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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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The Michigan Ross ‘Admissions Formula’ [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Michigan Ross ‘Admissions Formula’
The admissions team at Michigan Ross School of Business is about a week away from making their admit calls to Round 2 applicants in the U.S. and internationally, and all decisions will be posted by Friday, March 13th.

If there’s one question every applicant wishes he or she could know the answer to, it’s “What are my chances of admission?” With that in mind, MBA Admissions Director Soojin Kwon liststhe qualities they are looking for in applicants, and has posted a video explaining the complicated formula that is used to make those tough decisions at Michigan Ross.



As you’ll discover in the video, there are some factors you control, some factors controlled by the admissions team, and yet other factors no one can control or predict since they fluctuate each year according to the current applicant pool.

If you’re on the fence about applying in the final round, you might feel better knowing Michigan Ross saves space in the class for Round 3. “One of the things we see year after year is that we get some really strong candidates in Round 3,” Kwon writes, noting, “We’ve found it to be candidates who may have decided later in the game that they want to pursue an MBA.”

When you decided is less important than why you want to and how you’ll contribute the Ross community, the director explains. So if you’re submitting your application on March 23rd, be sure to answer those questions fully and use the optional essay space if you need to in order to explain your reason for applying later in the cycle.

Best of luck to those awaiting a decision on your application next week!

You may also be interested in:
Improving Your MBA Candidacy

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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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W. P. Carey Foundation Endows JD/MBA Program at UPenn [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: W. P. Carey Foundation Endows JD/MBA Program at UPenn
In recognition of a $10 million endowment from the W. P. Carey Foundation, the JD/MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will be renamed the Francis J. & Wm. Polk Carey JD/MBA Program.

Law and business are more interconnected than ever, and business lawyers need to understand corporate finance, management, marketing, and real estate to best serve their clients. In addition, businesses are turning to lawyers to serve in business roles such as CEO.

“Doing business requires an increasingly diverse set of skills,” says Geoffrey Garrett, Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, and Professor of Management at the Wharton School. “Through their experience at Wharton and Penn Law, our JD/MBA students develop the critical thinking, reasoning, and leadership abilities necessary to navigate our global economy and excel in their careers.”

Established in 2009, the three-year JD/MBA program was the first elite three-year program in the country. Through an integrated, accelerated course of study, students earn both JD and MBA degrees in three years, rather than the five years it would typically take to earn each degree separately.

Students spend their first year in the Law School and the following summer in Law and Wharton courses designed specifically for the JD/MBA. The second and third years combine Law and Wharton courses, along with a JD/MBA capstone course.

“Both institutions were critical to the career success of Frank and Bill Carey and they believed so strongly in the interconnected nature of business and legal education,” Jay Carey said on behalf of the W.P. Carey Foundation. “My father and uncle also believed in supporting excellence, and we are grateful to support Penn Law and Wharton given their historic preeminence and continued success.”

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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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Study Abroad: Key to Competing in the International Economy [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Study Abroad: Key to Competing in the International Economy
How important are travel and education experiences abroad to achieving success in the global economy? That’s almost a trick question, since the answer is a resounding v-e-r-y. The ability to work well internationally with people and cultures other than your own has never been more critical than it is today, and one of the best stepping stones to cross-cultural competence is studying abroad.

Wharton Magazine has published a fascinating article highlighting the recent White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship. During that event, First Lady Michelle Obama said studying abroad is “quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy. Getting ahead in today’s workplace isn’t [just] about getting good grades … but about having real experience with the world beyond your borders. Study abroad is about shaping the future of your country and of the world we all share.”

Several travel bloggers and digital media influencers were invited to the event. One such guest, the publisher of WanderingEducators.com Jessie Voigts, says, “Study abroad and gaining international experience are critical to citizens of the world today. In order to compete in the international economy, we need to have an educated, well-traveled, resilient population.”

We’ve covered the subject of studying abroad in the past, and of particular interest were the research findings of Kellogg School of Management Professor Adam Galinsky, who suggested that living abroad boosts creativity.  Together with the study’s lead author William Maddux, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, they conducted five studies to test the idea that living abroad and creativity are linked.

The results showed that the longer students had spent living abroad, the more likely they were to come up with more creative solutions to problems. “Knowing that experiences abroad are critical for creative output makes study abroad programs and job assignments in other countries that much more important, especially for people and companies that put a premium on creativity and innovation to stay competitive,” Maddux wrote. 

Take a look at Lisa Ellen Niver‘s piece, “Make Study Abroad an Education Imperative,” for further thoughts on how international education experiences will help Americans keep pace with other countries in global marketplace.

