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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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MBA Message Board Rumors [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Message Board Rumors
Did you hear that Stanford is no longer sending out interview invites to anyone in consulting? Or that HBS already filled up its entire class in Round 1 and won’t actually admit candidates they’re interviewing in Round 2?

Or that the way to ace the Wharton group interview is actually to stay silent the entire time? What? You didn’t hear any of that?

That makes sense, since we completely made up all of the above in order to prove a point about gossip and rumors that can make even the most levelheaded MBA applicant start to fret.

We remember how anxiety inducing it is to wait to hear back from schools. And we’re all too familiar with how easy it is to get sucked into the many message boards there are for MBA hopefuls.

Sometimes these online communities can be a great thing: it’s not unheard of for people to end up becoming friends with each other “in real life” after meeting on such a site. Plus, hearing that others are just as stressed out as you are can certainly be a source of comfort.

But please remember that the rumor mill is usually in overdrive on MBA forums, and it’s easy for gossip and hearsay to overshadow the truth. The reality is that no one except those on the adcom for the schools you’re applying to really knows what’s going on with interview invites, acceptance rates, waitlists, or anything else of importance for prospective students.

In other words, keep this timeless advice in mind when you find yourself starting to worry about the latest MBA rumors:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

_________________

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

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

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The Bigger Picture: Free Falling [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: Free Falling
On Monday, September 25, my husband texted me: “Do you want to go to Tom Petty tonight?” Tom Petty was playing at the Hollywood Bowl, about 15 minutes from our home. When I read the text, my mind immediately went to high school. I could see it so clearly, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway with friends, belting out the lyrics to “Free Falling”. Going to see Tom Petty at the Hollywood Bowl would be fun. But…homework, soccer practice, guitar lessons… So, no, we did not go.

A week later Tom Petty was dead and no one would ever have the opportunity to see him in concert again.

I was sad to hear the news of Tom Petty, and somehow took it more personally given my missed chance to see him one last time. It hit home for me that all we really have is today. I’d never seen him in concert before; that was done. And now I could never see him in the future. All I had for sure was that one moment, and the moment passed.

With all that said, it’s a minor regret. Life will go on for me and those I love, pretty much the same as ever, with or without Tom Petty. Most of the decisions that we make in a single day are like that. Hamburger or hot dog? Red shirt or blue? The Office or Parks and Rec? Lots of little decisions that don’t seem to matter all that much outside of that very moment.

Except they do matter.

Those decisions make up the matter of our lives.

Every single day, there are hundreds of forks in the road. The little and big decisions that we make determine the course of our lives.

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Well I know what’s right…I got just one life…

Decide to work on your application tonight. Eat well all day today. Call the person you love right now. Go for a walk. Buy the flowers. Download the book. Today.

Today matters. Each decision matters. We got just one life.

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

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

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

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Chicago Booth Alum Gifts School $5M for Entrepreneurship [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth Alum Gifts School $5M for Entrepreneurship
Aspiring entrepreneurial students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business will benefit from a $5 million gift from Chicago Booth alumnus Rattan L. Khosa, ’79, founder, president, and CEO of AMSYSCO Inc.

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Khosa’s $5 million gift will establish the Rattan L. Khosa Student Entrepreneurs Program at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The new program consists of four components:

  • The Rattan L. Khosa New Venture Challenge First-Place Prize: The majority of the total gift will be used to endow the first place award for the nationally-ranked annual Edward L. Kaplan, ’71 New Venture Challenge. For 2018, the winning team or individual will be awarded at least $150,000; in subsequent years, that will increase to approximately $200,000, which is among the largest prizes awarded in a business school competition.
  • The Rattan L. Khosa Entrepreneurial Fellowships, awarded to two graduating entrepreneurs who are dedicated to building their ventures full-time. The fellowships, part of the overall Polsky Founders’ Fund Fellowship program, will provide a one-year stipend, awarded quarterly. The fellowship will also include one-on-one mentoring, which Khosa views as central to his role.
“When more than 80 percent of companies fail within the first year – even those with ample funding – it’s clear that there is much more to a start-up’s success than just money,” Khosa said. “I don’t simply want to provide the money for this new program; I plan to serve as a thought leader, mentor and guide for these aspiring entrepreneurs, so that my years of experience, my struggles and my successes may serve as an additional resource to help them succeed.”

The two additional components of the program are:

  • The Rattan L. Khosa Entrepreneurial Interns: Three students will receive financial support to work for either a startup company or on their own startup, within the Polsky Center Entrepreneurial Internship Program.
  • The Rattan L. Khosa “Against All Odds” Student Award: This annual prize will be awarded to a graduating student who has overcome significant hurdles to launch his or her business. Entrepreneurship faculty and staff will nominate candidates.
“Starting a business from scratch is like jumping off a cliff in the middle of the night while blindfolded, hoping that there is a safety net down below,” Khosa said. “I know from personal experience that everyone needs help at some point in their lives. No one has succeeded on their own.”

Khosa came to the U.S. from his native India with just $3.75 in his pocket
“The day I wrote the check for this new program, I sat down, closed my eyes, and thought about my first day in this country and how little I had,” he said. “I’m extremely humbled and equally grateful to be able to give back and help support the next generation of Booth entrepreneurs.”

Khosa started AMSYSCO in 1981 out of the basement of his home that he shared with his wife and young son, with lifetime savings of $44,000 and no other financing. After nearly four decades, he has grown it into a highly profitable company that provides post-tensioning systems on commercial structures, and occupies a 55,000 square foot facility; the company captures some 65% market share.

“Entrepreneurship is now the number one concentration at Chicago Booth, and the Rattan L. Khosa Student Entrepreneurs Program will support our most promising entrepreneurial students. In addition, Rattan’s leadership, generosity, and success will serve as an inspirational example to them,” said Madhav Rajan, Booth Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting.

“This transformational commitment will greatly support the school’s mission to influence and educate current and future leaders.”

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

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

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

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FT Creates New Ranking of Top MBA Programs for Women [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: FT Creates New Ranking of Top MBA Programs for Women
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The Financial Times, whose MBA ranking focuses on return on investment for alumni three years after graduation, has released a brand-new ranking based exclusively on the outcomes for women—and the results differ significantly from the Global MBA ranking released earlier this year.

