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Will Your Social Media Profile Hurt or Help Your MBA Applica [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Will Your Social Media Profile Hurt or Help Your MBA Application?
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 offensive or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you’ve given them a reason to move your application to the ding pile.

Want to find out more about what should stay and what needs to go as you assess your social media profile? Click over to read the rest of my guest post, Social Media and Your MBA Application, published on Peterson’s Newswire.

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What my MBA at Harvard did NOT teach me [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What my MBA at Harvard did NOT teach me
In this special guest post, an Army combat veteran from West Point shares his perspective on two years of learning at Harvard Business School.
My name is Ben Faw, I am a West Point graduate, Class of 2007, a former Infantry Platoon leader, and a graduate of Airborne and Ranger School. Many friends have asked me what I learned at Harvard Business School.

Here is what I did not learn:

The only way to make an impact is to go to Wall Street.

More HBS MBA graduates are heading out to the West Coast, taking positions in product management, marketing, sales, and general management.  In a dramatic shift versus a decade ago, technology jobs are just as sought as roles in finance.  MBA’s are proving that they can make a difference as leaders in many different industries and fields.



Money matters more than people.

Prior to attending business school, I was warned that HBS was filled with people willing to do anything to make inordinate amounts of money and that it is not the place to meet or build true friendships.

Having kept an open mind, I will graduate from Harvard Business School in a few days with many authentic relationships that have already been incredibly rewarding and made me a better version of myself.  These amazing bonds are priceless and define my experience here, helping me learn that people matter far more than money.

Experiences are expendable.

The MBA critic will say that most of what you learn in the class can be obtained more cheaply and more effectively by buying the books, studying on your own, and watching classes online.

In reality, no case study, framework, or amazing guest speaker can match the experience of learning from your peers, both inside and outside of the classroom. You can learn material many ways, but the most meaningful learning opportunities require in-person experiences and shared time together. The full-time in-class HBS MBA experience provides both.

More is better.  

HBS teaches us that we can’t have everything.  From day one, we are inundated with endless mixers, social gatherings, and recruiting events.  We are also exposed to hundreds of classmates who each have an incredible story to tell and would be incredible additions to our network.

However, we can’t pretend to really get to know them all, just like we can’t prepare well for every single interview.  We have to make tough decisions.  We have to invest – fully and deeply – in the few people and things that make us the happiest.  Only then can we make a truly meaningful impact as future business leaders.

Seeking out and receiving feedback is a waste.

No one is perfect, regardless of how impressive their resume.  Everyone can improve if they put effort in and use their friends and peers in the process. After a semester of cases and guest lectures one theme became clear: success post business school depends less on your IQ and more on your ability to work with others. Can you motivate a team and accomplish a common task that is impossible to achieve alone?

I would say no if you cannot accept and give the honest feedback that allows a team to function at an optimal level.  As uncomfortable as it is to give and receive feedback, the MBA class contains people who have a vested interest in your success and want to see you “Be all that you can be”. Seeking out these people and letting them play a direct role in your development creates the potential for amazing growth.

Learning stops when class ends.

While the classroom was incredibly valuable to my development and education (both here and as an undergrad), I found my experience outside the classroom to be equally, if not more, valuable.

Ranging from debates over equity investments, deep conversations on business models, or discussions around how to create a sustainable competitive advantage, outside the classroom learning never stopped. My interactions with professors, peers, and mentors beyond the teaching halls contributed the most to my personal and professional growth.

Try everything.

Focus on your strategy, on your goals, and on what you are uniquely good at and love. The rest is noise. If you are terrible at modeling financials or hate using Excel, learn the basic competency, and then follow your passions. There will be something that makes your eyes sparkle and your face light up. Find out what that is – you have two years to do just that – and then run after it without looking back.

