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Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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New post 24 Nov 2015, 18:11
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ImageBy Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group

Time to break out an annual PSA here.  I'm talking all alarms ringing, sirens, whatever it takes to get your attention.  By "you" I mean: anyone applying to business school.  You need to stop doing something immediately.  Here it is:
STOP TRYING TO "DIFFERENTIATE" YOURSELF.  [/b]
Or at least, stop doing it without a professional by your side.  Let's dive into the 4 Rules of Differentiation before someone gets hurt.

Rule #1 - Do not "differentiate yourself" with a panicked career change.  [/b]Throwing a Hail Mary at the last second is not a good idea.  Trying to scramble to a cooler or sexier or "more noble" company is not going to make you stand out as a candidate - it's going to make you look directionless or (worse) fake.  Now, some people change jobs (even right before applying) and that is fine, as long as there is a logical reason for it - ranging from "I hate my current job and may walk into traffic unless I leave it" to "this is a unique opportunity that I have to take."  However, don't change just to change under some faulty logic that they are going to see "Adam Hoff, SpaceX" rather than "Adam Hoff, J.P. Morgan" and start doing backflips.  If there is no logical reason to go work at SpaceX, then don't go work there.  They look at your whole resume - and mainly to see what skills you have, not what brands you racked up - so it's not like changing the "current employer" line is going to change the formula for who you are. This is all risk, no reward.  Would you do anything else in your life that is "all risk, no reward"?  I am guessing not.

Rule #2 - Listing a hard job to get as your short-term goal is not "differentiating."  If you only read one rule, read this one.  Please!  Read it again. Done?  Read it again.  Okay, you get the point.  I have heard many, many times the past two years the idea from candidates that they want to pick post-MBA job X or Y because it will help "differentiate" them.  In basically every case, the job in question is somewhere between "insanely hard" and "impossible" to get after graduating from business school.  I'm talking hedge funds, VC, luxury retail, etc.  I've even heard the quote, "What I really want to do is work in management consulting so I can really see what works and what doesn't and build towards my dream of starting company Z - but I feel like everyone puts management consulting so I want to find something else."  Well, yeah, everyone puts it because management consulting firms hire lots of MBA grads.  And they do that because they need talent and energy to feed an "up or out" machine - and the reason that grads take those jobs is because they can indeed learn what works and what doesn't as they make some good money and build towards the next step.  It's a win for both parties ... so if that is what you want to do and it makes sense, why fight it?  Either way, the worst thing to do is list a job you pretty much can't get, all in some misguided attempt to stand out.  You will stand out all right -for your cratering effect on their employment stats.  Insta-ding.

Rule #3 - The "quick and easy" place to differentiate is in the WHY of your long-term career goal.  I have probably written more about MBA career goals than any subject on earth, so I won't belabor the point now, except to say that you can use your long-term goal to share parts of yourself that are deeply held, introspective, and unique.  That's how you differentiate yourself.  Not "hey, look at how I left Goldman to go work at an oil company for no reason" and not "all these other guys may want to take the slam dunk of management consulting, but I want a c-suite job at Prada!" - no, it's "what I want to do for the rest of my life is X, and the reason is [something that is unique and specific and deeply personal to you.]  That is how you do it.  If you need a mental shifting device, try this: most admissions officers would much rather read a great novel or watch a great TV show than hear a business pitch or dial up a TED Talk.  Don't try to stand out ("differentiate") with your ambition, win them with your humanity.
Rule #4 - The real, pure way to differentiate yourself is to do the app right.  Do you know how many people submit truly great apps?  No joke, my guess from what I've seen is about 1% of the applicant pool.  I'm talking about: 1) a strong baseline profile (3.3 and above, 700 and above, solid impact in the workplace), 2) a really good resume (a sales document that advertises that impact in different contexts), 3) essays that are easy to read, 4) essays that are structured correctly, 5) essays with thesis statements, 6) essays that are introspective (see Rule #3), and 7) essays that nail the DNA of the school in question.  If you check all seven boxes, you just differentiated yourself.  Rather than searching for some magic bullet, just do a really good job.  If you had to read dozens of files each day and only a few were really good, you'd be pumped when you read the handful that were.  I know it's boring and self-serving to lay this out for you, but that doesn't make the advice any less true, so there you have it.

 

If you need help differentiating yourself in a way that does good rather than harm to your app, email us at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com or visit us at http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/contact.  You aren't going to hear buzz words or lame gimmicks, just a breakdown of the hard, steady work required for a great app.  

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Re: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2015, 12:52
Feeling nervous about what to expect during the team exercise at Michigan Ross School of Business? Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions at the Ross School, has just posted this new video, where she answers some of the many questions pouring in from applicants wondering what the experience will be like, and how to prepare for it. Take a look!

***

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 04 Dec 2015, 12:53
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Many business schools call their MBA admissions process holistic, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business is no exception.  We think admissions director Soojin Kwon‘s latest blog post really helps clarify that point for applicants who may be wondering what, exactly, does a holistic review mean?

In a nutshell, a holistic review means taking into account several different factors when making admissions decisions: test scores, professional achievements, essays, and fit. This provides some comfort to applicants worried their chances will get torpedoed by a low-ish GMAT, or a lack of job titles that indicate an obvious leadership position. But, Kwon cautions, holistic review doesn’t mean all of those elements are weighted equally.

“For applicants who are agonizing over the essays, let me put it into perspective,” the director writes. “Spectacular essays won’t outweigh weak competitive academics or work experience. That said, a high GMAT isn’t everything. Last year, we denied hundreds of applicants with GMAT scores higher than 700. Rest assured, we read and evaluate all pieces of your application as we’re getting to know you.”

With the Round 2 deadline just after the New Year, applicants still have time to polish their essays, have one more go at the GMAT or GRE, or tweak their MBA resumes. Kwon is known for placing heavy emphasis on the candidate’s resume, and she reiterates that fact in this post.

Go over your resume carefully and banish any industry-specific acronyms or jargon that a lay person wouldn’t recognize, and make sure to highlight the achievements that identify results and impact, Kwon advises. As for the essays, she says make sure they are clear, sound like you, and fully answer the question, leaving no doubts in the reader’s mind.

Michigan Ross plans to hold an application webinar with last-minute tips for Round 2 on Monday, December 14th at 12:30 pm EST. If you need guidance—or reassurance—mark your calendars for that valuable info session.

Round 1 decisions come out on December 18th, so good luck to those applicants still interviewing and awaiting their outcome.
You may also be interested in:
Round 1 Interview Updates from the Ross School
Michigan Ross MBA Director on the Best Time to Visit Schools

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 28 Mar 2016, 15:19
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This week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business kicks off its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program, which embeds teams of students into a company or nonprofit to enhance their leadership skills and apply concepts from the classroom to real life business challenges.