Top Ten MBA Programs Where Women Perform Best
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai, China (34 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (1 in Global MBA ranking)
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (10 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Washington University’s Olin Business School (50 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Harvard Business School (5 in Global MBA ranking)
  • University of Hong Kong (33 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (16 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Renmin University of China School of Business (39 in Global MBA ranking)
  • University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (3 in Global MBA ranking)
  • Nanyang Business School-Singapore (22 in Global MBA ranking)
After analyzing the data, Financial Times has ranked three Chinese business schools in the top 10. This may come as some surprise to Western readers, but Mantian Wang, director of top-ranked Antai’s International MBA program, tells the FT that, “Although Chinese society encourages women to start a family at an early age, women are also offered equal opportunities at work — and they grab them.”

As a female MBA and entrepreneur and businessperson, I know that women can more than handle business school just as well or better than anyone. Women considering business school should know the MBA degree truly is the one of the best ways to transform their career by giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful.

Professor Laura Tyson, who served as the first female dean of the UC Berkeley Haas School from 1998-2001, said the school has worked hard to enroll more women in its MBA program, and to support women in and out of the classroom.

“Our talented alumnae now earn the second-highest average salaries for women MBAs in the US; our gender pay gap has finally closed as female salaries have grown,” Tyson said. “This is exciting news and we look forward to increasing our support of our female MBA students, alumnae, our women on the faculty.”

The Methodology Behind the Ranking
Per Financial Times: In the methodology, alumna salaries three years after graduation — both the absolute figure and increase — were given a weight of 15 percent each.  FT considered other criteria, such as gender balance among students and faculty, and the extent to which female graduates say they achieved their goals.

But success for women is also about the difference in pay after graduation. FT also measured the average female graduate salary as a proportion of the average male salary after three years in the workplace, and gave that criteria equal weight.

New Ranking May Spark Debate Over Accuracy
“None of those measures tell you anything about how female friendly or welcoming a business school culture might be to women,” writes John A Byrne of Poets & Quants in his assessment of the ranking. “Much of the variation in these numbers is more likely the result of a confluence of factors, including school brand, industry choice, job location, or the purchasing power adjustment to the numbers which tend to inflate salaries in Asia.”

Nevertheless, notes Byrne, “The ranking itself may very well cause business school deans to more consciously advocate changes that would make their school cultures, long dominated by men, more receptive to women and more welcoming to them.”

MBA Scholarships for Women
Women are still in the minority at top business schools, but MBA programs seek to attract female applicants with targeted financial assistance. Here’s a list of full-time MBA scholarships for women only, offered by some top-ranked business schools for the 2018 intake.

Image credit: Flickr user IamNotUnique (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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

_________________

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

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

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Should You Reapply to a B-School That Rejected You? [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Should You Reapply to a B-School That Rejected You?
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This post originally appeared on Stacy’s ‘Strictly Business’ MBA blog on U.S. News
If the admissions decisions from your target business schools have come and gone and you didn’t get the news you were hoping for, it’s only natural to feel devastated. After months of working hard on your application and then a few more months of anxiety-ridden waiting, finding out that you weren’t accepted is tough.

Here’s the good news: Many business schools look favorably upon reapplicants, so it’s definitely worth a second try if you’re willing to do a thorough examination of where you may have gone wrong the first time around. Unless the admissions team indicated to you that the rejection was simply due to too many qualified applicants with your same profile this season, you’ll need to re-evaluate and focus on improving your candidacy.

Admissions committees consider thousands of qualified applicants each year and have developed a strong sense for who will fit best with their program. Determine the answers to these questions to see whether it makes sense to apply again to a school that has rejected you.

1. Have you addressed any obvious weaknesses? First and foremost, review your entire application package with a critical eye to determine where any weaknesses lie. The most common reasons for rejection include low test scores, insufficient leadership experience, lukewarm recommendations and boring essays.

You can improve some things in your profile, such as test scores and work experience, but you cannot change or improve upon other factors, such as a low college GPA or being out of school for 15 years. If you simply need more time to flesh out your goals or take on more responsibilities at work to show additional examples of leadership or teamwork, then a second attempt may make sense.

One prospective MBA client, for instance, applied to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with less than one year of work experience, and the school denied her admission. But when she tried again four years later, with more work experience under her belt, the school admitted her.

Focus on elevating your candidacy where you can. Depending on the weakness, you may need to work for another year or more to make a significant improvement that will impress the admissions committee.

2. Is the school the best fit for your goals? The MBA is not a one-size-fits-all degree, and not every business school is equipped to help every person reach his or her unique professional goals.

If you have highly specific or unusual career goals that a school finds too challenging from a job-placement standpoint – as happened with another prospective MBA client of ours who wanted to work in arts management – it makes no sense to reapply to the same program as it is unlikely the response will change a year from now.

Or the school might not be the right fit for you culturally and personally, and the admissions team may have picked up on that through your letters of recommendation, interview or essays. Perhaps it’s time to move on and find MBA programs that appreciate what you have to offer and are better suited to helping you achieve your unique professional aspirations.

That’s exactly what happened with one of our clients, who applied three times to the University of California—Berkeley Haas School of Business. On his third attempt, he also submitted an application to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Haas once again rejected him but Stanford admitted him. It seems Haas just was not meant to be.

3. What will you do differently next time? Be prepared to demonstrate significant improvements to your candidacy when reapplying. The admissions decision probably won’t change unless you have. From a practical standpoint, you should plan to reapply in round one of the next admissions cycle. If you fail a second time, you can realign your expectations and apply in round two to other more appropriate schools.

Also, don’t recycle last season’s materials and expect a different result. You need to treat the whole application process as a fresh, new experience – one informed by the challenges you faced as well as the wisdom acquired since the last admissions cycle.

Finally, do an honest self-assessment to determine what you are truly looking for. Think about your learning style and the culture of the various MBA programs; during that process, it might become evident that some of the schools you had targeted simply weren’t a good fit. We have had many clients who, after some self-reflection and growth, realized that they wanted to pursue a very different type of graduate program.

It may be hard to hear, but there is a reason why the business schools rejected you the first time. You need to understand those reasons and decide whether you can address them. If you can’t, then reapplying to those schools does not make sense.

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

_________________

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

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

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The Right Way to Negotiate MBA Merit Scholarships [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Right Way to Negotiate MBA Merit Scholarships
Acceptance into an MBA program is a major accomplishment that makes the months of application preparation (and worrying) all worth it. Icing on the cake is learning that you’ve also been awarded a merit scholarship.

If you suddenly find yourself with a financial incentive to attend a certain school, you’ll be understandably honored and overjoyed at your good fortune. However, if you’ve been accepted into more than one program, this unexpected twist can often make your ultimate decision that much harder.

Here’s something such lucky future students often forget: you can try to negotiate merit scholarships. This is one of those rare situations in life where — if handled professionally, of course — you really have nothing to lose.

