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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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HEC Paris Fall 2018 MBA Essays [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris Fall 2018 MBA Essays
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Applications for the HEC Paris MBA September 2018 intake are now open, and the following are the required essay questions found within the application.

Essay 1. Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective? (500 words max.)

Essay 2. What do you consider your most significant life achievement? (250 words max.)

Essay 3. Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words max.)

Essay 4. Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words max.)

Essay 5. Please choose from one of the following essays, 250 words max.:

a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?

b) Certain books, movies or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyse it.

c) What figure do you most admire and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc)

Essay 6. Optional: Is there any additional information you would like to share with us? (900 words max.)

***

For additional information on applying, please visit the HEC Paris 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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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HEC Paris Deadlines for September 2018 Intake [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris Deadlines for September 2018 Intake
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The following are the MBA application deadlines for the HEC Paris September 2018 intake.

Round 1
Application due: August 15, 2017

Decision released: September 14, 2017

Round 2
Application due: September 15, 2017

Decision released: October 12, 2017

Round 3
Application due: October 15, 2017

Decision released: November 16, 2017

Round 4
Application due: November 15, 2017

Decision released: December 14, 2017

Round 5
Application due: January 1, 2018

Decision released: February 8, 2017

Round 6
Application due: February 1, 2018

Decision released: March 8, 2018

Round 7
Application due: March 1, 2018

Decision released: April 5, 2018

Round 8
Application due: April 1, 2018

Decision released: May 3, 2018

Round 9
Application due: May 1, 2018

Decision released: June 7, 2018

Round 10
Application due: June 1, 2018

Decision released: July 5, 2018

Round 11
Application due: July 1, 2018

Decision released: July 26, 2018

Application deadlines are subject to change, and decision date may be affected by interviewer availability. For more information on applying, please visit the HEC Paris 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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Be Concise in Your MBA Essays [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Be Concise in Your MBA Essays
Have you heard of the STAR interview technique? It’s when an interviewer asks you a behavioral question (which usually begins, “Tell me about a time when you…”) and you respond by laying out the Situation, the Task you were given, the Action you took, and then the Result you achieved. It’s an excellent method for MBA hopefuls to leverage in adcom or alumni interviews.

But the STAR technique shouldn’t be thought of as only an interview-response strategy. We’ve found that it’s also a helpful way to organize essays, short-answer responses and even resume bullet points.

For example, let’s take an essay that asks you to describe your greatest professional achievement—in only 300 words. The STAR method helps you pare down all of the information you could possibly include. You’ll want to set up the Situation for your reader as succinctly and clearly as possible. Leave out industry jargon, acronyms, and “inside baseball” details that the adcom is unlikely to care about. Remember, they want to learn about what YOU did—not the intricate complexities of your company or client’s issue.

Next, pinpoint exactly what Task you were responsible for. Sure, business schools are looking for team players, but if they’ve asked you to describe your most impressive accomplishment, they want to understand precisely what your marching orders were.

The Action section is where you should expand a bit more. This is your chance to shine by explaining exactly what you did, and ideally showing how you went above and beyond in your role. Then you can wrap up by revealing what Results you achieved. Keep in mind that both qualitative and quantitative outcomes are important to include if possible.

After you’ve got your S, T, A and R information covered in your essay, take a read through it again to ensure the emphasis is on the Actions you took and the the Results you achieved. We know it’s hard to condense what may sometimes be a years-long project into only a few sentences at the beginning, but it’s better to keep the focus on why YOU will be a welcome addition to any MBA program.

Your final task is to ensure that you’re within the word count limit and that you’ve told the story of your achievement in a compelling, memorable way.

Remember:

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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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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Tuesday Tips: Kelley School of Business at Indiana University 2018 Ess [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Kelley School of Business at Indiana University 2018 Essay Tips
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Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is a top-tier business school with an innovative program. From the moment you decide to attend Kelley you will be focusing on your career and leadership development. Before you start classes, you will be part of an orientation program called Me Inc.

You’ll receive personalized coaching, leadership training, and real-world industry projects within the first year of your MBA. This will help you focus on the right career and jobs for your internship and full-time job search.

Kelley’s program is unique and close-knit, so your fit with the program and your desire to participate fully will be important to the admissions committee. Kelly has an academically strong class of students, a large number are from outside the United States, and the class is diverse.

REQUIRED ESSAYS

Essay One: Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

Entering Kelley with a crystallized career vision and an idea of how you will accomplish your goals will help you take full advantage of the program. Kelley’s curriculum is tailored to help you reach your career goals. For example, students can specialize almost immediately by choosing one of the first-year Academies in your industry area of focus. Think about these opportunities at Kelley when you answer this career goals question, and specifically how you see yourself using the tools available.

The second half of this question deals with your flexibility around your career goal and your ability to handle change. The business world changes constantly and your ability to recognize opportunity, even outside your anticipated career goals, will be crucial to success. Think about the core elements that are important to you in forming your career goals.

Perhaps you are passionate about a specific industry, but you could imagine pursing either a strategy role or a finance role in that industry. Or perhaps you love marketing and are more flexible about the industry where you practice your craft. Showing that you can capitalize on change and opportunity while staying true to your core values and interests will position you well in this set of essays.



Essay Two: Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

• My greatest memory is…

• I’m most afraid of…

• My greatest challenge has been…

• I’m most proud of…


This essay seeks to understand your core personal motivations. Beyond career, what have been formative moments in your life? The story you choose to tell in this essay will be revealing to the admissions committee and will show your personality and values.