Each year, the entire class of first-year full-time MBA students embarks on a seven-week project, spending time in the field and traveling to meet with executives on-site to tackle complex problems or uncover new opportunities for their sponsor organization.

MAP student teams undertake a variety of projects, including evaluating market entry opportunities, developing long-term strategic plans and analyzing branding efforts.

Not only does the program give students the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get experience in the field, but it is also a differentiator for students as they work with recruiters and navigate the job market.—Dean Alison Davis-Blake

Student teams will participate in 80 projects, with 40 taking place in the U.S. and 40 abroad across 21 different countries. This year, 63 percent of full-time MBA students are working on projects outside of their home country.

Throughout the MAP experience, students apply academic concepts, problem-solving skills, and creativity to frame and resolve that challenge. At the conclusion of the project, teams deliver analysis and thorough, data-driven recommendations to the sponsor and Ross faculty in a formal presentation and written report.

The program supports a mutually beneficial collaboration between students, faculty and sponsor organizations as students have the opportunity to gain experience applying their classroom learnings and working on high-intensity projects while sponsors get insightful business recommendations for their opportunity or issue at hand.
This year’s MAP program includes:
  • Projects at the world’s largest social media and tech companies including Facebook and Amazon
  • Capital One, New York – The team will create a brand new digital commercial bank strategy to help Capital One reimagine commercial banking in a digital world
  • Shared-X, Peru – The team will research and write a feasibility study for Shared-X to vertically integrate its coffee business
  • General Motors, San Francisco, New York, Chicago – The team will develop a full business case and deployment strategy for an innovative ride sharing service
  • Make-A-Wish, Phoenix – The team will formulate strategic planning and resource modeling tools to help Make-A-Wish achieve its goal of reaching 17,000 children annually by 2020

“Over the course of the MAP project I realized the crucial importance of team communication as in a short amount of time my team had to get to know each other’s personalities and skills while also working on a project that was new to us,” said Mike Homorody, a class of 2016 MBA student who participated in a MAP project at Google in 2015.

“I had to figure out how to best share ideas in order to build consensus and influence stakeholders. MAP gave me the opportunity to reflect on my leadership and communication styles and learn how I can contribute to a high-functioning team,” Homorody said.

Since 1992, 10,032 students have worked on 1,930 projects in 97 countries with 1,329 sponsor companies. Sponsor organizations include major corporations, leading brands and nonprofits across the U.S. and around the world, spanning several sectors including technology, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, food and finance.

“Our immersive engagement with MAP students brought innovative, new perspectives to Hyatt and allowed us to continue developing leaders who take a fresh look at things every day, and we believe the experience offered rich learning experiences for these leaders of tomorrow,” said Anil Harjani, vice president of innovation at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts who oversaw a Michigan Ross MAP team in 2015.

“We recommend other organizations participate in this process to continue the dynamic forum in which academic and corporate worlds share and collaborate for mutual value.”
Image credit: Ross School of Business(CC BY-NC 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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Re: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2016, 09:54
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The University of Michigan Ross School of Business poses these two required essay questions and one optional statement in the Fall 2017 MBA application:

  • What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)
  • What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)

Optional Statement:

This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

This season’s MBA applicants may be interested in revisiting the advice Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions at the Ross School, offered last year when addressing a similar iteration of these questions.

For the first question, Kwon said, “The context … is less important than your reason for being proud of something. We want to understand what makes something important to you. It gives us a glimpse into how you think about and process things, and what your priorities and values are. This is how we assess fit – through alignment of your values with the values of our community.“

For the second question, the admissions director explained that, “The main purpose of the career path question is so we can evaluate whether business school makes sense. A ‘good’ answer isn’t about saying you want to go into a traditional business field. In fact, many of our students pursue a wide range of careers outside of traditional business fields (e.g., education, nonprofit, emerging markets). A good answer will describe your rationale for being interested in a particular path.”

Finally, the Ross School admissions team wants to see essays that are clear and succinct. “It’s not a word count test, nor is it a creative writing test. Don’t write two paragraphs of introduction before stating what you’re most proud of,” Kwon advised last season, adding, “You can even start with, ‘I am most proud of….’ Write as you would speak. To a real person. We, who read the essays, are real people.”

For more information about applying, please visit the Ross School admissions website.
You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines
Image credit: Michigan Ross (CC BY-SA 3.0)

***

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 31 May 2016, 09:54
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The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced the application deadlines for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions season. They are as follows:
Round 1
Application due: October 3, 2016
Decision released: December 16, 2016
Round 2
Application due: January 2, 2017
Decision released: March 17, 2017
Round 3
Application due: March 20, 2017
Decision released: May 12, 2017

All applications are due by 11:59 EST on the day of the deadline in order to be considered within that round. International applicants are encouraged to apply in rounds one or two to provide enough time for visa processing.

For more information, please visit the Michigan Ross MBA admissions website.
Image credit: Ross School of Business (CC BY-NC 2.0)
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 31 May 2016, 09:55
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The Michigan Ross School of Business has appointed Scott DeRue as its next dean, effective July 1. DeRue will succeed Alison Davis-Blake, who one year ago today announced she would resign when her five-year term ends in June 2016.

Many in the Ross community are well familiar with DeRue, who is currently associate dean for Executive Education, director of the Sanger Leadership Center, professor of management, and faculty director of the Emerging Leaders Program.

According to the announcement made by the school, DeRue brings a blend of both academic and business success to Michigan Ross. His research focuses on how leaders and teams learn, adapt, and perform in complex and dynamic environments.

Prior to academia, he had a successful career spanning private equity investments, management consulting, and luxury yachts. As a professor at Michigan Ross, he has authored award-winning research, won teaching awards, and advised executives around the world on matters such as leadership and change management, culture, and team development.