You may also be interested in:
Living Abroad Boosts Creativity, Say INSEAD & Kellogg Profs

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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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Stanford GSB Tops Latest US News B-School Ranking [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Tops Latest US News B-School Ranking
Stanford Graduate School of Business no longer has to share the limelight at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking of Best Business Schools for 2016. The three-way tie last year between Stanford, Harvard Business School and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has been broken, with those schools occupying second and third place, respectively.

Chicago Booth School of Business ranks No. 4, MIT Sloan School of Management takes fifth place, and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management ranks No. 6. The top ten is rounded out by UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and, coming in at No. 10, UVA Darden School of Business.

The schools making up the top ten remain largely unchanged from last year. NYU Stern School of Business had occupied 10th place in the 2015 ranking, and Darden was at No. 12. NYU Stern is now tied in the No. 11 spot with Michigan Ross School of Business.

#11. Michigan Ross School of Business
#13. (tie) Duke Fuqua School of Business
#13. (tie) Yale School of Management
#15. UCLA Anderson School of Management
#16. Cornell’s Johnson School of Management
#17. UT McCombs School of Business
#18. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
#19. Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis
#20. CMU Tepper School of Business
The U.S. News rankings are based on a weighted average of several indicators, including overall program quality, peer assessments, recruiter assessments, placement success, starting salary and bonus, average GMAT/GRE score, undergraduate GPA and more.

To compile this year’s rankings, all 464 master’s programs accredited by AACSB International were surveyed in fall 2014 and early 2015. A total of 385 responded, of which 126 provided enough of the data needed to calculate the full-time MBA rankings.

You may also be interested in:
The Truth Behind 3 Common MBA Rankings Myths

Separate GMAT Rankings for U.S. and Asian 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
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Decision Dilemma: Should You Go to the Next-Best School? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Decision Dilemma: Should You Go to the Next-Best School?
Did you give it your all this application season and end up with mixed results? By mixed results we mean that you were dinged by the most competitive schools, but still got in to one or more other quality programs. If that’s the case and you’re excited about heading to campus this fall, read no further. But continue on if a nagging voice in the back of your head keeps asking, “What if…?”

Ah, the quintessential “bird in hand” dilemma: do you count your lucky stars that you have the option to earn an MBA from a school you were interested in enough to apply to in the first place? Or do you forego your golden ticket and give it another shot next year, hoping to land a spot at your dream school?

While the saying goes “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush,” we understand that in real life it isn’t always easy to accept an outcome you’re not 100% enthusiastic about. And there is no one-size-fits-all answer here, of course. But we can suggest this first step for your decision-making process: think long and hard (and objectively as possible) about how comfortable you are with risk.

How have you reacted in the past when you took a big chance on something and it didn’t pan out? How upset or regretful do you become when you realize an opportunity you turned down might have actually been the right choice? Asking a trusted friend or family member for their take might be helpful as well.

We’d also recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to make your final decision. It may just be that once the initial sting of any rejections wears off, you’ll realize that you’re in a very enviable position.

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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Wharton to Offer World’s Largest Student-Run Impact Investing Fund [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton to Offer World’s Largest Student-Run Impact Investing Fund
This week, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced a new partnership to provide students with world-class experiential training in impact investment through an online crowdfunding platform, and to greatly expand the student-run Wharton Social Venture Fund (WSVF), a flagship program operated under the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), the School’s hub for social impact activities, research, and opportunities, will lead the collaboration with OurCrowd, an equity-based online crowdfunding platform, and investment firm Locust Walk Impact Partners.

This development makes Wharton’s offering the largest and most active student-run impact investing fund in the world.

In this unique model, WSII trains and supervises MBA and select Wharton undergraduates who staff the Wharton Social Venture Fund. These students then work with Locust Walk Impact Partners to identify genuine investment opportunities; capital for these investments will come through a dedicated social impact channel on the OurCrowd crowd-funding platform.

“We are delighted that our students are getting real-life, experiential education in impact investing,” says WSII Senior Director Jacob Gray, who oversees the Wharton Social Venture Fund. “It was important for WSII to maintain our focus squarely on the educational opportunity for students. This way Locust Walk can focus on doing great deals, OurCrowd brings a platform for investors, and Wharton brings the best students in the world.”

Founded in 2007, the WSVF portfolio has included strategy and co-investment projects, with an approach focused on companies in education, energy, health and wellness, food and nutrition, environmental sustainability, and financial inclusion. The group also annually competes in the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training Program (MIINT) and has won the competition two of the last three years.

