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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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MBA Applicants Have Great Expectations  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Applicants Have Great Expectations
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The 2018 MBA Applicant Survey, released this week by the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), confirms the great expectations candidates bring to the business school admissions process.

On one hand, they continue to expect a lot from business schools:

  • They are eager for status updates throughout the application process – “The application process is stressful enough already.”
  • They seek greater transparency around waitlist decisions – “I feel like they have forgotten about me.”
  • They desire feedback following an unsuccessful application – “I just want to know if I came close, or if I shouldn’t bother applying again.”
Likewise, candidates also have high expectations of admissions consultants:

  • A consultant is often a candidate’s first source of information and plays a role in setting expectations for the admissions process.
  • Candidates value consultant advice on preparing the best application.
  • They look to consultants to gain a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
The annual AIGAC survey elicited nearly 2,000 responses from applicants applying to more than two dozen top business schools. The results were announced at the AIGAC  annual conference, which took place last week at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

It’s apparent that candidate expectations continue to be shaped by many sources, beginning online. More than 80% of surveyed applicants turn to school websites for information. They are the most valuable school-related resources, followed by online information sessions, current student referrals and alumni referrals.

The admissions officer/director/team rounds out the top five most valuable school-specific resources. LinkedIn is the most cited social media channel for candidates, followed by YouTube and Facebook. Of particular interest, Quora is more popular than Instagram or Twitter.

The most valuable independent resources for applicants are online communities/forums, followed by MBA rankings and family/friends/work colleagues. Admissions consultants and their websites/blogs are also included in the top five.

The seven schools ranked highest in getting to know applicants well include, in order:
Over 50 admissions consultants from more than a dozen countries, as well as admissions directors and deans from leading business schools around the world, attended this year’s conference.

Participating schools include Haas School of Business, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Columbia Business School, Booth School of Business , Ross School of Business, UT McCombs School of Business, Yale School of Management, London Business School, and many other top-ranked MBA programs in the United States and around the world.

As noted above, nearly 2,000 applicants completed the survey, which includes 1,377 respondents who applied to at least one school. The majority are male (62%) and 42% live in the U.S.

There’s tons of interesting information in this year’s survey, so follow the link above to learn more about the mindsets of your fellow MBA applicants.

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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MIT Sloan Announces Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan Announces Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines
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The MIT Sloan School of Management has posted the following application deadlines for the 2018-19 admissions cycle.

Round 1
Application due: September 25, 2018

Decision released: December 19, 2018

Round 2
Application due: January 22, 2019

Decision released: April 2, 2019

Round 3
Application due: April 8, 2019

Decision released: May 8, 2019

Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. EST. For more information, please visit the MIT Sloan 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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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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UT McCombs School Posts Fall 2019 Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UT McCombs School Posts Fall 2019 Application Deadlines
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The UT McCombs School of Business has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-19 admissions cycle.

Round 1 
Application due: October 9, 2018

Decision released: December 18, 2018

Round 2
Application due: January 8, 2019

Decision released: March 28, 2019

Round 3
Application due: April 2, 2019

Decision released: May 9, 2019

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline. Applicants should note that Round 1 is the priority deadline for scholarships and fellowships at the Texas MBA program. For additional information on applying, please visit the Texas MBA admissions website.

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

_________________

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

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2182
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Turn a Critical Eye to Your Social Media Profile  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Turn a Critical Eye to Your Social Media Profile
Do you have a profile on any of the major social media platforms? Do you frequently tweet, upload pictures to Instagram or Flickr, or post updates on Facebook? If so, you might want to make sure your online presence won’t derail your MBA application efforts.

If an admissions team is leaning toward admitting you to their program, it’s possible that they could do a quick Google search on your name before making their final decision. If you’ve demonstrated bad judgment by posting pictures of yourself doing not-so-upstanding things or making crude or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you’ve given them a reason to move your application to the ding pile.

You may have heard that last year, Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to ten students who had posted offensive memes in a private Facebook group. A few years earlier, The New York Times reported on a high school senior who caused a stir at Bowdoin College after posting disparaging tweets about other attendees at the school’s information session.

If some undergraduate admissions committees are using teenagers’ social media behavior against them, it’s possible that business schools won’t be any more forgiving with adults who should know better.

It doesn’t end with the admissions committee, either. Let’s say you are invited to interview with a local alum; that person might try to find out as much information about you as possible before your chat. Once you’re at school, potential internship and full-time employers could perform an even more extensive online background check. Your fellow classmates might do some digging, too!

So while you may believe it’s funny and harmless to post that selfie after you’ve tipped back one too many, think again. There’s a chance you could compromise your MBA candidacy because of a fleeting moment of indiscretion. If an admissions committee member comes across something that raises a red flag, they’ll likely move on to the next candidate.

Remember:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

Concerned about your online brand? Work with Stacy Blackman Consulting on your social media strategy.

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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: 2182
Location: Los Angeles, CA
MIT Sloan School Announces Fall 2019 MBA Essay, Video Statement  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 16:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan School Announces Fall 2019 MBA Essay, Video Statement
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The MIT Sloan School of Management has posted its application requirements for the 2018-19 admissions season. The cover letter as essay is still in play, and Sloan also asks applicants to provide a brief video statement.

Here’s how each component is explained on the MIT Sloan admissions site:

Cover Letter
MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

Video Statement
Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via abrief video statement.

This video will be used for application purposes only and will not be shared. You will need to use an internet-connected computer, with a webcam and microphone.  As part of the application review, the Admission Committee will evaluate your response to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. The simple, open-ended question is designed to help us get to know you better.

Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.

Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.

Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy (i.e. choice of recommenders, areas of concern in your academic record, other extenuating circumstances, etc.). This information should be provided in a written format (200 words or less).

Visit the MIT Sloan admissions website for more information on the technical requirements for the video statement. The application for the MIT Sloan MBA program will go live in mid to late July.

Image credit: Vitor Pamplona (CC BY 2.0)

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

_________________

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: 2182
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Tuesday Tips: Chicago Booth Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Chicago Booth Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community.

For the first time in many years, Chicago has abandoned the creative and open-ended essay question. Rather than agonizing over visual presentations, this year’s applicants can answer straightforward essay questions. The one interesting thing to note about this set of questions is that while most schools ask for word limits on their essays, Chicago is setting a word minimum for the required essay responses.

Your first step is to do as much school research as possible on Chicago. Visit campus. Attend events. Speak to alumni. Read the admissions blog. Whatever you are capable of doing to experience the community for yourself before starting your application will be invaluable as you set pen to paper.

Reviewing the Chicago Booth admissions criteria will be useful as you approach these questions. Booth is a school with a tradition of intellectual rigor, non-conformity, and innovation. Along with academics, Chicago will be looking for demonstrated leadership, team building skills and community involvement, as well as your fit with Chicago Booth.

Academic ability will largely be communicated through your GPA/GMAT, transcripts and other fixed data points, though intellectual curiosity can be demonstrated in the essays and the interview. Personal qualities, leadership, and career direction are all aspects that you can communicate through this set of admissions essays.

ESSAY QUESTIONS

Essay One: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250 word minimum)

This career goals essay is the ideal way to describe your track record of success and sense of personal direction. You can also demonstrate that you have realistic expectations for your Booth MBA. While career goals should be aspirational, they should also be achievable given your background and the education you will gain at Booth. Think about what you have done thus far in your career. What have you learned? How can you use your past experience to inform your future goals?

This question asks for both immediate and long-term goals, as well as asking why Booth is the right place for you to pursue your MBA. Thorough research into your career path and the options for its development at Booth will allow you to answer this question fully and with conviction.

Essay Two: Chicago Booth immerses you in a choice-rich environment. How have your interests, leadership experiences, and other passions influenced the choices in your life? (250 word minimum)

Chicago Booth is looking for self-aware leaders with a sense of purpose. If you are immersed in an environment that offers many choices, how do you find your own sense of direction? This is an opportunity to provide context for the choices that you have made and to tell the admissions committee about your leadership experiences.

This essay should communicate who you are and what motivates you. It’s useful to provide concrete stories about your interests, leadership experiences and other passions, but also important to describe why those experiences impacted your life choices.

This essay is an opportunity to describe personal and extracurricular examples as well as work accomplishments to present a full picture of who you are. Perhaps you chose your career path out of intellectual curiosity for the field, but you chose to work outside your home country because of a passion for travel and new experiences.

Describing both the personal and professional thought process and decision making structure will add more detail to give the admissions committee a holistic sense of you and your potential.

Optional Essay:

Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (300 word maximum)

This optional essay is a flexible question, allowing you to provide the information you need to put forward the best possible application. If you have any areas that need to be explained in your profile, such as academic issues or gaps in work experience, this is the ideal place to add more detail.

Because the essay is open-ended you can also use it to add any additional information you wanted to inform the admissions committee about. Anything from an interesting personal background to meaningful extracurricular could be relevant context to add to a successful application.

Re-applicant Question:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 word maximum)

This is an interesting re-applicant question, because rather than asking how your candidacy has improved, Booth asks how your perspective has changed. If you have improved your test scores, taken relevant classes, earned a promotion or changed jobs that will still be useful information to communicate, but you should use the space to talk about how you have reflected on yourself and your goals since the last time you applied to Booth.

You may have learned more about your career path, formed new relationships, or changed your future direction. This is an ideal essay to demonstrate self-awareness, leadership qualities and a realistic sense of how the Booth MBA fits into your future plans.

Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn more about how we can help you approach your Booth application.

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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: 2182
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
ImageThe Darden School of Business is a top-tier MBA program at University of Virginia. Due to the strength of its academic community, UVA has significant entrepreneurial activity and is interested in fostering innovation within the MBA program.

Darden has changed the one required essay question of prior years into a set of very short essays that cover a variety of topics. Darden is looking for leadership, international focus, and a sense of passion and purpose.

In all of these essays you will want to communicate who you are and what motivates you both in your career pursuits and your personal life. The restrictive word counts will make it challenging to elaborate in your responses, so be focused and precise in your communication.

When considering which personal qualities to highlight in this set of essays, consider that leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Your ability to work well within a team of peers is also important to Darden, a school with a small, tight-knit community.

The case method is the primary teaching method at Darden, similar to Harvard Business School, and engaging with the case method requires the ability to communicate clearly and bring your perspective to the conversation.

Talking to a current student is a great way to learn more about Darden, and the admissions committee makes it easy for you to reach out to students directly on the admissions website.

ESSAY QUESTIONS

Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you – personal, professional or both. (100 words)

Darden is a community, and the learning team is the smallest unit of that community. You will be assigned a team of diverse classmates to meet before class and discuss your case assignments. The purpose of these discussions is to ensure that all of you are prepared to participate in the class discussion. Ideally the learning team is a supportive environment and allows everyone to learn and express their own point of view.

