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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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The Bigger Picture: Trust the Process  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: Trust the Process
I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a brand manager at a big consumer packaged goods company, like Nestle or Proctor & Gamble. After I received my undergraduate degree from Wharton, I moved to San Francisco and landed a good post-college position in finance. As I spent my days behind a desk, staring at black and white spreadsheets with complex financial models, I knew what would happen next. I would go to Kellogg, known for its marketing expertise, and then transition from finance into a job in brand.

I kept my head down, worked very hard, and was admitted to Kellogg. When I got there, I attended every marketing presentation, joined the marketing club and was genuinely excited when interview season began. Unfortunately, there was a glitch; I bombed interview after interview, rarely making it to the second round and never beyond that. As the season progressed without offer in hand, I grew increasingly anxious. Fortunately, I did secure an offer for a summer position with Pillsbury, working on the Haagen-Dazs ice cream brand. I breathed a sigh of relief, confident that everything was proceeding according to the master plan.

As it turned out, I did not like brand management. Not at all. As I endured my summer, I was seized with panic, not knowing what my next move would be. When I headed back to school in the Fall I was completely deflated. I was a second year at Kellogg and I had no direction. Recruiting for full time positions would begin right away and I did not even know what I would interview for. Why was I at Kellogg? Where was I going? Would my degree be a waste?

When everyone landed on campus, I reunited with friends and we swapped stories from our summer adventures. One night I found myself sharing sob stories with two other women in my class. They also hated their internships and did not know what they were going to do next. Feeling lost at a time when most other classmates were “set”, we joked about going off and starting our own thing: writing a book, opening a store, launching a business. Over the course of that year, we did launch a business, and that business was quickly acquired, and it set me off on an unexpected entrepreneurial path that was exciting, interesting and fulfilling.

It turns out I didn’t know everything at age 17. There were possibilities that I did not even know existed at that time. I had to walk that twisty-turny path in order to find my place, to discover what worked for me. I had to fail. I had to feel desperately lost. I had to go through interviews that weren’t right for me. I had to be rejected. A lot. The universe had plans for me that I could not even conceive of. It honestly never crossed my mind that I would run my own company.

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I went to b-school in order to land a job but instead was exposed to ideas and options and people that would help me more personally define my future and create my own career.

The process is usually painful and difficult. Whether it is a quest for a job, a degree, love or personal fulfillment, the single thing that makes it really hard is the uncertainty. Getting rejected from 30 different jobs is painful, but if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would land #31, that would certainly cushion the blows. The rejections, setbacks and stumbles are nothing to be ashamed of. They are badges of honor that you accumulate on your way, as part of an essential process.

Over time, I have learned to trust that process, uncertainty and all. We rarely land at Point B via the straight line that we envision. Walk that tangled line. Walk it deliberately. Pay attention. Trust and fail and succeed.

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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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Shortened GMAT Exam Debuts April 16  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Shortened GMAT Exam Debuts April 16
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The Graduate Management Admission Council has announced it is shortening the length of the GMAT exam by 30 minutes as part of its ongoing focus on creating the best possible testing experience and offering user-friendly features.

The new, shorter exam – 3.5 hours instead of 4 – will be available for test-takers worldwide beginning April 16.  The quality of the exam remains unchanged in terms of reliability, validity, security and integrity. GMAT scores before and after this change will be the same and comparable across time.

The time savings are achieved by streamlining the two longer sections of the exam, the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections, reducing the number of unscored, research questions in these sections. Several tutorial and instruction screens that test-takers see at the test center have also been simplified.

This includes a 23-minute reduction in the exam sections, as well as additional time and content reduction across several non-exam screens at the test center (e.g. Tutorial, Section Instructions).

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT exam will be shorter by 13 and 10 minutes, respectively. The new section structure is as follows:

 
Old Structure (Reference)
New Structure (After April 16)

Section
# of Questions
Section Time
# of Questions
Section Time

Quantitative Reasoning
37
75 minutes
31
62 minutes

Verbal Reasoning
41
75 minutes
36
65 minutes

There are no changes to the exam’s Analytical Writing or Integrated Reasoning sections. The way the GMAT exam is scored, the content of the exam, the question types and the average time per question are not changing.

“We are always looking for ways to help build candidate confidence and streamline the test experience, all with one goal in mind—to help GMAT test-takers do their very best on exam day,” said Vineet Chhabra, senior director of product management for GMAC. “We believe candidates will have less anxiety and feel better prepared, which can contribute to a better reflection of their true performance on the exam.”

These changes are part of a series of candidate-friendly enhancements to the GMAT exam in recent years, all focused on improving the testing experience, including:
•    Exam section order selection at the testing center (Select Section  Order)

•    Making unofficial scores available immediately, before leaving the test center following the exam

•    Updates to score cancellation and reinstatement options

“Through our ongoing market feedback and operational reviews, we were able to identify this opportunity to shorten the exam, without changing its reliability,” said Chhabra.

“This change will not affect GMAT exam scoring as the number of scored questions will not change. The scoring algorithm will be the same; the Total Score and individual Quantitative and Verbal section scores will be comparable to the exams taken prior to this change. There is no action or change required on the part of business schools and universities. We are providing candidates with a better testing experience, while providing business schools with the same high quality, fair and reliable scores,” Chhabra added.

Along with these changes, GMAC is providing a new, online tutorial that mimics the screens that test-takers see on exam day, further enhancing and streamlining the test center experience. By moving the tutorial information online, to www.mba.com, test takers can access it prior to arriving at the test center, at their convenience and as often as they wish.

To align with the changes, GMAC is launching new GMAT Official Prep tools to match the structure of the shorter exam. The GMAT Official Practice Exams and Practice Questions will be available on an online platform for better ease-of-use, as well as some feature improvements such as single sign-on and ability to access prep materials across multiple devices.

GMAT Official Prep tools are the only official source of retired GMAT questions, and the Council’s research shows that candidates who use official products score an average of 18 percent higher on the GMAT exam than those who don’t. The updated practice tools will be available by the end of April.

To learn more about the changes, please review these FAQs.

Image by Flickr user Heather Katsoulis (CC BY-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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2213
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Advance Planning is Key to Funding Your MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advance Planning is Key to Funding Your MBA
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Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how you will pay for it. It helps to think of the MBA as a long-term investment, and fortunately, schools want to work with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

As you create your plan to pay for business school, you should contact your prospective school’s financial aid office. You can also get advice through admissions events. Financial aid officers have seen it all before, and they want to ensure qualified candidates can pay for the degree.

Starting early – at least three months before applying – is also important if you’re pursuing scholarships, fellowships or grants. You can count on fierce competition for scholarships–AKA free money—so you’ll benefit from having the time to create strong scholarship applications, and from knowing the key deadlines so that opportunities don’t pass you by.

