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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Make the Most of Each Application Component [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Make the Most of Each Application Component
As you pull together your MBA application materials, try to think of each component as an opportunity to tell the AdCom something new about yourself.

What we mean is, don’t simply copy and paste bullet points from your resume into your data forms. Offer up new details when you supply responses for fields such as “role responsibilities,” “key accomplishments” or “biggest challenge.”

Similarly, if you focused on your volunteer work in one of your essays, highlight a different extracurricular activity in your data forms or resume. And don’t have your recommenders tout the exact same “significant achievement” in their letters that you already covered elsewhere.

Certain aspects of your package, such as your GMAT/GRE score and your undergraduate GPA, are truly data points in the most literal sense of the word. But everything else should be viewed as complementary chapters of an interesting story—a story about you. After the AdCom is finished reviewing all of your materials, they should have an understanding of your personality, what you’ve achieved, what your goals are, and what you could offer their program.

Your test scores, transcripts and GPA will tell them something about your capacity to handle their curriculum. Your resume shows your career progression, increased responsibilities and demonstrated results. Depending on the school, some data forms offer a chance to add color to personal and professional achievements. Your recommendation letters can offer even more proof of your leadership potential. And your essays can give them a sense of your “voice,” as well as provide insight into what makes you tick or what you’re passionate about.

It’s a good thing that the AdCom will be judging you on your entire package, though, right? We’re all so much more than just our jobs, our grades, or our volunteer experience.

Think of it this way:

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Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll receive our expert advice straight in your mailbox before it appears on the blog, plus special offers, promotions, discounts, invitations to events, and more.

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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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Targeted Tips for Women MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2014, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Targeted Tips for Women MBA Applicants
Are there specific tips and tactics just for women who are applying to business school? While it’s tempting to dismiss the existence of any gender differences in the application process or in student life, you don’t have to look back very far to see just how controversial the subject still is.

Harvard Business School celebrated 50 years of women at the school in January 2014, and the occasion drew massive attention for the unexpected apology issued by HBS dean Nitin Nohria to female students and professors past and present for any sexist or offensive behavior they experienced at the revered business school.

Given this reality, I happily shared some of the advice we offer female applicants at Stacy Blackman Consulting for MBA Channel’s recent article, Applying to business school: What’s the right approach for women?

Obviously, these tips won’t apply for every female applicant. But there are certain demographic stereotypes that persist, and being on the lookout for these red flags just makes good sense.

I have had several clients with recommenders who have told them that they received calls from the admissions committee to probe on certain points.  In particular: “is the applicant confident, will she speak up in class discussions, is she timid, etc…”  Almost all of these anecdotes have occurred with female clients.

In the application process, it is critical to make sure that they exude that comfort and confidence.  Essays, interviews and recommendations need to indicate a comfort level with speaking out, defending points of view, collaborating with all types of people.

An interview coach I worked with also had direction for women: don’t play with your hair, don’t fiddle with jewellery, don’t adjust your clothing – just focus on looking your interviewer straight in the eye and answering questions with complete focus and confidence.

Business schools have made significant efforts to increase female enrollment in recent years, and the numbers are much higher than when I was at Kellogg School of Management. Some male-dominated post-MBA career paths, such as finance, are more hungry for women as well.  So a woman targeting finance may have an advantage over one pursuing a role in brand management.  This is true in the MBA admissions process as well as in the job search.

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

You may also be interested in:
Gender or Social Gap: What’s the Real Issue at HBS?

Enrollment Flags for Women Pursuing the MBA

 

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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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Do’s and Don’ts of Convincing MBA Programs You’re a Good Fit [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Do’s and Don’ts of Convincing MBA Programs You’re a Good Fit
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Focusing on fit is one of the most important elements of finding the right business school. This can seem like an abstract thing to determine at first glance. After all, many students assume they’d be just as happy at Harvard Business School as they would at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business or MIT Sloan School of Management.

This might be true, but these top business schools really aren’t one-size-fits-all.

Your job, then, is to find out what is unique about each program, determine what about the program will most benefit your career goals, and persuade the admissions committee to take a chance that you will be a vibrant addition to its community. Many schools ask a version of the essay question, “Why Us?” – so here are some do’s and don’ts for addressing that prompt either in your application essay, or later on during the admissions interview.

Don’t: Regurgitate the well-known characteristics of the program as a way of explaining your interest. I’ve read countless first drafts of essays that cite the “unmatched student body, world-class faculty, and committed alumni network” as the reasons the applicant has chosen a certain MBA program. The admissions committee knows what the program’s strengths are and doesn’t want to read essay after essay of its own marketing messages.