A special thanks to Harvard Business School for providing data on placement locations for recent graduates, and to friends at a local start-up for helping us build out a unique infographic to help tell this story in a creative manner.
To Ajmal Sheikh, Heidi Kim, Julia Yoo, Momchil Filev, and Walter Haas: You have each been wonderful co-authors and co-editors in this writing process and more importantly dear friends, thanks for making an idea become reality. To the Professors, staff, and faculty of Harvard Business School, thanks for making this an experience unlike any other – one chapter ends, the pages turn, and another begins!
 

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Tuesday Tips: 2014 Stanford GSB Essay Tips [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: 2014 Stanford GSB Essay Tips
Stanford Graduate School of Business has followed the lead of the majority of top MBA programs and has reduced the essay count for this year’s application. Stanford is still focused on candid self-evaluation and authenticity, and has just cut out the optional shorter essays. The Stanford GSB MBA admissions website provides clear guidance and advice for what to do, and what not to do, that all applicants should read and follow.

What keeps you awake at night? When you look back at your life what will you admire and regret about your choices? These are the kind of questions to ask yourself as you approach topics for this set of essays. 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.

Total word count for all three essays combined should not exceed 1,100 words, so applicants must be judicious in deciding how much or little to write for each prompt. As a general guideline, Stanford GSB suggests 750 words for essay one and 350 words for essay two. Check your deadlines before you get started to make sure you are maximizing the time on your essays.

Stanford GSB Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why?

This classic 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 may raise themes that you will continue in your career essay.
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, and mine your personal history for ideas.

Though the essay question may seem open-ended, answering the question with vivid and specific examples will provide solid evidence that you have demonstrated or experienced “what matters most” throughout your life. 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.

Essay B: Why Stanford? Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

This year Stanford leads with the most important part: Why Stanford? Be specific in your response. You should know everything about the program and show that it is your dream school. Have you met current students and alumni? Who are the professors you are excited about? What are the unique programs?

This essay question is a somewhat standard career goals theme, but note that Stanford refers to it as a “personal essay.” Stanford GSB wants to know what you specifically need that will be uniquely satisfied by the program at Stanford GSB, and research will help you determine what aspects of the academic program, community and students are crucial to your aspirations.
When you discuss how Stanford will help you achieve your goals consider that Stanford likes to see applicants who dream big, and have the credibility to achieve their goals. So think big about your plans. 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.

Stanford wants candidates for whom an MBA will make an impact on their ambitious trajectory, not candidates who are looking for a prestigious piece of paper. Remember that MBA programs want to help promising candidates reach their goals, not admit perfect people with no need for development.

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Brown University Will Now Offer Joint MBA Degree [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Brown University Will Now Offer Joint MBA Degree

Brown University and internationally top-ranked IE Business School in Spain recently announced that the IE Brown Executive MBA will now be offered as joint degree, conferred by both institutions. This joint degree is the first MBA degree to be awarded by Brown University.

Launched in 2011, the IE Brown EMBA mixes content, pedagogies, faculty, and the complementary strengths of both institutions. Brown and IE students and alumni will benefit from the expanded global reach and impact of this joint degree program.

“The complex nature of today’s business world requires an interdisciplinary perspective,” says Brown University President Christina Paxson. “Through this new joint degree, IE and Brown are each bringing a distinctive set of strengths together to educate international business leaders in a way that will fully prepare them for the ever-changing landscape of the global economy.”

Founded in 1764 and celebrating its 250th anniversary, Brown educates students known for independence, creativity, and a commitment to serve their local, national, and global communities. The executives in the IE Brown EMBA match this profile.

IE Business School, founded in 1973, educates business leaders through innovative programs based on its core values of global focus, entrepreneurial spirit, and humanistic approach. These values are central to the joint IE Brown EMBA program that develops reflective leaders who take entrepreneurial action.

“The IE Brown Executive MBA is a revolutionary program at the intersection of management and humanities, which provides managers with a global, humanistic vision of management focused on value creation, innovation, and sustainability,” says Santiago Iñiguez, dean of IE Business School. “Graduates of the multidisciplinary program are, and will continue to be, change agents capable of great impact in their organizations.”

During the 15-month program, students attend one- to two-week residential sessions at Brown in Providence, Rhode Island, and IE in Madrid, Spain, as well as a global experience in Cape Town, South Africa.

