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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Addressing Round 3 Deadline Dilemmas  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2020, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Addressing Round 3 Deadline Dilemmas
The round 3 deadline window is nearly upon us. While the final round is the biggest gamble of the application cycle, schools have that round for a reason. Typically, they use it to admit those stellar students that add something special to their classes.

Successful applicants might have unusual work experience, substantial community service, a diverse background, compelling leadership examples, unique or uncommon interests outside of business, or entrepreneurial success of some sort.

Here’s a sampling of reactions from the admissions teams at well-ranked MBA programs on whether round 3 is a viable option for applicants.

UV Darden School of Business
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The round 3 deadline at Darden is coming up on April 6, 2020. With that in mind, the adcom addressed a few common myths on their admissions blog earlier this month.  Like most schools, Darden welcomes strong applicants to apply in the later round. They understand personal circumstances may have prevented you from applying sooner.

However, they would like to know more about what those reasons were. Darden suggests applicants use the Additional Comments section to explain your application timing. “This is really useful information for the Admissions Committee and can help provide context for your story and timeline,” writes Darden’s Maggie Dodson.

Candidates applying during the round 3 deadline should also know that Darden still offers merit scholarships to later applicants. But, the school has a finite amount of money to award, and naturally, there is less available later in the cycle.

Finally, the school has an answer for MBA hopefuls who are on the fence and wonder whether they should wait until next year. “If you have the time and resources, there is almost no reason not to apply,” Dodson writes.

On the one hand, if you do gain admission in the third round, you get to start your MBA program this fall—a full year earlier than if you had waited. If, on the other hand, you get dinged, there’s still value in going through the process.

“If you are not admitted, you will have a sense of how to strengthen your application for the upcoming cycle, and you will have several months before our Early Action round to do so,” Dodson notes.

Michigan Ross School of Business
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The Ross School is especially welcoming to later applicants—perhaps more so than other schools. “We specifically reserve spots in our class for Round 3 applicants,” admissions director Soojin Kwon explains.

“In fact, we find some of our best students, academically and leadership-wise, are admitted during Round 3 each year.” Likewise, the Ross School reserves scholarship dollars for this group.

The round 3 deadline at Ross is coming up on March 30. For those asking themselves whether they should apply now or wait until next year, Kwon is optimistic about the workload that awaits in these final weeks before the deadline. “If you’re asking yourself this question, it likely means that you’ve already started the application process,” she predicts.

The Ross application asks for only one letter of recommendation, and the essays are short and direct, says Kwon. “Remember, there’s no chance of being admitted if you don’t apply,” she adds.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business
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The round 3 deadline at Duke Fuqua is coming up fast— it’s on March 11, 2020. Similar to Darden, for the adcom at Fuqua, it’s vital that you explain the reasoning behind your decision to apply in the third round.

As this myth-busting post from 2019 explains, they see many common reasons for a late-round application. Maybe you delayed your application while you worked to improve your GMAT or GRE score. Perhaps an all-consuming project at work made applying earlier impossible.

“Or perhaps it’s simply an epiphany you had recently about where you want to be in the next two to five years,” Allison Jameson, assistant dean of admissions, writes. “Whatever the case, make it clear in the application what that catalyst was and why this timing is right.”

Yale School of Management
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“I often get asked if it makes sense to apply in Round 3,” Assistant Dean for Admissions Bruce DelMonico wrote in this 2019 blog post. “While it is consistently our smallest round, we do still receive very strong applicants who end up gaining admission and becoming strong contributors to our community.”

DelMonico echoes advice we tell our clients: only apply when your application is as compelling as possible. You must feel ready to take on the rigors of an elite MBA program.  Make sure you’re crystal clear on why the degree makes sense for you professionally and personally.

He also reminds those who apply in the final round that they must be ready to begin their MBA just a few months after receiving an offer of admission. In other words, get ready to uproot everything with little time to spare.

With that said, “If you apply Round 3 and your decision is not favorable, no harm done. We encourage those students to refine their applications and reapply the next year,” DelMonico explains.

The round 3 deadline at Yale SOM is coming up on April 14, 2020.

SBC’s advice for applicants targeting the round 3 deadline
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You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply. You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.

With fewer slots available, fine-tune your focus on schools where you’ll be a compelling candidate. A robust and well-thought-out application is critical. Make sure your academic profile aligns with the school’s median GMAT and average GPA. Also, consider whether you add something special to the class that the admissions committee didn’t see earlier in the season.

Standing out from the pack is imperative, and never more so than when applying later in the game. If you want to do well in the admissions process, you have to communicate who you are, not just what you do.

Finally, it’s essential to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. You can always apply to a set of schools in round 3, knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new options next season.

The post Addressing Round 3 Deadline Dilemmas appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Erika James Named Dean of the Wharton School  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2020, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Erika James Named Dean of the Wharton School
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The search for a new dean to take the reins at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has come to an end. Today, the school announced that Erika James would step into the role effective July 1, 2020.

When announcing the appointment, Penn President Amy Gutmann praised James as “a passionate and visible champion of the power of business and business education to positively transform communities locally, nationally, and globally.”

James made history in 2014 when she became the first black, female dean of a business school at Emory Goizueta. The Penn announcement highlights James’s impact at Goizueta, which includes growing faculty by 25% during her first term.

She also expanded corporate engagement through the creation of a research-based corporate think tank. James also introduced and led an effort to build an innovation and entrepreneurship lab open to all students on campus.

Before her deanship, she served as the senior associate dean for executive education at the Darden School of Business. In that role, she worked closely with faculty to reimagine executive education and lifelong learning opportunities.

“Erika has consistently and constructively drawn upon her own scholarship in the areas of leadership development, organizational behavior, gender, and racial diversity, and crisis leadership,” said Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett.

Her insights into human behavior have fostered a work culture that allows people to thrive personally and professionally, he added.

Education and Awards
Erika James holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California. In addition to her roles at Emory and UVA, she has served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School.

The Consortium, an organization committed to increasing diversity in business, starting with graduate school admissions, awarded James with its Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Award.  Black Enterprise has named James one of the Top Ten Women of Power in Education. Ebony Magazine, meanwhile, lists James as one of the Power 100.

James will succeed Geoff Garrett, who will become dean of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

source: UPenn Wharton School

The post Erika James Named Dean of the Wharton School appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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SBC’s Insider Intel on INSEAD Admissions  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SBC’s Insider Intel on INSEAD Admissions
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Lately, we’ve seen growing interest in top-ranked European business school INSEAD—and not just among international applicants. The school has raised its profile among U.S. applicants, too. Just this week, INSEAD opened its San Francisco campus, the school’s first permanent facility in North America. Today we’re welcoming Lucy, a new member to the SBC consulting team, with a Q&A to help applicants better understand the INSEAD admissions process.  Lucy served as an MBA Admissions Officer at INSEAD’s Europe Campus in Fontainebleau, France.

During her tenure, she was the primary contact for MBA candidates based in Latin America and Singapore. Lucy advised applicants daily throughout the admissions process, from submission to final decision.

She was also in charge of INSEAD’s alumni interviewers in those regions to successfully pair them with applicants at the interview stage. Lucy later joined the Alumni teams as well as the Student Office to prepare visa applications for newly admitted MBA participants, giving her a good grasp of a student’s journey at INSEAD.

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Welcome to the SBC consulting team, Lucy!

Lucy truly enjoyed her time helping MBA candidates and remains an enthusiastic ambassador for what is known as The Business School for the World.

