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Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020
ImageThe Georgetown MBA application is published, and we have tips for the new essays. The Georgetown MBA program is in Washington, DC, at the center of government and public policy. Also, Georgetown has the Steers Global Real Estate Center and an entrepreneurship initiative.

When working on your Georgetown MBA application, keep in mind the academic and career benefits of the school. For instance, Georgetown’s community is close-knit, intellectually curious, and diverse.

Contact us for an evaluation of your Georgetown MBA candidacy and tips for your Georgetown MBA application. For more information about the MBA program, visit the program website.

Please select one of the following three essays to complete in 500 words or less.
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?
Leadership experts believe that stretch assignments are the best way to develop high potential employees. The definition of a stretch assignment is something outside your comfort zone. In addition, a stretch goal requires learning and development. You may find that you were outside your comfort zone in your best leadership experiences. If so, this is a great essay to show what you learned 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. This was a change from depending on her boss as a sounding board. She discovered that she really enjoyed making decisions and that she grew as a leader. Specifically, she enjoyed finding her own answers to difficult questions.

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

As you write this Georgetown MBA application essay, make sure to include details. Fully describe the situation, what you did, any hiccups in the plan, and what you learned about yourself.

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. Take the time 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 and did not respect your authority. 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, you might have the personality type that thrives in adversity. To describe your personality, use specific examples. First, it will be helpful to demonstrate your specific mindset in this essay and show how you think. Second, describe what is appealing about a challenge and how you overcome it. Finally, make sure you reflect a bit on your own development and what you learned in the process.

Essay Option Three: Think of the business leader or role model you admire or aspire to be. What are the defining characteristics of their personal brand that you see in yourself, why would you highlight those qualities, and how will those characteristics enrich the community at McDonough?
Through describing a business leader or role model you admire, this Georgetown MBA application question is looking for your personal leadership qualities. This could be a personal or a leadership question, depending on the type of person you choose and what qualities you admire. The second part of the question also gives you an opportunity to write about the Georgetown MBA community.

Make sure you have a handful of vivid examples to support what you say about your qualities. For example, say you admire Jeff Bezos and believe that you are similarly entrepreneurial. Therefore, provide an example of a time you started a business or enterprise. Or, on a more personal level, you can explain what personality and leadership traits you share with your subject.

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.
The Georgetown MBA application video essay guide specifically asks you to appear in the one-minute video and to address situations outside your resume. You will have unlimited time to record and edit this video (unlike a video interview). You should appear yourself, and can add other elements. For example, 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 often only 30 seconds. 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 the rest of your Georgetown MBA application. Perhaps you have a family story to tell or a hobby you are passionate about.

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.

Make sure to demonstrate enthusiasm as you speak to the camera. You can also add additional elements to the video to make it compelling for the admissions committee to watch. However, 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 Georgetown MBA application, this is the ideal place.

You could also use this space to highlight another aspect of your experience. Options include describing a situation 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.

The post Tuesday Tips: Georgetown MBA Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020 appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Why Do You Want an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why Do You Want an MBA?
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Before you can start targeting business schools or determining your application strategy, you need to make a critical analysis of whether an MBA is the right next step for your life and career. Think about the reasons why you want an MBA, and what your alternatives are.

Reasons for an MBA
Are you seeking the degree for career advancement, personal development, or a career switch? Your MBA could be a transformational experience, changing everything about your life. But it’s more typically a tool to polish existing skills, build your network, or expose you to new industries.

Ask yourself what you plan to accomplish after business school. If you know what your long-term goal is, that’s a great way to start. What do you need to know to accomplish that goal? How does your resume need to look? What skills do you need to build? And who do you need to know? Think about the aspects of that future that will be developed through graduate management education.

People without a clear long-term goal should carefully consider what the MBA would do for them. Business school offers clear skill building in teamwork and leadership, as well as practical skills like accounting and finance. There is also a strong professional network you will build with classmates and alumni.

If you want to advance in a career that values the degree, it may be an important next step. However, if you are simply looking for a larger salary or a change of pace, make sure that an MBA is the right professional degree for you to pursue. Applying for business school is an expensive and time-consuming activity, and that’s before you even start attending!

Dedication and passion for the path you are embarking upon are crucial. For further reading to help you decide, see this HBS article with eight reasons you should pursue an MBA.

Plan B
For many on the fence, it’s useful to consider a common b-school interview question: “What will you do if you are not admitted this year?”

Sometimes the answer to the “plan B” question can be revealing.  Would you give up your pursuit of an MBA and either return to a prior career path or pursue a completely different goal? If so, it may not be the right time for you to apply to b-school programs.

When you consider plan B and you find yourself answering that you will spend the year preparing to reapply and continuing to develop yourself for your future career, you are likely a dedicated prospective candidate. If you were not admitted, you might find yourself thinking that you would volunteer more, and build your knowledge and skill set in your chosen career path.

Once you have decided you need an MBA, the next steps are to consider your school options, develop your strategy, and refine your goals as you plan out your essays over the next few months. If you need guidance for any of those tasks, don’t hesitate to contact us!

The post Why Do You Want an MBA? appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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MBA Alumni Rank Their Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Alumni Rank Their Schools
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In Bloomberg Businesweek‘s latest MBA alumni survey, graduates of business schools across the globe rated their alma mater in several areas. From the power of their school’s alumni network to academic quality to reputation and more, these MBAs had a lot to say.

Here are some of the highlights from the survey of 15,050 MBA alumni from 126 different business schools. We’re sharing the top ten schools in each category.

Spoiler alert: the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which also ranked as the top b-school in Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest ranking—scored highest in four of the five questions posed to MBA alumni.

Statement # 1 “My school’s alumni network has helped my build my career.”
Bloomberg says: The quality, range, and responsiveness of an alumni network can be key to whether you get hired, whom you hire, and whom you get introduced to when doing a deal.

  • Stanford
  • Harvard
  • Tuck School
  • USC Marshall
  • Wharton
  • Ross School
  • UV Darden School
  • Cornell Johnson
  • UCLA Anderson
  • Kellogg School
Statement #2 “I would recommend my school to a friend because of the quality of its academic program.”
Bloomberg says: The usual suspects didn’t end up in the usual places in this question.

  • Chicago Booth
  • IESE Business School
  • Kellogg School
  • UV Darden School
  • Ross School
  • UT at Dallas (Jindal)
  • MIT Sloan
  • CMU Tepper School
  • Stanford GSB
  • Wharton
Statement #3 “My school’s name and prestige have been beneficial to me.”
Bloomberg says: Which school has the most powerful alumni network? The list is a who’s who of business schools dominating the Top 10.

