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Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs

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

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 09:47
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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 Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 10:20
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Here at SBC, we absolutely love hearing from former clients! Natasha Malpani, now a member of the Stanford GSB MBA Class of 2018, got in touch to share some words of wisdom with the next crop of applicants targeting the world’s top business schools.

The first year of the MBA program has been a whirlwind. I moved to a different country, changed roles, co-founded a company and met some unbelievably amazing people. But I also struggled with adjusting to being a student again, building a new home, career and circle of friends.

Looking back, I’m extremely grateful for both the opportunities and the challenges I faced. In the hopes of making the journey easier for those of you that will be enrolling in business school shortly, these are my key take-aways from the past nine months:
  • Keep an open mind: The most interesting people and opportunities are not always the most obvious or visible ones. Take the time to step away from the whirlwind of recruiting and social events, to truly reflect on what you want to get out of the many opportunities you will have. But also make the time to go to some events that you would never have otherwise chosen to. You never know which conversation will lead to you finding your next role. But even more importantly, be willing to willing to change your first impressions of people. Your peers are every bit as overwhelmed and uncertain as you at the start. Don’t be fooled by the act: no one has their **** together.
  • Learning to learn: You only get out what you put in. Being at a great school, and having access to a ridiculously great network will not help you, unless you’re willing to be confused, challenged and/or unstimulated first. Make the time to do the homework assignments and group projects well. Even if they seem meaningless or unnecessary at the time, they’re being assigned for a reason. The dots will connect over time.
  • The best things take time: The things worth learning, doing and having take time. You cannot rush the process. You will not learn to read financial statements, run a regression or make your best friend in the first week of school. Breathe and lean in to the process. It’s so easy to believe that everyone is smarter than you, is hanging out without you: that you’re the only one that’s lonely or disengaged or confused. Stay away from social media. Get away from your phone and just turn up to events. Alone. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to connect with people. And in any case, you can’t really plan to make friends. Your community will form in the most unexpected places.
  • Don’t let your calendar control you: Pick the top three things you want to get out of the year. You’re not going to be able to build that company, switch careers, transition to a new geography, be the most popular person on campus and meet your future partner at the same time. Decide how you want to spend your time, or the decision will be made for you: and you might not like where you end up. But don’t forget to always put your mental and physical health first.
  • Entrepreneurship is a buzzword: Building a company is not sexy. Don’t get taken in by the buzz & glamorisation. The work can be overwhelming, boring and repetitive. Building a team & engaging with customers is much harder than building a product. On the other hand, if there really is a problem you want to solve, don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.
  • Soft skills are harder than hard skills: Developing self-awareness, building relationships and communicating clearly is a lot harder than learning basic programming or design thinking skills. Don’t underestimate the amount of hard work and pain this takes: and make the time to stretch yourself. You will never have this dedicated time and freedom to focus on personal development: or this much room to fail freely, without consequences.
  • Your community will shape you: In the end, you might end up building a $1 billion company, finding your dream job, or your future partner. And you might not. But you will be blown away by the people around you. You will discover that everyone has a story. The more you get to know the people around you, the more you see the distance they have traveled, the more in awe you will be of their courage, strength and perspective. And you will have conversations and experiences that change the way you see the world, and perhaps your self. Stay vulnerable and open. The more you express your weaknesses, the more you will connect with the people around you. Make the time to see yourself and the people around you in a new light.

Ride the wave: it’s only fun when it’s a little choppy.
Photo by Natasha Malpani

***

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 Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 11:04
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The Princeton Review, known for its college rankings in dozens of categories based on how students rate their schools, is now expanding its coverage of business school programs. The company recently released its 2018 annual ranking lists of business schools.

Available on the company’s website, The Princeton Review reports the top 10 ranking schools in 18 categories of interest to students applying to on-campus MBA programs.

In addition, the company announced the result of its 3 rd annual ranking of the top 25 online MBA programs for 2018.

“We want to offer students a truly robust resource to find information about business school programs,” said Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief, The Princeton Review. “Students who came to us for help selecting their college can now find equally comprehensive information on our website about choosing a business school program. We want students to be aware that on-campus and online MBA programs have different strengths and they can use that information to find the best business school for their interests.”

“Top business schools now offer online MBAs, and employers do see them as credible and valuable,” added Mr. Franek. “For working professionals unable to move to a ‘brick and mortar’ campus for an MBA, these schools offer an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best business school professors and earn their degree from anywhere in the world.”

How Do On-Campus MBA Students and Online MBA Students Differ?
  • Age of student population: On-campus students are younger; the average age is 28 while the average age of online MBA students is 34.
  • Work experience: On-campus MBA students average 5 years of work experience; online MBA students average 11 years.
  • Starting salary: The average starting salary for students at top on-campus MBA programs is $115,000 vs. $107,000 for students at top online MBA programs.
On The Princeton Review website, prospective students can find detailed profiles of the business schools, which include admission, academics, financial aid, campus life and career/employment information. In addition to the profiles and the rankings, the site includes helpful business school advice articles about taking the GMAT, crafting a stellar MBA application, and finding a program best tailored to your goals.

