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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Tuesday Tips: Harvard MBA Essay Advice for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Harvard MBA Essay Advice for 2019-2020
ImageHarvard Business School has confirmed that the essay question for the class of 2022 remains unchanged from last year. The most challenging part of the Harvard MBA essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

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

Class of 2022 Harvard MBA essay question:
As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program? (no word count limit)

 A note on word count: HBS values brevity in essays. Don’t go overboard with a 2,000 word essay. Rather, focus on concise and clear writing and consider keeping this essay in the ~1,000 word range. Our clients have successfully composed essays anywhere from 500-1,300 words. If you find yourself on the upper end of that range, review your essay to cut any unnecessary words.

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

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

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

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

Accomplishments have traditionally been a strong focus of Harvard MBA essays. An interesting and revealing accomplishments story would work well for part of this essay. This holds true particularly if your key accomplishments are not obvious when reading your resume or transcripts.

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

A note on what not to do
We see many applicants tempted to include “why HBS” type information in the Harvard MBA essay. Unlike most MBA programs, HBS has never asked “why HBS” in an application essay question. You might explain why you prefer the Case Method learning style, if appropriate.

However, avoid lengthy explanations about how HBS is your top choice. Instead, use the space to provide detailed information about you and your strong candidacy.

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

Image credit: Chris Han (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The post Tuesday Tips: Harvard MBA Essay Advice for 2019-2020 appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Duke MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Admissions Season  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Duke MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Admissions Season
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Are you targeting the Fuqua School of Business in the upcoming admissions cycle? Grab your calendar, because here are the Duke MBA deadlines  for the 2019-20 application season.

Early Action:
Application due: September 19, 2019

Decision released: October 28, 2019

Round 1
Application due: October 14, 2019

Decision released: December 18, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 6, 2020

Decision released: March 18, 2020

Round 3
Application due: March 11, 2020

Decision released: April 20, 2020

A note to applicants about the Duke MBA deadlines:
All deadlines are at 11:59 pm ET. The Early Action option is ideal for applicants who have completed their MBA research and have decided that this is the best program for them.

If you need merit-based scholarship assistance, you may apply during Early Action, Round 1, Round 2, or Round 3.

International Applicants: you must apply during Early Action, Round 1, or Round 2 for visa processing.

Re-applicants: reapply during Early Action or Round 1.

The 2019-2020 Daytime MBA application will be available in late-July.

For more information, please visit the Duke Fuqua admissions website.

The post Duke MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Admissions Season 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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Kellogg MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Season  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2019, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Season
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The Kellogg MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions season have been announced! They are as follows:

Round 1
Application due: September 18, 2019

Decision released: December 11, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 8, 2020

Decision released: March 25, 2020

Round 3
Application due: April 8, 2020

Decision released: May 13, 2020

In addition to announcing the Kellogg MBA deadlines, this week Kellogg School of Management also indicated it has some changes in store for the essays within the upcoming application. Here’s a preview of these updates from Kate Smith in admissions:

“Our second written essay question will ask which values are most important to you. We hope to hear how these values have influenced you. Last year, this question focused on how an applicant has grown in the past, and how he or she intends to grow at Kellogg.

Our change comes from wanting to understand what drives you when you get up every morning. How will this make you meaningful members of our community at Kellogg? How will these values shape the kind of leader you will become one day?

You’ll also see a change to our first video essay question, which is shifting from an icebreaker to an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves. We heard from our applicants that they were looking for opportunities to share more about their backgrounds, so this is your chance!”

Stay tuned for the official MBA essay announcement when the application goes live in June.

The post Kellogg MBA Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Season 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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Alumnus Frank Sands Makes Darden its Largest Gift Ever  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Alumnus Frank Sands Makes Darden its Largest Gift Ever
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Image courtesy of UVA Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced today it has received the largest gift in its 64-year history. Sands Capital Management founder Frank M. Sands Sr.’s (MBA ’63) new gift of $68 million will move the top-ranked business school forward in several key areas.

The new Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning will enable innovation in the degree, non-degree and online spaces. It will help retain and develop Darden’s world-class faculty. The gift will transform Darden’s educational facilities in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The Darden School was a transformational experience for me, and I am an ardent supporter of its mission and values.”

“I am a big believer in lifelong learning and that learning is enabled by great faculty,” said Sands. “I hope this gift will inspire others to give and hope that the School will continue to be a true force for good in the free markets and broader world.”

Matching fund bolsters Sands’ impact
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Frank M. Sands Sr. (MBA ’63)

Combined with University matching funds, Sands’ gift delivers $82 million in total impact. That includes the $68 million new gift and $14 million in matching funds from UVA’s Bicentennial Professors Fund. The Board of Visitors launched the fund in 2017 to attract and retain top faculty and scholars.

Sands’ generosity comes as Darden and the university prepare for the launch of Honor the Future, UVA’s $5 billion campaign.

“Frank M. Sands Sr. and his family are helping propel Darden forward as we enter our third century,” said UVA President Jim Ryan. “This historically generous gift will allow Darden to reach even more students and continue to lead the way in global business education. I am incredibly grateful to Frank and the entire Sands family for their vision and generosity.”

“We are humbled and grateful for the Sands’ longstanding support and this incredible new gift,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “Frank and his family continue the legacy of the School’s founders to propel the Darden School toward reaching the full potential of its mission to improve the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences.”