  • Stanford
  • Harvard
  • Wharton
  • MIT Sloan
  • Chicago Booth
  • Columbia
  • Cambridge Judge
  • Yale SOM
  • Kellogg School
  • INSEAD
Statement #4 “I would recommend my program to a friend who is interested in entrepreneurship.”
Bloomberg says:  Palo Alto, Calif.’s most famous B-School beat out Cambridge, Mass.’s most famous. A close No. 3 was Babson, also in Massachusetts, which has always focused intensely on entrepreneurship.

  • Stanford
  • MIT Sloan
  • Babson College
  • Imperial College of London
  • UCLA Anderson
  • INSEAD
  • Maryland Smith School
  • UT McCombs School
  • UC at San Diego (Rady)
  • Cambridge Judge
Statement #5 “My education emphasized innovation and creativity.”
Bloomberg says: Of the leading 10 schools in this list, only three were in the Top 10 of Bloomberg Businessweek’s global rankings. This suggests that, from an alumni perspective, there’s a lot of quality education across the map.

  • Stanford
  • Imperial College of London
  • MIT Sloan
  • Babson College
  • Berkeley Haas
  • Cambridge Judge
  • UC at San Diego (Rady)
  • CMU Tepper School
  • Maryland Smith School
  • UT at Dallas (Jindal)
For more details, please visit Bloomberg Businessweek‘s piece on the best business schools as scored by alumni.

The post MBA Alumni Rank Their Schools appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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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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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1676
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How to Mute Your Inner Ruminator  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Mute Your Inner Ruminator
Socrates proclaimed that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Yet it’s doubtful he meant the kind of intense overthinking that can lead to anxiety, depression, and generalized stressed-out-ness. The ruminator replays his or her thoughts on an endless loop. They obsessively stew over bothersome events and think they’re “problem-solving.” Unfortunately, this kind of toxic thought cycle just leads to more of the same.

Sometimes, the thing we’re angsting over isn’t a real problem at all. We often mistake our interpretation of events as factual conclusions.  If your boss didn’t give you the time of day when you said hello in the elevator, it’s probably not because she hates you. It could mean she has a lot on her plate and was lost in thought at that moment.

The next time you find yourself rehashing past incidents ad nauseam, try one of these hacks to mute your inner ruminator.

Put things in perspective.
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Growing up, did your mom ever say to you, “This too shall pass?” Instead of dwelling on the negative, keep calm and remind yourself of everything that is going well in your life right now.

Whatever the situation is that’s sending your thoughts into overdrive, ask yourself whether it will still bother you a week from now. What about in five months? If you think it will just be a blip on the radar by then, give yourself permission to grant an early release to those negative thoughts.

Use a timer for a short session of sanctioned ruminating.
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Quieting the ruminator’s thought train is no easy task. Instead of pretending whatever’s bothering you doesn’t exist, allow it a finite amount of time to occupy your mental bandwidth. Treat it like any other task that requires your attention and set a timer for five to ten minutes to wallow with abandon.

You can use that time worrying, analyzing, second-guessing yourself, etc. Write it down if that helps channel your feelings. Then, when the timer goes off, you are done and you need to tune out those toxic thoughts for now.

Lace up those kicks and get moving.
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Exercise is a proven mood booster. For the ruminator, it’s also an effective technique to ward off overthinking. Any time you push yourself physically, you refocus your brain away from those nagging thoughts. You get into a flow state. You’ll be so busy monitoring your breathing, feeling the stretch of your muscles, maintaining a rhythm. But obsessive thinking?—ain’t nobody got time for that.

And if exercise isn’t your jam (no judgements), pick another activity that involves movement, like cleaning your apartment. Clear mind/sparkling toilet bowl= win-win.

Practice #gratitude
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It feels like we’re living in a 24/7 cycle of insanity these days and the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. But stop for a moment, and try to feel grateful for all of the big and little things life that make each day worth living. Family and friends. Rainbows and puppies. A perfect flat white. Let whatever brings a smile to your face lift you up and out of your overthinking funk.

Alas, you may not be able to extinguish your ruminating tendencies permanently. But following these tips can help loosen the death grip these destructive thought cycles have on your life.

***

Did you enjoy this post?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our new newsletter for professionals.  the Blacklight aims to illuminate with every dispatch that lands in your inbox. If you’re thirsty for guidance to help you slay it at work or as a student and move your goal posts closer, sign up today!

The post How to Mute Your Inner Ruminator appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Tuesday Tips: IESE MBA Essays and Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: IESE MBA Essays and Tips for 2019-2020
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The IESE MBA program attracts students from over 64 different countries, giving applicants a truly global perspective. The case method and other experience-based learning approaches are used to teach a core general management curriculum. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish. To learn more about international MBA program options, read our consultant advice: Why US Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad.

IESE is looking for MBA applicants with academic ability, personal drive and confidence. Also, your IESE MBA application should include leadership, work experience, and an international outlook. In addition, make sure you show you have good communication skills, a team player mentality and strong values. As you draft your IESE MBA essays, make sure to weave in these MBA attributes for your application.

For advice on your IESE MBA application from top-ranked MBA consultants, contact Stacy Blackman Consulting now. To learn more about IESE, visit the school website.

Application Essay #1
What do you want to be remembered for? (word limit 300 max)
When we researched successful MBA candidates, we noticed that strong stories get attention. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be genuine and personal. For this IESE MBA essay, make sure the reader understands your true character. This essay is looking for depth and passion. Ask yourself, what will your legacy be?

When you consider what you will be remembered for, think about career, personal and volunteering. Perhaps you care about building a business and want to start your own legacy company. On the other hand, you might want to run an existing organization. Another legacy might be a strong family. In addition, you could use your resources to help your relatives with an education. If you care about impact in the community, your legacy might be raising money or volunteering for a cause.

To track this essay to the IESE MBA criteria, you could use this space to demonstrate that you have personal drive, international outlook, and strong values.

Application Essay #2
Describe your short and medium term post-MBA goals? (word limit 300 max)
Essay two focuses specifically on your career goals and why IESE. The admissions committee can see your resume within the application, so this essay should give the background of who you are and why you have made your choices. Think about one or two pivotal career moments you may want to explore.

Ideally, your experiences have led to a career goal that you can describe clearly. Be specific. If you want to go into venture capital after graduation, talk about the industry you would like to focus on. Maybe describe the products you like within that industry or any other details.

Then, you will want explain why an MBA is your next step. What will you learn in the IESE MBA program to complement your work experiences? Will your classmates and the environment benefit your experience? Specific classes and professors are always useful details to add.