The blend of residential and online learning allows them to continue working while earning the joint degree, facilitates peer-to-peer learning, and fosters the development of a professional network that is a lifelong resource.

Members of the Class of 2016, who start the program in March 2015, will be the first to earn this degree jointly.

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UCLA Anderson 2014-2015 Application Deadlines [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UCLA Anderson 2014-2015 Application Deadlines
The UCLA Anderson School of Management has announced the deadlines for the upcoming MBA admissions cycle. The three deadlines are:

Round 1
Deadline: October 22, 2014
Notification: January 28, 2015

Round 2
Deadline: January 7, 2015
Notification: April 2, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: April 15, 2015
Notification: June 3, 2015

Completed applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. PST on the day of the deadline to be considered in a particular round.  UCLA Anderson notes that earlier admits enjoy greater availability of fellowships, housing and networking events, so you should apply as soon as your candidacy looks strong.

For more information, visit UCLA Anderson’s admissions website.

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Michigan Ross 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced the MBA essay questions for the 2014-2015 admissions season via a post by Admissions Director Soojin Kwon on the Ross Admissions Blog.

Class of 2017 Essay Questions
For the coming year, there will be two required essays instead of three, and 800 words instead of 950. Here are the two essay questions (400 words each):

• What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience?

• What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today?

Kwon notes the goal with these questions is to give the admissions committee a sense of who you are, how you think about yourself and how you process your experiences.

Another change in this year’s application: Michigan Ross will require just one letter of recommendation, ideally from a current direct or immediate past supervisor.

Here are the recommender questions:
• How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

• Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicants. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

The application will go live by July 15th, Kwon says.

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Michigan Ross 2014-2015 Application Deadlines [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross 2014-2015 Application Deadlines
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has posted the MBA application deadlines for the upcoming admissions season. The three rounds are:

Round 1
Deadline: October 6, 2014
Decision: December 19, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 5, 2015
Decision: March 13, 2015

Round 3

Deadline: March 23, 2015
Decision: May 15, 2015

All applications are due by 11:59 EST on the day of  the deadline in order to be considered within that round. Michigan Ross also encourages international students apply in Round 1 or Round 2 because of visa requirements and to ensure consideration for scholarships.

For more information, please visit the Michigan Ross admissions website.

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Will a Low GPA Doom Your MBA Application? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Will a Low GPA Doom Your MBA Application?
Are you an applicant worried that your ho-hum undergrad performance will hamper your chances of getting into a top MBA program? If so, fear no more. I recently contributed my thoughts on this type of candidate profile for an article on Business Insider.

The most important thing is to show exceptional focus and leadership skills in your career, and to openly acknowledge to the admissions committee the reason or reasons for your lackluster college GPA.

You can read more tips on compensating for a low GPA in the article, How to Get Accepted to Business School with a Rock Star Career But Crappy Undergrad.

You may also be interested in:

Don’t Ignore a Low GPA in B-School Applications

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Stanford’s New Joint Electrical Engineering MS/MBA Degree Pr [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford’s New Joint Electrical Engineering MS/MBA Degree Program

Earlier this week, Stanford University announced the launch of a new joint Stanford Electrical Engineering MS/MBA degree program, which will be available to graduate students in the 2015-2016 academic year.

The joint program structure will allow students to complete the two degrees in three years, instead of the usual four years needed to complete each one separately.

Interested students must separately apply to and be accepted by both the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA program and the School of Engineering’s Electrical Engineering MS program. Students may apply for admission starting this fall and must also take the GRE exam to be eligible for admission.

“The joint focus recognizes that the students we educate need and want an integrated understanding of engineering, strategy and execution as they drive future innovations that increasingly involve both technology and business,” says Madhav Rajan, Senior Associate Dean and faculty director of the MBA Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Completion of the joint program requires a combined total of 129 units, including 84 units at Stanford GSB and 45 units in the Electrical Engineering department. Students who complete the joint program will earn two degrees: an MS in Electrical Engineering and the MBA.

