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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Use Social Media to Strengthen Your MBA Application  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Use Social Media to Strengthen Your MBA Application
We’re going to tell you something you probably already know: if you’re applying to an MBA program this year, be careful about what you post online. It’s possible that business school adcom members could do a quick search on your name before admitting you to their program, and you don’t want something written in haste to derail your chances of getting in.

But being active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms isn’t a complete no-no. In fact, savvy MBA candidates could actually use these venues to boost their credibility and solidify the good impressions made through their application materials.

Social Media Can Reinforce Your MBA Brand
For example, let’s say that you’re hoping to switch careers after business school, and in one of your essays you share your intention to work for a company that develops clean-energy options in third-world countries. You could tweet links to articles or books you’re reading on the subject, you could post about a local conference you attended, or you could give your take on the most promising advancements in the field.

Or maybe your career to date has led you to become somewhat of an expert on microfinance. Reinforce that reputation through your online presence. Let people know when you were quoted in an article or asked to be on a panel.

Are you a marketing guru? It would be easy to weigh in on — or share — what some of the biggest brands are doing on social media. The key is to keep things professional and on point. It’s absolutely fine to let your personality shine through, too — just as it should in your essays.

And you’re already following the programs you’re applying to, right? Doing so could be a great way to get some insight about a school that you could work into your essays. Remember, if you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

Think of it this way:

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Need help building a positive social media presence? Stacy Blackman Consulting offers a dedicated social media strategy service.

Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

_________________

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

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday Tips: Emory Goizueta Business School Fall 2019 Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Emory Goizueta Business School Fall 2019 Essay Tips
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The Emory MBA program at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta offers a variety of programs, including a one-year MBA, a business analytics program and the traditional two-year MBA. The program is designed to give students practical, hands-on experience to be “day one ready” for their careers. Emory also provides a wide range of joint degree programs, expanding options for the MBA. Prospective students start working with a personalized career coach before setting foot on campus, and Emory claims high rankings with recruiters.

Before approaching your Emory MBA essays, you may benefit from viewing some of the video tips posted by the admissions committee. One tip that is especially useful to everyone preparing MBA applications is to take some time to brainstorm and really think about each essay question. As the student in the video describes, sometimes your immediate reaction is not actually the essay topic you will end up with.

ESSAY ONE

Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 word limit)

This career goals essay focuses on the short-term and asks about your strengths, past experiences and personal attributes in support of those goals. Rather than reciting your resume, think about the key moments that have formed your experience, accomplishments and shaped your goals. Once you have identified a few defining career moments, you can describe how they demonstrated the strengths and personal attributes that will help you achieve your goal.

This essay is most effective if you are able to clearly show the through line between your past experience, the Emory MBA program and ultimately reaching your short-term post-MBA goals.

For example, if you have been working in management consulting and want to use your Emory MBA to shift into a strategy roll internal to a company, you might talk about how your past experience will help you to understand advising company’s on strategy, and how your classes and clubs at Emory will help you gain the relevant industry experience and academic knowledge to contribute to your new company.

ESSAY TWO

The business school is named for Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, who led the organization for 16 years, extending its global reach, quadrupling consumption, building brand responsibility, and creating unprecedented shareholder wealth. Mr. Goizueta’s core values guide us in educating Principled Leaders for Global Enterprise.

Provide an example of your leadership – professional or personal – and explain what you learned about yourself through the experience. (300 word limit)


When you are asked to provide an example, the admissions committee is trying to understand how you think, act and behave in a specific circumstance. The best predictor of your future behavior is your past, and this question asks you to think about how the past has shaped your development as a leader.

Use a specific story as your example and make sure you provide detail about the situation, what you did, and what you accomplished. Think about the lessons you learned and the way you were able to grow as a result of the experience. To be thoroughly convincing, a recent example of a time that you used these learnings would be effective.

Because Emory is asking specifically about a leadership element based on the school’s namesake, this is also a great place to incorporate your research on Goizueta’s leadership programs and values. In researching the program you will want to take advantage of the formal programs available, from school visits to admissions information sessions, as well as informal networking with current and former students.

ESSAY THREE

Complete one of the following statements. (250 word limit)

• I am passionate about…

• The best piece of advice I’ve received is…

• The best day of my life was…

• A personal goal I want to accomplish is…


This essay is open-ended and provides an opportunity to express yourself. Starting with the topic you want to cover and then backing into the question you will answer is a more structured way to approach this essay if you are daunted by the options.

Think about what examples, stories and ideas you have communicated in the prior questions and fill in the gaps with this response. You have covered your career progress thus far and your goals, and you have described your leadership style. Your resume and recommendations will provide more insight along both angles. This essay is an opportunity to add something additional to your application and round out the admissions committee’s view of your profile.

Your passions can be from your personal life, community involvement or career. For example, if you have entrepreneurial plans you are most likely passionate about building a business or your specific business idea. The best day of your life might be when you ran a marathon, earned a promotion, or got married. The question about the best piece of advice you have received is similarly open. The last option, “a personal goal I want to accomplish is…” is the only option that limits you to a personal response.

ESSAY FOUR

Share with the committee and your future classmates a fun or noteworthy fact about you. (25 word limit)

This essay introduces a classic icebreaker as a way for you to set yourself apart and show another side of your candidacy. What is the most surprising fact about you? Or perhaps the largest accomplishment you have achieved thus far? Since MBA applications tend to focus mostly on recent events in your life, this might be a place to tell the admissions committee that you were a champion volleyball player in high school, or that you wrote and directed a high school play.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

If you have additional information or feel there are extenuating circumstances which you would like to share with the MBA Admissions Committee (i.e. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance issues or areas of weakness in application). Please limit your response to 250 words.