New Institute Catalyzes Business Education Innovation, Establishes Professorships and Revitalizes Darden Facilities
The $82 million in funding will transform Darden in various ways:

  • A $20 million endowment for the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning will determine best practices for teaching lifelong learners and working executives in both degree and non-degree programs, whether face-to-face in the classroom, online or through novel delivery methods. The gift includes an investment in Darden’s portfolio of online courses that will extend Darden’s reach and impact globally. The Institute will empower faculty to innovate courses, curricula and programs to meet leaders at all stages of their careers.
  • A $35 million Sands Professorship Fund. The fund will support 12 new faculty chairs to bolster excellence and innovation in pedagogy. Four distinguished professorship chairs will honor of Darden professors with a legacy of exceptional teaching and commitment to the School:
    • John Forbes, the Darden School’s first professor, who died in 2018 at age 107
    • Bob Landel, who teaches operations and retired this year after nearly 50 years of teaching
    • Yiorgos Allayannis, a finance professor and master teacher of the case method
    • Dean Emeritus and University Professor Bob Bruner, who served as dean from 2005 to 2015

      An additional eight emerging scholar chairs, called the Sands Professorships, will enable Darden to recruit and develop top faculty as the next generation of master teachers and scholars.
  • A $20 million fund for the construction of the new UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning in Charlottesville.
  • A $7 million fund for the C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall
Sands’ gift builds on previous joint donation
This gift builds on the $5 million he and his son Frank Sands made to build Darden’s new campus in the Rosslyn district of Arlington, Virginia.  The UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds opened in March 2018.

“Frank sets an incredible example for all Darden alumni,” said Elizabeth Weymouth, chair of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees. “We are inspired by his generosity and beyond grateful.”

The post Alumnus Frank Sands Makes Darden its Largest Gift Ever 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
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Tips for a Killer MBA Recommendation Letter  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips for a Killer MBA Recommendation Letter
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It might surprise you that many applicants don’t invest time and attention in their reference letters. Most applicants select their references, direct them to the proper forms, and hope for the best. You can influence the quality of your recommendations. When SBC clients ask for advice on choosing who should write their MBA recommendation letter, these are the key elements to keep in mind.

  • How strongly does the recommender champion you and your MBA aspirations?
  • Does the recommender have at least 3-4 meaty examples to share that demonstrate strong MBA-desirable qualities? Think leadership, interpersonal/communication skills, analytical ability, innovation mindset, team focus, integrity, etc.
  • Will the recommender add dimension and valuable insights? Does the recommender have strong written communication skills?
  • How open would the recommender be to input from you on the recommendation? Will he/she feel comfortable with receiving a recommender brief and/or potentially sharing a draft with you to review?
  • How senior is the recommender, and/or are they an alum of the target school? Generally, these factors are less important relative to the content of the MBA recommendation letter. But they are worth considering, depending on the circumstances.
  • Does the recommender meet the specific school’s instructions? Stanford, for example, has removed its peer recommendation option.
Now, who do you choose?
Weigh the pros and cons of the various recommender options and know that a range of perspectives is best. A good set of letters will feature the client from professional, personal, and interpersonal standpoints.

Rather than submitting two highly duplicative recommendations, it can be more powerful to request recommenders who can share different perspectives/examples. It’s a bonus if the recommender(s) know the candidate across multiple areas of his life and can speak positively to them.

Applicants often think they should choose the person in their organization with the loftiest title to write their reference letters. The truth is that a person with a fancy title who doesn’t know the applicant won’t be able to offer specific examples and anecdotes to support even the most generous platitudes. As with the client’s essays, without “reasons to believe,” the claims made in the reference letter, even when true, will be discounted or ignored.

What makes a good MBA recommendation letter?
Professionals are better.

For top MBA programs such as Harvard Business School and the Wharton School, we favor professional recommendations. “They typically prefer two direct supervisors and it can be a risk when you cannot provide one from your current supervisor,” says a former HBS Admissions Officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team. “This isn’t always realistic, but it’s the preference. The only exception to this is for the 2+2 program. Here, faculty, advisors, heads of extracurricular programs, etc. are expected for at least one of them.”

Stand out.

Many recommenders—especially those unfamiliar 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. Unfortunately, it’s not. 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.

Standing out is especially crucial for traditional applicants from finance and consulting.  “Use the MBA recommendation letter to show that an applicant is at the very top of their classes (rockstars!),” says a former Wharton Admissions Officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.

Specifics matter.

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 MBA recommendation letter.

How to ask a supervisor for a recommendation.
Take a proactive approach to your reference letters. Sit down with each reference to let them know that a stellar recommendation letter is integral to your MBA admit chances and highlight the key attributes that the recommender should try to address.

Possibilities: creative thinking, determination, focus, intelligence, charisma.  Come up with at least one concrete example that you feel illustrates each characteristic. Definitely drive home the importance of going heavy on the examples!

What should applicants do if they’re worried they don’t have enough quality recommenders?

Recommender quality does matter. Typically, only two recommender letters are expected. If the applicant doesn’t have two quality letters, it’s possible the applicant is just overly-worried. Often, the letters can be done in the quality fashion that top MBA programs seek, but the applicant just needs reassurance.  If the letters are truly poor quality, we encourage the applicant to cast a wider net for MBA programs. They might also need to reconsider their recommender choice, and/or delay an application season.



