Intended Focus : The B-School Application
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# Intended Focus

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Intern
Joined: 15 Apr 2010
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07 Jun 2010, 17:16
Hi all --

I had a quick question concerning the 'focus' of an MBA applicant and how that sticks upon admission. For instance, say I apply and all my essays point to Entrepreneurship as my intended focus. Upon admission, am I now keyed in to Entrepreneurship or, upon admission, am I then required to officially choose my focus (and it could be Entrepreneurship, Marketing, or Healthcare Management)?
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07 Jun 2010, 18:08
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No one follows you around to make sure that you stay true to what you wrote in your admissions essays. A lot of people go to bschool intending to focus in one area and end up doing something entirely different.
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08 Jun 2010, 07:46
I understand that no one is going to hold my hand and monitor each course I take -- my question is in regards to whether or not your intended focus is 'locked-in' so to speak upon admission -- say for example your intended focus is Entrepreneurship during the application process. Your essays state this, your application (if asked) states this, etc. etc. etc.

Upon acceptance, are you put into a sort of 'foundation' course load so to speak? Like you're given your core-classes, the entrepreneurship electives, and then given X amount of 'free choice' electives? Or do you choose what you want to focus on upon actually accepting/on the first day of classes and your course load (save for core-classes) is entirely free choice?
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08 Jun 2010, 08:06
At every school I looked at, there's a required courseload taking between 1-2 terms to finish fully with a leadership component outside of the core that is tiny in comparison. After that, course choice is entirely up to you. Although you do work with a representative of career services to articulate your goals and help find opportunities, that career counselor would only be aware of what you tell them when you meet.
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08 Jun 2010, 08:13
Excellent to know -- so it seems as if the question on applications/essays concerning intended focus seems to be rather pointless. Sure it gives them an idea of what classes you might take/where you might be headed, but without it being locked in, it's sort of frivoulous on their end. On my end it's perfect as I'm sort of torn at the moment on what direction I want to take over the others.

Thanks again all
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08 Jun 2010, 08:34
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One other quick note--Definitely read up on each school's individual details on this matter--at Wharton, for example, if you want to major in healthcare management you have to be accepted to Wharton as a HCM major--it's a very supported, small program and you can't just transfer into it once you're already at Wharton. So if you are looking to get into a specific program, make sure you don't have to apply specifically to it otherwise you may not have the option to do that program once you're there!

Good luck!
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08 Jun 2010, 13:03
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Biggs wrote:
Hi all --

I had a quick question concerning the 'focus' of an MBA applicant and how that sticks upon admission. For instance, say I apply and all my essays point to Entrepreneurship as my intended focus. Upon admission, am I now keyed in to Entrepreneurship or, upon admission, am I then required to officially choose my focus (and it could be Entrepreneurship, Marketing, or Healthcare Management)?

What you write in your essays has no bearing on what you get to/have to do once you get to school.

BUT, be careful putting entrepreneurship as your career goals, it's actually not a good leg to stand on when trying to gain admission to b-school. Early on in the application process, I too, thought it was a good idea and would make me stand out. Problem is, b-schools, for the most part don't really like it that much. What they see as entrepreneurship is simply a student that will graduate without a job/income that messes up their stats.

Your best bet is to actually state something you're passionate about and that aligns with previous experience and could be a logical next point after b-school. Don't write what you think the ADCOM wants to hear, write what you're passionate about but that's doused in realism as well.
Director
Joined: 04 Oct 2008
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08 Jun 2010, 20:02
ACNguy wrote:
Biggs wrote:
Hi all --

I had a quick question concerning the 'focus' of an MBA applicant and how that sticks upon admission. For instance, say I apply and all my essays point to Entrepreneurship as my intended focus. Upon admission, am I now keyed in to Entrepreneurship or, upon admission, am I then required to officially choose my focus (and it could be Entrepreneurship, Marketing, or Healthcare Management)?

What you write in your essays has no bearing on what you get to/have to do once you get to school.

BUT, be careful putting entrepreneurship as your career goals, it's actually not a good leg to stand on when trying to gain admission to b-school. Early on in the application process, I too, thought it was a good idea and would make me stand out. Problem is, b-schools, for the most part don't really like it that much. What they see as entrepreneurship is simply a student that will graduate without a job/income that messes up their stats.

Your best bet is to actually state something you're passionate about and that aligns with previous experience and could be a logical next point after b-school. Don't write what you think the ADCOM wants to hear, write what you're passionate about but that's doused in realism as well.

Very valuable insight. I've wondered for quite some time how Entrepreneurship fits into the career goals portion of the application. It seems like the people that area able to articulate these goals properly are experienced entrepreneurs and those with ready-to-develop business plans.
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09 Jun 2010, 06:44
Avernusaur wrote:
ACNguy wrote:
Biggs wrote:
Hi all --

I had a quick question concerning the 'focus' of an MBA applicant and how that sticks upon admission. For instance, say I apply and all my essays point to Entrepreneurship as my intended focus. Upon admission, am I now keyed in to Entrepreneurship or, upon admission, am I then required to officially choose my focus (and it could be Entrepreneurship, Marketing, or Healthcare Management)?

