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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Evaluate 3 Factors When Comparing Business School Acceptances [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Evaluate 3 Factors When Comparing Business School Acceptances
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Receiving an offer of admission from one of your target business schools is every MBA hopeful’s dream, and that achievement feels even more amazing when a second or even third offer comes in.

After taking some time to properly celebrate, now comes the hard part. Since you likely applied only to programs that you felt passionate about, you must decide where to spend the next two years of your life, and a small fortune. The decision-making process is different for everyone, but there are a few things to consider that may sway your choice.

1. Financial incentives: For some applicants, a generous scholarship offer from one school clinches the deal. However, I typically counsel clients not to focus too heavily on this aspect.

More money from a lesser-ranked school may mean you graduate with little or no debt, but the choice could cost you down the line when it comes to the quality of your network. Within the first few years out of business school , the salary bump that accompanies an MBA with a strong brand will compensate for that initial financial advantage.

If the schools in contention are similarly ranked but have offered drastically different scholarship amounts, or if one program has offered a financial award and the second program offers nothing, you may be able to change that to level the playing field.

Reach out to the admissions office, reiterate your sincere interest in attending their program, and then ask if it’s possible to be considered for a higher scholarship amount – or any scholarship amount – because you now have another offer of acceptance and financial incentive on the table. If you handle this tactfully, and without mentioning the other school by name, you have nothing to lose.

2. Career goals: If you haven’t already done so, now is the time for an in-depth study of how each program will help you advance your professional trajectory. Learn what student clubs and resources exist that support your career interests. Find out which companies recruit heavily at the school, and take a good look at the strength of the career services center and alumni network.

Check out the annual employment report or company lists published on the school’s website. See if one program seems to provide a substantial advantage in your field. If you need more input, call up recruiters and companies you’re interested in to see what they think of the schools you’re choosing between.

Hugo Varela, who works in the health care industry in Madrid, received offers of admission from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and the MIT Sloan School of Management in round one this season.

As he wrestled these past few weeks with the decision of which program to attend, Varela said in an email that, “The single most critical factor is whether a certain school provides me with the best opportunity to reach my goals.”

However, he said that in his case, “The three schools I have been admitted to could put me in a great position to achieve those goals, without much of a difference among them in terms of opportunities.”

Looking solely at career stats, therefore, may not be enough to guide your decision.

3. Fit: This is always the most unquantifiable yet crucial element to consider when deciding on a school. Check your gut as you visit the campus or chat with current students and alumni.

Think about if you feel intimidated or uncomfortable, or welcomed and completely at ease. When you reach out to alumni or students, note if they are eager and quick to answer your questions, or if you have to wait days for a follow-up email or call.

Due to work constraints, Varela says he was able to visit only the Tuck campus in person, but he talked to current students and attended school-hosted events in Madrid before and after applying in order to get to know as much as he could about every school.

“Current students and alumni really have been key for me to decide where to apply and where to attend,” he wrote.

If possible, attending each program’s admitted students weekend, where you’ll spend time on campus around current students and other admitted applicants, is one of the best ways to help you decide which school is a better fit. Sometimes though, a campus visit is logistically or financially impossible.

“As an international student who could not physically visit schools, I think attending infosessions, talking to students and alums and online research to the point of cyber-stalking was what helped me decide on which schools to apply to, and also gave me an edge in the admissions process, especially the interviews,” wrote a prospective student from Bangalore, India, who goes by Vandana? and works for a global online entertainment portal.

Vandana maintains a blog chronicling her MBA journey, and was admitted to UCLA Anderson School of Management, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business in round one this season.

“My Kellogg interviewer actually remarked how great it was that I could glean so much about Kellogg – in-depth knowledge on clubs, activities, student culture and really get a feel for the school despite living halfway across the world,” she wrote.

The decision may ultimately come down to where you want to end up geographically after graduation, or what type of experience you want to have during your MBA. For each candidate, the answer will be different.

“Deciding between programs is hard,” Varela wrote. “But it is one of those decisions where you are going to win no matter what you choose.”

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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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Interview Update from MIT Sloan [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Interview Update from MIT Sloan
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Mother Nature occasionally has other plans for applicants planning on interviewing on campus at MIT Sloan School of Management. The admissions team noted that the historic snowfalls blanketing the northeast in recent weeks have periodically shut down operations at the school.

Today, Tuesday the 10th, is another such day, and the admissions team will be in touch to reschedule today’s interviewing applicants. Don’t be deterred by the inclement weather though. The admissions team encourages campus visits and says the city looks beautiful in the snow.