You may also need to submit a different application for each fellowship or scholarship. Don’t lose out because of a missed deadline. Look beyond your business school, too, to organizations like the Forte Foundation or Consortium for Graduate Study in Management that offer highly valuable scholarships for MBA students.

Schools that offer you admission may automatically consider you for merit fellowships based on your academic credentials, accomplishments and experience communicated in your application. Some schools may also offer additional fellowships that you can apply for directly through the program.

Applying for the Money
There are many different application processes for financial aid, from demonstrating need to demonstrating merit. Organize the deadlines and submission guidelines to make sure you have a plan to complete the applications, and carefully follow the directions of each scholarship, fellowship or loan you apply for.

If you need to submit an essay, answer the question thoroughly and succinctly as you would any other MBA essay. Questions may vary, though this question is representative of the type of question you may receive:

Describe what you see as the value of fellowships/scholarships to students. Why should you receive one? What impact will it have on you and/or your business school experience? (500 words)

The value of fellowships/scholarships should be fairly straightforward, though you may emphasize either need or merit in your response, depending upon the direction you plan to take in the argument for your own application.

The need-based direction may be difficult to prove without serious financial hardship. If you did have difficulties with finances throughout your life and could not attend business school without such assistance, you may have a good argument. If not, you should pursue the merit-based direction.

Providing evidence for the need-based direction of the argument should be fairly straightforward. Describe your situation and why you would have difficulty paying for your MBA education. Avoid any complaining or blame, and instead focus on what you have accomplished in your life with little resources, and what you would continue to accomplish as you benefit from greater resources.

If you choose a merit-based argument, you should outline your accomplishments, both academic and professional. Sell yourself as you would in a job interview, and provide solid evidence for your accomplishments as you did in your application essays.

The impact of financial assistance may allow you to pursue activities such as travel and leadership opportunities. In addition, your receipt of aid may benefit the people around you. If you have been involved in your community or with charity, you can certainly describe the impact you have made on the lives of others thus far and how that impact will be even greater with a business education.

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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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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Wharton’s New Leadership Fellows Program Launched with $4M Alumni Gift  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2018, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton’s New Leadership Fellows Program Launched with $4M Alumni Gift
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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has received a commitment of $4 million from alum William P. Lauder to endow the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program.

Wharton Leadership Fellows are a community of second-year MBA students who mentor, coach, and support first-year students in developing their potential and strengthening their performance as learning teams.

Over the course of 15 months, the fellows receive intensive leadership development opportunities that first focus on enhancing their own abilities and then transition to hands-on experience building those skills in others. Fellows play a critical role in strengthening team dynamics, providing feedback, addressing conflict, and coaching individual growth and development.

Lauder is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees, the Lauder Institute Board of Governors, the Wharton Leadership Advisory Board, and a lecturer in the Wharton School.

“I have always believed that great leaders are also great teachers, coaches, and mentors,” says Lauder, who serves as Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies.

“That’s what I expect of leaders at The Estée Lauder Companies, and what I hope to model for MBA students. I’ve been fortunate to have many extraordinary mentors in my career — my father Leonard A. Lauder, W’54, chief among them — and I’ve been consistently impressed by the ways in which Wharton Leadership Fellows enhance and contribute to the learning culture at Wharton. I am thrilled to support this outstanding program’s continued growth and evolution.”

This gift continues the Lauder family’s longstanding commitment to supporting education and the Penn community — from the Lauder Institute, to student fellowships, to numerous capital projects, including the recently completed New College House at 3335 Woodland Walk — and enriching the Penn experience for future generations of students.

“William Lauder’s contributions to the Penn community extend far beyond his generous financial support,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “William is an active presence on campus, sharing his time and insight with our students enrolled in his popular MBA course and providing exceptional advice and guidance to University leadership as a member of the Penn Board of Trustees. William’s investment in the Wharton community is a deeply personal one, and he has been an extraordinary asset to our students over the years as a teacher, mentor, and role model. I look forward to watching the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program flourish under his stewardship.”

Income from the endowment will provide sustainable resources to select, train, and support the Wharton Leadership Fellows in their work with first-year MBA students. Lauder’s gift will also bring a new one-day leadership symposium to the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program dedicated to exploring leadership principles in action.

“William embodies the core Wharton value of empowering leaders to change the world and we are deeply honored by his decision to endow the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program,” said Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett. “The Leadership Fellows Program is a jewel in the Wharton MBA crown providing life-changing experiences for countless students. With William’s partnership, the program’s reach and impact will grow exponentially.”

Lauder is already known as an innovator among the Wharton faculty. The course he created and teaches, MGMT 892: Decision Making in the Leadership Chair, now in its sixth year, brings renowned business and civic leaders into the classroom each week to share lessons from their careers with second-year MBA students.

In 2014, Mr. Lauder was recognized by his fellow faculty members with the Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award for the by-application course, which consistently ranks among the school’s most popular electives.

“I have had the privilege of working with William for the past decade on various programs for senior leaders through our Executive Education partnership, and on his outstanding course, Decision Making in the Leadership Chair,” said Professor Michael Useem, director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management and the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management at Wharton.

“William’s passion for teaching and love of learning are second to none, and his insight and experience as a leader of a global company make him the ideal sponsor for the Wharton Leadership Fellows Program. I am pleased to partner with him to continue building this signature program for future generations of 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

_________________

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2213
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Repeat After Me: The MBA Admissions Process is Subjective  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Repeat After Me: The MBA Admissions Process is Subjective
If Round 2 results from your dream school are in and you didn’t get the news you were hoping for, it can be pretty devastating. After months of hard work on your application and then a few more months of anxiety-ridden waiting, finding out that you weren’t accepted is tough.

When you’re already feeling confused, down or angry, learning that a friend or co-worker did get in is like having salt poured in your proverbial wound. If you believe you’re actually more qualified than the person you know who was accepted, it’s even worse.

Why do scenarios like this come to pass? How can it be that two people who work at the same place or are similar “on paper” meet such different MBA fates? How can someone who’s a stellar candidate receive a ding when a seemingly so-so applicant is accepted?

