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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Comment on Push or Pull? The Decision to Leave the Military and Pursue [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2017, 19:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Comment on Push or Pull? The Decision to Leave the Military and Pursue an MBA by Sorry Military MBA Applicants, There’s No Manual for B-School Research | The GMAT Club
[…] for us, another skill we have learned to develop is the art of backwards planning. Recall that two posts ago I spoke about the importance of having your end goal and your motivation for going to business […]
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Tuesday Tips: UCLA Anderson Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 20:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UCLA Anderson Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
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UCLA Anderson School of Management is located in a desirable location in Los Angeles with alumni highly represented in the region. While entertainment and real estate are still dominant industries in Los Angeles, technology and entrepreneurship have become more and more important to the region. Anderson’s faulty, alumni and students are thought leaders in business and promoting collaboration and innovation.

We have helped countless applicants achieve their UCLA Anderson dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you.



FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS (REQUIRED ESSAY):


We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

The UCLA Anderson MBA required essay remains unchanged this year. Last year the Admissions Committee provided an excellent guide on the UCLA Anderson admissions blog, which is worth reviewing.

One important note is that “At UCLA Anderson, we are a community defined by three core qualities — we share success, think fearlessly and drive change — so the Admissions Committee is looking for these same qualities in prospective applicants.  While there may be evidence of these qualities throughout your application, this essay question is an excellent opportunity to communicate how you fit into our Anderson community.”

To learn how you fit into Anderson, the school recommends connecting with current students and visiting campus. UCLA suggests citing specific classes, professors and programs in this essay. On your personal engagement with Anderson, it will be helpful to include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the close-knit experience. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

As you evaluate your career goals, consider your career thus far and how you would like to develop it. When you think about any long-term goals you have for your career, why is an MBA the right next step? And why would Anderson be the right place to gain the education and network you need? Your career goals should be examined through the filter of Anderson’s values and how you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life.

When structuring this essay consider telling one or two pivotal stories to illuminate who you are. UCLA is looking for personal expression in this essay, and to understand how you are different from other applicants. Consider the turning points or moments that triggered reflection for you.

Have you experienced a significant personal setback? What is your family background? Have you lived outside your home country? When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? What moments have called upon your need to collaborate, lead or innovate?

For the second part of the essay briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay and each section should bridge seamlessly into the next.

OPTIONAL ESSAY:

The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.

Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

Note that Anderson specifically asks you not to write this essay unless you need it. Do not use it as a place to continue making the case from the required essay. If you do need to use this essay to explain gaps in work experience, a low grade, or lack of a current recommender, focus on explanations rather than excuses.

Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will help to solidify your answer.

RE-APPLICANT ESSAY:

Re-applicants who applied for the MBA program starting in 2016 or 2017 are required to complete the following essay:

Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)


If you are a recent re-applicant to Anderson this essay gives you the opportunity to highlight improvements since your last application. This essay focuses on updates to your career progress and any updates to your career goals since your last application, but you have room to add other “ways in which you have improved your candidacy.” If you have an improved GMAT score, academic updates or extracurricular activities since your last application it would be useful to update the admissions committee.

What if you didn’t start a new job, earn a promotion, or advance in a linear way along your career path since your last application? If your resume remains basically the same, consider any new projects or accomplishments at work you can highlight. Demonstrating significant thought about your career path and increased introspection can also be progress, so updating your career goals thoughtfully is equally important to this application.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 20:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
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Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley is both highly selective and a small class. With a much larger admissions pool than the school can admit, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate fit with the culture and program. This year the essays have significantly changed, but continue to ask for creativity from applicants.

The Haas admissions committee has a series of videos and podcasts posted on the website that are worth reviewing for their key insights and tips.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA each admissions year. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

ESSAY #1

Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life-to-date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. (250 words maximum)

The Haas admissions committee has their own six word stories in each profile, check them out for great examples.

Think of your six-word story as a compelling headline for the memorable experience you will describe. Just as journalists write the headline after the story, it will be easier to start with the elaboration and then encapsulate it in a pithy and captivating six-word story.