Optional Essay
I wish the admissions committee had asked me… (word limit 300 max)
This optional essay is entirely open-ended and gives you an opportunity to explain any of the attributes you have not yet shown. Think about the stories you could tell about your background and questions that would be appropriate.

For example, you could say: “I wish the admissions committee had asked me about my most meaningful accomplishment” and describe a time when you achieved a goal. Or, for a more personal response, consider a question that asks you to introduce yourself to your classmates or describe a significant relationship in your life.

When you answer your own question make sure to include specific details to strengthen your story. Examples are always welcome. Describing lessons learned is also helpful background.

The post Tuesday Tips: IESE MBA Essays and 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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Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Application Essays, Tips for 2019-2020
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The USC Marshall School of Business reflects the diversity and dynamism of the Los Angeles area. These USC Marshall application essays allow you the space to express how you will fit in to the community.

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.”

Because community is so important to this USC Marshall application, the admissions office wants to know who you are a person. As he continues, “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.

As you prepare your USC Marshall application, make sure to do your research. For example, talk to current and former students to understand the culture in depth. To learn more details about the program, visit the USC Marshall website.

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

Essay #1 (Required)
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. (word limit: 100)
With only 100 words to use here, stay brief and focused in this USC application essay. Consider your plan when you graduate from USC. And make sure your resume and other application materials support this next step.

For example, if you are career switching, highlight any transferable skills in your resume. Another idea is to ask your recommenders to comment on your future plans. Further, as you craft all of these strategies, make sure you highlight how you will use your MBA to reach your goals.

What if your next job is a logical step from your prior experience to your MBA? Even if you think it’s obvious, it’s important to be specific about your career goals. Describe the job you plan to pursue with as much detail as possible.

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Essay #2 (Required)
Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600)
This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application.

This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. The goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes.

Showing who you are as a person is important to your USC Marshall application. Ideally, you can demonstrate that you understand the USC culture and values with your answer to this essay question.

First, start with your statistics and data. USC Marshall will see your GPA, your test scores, and your transcripts. Second, the admissions committee will see your career progress on your resume. Third, you will add some personal color to your application through the recommendation letters. These elements should show that you have leadership potential, academic promise, and a well-rounded personality. This essay is the place to fill any gaps.

Consider what you need to communicate in order to show all sides of your candidacy in this USC application essay. For example, if you are someone who has a standard career background, you might describe something interesting in your background. Perhaps you have an unusual hobby, have made an impact on the community, or have an interesting family heritage.

Another aspect of your USC Marshall application that may not be covered in your data is your passion for learning. For instance, if there is a professor you would want to work with, this question is an opportunity to discuss their work. Similarly, you may want to join or lead a club or community effort that isn’t obvious from the other data you submit.

Essay #3 (Optional)
Please provide any additional information you would like the admissions committee to consider. (word limit: 250)
This USC application essay provides an opportunity to add additional information, or to discuss a concern. Therefore, 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 it.

However, if you want to highlight anything else about your career path, experience, or personal background, this essay allows you the space to do so. And, if you need to explain an area of concern, clearly explain what happened, and what you have done to improve or address the issue. Focus on the future in a positive manner to leave the strongest impression.

The post Tuesday Tips: USC Marshall Application Essays, 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
Posts: 1676
Location: Los Angeles, CA
SMU Cox Application Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SMU Cox Application Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Are you interested in the SMU Cox MBA? These are the SMU Cox application deadlines for the 2019-2020 full-time MBA admissions cycle.

SMU Cox Application Deadlines
Round 1 Application due: October 14, 2019

Round 2 Application due: December 2, 2019

Round 3 Application due: January 6, 2020

Round 4 Application due: March 2, 2020 (final deadline for international students)

Round 5 Application due: April 27, 2020 (rolling admissions after April 27th)

***

For more information on applying, please visit the SMU Cox admissions site.  If you need guidance on your SMU Cox 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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SMU Cox MBA Essays for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SMU Cox MBA Essays for 2019-2020
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Are you targeting the SMU Cox School of Business for your MBA? Then get ready to start brainstorming! Here are the SMU Cox MBA essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season.

Two-Year Full-Time MBA and J.D./MBA Candidates
1. Please describe your immediate post-MBA career goals, including the target industry, sector, and/or organization. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in this particular area? (250 word limit).

2. Learning from one another’s experiences is a tenet of the MBA experience. As a member of the SMU Cox MBA class, how do you plan to contribute to the development of your classmates, whether personally or professionally? (250 word limit)

3. Growth is often the product of experience. Please discuss a time when you experienced professional failure. How did this event impact your professional outlook or affect your future work? (250 word limit).

Masters of Arts dual degree candidates (MA/MBA)
1. How do you plan to make an impact on the arts/non-profit community and how specifically would your graduate education help you do so? (250 word limit)

2. Tell us about a time in the past three years your opinion about an arts/non-profit organization was changed and how. (250 word limit)

***

For more information on applying, please visit the SMU Cox admissions site.  If you need guidance on your SMU Cox 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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Friends Can Help Review Your Application Materials—If They Limit Well-  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2019, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Friends Can Help Review Your Application Materials—If They Limit Well-Meaning Advice
As Round 1 deadlines near, you’ll probably think about asking a trusted friend or family member to review your application materials. At some point, you’ll have read your responses so many times that errors will no longer jump out at you.

In this case, a friend or family member’s assistance may come in handy. Someone new looking at your essays and data forms may more easily spot a typo, missing word or that extra period at the end of a sentence.

A fresh set of eyes looking over your work has obvious benefits. But we have to point out a few drawbacks as well. For example, it’s really tough for someone to review your application materials without giving “advice.” Humans are full of opinions, after all. Anyone close to you would just want to help.

Herein lies the problem. If you’ve already planned out your application strategy—especially if you’ve worked on that strategy with an admissions consultant—it would be a shame to derail your progress just because a well-meaning friend made you doubt yourself.

Well-intended but still, not helpful
This also holds true if that someone reviewing your materials has an MBA themselves. They may incorrectly assume that since they went to business school, their approach to certain essay questions will guarantee your path to admission.

Or, maybe your parents attended business school decades ago and want to give you advice. That can be problematic on many fronts. The programs themselves—not to mention the qualities adcoms look for in candidates—have changed pretty dramatically over the years.

Problems also arise when you enlist someone who’s completely unfamiliar with the business school application process. When they review your application materials, they may get confused if you included personal stories. They may not understand why your personality comes through in your essays.