As the largest and most active equity-funding crowd platform, OurCrowd is disrupting and democratizing the traditional Angel and Venture Capital funding models.

“Crowdfunding is a perfect way to raise funds for impact investing,” says OurCrowd CEO and Founder, Jonathan Medved. “We have already invested in companies that are changing the world in diverse areas such as disabilities, gun safety, food security, malaria diagnostics, tsunami warning, prescription drug assurance, and more. By working together with Locust Walk and the Wharton Social Venture Fund, we will dramatically expand the impact investing ecosystem.”

Locust Walk Impact Partners is led by Rob Fioretti, who received both his undergraduate and MBA degree from Wharton. The investment firm is staffed entirely by MBAs trained by the Wharton Social Venture Fund.

“Combining the talents of some of the best and brightest business minds in the world with the leading crowdfunding site in the world is a natural fit,” says Fioretti, “And we are thrilled that we will be able to offer individuals the opportunity to invest and participate in the growth of these select companies.”

The collaboration will take effect immediately. The first deals are expected to launch on the Our Crowd platform in Q2 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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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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Ask B-School Alumni These 4 Questions [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask B-School Alumni These 4 Questions
One of the most valuable aspects of attending a top-ranked MBA program is the amazing network you cultivate during those two years. US News has a great article with tips for both applicants and current business school students on connecting with alumni to learn the best ways to get through the program and launch your career.

The article’s author, Delece Smith-Barrow, suggests reaching out to alumni through LinkedIn or a school’s career services office with four specific questions: What classes did you find the most helpful? How did you balance your time? What were some of the challenges of the program? How much are you in touch with your alumni network?

Alumni can usually provide the most honest opinion on which courses will translate into future job opportunities, and point out which social opportunities allow you to really connect with other students outside of the classroom to help build that network foundation.

According to the recent business school alumni survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council,  59% 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.

Take a look at Smith-Barrow’s piece and the comments from admissions officers within to find out how to keep perspective while on campus and make the most of the experience from both the academic and social standpoint.

You may also be interested in:
Economist Ranks B-Schools’ Alumni

MIT Sloan Launches Alumni-Student Mentoring Program

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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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B-Schools Teach American-Style Networking Skills [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-Schools Teach American-Style Networking Skills
We’ve recently covered the topic of travel and study abroad on this blog as a key toward gaining cross-cultural competence for American students and professionals. But attaining a level of comfort in unfamiliar settings applies equally to international students studying business in the United States.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal explored how some MBA programs are teaching American-style networking to students from other countries who feel uncomfortable with what can be perceived as an overly casual, artificial, or outgoing approach to making professional connections.

To smooth the road for international students who may find their employment prospects limited by these cultural differences, the WSJ says schools have recently increased their efforts to train foreign students in the soft skills American employers expect, from appropriate email greetings to making small talk at networking events.

The majority of international students at U.S. MBA programs come from Asia, where the cultural differences related to networking are stark. However, even European students often find it awkward to send introductory emails or chat up strangers at networking events, the article notes, even though both practices are commonplace in the job-search process in this country.

International students see Americans as “all hellishly extroverted,” Dan Beaudry, author of “Power Ties: The International Student’s Guide to Finding a Job in the United States,” tells the WSJ. “They think, ‘isn’t it rude for me to call up somebody I don’t know to ask for their time and their advice?’” he says.

Career centers worry these cultural differences put international students at a disadvantage during their internship and job searches. But, through forums discussing communication differences, coaching workshops designed to help students develop elevator pitches for potential employers, and mock-interviews to troubleshoot areas of weakness, today’s MBA programs are making the networking customs of the U.S. less daunting for international students.

Cultural acclimation can challenge even the most well-traveled individuals, but international MBA students have much to offer their American peers, and learning how to network “American-style” will put them on equal footing with their classmates when competing for those prime employment opportunities.

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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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3 Bad Reasons to Get an MBA [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Bad Reasons to Get an MBA
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
There are many reasons why an MBA degree is a great way to turbocharge your career, and this blog has covered several of them. But there are also bad reasons for going to business school. These three should not be your motives for contemplating getting an MBA.

1. You’re unsure what else to do. Perhaps you are feeling pressured to go for the degree by well-meaning family or friends. Or, maybe you’re just a little too excited about the partying and social events that abound at business schools.

At the dawn of the financial crisis, many young professionals turned their thoughts toward business school as the job market grew increasingly unstable. This is an understandable rationale, but taking a two-year break as a placeholder activity doesn’t make a lot of sense professionally or financially. A better bet would be to take time to travel the world and find yourself.

