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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Tuesday Tips: Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips
Michigan Ross is a program that emphasizes learning both inside and outside the classroom, and is seeking candidates that are intellectually curious and able to accomplish their goals. At the same time, fit is a crucial part of the Ross evaluation process and Ross wants to know that you have investigated the program thoroughly and know why you want to attend. When you are approaching this set of essays, think carefully about how you will best illustrate your fit with the Michigan MBA program.

This year Ross changed the essay questions significantly to focus on what you are most proud of both personally and professionally. While previous years’ essays focused on career goals and why MBA, this year the questions require introspection and a demonstration that you learn from experience.

Essay One: What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)

Intellectual ability, professional achievements and teamwork are all among the qualities the Ross admissions committee is looking for in applicants. As you consider topics for this essay focus on the ones that will demonstrate you are a strong leader and that you can learn from experience.

One possible source of ideas are the inflection points in your career. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of the most challenging projects you have been part of? Have you been surprised by what you have done well at in your career?

In some cases you may be most proud of an accomplishment because of what you learned and how it shaped your career. In other cases the follow up questions are two separate components of the essay. Either way the why behind your pride in accomplishment will reveal what you value most – whether prestige, credit, or the motivation to achieve your goals. Make sure that your values are aligned with how you want to be perceived by the admissions committee.

Essay 2: What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today? (400 words)

The personal is equally important to Michigan Ross, and the MBA program is designed to help you develop your leadership skills both in terms of professional accomplishment and personal and community interests. The personal attributes the admissions committee are looking for in applicants include community engagement and interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills.

When you consider topics for this essay you may want to write about an important extracurricular accomplishment, a challenge you overcame, or an event in your life that highlights something unique about your background. For example, if you have a track record of club leadership through college and afterwards that can be compelling evidence of your community engagement and leadership skills. On the other end of the spectrum perhaps you have spent time outside your home country for school or work and that has shaped your teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills.

Whatever topic you choose make sure you are addressing why it is important to you. What you learned and how you have used what you learned since in your life can offer invaluable insight as well.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful candidates to Michigan Ross for over a decade and can offer comprehensive strategic advice every step of the way. Contact usto learn more.

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Cornell Launches Dual Degree with CEIBS [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cornell Launches Dual Degree with CEIBS
Cornell University and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) have partnered to create a dual MBA and Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program launching in fall 2015.

The dual degree will offer a well-rounded hospitality management education with courses in operations management, organizational behavior, corporate finance, marketing, properties development and planning, managerial communication, human resource management, responsible leadership and governance, and more.

Industry projects will be an important component of the program, and students will complete an internship in hospitality or a related service industry during the summer between their first and second years.

Students will complete the MMH degree at Cornell and the MBA degree at CEIBS. Students can begin the program at either CEIBS or Cornell, spending their second year at the alternate campus.

“China is the second-largest economy in the world, and its hospitality industry is poised for dramatic expansion. As the Chinese middle class grows, domestic hospitality companies are building new brands, and international brands are expanding into the country,” says Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.

Hellmut Schutte, CEIBS dean and Distinguished Professor of International Management, says understanding Chinese business practices is an invaluable asset, adding that the country’s service industry is becoming increasingly important.

“CEIBS is pleased to be able to collaborate with Cornell in offering this opportunity of a dual degree that aligns two very important areas,” says Schutte.

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Enrollment Flags for Women Pursuing the MBA [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Enrollment Flags for Women Pursuing the MBA
As more and more business schools publish their MBA class profiles for the incoming class, it has become clear that despite all the discussion of women and MBAs of 2013, female enrollment numbers overall have stagnated.

While a few schools, such as UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Emory’s Goitzueta Business School, heralded record numbers of female enrollment in the MBA Class of 2016, several notable programs—University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Yale School of Management, and Michigan Ross School of Business—reported fewer women in this year’s entering class.

To find out why this may be happening, TopMBA.com‘s editor-in-chief Louis Lavelle spoke with Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation. This non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools works together to launch women’s careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women.

Here is an excerpt from their interview:

LL: This year the forward momentum many business schools had been making on enrolling women seems to have stalled.  While there were a few schools with substantive improvements (…) 9 of the 14 schools I checked recently had made no improvement, or enrolled fewer women.  How are you interpreting that?