“Our purpose is not to rank schools hierarchically or crown any school as ‘best’ overall. Our goal is to provide school profiles combined with multiple rating scores and ranking lists to help applicants choose the best business school for them,” added Franek. “Their program offerings vary considerably, and we salute and highlight those distinctions in our profiles.”
Top On-Campus MBA Programs
The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 23,000 students attending 267 business schools. In these categories, the following schools were ranked #1:
  • Best Career Prospects – Harvard University
  • Toughest to Get Into – Stanford University
  • Best Professors – University of Virginia
  • Best Classroom Experience – Stanford University
  • Most Competitive Students – Acton School of Business
  • Best Campus Environment – University of Virginia
  • Best Administered – Acton School of Business
  • Greatest Resources for Women – Stanford University
  • Greatest Resources for Minority Students – Howard University
  • Most Family Friendly – Brigham Young University
  • Best Green MBA – University of Vermont
In addition, this year’s survey of 23,000 students evaluated their schools to find the best MBA programs in 7 new categories for (schools below were ranked #1):
  • Best MBA for Consulting – Northwestern University
  • Best MBA for Finance – Columbia University
  • Best MBA for Human Resources – University of Florida
  • Best MBA for Management – Stanford University
  • Best MBA for Marketing – Northwestern University
  • Best MBA for Nonprofit – Columbia University
  • Best MBA for Operations – Carnegie Mellon University
Top 10 Online MBA Programs
The Princeton Review surveyed more than 4,700 online MBA students at more than 75 business schools offering online MBAs to come up with this year’s list of top online MBA programs. The Top 10 are:
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Temple University (PA)
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Florida
  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  • IE University (Spain)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  • Arizona State University
  • Babson College (MA)
Among students surveyed at the top 25 online MBA programs:
  • 56% were receiving financial assistance from their employers to pay for their degree: they reported their companies were covering 62% of the degree cost
  • 34% reported receiving a promotion while earning their online MBA
  • $107,000 was the students’ average base salary upon graduating from the program
  • 30% was the average salary increase graduates reported they received after completing the degree

While here at SBC we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves. Be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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 Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:30
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The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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.
Director
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Re: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:31
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The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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.
Director
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 951
Re: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:35
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The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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.
Director
Director
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 951
Re: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:36
Image
The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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.
Director
Director
avatar
Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 951
Re: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:38
Image
The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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.
Director
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 951
Re: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 14:16
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The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

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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Poonam, founder and president of myEssayReview, is publishing interviews of her most recent successful students.  This is the latest in the series. Here is a chat with Mansi, who was accepted into 5 top MBA programs –Kellogg, Wharton, INSEAD, Stanford, and Harvard. Mansi is headed to Harvard, her dream school.

Mansi’s interview is published in 4 parts wherein she shares her background, goals, reasons to pursue MBA, unwavering preference for HBS, application strategy and preparation, her success mantra, advice on video essays, and much more.

Now presenting the concluding part of the interview wherein Mansi shares her success mantra and her personal interests and  hobbies.

Poonam: What is the Mantra of your astounding success? Not many people are able to achieve what you have achieved. That is why I would like to know  about the Mantra of your phenomenal success.

Mansi: That is a tough one. I think everyone will have their own set of ways to achieve their goal. For me, number one mantra is hard work. In life, there is no short cut to success. It is the way you look at things. You have to have sleepless nights, and long days, and give enough time to achieve your goal, sacrifice other things in the life, and still maintain a balance. As you had rightly suggested- start early. The best way is to start early to give ample time to application.

The second Mantra is ‘strategy’. If I had pushed myself to apply to Harvard in Round I and had not listened to you, I am sure I could not have accomplished it. The kind of story that I had in Round I or the kind of confidence I had in my story in Round I was much less compared to what I had in Round II. Again, I came to know myself a lot more in  four five months than the two months I had before Round I deadlines. So you have to  strategize really well because your dream school deserves the best of your time, your strategy, and your hard work.  I would advise applicants to  give it enough time and thought, and strategize well.

The third Mantra is the ‘introspection’. Indian applicants have never gone through such a process; they have only prepared course material and taken exams. But B- school application is entirely a different process. It does have an exam which requires a lot of introspection, and it also has an interview process which truly focuses on your soft skills. Lastly, working on your weaknesses is also very important for which self-reflection is the key because unless you know your worth yourself, you will not know what you are weak at. Especially for the interview processes, you should be confident of handling your weaknesses and what you can do to mitigate them.

Poonam: That is right. It is a process of self-discovery, and by the time you reached Harvard Application, you had already discovered yourself.

Mansi: Absolutely.

Poonam: And I have memorized all your stories by heart.

Mansi: Yes. I know. And sometimes, I was actually amazed, when you would return my essays with comments that  this example does not fit this essay as much as the other example. You remembered all my stories which at times I had forgotten. You rightly said that this is a process of self-discovery. I also remember the 30 minute Harvard interview that happened in Mumbai; those 30 minutes felt like 3 hours, as we had a conversation which I would normally have with somebody in 3 hours. It was short, yet it covered almost every aspect of my life, professional as well as personal. If I had not known about myself that well, I could not have given that 3 hours’ worth of information in thirty minutes.

Poonam: True.  It has truly been a long and arduous journey. You must have made many personal sacrifices as well. Would you like to share those with us?