Think about the moments in your life when you have changed or matured. Was there an experience that led you to learn more about yourself? Perhaps you interacted with someone who challenged you, or inspired you. Or you may have traveled outside your comfort zone, either literally outside your home country, or in a transition like leaving home for college.

Option b, “I’m most afraid of…” is the one prompt that does not specifically call on a past experience. However, it’s likely that your fear has its roots in a formative moment in your life.

Once you have a story to tell, make sure you are explaining why this moment is important to you. You can either narrate your thoughts, reactions and opinions as you retell the story, or take time at the end of the essay to reflect upon what you learned and why it was important to you.

Essay Three: Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you (25 words)

The admissions committee has read your career goals, read about a pivotal experience and likely has reviewed your resume and application fact sheet. What you describe here is something that didn’t come up in any of those demographic or background data sheets in your application. It’s also something short and easy to explain in 25 words.

Perhaps you were a competitive swimmer in high school, but didn’t pursue it in college. Or your grandmother was from Sweden and taught you traditional cooking techniques that no one else in your life knows. Maybe you are heavily involved in a hobby that has impacted your life.

If you are struggling to come up with an interesting or surprising fact, this is a great question to poll friends and family about. You will want to use something that is unique about you, and that most other applicants would not be able to say.

Your friends and family likely know the elements of your background and personality that go far deeper than your resume or application fact sheet and would know what is unique about you.



OPTIONAL ESSAY


Is there anything else you think we should know as we evaluation your application? If you believe your essays and credentials represent you fairly, you shouldn’t fell obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

Kelley’s optional question is open-ended, allowing you to add almost any story or additional background data you would like. Before you take full advantage of the extra space, make sure you are truly adding to your application. If you have done the work on a comprehensive resume, excellent recommendations and finely honed essays you likely don’t need this space.

If there is anything to explain in your application, definitely use this space to do so. That may be a poor grade in a quantitative course in college, academic probation, or the lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor. Whatever you need to discuss, make sure you are focused on explanations rather than excuses, and you provide solid, recent evidence that you have done better since the event.

Struggling with the Kelley MBA application? Stacy Blackman Consulting can help. Contact us to learn 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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Tuesday Tips: London Business School Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: London Business School Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
ImageLondon Business School is a close-knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. London Business School has student social clubs covering everything from board games to wine and spirits. The experience of living and studying in London is a formative part of LBS, and visiting the city and campus would be an excellent way to understand the benefits of the program.

If you can’t visit LBS before you apply, make sure you reach out to one of the many Student Ambassadors available to share their experiences and tell you more about the school. To learn more about the culture at London Business School, you can read the LBS admissions blog where admissions staff and students (and many who are both) share their thoughts about the school and programs.

This application is streamlined, with only two essay questions. In order to showcase all of your career accomplishments, extracurriculars and personal attributes you will likely need to maximize other parts of the application, like your resume and recommendations. Talk to your recommenders about the experiences in your background you might want to highlight through their letters, and use your resume to describe key moments at work.

REQUIRED ESSAY

What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)

Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you truly want in your career. To take your research into your post-LBS options deeper it could be helpful to talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to identify various career paths. Make sure that your career goals are both realistic and aspirational. Think about the short term roles post-MBA that may lead to your most ambitious longer term goals.

Your past experiences have certainly informed your post-MBA plans, and touching on those most relevant will be helpful to setting the background for your current pursuit of an MBA. To make this essay more than a rehash of your resume, think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Why did you pursue your past experience and what has been the impetus behind subsequent career choices? At this point, why are you choosing LBS?

As you speak with current LBS students and visit campus or other events, learn as much as you can about the programs, professors, and classes that may help you achieve your goals. What do you think you will learn at LBS and in your time in London that will lead to achievement of your career goals? The network you create during your MBA will open doors for you, and preparing for this essay can help you to make the most of the experience.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)

In describing the LBS vision, continued business impact, the school describes the culture: “We challenge how things are done and we teach our students to constantly question and innovate. We believe in providing our students with the most diverse, world-class and rewarding business education in the world.” This open-ended question is a great opportunity to touch on a personal story and add color to your story to demonstrate how you will be part of this culture. This could be the ideal place to describe a unique background, experience or attribute that did not fit elsewhere in the application.

Diversity can be about where you are from, the culture you identify with, the people you grew up with, or your approach to life. If diversity of experience or attitude doesn’t resonate for you, consider when you have approached a challenge and innovated. When have you taken a new view or challenged conventional wisdom? Global perspective is invaluable as well. Think about stories that could illustrate how you have demonstrated any of these qualities that are valued by LBS.

Challenged by the LBS essay questions? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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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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People Love SBC on Yelp! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: People Love SBC on Yelp!
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This arrived in the mail last week and I’m so thrilled to share it with you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our busy clients who took the time to share their experiences with SBC on Yelp! so that others might benefit as well.

Check us out for yourselves, and see if this is the year you make all of your MBA dreams come true with a little help from SBC!

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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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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What MBA Applicants Can Learn From Fidget Spinners [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What MBA Applicants Can Learn From Fidget Spinners
Image
If you’ve spent any time lately with members of the elementary or middle school set, you’re likely aware of fidget spinners, the wildly popular palm-sized toy comprised of three propellers and a middle bearing that you spin between your fingers and thumbs.