You may also be interested in:
Round 2 Updates from MIT Sloan

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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 MBA Curriculum at Cornell’s Johnson School [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New MBA Curriculum at Cornell’s Johnson School
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Cornell University’s Johnson School of Graduate Management has officially launched a redesigned curriculum for the two-year MBA program that emphasizes collaboration, leadership, and analytical skills to better prepare students for a technology-driven global business environment.

The curriculum, now being fully rolled out to the Class of 2016, includes redesigned coursework and programming in the three areas:

Modeling and Decision Analysis: An enhanced required course, Data Analytics and Modeling, takes students beyond statistics, to data modeling and Big Data techniques and strategies. Modeling is woven into other courses to help students develop the analytical skills needed in all areas of business.

Personal and Leadership Skills: Every Johnson student progresses through a targeted curriculum in leadership consisting of the proprietary Johnson 360° Leadership Assessment, coursework, case exercises, teamwork, hands-on leadership experience, coaching, and customized programming.

The personalized program begins in the pre-term, with individual assessment and feedback, and continues through the first year, with the Leading Teams Practicum, and second year with Principled Leadership. Marquee leadership instructors teach intensives on leadership topics. These classes are enriched with a menu of Leadership Skills workshops and Leadership Expeditions that span the entire program.

Integrative and Critical Thinking Skills: In their first semester of MBA study, students learn and practice critical thinking skills, with a focus on analyzing, integrating, and synthesizing information for optimal decision making, in the face of challenges, such as incomplete, inaccurate, or ambiguous information.

Our new curriculum reflects industry and research trends in leadership, collaborative teamwork, and data analytics, explains Vishal Gaur, associate dean for MBA programs. Gaur says the changes will expose students to  fresh ideas and creative, team-oriented problem solving approaches.

Johnson embarked on a comprehensive, two-year review of curriculum and learning priorities in 2011. An extensive data-collection effort included student and alumni focus groups, peer benchmarking, and surveys of students, alumni, corporate recruiters, faculty, and staff. The process reached more than 1,000 participants from the last 12 MBA class years.

Among the innovative elective courses being introduced:

[*]The Art of Innovation: A Design Thinking Immersion and Making Design Thinking Work. These hands-on courses prepare MBAs to be future innovators by teaching them the human-centered design methodology known as Design Thinking.[/*]
[*]Core Leadership Skills for a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous)World, with retired U.S. Army General George Casey. This course builds on the skills acquired in earlier components of the leadership program, through discussion and interaction with an experienced practitioner and former leader of the United States Army.[/*]
[*]Johnson’s FinTech Trek and Hackathon. Students convene at Cornell Tech in New York City to learn about disruptive technologies facing the financial industry and develop relevant solutions. The experience culminates in a hackathon, in which participants have about 24 hours to develop financial products or services that meet a real business need. Similar classes are planned, each focusing on a different industry.[/*]
[/list]
“Business education requires continuous improvement, as well as big jumps.” Gaur says. “As we implement the new Johnson curriculum, we are also thinking of the next educational innovations that will leverage the strengths of Cornell’s two campuses.”

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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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Steer Clear of the Rumor Mill [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Steer Clear of the Rumor Mill
Did you hear that Stanford is no longer admitting anyone who scored lower than a 700 on the GMAT?

Or that HBS already filled up its entire class in Round 1 and won’t actually admit anyone they’re interviewing in Round 2?

Or that the way to ace the Wharton group interview is actually to stay silent the entire time?

What? You didn’t hear any of that?

That makes sense, since we completely made up all of the above in order to prove a point about gossip and rumors that can make even the most levelheaded MBA applicant start to fret.

We remember how nerve-racking it is to wait to hear back from schools. And we’re all too familiar with how easy it is to get sucked into the many message boards there are for MBA hopefuls. Sometimes these online communities can be a great thing: it’s not unheard of for people to end up becoming friends with each other “in real life” after meeting on such a site. Plus, hearing that others are just as stressed out as you are can certainly be a source of comfort.

But please remember that the rumor mill is usually in overdrive on MBA forums, and it’s easy for gossip and hearsay to overshadow the truth. The reality is that no one except those on the AdCom for the schools you’re applying to really knows what’s going on with interview invites, acceptance rates, waitlists, or anything else of importance for prospective students.

In other words, keep this timeless advice in mind when you read the latest MBA rumors:

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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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Wharton School Offers Business Foundations Specialization [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton School Offers Business Foundations Specialization
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will offer a Business Foundations Specialization series through Coursera, combining the school’s four-course Foundation Series with a Capstone Project that allows participants to apply their knowledge to real-world business problems.