A report suggests business schools are clamping down on excessive recommender “coaching.” How far can candidates go in preparing their recommender?


Attributes and examples are entirely appropriate as ways to prepare recommenders. We discourage our clients from writing recommender letters for ethical reasons, and because their own voice is often transparent within the materials.

For more on the MBA recommendation letter topic, check out my prior post for US News & World Report, 5 Don’ts for Managing MBA Recommenders.

The post Tips for a Killer MBA Recommendation Letter 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
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User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Tuesday Tips: Columbia MBA Essay Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Columbia MBA Essay Tips for 2019-2020
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Columbia Business School has released the application and essay questions for candidates beginning at the MBA program in 2020. These essay questions have been updated for this year. The new MBA essay questions include a new question about leadership and your fit with Columbia Business School. Columbia asks you to choose a leader you admire, which could be anyone from Melinda Gates to Columbia professor Bruce Craven‘s choice, Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones.

What is the admissions team looking for in Columbia MBA applicants?
We have heard from the MBA admissions committee at CBS that authenticity is key. The committee is looking for candidates who are a great fit for the program. Another aspect is the academic background to handle the rigor of Columbia. Additionally, desire to attend Columbia is also an important part of the Columbia MBA application process.

Columbia is a fast-paced program in a fast-paced city. The kind of MBA student who is a good fit for Columbia and its setting in New York City will be those that plan to take full advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the setting.

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It’s up to you to prepare your case for admission with thorough research into the school. To accomplish this, speak to current students, alumni and research the classes and faculty at the school to understand the full offering at Columbia.

Columbia is looking for students who have big plans for their lives, MBA or not. Therefore, before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to think about your overall future dreams.

Columbia offers several flexible options for admission, from full time MBA programs starting in the Fall, to a January entry session and an excellent executive MBA program. Columbia also offers an early decision option for candidates that are committed to attend the school.

The Columbia admissions cycle is rolling, so the earlier you submit your application the earlier you will receive feedback. We recommend you try to submit your application as soon as possible, while maintaining high quality.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help with MBA admissions consulting.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:

“Work in business development for a media company.”

“Join a strategy consulting firm.”

“Launch a data-management start-up.”

This is a deceptively simple question that requires you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. As part of the question Columbia provides a few examples, which are concise and to the point.

If your goal is to work at an investment bank after graduation you could always just say: “Work in finance.” To try to add a bit more detail, consider adding a little more color. Something like: “Work in real estate finance for a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals than just “work in finance” and sets the tone for the first essay.

Essay 1:

Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

This a question that drives at your short- and long-term goals and plans. The word “imagination” conjures up your aspirational dreams, not just your practical plans. Therefore, those who seek a top tier MBA at a school like Columbia have big dreams. You will be exposed to people and opportunities that will expand your horizons. Think about your true passions, and feel free to explore your big dreams.

As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Also, think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals. Your goals should have some logical progression from your past, but you can (and should!) show you plan to change and adapt.

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For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. Subsequently, you might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start-up to round out your experience and start on your general management path.

Most importantly, Columbia wants to know who you are and how you are different from other applicants. Don’t try to be an ideal applicant, instead reveal your real personality, motivations, goals, and plans.

Essay 2:

Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 words)

This essay question is revised for this year’s application. In prior years Columbia has posted a video about Columbia’s location in New York city, and Columbia’s access to industry leaders in industries including finance, media, fashion and technology.

Though this question does not ask you to watch a video and respond, thorough school research will help you answer the question well. The best way to research a school is to visit, talk to current students, and attend classes. If you are unable to visit Columbia before you submit your application, see if you can network with alumni and research the school online.

The question posed here is how will you, specifically, benefit from the opportunities unique to Columbia? Will you take classes from an industry expert you admire? Intern at a target company or within an industry that interests you? What other resources in New York City or within Columbia are interesting to you?

Columbia takes advantage of the location by employing adjunct professors from industry, encouraging internships during the school year for MBA students, and frequent lectures and mentoring from executives in various businesses.

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You might mix personal and professional interests in this topic. You could emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions. Specifics, specifics and specifics help you set yourself apart with this essay.

Know yourself and know the school. As you address this question make sure your answer is tailored to your individual goals for learning and career along with your knowledge of Columbia’s academic and professional opportunities.

Essay 3:

Who is a leader you admire, and why? (250 words)

This essay question is new for the class entering in 2020. In prior years Columbia asked for a team failure, while this question focuses specifically on leadership.

The type of leader you admire will reveal what you are working towards in your own leadership development. There are many different types of leaders, and endless ideas about which type of leader is best.

One leadership filter is from the business classic by Jim Collins, “Good to Great.” Collins describes a Level 5 leader, who is motivated by an organization and its cause, not by personal gain. A Level 5 leader exhibits a mix of personal humility and persistence. Level 5 leaders are not the only kind of leader that is effective, so consider some leaders you have read about, worked with, or admired and why.