Ideally you have focused on your personal attributes and goals in the prior question, and can use this optional essay purely for anything you need to explain about your profile and application. For example, if you have periods of unemployment and need to describe how you spent your time, this is the place to do it. Other gaps might be a low GPA or GMAT, lack of advancement at work, or a recommender that is not a current supervisor.

To focus on one possible topic, if you do have unexplained gaps in your resume, how do you handle it? The ideal explanation is that you were doing something productive. That something productive could be traveling the world and learning more about yourself, volunteering, or even taking care of a family member or handling a family crisis.

Perhaps you were unemployed but wanted to be working and your job hunt took up most of your time. Even so, ideally you volunteered, pursued other hobbies, or took time to conduct informational interviews to learn about your career goals during the gap in employment. Think about how you can frame your activities to show that you are motivated and responsible.

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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: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday Tips: Georgetown McDonough Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Georgetown McDonough Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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The Washington D.C. setting of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business puts the school at the epicenter of public policy and international business. The program requires all students to participate in an international consulting project called the Global Business Experience, and Georgetown also has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and a new entrepreneurship initiative.

Along with the academic and career benefits of the school, Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious and diverse. Shelly Heinrich, interim associate dean of admissions has announced that the new essay questions this year are designed to “give applicants the flexibility to distinguish themselves from a competitive applicant pool.” Additionally, she says that it’s important to Georgetown “that our students represent a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and more.”

The new structure for the essays allows you to choose from several options for the first required essay. These questions are applicable for both the Full-time MBA and the Flex MBA.

Please select one of the following three essays to complete in 500 words or less and include the essay prompt and your first/last name at the top of your submission.

Essay Option One: It can be said that life begins outside your comfort zone. Describe a situation when you were asked to lead outside of your comfort zone. What leadership characteristics did you exemplify in this situation that allowed you to succeed?

Many leadership experts believe that stretch assignments are the best way to develop high potential employees, and the definition of a stretch assignment is something outside your comfort zone that you need to learn and develop to achieve. As you reflect upon some of your best leadership moments you may find that you were outside your comfort zone. If so, this is a great essay to demonstrate what you learned and developed in that process.

One of our clients found herself out of her comfort zone when her boss was on maternity leave and she was asked to cover the work. Suddenly she was responsible for answering questions and managing clients as the sole representative for the company, rather than always depending on her boss as a sounding board. She discovered that she really enjoyed making decisions and that she grew and learned as she needed to find her own answers to difficult questions.

When her boss returned from leave she was in a position to ask for a promotion and more responsibility. You may have faced a similar situation, whether planned or impromptu, and discovered that you had leadership skills ready to hone through this stretch assignment.

As you write this essay, include details and descriptions. Make sure you describe the situation as well as what you did, any hiccups in the plan, and what you learned about yourself and leading teams and projects.

Essay Option Two: “Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be POWERED by. Failure is the high-octane fuel your life can run on. You’ve got to learn to make failure your fuel.” -Abby Wambach.

Describe a situation when failure has been your fuel. What was your failure (or when did you not succeed to your full potential), and how did you use this as motivation to move forward and be successful in a future situation?

If you are the kind of person who thrives in the face of adversity, this is the question for you to answer. This option provides an opportunity to reflect upon a moment in your life when things did not go smoothly. We all have pivotal moments in our lives, and often they felt like failures as they were occurring.

Perhaps you were asked to take on a project in a subject area you knew nothing about and it did not go well. Or you managed an employee who was more experienced than you, and did not respect your contribution. You might have joined a team that did not welcome your input. How did you take those professional challenges and use the failure to fuel you to eventual success? What tools did you use or develop to create success in a future situation?

If this question appeals to you it likely means you have the personality type that can turn a lemon into lemonade and thrives in the process. It will be helpful to demonstrate that mindset in this essay and show how you think. As you answer the question about how you used this experience to be successful in future situations, make sure you reflect a bit on your own development and what you learned in the process.

Essay Option Three: Your personal brand reflects your values and beliefs, and impacts your relationships and community. Describe the personal brand that you will bring to business school using examples or experiences that support how you’ve developed it. How do you believe your personal brand will strengthen the McDonough community? As you complete your MBA program, how do you hope to see your personal brand evolve through the transformative experience of business school?

Essay option three is a bit different from the prior two questions, which focused on a single situation from your past. This question draws from your entire background to understand more about how you see yourself and present yourself to the world.

Additionally, this question allows you to showcase what you understand about McDonough and why it is the right fit for you. If you have a strong sense of your personal brand and how that brand will develop at McDonough, this question is a good option for you.

As you describe yourself and your experiences, make sure you have a handful of vivid examples to support what you say about your brand. For example, if you say that you are a career matchmaker, have a few examples of a time when you uncovered the ideal job for your colleague or helped a friend create the perfect resume for her dream job.

If you are a world traveler, make sure you describe a few of your pivotal journeys. And as you think about your brand, what will you bring to McDonough and what will you learn and develop while you are attending the program?

Video Essay: We ask that you introduce yourself to your cohort in one minute or less. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

McDonough’s video essay guide specifically asks you to appear in the one-minute video and to address situations outside your resume. However, you will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). While you have been asked to show yourself in the video, you may add other elements aside from your talking head, including interviews with family and friends, photos or graphics and music.

One minute seems like a short amount of time, but consider that television commercials are generally 30 seconds, and you realize that a lot of information can fit into a one-minute video.

Like all interactive MBA admissions essays, the content is the most important aspect of this exercise. The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your dreams, background and personality. Think about personal stories that you did not describe in your resume, recommendations or your written essays. Perhaps you have a family story to tell, a hobby you are passionate about or a significant extracurricular responsibility.