Admission to the Masters in Electrical Engineering requires a strong undergraduate background in engineering or quantitative subjects such as physics or mathematics. Applicants to the MBA Program are assessed on intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities.

“The Electrical Engineering MS/MBA program represents the growing emphasis on multidisciplinary learning at Stanford,” says Olav Solgaard, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the School of Engineering. “This program builds on the culture of entrepreneurship and creativity in the schools of Business and Engineering at Stanford and will better equip our students to take new technologies from basic research to commercial products.”

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UT McCombs Application Deadlines, Essay Questions [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UT McCombs Application Deadlines, Essay Questions


The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business has announced the application deadlines and essay prompts for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season.

Round 1
Deadline: October 14, 2014
Notification: December 18, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: January 6, 2015
Notification: March 26, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: March 24, 2015
Notification: May 21, 2015

2014-2015 Application Essay Topics
1. Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2017. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

2. In the Texas MBA program, we promote a diverse and collaborative community by providing opportunities for growth in an academically rigorous environment. Please discuss why McCombs is the right program for you, what you hope to gain from your time in the Texas MBA Program both personally and professionally, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experiences. (500 words)

Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (200 words)

For example, if your standardized test scores are not exactly what you would like them to be or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (i.e. calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting, or finance), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum.

Discuss any unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or any significant weaknesses in your application or extenuating personal circumstances that you think may impact your candidacy.

For more information, please visit the UT McCombs admissions website.

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INSEAD Deadlines for January, September Intakes [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: INSEAD Deadlines for January, September Intakes
INSEAD has posted the application deadlines for its September 2015 and January 2016 intakes.

September 2015 Intake
Round 1
Deadline: September 24, 2014
Notification: November 28, 2014

Round 2
Deadline: November 12, 2014
Notification: January 23, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: January 14, 2015
Notification: March 20, 2015

Round 4
Deadline: March 4, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

January 2016 Intake
Round 1
Deadline: March 4, 2015
Notification: May 13, 2015

Round 2
Deadline: April 22, 2015
Notification: July 3, 2015

Round 3
Deadline: June 17, 2015
Notification: August 28, 2015

Round 4
Deadline: August 5, 2015
Notification: October 9, 2015

Competition for each round is equal regardless of the intake or round you apply for, INSEAD notes. This season, the program has added a fourth round of admissions to better manage the influx of incoming applications and to provide additional flexibility to applicants.

To be included in a specific round, applications must be complete and submitted by 23:59pm Central European Time on the day of the deadline.

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USC Marshall Receives $15M Gift for International Business P [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: USC Marshall Receives $15M Gift for International Business Programs

The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California announced today it has received a $15 million gift from USC trustee Thomas J. Barrack Jr. and his family that will significantly advance the school’s global mission.

The Barrack family’s gift will make possible extensive renovations of Bridge Hall, which was built in 1928 and has the special distinction of serving as the Marshall School’s first building.

While the structure will retain its Italian Romanesque exterior, the interior will be completely reimagined, signifying the beginning of a new era for the facility. The renovated and renamed Barrack Hall will serve as a state-of-the-art home for all of USC Marshall’s international business programs.

The Marshall School currently operates 15 international programs for undergraduate and graduate students, which include the innovative World Bachelor in Business degree program. Bringing these diverse initiatives together in one location will foster dynamic collaborations and inspire novel approaches and perspectives in teaching and research.

The building will be reconfigured with offices, classrooms, research centers and gathering areas that will encourage dialogue among students, faculty and guest lecturers. It will feature cutting-edge tools and digital technology, which will support distance learning and global communication.

“Education and the development of a cultural sixth sense are the keys to commerce, and commerce is the key to tolerance and understanding. As an alumnus, I feel privileged to supply stewardship for the bricks, while Marshall, its dean, administration and faculty supply the intellectual mortar,” says Barrack, the founder, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC, one of the world’s largest private equity real estate firms.