If you received drastically different scholarship amounts for two or more programs — or were given a financial award for one school but nothing for another — why not contact the adcom and explain your situation?

This is probably obvious, but we wouldn’t recommend naming the competing institution, sharing your offer letter or making demands. Rather, simply reach out to the admissions office, reiterate your deep interest in attending their program, and then ask if it’s possible to be considered for a higher scholarship amount (or any scholarship amount) because you now have another offer of acceptance and financial incentive on the table.

Good luck!

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

_________________

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

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

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Professor Profiles: IU Kelley School’s Greg Fisher [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Professor Profiles: IU Kelley School’s Greg Fisher
Having the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest minds in business is one of the top motivators for many applicants considering an MBA degree at an elite business school. The professors and lecturers you’ll encounter have worked in the trenches, and bring an incredible wealth of real-world experiences into the classroom setting.

In our new limited series of professor interviews on the SBC blog, readers will get to know a bit more about these brilliant academics, what fields most excite them, the trends they foresee, what they enjoy most about teaching at their respective universities, and how it all comes together with their students.

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Today we’ll introduce you to Greg Fisher, an assistant professor of entrepreneurship and recipient of the John and Donna Shoemaker Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and named among the “40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs under 40 in the World” by the Poets and Quants website in 2014.

Education: PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of Washington

MBA, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Bachelor of Accounting, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Courses Taught: Strategic Management, Turnaround Management, Venture Strategy

What triggered your interest in your subject matter?
My interest in strategy and entrepreneurship was triggered by my personal experience when launching a venture as an MBA student. I did an MBA back in 2003-2004 in South Africa. In the MBA we learned about entrepreneurs such as Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos and Anita Roddick. This inspired me to want to start my own business.

In the second year of my MBA I launched a venture called Learninglab with one of my MBA classmates. We developed training products and solutions (e.g., games, simulations, online courses, training programs) for the corporate market. Large corporations (mostly financial service firms) would purchase our products and solutions to train their people on issues such as financial statement analysis, credit risk analysis, budgeting, financial management, risk assessment etc.

The process of starting my own business was extremely challenging and very intriguing. It forced me to apply all my newly acquired MBA skills very quickly, and at a deeper level triggered an interest in issues related to new venture strategy and entrepreneurship. This prompted me to read more and more about entrepreneurship; I consumed biographies about entrepreneurs, studied entrepreneurship case studies and began reading some of the academic literature on entrepreneurship and strategy.

When I sold my business a few years later, I decided to formally study entrepreneurship and strategy. I moved from South Africa to Seattle to attend the University of Washington to do a PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

What’s changed since you entered the field?
When I first started teaching and researching entrepreneurship, the main focus was on business plan development. The logic was that if you planned carefully and deliberately, you could attract capital, and then execute on that plan to create and grow the business.

The problem is that seldom happens in practice. Entrepreneurship is much more of an iterative process, made up of lots of mini experiments, many of which fail. The key is to continue experimenting and to be able to learn from each failure and successes.

Scholars and teachers have caught onto this, and the field has shifted to focus much more on the process of entrepreneurship and on the actions within that process that can enable individuals to succeed. The concept of a business plan is no longer a focus; it has been replaced by concepts such a business models, mini-experiments and rapid iteration.

Within this context, I am interested in (and doing research on) a concept I call “entrepreneurial hustle” – a person’s focus, drive and creative action to succeed through setbacks and failures while working towards a goal or desired outcome in the process of launching a new venture.

I am currently examining what role hustle plays in the entrepreneurship process and delving down into all the different ways that hustle impacts what entrepreneurs are able to do. Hustle is somewhat similar to the concept of “grit” (developed by social psychologist Angela Duckworth) but it is specific to entrepreneurship and is more proactive and goal oriented.

Any surprising or unique applications of your field of study?
Entrepreneurship is everywhere. It is not confined to starting a new business. I have done research on entrepreneurship in the social arena, examining how social activists use entrepreneurial strategies and approaches to solve serious social problems and facilitate large-scale industry change.

For example, in one of my research studies we used an entrepreneurship lens to understand how the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) forced change in lumber sourcing practices in the home improvement retail industry (at firms such as Home Depot, Menards etc.).

Social activists are very similar to entrepreneurs in that they are under-resourced, they need to identify opportunities for impact, they need to mobilize stakeholder support and they need to hustle to get things done. Hence, entrepreneurial principles and practices can make social activists more effective as they push for social change.

Entrepreneurial principles and practices are also relevant to healthcare professionals and medical researchers. I have recently been doing consulting work with medical researchers and physicians at the IU School of Medicine.

These individuals, although they operate in a very risk averse and bureaucratic environment get great benefit from combining entrepreneurship and design thinking principles to consider how they can solve some of their most challenging issues related to patient care, infant mortality and smoking cessation.

What do you like about the school you are teaching at?
The best thing about Kelley MBA is the culture. The culture on the MBA program is amazing – it is one of caring, friendship, camaraderie and respect. Almost all the students know each other and interact with one another like one very large family. With a class size of 200 students per year this is possible. As a professor on the program I get to know all the students.

Because we are in a college town, almost all the students come from out of town to attend the program and they create a community among themselves. As a professor I get to be part of that community. The students arrange tons of events and include us in many of them.

This year I am running a half-marathon with 30 of the MBA students. We are training together and supporting each other. For many of the students this will be the first time that they cover that distance.

Overall, being part of the Kelley MBA community and experiencing its culture is very special.

What can you do in the classroom to best prepare students for the real world?
The concept of a flipped class has become popular where you provide a lecture before class (usually via video) and then discuss key issues and solve problems instead of lecturing during class time.

I take this one step further and create a flipped course. Because strategy and entrepreneurship necessitates integrating many different concepts and ideas simultaneously, I cover all the core concepts, theories, tools and frameworks in the first four or five classes. I provide the students with a book and videos covering these key concepts to support what we do in class.

Then for the remainder of the semester, we integrate and apply those tools and concepts as we work though case studies of actual business challenges in class. This forces students to confront the messiness, ambiguity and uncertainty of real world analysis and strategic decision-making.

Some students feel very uncomfortable initially – they want things to be more clear-cut and more obvious. But over time most students get used to the messiness…and…in the long run, they are grateful to have the opportunity to work with complex, unstructured problems and challenges.

I work though the case studies we do a range of real-world activities in the class. Students are required to make strategy presentations, they negotiate strategic partnership with classmates, and they participate in a board meeting. All these activities expose them to different elements of corporate life.