This essay allows you to introduce yourself to the Darden community while imagining that you are speaking only to a small group of your peers. What should your learning team know about your background? What diverse perspective will you bring to the learning environment? Perhaps you have a unique professional background that will be new to your teammates.

You may be from an underrepresented region of the world, or you have an interesting personal background. In just a few words, describe what you think will set you apart from your peers and be interesting for the team to know about you. To learn more about your potential classmates, talk to a student ambassador or review Darden’s MBA Student Stories.

Each year, Darden connects with over 80 countries. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to go with Darden? And why? (50 words)

To learn more about Darden’s international programs, visit the Darden website. You can connect with an international location by participating in short visits through a Global Immersion Course or Global Topic Course, spend a semester abroad with an Exchange Program, or work directly with an international business as part of the Global Client Courses.

While Darden describes the current programs and countries on the website, this question asks for your ideal location and why you are interested in it. Your interest in a particular region could be personal or professional and should have an academic basis. The focus of these international programs is to learn more about the world of business beyond the United States, with that context what would you like to know and where would you like to learn it?

Darden strives to identify and cultivate leaders who follow their purpose. At this stage, how would you describe your evolving leadership style and please provide an example. (200 words)

This set of essays provides a holistic view of your background, motivations and goals – and in some ways this question is a close companion to the career goals question at the end. When you examine your past leadership opportunities, what is the connecting thread? Are you a consensus builder or a director of projects? Do you keep the project running on time, or do you question the premise? What has been your style when dealing with difficult peers or bosses?

You should consider all of those questions and then choose a short example that illustrates your style and purpose. At this stage in your life your aspirations may not match reality yet, and you can discuss a bit of your desired evolution as a leader.

Please provide an example of a situation in which you have made a meaningful impact. (200 words)

This example could be professional or extracurricular, but ideally describes a significant accomplishment that made an impact. That impact could be big or small as long as it was meaningful to you and those around you. Ideally this example is illustrative of your larger interests and passions.

For example, if you are devoted to diversity, perhaps you started a mentoring program or funded internships for underrepresented employees. While the impact of that action may have been limited to your department or company, it shows your values and allows you to discuss how you would make a greater impact on the world when you have the ability and platform to do so.

What is your short-term, post-MBA career goal and why? (150 words)

This question focuses specifically on your short-term career goal, but since you are likely taking that next step in order to set the groundwork for your larger career goals it is entirely appropriate to describe your overall career aspirations. In the previous questions in this set of essays you have described your personality, motivations, impact and accomplishments, and your career goals should fit seamlessly into that story.

Do not be intimidated by career goals questions if you are still exploring what you want to do with your life. Darden offers intensive career counseling and you will have an opportunity to explore many career paths in school. The essay question seeks to understand why you are pursuing this path and what you hope to get out of it.

The goal is to understand how you think and plan, and what motivates your career decisions. If you are inspired by what you have experienced as a leader and as someone who has a positive impact on others, that inspiration should be part of your career aspirations as well. Darden will help you refine your goals and learn the skills you need.

Looking for perspective in your approach to your Darden MBA application? Contact us to discuss how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

Photo/Andrew Shurtleff, courtesy of UVA Darden School of Business

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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: 2182
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Stanford GSB Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions
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The Stanford Graduate School of Business has officially confirmed the MBA essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions cycle. They remain unchanged from previous admissions seasons.

Stanford GSB asks for two personal essays in order to gain greater understanding into applicants’ character and hopes. “In each essay we want to hear your genuine voice,” the admissions team explains. “Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.”

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
For this essay, Stanford would like you to:

  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
  • Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
Essay B: Why Stanford?
Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
  • If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.
Length
Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you.

For more information, please visit the Stanford GSB admissions website.

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

_________________

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

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2182
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UCLA Anderson Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UCLA Anderson Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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The UCLA  Anderson School of Management has posted the required essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions cycle. The first essay remains unchanged from last year, but there has been an update to the short-answer question.

First-Time Applicants 
Essay Question: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)

Short Answer Question: What are you passionate about and why? (300 words maximum)

Reapplicants
(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years)

Reapplicant Question: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)

Optional Question: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.

Please note:

Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the admissions committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.

» You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.

» Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.

» Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.

» Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).

» Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.

» Style is a consideration, too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English. We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.

» Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated above.

» All essay and short answer responses are to be submitted in written form only.

» All essay and short answer responses are to be entered directly in the text box provided in your application.

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For more information about applying, please visit the UCLA Anderson MBA admissions website.

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Cambridge Judge Fall 2019 Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 16:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cambridge Judge Fall 2019 Application Deadlines
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The Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-19 admissions cycle.

Round 1 Deadline: September 7, 2018

Round  2 Deadline: October 26, 2018

Round 3 Deadline: January 11, 2019

Round 4 Deadline: March 8, 2019

Round 5 Deadline: May 3, 2019

At the moment the Cambridge MBA admissions team has yet to post decision dates for the upcoming application season.  Please visit the Judge Business School admissions website for more details.

The application for Fall 2019 entry will open on July 1. Candidates should submit their application by 23:59 GMT on the day of their chosen deadline.

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Judge Business School Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 16:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Judge Business School Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has posted the following main MBA essay questions for the 2018-19 application for admission.

Essay One: Career Objectives
Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must include the following:

  • What are your short and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?
  • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?
  • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?
Required Essay Two
What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words max.)

Required Essay Three
Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

The application for Fall 2019 entry will open in July. Please visit the Judge Business School admissions website for more details.