There are three main answers to those questions:

  • The MBA application process is subjective. Admissions committees consider thousands and thousands of qualified applicants each year and have developed a strong sense for who will fit best with their program. While you may think you’d be a bigger asset to a certain school than an acquaintance who got in, the admissions committee felt differently.
  • You don’t know absolutely everything about your friend or co-worker’s candidacy. If you did your homework on the MBA process, you know that adcoms are looking for what makes applicants tick. They want to understand your personality. They are interested in more than just your career experience and “stats.” Even if you read your friend’s essays, you probably don’t know every single detail that was included in their applications and recommendation letters, nor do you know everything that was discussed in their interview. Chances are your demographics, backgrounds and motivations are not as similar as you might have thought, and the adcom saw something in your friend that they were looking for.
  • You may not have even been competing with your friend for a spot in the first place. As alluded to above, we know that each program strives to put together a diverse class of impressive people. However, no one knows the magic formula that any given adcom uses to fill open spots. But what we do know is that it’s not as straightforward as most applicants assume — meaning that everything from your gender to your industry to your nationality to your career aspirations, community service and personality comes into play when an adcom attempts to build a graduating class.
We know how tempting it is to play the comparison game. But unfortunately, doing so won’t change anything or make you feel any better. The best thing you can do is try to be objective about how you could improve your candidacy if you reapply next year — or consider additional programs that might improve your odds.

Think of it this way:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

***

Looking for an objective, expert opinion on why you might have been dinged from your dream school? You might be interested in our Ding Analysis, available through our hourly consulting service.

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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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2213
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Professor Profiles: Babson College’s Ruben Mancha  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2018, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Professor Profiles: Babson College’s Ruben Mancha
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, let’s learn more about  Rubén Mancha, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Babson College and Faculty Director of the Babson Digital Experience Initiative.  He teaches information technology courses at Olin Graduate School of Management and business analytics courses at Babson Executive Education. In 2017, he was a recipient of the Best 40-Under-40 Business School Professors award by Poets and Quants.

Education: Ph.D. in Information Technology; M.S. in Management of Technology, The University of Texas at San Antonio. B.S. in Food Science and Technology, University of La Laguna (Spain).

Courses Taught: Information Technology, MBA and M.S. in Entrepreneurial Leadership programs; Digital Innovation and Strategy, executive education.

What triggered your interest in your subject matter?
I have always been interested in technology. As I high school student, when I first had access to a computer, I was captivated by the creative possibilities technology enabled. I learned to code websites and was fascinated by Seti@Home, the volunteer computing project to process radio telescope data.

As an undergraduate science student, I interned for a chemistry research group with state-of-the-art computer-aided tools and became interested in the simulation of biological systems. Soon I started seeing technology as a driver of scientific and economic development and social change, and made technology the focus of my studies.

What do you like about the school you are teaching at?
Babson is a small college with grand ambitions and accomplishments. I particularly like the culture of experimentation shared by students, faculty, and administrators; the emphasis on teaching excellence; and the focus on social innovation. Babson is a lifelong community of entrepreneurs, and being part of it comes with a sense of purpose.

How do you leverage technology in your classroom?
I incorporate several technologies in my classes, from data analysis and visualization tools (e.g., Tableau) to IoT prototyping platforms (e.g., Arduino). I find it essential that my students experiment with technologies and gain confidence using them.

At the same time, I avoid making technology the sole object of my courses, as managing technology is as much of a human endeavor as it is a technical one.

What can you do in the classroom to best prepare students for the real world?
I limit lectures in favor of the study of cases and experiential projects. I find students are better prepared for their careers when they have the opportunity to analyze realistic business scenarios and work on consulting engagements with clients.

 Can you speak to interesting trends in your field?
It is an exciting time to study digital technology. Self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotics will become part of our everyday lives in the next decade.

Those advances will not only change the way businesses create and deliver value to people but will also have a transformative impact on humankind and our relationship with the natural environment.

These technologies will offer opportunities for building more egalitarian and sustainable societies, at the same time that they will accentuate some of the ethical challenges (e.g., algorithmic bias, privacy, data and algorithmic governance, electricity consumption) that legislators, researchers, and technologists seek to address.

What role, if any, does ethics play in your curriculum, and how has that evolved over time?
Over the years, ethics has become a prominent topic in my classes. When I started teaching information technology more than a decade ago, ethics of technology was discussed a side note on a topic covering information security and privacy.

These days, it is not possible to separate technology from the business ecosystems and societies in which it lives. Over time, I learned to design courses incorporating ethical frameworks to support business decision-making and analyze the social and environmental consequences of those decisions.

Also, as my courses have become more experiential and students build technology prototypes and design businesses, I expect them to demonstrate ethical sensibility and incorporate ethical analyses into their business models.

How can business leaders make better decisions?
In my research, I explore how digital companies and incumbent organizations innovate with digital technologies. I have identified some principles that business leaders should follow to make better decisions in the age of digitalization:

  • Create a data strategy – You should treat data as an organizational asset. To make good decisions, you need to start with quality data.
  • Understand the algorithms supporting your decisions – Algorithms codify your business know-how, and you should understand their assumptions and limitations. A poorly-designed algorithm, or one that makes use of biased models or data, will lead you to make suboptimal decisions.
  • Rely on analytics and experimentation – As important as it is making good decisions, it is to know when to make decisions, and about what to make decisions. A business culture of analytics and experimentation will help you discover what you do not know about your business, and adapt to the changing business opportunities and
  • Think business ecosystems – companies no longer operate in linear supply chains, but in business ecosystems. To make the right strategic decisions, you should listen to your stakeholders and create interactions that deliver value to all of them.
Best advice for an aspiring business mogul?
 No matter what business you are in, seek to design experiences that deliver value to every stakeholder.

Thank you Professor Mancha for sharing your time and insights with our readers! You can find Professor Rubén Mancha on LinkedIn and Twitter:  @RubenMMancha

 

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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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2213
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Have You Drafted Your MBA Application Timeline?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Have You Drafted Your MBA Application Timeline?
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If you’re planning to apply to business school in the fall, now is the time to come up with a game plan for completing the admissions components within a schedule that doesn’t necessitate sleepless nights and a jumbo bottle of Maalox. The best way to do this is to put together your MBA application timeline months before your target deadlines.

Timing and planning are both key to reducing the stress of the MBA application process, and applicants should channel their energy and enthusiasm into planning through their MBA steps. This way, candidates can commit enough time to put their ”˜best foot forward’ when it comes to completing all of the application requirements.

By identifying your desired program’s start date and planning backward through the necessary steps required to meet all admissions components, you’ll build a critical path that makes the process manageable and allows you to shine in every aspect.

Here are some time management suggestions for the MBA application process:

  • Devote a significant amount of time to GMAT preparation, typically at least 100 hours;
  • allow yourself the time to develop thoughtful MBA essays;
  • ensure you have built relationships and briefed the individuals you will approach for references.
Some people work most efficiently when they can break up tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, while others prefer to devote several hours to their writing in one sitting. MBA applicants should be aware of the way they work most effectively and structure their writing and editing sessions accordingly.

We typically recommend that candidates allocate two to three hours each time they sit down to work on their essays, particularly for the first few drafts. Conversely, most applicants should also avoid the “marathon session.”

