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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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The Feedback Sandwich is Stale AF  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2020, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Feedback Sandwich is Stale AF
This knowledge nugget comes to you courtesy of the Blacklight. Enjoy!
Most of us are familiar with the advice to couch or preface negative feedback with at least two positive messages, aka the feedback sandwich. In theory, this takes the sting out of whatever nugget of knowledge the person wants to drop on you.

Some leaders think it’s easier for people to accept criticism if they also hear something positive. Others believe providing both positive and negative comments at the same time presents a balanced performance evaluation.

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Feedback is vital to our career trajectories. But despite these good intentions, we often struggle giving—and accepting—feedback. Instead, we try to avoid the task altogether. Or, when on the receiving end, get defensive or take the criticism as a personal attack. It turns out, there’s a much better way to give constructive criticism than the feedback sandwich method. If it’s your job to provide feedback, remember that often, how you say it matters more than what you say.

I’ll have the no-carb feedback, please.
Hold the bread—just give me the meat already. Supervisors beholden to the feedback sandwich approach think it helps the giver ease into an uncomfortable conversation. In reality, this delay tactic ratchets up the very anxiety it attempts to avoid, organizational psychologist Roger Schwarz writes in Harvard Business Review.

Imagine if you verbalized this strategy out loud, says Schwartz. It would go something like, “Alex and Stacey, I have some negative feedback to give you. I’ll start with some positive feedback to relax you, and then give you the negative feedback, which is the real purpose of our meeting. I’ll end with more positive feedback so you won’t be so disappointed or angry at me when you leave my office. How does that work for you?”

Umm…Hard pass on that one.

Think of feedback as guidance—not a dressing down.
“In the work environment, we have a duty to give and get feedback,” says Professor Ellen Taaffe of the Kellogg School in this podcast on constructive criticism. “It’s your duty as a manager, but also if you’re managing your career, you want to get feedback. It’s the only way to get better and to get to what you want.”

As a manager, aim to provide timely feedback—don’t wait for a quarterly review. Keep it task or behavior-focused, not personality-based. Feedback should be both clear and actionable. Make it a purposeful conversation, not a one-sided rant. Also, stay open to the possibility that you may not have the only valid interpretation of a given situation.

Taaffe and her interviewer Fred Schmalz talk about how you can tone down the emotional impact of negative feedback by remembering that “people’s weaknesses are often the flip side of their strengths.” Then, they say, the message goes from, “Fix your flaws,” to “Keep playing to your strengths while you neutralize your weaknesses.”

How about feedforward instead?
For many of us, criticism stings in part because we’re powerless to correct our past mistakes. That’s why there’s a growing movement away from feedback and toward feed-forward. Instead of judging past performance, the feedforward approach focuses on a person’s development in the future. In his book The Feedback Fix, Joe Hirsch notes that people often don’t make progress after receiving feedback because they don’t know what to do with it.

“If you want feedback to make an impact,” Hirsch writes, “you have to put it in terms that people can operationalize.” In his book, he cites studies showing that regular feedback doesn’t typically result in a transfer of new skills or habits. But, when you combine feedback with coaching, the transfer skyrockets to 95 percent.

Providing a constructive evaluation is no easy task. But if delivered with compassion and understanding, people are usually open to receiving your feedback if it will help them to succeed. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, keep an open mind and a willingness to listen. After all, there can be no improvement without feedback, and we all want to keep growing in life, right?

***

Did you enjoy this post on the perils of using the feedback sandwich approach?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we aim 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 goalposts closer, sign up today!

The post The Feedback Sandwich is Stale AF appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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_________________
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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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B-Schools Work to Attract Non-Traditional Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2020, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-Schools Work to Attract Non-Traditional Applicants
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Admissions teams continue to ramp up efforts to attract non-traditional applicants to their MBA programs, says the Graduate Management Admission Council. These prospective students bring unique experiences and skills to business school and the business world.

Non-traditional applicants bring different perspectives to classroom discussions, which enhances the learning environment for all. Working in diverse teams in one of the most effective ways to learn essential soft management skills.

Today’s MBA students want to make an impact across industries, like healthcare, entertainment, technology, and nonprofits. One major way business school admissions committees work to lure in non-traditional applicants is by focusing on transferable skills, regardless of the person’s background. These include characteristics such as leadership, team building, and analytical thinking.

Take, for example, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who has an undergraduate degree in Medieval History and Philosophy. That’s about as far away from a business background as you can get. However, she points out that “I learned how to condense a … lot of information down to the essence. That thought process has served me my whole life.”

A Welcoming Environment for Non-Traditional Applicants
Deb Xavier told Poets & Quants she has been struck by the “sense of belonging” inherent to the Class of 2021 at the Ross School of Business. “As a non-traditional MBA candidate, and a single mother, the collaborative and inclusive community was more than I could ever expect. Right from the beginning of my interactions, I knew I would have friends for life.”

Applicants with unconventional or less traditional work or academic experience before business school often worry about how admissions committees will assess their records. However, it’s more than okay to be different. No MBA program wants to fill an entire class solely with candidates from investment banking or consulting. In fact, non-traditional applicants often stand out in the MBA admissions process.

Also, non-traditional applicants shouldn’t automatically assume that keeping up with MBA classmates will be a huge challenge, the adcomm at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business has noted. Non-traditional students often make up a large portion of the MBA class at Haas.

“When I talk to people from other non-traditional backgrounds, their main concern is, ‘I’m not going to be able to hack it in business school, I’m going to be so behind and all of these people are going to be so much smarter than me,’ and the long and short of it is that it is absolutely not true,” said Amelia Kusar, who majored in classical music performance as an undergrad.

The experience is similar at Wharton School. “To my great surprise, being ‘nontraditional’ at Wharton is completely normal, and you will survive. You got in because you belong here, and because Wharton knows you’ll thrive,” said MBA grad Pauline Koningsveld.

Work with Us
Do you have a non-traditional background?  SBC can help you strategize and gain admission to the business school of your dreams. Contact us to set up a complimentary analysis of your candidacy today!

The post B-Schools Work to Attract Non-Traditional Applicants 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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Ross School to Launch STEM Track  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2020, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ross School to Launch STEM Track
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The University of Michigan Ross School of Business has announced it will launch a STEM-designated track within its full-time MBA program. Starting in fall 2020, this new STEM track will meet the needs of students interested in pursuing quantitative management and business analytics roles across many industries.

“Business analytics has become essential in helping organizations make strategic business decisions,” says Ross School Dean Scott DeRue.

“Our new STEM track will leverage the world-renowned general management curriculum at Ross to prepare students from a variety of backgrounds to be leaders in the business world of today and tomorrow.”

Besides the required full-time MBA core courses, the STEM track will require students to complete an additional 18 credit hours. Students can choose from a specific set of electives across many business disciplines. These include accounting, finance, management and organizations, marketing, and technology and operations.

Electives slated for the new track will include:

  • Big Data Management: Tools and Techniques
  • Marketing Engineering and Analytics
  • FinTech: Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Other Technology Innovations
The Ross School will announce more details on the approved set of electives for the STEM track in February.