This is also the ideal place to demonstrate your fit with Georgetown (unless you focused on option three of the previous required essays). Can you take your hobbies to school and share with your classmates? Will your background add to the diversity of the class? Or can you open doors for your classmates professionally? Always think about your own contributions to McDonough.

If you can demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera and add additional elements to the video it should be compelling to the admissions committee, but keep in mind that content is the most crucial part of this video.

Optional Essay: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

This is an entirely open-ended optional essay. Most optional essays ask for an explanation for a gap in employment, the lack of a current supervisor recommendation, or academic issues. If you do want to address any of those elements to your application this is the ideal place.

If you do not have anything to explain about your overall application you may want to use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience at work or in your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have an amazing leadership experience you want to discuss. Or a learning experience that was not covered in essay one.

There is no obligation to use the space, however, so do not write an essay just to add more for the admissions committee to read. If you do use this space to elaborate on your application profile, do not recycle essays from other schools that ask specific and recognizable questions.

Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

Many candidates can write about a specific improvement since your last application like a promotion, improved GMAT, or increased responsibilities or experience. Georgetown is also interested in the less tangible improvements like a revised career goal, personal growth or increase in maturity. Make sure you are able to make the case that you are now ready for a McDonough MBA and that any new development has only strengthened your resolve.

Need assistance with your Georgetown McDonough MBA application? Stacy Blackman consulting can help. Contact us to learn more.

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

_________________

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

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
SBC’s 2018 Survey of Prospective MBAs  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SBC’s 2018 Survey of Prospective MBAs
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With Round One deadlines nearly upon us, we at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans.

So, here’s the deal: we’re asking for a favor. Please fill out our one-minute surveyWe know how precious your time is—you’ll only have to “check the box” in response to a few simple MBA-related questions.

Then, keep an eye out for the survey results here on the blog, which will give you insight into how other prospective students are thinking about the application process.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card. The survey is live now and will close at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow, Friday, September 7, 2018. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

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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: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
MBA Success Story: From 24 Apps, 19 Dings to 1st in Class at Emory  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Success Story: From 24 Apps, 19 Dings to 1st in Class at Emory
“I wrote 24 applications over two years and was turned down nineteen times in a row before anyone said yes, and all said-and-done I received only two “yesses.”  Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars I spent trying to get in, and was rejected over and over,” shares Ed Luggen.

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Perseverance paid off for Ed Luggen, who graduated first in his class at Goizueta Business School and started a career with The Boston Consulting Group in July.

When Luggen signed up with Stacy Blackman Consulting in 2015, he had received more rejections than almost anyone we had ever worked with. The fact that he wanted to persevere was a true testament to his character, his resilience, drive and problem-solving abilities.

Recently, Luggen received his MBA from Emory’s Goizueta Business School, graduating #1 in the class. He was on the dean’s list for four semesters at Goizueta, receiving the most outstanding academic achievement award. Before going to Emory, Luggen was an associate attorney at Kurtz & Blum in the Raleigh-Durham area for just over three years.

He had graduated summa cum laude with his law degree from Michigan State University in 2012 and earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Miami University. He did his MBA internship at Ford Motor Co. in global strategy before starting a career with The Boston Consulting Group in July.

This accomplishment was a test of character. Throughout his long journey, Luggen leveraged the challenges he faced and the wisdom he acquired through the admissions cycles to gain an admit to Emory GBS, even with a low undergrad GPA and a career that MBA admissions likely viewed as unfocused.

Within his story are five learnings that all applicants can benefit from.

#1 Embrace being the underdog
Ed’s success should serve as an engaging example for those who have had difficult setbacks and imperfect academic statistics.  His advice to others in this underdog category: “It’s going to be tougher for you than it will be for many other applicants and future classmates.  You are going to have to work harder to get admitted, know your story and how to tell it in a compelling fashion, spend more time networking to create opportunities, and suffer from more rejection.”

When Ed finally signed up with SBC he learned to embrace his shortcomings rather than trying to hide them. He learned to reveal the character created by his hardship and shortcomings.  MBA admissions officers know that struggle builds character.  Ed advises, “If you can turn your weakness into a strength, show the toughness your life has instilled in you, exercise the determination that’s gotten you this far, and package it in a polished and compelling story, you will find a school and a company that value you.”

#2 Don’t let adversity trip you up
“The biggest challenge in the application process was finding a school that would believe in me and my potential, and staying resolved in the face of rejection,” shared Luggen.  Ed knew he was good enough and stuck with it using the strategy developed with the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.

“I see now that it was a necessary process that landed me exactly where I should have been: at a school that appreciated my strengths and cared for my success.  Emory GBS was the perfect place for me, and my early struggles made me appreciate the school and the opportunities it brought me all the more.  Goizueta believed in me, and two years later I graduated first in my class.” Developing resilience is incredibly important during the MBA process, but it’s also essential in life. To be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.

#3 One size doesn’t fit all
The MBA is not a one-size-fits-all degree, and not every business school is equipped to help every person reach his or her unique professional goals.  After his experience at Goizueta with peers he described as “remarkable, yet down-to-earth,” Luggen advises future students to carefully consider student culture and community.

Ed shared, “Building a network of former classmates who will answer when you call and alumni who will go out of their way for you because they know where you’ve come from and the character your shared experience has built, that’s what it’s really about.”

Find an MBA program that appreciates what you have to offer, as it will be better suited to helping you achieve your unique professional aspirations. “I’ve left GBS feeling like I grew as a person and belonged to something very special.  Every student there was impressive in some way or another, and it was rewarding to get to know them as people and learn their strengths. You can take basic corporate finance anywhere, but leaving school feeling like you’ve been enriched in all facets of your life is a priceless benefit.” As well, Luggen shared, “GBS’s career opportunities well outpaced its position in the rankings.”