Once you have chosen your admired leader, consider why you chose this person. What are the attributes that you particularly appreciate? Does this leader know people within the team on a personal level? Connect your work with the organization’s purpose? Or persist despite overwhelming odds? Describe what you admire and why that quality is particularly appealing to you. Maybe because you are working on those qualities yourself, or because you share some of the same qualities and want to use those strengths.

Optional Essay:

Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

Note that this question is completely optional and you do not need to answer if there is nothing more that needs to be communicated.

If you do choose to write an optional essay, we recommend keeping this essay brief. Focus only on specific areas of concern. These may be lack of demonstrated quantitative abilities, lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor, gaps in work experience, or particularly low grades. It is best to explain the issue factually and succinctly, then explain how you have addressed the issue. Make sure to explain why it should not concern the admissions committee in terms of your aptitude for the program and studies.

The post Tuesday Tips: Columbia MBA Essay Tips for 2019-2020 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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Face Off: UCLA Anderson vs USC Marshall  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Face Off: UCLA Anderson vs USC Marshall
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The school selection process for MBA applicants can seem overwhelming. With so many great business schools, how do you decide which one is right for you? In SBC’s blog series Face Off, we tease out the strengths and differences between two similarly ranked, or located, b-schools. Plus, we’ll highlight noteworthy elements of their admissions processes. Let’s kick things off by looking at the differences between the UCLA MBA application versus that of USC Marshall School of Business.

How does the UCLA MBA application and admissions process compare with that of USC Marshall School of Business? 
GPA/GMAT averages are notably higher and weigh more heavily in the UCLA MBA application. In theory, USC Marshall School of Business should be more flexible, with higher acceptance odds and lower ranking. Practically however, there are unusual aspects to the USC Marshall application that have proven that USC admissions can actually be harder than UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Applicants need to convince USC admissions that they are a good candidate based on test score, GPA and a couple of essays. Unlike the UCLA MBA application, USC does not require or accept recommendation letters. Also, it will only interview candidates by invitation.

These parameters can make it difficult for some applicants to gain an admit.  Due to this, we have seen several cases where clients were admitted to Anderson but denied at USC. Or, admitted to a top 20 program such as UT Austin but denied at USC. If given the choice of two admits, our clients will almost always select the higher-ranked program.

What advantages does Los Angeles give both schools? 
Los Angeles, also nicknamed Silicon Beach, has become a coveted tech business hub. The region has seen a rise in tech companies large and small, such as Facebook, Google and Snapchat, which have coastal offices in Santa Monica, Venice or Marina Del Rey.

Unlike students attending MBA programs on the East Coast, Angelinos don’t have to deal with any polar vortexes.  The excellent weather and beach side aspects of Los Angeles allow for an ideal quality of life.

 What are the key differences between them that an MBA applicant must consider?  
Class Size: USC has a smaller cohort at 208 relative to UCLA, which is 370.

Stats: GPA/ GMAT averages are notably higher for UCLA. Marshall will be more flexible, with higher acceptance odds.

Alumni Network: The USC alum network is very strong. Local employers are fiercely loyal and eager to recruit Marshall grads. The strength of the “Trojan family” affords benefits to Marshall grads that its counterpart, Anderson, can’t seem to match at the same level.

Location within LA: UCLA is located in West Los Angeles, an upscale area surrounded by high-end residential homes with sprawling hills and lush greenery, the beach, and the college town of Westwood Village. By contrast, USC is in urban downtown Los Angeles, near areas that aren’t as upscale, although downtown LA is seeing a gentrification.

How do the career outcomes between the schools stack up? 
USC Marshall is stronger in the traditional career paths of consulting and finance. Anderson, meanwhile, is stronger in tech recruiting.

Marshall

Consulting 30%

Financial Services 28%

Tech 16%

Anderson

Consulting 21%

Financial Services 18%

Tech 30%

How do the two schools’ MBA cohorts compare in terms of quality and culture? 
The quality and culture are comparable, in part because those who opt for a LA-based MBA program enjoy the lifestyle benefits that apply to both programs.  While the rankings show UCLA as higher than USC, SBC clients have reported over the years that they are VERY satisfied with their Marshall education and have gotten the jobs they wanted upon graduation from USC.

How do the two curriculums and teaching methods compare? 
The schools have comparable curricula. Lecture-style learning makes up roughly half of the instruction for both programs. Marshall is at 48 percent and Anderson School of Management at UCLA is at 40 percent. The remaining teaching methods include experiential avenues such as case method,  team challenges, simulations, field work and extracurricular activities.

***

We hope this comparison between the UCLA MBA application and MBA experience versus USC Marshall has given you helpful intel as you make your school selection decisions this season. Finally, please leave any questions you may still have in the comment section below. Stay tuned for more Face Off posts to come!

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Michigan Ross MBA Essays for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross MBA Essays for 2019-2020
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The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced the Ross MBA essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. In an update to her blog, Director Soojin Kwon noted that for this year, the team has made only one small tweak to one of the six short-answer essays.

Short Answer Essay Questions
Choose one from each group (100 words each)

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I:
Group 2

  • I am out of my comfort zone when:
  • I was humbled when:
Group 3

  • I was aware that I was different when:
  • I was challenged when: (changed from “I find it challenging when people:”)
For these short-answer Ross MBA essays, the admissions team encourages you to share personal examples that allow them to learn more about who you are as a person.