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Great New Resource Guide for Veteran MBA Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Great New Resource Guide for Veteran MBA Applicants
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Military MBA applicants tend to blow other candidates out of the water, figuratively speaking, because they have a wealth of experience to draw from at a very young age. In fact, my very first client, many years ago, was in the military.

While many candidates can only speak to sitting in cubicles, crunching numbers for the boss, b-school applicants from the military have had to deal with highly stressful situations, think on their feet, make ethical decisions, and lead important projects.

However, the pivot to business school after the military can be stressful as these candidates navigate the completely uncharted waters of the MBA application process. Veteran applicants need advice targeted toward their specific needs and strengths.

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That’s why I’m excited to share a valuable new resource just for these MBA applicants. Matthew Cowsert,  a U.S. Army veteran and MBA graduate from NYU Stern School of Business, recently published a book called What’s Next? A Military Veteran’s Guide to Maximizing Your MBA.

“Before Stern, I worked in the U.S. Army for seven years as an infantry and finance officer,” Cowsert explains. “I’ve spent the last two years volunteering as a veteran admissions consultant for Service to School. Through this work, I realized a gap in the pre-transition process for military veterans pursuing their MBA.”

What’s Next: A Military Veteran’s Guide to Maximizing Your MBA provides practical advice and frameworks to help prospective and current student veterans navigate their career transition from the military into the civilian workforce.

Cowsert believes this book will help military veterans naturally differentiate themselves from other MBA applicants in order to gain acceptance to their target program and land their dream job.

The guide breaks the transition into three phases, teaching you how to:

*Convince Yourself*

• Assess your strengths to highlight the transferable skills you have that matter for your next career.

• Evaluate programs and career options through quantitative and qualitative methods that align with your future goals.

• Ask the right questions, from the right people, at the right time.

*Convince Your Target Program* 

• Know the difference between admission requirements and differentiators and allow you to focus on the parts of your application that will stand out.

• Speak the business school language and understand the opportunities that each program unlocks for you.

• Tell your stories compellingly and understandably.

*Convince Your Target Company*

• Signal to your target firm through your on-campus and off-campus recruiting efforts that you are the right fit.

• Maximize the opportunities and access to industry leaders only afforded to business school students.

• Outperform your peers during your internship to earn your full-time offer.

This guide also includes access to the accompanying Next Vets website, which has all of the templates, worksheets, and recommended resources discussed throughout the book.

An MBA is a great next step for transitioning veterans no matter what branch of service they come from. Applicants from the military should know that business school admissions teams highly value their experience, so if that’s your background, make sure your  applications highlight those powerful and unique qualities.

***

Matthew Cowsert is a decorated U.S. Army veteran and veteran advocate. He received his undergraduate degree from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in 2009. After spending seven years in the Army as an infantry and finance officer, Matt left active duty in 2016 and received his MBA from NYU Stern in 2018.
Matt also serves as the Director of Partnerships for the veteran non-profit Veterans in Global Leadership and is a Service to School MBA Ambassador. Beginning in July 2018, Matt will be working for Amazon as a Senior Product Manager in their Amazon Web Services organization.

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Cornell Johnson Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cornell Johnson Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has announced a unique twist to the updated essay prompts for the 2018-2019 admissions season. Candidates are required to complete a Goals Statement as well as two essays.

Goals Statement
A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short and long term goals by completing the following sentences and answering the enclosed short answer question (250 words maximum):

Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) ____[Role]____ at ___[Company]___within___[Industry]___.

Targeted Job Role:

Target Job Company:

Industry:

In 5 – 10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) ____[Role]____ at ___[Company]___within___[Industry]___.

Targeted Job Role:

Target Job Company:

Industry:

How has your experience prepared and encouraged you to pursue these goals?

Impact Essay
This essay is designed to explore the intersection of engagement and community culture. Whether during the program or following graduation, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve.

To help you explore your potential for impact, we encourage you to engage with our students, alumni, faculty, and professional staff. You may choose to connect with them via email or phone or in person during one of our on campus or off campus events. As you seek their input and insight, please be respectful of their time and prepare a few discussion points or questions in advance (500 words maximum).

At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you’ve identified through engagement with our community and describe how what you learned has influenced your decision to apply to Johnson.

Back of Your Resume Essay
This essay is an opportunity to present yourself as an individual. We encourage you to think about your proudest accomplishments, interests and passions, and personal highlights that will help us to get to know you as a person and potential community member. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style.

Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube, etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions. Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written essay, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Multimedia submissions should be under 5 minutes.

The front page of your resume has given us a sense of your professional experience and accomplishments as well as your academic summary and extracurricular involvement. If the back page reflects “the rest of your story,” please help us get to know you better by sharing the experiences that will give us insight into your character, values, and interests.

Optional Essay
You may use this essay to call attention to items needing clarification and to add additional details to any aspects of your application that do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson (500 words maximum).

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application and candidacy since the last time you applied for admission. Please also review our Admissions Policy for additional information about re-applying (500 words maximum).

Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program Essay
The Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program is a two-year full tuition fellowship award for Two-Year MBA candidates in Ithaca who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and who are committed to making an impact within their communities.

Each year it is awarded to up to 25 incoming students, with the expectation that they will participate in additional leadership and personal development activities outside of our regular curriculum, serve in leadership roles within the school, and complete a public service project by the time they graduate. The Park Fellowship is only available to U.S. citizens applying for the Two-Year MBA program.

What is your greatest example of leadership and what personal qualities helped you succeed in that role? Please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer.

For additional information, please visit the Johnson School admissions website.