Haas has asked creative and open-ended questions for many years, and this is another version of that kind of essay. Brainstorm the most compelling story you can, preferably one that shows your diversity of experience. Ideally your experience also reveals something about you.

For example, we worked with a client who had a dramatic story about surviving a plane crash. The first time we read the draft it was highly exciting, but missed any description of his actions and what it meant to him. We worked on the meaning of the story and ended up with both a compelling and memorable narrative, and a story about leading through uncertainty, as he worked to help his fellow passengers through language barriers and lack of medical training.

Once you have written your own story, think about that six-word headline. You should reveal some of the plot while leaving enough to the imagination to grab your readers interest.

ESSAY #2

Respond to one of the following prompts: (250 words maximum)

• Describe a significant obstacle you have encountered and how it has impacted you.

• Describe how you have cultivated a diverse and inclusive culture.

• Describe a leadership experience and how you made a positive and lasting impact.


The admissions committee is open to either professional or personal experiences in this essay. Think about what you have described in the prior essay and the stories you may use in the next one. What aspects of your background, experiences, and values have yet to be highlighted? This may be the right place to explore those elements.

This essay asks a behavioral question (“Describe” is the operative word) and you will want to briefly explain the situation, then explain in depth how you thought, felt and acted in the situation. If you choose the middle option and describe how you have cultivated a diverse and inclusive culture, make sure you have specific examples of what you did and how you did it.

Perhaps you first recognized that a diverse culture was needed in your workplace or extracurricular activity, then you researched how you could improve the situation, finally you took action and followed through to a result. If you faced challenges and stumbling blocks it will be interesting to read how you overcame them. It will be tough to provide detail in 250 words, so be selective and specific as you tell your story.

ESSAY #3

1. Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goals. (50 words maximum)

2. How have prior experiences motivated and prepared you to pursue these goals? (250 words maximum)


This is a short career goals essay and asks you to describe your immediate goals succinctly and then how your past experiences have led you to those goals. path to business school along with your future goals. You should not focus on reciting your entire resume here – rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career. Think about the experiences you would describe in a cover letter for your post-MBA job application, and tailor your approach accordingly.

Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps.

For example, If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management. Other goals will require specific skills gained from an MBA and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

• Explanation of employment gaps or academic aberrations

• Quantitative abilities

• For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy


Note that there is a specific place to indicate that you won’t have a recommendation from your current supervisor in the supplemental information section, so you do not need to explain that here in the optional essay.

Haas recommends using this space to address any information that was not adequately covered elsewhere, specifically suggesting that any employment gaps or lack of apparent quantitative skills be covered.

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, it is likely unnecessary to further explain your quantitative skills.Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data.

As the question specifically asks you not to focus on the grades on your transcript, use this space to describe projects at work, additional post-graduate coursework, or your plans to strengthen your quant skills before you enroll at Haas.

A short gap between school and a secured job is not necessary to explain, but an unexplained gap of several months between two jobs should be addressed. If your resume has significant employment gaps you should describe what you did between jobs in this space. Ideally you can point to additional education, training, volunteering or traveling that you engaged in while unemployed.

Reapplicants can describe hard improvements to your candidacy such as an improved GMAT score, new grades from quantitative classes, or a promotion. Other improvements might include refined career goals and additional leadership responsibilities at work or within a volunteer activity.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Harvard Debuts New Joint MBA/MS in Engineering Degree [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Debuts New Joint MBA/MS in Engineering Degree
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Harvard Business School and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have announced a new joint master’s degree program this week. Designed to train future leaders of technology ventures, the program will provide a strong foundation in general management, build design skills, and extend students’ understanding of engineering. The two-year, full-time program will confer both a Master of Science in Engineering Sciences and a Master of Business Administration (MS/MBA) and begins in August 2018.

“Finding effective solutions to the most daunting challenges calls for thinking across the boundaries of disciplines,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria in a statement. “The faculty who created this program designed it specifically to bridge the divide between engineering and business for aspiring leaders in the tech sector who want to drive and manage innovation throughout their organizations.”

Prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, computer science or a related technical field and at least two years of full-time work experience. The program will leverage existing HBS and SEAS curricula, as well as several new courses designed and taught jointly by faculty from both schools.

“This is a truly collaborative endeavor between HBS and SEAS,” said Frank Doyle, dean of SEAS and the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “The expansion of SEAS to a state-of-the-art science and engineering complex across the street from HBS presents a compelling opportunity to leverage the resources of our schools. This collaborative program will meet the needs of an increasingly technology-driven world, in which breakthrough solutions to societal problems require deep knowledge of both engineering and business.”

The program spans four semesters, augmented by additional summer and January term coursework. In the first year of the program, students will take a System Engineering course that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing complex systems, as well as the HBS MBA Required Curriculum, which conveys concepts and builds skills across disciplines relevant to general management, including marketing, organizational behavior and finance.

In the second year, students will take electives at each school. The program also features three new design courses that emphasize learning-by-doing and build students’ skills with human-centered design and lean experimentation methods.

As graduate students in SEAS, students will be formally enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and enjoy the benefits of affiliation with this vibrant academic community. Harvard master’s students join a cohort of innovative thinkers who seek to answer fundamental questions, advance new knowledge, and develop creative modes of inquiry in an interdisciplinary environment.

To gain admission to the MS/MBA program, students must:
HOLD an engineering, computer science, or related undergraduate degree, with a record of outstanding academic achievement;

HAVE at least two years of full-time work experience, ideally in designing and/or developing technology-intensive products;

MEET the criteria for admission to both the HBS MBA program and the SEAS MS program.

“We are looking for individuals who want to balance their passion for engineering and innovation with a deep understanding of management and leadership,” said Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at HBS. “The students we are seeking have already distinguished themselves technically; this program will help propel them into leadership roles.”

Candidates for the MS/MBA can apply by submitting an application to the HBS MBA program in either Round 1 (September 6, 2017 application submission deadline) or Round 2 (January 3, 2018 deadline) to matriculate with the first cohort in August 2018. The deadline for “2+2” candidates is April 10, 2018. More details about the program and the application process can be found here.

The inaugural MS/MBA cohort will matriculate in August 2018.

Interested students can receive updates on the program by indicating their interest in the MS/MBA here. If you have questions, please email: msmba@hbs.edu.

Image credit: Michael A. Herzog (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Georgetown McDonough Fall 2018 Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown McDonough Fall 2018 Application Deadlines
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The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: October 10, 2017

Decision released: December 20, 2017

Round 2*
Application due: January 5, 2018

Decision released: March 25, 2018

Round 3
Application due: April 2, 2018

Decision released: May 15, 2018

Round 4
Application due: May 1, 2018

Decision released: June 1, 2018

All applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on the deadline day.

*Round 2 is the priority consideration deadline for all applicants. International students are also encouraged to apply by this round to allow sufficient time to secure a student visa.

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

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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GMAT Test Takers Can Now Choose Subject Order Preference [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAT Test Takers Can Now Choose Subject Order Preference
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Earlier this week, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced that as of July 11, test takers worldwide will have the  flexibility to customize their GMAT experience by choosing the section order in which they feel most comfortable taking the exam.

The GMAT has four sections. Once Select Section Order is implemented, test takers will select their desired section order at the test center on the exam date, immediately prior to the start of the exam. Test takers will be able to choose from three options:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order);
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment; or
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment.
This new option is just the latest in a continuation of the steps GMAC has implemented in recent years to enhance the test takers’ GMAT experience, including:

  • the ability to cancel scores online after leaving the test center and the enhanced score reinstatement policies (March 2016)
  • removing cancelled scores from school score reports; allowing candidates to retake the GMAT exam after a 16-day time period rather than the previous 31-day retake period; and enabling test takers to access their Official Score Report online using their date of birth instead of an authentication code (July 2015)
  • introduction of the GMAT Enhanced Score Report, which provides test takers access to an in-depth analysis of their overall GMAT performance (January 2015)
  • introduction of GMAT Score Preview, enabling test takers to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them (July 2014).
“The idea of being allowed to choose the section order had been commonly requested by test takers,” said Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president of product management. “We conducted a pilot in 2016 to test this feature and received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with 85 percent of participants surveyed expressing that this new feature boosted their confidence prior to even taking the exam. Our pilot findings also concluded that taking the exam in different section orders continues to maintain the quality and integrity of the GMAT scores.”