The Business Foundations Specialization, taught by Wharton faculty, provides a Coursera Verified Certificate for participants who complete the Foundation Series courses – Accounting, Finance, Marketing and Operations Management – as well as the Capstone Project.



The Capstone Project allows participants to complete a project with industry partners to help solve a specific real-world problem. Wharton has initial partner agreements with Snapdeal and Shazam to provide Capstone project topics.

“The Business Foundations Specialization continues our outreach to students around the world, especially those who want to sample the power of Wharton knowledge,” says Geoff Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School. “We are especially excited about the unique industry partnerships we can offer through the Capstone Project, allowing participants a glimpse into the real challenges businesses face.”

Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder of Snapdeal.com, says his time as a Wharton student had a profound impact on his career path and outlook on life. When commenting on the new partnership through Coursera, Bahl says, “This is the power of applied knowledge and it gives me immense pleasure to now be in a position to co-create life-changing learning opportunities for a global pool of highly motivated learners in the domain of business foundations.”

Wharton will invite the top 50 performers each year to apply to one of the school’s graduate business programs, and waive the application fee. It will also offer up to five $20,000 scholarships to students admitted to its MBA program who have excelled in completion of the Specialization in the previous twelve months.

“A key component for us as an institution is the possibility to identify talent from a pool of participants who might not have considered business education before,” says Dean Garrett.

The Wharton Business Foundations Specialization begins this spring with An Introduction to Marketing on April 6, led by Professors Barbara Kahn, David Bell and Peter Fader.

All courses in a Specialization series must be taken through the Coursera Verified Certificate path to be considered completed.  The cost of the four courses and the Capstone Project with a Verified Certificate is $595.

Additional details regarding course format and curricula of the Wharton Business Foundation Specialization, and all other Wharton online opportunities, can be found at

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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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Harvard Business School Expands HBX Program Eligibility [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Expands HBX Program Eligibility
Harvard Business School announced this week it will open its online learning platform HBX to students worldwide after two successful trial runs over the past year. Business school website Poets & Quants notes that the program will also be available to students admitted to the full-time MBA program in fall 2015.

The HBX CORe program is an online learning initiative that provides a primer on the fundamentals of business with a suite of three integrated courses: Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting.

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Bharat N. Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration

Taught by a team of HBS faculty members, the program is designed specifically for rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors; current and prospective graduates; and those in the first ten years of their careers. Bharat N. Anand, faculty chair of HBX, tells P&Q he expects about 20% of the next incoming class at HBS to take CORe this year to get up to speed on accounting and data and become ready to take advantage of the full campus experience.

“The bulk of the learning experience will now happen through CORe which was designed with these students in mind,” Anand adds. “The genesis of CORe was asking how can we create a wow experience online so they can get up to speed with the basics of data, accounting and economics before they come on campus. we are now closing the loop and giving admitted students the option of taking it in February, April or June.”

Applications are now being accepted for cohorts beginning on April 15 and June 3. The CORe online application process takes less than 30 minutes, and admission is based on individual applications that highlight aptitude and motivation.

The fee for the April cohort is $1,500, while the cost of the June and subsequent cohorts will be $1,800. Need-based financial aid may be available to U.S. citizens currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.

Applicants should provide insight as to why they want to participate in the program and what they plan to contribute to the rigorous learning community of which they will be a part. There are no geographic restrictions in the selection process; applicants from around the world are invited to apply, and there are no residency requirements for the entirely online program.

Since applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received, applying early may improve the likelihood of being admitted.

You may also be interested in:
MOOCs and the Future of Management Education

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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 [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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Economist Ranks B-Schools’ Alumni [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Economist Ranks B-Schools’ Alumni
The single most important thing about business school–besides the educational aspect, of course–is the network you cultivate that will likely shape and propel the rest of your career.

The Economist recently revealed its annual alumni ranking of business schools, based on the usefulness of their alumni networks, and a quote from an INSEAD alumna that the magazine leads off with perfectly encapsulates this effect: her door was always open, but fellow graduates  might find the door “slightly more ajar than others.”

So, where can you find the tightest alumni relationships? For starters, the answer is overwhelming in the United States. Let’s take a look:

Top Ten Business Schools for Strength/Usefulness of Alumni Network
  • Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business
  • UVA Darden School of Business
  • Michigan Ross School of Business
  • USC Marshall School of Business
  • Cornell’s Johnson School of Management
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • IMD–International Institute for Management Development
It’s interesting to note that this ranking doesn’t necessarily correlate to a school’s overall ranking. Third-place Mendoza, for example, ranks 45th in The Economist‘s  top 100, while sixth-place USC Marshall ranks 64th overall.