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Finalize Your List of Target MBA Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Finalize Your List of Target MBA Programs
One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the MBA application process is which schools you’re going to apply to in the first place. We know — duh, right? But seriously, we can’t stress enough how important it is to put significant thought into which programs you’re going to dedicate dozens of hours to over the coming months.

Each year we see excellent candidates who want to prematurely take themselves out of the running for some of the top programs. Make no mistake: it is extremely tough to get into a highly ranked business school. Certain programs have single-digit acceptance rates, and literally thousands of more-than-qualified applicants are turned away each year. But if you don’t even give yourself a chance at admission, you may always wonder, “What if?” Is there anything worse?

Motivation for the MBA
We typically recommend that people ask themselves whether or not getting an MBA is most important to them — or if getting an MBA from a certain school is what really matters most. If you’d truly be at peace with never getting an MBA if you weren’t accepted to School X, then you can move forward by focusing all of your efforts solely on your dream school or schools.

However, if you want an MBA no matter what, then you’d be wise to consider five or six schools, or maybe spread your efforts across Rounds 1 and 2.

We hope you at least give yourself a shot at the programs you’re really interested in, though. Applying to top business schools is something of a self-selecting process: most people who apply are overachievers who would be assets to any class. It’s easy to let that discourage or intimidate an applicant to the point of not even trying. You might think, “What’s the use? There are thousands of other people like me fighting for spots.”

But we’d argue: 1) no, there isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so figure out how to differentiate yourself, and 2) why would you want to make it easier for someone else to get in by taking yourself out of the mix? You deserve a shot just like everyone else.

Think of it this way:

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Struggling with your school list? The SBC business school hub might help.

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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Character Prevails: Stanford & Harvard Business School MBA Application  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Character Prevails: Stanford & Harvard Business School MBA Applications
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Have you ever heard of the term “double admits”? That’s what we in the MBA admissions consulting industry call those singular applicants who receive admissions offers from both Harvard Business School (HBS) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). We’ve worked with many top applicants this MBA admissions season who achieved this impressive feat—some with scholarships to boot. Here we analyze eight cases—and we have eight specific takeaways to share.

Though not as rare as actual unicorns, these exceptional candidates and their unique admissions stories can offer some very clear lessons for prospective MBA applicants feeling daunted by the sterling reputations and competitive stats of these two elite business schools.

Lesson 1: You don’t need an undergraduate degree from an elite college, or come from a typical MBA-oriented firm or industry. None of the double admits we worked with graduated from an elite or Ivy League university. In fact, all of the U.S. students in this group came from schools ranked between 20-50. Only one of the admits came from a firm known as a heavy feeder and recruiter for elite MBA programs. None of the others even had MBA graduates as supervisors. Their backgrounds included education, family business, military, energy, and Fortune 500.

Lesson 2: GPA, test scores and demographics are not predictive of success. Our gang of eight included four U.S. citizens and four international applicants. Most were male, and only one is an underrepresented minority. Both GRE and GMAT takers were represented. Their stats generally fell within the 80 percent range but were not ultimately predictive of success. Scores ranged from a low 600 GRE to a 770 GMAT, with a median score of 710. Over the years, we’ve seen numerous double admits offset a low-ish GMAT or GRE score with a proven track record in a quantitative job and compelling leadership activities.

Lesson 3: You don’t need to have saved the world. Every double admit had modest extracurriculars, such as professional organization membership, music, sports, one-on-one mentoring, and basic volunteering. Your extracurricular activities should resonate with you, and any meaningful involvement can give you the opportunity to exercise leadership and management skills in a low-risk, high-impact situation.

Lesson 4: Age is just a number. We found that age skewed somewhat older in this year’s group of double admits, who had between four and seven years of post-college work experience. One successful candidate was over 30. Five-and-a-half years was the average work tenure upon applying. We regularly assure both older and younger applicants that it’s not about chronological age. It’s more about maturity, readiness, and where you are in your career.

Lesson 5: All applicants demonstrated true character and a desire plus a track record of helping others. When discussing their careers, each of these applicants veered away from sharing the typical workplace accomplishment stories and instead wove in anecdotes about helping others—mentoring, giving, or assisting in some way. This focus also informed future career and personal aspirations.

Lesson 6: They shared distinctive, personal stories and attainable goals. While their resumes may have said “5 years at Citibank,” their essays spoke much more personally, bringing their true natures and trajectories to life. They told micro-stories that filled in the blanks. Omitting generic themes like coding or crunching numbers, these applicants showed humanity, showcased what drives them toward future careers, and explained why they made certain decisions. Their stories told the “why” behind their prior actions but also developed an understanding of career aspirations.  Goals made sense and appeared attainable given prior experiences and the track record of consistent actions they had taken.

Lesson 7: They painted a “Big Picture” focus beyond just landing a job. None of these admits described their current careers or future aspirations in terms of a specific job. It was much more meaningful than that. They felt driven to make an impact on people and on their industries. They wanted to shift mindsets, behaviors, and ultimately change the world. Think big picture themes like globalizing the reach of an industry, providing life changing assistance to others, or easing political tensions.

Lesson 8: They were self-aware and likable, confident but also self-deprecating. No business school wants to admit even the most accomplished jerk. While these applicants struck us as self-assured, they also came off as likable, realistic about their shortcomings, and open about their need to try harder to compensate for various weaknesses.  The members of this group were people with whom you would want to work on a group project, organize a conference, or study for exams. In short, they are real people with both flaws and strengths, going to b-school in order to get better and achieve more.

While Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School are famously difficult to get into, don’t let fear or low acceptance rates keep you from applying. There is no magic formula that guarantees admissions success, but as these eight applicants demonstrate, personality, passion, and a sincere desire to make the world a better place can help tip the odds in your favor.

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Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley is both highly selective and a small class. With a much larger admissions pool than the school can admit, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate fit with the culture and program. This year Berkeley has reduced the number of required essays but added a new optional question that delves into your background more deeply.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA each admissions year. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

ESSAY #1

Essay #1: Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life-to-date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. (300 words maximum)

The Haas admissions committee has their own six word stories in each profile, check them out for great examples.

Think of your six-word story as a compelling headline for the memorable experience you will describe. Just as journalists write the headline after the story, it will be easier to start with the elaboration and then encapsulate it in a pithy and captivating six-word story.

Haas has asked creative and open-ended questions for many years, and this is another version of that kind of essay. Brainstorm the most compelling story you can, preferably one that shows your diversity of experience. Ideally your experience also reveals something about you.

For example, we worked with a client who had a dramatic story about surviving a plane crash. The first time we read the draft it was a highly exciting story, but it lacked any description of his actions and what it meant to him. We worked on the meaning of the story and ended up with both a compelling and memorable narrative, and a story about leading through uncertainty, as he worked to help his fellow passengers through language barriers and lack of medical training.

Once you have written your own story, think about that six-word headline. You should reveal some of the plot while leaving enough to the imagination to grab your readers interest.

ESSAY #2

Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goal, and discuss how it will put you on a path to a meaningful and rewarding career. (300 words maximum)

This is a short career goals essay and asks you to describe your immediate goals succinctly and then how your immediate post-MBA career choice will impact your long term career goals. This essay requires you to think clearly about how you will move from Point A (immediate post-MBA job) to Point B. It will demonstrate that you can plan for an uncertain future, and set clear and achievable goals for yourself.

One of the best ways to determine how you will fulfill your desired path is to talk to professionals who have the career you want. If you want to be an entrepreneur, read profiles of successful people who have started their own businesses and ask anyone you know personally how they achieved their own business.

You will likely find that while paths to the long term goal may differ, most people have formative early career experiences that led to the their long term career.

This essay also frames your long term career as something that will be meaningful and rewarding to you. Haas values people who have a passion for their pursuits. What drives you to pursue your long term career? What is meaningful to you about the choice? Perhaps you will be able to impact the lives of others, lead change, or drive innovation. Whatever motivates you is important to explore and describe to the admissions committee.

OPTIONAL INFORMATION

Optional Information #1: We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements.

1. What is the highest level of education completed by your parent(s) or guardian(s)?


• Did not complete high school

• High school diploma or equivalency (GED)

• Associate’s degree (junior college) or vocational degree/license

• Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS)

• Master’s degree (MA, MS)

• Doctorate or professional degree (MD, JD, DDS)

2. What is the most recent occupation of your parent(s) or guardian(s)?

• Unemployed

• Homemaker

• Laborer

• Skilled worker

• Professional

3. If you were raised in one of the following household types, please indicate.

• Raised by a single parent

• Raised by an extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)

• Raised in a multi-generational home

• Raised in foster care

4. What was the primary language spoken in your childhood home?

5. If you have you ever been responsible for providing significant and continuing financial or supervisory support for someone else, please indicate.

• Child

• Spouse

• Sibling

• Parent

• Extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)

• Other

6. Please elaborate on any of your above responses. Alternatively, you may use this opportunity to expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact.

(300 words maximum)

Berkeley Haas is committed to understanding applicants and putting together a diverse class. By seeking deeper background into your family and your life circumstances your accomplishments can be contextualized. Questions 1-5 are self-explanatory and should be answered honestly.

For Question 6 you have the choice to either elaborate on your life circumstances as described in Questions 1-5, or to discuss a new piece of information about hardships or life circumstances that may help the admissions committee understand your background more completely.

For example, perhaps you are from a highly educated family and your parents are professionals, but you moved to another country for college or a job and were expected to achieve while speaking a second language and trying to acclimate to a new culture. Or maybe your parents are fully employed now, but there was a period of unemployment in your family that led you to learn how to thrive in a different way than you had expected.

It’s possible you were not expected to care for a family member, but that a family illness impacted your life. Think about the areas of your life that asked the most of your resilience and ability to overcome. How have you used those experiences to continue to achieve and impact those around you?

OPTIONAL INFORMATION #2

This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

Note that there is a specific place to indicate that you won’t have a recommendation from your current supervisor in the supplemental information section, so you do not need to explain that here in the optional essay.

Haas recommends using this space to address any information that was not adequately covered elsewhere, specifically suggesting that any employment gaps or academic issues should be covered here.

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, it is likely unnecessary to further explain your quantitative skills.

Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data. If you have taken any supplemental coursework to improve your quantitative profile, this is the place to describe and explain that coursework.

A short gap between school and a secured job is not necessary to explain, but an unexplained gap of several months between two jobs should be addressed. If your resume has significant employment gaps you should describe what you did between jobs in this space. Ideally you can point to additional education, training, volunteering or traveling that you engaged in while unemployed.

Reapplicants can describe hard improvements to your candidacy such as an improved GMAT score, new grades from quantitative classes, or a promotion. Other improvements might include refined career goals and additional leadership responsibilities at work or within a volunteer activity.

One final note: The Haas admissions committee has a series of videos and tipsposted on the website that are worth reviewing for their key insights.