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Will Your Social Media Profile Support or Derail Your MBA Efforts? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Will Your Social Media Profile Support or Derail Your MBA Efforts?
Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make sure your online presence won’t derail your MBA application efforts.

If an admissions team is leaning toward admitting you to their program, it’s possible that they could do a quick Google search on your name before making their final decision. If you’ve demonstrated bad judgment by posting pictures of yourself doing not-so-upstanding things or making crude or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you’ve given them a reason to move your application to the ding pile.

You may have heard that earlier this month, Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to ten students who had posted offensive memes in a private Facebook group. A few years ago, The New York Times reported on a high school senior who caused a stir at Bowdoin College after posting disparaging tweets about other attendees at the school’s information session. If some undergraduate admissions committees are using teenagers’ social media behavior against them, it’s possible that business schools won’t be any more forgiving with adults who should know better.

It doesn’t end with the admissions committee, either. Let’s say you are invited to interview with a local alum; that person might try to find out as much information about you as possible before your chat. Once you’re at school, potential internship and full-time employers could perform an even more extensive online background check. Your fellow classmates might do some digging, too!

So while you may believe it’s funny and harmless to post that selfie after you’ve tipped back one too many, think again. There’s a chance you could compromise your MBA candidacy because of a fleeting moment of indiscretion. If an admissions committee member comes across something that raises a red flag, they’ll likely move on to the next candidate.

Remember:

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Concerned about your online brand? Work with Stacy Blackman Consulting on your social media strategy.

Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

***Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll receive our expert advice straight in your mailbox before it appears on the blog, plus special offers, promotions, discounts, invitations to events, and more.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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MIT Sloan Announces Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan Announces Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines
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The MIT Sloan School of Management has posted the following application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions cycle.

Round 1
Application due: September 25, 2017

Decision released: December 19, 2017

Round 2
Application due: January 17, 2018

Decision released: April 3, 2018

Round 3
Application due: April 9, 2018

Decision released: May 14, 2018

Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. EST. For more information, please visit the MIT Sloan admissions website.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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MIT Sloan Announces New Video Statement for the Fall 2018 Application [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan Announces New Video Statement for the Fall 2018 Application
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The MIT Sloan School of Management has made some updates to its application requirements for the 2017-18 admissions season. The cover letter as essay is still in play, and Sloan also asks applicants to provide a brief video statement.

Here’s how each component is explained on the MIT Sloan admissions site:

Cover Letter
MIT Sloan seek students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

Video Statement
Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement.

You will need to use an internet-connected computer, with a webcam and microphone.  As part of the application review, the Admission Committee will evaluate your response to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. The simple, open-ended question is designed to help us get to know you better.

[*]Once the video statement question is viewed you will have 60 seconds to prepare, and then 60 seconds to record your answer.  [/*]
[*]You will only have one attempt to record your response.[/*]
[/list]
Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know (200 words or less).

Visit the MIT Sloan admissions website for more information on the technical requirements for the video statement. The application for the MIT Sloan MBA program will go live in mid to late July.

Image credit: Vitor Pamplona (CC BY 2.0)

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Chicago Booth Announces Fall 2018 Essays [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth Announces Fall 2018 Essays
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The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business will once again feature a photo prompt as the required MBA essay question for the 2017-18 admissions season.

View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why.
Presentation/Essay Guidelines:

  • Choose the format that works for you. Want to illustrate your response visually? Submit a slide presentation. Like to express yourself with words? Write a traditional essay. Use the format that you feel best captures your response, the Admissions Committee has no preference.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
Technical Guidelines:

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.
Optional Essay:

Is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Re-applicant Essay:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

For more information about applying to the Chicago Booth School of Business, please visit the admissions website.