ES: I think that when I look at it as a trend we’ve been improving, but every few years we have a stagnation period. We’re at 34 to 35% now. I think what we’re seeing is there’s a limited applicant pool and that applicant pool can only produce so many women. The schools at the top are seeing the dramatic increases at the top…I think we’re going to continue to see progress but we’re going to have setbacks.

LL: Even though more women are applying to business schools, US business schools are stubbornly stuck, for the most part, at about 35% female enrollment. Why aren’t more female applicants making the cut?

ES: I think there are two things: we want to make the MBA more visible to women, but we also want them to present the best application they can. Often women will take the GMAT cold and walk away disheartened, or they’ll write an essay and won’t have anyone look at it. Through the Forte’ Foundation’s MBA Launch program, we work with women to prepare for the GMAT, assess school fit, and prepare their personal story for the applications and interviews.

LL: What can business schools do to fix this problem? Is the answer more female applicants – in the hope that a larger pool of female applicants would contain more qualified applicants who will be admitted – or is the answer somehow leveling the playing field for women in the admissions process?

ES: Obviously more women in the applicant pool is important. Schools are battling over a pool of women and those women are getting many opportunities. The problem is now we don’t have enough women to fill the demand. More women would be better for everybody. But to get women into the top 25 we have to make sure women are presenting the best applications, so that when admissions officers look at these profiles they see someone who is ready to make that MBA decision.

Lavelle and Sangster have much more to say about the state of women and business school, and I invite you to continue reading their extended Q&A here.

You may also be interested in:
HBS Dean Apologizes for School’s Sexist Attitudes

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Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz

Welcome to the latest edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. This week, MBA bloggers look forward to a sleepless first year, lay out their essay strategies, and think up an entirely new approach for conquering the GMAT.

The whirlwind begins—Now a few week’s into her first year at Harvard Business School, Defying Gravity realizes the hustle and bustle of the start of the program pales in comparison to the next rising wave of activity: the start of student clubs.  Despite severe sleep deprivation, she says, “I’m still ridiculously excited about what’s ahead of me for this first year at HBS.”

The nuts and bolts of R1 essays—For the curious, of which surely there were many, Scott Duncan provided a detailed recount this week of how he tackled each of the essays for the schools he submitted for in Round One: HBS, Kellogg School of Management, and MIT Sloan. Coming up with essay material was a challenge last season, but on the bright side, it seems to have laid the groundwork for stronger essays this year.

Argh, technology!—When things happen too smoothly, sometimes a closer look is warranted. Luckily for PullingThatMBATrigger, the systems glitch that occurred when he submitted his application for Duke Fuqua‘s Early Action deadline was sorted out in time. That’s two applications down, and possibly two more to go. Finger’s crossed for a Duke interview invite October 7th.

An allegory for the GMAT—Most of us are familiar with the tale of David and Goliath, the classic underdog story. Efessay decided to apply the strategies suggested by this allegorical tale to his test prep technique. “If I approach the GMAT like Goliath would want me to – attempting to ‘win’ with brute mathematical and grammatical skills alone – I’d be (and have been) pummeled. If I change the game, however, and think my way through the test, I’ll have a better chance,” he explains.

Do you have an MBA-centric blog? Want it featured in an upcoming B-School Buzz post? If so, email me at buzz@StacyBlackman.com.

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Know Parents’ Role in the MBA Admissions Process [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Know Parents’ Role in the MBA Admissions Process
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
If Mom and Dad are actively involved in your MBA application process, then it might be time to rethink their role at this critical career crossroads. The admissions committee wants to see applicants with demonstrated leadership and maturity, which is hard to convey with parents chiming in at every step along the way.

So-called “helicopter parents” may have the best intentions, but their interfering actions could unwittingly jeopardize their child’s chances of admission to a top business school. Millennials, defined roughly as anyone born between 1980 and 2002, have an upbringing rooted in play dates, involved parents and constant feedback and praise for their accomplishments.

[See how authenticity can support an MBA application.]