Q: What are the qualities of INSEAD’s program that applicants appreciated the most? 
A: The INSEAD MBA is an appealing program for several reasons. Professionals value the accelerated 10-month curriculum. It offers a truly international experience with participants from all over the world. Then, there’s the exceptional quality of the faculty.  Students in the January intake have the option to do an internship. INSEAD also offers the possibility to study on 2 different campuses (Europe and Asia). Finally, the reputation of the school is outstanding and consistently top-ranked in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.

Q: Tell us, what did you love about INSEAD?
A: The work environment mainly, which is fantastic. So are the staff and facilities. In Europe, the campus is on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest and provides many advantages. For example, there are many outdoor activities available, especially in the spring/summer. Also, the campus has an indoor gym; a hotel; a mail service; a great library, and other study areas.

Not to mention, the cafeteria provides meals as diverse as the student body! There are also many on-campus events and conferences with various speakers for all members of the INSEAD community staff, students and faculty.

Q: Turning to the INSEAD admissions process, were there any common mistakes you saw in the applications?
A: Commons mistakes are applying with a GMAT or a TOEFL that is too low; putting English as a native language when it clearly isn’t; sending an incomplete application; and applying without a clear goal in mind.

Applicants often don’t read communications and requirements properly—or they read them too rapidly. It’s important to carefully take into consideration the information that is given by the admissions team directly or on the INSEAD website.

Q: Finally, what is the one thing you would recommend for applicants to INSEAD to communicate in their application essays? 
A: To truly be themselves, clearly explain their story, what their goal is and how can the INSEAD MBA help them achieve it. And to mention what they can bring to the program and the INSEAD community.

***

Thanks for sharing those insider tidbits with our readers, Lucy! If you would like a leg up with the INSEAD admissions process, contact us today to set up a complimentary analysis of your MBA candidacy.

The post SBC’s Insider Intel on INSEAD Admissions appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Kelley School to Offer 5 STEM-Designated MBA Degrees  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2020, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kelley School to Offer 5 STEM-Designated MBA Degrees
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The Kelley School of Business joins the growing ranks of top business schools embracing all things STEM. Kelley has announced it will now offer STEM-designated MBA degrees in five disciplines.

As of this spring, MBAs with majors in accounting, business analytics, finance, marketing, and supply chain and operations will carry the special designation of being Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math certified.

Besides helping all students remain competitive, Kelley says the designation offers particular benefits to international students. Namely, STEM MBA graduates can opt to work longer in positions related to their studies at U.S. firms after graduation.

“The digital economy permeates every aspect of society and across many industries today,” said  Kelley School dean Idalene “Idie” Kesner. She noted that recruiters seek graduates who understand how technology drives innovation.

This new designation better reflects the quantitative nature of the Kelley curriculum, Kesner explained. Also, she added, it shows how the school adjusts to meet the needs of students.

“The curriculum at Kelley has evolved to ensure that our students are ready for digitization, artificial intelligence, robotics, and data analytics required in 21st-century jobs,” said Ash Soni, executive associate dean for academic programs.

“Our employers appreciate that the STEM designation makes it easier for them to recruit the students who have completed this coursework and are the most prepared to perform in these roles.”

Why the sudden boom in STEM-Designated MBA Degrees?
Above all, recruiter demand has driven the boom, according to the school’s graduate career services office. Companies need MBAs who can understand and thrive in the disciplines of science, technology, math, and analytics.

According to a 2018 Pew Research Center report, employment in STEM occupations has grown by about 80 percent since 1990. In fact, it outpaces overall job growth in the United States.

“More than ever, we’re producing graduates who can focus on driving data-driven business decisions, solutions, and operational insights,” said program chair Kyle Cattani. “We believe this reflects what we do well.”

source: Indiana University Kelley School of Business

The post Kelley School to Offer 5 STEM-Designated MBA Degrees appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

_________________
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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Access MBA Events Coming Soon to California  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2020, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Access MBA Events Coming Soon to California
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Access MBA gives you the ideal opportunity to learn more about the world’s most recognized business degrees – the MBA and Executive MBA – and to speak in person with admissions directors of leading international business schools.

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This year’s participating schools include HEC Paris, UC Berkeley Haas School, IE Business School, USC Marshall School of Business, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and many more!

On the day of the event, you will:

  • Meet admissions directors during 20-minute One-to-One and small group meetings
  • Take part in panel discussions featuring school representatives and alumni
  • Receive advice and support from the Access MBA consulting team, as well as GMAT and scholarship information
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By registering for the One-to-One MBA event, your profile will be carefully matched with the business schools that correspond to your goals and expectations – all free of charge to you. To secure your place at the event, make sure to register at least 10 days before the event.

Register here to attend the Access MBA Tour in Los Angeles on March 21, 2020.

Register here to attend the Access MBA Tour in San Francisco on March 22, 2020.

This is a great opportunity to take the first step towards your MBA journey!

The post Access MBA Events Coming Soon to California 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: 1648
Location: Los Angeles, CA
5 MBA Application Deal-Breakers  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2020, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 5 MBA Application Deal-Breakers
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SBC’s expert MBA admissions consultant Kim, formerly the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth School of Business, shares some major red flags.
The consulting team at Stacy Blackman is second to none. In fact, we’re the only MBA admissions consulting firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs. Naturally, we like to tap the expertise of this elite group now and again to share their wisdom with readers. Today, we’re asking Kim to discuss some of the MBA application deal-breakers she encountered during her tenure leading admissions at Booth.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Deal-Breaker #1: Lack of Self-Awareness in Career Goals and Essays 
A common mistake we tend to see is applicants having unrealistic goals. Another frequent trouble spot is when applicants have a writing/essay style that comes across as inauthentic—or worse, arrogant or privileged. Be humble and acknowledge your weaknesses in your application essays.

Also, it’s essential to research and apply to schools that match your objectives and goals. Pick your schools carefully and demonstrate self-awareness by explaining how their program can help you reach your specific career goals.

Deal-Breaker #2: Lack of Genuine Interest in the MBA Program 
Admission committees know that candidates apply to several schools. But they need some form of proof that you will yield at their school. As an applicant, you need to show them that you are excited and interested in their program and that you did your homework.

Thorough research is the key.  Attend virtual or in-person events and interact and outreach with current students/alumni. Visit the campus to see if you can envision yourself studying there.  Also, make sure to show your fit within that school’s culture.

Deal-Breaker #3: Not Briefing Your Recommenders
It’s VERY important to sit down with your recommenders from the outset. Talk to them about your goals and why this particular MBA program is going to help you reach them.

It’s crucial to practice your story with someone who knows your work capabilities inside and out. That way, they can expand on relevant examples of both your strengths and development areas. This introspective conversation and exercise will significantly help you and your recommenders.

Deal-Breaker #4 Not Answering the Essay Question/Re-Using Another Essay
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read essays that didn’t answer the question or prompt asked. Applicants tend to get caught up in writing what they think we want to hear. Or worse, they sub in an essay from another MBA program—and then they forget to remove the other school’s name! A lot of applicants try to take the easy way out, and it is very apparent on the other side.

Also, many applicants fail to spell-check their application. We often saw the wrong spelling of words, which can get awkward. Think illicit feedback, which is not the same as elicit feedback!

Deal-Breaker #5: Not Calling Out the Elephant in the Room
We know that applicants hate calling attention to their flaws. But members of the admissions team have done this job long enough to spot inconsistencies and omissions quickly. We’re talking things like glaring work gaps or job-hopping. Also common, failing or incomplete grades.

In these cases, whoever reviews your application will likely jump to the worst possible conclusion. Make sure to address things like this directly to avoid adverse inferences.

