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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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HEC Paris MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris MBA Deadlines for 2019-2020
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Interested MBA candidates can apply to HEC Paris throughout the year to begin their MBA course in either January or September. The HEC Paris MBA deadlines for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle are as follows.

Upcoming HEC Paris MBA Deadlines for the September 2020 Intake
October Deadline
Application due: October 15, 2019

Decision released: November 14, 2019

November Deadline
Application due: November 15, 2019

Decision released: December 13, 2019

January Deadline
Application due: January 2, 2020

Decision released: February 7, 2020

February Deadline
Application due: February 3, 2020

Decision released: March 6, 2020

March Deadline
Application due: March 2, 2020

Decision released: April 10, 2020

April Deadline
Application due: April 1, 2020

Decision released: May 7, 2020

May Deadline
Application due: May 4, 2020

Decision released: June 12, 2020

June Deadline
Application due: June 8, 2020

Decision released: July 17, 2020

The admissions process at this prestigious European business school operates on on a rolling basis throughout the year and aims to take applicants through the entire process from submission to decision in five weeks.

***

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

The post HEC Paris 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

_________________
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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Social Media Tips for MBA Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2019, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Social Media Tips for MBA Applicants
We’re going to tell you something you probably already know. Namely, if you’re applying to an MBA program this year, be careful about what you post online. It’s quite possible that adcom members will do a search of your name before admitting you to their program. You don’t want something written in haste to derail your chances of getting in. That’s why you should review these social media tips for MBA applicants asap.

Rest assured, being active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms isn’t a negative. In fact, savvy candidates actually use these venues to boost their credibility. For example, you can also use social media to solidify the good impressions made through your application materials.

Try these social media tips on for size
Let’s say that you’re hoping to switch careers after business school. One of your essays talks about your intention to work for a company that develops clean-energy options in third-world countries. You could tweet links to articles or books you’re reading on the subject. Maybe you post about a local conference you attended. Perhaps you give your take on the most promising advancements in the field.

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

Are you a marketing guru? It would be easy to weigh in on — or share — what some of the biggest brands are doing on social media.

The key is to keep things professional and on point. It’s absolutely fine to let your personality shine through, too — just as it should in your essays.

And you’re already following the programs you’re applying to, right? Doing so could be a great way to get some insight about a school that you could work into your essays.

Remember, if you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

Think of it this way:

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Until next time,

The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting

***Do your social media profiles need a makeover? For a b-school applicant, proper management of social media channels can help you expand the scope of your application without infringing on limited essay word counts. Check out the SBC Social Media Strategy Review and let us help set you up for a lifetime of online social success.

The post Social Media Tips for MBA Applicants 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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Recruiters and Schools Value MBA Rankings  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Recruiters and Schools Value MBA Rankings
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The subject of MBA rankings comes up a lot with b-school applicants. We’re always surprised by the extreme interest in rankings, which are, after all, rather fleeting. You may have your sights set on the “No. 1” business school. But a decade from now, that same stellar program might have slipped to number 10.

Make sure you’re looking at the data points that are important to your own career path when determining the value of a particular ranking. However, know that if you aspire to a highly competitive position in banking or consulting, a potential employer will likely give an advantage to an applicant from one of the elite schools. That’s the reality of the game.

Recruiters’ view of MBA rankings
Despite periodic grumblings over the value of the various MBA rankings, a recent article by Seb Murray in BusinessBecause supports the notion that corporate recruiters still consider them a valuable tool. Keith Bevans, global head of consultant recruiting for Bain & Company, tells Murray that they use rankings to determine which business schools to invest resources into, such as on-campus recruiting.

“We use rankings at a macro rather than micro level,” Bevans explains. Rankings provide an initial guide, but the rest comes down to the appropriateness of each individual candidate. It’s worth noting that Bain hired over 500 consultants in 2018 and plans to expand on that figure this year.

The schools’ view of MBA rankings
UV Darden School of Business‘s assistant dean for career services, Jeff McNish, points to another value of MBA rankings. McNish tells BusinessBecause that rankings are among the only ways recruiters can assess the quality of an MBA cohort. This matters because  much of the learning at business school happens during case discussions among students.

Along those lines, Columbia Business School‘s former dean Glenn Hubbard once noted that it’s human nature to want to experience the best of anything. But Hubbard suggested that applicants take a closer look at the students of the programs they are targeting as they come up with their shortlist of schools.

“It’s in the student network that you will find the metrics that matter for assessing any business school: inputs and outputs,” he explained.

Employers want the best employees money can buy. Hubbard said students will receive good job offers if the job market believes they have received a valuable education.

“Schools that routinely graduate classes at full or near-full employment, with good job satisfaction, have reason to believe they’re receiving a vote of confidence from the market,” he said.

SBC’s view of MBA rankings
We don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections. In fact, placing a heavy emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants. Applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network.

If you’re a prospective MBA, you should decide the factors that will play a role in where you apply. Consider cost, location, program specialties, faculty’s areas of expertise and so on. Keep these factors in mind as you research specific programs. This will help you home in on the ones that are your best fit.

Most likely, your list will contain a few under-the-radar programs that aren’t at the top of the rankings—provided, of course, that reputation isn’t the only factor that matters to you.

Photo by Rochelle Nicole on Unsplash

The post Recruiters and Schools Value MBA Rankings 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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
How Much of Your Networking Should Be Done Online?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Much of Your Networking Should Be Done Online?
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The new rules of professional networking have become murky now that much of our connecting happens via electronic devices. Should you channel most of your networking efforts into social media? Are face-to-face meetings still essential for networking success? What’s the right ratio of live networking versus online networking?

Unfortunately, no single “formula” guarantees the perfect blend of offline and online networking. But some guidelines can help maximize your efforts. The decision about how much time to spend on the digital side of the networking equation may vary depending on:

  • Your job search/career goals
  • Your proximity to (and/or travel budget to attend) industry events
  • Hours available for networking
Let’s say you’re looking for a new position. LinkedIn can help you target the exact contacts you need at specific companies faster and easier than in-person networking events. It can also widen the pool of potential people who might help you reach your goal. When conducting a job search, therefore, you might want to shift the balance of your efforts toward online networking.

However, keep in mind that while you may not reach as many people by attending a networking session, making just one key connection at an event could open the door to a new opportunity much more effectively than countless random reach-outs on social media.

Yet time or budget may prevent you from attending conferences and conventions, particularly if you don’t happen to live in the city where they occur. That’s why taking a dual-pronged approach to networking is critical for success.

Here are two strategies to help you incorporate actual “meeting and greeting” with virtual forms of networking:

Embrace the overlap between online networking and IRL networking
Do you always favor a certain networking style, excluding other possibilities? Maybe you’re a Twitter fan and love building your network there, but you shy away from conferences and brown-bag events where you could meet others in your area of expertise.