Millennials typically enjoy a cozier parent-child relationship than any previous generation, but it’s important for parents to strike the appropriate balance between taking an active interest in their adult child’s education and career choices and hijacking the responsibilities those choices entail. This is true even if parents are fully or partially footing the bill, which is more and more often the case, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s latest Prospective Students Survey Report.

Business schools certainly welcome parents when they come to visit their enrolled students, and tolerate those who join their children on a general admissions tour. But unlike undergraduate admissions, where parents are assumed to be heavily involved, the expectation in MBA admissions is that students are independent, fully formed professionals. When parental involvement becomes intrusive, it raises a serious red flag about the candidate’s ability to be successful in the program.

[Find out how a personal brand can help an MBA application.]

So what level of parental involvement is appropriate when it comes to the b-school admissions process? In my view as an MBA consultant, it’s perfectly all right for parents to get in touch with my company for information about how admissions consulting works, to chip in or cover the costs of consulting, or to provide helpful insight or act as a sounding board for their children’s essays – if they request it.

Parents should not attempt to guide the process themselves, however. I’ve had parents ask for conference calls to discuss their child’s issues without the applicant on the phone. Getting on a call without my actual client on the line makes no sense.

We’ve also known cases of parents impersonating their child when contacting the school admissions office with questions about financial aid, application status and more. If discovered, this deception will cause irreparable damage to the applicant’s candidacy.

The truth is, parents may know their children very well in a certain light, but they don’t necessarily know how to reveal the aspects of their child that will be most appealing to business schools. In some cases, their opinions are slanted in completely the wrong way and can actually be harmful.

[Learn how to stand out among b-school applicants.]

We have had many incidents of parents nearly derailing the process when they critique and tear apart the applicant’s MBA essays that my consultants have already determined are pretty much good to go. When that happens, we’re left wondering why they paid for expert consulting in the first place.

The urge to insert themselves into the admissions process likely stems from a desire to protect their children from failure or disappointment, but parents can serve their children’s needs better by cheering from the sidelines and offering moral support if a setback or ding does occur.

Even if they still rely on Mom and Dad for advice and financial support, graduate-level students are adults who are expected to be capable of making independent, adult decisions. If you’re the student in this scenario, make sure you set limits with your parents’ involvement so as not to jeopardize your candidacy by creating a poor impression of your decision-making capacities.

And parents: Trust that you’ve done a great job and that your child is responsible enough to make the right decisions for his or her future.

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Michigan Ross Students Launch Private Equity Club [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross Students Launch Private Equity Club
Two students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have started the school’s first private equity club to strengthen the relationship between students interested in the industry and professionals.

The group, called Michigan Ross Private Equity, was formed by founder and co-president Greg Sanker. He is joined by co-president Ann Brophy, both MBA students at the school. The group is advised by Professor David Brophy, who serves as the director of the school’s Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance and is Ann Brophy’s father.

Michigan Ross Private Equity has attracted close to 100 members so far, each of whom pays about $100 to join. The money will be used primarily to run the club’s upcoming events. “We’re one of the more expensive clubs on campus, [so] it’s great to see so many people sign up,” Sanker says.

The club has organized several events and plans a full-blown private equity conference, akin to those held at Wharton School and Harvard Business School, in 2016. Other events include a panel during the Michigan Private Equity Conference on Oct. 17.

The club’s conference will be “for students, put on by students, for everyone’s benefit,” Sanker says, describing the difference between the group’s event and the existing private equity conference.

Also, Michigan Ross Private Equity will run a “Private Equity Advisory” program for students to work directly with private equity firms.

The club is working to grow its alumni members and build awareness outside the university. Michigan Ross Private Equity wants to bring on more advisory board members who are private equity professionals and University of Michigan alumni. Also, the group also wants to find private equity firms looking for students to work with them during the school year, Sanker says.

Both Sanker and Brophy have private equity experience. Sanker worked for about two years prior to business school at River Cities Capital Funds focusing primarily on control equity investments in healthcare service companies. Brophy worked this summer at Huron Capital Partners.

“Working in middle market private equity was a great learning experience. It’s a profession that combines disciplines from entrepreneurship and finance, two fields I’m very passionate about,” Sanker says. “Michigan Ross is one of the best business schools in the world without a private equity club. I want to help students discover what I did at River Cities and build the school’s presence in the industry.”

