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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Choosing Between Multiple MBA Admissions Offers [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Choosing Between Multiple MBA Admissions Offers

Today’s post addresses the fortunate MBA applicants facing not just two, but three or more offers of admission from their target schools. While the adage is “There’s never too much of a good thing,” the reality is that a bounty of b-school acceptances can produce a lot of anxiety in many candidates.

“How do I decide, and what if I make the wrong choice?” they wonder. If you find yourself with this enviable problem, consider the following when weighing multiple admissions offers. Forget about rankings and reputation and think long and hard about the other particulars of each school, such as size, academics or location.

Does your desire to live in an urban setting outweigh a preference for a smaller class size? Is there a financial incentive that puts one school in the lead? Is the diversity of the student body important? Is the academic focus on case studies, or more experiential?

You might not have had a strong preference before, but you should tally up the different characteristics to see which way the wind really blows.

If you haven’t already visited the campus as part of your application process, now’s the time to do so. Sit in on a class, chat with students and professors, hang out on campus and generally soak up the atmosphere. This is where you’ll be spending the next two years of your life, so making sure the program is a good fit for you academically and socially is imperative.

Even if you have already toured the school, consider visiting again to attend events designed for admitted students so you can scope out your potential classmates. These people will become a part of your future network, and test driving your comfort level with them prior to committing makes sense.

MBA candidates should make sure that the school graduates people who work in your target industry, possess your ideal job within that industry, and are willing to share their wisdom and advice with current students.

The decision of where to pursue an MBA is a weighty one, so do your homework and understand the strengths and potential drawbacks of each of your options.

Whether you end up choosing a place that feels like home, or want to go to a school that takes you past your safe place a bit to help you stretch your boundaries and perspectives, it may provide some peace of mind to know that in these cases, there’s rarely a “wrong” choice to be made.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Choosing Among Multiple MBA Admissions Offers [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Choosing Among Multiple MBA Admissions Offers

Today’s post addresses the fortunate MBA applicants facing not just two, but three or more offers of admission from their target schools. While the adage is “There’s never too much of a good thing,” the reality is that a bounty of b-school acceptances can produce a lot of anxiety in many candidates.

“How do I decide, and what if I make the wrong choice?” they wonder. If you find yourself with this enviable problem, consider the following when weighing multiple admissions offers. Forget about rankings and reputation and think long and hard about the other particulars of each school, such as size, academics or location.

Does your desire to live in an urban setting outweigh a preference for a smaller class size? Is there a financial incentive that puts one school in the lead? Is the diversity of the student body important? Is the academic focus on case studies, or more experiential?

You might not have had a strong preference before, but you should tally up the different characteristics to see which way the wind really blows.

If you haven’t already visited the campus as part of your application process, now’s the time to do so. Sit in on a class, chat with students and professors, hang out on campus and generally soak up the atmosphere. This is where you’ll be spending the next two years of your life, so making sure the program is a good fit for you academically and socially is imperative.

Even if you have already toured the school, consider visiting again to attend events designed for admitted students so you can scope out your potential classmates. These people will become a part of your future network, and test driving your comfort level with them prior to committing makes sense.

MBA candidates should make sure that the school graduates people who work in your target industry, possess your ideal job within that industry, and are willing to share their wisdom and advice with current students.

The decision of where to pursue an MBA is a weighty one, so do your homework and understand the strengths and potential drawbacks of each of your options.

Whether you end up choosing a place that feels like home, or want to go to a school that takes you past your safe place a bit to help you stretch your boundaries and perspectives, it may provide some peace of mind to know that in these cases, there’s rarely a “wrong” choice to be made.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Apps Opening Soon for Peek Weekend at Harvard Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Apps Opening Soon for Peek Weekend at Harvard Business School

Peek Weekend, Harvard Business School’s initiative to spark interest in graduate management education among college students who may not have previously considered a career in business, will start taking applications on February 1.