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Tuesday Tips: Stanford GSB Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Stanford GSB Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
ImageStanford Graduate School of Business pioneered the open-ended personal essay and has continued that tradition this year. “What matters most to you and why?” is a simple question that can lead you down many paths. There isn’t a specific best kind of story for this essay, rather the best essays tell a story about who you are as a person and leader.

You can use the same application for the Stanford MSx, accelerated Masters of Science in Management degree, which is a 12-month graduate program for experienced professionals. If you have more than 8 years of work experience and would like to gain all of the benefits of a Stanford GSB degree in only one year, the MSx program is an ideal choice. Unlike executive MBA programs the design is full-time and residential.

Whatever program is best for you, Stanford is a business school devoted to innovation and growth. When 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.

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.”


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

Your accomplishments and achievements are part of why you have developed into the person you are today, however it’s far more important to explain your influences, lessons learned and motivations. 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 may seem open-ended, answering the question with 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 what is most important to you in life you need to 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 are also interested in a two-year program 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.

When you discuss how Stanford will help you achieve your ambitions consider that Stanford likes to see applicants who dream big, and have the credibility to achieve their goals. Be bold with your aspirations. 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?

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 part in your essay.

Though you should think big, don’t make the mistake of acting as if you are already perfect with no development needed. Remember that MBA programs want to help promising candidates reach their goals and be a step on an ambitious career trajectory.

Finding the Stanford essays challenging? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for personalized guidance through the application process.

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Tuesday Tips: NYU Stern Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: NYU Stern Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
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As the New York University Stern School of Business website states, “We seek students who best exemplify Stern’s core value: IQ+EQ. Our admissions committee takes care to select those who demonstrate strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society. “ The parameters of IQ and EQ that are important in the evaluation are academic ability, professional achievements and aspirations, and personal characteristics.

While your academics will be evaluated mainly through your GMAT and GPA, the essays are a crucial part of your application strategy to cover professional achievements and aspirations and your personal characteristics.

This year NYU Stern also asks a new recommender question:

• You are required to submit one EQ Endorsement with your application.

• The endorsement must be from someone who knows you personally and/or professionally and can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.

• More detail can be found here and on the NYU admissions website

Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped countless aspiring NYU Stern MBA students to showcase personal and professional stories that cut through the clutter. Contact us to learn more.

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations

(500 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• What are your short and long-term career goals?

• How will the MBA help you achieve them?

While many people seek an MBA degree, NYU wants to invest in those who can use it most effectively. Perhaps you’re seeking an MBA for networking or professional credibility, or maybe you want an MBA to learn specific skills to change careers. Whatever your own personal reasons may be, make sure you can point to specific aspects of the MBA education both generally and specifically at Stern that are necessary to achieve your goals.

Your post MBA goal should be both achievable and demonstrate the need for an MBA. An MBA from NYU Stern will open professional doors for you, and you should demonstrate that you are ready to take advantage of those opportunities. Think about a logical sequence that starts with your past work experience, then your MBA education and ends with your immediate post MBA goal. Ideally your goal pulls from both your current work experience and the skills you will gain in the NYU MBA program.

Essay 2: Program Preferences

NYU Stern offers a portfolio of MBA programs designed to meet the needs of our applicants. Your program preferences are very important as you will be admitted to only one program. You cannot switch your program option after receiving your admissions decision.

A. Primary Program Preference (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate the primary MBA program for which you would like to be considered, as indicated in the Primary Program Selection section of the application.

• Explain why the program you have selected is the best program for you.

B. Alternative Program Preference(s) (250 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

• Please indicate any alternative program(s) for which you would also like to be considered, as indicated in the Alternative Program Selection section of the application and why you would also like to be considered for this/these program(s).

• An alternate program does not need to be selected. If you have no alternate programs you do not need to complete this essay, just indicate “N/A”.

NYU Stern now offers several distinct MBA options. You can choose a traditional full-time two-year MBA, the part-time option of the same program, or specialized one-year programs in tech or fashion & luxury.

The primary focus of this essay is to explain your first and second program preference. If you only want to be considered for one program, you will indicate that here as well (only answer option A). Consider that both the tech and fashion & luxury options are deep dives into the respective industries that are designed to give you access to working professionals, companies and the industry. That could be invaluable if you are set on either industry and know you want to pursue a job or start your own company in the space. If you are unsure about your career steps post-MBA the traditional MBA program allows you some space to explore other career options.