“Since 2007 when I joined the Michigan Ross faculty, I have come to cherish the commitment to excellence and collaborative culture that define this school,” says DeRue. “We are already among the best business schools in the world, ranking top 5 in areas as diverse as leadership and management, entrepreneurship, accounting, operations, and supply chain management. Looking forward, I am thrilled to be working with our world-class faculty, staff, students, and alumni to build on that success and propel Michigan Ross into the future.”
You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross Dean to Step Down in 2016
Image credit: Michigan Ross School of Business

***

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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The University of Michigan  Ross School of Business has released its essay questions and deadlines for the 2016-17 application cycle.
Dates & Deadlines:

Application Deadline
Decisions Announced

 

Round 1
October 03, 2015
December 16, 2015

Round 2
January 02, 2016
March 17, 2016

Round 3
March 20, 2016
May 12, 2016

Admissions Criteria
“The Admissions Committee seeks to bring together talented students from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds. Applications are reviewed holistically; no single factor – e.g., GPA, GMAT/ GRE score, or years of work experience— determines the outcome. Applications are reviewed with three broad criteria in mind:
  • Intellectual ability
  • Professional and personal achievements
  • Interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills”
 Essay Questions
Like last two years, Ross requires its applicants to write two essays. However,  instead of 800 words for the two essays (400 words each), they now have to answer these two questions in only 650 words. Last year’s essay question # 1 offered the applicants the option to choose either personal or professional accomplishment.  This year’s applicants are not given that option. They need to discuss what they are proud of outside of their professional life which means they CANNOT share their professional accomplishments.  The second question (goals question) remains unchanged from last year, but alas the word limit for goals essay question has been reduced form 400 words to 250 words.

Let’s take a closer look at the two essay questions:
  • What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)
This question allows you to choose your story from your academic, personal, or community  experiences . You will need to do a lot of self-reflection and come up with a story (accomplishment)  that best showcases your growth/development. Create a list of your two proudest personal or community achievements. Then reflect on how each of these accomplishments helped you demonstrate your values and priorities. You may also choose an experience that is meaningful to you because it gave you an opportunity to make an impact on other people’s lives and demonstrate your personal values of resilience, honesty, and integrity. Sometimes, the personal setbacks in our life teach us more valuable life lessons  than any other experience or adventure that we might undertake and make us stronger individuals. If you are proud of how bravely you handled a personal setback ( e.g. sickness, death of a dear one) you may share that story as well.

Whatever story you choose, please remember that the “what” of what you are most proud of is as important as the ‘why’ of it. That is, it is important to demonstrate what challenges you have faced, and how you stepped out of your comfort zone to overcome those challenges. In addition, don’t forget to explain the ‘significance’ of the experience. The Ad Com would like to know how have grown or transformed from that experience to emerge a better person or a member of community.

When the school asks you “What are you most proud of and why?” they don’t want to know about your entire life story (some of my students actually made this mistake); instead, they want you to share a single accomplishment that makes you feel proud of yourself. Ross admission director Soojin Kwon explained in her blog last year: “Don’t write two paragraphs of introduction before stating what you’re most proud of. You can even start with, “I am most proud of….” Write as you would speak. To a real person. We, who read the essays, are real people.”

As always, I recommend that you follow the 4 part structure to organize your story:
  • Situation
  • Action
  • Outcome
  • Significance

Example:

“I consider this experience as my most significant achievement because it was the first time I had conceived an idea, influenced others to accept my plan and implemented it to create a positive impact on society. Combining my passion for running and my intent for helping the underprivileged, I formed a team of like-minded colleagues and accomplished a fundraiser 8K. Ross would find in me a person who can effectively channelize her skills and interests to achieve a bigger cause.”

Essay Question 2: What is your desired career path and why? (Up to 250 words)

This is a straightforward goals essay question through which the Ad Com would like to know why you want to go to business school. Begin your essay with a brief career history and provide details about how you have pursued your career, acquired new skills and progressed along your career path all these years. Explain your rationale behind each career move. Then go on to describe why you believe that an MBA is the next logical step in your career path NOW? What are those skills that   you still lack which you hope to acquire by an MBA?

Then explain your post MBA and long term goals.  Please be as specific as you can in discussing your post MBA goals. That is, specify which industry, which company, and what position you would like to see yourself at after graduating from Ross.  Even if you are not 100% sure, you should be clear and quite decisive about your short term goals. You need to make sure that there is a logical connection between short term and long term goals.  For example, you do not want to say that your long term goal is to be CEO of Xyz Company if your past experience, current skills set, and your short term goals do not at all seem to be leading to that direction.

Please remember that the ‘goals’ essay requires you to make a realistic connection between your past (past experience and skills), present (your need of an MBA), and future (your future goals). The key is to justify your rationale behind your chosen career path.

Finally, even though the essay prompt doesn’t ask you why you are interested in Ross, it makes sense to add 1-2 sentences ( if space permits) about how an MBA from Ross will bring to closer to your career objectives. Establish a connection between their offerings and your goals, and interests to justify your ‘fit’ with program.

Example:

“With its strong focus on experiential learning, a Ross MBA perfectly matches my goals. Ross’ signature MAP project will help me implement my classroom concepts to solve real-time business challenges   eventually developing my leadership and professional skills. The core courses along with electives such as Strategies for Growth will provide me sound business foundation.”

Given the stringent word limit (250 words), you will need to choose your words wisely, making sure that every word counts.

As you develop your stories for these two essays, make sure to showcase to the Ross admissions committee your well- rounded personality. The first question will help you paint your non- work side, and the second question will aid in demonstrating your professional side.

Last year, Ross admission director Soojin Kwon explained in her blog, “For both questions, there isn’t an answer that we “want to hear” other than a response that demonstrates that you’ve done some self-reflection and gives us a sense of you as a person.”

Optional Statement:

This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

This question provides you an opportunity to explore an important aspect of your candidacy, or other significant achievements / strengths not mentioned in other essay responses and application form.  Given the limited scope of Ross’s essays, you can choose example/examples from your work, an outstanding professional accomplishment that you could not share in essay 1 because it specifically required  a non-work accomplishment. You may also share a life -experience that has greatly influenced your personality and life. The idea is to bring to light that aspect of your personality that truly makes you unique. Then you should try to demonstrate how you can leverage this skill or quality to enhance your MBA experience or your future career.

As directed in the essay prompt, you may use this essay question to address a weakness in your profile, such as employment gap, or low GPA / low GMAT, or unusual choice of recommender. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality.

Example:

"The private tutoring job that I had to take up to support mine and my sister's education required me to spend 30 hours/ week and left me with hardly any time to focus on my studies. This eventually ended up pulling down my grades to 70%."The tutoring experience, however, benefitted me in two ways. It reinforced my passion for teaching (I still find 10 hours/ week to teach my home maid’s children.) Also, it provided me the satisfaction of being a dutiful son.”

This post first appeared in myEssayReview blog.