Career Goal Essay
Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this career goal right for you? (300 words)

For more information on applying, please visit the Michigan Ross admissions site.  If you need guidance on your Ross MBA essays or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

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Michigan Ross MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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The Michigan Ross MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions season have been announced. In an update to her blog, Admissions Director Soojin Kwon noted a few changes to the Ross MBA deadlines this season.

“We’re pushing the Round 2 deadline back a bit so applicants have a little more time after the holidays to finish apps,” Kwon says. In addition, “We’re pushing the Round 3 deadline back by a few weeks to accommodate applicants who get more clarity on their business school plans later in the winter.”

Michigan Ross MBA Deadlines
Round 1
Application due: September 30, 2019

Decision released: December 18, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 6, 2020

Decision released: March 18, 2020

Round 3
Application due: March 30, 2020

Decision released: May 8, 2020

Kwon also announced that Ross will hold Round 1 Team Exercises in India and China this fall. They will continue to hold Team Exercises in Tokyo and Sao Paulo in Round 2. In other news for international applicants, Ross will begin accepting the IELTS, in addition to the TOEFL.

The new application will go live in July.

For more information on applying, please visit the Michigan Ross admissions site.  If you need guidance on your Ross MBA application or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

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Darden MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Darden MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Are you interested in applying to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business? Then mark your calendar, because the Darden MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle have just been announced!

Darden MBA Deadlines
Early Action
Application due:  September 3, 2019

Decision released: October 9, 2019

Round 1
Application due: October 4, 2019

Decision released: December 11, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 6, 2020

Decision released: March 18, 2020

Round 3
Application due: April 6, 2020

Decision released: May 6, 2020

Consortium Deadlines
If you plan to apply through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, your application deadlines are as follows:

  • Round 1 Application Deadline: October 15, 2019
  • Round 2 Application Deadline: January 5, 2020
Aside from the application deadlines, the timeline for Consortium applicants will follow the same dates as other applicants.

NOTE: The Consortium only has 2 application deadlines.

All applications for the full-time MBA are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on the deadline day.

For more information on applying, please visit the UVA Darden admissions site.  If you need guidance on your Darden MBA application or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

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Yale MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Yale MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Are you interested in applying to the Yale School of Management? Then get out your calendar, because the Yale MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions season have just been announced!

Yale MBA Deadlines
Round 1
Application due: September 10, 2019

Decision released: December 4, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 7, 2020

Decision released: March 24, 2020

Round 3
Application due: April 14, 2020

Decision released: May 19, 2020

For more information on applying, please visit the Yale SOM admissions site.  If you need guidance on your MBA applications or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

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Wharton Application Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton Application Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Is the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School on your shortlist of target b-schools? Then mark your calendar, because the Wharton application deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle have just been announced!

Wharton Application Deadlines
Round 1
Application due: September 17, 2019

Decision released: December 18, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 7, 2020

Decision released: March 26, 2020

Round 3
Application due: April 1, 2020

Decision released: May 8, 2020

Applications due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the day of the deadline.

If you submit your application after the deadline for Round 1 or 2, it will be rolled into the next round. Applications submitted after the Round 3 deadline will not be accepted.

By submitting an application earlier in a round, you will have more time to schedule an interview. Wharton recommends submitting your application as early as possible, and some programs require you to apply during Round 1 or 2.

For more information on applying, please visit the Wharton School admissions site.  If you need guidance on your Wharton MBA application or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

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Time to Plan for Round 1  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Time to Plan for Round 1
Over the past couple of weeks, top MBA programs — including HBS, Booth, Kellogg, CBS and Fuqua — have started announcing their deadlines for the 2019–2020 application season. Sure, those September and October dates might seem far away right now. But  we assure you, the next few months are going to go by in a flash. Time to plan for Round 1!

We guarantee that many of your fellow applicants are already diving into the MBA process.  After all, some schools, such as CBS and HBS, have also confirmed their essay questions. You can expect that most programs’ full applications will be available online in the coming month or so.

So how can you go about getting your head in the game when the thought of pulling together application materials doesn’t exactly seem urgent just yet, especially for applicants in the US who just ended a long holiday weekend?

Getting started with a plan for Round 1
First and foremost, it’s never too early to start a list of potential recommenders. You’ll want to consider managers and co-workers who know you extremely well. These folks can speak to both your professional achievements and personal qualities.

You can also start thinking about your essay responses for schools who have released their questions . . . or for some of the more commonly asked queries, such as “What are your future career goals?” and “Why School X?”.

Even if you intend to wait a few more weeks before starting to draft responses, letting ideas brew in the back of your mind in the meantime can only help you come up with more possibilities for compelling themes. Contemplate what makes you tick, what you’re truly passionate about, and what you honestly want to do in the future.

Then consider the “whys.” Why does a certain cause speak to you? Why do you know you’d be happiest working in your target field? Why do you care so much about improving the healthcare system in your country (for example)?

The best way to keep from becoming a huge ball of stress and anxiety in this process is to pace yourself.  There’s no time like the present to get your plan for Round 1 underway.

Remember:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

***

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

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Tuesday Tips: Wharton MBA Essay Tips 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Wharton MBA Essay Tips 2019-2020
 

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The Wharton School seeks to understand who you are and what motivates you in this set of essays. Beyond your credentials and experience, fit is important. Are you excited to join the Wharton community? How will you contribute? Wharton values diversity and teamwork, and wants a class that will work well with each other.

