If you have set your sights on the top-ranked programs in the country, you are definitely not alone.

Although this season’s applications have yet to be accumulated, the business schools with the most applicants in 2016–2017 received a staggering amount of interest. Harvard Business School, which received 9,759 applications in 2015–2016, broke the 10K milestone with 10,351 applicants in 2016–2017. Many other top-ranked schools saw a similar, slight increase in application volume. Chicago Booth was among the schools with the most notable increases, as 4,674 individuals submitted their applications this year, compared to 4,160 the previous year. At the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the difference was hardly palpable: the school received only 13 more applications in 2016–2017 (6,692) than in 2015–2016 (6,679).

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Re: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 11:59
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For those of you on pins and needles since submitting your application to Harvard Business School a few weeks ago, Chad Losee, director of MBA admissions and financial aid, has some good news regarding interview notifications: it won’t be long now.

In his latest update to the Director’s Blog, Losee shares that Round 1 invites will go out on October 2nd and 5th.  Whether you’re notified on the first or second day has no bearing on the strength of your application; the staggered notification dates merely spreads out the traffic on the interview sign-up pages, Losee explains.

On October 5th, remaining applicants will hear one of three things:
  • invitation to interview
  • release
  • further consideration

“By ‘releasing’ those of you who we cannot move forward in the process, rather than waiting until December to let you know—we hope to give you time to explore other potential options,” Losee explains, adding that, “For group 3), we would like to ‘further consider’ your applications in Round 2, and more details will be shared directly about next steps.”

In addition to on-campus interviews held between mid-October and mid-November, the HBS admissions team will also conduct interviews across the globe in Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo, New York City, Bay Area CA, London, and Paris.

“Choose what’s most convenient for you,” says Losee, “If you aren’t able to travel, we will work something out via Skype.”
SBC’s Interview Advice in a Nut Shell
As you prepare for your interview, one of the most important tips to remember is to sound natural—not scripted—during the exchange.  Instead of trying to remember and include every last one of your memorized bullet points, focus on succinctly answering only the question at hand.

If you can get from point A to point B in a clear, logical way; maintain an open, friendly, and professional demeanor; dress appropriately; and have an inquisitive attitude about the school and all it has to offer students, you stand a very good chance of coming out of the interview with flying colors.

Good luck to all R1 applicants awaiting notification!
***

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 Sep 2017, 12:02
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Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, courtesy of Harvard Business School

This week, Harvard Business School announced it has received a major gift from alumni Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, who have pledged a total of $12.5 million to support student fellowships. This is the largest amount ever donated to the business school for scholarship aid and the HBS Fund. Jonathan currently serves as co-managing partner of Bain Capital, one of the world’s largest private investment firms.

The largest component of the gift, $10 million, will go to the Lavine Family Fellowship Challenge Fund, to increase significantly the impact of this gift by engaging and motivating others to make donations in support of the school’s scholarship needs.

Additionally, the gift will endow, at $1 million each, the Lavine Family Fellowship and the Herbert J. Bachelor Fellowship, the latter named in honor of Jeannie’s father (MBA 1968), while $500,000 will go to the HBS Fund to be used for various school priorities.

Approximately fifty percent of Harvard MBA students receive financial aid from the school each year. HBS is committed to a merit-based admissions policy, meaning that applicants’ financial resources are not considered during the admissions process. Once students are admitted, fellowships are granted based solely on their financial need. HBS provided $35 million in financial aid to MBA students in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Fellowships provide the gift of possibility,” said Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria. “For many students, being admitted to Harvard Business School becomes a reality only when they know there is financial support available to make it possible for them to attend. We are so very grateful to Jeannie and Jonathan for this extraordinary gift, which will impact the lives of generations of our students for decades to come.”

“These gifts are the lifeblood of the institution,” said Prof. Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Senior Associate Dean of the MBA Program. “They allow us to focus exclusively on filling our classrooms with the very best students. Our learning community is enriched by diversity in all its forms, and the fellowships we offer make it possible to bring people here from all walks of life around the globe.”

The Lavines have specified that where possible, the fellowships should be made available to students who are the first in their families to go to college, in tribute to Jeannie’s father, Herbert Bachelor, 73, who was the first in his family to go to college, graduating from both Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

The Lavines have focused a significant portion of their philanthropic efforts toward leveling the playing field for individuals and families, with a particular focus on access to quality educational opportunities. The couple’s philanthropic roots at Harvard also run deep.

In 2011, they established the Lavine Family Cornerstone Scholarship Fund, which supports four undergraduates through Harvard’s financial aid program. In 2012, they established the Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, which supports the training and education of humanitarian relief workers.

“We’re proud to support the work of great academic institutions, because we know first-hand the impact they can have on the world,” said Jonathan Lavine. “There is no greater way to improve someone’s future than giving them access to high quality, post-secondary education. We spent a great deal of time discussing with Dean Nohria our passion for education and how inspired we are by my father-in-law’s journey and appreciative of the opportunity our parents provided us. As a result, we decided that this is the best way to bring those interests together.”

Click here to learn more about the Lavine family’s inspirations and philanthropic efforts.

 
***

If you are looking for guidance on your Harvard 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 Oct 2017, 12:34
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Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative HBX has announced the launch of three new 8-week online certificate programs—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting. The content in these programs has previously been available only as part of HBX’s three-course Credential of Readiness (CORe) program, but participants will now be able to enroll in each course individually.

These three foundational courses are designed to give participants the skills and confidence they need to be successful in the business world, regardless of their industry or academic background.
  • Developed by Harvard Business School professor Jan Hammond, the Business Analytics course introduces quantitative methods used to analyze data and make better management decisions.
  • Economics for Managers, created by Professor Bharat Anand, focuses on applying economic principles such as supply and demand, cost, markets, competition, and differentiation to developing business strategy.
  • The Financial Accounting course was designed by Professor V.G. Narayanan to teach the fundamentals of accounting, enabling participants to build, interpret, and analyze financial statements.

Participants in the individual certificate programs who would like to earn the Credential of Readiness may do so by taking each course individually and successfully passing the associated final exam. The CORe program continues to be available for participants committed to completing all three courses in tandem.

The three individual courses will all begin on January 23, with subsequent cohorts starting in April and June. Applications for the January cohort will open on November 1. The courses will be delivered on the innovative HBX online platform, which puts participants at the center of the learning process through active, social, and case-based learning.

Individual courses are priced at $1,500 and financial aid will be available for qualified applicants. Application deadlines for the 2018 cohorts are as follows: January (deadline January 10), April (deadline March 28), and June (deadline June 13).

“We have been pleased by the wide range of participants—across geography, industry, age, and career stage—who have found great value in the Credential of Readiness program,” says Patrick Mullane, Executive Director of HBX. “By offering each of these courses individually, we are providing more flexibility and opening up new learning pathways for professionals who may be interested in only one or two of these topics.”

Follow the link to learn more about digital learning re-imagined by Harvard Business School.
***

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: Expert advice for HBS from Admissions Consultant blogs   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2017, 12:34
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