For questions, email me at myessayreview.com">poonam@myessayreview.com

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Re: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2016, 09:55
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The University of Michigan  Ross School of Business has released its essay questions and deadlines for the 2016-17 application cycle.
Dates & Deadlines:

Application Deadline
Decisions Announced

 

          Round 1
October 03, 2015
December 16, 2015

          Round 2
January 02, 2016
March 17, 2016

           Round 3
March 20, 2016
May 12, 2016

Admissions Criteria:
“The Admissions Committee seeks to bring together talented students from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds. Applications are reviewed holistically; no single factor – e.g., GPA, GMAT/ GRE score, or years of work experience— determines the outcome. Applications are reviewed with three broad criteria in mind:
  • Intellectual ability
  • Professional and personal achievements
  • Interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills”
 Essay Questions:
Like last two years, Ross requires its applicants to write two essays. However,  instead of 800 words for the two essays (400 words each), they now have to answer these two questions in only 650 words. Last year’s essay question # 1 offered the applicants the option to choose either personal or professional accomplishment.  This year’s applicants are not given that option. They need to discuss what they are proud of outside of their professional life which means they CANNOT share their professional accomplishments.  The second question (goals question) remains unchanged from last year, but alas the word limit for goals essay question has been reduced form 400 words to 250 words.

Let’s take a closer look at the two essay questions:
  • What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)
This question allows you to choose your story from your academic, personal, or community  experiences . You will need to do a lot of self-reflection and come up with a story (accomplishment)  that best showcases your growth/development. Create a list of your two proudest personal or community achievements. Then reflect on how each of these accomplishments helped you demonstrate your values and priorities. You may also choose an experience that is meaningful to you because it gave you an opportunity to make an impact on other people’s lives and demonstrate your personal values of resilience, honesty, and integrity. Sometimes, the personal setbacks in our life teach us more valuable life lessons  than any other experience or adventure that we might undertake and make us stronger individuals. If you are proud of how bravely you handled a personal setback ( e.g. sickness, death of a dear one) you may share that story as well.

Whatever story you choose, please remember that the “what” of what you are most proud of is as important as the ‘why’ of it. That is, it is important to demonstrate what challenges you have faced, and how you stepped out of your comfort zone to overcome those challenges. In addition, don’t forget to explain the ‘significance’ of the experience. The Ad Com would like to know how have grown or transformed from that experience to emerge a better person or a member of community.

When the school asks you “What are you most proud of and why?” they don’t want to know about your entire life story (some of my students actually made this mistake); instead, they want you to share a single accomplishment that makes you feel proud of yourself. Ross admission director Soojin Kwon explained in her blog last year: “Don’t write two paragraphs of introduction before stating what you’re most proud of. You can even start with, “I am most proud of….” Write as you would speak. To a real person. We, who read the essays, are real people.”

As always, I recommend that you follow the 4 part structure to organize your story:
  • Situation
  • Action
  • Outcome
  • Significance

Example:

“I consider this experience as my most significant achievement because it was the first time I had conceived an idea, influenced others to accept my plan and implemented it to create a positive impact on society. Combining my passion for running and my intent for helping the underprivileged, I formed a team of like-minded colleagues and accomplished a fundraiser 8K. Ross would find in me a person who can effectively channelize her skills and interests to achieve a bigger cause.”

Essay Question 2: What is your desired career path and why? (Up to 250 words)
This is a straightforward goals essay question through which the Ad Com would like to know why you want to go to business school. Begin your essay with a brief career history and provide details about how you have pursued your career, acquired new skills and progressed along your career path all these years. Explain your rationale behind each career move. Then go on to describe why you believe that an MBA is the next logical step in your career path NOW? What are those skills that   you still lack which you hope to acquire by an MBA?

Then explain your post MBA and long term goals.  Please be as specific as you can in discussing your post MBA goals. That is, specify which industry, which company, and what position you would like to see yourself at after graduating from Ross.  Even if you are not 100% sure, you should be clear and quite decisive about your short term goals. You need to make sure that there is a logical connection between short term and long term goals.  For example, you do not want to say that your long term goal is to be CEO of Xyz Company if your past experience, current skills set, and your short term goals do not at all seem to be leading to that direction.

Please remember that the ‘goals’ essay requires you to make a realistic connection between your past (past experience and skills), present (your need of an MBA), and future (your future goals). The key is to justify your rationale behind your chosen career path.

Finally, even though the essay prompt doesn’t ask you why you are interested in Ross, it makes sense to add 1-2 sentences ( if space permits) about how an MBA from Ross will bring to closer to your career objectives. Establish a connection between their offerings and your goals, and interests to justify your ‘fit’ with program.

Example:

“With its strong focus on experiential learning, a Ross MBA perfectly matches my goals. Ross’ signature MAP project will help me implement my classroom concepts to solve real-time business challenges   eventually developing my leadership and professional skills. The core courses along with electives such as Strategies for Growth will provide me sound business foundation.”

Given the stringent word limit (250 words), you will need to choose your words wisely, making sure that every word counts.

As you develop your stories for these two essays, make sure to showcase to the Ross admissions committee your well- rounded personality. The first question will help you paint your non- work side, and the second question will aid in demonstrating your professional side.

Last year, Ross admission director Soojin Kwon explained in her blog, “For both questions, there isn’t an answer that we “want to hear” other than a response that demonstrates that you’ve done some self-reflection and gives us a sense of you as a person.”
Optional Statement:
This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.
This question provides you an opportunity to explore an important aspect of your candidacy, or other significant achievements / strengths not mentioned in other essay responses and application form.  Given the limited scope of Ross’s essays, you can choose example/examples from your work, an outstanding professional accomplishment that you could not share in essay 1 because it specifically required  a non-work accomplishment. You may also share a life -experience that has greatly influenced your personality and life. The idea is to bring to light that aspect of your personality that truly makes you unique. Then you should try to demonstrate how you can leverage this skill or quality to enhance your MBA experience or your future career.

As directed in the essay prompt, you may use this essay question to address a weakness in your profile, such as employment gap, or low GPA / low GMAT, or unusual choice of recommender. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality.

Example:

"The private tutoring job that I had to take up to support mine and my sister's education required me to spend 30 hours/ week and left me with hardly any time to focus on my studies. This eventually ended up pulling down my grades to 70%."The tutoring experience, however, benefitted me in two ways. It reinforced my passion for teaching (I still find 10 hours/ week to teach my home maid’s children.) Also, it provided me the satisfaction of being a dutiful son.”

This post first appeared in myEssayReview blog.

For questions, email me at myessayreview.com">poonam@myessayreview.com

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New post 06 Sep 2016, 11:47
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Michigan Ross is a program that emphasizes learning both inside and outside the classroom, and is seeking candidates that are intellectually curious and able to accomplish their goals. Ross is also a close-knit community and fit with the program is important to demonstrate in the application process. Visiting Ross or learning about the program through current students, alumni or faculty would be helpful before starting this set of essays.

The Ross admissions blog is an excellent resource for tips to approach these essay questions, and gives you a window into what the admissions committee is looking for.