It’s true that business school is a great time to hang out and let new ideas come and crystallize, but applicants to a top-ranked business school should have a clear idea of the field they plan to move into and how the degree will help.

As part of the admissions process, business school hopefuls should have a solid answer why they want to earn an MBA. The answer should show focus, direction and sufficient self-reflection. If you aren’t 100 percent sure that an MBA is what you need to succeed, the admissions committee isn’t going to take a chance on you either.

2. You’re planning to go into a career that doesn’t require an MBA. The MBA is a super flexible degree, so some people who are transitioning careers think that it can help with just about anything. But there are career paths that it will not benefit, such as arts management or certain careers in sports and entertainment management. Make sure you’re committed to a career in business, not just earning the degree as a way to supplement other interests.

MBA programs emphasize practical application and will train candidates in the various functional skills related to running a business. It’s possible to add a concentration to your MBA studies, but that is still just a few courses compared with a deep dive into a subject.

For folks who want to immerse themselves in one specific area, such as business analytics, accounting or supply chain management, and who plan to stay in the same industry and function long term, a specialized master’s degree in an area like finance or technology would be a better choice.

3. You think the MBA credential will look good on your resume. The decision to pursue an MBA should be based on how it would develop your core strengths. Merely to gain bragging rights or make your resume stand out are not good enough reasons.

Unlike a law or medical degree, an MBA is not an absolute requirement for any career path. But be aware that many companies treat the MBA degree as a pseudo-requirement for the applicant pool, and not having one could effectively lock you out of the leading companies in your industry.

The decision to go for an MBA is not a simple one, and many factors should be carefully weighed to make sure it’s the right course for you. Consider all of the alternatives, and ask yourself where you want to be in five to 10 years.

If going to business school will fast-track you to that midterm goal, wonderful. If not, invest your time and energy into whatever will.

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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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Hot MBA Jobs of the Future [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Hot MBA Jobs of the Future
Are you wondering what the hot MBA jobs of the future will be? Take a look at these six up-and-coming jobs that US News & World Report highlights as well-suited for business school graduates. Not surprising, they all command solid salaries, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts hiring growth in these industries.

Here are US News’s top picks:
Operations research analyst: Higher-level operations research analysts usually have an MBA with a specialization in production and operations management. Consider top schools, such as University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the Michigan Ross School of Business.

IT Manager: These professionals supervise employees, communicate with internal executives and outside vendors as well as plan various tech upgrades for their employer. Check out the excellent program for information systems at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Management Analyst: These professionals provide feedback on improving an organization’s efficiency and profitability. Competitive candidates have a few years of experience in operations, and have earned an MBA with a focus on management. Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School have top programs.?

 Financial analyst: These professionals help companies determine when to buy and sell investments.  The Chicago Booth School of Business and the NYU Stern School of Business offer top finance programs.

HR specialist: These professionals work with a company’s employees, by doing anything from recruiting them to training them to explaining their benefits. HR specialists don’t need an MBA, but the degree will help them stand out from the competition.

Information security analyst: These analysts monitor and protect an organization’s computer network and systems. Companies prefer to hire those with an MBA. The UT McCombs School of Business and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business are top-notch programs for studying information systems.

As you can see, employers are looking for skilled managers to lead the way in today’s global economy. Business and management degrees can be a powerful driver of confidence and opportunity to achieve those ambitious goals.

You may also be interested in:
Strong Job Market Predicted for 2015 B-School Graduates

 

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Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants
As a female MBA and entrepreneur and businessperson, I know that women can more than handle business school and the application process just as well or better than anyone.  Stereotypes do persist, however, and the reality is that women pursuing graduate management education are still an underrepresented demographic on campus.

Thankfully, the outlook has improved over the past decade. Women now make up 41% of Harvard Business School’s Class of 2016; they represent 40% of the incoming class at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School; and Stanford Graduate School of Business reported a record female enrollment of 42% for the Class of 2016.

Business schools have really ramped up their efforts to recruit and groom future women leaders, so if you’re a woman planning on pursuing an MBA, make sure to take advantage of every available opportunity. During the school research phase, a great place to start is at a workshop event for women hosted by the program you’re considering.

While you’ll also want to attend general information sessions, these diversity events allow you to meet and network with other prospective students, current students, alumni, and faculty, as well as provide a chance to listen and ask questions about the specific opportunities for woman in the MBA program.

When putting their application together, female candidates have to make sure that they exude confidence. The admissions committee shouldn’t have any doubt about whether the applicant will raise her hand and contribute to the classroom discussions that form a crucial part of the MBA learning experience. Essays, interviews and recommendation letters should indicate a high comfort level with speaking out, defending points of view, and collaborating with all types of people.