Mansi: Yes, Poonam. Very rightly said. You have to work hard towards what is really important to you. And in that particular process, you have to sacrifice other things to achieve what you really want to. As you are aware, I am married, and I had sacrificed a lot of my family time. At the same time, I am really thankful to my husband who has been immensely supportive all this while. I had to miss family time, festivals, get -togethers, and weddings. I am blessed to have a supportive family and husband. I will share this one particular incident when we were celebrating Deepawali at my in-laws place in Mumbai. I had gotten my first interview invite from Kellogg which was right after Deepawali, and  my husband prepared for all pooja and stuff while I was preparing for my interview questions. So yes, I had sacrificed a lot of different things- birthdays, family functions,  TV and movies, but I am sure that at the end of day, those are totally worth it.

Poonam: Definitely. They all must be very proud of you for this extraordinary achievement. I am proud of you.

Mansi: Thank you, Poonam. Yes, they are.

Poonam:  Let us talk about something outside of professional area. What are your hobbies, interests? What are your favorite books?

Mansi: As you know very well, I love to dance. Throughout my entire application process, I used to go for my dance class at least once a week to rejuvenate myself. I occasionally read science fiction. I am not a regular reader though.

Poonam: You are a certified Scuba diver as well.

Mansi: Yes. I am a certified scuba diver. I have dived in many countries such as Malaysia, India, Maldives, and Thailand. I can dive up to 18ft. Next month, I and my husband are going to Thailand for another diving trip after a gap of one year.

Poonam: Very good. Mansi, will you like to share anything that I have not asked?

Mansi: I have discussed almost all the aspects of application process. Again, key parts of your application process are- have a strong GMAT score, partner with a good consultant, strategize in which Round and which schools you apply to, start early, give yourself enough time for self-reflection, and definitely work hard. There is no short cut to success. Give your best. I am sure you can achieve what you want.

Poonam: Thank you for sharing your story. Your story will be inspirational for the prospective applicants.

Mansi: Thank you, Poonam. This is not only my story; this is your story as well.

Poonam: It is really nice of you to think that way.

Mansi:  This is a process you can’t do alone. This is a process where you need supportive people around you. So equal amount of thank you to you as well.

Poonam: Thank you so much. It was my privilege. I really enjoyed being part of your MBA journey. And I wish you good luck with Harvard. I hope you will have a wonderful time there. I will like to get in touch with you later.

Mansi: Definitely. I will keep you updated with my case studies at HBS.

Poonam: Wonderful. Thank you. It was a pleasure chatting with you.

Note: 

Part 1- Mansi's Background, Goals, Reasons to do MBA, and Preference for HBS

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-top-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard/

Part 2- Mansi's' Application Strategy, Planning and Preparation

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-top-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard-part-2/

Part 3- Mansis’ Most Challenging Part of the Application Process, and her advice on video essays

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-tops-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard-part-3/

This interview was first published in  myEssayReview blog.

For questions, email Poonam at poonam@myessayreview.com

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

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The Financial Times has just released its 2018 ranking of the best business schools for finance, a spin-off from its Global MBA ranking that came out in January and based on the number of alumni who land positions in finance, banking, or fintech startups in the three years after graduating.

Schools in the US dominate the FT list, accounting for 27 out of the 50 ranked schools. British and Chinese schools form the next largest group with six members and both crack the top ten with one entry each.
Top Ten MBA Programs for Finance
Here are the locations and percentage of graduates going into finance from each of these elite business schools.

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
U.S.
38%

2. The Wharton School
U.S.
34%

3. Chicago Booth School of Business
U.S.
37%

4. Harvard Business School
U.S.
28%

5. NYU Stern School of Business
U.S.
38%

6. MIT Sloan School of Management
U.S.
25%

7. INSEAD
France/Singapore
24%

8. Cambridge Judge Business School
United Kingdom
27%

9. CEIBS
China
26%

10. Columbia Business School
U.S.
35%

The percentage of MBA graduates from the Stanford Graduate School of Business who found work in finance increased to 38% in this year’s ranking data, up from 27%  just one year ago. Meanwhile, the  percentage going into entrepreneurship in the three years after graduation fell from 36% to 22%, these new FT rankings reveal.

Deborah Whitman, director of Stanford’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, tells FT that the revival of the US jobs market has lead to a growth in finance jobs and a decline in student startups.

“The incredibly strong jobs market is making the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship high enough that it is causing a few alumni to put their entrepreneurial dreams on hold for now,” she says.

Business schools with the greatest success in launching students’ careers in finance are those which have, as FT explains, “retained their value to the banks, venture capitalists and asset management firms by teaching skills for a changing world of disruptive business models and digital finance.”

Indeed, technology developments such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies overlap with the financial sector, and the surge in fintech startups have spurred the re-emergence of finance.

Over at NYU Stern School of Business, roughly one third of the 345 students making up the MBA Class of 2017 entered the finance sector—a proportion that has remained unchanged for years, Beth Briggs, assistant dean in NYU Stern’s careers service, tells FT.

“For us, banking is still a place where the cool kids want to go.”

 
***

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 18 Jun 2018, 09:00
If we were to choose an MBA essay question that we felt could be considered iconic, it would certainly be the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) mainstay “What matters most to you, and why?” For at least two decades, the program has asked this question, slightly tweaking the wording and word count over time, but always maintaining its spirit. We waited to see if the school might ultimately make a change this year, but the admissions committee clearly feels it is getting exactly what it needs out of candidates’ essay responses. The GSB has likewise made no changes to its somewhat standard “Why Stanford?” prompt (or its maximum word count allowance of 1,150 for the two essays combined). Our analysis of both follows. . .