Essay One: What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)

Last year Ross permitted either a professional or personal example for this essay. This year, Ross Admissions Director Soojin Kwon explains: “The motivation for adding “outside of your professional life” (to Q1, which asks what you’re most proud of) was to get to glimpse into the personal side of you. We’ll already have your resume and rec letter to give us a sense of your professional life. Besides, would you want to read thousands of essays about the time someone was a project manager and completed the project on time and under budget? (I hope you said “no”). Me either. (I’m going to assume you said “no”).”

Some of the personal attributes most valued at Ross include community engagement and interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills. When you consider topics for this essay you may want to write about an important extracurricular moment, a challenge you overcame, or an event in your life that highlights something unique about your background.

For example, if you have a track record of club leadership through college and afterwards that can be compelling evidence of your community engagement and leadership skills. On the other end of the spectrum perhaps you have spent time outside your home country for school or work and that has shaped how you approach your life and decisions. Take note that this essay is really about getting to know you as a person, not as a collection of accomplishments. Your values and personal life will ideally shine through, as you explain what is most important to you and why.

“Why” is a crucial part of this essay, along with how your values have impacted your life. Finally, make sure that your values, as expressed in this essay, are aligned with how you want to be perceived by the admissions committee.

Essay Two: What is your desired career path and why? (up to 250 words)

Michigan Ross is interested to hear what you plan to do after your MBA and what is motivating that decision. Both traditional and non-traditional MBA goals are welcomed as long as you are sincere about the path you plan to take. This essay is straightforward and Ross is not looking for extra explanation. Ideally you can describe your career path in a sentence or two and use the remainder of the space to elaborate.

Answering “why” you chose your career path is crucial. As you describe your career path make sure you explain what has led you to pursue it, and why it resonates with you. The answer doesn’t need to be elaborate or dramatic, but it should be convincing and real. The question doesn’t ask “Why MBA?” or “Why Ross?” but you may want to address both questions. If Ross has unique resources that will help you achieve your goal, this is a great place to describe how you will use them.

Optional Statement: This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

Take it directly from the Ross admissions director: “The optional essay should only be used if there’s something in your background that requires a brief explanation. It’s not the place to submit an essay you wrote for another school, or to tell us how much you love Ross.” Think about anything that may raise questions while reviewing a resume, transcript or recommendations. Typically the kinds of gaps that raise questions are significant gaps in employment (more than a few months), anything below a C on your college transcript (particularly in quantitative coursework) and low test scores.

***

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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Looking for the best possible admissions advice?

How about admissions advice from the admission committee members themselves?

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

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

Listen, enjoy, and apply successfully!

Columbia Business School
Emily French Thomas, Director of Admissions

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

USC Marshall
Keith Vaughn, Former Assistant Dean of Admissions

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


UCLA Anderson
Jessica Chung, Associate Director of Admissions 

MIT Sloan
Dawna Levenson, Director of Admissions

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

Tuck School of Business
Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions

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

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

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

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

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

Subscribe:

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This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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

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

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Applying to a top-tier business school is a time of high anxiety for many MBA hopefuls. With such fiercely competitive admission rates, it’s only natural that candidates might feel vulnerable about their chances. Plus, going for an MBA is a huge and expensive decision, so how do you know if the school you’re targeting will be right for you?

In a recent update to the Admission Director’s Blog at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Director Soojin Kwon shared the reflections of several second-year Ross Student Ambassadors who were in your shoes not that long ago. Their experiences should help calm any fears or concerns you have about the application process in general and, in particular, about choosing to apply to the Ross School.

Here are some key excerpts from Kwon’s post:
 Applicant Fear #1: “I wasn’t sure that Ross and Ann Arbor would be as diverse as other schools/cities I was considering.”
Kwon: Nearly a third of our students come from outside of the U.S., with India, Brazil, China and Peru as our leading international countries. Within the U.S., the state with the highest representation at Ross is California. The metro area where the most students lived prior to Ross is New York, followed by Washington, D.C.

Our entering class has worked in a wide range of industries – from consulting, banking, marketing, and startups to the military, education, nonprofit, healthcare/pharma, tech, law and hospitality. They’ve worked in 340 different organizations including the Kenya Ministry of Health, the Turkish Treasury, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NBCUniversal, Time Warner Cable, Coach Inc, and Coca-Cola.

Women comprise 40% of our entering class. Minorities comprise 24%.

As far as Ann Arbor goes, it may surprise you to know that we have more restaurants and independent bookstores per capita than any other city in the U.S. It’s been ranked among the most educated city in the U.S.
Applicant Fear #2: “I heard mixed messages about which round to apply in. Obviously, it worked out in the end, but I was worried I’d hurt my chances if I applied in one round vs another.”
Kwon: Chances are, you have an idea of which school is your top choice. Let’s call it “School A.” You submit an app to School A in Round 1. Your app to Schools B and C are nearly ready but you decide to wait until Round 2 to submit those apps. In the months following your Round 1 submission to School A, you visit the campus of Schools B and C. You connect with students and alumni of those schools. You fall in love with School B and decide that that school is your new top choice. (We see this a LOT.)

You resolve to submit a killer app for School B in Round 2. In December, you find out from School A you’re admitted. Great! School A requires you to submit a non-refundable enrollment deposit in February…before you find out if you’re admitted to your new top choice school. Now you have to either (1) put money down to hold your spot at School A or (2) take your chances on being admitted to School B. We frequently see applicants choose Option 1.

The moral of this story: if you’re close to being ready to submit an app for several schools, you should strive to submit them in the same round.

It’ll give you the benefit of being able to make a decision with all your options laid out at once. Of course, you should apply when your application is as strong as it can be. But if your app is ready for one school, chances are, you’re probably close to being ready for another school. The main difference is generally only the essays.

***

The Ross admissions director also shares advice on handling low GMAT/GRE scores,  enlightens applicants who are unfamiliar with what Michigan Ross is “good at,” and reveals why you don’t need to devote an excessive amount of effort to answering the Ross essay questions.

Read Soojin Kwon’s complete post, and with any luck, you’ll feel much more relaxed about the whole process…well, at least a little bit!
You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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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
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business plans to send out invitations to interview today, October 25th, and the admissions team has been absolutely swamped so far this season.
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“Given the 13 percent increase in Round 1 apps (our third consecutive year of increases), we’re spending more time reviewing apps than we ever have in Round 1,” says MBA Admissions Director Soojin Kwon in an update posted on her blog. She also notes some exciting changes in the applicant pool: a big increase in apps from women, and increases from both U.S. and international applicants.

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While interviews conducted at satellite locations with alums or via Skype carry the same weight as an on-campus interview, Kwon urges applicants to interview at in person at Ross if possible because it’s the only chance in Round 1 to do the Team Exercise, which gives the admissions team an additional data point with which to evaluate your ability to work on teams.