STEM Track continues innovation trend at Ross
The announcement marks the latest in a series of  MBA program innovations at Michigan Ross. This year, Ross began offering a +Impact Studio course. In it, full-time MBA and graduate students from across U-M translate insights from faculty research into solutions for pressing societal challenges.

The school also launched the Michigan Ross FinTech Initiative. This comprehensive academic program aims to prepare students for successful careers in the rapidly growing fintech sector.

Three years ago, Ross created a data and business analytics concentration, which has seen strong student interest. The school continues to expand its Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning (REAL) portfolio as well.  This collection of experiences allows students to start, advise, lead, and invest in real businesses while at Michigan Ross.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to provide our students with the educational experiences and opportunities that will enable them to thrive in their future careers,” said Soojin Kwon, managing director of Full-Time MBA Admissions and Program at Michigan Ross.

Current first-year Ross MBA students can express their interest in pursuing the STEM track later this semester. All incoming Full-time MBA students will be able to participate.

Source: Michigan Ross to Offer New STEM Track for Full-Time MBA Students

The post Ross School to Launch STEM Track appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

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

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2020, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/49170327958_e61f53a73f_k-734x489.jpg[/img]
As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold. First, it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities, and motivation for pursuing an MBA. Secondly, it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive your b-school interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Keep in mind that many schools, such as [url=https://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/mba/blog/tuck-admissions-insights-your-admissions-interview]Dartmouth Tuck[/url] and [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/mit-sloan-mba-interview/]MIT Sloan,[/url] pose behavioral questions during the interview. Presenting yourself clearly can be especially difficult with behavioral questions (“Tell me about a time you…”) because it is natural to launch into a story without much direction.  Stay focused on telling your story in order to demonstrate the qualities you wish for schools to see.

[b]Do these 11 things, and you’ll knock it out of the park on the big day.[/b]

[list]
[*]Go into it with confidence.[/*]
[*]Know yourself, or the version of yourself that you want to display.[/*]
[*]Cover your weaknesses.[/*]
[*]Build up a broad base of knowledge about business and the world.[/*]
[*]Study the school in-depth, and, if possible, research the person who will interview you, too.[/*]
[*]Practice.[/*]
[*]Dress the part.[/*]
[*]Have a list of stories that you can adapt to various questions ready.[/*]
[*]Keep your answers concise, but always have a lot more to say.[/*]
[*]Stay cool.[/*]
[*]Know what questions to ask.[/*]
[/list]
Finally, wrap up your b-school interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time. Also, remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/mba-interview-thank-you-notes/]thank-you note[/url] or email within 24 hours, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in a b-school interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

Photo credit: [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/158467925@N05/49170327958]Launch Vic[/url] ([url=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/]CC BY 2.0[/url])
This previously published post has received relevant updates for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle.

The post [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/11-mba-interview-tips/]11 Ways to Prepare for Your B-School Interview[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com]Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting[/url].

[img]http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/StacyBlackman/~4/EO6fBJnhHmw[/img]
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: 1720
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mapping Out Your MBA Application Timeline  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2020, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Mapping Out Your MBA Application Timeline
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Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Applicants need to fit in test prep, visiting schools, and developing essays with other personal and professional commitments. The best way to do this is to put together your MBA application timeline several months before your target deadlines.

If you’re planning to apply to business school in the fall, come up with a game plan now. That way, you can complete the admissions components within a schedule that doesn’t necessitate sleepless nights and a jumbo bottle of Maalox.

Your MBA application timeline should allow time for:
Community Involvement 
Now is a great time to deepen or establish your involvement with a community organization. Have you remained active with outside activities over the last couple of years? Then consider stepping your activities up a notch. Offering to organize an event is a great discrete activity. It allows you to work in a team, make an impact, and show results. Think up roles that will allow you to take a leadership position and create a real impact before September.

Essays and Test Prep
The amount of time MBA aspirants will spend on their applications will vary, depending on writing abilities and general work efficiency. That said, plan to spend between 40 and 60 hours preparing four to eight applications. Non-native English speakers will also likely need to allot more time on their applications, particularly on writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting essays.

The other piece of this puzzle is, of course, the GMAT or GRE. Have you completed the exam and feel satisfied with your score? If you still need to take the exam, you have a lot of work ahead of you, as applicants typically devote at least 100 hours to test preparation. Depending on where you are in the process, you may have to take a prep class and perhaps take the test more than once. The good news is, Round One is still nine months out on your MBA application timeline. So, you have enough time if you get serious soon.

Bolstering your Quant Profile
An undergrad GPA hovering around 3.5 is generally considered fine. If your GPA is a 3.2 or below, or you majored in liberal arts, you may want to consider taking quantitative classes to enhance your academic profile. The MBA canon generally consists of Calculus, Statistics, and Microeconomics.

Did you take any of those classes in undergrad and score a C or below? If so, you should retake the classes now. Where you take the class is much less important than the course material and grade (aim for A’s!!). A local community college is a great option.

Structured Work Sessions
Some people work most efficiently when they can break up tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. Meanwhile, others prefer to devote several hours to their writing in one sitting. By now, most MBA applicants know how they work most effectively. Structure your writing and editing sessions accordingly.

We typically recommend that candidates allocate two to three hours each time they sit down to work on their essays, particularly for the first few drafts. Approach the essays holistically. You won’t have a compelling final product if you’ve only snatched 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there.

Conversely, most applicants should also avoid the “marathon session.” Few people are still sharp or creative eight hours into a writing and editing session. If you need to make up for lost time, try breaking it up with a session in the morning and another in the evening.

Thoughtful Revisions
Applicants should also build several weeks for reflection and feedback into their MBA timeline. If you can come back to your essays days later with fresh eyes, you’ll often think of a better example or more inspired language to illustrate a certain point. This won’t happen if you’re forced to work at warp speed.

Distributing your writing and editing over a reasonable period also makes it easier for friends, family, or colleagues to provide feedback. It’s unfair to ask someone to turn around comments in a 24-hour period. Build a few days into your MBA application timeline to allow them ample opportunity to give you their critiques. Also, leave yourself adequate time to reflect upon and incorporate their feedback.

The b-school application process is stressful, but careful planning with an MBA application timeline will make the experience manageable. Also, it can help you channel your energies into continually improving your candidacy… right up until the moment you submit your applications.

Updated in January 2020

The post Mapping Out Your MBA Application Timeline 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: 1720
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Too Much of a Good Thing  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Too Much of a Good Thing
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This knowledge nugget comes to you courtesy of the Blacklight. Enjoy!
If asked to name some of your core strengths, would attributes like these make the list?

  • Driven
  • Direct
  • Easygoing
  • Detail-oriented
  • Cooperative
  • Inquisitive
Now, what if we told you an over-reliance on your strengths can create major blind spots that limit your career prospects. Taken to the extreme, each of those qualities above can turn into a weakness. To illustrate:

An ultra driven person might steamroller over others. If you’re too direct, you appear insensitive. Too easygoing, and people take advantage of you. When you’re hyper-focused on details, you can become a control freak. Overly cooperative people may just be avoiding conflict at all costs. If you’re too inquisitive, you can come off as nosy AF. Crazy, right?