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to:
  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
When candidates ask us, “What should I write for what matters most to me?,” we offer some pretty simple guidance: start brainstorming for this essay by asking yourself that very question. What does matter most to you? This might seem like obvious advice, of course, but many applicants get flustered by the question, believing that an actual “right” answer exists that they must provide to satisfy the admissions committee. As a result, they never pause to actually consider their sincere responses, which are typically the most compelling.

We therefore encourage you to contemplate this question in depth and push yourself to explore the psychological and philosophical motivations behind your goals and achievements—behind who you are today. We cannot emphasize this enough: do not make a snap decision about the content of this essay. Once you have identified what you believe is an appropriate theme, discuss your idea(s) with those with whom you are closest and whose input you respect. Doing so can help validate deeply personal and authentic themes, leading to an essay that truly stands out.

Once you have fully examined your options and identified your main themes, do not simply provide a handful of supporting anecdotes—or worse, recycle the stories you used in a similar essay for another school. A strong essay response to this question will involve a true exploration of the themes you have chosen and reveal a thorough analysis of decisions, motives, and successes/failures, with a constant emphasis on how you conduct yourself. If you are merely telling stories and trying to tie in your preconceived conclusions, you are probably forcing a theme on your reader rather than genuinely analyzing your experiences, and any experienced admissions reader will see right through this. In short, be sure to fully consider and identify your most authentic answer(s), outline your essay accordingly, and then infuse your writing with your personality, thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Stanford encourages you to give special attention to why the subject you have chosen to write about is the most important to you. This “why” element should be clear in your essay—it should be implied by what you are discussing and sharing. If you need to explicitly declare, “And what matters most to me is…,” your essay is not making a strong enough point on its own. A well-constructed essay that is infused with your values and motivation and that clearly conveys why you made certain decisions should effectively and implicitly reveal the “why” behind your chosen topic—and will almost always make a stronger point.

One final note is that you can write about a popular theme as long as you truly own the experience. However, the odds are very low that you could write on a theme that the Stanford GSB’s admissions committee has never read about before. You can discuss whatever you truly care about in your essay, but you absolutely must support your topic with a wealth of experience that shows how you have uniquely lived it. Therefore, for example, you cannot successfully write about “making a difference” if you have volunteered only occasionally, but if you have truly had a significant impact on someone’s life, then the topic is no longer a cliché—it is true to who you genuinely are. So, focus less on trying to choose the “right” subject for your essay and more on identifying one that is personal and authentic to you. If you write powerfully about your topic and connect it directly to your experiences and values, your essay should be a winner.

Essay B: Why Stanford?

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.

On the application essays page of the Stanford GSB website, the admissions committee states forthrightly, “Resist the urge to ‘package’ yourself into what you think Stanford wants to see” (emphasis added). What the school really wants is to understand what and/or who you want to be and what role its MBA program plays in bringing that to fruition. The admissions committee does not have a preferred job or industry in mind that it is waiting to hear you say you plan to enter—it truly wants to understand your personal vision and why you feel a Stanford MBA in particular is a necessary element to facilitate this vision. If you try to present yourself as someone or something you are not, you will ultimately undermine your candidacy. Trust the admissions committee (and us) on this one!

The “why our school?” topic is a common element of a typical personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. It explains ways of approaching this subject effectively and offers several sample essays as guides. Click hereto access your complimentary copy today.

And for a thorough exploration of the Stanford GSB’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which is also available for free.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Stanford GSB Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Stanford GSB Interview Primer today.
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The Stanford Graduate School of Business has officially confirmed the MBA essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions cycle. They remain unchanged from previous admissions seasons.

Stanford GSB asks for two personal essays in order to gain greater understanding into applicants’ character and hopes. “In each essay we want to hear your genuine voice,” the admissions team explains. “Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.”
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, Stanford would like you to:
  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
  • If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

Length
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you.

For more information, please visit the Stanford GSB admissions website.
***

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 Jul 2018, 17:17
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The term safety school gets thrown around quite a bit in MBA admissions, and it’s important for applicants to have a clear understanding of what that term means before they start the business school selection process.

The rule when coming up with a list of business schools is that you must feel genuine enthusiasm about attending each and every one of them, regardless of whether they are dream schools or programs you might consider a safer bet. If you would feel disappointed rather than ecstatic about advancing your career by attending a school, then do not apply. That’s a waste of everyone’s time and your money.

A good way to determine whether your list should include one or more safety schools is by asking yourself how important it is for you to go to business school next year. If the need is immediate, then definitely include a range of schools of varying degrees of competitiveness. The application pool fluctuates each year, and all you need is one admit, so spread some risk around.

However, if you’ve zeroed in on a handful of highly competitive programs that you strongly feel are the best choices for advancing your professional goals, and you have some flexibility with the timing, it would be better to focus your energies on the GMAT and elevating your profile in line with your target programs’ characteristics.
What Exactly is a “Safety” School?
A safety school doesn’t mean you’d be guaranteed an offer of admission, though. It merely means your chances are far greater than at a program with an acceptance rate of 15 percent or lower.

So, in order to decide what qualifies as a safety school for you, start with the hard data points. As a general guideline, take a look at programs you like where your profile falls within the top 10 percent of admitted students.

Compare your undergraduate GPA, GMAT score, years of work experience and particular industry with those of accepted applicants reported by the school in their class profile page. If your industry is underrepresented, consider that an advantage for your application.