During the three-day event, participants develop a broader understanding of the challenges leaders face, the many dimensions inherent in the business world, and the impact participants can have on their community and the world through organizational leadership.

“As a Peek Weekend participant, you are given the opportunity to visualize whether or not the MBA program aligns with your personal goals,” writes Veronica Chua in the HBS MBA Voices blog.  “Not only was it an eye-opening educational experience, exceeding even my highest expectations, but it filled me with a profound sense of purpose,” she explains.

Peek, which began in 2015 focusing on candidates from women’s colleges, has since expanded to include male applicants, and preference is given to students with no prior academic or professional exposure (including internships) to business or business-related fields.

“Before we applied to Peek Weekend in Spring 2017, we never imagined ourselves going to business school, let alone Harvard Business School,” write Sam Unsworth and Jaideep Wasu—two students from the United Kingdom who penned the piece,10 Reasons Why HBS Peek Weekend was Worth the Trip Across the Pond.

“Attending HBS Peek Weekend has motivated us both to apply to HBS for an MBA in the future. Having experienced a small taste of what life at HBS is like has left a lasting impression on us both,” they conclude.

PEEK will cost $200 per participant, and the program plans to host these rising sophomores, juniors and seniors June 8-10, 2018. Participants will have accommodations on campus, take part in assigned case studies, and meet with faculty, current students, and alumni.

Click here for more information about Peek Weekend, as well as links to sign up for upcoming Peek Weekend webinars.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Upcoming Video Interview? Add Lots of Practice to Your “To Do” List [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Upcoming Video Interview? Add Lots of Practice to Your “To Do” List

If you have an upcoming video interview for schools including INSEAD, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross or Wharton, PRACTICE is essential to success. This awkward format requires you to think on your feet and record your answer to a question (or questions) while speaking into your computer screen. It’s a new format for many and one that requires some rehearsal in order to become comfortable conversing with a computer screen.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has an online video platform that grants you unlimited practice doing exactly this. You can answer from a wide menu of questions, record yourself, watch and assess, tweak and try again. Invest 30 minutes a night and reap the benefits of increased comfort level and more articulate answers when you have your live interview. You can even choose an interview to submit to the SBC team for review and professional written feedback.

Set yourself up for success with this small investment and rock your video interviews! Purchase your package here today.

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Stanford GSB Tops FT’s 2018 Global MBA Rankings [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Tops FT’s 2018 Global MBA Rankings

The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.

According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.

Top Ten Global MBA Rankings for 2018
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • Wharton School
  • London Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes,  “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”

The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.

Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.

These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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See Stacy’s Exclusive Relish Careers Interview on MBA Admissions [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: See Stacy’s Exclusive Relish Careers Interview on MBA Admissions
For MBA applicants and admitted students headed to graduate business school next fall, don’t miss our very own Stacy Blackman’s recent interview from the Relish Careers webinar series.

In it, you’ll find out how best to build a target list, optimize your applications, select the best-fit school after admissions decisions, and prepare yourself for two intense years of business school.



Questions covered by Stacy in this video interview include:
  • For people still researching schools and applying, how can they be sure that their target list contains the right set of schools?
  • What are some of the important criteria to consider that might get overlooked by some applicants when thinking about where to apply?
  • What can applicants do to improve their prospects and prepare themselves while waiting on admissions decisions?
  • How should applicants decide between schools to which they’ve been accepted?
  • How should students balance factors like ranking versus cost?
  • What are some best practices for candidates on wait lists?
  • Any advice for students who were offered admission at one or more schools but wait listed at a more desirable program?
  • Once an applicant has decided on a school, what can they do to prepare themselves during the months leading up to the start of their first year?
  • What other advice do you have for incoming MBAs to make the most of their business school experience?
There’s a ton of useful information here no matter what stage you’re in of the application process, so please check out the video as well as the Relish Careers website for even more information to guide you on your b-school journey and beyond.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview

As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.