There’s a stereotype that MBAs need to be all business, all the time. This leads to an expectation of essays filled with lists of achievements, not-so-subtle bragging, and loads of buzzwords.

That’s why you should consider: 1) limiting the people review your application materials to no more than two. And 2) telling those reviewers up front that they would be helping you most if they could focus solely on spelling, grammar, or other obvious mistakes when they do their read-through.

They’ll probably still give you unsolicited advice.  And you can always listen politely and share any concerns you may have with your admissions consultant. Just keep in mind that it’s hardly ever a good idea to switch things up at the last minute. Especially if you have already put significant effort into your positioning.

Remember:
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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.

This post originally published in 2016. It has been updated.

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Evaluate MBA Career Services When Selecting Possible B-Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Evaluate MBA Career Services When Selecting Possible B-Schools
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MBA career services have not generally been considered pivotal to your choice of the right business school for your management studies. However, some career centers cater so well to MBA students’ future vocations that they have become an indispensable asset to MBA programs.

Why business schools care about post-MBA careers
There are two major reasons for the growth of MBA career services. First, business schools now realize that the career success of their alumni is a major selling point in MBA programs. Ultimately, the return on investment (ROI) and the return in happiness (RIH) determine the value of the overall MBA experience in the short and long-term.

Along these lines, the recession of 2008 – 2009 also encouraged business schools to improve their career services. Schools compensated by helping their students land attractive jobs despite the crisis.

The MBA’s increased cachet beyond the corporate world is another factor boosting the growth of MBA career services. Nowadays, most sectors and industries see the value of the degree. In particular, entrepreneurship and the start-up industry have turned out to be fertile soil for the growth of MBA talent. This diversity of career paths and industries has led to MBA career services expanding beyond traditional corporate recruitment.

How to evaluate MBA career services
The MBA is often about change. Contemplating an MBA usually means that you want to make a career change. Maybe you want to move to a new company. Or, take on a managerial role. Perhaps you want to start a career in new country or region. Many applicants want to apply their skills in a new industry, or start their own company.

You should approach your MBA application with a specific career goal or at least up to three scenarios for your post-MBA path. Your career goal is essential in selecting the right MBA programs.

When choosing business schools, always ask about the scope of MBA career services and evaluate them against your needs. It’s vital to consider the sectors and industries in which the career center specializes.

Some centers have dedicated consultants per industry. MBA participants at Oxford Said Business School benefit from insights and pragmatic advice of a select group of sector consultants who have experience of working for leading firms across a broad range of sectors across a range of industries including management consulting, finance, high-tech, new ventures, media and communications, and diversified industry in general.

The scope of the services varies greatly. For instance, the MBA Career Development Program at INSEAD (France) spans the whole process – “Know Yourself. Know the Market. Strategise and Execute.” The programs takes MBA students through 5 stages of developing a career plan – self-assessment, career vision, career design, job search, job application, and salary negotiations. B-schools often provide personal and leadership coaching as part of their MBA career development programs.

From job placement to career strategy
Career services have also shifted strategy greatly. Immediate post-MBA jobs are still an important selling point for MBA programs, but they now look to long-term career success. This is also because current and future professionals are likely to change jobs much more frequently than they did 20 years ago. New professions crop up every day, requiring lifelong learning and acquiring transferable skills, as well as a vision of how to navigate your career.

Who is the driver of career success?
Business schools have developed comprehensive career services but it is essentially MBA participants themselves who should propel their own success. To achieve in the long-run, you should take time and effort to set clear career goals before applying for an MBA.

Based on these you should select the most appropriate business schools considering all that they can offer – curriculum, network, learning environment, business exposure, and career services, among others.

Finally, start working with the MBA career center as soon as you begin your studies and always be proactive. Business schools care more and more about your success, but ultimately your career and lifestyle are your own responsibility.

This guest post from 2017 was provided by our friends at Prep Adviser. It has been updated.

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Tuesday Tips: UNC MBA Application Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UNC MBA Application Tips for 2019-2020
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UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School offers a flexible program with multiple ways to earn an MBA. The UNC MBA application essay questions focus on learning more about you. With a world-class university offering resources beyond the MBA program, the UNC MBA touts a strong career focus, with a dedicated team to design a personalized career plan for you.

In addition, there is a global focus and several global immersion opportunities with each program at Kenan-Flagler. Also, students love the environment in Chapel Hill, a beautiful college town. Further, they enjoy the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at UNC’s MBA program.

For assistance with your UNC MBA application, contact Stacy Blackman Consulting today. And to learn more about the Kenan-Flagler UNC MBA program, visit the school website.

QUESTION 1: REQUIRED
Please respond to the questions below that will assist us in learning more about you (500 words):

• Tell us what your immediate career goals are and how you will benefit personally and professionally from earning an MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

• As the business world continues to evolve, circumstances can change and guide you in a different direction. Should your goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?
The main required question of this UNC MBA application asks a basic career goals question and also for a “Plan B.”

In the first part of the essay question focus is on the short term. And, asking for a very clear link between your immediate career goals and your MBA. This is because of UNC MBA’s focus on the perspective of recruiters and your career advancement. Therefore, focus on the short term helps the admissions committee understand if you are realistic about your career goals.

In addition, this question helps to explain why a UNC MBA will benefit you both personally and professionally. School research will help you to answer this question. Make sure to include specific details about classes, professors and clubs you are interested in.

Beyond your own growth, think about the contribution you will make to the UNC MBA community. As you answer this UNC MBA application essay, first think about clubs or activities you will join. Second, how will you enhance the experience of other students?

Finally, because everyone’s life takes twists and turns that may not have been planned, this UNC MBA application also asks about Plan B. For instance, if you want to work in consulting, but you aren’t able to land a job at the firm you prefer, you could pursue a role as in-house strategy in your target long-term industry.

Above all, make sure that you have career goals that require an MBA and that you can cite specific classes, professors and programs that will help you achieve your goals. Specific examples will enhance your UNC MBA application.

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QUESTION 2: REQUIRED
Please select one topic below and respond to the prompt. (250 words)

• Topic 1: What is one thing that we do not know about you that you want us to know?

• Topic 2: Provide us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it? Did you achieve the results you were looking for?

• Topic 3: Tell us about a time when you felt or witnessed someone being marginalized. How did you feel? What did you take away from the experience and how has it encouraged you to be an inclusive leader?
Most of the choices in this UNC MBA application essay question are behavioral essay questions. Therefore, the answers will give the admissions committee a sense of how you think and behave. Begin by choosing what you need to tell the admissions committee to round out your UNC MBA application. Then, chose the appropriate essay question to fit your topic.