Everyone has different reasons for applying to business school. Your main focus may be on networking prospects, the educational experience, geographic location, culture, special programming or even family tradition. If you’re excited about any of those elements at a school and would be happy to attend for any of those reasons, then consider it, even if it’s a safe choice.

I had a client who applied to both University of California—Los Angeles Anderson School of Management and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Of the two, Stanford is obviously the more competitive “reach” school, but my client was from Los Angeles and would have been happy to go to Anderson, thus making it a great selection for a safety school.

Ultimately, he did get into Stanford and chose that school over the full scholarship offer he received from UCLA.

Another client faced the difficult decision of remaining on the waitlist at the University of California—Berkeley Haas School of Business, his dream choice, or accepting an offer of admission from the University of Texas—Austin McCombs School of Business, his safety school and one he would be thrilled to attend.

When the waitlist purgatory continued into summer, even after he’d submitted a deposit to hold his place at McCombs, he finally decided to withdraw from the Haas wait list and commit to a sure thing. He was increasingly happy with McCombs as he met his future classmates and weighed the significant financial benefits of in-state tuition.

If you do apply to a range of schools, make sure each is a good fit and that your excitement, level of research and passion for the program comes through in your application regardless of whether it’s a safety school or not. The folks in the admissions committee have typically been at it long enough and can tell when an applicant has lukewarm feelings for them – and that’s the surest way your safe bet will become a bust.
***

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 Jul 2018, 17:18
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 The strong work ethic associated with investment bankers and money managers and the prestige that comes with working for a big brand are attributes that business schools such as Harvard, Wharton and Stanford covet, as they demonstrate readiness for the rigors of the MBA classroom. In my recent article for eFinancial Careers, I note that MBA admissions officers used to look more favorably upon applicants with financial services experience.

These days, finance candidates have to take a more critical approach to MBA application strategy, as they represent the largest pool of incoming students at top business schools. And while MBA admissions committees do accept applications from oversubscribed populations, they are now focusing more on diversity of profession, gender and nationality, because it enriches peer-to-peer learning and contributes to their success in the rankings. With finance an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession, men in particular have a higher bar to reach in the current MBA admissions climate.

So, how do you rise to the top of a competitive pool when you’re a common commodity? Every element of the MBA application should be optimized if you are to set yourself apart from the financial herd. Here’s how to leverage your banking resume to get an MBA at Harvard, Wharton or Stanford.
***

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 Jul 2018, 17:31
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Stanford Graduate School of Business is ranked number one in entrepreneurship by the Financial Times.

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

Granted, the best programs acknowledge that they don’t actually create entrepreneurs—they merely nurture innate ability. More than 1 in 10 business school alumni are self-employed, and the longer they’ve been out of business school the more likely they are to have taken an entrepreneurial career path, previous Graduate Management Admission Council surveys have shown.

This week, The Financial Times announced the results of their annual survey of the top entrepreneurship programs. These are the programs that offer a broad range of courses in entrepreneurship, as well as  significant opportunities for networking with established entrepreneurs, launching start-ups, and developing the skills needed to start successful businesses. The FT surveys alumni three years after completing their MBA.
Top 10 Global MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (US)
  • Babson College: F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business (US)
  • Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (US)
  • Lancaster University Management School (UK)
  • City University: Cass Business School (UK)
  • WHU Beisheim School of Management (Germany)
  • IMD (Switzerland)
  • Oxford Said Business School (UK)
  • Harvard Business School (US)
  • Cambridge Judge Business School (UK)

The FT ranking methodology to determine the top schools for entrepreneurship included looking at the number of graduates who started a company upon earning their MBA, the percentage of female entrepreneurs, and the extent to which the school or the school’s alumni network helped fund the creation of new ventures. These combined factors ultimately decided where a school would land on the ranking list.

Interestingly, top-ranking Stanford GSB recorded a significant drop in the number of students starting a business in the three years after graduation. It went from 36% in 2017 down to 22% this year. A similar dip occurred among graduates from the No. 2 ranked Babson College, where the numbers of grads starting their own companies went from 52% in 2017 to 37% this year.

These waning numbers don’t represent a lack of entrepreneurial interest among graduates, however. “Behind these figures there are signs that MBA students are just as interested in being entrepreneurial as in previous years, but do not see the need to give up a full-time job offer to start a business,” the FT reports.

A simple reason for graduates taking a salaried position straight out of business school? Student loan bills to pay.

Follow the link see the FT’s list of the top 50 schools for entrepreneurship.
***

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 Jul 2018, 17:33
ImageStanford Graduate School of Business has announced the essay questions for this year’s application, which remain the same as in previous admissions cycles. Stanford has gained significant insight into applicants by asking, “What matters most, and why?” along with “Why Stanford?” These questions are deceptively simple, and the answers are quite revealing.

Stanford is one of the top MBA programs in the world, and many candidates are intimidated to apply. Here at Stacy Blackman Consulting we have worked with hundreds of applicants over the years who have successfully gained admission to Stanford, and before tackling these essays it may be useful to read about some of our successful applicants.

Successful applicants demonstrated true character, meaning that they helped others, demonstrated a sense of community, and showed that they cared about the world beyond their own material wants and needs.