What you write in your essays has no bearing on what you get to/have to do once you get to school.

BUT, be careful putting entrepreneurship as your career goals, it's actually not a good leg to stand on when trying to gain admission to b-school. Early on in the application process, I too, thought it was a good idea and would make me stand out. Problem is, b-schools, for the most part don't really like it that much. What they see as entrepreneurship is simply a student that will graduate without a job/income that messes up their stats.

Your best bet is to actually state something you're passionate about and that aligns with previous experience and could be a logical next point after b-school. Don't write what you think the ADCOM wants to hear, write what you're passionate about but that's doused in realism as well.

Very valuable insight. I've wondered for quite some time how Entrepreneurship fits into the career goals portion of the application. It seems like the people that area able to articulate these goals properly are experienced entrepreneurs and those with ready-to-develop business plans.

Agreed with what you said, but if they were experienced/successful entrenpreneurs (I hate spelling that word) then you could make the argument that they business school would be a waste of their time unless your sole intent is to network and sell your ideas to other classmates (potentially could be spun into a reason for business school).
Intern
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09 Jun 2010, 16:38
Thanks for all the responses -- I do question the 'admissions dont like entrepreneurs' thing.

Why would you state that they dont really like entrepreneurs when places such as UNC and Duke have world class entrepreneurship programs/assistance?

UNC prides itself as being a highly entrepreneurial school/campus -- I find it hard to believe that they'd look down on an applicant who's intended focus is entrepreneurship.

It would also strike me as odd that any school that has an entrepreneurship focus would 'not really like it'.

The way I see it -- most start-ups fail. The greater your education/understanding/network/etc, the better your chances will be to succeed. It's also not uncommon for an MBA with an entrepreneurship focus to go into a start-up created by someone else and help run the show (and also get paid).
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10 Jun 2010, 11:20
Quote:
Your best bet is to actually state something you're passionate about and that aligns with previous experience and could be a logical next point after b-school.

I think that's a really important point for applicants to know.
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10 Jun 2010, 11:28
Biggs wrote:
Thanks for all the responses -- I do question the 'admissions dont like entrepreneurs' thing.

Why would you state that they dont really like entrepreneurs when places such as UNC and Duke have world class entrepreneurship programs/assistance?

UNC prides itself as being a highly entrepreneurial school/campus -- I find it hard to believe that they'd look down on an applicant who's intended focus is entrepreneurship.

It would also strike me as odd that any school that has an entrepreneurship focus would 'not really like it'.

The way I see it -- most start-ups fail. The greater your education/understanding/network/etc, the better your chances will be to succeed. It's also not uncommon for an MBA with an entrepreneurship focus to go into a start-up created by someone else and help run the show (and also get paid).

You come on here to ask a question, somone (I) gives you my interpretation and advice based on the fact that I've just gone through this, and immediately you say "I don't buy it." Then don't come here asking for advice then. I'm just throwing out what I've heard over the past year from consultants, current students and even alumni. These schools may have entreneurship programs, but to say that it's a primary focus or something they're really pushing students to get into is a bit of a leap. If you don't like my input, fine, but to come onto a forum, ask a question and then not be pleased with the responses so you refute them is a bit ridiculous.
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11 Jun 2010, 07:34
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ACNguy wrote:
You come on here to ask a question, somone (I) gives you my interpretation and advice based on the fact that I've just gone through this, and immediately you say "I don't buy it." Then don't come here asking for advice then. I'm just throwing out what I've heard over the past year from consultants, current students and even alumni. These schools may have entreneurship programs, but to say that it's a primary focus or something they're really pushing students to get into is a bit of a leap. If you don't like my input, fine, but to come onto a forum, ask a question and then not be pleased with the responses so you refute them is a bit ridiculous.

You can lower your hackles -- I dont believe I was starting a fight.

I believe I was following the normal course of action in a conversation -- instead of swallowing what you say with a 'A-yuh, thank you sah', I thought I'd probe deeper -- I even stated that I dont understand the reasoning behind what you said.

If a school has a pride in their entrepreneurship program, I do question why your information states that 'admissions dont like it'. It would seem to me that if 'admissions dont like it', they wouldnt have it... I also never stated that any particular school was 'pushing' their entrepreneurship program -- I merely said a potential course of action for myself, would be to apply for an entrepreneurship focused MBA. The fact that a school prides itself on a particular program is no indication of them 'pushing' it on everyone.

"We've got these awesome facilities and an amazing entrepreneurship program! BUT -- dont bother applying, because WE DONT WANT YOU!"

I still dont buy it. Now whether or not you can handle the fact that I didnt fully accept your information as gospel, isnt my problem.

Again, I appreciate the information you've provided. I'd also appreciate if you un-wadded your panties and get over the fact that I'm still confused over the information you provided.
Re: Intended Focus   [#permalink] 11 Jun 2010, 07:34
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# Intended Focus

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