#4 Be Laser Focused
Nothing beats hard work and defined goals.  Luggen shared, “Many pursue an MBA… because it seems like a good next step in their life process; a foregone conclusion. But the people who really succeed both in their recruiting and academically know what they want and what they’re working toward. Knowing what you want will likely help you craft the story you tell to the MBA admissions committee, to recruiters, to contacts, and to classmates.  People love stories, and particularly they like good stories.  If you can tell a good story about yourself and why you have chosen your goals, it will help in many ways.”

#5 Stay tough and enlist the support you need
“My other advice is to stay tough,” says Luggen. After so many rejections, he could have given up, but he regrouped, and tried again with a different approach. When it came to recruiting, he similarly had to keep the faith.

“We had a few rock-star students who seemed to get every interview they applied for, but the majority of us would get dinged for reasons unknown, walking out of an interview thinking it went great.  We get declined for a first-round interview without explanation, even though we think ourselves a good fit.  We get to the final decision round and go home empty-handed on the same flight as our cheering classmates thinking ‘why them instead of me?’ That’s the life, though. Embrace it, keep faith in yourself, and let it make you stronger.”

In closing, a big thank you to Ed for placing his trust in SBC and for agreeing to be highlighted in the article. We are confident that many of you will be as inspired by Ed’s journey as we have been!

Ed’s journey first appeared as a guest post for the business school news portal 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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
IU Kelley School Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: IU Kelley School Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has published the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-19 admissions season.

Early Round
Application due: October 15, 2018

Decision released by: December 20, 2018

Priority Round
Application due: January 5, 2019

Decision released by: March 15, 2019

Third Round
Application due: March 1, 2019

Decision released by: April 30, 2019

Final Round
Application due: April 15, 2019

Decision released by: May 31, 2019

***

Early application is encouraged. The first two deadlines are priority deadlines for merit-based financial aid consideration. For additional information on applying, please visit the Kelley MBA admissions website.

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

Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2212
Location: Los Angeles, CA
IU Kelley School Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: IU Kelley School Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business has confirmed that the MBA essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions season remain the same as the previous application cycle.

Required MBA Essays 
1. Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

2. Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

  • My greatest memory is…
  • I’m most afraid of…
  • My greatest challenge has been…
  • I’m most proud of…
3. Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you (25 words)

Optional Essay
Is there anything else you think we should know as we evaluation your application? If you believe your essays and credentials represent you fairly, you shouldn’t fell obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

For more information on applying, please visit the IU Kelley MBA admissions website.

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Follow Up with Your MBA Recommenders  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Follow Up with Your MBA Recommenders
As the majority of Round 1 deadlines are next month, you should plan to reach out to your MBA recommenders soon to ensure they are pacing themselves and won’t be crunched for time once end-of-summer craziness hits.

These contacts are doing you a huge favor, and it would be a shame if they had to take time away from their families and friends over the remaining weeks before their kids go back to school (or over Labor Day weekend, for those in the United States) because you hadn’t gently reminded them about their upcoming responsibility. While b-school applications might be consuming your life right now, they’re probably not top-of-mind for your recommenders.

Effective, Persuasive MBA Recommendation Letters
When you do your check-in, there’s a chance your recommenders may ask you to review what they’ve written so far. Or they may just want to verbally confirm that they’re covering the right points in their letters.

This is your opportunity to remind them that the most critical thing they can do is include examples to back up any claims they’ve made about your strengths or personality traits.

Many recommenders — especially those who aren’t familiar with the MBA application process — think that if they simply sing your praises and repeat how great you are in various different ways, that will be enough.

Others assume their alumni status or their impressive titles will carry enough weight to make up for a generic letter. Unfortunately, they won’t. The best way for your recommenders to help you stand out from thousands of other highly qualified applicants is by painting a clear picture of who you are both professionally and personally.

Sharing details of how you contributed to projects or giving specific examples of how you interact with others or went above and beyond (including funny anecdotes or quips that give insight into your personality) — these are the things that make for a great recommendation letter.

Having said all that, if your recommenders don’t intend to share what they’ve written, don’t worry! Chances are you asked them to do this very important task because you know they’re competent people who will try their best to set you apart from the pack. But if they do ask for any advice as the deadlines near, just be sure to drive home the importance of going heavy on the examples.

And when your recommenders’ letters are in, don’t forget to do something nice to thank them!

Think of it this way:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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Tuesday Tips: IU Kelley School of Business Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: IU Kelley School of Business Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is a top-tier business school with an innovative program that cultivates strong recruiting relationships with companies. From the moment you decide to attend Kelley you will be focusing on your career and leadership development. For example, even before you start classes, you will be part of an orientation program called Me Inc. to help you refine your career goals.

After you start school you will continue to receive personalized coaching, leadership training, and real-world industry projects. This will help you focus on the right career path and job openings for your internship and full-time job search.

Kelley’s program is unique and close-knit, so your fit with the program and your desire to participate fully will be important to the admissions committee. Kelly has an academically strong class of students, a large number are from outside the United States, and the class is diverse with a significant number of women in each MBA class.

REQUIRED MBA ESSAYS

1. Please discuss your immediate post-MBA professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals? Should the short-term goals you have identified not materialize, what alternate career paths might you consider? (500 words)

Entering Kelley with a crystallized career vision and an idea of how you will accomplish your goals will help you take full advantage of the program. Kelley’s curriculum is tailored to help you reach your career goals, and students can specialize almost immediately by choosing one of the first-year Academies in your industry area of focus. Think about these opportunities at Kelley when you answer this career goals question, and be specific about how you see yourself using the tools available.