Oh, Those Zany MBA Applicants!
Now that we’ve addressed some of the common MBA application deal-breakers, it’s time for the juicy stuff! We asked Kim to dish on some of the strangest things she witnessed during her time in admissions at Chicago Booth. Here’s what she had to say.

We saw some crazy things from applicants on the waitlist. For instance, someone once submitted their additional essay on a cake. Oh, and we’ve received essays about bowel movements (ew!). Then we’ve seen people dressing as characters and in themes for the additional video essay.  Actually, we have a lot of people who make diary submissions for the essay, talking to their future selves.

Next, we have the people who contact adcom every day with updates on what they are doing at work and in their personal lives and how they’ve improved since their application. Additionally, some applicants share very private information—especially as an excuse to explain why applicants didn’t do well in undergrad or a specific course.

Also, we see applicants flat-out lying about where they work. Or about starting a company. Or about where they went to school. Or about how much they make. It seems they don’t realize we can easily verify all of this through Google searches and background checks.

***

Thanks so much, Kim for sharing your insights with our blog readers! If you’re interested in applying to business school and want to avoid making MBA application deal-breakers like these, we can help! Contact us today to set up a complimentary analysis of your MBA candidacy.

The post 5 MBA Application Deal-Breakers 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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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1648
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3 Strategies to Avoid Choking Under Pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2020, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Strategies to Avoid Choking Under Pressure
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Choking under pressure—it happens to the best of us. We tank an interview and don’t get the job. We freeze while giving an important presentation. Or blank during a critical exam. And choking at a crucial moment of the game? That’s an athlete’s worst nightmare.

To be clear, choking has nothing to do with having an off-day, performance-wise. When you choke, you perform much worse than your skill level indicates. Or, worse than you have in the past because you now find the situation stressful, cognitive scientist Sian Beilock tells New Scientist.

Beilock is the president of Barnard College and author of two books — Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To; and How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel.

You’re too “in your head”
The prefrontal cortex is the epicenter of our cognitive horsepower, Beilock explains. Typically, we’re not paying attention to all of the little steps that make up everyday tasks.

“But in times of intense stress, like a playoff game, major presentation, or a job interview, your prefrontal cortex can go into overdrive,” Beilock writes in Harvard Business Review.

“When the pressure is on, we often start focusing on the step-by-step details of our performance to try and ensure an optimal outcome and, as a result, we disrupt what would have otherwise been fluid and natural.”

This pressure leads to panic. We start overthinking, and suddenly, we face “paralysis by analysis.” Fortunately, Beilock has come up with several science-backed strategies to help us avoid choking under pressure. Here are three of them.

Distract yourself
First, accept that no amount of distraction will help if you haven’t adequately prepped for whatever high-stress situation in which you’ll soon find yourself. This trick assumes you have amply rehearsed, practiced, studied, etc., and in optimal conditions, would perform like a rock star.

Five minutes before the Big Event, resist the urge to review every detail of what you’re about to do, Beilock advises. Instead, take a few moments to focus on something else. Play a game on your phone. Scroll through Instagram. Plan your menu for dinner that night. It doesn’t matter how you distract yourself. The point is to refocus your cognitive horsepower away from the thing you’re about to do.

By occupying your prefrontal cortex beforehand with unrelated activities, Beilock explains, you’re less likely to overthink in the moment and more likely to communicate or perform effectively.

Jot down worries
Researchers have found that writing down your concerns before a stressful event helps to download them from your mind—making them less likely to pop up in the moment, Beilock explains in her Ted Talk on choking under pressure.

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Dr. Srini Pillay of Harvard Medical School has come to the same conclusion. Expressive writing—where you write about your deepest thoughts and feelings—helps anxious people perform better on tests. “We’re not sure exactly why this is, but one leading theory is that writing about test anxiety ‘offloads’ worrisome thoughts, thereby freeing up mental resources to concentrate on the test,” Pillay explains.

Practice, practice, practice
As we hinted above, preparation is essential to nailing it—and to avoid choking under pressure. Say you have a job interview for a position you really want. Or need to give a speech in front of your entire company. Obviously, winging it isn’t an option.

So learn your resume backward and forwards. Recruit a friend to conduct a mock interview with you. Practice giving your speech to colleagues or friends. For interviews or public speaking, it helps to record yourself in the process so you can suss out any verbal or physical tics that might distract your audience.

If you’re studying for an important test, try to replicate the testing environment you’ll encounter on the actual day. Close the book, practice retrieving the answer from memory under timed situations, Beilock advises. The goal: make whatever the task is feel as fluid and natural as possible—like you’re on autopilot.

To quote former pro basketball player Tim Duncan, “When you have to stop and think, that’s when you mess up.”

But what if you still choke?
“It’s not the end of the world,” Beilock reminds us. “You might be disappointed and even embarrassed, but like most things in life, it’s a learning experience. Take the opportunity to learn how to better handle the stress next time.”

***

Did you enjoy this post with tips to avoid choking under pressure?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our weekly 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 3 Strategies to Avoid Choking Under Pressure appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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Improve Your MBA Candidacy Now for Fall Applications  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2020, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Improve Your MBA Candidacy Now for Fall Applications
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If you plan to apply to business school in the upcoming admissions cycle, you may think it impossible to improve your MBA candidacy in such a short amount of time. Not true! You can take action in three important areas right now that will pay dividends in the fall.

Academic Enhancement
Did you major in liberal arts? Is your undergrad GPA 3.2 or below? In both of these scenarios, you may want to consider taking quantitative classes to enhance your academic profile. When in doubt about the strength of your test scores, consult your target schools’ admitted student profile page and compare them to the median reported score.

If you took the GMAT once or twice and did not receive the score you think you are capable of, consider taking a prep course to remind you how to solve those high school math logic problems.

Retake the GMAT until you get the score you feel good about. Or, prove you have the quantitative chops by acing a college-level statistics, microeconomics, or calculus course at the local community college.  For applicants who can’t raise their GMAT score enough,  consider taking the GRE and see how the two scores stack up.

Fortunately, most MBA admissions teams take a holistic view of an individual’s candidacy. Enthusiastic recommendation letters that also address the applicant’s quant skills will carry significant weight with the committee.

Extracurricular Involvement
A strong focus on work is great.  But it’s important to showcase other aspects of your personality, too. This helps prove that you bring a diverse set of skills to an MBA program. Community involvement demonstrates that you have a larger view of the world. Specifically, it shows you see what’s happening outside of your office and that you want to contribute in some way.

But what if you haven’t had the time or energy to devote to outside interests and passions due to your 80-hour pre-MBA work week? Many applicants share this dilemma. In any case, you should still try to find ways to subtly up your community engagement in the coming months. This isn’t about gaming the process with some new-found volunteering involvement, however.

The best way to seamlessly incorporate extracurriculars is to think about longstanding passions and interests and build upon them. Have you volunteered for a certain group before? Check in to see what else you can help them with that’s more high profile.  Or, ask if there are any open leadership roles that would be a good fit.

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Don’t get hung up on traditional volunteer work, though. There are many ways to show your diversity that can improve your MBA candidacy. The key is to think hard about what excites you. Get creative and discover how you can leverage those interests for a greater good.

Leadership Development
Business schools want to see applicants with proven leadership skills that can be further developed through an MBA program.   A promotion between now and the fall would be the ideal scenario. But you don’t have to wait for your supervisor to act in order to enhance your overall leadership and management potential for business school applications.

Letting others know you want to further develop your people skills may uncover new opportunities to go above and beyond. Volunteer for that cross-functional team or project. Offer to help your boss with a tough long-term goal. Or, get involved with employee groups at work—whether through volunteering in the community or promoting diversity in your company. All of these avenues can provide great material for your resume and essays.