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Tuesday Tips: London Business School MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: London Business School MBA Essay Tips
London Business School is a close knit program with an international focus, set in one of the most exciting centers of culture in Europe. Among one of the top ranked programs in the world, LBS is equally valued by recruiters in both the US and Europe. LBS is an excellent choice for MBA hopefuls who have international experience, a goal to work in London or other parts of Europe, or just an interest in attending school outside the US.

LBS has significantly slimmed down the essays required for the application this year. It will be a challenge for you you to present everything you may want about your career, extracurriculars and personal attributes. Make sure you formulate a clear game plan for this set of essays so you can maximize the questions and the space permitted to make your case for admission.

Essay 1
What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)

Defining your post-MBA plans may be difficult as you approach your question. Most MBA applicants are pursuing the degree for a specific career goal post-MBA, but if you need a bit more reflection to answer this question it is worth doing the work. Self-awareness about your strengths and interests will help you refine what you want. To take your research deeper it may be incredibly helpful to talk to colleagues and alumni who have MBAs in your field to see what your career path options are. Make sure that your career goals are both realistic and aspirational. An MBA will certainly open doors for you, and also may define a specific career path. Make sure you are well-informed about what others have done before you.

Your past experiences have certainly informed your post-MBA plans, and touching on those most relevant will be helpful to setting the background for your current pursuit of an MBA. To make this essay more than a rehash of your resume, think about explaining the rationale for your decisions throughout the essay. Why did you pursue your past experience and what has been the impetus behind subsequent career choices? At this point, why are you choosing LBS? If space permits, you will want to discuss why you have made the choice to pursue an MBA at this time, and why you want to attend LBS.

Essay 2

How will you add value to the London Business School community? (300 words)

Thorough research into the London Business School community will be crucial here, whether online or in person. Consider both the academic community and the extracurricular communities. Reaching out to the clubs and organizations you are most interested in may allow you to interact with a current student who can provide context for you. To be most effective in answering this question you will want to be specific and logical in your choices of activities you will impact. What activities make the most sense in the context of your career and industry interests? What about your hobbies? Any community involvement you are currently pursuing and plan to continue could start to demonstrate your value to the groups you plan to join or lead at LBS.

International experience may be another asset to the LBS community you can touch upon in this essay. Since LBS is a particularly international program they are certainly seeking applicants who are well traveled and thoughtful about the rest of the world. If you focus on an international background make sure you are able to explain what you have learned from interacting with cultures that are not your own, and relate your experiences back to what you will bring to LBS.

Essay 3
Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (300 words)

This essay can be used to explain possible weaknesses in your application like a low GPA or GMAT score, or could be another opportunity to reveal an aspect of your candidacy that has not been covered in the previous questions.

If you use this space to explain a less than stellar aspect of your candidacy make sure you are offering explanations and not excuses. Keep all background information succinct and factual (no whining!) and explain the concrete steps you have taken to improve your candidacy and to be ready for an MBA programme like LBS.

If you are in the enviable position of having nothing to explain, this can be a great opportunity to touch on a personal story or add color to your career goals. Especially if you have a unique background or an experience that has shaped your outlook on life and career this could be a place to discuss that personal aspect of your candidacy.

Challenged by the LBS essay questions? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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Beyonce Profiled in New HBS Case Study [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Beyonce Profiled in New HBS Case Study
Harvard Business School will publish a new case study next week examining Beyoncé’s stealth release of her self-titled 2013 “visual album” from a variety of business-related perspectives, the Harvard Gazette reports.

To refresh your memory, Beyoncé and her entire management team and corporate partners kept the album a secret until its release just after midnight on December 13, 2013, and fans had to buy the entire album—no individual song purchases allowed.

HBS students will look at what it took to pull off this ambitious campaign, market conditions at the time, the structural and technical obstacles, and the many difficult decisions that cropped up for Beyoncé and her team along the way, the Gazette reveals, adding that the case asks MBA students what they would have done it they were working for the pop idol.

“She’s clearly among the most powerful people in the music industry at the moment … so to understand the operation behind such a powerful figure is always very interesting,” says Anita Elberse, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at HBS who co-wrote the case study with a former student, Stacie Smith, MBA ’14.