What are you most excited about that’s happening in your field?
I am most excited by the democratization of entrepreneurship. It is easier and more affordable than ever to launch a meaningful business. The Internet and mobile platforms have created access to markets that were not previously accessible. The cost to start a business is lower than it has ever been and almost everyone has access to the necessary technology and computing power to launch a sophisticated venture.

Crowdfunding platforms have increased access to financial resources and early customers. So entrepreneurship used to be something that was restricted to those with connections, education and elite status. Now, more than ever, it is accessible to anyone with drive and hustle.

What are you most excited about in your classroom?
I am excited by the caliber of students passing through my class. Each year I am convinced that we must have hit the high point, and then the next group is even more energized, engaged and ambitious. The diversity of the students coming through the school is amazing. Each class is made of students with unique backgrounds, skills and experiences.

In the last few years I have had everything from a major league pitcher, to a professional opera singer, to an NFL linebacker, to a helicopter pilot, to an inner city schoolteacher, to a veterinary surgeon, to a high-school football coach from a rural Indiana in the class. This diversity adds richness, perspective and nuance to each class.

I am also excited by the opportunity to keep redesigning what I do to improve the student experience and to maximize student learning. The more I teach, the more I discover novel and interesting ways to engage students and make their experience meaningful. My class design is a constant work-in-progress. I am excited to keep making it better and better.

What’s the impact you want to leave on your students? … On the world?
I want my students to be comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope that they can make sense of complex and messy scenarios, grapple with paradox, and find a way to hustle out of challenging situations. I want them to realize that strategy is not necessarily easy, but it is very impactful and often the best strategies are ones that are incredibly simple in the face of the complexity around them.

Thank you Professor Fisher for sharing your time and insights with our readers!

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UV Darden Receives “Game Changing” Scholarship Gift [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UV Darden Receives “Game Changing” Scholarship Gift
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The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the new Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship program. A $15 million gift from the Batten Foundation unlocked a matching gift from UVA’s Bicentennial Scholars Fund, and the resulting $30 million endowment will ultimately provide every student in Darden’s full-time MBA program a scholarship to attend a Darden Worldwide course at no incremental cost.

In recent years, Darden has significantly increased its offering of Darden Worldwide courses — faculty-led courses of typically seven to 10 days. Over the past two years, student participation in courses outside the U.S. has more than doubled.

During the courses, students visit local companies, educators and officials, gaining hands-on experiences in new business environments and cultures guided by a Darden faculty member.

This spring, students will have the option to choose from 14 courses on five continents, including courses exploring business in uncertain economic environments in Argentina, artificial intelligence and robotics in Germany, and government’s influence on business in China, among others.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Batten Foundation for enabling this game-changing opportunity, which positions Darden to provide each MBA student funding for a global course through a scholarship,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley.

“This gift will have a major impact on Darden. It makes the School more affordable and global, and gives students the opportunity to explore the world in which they will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

The gift makes Darden unique among top MBA programs in its ability to offer each student a global experience fully funded by philanthropy.

The Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarships will have an immediate impact for the MBA Class of 2020, which will arrive in August 2018. For these incoming students, the gift, combined with other philanthropy and Darden investment, will allow Darden to award a scholarship to every student in the class that will cover fees for a Darden Worldwide course, if the course is not already funded.

When the Batten Foundation gift is fully funded in 2020, the scholarships will cover course fees and most travel costs for every Darden full-time MBA student to participate in a global experience.

The gift is the largest gift to the Darden School since the Batten family established the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation through a $60 million gift in 1999.

“The University of Virginia is committed to the intertwined principles of excellence and affordability,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said when announcing the gift. “Darden fully embraces these principles, and with an infusion of energy from this generous philanthropic gift, Darden can continue to pursue its mission of preparing students from all walks of life for global leadership and service.”

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When Applying in Round 3 is a Bad Idea [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: When Applying in Round 3 is a Bad Idea
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Everyone has an opinion about submitting an MBA application in round three, and a lot of the conversation circles around how competitive it is. If you tried your best but you just couldn’t pull together all of your business school materials before round two deadlines hit, you might wonder whether round three is the answer.

By the time the final admission round starts, admissions committees have seen thousands of qualified applicants in the first two rounds, have a fairly good idea of what the incoming class will look like and also compiled a waitlist of additional qualified candidates.

Before round three closes out, a certain percentage of people admitted in the first two rounds will have already committed to a program. In short, precious few spots remain when the admissions committees finally turn their attention to final-round applications.

As such, deciding whether to apply in the final round requires serious reflection and sound reasoning. Consider these three signs that you should not apply to business school in round three.

1. You had no luck with earlier round applications. [/b]This is a guaranteed red flag that your MBA application needs more work, and applying in the final round will likely yield the same results.

It’s a huge mistake to think that fewer applicants in round three means less competition and better chances of admission. As we’ve mentioned before, successful round three applications offer the schools something that has truly not appeared in applicants from the previous rounds.

The admissions committees know what they need to round out the class. They have become good at estimating numbers and evaluating and accepting applicants who fit their criteria.

Only the strongest, most compelling candidates make the cut, so if your applications didn’t generate sufficient interest in earlier rounds, they certainly won’t amid the exceptional candidates at the end of the season. Instead, you should regroup, restrategize and apply again next year.

2. Your test scores are middling and you’ve only tested once. [/b]The majority of applicants plan to take the GMAT or GRE a second time if their initial test scores aren’t in the 80-percent range for their target MBA programs. Like it or not, test scores greatly influence admissions decisions. As we’ve discussed in prior posts, preparing early and adequately for the entrance exam is critical.

While each year we hear of that miracle case where someone gets into Harvard Business School with a 650 on the GMAT, it’s likely that the person’s profile was so extraordinary in every other way that it offset the low score. Devote ample time to test prep this spring and bring that crucial application component in line with what the admissions committee expects to see from successful candidates.

3. You’re rushing to get all of your materials together.[/b] The golden rule in MBA admissions is apply only when your application is as strong as possible – and not a moment before.

Maybe projects at work have kept you ultra-busy these past few months. Perhaps one of your recommenders seems less enthusiastic about your b-school plans and you need to find a new one. Or maybe you just haven’t devoted as much time as you’d like to those important extracurricular interests that the admissions committee loves to see.

Think of every part of the MBA application as precious real estate. If you’re rushing any one component just to get everything submitted on deadline, the quality will suffer.

Take a breather, get your materials together in a thoughtful manner and wait for round one deadlines. This extra time will allow you to approach the application more strategically, and will certainly yield a more positive outcome than a sloppy last-round application will.