Another area of potential weakness, particularly for women who majored in the liberal arts for undergrad, is demonstrating strong quantitative skills. The admissions committee wants to make sure you can handle the MBA course load, so a solid GMAT score, supplemented by additional finance, calculus, or statistics classes taken at the local community college, will go a long way toward proving you have the bona fides to succeed.

Try not to become intimidated by all of the amazing things your fellow applicants have accomplished and second-guess the value of your own strengths and experiences. Focus instead on what makes you unique, and how you plan on contributing to the MBA community once admitted.

During the MBA interview, female candidates frequently begin their answers with a disclaimer that reveals their insecurities and detracts from any positive information that follows. Don’t downplay achievements for fear of coming across as bragging. There’s a difference between boasting and conveying your skills and accomplishments with pride. Confidence without attitude is what you’re aiming for.

Finally, women shouldn’t let the financial expense of business school be a barrier to pursuing an MBA degree. Look into all of the resources—loans, scholarships, employee sponsorships, fellowships, work-study options—that can offset the high cost of an MBA, and take a long view of the return on investment your target schools provide.Many candidates find they can pay off their student debt within five years of graduating, so with the right financial aid package, it’s possible to attend almost any business school.

Despite some barriers, real or perceived, women considering business school should know the MBA degree truly is the one of the best ways to transform their career by giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful.

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Advice from an Early Career MBA [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice from an Early Career MBA
Whether or not Chicago Booth School of Business is on your short list, the recently revamped Booth Experience blog, written and managed by students, regularly offers guidance on subjects that are universally interesting for all MBA applicants.

This week, second-year student and frequent blog contributor Alex Simon concludes a three-part series with a post on three things for early-career MBA candidates to keep in mind as they research business schools.

Simon was 24 when he started at Booth, and with just two years of work experience, he worried he would be at a serious disadvantage with classmates five to 10 years older than he. That’s why he says younger applicants should give serious thought to answering the question of why an MBA and why now; figure out how to demonstrate their competency among more experienced classmates without giving attitude; and gird themselves for dealing with the inevitable setbacks that will occur.

If you’re an early career candidate who is motivated and can show strong leadership and managerial potential, make sure you invest plenty of time into researching which MBA program is the right one for you. Follow the link above for Simon’s take on these issues, and be sure to check out his previous articles in the series as well.

You may also be interested in:
How to Determine When the Time Is Right for an MBA

Timing Your MBA: Work 5 First or Dive Right In?

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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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Cornell’s Johnson School Bolsters Admissions Team [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cornell’s Johnson School Bolsters Admissions Team
Cornell University’s Johnson School has further strengthened its admissions team as part of the school’s recent revamp of the two-year MBA curriculum.  This week, Johnson announced it has brought Judi Byers on board as the new executive director of MBA admissions and financial aid. Image

Byers comes with over 10 years of admissions experience, and received the 2013 American University Alumni Eagle Award for her significant contributions as director of admissions at the Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C.

These curriculum changes, already in effect for the Class of 2016, place a strong emphasis on collaboration, leadership, and analytical skills that will prepare students for a technology-driven global business environment.

“It’s clear the revamp of the Two-Year MBA program includes impressive enhancements and will make these offerings even more attractive to prospective students domestically and internationally,” said Byers in a statement.

Johnson is a consistent leader in adopting the latest innovative advancements in programs, and Byers noted that the new LinkedIn feature, which allows prospective students to populate portions of their applications directly from LinkedIn, has received positive feedback from applicants over the past six months.

Byers succeeds interim executive director of admissions Ann Richards, who took over last July when former admissions director Christine Sneva become senior director of enrollment and students services at Cornell Tech in New York City.

Rounding out the Admissions team are newcomers Admissions Director Gail Wolfmeyer from NYU Stern School of Business and Admissions Manager Chris Lind from American University.

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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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The Do’s and Don’ts of Reapplying to Business School [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Do’s and Don’ts of Reapplying to Business School
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Many business schools, even the most elite and well-ranked ones, welcome re-applicants. Reapplying to school shows you are very serious about your interest in the business school program.

The best way to approach the reapplication process when you’re targeting the same schools is to highlight how you have improved your candidacy. Take a closer look at the following aspects of the MBA application package to determine where you should focus your energies to improve your odds next time around.

Decide How Many and Which Programs to Target

If you received multiple dings in your first application attempt, add new schools next time in case the problem was that you applied to schools that didn’t match your profile. Make sure your focus is on fit over brand strength, and match your preferred learning style to the school’s letters of recommendation came across as weak endorsements at best.