The study will be taught in Elberse’s course “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries” in early October, the Gazette reports.

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Applications Rising for Two-Year MBA Programs [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Applications Rising for Two-Year MBA Programs
For a third straight year, applications to full-time, two-year MBA programs showed marked growth, according to the 2014 Application Trends Survey, released by the Graduate Management Admission Council. By comparison, the survey reported a flattening or decrease in applications to other graduate management program types.

The survey also highlighted trends observed in GMAT testing that show a growing number of students seeking to study outside their country of citizenship. These candidates make up a significant portion of the talent pool for many MBA and non-MBA master’s programs and are driving changes in year-on-year application volume globally.

The increasingly global talent pool has been emerging for more than a decade, and has shaped the development of management education — both in where it is growing, as well as the in the mix of programs types offered to meet the needs of global students.

“Viewed in tandem, there is good news for both students and schools in this survey, as well as in our recent Corporate Recruiters Survey [released in May 2014], where 4 out of 5 companies said they planned to hire MBA graduates in 2014,” says Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO.

The 2014 Applications Trend Survey found that 61 percent of global full-time two-year MBA programs participating in the survey reported application growth — up from 50 percent of programs in 2013.

Among other findings of the 2014 survey are:

  • The percentage of professional MBA programs (part-time, flexible, online, and executive MBA) reporting increased application volume was higher this year than in 2013, however, the majority of programs is not yet experiencing growth.
  • Results for 2014 are mixed for the specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs. Growth in application volume is seen among Master in Marketing and Communications, Master in Information Technology, Master in Management, and Master of Accounting programs. Master of Finance programs are experiencing declining volume for the third year in a row.
  • In the United States, 65 percent of full-time two-year MBA programs report receiving more applications from foreign candidates, while demand also continues to improve among domestic candidates (up for 48% of programs in 2014 compared with 22% in 2012).
  • The following programs reported a majority of foreign candidates in their applicant pools:
    • Master of Finance (82% of applicants)
    • Master in Management (73%)
    • Master in Marketing and Communications (69%)
    • Full-time one-year MBA (56%)
    • Full-time two-year MBA (52%)
  • Citizens of countries in East and Southeast Asia and Central and South Asia make up the majority of foreign candidates applying to programs in Asia-Pacific, Canada, India, and the United States.
  • Programs located in Europe received their largest share of foreign candidates from East and Southeast Asia and from other European countries.
“For schools, the rise over the last three years in two-year applications is welcome. This echoes other research that tells us how highly students value their two-year MBA degrees for the personal, professional and financial advantages it conveys,” says Chofla. “For students, GMAC’s Corporate Recruiters Survey may very well signal a change in hiring from a cost-driven, recession-driven organizational focus, to a growth-driven focus utilizing the skills that MBA programs are designed to develop.”

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Applications Rising for Two-Year MBA Programs [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Applications Rising for Two-Year MBA Programs
For a third straight year, applications to full-time, two-year MBA programs showed marked growth, according to the 2014 Application Trends Survey, released by the Graduate Management Admission Council. By comparison, the survey reported a flattening or decrease in applications to other graduate management program types.

The survey also highlighted trends observed in GMAT testing that show a growing number of students seeking to study outside their country of citizenship. These candidates make up a significant portion of the talent pool for many MBA and non-MBA master’s programs and are driving changes in year-on-year application volume globally.

The increasingly global talent pool has been emerging for more than a decade, and has shaped the development of management education — both in where it is growing, as well as the in the mix of programs types offered to meet the needs of global students.

“Viewed in tandem, there is good news for both students and schools in this survey, as well as in our recent Corporate Recruiters Survey [released in May 2014], where 4 out of 5 companies said they planned to hire MBA graduates in 2014,” says Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO.

The 2014 Applications Trend Survey found that 61 percent of global full-time two-year MBA programs participating in the survey reported application growth — up from 50 percent of programs in 2013.