There’s not much more to it, unless you’re one of the advanced users who posts videos of your fidget spinner tricks on YouTube. (In which case, you’re probably a little young for business school at the moment, but a budding entrepreneur for sure.)

Like most trends, this one has a few takeaways that may be useful for MBA applicants to keep in mind.

Keep It Simple

In a marketplace offering personal drones and VR headsets, the humble fidget spinner became the toy of 2017. This makes the case for simplicity, which also has a place in your MBA application. So often, I see essays and resumes that attempt to dress up accomplishments and end up sounding convoluted and unconvincing.

A straightforward approach is superior. Clearly state where you’ve been, where you want to go, and how the program you’re applying to will help you get there. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, though at the same time…

Click on over to Wharton Magazine to read the rest of my article, where you’ll discover four other things MBA applicants can learn from the recent explosion of fidget spinners in the marketplace.

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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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London Business School Launches ‘World’s Most Flexible MBA’ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: London Business School Launches ‘World’s Most Flexible MBA’
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The London Business School MBA class entering this August will have a transformational experience as the school introduces major updates to its full-time program.

According to an announcement made by LBS earlier this year, the new MBA will include flexible exit points at 15, 18 and 21 months, as well as the option for students to tailor their learning alongside core modules of the program. Students will now have a choice of summer work experience – paid internship, consulting placement or Entrepreneur Summer School – and a choice of more than 70 electives in year two.

The program has also added new locations to the Global Business Experiences (GBEs), including Lima and Tel Aviv. The GBE program gives students the opportunity to apply their academic learning in a real-life, global business environment.

Alongside the expansion of the global menu, students will have the opportunity to complete an extended group project in a key London sector. Business sectors will include: entertainment and leisure; technology, media and telecom; hospitality and tourism; healthcare, pharma and biotech; fashion, design and luxury; financial services; and the third sector.

The school’s new MBA format will also offer:

  • Tailored modules such as Digital Business and Entrepreneurship, where students can choose courses to fulfill credits alongside mandatory modules, allowing for more customized study
  • Option to shorten the length of International Exchange Programme
  • Choice of more than 70 electives in year two including new elective Interpersonal Dynamics
  • Additional languages including Italian and Japanese, in addition to the existing provision of French, Mandarin, German, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish.
As Gareth Howells, Executive Director, MBA & MIF, Degree Education at LBS, noted, “Diversity is at the heart of what we do at London Business School. That’s why we’ve designed our MBA to be the world’s most flexible and accommodating programme, allowing students to tailor their experience to individual interests and career paths.”

For more information on applying, please visit the London Business School 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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Seeing Your MBA Application Through AdCom’s Eyes [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Seeing Your MBA Application Through AdCom’s Eyes
When you’re hard at work on your MBA applications, it’s easy to get caught up in what sounds great to you, or what seems impressive to your friends, co-workers or parents. But what you really need to be doing is considering your materials from the admissions committee’s point of view.

Granted, it can be tough to form a truly objective opinion of your own candidacy. For example, some candidates think that if they have a high undergraduate GPA, aced the GMAT and have been successful in their career so far, their admission is all but guaranteed to the top programs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The majority of candidates who apply to the leading business schools are bright, personable overachievers who would be an asset to any program. Adcoms see literally thousands of deserving profiles come across their desks each year. That’s why you need to think beyond your obvious achievements and differentiate yourself through your essays and interviews by picking stories and experiences that are memorable and unique. This becomes even more critical if you’re in an industry that typically makes up a bigger portion of the applicant pool, such as investment banking or consulting.

Having said all of that, if you’re so down about your shot at getting into a certain school that you’re considering not even applying there in the first place, take heart. While the process is extremely competitive, you shouldn’t count yourself out before the game even begins. Chances are your humility is a trait the adcom would appreciate.

Focus on highlighting what you can share with your classmates that would be valuable to them — experience or knowledge that others can learn and benefit from. Look at your application from the viewpoint of the people who are charged with putting together a diverse group of outgoing students. How will you enlighten your classmates over the next two years?

Here’s one way to think about it:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Image
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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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The Bigger Picture: It’s Always Worth an Ask [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: It’s Always Worth an Ask
I have a friend who consistently lands in the cushiest situations. Ever since I have known her, she would wiggle her way out of a final exam so that she could work on a more interesting project. She could negotiate dreamlike work conditions: lots of excuses to travel, super flexible work from home schedules, seemingly unlimited vacation. She never had a traditional set up; she always had a better arrangement, something that was perfect for her. I don’t mean to imply that this friend is a slacker. Not at all. She’s actually brilliant and hard-working and passionate. She will always get the job done.

Many years ago, we were working on a school project together, and we needed special accommodations to reach our desired end result. I balked: I would never, ever, in a million years have thought that we could actually secure the special treatment. But my friend shrugged her shoulders and whipped off an email to the professor, stating, “It’s always worth an ask!”

“It’s always worth an ask.” Simple, right?

As someone who is a rule follower, who tends to stay within the lines, those words stuck with me. Ever since then, when I think of something I want, and it’s not exactly the prescribed route, I reach out and ask. It’s harder for me than it is for my friend. It’s harder because sometimes I feel embarrassed or almost ashamed if the answer is no. Why is that? Why do we feel ashamed when we are turned down for asking for what we want?