For example, if you have not shown that you can be empathetic and that you value diversity, you may want to use the third essay option. It can show your commitment to putting yourself in others’ shoes and building a diverse team. Consider what you value about diverse experiences and viewpoints and describe that commitment.

Or, if you have a standard MBA work background like consulting or finance, you may want to choose option two. Consequently, that would allow you to describe a creative approach you took to a problem or relationship. Finally, consider how you have negotiated office politics or projects, as that could be a great example.

The first topic option is entirely open-ended, and allows you to fill any gaps in your UNC MBA application you may have. Whatever option you choose, make sure you are specific about how you felt, what was said, the actions you took and the results of those actions.

QUESTION 3: OPTIONAL
Is there any additional information not presented elsewhere in your application that you would like the admissions committee to consider? (Optional, 150 words)
Optional areas to address include:
  • If you have not had coursework in the core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), how will you prepare yourself?
  •  Inconsistent academics, gaps in work, or low standardized test scores
  • Choice of recommenders
This UNC MBA application essay question has suggested a few areas you could address in this essay. First, think about any gaps in preparation that your application data might show. Then, consider if you have other experience to highlight.

For example, if you do not have the requisite coursework listed, you may have gained training through work on the same topics. Finally, if you do not have the preparation through work or courses, it may be worth registering for continuing education classes.

In addition, lower-than-average test scores or grades below a C in undergraduate can be explained in a similar way. Therefore, describe what you have done that shows you are prepared for a full-time MBA program.

Furthermore, gaps in work can be concerning to many applicants. But, taking time to travel, spending time with family, or changing careers are all good reasons for a gap. And, if you were laid off or your company had challenges, it’s an opportunity to describe how you handle adversity.

Recommenders other than a current or former supervisor should be explained as well. Ideally, your recommender can speak to your abilities and achievements. As a result, they might add a different perspective than the other recommenders.

The post Tuesday Tips: UNC MBA Application Tips for 2019-2020 appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Tuesday Tips: Kelley School of Business Essays, Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Kelley School of Business Essays, Tips for 2019-2020
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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is a top-tier business school with an innovative program that cultivates strong recruiting relationships with companies. These Kelley School of Business essays focus on understanding you. 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. Consider these factors as you prepare your answers to these Kelley School of Business essays.

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. Kelley has an academically strong class of students. A large number come from outside the United States, and the diverse class also includes a significant number of women.

To learn more, visit the Kelley School of Business website. Need help with your Kelley School of Business essays? Contact us for a free evaluation.

REQUIRED MBA ESSAYS
Essay One: 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)
Kelley’s curriculum is tailored to help you reach your career goals. Therefore, entering Kelley with a career vision will help you take full advantage of the program. For example, 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 in this essay, make sure that you are focusing on the most important moments in your career. That means, not reciting your jobs like a resume.

Consider the times when you had to stretch to accomplish the goals set out for you. Such as, 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.

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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. Therefore, 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. However, you could imagine pursing either a strategy role or a finance role within consumer packaged goods.

Or, you love marketing but could see yourself either marketing a film or a jewelry line. In this case, the most important factor is 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 Kelley School of Business essays.

Essay Two: 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 is about your core personal motivations. Consider, what are the 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.

Therefore, 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? Or, perhaps you interacted with someone who challenged or inspired you. Another experience might have been travel outside your comfort zone. For example, 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. To clarify, you can narrate your thoughts, reactions and opinions as you retell the story. Another idea is to take time at the end of the essay to reflect upon what you learned and why it was important to you.

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Essay Three: Share a brief fact about yourself that your classmates would find interesting, surprising, or noteworthy. (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 in this Kelley School of Business essay is something that didn’t come up in any of those demographic or background data sheets in your application. Also, it’s 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. Because your friends and family likely know the elements of your background and personality, this can be an effective way to come up with a unique story. Those elements are deeper than your resume or application fact sheet.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your essays and credentials represent you fairly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer this question. (300 words)
The last of the Kelley School of Business essays is open-ended. Such a question allows you to add almost any story or additional background data you would like. However, 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.

Finally, if there is anything to explain in your Kelley School of Business essays, use this space to do it. It could be a poor grade in a quantitative course in college, academic probation, or the lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor. In any case, make sure you are focused on explanations rather than excuses. Provide solid, recent evidence that you have done better since the event.

The post Tuesday Tips: Kelley School of Business Essays, Tips for 2019-2020 appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Wharton MBA Advance Access Program Expanding for 2020  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton MBA Advance Access Program Expanding for 2020
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The Wharton School has announced it will expand its MBA deferred admissions program to students outside the University of Pennsylvania. The Wharton MBA Advance Access Program enables promising undergraduate students to secure an early place in a future MBA class. Accepted students will work for two to four years after graduation before entering into the full-time Wharton MBA program.

This alternative pathway is for students whose academic and career interests go beyond the traditional notions of business education.

Wharton encourages students to follow their passions during their deferment period. They can seek quality, substantive work experience in a wide range of industries. Undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of studies may apply to the Wharton MBA Advance Access Program.

“We are looking for the most talented students across the globe who are innovative, intellectually curious and ready to impact the world during their deferment period,” said Wharton MBA Admissions Director Blair Mannix.

“Advance Access students are encouraged to take professional risks such as starting their own company, working for a nonprofit or pursuing global externships while working in traditional business industries. This broad range of experiences will bring valuable perspectives to our future MBA classes and prepare our students to become global leaders in today’s ever-changing business environment.”

During their deferment period, Wharton will invite admitted students to join specialized online communities. They will also be able to network with their peers, students, faculty and alumni at Wharton conferences and events.

Application process for the Wharton MBA Advance Access Program
To apply, students must submit their academic transcripts, resume, GRE/GMAT scores, two letters of recommendation, two essays and a reduced application fee of $100.  Like their full-time MBA candidate counterparts, these applicants must also participate in the team-based interviews. Wharton will schedule such interviews only following an initial evaluation of a complete application.

Students interested in applying to the Wharton MBA Advance Access Program should apply by the Round 3 deadline of April 1, 2020. Applicants will receive decision notifications by May 8, 2020.

Prospective applicants can register to attend a virtual information session on October 15 at 2 p.m. EDT. Here, they will learn more about the unique benefits of the Wharton MBA program and application process.

Follow this link for more information about the Wharton MBA Advance Access Program.

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Which MBA Funding Source is Right for You?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2019, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Which MBA Funding Source is Right for You?
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Getting your MBA acceptance letter is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But submitting your deposit for business school is a thrill of a different kind. After you decide where to attend, you’ll only have a few months to get your finances in order. Before it’s too late, take a look at how to assess which MBA funding source makes the most sense.