When you discuss your career experience, make sure that you are focusing on the most important moments in your career, not reciting your jobs like a resume. Think about the times when you had to stretch to accomplish the goals set out for you, when you had to step up to be a leader, or when you learned more about yourself and your aspirations. Those are the stories that will explain how your professional experience will help you achieve your goals.

The second half of this question deals with your flexibility around your career goal and your ability to handle change. Change is constant in most industries, and your ability to recognize opportunity, even outside your anticipated career goals, will be critical to your success. Think about the core elements that are important to you in forming your career goals and how they can be realized in different career opportunities.

For example, perhaps you are passionate about the food industry and want to be involved in updating the world of packaged goods, but you could imagine pursing either a strategy role or a finance role within consumer packaged goods. Or perhaps you love marketing but could see yourself either marketing a film or a jewelry line, as long as you are practicing the craft of marketing. Showing that you can pivot while staying true to your core values and interests will position you well in this set of essays.

2. Please respond to one of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

• My greatest memory is…

• I’m most afraid of…

• My greatest challenge has been…

• I’m most proud of…


While the prior essay focuses on your career path and goals, this essay seeks to understand your core personal motivations. Beyond career, what have been formative moments in your life? The story you choose to tell in this essay will be revealing to the admissions committee and will show your personality and values.

Think about the moments in your life when you have changed or matured. Was there an experience that led you to learn more about yourself? Perhaps you interacted with someone who challenged you, or inspired you. Or you may have traveled outside your comfort zone, either literally outside your home country, or in a transition like leaving home for college.

Option b, “I’m most afraid of…” is the one prompt that does not specifically call on a past experience. However, it’s likely that your fear has its roots in a formative moment in your life.

Once you have a story to tell, make sure you are explaining why this moment is important to you. You can either narrate your thoughts, reactions and opinions as you retell the story, or take time at the end of the essay to reflect upon what you learned and why it was important to you.

3. Please share with the admissions committee an interesting or surprising fact about you (25 words)

The admissions committee has read your career goals, read about a pivotal experience and likely has reviewed your resume and application fact sheet. What you describe here is something that didn’t come up in any of those demographic or background data sheets in your application. It’s also something short and easy to explain in 25 words.

Perhaps you were a competitive swimmer in high school, but didn’t pursue it in college. Or your grandmother was from Sweden and taught you traditional cooking techniques that no one else in your life knows. Maybe you are heavily involved in a hobby that has impacted your life.

If you are struggling to come up with an interesting or surprising fact, this is a great question to poll friends and family about. You will want to use something that is unique about you, and that most other applicants would not be able to say.

Your friends and family likely know the elements of your background and personality that go far deeper than your resume or application fact sheet and would know what is unique about you.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

Is there anything else you think we should know as we evaluation your application? If you believe your essays and credentials represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)

Kelley’s optional question is open-ended, allowing you to add almost any story or additional background data you would like. Before you take full advantage of the extra space, make sure you are truly adding to your application. If you have done the work on a comprehensive resume, excellent recommendations and finely-honed essays you likely don’t need this space.

If there is anything to explain in your application, definitely use this space to do so. That may be a poor grade in a quantitative course in college, academic probation, or the lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor. Whatever you need to discuss, make sure you are focused on explanations rather than excuses, and you provide solid, recent evidence that you have done better since the event.

Struggling with the Kelley MBA application? Stacy Blackman Consulting can help. Contact us to learn more.

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Professor Profiles: Georgetown McDonough’s Simon Blanchard  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2018, 06:01
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Professor Profiles: Georgetown McDonough’s Simon Blanchard
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 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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Meet Simon Blanchard,  Associate Professor of Marketing and Keith Barket Faculty Fellow at Georgetown University; Interim Director of the Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights

Education: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. (Marketing) 2006 – 2011

Université de Montréal – HEC Montréal, Canada, M.Sc. (Management Science) 2004 –2005

Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, B.B.A. 2000 – 2003

Courses Taught:  Analytical Problem Solving and Digital Advertising

What triggered your interest in your subject matter?
An area of specific interest to me is helping consumers manage their money better. One of the issues consumers have is that it is easy to spend and easy to rack up debt. Being able to use large amounts of data from credit cards or banks to identify the way that consumers spend and misspend is something that I find interesting.

Sometimes managing money is complicated. We spend a lot of time in marketing thinking about how to get people to spend on things that we would like. We should also be able to think about how to help consumers manage that complexity. I enjoy working on problems related to that.

What has changed since you entered the field?
One of the biggest changes is that you see people use statistical models or tools, which are normally reserved for quantitative studies, to analyze behaviors. Things that you would normally analyze from a focus group, you can now analyze from text, product feedback, and videos and images, rather than just relying on people’s descriptions of their own behaviors.

How do you leverage technology in your classroom?
 We designed the MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights so that students can choose a combination of courses from operations and statistics and from marketing depending on their interests. Some of the courses, especially the foundation courses such as Marketing Analytics, typically use Excel.

Where that seems kind of old school, we’re trying to maintain skills in Excel, or open source tools that are easily accessible, so that students can go straight to their internships or jobs and be successful right away without having to convince their employers to buy an expensive license in new software.

However, most electives have some kind of other hands-on, tool-based component, whether it is learning to gather primary data using platforms like Qualtrics, or whether it is learning and understanding how to utilize Adwords (including taking the Adwords Fundamental Exam that Google administers).

Further, we have been collaborating with the student-led HoyAlytics organization, which provides additional workshops in a variety of data analytics tools and competitions to engage students further. We can address a wide range of topics in the classroom and HoyAlytics can provide greater practical experiences.