Finally, if you do decide to throw your hat in the ring, be sure to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. Developing resilience is incredibly important if you need to reapply, but it’s also essential in life.

Even when you put your best out there, you might still fail. However, to be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.

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

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Why Can’t I Score Above 700 on the GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why Can’t I Score Above 700 on the GMAT?
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Every test taker seems to covet a 700+ score on the GMAT. For good reason too, since a score of 700 means that student broke into the 90th percentile—a big deal when the average GMAT score is a 545. Although a 700 is not a guarantee of getting into a grad program, it will make the admission committee notice you. And if anything, it will keep your application out of the rejection pile.

But how to score 700 if you are stuck in the 600s? Let’s examine the common habits of students who score in the 700 range and dispel some common myths that test takers have to help you succeed.

Practice GMATS are not the Real GMAT
First, to score in the 700 range, let’s calibrate our expectations. Taking mock tests is a crucial part of preparing for the test, but don’t expect your performance on a practice test to match your performance on the real GMAT.

Every practice test was not created equal and every practice question is not necessarily a strong representation of actual GMAT questions. Make sure that you know what the best GMAT prep books are and use them. Don’t waste your time with flawed resources.

Multiple Attempts
The real test can cause more stress, which leads to a loss of focus and an increase in mistakes compared to a practice test. So do not expect to reach a 700 score in one, two, or even three attempts. Many students need multiple attempts to see an increase from 600 to 700 (one student didn’t see improvement until he took the test eight times!).

The students who break into the 700 range are working hard to do so, and often take the test multiple times. Remember that a score of 700 means that you are doing better on the GMAT than 90% of the people who take the test. This is an elite group, and you won’t make it there without hard work, dedication, and probably multiple attempts.

Practice Questions aren’t Enough
Plenty of students think that if they answer 1000+ practice questions, they will be ready for the test. This is a myth. The best test takers, the students who do score in the 700 range, not only answer a lot of practice problems, but they also read The Economist and The New York Times regularly.

The are challenging themselves by choosing articles that they normally wouldn’t read so that they are comfortable with new, strange, foreign reading passages. These students have made a habit of improving their skills outside of doing practice problems and learning grammar points. Make practicing for the GMAT more than just opening a test prep book or logging into your test prep software.

Pacing is Key
Not only are they expanding their skills outside of practice problems, but these students also have a very strong understanding of the questions types, the common wrong answer traps for each question type, and the strategy for each type of question. This knowledge, like knowing the answer choices and how to eliminate them in Data Sufficiency, ultimately, saves them time.

And this is the last piece: students scoring in the 700 range have a strong pacing strategy, know how to save time, and use time efficiently. Not feeling rushed is a key to success, which comes with practice problems for sure. But not just answering questions correctly, but also setting a timer for questions and answering them correctly. If you lack a pacing strategy, it is time to start coming up with one.

Focused, Targeted Practice
Each time you sit down and study, you need to have direction and purpose. The big difference between a 600 and a 700 is targeting weakness and improving. So that means sitting down to study, and working on those weakness.

You need to be constantly on the look out for weakness. Be honest with yourself and keep track of your weaknesses in a notebook. Then when it comes to practice, focus on improving those skills. For example, if you struggle with identifying assumptions in arguments, then you need to spend your time generating assumptions and doing practice problems that are about assumptions.

Or if you struggle with statistics, you need to spend time watching lesson videos that teach the basics, like Khan Academy. Without a strong foundation in the basics of math and grammar, you cannot expect to break into the 700 range.

Do you even need a 700 on the GMAT?
But, let’s step back from this problem. Do you even need to take the GMAT and get a 700 to actually get into a graduate program? Plenty of business schools now accept the GMAT or GRE, so even before you invest all of your waking hours to preparing for the GMAT, look into the GRE. Take a practice GRE test and see how you do. If you do better on the GRE, you might want to pivot your preparation to the GRE.

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

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Should You Hold Out for Your Dream B-School? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Should You Hold Out for Your Dream B-School?
Did you give it your all this application season and end up with mixed results? By mixed results we mean that you were dinged by your dream school (or schools), but still got in to one or more other great programs. If that’s the case and you’re excited about heading to campus this fall, read no further. But continue on if a nagging voice in the back of your head keeps asking, “What if…?”

This is the quintessential “bird in hand” dilemma for future business school students: do you count your lucky stars that you have the option to earn an MBA from a school you were interested in enough to apply to in the first place? Or do you forego your golden ticket and give it another shot next year, hoping to land a spot at your dream school?

While the saying goes “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush,” we understand that in real life it isn’t always easy to accept an outcome you’re not 100% enthusiastic about. And there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, of course. But we can suggest this first step for your decision-making process: think long and hard (and objectively as possible) about how comfortable you are with risk.

How have you reacted in the past when you took a big chance on something and it didn’t pan out? How upset or regretful do you become when you realize an opportunity you turned down might have actually been the right choice? Asking a trusted friend or family member for their take might be helpful as well.

We’d also recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to make your final decision. It may just be that once the initial sting of any rejections wears off, you’ll realize that you’re in a very enviable position.

Remember:

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Still not sure if you should reapply to your dream school next year? Here’s more advice from Stacy.

Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

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US News Releases 2019 Best B-Schools Ranking [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2018, 14:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: US News Releases 2019 Best B-Schools Ranking
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U.S. News & World Report has announced its ranking of the 2019 Best Graduate Schools, and in the business school category, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business moved up this year to tie with Harvard Business School for the No. 1 spot among full-time MBA programs for the first time in the history of the U.S. News ranking.

2019 Best Full-Time MBA Programs
1. Harvard Business School (tie)

1. Chicago Booth School of Business (tie)

3. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

4. Stanford Graduate School of Business

5. MIT Sloan School of Management

6. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

7. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

8. University of Michigan Ross School of Business

9. Columbia Business School

10. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

2019 Best Part-Time MBA Programs
1. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

2. Chicago Booth School of Business

3. Kellogg School of Management

4. NYU Stern School of Business

5. UCLA Anderson School of Management

6. UM Ross School of Business

7. CMU Tepper School of Business (tie)

7. UT McCombs School of Business (tie)

9. Fisher College of Business-Ohio State (tie)

9. Carlson School of Management-University of Minnesota (tie)

11. Georgetown McDonough School of Business (tie)

11. USC Marshall School of Business (tie)

Methodology
Rankings come from statistical surveys of the programs, as well as reputation surveys sent to more than 20,500 academics and professionals between 2017 and the beginning of 2018. Factors that go into rankings include test scores, starting salaries and employment rates after graduation.