Scholarships and fellowships:
Scholarships are clearly a great source of funding – it’s free money – but it’s easier said than done to get them. Learn how your school makes scholarship offers. For instance, you may need to prepare a separate application to be eligible.

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

Company sponsorship: 
If you’re one of the lucky few with a sponsorship offer, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you accept this MBA funding source. Sponsorship often comes with an obligation to return to the company after you complete your degree.

Therefore, you’ll want to take a step back and assess whether you’re absolutely confident you want to return. Breaking such an agreement after your earn the degree can lead to strained relationships with former colleagues. It can also leave you with a mountain of unforeseen debt.

If you plan to return to your company but don’t have sponsorship, it never hurts to ask about options. See if you’re eligible for any reimbursement given the new skills you’ll bring to the table.

Retirement savings:
This less obvious MBA funding source comes with a few extra considerations. First and foremost, you should always think hard before touching money set aside for retirement. However, those who have saved aggressively already and plan to continue doing so may find it worth it to take some money out for the short term.

You’re exempt from the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals when you put the funds toward qualified higher education expenses, of which attending business school is one. You’ll still face income tax on this money. But the tax burden will likely be less when you’re in a graduate student tax bracket.

Federal loans: 
The U.S. government offers at least two loan options for each academic year: the Stafford Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan. To tap into this MBA funding source, you can apply for these loans online via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Also, the Department of Education is a great resource for information on rates, fees, eligibility and more.

Private loans: 
When you’re looking for the right loan, it pays to shop around. Find a lender you trust at an interest rate you like. Private loans can provide customized options to help you save, sometimes at rates even lower than the federal government’s. If you’re looking to augment your other MBA financing, seek a lender with great customer service and ask about what loan options can maximize your savings.

Finally, use an online MBA student loan calculator to organize your costs and see how loans with different interest rates can work in your favor. Your MBA is a great investment. Make the best use of the months ahead to make sure you have all the funding you need.

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4 Ways to Make Envy Your Friend  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Ways to Make Envy Your Friend
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Envy is universally acknowledged as a horrible thing. After all, it’s one of the 7 Deadly Sins and goes against the 10 Commandments. Maybe you felt it when a co-worker received a promotion you thought you deserved. Or when a friend bought their first house, while you’re stuck renting for life. It’s natural to feel envious of someone’s career, lifestyle, or Tesla Model X.

But envy does have a silver lining. In fact, it’s harmful only when it makes us feel resentful or inferior. Instead of thinking of it as a destructive force, know that you can use envy constructively. Here’s how:

Use envy as a motivator.
Imagine you and a friend ran a 10K and once again, you came in two minutes behind her. Don’t begrudge her victory; channel that envy into inspiration that pushes you to reach your own goals. It could be something as simple as adding an extra mile to your daily run to increase your stamina.

Remember, you have control over the situation. Humans are lazy by default, and we often fight against doing the very thing we want to accomplish. Even if the object of your envy seems too difficult, or too far out of your reach, try to break it down into manageable steps. As Mark Goulston writes inGet Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, “If you use it to fuel you, envy won’t rule you.”

Think of envy as a guide, showing you what you really want in life.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with liking what other people have or do. Examine your envy to learn what it reveals about your own personal or career goals. Do you envy your best friend for having a fulfilling career? That offers a clue that you too want to have a job that you love. Do you envy your brother for his incredible vacation in Thailand? That might mean you also have the travel bug and are itching for an adventure somewhere. Envy offers insight about what you really want in life, and gets you closer to living more authentically.

Envy can lead to self-improvement.
In ablog post for Psychology Today, Dr. Richard Smith makes an important distinction between “benign” and “malicious” envy, arguing that cultivating the benign version is actually a good habit.

Let’s say you’ve always envied your super fit friend. He’s at the gym six days a week and bikes to work every day. He eats clean and rarely drinks. Meanwhile, you’ve put on 15 since college and can polish off a sleeve of Pringles in one sitting. Reframe your feelings so that you’re no longer envious of his buff body. Instead, admire his dedication to keeping healthy. Use that envy to inspire your own diet and fitness goals.

“When we feel envy, thinking incrementally about things we can do to improve ourselves, may steer us toward benign envy and its constructive effects,” Smith says.

Make the envied person your role model.
If you admire the person and want to be like them, emulate their path. Study their moves to determine how they have become successful in an area you also wish to dominate. Instead of sulking in the shadows, share your admiration with the person. Compliment them on their hard work. Put forward positivity, ask for advice, and try to engage them as a mentor.

We may never know how difficult the journey to success was for the envied person. Once you start seeing them as deserving of their accomplishments, it might inspire you to make changes that get you closer to your goals.

Try to turn your envy into gratitude. Don’t get hung up with shame for having those conflicted feelings. Look at your own life and celebrate the big and small victories. Are you healthy? Great! Do you have a solid support network of friends and family? Awesome! In the end, it’s those simple things that enrich our lives and make us #blessed.

***

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Tuesday Tips: SMU Cox MBA Application Essays and Tips 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: SMU Cox MBA Application Essays and Tips 2019-2020
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This year’s SMU Cox MBA application essays focus on getting to know you better. As an applicant to the SMU Cox School of Business, you will be part of a diverse student body. Indeed, many students are looking to expand their choices beyond the top 10 business schools or have a regional interest in Texas.

Based in Dallas, SMU Cox has ties to a vibrant business community. Companies that recruit from SMU Cox include the major consulting firms, banks, along with consumer companies like Target and Starbucks and tech companies like Texas Instruments and Amazon.

In general, as you prepare these SMU Cox MBA application essays, keep “why MBA” top of mind. In addition, think about your own desires for the program. If you are considering an MBA admissions consultant, contact us to learn more about how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help!

To learn more about the SMU Cox School of Business, visit the program website.

REQUIRED ESSAY 1
Please describe your immediate post-MBA career goals, including the target industry, sector, and/or organization. Why are you interested in pursuing a career in this particular area? (250 word limit).
This SMU Cox MBA application essay focuses on your future goals. Therefore, you will need to carefully explain why you need an MBA and describe your career goals. First, Evaluate your past experiences. Then, what you have learned in your undergraduate education. Finally, describe your future career dreams.

If you are unsure what you want to do after your MBA, perhaps research can trigger some ideas. For example, more MBA graduates are pursuing careers in technology and consumer products than did so in the past. If you consider companies and career paths outside of the traditional MBA feeder industries, what areas might you pursue?