You can cast a wider net of opportunities by being open to multiple options and overlapping them. There’s no need to limit yourself, and you can take advantage of different benefits when you try new strategies.

If you primarily leverage in-person networking, mix things up to include online efforts and vice versa. Once you’ve opened yourself up to whichever type of networking that you’re avoiding, the following strategy will help you take it to the next level.

Use “circular networking”
Regardless of how you’re initially introduced to someone—whether on screen or in the room—you can leverage the multiple options of networking available to keep the conversation going. For example, if someone in your industry connects with you on Facebook, you might suggest meeting for coffee to explore collaboration opportunities in more detail. After the initial meeting, hop back online to continue the dialogue with your new contact.

By leveraging this “circular” style of networking, you can devote around half of your networking time to live meet-ups and half to online communication, pivoting between them to stay connected. This hybrid approach to networking is what’s needed today to cover all of your bases. By allotting a reasonable portion of your networking hours to both in-person and digital networking, you’ll be well positioned to reach your career goals.

***

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!

Main image credit: Flickr user Rachel.Adams (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The post How Much of Your Networking Should Be Done Online? 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
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday Tips: Oxford MBA Application Tips for 2019-2020  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 05:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Oxford MBA Application Tips for 2019-2020
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Are you currently working on your Oxford MBA application? The highly ranked one-year Said at Oxford MBA program exposes students to an international, diverse network at a world-class institution. For that reason, Oxford seeks engaged students and mature leaders with extensive work experience.

A great way to learn about Oxford is by visiting in person or reading student blogs. You’ll notice that there is a strong culture of improving the world. In fact, this emphasis on making the world a better place comes through clearly in this set of Oxford MBA application essays.

Conveying your deeper purpose is a core motivator for a successful applicant. Also, note that you can describe your career goals in a short-answer section within the application.

Above all, Oxford states, “the admissions committee will be looking for evidence of the following: good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, fit with the Oxford MBA community.”

To learn more about the Oxford MBA application, visit the Oxford Said website. For assistance with your application essays, contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for a complimentary evaluation.

Supporting Statement:
Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)
This Oxford MBA application essay is open-ended. Therefore, it allows you to cover almost any topic that you think needs more clarification. Perhaps you want to describe something about your personal background. On the other hand, you might want to describe a leadership role in a volunteer role.

In addition, it’s possible to use this essay to further emphasize your career goals.  Consider sharing information about your international experience if applicable. Oxford is looking for maturity, leadership and diversity in applicants. Accordingly, this essay is an opportunity to show these qualities.

Once you have chosen a topic for this Oxford MBA application essay, you will want to explain yourself clearly. With only 250 words, you should make sure to use precise language and examples. Specific examples will help the admissions committee understand you better. For example, you might describe a volunteer accomplishment. To do so, describe who was there, what you accomplished, and how you felt about it.

If you are applying under the Oxford 1+1 MBA scheme, you also need to submit the following essay:

Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)
The Oxford 1+1 MBA provides a unique experience. You can study business for one year, and spend the other year studying topics from African Studies to Water Science, Policy and Management.

Successful applicants will show why they have a good reason to study both. Consider your career goals, and how a well-rounded course may help you. In addition, focus on long-term goals and consider how deep knowledge in a master’s topic could provide perspective.

This Oxford MBA application essay is asking “why 1+1” and you will need a clear answer. Therefore, extensive program research will help you answer the question thoroughly. To conduct your research, consider contacting current or former students, as well as alumni or faculty. Make sure you have well-researched questions to ask of them, and a focus on your interests and goals.

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:

What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)
It’s easy to answer questions like this one when you have improved scores. However, even if your improvements are less tangible, this essay allows you to express them.

First, consider what you have learned since you last applied. Second, think about any advancements at work. Third, review your outside activities for any leadership experiences. Once you have reviewed the recent developments, describe them briefly in this essay. Finally, make sure to explain why you are a stronger candidate.

The post Tuesday Tips: Oxford MBA Application 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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
HBS Conducts Student Survey on MBA Rankings  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Conducts Student Survey on MBA Rankings
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The fact that Harvard Business School jockeys for the top spot in all major rankings will surprise no one. But how much weight do HBS admits give those rankings when finalizing their target school list? HBS seeks answers to this question in a survey on MBA rankings recently posed to the entire student body.

With ten+ popular business school rankings released annually, there’s a lot of overlap and information to consider. In its survey on MBA rankings, HBS wants to find out whether students favored certain rankings outlets over others. Next, HBS asks how influential rankings were in guiding the applicant’s final selection of target schools. Also, the school wants to learn how important a school’s reputation on entrepreneurship was to the applicant when considering programs.

This week in The Harbus, the business school’s student-run paper, first-year Raseem Farook shares initial thoughts on the subject gleaned from conversations with the marketing and admissions teams at HBS. Take a look at some of their comments on the subject of business school rankings.

The HBS survey of MBA rankings, from the school’s perspective
“Participating in these rankings takes a lot of time and effort,” Mark Cautela, Director of Communications at HBS, tells Farook. “We used to participate in over 10 different rankings. But a few years back we made the decision to reduce our participation to just five, and we haven’t noticed a drop in interest.”

This prompted the marketing and admissions teams at HBS to investigate whether rankings mattered to incoming students.
Also, was it worth the effort to participate in them?

Brian Kenny, Chief Marketing Officer at HBS, tells Farook he thinks rankings might help applicants come up with an initial list. But then, the search must get more personal. “Each student’s motivation and reason to attend business school will be unique,” he says.

“Some come to pursue entrepreneurial paths, while others may come to switch careers. And it is not possible to create one list that captures the requirements of all these different individuals. So, rankings should just be one data point in the decision-making process and not the sole criterion.”

Meanwhile, Chad Losee, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at HBS, shares this view about rankings. “We are not solving for rankings as we make our admissions decisions,” Losee says. “Our goal is to admit a class of talented, curious leaders with different perspectives on how to solve important problems in business and society.”

What is HBS’ secret formula?
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Farook then asked Losee for insight into how HBS keeps a consistently high yield rate despite participating in fewer rankings. Here is Losee’s response:

“Many of our admissions outreach efforts aim to help prospective students get to know HBS on a much deeper level—and to imagine themselves here. For example, I just held admissions information sessions in four cities in Africa, and in each one we had inspirational local alumni come and share their experience at HBS and thereafter.

“In an event like that, or in the digital outreach we do, prospective students learn a lot more about HBS than they can from a ranking. As a result, our yield has stayed pretty stable over time, thanks to the countless efforts of students and alumni chatting with newly admitted students about the experience they can have at HBS.”

Evidently, Farook notes, the magic formula for success is helping prospective students to imagine themselves at HBS.