Do: Make sure whomever you ask is willing to write a very compelling recommendation for you. Since it’s not a given that you’ll see the letter once it’s written, it’s perfectly OK to come right out and explicitly ask for what you need.

Don’t: Choose a recommender for superficial reasons. I’ve seen too many applicants dinged for committing this mistake. Asking the president of a company, an alum of your dream school or any other bigwig won’t do you any good if they cannot speak intimately and enthusiastically about your many virtues

Do: Remind your recommenders to address specific examples of your accomplishments and leadership abilities, and to discuss your work ethic or team-building skills. Writing a strong endorsement requires some effort, so make it easy for your recommender by providing a list of the accomplishments you want to highlight.

Pump Up Your GMAT

Business schools always stress that test scores are just one metric of admissions decisions, but they are important because the admissions committee has to make sure the people they accept can handle the quantitative work. If your initial scores don’t come close to those of an average student’s at the schools you’re applying to, you need to make significant gains on your GMAT score in subsequent sittings or have other, extremely impressive qualifications.

Do: Allow time to take the exam again. Nerves or lack of preparation might have torpedoed your first effort, and the familiarity of taking it a second or even third time will often lead to a higher score.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute to take your GMAT. Take care of it early in the year, before you have to juggle the other aspects of the application.

Do: Consider alternative preparation methods to see if they yield better results. If you studied on your own last year, see if a formal class or working with a GMAT tutor helps you improve your weak areas more efficiently.

Don’t: Cancel a score when the option appears upon completing the test, even if you’re pretty sure you’ve blown it. Schools will evaluate your highest score, so don’t worry about a low score reflecting negatively on you.

That initial score provides valuable feedback about your testing strengths and weaknesses. You may also find out that your performance was not as bad as you imagined.

Rock Those Essays

Sometimes applicants get hung up on writing the perfect essay, when in reality they should focus on writing a compelling essay instead. MBA blogger Scott Duncan applied to five schools last year and was rejected by all of them. This year, he wrote, he let go of perfectionism and changed his strategy to deliver a simple, clear message and add color to his application where possible.

The new tactic worked, and he’s been accepted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, wait-listed at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and awaits news from Harvard Business School, where he recently interviewed.

Do:  Use the additional essay question to explain what’s changed in your situation to make you a stronger candidate this time around. Make sure to address both professional and personal advancements, but show that you are realistic and self-aware. Revealing your humanity in the form of quirks, weaknesses and flaws can often help the admissions committee to like you.

Don’t: Recycle essays from the first time around, and don’t use the same essay for multiple schools. At best, the byproduct of being all-inclusive is that you will sound generic. At worst, you might accidentally leave the wrong school name in the essay and be rejected out of hand for your lack of attention to detail.

Finally, take comfort in knowing many people in business school right now were dinged the first time they applied. The MBA admissions process requires resilience, so take some time to recover, reassess and dive back in.

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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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Pay Less for Your MBA [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2015, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Pay Less for Your MBA
Whether you’re a new admit (congrats!), current MBA or alum, your degree has probably come with a price tag of roughly $200,000. Oy. Figuring out how to pay for such a large sum can be intimidating and challenging.

The good news is that CommonBond is here to help. They’re a student-lending platform founded by Wharton MBAs who knew there had to be a better way to finance their degree than through the costly, confusing student loan system. They’ve funded over $100 million in student loans, helping students and graduates like you navigate the complex student loan industry. Here are some tips on how you can get the best deal on your education:

If you’re headed to school or a first-year MBA…
Your financing options are, broadly, scholarships, savings/personal accounts, and student loans. If you’re considering financing through student loans, CommonBond’s MBA Student Loan can be a great option for you, with rates as low 6.24% (6.40% APR) for U.S. citizens and permanent residents attending one of the eligible MBA programs.

The MBA Student Loan, combined with the federal government’s lower rate Direct Stafford Loan program, is a great way to keep costs down on your degree. You can also take advantage of options like interest-only repayment—paying just the accruing interest on your loans while still a student—in order to leave school with less debt.

If you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate…
Refinancing your student debt offers you a chance to pick the rate, term, and type of loan that’s right for you. You can refinance your federal and private student loans into one new loan with rates starting at 1.92% APR for variable options. CommonBond has variable and fixed rates across various loan repayment options. Their average borrower saves over $10,000 through refinancing!

They’re more than just a low rate, though. They have an incredible customer care team that can answer any questions you have about the student loan process in general or specific questions you may have about your situation. Just email them at care@commonbond.co or give them a call at (800) 975-7812, and they’ll be happy to help.