  • Go into it with confidence.
  • Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
  • Cover your weaknesses.
  • Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
  • Study the school in depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
  • Practice.
  • Dress the part.
  • Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
  • Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
  • Stay cool.
  • Know what questions to ask.
Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview

As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.

  • Go into it with confidence.
  • Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
  • Cover your weaknesses.
  • Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
  • Study the school in depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
  • Practice.
  • Dress the part.
  • Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
  • Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
  • Stay cool.
  • Know what questions to ask.
Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview

As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.

  • Go into it with confidence.
  • Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
  • Cover your weaknesses.
  • Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
  • Study the school in depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
  • Practice.
  • Dress the part.
  • Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
  • Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
  • Stay cool.
  • Know what questions to ask.
Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview

As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.

  • Go into it with confidence.
  • Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
  • Cover your weaknesses.
  • Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
  • Study the school in depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
  • Practice.
  • Dress the part.
  • Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
  • Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
  • Stay cool.
  • Know what questions to ask.
Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview

As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.

  • Go into it with confidence.
  • Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.
  • Cover your weaknesses.
  • Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.
  • Study the school in depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.
  • Practice.
  • Dress the part.
  • Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.
  • Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.
  • Stay cool.
  • Know what questions to ask.
Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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3 Things You May Not Know About Online MBAs [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Things You May Not Know About Online MBAs


A version of this post originally appeared on Stacy’s ‘Strictly Business’ MBA blog on U.S. News
Online MBA programs continue to expand in the graduate management education marketplace, with 47% of online MBA programs reporting application growth in 2017, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s Application Trends Survey Report (pg 14). But some stereotypes persist regarding the kind of experience you’ll receive compared to a traditional MBA format.

Many wonder how good the professors online will be, if the instruction really rivals that of students learning on campus, and whether such programs offer the types of scholarships or financial assistance found at full-time MBA programs.

The good news for online MBA applicants, particularly women, whose interest in this format option has outpaced men in recent years, is that several programs continue to deliver an ever more competitive educational experience. Let’s take a look at three important considerations for prospective students, and see how online programs are performing of late.

They Offer Top-Notch Faculty and Instruction
The mark of a high-quality online MBA program lies in who is providing the instruction. “Students take the same classes from the same faculty as they would in our on-campus programs,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business and Rusty Lyon Chair in Strategy. “We began offering online degrees in the early 2000s, long before it was as widely accepted as it is now. So, we know from experience how to deliver great content to students and offer a flexible degree that will ultimately help them take that next step in their careers.”

At Temple University’s Fox School of Business, on-campus faculty creates and delivers all course content. The part-time online MBA offered by Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, tied for second in this year’s US News ranking, offers working students flexibility as well as the exact same faculty, curriculum, career planning resources, and degree. Plus, candidates can switch to the full-time format at any time.

When it comes to instruction, the USC Marshall Online MBA program takes an innovative approach, with courses often taught by faculty teams rather than individual professors. “Each course is interdisciplinary, so rather than offering a series of courses on discrete topics such as economics or statistics, OMBA courses are structured around a particular topic such as ‘Managing Inside the Firm’,” explains Miriam Burgos, associate professor of clinical marketing and the academic director of the online MBA program.

“Faculty members, each an expert in a different discipline, teach the course together, providing students with multiple perspectives that may include, for example, marketing, accounting, data analytics and communication. This holistic approach to learning mirrors 21st century global business practices,” Burgos says.

Online MBA faculty often welcome questions from prospective students, so if you would like more information about a particular course, or to learn more about the research interests of a certain faculty member, Burgos suggests contacting the admissions team to ask if you can set up a one-on-one conversation with that professor prior to applying.

Stephen Taylor, assistant dean of graduate programs at the Carey School, says students of the online program enjoy close connections to their faculty and peer students that start on day one. “We believe that a graduate program is a fundamentally collaborative experience; even before a student applies to a program, our admissions team works closely with candidates to understand their goals and to find a program that works best for them.”