When you have identified your post-MBA career path, then you will want to describe the role in specifics. What industry are you targeting and why? Describe the companies that are most appealing. And, which department do you see yourself working within? This is a good essay to add some resume highlights. In addition, use details to showcase specific skills that will explain your accomplishments.

REQUIRED ESSAY 2
Learning from one another’s experiences is a tenet of the MBA experience. As a member of the SMU Cox MBA class, how do you plan to contribute to the development of your classmates, whether personally or professionally? (250 word limit)
Contributing to the community is crucial, and this SMU Cox MBA application essay focuses on that topic. This is a great place to mix personal and professional angles. Because you focused on career in the first essay, this could focus on other aspects.

For example, have you been involved with a volunteer activity? If so, this is a great essay to describe what you did. Certainly, one core value for SMU Cox is helping others. For this reason, if you have a particular focus or passion for community service, this is the essay to describe it.

Finally, know yourself and know the school. Do school research by visiting campus or talking to students or alumni. As you learn more about the school, you can tailor your contributions to be a fit with the community.

REQUIRED ESSAY 3
Growth is often the product of experience. Please discuss a time when you experienced professional failure. How did this event impact your professional outlook or affect your future work? (250 word limit).
At Stacy Blackman Consulting we have observed that, above all, character prevails. As a result, part of showing character is persisting through failure. Often, your true nature is revealed by your reaction to difficulty. Think about the moments you can remember with clarity over the past three years.

In many cases, failure leads to success. Can you think of a time when failure triggered change? This SMU Cox MBA application essay is focused on professional failure. For example, your failure may have been with a team at work. As a result, you learned more about how to lead or be effective in a team. Ensure you take the time to talk about lessons learned from the failure.

In conclusion, as you draft this essay think about micro-stories you can craft to vividly bring your story alive. What did your failure feel like? What did you hear, smell, or say? Those details will help the reader understand your perspective.

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Chicago Booth launches Boundless Scholarship Initiative  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth launches Boundless Scholarship Initiative
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In an effort to continue to attract the best and brightest students, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has launched the Boundless Scholarship Initiative. This campaign aims to raise $75 million in scholarships for promising individuals who will have the greatest impact on business.

Increasing access to scholarships is one of Chicago Booth Dean Madhav Rajan’s top priorities. He has set a goal of $75 million to underwrite a substantial increase to the school’s scholarship fund.

This initiative formalizes an effort started in 2018 to increase scholarships available to Booth MBA students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

So far, the school has raised $23.3 million, or 31 percent of the goal. Thanks to the generosity of Amy Wallman, ’75, and Richard Wallman, ’74; and Roxanne M. Martino, ’88, and her husband, Rocco J. Martino, matching funds for scholarships are currently available, effectively allowing donors to double their impact for students.

In addition to the Boundless Scholarship, Rajan has taken other measures to make a Chicago Booth MBA more accessible for students. This includes a zero-percent tuition increase in 2019–20 over the previous year.  Also, moving from a per-course fee to a flat-tuition model makes students’ payments predictable and allows for two additional courses. And finally, a four-year price guarantee for incoming Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students offers peace of mind.

“In recent years, we have been successful in attracting outstanding students from an increasingly diverse pool of applicants, in terms of backgrounds and career aspirations,” said Dean Rajan. “To continue to get the best students to choose Booth and to maximize their impact on the world, it’s critical that we grow scholarship support.”

Click here to learn more about this new scholarship program offered at Chicago Booth.

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Largest Gift in Tuck History will Support Global Learning  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Largest Gift in Tuck History will Support Global Learning
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The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has received the largest gift in its history—$25-million in support of TuckGo, the school’s global learning program. The commitment comes from the Bakala Foundation USA. This is the American family foundation of Michaela and Zdenek Bakala T’89, a Czech-born investor, philanthropist, and member of Tuck’s Board of Advisors.

The gift consists of a foundational investment to endow TuckGO—the portfolio of for-credit immersive educational experiences that comprise Tuck’s global learning requirement. Established in 2015, TuckGO—short for “Tuck Global Opportunities”—has become a distinctive part of the Tuck curriculum. It’s also a critical differentiator for Tuck among MBA programs.

Tuck MBA students must take one of three immersive experiential courses in a country that is new to them. These options include a qualifying First-Year Project; an OnSite Global Consulting assignment; or a Global Insight Expedition. All of these experiences are designed, taught, and assessed by a Tuck faculty member or faculty adviser. Alternatively, students may participate as an international exchange student with a partner institution.

Part of the gift will go to strengthening existing TuckGO offerings and funding new and varied educational experiences abroad. It will also help cover operational costs for the program. This includes funding related to logistics, travel, and preparatory expenses. In addition, it will further the personal scale that is the hallmark of learning at Tuck by allowing for continued small cohort size.

The gift also creates the Bakala Global Suite. This will become the future home to the TuckGO offices and a hub of student, faculty, and staff collaboration.

Cultivating Critical Cross-Cultural Competencies
The Bakalas have a long history of support for Tuck and its students. In 2009, they endowed the Bakala Professor of Strategy, held by current incumbent Richard D’Aveni. Notably, the Bakalas have contributed significantly to Tuck’s global offerings in the past. In fact, Bakala affiliated organizations have sponsored more OnSite Global Consulting projects than any other organization.

“This is an incredible moment for Tuck and for the generations of students who will benefit from the Bakalas’ extraordinary generosity,” said Matthew Slaughter, Tuck’s dean. “Their gift ensures that TuckGO, already a vibrant and innovative part of learning at Tuck, will connect students even more to the world’s diversity, dynamism and innovation.”

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HBS 2+2 Program for College Seniors: How to Get In  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS 2+2 Program for College Seniors: How to Get In
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What comes to mind when you think of business these days? If it’s the stereotype of the grey flannel suit and traditional office environment, then Harvard Business School wants to have a word. To reach college seniors —particularly liberal arts students—HBS launched the 2+2 Program back in 2007. This deferred admissions program targets students who might have otherwise never considered business school.

Candidates apply in their senior year of college, and once admitted, work for two years before starting the Harvard MBA program. Graduate students who went directly from undergrad to grad school are also eligible.

At SBC, our team includes the former HBS Associate Director of MBA Admissions who helped launch the 2+2 Program targeting college seniors. She explains that the program is all about getting the word out regarding what a graduate business degree can offer. Potential 2+2 candidates may have had few mentors in business. Or, an MBA degree might not be on their radar given their current course of study.

“No one ever tells undergrads that business involves areas like nonprofits, government, education and social enterprise,” she says.