Few people are still sharp or creative eight hours into a writing and editing session. If you need to make up for lost time, try breaking it up with a session in the morning and another in the evening.

The amount of time MBA aspirants will spend on their applications will vary, depending on writing abilities and general work efficiency. That said, plan to spend between 40 and 60 hours preparing four to eight applications. Non-native English speakers will also likely need to allot more time on their applications, particularly on writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting essays.

Remember that all parts of your application must be submitted by the application deadline, including the recommendation letters. Since it is more difficult to control the timeline of a third party, give your recommenders plenty of lead time. Build in a buffer for yourself by providing them with a deadline well in advance of the actual application deadline. At a minimum, request the letter four weeks prior to the application deadline.

The b-school application process is stressful, but careful planning will make the experience manageable and help you channel your energies into continually improving your candidacy until the moment you submit your applications.

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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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Do These 7 Things Now if B-School is in Your Future  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Do These 7 Things Now if B-School is in Your Future
Image
Take a look into that proverbial crystal ball…Do you see yourself one day launching your own company, leading a global team of diverse individuals, and rocking some mad professional skills? If that’s the case, you’re probably considering the ways in which an MBA degree would help you reach those goals.

You may still be in college, but it’s never too early to begin investing your time and energy into areas that will pay off big time down the line. Take a look at seven things you can do right now as an undergrad to strengthen your MBA candidacy.

Cultivate leadership—B-schools groom the future leaders of the business world, and MBA admissions committees want to see that you already possess some leadership experience by the time you apply. But don’t freak out about this key requirement, as leadership doesn’t necessarily have to happen in a workplace context.

Your own leadership experience may come from an extracurricular activity, and a solid background that includes teamwork and collaboration demonstrates maturity and those all-important people skills. Can you show that you launched initiatives, programs or ventures of some kind?

Perhaps you’ve started a small business while in school, led a nonprofit, founded and led a club, or spearheaded a major fundraiser. All of that’s good stuff in the eyes of the admissions committee; it’s not about the scale of your achievements—it’s the fact that you made your mark.

Seek internships leading to growth, new skills—Internships allow you to try a new career on for size and help lay the foundation for a strong professional network. This can be especially helpful for applicants who have had a lighter quant background in college and need to demonstrate they can also handle the rigorous academics of an MBA program.

You’ll acquire new skills, crystallize your career goals, and have a better idea of whether the degree is the next logical step. Future employers and graduate programs alike appreciate the educational value a quality internship provides.

Show emotional maturity—College is a time of tremendous growth, from your personal values to your view of the world at large. You’ll want to bring a rich assortment of life experiences to the table when applying to business school, so start finding ways to grow wiser now.

The ability to show humility and gratitude, keep long-term commitments, strengthen character, and seek continual self-improvement will serve you immensely in whatever path your future takes.

Clean up your social media profile—As digital natives, you probably already have a significant online presence across several platforms. Whether you’re applying for an internship, job, or for grad school, your evaluator will likely perform a quick online search of your profile to see if the persona you’ve presented formally matches with the “real” you. Remember last year, when Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to ten students who had posted offensive memes in a private Facebook group?

You don’t have to have such an extreme case of closet skeletons for a cleanup job to be in order. Pics of drunken revelry, controversial political or religious posts, or anything that could possibly be considered poor taste should get 86’d—stat. Subject it all to the grandma test: if you wouldn’t want Nana to see it, just get rid of it.

Boost volunteering efforts— The MBA experience is about leveraging all facets of your life to help your classmates learn. Top-ranked MBA programs aren’t looking for number-crunching robots to fill their seats – they seek multidimensional candidates who have shown a commitment to serving their community in some meaningful way.

There’s no time like the present to deepen or establish your involvement with a volunteer organization. If you have been involved with outside activities over the last couple of years, consider stepping up your participation a notch. Consider roles that will allow you to take a leadership position and create real impact.

Talk to current MBA students and alumni—Take advantage of your proximity to one of the world’s premier business schools! Talk to students to find out about their own decision-making process, learn more about the MBA student experience, and ask alumni how the degree has impacted their career. Getting the 411 from current and former students with similar professional aspirations will go a long way toward informing your ultimate decision to apply.

Finally, you may be wondering whether there’s such a thing as a “right time” to go for an MBA. SBC clients frequently ask if they’re too young to apply to some of the world’s top business schools. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, many b-school hopefuls consider pursuing an MBA straight out of undergrad or with limited work experience a no-brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years—and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors—and potentially an MBA admissions consultant—early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school. The exact timing is unique for each person, but whenever ends up being right for you, getting a head start in these seven aspects will serve you well.

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

_________________

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

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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4 Tips for Reapplying to Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2018, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Tips for Reapplying to Business School
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Applying to business school is time-consuming, stressful, exhausting, and not for the faint-hearted. If you applied but failed to receive an offer of admission at one of your top choice schools this year, you’ll want to take some time to disconnect from the process and mentally regroup—especially if you plan to try again next season.

Competition at the most elite MBA programs is brutal, so chances are those initial rejections weren’t caused by some epic fail on your part. Everyone has room for improvement, however, and we recommend going through the following steps if you want to see more positive results the next go-around.

Tip 1: Assess What Worked, and What Didn’t, the First Time

Once you’ve accepted the fact that you won’t be going to business school in the fall after all, it’s time to cast a critical eye to your initial application to find out why it was rejected. Go through every component to suss out any weak elements.

Do you have limited work experience? Did you use the essays to paint a clear picture of why business school makes sense at this point in your career? Have you shown why you “fit” with a particular school, and what you would contribute to the class? Are your test scores significantly below average?

Feedback directly from the school can be difficult to come by, given the sheer volume of applicants. However, if you do have the chance to speak with a member of the admissions committee, ask for details about each area of your application to determine your weak spots. Make sure you walk away from any feedback session with action items for next year.

Tip 2: Mitigate Red Flags

Though it’s rarely one single thing that generates a ding, frequent red flags include less than stellar recommendations and low GMAT test scores or undergraduate grade point averages.

With Round 1 deadlines coming in September at many schools, this doesn’t leave a lot of time to tackle your weak spots. You can’t do anything about your GPA, but you can retake the GMAT if you scored below average. Or, consider enrolling in a college-level statistics or calculus course that demonstrates you possess the required quant chops.

Many times, a lukewarm recommendation is what torpedoes a candidate’s chances. Make sure your recommenders are enthusiastic about your MBA plans.  Since you usually won’t see the finished letter, it’s important to guide your recommenders by reminding them of concrete examples of your leadership skills and accomplishments.

We suggest saying something like, “I want you to feel comfortable, but I also want to make it as easy as possible for you, so I put together this list of accomplishments.” If you have doubts about whether your supervisors would be willing to write you an outstanding letter of recommendation, then you may need to postpone applying to business school until you do feel confident of their support.

