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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 shit 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] 30 Nov 2017, 11:04
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