Do: Show what you’ve learned about the program, beyond what you’ve read in the brochures and website, that makes it stand out for you. Your first point of entry will often be by participating in information sessions online or in your area, but the best way to really get to know the school is by visiting the campus and sitting in on a class. There’s no replacement for spending time in that environment to soak up the energy and get an authentic feel for the student experience.

Other ways to obtain a deeper understanding of the program include contacting the student clubs you are interested in, becoming a regular reader of the MBA student blogs many programs have and speaking to alumni. The feeling you walk away with after having personal contact with students past and present will speak volumes about whether the choice is a good fit for you.

[Follow these exercises to help MBA applicants develop a personal brand.]

If you can you already see yourself learning alongside the students at the MBA program you’re considering, or if your coffee chat with an alum gave you a great impression about the strength of the alumni network, make sure you say so in your application.

Don’t: Make the common mistake of extolling the superiority of the program you’re targeting over all other schools. The admissions committee isn’t interested in declarations of eternal love and will likely suspect that you’re professing the same adoration for every school to which you’re applying.

Do: Focus on how your career goals, interests and educational needs are a good match for the program. Whether the school is known for its emphasis on the case method, experiential learning or lecture-based learning, explain why you too favor that format. Discuss which specific courses would help you develop some of the skills that are missing from your toolbox.

Applicants usually have a clear picture of where they want to work after graduation, so let the admissions committee know if you think the program’s geographic location is an ideal place to launch your post-MBA career.

If you love the fact that the program provides ample opportunities for working and studying abroad, explain how having that experience ties in to your plans. Also, if you discover there is a club on campus dedicated to one of your hobbies or passions, show how you would participate and contribute to that side of the student experience.

[Learn how to stand out in a competitive business school application pool.]

Don’t: Assume the admissions committee will immediately understand why you want to do an MBA based on your previous career experience.

Do: Explain in great detail why the degree is the next logical step in your career trajectory, and provide concrete examples of how a particular program will help you reach those goals. Perhaps the program is known for its strengths in an area you wish to specialize in, or offers an intriguing dual degree program.

If there’s a particular industry you want to break into, or a company you really want to work for, research placement stats through the career services office to find out if they recruit heavily at your target program. After all, the school wants to make sure they can help you find work after you graduate.

As you can see, there are many ways to determine a genuine interest in a program that goes far beyond the latest MBA rankings. Going to business school is an expensive yet rewarding experience, and arming yourself with as much information as possible will go a long way toward making an informed decision.

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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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New MOOC Partnership Between Coursera and ISB [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2014, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New MOOC Partnership Between Coursera and ISB
Coursera, the US-based online education provider, and the Indian School of Business (ISB) signed a partnership agreement earlier this month to develop courses for Coursera’s 10-million-plus learners. A course on “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment,” designed by Professor Raj Raghunathan, visiting professor at the ISB, will be the first to be offered in the series.

ISB will also be Coursera’s first Indian partner to produce and own content. India is Coursera’s largest user base outside the US with over 700,000 learners, and it’s a country with enormous unmet demand for higher education and skill development.

According to researchers, India currently has the capacity to serve 28 million undergraduate students — only about 20% of high school graduates — and faces challenges in adequately preparing graduates for jobs.

“With Coursera participating actively in the India education market, we believe we will be able to provide access to quality resources that will enable generations, now and in the future, to compete in a global economy,” says Dr. Vivek Goel, former Provost of the University of Toronto and Chief Academic Strategist at Coursera.

In recent years, ISB has introduced technology in different ways in its bouquet of programs. The school has a Technology Entrepreneurship Program for young engineers, a course on Business Analytics that combines online as well as classroom learning, and was the first amongst B-schools in the country to adopt a “flipped” classroom model of learning.  The two campuses at Hyderabad and Mohali are connected by smart classrooms and video conferencing making it function as a single entity seamlessly.

“ISB will enhance its footprint in the online education space globally through its association with Coursera,” says Professor Arun Pereira, Executive Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Case Development at the ISB.

“Having introduced several technology based initiatives that have enhanced the learning experience of its students—including blended learning and smart classrooms—ISB will now leverage the expertise of its world class faculty to design and deliver cutting edge courses that are accessible to the world,” Pereira adds.

You may also be interested in:
Indian School of Business Prof on ‘Flipped’ MBA Classrooms

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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

Kudos [?]: 125 [0], given: 0

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3 Challenges Facing B-School Recruitment [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2014, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Challenges Facing B-School Recruitment
Top MBA programs worldwide value diversity because the presence of distinctly different points of view usually leads to more enriching discussions in the classroom and beyond. However, there are challenges to creating a diversified cohort, as Diana Sloan, director of Graduate Marketing & Alumni Relations at the College of Business, Iowa State University, points out in a recent article for Graduate Management News.