***

Rejected by a round one program?  We feel your pain.  Take action and get insights on reasons why.  The SBC team includes former Admissions Officers from every elite program.  Email us at ask@stacyblackman.com to request a free report on rejection reasons.

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

The post HBS Conducts Student Survey on MBA Rankings 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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Interview Advice for Wharton MBA Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Interview Advice for Wharton MBA Applicants
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Every year, top business schools receive thousands of applications for admission, but they only admit an average of 25% of those who apply. The story is no different at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  Here, about half of all applicants are interviewed, but less than one in 10 are ultimately granted admission. What’s more, no student is admitted without an interview.

As consultants who help clients earn admission to top MBA programs, we know first-hand the importance of interviews. They’re a key component of how the admissions committee gets a full picture of you as an applicant. Also, it’s how the adcomm evaluates whether you’ll fit into the Wharton community.

Our interview advice for Wharton includes three tips that will show your assets and skills off to their best advantage.

1. Prepare for the team-based discussion.
Wharton was among the first business schools in the US to implement a team-based discussion component as part of the interview process. In it, five to six applicants discuss a topic while admissions committee members observe.

This aspect of the application attempts to get a holistic sense of you, outside of a well-written essay or even a well-rehearsed interview. Wharton looks for team players and people who can be analytical while working well with others.

Keep in mind that observers want to see candidates contributing without dominating the discussion. The idea is to see how you might engage in a productive conversation with a group of future classmates. To leave a positive impression, make sure to share your point of view, but also listen thoughtfully. Respect differing points of view and bring others into the conversation.

2. Emphasize your experience as an innovator.
Innovation is integral to Wharton’s brand. This doesn’t have to mean you’ve invented the next billion-dollar app or founded a company. But it does denote someone who creates something that has not existed before — whether that’s a new product, process, or way of seeing the world.

Think of ways you’ve acted as a “change agent” in your workplace or community. Wharton seeks dynamic, energized students who look to change industries, economies, and even their countries. Find examples of how you’ve seen the potential to make things better — and taken action to create positive change.

3. Show your aptitude for thriving in a global environment.
Approximately 40% of Wharton’s students hail from countries outside the US. Having an awareness and appreciation of other cultures is key to an applicant’s ability to survive and thrive at Wharton and in today’s multinational world of business.

Showing global awareness isn’t necessarily about the number of stamps on your passport. Rather, it’s about showing that you thrive in new and unfamiliar environments. In addition, it shows you can successfully navigate the challenges of competing in a global marketplace.

If your career goals transcend borders, make sure to share your planned career path. Also, if you have experience working with global teams, provide examples of challenges and successes. Above all, an honest curiosity and willingness to learn about other cultures and countries will go a long way.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t think of interviews for Wharton or any other top business school as just another hurdle standing in the way of your MBA.  Instead, realize this is how the admissions committee tries to get to know you better.

The interview allows you to connect the dots of your personal narrative and tell your story in your unique voice. Emphasizing your strengths and experiences as they relate to qualities that are important to each school’s learning community will help show how you’ll fit in and be a contributing member, and indeed an asset, to that school’s learning community.

Now that you’ve seen our interview advice for Wharton, it’s time to start practicing! Recruit a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews with you. Or, contact us to learn more about our group interview prep services.

If you’re prepared to work well with a team, emphasize innovation in your approach, and share your global perspective, and you could find yourself on the positive side of Wharton’s competitive interview and application process.

***

Have you been rejected by a round one program?  We feel your pain.  Take action and get insights on reasons why.  The SBC team includes former Admissions Officers from every elite program.  Email us at ask@stacyblackman.com to request a free report on rejection reasons.

This post originally published in 2018 and has been updated.

The post Interview Advice for Wharton MBA Applicants 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: 1558
Location: Los Angeles, CA
GMAC Sounds the Alarm Over Immigration Restrictions and the Global Rac  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2019, 14:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAC Sounds the Alarm Over Immigration Restrictions and the Global Race for Talent
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Last week, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) unveiled Early Warning Signals: Winners and Losers in the Global Race for Talent. This comprehensive report examines the role immigration plays in fueling the productivity and growth of global economies. It also looks at the need to support international mobility of talent across borders. Additionally, it studies the critical role business schools play as gatekeepers to skilled immigration and talent development.

The report analyzes data in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and China. It also includes the latest business school application data released by GMAC via the Application Trends Survey Report 2019.

“Business schools are uniquely positioned to explain how mobility of talent connects to economic growth and vitality through our faculty research and expertise. However, as the developers of talent, we also have almost real-time data showing new trends in where talent is choosing to locate,” says Bill Boulding, Chair of the GMAC Board and Dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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Bill Boulding, dean of Fuqua School of Business

“We feel it is critical we share this information now with policy makers around the world as talent will be the most important factor in determining who wins and loses economically in the future. The issues we are raising are important not just in providing the opportunity to cross borders for education but also to foster robust and vibrant national economic activity.”

Deans sound the alarm over immigration restrictions
An open letter recently signed by 50 deans and 13 CEOS calls for substantial change in the U.S. approach to high-skilled immigration. The letter expresses urgent concern that the U.S. does not have the high-skilled talent it needs. Nor does it have the capacity to train enough people with these skills to remain competitive in a global economy.

To prevent this trend from continuing, the signatories have proposed the following pro-growth policy reforms.

  • Remove “per-country” visa caps.
  • Modernize the visa processing system.
  • Reform the H-1B visa program so needed talent has a reasonable chance of gaining entry to the United States.
  • Create a “heartland visa” to encourage immigration into regions that could most use the vitality of these talented individuals.
“Quality business schools are emerging around the world and the competition for talent is fierce, the sign of a vibrant marketplace,” says Sangeet Chowfla, President and CEO of GMAC.

“Business schools don’t hold all the cards, however. Policy makers also have a responsibility to seed an environment conducive to student mobility. By doing so, they unlock innovation while helping to maintain diversity in the classroom, a critical aspect of graduate management education.”

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Key Findings:
Early Warning Signals: Winners and Losers in the Global Race for Talent provides a look into the current flow of talent into specific countries. It cites data from GMAC’s 2019 Application Trends Report, an annual snapshot of admissions trends for graduate business programs.

Regions in which students desire to study are likely to be the winners in economic development. Attracting talent has implications for homegrown talent as well, by creating hubs of innovation and economic growth.

View of the United States
In 2019, the United States experienced a 13.7 percent decline in international business school applications. This was a steeper decline than any other country in the world. Notably, this drop came amidst largely rising or stable applications everywhere else in the world.

Conversely, both Canadian and European programs saw application increases, which were driven primarily by rising international demand. For the US, these numbers are a worrisome indicator for the future mobility of talent.  Specifically, this hits business leaders, who cite the hiring and retention of talent as their number one business concern.

Find MBA recently covered this precipitous drop, noting that plunging apps in the US is good news for Europe.