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Barrack grew up working in his parents’ grocery store in Los Angeles. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from USC in 1969, he later attended the USC Gould School of Law and earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1972.

“I am thrilled to be part of this exciting venture at Marshall and hope that the resources provided by the enhanced facility will help nurture the next generations of international business leaders,” Barrack says.

This gift provides a significant boost for Marshall’s $400 million fundraising initiative, which has already raised more than $200 million. Marshall’s fundraising drive is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university’s mission of academic excellence and to support research and scholarship that will address society’s most pressing challenges. Three years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $3 billion—an unprecedented achievement in higher education.

“A building stands as an enduring marker of the passion, generosity and vision of the person whose name it carries,” USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis says. “Barrack Hall is a fitting tribute to Tom, who has left an indelible impression on this university and on the global business community. We could not be prouder or more grateful for his support.”

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Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Pennsylvania Wharton Essay [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Pennsylvania Wharton Essay Tips
This year Wharton has streamlined the essay questions even further and asks only one required question for new applicants to the program. If you are a reapplicant there is an additional required question. The Wharton optional question is entirely open ended. This is a good opportunity to explain anything that may be unclear from your transcripts, recommendations, or resume. It could also be a place to discuss anything interesting about your personal background that you did not cover in the required question.

Required Question: What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

The career goals essay is a standard MBA prompt. Wharton has traditionally kept the career goals question focused entirely on professional goals, but this year expands this essay question to also include your personal goals for the MBA. This is certainly about fit with Wharton and to gauge more about your personality and potential success in the program.

Be careful to answer the specific question in this career goals essay. Notice that you are not asked about your professional background or your key accomplishments. To answer the question asked, you will want to focus mainly on the future and what you are planning to pursue with your MBA degree. At the same time, there is certainly room to add color by using your background information where it is most relevant to your goals. Think about the key moments of your professional life that crystallized your goals for you, and focus on illuminating those decision points rather than reciting your entire resume.

Wharton has asked a specific question about the Wharton culture in the last several years. Just because this question is missing does not mean you will get away without doing your research! Understanding exactly how you fit in will help you describe what Wharton will do for you, as well as navigate interviews and other interactions with the Wharton admissions committee. Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay such as Wharton faculty you would like to study with or unique educational opportunities at Wharton.

When you address your personal goals for the MBA make sure you are making the case for Wharton specifically. Consider what living in Philadelphia might be like, the many clubs and student activities, and leadership development opportunities like traveling to Antarctica with your classmates that may address some of your personal life goals.

Reapplicant Essay: All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete the Optional Essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). You may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

All reapplicants are required to provide information that supports your renewed candidacy. The most successful version of the reapplicant essay will provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes as especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

A rejection or waitlist last year is a form of feedback, and may have led to soul searching for you. When you describe your changes make sure reflect your ability to take feedback and improve. Describe how you approached the reapplication process after assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and making the appropriate efforts to improve.

Optional Essay: Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

If you think that your application materials and the required essay are enough to provide a complete picture of your candidacy you may want to forgo this essay. There is no need to submit additional material just to submit something – consider whether the admissions committee will appreciate the information or think you are wasting their time.

If you do choose to answer this question note that the essay can be used for any topic that you would like. If there is something about your personal background you did not cover in the required essay and it is relevant and useful for your application, this is the place to cover it. Perhaps you didn’t have room in the required essay to describe an important accomplishment or to tell a story about your life that is relevant to your pursuit of an MBA. Anything that you think will be an asset to your application is fair game as a topic for this essay.

This is also a potential place to address any areas of concern in your application. If you have a low GPA or GMAT, gaps in your resume, disciplinary action in undergrad or anything else that you want to explain, this is where you would provide a brief explanation and any supporting evidence to show you have moved past the setback.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has over a decade of experience assisting candidates to achieve their Wharton MBA dreams. We offer customized advice, including specific preparation for the Wharton group interview, to give you a competitive edge. Contact usto learn more.

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MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Essay Questions
MIT Sloan School of Management has posted the essay questions for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. The second essay is a stylistic departure from previous years and should produce some really interesting results.