They Include Experiential Learning
While experiential learning is now the norm at most traditional business school programs, online MBA programs also recognize the value of bringing real business courses to life and some have introduced similar opportunities for their students as well.

Immersion courses at Kelley Direct Online at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, tied for second place in US News’s latest online MBA program rankings, focus on particular business areas, such as advertising and branding in New York, or the Washington Campus program, which allows students to navigate the gap between business and politics.

Kelley Direct also has a global leadership course known as AGILE—Accelerating Global Leadership Education. Here, students solve thorny business problems in emerging markets, often in conjunction with students from other top business schools around the world.

Ranked 4th this year in US News’s online MBA program rankings, MBA@UNC at University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, has the Student Teams Achieving Results program, or STAR, where students take on the role of consultants to real companies such as NASCAR, GE Healthcare, and Lowe’s Companies, INC. Teams of five to seven students, guided by a faculty advisor and an executive from the client organization, assess real business problems and recommend actionable solutions to the client.

You Can Find Scholarships for Online MBA Programs
According to GMAC’s 2017 Application Trends Report, 38% of online MBA students expect to receive employer support for their studies (pg. 24). For everyone else, know that if you plan to apply for an online MBA at an AACSB International-accredited school, you’ll find that the financial aid process is much the same as for traditional programs. Your first stop for information and assistance should be your online MBA program’s finance department.

Many schools have specific scholarships for online MBA applicants, such as Babson College, which offers merit-based diversity and women’s leadership scholarships for its Blended Learning MBA program. And MBA@UNC awards some partial tuition fellowships to outstanding admitted applicants.

Whether they have grants, scholarships, and loans specific to their school, or special scholarship resources, your online MBA program administrators can point you in the right direction when it comes to financial assistance. For a thorough overview of the subject, visit this online scholarship page on bschool.com.

As you can see, for many busy professionals, an online MBA program makes perfect sense as a way to achieve their career goals through a flexible format that adapts to their schedule. Whichever program you choose in your MBA journey, a great fit with your goals and lifestyle will ensure the best results from application to graduation.

This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Considering Applying in Round 3? Read This First [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Considering Applying in Round 3? Read This First
You tried your best, but you just couldn’t pull together all of your business school materials before Round 2 deadlines hit. Now what should you do? Isn’t Round 3 where MBA applications go to die?

Not always.

In general, it is tougher to earn a spot at most top MBA programs when you apply in Round 3. Admissions committees have seen thousands of qualified applicants throughout Rounds 1 and 2, have pulled together a fairly good idea of what the incoming class will look like, and have also compiled a waitlist of additional candidates.

Before Round 3 closes out, a certain percentage of people who were admitted in Round 1 and 2 will have already committed to a program. In short, there will be precious few spots left when the adcom finally turns its attention toward final-round applications.

So where does that leave you? It depends. If it’s been more than five years since you graduated from college, you should seriously consider applying in Round 3. While every situation is different, time could start to work against you at programs that tend to focus on younger applicants.

Plus, the odds of your candidacy significantly improving over the next eight months after you’ve already been in the workforce for so long are probably slim. If this is your situation and all you need to do is put the finishing touches on your materials, go for Round 3.

There are also other circumstances that make Round 3 a perfectly fine option: you’re in the military and recently received your release papers; you are going through a job change or rolling off of a major project; you had extenuating circumstances that prevented you from applying earlier (and which you can reference in the optional essay); or you are most interested in MBA programs outside of the “top 20.”

However, if you’re only two or three years into your career, it may make sense to wait until next season’s Round 1. Focus on building more leadership and community service/volunteer experience in the meantime and make your application even stronger.

And remember:



 

 

 

 

 

 

See why Stacy Blackman is Julie Finn’s “Fairygodboss.” (Spoiler alert: it’s because she rocks!)