What can you do in the classroom to best prepare students for the real world?
There many different applications for identifying a consumer and the kind of analysis one can do depending on their industries. The course Data and Society puts a high emphasis on bringing in guest speakers that could be relevant for students, getting them to understand for instance that marketing for nonprofits is going to be a bit different than marketing for a for-profit fast, casual restaurant company. Guests present their challenges with data and understanding insights depending on their focus, whether that is policy or government oriented, corporate, or consumer focus.

Can you speak to interesting trends in your field?
One of the trends that has been happening over the last few years involves companies running more experiments in the field to assess the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. More specifically, they are looking at the incremental impact of these campaigns.

For example, most people think of experiments in the form of an A/B test. These experiments may tell you A is better than B, but they do not tell you whether A or B is better than doing nothing at all. This new focus is incrementality. When thinking about effectiveness, you only want to pay for the clients, traffic, or sales that are incremental to what would have been achieved if you had done no marketing at all.

Part of this trend is managerial. It is not just that the data model needs to be able to identify it, but one has to take the decision to and be able to collect data the right away.

What role, if any, does ethics play in your curriculum, and how has that evolved over time?
Focus on ethics and responsibility is a big component of our MBA program at Georgetown McDonough. We emphasize the proper management of data in the projects we do. There is also a discussion in my Digital Advertising class concerning how people are tracked (and misconceptions about how people are tracked) and what happens to the data.

We have built ethical discussions into the certificate program, most specifically in the course Data and Society. This course brings in the perspective of consumers, companies, and society as a whole, reminding students that these interests are often in conflict. By bringing in practitioners from a variety of organizations, we can consider ethical issues.

For example, companies often want to have as much data as they can, but that creates risks that society needs to understand. Consumers too may not be aware companies are keeping that data. Others, like the European Union, are changing the rules on data, making it important that we become aware of the changes and the issues we need to deal with in global marketing.

What are you most excited about in your classroom?
What is interesting especially is the many different backgrounds of students that participate. We have had statisticians and bankers. We have also had people who are completely creative by training and have barely any idea of how to run any analysis, and both of them can get something out of the certificate. For those that are interested in pushing their quantitative skills forward, we can help them with that.

For the students that just want exposure so they can speak to the people that deal with the data, we can also help them with that. Trying to make both types of student happy with the material is the part that is challenging and interesting. While certain aspects of consumer analytics can be complicated, there are intuitive and logical aspects that you do not need incredibly high math skills to understand. The fun part is making data analytics accessible.

Best advice for an aspiring business mogul?
First, I would say it is important to make sure that you get data.  At minimum, start thinking about the data that you would need and identify the scenarios where you might gather that data.

The second thing is to have the reflex for looking for alternative explanations. It is easy to find relationship between variables or any point of data that supports a conclusion. For example, if one is arguing that X causes Y, perhaps it is not because of those to two things but it is something else that explains both. Looking for alternative explanations is really a managerial decision.

Many of the MBAs that are taking the certificate may do some analysis for their own companies, but we are not training them to be data scientists. We are training them to deal with people who are data scientists and to be comfortable with the tools scientists use so they can ask the right questions.

Part of that is asking what else could have caused the outcome I am exploring. That may or may not be in the data. There is a danger, when you have large amounts of data, to stop considering what is outside of the data.

What’s the impact you want to leave on your students?
With the MBA Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Insights, our aim is to make sure that students feel comfortable with various types of data sources that they may encounter in their companies or that their competitors may be using.

When someone brings to them the results of a big data project, they are going to know and understand the terms that people using, be able to ask the relevant questions, and to identify if the analysis was done correctly.

They should not be afraid of data. They should be embracing the amount of uncertainty that having a ton of data can bring and the different types of tools that people are using to analyze that data. That is the biggest impact. They are not going to be scared of all of the data and analytics.

What do you like about teaching at the Georgetown McDonough School of Business?
We have access to many constituents, not only internationally but also even locally, such as companies that study the way that consumers make decisions and to policymakers that deal with consumer welfare, which is important. We have numerous large hotel chains such as Hilton, Marriott, and Choice Hotels that are located right here. Nestle is across the bridge. We have several analytics companies and marketing companies for nonprofits – all of that is right here.

If you are interested in any of these areas, there is no better place. Many of these companies have hired from campus over the years; and we, of course, have a fair amount of consulting companies that work for clients in the area. We are also recruiting companies/clients for the capstone project for the certificate.

There also is an emphasis at McDonough in understanding how to do things the right way – in a principled way. I think that is reflected in the way students think and act, and in the way that we teach.

Thank you so much Professor Blanchard for sharing your insights and experiences with our readers!

 

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USC Marshall School Fall 2019 MBA Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: USC Marshall School Fall 2019 MBA Essays
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The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California has posted the following MBA essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions season.

Essay 1
What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (100 words)

Essay 2
Please respond to ONLY ONE of the following essay topics. (500 words)

  • If you could pack the story of your life in a briefcase with 10 items, what items would you pack and why? Respond in list form.
  • You are asked to design a course to be taught at the Marshall School of Business. Please provide a title and description for the course.
  • You have been hired by the Marshall MBA Admissions Committee to create an essay question for next year’s application. Please state the question and answer it.
Optional Essay
Please provide any additional information that will enhance our understanding of your candidacy for the program. (250 words)

For additional information on applying, please visit the Marshall School MBA admissions website.

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London Business School Fall 2019 Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: London Business School Fall 2019 Application Deadlines
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The London Business School has posted the  following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-19 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: September 14, 2018

Decision released: November 21, 2018

Round 2
Application due: January 3, 2019

Decision released: March 28, 2019

Round 3
Application due: March 1, 2019

Decision released: May 22, 2019

Round 4
Application due: April 17, 2019

Decision released: June 19, 2019

***

All application deadlines are 17:00 UK time. All Admissions Committee decisions are communicated via email and will be sent on the relevant deadline day by 23:30pm UK time.