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To show leadership without clear career progression, look again to your extracurricular activities and think about taking on a leadership role. Can you find a way to lead with ideas, to show success because of your influence, communication skills, or ability to motivate people?  This is your chance to demonstrate that you can run a project and motivate a team.

The spring and summer months can be very fruitful for your personal and professional development. More precisely, it’s a great time to improve your MBA candidacy. With a little advanced planning and a commitment of just a few hours a week, applicants can do a great deal to enhance their profile before that final rush of the fall and winter.

Main photo credit: Skokie Public Library (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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COVID-19 Admissions Updates from HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2020, 04:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: COVID-19 Admissions Updates from HBS
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Harvard Business School has announced temporary changes to admissions and campus visit procedures as they grapple with COVID-19.  Round 2 applicants will still receive an admissions status update at noon on March 31, 2020. However, the school will not hold the traditional Admitted Student Welcome (ASW) event for round two admits.

The suspension complies with university guidelines prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people, in effect until April 30, 2020. According to HBS admissions director Chad Losee’s recent blog update,  the school is “working hard on virtual alternatives for you to learn more about the HBS experience and have all of your questions answered before you need to make a decision on our offer.”

Campus Tours
As of March 16, 2020, Harvard Business School will also suspend its campus visit program. Losee expressed regret over the necessity to halt these valuable in-person research opportunities for prospective applicants. He noted that for now, people can tap into the school’s online resources. These include virtual campus tours,  a Case Method explainer, and resources to learn about student life.

COVID-19 and global information sessions
COVID-19 is officially a global pandemic, and as such, HBS will suspend all of its international information sessions. The university has restricted travel to help avoid spreading the virus, Losee explained. Meanwhile, the admissions team is working to come up with virtual gatherings, he added.

“We plan to tailor these opportunities by geography, industry, and other affinity groups so that you can learn more about what HBS offers for someone with your background and interests,” Losee said.

For now, Harvard Business School has not canceled the Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) or the Peek Weekend Program for college students in June. These two programs invite interested students to campus, where they stay in HBS residence halls and participate in MBA case studies.

Finally, Losee urged applicants to check the HBS website frequently for updates, as recommendations related to COVID-19 are continually changing.

“We understand that this disruption to our normal slate of admissions activities may be disappointing to some of you. Truth be told, we are sad too,” Losee said, adding, “We hope you understand our desire, and the university’s guidelines, to put your health and safety first.”

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Advice for Applicants in the Time of Coronavirus  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2020, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice for Applicants in the Time of Coronavirus
Normally, we use this space to bring you the latest news from MBA programs or provide timely tips to help you create the strongest MBA application possible. But business-as-usual feels strange when we’re living through an alarming moment in history.  The global pandemic COVID-19 has forced most of us to eliminate social interactions and hunker down at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That’s what I’m doing, and I hope all of you are hanging in there, both health-wise and mentally.

Yesterday, I was reminded that SBC was born in the wake of 9/11. I had recently gotten married, and my husband and I traveled around the world for our honeymoon. Shortly after returning home to San Francisco, the world as we knew it came to an end. After the terrorist attacks, and then the dot-com bust, the Bay Area became a wasteland. I had no job and no prospects.

So, where am I going with this? What I hope to convey is that beyond the darkness, there is light. The coronavirus is scary, but know that better things await us as we shake up routines and take time to reflect on our lives, relationships, and goals. The 9/11 tragedy forced me to think bigger, look inward and innovate. Here we are today—the leading MBA consulting firm in a field that didn’t really exist before 2001.

Right now, instead of feeling paralyzed by this moment, I hope we can try to find ways to maintain normalcy. We’re fortunate that the majority of the admissions process happens online. As a prospective MBA applicant, this is an opportunity to turn your focus toward research and self-discovery.

Remember:

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To-Do List for Your Coronavirus Quarantine  
  • Do a deep dive into your school research. Figure out which programs can best help you reach your highest career goals.
  • If you still need to take the GMAT or GRE, now is an ideal time to double-down on your test prep to help ensure you get the score you need.
  • Review the essay prompts from the 2019-2020 season. While programs occasionally tweak their application questions, the basic theme of “Who are you?” and “Why an MBA?” will appear every year.
  • Start brainstorming anecdotes and stories for your essays.
To get your creative juices flowing, I’m making all our Strategy Guides, Interview Guides, and Application Guides available to download for free until midnight, March 31st.

Simply use the promo code DISTANCE at checkout. Let these valuable resources help you fill your time and inspire you to think deeply about how business school can launch you into the next phase of your career.

For now, I wish you all a safe, healthy week for you and your loved ones. We will get to the other side of this darkness. And can become more reflective and resilient because of it.

All my best,

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PS: Please be patient if you encounter any issues during the checkout process, and remember the offer is only good for our guides. With offers like this in the past, heavy traffic has jammed the system. We’ll do our best to resolve any problems as quickly as we can.

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Two Schools Share Top Spot in US News 2021 Ranking  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2020, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Two Schools Share Top Spot in US News 2021 Ranking
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This year, U.S. News and World Report made room for two elite programs to share first place. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business now joins last year’s winner, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, in a tie for the top MBA program in the US News 2021 ranking of the best business schools.

The sharing trend continues for the next in line. Kellogg School of Management jumped from its three-way tie at 6th place last year to join the Chicago Booth School of Business in a two-way tie for third place.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management ranks 5th this time around, in a slight slip from its position tied at third last year. Meanwhile, in what might be one of the ranking’s biggest surprises, Harvard Business School slipped from third to 6th place this year—its lowest rank ever.

Here’s a look at the order line up in the new ranking:

US News Top Ten Best Business Schools
#1 Stanford Graduate School of Business (tie)

#1 Wharton School (tie)

#3 Kellogg School of Management (tie)

#3 Chicago Booth School of Business (tie)

#5 MIT Sloan School of Management

#6 Harvard Business School

#7 UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

#8 Columbia Business School

#9 Yale School of Management

#10 NYU Stern School of Business

Compared to last year,  there was a lot of reshuffling of the top ten. The Fuqua School of Business and Michigan Ross School fell out of the top list and are now in a tie for 12th place. Meanwhile, NYU Stern bumped up two spots to snag no. 10 on this list.

At the same time, both MIT Sloan and Columbia Business School slipped two places to rank fifth and eighth, respectively. While the top ten’s players are all familiar, seven of this year’s top ten had a change in rank.

Methodology of the US News 2021 Ranking
Factors that go into rankings include test scores, starting salaries and employment rates after graduation. Rankings come from statistical surveys of the programs, as well as reputation surveys sent to 477 AACSB-accredited MBA programs between fall 2019 and early 2020.

A total of 364 responded to the US News 2021 ranking. Of those, US News ranked 131 because they provided enough of the required data on their full-time MBA program to calculate the full-time MBA rankings, based on a weighted average of the indicators described in detail here.

(For an analysis of this year’s rankings, check out this story by editor-in-chief John A. Byrne at Poets & Quants.)

MBA Rankings are a Tricky Subject
Most applicants put an enormous amount of credence in rankings when making their school selections, but the results aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem.

It’s important to remember that the various media outlets publishing this information each have a specific focal point, which often differs from their competitors.  At times, it can feel more like an “apples and oranges” comparison.

We encourage prospective applicants to think hard about the data points that are important to your own career path when determining the value of a particular ranking. You don’t have to go to the best business school of all. Just figure out which MBA program is the best one for you.