In this excerpt, Sloan presents three key challenges business schools are facing, along with suggestions for beginning to address them.

    • Demographics of Business: Gender inequality in the business arena, starting with enrollment in business school, is the byproduct of barriers that have hampered the efforts of generations of women to join the workforce.(…) While a paradigm shift is necessary, business school recruiters can start by educating prospects about opportunities and resources available to them, and presenting a much needed update in expectations regarding gender roles and work-life balance.
    • Geographic Location: Some regions are very demographically homogeneous, making the recruitment of under-represented minorities much more complicated due to the sheer low volume of diverse ethnic groups residing in the region. And, while ideally it should not be a deciding factor for choosing a business school, weather does end up influencing decisions, especially when candidates are choosing between comparable alternatives, one located on a warm sunny coast and the other buried in winter weather for more than half the year.
    • Socioeconomic Factors: Typically, immigrant parents come to the United States seeking a better quality of life for their family, often with the ultimate goal of having their children become first-generation college graduates. (…)Knowing the struggles that their parents went through, these first and second generation Americans may be hesitant to burden the family with additional student loans and related costs to finance their education. In these specific cases, researching and providing clear information on partnerships and resources to aid in their success during and after business school may be the best course of action.
Many business school students express a desire for greater diversity when it comes to issues of gender and sexuality in the workplace, as well as extending the concept of diversity to include a broader socioeconomic range. Although there is no magic bullet to create the ideal, diverse learning setting, groups like The Consortium and Forté Foundation have partnered with schools and are making a concerted effort to reach out to women, the LGBT community, and applicants of color. It will be interesting to see how the landscape shifts over the next decade.

You may also be interested in:
2014 Best Business Schools for Hispanics

Targeted Tips for Women MBA Applicants

 

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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

Kudos [?]: 125 [0], given: 0

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

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New post 26 Nov 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Time to Thank Those Supporting Your MBA Dream
It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and on Thursday, millions of people will take a break to reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. It’s a good time for MBA hopefuls to do the same.

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

Think back to when you first downloaded your applications and make a list of those who played a role in ensuring you felt confident once you hit “submit.” Your recommenders, your friends and family members who proofread your materials or gave you great advice, your co-workers who helped calm your nerves after everything was sent in—everyone who’s supported you. We’re sure they’d appreciate a quick note of thanks.

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

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

Remember:

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Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll receive our expert advice straight in your mailbox before it appears on the blog, plus special offers, promotions, discounts, invitations to events, and more.

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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

Kudos [?]: 125 [0], given: 0

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Taking Your GMAT Score to the Next Level [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Taking Your GMAT Score to the Next Level
Guest post by Rich Cohen, Co-Founder, EMPOWERgmat
The process of putting together a study plan for tackling the GMAT can be a daunting one. First, there are a myriad of different resources. Second, it’s tough to predict how much time will be required. Third, there’s no way to know if your plan is actually going to help you succeed until you get deep into it (and realize that you may have made some ineffective choices along the way).

After putting together a reasonable plan and studying for some appreciable amount of time, the nightmare situation happens: you’re STUCK at a particular score level! Maybe it’s the 500s, maybe it’s the low-to-mid 600s, but you can’t seem to get past it. So now what?

The above situation is arguably the most common problem to strike GMAT test takers during their studies. Thankfully, the solution isn’t that hard to come by, but some serious adjustments must be made.

1) Acknowledge that what you’ve done so far has not gotten you to your goal. Continuing to approach the GMAT in the same way is NOT going to magically fix your problem. Investing in new materials and lessons, and putting in the necessary practice to change how you approach the GMAT, is what’s required.

2) The little areas that you “cheat” on (or skip altogether) during practice are costing you BIG when you take the GMAT. The “reality” of test day should not be ignored. For example, the GMAT requires you to face the Essay and IR sections, so you should include those sections when you take your practice CAT tests. Think about all of the little details that will occur on your test day and do your best to mimic them during practice.

3) YOU are likely causing your pacing problem. Maybe you keep rereading and rereading and rereading prompts. Maybe you don’t take enough notes. Maybe you’re trying to solve a problem the “long” way when faster, more efficient methods are available.

4) Mental acuity is tied to physical well-being. If you have trouble focusing or you lose your will at the end of the Verbal section (and think “I just want this test to be over”), then your problem might actually be physical.