View of Canada
Canada saw an 8.6 percent uptick in international business school applications in 2019. This follows on the heels of a 16.4 percent increase in the prior year. We take this as a positive signal for the country’s future mobility trends.

Canada also gained 286,000 permanent residents in 2017. In fact, the country aims to have a total of 1 million new residents by 2021. Because the  focus is on high-skilled labor, Canada should enjoy economic benefits in the years and decades to come.

View of the UK
Three in five UK firms experienced a more difficult time finding talent over the previous year. Additionally,  50 percent expected the UK’s skills shortage to worsen further in the future. However, 61 percent of UK business programs reported an increase in international applications in 2019 over the prior year. Furthermore, the share of GMAT score reports sent to UK programs has increased slightly since 2016. This data is according to a report released by GMAC in March of 2019.

View of India
A view of business school application data shows that the movement of talent from India to other parts of the world continues. At the same time, there is increasing interest in domestic schools. The percentage of Indians sending their GMAT scores to US schools fell from 57 percent in testing year 2014 to 45 percent in testing year 2018, according to the most recent GMAC data. During that same period, the percentage of Indian GMAT test takers sending their test scores to Indian schools rose from 15 to 19 percent.

View of China
According to GMAC’s Application Trends Survey Report 2019, Chinese business schools saw a 6.8 percent increase in domestic applications this year. Domestic volumes were also up year-on-year at 73 percent of programs. While 86 percent of applicants to these programs currently come from within the region, the rising profile of China’s business schools could begin to attract a more global pool of candidates.

China is now home to six of the Financial Times’ Global Top 50 MBA programs. This includes the fifth-ranked overall school, China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS). In 2009, just two of the top 100 were in China.

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How Not to Tank Your MBA Admissions Interview at HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2019, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Not to Tank Your MBA Admissions Interview at HBS
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Are you gearing up for an MBA admissions  interview at Harvard Business School? Lucky you, as HBS interviews just 25% of applicants each season.  Make sure to avoid the following faux pas during your MBA admissions interview at this prestigious business school.

Don’t even think about winging your MBA admissions interview.
Harvard Business School interviewers love to throw off applicants with rapid-fire questions to test how well you know your resume and essays. If you don’t practice for this interview, you’ll really hurt your chances of admission.

Think of a few compelling anecdotes that you can adapt to fit the most common HBS interview questions. The anecdotes you share about your past experiences — both successes and failures — will give the interviewer some insight into your self-awareness and maturity. Make sure to practice in front of a friend, and consider recording yourself as you rehearse. That way, you can assess your body language and tone and make adjustments as needed.

Don’t try to be the “ideal” MBA candidate.
While it’s tempting to want to present yourself as the picture-perfect applicant, your interviewer is trying to suss out what exactly you, and nobody else but you, can bring to the program.

Speak candidly about your passions, interests, and professional goals. Your story should reveal how you confront life choices, the values and principles that help you negotiate complex situations, your beliefs, and your worldview. That way, you’ll come across as a fascinating person who has a lot to share with future classmates. In short, a great addition to the HBS MBA program.

Don’t bore your interviewer.
Another thing to keep in mind: Your interviewer may interview dozens of candidates. That means a lot of eager future-moguls talking about the same thing: themselves. So whenever possible, make the interview a conversation, not a monologue. By including the interviewer in the conversation, you’ll keep them interested and engaged in the most important topic of all: YOU.

Don’t forget to ask questions, too.
Come armed with a brief list of questions that highlight your knowledge of and interest in the school. If interviewing with an alum, it’s easy to engage in a comfortable conversation about their experience at the school. Not only will you learn more about HBS, but by asking thoughtful questions your interviewer will get another opportunity to see your insightful way of thinking.

Harvard Business School admits roughly half of all applicants they interview. Ultimately, your goal is to answer all questions in a clear, logical way. Also, maintain an open, friendly, and professional demeanor. And don’t forget to dress appropriately! Finally, show that you have an inquisitive attitude about the school and all that it has to offer students.

If you can master these tips, you stand a very good chance of coming out of the interview with flying colors.

A version of this post originally appeared in October 2018. It has been updated.

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How a School Visit Affects Your MBA Chances  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How a School Visit Affects Your MBA Chances
You might have experienced a moment of panic as you began to work on your MBA applications for Round 2. It may have occurred after you took note of the January deadlines. And it could have gone something like this: “Wait a second — I won’t have time for a school visit before my materials are due! Does that put me at a disadvantage?”

The answer is no. If you weren’t able to sit in on a class or take a campus tour of a program you’re interested in before it’s time to submit your application, you’re not going to be dinged for it.

International applicants definitely don’t have to fret over this. No admissions committee member is going to expect candidates to shell out thousands of dollars for a multi-day trip to their school before they’re even admitted. You’re going to be paying enough money for tuition as it is!

The same logic applies for cross-country applicants in the United States. Adcoms understand that it may be impossible for you to take time off of work for a school visit. Or, cost constraints might prevent you from visiting a campus that’s hours and hours away.

That said…
What if you live in, say, Manhattan, and will apply to several programs within a fairly close radius? A school visit would certainly help prove that you’re serious about applying. Plus, it could help differentiate you from other similar applicants. However, it’s hard to believe that sitting in on a class could outweigh any red flags in your materials. The adcom is going to judge you on your years of accomplishments at school and at work — not whether you were able to visit them in person.

Similarly, if you live in or are otherwise going to be near a city that’s home to a program you’re interested in and you have time to spare, why not swing by? It’s even easier if the school comes to you in the form of a traveling road show. Many top programs hold informational events in cities across the world, and their web sites list these schedules. Even easier is dialing or logging in to an online admissions webinar hosted by your dream school.

From diving into a program’s extensive web resources to talking to alums to experiencing a class firsthand, there are several ways to get to know a particular business school better. You certainly don’t have to stress out if you’re not able to make it to campus. That won’t be what’s going to ultimately determine whether you get in or not!

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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7 Signs Stress at Work is Crushing Your Soul  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2019, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 7 Signs Stress at Work is Crushing Your Soul
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Unless you’re a Zen master yogi, everyone has occasional stress at work. But how can you tell whether what you’re feeling is garden variety workplace frustration, or a more serious depression? Scan these seven red flags to help you evaluate if your job is sucking the life right out of you.

You have no work/life balance
The work/life balance struggle is real. See if you recognize any of these warning signs that you have fuzzy work and home boundaries. Do you immediately answer work texts and emails after hours and on weekends? Do your friends or partner complain they never see you? Has your energy level tanked lately?

If any of this sounds familiar, your work-life balance is out of whack. Continuing to function this way for a prolonged period has serious repercussions. Studies show that poor work-life balance can lead todismal health later in life. Self-care is crucial.