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Top Ten Blog Posts-March 2020 Edition  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2020, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Top Ten Blog Posts-March 2020 Edition
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Wondering which blog posts this year’s crop of MBA applicants visits the most on the Stacy Blackman Consulting site? We were, too! Thanks to modern technology—AKA Google analytics—you now have the news you need right at your fingertips. Without further ado… SBC’s top ten most-visited blog posts for the first quarter of 2020.

Application Strategies Worth Noting
Successful Reapplicant to Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB

For many rejected MBA candidates, having to wait another year to start business school feels like pure agony. When we first met Ed Redden, he had submitted six failed applications. But the rejections from Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, in particular, made him question whether he should even try to apply again.

CharacterPrevails: Stanford & HarvardBusiness School MBA Applications

Have you ever heard of the term “double admits”? That’s what we in the MBA admissions consulting industry call those singular applicants who receive admissions offers from both Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

We’ve worked with many top applicants this MBA admissions season who achieved this impressive feat—some with scholarships to boot. Here we analyze eight cases—and we have eight specific takeaways to share.

Waitlisted MBA Applicants are Still in the Game

Ultimately, the decision to stay on the waitlist depends on your interest level in that particular MBA program. If it’s your top choice, you may want to remain on the list until school begins. This could mean moving quickly and giving up a deposit on a school that has offered you firm admission.

If the program is not your first choice, or you would like to settle your MBA plans before school starts, you may choose to remove your name from the list. If that’s the case, do so promptly and give someone else a chance at their MBA dream.

Don’tFear Those MBA Admissions Background Checks

The vast majority of people shouldn’t stress over this verification process. Business schools aren’t on a mission to grill candidates about every last detail of their applications. They simply want to ensure that applicants have honestly represented themselves, their experience, and their accomplishments.

Blog Posts with Program-Specific Intel
MIT Sloan Cover Letter and Video Advice for 2019-2020

Take the MIT Sloan cover letter idea literally and approach this essay as if you were applying for a demanding new job. One of the former MIT Admissions Officers on the SBC team shared that MIT seeks applicants who can navigate, “problems of progressive complexity, ability to adapt to ambiguous situations, independence of thought, humility/consideration for others.”

Face-Off: Oxford vs. Cambridge 

In SBC’s blog series Face-Off, we tease out the strengths and differences between two similarly ranked, or located, b-schools. Plus, we’ll highlight unique elements of their admissions processes. Let’s kick things off by looking at the differences between the Oxford MBA application versus that of the University of Cambridge Judge School of Business.

Stanford MBA Essay Tips for 2019-2020

We’re sharing our Stanford MBA essay tips to help you create a positive impression through your application materials. Although the required questions are the same as prior years, Stanford has added an optional short-answer essay this season. These questions are simple, yet the answers are revealing. Also, the new optional essay allows you to go beyond your resume and describe a time you had an impact.

Important Letters (0f recommendation and thanks)
Tips for a Killer MBA Recommendation Letter 

Most applicants select their references, direct them to the proper forms, and hope for the best. But actually, you can have a significant influence on the quality of your recommendations. When SBC clients ask for advice on choosing who should write their MBA recommendation letter,  we tell them to keep these critical elements in mind.

What Makes a Great MBA Recommendation Letter

The recommendation letter forms an integral part of your MBA application package and can make—or break—your chances of admission. Ideally, the MBA recommendation letter provides the admissions committee with a fresh perspective on your skill sets. Above all, your recommenders should enhance your application by offering new and valuable insights into you as a person.

MBA Interview Thank-You Notes

Our clients often ask us if they should write thank-you notes to their interviewers. While handwritten messages of appreciation will always be a classy move — and we certainly encourage applicants to write such letters if they’re so inclined — an email message is just as acceptable in this day and age.

***

We hope this roundup of blog posts serves as a helpful jumping-off point as you begin to prepare for your application journey in 2020 and beyond.

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COVID-19 Prompts ETS to Offer the GRE at Home  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2020, 18:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: COVID-19 Prompts ETS to Offer the GRE at Home
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Test centers around the world have temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t have to throw your business school plans out the window. Today, ETS announced it is temporarily offering a GRE test at home option in selected areas.

This version is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the version taken at a test center. You take it on your own computer at home, and a human proctor online monitors the test through ProctorU.

Online registration opens on Monday, March 23 in the following countries and administrative regions:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Macau (China)
ETS is working toward making these at-home solutions available in additional locations in the coming weeks. Many scheduling options will be available for each test, with numerous test times each week.

These at-home solutions are identical in content, format, on-screen experience, scoring and pricing as the  GRE General Test taken at a test center. Every feature that students would expect in the test center will still be available to test takers via this solution. This includes the ability to preview, skip questions, review and change answers on the GRE General Test.

“It was imperative for us to create a timely, flexible and reliable solution to allow students the opportunity to take these tests, so that they can complete time-sensitive applications that will allow them to continue on their educational journeys,” said Alberto Acereda, Executive Director of the Global Higher Education Division at ETS.

“Test takers can expect the same valid and reliable tests  from the comfort of home.”

Human Proctors to Monitor GRE at Home Test Takers
ETS is taking every precaution to ensure that the tests students will take from home meet the highest standards for validity, reliability, and security. These tests will employ multiple best-in-class security measures. Both real-time human monitoring and artificial intelligence technology can see and respond to even the hardest-to-detect incidents.

To register for the at-home option for the GRE General Test, students can sign in or create an ETS account here.  Once logged in, students can select and pay for their test, and upon doing so will receive an email from ProctorU with instructions on how to schedule their test date and time.

“We understand the challenges that our test takers are facing worldwide and are pleased to now offer an option to safely test at home without compromising the integrity of our tests,” said Srikant Gopal, Executive Director of the TOEFL® Program (also offered at home).

“ETS prides itself on its test security measures, and this solution is consistent with those self-imposed high standards, which are relied upon by institutions around the world who trust that these tests provide an accurate picture of an applicant’s abilities.”

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Stop Waiting for the “Perfect” Moment  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2020, 05:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stop Waiting for the “Perfect” Moment
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Many of us are hanging on to something special because we’re waiting for just the right moment to enjoy it. Maybe it’s that bottle of Bordeaux you brought back from your vacay in France. Or a box of Dixon Fire golf balls. Perhaps there’s a gift certificate for a luxury spa lingering on your nightstand.

But researchers have found a problem with all this waiting. Namely, that the “pursuit of the perfect time to enjoy an indulgence is the enemy of actually enjoying a good experience.” Wait, what? Cue the record scratch.

UCLA Anderson’s Suzanne B. Shu and UPenn’s Marissa Sharif make the case that our compulsion to wait for the perfect situation—called occasion matching in academic circles—is partly driven by the fact that we’re afraid we’ll use up an item too early and will regret it. What if we miss out on a more ideal moment in the future?

Yet, we hear about occasion-matching fails all the time. Only we call them unused frequent flyer miles or vacation days, expired gift cards, or (argh!) when your fancy-pants chocolates go all dusty white.

The duo conducted several experiments to explore the intersection of an item’s perceived specialness and our desire to match its consumption to a special occasion. In study after study, they found that “the more special the origin story, the bigger the pull to wait for a special occasion.”

Nothing wrong with second-best
As with most things in life, waiting for the Single Best Moment to enjoy something leads to missed opportunities.  Shu and Sharif’s work on occasion matching is a strong reminder that self-control, though well-intended, can be overused.

Delays made with the hope of one day having the ultimate consumption experience often backfire, they say. Either it never happens at all, or it doesn’t end up being nearly as good as you had imagined. Having a “second-best” experience right now is far better than waiting for some potentially amazing one in the hazy, distant future.