The EMPOWERgmat Score Booster has become wildly successful in helping thousands of test takers to improve on their existing scores, and it’s currently free to try out at www.empowergmat.com. Studying for the GMAT is a BIG task, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one. With the right tools and the proper guidance, you can get “unstuck” in a hurry.

 

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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

Kudos [?]: 125 [0], given: 0

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New Look, Home for Chicago Booth Student Blog [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New Look, Home for Chicago Booth Student Blog
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The MBA student blog at Chicago Booth School of Business has a new look and a new home, Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions, recently shared.

If you’re an applicant who’s interested in learning about the Chicago Booth community and student life, check out TheBoothExp.com. From academics to recruiting and career services, student clubs to summer internships, Ahlm promises “the Booth Experience will provide you with unique access and perspective on the daily lives of our students.”

In a recent post, second-year Linda Yan writes about her experience applying to Booth, and it may put some of you at ease as you prepare your Round 2 applications this month. Yan says she was a traditional MBA candidate–no awesome stories about being a member of the Peace Corps, a globe trotter, or an Iraqi war veteran–and that that’s absolutely okay!

Yan writes: “What’s completely overlooked is that by far and away, business schools are full of people like you and me: bright, ambitious young professionals in traditional fields that recruit talented undergrads and train them to be good at analysis and getting stuff done.”

She goes on to explain in detail how she conveyed her story to the admissions committee, conventional goals and all.  Doesn’t that just make you want to exhale a huge sigh of relief?

If Chicago Booth is on your short list, becoming a regular visitor to the Booth Experience blog is a great way to get to know the school better and determine if it would be a good fit for you. Happy reading!

***
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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

Kudos [?]: 125 [0], given: 0

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FT Crowns London Business School in 2014 European Ranking [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: FT Crowns London Business School in 2014 European Ranking
For the first time since 2005, London Business School has reclaimed the top spot in the Financial Times 2014 ranking of European business schools, knocking last year’s joint winners–HEC Paris and IE Business School–into second and third place, respectively.

According to the FT, the methodology for creating this ranking is based on the combined performance of Europe’s leading schools across the main rankings published by the FT in 2014: MBA, executive MBA, masters in management and non-degree executive education programs.

Both quality and quantity are required to reach the top. Schools must take part in all four rankings to be eligible for a full score, the media outlet explains, so a school that took part in only one ranking is eligible for one-quarter of the total score, and so on. London Business School rose from third last year by participating in all four rankings for the first time.

FT’s Top 10 Business Schools in 2014
  • London Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • IE Business School
  • Esade Business School
  • INSEAD
  • University of St Gallen
  • IESE Business School
  • SDA Bocconi
  • IMD
  • Oxford Saïd Business School
To further break it down, the Financial Times ranks London Business School as the top program for the MBA; HEC Paris best for an EMBA; and St. Gallen for Masters in Management. IMD in Switzerland is lauded for having the most international faculty, with 94% coming from overseas.

The FT also reported on average alumni salaries in Europe three years after graduation, and found that it ranges from $143,000 for EMBAs, $123,000 for MBAs, and $54,000 for MiM grads.  French MBA graduates and Swiss EMBA graduates top their salary scale, FT notes, with average salaries of $137,000 and $166,000 respectively.

The methodology used by the Financial Times is unique and rather complicated, so do study the ranking more closely if you’re interested in seeing how each school’s final score is generated.

You may also be interested in:
4 Factors to Consider About European MBA Programs

Getting a European MBA: A Unique Experience

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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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Is it Time to Hedge Your Round 1 Bets? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Is it Time to Hedge Your Round 1 Bets?
If you applied to schools in Round 1 and are still waiting for final decisions to be released over the next few weeks, you have an important decision to make.

Do you want to:

  • Start working diligently on Round 2 applications in the event that things don’t pan out how you’d like;
  • Wait to see what happens and then crank out a few more applications at the last minute if need be; or
  • Make peace with the fact that you won’t be going back to school if your Round 1 news isn’t positive?
What you ultimately end up doing will be determined by how you answer this question: “Am I feeling lucky?”

You know you did your best with your application materials, and if you received interview invitations from programs that don’t have a policy of meeting with all applicants, then you also know your chances of acceptance went up significantly.

However, even if you were invited to interview at a very selective school, the odds are still only about 50-50 that you’ll be admitted, even if your AdCom or alumni chat went extremely well. Your interview is but one piece of a larger picture the AdCom is considering.