Among other findings of the 2014 survey are:

  • The percentage of professional MBA programs (part-time, flexible, online, and executive MBA) reporting increased application volume was higher this year than in 2013, however, the majority of programs is not yet experiencing growth.
  • Results for 2014 are mixed for the specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs. Growth in application volume is seen among Master in Marketing and Communications, Master in Information Technology, Master in Management, and Master of Accounting programs. Master of Finance programs are experiencing declining volume for the third year in a row.
  • In the United States, 65 percent of full-time two-year MBA programs report receiving more applications from foreign candidates, while demand also continues to improve among domestic candidates (up for 48% of programs in 2014 compared with 22% in 2012).
  • The following programs reported a majority of foreign candidates in their applicant pools:
    • Master of Finance (82% of applicants)
    • Master in Management (73%)
    • Master in Marketing and Communications (69%)
    • Full-time one-year MBA (56%)
    • Full-time two-year MBA (52%)
  • Citizens of countries in East and Southeast Asia and Central and South Asia make up the majority of foreign candidates applying to programs in Asia-Pacific, Canada, India, and the United States.
  • Programs located in Europe received their largest share of foreign candidates from East and Southeast Asia and from other European countries.
“For schools, the rise over the last three years in two-year applications is welcome. This echoes other research that tells us how highly students value their two-year MBA degrees for the personal, professional and financial advantages it conveys,” says Chofla. “For students, GMAC’s Corporate Recruiters Survey may very well signal a change in hiring from a cost-driven, recession-driven organizational focus, to a growth-driven focus utilizing the skills that MBA programs are designed to develop.”

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Tuesday Tips: Cornell MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Cornell MBA Essay Tips
Over the past several years Cornell’s Johnson MBA program has revamped everything from the curriculum, to the programs offered by the school to the application process. Candidates can now choose between a traditional two-year full time MBA program and a one-year program designed for focused candidates with an educational foundation in business topics. Another, newer program, offers a one-year study opportunity in New York City focused on technology.

Cornell’s application process has innovated as well. Now a new process integrates Linked In profiles with the application process allowing candidates to auto-fill sections of the application. If you’re looking for help and advice on any aspect of your Cornell MBA application, contact us to learn more.

Applicants for both the One-Year and Two-Year Ithaca based MBA programs: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2,000 characters or less please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity

This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your unique career goals, personal attributes or community involvement. Something that has been a constant theme in your life since childhood could be an interesting part of this essay. Perhaps you have had a lifelong involvement with a charity, sport or musical pursuit.

When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key stories involving your friends, family, professional pursuits, hobbies or interests that impacted the person you are now? This narrative likely has more than one focus because you are more than one-dimensional. You may spend one chapter on a personal event, another on interests in school, and another on an important travel experience. Consider balancing the personal, professional and extracurricular carefully to communicate as much as possible about each area.

Though the essay specifically asks for the Table of Contents, you can certainly illuminate each chapter through brief descriptions. Describe the major milestones and be sure to share your essay with friends and family to make sure you are communicating effectively though the creative exercise.

One-Year Ithaca applicants only: How does your pre-MBA experience prepare you for the job that you envision post-MBA? (2,000 characters)

Two-Year Ithaca applicants only: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2,000 characters)

Both the applicants to the one- and two-year programs in Ithaca are asked to define career goals in this set of essays. The essay for the one-year program asks for your career goals, but also asks for more detail on your pre-MBA experience. The two-year essay prompt is more directly focused on your job immediately post MBA.

For either essay you will want to give some background about why you are interested in your specific career pursuits. Rather than reciting every experience pre-MBA you ideally will focus on the key inflection points in your career. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.

For the one-year essay prompt note that the essay asks generally about your pre-MBA experiences and not only your purely professional experiences. You may have learned about yourself and your interests from an extracurricular or volunteer activity and that background may be entirely appropriate for this question as well.

Make sure to spend enough time on how the Cornell MBA will help you achieve your career goals to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important as you develop your career network.

Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech: As the only MBA program not housed in a business school, we know our students will be different. Students will be part of an innovative environment where creativity, technical sophistication, and sharp business sense share seats at the table. We value expressions of who you are and what you add to this formula.

There are three ways to demonstrate how you fit within this dynamic setting. You must select one of the following as part of your application, demonstrating your creativity, style and technical experience:
• send a link to your work
• upload a video
• provide a written sample


Whether you choose a creative approach or write an essay in response to this question, researching the Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech is a productive way to start working on this question. The Johnson MBA focuses heavily on technology and digital, and is seeking students who have practical experience in those areas. This experience could span anything from programming to graphic design, or even business development.