Whichever program choice you make it is important to tie your career goals as described in Essay 1 to your MBA plans. Why do you want to pursue an MBA at all and what do you hope to gain from the program. This essay also offers an opportunity to demonstrate your fit with NYU Stern and describe why NYU Stern is the right place for you to spend the next two years of your life.

Certainly personal experience of the campus through visits or student touch points would be ideal, but even if you are halfway around the world you can illustrate the many ways in which you learned about the NYU Stern experience.

Essay 3: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

Describe yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

• A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).

• Six images that help illustrate who you are.

• A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images that best describe you. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

NYU Stern has evolved the creative essay into one that is more specific, but still allows you the freedom to communicate what you choose to the admissions committee. A favorite American idiom says “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and in this essay you have six pictures to use to communicate with your future classmates and the Stern admissions committee. Think about the story you want to tell with the six images – is it a collage of your life or a progression? How do the pictures work together to tell the story?

While the medium is novel, your content is king in this essay. The best first step is to brainstorm the information you want to convey. Reflect upon your unique personal qualities and what is valued most by your friends and family. How would you want your classmates to see you? What information would you share with a new friend?

Your six images may be all personal, all professional (not recommended!) or aspirational. Perhaps you want to show a journey you have taken, a person who is important to you, or a vision of your future.

Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation, has said that this question evolved to be similar to the kind of post you might share on social media. Images are more and more important in digital communication, and this essay asks you to use images as the primary form (drawings, photos, infographics, or any other images you choose). Though images are the central medium of this essay, what is most important is the message and content to demonstrate who you are to the admissions committee.

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4 Ways to Stay Engaged With B-Schools This Summer [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Ways to Stay Engaged With B-Schools This Summer
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If you’re applying to business school in the fall but still want to enjoy your summer downtime, here are four ways to keep your research and application preparation going until the autumn crunch time.

1. Plan a Campus Visit

The best way to determine whether a school’s culture is a good fit with your needs is to experience the campus firsthand. For many, summer is the perfect moment to visit if taking time off during the rest of the year is difficult.

2. Attend School Events

Most schools host events in cities throughout the world during the summer months. These “meet-and-greets” offer a great opportunity for current students to talk about their MBA programs with prospective students in a casual environment. Check the schools’ websites for sign-up information and availability.

3. Become a Follower/Fan

Classes may not be in session, but university publications and media sites are updated weekly—in some cases, daily—with a wealth of information to keep you current on school happenings, achievements and media attention. And of course, following this blog for breaking b-school news when you need it most.

4. Take Stock and Strategize

Use the pre-crunch time these next few months to analyze your career goals, resume and GPA. Enrolling in a summer class, or taking on a leadership role at work or in your extracurricular activities can provide a real boost to your application. And it never hurts to start studying early for the GMAT.

Do have fun and relax this summer, but remember, it’s also the ideal time to take those steps that will help you later in the year with your MBA applications.

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Cornell Johnson Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cornell Johnson Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions season.

Two Year MBA Program
October Round

Application due: October 5, 2017

Decision released: November 15, 2017

November Round

Application due: November 15, 2017

Decision released: January 10, 2018

January Round

Application due: January 10, 2018

Decision released: March 15, 2018

April Round

Application due: April 5, 2018

Decision released: May 1, 2018

After April 5th, applications will be received and reviewed on a space available basis.

One Year MBA Program
Early Action Round

Application due: September 5, 2017

Decision released: October 10, 2017

October Round

Application due: October 5, 2017

Decision released: November 15, 2017

November Round

Application due: November 15, 2017

Decision released: January 10, 2018

January Round

Application due: January 10, 2018

Decision released: March 15, 2018

Rolling

March 15, 2018*

*After January 10th, applications will be received and reviewed on a space available basis with a final submission deadline of March 15, 2018. International students requiring F-1 visa sponsorship must apply by the January 10th deadline.