You’re dealing with workplace bullying
Bullying behavior at the office can take many forms and can involve bosses, coworkers, or clients. Does a supervisor change work arrangements on a whim to deliberately inconvenience you? Unreasonable or constantly shifting deadlines would keep anyone on eggshells. Do you have a colleague who loves to “joke” by belittling or demeaning you in front of other people?

You don’t have to be the direct target of the bullying behavior to suffer its effects. Daily immersion in this kind of toxic work environment would crush anyone’s morale.

You’re worried about losing your job
Research suggests constantly worrying about losing your job is worse for your health than getting straight up fired. Sociologist Sarah Burgard of the University of Michigan explained this phenomenon in the journal Live Science.

In two different studies, people persistently concerned about losing their jobs reported significantly worse overall health, and felt more depressed than those who had actually lost and regained their jobs recently, Burgard found.

When you don’t know what the future will bring, and you can’t do anything until the shoe actually drops, that uncertainty can do a number on us.

You’re getting sick more often
Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol wreak havoc on the immune system. Our emotions affect our physical health. Constant stress at work leaves us vulnerable to catching every pesky cold floating around. If you’re getting sick more often than you used to, it could signal that stress and depression are affecting your body’s ability to fight off infection.

You don’t care about your job performance
When your work feels emotionally draining, even mundane tasks like answering emails can drag you down. The fancy HR term for this ispresenteeism, AKA going through the motions on autopilot. If you feel no real connection to your colleagues or clients, find yourself procrastinating a lot, or have completely lost interest in your work, it’s time to find out whether moving on to something new is the best next step.

You’ll do anything to avoid the office
ACenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) report estimated that depression causes 200 million lost workdays in the U.S. each year. In a 3-month period, the CDCP estimated that depressed employees miss an average of 4.8 workdays. Plus, they average 11.5 days of reduced productivity.

Many of us suffer from the “Sunday Sads.” You know, that feeling of dread that creeps up when you realize Monday and it’s never-ending To-Do List is almost here. But if you experience the Sunday Sads straight through ’til Friday, work is the likely culprit.

You feel hopeless and stuck
Your job could be at the root of your depression if it’s not letting you grow. Maybe you’re burned out, or feel like you’ve hit a dead end career-wise. If you don’t enjoy what you spend at least a third of your life doing, then something needs to change.

Do you recognize any of these signs in your own work life? If so, don’t just suck it up and accept the grind. Find ways to get help for your job-induced misery and start polishing that CV. When you’re ready, start looking elsewhere for work that won’t make you sick.

***

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!

Main image credit: Flickr user Rachel.Adams (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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What Does a Winning MBA Application Strategy Look Like Today?  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What Does a Winning MBA Application Strategy Look Like Today?
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Many of you have probably heard about the decline in applications to US business schools. However, the booming job market and higher acceptance rates actually make it an excellent time to pursue an MBA degree. Find MBA‘s Seb Murray recently looked at what applicants should keep in mind if they hope to come up with a winning MBA application strategy and a spot at their school of choice.

The competencies that business schools seek have not changed much, SBC shares in  Murray’s piece. But there’s an increasing priority on getting to know the individual applicant’s authentic life story and character.

More focus on soft skills
Soft skills are an important set of personal attributes that enhance one’s interactions, job performance, and career prospects. They are also a cornerstone of a winning MBA application strategy. The days when the ‘hard’ skills of analytical and strategic thinking dominated are over. Now, it’s oral and written communication, presentation, adaptability and the ability to negotiate that companies want the schools to teach.

Again this year, NYU Stern School of Business asks for two EQ (emotional intelligence) endorsements with your application. The endorsement must come from someone who knows you personally and/or professionally and can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.

Along the same lines, the Yale School of Management has added a behavioral assessment to the MBA application to better identify high potential candidates.  “We wanted more confidence to assess applicants who don’t perform as well on traditional measures while also looking at those who perform very well on the tests and wind up underperforming in school,” noted Laurel Grodman, the school’s Managing Director of Admissions.

Ever-evolving technology and greater efficiency
Applicants to the full-time MBA programs at NYU Stern have a new option to fulfill the standardized test requirement. Beginning with the current 2019-2020 admissions cycle, applicants can now choose to take GMAC’s Executive Assessment (EA). The Graduate Management Admissions Council designed the EA to evaluate business school readiness in the context of career experience.

According to NYU Stern Executive Director of MBA Admissions Rabia Ahmed, “As a school on the move, we recognize that business is rapidly evolving, and we’ve responded with new program options as well as innovations in our admissions process, such as the EQ Endorsements, to ensure we are assessing talent for today’s changing workforce.”

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Meanwhile, digital elements such as videos allow the admissions committee to see an applicant’s presentation and interpersonal skills. This helps them determine if you are confident and if you have any communication faults. Programs want candidates to be authentic. They also want to evaluate an applicant’s creativity as well as their ability to think on their feet.

From an admissions standpoint, videos allow the adcom to make better decisions about which candidates are the strongest match with the program.  This is also a way for them to see how candidates can handle an uncomfortable or awkward situation. They want to see how a candidate operates outside of their comfort zone.  Also, it helps them judge whether the “real you” matches the impression you’ve built through your other materials.

With these updates in MBA admissions, schools continue to raise the bar on the key requirements of a winning MBA application strategy.

Shifting demographic trends
As we shared with Find MBA, far more people from the technology industry are applying. Meanwhile, fewer overseas students are applying to US MBAs overall. Applicants from companies including Google, Amazon, Uber, and LinkedIn are applying in high numbers. Candidates from startup tech companies are also a larger presence in the applicant pool.

This means that tech applicants will find the process more competitive this season. At the same time, strong overseas candidates should see easier admit odds.

Remember…
Focus on what you can share with your classmates that would be valuable to them—experience or knowledge that others can learn and benefit from. Although negotiating your acceptance into a top MBA program seems daunting, by showcasing your individuality, you can do so with success.

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Surviving Your First Ding  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 14:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Surviving Your First Ding
Last month, some elite business schools sent out their Round 1 interview invitations, along with “release” notices to the majority of applicants. That means thousands of MBA hopefuls around the world recently received their first big fat DING.

While some people can easily shrug off this unfortunate news, others have a tough time dealing with what they see as “rejection.” If you are one of the applicants who didn’t receive good news last month, we want to remind you why you should keep your chin up.

First off, all of the top MBA programs are notorious for being extremely selective.  Out of every 100 people who submit materials, only 7 to 12 receive admissions offers. In other words, it’s very much a numbers game when you’re applying to such competitive programs. There are only so many spots for an overwhelming number of thoroughly talented candidates.

A ding doesn’t mean you’re not qualified
As such, a past dean of Harvard Business School used to kick off his speech to new first-year students by stating that the school could’ve easily added an additional 900 equally qualified candidates to the graduating class. His point? Namely, that while admitted students were certainly accomplished and deserving, a little bit of luck played into their outcomes as well.