On that note, Stacy shares some valuable MBA applicant advice on the Getting In and Getting Ready webinar from RelishCareers. (It’s free, but a quick registration is required.)

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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The Bigger Picture: What Could Happen? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: What Could Happen?
My birthday is next month. I’ve been thinking about the past year and all of the things that happened, that I experienced and accomplished.

I visited the Grand Canyon. I slept in an RV. I traveled to Japan. I skied, river rafted, zip-lined, mountain biked and paddle boarded. I started taking tennis lessons. I launched my 21 Day Project series. I became physically stronger, thanks to my almost daily Bar Method classes. I visited the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory. I supported a lot of causes that are important to me, such as Beit Issie Shapiro and the Joyful Heart Foundation. I tasted the most delicious food truck meal ever.  Not everything was perfect. A very close friend has suffered from severe depression. My daughter had surgery. SBC clients reported back to me that a competitor is spreading false information about us. Good or bad, the year passed. 365 days, 24 hours each day.

I’ve also been thinking about opportunities missed. Despite living a full year, there is a lot I did not do. There were days that I felt lazy. Days that I made excuses. Days where I didn’t accomplish anything I had planned. Of course, I think that’s pretty normal; even to be expected. In between all those Facebook posts of friends climbing mountains and visiting exotic locales, there are days we don’t see, where they lounge in bed eating Lucky Charms.

But as I look towards this next year of my life, I think to myself: What could happen? What could happen if I worked just a little harder, focused more intensely, took a few more risks?

What could happen?

I think back to an article I read several years ago about a woman named Liz Murray. She had grown up in terrible circumstances, with negligent, drug addicted parents. By age 16 she was a homeless high school dropout. However, she eventually attended Harvard University. At 17, she made a decision to turn things around for herself, no excuses. She had nowhere to live and had not attended school regularly for years, but she pledged to become a “straight A” student and complete her high school education in just two years.

This is what she said in the interview that really stuck with me:

“I said to myself: what if I woke up, and every single day I did everything within my ability during that day to change my life. What could happen in just a month? A year?”

I love this idea. I love it because she had a very concrete goal, and she decided to pursue it in the simplest, most focused way, one day at a time.



Many of you who are reading this post share a concrete goal of applying to graduate school. Many of you didn’t work on that goal yesterday despite your best intentions and desires. But today is a new day. Today you can draft an entire essay…or spend an hour on test prep…or put together recommender guidelines…or research programs. We can all binge watch Netflix tonight. Or, we can make a decision to make things happen.

I continue to contemplate my next year. As I define what I want to experience, I realize that the choice is mine. I’m inspired to set some ambitious goals and to take the required steps every single day.

Our time is now. What could happen?

 

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Kellogg Ranks Winners, Losers in 2018 Super Bowl Ad Review [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg Ranks Winners, Losers in 2018 Super Bowl Ad Review


Alexa Loses Her Voice – Amazon Super Bowl LII Commercial

Sure, the Eagles’s first-ever Super Bowl win is a big deal, but according to a team of 50-odd MBA students at the Kellogg School of Management, Amazon was a big winner in strategic ad rankings with its “Alexa Loses Her Voice” ad in the 14th consecutive Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.

Two Kellogg marketing professors think businesses can learn a lot from which ads resonate with the audience, and for the past 14 years have been leading a panel of MBA students who grade the spots on their effectiveness in real time during the game.

“Amazon used a cast of celebrities that focused us on the brand, reinforced the equity in Alexa, and ultimately was fun to discuss and share with those around you,” says Derek D. Rucker, Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing at the Kellogg School.

Other brands that earned top marks this year include Mountain Dew, Doritos, Tide, Avocados from Mexico, and Wendy’s.  “However, Squarespace and T-Mobile both missed the mark with questionable positioning and unclear calls to action,” Rucker notes. Each received an F for least effective advertising during this year’s Super Bowl.