Although it is hard to accept this fact, the reality is that luck plays a not-so-insignificant role in the admissions process. When thousands of highly qualified people are vying for a couple hundred spots at each school, that means that the majority of deserving applicants are not going to receive good news. Those who are admitted not only have excellent credentials, but also had luck on their side the day final decisions were made.

So our advice for Round 1 applicants is to start putting significant effort into at least a few schools for Round 2—just in case. If you end up getting into your dream school, you’ll be so elated that you won’t mind having exerted effort on a Plan B. And if you are not accepted anywhere in Round 1, then you’ll have bought yourself more time to pull together outstanding applications by early January.

Here’s another way to look at it:

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How Does Kellogg Assess MBA Applicants? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Does Kellogg Assess MBA Applicants?
MBA hopefuls are always looking for clues as to how the admissions process works. With that in mind, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has attempted to demystify the applicant assessment process with a series of blog posts this week.

Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for full-time MBA programs at Kellogg, addresses three key areas in this series: intellectual ability, work experience, and professional goals. While this information is tailored for a specific group of applicants, we believe the guidance holds true no matter where you’re applying.

Kellogg is looking for candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence. While your GMAT or GRE scores are key indicators that you can handle the work, the admissions team also wants to see what you’ve done to broaden your knowledge base and challenge yourself academically.

“If your scores or grades seem a little lopsided, we dig deeper into your application to look for evidence that you’ve taken steps to develop those skills,” says Tidmarsh. “That tells us if you’ve taken charge of balancing out your skill set.”

When in doubt, err on the side of explaining any dips or gaps in your academic record. You never want the admissions team speculating about your past performance.

Tidmarsh’s comments about work experience are particularly enlightening, and perhaps reassuring as well for some candidates. The director explains that applicants are analyzed within the context of their own career paths—not compared against each other.

Use your application to show how your work experience is noteworthy. If you’ve taken on more responsibilities, been promoted more quickly, and generally progressed faster than others at your same level, this is the kind of information the admissions officers want to hear, says Tidmarsh.

We really like her tip to help applicants avoid the trap of using too much industry-specific jargon.

“Think about how you would explain your job to a 10-year-old or your grandmother…This is a great place to show us how you can communicate ideas across fields and disciplines.”

Because the admissions team already has a copy of your resume, use the opportunities within the application to further explain your responsibilities and provide rich detail about your career to date. Don’t just copy your resume into the input fields, Tidmarsh admonishes.

Finally, it’s important to have a pretty clear picture of your career goals and how a Kellogg MBA will help you reach them. That’s not to say you can’t change your mind once you’re on campus. Students often explore new paths while in business school, and may decide to pursue a new direction after experiencing all that an MBA program has to offer.

“Our Admissions officers are checking to make sure you’ve got a plan in mind. We understand the plan may change over time, but do think about what areas and opportunities you would focus on if you were starting our program today,” Tidmarsh advises.

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UC Berkeley Haas to Build State-of-the-Art ‘Learning Laboratory’ [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UC Berkeley Haas to Build State-of-the-Art ‘Learning Laboratory’
UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is constructing a six-story, 80,000 square-foot academic building devoted entirely to student learning and interaction, Haas School Dean Rich Lyons announced Thursday.

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Image courtesy of Berkeley-Haas. Illustration: Jeff Stikeman.

The North Academic Building, as it will be known, will have state-of-the art technology and flexible spaces aimed at transforming the student experience. With group study rooms, flexible classrooms, an indoor/outdoor café, and a large event space with views of the San Francisco Bay, the building will be able to adapt to new forms of educational technology and learning.

This addition provides an extra 858 classroom seats, and each classroom will have the infrastructure for video streaming and capture, as well as video teleconferencing.

“The building also creates a place that will enhance our ability to teach innovative leadership concepts to our students, by providing abundant space for them to collaborate with one another as they learn in teams, and rooms for them to engage in applied innovation learning activities,” Lyons said. “This is at the core of what differentiates the Berkeley-Haas education.”

The $60 million structure will be funded with private donations from alumni and friends of the school. Ned Spieker, BS 66, managing partner of the private real estate firm Spieker Partners, was the school’s lead partner for developing the vision for this building.

The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund; Robert G. O’Donnell, BS 65 and MBA 66, retired senior VP and director of Capital Research and Management Company; and the late Barclay Simpson, BS 43, who founded and chaired Simpson Manufacturing Co.; among others, also have contributed significant gifts to the campaign.

Designed by the global architectural firm Perkins+Will, the project will achieve at least certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status in recognition of its environmentally conscious design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Construction should conclude in fall 2016.