If you are someone with a creative or technical skill set than sending a link to your work may be an ideal expression of why you are applying to this program. For almost anyone creating a video could demonstrate your creativity, personal attributes, and personal fit with the program. If you focus on a written essay as a response make sure you are able to communicate your passion for technology, the digital economy, and the opportunity to study with students in the Cornell Tech Master’s program.

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Is an MD/MBA Degree Right for You? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Is an MD/MBA Degree Right for You?
Earlier this week, The Atlantic published an in-depth piece exploring the rise of the M.D./MBA degree. It seems there’s been an explosion of joint MD/MBA programs in the United States, growing from six to 65 in 20 years, The Atlantic reports, noting that from 2011 and 2012 alone, the number increased by 25%.

In its characteristic exhaustive fashion, The Atlantic looks at the numerous advantages for hospital administrators that have both degrees, because, as one MD/MBA graduate quoted in the piece says, “Many of the greatest challenges in healthcare today are business problems.”

An interesting cultural point mentioned in the article is how differently these two disciplines operate. In medicine, there’s a rigid hierarchy with absolute respect for attending physicians, while in business school, students are taught that the next great idea can come from anyone, no matter their age or professional experience.

It’s a great read, and chock-full of ideas on how merging these two disciplines can greatly benefit today’s complex healthcare industry. I urge anyone considering this dual degree option to check out the article by following the link above.

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Wharton MBA Class of ’16’s Entrepreneurial Mindset [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton MBA Class of ’16’s Entrepreneurial Mindset
It seems this year’s incoming MBA students to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School are an incredibly entrepreneurial-minded bunch, with 5% coming in with prior entrepreneurship experience, and 23% who say they plan to start their own company after graduation.

“In addition, 82 students in the Class of 2016 have held significant roles at startups—that’s up from just over 30 last year. So we know they’ve got the startup bug,” writes Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship, on the school’s entrepreneurship blog.

Take at look at the chart below to see how this new class continues to build upon Wharton’s entrepreneurial drive, as compared to the Class of 2015.



image credit: UPenn Wharton School

With all of the programs, contests, and awards available at Wharton, Kavanaugh says,”We look forward to a lifetime of supporting these dynamic individuals as they pursue the often complex career path of entrepreneurship, whether they launch their first businesses the day before graduation or 25 years after.”

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Nothing ‘Dirty’ About Professional Networking [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Nothing ‘Dirty’ About Professional Networking
MBA programs place a major emphasis on networking skills with their students and graduates, but a new study written by professors at Harvard Business School, Rotman School of Management, and Kellogg School of Management looks at the sometimes negative psychological impact professional networking can have on an individual.

Financial Times covers the study in a recent article, and looks at the issue of how professional networking can make people feel awkward and insincere because it’s perceived as being about career self-interest rather than making friends.

This sense of “moral impurity”, as its labeled by the researchers, prevents people from networking further, says the Rotman School’s Tiziana Casciaro, who is an associate professor of organizational behavior and human resource management.

“[These feelings] really have an impact on someone’s career. Networking is better for people’s development and advancement, this is how you learn the job, acquire knowledge and opportunities. It is important,” Casciaro tells FT.

To break out of the negative mindset toward networking, professionals must remember that cultivating a reciprocal relationship where both parties share knowledge and have mutual respect is a valid and important goal. Be willing to put time into building the relationship, and also be open to discovering new relationships, which may come from the most unlikely of places.

The best way to feel good about professional networking is to give before you get. Become a resource for others: pass on articles that could be helpful, or share employment leads when appropriate.

“If you keep an open mind and see it as an exchange of knowledge it becomes a much less selfish exercise,” Casciaro says, adding that having a genuine curiosity about the person they are talking to will make the networking far more successful.

You may also be interested in:
Economist Ranks MBA Programs for Networking Potential

Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/2014/10/05/3464 ... rylink=cpy

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Admissions Updates from Michigan Ross [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Admissions Updates from Michigan Ross

Yesterday, October 7th, marked the Round 1 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business, and Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Soojin Kwon posted some information on her blog today that will be helpful for R1 as well as future applicants.