Or, another common phenomenon is engaging the same strength approach to every problem, without considering whether it’s the most appropriate tool for the job. In fact, “There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that success doesn’t come from playing to your strengths. It comes from playing your strengths in the right situations,” writes Adam Grant for The New York Times.

Harvard Business Review also highlights the dangers of “lopsided leadership” that arise from overdoing your strengths.  “Once you overplay a strength, you’re at risk of diminished capacity on the opposite pole,” the authors point out.

“For example, a leader who is good at getting people involved in decisions, and has been encouraged to build on that strength, may not realize that in engaging so many others he is taking too long to move into action.”

As you can see, more is not always better. Time for a reality check to find out if you’re taking a strength too far.

Do your own 360 review
If you aren’t 100 percent sure about what your strengths are, consider taking a fun, evidence-based personality assessment like one of these offered by the University of Pennsylvania. Then, write down your list of core strengths. Once you have it, describe or define what each looks like at both appropriate and excessive levels.

Next, ask yourself: What should I do more of, or less? On which strengths have I hit the Goldilocks-level sweet spot?

Unfortunately, many of us have trouble seeing our strengths as anything but positive. That’s when you need to enlist help from trusted friends, colleagues, or family, who can provide an unflinching assessment.  Ask them to name your three best characteristics. Next, see if they can come up with at least one way you could become an even more awesome friend/coworker/family member. With their help, you can identify specific behaviors ripe for change or improvement.

Don’t get stuck honing only strengths
Too often, people focus exclusively on building up their strengths. They forget to seek out new experiences that would help them grow in their careers by bulking up in other areas. If you care about professional and personal development, try to put yourself in challenging situations. Learn to embrace change. Shore up your skills in areas you currently consider weak.

As Grant points out,
“Strengths are like muscles: If you focus only on your triceps, your biceps will suffer.”

Now’s the time to do a thorough self-assessment to determine whether you might be overworking one of your strengths. The insights you glean can help you curb sabotaging behaviors that might otherwise harm your career.

***

Did you enjoy this post on the perils of overusing your strengths?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we aim 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 goalposts closer, sign up today!

The post Too Much of a Good Thing 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: 1720
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Haas Launches Accelerated Access Deferred Admissions Program  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Haas Launches Accelerated Access Deferred Admissions Program
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Last week, the Haas School of Business announced the launch of a new deferred admission program for UC Berkeley undergraduates.  Called Accelerated Access, the program gives students the option of applying early for a spot in the full-time MBA program. They can then defer admission for two to five years while they gain the required professional experience.

The program will initially be open only to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of study. The plan is to expand to students throughout the University of California system and then more broadly in the future.

“Accelerated Access is an innovative way for students to secure a seat in our MBA program, providing a way for them to pursue full-time work that aligns with their passions, with reassurance that they will be able to return to a top-ranked MBA program in a few years,” said Morgan Bernstein, director of strategic initiatives, who is spearheading the launch.

Accelerated Access will reach across campus
Under Accelerated Access, undergraduates will apply to the MBA program during the final year of their bachelor’s program. Successful applicants will gain conditional admission and can enroll after a flexible two-to-five-year deferment period for professional experience.

Haas Dean Ann Harrison said Accelerated Access will attract students who previously might not have considered an MBA. “We have so much talent here in the Berkeley community,” Harrison said.  “This is another way that we are cultivating and committing to that talent.”

Bernstein has been introducing the program across campus in recent weeks, and says the early response has been enthusiastic.

“We believe that this program will increase the diversity of our class, compelling students from a wide variety of academic disciplines to consider an MBA—from students in environmental science who want to pursue careers in sustainability to engineering students who want to complement their technical skills with a business foundation,” she said.

Application fee waived
There are two application deadlines in the pilot cycle: Thursday, April 2, 2020 and Thursday, June 11, 2020. The application process is similar to that of the full-time MBA program. Requirements will include a resume, two letters of recommendation, two short essays, undergraduate transcripts, and either the GMAT or GRE standardized test. Applicants will also complete a required admissions interview.

Haas will waive the $200 application fee for UC Berkeley applicants this year. It will also make up to five $100,000 scholarship awards to celebrate the launch as well as the 10th anniversary of the Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself.  Embodiment of the principles will be among the criteria that are considered for the awards.

Shaibya Dalal earned a BA in political science in 2011 from Berkeley and returned in 2018 as a full-time MBA student. Dalal said she couldn’t be happier that she chose Cal twice.

“The MBA culture at Haas is incredibly collaborative—whether you need notes from a class, advice for your start-up, or even help moving furniture, you can rely on Haasies,” she said. “My peers are kind, generous, open-minded, and intellectually curious. Constantly being around such brilliant people has challenged and stimulated me in completely new ways.”

For more information about the program please email accelerate@haas.berkeley.edu.

The post Haas Launches Accelerated Access Deferred Admissions Program appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

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

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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User avatar
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Kellogg Future Leaders, a New Deferred Enrollment Program  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2020, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg Future Leaders, a New Deferred Enrollment Program
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This week, Kellogg School of Management announced the launch of its first deferred enrollment program, Kellogg Future Leaders. Open to all undergraduate seniors, this program offers students the chance to apply to Kellogg before graduation. (Master’s students who went directly into a graduate program from undergrad are also eligible.)

The school will hold a spot for anyone accepted into the program while they gain two to five years of professional experience. Then, these Kellogg future leaders return to campus ready to integrate into the full-time MBA program.

“As a part of your deferred enrollment, you’ll have access to premiere Kellogg resources and receive support from a dedicated admissions officer,” the school says.

Per the program’s webpage,  the application will open February 26, 2020. There is no fee to apply. Applications require a GMAT or GRE score unless you are an undergraduate of Northwestern University.

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Kellogg will require the TOEFL for English as a second language speakers, unless the university schooling was conducted entirely in English. In addition, the application will include brief essays, one recommendation letter, and an interview by invitation.

Also of note: Kellogg requires a $500 admissions deposit. Additionally, accepted candidates must pay $500 for each year of deferment.

Finally, applications for the Kellogg Future Leaders program are due on April 2, 2020. The admissions team will announce their decisions by May 20, 2020.

At SBC, our consulting team includes several experts in deferred MBA admissions programs. This includes the former Harvard Business School Associate Director of MBA Admissions, who helped launch the HBS 2+2 Program targeting college seniors.  Contact us for an initial free evaluation here.

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Financial Times Announces 2020’s Global MBA Ranking  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2020, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Financial Times Announces 2020’s Global MBA Ranking
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Despite the reported weakening demand for the MBA, in our experience, interest in top U.S. MBA programs remains strong. This week, the 2020 global MBA ranking announced by the Financial Times continued to show some volatility among the lower-ranked schools. However, the top ten remains well entrenched for another year.

After a four-year absence, Harvard Business School takes the top spot in the F.T. ranking, nudging Stanford down to 3rd place. Second-place Wharton School performed better this year after coming in 4th in 2019. Meanwhile, China Europe Business School (CEIBS) retained its position at 5th this year.