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I was reminded of this a few weeks ago, when my family was at a campsite making s’mores. My kids were using bent branches to roast the marshmallows, but the family at the next campsite had official metal rods. My youngest daughter was dying to use one of their rods but was too embarrassed to ask. I asked her why and she replied, “What if they say no?” My older daughter, fed up with the whole conversation went over and asked. She came back a moment later with five rods, lighter fluid and extra Hershey’s bars.  She turned to her younger sister and said, “They could have said no, but what if they say yes?”

When we ask, we somehow feel vulnerable and a “no” can feel like a personal rejection. But it’s not. It’s just a no. If we don’t ask, we end up with a no. If we do ask, we might feel a bit embarrassed, but there is a very good chance that we will end up with exactly what we want or even something better: s’more sticks plus lighter fluid and chocolate!

Do you want to scholarship dollars at your MBA program? Do you want a raise? Do you want the chef to prepare a special meal for you? Do you want your favorite masseuse to contribute to a fundraiser? Do you need to stay in your apartment two weeks longer than planned? Next time you hit a wall, consider whether there is a way around. It might be as simple as an ask.

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Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
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The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California program offers a southern California location and strong local reputation, a variety of programs and the resources of a large and prestigious university.

While USC’s value statement: “Transformational Courage, Collaborative Ambition, Impactful Service, and Unwavering Integrity” is specific to the MBA program, Marshall adds: “We are the Trojan Family.” The larger University at USC is an important part of the program, and taking advantage of networking with the strong Trojan family will be a crucial part of your experience at Marshall. USC also values its position in Los Angeles, where there is a growing start-up community, biotech companies, entertainment, aerospace, and a global port to Asia, along with “292 days of sunshine a year.”

ESSAY #1

What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)

With only 100 words to use here, stay brief and focused. What is your plan when you graduate from USC? Because you can add no context to your career plans, make sure your resume and other application materials support this next step. If you are career switching it will help to highlight any transferable skills in your resume or ask your recommenders to comment on your future plans and how you will use your MBA to reach your goals.

If your next job is a logical step from your prior experience to your MBA, it’s still important to be specific about the job you plan to pursue to add as much detail to your application as possible.

ESSAY #2

Please respond to ONLY ONE of the following essay topics. (word limit: 500)

1. Please describe the contributions you expect to make to your classmates outside of the classroom during your time at USC.

2. You have been asked to design a course to be taught at the Marshall School of Business. Please provide a title and description for the course.

3. What has been the most interesting day or moment in your life and why?

4. You have been hired by the Marshall MBA Admissions Committee to create an essay question for next year’s application. Please state the question and answer it.


This USC MBA essay is an opportunity to choose the statement that fits best with your overall application strategy. You will have the opportunity to highlight your extracurricular skills, academic acumen, insight into the Marshall community, or a personal moment.

Almost all of these essay questions also require significant research into the Marshall MBA program. With the exception of option 3, it will be important to know as much as possible about the academics at USC Marshall (option 1) and the student culture (options 2 and 4).

If you are someone who has a standard career background and competition that may be similar, you might consider using option 1 or option 3 to describe anything something interesting or diverse in your background. Perhaps you have an unusual hobby, have made an impact on the community in a special way, or have an interesting family heritage.

Option 1 might also be a great way to highlight your leadership skills. If you are someone who works as an individual contributor, or in a technical role, this is a great opportunity for you to tell a story that demonstrates that you lead in other informal ways. Think about how you may lead a group of peers, or lead in a community setting.

ESSAY #3 (OPTIONAL)

Please provide any additional information that will enhance our understanding of your candidacy for the program. (word limit: 250)

This essay is fairly open-ended and might provide an opportunity to add additional information or to discuss a gap in your application. If you have a low GPA, grade below a C in a quantitative subject, an employment gap or any other issue in your background, this is the place to explain. Focus on clearly explaining what happened, and what you have done to improve or address the issue.

Need help with your USC Marshall essays and application strategy? Contact us to learn more about what SBC can do for you.

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Tips for Applying to Business School as a Couple [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips for Applying to Business School as a Couple
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This post originally appeared on Stacy’s ‘Strictly Business’ MBA blog on U.S. News
For some professional couples, there comes a time when both partners realize that pursuing an MBA degree is the key to exploring new career paths and accessing an array of high-quality professional opportunities. However, the MBA admissions process is challenging enough for one person, and couples face additional considerations as they figure out their priorities and application strategy.

Finding an MBA program that meets your needs when it comes to learning style, environment, size and so forth, must mesh with your partner’s preferences as well – and this is one of the hardest parts of applying jointly to business school. To avoid any unwelcome compromises or resentments that might damage your relationship, you’ll need to make a list of target programs where you both will be thrilled to study.

Here are tips to help you and your partner successfully navigate the application process and chart your course for career growth as a couple.

• School selection: No two candidates – even couples – are alike when it comes to test scores, leadership experiences, professional background or extracurricular interests. Before applying to b-school, make sure each application is competitive and can stand on its own merit at the schools you plan to target, because the strength of one candidate won’t compensate for an unqualified partner.

In addition to applying to the same set of schools, couples can expand their range of options by focusing on cities or regions where both would thrive. Think in terms of applying to schools in the same area.

For example, you might apply to the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, the Columbia University Business School in New York City or the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in nearby Philadelphia, or Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business or the University of California—Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in the Bay Area.