People who have always reached every single goal they’ve ever gone after may find a ding hard to process. But it’s the truth. Once you’ve pulled together a strong application and hit “submit,” the process is out of your hands. You will never know who (or how many people) competed against you for a spot; who read your application; or what kind of mood they were in that day.

Fortunately, a ding from a certain school is only the result of that school. It has absolutely no bearing on what you’ll hear from other programs. So there’s no need to panic or to question your approach. You should remain hopeful that positive news from another school may be right around the corner.

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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Is an MBA Still Relevant? Definitely, According to These B-School Dean  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2019, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Is an MBA Still Relevant? Definitely, According to These B-School Deans
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Are you contemplating an MBA for career advancement, personal development, or a career switch? You may have mixed feelings as a result of news stories covering the recent dip in applications. You might ask yourself, is an MBA still relevant? We know b-school hopefuls love to hear advice from the experts. Bloomberg Businessweek recently spoke to several deans for their take on whether an MBA is still a sought-after degree.

“The skills you learn in an MBA are probably more valuable than they have ever been,” Antonio Bernardo, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “And yet a lot of people are talking about it as if it’s a degree that is losing relevance.”

Bernardo cites the fact that, especially in the tech sector, businesses today interact much more with stakeholders—including regulators. MBA courses, says Bernardo, teach students how to deal with an array of ethical and legal issues corporations might face.

Meanwhile,  Dean Matthew Slaughter of Darmouth’s Tuck School of Business tells Bloomberg Businessweek he foresees a steady pool of applicants for MBA programs because the degree provides the hard skills and leadership training that businesses will continue to require. Slaughter adds that Tuck continues to adapt its curriculum to keep up with student and employer demands.

Over at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, its new(ish) dean Francesca Cornelli says the MBA is still relevant because of the importance teamwork and collaboration will continue to play in tomorrow’s business landscape.

“We are not just preparing you for the next job or the next five years,” she tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “We are preparing you to thrive in the world of change.”

These key career benefits make the MBA still relevant
Business school grads typically enjoy a solid ROI through substantial salary increases. But they also benefit by deepening the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need for future professional success.

The MBA degree strengthens many skills. We’re talking leadership, intellectual creativity, analysis and critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, even greater IT mastery. All of these will serve you well as you find your way toward your ultimate career goal.

To see what the deans of Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University and Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young are saying about the MBA degree, follow the link above to the original article.

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HBS Dean Nitin Nohria to Step Down in 2020  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2019, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Dean Nitin Nohria to Step Down in 2020
Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria has announced he will step down in June 2020. This will conclude ten years of service as the school’s tenth dean. In a message to faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Nohria said the time is right for HBS to transition to new leadership.

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“Ten years gave us a good run to make progress on our ‘Five I’ priorities,” he noted, referring to the school-wide focus on innovation, intellectual ambition, internationalization, inclusion, and integration that has been a hallmark of his tenure. “Serving as Dean has been a privilege for which I am immensely grateful. A decade seems an appropriate duration for this chapter in the School’s history.”

Nohria says he will take a sabbatical beginning in July 2020. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1988 after receiving his Ph.D. from MIT. Before his appointment as Dean, he served in several leadership roles at HBS. They include Chair of the Organizational Behavior Unit, Co-Chair of the Leadership Initiative, and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development.

Nohria is a prolific scholar, with more than a dozen books to his name. He is also the author of the McKinsey Award-winning 2018 Harvard Business Review article, “How CEOs Manage Time.”

Highlights of the Nitin Nohria Deanship
As dean, Nohria upped the experiential aspect of the program by instituting a new, required year-long course. Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (a.k.a. FIELD) provides students with intensive, immersive, small-group opportunities to develop leadership, global, and integrative intelligence.

The school came under intense scrutiny in 2013 as it celebrated 50 years of women at HBS while still grappling with gender inequity and sexism. In January 2014, Dean Nitin Nohria addressed the subject at an alumnae event, where he apologized to female students and professors past and present for any sexist or offensive behavior they experienced at the business school. In that speech, he said the school owed them better. He also promised to make swift changes to address the inequalities that still exist.

Under Nohria’s leadership, HBS entered the digital learning platform market in 2014 with the introduction of HBX CORe. This program taught business fundamentals (Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting) to college students and new workforce hires.

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Notably, Nohria has raised more money than any other business school dean in history. During his deanship, the HBS endowment grew from $2.1 to $3.8 billion as of June 30, 2019.  The school’s annual revenues have also increased from $509 million to nearly $1 billion. That enabled significant investments in the Harvard Innovation Labs, which foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the Harvard community.

Looking to the Future
In his announcement, Nohria thanked Drew Faust, who served as Harvard’s president from 2007 to 2018, for her support. “I will always be grateful to Drew for her confidence in appointing me, her mentorship, and her inspirational vision for Harvard as One University,” he said.

Meanwhile, Faust had this to say about the outgoing dean Nitin Nohria.  “He took to heart the School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world. Whether launching new pedagogies, investing in the faculty and their research, or building bridges from the Business School to other parts of Harvard, Nitin has positioned HBS well to face the 21st century.”

Harvard University President Larry Bacow said that he would soon initiate a search for a new dean. “For today, all of us owe Nitin our admiration and thanks for his outstanding service to HBS and Harvard.”

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What Does the Adcomm Focus on When Evaluating Your MBA Candidacy?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:36
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What Does the Adcomm Focus on When Evaluating Your MBA Candidacy?
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Every year, we hear of MBA admissions offers going to Olympic athletes, NASA scientists, and former White House aides. While these profiles grab the headlines, they can discourage candidates without a flashy personal or professional story. Business school applicants can’t help but fret over what their target MBA programs want to see in a candidate. In truth, the admissions committee focuses on four specific areas when evaluating your MBA candidacy. The welcome news for applicants of all stripes is that standing out in these aspects can happen no matter where you’ve worked before or what background you have.

Work Experience and Professional Goals
In general, the admissions committee likes applicants to have three or more years of work experience before applying. But the quality of the overall experience matters much more than length.

Have you worked within flat organizational structures, where you’ve had the same title for years? You can still differentiate yourself by highlighting substantial professional growth and quantifiable achievements. Or, by showing examples when you embraced new challenges and took advantage of learning opportunities.

Whether your pre-MBA experience is at Goldman Sachs or your family’s business, the admissions team will look for steady progression.

Business school is the ideal place to refine your career goals through the study of new disciplines, discussions with students and professors, and the pursuit of entrepreneurial projects. That said, you do have to make some choices and explain your areas of interest to get admitted. Make sure to include a definite role you envision for yourself in the future. Explain the kind of impact you want to have in the business world and on society.

Successful essays won’t include the statement, “I look forward to figuring out my future career path in business school.”