CEIBS performance in this latest ranking once again points to the growing strength of MBA providers in the Asia-Pacific region. GMAC had previously revealed applications from the area rose 8.9% in 2018, whereas U.S. demand dropped. In 2019, 73 percent of responding Chinese programs saw domestic application growth year-on-year, GMAC says.

The 2020 Global MBA Ranking Top Ten Programs
  • Harvard Business School
  • Wharton School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • INSEAD
  • CEIBS
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • London Business School
  • Columbia Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
Individual Strengths Highlighted in the 2020 Global MBA Ranking
Top school: HBS

Highest salary: Stanford GSB

Top for research: Wharton

Top for international mobility: IMD

Top for career service: Renmin University of China Business School

Highest salary increase: Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Most female faculty: U.C. at Irvine Merage

Top for international students: RSM Erasmus

The F.T. ranking weighs multiple different criteria. Salary and salary increase receive the most weight. Combined, it accounts for 40% of the ranking. Also, the ranking assesses each program’s research output, value for money, international mobility, and more. (See the Financial Times ranking methodology here.)

The mix of countries represented in this year’s Global MBA ranking is similar to 2019 and 2018. More than half of all ranked programs are in the U.S. Moreover, the gap between the top programs and everyone else appears to be growing. If the trend continues, we’ll likely see only a reshuffling at the top as a result.

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How the MBA Can Benefit Your Career  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2020, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How the MBA Can Benefit Your Career
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Business school graduates benefit from more than just a solid return on investment through substantial salary increases. They also deepen the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need for future professional success. Here are just four of the key career benefits of an MBA program.

Transferable Skills
Business school gives you new skills and knowledge that will turbocharge your career. MBA students often set their sights on a job in finance or consulting. But the hard and soft skills acquired during an MBA program can transfer to myriad other roles. Today’s MBAs work in tech, health care, consumer goods, government and nonprofits, and many other industries.

Dean Matthew Slaughter of Darmouth’s Tuck School of Business recently told 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.

An MBA strengthens your leadership ability, intellectual creativity, critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, and even greater IT mastery.  These skills will serve you well as you move toward your ultimate career goal.

You may start out at a financial firm such as Morgan Stanley and learn a tremendous amount about banking and analysis before deciding that it’s not a good fit, as happened with our client, May. She built upon those skills when she eventually became involved with running a business as a gourmet food importer.

B-school gives you a deeper understanding of the complexities of the business world. Those problem-solving skills mastered during your MBA will carry over to your next position, and the one after that, too.

(For more on the skills you will boost with an MBA degree, check out this story in MBA Crystal Ball. In it, Stacy shares some of the less apparent skills you should already have before starting business school.)

Higher Employment Rates
Increased job security with your current employer or within your current industry is another of the key career benefits of the MBA. The degree is also a powerful differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Recruiters have said that some of their corporate clients will not consider any candidate without an MBA.

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This shows just how much business leaders value this qualification. Employers believe it vets potential hires. You can safely assume a graduate from Harvard Business School or the Wharton School is going to bring considerable skills and business acumen to the job from day one.

Without a doubt, companies appreciate managers who have risen through the ranks, know the business inside and out, and can get the job done. But they also like hiring MBAs for their ability to handle complex situations.

They can act swiftly and adapt in the face of a rapidly changing global environment. As outsiders, MBA hires bring in a broad or fresh perspective. They see how to improve inefficiencies or come up with innovative solutions to business problems.

Degree Specializations
Many MBA programs offer specializations or concentrations that provide a deep dive into the nuances of a particular industry. Here, students can sample a few different career paths to see whether it’s a good fit before taking the plunge.

Adding a concentration is a good move for people who know exactly what they want to do with their careers. If you have a specific interest, such as digital marketing, real estate, business analytics, social innovation, health care, and so forth, earning an MBA with a concentration can make you even more marketable.

In today’s competitive job market, listing a concentration on your resume helps you stand out. Career switchers, however, would be better off focusing on a general business education instead.

Networking Opportunities
At business school, you’ll interact closely with talented individuals from all over the globe, which enhances the experience by exposing you to different business practices, cultures, and points of view.

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For many people, the connections you make are one of the most valuable career benefits of an MBA.  Make sure you capitalize on the opportunities in and out of the classroom during your MBA studies. Your alumni network helps you stay connected to the university as well as to countless professional opportunities you can tap into throughout your career.

When you’re spending two years of your life and paying more than $100,000, it’s the network of contacts you build that make your MBA experience genuinely priceless.

Main photo credit: Solent Creatives (CC BY 2.0)

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MBA for College Seniors: Which One to Choose?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2020, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA for College Seniors: Which One to Choose?
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Last week, two more top business schools—Kellogg and Berkeley Haas—joined the growing list of those positioning the MBA for college seniors through deferred enrollment programs. Did you know the consulting team at SBC has several deferred MBA program experts? This includes no less than the former HBS associate director of MBA admissions who helped launch the 2+2 Program.

Similar programs include the Chicago Booth Scholars Program and the MIT Sloan MBA Early Admission program. Columbia Business School also has a deferred enrollment program, as does Stanford Graduate School of Business. The HBS 2+2 Program has been around since 2007. Meanwhile, the Yale Silver Scholars program is even older, having launched in 2004.

(Take a look at our quick comparison chart to see the schools that target the MBA for college seniors, either as deferred admits or direct from undergrad.)

So, how do deferred MBA admissions programs work? 
You apply to these programs in the spring as a college senior (undergrad or grad). If accepted, you then work for two to four years to gain professional experience before starting the program.  Deferred MBA program admits can often access valuable networks and engage career resources within the university during the pre-MBA phase.

Now, what does it take to successfully apply?
College senior MBA applicants must demonstrate a high level of talent, academic strength, and promise if they hope to persuade a top-tier MBA program to take a chance on them. The key is to demonstrate maturity, highly focused career goals, leadership skills, and enough life experience to contribute to an incoming class.

Interested in learning more about deferred MBA programs for college seniors? Most deadlines hit in April. We are happy to offer a free initial evaluation to discuss your future business school plans. Get in touch and tap into the comprehensive, up-to-date industry insight the SBC consulting team provides.

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Preparing to Interview at HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2020, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Preparing to Interview at HBS
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On Tuesday, thousands of anxious round two applicants to Harvard Business School received news of their fate as interview invites and release decisions went out. Are you one of the lucky ones preparing to interview at HBS?

As admissions head Chad Losee revealed in December, HBS interviews roughly 1 in 5 applicants. Of those candidates, the school admits just over half. If you can successfully pass the hurdle that is the Harvard Business School interview, your chances of admission skyrocket.

“Remember that by receiving an invitation to interview, Admissions is essentially saying that you are a strong candidate for business school, and now they want to better understand what you’ll be like as a section mate and a member of the community.” (HBS’s 10 Application Tips for Members of the Military)

What to expect in a Harvard Business School interview
Unfortunately, you can’t predict which specific questions will come up during your interview. But, you can expect the types of questions to fall into three broad categories representing your past, present, and future. Keep these in mind while you’re preparing to interview at HBS.