Business schools work hard to maintain relationships with alumni years after graduation, and those efforts are very often rewarded spectacularly with donations that make headlines around the globe. When David Booth gifted $300 million to the University of  Chicago Graduate School of Business in 2008, its name changed almost overnight to the Chicago Booth School of Business.

A $100 million donation made by Henry Kravis to Columbia Business School in 2010 resulted in one of the new Manhattanville campus’s buildings being named The Henry R. Kravis Building in recognition of his generosity. And the list of multi-million-dollar endowments goes on and on.

As you finalize your school selections, give some serious thought to the strength of the alumni network. This list serves as a great reminder that your MBA education doesn’t end at graduation. It’s a lifetime investment.

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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 [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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How to Stand Out in a Group (Interview) [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Stand Out in a Group (Interview)
Have you been invited to a group interview—or hope you will be soon?

Some of the world’s top MBA programs use a team-based interview format, and we won’t be surprised if this trend grows in the future. Business schools want students who will play nice with others, and so watching how someone interacts with peers before anyone’s even admitted can be very telling.

Here’s what you don’t want to do during a group interview:

  • Dominate the conversation
  • Cut others off or dismiss someone’s idea entirely
  • Raise your voice
  • Roll your eyes, cross your arms, or display any other kind of negative body language
  • Take out your phone or any other electronic device
Those may seem like obvious tips, but in the heat of the moment you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget you’re being judged. (Once again, this is exactly why some schools like this approach!)

Here’s what you should try to accomplish:

  • Demonstrate you’ve done your research (if given a topic in advance)
  • Listen—truly listen—to the others in your group when they speak
  • Seize any opportunities to either build upon or refer to someone else’s point
  • Put the group’s goal ahead of trying to get airtime
  • Offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where the group would benefit from a quick recap
As many MBA applicants are born leaders who are used to taking charge, you’ll need to be conscious of the fact that you might be surrounded by lots of Type A personalities and adjust your style accordingly.

However, if you tend to be on the shy side, don’t let others intimidate you. If no one’s given you the chance to get a word in, you’re going to have to find an appropriate way to join the conversation before it’s too late.

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 [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

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B-School Alumni Report Boost to Earning Power, Career Trajectory [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-School Alumni Report Boost to Earning Power, Career Trajectory
Business school alumni earn increased compensation, exercise enhanced purchasing power, consistently climb to the executive ranks, and give overall high marks to the value of their education in driving their professional success, according to new research findings from more than 12,000 graduate business school alumni surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The results of the 2015 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report offer a global snapshot of employment and career progression for graduate business school alumni representing the classes of 1959 through 2014. Graduates also gave positive reviews to their business school’s alumni association, with a majority saying their engagement with these associations has contributed to their success.

Conducted in October and November of 2014, the survey represents alumni from more than 230 graduate business programs at 71 universities in 16 locations across the globe. It is the latest in GMAC’s survey report series to provide data showing that an MBA or other graduate management degree, such as a Master in Management, Accounting or Finance, is a strong educational investment available to students in today’s highly competitive career marketplace.

In fact, in the survey, 95 percent of alumni rated their graduate management education as a good to outstanding value, and 93 percent would recommend their graduate business program to others.

Additional key findings include:

Ninety percent of alumni credit graduate management education with increasing their earning power.

In both developed and developing economies, graduate management alumni exercise enhanced purchasing power. For the first time, GMAC offers a comparison of earnings for graduate management alumni relative to others. A global analysis of alumni salaries by work location in relation to GDP and purchasing-power-parity per capita (GDP PPP) uncovers that business school alumni have purchasing power 1.6 to 6.8 times that of the average resident of the country where they work.

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Business school alumni career trajectories show consistency in reaching higher levels of their organizations regardless of graduation year.The majority of alumni held mid-level positions one year after earning their degree.

Five years after graduation, the majority of business school alumni are in senior-level positions or higher, and at 10 years, one in four alumni are in executive-level positions and 5 percent are in the “c-suite” (e.g., CEO, CFO, COO). Graduates who have made it to the c-suite are most likely of all alumni to say they use the knowledge, skills and abilities learned in graduate business school on the job.

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B-school alumni rise fast in the workplace and have high levels of job satisfaction.
The majority of graduate business school alumni, working across all occupational levels from entry-level positions to c-suite, credit their graduate management education for preparing them for leadership positions, as well as for accelerating the pace of their career advancement. In addition, they report high levels of job satisfaction.