As Stanford advises, “answer the question. Resist the urge to “package” yourself into what you think Stanford wants to see. Doing so will only prevent us from understanding who you really are and what you hope to accomplish. The most impressive essays are the most authentic.” These essays are meant to be personal and to show your personality and what drives you.

Understanding Stanford’s culture and academic approach will help you tailor your application. Before approaching these essays it will be useful to have spoken with Stanford students and alumni, or visited campus to understand what values the community holds.

LENGTH
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you. Stanford suggests allocating more words to Essay A.

ESSAY A: WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU, AND WHY?
For this essay, we would like you to:
• Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
• Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
• Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
• Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”


This Stanford GSB MBA essay is about diving deep into what motivates you, and why. Topics can range from personal history to big picture visions of the future. This topic should not be explicitly career related (and the strongest essays are likely not career oriented at all) though it is possible that some of your themes will continue in the next essay, which will likely focus more on your career.

For example, you may have a personal passion that also has led you into a related career aspiration. Character should shine through, and introspection and honesty should persist through the entire set of essays.

To generate ideas, try brainstorming over a period of a few days. Ask friends and family what values they see you demonstrating in your life and choices. Keep a notebook by your bed so you can record your first thoughts upon waking up. Review your personal history for ideas.

What keeps you awake at night? When you look back at your life what do you admire and regret about your choices? What moments in your life have led to a change in direction? Who has impacted your choices? These are the kind of questions to ask yourself as you approach topics for this essay.

Though the essay question is open-ended and challenging to structure, using vivid and specific examples will provide the reader with images and stories to understand your perspective. After reading hundreds of essays, the ones that have vivid and descriptive stories in them stand out the most.

Keep in mind as you select examples that Stanford GSB specifically advises focusing on people and experiences that have influenced you, rather than accomplishments or achievements. Don’t be scared of the tough moments in life – often self-awareness emerges from challenges. Whatever experiences you choose it’s very important to talk about why they made an impact on your life and your values.

Along with vivid examples, talk about how you felt, thought and reacted both at the time and as you reflected later. The “why” will come out of your reactions to your life experience or people who have influenced you, and the resulting introspection.

ESSAY B: WHY STANFORD?
• Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.
• Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
• Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
• If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.


After you have explained who you are, you will explain why your next step is a Stanford MBA. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx, make sure you can highlight the advantages of both programs for your specific situation. Perhaps you have significant work experience but also see the benefits of attending a two-year program to achieve your goals, and therefore would be interested in either option.

The sub questions for this essay cover both why you are interested in pursuing an MBA at all, and why you specifically want to attend Stanford GSB. Stanford GSB wants to know your aspirations will be uniquely satisfied by the program at Stanford GSB, and school research will help you determine what aspects of the academic program, community and students are crucial to your aspirations.

Be as specific as possible in your response to provide evidence that you have done your research. You should know everything about the aspects of the program that most appeal to you. Have you met current students and alumni? Who are the professors you are excited about? What are the unique programs? What appeals to you about Stanford’s culture? Perhaps you are impressed with the career path of a specific alumna and can highlight that knowledge.

If the question seems too vast, take a few minutes to close your eyes and reflect. Envision your life in twenty years. Where do you live? How do you spend your days? What is your favorite activity? How does this vision fit into your career aspirations? Don’t be shy about your ambitions. Once you have identified your dream career, you also need to make sure an MBA is an important part of achieving your plans and explain that clearly.

When you discuss how Stanford will help you achieve your ambitions consider that Stanford likes to see applicants who dream big and also have the credibility to achieve their goals. Be bold with your aspirations. Think about global, big picture issues you would like to solve. Don’t focus on what your parents or partner want you to do. Don’t think about the next job on the corporate ladder. What do you, with your own unique background and values, want for your life?

Though you should think big, don’t make the mistake of acting as if you are already perfect with no development needed. You are a work in progress, and that’s appropriate. Remember that MBA programs want to help promising candidates reach their goals and be a step on an ambitious career trajectory.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: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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After being rejected by six top schools, Ed Redden reapplied the following year and won acceptances to both Harvard and Stanford’s MBA programs.

Everyone hates rejection, but when it comes in the form of a ding from your dream business school, the disappointment is amplified. You’re already emotionally drained from the application experience, out hundreds or even thousands of dollars in MBA application fees, travel expenses to visit the schools, or wardrobe updates to impress your MBA interviewers. For many rejected MBA candidates, having to wait another year to start business school feels like pure agony.

Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? What does the admissions committee really want from applicants? These questions plague dinged candidates each season, because the schools rarely convey exactly what caused your application to land in the denied pile.

When we met Ed Redden last year, he had submitted six failed applications, but the rejections from Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business in particular made him question whether he should even try to apply again.

Yet, he was a compelling candidate. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Notre Dame University in 2013 and has spent the past five years working for General Electric Co. in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. He leads a group of more than 55 employees across five manufacturing product lines for GE.
Doubts About Reapplying
“There was a lot of self-doubt and questioning about what my future would be,” he admits. “Should I re-apply or focus on the career I already had going? I knew I didn’t put my best application forward, but was it worth it to try again? Did I even have a chance as a reapplicant, or had I blown my chance?”

Many applicants face this crossroads—whether to forgo business school completely and focus on their current career path—at the end of an unsuccessful admissions cycle. No one can answer that question but you. However, the important takeaway is that one failed attempt does not mean you’ve blown your chance forever.