The two required and one optional essay are:

Essay 1
The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and generate ideas that advance management practice.  Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities.   (500 words or fewer, limited to one page)

Essay 2
Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself.  Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words or fewer)

• How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
• How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
• Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.
• Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
• Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?
• Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

Optional Essay
The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

For more information, please visit MIT Sloan’s admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

MIT Sloan 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

MIT Sloan Launches Alumni-Student Mentoring Program

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Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt


Once again, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business asks just one essay question of applicants during the 2014-2015 MBA admissions cycle.

Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience?
(500 words maximum)

While the 2014-15 Darden MBA application is not yet live, the school encourages applicants to get a head start on writing the essay. Stay tuned for application deadlines and other admissions news, which we’ll share here as it becomes available.

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UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Essays [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Essays
The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley has announced the essay questionsthat are part of the fall 2015 MBA application.

The three required essays are:
  • Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400-500 word maximum)
  • What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200-300 word maximum)
  • What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c.
    a. How is your background compelling to this company?
    b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?
    c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company?
    (500-600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)
Optional Essays:

  • Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)
  • If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)
 

The fall 2015 application will be available in August. For more information, please visit the UC Berkeley Haas admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

UC Berkeley Haas 2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines

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Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Applying to business school, especially to the most elite MBA programs, is a highly stressful undertaking. You must dedicate an enormous amount of time to studying for the GMAT or GRE, go through numerous essay drafts to ensure you have presented your unique story in an engaging way and skillfully manage your recommenders in order to lock in rousing endorsements of your candidacy.

Successfully balancing all of these components is challenging and will often shake the confidence of even the strongest MBA candidates. I’d like to share some of the tips and strategies that I suggest to clients when they find themselves running out of steam during the application process.

Fear is the primary reason applicants lose the energy to continue. Self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination and generally feeling overwhelmed by this process are often the roadblocks to success.

If they knew without a doubt that they were going to get in to the b-school of their dreams, they would just run with it and get their applications done. But applicants become paralyzed by uncertainty and the fear that they aren’t doing it right. The goal then is to move through the fear and get focused.

The most important tip is to set a goal to do something every single day. When considered all together, the MBA application is daunting. But if you can break the process down into small, manageable tasks and focus on achieving them, it becomes much easier.

There’s a secret to productivity widely attributed to Jerry Seinfeld, one of my favorite comedians. The advice goes something like this:

1. Buy a big wall calendar and a magic marker.
2. Each day that you accomplish your task – such as writing jokes – put an X over the day.
3. After a few days you create a chain of X’s, and you will be inspired to keep the chain alive.
4. Don’t break the chain!

Slow and steady is a much better way to go, so make a goal to get your work done in some form every day. This consistency goes a long way toward reducing the anxiety that procrastination causes.

You may still have days of marathon essay-writing sessions, and that’s OK. But if you’re coming off a huge project at work, or find yourself working late a few days in a row, don’t fall into the temptation of rewarding yourself with a night off.

Instead, force yourself to do something productive for your application, even if it’s as simple as spending a half-hour before bed brainstorming, outlining or revising your resume. That steady pace is what’s going to help you be most effective in keeping up that momentum.

Applying to too many schools is another common cause of anxiety for b-school hopefuls. There are diminishing returns in terms of quality of applications, and you can run out of steam. Four to six schools is about right.

I also advise applicants to minimize their time on business school forums and websites, where they often run into an information overload and panicked or misinformed people who tend to feed on each other’s nervousness.

It may be tempting to check out these groups on a regular basis, but in the end time spent in this way is basically another form of procrastination and does very little to increase your knowledge of the school you hope to get into. Just keep your head down and keep the focus on making your application the best it can be.

When you do become burned out working on one application component, don’t throw up your hands and reach for the TV remote or head over to Facebook. If your energy flags when working on MBA essays, take a day to work on data forms or prepare your recommenders. The key is to switch to other tasks until you get your mojo back. Don’t let fatigue cause you to lose steam!

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