Tip 3: Boost Extracurricular Activities

In our experience, even less than a year before your application you can still address a shortcoming in your involvement outside of work. Extracurriculars are worth incorporating into your application for several reasons.

First, they show admissions officials that you are multi-dimensional. Extracurriculars also indicate how you might contribute to the vitality of a class and alumni network. When thinking about ways to become involved, don’t get hung up on traditional volunteer work.

There are many ways to show your diversity, and a good place to start is with your interests and passions. Think hard about what excites you and how you can leverage those interests for a greater good.

Consider roles that will allow you to take a leadership position and create real impact before September. Offering to organize an event is a great activity that will allow you to work in a team, have an impact, and show results in a low-risk, high-responsibility situation.

Tip 4: Match Your Profile with the Right Schools

Some people apply to places that are clearly wrong for them. If your scores don’t come close to those of an average student at the school, it’s not likely you’ll get in next time unless you make tremendous strides on your GMAT and have other, extremely impressive qualifications too.

If you’re reapplying for a second or third time, you should consider adding a few less competitive programs to your list in addition to your top one or two dream schools. It’s more important to be pragmatic and align your expectations with the MBA programs that match your particular profile. Unless you’re going into finance or consulting, you have greater flexibility in finding a niche program that’s the right fit for you.

Admissions committees know there’s no such thing as a “perfect” candidate, and one of the best ways to show how self-aware you are is by acknowledging your shortcomings.  Put your energies toward boosting your candidacy in the areas of your application you can control, namely the essays, extracurriculars and, to some extent, the recommendation letters.

If you can demonstrate real growth and commitment to strengthening your candidacy, you can turn those initial dings into the prologue of your business school success story.

photo credit: Skokie Public Library (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
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Do These 7 Things Now if B-School is in Your Future  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Do These 7 Things Now if B-School is in Your Future
Image
Take a look into that proverbial crystal ball…Do you see yourself one day launching your own company, leading a global team of diverse individuals, and rocking some mad professional skills? If that’s the case, you’re probably considering the ways in which an MBA degree would help you reach those goals.

You may still be in college, but it’s never too early to begin investing your time and energy into areas that will pay off big time down the line. Take a look at seven things you can do right now as an undergrad to strengthen your MBA candidacy.

Cultivate leadership—B-schools groom the future leaders of the business world, and MBA admissions committees want to see that you already possess some leadership experience by the time you apply. But don’t freak out about this key requirement, as leadership doesn’t necessarily have to happen in a workplace context.

Your own leadership experience may come from an extracurricular activity, and a solid background that includes teamwork and collaboration demonstrates maturity and those all-important people skills. Can you show that you launched initiatives, programs or ventures of some kind?

Perhaps you’ve started a small business while in school, led a nonprofit, founded and led a club, or spearheaded a major fundraiser. All of that’s good stuff in the eyes of the admissions committee; it’s not about the scale of your achievements—it’s the fact that you made your mark.

Seek internships leading to growth, new skills—Internships allow you to try a new career on for size and help lay the foundation for a strong professional network. This can be especially helpful for applicants who have had a lighter quant background in college and need to demonstrate they can also handle the rigorous academics of an MBA program.

You’ll acquire new skills, crystallize your career goals, and have a better idea of whether the degree is the next logical step. Future employers and graduate programs alike appreciate the educational value a quality internship provides.

Show emotional maturity—College is a time of tremendous growth, from your personal values to your view of the world at large. You’ll want to bring a rich assortment of life experiences to the table when applying to business school, so start finding ways to grow wiser now.

The ability to show humility and gratitude, keep long-term commitments, strengthen character, and seek continual self-improvement will serve you immensely in whatever path your future takes.

Clean up your social media profile—As digital natives, you probably already have a significant online presence across several platforms. Whether you’re applying for an internship, job, or for grad school, your evaluator will likely perform a quick online search of your profile to see if the persona you’ve presented formally matches with the “real” you. Remember last year, when Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to ten students who had posted offensive memes in a private Facebook group?

You don’t have to have such an extreme case of closet skeletons for a cleanup job to be in order. Pics of drunken revelry, controversial political or religious posts, or anything that could possibly be considered poor taste should get 86’d—stat. Subject it all to the grandma test: if you wouldn’t want Nana to see it, just get rid of it.

Boost volunteering efforts— The MBA experience is about leveraging all facets of your life to help your classmates learn. Top-ranked MBA programs aren’t looking for number-crunching robots to fill their seats – they seek multidimensional candidates who have shown a commitment to serving their community in some meaningful way.

There’s no time like the present to deepen or establish your involvement with a volunteer organization. If you have been involved with outside activities over the last couple of years, consider stepping up your participation a notch. Consider roles that will allow you to take a leadership position and create real impact.

Talk to current MBA students and alumni—Take advantage of your proximity to the business school at your university. Talk to students to find out about their own decision-making process, learn more about the MBA student experience, and ask alumni how the degree has impacted their career. Getting the 411 from current and former students with similar professional aspirations will go a long way toward informing your ultimate decision to apply.

Finally, you may be wondering whether there’s such a thing as a “right time” to go for an MBA. SBC clients frequently ask if they’re too young to apply to some of the world’s top business schools. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, many b-school hopefuls consider pursuing an MBA straight out of undergrad or with limited work experience a no-brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years—and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors—and potentially an MBA admissions consultant—early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school. The exact timing is unique for each person, but whenever ends up being right for you, getting a head start in these seven aspects will serve you well.

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

_________________

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

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

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User avatar
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Facing Rejection at the End of the MBA Admissions Season  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2018, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Facing Rejection at the End of the MBA Admissions Season
While we know that many people are still awaiting the results of their Round 2 application efforts — or might get off of waitlists or be accepted somewhere in Round 3 — we also know there are MBA hopefuls whose journey has come to a disappointing end. What should you do if you were not accepted into any program?