The interviewer will probe in great depth about your career goals, professional choices, and interest in the MBA program. He or she will be very familiar with your essays — so familiar that your interviewer will seem determined to find a “hole” in your story.

The anecdotes you share about your past experiences — both successes and failures — will give the interviewer some insight into your self-awareness and maturity. Your story should reveal how you confront life choices, the values and principles that help you negotiate complex situations, your beliefs, and your worldview.

Expect to receive several questions during your Harvard Business School interview that will help your interviewer gauge how life has tested you, and how you responded to that test.

Expect probing questions when preparing to interview at HBS
Remember, your interviewer has already seen your application. Therefore, many of the questions you get will leverage what he or she knows about you from your essays. While preparing to interview at HBS, think about specific questions, such as:

Why did you make a particular career choice?

If there’s a single characteristic that summarizes what the admissions team looks for in successful candidates, it would be leadership potential. Provide concrete examples and tangible evidence that you achieved something significant by leading others.

Why do you want to go to HBS?

Show that you’ve done your homework on the program, whether you’ve interviewed students, alumni, and professors, sat in on classes or regularly read several student and professor’s blogs.

Share how HBS can help you achieve your post-business-school goals. It is also important to give insights into your personal and unique motives for choosing HBS.

What books are you reading?

When preparing to interview at HBS, don’t disregard this one as a throw-away question. It offers your interviewer more insight into what you value and who you are — provided you present a thoughtful answer. It’s OK to diverge from being all business; in fact, it’s often better to reveal some other interests.

Why did you major in Art History (or your particular major)?

These sorts of questions provide an opportunity to reveal your motives, thought processes, and values.

Dress rehearsal is a must
Practicing the answers to potential interview questions out loud is very different than rehearsing them mentally.  Don’t let the interview be the first time you tell your stories out loud. Do a mock interview with a trusted friend or even alone in front of a mirror.

Rehearsing will make you feel calm and come off as more polished during the actual interview, and the conversation will flow in a much more relaxed way.

Be prepared to ask questions
Unlike most other MBA interview formats, not all interviewers encourage applicants to ask questions at the end. However, you should prepare for the possibility. Come armed with a brief list of questions that highlight your knowledge of and interest in the school. If interviewing with an alum, ask questions about their experience at the school.

Don’t panic over the post-interview reflection
The “post-interview reflection” has no official word limit and is due within 24 hours of the interview. Former MBA admissions director Dee Leopold likened this assignment to an email follow-up you might send after a meeting.

The admissions team wants to know how the interviewee perceives the interview experience. They want to see how you synthesize and digest the exchange. Additionally, they want to determine how well you can communicate without the luxury of extensive rewrites and time to polish your answer.

Though the point of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to think and work quickly, you should plan what you might write about in advance. Before you go into the interview, make a list of three or four aspects of your application you either want to highlight or reinforce in this post-interview reflection. Don’t spend a lot of time writing. While there’s no strict word limit, resist the temptation to recap every point and question.

Don’t use this essay to explain every negative moment from the interview. Likewise, don’t overload the reader with information you fear your interview didn’t convey. Again, keep the email model in mind. Corral the diverse points from the conversation into a short, readable piece that helps emphasize your strengths.

Admissions professionals often say that an MBA interview won’t get you in, but it might keep you out. As you’re preparing to interview at HBS, use these tips to boost your chances.

***

Did you know that Stacy Blackman Consulting offers MBA interview prep services? Learn more about SBC’s All-In Interview Prep Package. With it, you’ll practice with our pros and leverage our extensive resources in order to shine.

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The Positive Power of Regret  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2020, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Positive Power of Regret
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This knowledge nugget comes to you courtesy of the Blacklight. Enjoy!
You gotta love Scottie P. from the We’re the Millers, with his credo “no ragrets.” While it sounds bold and aspirational, in reality, most of us do harbor some kind of regret. Maybe you wish you had chosen a different major in college or had pursued a different career path. Or, perhaps you wonder how life might have turned out if you were still with “the one that got away.”

We often imagine that things could have turned out better if only we had made the wiser choice back at that fork in the road. Do you find yourself stuck in a loop, rehashing old decisions? Do you feel paralyzed by the fear that you might make the same mistake twice? If so, it’s time to reframe your thinking because regret can serve a positive purpose in our lives if we let it.

It can keep you on your toes
INSEAD professor Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries thinks we need to make friends with regret. We can’t change the past, so the challenge, he says, is using that disappointment to inform how we react and how we’ll live in the future.

As psychologist Dr. Leon F. Seltzer points out, you first need to understand the dysfunctional thinking that led to the regrettable behavior. He gives the example of a person acting rashly in the past because they had poor impulse control. If this problem continues, stop and consider the consequences before taking action in the heat of the moment. What steps could you take now so that a level head prevails over your future behavior?

Sometimes, anxieties about failure or rejection immobilize us, Seltzer notes. Then we regret letting an important opportunity or a relationship slip away due to our fears. Once you process and learn from those experiences, he says you’ll feel motivated to stay on guard against repeating that behavior in the future.

Make peace with regret
Kathryn Shulz, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at The New Yorker, has a great Ted Talk called Don’t Regret Regret—and like Scottie P, her tattoo plays a starring role. She suggests we do three things to make our peace with regret. First, take comfort from the fact that it’s a universal human experience. We’ve all made foolish decisions at some point in our lives. How many of you can relate to a cringe-worthy accidental “reply all” email moment?

Next, we need to lighten up. Humor has a proven medicinal effect. “All of us who’ve experienced regret that contains real pain and real grief understand that humor and even black humor plays a crucial role in helping us survive. It connects the poles of our lives back together, the positive and the negative, and it sends a little current of life back into us,” Shulz says.

Finally, her sage remedy for the pain of regret is the good ol’ passage of time. “We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them,” she urges. “Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.”

If we don’t let regret rule us, it can teach us some pretty valuable life lessons. Regret will lead to positive change and growth if you allow it. “The point isn’t to live without any regrets,” Shulz notes. “The point is to not hate ourselves for having them.”

***

Did you enjoy this post about reframing regret?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we aim 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 goalposts closer, sign up today!

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The Case for Deferred Admission at Chicago Booth  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2020, 14:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Case for Deferred Admission at Chicago Booth
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Regular blog readers have noticed the growing number of elite business schools targeting college seniors. Returning to the subject, the Chicago Booth School of Business recently shared what it calls the top five advantages for undergrads considering a deferred admission program. Whether you’re targeting the Chicago Booth Scholars program or one offered at another top business school, their reasoning is universal.

Reason 1: It reduces stress later on down the line.
It’s much easier to study for the GMAT or GRE and craft those compelling essays while you’re still fresh and in student mode. If you can get the stress of the MBA application process out of the way early on, “You can focus on getting the most out of your professional and personal experiences post-college,” says the Booth admissions team.

Reason 2: You decide when you’re ready to earn your MBA.
We often field questions from potential applicants wondering whether now is the right time for their MBA. Chicago Booth notes that having up to four years to explore professional roles and experiences provides flexibility in your professional timeline. When you’re ready, Booth welcomes you back into whichever program best complements your goals. (Choose from either the full-time, evening or weekend format.)