Applications should be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

For more information, please visit the Johnson School MBA admissions website.

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Kellogg School Fall 2018 MBA Essays [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg School Fall 2018 MBA Essays
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Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has posted the updated MBA essays for the 2017-18 admissions cycle.

For 2017-2018, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

  • Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value.  Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value.  What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)
  • Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)
Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

  • If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
Video Essay
The Video Essay is one component of the application and provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

  • After submitting an application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through the your application status page. One question will be a “get to know you” icebreaker type of question. The second question will be an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The other questions will be randomly generated questions that will be similar to interview questions.
  • There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.
  • We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.
  • You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.
  • We estimate the video essays will take 20-25 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.  You will need an internet connected computer with a webcam, microphone and an updated version of Adobe Flash in order to complete the video essay.
***

Kellogg offers more insight in this section (see link above) on why the admissions team has a video essay component, what kinds of questions to expect, wardrobe suggestions, as well as answers to many technical questions related to the process.

For more information on applying, please visit the Kellogg School MBA admissions website.

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Kellogg School Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg School Fall 2018 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: September 20, 2017

Decision released: December 13, 2017

Round 2
Application due: January 10, 2018

Decision released: March 28, 2018

Round 3
Application due: April 11, 2018

Decision released: May 16, 2018

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. CT on the application deadline date. All applicants are considered equally; however, the earlier you apply, the greater chance we can accommodate your interview preference. If you’re an international applicant, Kellogg encourages you to apply in Round 1 or 2 to allow time for your visa application.

For additional information on applying, please visit the Kellogg School MBA admissions website.

Image credit:  Mike Willis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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UT McCombs School Posts Fall 2018 Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UT McCombs School Posts Fall 2018 Application Deadlines
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The UT McCombs School of Business has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2017-18 admissions cycle.

Round 1 
Application due: October 10, 2017

Decision released: December 19, 2017

Round 2
Application due: January 9, 2018

Decision released: March 29, 2018

Round 3
Application due: April 3, 2018

Decision released: May 10, 2018

Applicants should note that Round 1 is the priority deadline for scholarships and fellowships at the Texas MBA program. For additional information on applying, please visit the Texas MBA admissions website.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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UT McCombs School Announces Fall 2018 MBA Essays [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UT McCombs School Announces Fall 2018 MBA Essays
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The UT McCombs School of Business has announced the updated MBA essay questionsfor the 2017-18 admissions season.

Essay One
Introduce yourself. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

  • Write an essay (250 words), OR
  • Share a video introduction (one minute)
Essay Two
Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas MBA student, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world. (500 words)

Optional Statement
Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)

***

The application for fall 2018 will open in late summer. For additional information on applying to the Texas MBA program, please visit the McCombs admissions website.

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_________________

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Determining Your Final B-School List [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Determining Your Final B-School List
One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the MBA application process is which schools you’re going to apply to in the first place. We know—duh, right? But seriously, we can’t stress enough how important it is to put significant thought into which programs you’re going to dedicate dozens of hours to over the coming months.

Each year we see excellent candidates who want to prematurely take themselves out of the running for some of the top programs. Make no mistake: it is extremely tough to get into a highly ranked business school. Certain programs have single-digit acceptance rates, and literally thousands of more-than-qualified applicants are turned away each year. But if you don’t even give yourself a chance at admission, you may always wonder, “What if?” Is there anything worse?

That’s why we typically recommend that people ask themselves whether or not getting an MBA is most important to them—or if getting an MBA from a certain school is what really matters most. If you’d truly be at peace with never getting an MBA if you weren’t accepted to School X, then you can move forward by focusing all of your efforts solely on your dream school or schools.

However, if you want an MBA no matter what, then you’d be wise to consider five or six schools, or maybe spread your efforts across Rounds 1 and 2.

We hope you at least give yourself a shot at the programs you’re really interested in, though. Applying to top business schools is something of a self-selecting process: most people who apply are overachievers who would be assets to any class. It’s easy to let that discourage or intimidate an applicant to the point of not even trying. You might think, “What’s the use? There are thousands of other people like me fighting for spots.”