“This new academic building will readily support and improve both on-campus and technology-enabled learning for our undergraduate and graduate students and enable the school to keep pace with rapid changes in the delivery of management education,” said Lyons. “The goal of the new facility is to create the best, most up to date learning experience for our students. It’s all about them.”

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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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Round 3 Attracts Maverick MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2014, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 3 Attracts Maverick MBA Applicants
Round three is far and away the most competitive round in MBA admissions. Almost all of the seats have already been filled, and applications submitted this late in the game need to be absolutely amazing…and come with some sort of explanation as to why the candidate waited until the last minute to apply.

One former admissions employee explains that people best suited for this round have a highly unique background that would truly add to the class. Such as, for example, the Olympic gold medalist from Cameroon.

The directors of MBA admissions profiled in a recent Wall Street Journal piece on late-round applicants seem to agree.

“We actually enjoy round three,” Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, tells the WSJ. “It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.”

In the past, applicants often applied in Round 3 as a last-ditch effort to get into business school after being dinged by their first-choice schools in Rounds 1 and 2. But Liz Riley Hargrove, associate dean for admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, believes times have changed. Fuqua admissions officers look for later-round candidates with backgrounds in Peace Corps service or nonprofit management, among others, she tells the WSJ.

Waiting until the final round has significant drawbacks, including reduced access to merit-based aid, having no choice but to interview on-campus, and missing out on welcome weekends. But this round may be a great time for military veterans, entrepreneurs, and candidates from underrepresented geographic or ethnic group to apply, notes the WSJ.

If you are considering submitting your MBA application in the final round, make sure it is strong on all fronts, and that your story is compelling with a capital C. You just might be that missing element the admissions committee is looking for to spice up the mix.

You may also be interested in:
 Evaluate in Which Round to Submit Your B-School Application

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Navigate a Job Change While Applying to Business Schools [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2014, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Navigate a Job Change While Applying to Business Schools
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Think about what you would you do if you needed to move into a new job just a few months before submitting your MBA applications. Or, maybe there’s an intriguing career prospect on the horizon, but you’re not sure if changing companies now would help or hurt your chances of admission.

These scenarios happen all the time, so I’d like to share some advice to help you weigh the pros and cons of starting a new position before applying to business school.

[Get tips to overcome the fear of MBA admissions failure.]

One client I worked with, Josh, was deep into his third draft of essays for round one applications when he landed a new job. The move happened just as his former company, a tech startup, had begun a round of layoffs that likely would have included him. While Josh felt excited about starting a new position, he also worried that switching jobs right before submitting his MBA applications could cause problems.

Generally, I advise candidates who have held their position for less than a year to stay put. The admissions committee looks for consistency, and job-hopping could convey flakiness or a lack of clear career goals. However, if you’ve held the same position for a long time, a new career move might show initiative and bolster your candidacy.

Some argue the admissions committee won’t value a horizontal job move but that a vertical move with greater responsibility and leadership opportunities would be viewed favorably. While this is often true, there are always exceptions.

[Learn how to sell yourself in MBA admissions.]

If you’re taking on a career change that’s in line with your long-term goals, you can move to a position with less or equal responsibility as long as you can explain through your essays that you’re trying out something new, but would still benefit from the MBA degree in terms of greater growth in the new field.

Like many applicants in this situation, Josh wondered what to do about hisletters of recommendation, since most schools prefer insight about an applicant from current supervisors. Also, he wasn’t sure how to address his new work responsibilities in essays or the MBA resume while he was still getting up to speed with the practices of his new employer.

Strong recommendations are critical, so ask yourself if your possible job move will burn bridges at your existing company with present or former supervisors. One option would be to share your MBA plans with a new employer and seek a reference from someone at that company.

Because Josh didn’t want his new boss to know about his MBA plans just yet, he was advised to use the optional essay to explain that he had chosen to get a recommendation from his previous supervisors because they were in a better position to provide examples of his leadership traits and work responsibilities.

[Get advice on convincing MBA programs you’re a good fit.]

For the essays, he framed most of his career goals story in the context of the work he had done for the previous three years. Josh touched upon the reasons he joined the new company, but kept a tight focus on what skills he wanted to gain from his MBA and his future goal of starting his own company.

We saved the resume revisions for the end, when Josh had been on the job for a couple of months and felt more confident in describing the responsibilities of his position. This three-pronged approach worked, and Josh was accepted to Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

If there’s one cardinal rule about late-in-the-game job switching, it is to never change positions as a ploy to impress the admissions committee by shifting into a career path you think the school will find safe or compelling. As long as you can show how the recent job change is consistent with your mid- to long-term career goals, you should be fine.