The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN to evaluate the effectiveness of Super Bowl spots in building the advertiser’s brand. The acronym instructs viewers to grade ads based on:

Attention: Does the ad engage the audience?

Distinction: Is the execution unique in delivery?

Positioning: Is the appropriate category represented and a strong benefit featured?

Linkage: Will the brand and benefit be remembered?

Amplification: Are viewers’ thoughts favorable?

Net equity: Is the ad consistent with the brand’s history and reputation?

Two ongoing trends emerged throughout the big game – competitive angle in many ads and philanthropic efforts.

“As competitive as the game was, the category wars were equally competitive.  For example, there was hard hitting competition in the wireless wars with some brands calling one another out,” said Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Kellogg, who co-leads the school’s Ad Review. “Many brands tried to appeal to viewers through philanthropic causes, including Toyota, Ram and Hyundai.”

However, social media backlash against the Ram advertisement, which featured a voice-over of a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr and a message of serving others, was immediate. Writes one sarcastic user on Twitter: “If you thought that MLK/Dodge commercial was bad, just wait until you see the upcoming Carl’s Jr. ad starring Gandhi.”

With a base price of $4.5 million for these ads, advertisers take an expensive gamble on commercial spots they hope will resonate and stick with consumers. The Ram ad may have garnered a C grade from the Kellogg team, but folks across the interwebs gave Ram a solid Fail for it.

A full list of the rankings is available here.

[image via screengrab]

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Two Top Female Deans to Assume Presidencies Elsewhere [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Two Top Female Deans to Assume Presidencies Elsewhere
This week, one current and one former dean from two of the country’s most elite business schools have announced they will assume the presidency at other institutions.


Judy Olian
, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, has announced her plans to step down at the end of the academic year to become the president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, according to a message sent on Monday to faculty and staff from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh.

The Daily Bruin reports that Olian spearheaded new research centers and introduced degree programs during her tenure at Anderson, including the business analytics program launched in the fall. Olian also helped start the Anderson Venture Accelerator, which helps students start their own businesses, and introduced hybrid courses that include online and in-class elements. Provost Waugh praised Olian’s efforts in the Daily Bruin to increase the gender diversity of faculty and students in the school, and lauded her fundraising achievements, which brought in nearly $400 million for Anderson.

“The opportunity to lead Quinnipiac University is especially gratifying,” says Olian. “Quinnipiac achieves strong alignment between learning and market needs and impacts a broad mix of students and professionals through life-changing development and career opportunities. Quinnipiac is a very nimble, bold and creative institution. I believe that Quinnipiac can be a model for higher education, preparing young people and professionals for work, life and citizenry in the 21st century.”


Meanwhile,  Alison Davis-Blake, the former dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, has been appointed the eighth president of Bentley University.

As dean of the Ross School, Davis-Blake led a series of curricular and co-curricular innovations including state-of-the-art learning opportunities that improved the student experience, increased applications by 32 percent, received substantial media attention and served as a model for other business schools.

Under her leadership, the school quadrupled the number of undergraduates who study abroad, expanded the school’s footprint with a new MBA program in Los Angeles, increased the proportion of women and underrepresented minorities in the student body, and raised more than $300 million as part of the university’s capital campaign, increasing annual giving by 37 percent.

“Bentley is a university on the rise, with impressive enrollment growth, an educational experience that is both well-rounded and relevant to today’s workplace, and a stunning track record of career placements for graduates,” says Dr. Davis-Blake.

“Bentley’s core business curriculum combined with an emphasis on the arts and sciences differentiates it from business schools around the country. A Bentley education is exactly what the country is asking of higher education today, and I couldn’t be more excited to join the university and continue that momentum.”

Both Davis-Blake and Olian will officially become president of their respective universities on July 1, 2018.

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Tackling Background Blemishes for the MBA Application [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tackling Background Blemishes for the MBA Application


This post originally appeared on Stacy’s ‘Strictly Business’ MBA blog on U.S. News
When you apply to an MBA program, particularly at a prestigious business school, the admissions committee will scrutinize every element of your background to determine how well-rounded you are and whether you’re up to the program’s academic rigors.