And don’t forget these wise words as you approach your student loan financing:

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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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Getting Ready for Round 2 Admits [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Getting Ready for Round 2 Admits
It’s Round 2 admit time for the MBA Class of 2017! The Wharton School released R2 decisions on Tuesday, March 24th, and Harvard Business School, UV Darden School of Business, and Stanford Graduate School of Business are just a few of the top schools notifying successful candidates today. Future Chicago Boothies, meanwhile, will have to wait until Thursday to hear the news they have been waiting for from the admissions team.

We want to say good luck and send our best wishes to all the applicants out there waiting anxiously for good news this week; we hope your journey thus far has been both enlightening and exhilarating—and not too exhausting! For those who are waitlisted, or unsuccessful in this round, it’s time to turn your focus to the three P’s: stay positive, be proactive, and above all, persevere. As the saying goes, few things worthwhile come easy. And also…

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You may also be interested in:
What to Do When Waitlisted By Your Dream School

Pay Less for Your 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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Take Control of Your GMAT Performance [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Take Control of Your GMAT Performance
We won’t bury the good stuff: from now until April 9, you can win a free copy of the new GMAT® Enhanced Score Report and the GMATPrep® Exam Pack 1, valued at $74.94.

If you’re planning to take (or retake) the GMAT before the 2015-16 application season kicks into high gear, you’re going to find these resources indispensable. With diagnostics in GMAC’s prep materials, the score preview on test day, and now the Enhanced Score Report, you truly do have the control to get the score you want.

Here’s a little more information about exactly how these tools will help you:

  • The enhanced diagnostics in GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 give you detailed information about your performance on your practice exams—from format and timing to section content and study tips—before you take the real exam.
  • Score Preview gives you more control reporting your score to schools. You can take a look at your unofficial GMAT score at the test center and then decide whether you want to report it to your target programs or cancel it.
  • The new GMAT® Enhanced Score Report provides detailed analysis of your test performance, and makes it easy to see what question types you spent the most time on, pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses by subject and section. Every test taker can use the report differently. If you’re considering retaking the exam, your GMAT Enhanced Score Report can give you the information you need to reach your personal goals.
Enter to win your free set today, because the MBA application process is stressful enough. If there’s an opportunity to make any part of it easier—while also making your candidacy more competitive in the process—it’s kind of a no-brainer.

Think of it this way:

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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’s B-School Buzz [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz
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Welcome back to Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. The burning topic on just about everyone’s mind: round 2 notifications. Some people have had their dreams come true, while others are still on hold or were denied admission to their school of choice. The feelings this week are definitely bittersweet. For those who have been waitlisted: Don’t lose hope! You’re still in the running, and there are definitely things you can do to manage the waitlist experience.

On getting back on the horse—After an extended period of radio silence following media coverage of his failed attempts in Fortune, GrantMeAdmission returns with news of an amazing career change, a renewed perspective, and fresh determination to apply to business school again this fall. Resilience is a key characteristic of success, and we’re so glad to see Grant plans to rededicate himself to his MBA dreams.

The wait s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s on and on—We love how positive Top Dog is staying upon hearing that his waitlist status at Wharton has not changed with round 2 notifications. From his prior post it sounds like he has a sound waitlist strategy, and we hope his patience is soon rewarded with an offer of admission. Meanwhile, keep “enjoying the ride”!

On what not to do—Although applicants know that recycling essays from other schools is a no-no, PTMT confesses that that’s exactly what she did for her Tepper application, and was therefore not surprised by the ding she received this week. “They can see right through a last minute application, so even if your stats look good on paper, you will have a tough time of it,” she says. Fingers crossed things go better with UCLA Anderson.

Full or part-time?EF Essays shares some thoughts on the pros and cons of a full-time versus part-time MBA program experience. “At the end of the day, no matter the method, you’ll have the same degree. And while that’s true, you won’t have the same experience,” he writes. While there’s no right answer, once you figure out whether you’re a career switcher or a career enhancer, the choice, he believes, should become more clear.

and finally….

On not giving up on the dream—“After two years, three attempts at the GMAT, and five rejection letters, I have been admitted at HBS,” writes Scott Duncan. Bravo!