Review our Wharton MBA essay tips, and get to know the Wharton community. You could visit campus, research online, and attend admissions events. Wharton has a specific culture, and learning about the culture will pay off in your application.

Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
This is a standard career goals question. However, it’s also a question about your personality and potential success in the program. Jordan Mock, WG’16 wrote a blog post with three excellent tips for this essay, saying, “Wharton is unique and your essay should reflect that.”

Be careful to answer the specific question in this career goals essay. Notice that you are not asked about your professional background or your key accomplishments outright. You will want to focus mainly on the future and what you are planning to pursue with your MBA degree. How will a Wharton MBA help you “connect the three career dots” that Jordan writes about?

You have room to add color by using your background information where it’s most relevant to your goals. Think about the key moments of your professional life that crystallized your goals for you, and focus on illuminating those decision points rather than reciting your entire resume. Anything unique in your background is always worth highlighting.

Understanding exactly how you fit in will help you describe what Wharton will do for you, as well as navigate interactions with the Wharton admissions committee. Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay. For example, mention the Wharton faculty you would like to study with or unique educational opportunities at Wharton.

When you address your personal goals for the MBA make sure you are making the case for Wharton specifically. Consider what living in Philadelphia might be like. Think about the many clubs and student activities. Also, research the leadership development opportunities like traveling to Antarctica with your classmates that may address some of your personal life goals.

Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words)
Wharton is an intense academic environment, but also a strong community with focus on teamwork and learning from each other. As you select a topic for this essay, think about a time you demonstrated your collaborative approach to team problem solving. What have you done that can show how you will contribute to the community?

Your contribution to the Wharton community could be in the classroom, clubs or within small group projects. You might bring your experiences launching a new product to your marketing case studies. Maybe you will lend creative ideas to your learning team as you prepare a research project, because you have demonstrated creativity in your past accomplishments.

Perhaps you have shown a tendency to teach and mentor others, and you plan to help your learning teammates with skills that they may not have learned in their own past work.

Or you might contribute to the Media and Entertainment Club by leading a career trek or bringing a new speaker to campus because you have connections from a prior career experience. Think about what you have learned in your career and in prior academics that may help those around you at Wharton.

Additional Question (required for all Reapplicants): Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)*
*First-time applicants may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)
All re-applicants are required to provide information that supports your renewed candidacy. The most successful version of the re-applicant essay will provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year.

Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes are especially tangible and convincing. But a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can serve as reasonable updates.

A rejection or waitlist last year is a form of feedback, and may have led to soul searching for you. When you describe your changes make sure reflect your ability to take feedback and improve. Describe how you approached the reapplication process after assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate. It is also useful to describe your efforts to improve.

If you are not a re-applicant you may use this space to address any areas of concern in your application. If you have a low GPA or GMAT, gaps in your resume, grades under a C in any quantitative courses. Wharton cares specifically about calculus, statistics and microeconomics – classes like finance and accounting are less indicative of core quant ability.

Other issues could be disciplinary action in undergrad. If there is anything else that you want to explain, provide a brief explanation and any supporting evidence to show you have moved past the setback and corrected any concerns.

Now that you’ve seen our Wharton MBA essay tips, consider contacting Stacy Blackman Consulting for customized advice to give you that competitive edge in your Wharton application.

The post Tuesday Tips: Wharton MBA Essay Tips 2019-2020 appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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INSEAD MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: INSEAD MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Are you interested in an MBA from the highly ranked international business school INSEAD? Then check out these INSEAD MBA deadlines for the September and January intakes!

INSEAD MBA Deadlines: September Intake (Class of July 2021)
Round 1
Application due: September 18, 2019

Decision released: November 22, 2019

Round 2
Application due: November 6, 2019

Decision released: January 24, 2020

Round 3
Application due: January 15, 2020

Decision released: March 20, 2020

Round 4
Application due: February 26, 2020

Decision released: April 30, 2020

INSEAD MBA Deadlines: January Intake (Class of December 2021)
Round 1
Application due: March 11, 2020

Decision released: May 15, 2020

Round 2
Application due: May 6, 2020

Decision released: July 10, 2020

Round 3
Application due: June 24, 2020

Decision released: September 4, 2020

Round 4
Application due: July 28, 2020

Decision released: September 25, 2020

***

To be included in a specific round, you must submit your completed application by 23:59pm French time on the day of the deadline.

To enjoy an optimum application experience and to avoid the peak period, INSEAD strongly encourages you to apply a couple of weeks prior to the application deadline, if possible.

Competition for each round is equal regardless of the intake or round you apply for. INSEAD reviews the pool of applications submitted within each round independently. This keeps the “offer ratio” (percentage of candidates accepted vs. applications received) fairly constant across all rounds.

For more information on applying, please visit the INSEAD admissions website.

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Emory MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Emory MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Are you interested in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University? Then mark your calendar, because the Emory MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 application season have been announced!

Emory MBA Application Deadlines
Round 1
Application due: October 4, 2019

Decision released: November 29, 2019

Round 2*
Application due: November 15, 2019

Decision released: January 24, 2020

Round 3**
Application due: January 10, 2020

Decision released: March 13, 2020 (domestic)/March 20, 2020 (international)

Round 4
Application due: March 13, 2020

Decision released: May 1, 2020

* Preferred deadline for One-Year MBA applicants, international applicants, and applicants interested in consideration for top named scholarship.