Perhaps the biggest news is for international candidates, who applied in greater numbers this year and will be able to take advantage of a new non-cosigner international student loan by Prodigy Finance, available to Ross students as well as admits to 15 other top business schools in the pilot U.S. program.

In a departure from many business schools, Kwon notes that this year’s required essay questions don’t touch upon the most common queries of all: What are your career goals? Why an MBA? Why Ross? It isn’t because the program isn’t interested in hearing about these subjects. Rather, the questions will be addressed during the MBA interview instead.

“This more closely replicates the experience you’re going to have as an MBA student going through the recruiting process,” Kwon explains. “And, asking those questions in an interview enables us to ask follow-up questions.”

The admissions director also highlights upcoming events this week at Ross, including UpClose, a diversity preview event October 10-11th for more than one hundred prospective students and alumni. Ross will also host a Social Innovation Summit this Friday, featuring speakers working in social entrepreneurship, impact investing, food security and urban farming, and workforce development.

Finally, Kwon encourages applicants to connect with the Ross Student Ambassadors, who can provide the inside scoop on what student life at Ross is like. This may be especially helpful for those unable to come to campus and attend an admissions event in person.

You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips

Michigan Ross Students Launch Private Equity Club

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Application Insights from UCLA Anderson [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Application Insights from UCLA Anderson

Most MBA admissions teams stress that the application process is holistic, meaning they take into account all elements of the candidate’s application and don’t assign overwhelming weight to any one aspect.

In a recent update to UCLA Anderson School of Management‘s MBA Insider’s Blog, Associate Director of MBA Admissions Jessica Chung provides some answers for applicants who have expressed concern over how UCLA Anderson weighs test scores and undergraduate academic performance.

Like several elite business schools, Anderson now accepts either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the GMAT for admission. Chung is more candid than most in MBA admissions when she advises, “If you have not taken either test and are unsure which one to study for, I would lean towards the GMAT since it was designed specifically for business school admissions and we have more familiarity with it.”

Ultimately applicants should choose whichever exam they feel comfortable with that would best highlight their abilities, but from Chung’s comment we come away feeling that the GMAT is still the “gold standard” in MBA admissions simply because it’s a more more known entity.

A diverse class leads to a robust and lively educational experience, which is why UCLA Anderson encourages applicants from all majors to apply. For that reason, applicants with little quantitative experience in undergrad should strive to do exceptionally well on the GMAT or GRE. On the flip side, candidates with a strong quantitative track record in an academic or employment setting might alleviate any concerns admissions might have over a less-than-stellar test score.

Interestingly, Chung explains that the admissions team looks beyond the grades or GPA of your undergraduate transcript and considers factors such as the rigor of your school and course load trends over time.

All of the puzzle pieces—test scores, GPA, essay, recommendation letter, interview, work experience—are considered when it comes to making admissions decisions, and, says Chung, “It’s this holistic approach that leads us to an incredible class each year!”

*  *  *

The Round 1 deadline is coming up on October 22, 2014. Please check out our Fall 2015 UCLA Anderson MBA essay tips for advice on how to approach this year’s streamlined essay prompt.

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Harvard Business School Round 1 Interview News [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Round 1 Interview News
Earlier this week, Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold announced that the first wave of interview invites to Round 1 applicants were heading out to roughly 800 lucky inboxes, with another batch of 150 to come on October 15th.

On that date, HBS will also inform about 200 applicants via email that the admissions team would like to “further consider” their applications in Round 2. Applicants to the 2+2 program will be invited to interview on the October 15th wave as well.

October 15th is also the date HBS will “release” candidates who are not moving forward. “We hope that by doing this early, we are enabling this group to pursue other options sooner vs. later,” the director explains.

Finally, Leopold requests that applicants refrain from sending in any additional supporting documents. “We’ve designed an evaluation process that we believe is as thorough and fair as we can make it,” she says. “It’s not perfect, but it certainly is a process to which we dedicate a tremendous amount of care and concern.”

You may also be interested in:
Harvard Business School 2014-2015 MBA Essay Tips

MBA Trends at Harvard Business School and Beyond

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Harvard Business School Round 1 Interview News [#permalink]
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