In general, there are five different paths forward:

  • Apply to other schools you’re interested in before Round 3 deadlines hit. If you chose this option you’ve likely already submitted additional applications, as the vast majority of Round 3 cutoffs have now past. As you probably already know, Round 3 is usually not an ideal option unless you have a strong reason for waiting so long and can communicate that reason to the adcom. Otherwise they may view your application as a last-ditch effort to go somewhere and not believe you are genuinely interested in their program. There are, of course, some unique circumstances in which we would recommend this route, but typically it’s not the way to go.
  • Reapply at the appropriate time in the future. We work with successful reapplicants every year, so this route can definitely lead to acceptance at your dream school. However, for the most competitive programs, your odds of being admitted as a reapplicant are better if you were asked to interview during your previous attempt; it’s clear the program in question was interested in you before, but luck just wasn’t on your side. (And no, you weren’t dinged last time because you bombed your interview — trust us.) The most important thing to do as a reapplicant is to reapply at the right time. As anxious as you may be to go back to school, you really have to demonstrate growth and have something new to talk about that strengthens your candidacy. (And in case you’re wondering, a higher GMAT score alone usually wouldn’t be enough.) This might mean waiting more than one application-year cycle before you reapply, especially if you are on the younger side of the candidate pool.
  • Apply to different schools in the next application year. If you’re willing to cast a larger net, so to speak, then applying to business school again sooner rather than later is a totally acceptable plan. In fact, the process will still be fresh in your mind and you might not need to change much about your resume or data forms — you may even be able to ask your same recommenders to prepare additional letters. Just be sure you take a really objective look at what your weaknesses might have been in your previous materials so that you can tweak as necessary.
  • Apply to part-time or evening MBA programs. If you really want to get an MBA but full-time programs are not working out for you, a part-time, weekend or evening program may be the way to go. You’ll still make lifelong friends, get a top-notch education, have access to the same alumni network as the full-time program and earn the same degree in the end!
  • Forgo business school. We know you may not even be able to imagine this path right now… and we also know it’s a bit weird for MBA admissions consultants to tell anyone that getting an MBA might not be the way to go. But the reality is that a good chunk of the world’s most respected and inspiring leaders and innovators do not hold a business degree. If you really want to achieve your long-term career goals, we have no doubt that you can do so without an MBA.
Think of it this way:

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We’ll leave you with some uplifting words from one of our clients from this past application year who was a reapplicant accepted to both Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB:

“Trust the process. That’s what I kept telling myself when I decided to re-apply to the top 2 business schools in the world. I knew even an interview was beyond a long shot after being dinged without an interview in 2016 Round 2, but after the previous year’s rushed and half-hearted submission, I was determined to give it my all.

I vetted both MBAMission and SBC, and after my introductory call with Dawn I knew I had found my match. SBC’s approach was more introspective, not formulaic, and was specific to who I was as an applicant and the experiences that had shaped me into who I was. I was indeed a unique candidate and Dawn had a unique approach that was tailored to me, my experiences and my story.

Her in-depth knowledge of both schools and their specific applications helped put me at ease and gave me confidence that I could get past the black box of admissions and get to the interview stage. Not only did I get interviews at both schools, but I got offer letters from both as well. I would not have made it without her help and guidance.”

Read other client testimonials here!

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
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Michigan Ross Introduces REAL Experiential Learning Platform  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross Introduces REAL Experiential Learning Platform
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The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has launched a brand-new concept in experiential learning called Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning — REAL.

According to an announcement accompanying the launch, “REAL is a unifying concept that brings together the curricular and co-curricular opportunities that Michigan Ross students have now, and will have in the future, to start, advise, lead, and invest in real-world businesses.”

The four pillars of this initiative are:

REAL Start: Students develop a new business based on an original idea with the intent of achieving economic viability.

Michigan Ross students have the opportunity to take courses that have them developing real businesses as part of the curriculum, as well as co-curricular opportunities to develop their ideas can also lead to deeper mentoring, stronger business plan development, and large amounts of extra funding — the Michigan Business Challenge had its largest prize pool ever available for student startups this year.

REAL Advise: Student teams consult with a real-world organization on a pressing issue of strategic importance, providing substantive analysis and recommendations.

MAP remains the most immersive action-based program of it’s kind for full-time MBA students, sending the entire class of first-year students to work directly with an organization on solving a real business challenge.

This spring, Full-Time MBA students on MAP are partnering with more than 70 companies including  Facebook, Microsoft, Experian, Kraft, Google, and many more.

REAL Invest: Students manage seven focused investment funds, totaling more than $10 million in assets, in all aspects of their operations.

From early stage funds to funds that invest in more mature companies who are already making a profit, there are a diversity of experiences available to students interested in venture capital and fund management.

REAL Lead: In some of the newest REAL experiences available to Ross students, they assume functional responsibility for leading and operating an ongoing business concern, working with established corporate partners.

The Living Business Leadership Experience class, which kicked off last year, has students join teams working with companies like Shinola and Ford Smart Mobility. Read about how the teams working with Shinola this past semester were responsible for launching the company’s first ever line of headphones, in a recent post from one of the students responsible.

“I’m incredibly excited about the progress we’ve already made and the direction we’re heading,” said Scott DeRue, Edward J Frey Dean of Michigan Ross. “REAL represents the most comprehensive and effective experiential learning platform in business education, and it’s just getting started.”

You can learn more about Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning courses and co-curricular opportunities here.

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

_________________

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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3 Tips for MBA Admit Weekends  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Tips for MBA Admit Weekends
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Admissions Preview Day at IU Kelley School of Business

If you’re an MBA candidate who has received multiple offers of admission to business school this season, you’re probably weighing where to spend the next two years of your life – not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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

In addition to paying close attention to your overall gut feeling about the culture and energy on campus, you should keep these three goals top of mind during these events.

Tip 1: Network with potential future classmates. [/b]A hugely valuable component of an MBA program is that, over the next two years, you’ll create a network you will tap into for the rest of your career. Also, the intense nature of the business school experience bonds students and makes it a wonderful place to make lifelong friends.

During a welcome weekend, gauge your comfort level with the current students. How do you feel about your potential future classmates? Did you develop a nice rapport with any fellow attendees? Did you meet someone who could be a possible roommate, if you are looking for one?

While you’ll likely gravitate toward people with similar professional or cultural backgrounds at this type of event, take advantage of the fact that your possible future cohort is an extremely diverse group. By making an effort to meet people outside of your comfort zone, your admit weekend experience will be greatly enriched.

Tip 2: Learn all you can about student life. [/b]Of course, you already conducted exhaustive research about your target schools during the course of your applications and interviews, but now that you’re admitted, bring on the questions.

This is your chance to find out answers to all of the lingering doubts in your mind. Ask tons of questions about clubs, classes, favorite professors, travel opportunities and study abroad programs from current students who can fill in those remaining blanks.

Think of questions in advance and do a bit of research so that you know if there’s someone you want to talk with, a meeting you want to set up or a location you want to explore. Keep your interests and passions at the forefront of your mind during the visit to make absolutely sure the school in question can satisfy your nonnegotiable needs and wants.

If possible, stay in student dorms during your visit. Even if you have other housing plans, this is another valuable opportunity to meet current students and observe daily life on campus up close.

Tip 3: Get an authentic sense of the city or region.[/b] Candidates often apply to business schools in geographic areas that are new to them. Think about where you want to end up working after graduation.

Is the program in your desired city – or at least in the same overall region? Does it have a reputation for helping its students land jobs in the area you want to live?