For more information about applying, please visit the LBS 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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CentreCourt MBA Admissions Events in September  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: CentreCourt MBA Admissions Events in September
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For many who are just embarking on their B-school journey, attending an MBA admissions event like the upcoming CentreCourt MBA Festival is a stellar way to meet admissions representatives from several programs and impress them with your thoughtfulness and preparation…in other words, stand out from the crowd.

The festival has already made stops in London and Boston, and many US cities plus a stop in Toronto still await throughout the month of September.  This truly is a comprehensive event, with 35 of the top 40 ranked business schools participating in CentreCourt 2018.

CentreCourt San Francisco is coming up on September 6th, and will feature Stanford GSB, Berkeley-Haas, CMU Tepper and many more. The Los Angeles stop on September 8th, meanwhile,  will feature UCLA, Cornell, Darden, CMU Tepper plus the former AD for Wharton on a mock Committee panel. Find out your chances of getting into your dream schools.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from the deans, admissions directors and admissions officers of the world’s top MBA programs. CentreCourt is a free event and space is limited, so register today!

For advice on how applicants can make the most of MBA fairs, as well as general school research help, just follow one of the article links below to see SBC’s expert tips!

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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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Attention 2018 MBA Applicants: We Need Your Input!  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2018, 17:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Attention 2018 MBA Applicants: We Need Your Input!
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With Round One deadlines nearly upon us, Stacy Blackman Consulting wants to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans.

So, here’s the deal: we’re asking for a favor. Please fill out our one-minute surveyWe know how precious your time is—you’ll only have to “check the box” in response to a few simple MBA-related questions.

Then, keep an eye out for the survey results here on the blog, which will give you insight into how other prospective students are thinking about the application process.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card, or a $100 cash prize if preferred. The survey is live now and will close at 12 p.m. PST on Friday, September 7, 2018. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

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Tuesday Tips: INSEAD MBA Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: INSEAD MBA Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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INSEAD, “the business school of the world,” is a top ranked program by most of the major business publications. The school has managed to attract a diverse and highly international group of students through a manageable 12-month full time program, multiple campuses and practical business experiences. INSEAD has an active exchange program with Wharton in the US and campuses in France, Abu Dhabi and Singapore, providing further options for student experiences.

Along with this set of essays, INSEAD has a required video interview, which has to be completed within 48 hours after your intake deadline. INSEAD admissions tells candidates that “The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. “ Visit the INSEAD admissions overview for detailed instructions on the video essay and other components of the application.

JOB ESSAYS

All of the job essays are more short answer than meant to be full essays, and INSEAD advises they can be answered in as little as one line, or as much as twenty lines. Given that direction, you could think of the entire set as one narrative where you start with your current job, then discuss what you would do next in your role, and your background, culminating with a brief explanation of your goals and where an MBA fits.

Make sure you are efficient with your space and just answer the questions in a straightforward manner. INSEAD is not looking for extensive explanation or background beyond the specific questions answered.

Job Essay 1: Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

This question focuses on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you may want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the space to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

If your boss has already talked to you about the next step this is an easy question to answer. If you have not explicitly discussed promotion at work, what would be the next role you would ideally pursue?

If you are pursuing an MBA because you want to make a career change or because the next step at your current company is undesirable for other reasons, this may be a place to describe what that next step would be and why you do not wish to pursue it (with more context provided in the long term goal section).

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Even if you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take the opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position to create the story of your past, present and future plans and build an overall career narrative. This should be a short answer like the others, so you will want to focus only on the moves you have made in your career and the reasons behind them.

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Typically a top tier program like INSEAD is an accelerator for your career – introducing you to a broader network than you would otherwise have, expanding your skillset into new functional areas and exposing you to people from around the world.

Think about how you plan to use your MBA to advance your current career (or change paths entirely). If you did not attend INSEAD, how would you achieve your goals otherwise? Think of this short answer essay as a thought experiment to show that you can plan two routes to one goal, while perhaps demonstrating the superiority of the MBA path.

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

For example, perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry.

If you are out of work only briefly or planning to take just a few months off before school starts, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.

MOTIVATION ESSAYS

Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words)

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications. The purpose of a question about strengths and weaknesses is to evaluate your level of maturity and self-awareness. This is an opportunity to highlight leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success.

Examples aren’t explicitly required, but consider that the admissions committee is reading a large number of essays and concrete examples can help you stand out. When describing weaknesses, you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken tangible steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths.

Because it is difficult to write about weaknesses without sounding either overly self deprecating, or as if you are humble-bragging, this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (approx. 400 words)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great fuel for this essay, and equally important is explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you. If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment.

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow.

Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted your relationships and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how other people felt about your actions.

Most obviously a success likely led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approx. 300 words)

Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approx. 300 words)

This essay is 300 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional).

If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.

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Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips
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The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California reflects the diversity and dynamism of the Los Angeles area.

According to Assistant Dean and Director, Evan Bouffides: “What matters most to us is our learning community and how, through collaboration, we grow and learn together to collectively strengthen the Trojan Family. Thus, we do not believe in the concept of the “perfect” or “ideal” candidate. In fact, there are more atypical candidates than typical ones, and everyone has a unique story.”

Though the USC Marshall school is a community of its own, the larger USC Trojan Family is an important part of the school’s identity and offers additional academic opportunities for MBA students.