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Tuck School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuck School Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions
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Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has announced the updated MBA essay questions for the 2018-2019 admissions season.  Last month, the school shared a new, crystallized set of guiding principles it will consider when evaluating applicants: they should be smart, nice, accomplished and aware.

“The two essays map directly to aware and nice,” explains Luke Anthony Peña, executive director of admissions and financial aid at the Tuck School, in an announcement regarding the essay updates. “The essays invite reflection on these criteria because you have opportunity elsewhere to demonstrate that you are smart, through your GMAT, GRE and transcripts, and accomplished per your resume.”

“We care a great deal about your awareness of your future goals. We just don’t believe that you need to craft an entire narrative around them. Now you’ll have the opportunity to state them, crisply and concisely, in short-answer form,” says Peña.

 Required Essays
  • Tuck students are aware of how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are and what you will contribute. (500 words)
  • Tuck students are nice, and invest generously in one another’s success.  Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed. (500 words)
Short-Answer Questions
  • Share your short-term goals. (50 words)
  • Share your long-term goals. (50 words)
  • How did you arrive at these goals? (75 words)
  • How will Tuck help you achieve these goals? (75 words)
Reference Letter Questions
Tuck’s reference letter questions remain distinctive relative to other schools.

“We’ve thought carefully about our letter of reference questions. They too strategically map to each of our four criteria, and help us get to know you best,” continues Peña. “We also recognize that applying to business school is a significant investment of time and energy for both you and your references. We strongly prefer responses to our questions but will also accept responses to other questions including those posed by the Common Letter of Recommendation.”

Letter of Reference Short-Answer Questions
  • What is your relationship with the candidate? (25 words)
  • How long have you known the candidate? (25 words)
  • How often do you interact with the candidate? (25 words)
LOR Questions
  • How does your organization measure success for someone in this candidate’s role? How does the candidate perform relative to these measures?
  • Tuck students are smart. Please comment on the candidate’s intellectual ability and her/his response when encountering the limits of that ability.
  • Tuck students are nice. Please comment on how the candidate interacts with others including when the interaction is difficult or challenging.
  • Tuck students are accomplished. Please comment on the candidate’s impact on your organization’s results and the behaviors that made these results possible.
  • Tuck students are aware. Please comment on the candidate’s recognition of her/his growth areas and response to feedback about these growth areas.
  • Is there anything else we should know? (Optional)
For more information about these 2018-19 essays, please read Tuck Introduces Essay and Reference Questions Mapped to New Admissions Criteria. The 2018-19 application will open in mid-July.

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UT McCombs School Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UT McCombs School Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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The UT McCombs School of Business has confirmed the MBA essay questions for the 2018-2019 admissions season. They remain unchanged from the previous cycle.

Essay One
We will learn a lot about your professional background through your resume and letter of recommendation. We want to get to know you further. Please introduce yourself using an essays of 250 words, OR a video introduction of one minute.

Essay Two
Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas MBA student, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world. (500 words)

Optional Statement
Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)

***

The application for fall 2019 will open in late summer. For additional information on applying to the Texas MBA program, please visit the McCombs admissions website. The school also offers great tips regarding what the admissions team is looking for with these questions. Don’t miss this helpful resource.

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

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The Bigger Picture: Choose  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Bigger Picture: Choose
You probably haven’t heard of the movie Sliding Doors. It was released in 1998 and wasn’t exactly a blockbuster. The official description of the movie: A London woman’s love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.

I sometimes reflect upon that movie, knowing that when one door opens, another closes. Every decision we make has some sort of impact. There are obvious scenarios: we choose one job; we enroll in one b-school; we marry one person. And then there is the minutiae. We spend one minute in anger or laziness or dishonesty and that minute is forever gone. Words cannot be unsaid; the moment cannot be re-lived. Our life is essentially composed of these decisions, one after another, forever.

Knowing that our lives are comprised of these micro-decisions is both empowering and intimidating. Empowering, because in any moment, we can win, grow, succeed. Intimidating, because what if we make the wrong decision? What if we choose to go down the wrong path? Or what if we just unwittingly don’t catch the train?

Yes, it is important to make the right choices, but I argue that it’s equally important to just make a choice. Make a choice and run with it. Hope that 50% of your choices are good ones. Hope that your decisions get better over time.

If we take action, failure is guaranteed. At some point, we mess up spectacularly, but here’s the magic: it’s only after the failure that we can learn, grow and move forward, choosing again.

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If we become paralyzed by trying to make the perfect decision or map out the perfect path, we go nowhere.

We never launch that business, because…what about the other idea?

We can’t get started on our essays because there are some other, possibly better possibilities brewing in our mind.

We don’t take the trip because we cannot decide which destination is best.

We never ask that person out, because what if they say no?

We are afraid of making the wrong choice, of failing, of rejection, of it being too hard. We are afraid of working to make things happen, so instead we stay safe and do nothing. And in this safety zone we miss out on it all.

Is there something you have been wanting to accomplish or experience? What is holding you back? Today, you can choose a path. Take one sloppy step in perhaps the wrong direction. But get moving: progress, learn, backtrack, fall, rebound and ultimately, experience and grow.

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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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Successful Reapplicant to Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Successful Reapplicant to Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB
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After being rejected by six top schools, Ed Redden reapplied the following year and won acceptances to both Harvard and Stanford’s MBA programs.