Four in five alumni, or 84 percent, say their graduate management education offered opportunities for quicker career advancement.

For the first-time, this report measured entrepreneurial behavior in the workplace — defined through the traits of innovativeness, proactiveness and social risk taking — factors associated with alumni career success. Analysis shows c-suite and self-employed alumni describe themselves with these attributes to a greater extent than alumni at all other job levels.

Fifty-nine percent of alumni belong to their business school’s alumni association and tend to rate their level of career success higher than those who are not members.
The additional services alumni seek from their alma mater include courses and seminars, access to career services and more networking events.

“Graduate management degree-holders consistently tell GMAC their education is a solid investment and a spur to personal, professional and financial achievement, even in up-and-down economies,” says Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “A graduate management education isn’t just a degree, it’s a career catalyst.”

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Popular Stanford GSB Course on Female Entrepreneurship Offers Lessons  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Popular Stanford GSB Course on Female Entrepreneurship Offers Lessons for All
The men who take a Stanford Graduate School of Business course on female entrepreneurship do so for the eye-opening exposure to some of the down-and-dirty aspects of starting your own business. Learning about the strategic and business challenges of entrepreneurship is great, but what about the expectations and emotions of starting a business? How does starting a company impact your personal life? What are you willing to give up to get your business off the ground?

While women are still the majority participants in the “Entrepreneurship from the Perspective of Women” course taught by Professor Fern Mandelbaum, that may change as word continues to spread of the “people issues” covered in the course, a recent profile piece in Fast Company reveals.

The idea for the course came ten years ago, when Professor Garth Saloner, currently dean of the Stanford GSB, created a two-week seminar on female entrepreneurship with the simple goal of exposing business students to a multitude of entrepreneurship examples. As of 2015, the class will be offered as a full, quarter course.

Three male students interviewed in the article say they signed up for the course because they wanted to better understand the real-life challenges and decisions that entrepreneurs have to make.

“In a lot of the other classes, you hear the stories of winners … not to say that you didn’t hear it in this class, but the tone of it was more about the trade-offs that you have to make along the way,” says former student Andrew Yaffe. “We had both male and female speakers in the class addressing topics in term of how often they were able to see their children, when they started their company, what was the initial pay they took. I found the male and female perspectives valuable.”

The course name may dissuade male students who assume it’s a class for women, but Professor Mandelbaum hopes that will soon change because the topics are important for future business leaders of either gender in order to create inclusive work environments.

Men may not think business school is the place to learn some of the personal aspects covered in the class, but, says past participant Johnson Ci Yu Fung, “What better way to generate innovation than to see it from a perspective that the other half of the population experiences?”

You may also be interested in:

Stanford GSB Expands Course on Female Entrepreneurship

New Georgetown MBA Course Focuses on Women Leaders

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Face the Challenge of Round 3 Business School Applications [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Face the Challenge of Round 3 Business School Applications
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Round three is the most competitive one at most business schools, since the vast majority of acceptances happen in the first two rounds. If you weren’t able to apply earlier because you were busy studying for the GMAT, dealing with a family crisis or completing an all-consuming work project, you’ve got to bring your A-game if you hope to land a seat at the end of the admissions cycle.

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

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

“We actually enjoy round three,” Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, recently told The Wall Street Journal. “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.”

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

[Read more about the best round to submit your business school application.]

Applicants who graduated from college more than five years ago should also give serious consideration to applying in round three. While every situation is different, time is of the essence, especially at programs that tend to focus on younger applicants.

Plus, it’s unlikely your candidacy will improve significantly over the next eight months after you’ve already been in the workforce for so long. If this is your situation and all you need to do is put the finishing touches on your materials, go for round three.

It’s worth noting that being admitted to some schools is not as challenging in round three as others. Elite European business school INSEAD has four rounds, and provides options for a January start date in addition to the traditional September intake. This allows later applicants who don’t mind waiting to start school to have a stronger chance at admission.

The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has five rounds, and Columbia Business School also offers a January intake for candidates who don’t need an internship between the first and second year.

[Get advice on what matters most in MBA admissions.]

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

Though the initial rejection may sting, you’ll be in a great position for round one in the fall with your essays, recommendation letters and transcripts already in hand. Or, you may find that the soul searching required for an MBA application sets you on a different path altogether. Perhaps you will decide to make a career switch now and pursue higher education later.

Round three is certainly a gamble, but you just might be that missing element the admissions committee is looking for to spice up the mix.