Use this visit to get a better feel for housing options, too. Explore the neighborhoods where students live, and ask questions to clarify anything you would want to know before moving to a new city.

If location isn’t a major concern, then focus on what does matter most to you, whether that’s recruitment stats for certain industries, diversity or international opportunities. More than likely 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.

For applicants attending admitted student days at more than one program, go with an open mind and be prepared to reflect on the experience afterward. If you have already accepted an offer and visited the campus prior to admission, still attend the welcome weekend event and experience the school again without the anxiety you probably felt last time, particularly if your visit was for an interview.

The decision where to attend business school are personal, and every candidate has unique needs to fulfill. Use the preview weekend visit to make sure that you’ve found the right school for you.

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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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HBS Announces Winners of 2018 New Venture Competition  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2018, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Announces Winners of 2018 New Venture Competition
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Last night at Harvard Business School, 12 student and alumni finalist teams made their pitches for $315,000 in cash prizes, plus in-kind prizes, at the Finale of the 21st annual HBS New Venture Competition (NVC).

The top prize in the student business, student social enterprise, and alumni tracks was $75,000 each, and  the finalists advanced through several rounds of judging. More than 300 judges, many of them HBS graduates, from such fields as venture capital, private equity, law, accounting, philanthropy, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship vigorously reviewed the new ventures.

Hosted each year by the school’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and its Social Enterprise Initiative, in partnership with HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations, the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition is open to all students and alumni interested in launching new business and social impact ventures.

This year, 360 teams entered the competition–127 in the Student Business Track, 69 in the Student Social Enterprise Track, and 164 Alumni track teams in 11 global regional competitions.

“The New Venture Competition is critical to entrepreneurship at HBS. Competition winners say it was the launching point of their businesses. The NVC Finale is the capstone event for HBS entrepreneurs,” said Jodi Gernon, Director of the Arthur Rock Center.

This year’s winners are:
Student Business Track

The Dubilier $75,000 Grand Prize: HOUR 72+

Insect-repelling tech that lasts three days (not hours) and will protect billions from insect-borne disease.

Team: Andrew Rothaus (MBA 2018), Abraar Karan

Student Social Enterprise Track

Peter M. Sacerdote $75,000 Grand Prize: Umbulizer

Umbulizer is developing a low-cost, portable ventilator for patients in resource-constrained markets.

Team: Hamza Khan (MBA 2019), Shaheer Piracha, Sanchay Gupta (Harvard Medical School 2021)

Alumni Track

$75,000 Grand Prize: DynamiCare Health

Digital platform for monitoring and rewarding recovery from addiction.

Alumnus: Eric Gastfriend (MBA 2015), CEO, Region: New England

“It is the culmination of a year-long journey that began last October for graduate students across the entire University and our global alumni,” added Matt Segneri, Director of the school’s Social Enterprise Initiative. “The NVC’s Social Enterprise Track has catalyzed the creation of cutting-edge social enterprises.”

Director of Alumni Clubs & Associations Mary-Helen Black noted, “Alumni find participating in the NVC pivotal, invaluable, and enlightening. It raises their profiles. In addition to the grand prizes from HBS, some of these startups receive funding from the chapters and from other investors after pitching in the regional local alumni competitions.”

In addition to the $315,000 in cash prizes, sponsors have donated in kind tools and services that will help the startups launch and grow. In-kind sponsors are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Baker Library/Bloomberg Center, The Bridgespan Group, Echoing Green, Foley Hoag LLP, Harvard i-labs, HubSpot, MassChallenge, Shoobx, and Sweeney Law Group LLC.

“Since its inception in 1997, 5,294 people have participated, and $2,340,000 in cash prizes has helped launch these student and alumni new ventures,” said Rock Center director Gernon. “We are grateful for the support of faculty, judges, regional alumni club leads, and sponsors who make the New Venture Competition a meaningful journey for HBS founders.”

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Ross School Adds New Concentration in Data and Business Analytics  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ross School Adds New Concentration in Data and Business Analytics
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We live in an era where analytics can make or break a company’s success, and employers need workers who understand and can manage one of today’s most important business issues.

Prospective MBA students looking to really hone their skills to develop data-driven business strategies should know that the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has just announced a new concentration in this area for the full-time MBA program.

Beginning in fall 2018, the Data and Business Analytics Concentration will launch under the leadership of Brad Killaly, associate dean of full-time and global MBA programs.  The FTMBA program began developing this concentration in 2017, spurred by feedback from students wanting a more specialized concentration focusing on big data.

“We’ve developed the Data and Business Analytics Concentration to meet the needs of today’s MBA student as well as today’s evolving business world,” says Killaly. “As students continue to seek careers in data-intensive industries, such as consulting and technology, Michigan Ross will offer the necessary business acumen that students can utilize to give themselves a competitive edge.”

Andrew Crisp, co-founder of education consultancy CarringtonCrisp, recently explained in the Financial Times (“Data science is the big draw in business schools”) that demand for big data courses is driven by an increase in lucrative job opportunities advertised for people with such qualifications.

This new, sharper focus on analytics will train Ross students in rigorous thinking and decision-making based on large data sets, rather than the isolated scenarios students might encounter in a typical case study.

Students in the concentration will take courses from an array of options that include big data management, marketing research, marketing engineering, advanced big data analysis, data mining, digital marketing, mobile innovation development, and information econometrics.

“We are excited to introduce the new data and business analytics concentration to the Michigan Ross FTMBA Program,” says Heather Byrne, Director of the Michigan Ross Career Development Office.

“Companies want individuals who can lead their organizations using data and thinking analytically. Our goal is to prepare students to explore career options in which they can apply these skills, and help companies source exceptionally-qualified talent.”

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Harvard Business School Previews Fall 2019 Deadlines, Essay Question  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Previews Fall 2019 Deadlines, Essay Question
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For those looking to get a jump start on their application to Harvard Business School this upcoming admissions season, Chad Losee, director of MBA admissions and financial aid, recently previewed the following MBA application deadlines and essay question for the 2018-19 admissions season.

ROUND 1
Application due: September 5, 2018

Decision released: TBA

ROUND 2
Application due: January 3, 2019

Decision released: TBA

ROUND 3/2+2
Application due: Early April 2019

Decision released: TBA

Harvard Business School strongly encourages international applicants to apply in rounds one or two to allow sufficient time for visa processing, as well as additional time to work on English fluency.

All applications are due at 12 noon EST on the day of the deadline. If submitted after 12 noon, applications will be considered in the following round. We’ll update this post with Round 3 and decision release information as it becomes available.