As far as preparing for the interview is concerned, the director advises applicants to know their resume backwards and forward, and to thoroughly research the school. “Interviewers are proud of their school,” she says, and “Doing your homework on Ross demonstrates interest.”

Prepare to answer common interview questions such as: “Why do you want to get an MBA? Why do you want to do that at Ross? What do you hope to pursue after getting your MBA? Why?”

Your answers should be succinct, enthusiastic, and show that you’re prepared without sounding memorized. “Be authentic,” Kwon advises, but don’t worry too much because, as she adds, “You don’t need to try to ‘impress’ us.”

A note for those who don’t receive an interview invite today: the admissions team may hold your application for further consideration and either waitlisted to revisit during Round 2, or denied.

If you suspect a low GMAT or GRE score has lead to your application being waitlisted, you have the option of retaking and submitting the higher score. Otherwise, send no further updates to the Michigan Ross admissions team.

Finally, Kwon notes that the school is working to make an additional loan program for international students available in Fall 2017, and Ross hopes to have the agreement in place by the end of the year.

Good luck to all Round 1 applicants to Michigan Ross!
You may also be interested in: 
Michigan Ross Director Calms Common Applicant Fears
Michigan Ross Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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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 29 Nov 2016, 13:08
Whether you’ve already received an interview invitation or are hoping to get an invite over the next few weeks, you want to make sure you’re prepared to do your best when the big day arrives. As you might suspect, the admissions interview is the place to convey your talent, drive and personality in a way no written application can match.

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By knowing what to expect, you’ll be able to relax and focus your energies on dazzling the interviewer with your professional skills and strengths. But remember, he or she also wants to get a feel for you as a person, to find out how you’d fit in with the school’s unique culture, and how you would contribute as a student if admitted.

Applicants should begin their interview prep by learning their application and resume backward and forward in order to crystallize those professional goals and motivations. Ask yourself these key questions:
  • Can I clearly articulate my career plan and future goals?
  • What is my motivation to obtain an MBA?
  • How do I plan to use my MBA in my career?
  • What do I really want from my MBA experience?
  • Why is X business school the right place for me?
  • What can I bring to this MBA community?
  • Where do I see myself in 5, 10 or 15 years?
Here are three common questions that come up during the one-on-one MBA interview, with some advice on how to respond succinctly and with substance:

1. Tell me about yourself.
My first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. Quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career. Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve stayed at the same company for several years, you could talk about how your responsibilities have increased over time.

2. Why do you want to go School X?
If you haven’t discussed your short- and long-term career goals yet, you could begin your response by briefly explaining what you’re hoping to do after graduation. Then you can state the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in the future—and how School X can help you fill those gaps.

3. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The worst thing you could say in response to this question is “No.” Even if you’ve had an hour-long discussion that covered everything under the sun and you’re feeling confident about how things have gone, you still should take this opportunity to reiterate why you’re excited about the program and why you’d be an asset to the incoming class. And, of course, if there’s something specific about your candidacy that you feel could improve your odds and you haven’t been able to discuss it up to this point, now’s the time to do so.

Do You Play Nice with Others? The Group or Team-Based Interview
Business schools want to see how candidates interact with peers before anyone’s even admitted, which can be very telling. It’s not actually an interview, per se, because no questions will be asked of participants. Through observation of each member’s discussions and communication with the group, the admissions team hopes to glean deeper insight into each applicant’s teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Here’s what you don’t want to do during a group interview:
  • Dominate the conversation
  • Cut others off or dismiss someone’s idea entirely
  • Raise your voice
  • Roll your eyes, cross your arms, or display any other kind of negative body language
  • Take out your phone or any other electronic device
  • Here’s what you should try to accomplish:
  • Demonstrate you’ve done your research (if given a topic in advance)
  • Listen—truly listen—to the others in your group when they speak
  • Seize any opportunities to either build upon or refer to someone else’s point
  • Put the group’s goal ahead of trying to get airtime
  • Offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where the group would benefit from a quick recap
As many MBA applicants are born leaders who are used to taking charge, you’ll need to be conscious of the fact that you might be surrounded by lots of Type A personalities and adjust your style accordingly. However, if you tend to be on the shy side, don’t let others intimidate you. If no one’s given you the chance to get a word in, you’re going to have to find an appropriate way to join the conversation before it’s too late.

Ready for Your Close-Up? Prepping for the Video Interview
In an era where MBA applicants often come across as overly packaged and polished, an increasing number of MBA programs have started using online video-interview platforms in order to get a better sense of your personality. They’ve seen what you have going for you on paper; a video interview can help them judge whether or not the “real you” matches the impression you’ve built through your other materials. Here are some video-interview tips:
  • Prepare (and practice) succinct responses for all of the typical MBA-related questions: Why Program X, Why an MBA overall, Why now, What are your career goals, Summarize your career to date, and so on.
  • Then add some “fun” questions and responses into the mix: Review the last book you read/movie you saw/TV show you watched; What’s your favorite song and why; Where’s the best place you’ve gone on vacation, et cetera
  • Record yourself answering these questions. Have a trusted friend review your responses and tell you how you’re coming off. Tweak your style accordingly.

When the big moment arrives and it’s time for the real thing, remember that no one is trying to trick you into embarrassing yourself. It’s just another opportunity for you to show what an asset you’ll be to an MBA program. So if you experience technical glitches such as a frozen feed or dropped audio, remember that maintaining your poise and keeping your frustration in check will further help you make a positive impression on your interviewer. Also, dress in appropriate business attire from head to toe. If you need to stand up for any reason during the interview and have nothing but boxers on, rest assured that is an impression the interviewer won’t soon forget.

Mind Your Manners
Finally, don’t forget to send your interviewer a thank-you note or email no later than the following day. Some admission committees need to make accept and denial decisions very quickly, so you shouldn’t let more than 24 hours go by before you send your message. If you interviewed in the morning, send it before the business day is over. If your talk was in the late afternoon or evening, get your email out first thing the next morning.

A word of caution: a thank-you note is not the place to try and sell yourself any further or write another mini-essay. The point is to show that you’re excited about and thankful for the opportunity to be considered for a spot in Program X.

It may sound cliché, but remember to just be yourself, and pay attention to first impressions. The evaluation process of your fit with the program actually starts before you sit down with your interviewer, so you want to make sure that every interaction you have, including with the office staff, is courteous and further adds to a positive impression of your candidacy. If you can show you’re prepared to work well with a team, know exactly how an MBA will benefit your career, and why X school is the best fit for you, you may soon find yourself on the positive side of the highly competitive MBA interview and application process.

This article, written by SBC consultant Sherry Holland, originally appeared on Poets & Quants.