Reason 3: You can grow your professional network right away. 
Similar to other deferred admission programs, once accepted, you’ll have immediate access to the 54,000+ people in the Booth network. As the Booth admissions team explains, admits have access to regular networking events throughout the year. Here, you’ll meet and network with other Booth Scholars, as well as current students and alumni.

Reason 4: You’ll have access to career services and professional development opportunities.
Finding that first job after graduation can be stressful. “Booth Scholars receive quarterly professional development opportunities, both virtual and in-person,” says the Booth admissions team. Also, deferred admission scholars play a role in influencing what professional development sessions Booth offers. “You have the ability to let us know what you’d like help with as you grow in your professional roles,” they add.

Reason 5: You’ll have the freedom to explore your career options. 
Many b-school hopefuls—especially younger applicants—struggle with the question of addressing their career goals. They know they want an MBA, but they haven’t yet clearly defined what their goals are. For deferred admission candidates, that’s totally okay! You can use those pre-MBA years to forge your own career path. “In other words,” the Booth adcomm explains, “your path doesn’t have to be set in stone when you apply.”

(In addition to these five compelling reasons to consider a deferred admission program, note that Chicago Booth also waives the application fee for Booth Scholars applicants.)

***

Interested in learning more about deferred admission programs for college seniors? Most deadlines hit in early April. We are happy to offer a free initial evaluation to discuss your future business school plans. Get in touch and tap into the comprehensive, up-to-date industry insight the SBC consulting team provides.

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MBA Scholarship Trends at M7 Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2020, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Scholarship Trends at M7 Schools
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/woman-3261425_1920-734x489.jpg[/img]
Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how you will [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/paying-for-your-mba-with-fellowships-scholarships/]pay for it[/url]. We have witnessed a substantial increase in financial incentives offered to admitted applicants we’ve worked with this past admissions season. For that reason, we wanted to share our observations about current MBA scholarship trends at M7 schools.

An MBA is a long-term investment. Fortunately, business schools want to work with students to find a solution to financing the expense.  Indeed, schools have always prioritized financial incentives to attract the best students to their programs.

MBA scholarship trends point to a sustained upswing over the last decade. The incremental increase we’ve observed is due in part to the rise in funding of advocacy groups. This primarily includes the [url=https://cgsm.org/]Consortium[/url] (committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion in business education) and [url=http://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer]Forte Foundation[/url] (for women MBA applicants).  Over the past few years, these organizations have boosted their scholarship support via their partner MBA programs.

MBA Scholarship Trends at M7 Schools
Among our clients, we’ve seen an annual increase of about 10 percent in scholarship awards over the past three years. It’s worth noting, however, that Stacy Blackman Consulting has seen full scholarship awards for many years—even before MBA demand trends changed.

A scholarship signals that the school wants you and believes you would add something truly special to their cohort. It does not signal desperation.

If we saw MBA programs consistently matching awards or increasing the awards because of concern of losing the candidate, it would be some evidence that schools are using scholarships to offset application decline and fill their student spots. But, this isn’t the case for the top 20 MBA programs.

Therefore, applicants shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking the top business schools are using scholarship money to combat application decline. Their intention is not to throw money at applicants until they say yes.

[url=https://gph.is/2wNpo5P][img]https://media.giphy.com/media/lptjRBxFKCJmFoibP3/giphy.gif[/img][/url]

MBA Scholarship Trends for SBC Clients
Our client pool received $4.8 million in scholarship dollars last season. About 20-25% of SBC clients receive scholarship packages ranging between $10,000 to full-ride offers valued at $200,000.  When we analyze the profiles of our scholarship admit clients, we find that reasons for the scholarship offer that are always explained by the high quality of the applicant.

For the top schools, scholarships are about trying to attract highly-desirable students. We have had countless clients who received merit scholarships from 2+ schools upon admit notification.

Some programs have a reputation for generosity with their MBA scholarship offers. For example, Kellogg is often generous with scholarships because it competes with Chicago Booth admits due to geographic proximity.  To illustrate, a recent client received $120,000 from Chicago Booth and a full ride from Kellogg School of Management.

Overall, Kellogg, UCLA Anderson School of Management, and NYU Stern School of Business have the highest per recipient award value, per the bar graph below. The bar graph shows the average award amount per program for our client pool of scholarship recipients for the 2018-2019 year.

MBA Scholarships Don’t Always Lure Admits
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/Money-on-a-Hook-734x527.jpg[/img]

As Stacy shared with the business news site [url=https://poetsandquants.com/2020/02/10/mba-scholarships-at-record-levels-with-awards-as-high-as-200k/]Poets & Quants[/url] for their recent article on MBA scholarship trends, money—even vast sums— doesn’t always seal the deal. In 2019, we worked with a female applicant admitted to seven of the world’s top MBA programs. She had a 740 GMAT score and a 3.6 GPA, with an undergrad degree in engineering from a liberal arts school on the east coast.

She is a caucasian, from the U.S. and working in urban planning, a non-traditional industry for an MBA student. Here’s what each school offered to entice her to attend:

[list]
[*]NYU Stern—full-ride scholarship[/*]
[*]Chicago Booth—$110,000[/*]
[*]Dartmouth Tuck—$100,000[/*]
[*]Kellogg School—$90,000[/*]
[*]Columbia Business School—$90,000[/*]
[*]Duke Fuqua—$80,000[/*]
[/list]
Her MBA application defined her leadership style within a male-dominated workplace. It also showcased her grasp of the strategic trends in the urban planning industry. She has had a lifelong passion for urban planning, and she wrote about how multiple aspects of her life represented a ‘path less traveled’. As you can surmise, her overall application made her one of the most desirable candidates this year.

But despite the lure of a combined $620,000 in scholarship awards, she ended up turning down all of those offers. The reason? She was also admitted to Harvard Business School—her number-one choice.  Even though HBS only offered $20,000 in a need-based award, she chose Harvard because of its networks, global brand, and academic experience.

Can You Negotiate MBA Scholarships?
Sometimes, applicants receive drastically different scholarship amounts for two or more programs. They may receive a financial award for one school but nothing for another. In this case, you might consider contacting the adcomm to explain your situation.

We don’t recommend naming the competing institution, sharing your offer letter, or making demands. Instead, reach out to the admissions office to reiterate your keen interest in attending their program. Then, ask if it’s possible to be considered for a higher scholarship amount (or any scholarship amount) because you now have another admit offer and financial incentive on the table.

While most clients actually don’t have luck negotiating for significantly more money or a scholarship match, if handled professionally, you really have nothing to lose.  One of our consultants, a former admissions officer at Chicago Booth, says, “My experience at Booth is that if you weren’t offered a scholarship at the time of admission, it was very rarely given after the fact.”

On balance, there is still fierce competition for fellowship and scholarship dollars. Applicants need to present a strong pitch for why he or she deserves a coveted spot in the program. That pitch needs to be clear and compelling enough to generate both an admit outcome and scholarship generosity, which is the gold standard that we seek for many of our clients.