But we’d argue: 1) no, there isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so figure out how to differentiate yourself, and 2) why would you want to make it easier for someone else to get in by taking yourself out of the mix? You deserve a shot just like everyone else.

Think of it this way:

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If you’re struggling to begin the MBA application process, Stacy has some advice for you in her recent “Beginnings are Hard” Bigger Picture column entry.

Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

***Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll receive our expert advice straight in your mailbox before it appears on the blog, plus special offers, promotions, discounts, invitations to events, and more.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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The Bigger Picture: The Truth About Being Busy [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2017, 05:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: The Truth About Being Busy
It’s a well-known fact that being busy is a form of procrastination. Consider the out-of-shape individual who is “too busy” to exercise or cook healthy meals, or the MBA applicant who is too busy to start on application essays. It happens everywhere: you want to clean out your apartment, dive into a new work project, study for your exam, begin your book manuscript or learn a new language, but you are way too busy. However, if you take a close look at what you are busy with, it’s often unnecessary tasks. You are running around dropping off dry cleaning, buying the perfect gifts, making restaurant reservations, walking the dog, visiting a friend or replying to emails. Many of these tasks could be eliminated, outsourced or simplified. But then you’d have to face the more daunting, challenging tasks at hand.

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“Being busy” is a sneakier form of procrastination than aimlessly surfing the web, because it is disguised as productivity. Today I am discussing an even more insidious category of procrastination: when you are “busy” doing things that actually relate to and appear to support the task at hand.

Every year we have several of these clients: they sign up early with big plans to apply to all their target business schools in the first round. They have done a ton of research. They have spreadsheets comparing programs, ROI analyses, outlines for potential essays, lists of activities, pro/con reviews of potential recommenders; they have done their homework and then some! I used to be impressed and almost intimidated by the thoroughness and preparation power of these individuals. Their checklists, to-do lists and timelines were always so beautifully formatted and thoughtfully prepared.

That was before I learned that they are really just expert procrastinators in disguise. No, they aren’t lying around on the couch binge watching The Real Housewives with a bag of Doritos. But they may as well be doing just that. Honestly, most of the work they are doing is not going to help them complete their end goal. Year after year these individuals end up rolling their applications to round 2 and sometimes abandoning the process altogether. After several “strategy” calls we tell them that they need to start writing. But they often want to ponder a new angle, and get it all just right before taking the plunge.

And then there are those clients who just crank it out. The drafts may be sloppy and excessively long, but day after day without fail, they arrive in my inbox. Nothing fancy, lots of typos, but they get the real work done. It’s apparent in their real life too. These are the applicants who balance a demanding full-time job with volunteer work, fun extra-curriculars and a social life. They break through the fear of not getting it perfect and they just forge ahead and do.

So, what should you do if you find that your “busy” life is preventing you from the real things you want to accomplish?

  •  Consider the hard work that needs to be done in order to accomplish your goal.For example:

    Applying to business school: draft essays

    Launching a blog: write that first blog post

    Getting fit: go for a run

    Starting an interior design business: land your first client
  • Consider all of the secondary tasks related to your goal and jot them down in a to-do list.For example:

    Applying to business school: secure recommenders, fill out data forms, schedule school tours and interviews

    Launching a blog: finalize the name, create a logo, secure a url

    Getting fit: buy workout clothes, find an exercise class, search online for healthy food blogs

    Starting an interior design business: create a website, order business cards, find a contract templateItems in this step are fillers. It can be a lot of fun to shop for workout clothes, peruse MBA program websites and create a logo for your blog. Do these things when you need a break, on a Saturday morning or even late at night in front of the TV. Yes, you can complete these tasks, but don’t fool yourself into believing they are mission critical.
  • Do the one task in step 1 before you ever touch the tasks in step 2. The fear in your brain will try to steer you to step 2 tasks. The fear will rationalize that you have to do the prep before diving in. But, it’s not true! You CAN write a blog post before you have a logo. You CAN draft an admissions essay without an outline. You CAN get fit without a beautiful food journal.…and perhaps you SHOULD.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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The Bigger Picture: The Truth About Being Busy   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2017, 05:00

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