Image by Flickr user: CNJ’s photostream(CC BY-NC 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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The Round 2 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business came and went just over a week ago, and the busy MBA admissions team is already prepared to send out the first wave of interview invitations at the end of this week.

Director of MBA Admissions Soojin Kwon updated the admissions blog today to inform R2 applicants of several key updates, and to explain that the second and final wave of invites will go out at the end of January. Whether you receive one early or later is not a reflection on how you “stack up” against other applicants, she assures.

Dates and locations for the team exercise outside of the United States are as follows:
  • Sao Paulo (February 4)
  • New Delhi (February 12)
  • Shanghai (February 16)
  • Tokyo (February 18)

Michigan Ross will invite waitlisted international applicants from Round 1 who have already had their one-on-one interviews to participate in  team exercise in Round 2, Kwon says.

Meanwhile, on-campus interviews will run every Monday and Saturday from February 4 through February 20, and off-campus interviews will take place between January 23 and February 20.

As far as preparing for the interview is concerned, in an October post the director advised applicants to know their resume backwards and forward, and to thoroughly research the school. “Interviewers are proud of their school,” she said, and “Doing your homework on Ross demonstrates interest.”

Prepare to answer common interview questions such as: “Why do you want to get an MBA? Why do you want to do that at Ross? What do you hope to pursue after getting your MBA? Why?”

Your answers should be succinct, enthusiastic, and show that you’re prepared without sounding memorized. “Be authentic,” Kwon advised, but don’t worry too much because, as she adds, “You don’t need to try to ‘impress’ us.”
You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross Director Calms Common Applicant Concerns

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If you are looking for guidance on your  Michigan Ross 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, 12:06
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Business schools want to see how candidates interact with peers before anyone’s even admitted, which can be very telling. It’s not actually an interview, per se, because there is no Q&A with participants.  Each school conducts the group interview somewhat differently, and this new evaluation model gives candidates the chance to work with a handful of their fellow applicants to solve real-world business scenarios as a team.

The exercise demonstrates how candidates approach and analyze specific situations and interact with other people, two critical components of business schools that have a team-focused learning style. Through observation of each member’s discussions and communication with the group, the admissions team hopes to glean deeper insight into each applicant’s interpersonal skills.

Although it’s a completely organic experience, there are ways you can prepare for the group interview that will increase your comfort level when the big day arrives. Start by speaking out more in groups or meetings at work. Applicants to the Michigan Ross School of Business do not receive any clues about the content of the group interview in advance, but if you’re applying to the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, you’ll receive your team-based discussion prompt prior to the interview.

Wharton recommends that applicants spend about an hour in advance prepping for the discussion. If possible, we suggest that you gather a group of three or four other people and conduct a mock discussion. Record the session and take note of things like your body language, interrupting, or any tendencies to try to control the discussion.

MBA applicants can also practice the “Yes, and…” rule from improv, where you build on whatever your partner tries. In her bestselling memoir Bossypants, Tina Fey writes that “yes, and” is one of her core principles in all aspects of her life, and means “Don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion.” During the interview, seize any opportunities to either build upon or refer to someone else’s point.

Here’s what you don’t want to do during a group interview:
  • Dominate the conversation
  • Cut others off or dismiss someone’s idea entirely
  • Raise your voice
  • Roll your eyes, cross your arms, or display any other kind of negative body language
  • Take out your phone or any other electronic device
Here’s what you should try to accomplish:
  • Demonstrate you’ve done your research (if given a topic in advance)
  • Listen—truly listen—to the others in your group when they speak
  • Put the group’s goal ahead of trying to get airtime
  • Offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where the group would benefit from a quick recap

To maximize your experience, stay flexible and focus on how you can propel the group forward and provide value to ensure the best possible outcome for your team. As many MBA applicants are born leaders who are used to taking charge, you’ll need to be conscious of the fact that you might be surrounded by lots of Type A personalities and need to adjust your style accordingly.

However, if you tend to be introverted, don’t let others intimidate you. If no one’s given you the chance to get a word in, you’re going to have to find an appropriate way to join the conversation before it’s too late. For its part, Wharton knows that leaders come in many forms, and the school reassures candidates that the team-based interview is designed to let all types shine, regardless of how outgoing or shy you are. Just be yourself, get a read on the group dynamic, and let the chips fall where they may.

At Michigan Ross, how you manage yourself within the group is the sole focus of the observers, so it doesn’t matter if your fellow participants are “weak”, or whether you’ve landed in a “bad” group. How you interact within the team, and how you interact with people who have different styles than you, will be foremost on the observers’ radar, Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions, explained.

Remember, whether they show it or not, everyone participating will be nervous. Even if the team or group exercise is optional at your school, don’t forgo the experience. From our perspective as MBA admissions consultants, you should never pass up the opportunity for face time with the admissions committee. Allowing them to get to know the real you, beyond the version on paper, is critical to your chances of receiving an offer of admission.

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If you have been invited to interview with a school that is using the group interview format, you will absolutely want to take advantage of Stacy Blackman’s live group practice session. This format can be fun, but also challenging and stress inducing! Success comes from practice and becoming comfortable with the format.

We’ll have dedicated groups of 3-6 people for Wharton and Ross, with experienced moderators and admissions experience. You’ll receive preparation tips and a one-hour mock experience, followed by written feedback with actionable advice. For more on this new service, click here.Image

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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: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 11:48
If you want to know what MBA students at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business have on their minds, don’t miss the student-launched Business Beyond Usual podcast.
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Director of MBA Admissions Soojin Kwon highlighted the show in her recent blog post, noting that Business Beyond Usual “features a student host talking with fellow students about top of mind topics like rankings, the role of business in society, tech boom for MBAs, making a difference, how to prepare for your MBA, and women in business.”

Those considering applying to business school in the fall may want to check out this podcast that takes a deep dive into business school rankings, or this one that tells you how to prepare for business school. And if you’re awaiting an interview at Ross, you won’t go wrong by taking a listen to any of these episodes beforehand to spark some conversation gems to discuss further with your interviewer.
You may also be interested in:
MAP Course at Ross Celebrates 25 Years of Hands-On Learning
Ross MBA Admissions Director Shares Her B-School Comparison SpreadsheetImage

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If you are looking for guidance on your Ross 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: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 11:49
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This week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business kicks off its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program, which embeds teams of students into a company or nonprofit to enhance their leadership skills and apply concepts from the classroom to real life business challenges.

Now in its 25th year, the entire class of 400 first-year full-time MBA students will embark on a seven-week project, spending time in the field and traveling to meet with executives on-site to tackle complex problems or uncover new opportunities for their sponsor organization. MAP student teams undertake a variety of projects, including evaluating market entry opportunities, developing long-term strategic plans and analyzing branding efforts.