Finally, remember to convey realistic post-MBA career goals. Consider the application process from the school’s perspective. MBA programs want to launch graduates who will go on to become successful in their careers. Grads also serve as vibrant members of the alumni community. Don’t forget to sell them on your employability. The admissions team should feel confident you’ll find a great job quickly upon graduating.

Leadership
Business schools strive to create the leaders of tomorrow. The admissions committee wants to see that you have a framework already in place in this all-important area. Lots of applicants worry about how the admissions team will perceive their leadership skills if they’ve never actually held a management position.

However, your leadership examples don’t need to be your most extraordinary life or professional achievements. Applicants can call upon times when they’ve lead sports teams, student groups, etc.

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Successful leadership examples should show how you motivated other people. Did you bring out their passions? Or, did you educate and help them see organizational priorities in new ways? The work of a leader energizes or improves the work of others. Find anecdotes from your professional and extracurricular background that illustrate this kind of behavior.

Define the leadership challenges you faced, not the management ones. Collecting impressive titles does not make someone a great leader. However, helping a team overcome significant challenges does.

When evaluating your MBA candidacy, keep in mind that in the adcomm’s view, your past is a strong predictor of how involved you’ll be on campus if admitted. Ultimately, leadership examples from college, on the job, and during your time at business school signal to future employers how you would perform in their organization.

Creativity and Intellectual Aptitude
When some Type-A personalities see the word creativity in this context, they freak out and assume we’re talking about something artistic. Really, we’re referring to expressing creativity by showing when you have solved problems at work or in your volunteer activities by thinking outside of the proverbial box.

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Some business schools use creative MBA essay prompts. Think Duke Fuqua’s 25 Random Things About Yourself.  Or the cover letter and video statement at MIT Sloan School of Management. When evaluating your MBA candidacy, admissions teams will look for evidence in responses that show you have a unique perspective that will add something new to the classroom. So, think beyond your obvious achievements. You can differentiate yourself by highlighting the most compelling, memorable stories and experiences.

Intellectual aptitude, meanwhile, will be judged based on your submitted GMAT or GRE scores as well as your undergraduate GPA and major. A solid 3.2 overall GPA from an Economics or Chemistry major will weigh more heavily than a 3.8 GPA in the Arts or Humanities.

However, admissions committees actively seek a diverse class that includes those so-called “poets of b-school.” That’s where a strong GMAT score, or taking additional college-level math courses that prove you can handle the academic rigors of the program, comes in.

Interpersonal Skills and Fit
The admissions process at a growing number of business schools now includes video essays, team-based discussions, and group interviews. These additions ensure the applicant has the appropriate interpersonal skills for success and will fit in well with the program’s culture.

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Business schools want students who will play nice with others. Watching how someone interacts with peers before anyone’s even admitted can be very telling. Your application and interview should support those individual attributes that make you a great candidate and person overall. They should reveal your understanding of the school’s culture. Finally, they must convey that you will be a terrific fit if admitted.

At some schools, fit and knowledge of the program matter as much as concrete qualifications when evaluating your MBA candidacy. Of course, you still need to have those qualifications. But without a full understanding of the many terrific facets of the school, you could find yourself on the rejected applicant pile.

Round two application deadlines are just around the corner. By evaluating your MBA candidacy in these four areas, you’ll boost your chances of making it to the interview stage and beyond.

photo credit: Solent Creatives (CC BY 2.0)

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Should You Specialize Your MBA Degree?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:36
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Should You Specialize Your MBA Degree?
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Unlike a master’s degree in finance or accounting or another specialty, an MBA is, by definition, a generalist program. It exposes students to many different disciplines—both hard subjects like finance and soft like organizational behavior. If you’re contemplating business school, think about whether you’d prefer a general management approach or one that offers majors or concentrations. Whether you choose to be a generalist at business school or to specialize your MBA degree depends heavily on your career’s end goals.

Advantages of a Generalist MBA Degree
Business schools seek students who will not only get hired after graduation but eventually run the firm. Most applicants see business school as a way to grow as a leader and advance their careers. The degree imparts a strong foundation of general business knowledge. Here, students gain a complete understanding of how various departments operate.

MBA students typically come to b-school with a clear career goal in mind after graduation. Yet, business school is an excellent time to explore a variety of subjects that may ultimately redirect your path.

Today’s professionals want long-term flexibility in the global marketplace. To that end, career-switchers need courses that prepare them for the management responsibilities they will encounter in whichever sector they end up.

A potential drawback to a general MBA is that you may not acquire the depth of knowledge required for a particular position. However, the broad range of career opportunities that comes from earning an MBA at a top program is invaluable.

Advantages if You Specialize Your MBA Degree
MBA specialization is a good move for individuals who know precisely what they want to do with their careers. Likewise, it’s excellent for those who want to build a stronger skill base in that niche area.

If you already know that you’re interested in an area like digital marketing, real estate, business analytics, social innovation, health care, and so forth, then earning an MBA with a concentration can make you even more marketable. Recruiters like to see a strong focus on a particular field or functional area.

We’re in a highly competitive job market. Having that specialization on your resume, plus a supporting internship or extracurricular activities, will help you stand out from the crowd. Students who specialize can also grow their niche network during the MBA program. That way, they’re ready to hit the ground running on day one.

Drawbacks of a Specialized MBA Degree
While specializing in a specific area of business is fine, know that it can be limiting. One could even argue that you should earn a degree in that specialty instead. Depending on the career path you have chosen after graduation, by specializing, you could inadvertently pigeonhole yourself and narrow your job prospects, especially if you’re a career-changer.

The classroom experience may differ notably for specialists. A traditional MBA experience includes classes full of people with diverse and enriching perspectives. Participants in the same specialization will likely have similar backgrounds and professional experiences from which to call on.

Ultimately, when you’re running a company, chances are you won’t be pulling together the financial models or balancing the books. Understanding those aspects is undoubtedly important. But you don’t need to be a master—ideally, you will hire others to do the deep dive.

Whether you choose to pursue a general program or specialize your MBA degree, pay close attention to all of your classes – even the areas you would plan to outsource when you have the budget.

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Women in MBA Programs Reach Record Numbers  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Women in MBA Programs Reach Record Numbers
It’s tempting to dismiss the existence of any gender differences in the MBA application process or student life. But you don’t have to look back very far to see just how controversial the subject still is, even at elite programs such as Harvard Business School.  Will the tide finally turn now that there’s a record number of women in MBA programs?

In 2018, USC Marshall became the first major business school to reach gender parity. A record-smashing 52% of the incoming full-time MBA class was female.  According to new research from the Forté Foundation, U.S. b-schools average 39% women per MBA cohort, compared to 26% outside the US.  Of the 54 schools surveyed, 19 had 40% or more women enrolled.