Of course, not every applicant has a sterling backstory, and you may find yourself concerned that something in your past will hurt your chances at your dream school.

Understand, though, that you have time in advance of applying to address blemishes in your past. Here are three common challenges for MBA applicants and ways to overcome them.

• Nonrigorous undergraduate academics: Your ability to handle the MBA coursework is paramount to your academic success – the admissions team will notice if your undergraduate degree is from a university with a party school reputation or if you have a high GPA but the majority of the classes you took were deemed naturally easy.

While reviewing your application, the admissions committee will assess any up and down trends in your transcript and will look for your exposure to and performance in quant classes.

If your undergraduate academics are lacking and you’re a few years removed from student life, your best course of action is to show awareness of these weaknesses and enroll in a calculus or statistics class at a local community college.

You want to show that you can handle the heavy math right now, despite what your transcript may lead the committee to believe. As a busy professional, adding to your workload in this way shows your ability to multitask – a strength worth highlighting.

Also ask your recommenders to specifically emphasize your quantitative abilities in their letters of recommendation. The three-pronged approach – adequate GMAT or GRE score, supplemental college coursework and a sponsor vouching for your skills – should convince the admissions team that your non-rigorous undergrad academics won’t hinder your performance in business school.

• Lack of extracurricular activities: This is a significant red flag for admissions committees that you need to address before applying to business school, especially if you are aiming for admission to the most elite MBA programs.

Part of what makes business school such an enriching experience is the personal and professional growth that occurs when a diverse group of people come together. Often, an applicant’s hobbies and interests outside of work will intrigue the admissions team so much that they have to meet the prospective student.

If that doesn’t sound like you right now, it’s time to make an investment in nurturing another side of your personality.

If you’re struggling to figure out where to spend your time and energy in a way that feels authentic, think about your past passions and interests. Activities or causes that excited you as a teen or child can remain – think of ways to incorporate those interests into your life outside of work and build upon them.

Even if you have a grueling work life that involves a lot of travel or leaves you with an unreliable schedule, find an activity to do on your own.

I have a client who reached out to the career services department at his undergraduate university and offered to mentor students who wanted to follow his similar career path. This was something he set up on his own and could do while traveling, as needed.

If you’re planning to apply to business school for the upcoming admissions season, you may think it’s too late to do anything about scant extracurricular or volunteer work. However, in our experience, even less than a year before your application deadlines is still enough time to address any shortcomings in your involvements outside of work.

• No teamwork: The MBA admissions committee seeks applicants who are both individually capable as well as able to work well with others to reach common goals.

Teamwork is a hallmark at many elite business schools. Some – such as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business – even require a team-based discussion or exercise as part of the application process so they may directly observe applicants’ skills in this area prior to offering admission.

If your professional experience thus far has included little to no work in teams, you’ll have to dig deeper to find examples you can share with the admissions committee. Luckily, teamwork appears in many forms.

Think back to your college days for experiences within a sorority or fraternity, participation on a sports team, volunteer missions or case competitions. Next, consider your activities after graduation from college. Can you find examples from a volunteer, hobby or community service setting or a time when you took an active role in a political organization or a local campaign?

Understanding the importance of collaboration and teamwork is vital to growing and learning at b-school. Make sure your application contains examples of your ability to play the roles of both leader and team member effectively. The key in your application is to speak to all of the individual attributes that make you a strong candidate and reveal how you will be a great fit once admitted.

If you’re still concerned that your efforts to improve in these three areas will not sufficiently sway the admissions committee, emphasize within your application and during your interview that you have a plan for further improvement during your time at business school through class work and extracurricular activities. This self-awareness and dedication to continual growth will be noted and appreciated.

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Tackling Background Blemishes for the MBA Application [#permalink]
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