So go for the guaranteed win and start enjoying those little luxuries today. True, it may not be the “perfect” moment. But you can make it perfectly good enough.

***

Did you enjoy this post about missed opportunities?  It originally appeared on the Blacklight, our weekly 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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Coronavirus Admissions Updates for Round 3  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2020, 17:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Coronavirus Admissions Updates for Round 3
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/hand-person-girl-woman-thoughtful-decision-1080572-pxhere.com_-734x551.jpg[/img]

There is a lot of uncertainty worldwide as we grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak. For business schools that still have a third or final round to come, that means adapting to meet the needs and circumstances of MBA applicants. Here are the latest coronavirus admissions updates as of March 24, 2020. Please note that this list only includes schools that are still accepting applications for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle.

Also, be aware that ETS announced an at home, virtual option to [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/gre-at-home/]take the GRE[/url] beginning March 27. Likewise, GMAC is currently working on an online testing alternative. This interim solution is targeted for availability in mid-April.

[b]Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business—Round 3 deadline is March 30, 2020.[/b]
Tuck School will maintain the set round 3 deadline, but allow applications on a rolling basis thereafter in a one-time Round 4 for those who need additional time. Additionally, the school has suspended applicant-initiated interviews for the remainder of this cycle.

Read more about how Tuck is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis in this [url=https://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/mba/blog/tuck-admissions-covid-19-update]Tuck admissions update[/url] from Director Luke Anthony Peña.

[b]Michigan Ross School of Business—Priority Round 3 Deadline is March 30, 2020. [/b]
Director Soojin Kown provided these coronavirus admissions updates in her [url=https://michiganross.umich.edu/graduate/full-time-mba/admissions/admissions-blog/2020/03/17/round-2-decision-release-extended-round]latest MBA admissions blog post[/url]:

Due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on GMAT/GRE testing opportunities, we are extending our Round 3 deadline. The priority deadline will remain March 30, but we will accept applications until May 29.

Applications received after the priority deadline will be evaluated on a rolling basis. International applicants are highly encouraged to apply by the priority deadline in order to ensure enough time for visas to be processed. If you have questions, please email [email=rossadmissions@umich.edu]rossadmissions@umich.edu[/email].

[b]UT McCombs School of Business—Round 3 is March 31, 2020/ Round 4 is April 28, 2020.[/b]
The UT McCombs School of Business will allow candidates to submit applications to the full-time MBA program in Round 3 without a test score. Applicants need to send in their scores as soon as they receive them. However, you don’t need to pay the application fee until you can submit your test score and your application is considered complete.

Also, note the following from the [url=https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/MBA/Full-Time/Application-Process]Texas MBA admissions team[/url]:

An admissions decision cannot be made until we receive your official test score. If your official score report is not received by May 7, 2020, your application will be rolled into Round 4 (for domestic applicants only) or withdrawn (international applicants). A withdrawn application is not a denial and will not impact applications in future cycles.

[b]Chicago Booth School of Business—Round 3 Deadline is April 2, 2020.[/b]
The Round 3 deadline remains in effect. However, due to GMAT testing center closures around the globe, Booth will accept test scores for R3 applicants through an [url=https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions]extended deadline[/url] of July 1, 2020.

[b]UC Berkeley Haas School of Business—Round 3 Deadline is April 2, 2020. [/b]
The Round 3 deadline remains in effect. As of March 24, the school has not announced any changes to the [url=https://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/admissions]admissions process.[/url]

[b]UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business—Round 3 Deadline is April 6, 2020.[/b]
The Round 3 deadline remains in effect. As of March 24, the school has not announced any changes to the [url=https://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/programs/mba/full-time-mba/admissions/requirements-deadlines/]admissions process[/url].

[b]Kellogg School of Management—Round 3 Deadline is April 8, 2020.[/b]
The Kellogg School has kept the April 8, 2020 deadline for Round 3 applicants. The decision release day also stays in effect on May 13, 2020. If the coronavirus has affected applicants’ ability to fulfill the GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS testing requirement, the school encourages them to continue working on applications.

Follow [url=https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/policies/coronavirus.aspx]this link[/url] for information on how to proceed if you have no score, or would like to retest.

[b]Stanford Graduate School of Business–Round 3 Deadline is April 8, 2020.[/b]
Stanford is not shifting the Round 3 deadline. However, they understand there are some unusual circumstances this year due to COVID-19. With testing centers closing in many locations around the world, the GSB admissions team says they will be as flexible as they can in terms of score reporting.

The admissions team also encourages applicants to apply in Round 3 even if they have issues with delayed recommendation letters, have not yet taken the GMAT, or who plan to retake the exam after April 8. Read more about the Stanford GSB response to COVID-19 [url=https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/contact]here[/url].

[b]Cornell Johnson School of Management—April Round Deadline is April 8, 2020[/b]
The Round 3 deadline remains unchanged. However, the Johnson School will provide flexibility with testing submissions. Here’s a coronavirus admissions update from the [url=https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/programs/full-time-mba/admissions/covid-19/]school website[/url]:

Please let us know of any changes to your testing status by email. This will help us keep an accurate understanding of your overall application status. As testing centers update their own operating statuses, we will work with impacted candidates and adjust our MBA application review timelines.

[b]MIT Sloan School of Management—Round 3 Deadline is April 9, 2020.[/b]
While MIT Sloan acknowledges the uncertainties of COVID-19, as of March 24, the school says it will not affect the admissions process for the remaining cycle. The admissions criteria, process, and timeline remain unchanged. Per the [url=https://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba#admissions]MIT Sloan admissions[/url] page:

The timeline for MBA Round 3 remains the same. All applications must be submitted by 3:00 pm EST on April 9, 2020. Applicants invited to interview will be notified in mid to late April and all interviews will be conducted via Skype. Final decisions for MBA Round 3 will be released on May 7, 2020.

[b]The Wharton School—Round 3 Deadline moved to April 15, 2020. [/b]
The Wharton School has decided to [url=https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/mba-admissions/deadlines-update/]extend the Round 3 deadline[/url] by two weeks after feedback from worried applicants.  Also, the new Advance Access deadline is May 27, 2020. Wharton MBA admissions will release Round 2 decisions on March 26, 2020, as previously planned.

Round 3 and [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/wharton-mba-advance-access/]Advance Access[/url] applicants may still submit their applications without having sat for a standardized test. Read Wharton’s testing updates [url=https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/mba-admissions/application-updates/]here[/url].

[b]UCLA Anderson School of Management—Round 3 Deadline is April 16, 2020.[/b]
According to the UCLA Anderson [url=https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees/full-time-mba/admissions]website[/url],  as of March 24, the school has not made official changes for full-time MBA prospective students due to COVID-19. A banner on the site states the following:

We are updating our applicants via email and are working with them on an individual basis to address any concerns. Currently, there are no changes to deadlines, decision dates, program start dates, policies or requirements.

[b]Georgetown McDonough School of Business—Round 4 Deadline is April 27, 2020.[/b]
The Round 4 deadline remains in effect. As of March 24, the school has not announced any changes to the [url=https://msb.georgetown.edu/mba/]admissions process[/url].

[b]Yale School of Management—Round 3 Extended Deadline is May 27, 2020. [/b]
On March 24th, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Bruce DelMonico, announced the creation of an [url=https://som.yale.edu/blog/from-the-assistant-dean-for-admissions-announcing-an-additional-round-3-extended-deadline]extended Round 3 deadline[/url] of May 27, 2020. This is for candidates unable to submit by the standard deadline, or who have incomplete applications as of April 14.