Other options include Harvard Business School or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in the Boston area, or Chicago’s Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management or the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

A smart strategy for couples open to this option is applying to identical schools in Round 1 and then expanding to nearby schools in Round 2 as a backup plan.

Campus visits are also essential for couples, so take the time to get a good feel for each school and connect with current married or partnered students who can provide invaluable insight into their own application experiences and give you a better sense of how accepting the school is of joint applicants.

• Timing your applications: It perhaps goes without saying, but you should both apply in the same round, which makes the decision much easier when you know whether you both got in.

Also, if possible, apply in the first round to leave some wiggle room, if needed. The MBA application process can become all-consuming, and with two people balancing full-time jobs with test prep and essay writing, you might find that one of you is struggling and needs extra time to pull together the best possible application.

A different approach for couples who know the region or city they ultimately want to work in is to stagger your MBA enrollment. One person continues to work while the other goes to business school and then enrolls in an MBA program once the partner has graduated.

• Advising the admissions team: The admissions committee is made up of compassionate human beings, not mere number crunchers. If both applicants are qualified to attend and are a good fit with the program, the admissions committee will usually try to keep couples together.

Some schools explicitly ask in the application if you’re applying jointly with a partner, but even if they don’t, it’s important to share that information with the admissions committee, especially if rejection of one applicant means the partner wouldn’t attend if accepted. Both you and your partner should use the supplemental essay to explain that you’re part of a package deal.

Also, make the admissions team aware of your joint application intentions as early as possible. When attending events on the road or on campus, touch base with representatives to explain your situation and show them why you and your partner would make a great fit for their program.

When it comes to making admissions decisions, your relationship status will likely come into play when the admissions committee is hesitant about just one of you. If the school feels that one candidate is outstanding and knows that he or she will only attend if the partner is also admitted, chances are that both will receive admissions offers.

An MBA is an emotionally intense and enriching experience, and one of the best things about attending business school as a couple is witnessing each other’s growth in this unique environment and taking pride in each other’s accomplishments.

From the support you can give each other during the application process to coming home at the end of each day during the degree process to share and debate your respective classroom experiences, going to business school with your partner may turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made for both your career and personal life.

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Georgetown MBA Students Pledge Summer Pay to Social Impact Internship  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown MBA Students Pledge Summer Pay to Social Impact Internship Fund
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This spring, the Net Impact chapter at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business launched a fundraising campaign for the Social Impact Internship Fund (SIIF) to encourage first-year MBA students to donate 0.5 percent of their summer internship pay to benefit fellow students who pursue internships in the social impact field.

By the end of the 2016-17 academic year, 152 first-year MBA students — 55 percent of the Full-time MBA class — had taken the pledge to become a SIIF sponsor.

Run by the Net Impact club, SIIF provides stipends to McDonough students with non-paying or low-paying social impact internships. Since the fund was created nearly 10 years ago, it has offered more than $300,000 in scholarships and stipends to MBA students interning with organizations such as USAID, OPIC, and Kiva. Money raised this year will benefit students taking internships in summer 2018.

By awarding stipends, SIIF allows students to pursue the career paths of their choosing and reduces the financial burden associated with unpaid or low paying internships. SIIF also aims to help realize Georgetown McDonough’s mission of educating principled leaders who serve business and society as well as its Jesuit values such as women and men for others.

Stipends are awarded based on the merit of the internship organization and project, benefit to the student’s career goals, and financial need, among other criteria. Last summer, for example, SIIF recipient Adrienne Rettinger (MBA’17) worked at Alpha Mundi Impact Investing, where she developed a strategic plan for the firm’s board that led to the establishment of the AlphaMundi Foundation.

In addition to the amount raised from MBA students this summer, the club is recruiting support from MBA alumni and the broader Georgetown community to further strengthen the fund and make the school more competitive with other top MBA programs that offer larger stipends for these types of internships.

You can learn more about the Social Impact Internship Fund at the McDonough School of Business by visiting the Georgetown Net Impact Club website.

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How Your Social Media Profile Can Support Your MBA Candidacy [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Your Social Media Profile Can Support Your MBA Candidacy
We’re going to tell you something you probably already know: if you’re applying to an MBA program this year, be careful about what you post online. It’s possible that business school adcom members could do a quick search on your name before admitting you to their program, and you don’t want something written in haste to derail your chances of getting in.

But being active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms isn’t a complete no-no. In fact, savvy candidates could actually use these venues to boost their credibility and solidify the good impressions made through their application materials.

For example, let’s say that you’re hoping to switch careers after business school, and in one of your essays you share your intention to work for a company that develops clean-energy options in third-world countries. You could tweet links to articles or books you’re reading on the subject, you could post about a local conference you attended, or you could give your take on the most promising advancements in the field.

Or maybe your career to date has led you to become somewhat of an expert on microfinance. Reinforce that reputation through your online presence. Let people know when you were quoted in an article or asked to be on a panel.

Are you a marketing guru? It would be easy to weigh in on—or share—what some of the biggest brands are doing on social media.

The key is to keep things professional and on point. It’s absolutely fine to let your personality shine through, too—just as it should in your essays.

And you’re already following the programs you’re applying to, right? Doing so could be a great way to get some insight about a school that you could work into your essays.

Remember, if you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

Think of it this way:

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Need help building a positive social media presence? Stacy Blackman Consulting offers a dedicated social media strategy service.