Everyone hates rejection, but when it comes in the form of a ding from your dream business school, the disappointment is amplified. You’re already emotionally drained from the application experience, out hundreds or even thousands of dollars in MBA application fees, travel expenses to visit the schools, or wardrobe updates to impress your MBA interviewers. For many rejected MBA candidates, having to wait another year to start business school feels like pure agony.

Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? What does the admissions committee really want from applicants? These questions plague dinged candidates each season, because the schools rarely convey exactly what caused your application to land in the denied pile.

When we met Ed Redden last year, he had submitted six failed applications, but the rejections from Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business in particular made him question whether he should even try to apply again.

Yet, he was a compelling candidate. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Notre Dame University in 2013 and has spent the past five years working for General Electric Co. in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. He leads a group of more than 55 employees across five manufacturing product lines for GE.

Doubts About Reapplying
“There was a lot of self-doubt and questioning about what my future would be,” he admits. “Should I re-apply or focus on the career I already had going? I knew I didn’t put my best application forward, but was it worth it to try again? Did I even have a chance as a reapplicant, or had I blown my chance?”

Many applicants face this crossroads—whether to forgo business school completely and focus on their current career path—at the end of an unsuccessful admissions cycle. No one can answer that question but you. However, the important takeaway is that one failed attempt does not mean you’ve blown your chance forever.

“During my first round of applications I remember feeling very confused about what it was the adcom was looking for in a good candidate,” Redden explains. “It often felt like admissions was a black box and I was hopelessly trying to crack the code. I knew deep inside that I was a good candidate for top MBA programs and had great experiences that would add value to the classroom. I just needed help telling my story.”

3 Common Mistakes in MBA Applications
Without direct feedback from the admissions committee, you must do some sleuthing yourself to determine what your weaknesses were. After a complete review, we uncovered three common mistakes Redden made during his first time applying that likely hindered his chances at these top MBA programs.

A successful application takes a lot of time and energy. Candidates must really do their homework about the schools they have targeted in order to create compelling essays that convince the adcom how a particular program will help them reach their career goals, and how they in turn will contribute to the school as students and eventual alumni.

Work and personal factors caused Redden to rush his applications, which translated into a generic approach rather than focusing on each school and tailoring the application to speak to that program’s unique culture and values. The third and most consequential weakness, we realized, was with his recommenders. “I didn’t give my recommenders much direction or background,” he admits. “They were not familiar with the MBA application process and had never written a letter of recommendation like that before.”

Guiding Your MBA Recommenders
To remedy this issue when he reapplied, we suggested Redden create a “recommender package,” which offers instruction on both process and content. Provide your recommenders with a list of your strengths and characteristics that you plan to highlight in the application, and since many schools ask recommenders about your weaknesses or areas of development, give the recommender a growth area for you as well as examples of how you’re working on it.

Then the recommender can speak to your maturity and awareness, showing schools you intend to hit the ground running and improve through their program. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to write glowing letters, so a recommender package is a win-win for all. Don’t leave it to your recommender to remember everything you’ve ever done, and definitely don’t leave this process to chance. Your recommenders will appreciate your assistance and thoroughness.

Redden says he devoted much more time and attention to his recommenders during the re-application process. “I chose each recommender for specific and different reasons and worked with them as opposed to throwing it over the fence and simply hoping they wrote a good letter.  I was intentional on what aspects of our relationship I wanted them to focus on and what achievements or experiences I wanted them to highlight. The letter they wrote was fully their own but it was much better aligned with my overall SBC strategy as a re-applicant,” he notes.

GMAT Score and Career Goals
Although his career path and goals, and GMAT score, didn’t change from one application cycle to the next, Redden says he adapted a much more honest and authentic approach to the essays, as well as better structure that reflected a strategic focus, the second time around. “Through conversations with my consultant and a lot of self-reflection, I came to better understand what unique experiences and perspectives I brought to the table, how that would best resonate with each school, and how best to highlight that in my application,” he explains.

On the surface, many applicants to elite MBA programs share similar backgrounds and traits. They’re ambitious, driven, accomplished, and have strong academic records and impressive test scores. But just because candidates share these characteristics doesn’t mean their MBA application essays have to beat the same drum.

When brainstorming stories from your background to share in your MBA essays, you should absolutely include some traditional work stuff. But also think about family, friendships, languages, interests, passions, dreams—categories that are not necessarily “business-y” but that reveal character traits you want to emphasize.

Why an MBA Resume Matters
Redden also created a better, stronger resume tailored specifically for his applications. Just from reading your resume, the admissions team should clearly understand what sort of work stories you’d be talking about in class, or what sorts of “lessons learned” you’ll speak to from either your professional or community-service experiences.

Adcom members have often told us that the resume is just as important as the essays, so the extra work you put into revising it could make the difference between a ding and an interview offer. To pick up some tips for your own resume, check out our resume guide here.

About his final decision, he says,  “I could not make a ‘wrong’ choice, and would have loved to attend either school (or both if I could!). After a lot of self-reflection it came down to who I wanted to be and the type of leader I wanted to become. Both schools would strengthen and develop different aspects of my leadership ability and it was ultimately a personal decision about what school I believed to be the right fit for me.” He chose Stanford and will start its MBA program this fall.

We are grateful to Ed for placing his trust in SBC and for agreeing to share his story. Our hope is that you are inspired to shoot for the stars even if you have failed. You don’t need a perfect 4.0 or an 800 test score. You don’t need to manage a team of 40 people. You do need focus, resilience and the proper strategy.

This article originally appeared as a guest post for our friends at the business school news website Poets & Quants.

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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

Successful Reapplicant to Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jul 2018, 11:01

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