However, be sensitive to any concerns the admissions committee may have that your new job is so great that you won’t actually want to leave after eight months to go to business school. Whether you choose to stay on the existing job or try out a new one, be prepared to explain the whole story in your application.

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Round 1 Notification at Harvard Business School [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 1 Notification at Harvard Business School
In an update to her blog, Dee Leopold, Harvard Business School‘s Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, informed readers that interviewed Round 1 applicants will have a status update on Wednesday, December 10th.

At approximately noon Boston time, you may log in to your application and one of three decisions will appear: denied, waitlisted, or admitted.

Leopold explains that admitted candidates will have immediate access to the prematriculation website, while waitlisted candidates will learn more about timing, updates, etc., and denied applicants will learn about opportunities for “touchpoint” calls.

Good luck to those of you anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s news!

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

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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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Should You Change Your Application Strategy? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2014, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Should You Change Your Application Strategy?
If you applied to MBA programs in Round 1 and are continuing to submit materials to other schools in Round 2, you may be tempted to mix things up for a couple of applications—especially if you’ve already gotten a few dings.

But before you position yourself in an entirely new way, scrap your essays and embark upon a drastically different strategic course, you need to take an objective view of the materials you already submitted. Or better yet, ask someone else who’s familiar with the process to do so.

There are certain things that cannot be changed: where you went to college, what classes you took over those four years, what your GPA is, what your GMAT/GRE score is, where you’ve worked so far, what volunteer activities you’ve been involved with, and so on. If there are major red flags across those areas, you need to be honest with yourself that even the greatest essay set in the world may not be able to offset those issues.

In that case, if you thoroughly planned how to best position yourself with your Round 1 materials but have received dings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your strategy was faulty. It may just simply mean that you need to consider less competitive programs.

Actually, the same thing goes even if there are zero red flags across your materials. As we’ve pointed out before, a rejection does not mean you are not accomplished or deserving of a spot in School X’s incoming MBA class. It only means there wasn’t enough room to accept everyone, so perhaps you need to widen your net a bit more.

That’s why we recommend staying the course with your MBA application strategy between Round 1 and Round 2—unless you never actually created a strong plan in the first place. Then, by all means, reassess your efforts!

Remember:

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HBS Students Fight Stereotypes with Food Bank Fundraiser [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2014, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Students Fight Stereotypes with Food Bank Fundraiser
The actions of Ben Edelman, the Harvard Business School professor who landed in the national news this week by quarreling with the manager of a Chinese restaurant about a $4 overcharge, have spurred HBS students to publicly denounce his behavior.

HBS students often confront the negative stereotype that they are elitist and self-involved. One first-year student felt that Edelman’s behavior only furthered that perception, and he acted quickly to change the tide of public opinion.

Jon Staff and other HBS students decided to launch a campaign asking members of the public to donate $4 – the amount of the Edelman overcharge – to the Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston.com reports.

From the fundraiser homepage:

Negative stereotypes of Harvard and HBS were reinforced by an article in Boston.com about a $4 dispute between an HBS professor and a small business owner. In accordance with our community values, we are calling on all Harvard students to flip the script by donating $4 to provide food for those in need.  All donations will be given to The Greater Boston Food Bank, which will match all donations received before December 31.

“It’s an upsetting article,” Staff told Boston.com. “People here are really amazing and smart and supportive and humble. What Edelman did makes it much harder to make the case that this is an institution full of good people. This one action doesn’t define who we are as a community. Or it shouldn’t.”

Edelman has since apologized for his actions on his website. “I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future,” he wrote.

As of Wednesday evening, the campaign had raised $4,370, with 275 contributors.

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Stanford GSB Launches Certificate Program in London [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2014, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Launches Certificate Program in London
Stanford Graduate School of Business has announced it will launch its first Stanford Ignite certificate program in London in September 2015. The 10-week, part-time program will teach innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas.

Designed to deliver the same kind of immersive, innovative, and hands-on instruction that working professionals and graduate students at Stanford experience, this program provides exposure to both the fundamentals of management and the practical aspects of identifying, evaluating, and moving business ideas forward.

It is aimed at participants with strong scientific, medical, or technical backgrounds who do not have an advanced degree in business. Participants are taught by Stanford business faculty in London as well as as those beamed in from Silicon Valley through high-definition video technology.

During the program, which runs September 21 to December 6, 2015, participants will engage with faculty and each other in interactive sessions and group projects.

“This is a program for those who are planning to start a new venture, as well as for intrapreneurs —individuals who wish to bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their current role within a company,” said Stanford Ignite faculty director Yossi Feinberg, John G. McCoy—Banc One Corporation Professor of Economics.