Are you signed up yet? Stacy Blackman Consulting and GMAC® are teaming up on July 28 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss and answer questions about the MBA admissions process. Register here (it’s free!).

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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Tuesday Tips: Georgetown McDonough Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Georgetown McDonough Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips
ImageGeorgetown McDonough School of Business’s location in Washington D.C. puts the school at the center of public policy and international business. The program requires all students to be part of the Global Business Experience, an international consulting project. Georgetown also has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and new entrepreneurship initiative.

Along with the academic and career benefits of the school, Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious and diverse.

Essay One: Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: “Describe a defining moment when you were challenged and exceeded expectations.” The moment can be a professional or personal one. If personal, then please also include how it had an impact on your professional development.

Rather than a generic career goals essay, Georgetown would like to know how you have developed as a professional and the moments that were defining. Read about current students defining moments on the Georgetown McDonough admissions blog.

We all have pivotal moments in our careers, and often they were painful as they were occurring. Perhaps you were asked to take on a project in a subject area you knew nothing about. Or you managed an employee who was more experienced than you. You might have joined a team that did not welcome your contributions. How did you take those professional challenges and turn them around to success? What tools did you use or develop to do so? Make sure you reflect a bit on your own development and what you learned in the process.

Video Essay: Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort in a one minute video. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. You may paste the link to your Youtube or Vimeo video in your application. Please note that we cannot accept private or password protected videos. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

Georgetown’s video essay guide specifically asks you to appear in the one-minute video and to address situations outside your resume. However, you will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). While you have been asked to show yourself in the video, you may add other elements aside from your talking head, including interviews with family and friends, photos or graphics and music.

Like all interactive MBA admissions essays, the content is the most important aspect of this exercise. The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your dreams, background and personality. Think about personal stories that would not come through in your resume, recommendations or your written essays. Perhaps you have a family story to tell, a hobby you are passionate about or a significant extracurricular responsibility.

This is also the ideal place to demonstrate your fit with Georgetown. Can you take your hobbies to school and share with your classmates? Will your background add to the diversity of the class? Or can you open doors for your classmates professionally? Always think about your own contributions to Georgetown.

If you can demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera and add other elements to the video it should be compelling to the admissions committee.

Optional Essay One: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

This essay is specifically for those who are not employed full-time when submitting this application. This is not meant for any past gaps in employment, low grades, GMAT issues or any other element to your profile.

If you are not currently employed full-time you can explain what you are spending your time on here. Ideally you are volunteering, engaging in an entrepreneurial activity, or another professional pursuit. If you are taking time to help care for a family member or children, that’s legitimate too. Whatever the situation, make sure you are able to talk about how you plan to transition back to school and full-time employment post-MBA.

Optional Essay Two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

This is an entirely open-ended optional essay. Most optional essays ask for an explanation for a gap in employment, the lack of a current supervisor recommendation, or academic issues. If you do want to address any of those elements to your application this is the ideal place.

If you do not have anything to explain about your overall application you may want to use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience at work or in your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have an amazing leadership experience you want to discuss. Or a learning experience that was not covered in essay one.

There is no obligation to use the space, however, so do not write an essay just to add more for the admissions committee to read. If you do use this space to elaborate on your application profile, do not recycle essays from other schools that ask specific and recognizable questions.

Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

Many candidates can write about a specific improvement since your last application like a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. Georgetown is also interested in the less tangible improvements like a revised career goal, personal growth or increase in maturity. Make sure you are able to make the case that you are now ready for a Georgetown MBA and that any new development has only strengthened your resolve.

Need assistance with your Georgetown MBA application? Stacy Blackman consulting can help. Contact us to learn 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

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Defining Career Goals for the MBA Application [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Defining Career Goals for the MBA Application
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If you’re applying to business school, you know it’s time to get serious about defining your career goals.  For most applicants, career exploration is the impetus for considering an MBA, and the majority of programs will spend time evaluating your career goals for realism and passion.

I have no idea what I want to do.
Many applicants want to go for an MBA, but no clue what specific career will be interesting afterwards.  While an MBA program will expand your horizons and open doors you never considered, having a clearly formulated goal is integral to success.  Therefore, it’s worth taking the time now to do a bit of soul searching.  Think about…

  • Extracurriculars you have been involved with over time – Is there a theme?  Do you have a passion for sports or music that you would like to incorporate into a career?
  • Best moments in your job – What has been most exciting in your current career?  Are you excited about every consumer products company you have consulted for in your management consulting job?  Do you enjoy discussing the quarterly results with the finance team?  What functions seem most appealing to you?
  • Personal goals – Are you interested in work/life balance?  Helping others? Being a leader within an industry or company?
Passion for your career choice will show as you tell your story through essays, discussions with recommenders, and interviews, and it’s worth articulating your own dreams to yourself in advance.