DelMonico says Yale SOM will notify Round 3 Extended applicants of their admission decision in the second half of June.

[b]Columbia Business School—Application Deadline for the August 2020 Class moved to June 1, 2020[/b]
Last week, an email from Amanda Carlson, CBS’s Assistant Dean of Admissions, explained the school’s decision to push back the Round 3 deadline beyond its original date of April 10, 2020. As Carlson noted:

Due to uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus, [url=https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/]Columbia Business School[/url] will extend our application deadline for the August 2020 class until June 1, 2020. 

We plan to admit more candidates toward the end of this application cycle in anticipation that some of our admitted students may struggle, for a variety of reasons, to start in August 2020.

If you are thinking about submitting an application to Columbia Business School, and wonder if it’s too late, it’s not. We are extending the deadline and plan to admit more candidates who will be a great fit in our community.

[b]UV Darden School of Business—Rolling Round 3 Deadline through July 15, 2020.[/b]
On March 24, [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/2020/03/24/unprecedented-flexibility-round-3/]Darden announced[/url] that its R3 deadline, originally April 6, 2020, would become a rolling deadline until mid-July. The application will remain open until this date to enable applicants to submit missing elements of their application, Darden explained.

Follow the link above for more updates on recommendation letters, testing, and the interview process.

A note on visas for international students
Last week, the U.S. government [url=https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/suspension-of-routine-visa-services.html]suspended routine visa services[/url] globally. We hope that the public health crisis improves in the coming months and the visa suspension is lifted. However, for the moment, the situation raises doubts about non-U.S. students’ plans to study in the United States this fall. Be sure to check in with your target schools directly for the latest information.

We hope these coronavirus admissions updates will help you navigate this unusual process of applying in Round 3 in 2020.

The post [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/coronavirus-admissions-updates-round-3/]Coronavirus Admissions Updates for Round 3[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com]Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting[/url].

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How Will the Coronavirus Affect International Applicants?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2020, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Will the Coronavirus Affect International Applicants?
Image
Over the last few weeks, we’ve fielded many questions on how might the coronavirus affect international applicants. Primarily, admitted candidates fear they won’t be able to secure visas due to the COVID-19 crisis. But prospective MBA applicants also worry that their chances of admission will shrink because of the ongoing pandemic.

Those are both valid concerns. To clarify the situation, we’d like to share our perspective based on conversations the former admissions officers on our team have had with several top-tier MBA programs.

As of now, we don’t expect any schools to delay the start of their semesters. Current wisdom indicates that the situation in the U.S. and worldwide should improve by mid- to late summer. If that holds, we would expect consulates to resume visa interviews.

Here are two constants to remember. Elite business schools will continue to admit the candidates they feel are the best fit for their programs. Secondly, schools always admit more applicants than they know will attend. In this current scenario, many schools might consider accepting slightly more people than usual to hedge against any yield fallout.

Harvard Business School MBA Admissions Director Chad Losee recently shared that this year’s unprecedented circumstances have also prompted the school to maintain a larger waitlist than usual.

However, we don’t think any MBA program will start basing admission decisions on the progression of the pandemic. This much we’ve heard directly from MBA admissions representatives.

Worst-case scenario, programs could allow admits to defer until fall 2021 if they can’t get their visa for fall 2020. The bottom line: candidates should keep their focus on presenting a robust application—the rest is just noise and distraction.

How will test center closures affect MBA applicants?
We’ve seen a raft of Round 3 updates from MBA programs, and the majority focus on providing flexibility for submitting test scores. If you haven’t yet taken take the exam, we encourage you to monitor the updates issued from ETS and GMAC.

Earlier this week, ETS announced it is temporarily offering a GRE test at home option in selected areas beginning March 27, 2020. We also know that GMAC has started to explore online alternatives for assessment delivery in affected regions. They aim to have that available mid-April or sooner.

GMAC says it plans to offer this interim solution at a lower cost than the standard GMAT exam to support test takers and schools during this difficult time.

As we’ve noted, many top programs have extended deadlines and moved to review applications without a test score temporarily. But none have yet waived the requirement altogether. Therefore, candidates should still expect to provide a valid test score to enroll in the fall if admitted.

Will the coronavirus affect international applicants’ appeal?
Schools remain very interested in international candidates, for the same reasons as always. They want to make every effort to enroll as diverse and qualified a class as possible for fall 2021.

Programs will turn to virtual recruiting options during this disruptive period, and their immigration offices are also monitoring the situation and continuing to assist incoming students. They have all risen to the occasion, and institution by institution, will make every effort to get students to campus for the fall.

No one has a crystal ball right now to predict the impact on class yield, or the full extent of how might the coronavirus affect international MBA applicants. There will be variability across programs. U.S. programs have issued statements to candidates to explain the next steps. Also, they are making every effort to reassure candidates that their processes for evaluation, interviews, and decisions will continue undeterred. Thanks to technology, this is possible.

For now, each MBA candidate needs to stay abreast of what is happening in their region and at their consulate. Vigilance and proactiveness remain important for this crisis, as for any business challenge.

Being an MBA student means committing to finding creative solutions to pressing problems. So candidates should step back, take a deep breath, shift perspective, and approach this as another challenge to overcome to achieve their goals.

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How to Impress the Kellogg Admissions Committee  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2020, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Impress the Kellogg Admissions Committee
Here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, we love to share insider knowledge gleaned from our stellar team of MBA admissions experts. Did you know that SBC is the only MBA admissions firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers from every M7 program and the elite European MBA programs? Today, we bring you insight from SBC consultant Caryn, a former admissions officer at Kellogg School of Management. Here is Caryn’s advice on how to impress the Kellogg admissions committee.

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What is a common challenge that applicants face?
The biggest challenge for applicants is differentiating themselves from other applicants of similar backgrounds. I see this regularly with candidates from oversubscribed professional backgrounds, such as consulting and banking. It also occurs with oversubscribed populations from particular areas of the world.

 To overcome these challenges, we focus on presenting the full story behind the applicant. That means highlighting unique points of difference throughout the entire application, from the essays to resume, to interview and beyond.

For example, instead of just discussing that a client closed X number of banking transactions, we would highlight what he/she did that was not the norm on these transactions. So things like “led at a level above,” “reporting directly to the MD,” or “presented to C-level client on multiple occasions.” As much as possible, we highlight areas of accomplishment or unique background stories to help differentiate them from the applicant pool.

What should applicants do to impress the Kellogg admissions committee?
Admissions committees always want to see you highlight the traditional areas of interest: leadership, communication, analytical abilities, and community involvement. For Kellogg in particular,  I’d really focus on your ability to work within a collaborative environment.

Demonstrate how you’d be involved in the program from a leadership aspect.  Kellogg’s focus on educating and inspiring “brave leaders who build strong organizations. . .” should be demonstrated not only in your background but in your future plans as well.

 People who work best in solo settings, owning just their own work, will not feel comfortable in Kellogg’s highly collaborative atmosphere.  I would avoid relaying that you are a solo practitioner in this area.  While I’d highlight your accomplishments, I’d look to balance that with the benefit of working with your teams. Also, avoid solely focusing on “I did this, I did that” or casting blame on teammates. Those two tactics are the surest way to leave a bad impression on the adcom.

Any final tips to share?
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Do your research!  As Kellogg has two interview components (video and live), you have a tremendous opportunity to display your in-depth knowledge before the Kellogg admissions committee.  Research how you’ll plan to take advantage of Kellogg’s broad offerings. Think about everything from particular programs, classes and even professors, to specific extracurriculars you’ll participate in. Kellogg wants students to hit the ground running from Day 1.  Do your research and make sure to demonstrate it where possible!