For the first time, U.S. News reduced the value of reported GPA, GRE and GMAT scores for full-time and part-time MBA programs and GRE scores in the education rankings if less than 50 percent of an entering class submitted these scores. U.S. News believes this lack of data means the scores are not representative of the entire class.

“In measuring graduate schools nationwide, our ranking formulas evolve as more and more data become available,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, in a statement. “From MBA programs to law schools, our aim is to take full advantage of data that are representative of incoming classes and to provide information, where available, on career placement success.”

Also new this year, the MBA rankings, along with U.S. News’ rankings of online and undergraduate business programs, will be featured in the “Best Business Schools 2019” guidebook, to be published later this spring.

“Prospective students can choose from a range of options to continue their education,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “The graduate school rankings and data are a great starting point for applicants to find the program that’s the best fit for them academically and financially.”

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MBA Applicants: Make an Impact with Your Input! [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Applicants: Make an Impact with Your Input!
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Have you recently gone through the MBA admissions process? Then the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) wants to hear from you! Schools and members utilize AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey data to learn about applicant perceptions of each stage of the admissions process.

The AIGAC Survey helps stakeholders understand the tools applicants use to research programs. It also provides valuable insight into the reasons that applicants select programs as well as their career and salary expectations.

Your feedback is very important to the admissions consultants who are members of AIGAC. Each year, admissions consultants all over the world use what we learn to work on giving our clients a better experience.

Additionally, what you tell us about your experiences with the admissions process itself is tremendously valuable—so much so that top-ranked business schools eagerly await your responses every year!

This feedback has resulted in tangible changes in the admissions process, such as streamlining the letter of recommendation process.

As a token of appreciation for your time, you will have the opportunity to enter a random drawing to win a $500 cash prize by simply entering your email address at the end of the survey. Your email address will be used only to notify you if you are selected as a winner. We will protect your answers and contact information as completely confidential.

Your feedback will be aggregated with other survey respondents to protect your confidentiality. We appreciate your candid opinions and ask that you complete the survey by Sunday, March 25th, 2018.

You may start by using this unique survey link. The survey should take only about 10 minutes.

Thank you in advance for providing your valued feedback!

Image credit: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0

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

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Georgetown MBA Students Tackle Implicit Bias in New Training Program [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 14:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown MBA Students Tackle Implicit Bias in New Training Program
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Students at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business frequently discuss ethical and social issues related to leadership and business in the classroom. While the school prepares and encourages students to have these difficult conversations — informed by its commitment to diversity and inclusion and the Jesuit value of educating the whole person — the MBA Program has taken new steps to address implicit bias.

Implicit bias describes the attitudes or stereotypes that unconsciously affect actions and decisions. It can impact hiring and promotion practices, affect client services, and influence the culture of an organization.

In 2017, the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) student club launched a pilotimplicit bias training program and is now working with the MBA Program Office to further increase awareness and integrate training into the MBA student experience.

The awareness-raising session in fall 2017 attracted 30 participants, including faculty and administrators, and garnered support from across the MBA community. The event was co-sponsored by an exceptionally high number of groups, including the MBA Program Office, Student Government Association, Human Capital and Leadership Club, Latin American Business Association, Black MBA Association, Consortium, and OutMSB.

Aware of the mixed results from corporate implicit bias training programs, GWIB had worked for over nine months researching lessons learned from other implicit bias trainings and identifying effective trainers and curricula. They brought in Bryant Marks, a seasoned implicit bias trainer, to facilitate the pilot.

Marks is the founder and lead trainer at the National Training and Education Institute, associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College, and former senior advisor to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

His approach focuses on associations rather than prejudice and establishes trust and credibility from the onset by demonstrating how all human beings hold these associations. In feedback surveys, students wrote that the data he presented during the training was “relatable” and “some were a revelation.”

Implicit bias training “better prepares students for successful careers as principled business leaders and continues to improve our amazing community,” said Kerry Pace, associate dean of MBA programs. “By spending time reflecting on and acknowledging our own biases, we are following our Jesuit heritage of women and men in service to others and to ourselves.”

 

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

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The GMAT and Your MBA Application Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The GMAT and Your MBA Application Strategy
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Just about every MBA candidate needs to submit a GMAT or GRE score as part of their business school admission package, but not everyone has a clear grasp on when and how the exam fits within the context of the whole application process.

In an ideal world, you would take the test just coming out of college, while you’re still in study and test mode as a recent student. Since both GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years, getting the exams out of the way years in advance would free you to focus on all of the other elements of the application.

If, like most applicants, you didn’t have the foresight to take the exam right after college, the next best step is to plan your application strategy so that the GMAT is finished before you finalize your list of schools. Your score isn’t everything, but it is an important part of the admissions equation.

If you bomb the exam and can’t improve your score, you may need to reassess your target schools to include less-competitive options. Conversely, you may be able to add one more reach school if the score was higher than expected.

Round one of business school admissions is about six months away at many schools, and if you still need to take the GMAT, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Unless you’re a natural at taking standardized tests, you’ll need to train your brain to get it back into test-taking form.

Most applicants devote at least 100 hours to test preparation, and depending on where you are in the process, you may have to take a prep class and perhaps take the test more than once. If this is the case, the first round may not be a realistic option unless you’re able and prepared to completely immerse yourself in the process.

We typically advise clients to plan for two attempts at the GMAT, leaving a buffer for a retake if needed. There’s no harm in taking the test two or even three times, and unless you score really well right out of the gate, you often will do better the second time. This is because you’ll have fewer nerves, more familiarity with the process and no big surprises. There is no such thing as a bad test, just opportunities to build on and learn from.

Average scores are creeping higher every year at the top MBA programs, making it hard to offset a bad GMAT score. It truly is a level playing field, and we often cringe when reading essays where people try to rationalize a low score.

What you can do, however, is acknowledge the score and say you don’t find it truly reflective of your abilities. Then show why you are actually strong in quant or going to excel academically by pointing to your college GPA, work experience or by encouraging your recommenders to focus heavily on your intellect.

Timing and planning are key to reducing the stress of the application process. We generally encourage applicants to not cram everything into too short of a timeline, but everyone has their own style and you need to figure out what makes the most sense for you, your goals and your schedule.

Image credit: KMo Foto (CC BY 2.0)

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

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

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Advice for the Waitlisted [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice for the Waitlisted
All MBA applicants are anxious to learn whether or not they’ve been admitted to their dream schools. For some prospective MBAs, however, those decision dates come and go … and they’re still in limbo. They’ve been waitlisted.