Is my career goal realistic?
Along with passion, realism is an important aspect of your MBA career goals.  Consider the application process from the school’s perspective:  MBA programs want to launch productive graduates who are successful in their careers and will contribute to the community.  When evaluating career goals, ask yourself:

  • Is this an industry that typically hires MBAs?  Certain industries are clear feeders for MBA programs, while other industries may require more research. Many MBA programs have a list of typical companies that recruit at the school, and it’s worth investigating the industries that seem to value an MBA.
  • Does my career goal require an MBA?  Even within non-traditional industries, an MBA may be valuable in certain functions.  While a film director may not benefit from an MBA, the finance director at the studio may require formal business training.
  • Is the level I am seeking in my short-term goal realistic?  Investigate the typical post-MBA title for your chosen industry and function to make sure you understand the typical career path.  If you have significantly more work experience than your classmates you may be qualified for a step up, however, typically companies recruit for standard new-MBA positions.
Once you’ve decided what your career goals actually are, know that you’ve made a great first step in your application journey.  The next step is spending some serious time reflecting on how you can tie your career goals clearly with your background and accomplishments thus far to create a cohesive story that will intrigue the admissions committee and–fingers crossed–trigger an coveted interview invitation. Good luck!

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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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How to Crush Your First Year of B-School [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Crush Your First Year of B-School
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Throughout the business school application process, MBA candidates spend ample time filling out applications, writing essays and even honing interview skills to successfully gain admittance to their institution of choice. But it is equally important to prepare for the first year of coursework, which will have a long-reaching impact on your job prospects.

Whether you’re just starting to complete applications or you are about to embark on your first days as an MBA student, here are five ways to successfully prepare for your first year of business school.

• Attend all orientations and meet-and-greets: [/b]I can’t overemphasize the importance of choosing a school that instantly gives you a sense of community. [/b]One of the best ways to make the program feel like a perfect fit is to attend as many social mixers and orientation events that are planned for incoming students.

Welcome Weekend and other preterm social events are prime opportunities to begin connecting with your future cohorts. If you’ve participated in the MBA forums or followed other MBA applicants’ blogs, then you may already have a head start on building relationships with your class.

By spending time on campus weeks before the semester begins, you’ll also have time to familiarize yourself with the many resources available to students. This will give you an additional comfort level and allow you to adapt more quickly and focus your attention on other exciting opportunities that come your way.

If you live halfway around the world and aren’t able to come to campus early, find out if your program hosts a Facebook group for your class so you can start connecting with fellow students. If it doesn’t, offer to help set one up.

In the highly competitive MBA world, it’s common for first semester students to go through periods of self doubt. But in reality, the introvert has a natural advantage in making allies at b-schools. Extroverts who need to be heard will naturally seek out good, thoughtful listeners.

When introverts think about building their friendships and network during b-school, they should take the long view. While extroverts may make the strongest first impressions on their classmates, it’s the introverts who often make meaningful and lasting connections with less effort. Besides, many of the introvert’s skills – among them team building and problem-solving – are key to successful businesses.

Maintain and build upon your existing network: The process of connecting with your new cohorts is the first step in building your existing network. But don’t forget to tend to your existing network once you’re admitted, though.

If you’ve stayed in touch with your favorite college professor or know anyone in your network who has gone to business school, this is the ideal time to reconnect and inform them of your own MBA plans. Ask for their advice on how to maximize your business school experience, and let them know your professional goals and the companies you’re interested in. You never know when a mutual connection can give you a leg up in recruiting.

• Prepare for recruiting season:[/b] The summer before business school is a great time to make a list of interesting companies that recruit at your campus. Research contacts at your target companies to see if you can arrange an informational interview.

If you revised your resume as part of your MBA application, now it’s time to go back and make sure the professional version of your resume is up-to-date. Take a look at your social media accounts, including your LinkedIn profile, to ensure each represents your passions and abilities in a professional way.

Once you have your shortlist in hand, set up a Google alert with each company name so that you’ll automatically receive news updates that will provide great material for your interviews with recruiters.

Try not to get too attached to one company, though. Competition is fierce, and recruiters will interview dozens of equally bright and qualified students for just a few available spots.

• Brush up on quantitative skills: [/b]A fair number of soon-to-be first-year students lack some basic quantitative skills. Many top MBA programs offer math camps for accepted students during the summer as a refresher of critical concepts.

Review the course syllabus online and purchase textbooks in advance, if you can. If you have any weak spots in this area, sign up for the math camp early so that you’re ready to hit the ground running once classes starts.

A growing number of students – even those with a finance background – have realized that these additional learning opportunities provide valuable time to network and bond with their future classmates before the rush of classes and recruiting hit in the fall.

• Ramp up your reading habits: First-year business school students read hundreds of pages a week to prepare for class discussions. If you haven’t had time to read anything longer than a Wall Street Journal article in the past couple years, now is the time to ease back into the practice to minimize fatigue.

If you don’t like to read, that’s all the more reason to start exercising those latent muscles now. An added bonus of extra reading is that you’ll likely become a much more interesting MBA student and potential summer hire to recruiters as a result.

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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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Making the Most of MBA Fairs [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2017, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Making the Most of MBA Fairs
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For many who are just embarking on their B-school journey, attending an MBA fair like The MBA Tour or the QS Top MBA World Tour  is a stellar way to meet admissions representatives from several programs and impress them with your thoughtfulness and preparation…in other words, stand out from the crowd.

If you want to successfully navigate this invaluable MBA networking opportunity, make sure you follow these simple rules of fair etiquette:

1. Don’t ask questions that can be found in FAQs

2. Come with a resume if you have one handy

3. Don’t ask whether the GMAT is absolutely necessary at the first meeting

4. Don’t wear sandals–first impressions count

5. Don’t be a brochure–nabber

6. Try and attend the panel discussion and seminars

7. Ask whether you can meet alumni

8. Do your homework

9. Trust your instincts

10. Have fun

Lack of preparation is the kiss of death at MBA fairs. A small amount of time researching a school can ensure that representatives are intrigued with applicants, rather than bored by questions that can easily be found on an institution’s website. Naturally, this means that coming up with queries that are fresh and original will be vital in making sure that you stand out amid a sea of would-be applicants.