In fact, just over 35% of Forté’s membership schools are ahead of the curve, hitting the group’s 2020 target for at least 40% gender equity in all of their member schools.  In 2005, only three business schools enrolled more than 35% women in MBA programs.

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How the MBA admissions committee sees it
A new article in Quartz explores the surge of women in MBA programs, as explained by three MBA admissions heads.  Washington University’s Olin Business School came closest to achieving parity this year, with 49% female enrollment.

Ruthie Pyles Stiffler, assistant dean and graduate admissions director at Olin, tells Quartz that student groups like Olin Women in Business “have played a tremendous role in our ability to attract and retain top women talent.”

Affinity groups like these assure prospective MBA students that they will find a supportive community on campus. “Learning about what OWIB does at Olin for women was a really big draw,” Alex Halfpap told Quartz, noting that she felt the group was “really focused on helping Olin women grow and thrive.”

Meanwhile, admissions director Soojin Kwon at Michigan Ross School of Business considers the school’s Michigan Business Women group a draw for applicants. The group “works closely to connect with prospective students on the front end,” Kwon tells Quartz, noting that membership in Michigan Business Women has doubled in the past five years even as Ross’s class size has stayed the same. (Michigan Ross has 45% female enrollment for the MBA Class of 2021.)

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania admitted a class with 47% women this fall. Blair Mannix, director of admissions for the MBA program, says the school has a highly collaborative and welcoming culture. Wharton’s grade non-disclosure policy is just one example of how the school shuns the toxic elements of a competitive culture, Mannix tells Quartz.

The goal is to get students focused on challenging themselves instead. “We want women to take risks in coursework,” Mannix says. “We want you to take a class you might not do well in.”

Tips for women applying to business school
Now, for the $64,000 question: Are there specific tips and tactics just for women who are applying to business school?  These tips won’t apply to every female applicant. But certain demographic stereotypes persist, and having an awareness of these red flags makes good sense.

We have worked with several clients whose recommenders received calls from the admissions committee to probe on specific points.  In particular: “Is the applicant confident, will she speak up in class discussions, is she timid, etc…”  Almost all of these anecdotes have occurred with female clients.

In the application process,  women must exude comfort and confidence.  Essays, interviews, and recommendations need to indicate a comfort level with speaking out, defending points of view, and collaborating with all types of people.

An interview coach we know also had this note for women: Don’t play with your hair. Avoid fiddling with jewelry. Don’t adjust your clothing. Just focus on looking your interviewer straight in the eye and answering questions with complete focus and confidence.

Some male-dominated career paths, such as investment banking, need more women on board.  Therefore, women in MBA programs targeting finance may have an advantage over one pursuing a role in brand management.  This is true in the MBA admissions process as well as in the job search.

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source: Forté Foundation data

If more women become interested in business school earlier in the pipeline, we’ll see the numbers continue to rise. Ultimately, better representation in the C-suite means more equality, which contributes to a stronger economy and, ultimately, a positive effect on society and the next generation of women.

The post Women in MBA Programs Reach Record Numbers appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Time to Thank Those Supporting Your MBA Dream  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Time to Thank Those Supporting Your MBA Dream
It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States. On Thursday, millions of people will take a break to reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. It’s a good time for MBA hopefuls to express their gratitude as well.

If you only applied to schools in Round 1, you’re getting close to learning the final results of your efforts. Before you do, you should make a point to circle back with everyone who helped you along the way. Sure, you’ll touch base with them again to let them know where you’re going to end up. But it’s nice to thank people now so it doesn’t seem like you only appreciate their help because you got into a certain school.

So much to feel grateful for
Think back to when you first downloaded your applications. Make a list of those who played a role in ensuring you felt confident once you hit “submit.” Your recommenders might land at the top of that list. And of course, the friends and family members who proofread your materials or gave you great advice. Maybe your gratitude list also includes co-workers who helped calm your nerves after everything was sent in. We’re sure everyone who has supported you would appreciate a quick note of thanks.

If you’re currently in the midst of interviewing, remember to shoot a short thank-you email or letter to your interviewers, too! Don’t get discouraged or worried if you don’t hear back, though. Some schools have policies about interviewers responding to candidates before final decisions are out. But we know they’ll appreciate the gesture nonetheless.

What if you’re working to hit Round 2 deadlines? It’s still appropriate to thank those who have been helping you so far—especially your recommenders, who may be taking time away from their families to work on your letters over the holidays.

Remember:

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3 New B-Schools Go Full Steam Ahead with STEM MBAs  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 New B-Schools Go Full Steam Ahead with STEM MBAs
A growing number of top business schools have embraced the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) designation. Courses of study under the STEM umbrella allow students to take their analytical skills to a deeper level. While the STEM MBA offers essential benefits for all students, international students should note one perk in particular.

Namely, F-1 visa students graduating from STEM-designated programs may apply for a 24-month extension to their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), providing up to 36 months of temporary employment in the United States.

So, who’s joined the STEM train this month? Let’s take a look.

Kellogg School of Management
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Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has launched a STEM pathway, the school announced late last week.

The newest addition to the Kellogg MBA curriculum will explore a variety of topics. In particular, how to use big data efficiently to understand capital markets. Plus, how to apply analytical techniques to solve business problems.

According to the major’s webpage description, Kellogg’s new Management Science major focuses on “the application of analytical techniques, tools, and models across the school’s academic disciplines.”

Tepper School of Business
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Earlier this month, the Tepper School of Business announced that its MBA program had become a STEM-designated program. Tepper has made several changes over the past two years to strengthen students’ foundational experience in management science.

This includes new course offerings that intersect with business and technology. In addition, Tepper offers interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities. And finally, it has adopted more sophisticated analytical tools for use throughout the program.

“We have always placed strong emphasis on quantitative expertise as a crucial management skill,” says Kate Barraclough, head of the MBA Program. “These are the skills that are in high demand from employers. Across every industry, employers are looking for MBA graduates who are analytical thinkers and data-driven decision makers.”

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
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Berkeley Haas is among the first business schools to receive STEM designation in all three of its MBA programs. The STEM OPT extension is retroactive to December 2018.

“We anticipate that this will lead to expanded opportunities for our international graduates who pursue jobs incorporating business analytics, modeling, forecasting, and other skills developed through our program,” said Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions.

The MBA programs received the STEM designation after a campus review of how the programs are categorized by the National Center for Education Statistics under a Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.

The new code defines the Berkeley Haas MBA as “a general program that focuses on the application of statistical modeling, data warehousing, data mining, programming, forecasting, and operations research techniques to the analysis of problems of business organization and performance.”

After the review, the Haas MBA degree programs were changed from “Business Administration and Management, General,” to “Management Science,” which is considered a STEM program.

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3 New B-Schools Go Full Steam Ahead with STEM MBAs   [#permalink] 26 Nov 2019, 14:00

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