If you’ve been rolled over from a Round 1 waitlist, have recently been informed that you were neither accepted nor denied at one of your Round 2 schools, or get this same news in the coming weeks from a program that hasn’t notified applicants yet, your first question might be, “Well, now what?”

Before you pick up the phone and call the admissions team to ask questions or plead your case, take a moment to reread the email they sent. Usually it will contain pretty explicit information and instructions about timelines and next steps. It should also be clear as to whether the program has a dedicated waitlist contact, whether they’ll be following up with more information for you in the weeks ahead, and if there’s a drop-dead date by which you’ll have a final answer.

Most importantly, there should be guidance on additional actions you can (or must) take or supplemental materials they’d be willing to consider. Some schools make it very, very clear that they will not look at any more letters of recommendations or candidate updates before they make their decision, whereas other programs encourage applicants to send in additional essays, videos and words of support from colleagues and alumni.

Some people are tempted to bombard the adcom with more information after they’ve been waitlisted, but the reality is that doing so probably won’t help your case. If the school has stated that they don’t want anything else from you, now might not be the best time to ignore their instructions.

As frustrating as it is to feel like you’re not doing anything proactive, you need to remind yourself that you already did do everything you could to put your best foot forward in your original application.

If a school welcomes more insight into your candidacy, then give it to them. Let them know what you’ve been up to in the months since your round’s deadline. What else have you done at work? What more have you learned about their program? Who else have you spoken to from their community? Have you taken any trips, had any interesting experiences or gotten involved in a new volunteer activity?

Make your communication with them count, because even if a school does accept new information on waitlisted candidates, they’re not going to want to be contacted every single day. One solid update will likely come off better than several emails or uploads that don’t have much meat.

At some point (and that point might already be here), there’s nothing you can do but wait. Try to keep your mind off of it and hope for the best. A number of waitlisted candidates are ultimately accepted into top programs each year, so there’s reason to remain positive!

Remember:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

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

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Professor Profiles: Kellogg School’s Jose Maria Liberti [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Professor Profiles: Kellogg School’s Jose Maria Liberti
Having the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest minds in business is one of the top motivators for many applicants considering an MBA degree at an elite business school. The professors and lecturers you’ll encounter have worked in the trenches, and bring an incredible wealth of real-world experiences into the classroom setting.

In our new limited series of professor interviews on the SBC blog, readers will get to know a bit more about these brilliant academics, what fields most excite them, the trends they foresee, what they enjoy most about teaching at their respective universities, and how it all comes together with their students.

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Today, we’re meeting Jose Maria Liberti, Clinical Professor of Finance at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and William M. Scholl Professor of Finance at Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University.

Liberti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics from the Universidad de San Andres (UdeSA), in Buenos Aires.

He moved to the United States in 1998 and earned both a Masters and a PhD in Economics from The University of Chicago.

Courses Taught: Mergers and Acquisitions, LBOs and Corporate Restructuring; Global Entrepreneurial Finance

What triggered your interest in your subject matter?
I am an economist by education, but a practitioner by nature. Given my professional experience working in a financial institution before my graduate studies, I have always been interested in corporate finance in general and mergers and acquisitions in particular.

For example, problems between minority and controlling stakeholders were daily topics in my working years. While in my graduate studies (and given my personal interests), I found that the most interesting applications on incentives issues were in the field of corporate finance.

What’s changed since you entered the field? Any surprising or unique applications of your field of study?
The field has changed a lot. Even relative to my years of the PhD, the academic finance profession has shifted considerably. There was a period where the capital structure or the way you finance a project is irrelevant, and the only frictions that matter are probably only tax frictions.

Of course, scholars realized that the way you allocate the cash flows of the firm has some impact on the way the firm is run. But all this old academic literature focused on external rules being fixed.

What happens when the environment and rules change? People realized that the rules are not fixed, that the changing nature of the rules is actually important, and of course, political gain or incentive gains is what makes the rules change.

Topics like nepotism, crony capitalism and extraction of rents from other parties have been introduced, making finance an incredible stimulating and thought-provoking field.

What do you like about the school you are teaching at?
The Kellogg School of Management provides all the resources and makes my life as an educator very simple, providing me with all the adequate resources to provide a high-quality product to the students.

One great advantage, and most important, is the high quality of students that enroll in my classes. They are just outstanding, since they are willing to be challenged and pushed outside of their comfort zones.

What role, if any, does ethics play in your curriculum, and how has that evolved over time?
Transparency and ethical behavior of financial professionals have become key components in any academic finance curriculum. After the 2008 financial crisis, there has been larger focus in Kellogg’s finance curriculum on the role of ethical behavior.

This behavior is also tied to new regulations passed on monitoring the financial industry since new investors pay more attention to their financial professional’s ethical standards.

Given that we prepare financial professionals for the future, I feel I have the responsibility to make sure the message of ethical standards is properly conveyed in the classroom and in the finance curriculum in general.

What are you most excited about in your classroom?
The most excited part of my classes are the discussions we have among the students. Since I teach advanced classes in corporate finance, the exchange of ideas can become very lively and dynamic in the classroom. If you are not ready to engage in class discussions, these are not the courses you would like to enroll in!

Best advice for an aspiring business mogul?
The advice I’d give is simple: Just push yourself to the limits and give 150% on whatever you do. For me, this would leave a mark independent of what you are doing career-wise.

What’s the impact you want to leave on your students? … On the world?
I prefer to think that I do something small and the sum of those small things will hopefully affect the bigger scheme of things. If I can push students to think deeply on issues, challenge the status-quo, and be engaged and curious on financial strategy topics – a subject that for many students is challenging or daunting – then I would feel personally satisfied.

Thank you Professor Liberti for sharing your time and insights with our readers!

(Photo by Jean Lachat)

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

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

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

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Round 3 Insight from MBA Admissions Officers [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 3 Insight from MBA Admissions Officers
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Round 3 deadlines are nearly upon us, and while the final round is the biggest gamble of the application cycle, schools have that round for a reason and use it to admit those stellar students that add something really special to their classes.

Special meaning unusual work experience, substantial community service, a diverse background, compelling leadership examples, unique or uncommon interests outside of business or entrepreneurial success of some sort.

Here’s a sampling of reactions from the admissions teams at well-ranked MBA programs on whether Round 3 really is a viable option for applicants.

Yale School of Management
“My view is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by applying in Round 3,” says Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico. His reasoning? Well, they always save room for applicants from the final round. Plus, unlike at some business schools, international students are welcome to apply in the third round.