You can read more of Caryn’s advice on how to get into Kellogg School of Management in this premium article on Business Insider.

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GMAT Coronavirus Updates  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2020, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAT Coronavirus Updates
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/corona-4970836_1920-734x489.jpg[/img]

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, testing centers worldwide have temporarily closed their doors. Undeterred by this hurdle, the [url=https://www.gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/update-on-coronavirus]Graduate Management Admission Council[/url] (GMAC) is working quickly to create an in-home, online GMAT test.  Today, we’re sharing these GMAT coronavirus updates so that MBA applicants can adapt to these trying circumstances and still pursue their business school plans.

[b]The online GMAT exam will go live in mid-April. According to GMAC:[/b]

This interim GMAT exam will provide a comparable structure, number of items, and scoring as delivered in test centers. The Quant, Verbal and IR sections (no AWA section) will have the same number of items and the same time for completion. This will allow us to maintain the same score scale for both the Section Scores and Total Score. 

GMAC says it will modify check-in and security protocols to accommodate online delivery. In addition, they will use remote proctors to maintain test integrity. The company plans to make the test available in impacted markets outside of China. Meanwhile, GMAC continues to work with Chinese authorities to come up with a workable solution for mainland test-takers.

As we mentioned in this [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/coronavirus-affect-international-applicants/]update for international applicants[/url], GMAC will offer this interim exam at a lower cost than the standard GMAT exam.

Other GMAT coronavirus updates to remember
[list]
[*]GMAC has temporarily waived all GMAT exam reschedule fees during the COVID-19 outbreak.[/*]
[*]Registrants with canceled appointments due to the coronavirus will receive a full refund of their test fees and any appointment reschedule and cancellation fees.[/*]
[*]If your appointment has been canceled, it will not automatically be rescheduled. You will need to schedule a new test-taking appointment.[/*]
[*]As of March 25, GMAC will waive GMAT exam score reinstatement fees. Your score will be automatically sent to programs you selected in the test center prior to your score cancellation.[/*]
[/list]
Finally, GMAC says it looks forward to helping candidates and schools with this high-caliber, interim GMAT option. Stay tuned for more GMAT coronavirus updates and registration information in the coming weeks.

Image by [url=https://pixabay.com/users/ornaw-8155178/]Orna Wachman[/url] via Pixabay

The post [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/gmat-coronavirus-update/]GMAT Coronavirus Updates[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com]Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting[/url].

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Wharton to Offer Quantitative Finance Major  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2020, 15:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton to Offer Quantitative Finance Major
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Starting next year, MBA students at the Wharton School can now choose quantitative finance as a major. The offering comes thanks to a newly announced $8 million gift from alumnus Bruce Jacobs. The school will also use the award to add an endowed professorship. In addition, it will provide $25,000 tuition scholarships for qualified second-year MBA students.

A new chapter in Quantitative Finance
Together, these students will form an elite group of Jacobs Scholars. Their focus will be on applying financial economics to security pricing and asset management. This new MBA major in quantitative finance will include considerable cross-disciplinary content. These include content from accounting; statistics; and operations, information, and decisions.

The quantitative finance major will appeal to students with strong quant backgrounds in a variety of subjects. In particular, it will attract engineers and computer science majors aspiring to develop skills for quantitative applications in finance. At the same time, students in the major will hone their technical expertise and leadership skills.

They will emerge well-prepared for a wide range of careers in the financial industry, Wharton School says. Such careers include quantitative asset management and trading, financial engineering, risk management, and applied research.

Jacobs, the co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, holds a master’s degree in applied economics and a doctorate in finance from Wharton, where he spent five years teaching prior to entering the private sector.

“Bruce is a pioneer and innovator in connecting academic research with investment management, and we are honored that he is making this bold new step in his immense ongoing support of the School,” said Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett in a statement.

“My aspiration in giving to Wharton is to build a community of people interested and invested in quantitative finance and to spark a ripple effect on a global scale,” Jacobs explained. “I can think of no better time for this initiative as we face new economic, health, and markets issues that will shape the world economy for decades.”

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Kaizen and the 1% Approach  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2020, 05:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kaizen and the 1% Approach
[img]https://www.stacyblackman.com/wp-content/uploads/48980489292_39244748a7_c-1-734x369.jpg[/img]

We love an extreme makeover as much as the next person, but most of us resist radical change in our own lives. If we’re honest, it requires more work than most of us can muster. That’s why you need to embrace the philosophy of kaizen if lasting transformation is your goal. In Japanese, “kai” means change, and “zen” means good, so the concept translates as “change for better” or continuous improvement.

A consistent yet gradual approach is what makes kaizen effective and painless. When done in small increments over time, you can develop—or break—habits for good.

Check out these examples of how to put the kaizen mindset put into action:

[list]
[*]You want to run a 5K—start by taking a 15-minute walk.[/*]
[*]You want to read more books—read just one page.[/*]
[*]You want to save $500—put $1 a day into your piggy bank.[/*]
[*]You want to reduce your sugar intake—use 1/4 tsp less sugar in your coffee or tea.[/*]
[/list]
On the surface, it may seem bonkers that such tiny efforts could help you achieve a larger goal. But don’t get swayed by how simple it sounds and start adding in more because it’s too easy. We’re looking for compound interest here. Even a 1% daily improvement adds up to something powerful.

For example, you increase your walking time each day and eventually add in a few minutes of jogging. The next time you pick up that book, you’ll read a couple more pages. Before long, you’ve read a whole chapter. Get the idea?

Kaizen at the office
To boost productivity and optimize your workspace, apply the kaizen principle known as the “5S Method”:

[list]
[*]Seiri (Sort)—Separate all the unnecessary things and get rid of them.[/*]
[*]Seiton (Set in order)—A place for everything and everything in its place. This increases your concentration and will decrease unnecessary distractions.[/*]
[*]Seiso (Shine)—Keep the working environment tidy.[/*]
[*]Seiketsu (Standardize)—Make cleaning and checking a routine habit. Use self-discipline to stay organized daily.[/*]
[*]**** (Sustain)—Standardize the previous four steps to make the process continual and open for improvements. Think about how you use your workspace and make changes as needed.[/*]
[/list]
As you can see, kaizen also focuses on eliminating waste. What that looks like at your workplace will vary. Some people might waste energy reading and answering emails that interrupt their concentration. Put in place strategies such as batch processing, creating email whitelists and blacklists, turning off notifications, etc. to streamline email processing time and tame your inbox.

On the factory floor, this means wasted movement, [url=https://lifehacker.com/practice-your-personal-kaizen-207029]Lifehacker[/url] points out. Having the necessary tools set up within arm’s reach avoids wasted steps. Now multiply that time saved by two hundred workers, and you’ll see a significant boost in productivity. Workers use less energy and thus feel better—a win-win for everybody.

Why it works
When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.

— John Wooden, basketball player

In essence, Kaizen doesn’t focus on the outcome—it’s all about the process. But by devoting yourself to the process every single day, significant results are all but guaranteed.

***

Did you enjoy this post about self-improvement?  It originally appeared on [url=https://theblacklight.co/newsletter/]the Blacklight[/url], our weekly newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we [url=https://www.stacyblackman.com/blog/blacklight-career-hacks-life-inspo/]aim to illuminate[/url] 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, [url=https://theblacklight.co/]sign up[/url] today!

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Kaizen and the 1% Approach   [#permalink] 08 Apr 2020, 05:00

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