** Final deadline for general merit-based scholarships.

For more information on applying for the Emory MBA, please visit the Emory-Goizueta admissions website.

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Kellogg MBA Essays for the 2019-2020 Season  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg MBA Essays for the 2019-2020 Season
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Are you targeting Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management? Then it’s time to shift into gear. The Kellogg MBA essays for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle have just been announced!

The essays let you explain, in your own words, why you think Kellogg is right for you. Take some time to think through the experiences that led you here and how they have shaped where you want to go.

The following two Kellogg MBA essays are required of all applicants:
  • Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip and inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Provide a recent example where you have demonstrated leadership and created value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)
  • Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (450 words)
Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:
1Y applicants: Please discuss your post-MBA career goal, the current experience you will leverage to support the transition, and the Kellogg 1Y opportunities that will help you reach this goal. (250 words)

JD-MBA applicants: Please discuss your post-JD-MBA career goals and why the JD-MBA Program is the right program to help you reach those goals. (250 words)

MMM applicants: The five core values of the MMM Program are curiosity, creativity, empathy, open-mindedness and a learning mindset. Describe a situation in which you demonstrated one of these values. Why is this value an important part of the MMM experience for you? (250 words)

Reapplicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 words)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information. Use this section if you think the person reviewing your application might have a few questions about one or more of your responses. This could include:

  • Unexplained gaps in work experience
  • Academic, GMAT or GRE performance
  • Extenuating circumstances that we should be aware of when reviewing your application
The Video Essay
The Kellogg admissions team advises the following in regards to the video essay:

The video essay provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community — in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

Read specific advice for how best to prepare for the video essay here.

For more information on applying, please visit the Kellogg School’s admissions site.  If you need guidance on your MBA applications or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

The post Kellogg MBA Essays for the 2019-2020 Season appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Tuck MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuck MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has made some applicant-friendly changes for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle. Prospective MBA students will now have more time to apply for round one, more space to share how Tuck advances their aspirations, and a streamlined experience for applicant references. Without further ado, let’s look at the Tuck MBA deadlines for the upcoming season.

Tuck MBA Deadlines and Key Dates for 2019-2020
Round 1
Application due: October 7, 2019

Decision released: December 12, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 6, 2020

Decision released: March 12, 2020

Round 3
Application due: March 30, 2020

Decision released: May 7, 2020

Consortium Deadlines
Round 1
Application due:  October 15, 2019

Decision released: December 12, 2019

Round 2
Application due: January 5, 2020

Decision released: March 12, 2020

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EST

For more information on applying, please visit the Tuck School admissions site.  If you need guidance on your MBA applications or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

The post Tuck MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020 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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1720
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tuck MBA Essays for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuck MBA Essays for 2019-2020
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Is Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business on your shortlist of target MBA programs? Then you’ll be excited to learn that the new Tuck MBA essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season are available!

Tuck admissions has announced a few changes to this year’s application. Gone is the short-answer question section of the application. In these new Tuck MBA essays, applicants will now have more space to share how a Tuck MBA advances their aspirations.

In the 2019-20 application, there will be three 300-word essays.

Essay Questions
  • Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)
  • Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)
  • Tuck students invest generously in one another’s success even when it is not convenient or easy. Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed. (300 words)
The Tuck MBA essays will continue to map directly to two of its admissions criteria: aware and nice. The essays invite reflection on these criteria as applicants demonstrate the other criteria, smart and accomplished, elsewhere in their applications.

“We have been pleased with the quality and caliber of aspiring wise leaders for whom all four of the criteria have resonated,” says Luke Anthony Peña, executive director of admissions and financial aid.

Finally, the last difference between this year’s application and those of prior years is that Tuck admissions has elected to fully adopt GMAC’s Common Letter of Recommendation Questions.

For more information on applying for a Dartmouth MBA, please visit the Tuck School admissions site.  If you need guidance on your MBA applications or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!

The post Tuck MBA Essays for 2019-2020 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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1720
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Money, Meaning, and the MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2019, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Money, Meaning, and the MBA
Young professionals in recent years have become increasingly focused on happiness and fulfillment. We see this reverberated throughout our client pool of hundreds of elite MBA applicants. They have carefully orchestrated their career paths to include multiple value dimensions. Money itself is not the exclusive priority.  Over a third of MBA applicants across our client pool seek to utilize the MBA experience to pursue inspired career paths, such as in education, nonprofit, healthcare and impact investing.

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Dr. Cassie Mogilner Holmes

We sought to understand this trend better through delving into the research on happiness by Cassie Mogilner Holmes. Dr Holmes is currently the Associate Professor of Marketing at UCLA, Anderson School of Management and formerly Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School. Like the clients that we help in their MBA pursuits, Dr Holmes’ academic achievements are sterling.  She holds a PhD in marketing from Stanford and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Columbia.  Dr. Holmes shares her insights in an interview here.

Does criteria for happiness change with political and economic climate and/or generational values?
The criteria for happiness do not change.  The thing that perhaps has changed is the greater attention to personal happiness, which makes meaning and fulfillment something that more students and young professionals are now looking for from their careers.