“It provides graduate students, innovators, scientists, and engineers from leading companies the essential toolset for creating impactful ventures,” Feinberg said.

The London program is one of seven Stanford Ignite programs available around the globe to enable audiences outside of Silicon Valley to tap into Stanford’s distinctive approach to teaching entrepreneurship and management. It is now offered in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, New York, London, and Santiago (Chile), as well as at Stanford.

The non-degree program in London, which costs US$10,000, will be held every other week on Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday from September to December 2015. Lessons will include approximately 200 hours of training, including 100 hours spent on participants’ own venture projects.

Participants will develop their projects by working closely with experienced mentors and panels of industry experts from both Silicon Valley and the New York area who will provide real-world feedback.

The program draws on the same world-class business faculty who teach in Stanford’s MBA Program, which is infused with the culture and practice of innovation that pervades Stanford University and Silicon Valley.

The London program will accept up to 50 participants. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a Stanford Ignite certificate. The deadline for applications is April 22, 2015.

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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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Northwestern Kellogg Seeks Impactful Leaders [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2014, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Northwestern Kellogg Seeks Impactful Leaders
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Leadership, impact, and interpersonal skills are the latest qualities explored in Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management‘s series of blog posts offering insight into how the MBA admissions committee assesses applicants.

Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for Kellogg’s full-time MBA programs, notes that, while a candidate from the military will tap into different leadership experiences than say, a junior analyst, there are some common traits the admissions team is looking for.

“We look for those who have taken up new responsibilities and opportunities in whatever way they can, however their career path has allowed,” Tidmarsh explains. “Your roles don’t have to be formal, just indicative of your drive.”

Also keep in mind that a candidate with eight years of work experience will be expected to have a greater number of examples to support leadership skills than an applicant just two years out of undergrad. That’s perfectly fine, Tidmarsh says, since “Our admissions team is just as concerned with where our students are going as where they’ve already been.”

Where impact is concerned, the admissions committee is more interested in quality than quantity. They know you’ve been busy climbing the ladder professionally, but they want to make sure they’re admitting well-rounded candidates who are interested in something other than their careers.

“We like to see our applicants involved with something they’re passionate about. If it fits in with your personal career narrative — say you volunteer with a literacy organization, and you want to pursue education policy after Kellogg — that’s great,” says Tidmarsh, though she notes that, for many applicants, their passions aren’t connected to their career goals at all.

Don’t fret if your all-consuming work hours have left little time for outside engagement, so long as you can draw on opportunities for impact within the workplace instead. “Having an impact on organizational culture or community is just as valid, important and interesting to us,” Tidmarsh assures.

Lastly, the admissions director shares what her team is looking for where an applicant’s  interpersonal skills are concerned. Kellogg is well-known for its collaborative spirit and team-based learning approach, so AdCom will be looking for candidates who fit well with that culture.

Some applicants will have already had that type of work environment, so they will mesh immediately with that part of the Kellogg experience. But candidates coming from more independent work environments shouldn’t feel at a disadvantage. As long as you can demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, you should be fine.

It doesn’t hurt to spell it out for the admissions team though. “Knowing that you want to grow in this area, explaining that you crave more teamwork and collaboration, expressing that you want to push yourself in that area — all of that is valuable information for our admissions team,” Tidmarsh says.

You may also be interested in:
How Does Kellogg Assess MBA Applicants?

Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Tips

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New post 17 Dec 2014, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Take a Deep Breath…
If you applied to MBA programs in Round 1, this is a really big week: several schools will be releasing their final decisions, and you’ll know the results of all of your hard work at last. We know “The Dreaded Wait” has been tough!

If you receive good news – congratulations! What a wonderful way to close out 2014, huh? You’ll probably feel like you’re on cloud nine for quite a while after the reality of your achievement sinks in. Even though this is a really busy time of the year, please find a way to do something to celebrate. You deserve it! And don’t forget to share your happy update with everyone who helped you along the way.

If you’re waitlisted, take heart. It’s not the news you wanted, but there’s reason to keep hope alive. You can plan a waitlist strategy dependent upon the school’s guidelines; if they are open to hearing from you over the coming weeks, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure you have a significant update to send along with the time comes.

If you are met with nothing but dings, we are truly sorry. It is frustrating to pour time and energy into perfecting your materials and then not be accepted in the end. Our advice would be to take a few hours of “me time” over the next week and consider whether there are other programs you’re interested in that you could pull together materials for by their Round 2 deadlines. It is most definitely worth a shot.

Remember:

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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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