ESSAY QUESTION
The essay question will remain the same as last year: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program? (no word count limit)

In the past, the HBS admissions team has suggested that applicants watch this video about the Case Method before beginning to write. Note that there is no word limit for this question, but as always, the team stresses that the goal is not to overthink, overcraft, and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that anyone outside of your industry would understand.

Applicants will have to answer a written reflection within 24 hours of their interview with an admissions staffer.

On Wednesday, June 6th, the HBS admissions team will hold an optional webinar walking through each element of the application, which goes live in early June. For more information, please visit the HBS admissions website.

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

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Columbia Business School Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Business School Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines
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Columbia Business School has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-2019 admissions season.

AUGUST ENTRY
Early Decision Deadline: October 3, 2018

Merit Based Fellowship Deadline: January 4, 2019

Final Decision Deadline: April 10, 2019

J-TERM 2019
Application Deadline: October 3, 2018

***

Students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline.

For additional information, please visit the Columbia’s MBA admissions website.

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

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INSEAD Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: INSEAD Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines
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The following are the INSEAD MBA application deadlines for the September 2019 intake (Class of July 2020).

ROUND 1
Application due:  September 19, 2018

Decision released: November 23, 2018

ROUND 2
Application due: November 14, 2018

Decision released: January 25, 2019

ROUND 3
Application due: January 9, 2019

Decision released: March 15, 2019

ROUND 4
Application due: March 6, 2019

Decision released: May 10, 2019

Competition for each of the rounds is equal, but the earlier you gain admission, the more time you have to secure financing and arrange logistics. The online application form typically opens two months before each application deadline.

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

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

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

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Professor Profiles: Duke Fuqua’s Bill Mayew  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Professor Profiles: Duke Fuqua’s Bill Mayew
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, let’s meet William Mayew, Associate Professor of Accounting at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Education: BS Accounting (UNC-Wilmington), MS Accounting (UNC-Wilmington), Ph.D (University Of Texas)

Courses taught:   Detecting Earnings Management, Financial Accounting

‘Vocal Fry’ Could Limit Success of Young Female Professionals, Holding Society to Account,  and A Manager’s Word Choice May Help Predict Bankruptcy are just a few of the fascinating articles online where you can learn more about Mayew’s research.

What do you like about the school you are teaching at?
Diversity in student experiences. Fuqua is known for embracing diversity among students, and in the classroom this leads to very rich discussions. I am amazed at some of the questions I get, and they help me think in different ways.

What’s changed since you entered the field?
Financial numbers are now accompanied by publicly broadcasted conference calls, which provides investors with additional information about how to interpret earnings numbers.

It also provides researchers like myself rich data to study the signals investors might respond to, including the earnings numbers, what words managers use, how managers sound when they talk, and how the market responds to financial analysts who ask probing questions during conference calls.

What can you do in the classroom to best prepare students for the real world?
I try to keep my content cutting edge by bringing in academic research and using examples from the popular press. When students can go right from my class to an interview and talk rigorously about current business events, I’ve done my job.

What are you most excited about that’s happening in your field?
Big data means there are more signals that one could analyze to understand how the market digests earnings numbers. There are live blogs, robo-media articles, tweets from companies, etc. that are expanding the information set available to investors. How these information sources combine to move stock prices is an enduring issue.

What role, if any, does ethics play in your curriculum, and how has that evolved over time?
Ethics is important in a class that is essentially about detecting when earnings numbers might not be of high quality. Ethics are the best deterrent for earnings manipulation. Teaching students that earnings management is not just a game that everyone is expected to play, but rather can lead to bad outcomes in the long run is an important part of my course.

How can business leaders make better decisions?
Invest in generating a culture where employees are comfortable sharing their ideas. Information flow inside of companies starts with people who have information being willing to share it. A culture where people feel free to share their ideas generates information flow that will in turn foster good decision-making.

What’s the impact you want to leave on your students? On the world?
I want my students to leave my class equipped in their careers to ask the correct questions.  They will not always know the answer, but if they know how to think about issues and communicate correctly, the will be positioned for long run success.

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

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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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Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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Harvard Business School has confirmed that the essay question for the class of 2021 remains unchanged from last year.

The most challenging part of the HBS essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as those who will move into the interview round for a closer look.  Who is Harvard looking for? The admissions committee writes that “Habit of Leadership, Analytical Aptitude and Appetite, and Engaged Community Citizenship” are the common characteristics of a successful applicant.

Class of 2021 admissions essay question:
As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program? (no word count limit)

 A note on word count: HBS values brevity in essays. Do not be tempted to go overboard with a 2,000 word essay, rather focus on concise and clear writing and consider keeping this essay in the ~1,000 word range. Our clients have successfully composed essays anywhere from 500-1,300 words, though you should take a pass through your essay to cut any unnecessary words if you find yourself on the upper end of that range.

Because there is no stated word count you do have the flexibility to take extra space if you are telling a compelling story that needs it.

The goal of this essay is to know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school. Your first task should be to evaluate all of the other aspects of your candidacy – what is the story your resume tells? What do you think recommenders will say? How does your transcript communicate your skills, accomplishments and interests? Then you need to evaluate how to fill the gaps with the essay.

Check out the incoming class profile for some idea of what a “typical” HBS student is like. We have found that both personal and career-oriented topics can work, and most candidates tell more than one story in the essay. In the past, we have observed that successful HBS essays often demonstrate a core driving passion. HBS students are ambitious, motivated, and never boring.

As you consider possible stories to tell in this essay keep in mind that HBS has always been highly focused on leadership and really loves candidates with a track record of leadership impact and future potential. If you can demonstrate a success trajectory that indicates upper management potential and a passion for impact in both business and society, use that material.

Accomplishments have traditionally been a strong focus of HBS essays. If you have an interesting and revealing accomplishments story it may be a good topic for part of this essay, particularly if your key accomplishments are not obvious when reading your resume or transcripts.

All of that being said, the goal of this essay is to understand who you are. “Be genuine” advises the HBS admissions blog, and continues: “Yes, we want you to put your best foot forward, but be careful not to be so “polished” that we can’t get to know the real you.” Setbacks and lessons learned can be just as informative as success stories if the stories reveal more about what motivates and inspires you.

A note on what not to do: We see many applicants tempted to include “why HBS” type information in HBS essays. Unlike most MBA programs, HBS has never asked “why HBS” in an application essay question. Explaining why the case method, specifically, is a good fit for you and your learning style may be appropriate.

However, avoid lengthy explanations about how HBS is your top choice. Due to the level of competition for Harvard Business School, we believe it’s more effective for you to use the space to provide detailed information about you and your strong candidacy.

Looking for guidance on your HBS application? Contact us to learn more about Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Image credit: Chris Han (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

Tuesday Tips: Harvard Business School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips &nbs [#permalink] 24 Apr 2018, 12:00

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