This means that people are expecting more from their jobs and for their jobs to deliver on many dimensions. It is important to remember, however, that individuals aren’t entitled to and shouldn’t simply expect things to be handed to them. Instead, people have to work hard for and make the right decisions to have their desired impact.

How can one find happiness through career path?
Often times, people have a notion of what they should do in order to achieve a particular outcome and are strategic in that pursuit. Sure, sometimes these strategies can pay off. But if they don’t, then everything they’ve done will have been a complete waste.

On the other hand, if you do things because you care about them and they are intrinsically motivating (regardless of whether you ultimately achieve the outcome), you gain in the process. Focus on what truly matters to you. And to be honest, I think this path is more likely to help you achieve the outcomes anyways.

Plus, it is more sustainable long term, because there are always next goal posts. So the best “strategy,” so to speak, is to be genuine rather than strategic. A clear example of this for me has been my decision to study happiness, rather than whatever “hot” marketing topic there was at the time.

Studying happiness was certainly not the strategic path, given that it was unclear whether this research topic would be valued at business schools (a context in which I needed to earn my PhD, get hired as a faculty member, and ultimately get tenure).

However, it is a topic that I am genuinely passionate about: trying to empirically identify what individuals can do to make their lives “better” in term of their subjective experience.  I have spent the last 14 years of my life on this.  Even if I had failed to achieve each goal of graduating, getting a paper published, getting a job, getting tenure at any juncture along the way, I would always feel motivated and assured knowing that I’m spending my time and devoting my efforts doing what I care about.

Is there a trade-off between happiness and achievement?
There does not need to be a trade-off between happiness and achievement.  If you’re striving to achieve through doing what you care about, rather than striving to achieve for the sake of such external factors as status or money, then your happiness and achievement will be aligned.

You will feel happier once you’ve achieved, and the process will be happier too.  Plus, people are typically better at doing what they like doing, so it’s a more likely path to success and “achievement.”

How does time (vs. money) apply to the MBA hopeful?
Research has shown again and again that money matters far less for happiness than people think.  Once basic needs can be bet, money is not related to greater happiness. Research has shown that after approximately $75,000 of income, a higher income doesn’t translate into any more happiness.

Recent research has also shown that individuals with $8 million in wealth are no happier than those with $1 million. Not only does money not offer greater happiness, but pursuing money can actually undermine happiness.

This is partly because people adapt to what they have and always want more. It’s partly because there are always people who have more money, which through social comparison makes you feel badly about how much you’ve got, even though it is likely plenty.

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Time on the other hand is less comparable and is closely linked to greater happiness.  How we spend our time comprises our lives.  My research has shown that focusing on time instead of money leads to greater happiness, because it makes people more deliberate in how they spend their time—spending it in happier and more personally fulfilling ways.

So, MBA’s should choose a program with an eye towards time: where will they find most joy during their two years of the program and in their likely career following. My students enjoy a collaborative and friendly culture, where success is shared.

Your seven year tenure at Wharton was during the last recession and during the recovery years.  Did your tenure at Wharton in those recessionary years expose the value of time, money, experiences (aka the drivers of happiness)?
Certainly, students felt a lot of stress when uncertain about whether they would get a job.  That said, if students optimized their time during the program both in the classroom and developing meaningful relationships with their classmates, and they had chosen the program for fitting them along these dimensions (rather than simply the program with the highest possible salary upon graduation), they still ultimately benefited.

What do you recommend for MBA applicants to be happy?
 Figure out:

1) who you are (i.e., What do you care about? and What do you stand for?) and

2) what you want from your MBA in terms of location (both during the program and placement afterwards), development (What skills do you want to gain? or What interests do you want to further cultivate?), and culture (With whom do you want to connect and how?).

This will help identify the subset of programs that are the right fit for you. If genuine and communicated, the school will see you as the right fit for them too. Stay focused on you and be confident in having that guide your choice of program and in expressing that in your application.

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Once in school, what can MBA students do to be happy?
Probably the most consistent finding in happiness research is the importance of social connection. So, my number one piece of advice is to make friends.  These friendships will get you through the program happily and will last through life.

There are an incredible number of opportunities—intellectually, experientially, personally, and interpersonally.  And two years goes by quickly.  Get the most out of this time by being super deliberate in how you spend your time.  Your interests and preferences (not your friends’) should serve as your guide.

Research shows the importance of getting enough sleep and regular exercise for health as well as happiness.  So it’s a simple but real recommendation: protect the time to get at least 7 hours of sleep most nights of the week and get moving (even if it’s just going for a walk) for at least 30 minutes each day.

What is your favorite quote?
Henry Ford: “Business must be run at a profit, else it will die. But when anyone tries to run a business solely for profit… then also the business must die, for it no longer has a reason for existence.”

Maya Angelou: “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did. They will remember how you made them feel.”

What’s your wish for young professionals?
I wish that young professionals work really hard for what they genuinely care about. This will generate a happy process and outcome.

***

We predict MBA graduates in the years ahead will increasingly find fulfillment, through their own journey of self-development and their diligent pursuit of both income and meaning.

The post Money, Meaning, and the MBA 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
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Money, Meaning, and the MBA   [#permalink] 07 Jun 2019, 10:01

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