The post [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/mba-scholarship-trends-m7-schools/]MBA Scholarship Trends at M7 Schools[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com]Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting[/url].

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MBA Advice for Couples  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2020, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Advice for Couples
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/MBA-as-a-couple.jpeg[/img]

Does the couple that studies together really have more fun?  In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing MBA advice for couples considering applying to business school.
For some professional couples, there comes a time when both partners realize that pursuing an MBA degree is the key to exploring new career paths. However, the MBA admissions process is challenging enough for one person. Couples face additional considerations as they figure out their priorities and application strategy.

Finding an MBA program that meets your needs must mesh with your partner’s preferences as well.  This is one of the hardest parts of applying jointly to business school. You’ll want to avoid any unwelcome compromises or resentments that might damage your relationship. Start by making a list of target programs where you both will be thrilled to study.

Here are tips to help you and your partner successfully navigate the application process and chart your course for career growth together.

MBA Advice for Couples: School Selection
No two candidates – even couples – are alike when it comes to test scores, leadership experiences, professional background, or extracurricular interests. Before applying to b-school, make sure each application is competitive. Unfortunately, the strength of one candidate won’t compensate for an unqualified partner.

In addition to applying to the same set of schools, couples can expand their range of options by focusing on cities or regions where both would thrive. Think in terms of applying to schools in the same area.

For example, you might apply to [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/nyu-stern/]NYU Stern[/url] and [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/columbia-business-school/]Columbia[/url] in New York City, or the [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/upenn-wharton/]Wharton School[/url] in nearby Philadelphia. West coast fans can consider [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/stanford-graduate-school-of-business/]Stanford Graduate School of Business[/url] or [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/uc-berkeley-haas-school-of-business/]UC Berkeley Haas[/url] in the Bay Area.

Other possibilities include [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/harvard-business-school/]Harvard Business School[/url] or the [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/mit-sloan/]MIT Sloan School of Management[/url] in the Boston area. In the Chicago area, options include the [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/northwestern-kellogg/]Kellogg School of Management[/url] or [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/mba-application-advice/chicago-booth/]Booth School of Business[/url].

A smart strategy for couples open to this option is applying to identical schools in Round 1. Then, expand to nearby schools in Round 2 as a backup plan.

Campus visits are also essential for couples. Take the time to get a good feel for each school and connect with current married or partnered students who can provide insight into their own application experiences. These resources can give you a better sense of how accepting the school is of joint applicants.

MBA Advice for Couples: Timing Your Applications
It may go without saying, but you should both apply in the same round. This makes the decision much easier when you know whether you both got in.

Also, if possible, apply in the first round to leave some wiggle room, if needed. The MBA application process can become all-consuming. With two people balancing full-time jobs with test prep and essay writing, you might find that one of you is struggling and needs extra time to pull together the best possible application.

A different approach for couples who know the region or city they ultimately want to work in is to stagger your MBA enrollment. One person continues to work while the other goes to business school. Then, the other person enrolls in an MBA program once their partner has graduated.

MBA Advice for Couples: Loop in the AdCom Up Front
Admissions committee members are compassionate human beings, not mere number crunchers. If both applicants are qualified to attend and are a good fit with the program, the admissions committee will usually try to keep couples together.

Some schools explicitly ask in the application if you’re applying jointly with a partner. But even if they don’t, it’s essential to share that information with the admissions committee. This is crucial if the rejection of one applicant means the partner wouldn’t attend if accepted. Both you and your partner should use the supplemental essay to explain that you’re part of a package deal.

Also, make the admissions team aware of your joint application intentions as early as possible. When attending events on the road or on campus, touch base with representatives to explain your situation. Show them why you and your partner would make an excellent fit for their program.

 Your relationship status will likely come into play when the admissions committee is hesitant about just one of you. If the school feels that one candidate is outstanding and knows that he or she will only attend if the partner also gets in, chances are good that both will receive admissions offers.

MBA Advice for Couples: Enjoy the Ride

An MBA is an emotionally intense and enriching experience. One of the best things about attending business school as a couple is witnessing each other’s growth in this unique environment. That, and taking pride in each other’s accomplishments.

“Our time at HBS has brought us closer together,” said Kate Kingen and Patrick Garrison in this Harvard Business School [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/blog/post/applying-to-business-school-as-a-couple]blog post[/url]. “We met while working after college, so we did not know each other as students. Having the opportunity to learn, grow, travel, and meet a whole new set of people has been a wonderful new chapter in our relationship together.”

From the support you can give each other during the application process to coming home at the end of each day during the degree process to share and debate your respective classroom experiences, going to business school with your partner may turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made for both your career and personal life.

The post [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/mba-advice-couples/]MBA Advice for Couples[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com]Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting[/url].

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Write a Winning MBA Personal Statement  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2020, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Write a Winning MBA Personal Statement
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The majority of candidates who apply to the leading business schools are bright, personable overachievers. Honestly, they would be an asset to any program. That’s why when it comes to the MBA personal statement, you need to think beyond your obvious achievements.

Unleash your inner storyteller
Tell a compelling story if you hope to stand out amid the thousands of essays read by the admissions team each year. Make sure your personality comes through. The admissions team should get a real sense of who you are. They should also understand why you want to attend X program. So, think beyond your obvious achievements. You can differentiate yourself by highlighting the most compelling, memorable stories and experiences.

Fair warning: The admissions team is adept at sussing out applicants who have merely switched out the school name from another MBA personal statement. Don’t be that applicant!

As Stacy Blackman recently shared with Find MBA, perhaps the worst thing you can do in a personal statement is a chronological recap of the resume. That, and submit an essay that lacks emotion, personality or self-disclosure. You have to get personal (hence the name “personal statement”). Make sure the reader feels genuineness and authenticity.

MBA Personal Statement at HBS and Stanford
“The personal narrative really is a make or break for MBA admit success,” says a former Harvard Business School admissions officer on the SBC consulting team. “It is the essay execution that sets the overall application apart and earns it the interview.”

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

“The reader should feel so moved they want to meet you immediately – can’t wait to get to know you better, hear more of the story, ask you specific questions to learn more, be inspired, etc,” shares one of the former HBS admissions officers on the SBC team.

Same logic goes for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Understanding Stanford’s culture and academics will help you tailor your MBA personal statement. Before starting, talk to Stanford students and alumni. Visit campus to see the Stanford community first hand.

As far as what constitutes a winning MBA personal statement for Stanford, one of SBC’s former GSB admissions officers says, “GSB is looking for people who will make a big difference AND have a better shot than most in being able to execute. Stanford GSB students also seem to have this ‘X’ factor associated with them. Almost like an ‘unexpected’ trait, talent, or experience.”

The MBA personal statement for Stanford is about diving deep into what motivates you, and why. Topics can range from personal history to big picture visions of the future. Steer clear of explicitly career-related topics and note that the strongest essays are likely not career oriented at all.

No one’s story is quite like yours
When evaluating your candidacy, admissions teams will look for evidence in your MBA personal statement that shows you have a unique perspective that will add something new to the classroom.

Remember, you are not just your resume. You are the white spaces in between.  You are the transitions that got you from A to B and that will get you from B to B-school.  So celebrate who you are, if you want an admissions director to do the same.