And finally, DelMonico says, “Round 3 can be a ‘test run’ for your next application, without any negative consequences. For applicants who aren’t admitted this year, we provide feedback upon request over the summer on how you might be able to improve your candidacy, so there can even be a benefit to applying now.”

MIT Sloan School of Management
“Three years ago, we decided to add a Round 3 application deadline for a variety of reasons, one of which was  because we wanted to accommodate applicants who become ready to apply later in the traditional MBA admissions cycle,” explains MBA admissions director Dawna Levenson.

“The Round 3 application deadline was designed to give these individuals—whose professional or personal circumstances have unexpectedly changed—an opportunity not to have to wait another year.  So if this sounds like you, and you are now ready to begin your MBA studies next fall, I encourage you to apply!”

UT McCombs School of Business
“Our goal in all of our programs is to build the best and most diverse class that we can, NOT to fill all of our seats as fast as we can. So the best time to submit your application is when you are ready to do so, when you’re confident it will be the best representation of you and your fit with the program. You can trust that we’ll be ready to start the review process,” writes Kimberly Jones on the McCombs MBA Insider blog.

Michigan Ross School of Business
And finally, admissions Director Soojin Kwon gives these three, succinct reasons to apply in Round 3.

  • We reserve space in the class for Round 3.
  • We like Round 3 applicants. Last year, some of our best students – academically and leadership-wise – were admitted in Round 3.
  • There’s no chance of being admitted if you don’t apply.
SBC’s Advice for Round 3 Applicants
You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain to the admissions committee your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply. You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.

With fewer slots available, fine-tune your focus on schools where you’ll be a compelling candidate. A strong, well-thought-out application is critical. Make sure your academic profile aligns with the school’s median GMAT and average GPA and that you add something special to the class that the admissions committee didn’t see earlier in the season.

Standing out from the pack is imperative, and never more so than when applying later in the game. As I mentioned in this US News blog post, if you want to do well in the admissions process, you have to communicate who you are, not just what you do.

Finally, it’s important to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. You can always apply to a set of schools in round three knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new ones next season.

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

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

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It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your B-School Candidacy [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your B-School Candidacy
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If you are planning on applying to business school in the upcoming admissions season, you may think there is nothing you can do to bolster your MBA candidacy in such a short amount of time. Not true! You can take action in several areas right now that will pay dividends in the fall.

Academic Enhancement
If your GPA is a 3.2 or below, or you majored in liberal arts, you may want to consider taking quantitative classes to enhance your academic profile. When in doubt about the strength of your test scores, consult your target schools’ admitted student profile page and compare them to the median reported score.  If you took the GMAT once or twice and did not receive the score you think you are capable of, consider taking a prep course to remind you how to solve those high school math logic problems.

Retake the GMAT until you’re satisfied, or prove you have the quantitative chops by acing a college-level statistics, microeconomics, or calculus course at the local community college.  If an applicant is really dissatisfied with their GMAT score, sometimes the best option is to think way out of the box and take the GRE and see how the two scores stack up.

Fortunately, most MBA admissions teams take a holistic view toward an individual’s candidacy, so enthusiastic recommendation letters that also address the applicant’s quant skills will carry significant weight with the committee.

Extracurricular Involvement
A strong focus on work is great, but it’s important to showcase other aspects of your personality and prove that you bring a diverse set of skills to an MBA program. Community involvement demonstrates that you have a larger view of the world; that you see what’s happening outside of your office; and that you’re interested in contributing in some way.

You may not have had much time or energy to devote to outside interests and passions due to your 80-hour pre-MBA work week, but you should find ways to subtly up your engagement with the community in the coming months. This isn’t about gaming the process with some new-found volunteering involvement, however.

The best way to seamlessly incorporate extracurriculars is to think about longstanding passions and interests and build upon them. If you’ve volunteered for a certain group before, see what else you can help them with that’s more high profile, or ask if there are any open leadership roles that would be a good fit.

Don’t get hung up on traditional volunteer work, though. There are many ways to show your diversity, so think hard about what excites you and how you can leverage those interests for a greater good.

Leadership Development
Business schools want to see applicants with proven leadership skills that can be further developed through an MBA program.   A promotion between now and the fall would be the ideal scenario, but you don’t have to wait for your supervisor to act in order to enhance your overall leadership and management potential for business school applications.

Letting others at work know you are interested in developing your people skills may uncover more opportunities to go above and beyond, and provide great material for your resume and essays. Volunteer for that cross-functional team or project, offer to help your boss with a tough long-term goal, or get involved with employee groups at work whether through volunteering in the community or promoting diversity in your company.

To show leadership without clear career progression, look again to your extracurricular activities and think about taking on a leadership role. Can you find a way to lead with ideas, to show success because of your influence, communication skills, or ability to motivate people?  This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can run a project and motivate a team.

The spring and summer months can be very fruitful both for your personal development and for improving your business school application—or, more precisely, for strengthening your MBA candidacy. With a little advanced planning and a commitment of just a few hours a week, applicants can do a great deal to enhance their profile before that final rush of the fall and winter.

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

_________________

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

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

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More than One Admit? Decisions, Decisions [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2018, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: More than One Admit? Decisions, Decisions
Are you one of the fortunate b-school applicants who is weighing acceptances from more than one MBA program? If so, congratulations!

Before we go any further, let’s stop and take a moment to appreciate how many people wish they were you right now. We certainly hope you understand how impressive this achievement is and have taken some time to celebrate accordingly.

But now, you have a tough decision to make. You probably only applied to schools you were truly interested in, and soon it will be time to choose between two of them (or more). How should you figure out where to spend eighteen months of your life — not to mention tens of thousands of dollars?

Step one is to attend each program’s Admit Weekend. Spending time on campus and around current students and other admitted applicants will go a long way in helping you decide which program is the better fit.

If you cannot find a way to go to the Admit Weekend for each school you’ve been accepted to, do everything else you can to at least visit campus and sit in on a few classes. Worst-case scenario: try to speak or Skype with alumni and current students.

Then think about where you want to end up geographically after graduation. Is one program in your desired city — or at least in the same overall region? Does one program have a reputation for helping its students land jobs in the area you want to live?

If location isn’t a concern, then focus on what does matter most to you: recruitment stats for certain industries? Diversity? International opportunities? We know you reviewed all of this information when you were deciding where to apply in the first place, but now it warrants a second, closer look.

In the end, this may be the best advice of all:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

_________________

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

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

More than One Admit? Decisions, Decisions   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2018, 11:00

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