Our first bit of advice is to ask any questions that you actually and honestly have. Keep in mind, however, that not all representatives will know every last detail about their school—but they may be able to connect you with someone who does.

Another option is to really listen during any presentations that are given, take notes, and then ask a related question to show that you were engaged. Or dig deep into the program’s website beforehand and jot down a few questions based on what you found there.

Also, try to narrow your choices down to a few business schools before attending. This allows you to focus your research and prevents you from wasting your time talking to schools that you may later find out cost too much, don’t offer your preferred electives, or expect a higher GMAT score than you can deliver.

Remember, from the adcomm’s perspective, the most memorable candidates they meet are those who have obviously done their research on what their specific program has to offer, and why it is the best fit for your career needs.

 

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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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Check In Now with Your MBA Recommenders [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2017, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Check In Now with Your MBA Recommenders
As the majority of Round 1 deadlines are next month, you should plan to reach out to your recommenders soon to ensure they are pacing themselves and won’t be crunched for time once end-of-summer craziness hits.

These contacts are doing you a huge favor, and it would be a shame if they had to take time away from their families and friends over the remaining weeks before their kids go back to school (or over Labor Day weekend, for those in the United States) because you hadn’t gently reminded them about their upcoming responsibility. While b-school applications might be consuming your life right now, they’re probably not top-of-mind for your recommenders.

When you do your check-in, there’s a chance your recommenders may ask you to review what they’ve written so far. Or they may just want to verbally confirm that they’re covering the right points in their letters.

This is your opportunity to remind them that the most critical thing they can do is include examples to back up any claims they’ve made about your strengths or personality traits.

Many recommenders—especially those who aren’t familiar with the MBA application process—think that if they simply sing your praises and repeat how great you are in various different ways, that will be enough. Others assume their alumni status or their impressive titles will carry enough weight to make up for a generic letter. Unfortunately, they won’t. The best way for your recommenders to help you stand out from thousands of other highly qualified applicants is by painting a clear picture of who you are both professionally and personally.

Sharing details of how you contributed to projects or giving specific examples of how you interact with others or went above and beyond (including funny anecdotes or quips that give insight into your personality)—these are the things that make for a great recommendation letter.

Having said all that, if your recommenders don’t intend to share what they’ve written, don’t worry! Chances are you asked them to do this very important task because you know they’re competent people who will try their best to set you apart from the pack. But if they do ask for any advice as the deadlines near, just be sure to drive home the importance of going heavy on the examples.

And when your recommenders’ letters are in, don’t forget to do something nice to thank them!

Think of it this way:

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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: Celebrate Everything [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2017, 05:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: Celebrate Everything
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are likely aware that yesterday was the long awaited total solar eclipse. Some lucky individuals got to experience a 100% aligning of the moon and sun, along with a big drop in light and temperature. For those of us who only got a partial eclipse (62% where I live) it was far less dramatic. In fact, many people in LA pretty much ignored it. Of course, everyone was talking about it…but for several of my friends and relatives, pilates class and business meetings trumped standing outside with flimsy paper glasses trying to get a look at a sliver of the sun. And that makes sense! Most of them explained that they’d catch it later on YouTube.

My family, in contrast, made a clumsy shoebox viewer and bought several pairs of glasses so that we could experience whatever it was that there was to experience.

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Why did we watch the eclipse? It’s not because we are so fascinated by astronomy or because we associate it with dark mysticism or ominous prophecies.

We watched because it was a moment in time.  This eclipse was visible from just about everywhere in the contiguous United States and was the first to cross from coast to coast in 99 years! Many of us pause each and every day to lament the craziness of our world, to note and condemn what is happening around us, from pollution to hatred to violence.

But can we pause from ordinary human activity just to celebrate?

Whether or not you looked at this eclipse, I encourage you to think about ways to celebrate life. If you have decided to apply to business school, take a moment to celebrate the big decision to invest in yourself, to take a step to learn, grow and advance. Celebrate when you wrap up the applications and submit. If you leave a doctor’s appointment with a clean bill of health, don’t take it for granted; celebrate it. Celebrating these things slows down time and increases our gratitude and our ability to live in and experience the now.

I have a friend whose business grew surprisingly quickly in its first year. She immediately set goals to double and triple that growth rate. Big goals are great but she never celebrated her accomplishments. Instead, she ignored the rewards and just pushed to go higher, belittling herself when she failed. When she finally sold the company, she felt a sense of regret over not enjoying the smaller triumphs and milestones along the way.

Did you know that September 6 is “Fight Procrastination Day?” You can dedicate the day to tearing through your to do list and getting it all done! And then you can celebrate all of your accomplishments on September 12 with “Chocolate Milkshake Day.”

I encourage you to find more reasons to celebrate. Wake up each day and celebrate life, friends, overcoming challenges, doing something hard, successes and failures alike…and on September 12, milkshakes. Definitely celebrate chocolate milkshakes.

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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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

The Bigger Picture: Celebrate Everything   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2017, 05:00

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