What should college seniors know about the 2+2 Program?
To be considered for admission to the 2+2 Program Class of 2024 (entering fall 2022), you must graduate from your program between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.  you must complete the GMAT or GRE between April 2, 2015 and April 1, 2020. College seniors outside the US. are welcome to apply.

The 2+2 application is essentially the same as the online application for the MBA program. It has a reduced application fee of $100 vs. the $250 fee for non-2+2 applicants.

Notably, 2+2 applications have only one deadline: April 2, 2020. This allows you to submit fall semester grades for consideration. Interviews and decisions happen in May.

Although the name implies a two-year work period prior to the MBA, it’s actually more flexible. In fact, the school says in many cases they allow 2+2 admits to defer for three to four years in an HBS-approved professional opportunity. “They always approve a third year of deferral if you are working on something reasonable, i.e. not laying on a beach in Bali,” says our HBS insider.

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What is HBS looking for in 2+2 applicants?
If you check out the 2+2 Profile for the Class of 2022, the educational background breaks down as follows:

  • STEM 65%
  • Economics/Business 18%
  • Humanities 17%

“Traditional applicants were not initially the main target of this program,” our SBC expert shares. “They are looking for all the same qualities and credentials as they do for the regular pool. But then they’re also looking for scientists, engineers, techies, and entrepreneurs, to name a few.”

“They really hoped they would find young people who saw the deferred admission as an opportunity to take a risk and do something a little bit off the beaten path.”

Therefore, traditional applicants should embrace the “untraditional” side of their personal story. Rest assured, it can be done. As an example, check out our client case study that highlights the successful 2+2 application journey of Anita, an Economics major from Northwestern University.

“For the rest, you want the things that 2+2 is looking for to be the focus – science, engineering, entrepreneurship, risk-taking, etc.,” our HBS insider advises. “It’s ok to get dorky in these areas and go deep.”

If you are considering the HBS 2+2 Program and need input from an expert sounding board, we’re here to help! Reach out to set up a complimentary assessment of your candidacy today.

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Tuesday Tips: HEC Paris Essays and Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 04:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: HEC Paris Essays and Tips for 2019-2020
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This year’s HEC Paris essays focus on your ethics and values. An amazing location in Paris and a strong leadership education distinguish the HEC MBA. HEC Paris boasts a high number of CEOs in its alumni community. Another distinction is an entrepreneurial spirit. HEC Paris is consistently ranked as one of the top MBA programs in the world.

If your life and career are focused in Europe, HEC is worth a strong look. And, even if you are primarily United States-based, think about adding a European MBA program to your list.

To learn more about how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with your HEC Paris essays, don’t hesitate to contact us. For more details on the HEC Paris essays and application requirements, visit the HEC Paris website.

HEC Paris Essays for 2019-2020
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.)
Describing your career goals is the first task in this HEC Paris essay. Also, why now is the right time for an MBA and why HEC Paris is your choice. Also, you will want to explain past experiences, but avoid reciting your resume. In addition, think about the key moments in your career that can highlight your skills.

Focus on some mini-stories to tell. Then, you can explain your career choice with specifics. What industry do you want to work within? What will be your function (marketing or finance, for example)? Do you have any desires for location and aspirations to impact the global economy?

Also, note that HEC Paris has successfully assisted students with career changes and entrepreneurial dreams. If you are looking for a new career after your MBA, HEC may be the perfect place. Thorough school research will help you make the case to the admissions committee. In addition you should explain the classes, professors, and student activities that will help you achieve your goals.

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

HEC Paris is looking for leaders. In the second of the HEC Paris essays, describe an experience that demonstrates leadership. Consider that there is no time limit to this essay. For instance, you could explore something formative that happened to you as a teenager, or an achievement from last week. Also, when selecting an example, think about an achievement that demonstrates who you are. And, also shows a moment that changed the course of your life.

For example, perhaps you were given an assignment at work that was beyond your capabilities. That experience may have taught you how to leverage the experience of a team. Or, taught you how to research and learn on your own. Think about the achievements that stretched your abilities and taught you the most. A leadership example can also show how you helped a team achieve its best work.

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.)
Because ethics are so important, the third in this set of HEC Paris essays is focused on this issue. As a future leader, ethics can determine how well your company performs. When you look at the devastating results of the 2008 financial crisis, or recent security breaches at major tech companies, it is clear that business can be influenced by ethics.

In your own career you have likely encountered colleagues or leaders that were not guided by ethical behavior. When you have come across an ethical dilemma, how did you handle it? Explain the situation and how you felt, what you did, and the outcome. Ideally, you have learned a lesson as a result of the experience. Finally, consider your overall approach to leadership and ethics.

Essay 4: Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words max.)
This HEC Paris essay is a creative way to explore your character and core personality. When you think about the opposite of who you are today, it shows how you view yourself. Where would a person leading an entirely different life live? What career would they pursue? What would be their family responsibilities? Think about asking your friends and family what they think as a thought starter.

Describe this alternative life as specifically as possible and use the exercise to clarify your own core values.

ImageChris Karidis

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)
Of all of the HEC Paris essays, this one provides options to share your strong opinions and personality with the admissions committee. For instance, you can choose to describe your country or city, discuss an art piece, or a leader you admire. Honestly, any one of the choices can showcase an aspect of your personality. Overall, the goal is to differentiate yourself.

Consider the best option for your unique background. For example, if you live in a small country or city that is rarely visited by tourists, describe a monument or site. In this way, using the essay to describe your city or country can further explain your background.

On the other hand, if you choose a public figure you admire, you could explore your ideas of leadership. Or, perhaps you admire persistence, or overcoming obstacles, or helping others. Use those ideas to explore your core values. Finally, whichever option you choose, get personal!

Essay 6 (Optional): Is there any additional information you would like to share with us? (900 words max.)
This HEC Paris essay gives you space to describe any additional information you would like to provide to the admissions committee. Generally, optional essays are used for any confusing or concerning information in your application. In this case, you may use this essay to provide positive information as well.

You may have a story about leadership or another achievement you would like to highlight. If so, this is a place to tell that story. If you have described your core values in any of the above, you may be able to reinforce that story with this essay.

Obviously, this is the essay to use if you need to explain an academic issue, low GMAT, recommender issue, or gap in work experience. It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a low grade in a quantitative course in college, spend most of the essay describing how you have shown academic promise since then, rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue. Instead, describe why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.

You may also choose to skip this essay if you do not have another story to tell or an incident in the past to explain. Remember that it is optional.

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Tuesday Tips: HEC Paris Essays and Tips for 2019-2020   [#permalink] 08 Oct 2019, 04:01

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