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HBS Dominates in B-School ‘Oscars’ [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Dominates in B-School ‘Oscars’
Harvard Business School took home a whopping six awards and experienced its best showing ever at the 2015 annual Case Centre Awards, a celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching from across the globe that are now considered the case method community’s annual ‘Oscars.’

Awards for cases are presented for nine management categories plus an Overall Winner Award. Each year, an award is made to recognize an individual who has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method.

David B. Yoffie and Renee Kim of Harvard Business School authored the Overall winning case, Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2010. “The ‘Cola Wars’ have been a classic competitive dynamic and industry analysis case for three decades,” says Yoffie, who is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at HBS.

“It is an industry that is easy to understand, but complicated to analyse, which always works well in the classroom. Understanding why this industry has been so profitable for so long makes it stand out,” Yoffie explains.

Debapratim Purkayastha, associate dean at ICFAI Business School in Hyderabad, India, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method award for his innovative and forward-looking commitment to transform case teaching and writing.

“To students, I would like to say that the process of case learning is more important than the results. It’s not just about getting a good grade; it’s about developing the skills you will need in your future career,” says Debapratim.

Case-based sessions are great fun when you are well prepared; and a big drag when you are not. Prepare the cases, participate wholeheartedly in the classroom keeping an open mind, and then spend some time for introspection after the class; you will be surprised by the results, Debapratim advises.

A new award debuted in 2015 for Outstanding Case Teacher, which recognizes an excellent practitioner in the case classroom. This award went to Casey Lichtendahl, associate professor at University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He teaches students how to apply advanced statistical and machine learning techniques to key business problems while immersing them in the world of practical data science.

Two case writing competitions are held each year to find an outstanding first-time case writer, and to identify the best new case written on a ‘hot topic.’ Laurel C. Austin, associate professor at Copenhagen Business School, won the Outstanding New Case Writer competition with the case, UCSD: A Cancer Cluster in the Literature Building? Vlerick Business School professors Steve Muylle and Stijn Viaene won the best ‘hot topic’ case with Hello bank! The Birth of a Mobile Bank.

The Case Centre is a non-profit organization that advances the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. The Case Centre Awards are in their 25th year and have been awarded on a global basis since 2011.

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Michigan Ross to Release Early Deny Decisions [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross to Release Early Deny Decisions
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business continues to streamline and improve the transparency of MBA admissions by piloting a new process that will release unsuccessful applicants from Rounds 1 and 2 before the official Round 2 notification date on March 13th to give them more time to make other plans for the fall.

Admissions Director Soojin Kwon posted this diagram on her blog to help illustrate the change:

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credit: University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

“This is not to say that all applicants who weren’t invited to interview will be denied early,” Kwon clarifies. “If you weren’t invited to interview and you don’t receive an early release notification, you will be notified on the regular notification date.”

The admissions committee plans to send out the early deny notifications by the end of this week (February 27).

You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross Director on Interviewing, Team Exercise
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Mind Your Manners [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Mind Your Manners
Our clients often ask us if they should write thank-you notes to their interviewers. While handwritten messages of appreciation will always be a classy move—and we certainly encourage applicants to write such notes if they’re so inclined—an email message is just as acceptable in this day and age.

The most important thing is to ensure you have your interviewer’s contact information. This is especially critical if your discussion is taking place on campus and you won’t know who your interviewer is going to be until you arrive. Don’t forget to ask for that person’s business card when you’re wrapping up!

If you’re interviewing with a local alum, then you’ll have already been supplied with their email address.

As for the content of the message, you shouldn’t feel the need to go on and on. There are only two must-includes: 1) thank the interviewer for their time and 2) reiterate your interest in the program. If you can throw in a sentence or two that references something you talked about, all the better. But a thank-you note is not the place to try and sell yourself any further. The point is to show that you’re excited about and thankful for the opportunity to be considered for a spot in Program X.

Some AdComs need to make accept and denial decisions very quickly, so you shouldn’t let more than 24 hours go by before you send your message. If you interviewed in the morning, send it before the business day is over. If your talk was in the late afternoon or evening, get your e-mail out first thing in the morning.

If you have to type out a quick message from your phone because you’ll be traveling back home after the interview, please don’t forget to read things over carefully to ensure spellcheck or autocorrect didn’t do you wrong. You don’t want the last impression you leave to be a negative one!

Have MBA hopefuls been accepted to their dream programs without writing any sort of thank-you note? Yes, of course. But showing that you have manners and are aware of the proper etiquette is never a bad move—it’s just the right thing to do.