“During my first round of applications I remember feeling very confused about what it was the adcom was looking for in a good candidate,” Redden explains. “It often felt like admissions was a black box and I was hopelessly trying to crack the code. I knew deep inside that I was a good candidate for top MBA programs and had great experiences that would add value to the classroom. I just needed help telling my story.”
3 Common Mistakes in MBA Applications
Without direct feedback from the admissions committee, you must do some sleuthing yourself to determine what your weaknesses were. After a complete review, we uncovered three common mistakes Redden made during his first time applying that likely hindered his chances at these top MBA programs.

A successful application takes a lot of time and energy. Candidates must really do their homework about the schools they have targeted in order to create compelling essays that convince the adcom how a particular program will help them reach their career goals, and how they in turn will contribute to the school as students and eventual alumni.

Work and personal factors caused Redden to rush his applications, which translated into a generic approach rather than focusing on each school and tailoring the application to speak to that program’s unique culture and values. The third and most consequential weakness, we realized, was with his recommenders. “I didn’t give my recommenders much direction or background,” he admits. “They were not familiar with the MBA application process and had never written a letter of recommendation like that before.”
Guiding Your MBA Recommenders
To remedy this issue when he reapplied, we suggested Redden create a “recommender package,” which offers instruction on both process and content. Provide your recommenders with a list of your strengths and characteristics that you plan to highlight in the application, and since many schools ask recommenders about your weaknesses or areas of development, give the recommender a growth area for you as well as examples of how you’re working on it.

Then the recommender can speak to your maturity and awareness, showing schools you intend to hit the ground running and improve through their program. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to write glowing letters, so a recommender package is a win-win for all. Don’t leave it to your recommender to remember everything you’ve ever done, and definitely don’t leave this process to chance. Your recommenders will appreciate your assistance and thoroughness.

Redden says he devoted much more time and attention to his recommenders during the re-application process. “I chose each recommender for specific and different reasons and worked with them as opposed to throwing it over the fence and simply hoping they wrote a good letter.  I was intentional on what aspects of our relationship I wanted them to focus on and what achievements or experiences I wanted them to highlight. The letter they wrote was fully their own but it was much better aligned with my overall SBC strategy as a re-applicant,” he notes.
GMAT Score and Career Goals
Although his career path and goals, and GMAT score, didn’t change from one application cycle to the next, Redden says he adapted a much more honest and authentic approach to the essays, as well as better structure that reflected a strategic focus, the second time around. “Through conversations with my consultant and a lot of self-reflection, I came to better understand what unique experiences and perspectives I brought to the table, how that would best resonate with each school, and how best to highlight that in my application,” he explains.

On the surface, many applicants to elite MBA programs share similar backgrounds and traits. They’re ambitious, driven, accomplished, and have strong academic records and impressive test scores. But just because candidates share these characteristics doesn’t mean their MBA application essays have to beat the same drum.

When brainstorming stories from your background to share in your MBA essays, you should absolutely include some traditional work stuff. But also think about family, friendships, languages, interests, passions, dreams—categories that are not necessarily “business-y” but that reveal character traits you want to emphasize.
Why an MBA Resume Matters
Redden also created a better, stronger resume tailored specifically for his applications. Just from reading your resume, the admissions team should clearly understand what sort of work stories you’d be talking about in class, or what sorts of “lessons learned” you’ll speak to from either your professional or community-service experiences.

Adcom members have often told us that the resume is just as important as the essays, so the extra work you put into revising it could make the difference between a ding and an interview offer. To pick up some tips for your own resume, check out our resume guide here.

About his final decision, he says,  “I could not make a ‘wrong’ choice, and would have loved to attend either school (or both if I could!). After a lot of self-reflection it came down to who I wanted to be and the type of leader I wanted to become. Both schools would strengthen and develop different aspects of my leadership ability and it was ultimately a personal decision about what school I believed to be the right fit for me.” He chose Stanford and will start its MBA program this fall.

We are grateful to Ed for placing his trust in SBC and for agreeing to share his story. Our hope is that you are inspired to shoot for the stars even if you have failed. You don’t need a perfect 4.0 or an 800 test score. You don’t need to manage a team of 40 people. You do need focus, resilience and the proper strategy.
This article originally appeared as a guest post for our friends at the business school news website Poets & Quants.

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

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Have you ever heard of the term “double admits”? That’s what we in the MBA admissions consulting industry call those singular applicants who receive admissions offers from both Harvard Business School (HBS) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). We’ve worked with many top applicants this MBA admissions season who achieved this impressive feat—some with scholarships to boot. Here we analyze eight cases—and we have eight specific takeaways to share.

Though not as rare as actual unicorns, these exceptional candidates and their unique admissions stories can offer some very clear lessons for prospective MBA applicants feeling daunted by the sterling reputations and competitive stats of these two elite business schools.

Lesson 1: You don’t need an undergraduate degree from an elite college, or come from a typical MBA-oriented firm or industry. None of the double admits we worked with graduated from an elite or Ivy League university. In fact, all of the U.S. students in this group came from schools ranked between 20-50. Only one of the admits came from a firm known as a heavy feeder and recruiter for elite MBA programs. None of the others even had MBA graduates as supervisors. Their backgrounds included education, family business, military, energy, and Fortune 500.