To celebrate this important milestone in hands-on learning, the team at Michigan Ross has come up with a list of 25 things that make the MAP course unique and impactful learning experience.
  • MAP is the longest such hands-on learning program, sending our entire class of first-year MBAs out into the field for [b]seven weeks[/b] during the winter semester.
  • It’s also [b]one of the biggest[/b].
  • This year, students will be working on [b]83 simultaneous projects[/b], while working with [b]74 different companies[/b] and organizations.
  • These projects are with some of the biggest, most influential companies on the planet[b](Amazon, Google, Microsoft)[/b];
  • with some of the most impactful nonprofits [b](Make-a-Wish, CARE International, Ocean Conservancy)[/b];
  • and with some of the most promising startups [b](Vayu, Jeevtronics, VerseAI)[/b].
  • Students will work hand-in-hand with the organization’s executives, [b]gaining firsthand insights[/b] into business operations and [b]expanding their networks[/b].
  • Companies often implement student suggestions, giving our MBAs [b]incredible new resume credentials[/b].
  • And [b]setting them up for success[/b] on day one of their summer internship.
  • MAP is a unique opportunity to [b]explore the global world of business[/b] in an entirely immersive way.
  • [b]Nearly 70-percent of MAP students[/b] will be participating in a project outside of their home country this year.
  • Projects are taking place in [b]115 cities and 25 countries[/b] around the globe.
  • There will be teams of Michigan Ross MBAs [b]on almost every continent[/b].
  • Projects are taking place in [b]six[/b] countries in Africa (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania);
  • in [b]seven[/b] countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam);
  • in [b]four[/b] countries in Europe (Finland, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom);
  • in [b]four[/b] countries in South America (Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru);
  • and in [b]four[/b] countries in North America (Canada, USA, Mexico, Jamaica).
  • This is the first time MAP students will be working in [b]Nepal[/b]. They will be helping a company there develop financial models that can end the use of slave labor in the brick industry.
  • MAP projects give students a chance to [b]choose which industry[/b] they want to experience.
  • From finance and technology to healthcare and marketing, many students choose to work in an [b]entirely new industry[/b] than their previous job in order to build[b] important new skills[/b].
  • MAP has already impacted [b]an entire generation[/b] of business leaders.
  • In 25 years, [b]10,852 Full-Time MBA Ross students[/b] have participated in MAP.
  • They’ve worked with [b]1,391 sponsor companies[/b], helping them solve some of their most pressing challenges.
  • And the best part is, [b]MAP is just getting started[/b].
Although initially associated exclusively with the Ross Full-Time MBA Program, in recent years MAP has expanded to include other Ross degree programs. Global, Weekend, Evening, and Executive MBA students participate in projects similar in scope to the Full-Time cohort.

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Highlights of this year’s Full-Time MBA Ross MAP projects include:
  • [b]A project with Java House[/b], a chain of 44 coffee shops throughout Africa, where students will be working to provide a roadmap to help the company successfully enter the Tanzanian market.
  • [b]A project with luxury brand, Shinola[/b], where students will assist the company in developing new product categories.
  • [b]A strategy project with GE Power in India[/b], where students will help develop a framework for bringing new products and services to emerging markets.
  • Nineteen different technology projects, [b]including one with Hotels.com[/b], in which students will be developing a portal for sharing consumer research, and one with Microsoft, where students will investigate collaborations between universities and tech companies.
  • Several healthcare projects,[b] including one with Jeevetronics[/b], a medical device startup in India asking students to help them bring it’s affordable, innovative hand-cranked defibrillator to new markets.

For the next seven weeks, Ross students will be sharing their experiences on Instagram using the tag #RossMAP. The school encourages anyone interested to follow along and see the MAP experience through their eyes by following @MichiganRoss.
Image credit: Michigan Ross School of Business (CC BY-NC 2.0)
You may also be interested in:
MBA Interview Myth-Busting from U. Michigan Ross
Michigan Ross MBA Director Calms Common Applicant ConcernsImage

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If you are looking for guidance on your Ross 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: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 11:03
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The Ross School of Business at University of Michigan has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions season.
Round 1
Application due: October 2, 2017
Decision released: December 15, 2017
Round 2
Application due: January 2, 2018
Decision released: March 15, 2018
Round 3
Application due: March 19, 2018
Decision released: May 11, 2018

All applications are due by 11:59 EST on the day of the deadline in order to be considered within that round. Michigan Ross also encourages international students apply in Round 1 or Round 2 because of visa requirements and to ensure consideration for scholarships.

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

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If you are looking for guidance on your Ross 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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The University of Michigan Ross School of Business has introduced a new MBA essay format for the 2017-18 admissions season. The reason for the update? As admissions director Soojin Kwon explains, “We want to get to know more about you than we would in a traditional essay where you’d talk at length about one topic. You’ll get to share different sides of yourself that will be relevant to your experience during business school.”
Part 1: Short Answer Questions
Select one prompt from each group. Respond to your selected prompts using 100 words or fewer (<100 words each; 300 words total).

Group 1
  • I want people to know that I:
  • I turned an idea into action when I:
  • I made a difference when I:
Group 2
  • I showed my resilience when I:
  • I was humbled when:
  • I am out of my comfort zone when:
Group 3
  • I was aware that I am different when:
  • I find it challenging when people:
  • A valuable thing I have taught someone is:

“If you’re interested in an example of how I’d answer these questions, stay tuned for my next video blog,” Kwon suggests.
Part 2: Essay
Please share your short-term and long-term career goals. What skills/strengths do you have that will be relevant to your career goals? How will Ross prepare you for your goals? (300 words)

Kwon says: In previous years, some applicants wrote about their long-term career goals. Others wrote about their immediate plans after B-school. We want to learn about both. So, we thought we’d ask you to spell it out.

In the second part of the career goal essay (re: skills/strengths) you don’t have to show that you have the experience needed to pursue a particular career goal. We want to know that you understand the skills that are important for your desired career. Recruiters assess whether you’re able to bring relevant skills/strengths to the table, so we do the same.

Some of the skills and knowledge you’ll need will be developed during your time in the MBA program, but students are more successful in their career search if they understand the skills required to succeed in their chosen field.

The final part of the question allows you to demonstrate your research on Ross and the experiences, knowledge, and skills you’ll develop here. We want to know how you see Ross helping you achieve your goals.
Optional Statement
This section should only be used to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application, for example, completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

For more information about the Ross MBA program, please visit the admissions website.

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If you are looking for guidance on your  Ross 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: Michigan Ross MBA Admissions & Related Blogs   [#permalink] 31 May 2017, 11:03
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