Remember:

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Survey Says American MBA Programs Prepare Students Better Than Anywher [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2015, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Survey Says American MBA Programs Prepare Students Better Than Anywhere Else
MBA programs in the United States feel overwhelmingly confident that their graduates are prepared for today’s workforce—and that they are better prepared than their European and Asian counterparts.

According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of over 200 top business schools across the United States, a whopping 95% think American business schools better prepare their students than European business schools do, and 92% said the same about business schools in Asia, despite their growing global prominence.

Given the number of contrary news reports over the past year, it is perhaps surprising that 95% of surveyed business schools say that “today’s MBA graduates in the U.S. are properly prepared for the changing employment landscape.” This evaluation comes at a time when many business leaders are questioning whether U.S. colleges and universities are preparing students with the skills needed in today’s workforce.

A Gallup study last year shows that a third of business leaders disagree with the statement that “higher education institutions in this country are graduating students with the skills and competencies that my business needs.”

Recognizing the skills gap, many business leaders are working with business schools to make sure the MBA degree stays relevant, and some business schools are significantly revamping their curricula to give students the skill sets needed to excel in an increasingly tech-focused economy.

In what may become a trend among business schools that are changing their curricula, Kaplan’s survey finds that 26% currently offer a course to teach students how to code; 64% don’t and the remaining were unsure.  Of the 64%  that said they’d didn’t offer a coding class, just 7% said they may develop one.

“American business schools continue to produce many of the world’s top leaders in a host of industries, from finance to technology to healthcare, but despite the confidence in their ability to meet workforce needs, many business schools understand they must continue to evolve so that their graduates have the know-how needed to thrive in a competitive, increasingly technology-driven global economy,” said Brian Carlidge, Executive Director of pre-graduate and pre-business programs, Kaplan Test Prep.

“We think MBA programs may increasingly offer their students the opportunity to take courses in both coding and data science in the years to come to give them basic knowledge in two areas that businesses are increasingly taking an interest in,” Carlidge added.

For the Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.

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Dean Lyons on 5 Years of Haas Defining Principles [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Dean Lyons on 5 Years of Haas Defining Principles
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When the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business introduced its new curriculum five years ago, the emphasis would be on creating innovative leaders. Haas students have a distinct profile in the marketplace: MBAs who have tried unusual things, taken risks, and explored new frontiers.

The school published a Q & A this week with Dean Rich Lyons where he reflects on the fifth anniversary of introducing the Haas Defining Principles, an initiative that has touched all aspects of Haas: admissions, curriculum, staff hiring and reviews, alumni relations, and day-to-day operations.

Here is an excerpt from that interview that current Berkeley MBA applicants may find interesting, as it conveys how Haas strives to differentiate itself while creating ‘path-bending leaders':

Q: Haas now has five years worth of graduates who grew up with the Defining Principles. How are you seeing this reflect back on the school?

A:  I see it all the time. Here’s an example: we hand out our “culture cards” that list the Defining Principles. When I go to see a donor or alum I always ask, “Do you know about the culture work we’ve been doing?”

Many, many of them say, “I’ve got the culture card on my desk.” Or they have it in their wallet or purse. It’s not just that they’re aware of it—they are using it, and they have an appetite to be guided by it. They’re proud of it.

Another example: I was at lunch recently with some venture capitalists who don’t know the school very well, and I handed a culture card to them. They said, “This describes the kind of people we like to fund.”

Questioning the status quo is the first principle on the list, and most entrepreneurs are very good at that. But these VCs also know that if you can’t build a team as an entrepreneur, you won’t be successful. Confidence Without Attitude—they said that’s exactly what they’d like to see more need of. Students Always and Beyond Yourself fit in as well.

Check out the complete interview to learn the dean’s thoughts on how the school has changed since 2010, what other MBA programs should focus on if they too are interested in cultural change, and what shifts he envisions for the campus in the years to come.

You may also be interested in:
3 Ways Berkeley-Haas Develops Innovative Leaders

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New Social Impact Fund at UNC Kenan-Flagler [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New Social Impact Fund at UNC Kenan-Flagler
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Students at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School are going to invest real money using socially responsible principles through a new $250,00o public equity fund managed by both MBAs and undergrads.

UNC Kenan-Flagler has a variety of student-run funds that collectively manage more than $12 million. Each fund has a distinct investment strategy, but the goal for all of them is to achieve superior returns while providing students with a unique educational experience. Students have access to all aspects of the fund management and investment analysis, and those experiences and the skills they develop prepare them for careers in investing.

Working with the Applied Investment Management’s (AIM) Global Perspectives Fund, a $2.5 million hedge fund, a select group of students will manage the new funds using socially responsible investment (SRI) principles.