Lesson 2: GPA, test scores and demographics are not predictive of success. Our gang of eight included four U.S. citizens and four international applicants. Most were male, and only one is an underrepresented minority. Both GRE and GMAT takers were represented. Their stats generally fell within the 80 percent range but were not ultimately predictive of success. Scores ranged from a low 600 GRE to a 770 GMAT, with a median score of 710. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous double admits offset a low-ish GMAT or GRE score with a proven track record in a quantitative job and compelling leadership activities.

Lesson 3: You don’t need to have saved the world. Every double admit had modest extracurriculars, such as professional organization membership, music, sports, one-on-one mentoring, and basic volunteering. Your extracurricular activities should resonate with you, and any meaningful involvement can give you the opportunity to exercise leadership and management skills in a low-risk, high-impact situation.

Lesson 4: Age is just a number. We found that age skewed somewhat older in this year’s group of double admits, who had between four and seven years of post-college work experience. One successful candidate was over 30. Five-and-a-half years was the average work tenure upon applying. We regularly assure both older and younger applicants that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career.

Lesson 5: All applicants demonstrated true character and a desire plus a track record of helping others. When discussing their careers, each of these applicants veered away from sharing the typical workplace accomplishment stories and instead wove in anecdotes about helping others—mentoring, giving, or assisting in some way. This focus also informed future career and personal aspirations.

Lesson 6: They shared distinctive, personal stories and attainable goals. While their resumes may have said “5 years at Citibank,” their essays spoke much more personally, bringing their true natures and trajectories to life. They told micro-stories that filled in the blanks. Omitting generic themes like coding or crunching numbers, these applicants showed humanity, showcased what drives them toward future careers, and explained why they made certain decisions. Their stories told the “why” behind their prior actions but also developed an understanding of career aspirations.  Goals made sense and appeared attainable given prior experiences and the track record of consistent actions they had taken.

Lesson 7: They painted a “Big Picture” focus beyond just landing a job. None of these admits described their current careers or future aspirations in terms of a specific job. It was much more meaningful than that. They felt driven to make an impact on people and on their industries. They wanted to shift mindsets, behaviors, and ultimately change the world. Think big picture themes like globalizing the reach of an industry, providing life changing assistance to others, or easing political tensions.

Lesson 8: They were self-aware and likable, confident but also self-deprecating. No business school wants to admit even the most accomplished jerk. While these applicants struck us as self-assured, they also came off as likable, realistic about their shortcomings, and open about their need to try harder to compensate for various weaknesses.  The members of this group were people with whom you would want to work on a group project, organize a conference, or study for exams. In short, they are real people with both flaws and strengths, going to b-school in order to get better and achieve more.

While Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School are famously difficult to get into, don’t let fear or low acceptance rates keep you from applying. There is no magic formula that guarantees admissions success, but as these eight applicants demonstrate, personality, passion, and a sincere desire to make the world a better place can help tip the odds in your favor.
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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: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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Rankings dynamo Stanford Graduate School of Business once again grabs the brass ring, landing the top spot in the QS Global MBA Ranking, released this week by business school analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

In addition to the Global MBA ranking category, QS has released rankings for Masters in Management, Masters in Finance, Masters in Business Analytics, and an inaugural Masters in Marketing. Collectively, these rankings cover the post-graduate programs most in-demand among employers around the world.
Top Ten Global MBA Programs
1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
2. Harvard Business School
3. Wharton School of Business
4. London Business School
5. MIT Sloan School of Management
6. INSEAD
7. HEC Paris
8. Tied: Chicago Booth School of Business
8. Tied: IE Business School
10. Columbia Business School
Key Elements of the QS Global MBA Ranking

[*]Core indicators of the ranking are employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, return on investment (ROI), thought leadership and class and faculty diversity.[/*]
[*]Stanford GSB performs especially well in terms of entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes, as well as thought leadership.[/*]
[*]Six of the top ten MBA providers are based in the United States, with all of them performing well in terms of employability and thought leadership. However, US MBA programs perform less well in terms of ROI.[/*]
[*]On a country basis, MBA providers in Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, and Singapore show significant year-on-year progress.[/*]
[/list]
“QS Rankings seek to measure the key missions of Business Schools, whilst also taking into account what matters most to prospective students,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, founder of QS.

“Our innovative measurement of strength in entrepreneurship and successful alumni outcomes, provides a fresh lens for the growing audience of prospective MBAs seeking to start their own business, or seeking leadership roles in non-traditional NGOs as well as looking at classic MBA career outcomes like Partnerships in Consulting or Fortune 1000 Director roles,” Quacquarelli explains.

Also highlighted in these rankings: MIT Sloan School of Management offers the best course in business analytics; London Business School provides the top Masters in Finance; HEC Paris offers the number one Masters in Management; and Columbia Business School has a top-ranked Masters in Marketing.
A Tip for MBA Hopefuls
Earlier this month, Quacquarelli, a Wharton MBA who started his company during b-school, had this advice for entrepreneurially-minded MBAs, in his interview with BusinessBecause.

“One of the benefits of an MBA is you have a year or two years where you do some of that research and get advice and mentorship throughout that research period. Yes, there’s a cost associated with it. But having that time to research your idea more thoroughly can save you far more in terms of wasted investment and opportunity cost later on.”

Fore more information, you can see the full suite of QS rankings here.

 

The post Stanford GSB Leads in QS 2019 Global MBA Ranking appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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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: Expert advice for Stanford from Admissions Consultant blogs &nbs [#permalink] 02 Oct 2018, 10:54
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