Image credit: Eric at Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Ace Your Haas MBA Video Interview  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2020, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ace Your Haas MBA Video Interview
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Earlier this month, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business announced it will forgo in-person interviews for applicants to its Evening & Weekend MBA program. Instead, applicants will submit answers via a Haas MBA video interview.

Candidates will respond with 1-2 minute answers to two specific questions. For the first question, you’ll share why you’re pursuing an MBA and why Haas is the best fit. The second question asks you to share a leadership experience.

To understand how to complete this new Haas MBA video essay format successfully, Jenny Clare, associate director of admissions, shared these tips:

  • Don’t be nervous; it’s a relatively straightforward process as long as you practice with the technology ahead of time.
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection.
  • Think about your topics and answers ahead of time; practice speaking comfortably and naturally.
  • Remember: the video essay is just one part of the application.
The adcom will be assessing applicants’ verbal communication skills, personality, and more. As a result of this new Haas MBA video format, the team will have a better feel for your personality as well.

Clare explains the simple reason for the switch to a video platform. “It’s a much shorter time commitment,” she says. “We know you’re busy. You don’t need to find time in the middle of your workday to come to campus.”

SBC Video Prep Service
For many applicants, this new format requires some rehearsal to become comfortable conversing with a computer screen. Stacy Blackman Consulting has an online video platform that grants you unlimited practice doing precisely this. You can answer from a comprehensive menu of questions, record yourself, watch and assess, tweak, and try again.

Invest 30 minutes a night and reap the benefits of increased comfort level and more articulate answers when you have your live interview. You can even choose an interview to submit to the SBC team for review and professional written feedback.

Set yourself up for success with this small investment and rock your video interviews! Purchase your package here today.

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MBA Consultants are Worth it When Applying to Elite Schools  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2020, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Consultants are Worth it When Applying to Elite Schools
The debate over whether MBA consultants are worth it is on the minds of countless MBA applicants. We are proud to be the only firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs.

Image

As we recently shared with MBA Insight, here are the three key factors to consider when evaluating whether MBA consultants are worth it:

  • Assess the caliber of the admissions consultant team— vast differences exist across even the leading firms
  • Check online reviews to validate quality, track record, and service
  • Look at the scope of services to assess what firm resources, if any, you’ll have access to
Assess the caliber: MBA consultants are worth it only if the consultant team has experience in MBA admissions from the top programs.
The stakes are high in engaging an MBA admissions consulting partner.  Applicants want to get it right the first time with admit success.  In recent years, MBA admissions firms have grown their teams to include former Admissions Officers (AdCom) from the elite MBA programs.

These former-Adcom-turned-MBA-consultants have closely-guarded, insider knowledge of how committees make admit, and ding decisions.

Working with a respected consulting team allows you to leverage the database of knowledge of a collected group of experts. Together, they have experience with thousands of clients in programs across the globe. Input from one friend who applied, or even someone who attended the school, provides only a limited snapshot.

Check online reviews to assess quality—but know that reviews can be biased
MBA consultants are worth it for applicants aiming for elite business schools. Applicants find that the skills, expertise, and support of a quality MBA consulting partner is invaluable. Here’s snapshot of how SBC ranks across several leading industry sources. Also, check out MBA Insight’s latest ranking of SBC based on reviews submitted. Then, check other review sites as well to offset the risk of possibly-biased or fake reviews.

Verify the scope of services offered
Have you ever booked an all-inclusive resort, and then felt disappointed by the limits and caveats? The same thing can happen with the so-called “comprehensive” engagements offered by some MBA admissions firms.

First, ask about whether the comprehensive model is truly unlimited by time. Also, find out if there’s a thorough matchmaking process. Will you have access to other consultants/resources at the firm?

Too often, MBA applicants get stuck in a tunnel-vision relationship with just one consultant. As a result, they aren’t able to benefit from the firm’s complete resources because of contract fine print.

(See what Crush the GRE says about our service scope and how it stacks up against the competitors.)

In the final analysis, what sets SBC apart is that we have high standards for ourselves and you. We know what it takes to be successful, and we’re excited to help you reach your goals. If you are curious about working with an admissions consultant, we invite you to contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for a free consultation about your candidacy today.

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Are These 3 Bad Habits Holding You Back?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2020, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Are These 3 Bad Habits Holding You Back?
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Today’s poor choices can morph into tomorrow’s bad habits. Research from a classic study on habit formation found that it takes just over two months on average for an action to become habitual. That’s not long in the span of your career to end up reinforcing behaviors that can sabotage your professional success.

Do you feel like you’re not maximizing your full potential at work? Review the three common bad habits below that trip up many employees.

Never taking breaks
Many think working straight through the day without pausing for breaks as a badge of honor. Yet while it may be counter-intuitive, taking more breaks has been scientifically linked to improved productivity.

Research from Tony Schwartz revealed that every 90 minutes, people experience a natural shift from feeling focused and energetic to feeling physiologically fatigued. When you experience this predictable energy drop, your body is telling you that it’s time to pause from your work.

Unfortunately, many people opt to ignore the red flag and soldier on. They think a “nose to the grindstone” approach will accomplish more work more quickly. The reason this is so foolish is that many studies have proven the value of work breaks for greater productivity as well as creativity.

Breaks not only restore motivation; they also lead to more frequent “aha moments.” When you periodically refresh and recharge, you regain the needed perspective for innovative problem-solving.

Failing to plan
To set the tone for what you want to accomplish, you must plan ahead. If you leave what happens to chance, it’s easy for this bad habit to slide into a pattern of last-minute sloppy thinking. A lack of proactive planning also leaves your schedule a virtual blank slate for others to write on.

To avoid this, Harvard University suggests developing a simple morning ritual. As part of your ritual, you can map out three key goals for your workday. Use them to guide your priorities.

If you’re unclear about what your most critical goals should be, expand your planning time. Try carving out 30-60 minutes each week to identify your priorities. A dedicated goal review—in which you write down what you plan to accomplish in the upcoming week—will help you start off Monday on the right foot.

Personalizing every interaction
As you go about your workday, you’re likely to encounter a wide range of inputs and responses from people, both in-person and via email or social media. Encounters with teammates can throw you off course if you take everything people say and do as a personal commentary on you and the job you’re doing.

Approach collaborative work knowing that people may express their views in ways that seem personal but aren’t. When in question about the tone of a message, give colleagues the benefit of the doubt.

Imagine someone walks by in the hall but doesn’t greet you. Don’t assume ill will or a personal grudge against you. Instead, brush it off to busyness and keep your thoughts positive. Doing the opposite can quickly turn into a habit of negative thinking.

While you may not be the boss in your office, you’re fully in charge of the habits you create. And the ones you break. Developing self-awareness about your own workplace patterns and habits, and being willing to modify behaviors that don’t serve you, can help steer your career in the right direction.

***

Did you enjoy this post about breaking bad habits?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we aim 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 goalposts closer, sign up today!

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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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Are These 3 Bad Habits Holding You Back?   [#permalink] 24 Feb 2020, 10:01

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