“This social-impact fund is a wonderful intersection of areas for which UNC Kenan-Flagler has a long track record of excellence: investment management, sustainability and real-life learning,” says Carol Hee, director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler, in a recent media statement. “Our students will be able to test their hypotheses about what makes one company better than another using the triple bottom line as the metric.”

“Even students who wouldn’t describe themselves as ‘interested in sustainability’ will benefit from exposure to this new investment strategy,” says Chip Snively, a finance professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “After participating in the AIM program, our graduates are well equipped to add value to the organizations that hire them.”

Details on investment policy, fund operational procedures and social impact goals for the fund will be established by students with an expected launch during the 2015-16 academic year.

You may also be interested in:
UNC Kenan-Flagler’s History of Sustainable Enterprise

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Harvard Appoints New iLab Director [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Appoints New iLab Director
The Harvard innovation lab will soon have a new managing director with the appointment of Jodi Goldstein, who officially assumes her duties in June following the departure of current Managing Director Gordon Jones, the school announced last week.

The i-lab is a university-wide facility that fosters team-based and entrepreneurial activities, and provides a forum for interactions among students, faculty, alumni, and the surrounding community.

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Photo credit: Harvard University

Goldstein has been a key member of the i-lab management team since its launch in 2011, and last year she spearheaded the Launch Lab, a business incubator for Harvard alumni that is already demonstrating great potential as a solutions-centered community built on interdisciplinary collaboration.

“We all can be proud of the i-lab’s extraordinary success, beyond what any of us might have imagined when it opened its doors just over four years ago” says Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, who is the director of the i-lab Advisory Board. “In this next stage of its development, there is no better choice than Jodi to serve as its leader.”

Goldstein holds a B.S. from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to being a founder, she has held a variety of roles at General Electric, TA Associates, and multiple startups ranging from product, market, and business development to strategic consulting. She is widely known in the Boston startup ecosystem, having been an entrepreneur and investor in the region for 20 years.

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Don’t Sabotage Your MBA Efforts [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Don’t Sabotage Your MBA Efforts
In high school or college—or maybe even recently on an important project at work—you might have been able to wait until the last minute to do something and still come out looking like a champ. But we can assure you that won’t be the case for anything having to do with your MBA application efforts. Procrastinating is a sure-fire way to weaken your materials.

Early in any candidate’s MBA journey comes preparation for the GMAT or GRE. If you believe you can wing this critical piece of the process, think again. Studying for these tests usually requires months of effort—as well as leaving enough time for a “do-over” if your first attempt doesn’t go so well.

Same thing applies for essays or data forms—you can’t just throw these things together as the clock ticks down. They require a lot of upfront thought and several rounds of edits in order to ensure your unique voice is coming through.

Preparing for an interview is similar: if you don’t practice at all until the night before, you’re bound to realize you aren’t quite as smooth as you hoped you’d be. Then you’re either going to stay up late to work on your responses OR not be able to sleep because you’ll be so worried about your upcoming performance. Neither helps put you in the best frame-of-mind when it’s go time.

And if you don’t do thorough research on two or more programs you’ve been accepted to and make your final decision on a whim or gut feeling . . . well, that could be a multi-thousand-dollar mistake. Enough said!

So do yourself a favor and ensure you have ample time to complete each part of the MBA application process. Daily progress—no matter how minimal—is much better than attempting to do everything right before the deadlines hit.

Think of it this way:

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On that note, there’s no time like the present to register for the North American Access MBA Tour: NYC – March 6; Toronto – March 8; Montreal – March 10; Vancouver – March 13.

Meet one-on-one with top-ranked North American and European MBA program representatives (from UVic, SFU, Ivey, IESE, Hult, IE, Manchester, EDHEC, Washington University and more), career counselors and GMAT instructors. Over $1 million in scholarships are offered as well.

Register here for free today!

***

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Applying to Business School in Round Three [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Applying to Business School in Round Three
Round three is far and away the most difficult round for MBA applicants. You’re competing against stellar candidates from the previous two rounds, and there are relatively few spots available at the end of the application cycle.

I recently covered the challenges of round three business school applications in my U.S. News MBA blog, and those comments were picked up in a Poets & Quants article on the same subject. If you’re considering submitting an application in the coming weeks, take a look at these two posts for my thoughts on when Round 3 makes sense…and when it doesn’t.

You may also be interested in:
Evaluate in Which Round to Submit Your MBA Application

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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 [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

Applying to Business School in Round Three   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2015, 12:00

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