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

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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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Checklist for Admitted MBA Students [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Checklist for Admitted MBA Students
Reactions to an offer of admission seems to universally include calls to loved ones, social media updates, a spendy dinner or two to celebrate, and some form of happy dance in the privacy of your home or office. Once the euphoria over your acceptance to the b-school of your dreams has subsided slightly, it’s time to refocus your energies to all of the big and little details that make up your admitted MBA student “To Do List.”  Here are some of the specific tasks you’ll need to take care of promptly:

Give notice gracefully.  If your supervisor already knew of and supported your plans to attend business school, sharing the great news of your admission won’t be awkward at all. However, if you had to keep the news quiet so as not to jeopardize your employment, now is the time to let your employer know that you’re leaving. You should explain your reasons, give plenty of notice, and offer to help train your replacement if applicable. Make every possible effort to leave on good terms in order to keep this part of your professional network intact.

Obtain financial aid/loans if needed. Schools are committed to working with both domestic and international students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships. (At CommonBond, for example, MBA Student Loans start at 6.40% APR.) Contact your school’s financial aid office as soon as possible once accepted. These seasoned professionals have seen it all, and they will work hard to ensure admitted candidates can pay for the degree.

Set up a budget. Get your finances in order, avoid credit card debt, and save, save, save as much as you can in the months before school starts. Now is the time to forgo unnecessary purchases and live slightly below your means, if possible. Remember, your projected budget should factor in expenses beyond tuition and living costs, such as travel, student clubs, and those study abroad trips that greatly enrich the b-school experience.

Make housing arrangements. This aspect varies depending on the school. For example, at Harvard Business School, 80% of MBA students live on campus, and housing in residence halls is assigned by lottery. Other schools offer limited on-campus housing and refer new students to rental houses or apartment complexes nearby. You can visit apartments and houses throughout your new city during Welcome Weekend, and start the process early. Schools have strict deadlines for campus housing, so make sure to find out those important dates early on if you prefer to live on campus.

Brush up on quant skills. Business schools regularly report that a fair number of soon-to-be first-year students lack some basic quantitative skills. Review the course syllabus online and purchase textbooks in advance if you can. Many top MBA programs offer so-called “math camps” for accepted students during the summer as a refresher of critical concepts. If you have any weak spots in this area, sign up so that you’re ready to hit the ground running once school starts.

Consider a pre-MBA program. A growing number of admits are doing pre-MBA internships to explore a new field of interest, gain training insights, and begin networking with recruiters months before the formal recruiting process begins. Others participate in short, company-sponsored programs, such as the J.P. Morgan MBA Early Advantage Program or Google Student Veterans Summit. Still other admits take advantage of pre-term, non-academic travel programs, such as Kellogg Worldwide Experiences & Service Trips (KWEST), which unite more than 80% of incoming students through social, site-seeing and community service activities.

Reach out to fellow classmates. Schools often host receptions for admits where they can mingle and network with alumni and their fellow admits. Welcome Weekend is another prime opportunity to begin the process of connecting with your future cohort, and if you’ve followed the MBA forums, and blogs of MBA applicants, then you may already have a head start on building relationships with other admits.

Find out if your program hosts a Facebook group for your class, and if not, offer to help set one up. Business schools make it easy for classmates to get to know each other pre-term, so take advantage of these social opportunities, and you’ll arrive on campus feeling already at home.

Finally, enjoy some quiet time before things get crazy. Cross a few items off your bucket list, connect with family and friends you won’t see much of during the next two years, and dive into those hobbies and extracurriculars that made you a desirable, well-rounded candidate in the first place. The months leading up to the start of business school is an exciting time, a time that flies by in a flash. Knowing what to expect and laying the foundation for a smooth transition to student life will make your first year less stressful and even more rewarding.

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Advice for Incoming MBA Students [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice for Incoming MBA Students
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If you’re headed to business school in the fall, your brain is probably near melting with an information overload right about now. We’re going to add just one thing more to your overflowing plate, though you’ll probably find this next bit quite useful.

The admissions blog at Kellogg School of Management has a regular columnist this year in first-year student Rohan Rajiv, who blogs once a week about important lessons he is learning at Kellogg. His most recent entry, written as a letter to an incoming MBA student, covers all the basics of what to expect at business school, but then he takes a deep dive into how to “frame” the MBA experience.

The post covers three principles:

  • the MBA is a two-year course in decision making and tradeoffs;
  • the experience is entirely what you make of it;
  • foolishness is believing your value multiplied by 10 just because you spent two years running around a university campus.
“The MBA journey is the first step to the next phase of your life journey,” Rajiv writes. “The lessons from this post aren’t just about doing well in graduate school. I think the principles apply for life after school.”

Fair warning, his post is long. But it does provide ample food for thought and may serve as an important reality check for the newest members of the MBA Class of 2017.

You may also be interested in:
Checklist for Admitted MBA Students

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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

Advice for Incoming MBA Students   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2015, 06:01

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