ESSAY 1

What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (100 words)

With only 100 words to use here, stay brief and focused. What is your plan when you graduate from USC? Because you can add no context to your career plans, make sure your resume and other application materials support this next step. If you are career switching it will help to highlight any transferable skills in your resume or ask your recommenders to comment on your future plans and how you will use your MBA to reach your goals.

If your next job is a logical step from your prior experience to your MBA, it’s still important to be specific about the job you plan to pursue to add as much detail to your application as possible.

ESSAY 2

Please respond to ONLY ONE of the following essay topics. (500 words)

1. If you could pack the story of your life in a briefcase with 10 items, what items would you pack and why? Respond in list form.

2. You are asked to design a course to be taught at the Marshall School of Business. Please provide a title and description for the course.



3. You have been hired by the Marshall MBA Admissions Committee to create an essay question for next year’s application. Please state the question and answer it.

Two of the three essay questions require significant research into the Marshall MBA program. It will be important to know as much as possible about the academics at USC Marshall for option 2 and the admissions criteria and values of USC Marshall for option 3.

If you are someone who has a standard career background and competition that may be similar, you might consider using option 1 or option 3 to describe something interesting or diverse in your background. Perhaps you have an unusual hobby, have made an impact on the community in a special way, or have an interesting family heritage. Option 1 is also a tricky creative challenge that could create a fascinating and intriguing essay.

Option 2 is an excellent way for you to showcase intellectual curiosity and your knowledge of the academic curriculum at USC. If there is a professor you would want to work with, this question is an opportunity to discuss their work and your interest in it.

Option 3 is new this year and fascinating for all MBA applicants. You have been undergoing the process of evaluation by multiple schools, perhaps complete with school visits and discussions with alumni. This is your chance to show USC what you think is most important for them to know about applicants, and to answer the question yourself. Ideally you can demonstrate that you understand the USC culture and values with the question design.

ESSAY #3 (OPTIONAL)

Please provide any additional information that will enhance our understanding of your candidacy for the program. (250 words)

This essay is fairly open-ended and might provide an opportunity to add additional information or to discuss a gap in your application. If you have a low GPA, grade below a C in a quantitative subject, an employment gap or any other issue in your background, this is the place to explain. Focus on clearly explaining what happened, and what you have done to improve or address the issue.

Need help with your USC Marshall essays and application strategy? Contact us to learn more about what SBC can do for you.

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HEC Paris Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris Fall 2019 MBA Application Deadlines
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The following are the MBA application deadlines for the HEC Paris 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

Application deadlines are subject to change, and decision date may be affected by interviewer availability. For more information on applying, please visit the HEC Paris 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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HEC Paris Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris Fall 2019 MBA Essay Questions
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Applications for the HEC Paris MBA September 2019 intake are now open, and the following are the required essay questions found within the application.

Essay 1. Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective? (500 words max.)

Essay 2. What do you consider your most significant life achievement? (250 words max.)

Essay 3. Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words max.)

Essay 4. Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words max.)

Essay 5. Please choose from one of the following essays, 250 words max.:

a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?

b) Certain books, movies or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyse it.

c) What figure do you most admire and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc)

Essay 6. Optional: Is there any additional information you would like to share with us? (900 words max.)

***

For additional information on applying, please visit the HEC Paris 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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How Specific Should Post-MBA Career Goals Be?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Specific Should Post-MBA Career Goals Be?
When you pull together your MBA application materials, you might find yourself stumped (in a few different ways) about how to explain your career goals. Thankfully, as we wrote about last month, the adcom isn’t going to hold you to what you write in your essay. But they do expect that you have given enough serious thought to your own future that you can clearly articulate your short- and long-term plans. More importantly, they want to hear about why you have those goals.

Totally Tailored, or Completely Candid Career Goals?
But sometimes this brings up another conundrum: should you be totally honest about your future career vision, or should you try to somewhat tailor it based on what each program you’re applying to is known for — or who the major recruiters are on campus?

We find it’s usually best to tell the adcom what you really want to do. They’re pretty good at sniffing out insincerity, and writing what you think they want to hear falls into that category. Plus, it will be harder for you to share a convincing “why” for your goals if they’re not really your goals! Then if you get to the interview stage, you’ll have to worry about continuing the act.

If you want to totally switch industries or are looking for a post-MBA role in a notoriously competitive field, then throw in a sentence about what else you might be open to doing on your way to your ultimate goal.

The good news is that while each program may have a reputation for strength in certain functional areas or industries, almost all of the top business schools still have plenty of courses, clubs, conference and other parts of their curriculum that cater to just about every type of career goal. So that’s how you customize your responses for each school: show them you’ve done your research and know exactly how they can help you.

Think of it this way:

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Could you use some extra cash? Fill out our very short annual prospective MBA survey for a chance to win $100! Don’t delay — the survey closes on Friday, September 7, at noon PST.

Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

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

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

_________________

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

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

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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 2212
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Last Call for SBC’s 2018 Survey, $100 Sweepstakes  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Last Call for SBC’s 2018 Survey, $100 Sweepstakes
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With Round One deadlines nearly upon us, Stacy Blackman Consulting wants to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans.

So, here’s the deal: we’re asking for a favor. Please fill out our one-minute surveyWe know how precious your time is—you’ll only have to “check the box” in response to a few simple MBA-related questions.

Then, keep an eye out for the survey results here on the blog, which will give you insight into how other prospective students are thinking about the application process.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card, or a $100 cash prize paid through Venmo or PayPal if preferred. The survey is live now and will close at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow, Friday, September 7, 2018. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

The post Last Call for SBC’s 2018 Survey, $100 Sweepstakes appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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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

Last Call for SBC’s 2018 Survey, $100 Sweepstakes &nbs [#permalink] 06 Sep 2018, 06:01

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