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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Why Your Friend Got In and You Didn’t [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why Your Friend Got In and You Didn’t
Round 2 results from your dream school are in, and you didn’t get the news you were hoping for. After months of hard work on your application and then a few more months of anxiety-ridden waiting, finding out that you weren’t accepted can be a tough blow.

When you’re already feeling confused, down or angry, learning that a friend or co-worker did get in is like having salt poured in your proverbial wound. If you believe you’re actually more qualified than the person you know who was accepted, it’s even worse.

Why do scenarios like this come to pass? How can it be that two people who work at the same place or seem similar on paper meet such different MBA fates? How can someone who’s a stellar candidate receive a ding when a so-so applicant is accepted?

There are three main answers to those questions:

  • The MBA application process is subjective. Admissions committees consider thousands and thousands of qualified applicants each year and have developed a strong sense for who will fit best with their program. While you may think you’d be more of an asset to a certain school than an acquaintance who got in, the admissions committee felt differently.
  • You don’t know absolutely everything about your friend or co-worker’s candidacy. If you did your homework on the MBA process, you know that AdComs are looking for what makes applicants tick. They want to understand your personality. They are interested in more than just your career experience. Even if you read your friend’s essays, you probably don’t know every single detail that was included in their applications and recommendation letters, nor do you know everything that was discussed in their interview. Chances are your demographics, backgrounds and motivations are not as similar as you might have thought, and the AdCom saw something in your friend that they were looking for.
  • You may not have even been “competing” with your friend for a spot in the first place. As alluded to above, we know that each program strives to put together a diverse class of impressive people. No one knows the magic formula that any given AdCom uses to fill open spots. But what we do know is that it’s not as straightforward as most applicants assume—meaning that everything from your gender to your industry to your nationality to your career aspirations and your community service comes into play when an AdCom attempts to build a graduating class.
We know how tempting it is to play the comparison game. But unfortunately, doing so won’t change anything or make you feel any better. The best thing you can do is try to be objective about how you could improve your candidacy if you reapply next year—or consider additional programs that might improve your odds.

Think of it this way:

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

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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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Survey Says Wharton Beats HBS For Most Satisfied MBAs [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Survey Says Wharton Beats HBS For Most Satisfied MBAs
Spurred to action by Harvard Business School‘s MBA satisfaction survey published in February, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School came out with its own poll earlier this week and claims to beat out HBS by nearly 25%. The question asked of respondents in the original survey was: how likely they would be to recommend an HBS MBA to an interested and qualified friend or colleague. The results garnered HBS a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 41, on a par with Walgreens or Tracfone. The NPS at Wharton, meanwhile, is 51, right up there with Discover Card.

This scoring system, created by management consultants to measure customer loyalty, subtracts the share of students who were less enthusiastic about the program from those who would strongly recommend it to a friend. People who rate the MBA program 0-6 on a 10-point scale are the “detractors,” while those who give it a 9 or a 10 are considered promoters. Those in the middle are considered passives and therefore aren’t included in the score.

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image credit: The Wharton Journal

At the time of the Harbus’s anonymous survey publication, 105 students had responded. Over 249 Wharton students filled out an anonymous survey link sent via email blast and Facebook two weeks ago.

According to an article in The Wharton Journal, Wharton’s NPS of 51 was comprised of 61.85% promoters and 10.84% detractors. In the Harbus survey, the MBA program’s NPS of 41 was comprised of 62% promoters and 22% detractors. In other words, the same percentage would recommend the program, but a greater number at HBS had serious gripes about it.

The Wharton article praises the increased satisfaction score with second-years, going from 49 to 53. There’s a conundrum though, in the fact that ‘the people at Wharton’ is simultaneously the top answer for what people like about Wharton, and for what people don’t like about Wharton.

Over at the Harbus, their survey results also indicate people seem to either love or dislike the same things: classmates, classroom learning, career opportunities, and program structure. The Harbus closes its article on a hopeful note, calling the survey “the beginning of an ongoing discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the MBA program.”

Meanwhile, The Wharton Journal says in their survey wrap-up that the administration is interested in reading the feedback, noting that Deputy Vice Dean Maryellen Lamb responded, “Given the data-driven culture of Wharton, I’m delighted to see our students express their school spirit and pride through a system like NPS.”

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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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Building an MBA Program Short List [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2015, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Building an MBA Program Short List
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
When the idea of pursuing an MBA degree first germinates, many prospective applicants begin picturing themselves roaming the hallowed halls of Harvard Business School or Stanford Graduate School of Business.

But getting hung up on one or two dream schools isn’t a smart strategy. Most applicants need to submit four to six applications in order to maximize chances of success.

In the early stages of research, stay open-minded about business school options. Applicants may discover an interesting program that previously wasn’t even on their radar. Putting together a school list is a very personal process, but these are some of the question prospective students can ask to start thinking about to guide their selection strategy.

1. Where are you in the window for applying? The overwhelming majority of MBA applicants range in age from their mid-20s to early 30s. Younger applicants often decide to apply to one or two choices the first time, figuring that they can always reapply a few years down the line with more work and life experiences under their belt.

This is a fine strategy for that younger age group. However, older candidates should apply to a wide array of schools to make sure they have the option of going to business school next fall.

No matter which end of the age spectrum you fall, it’s important to still present yourself as a “work in progress,” and demonstrate how the program you’re applying to will transform you.

2. What industry do you want to work in? Many applicants have very specific career goals, and may even know which companies they aspire to work for post-MBA. If that’s the case, call up that company and ask what they think about business schools you may be targeting.

I once had a client with her heart set on attending Columbia Business School, and she also had a short list of companies she wanted to target for a summer internship. When she called one of her top companies, she learned they recruited at five schools, but Columbia was not one of them.

They also told her it was virtually impossible to secure an internship if she didn’t come from one of those schools. This five-minute phone call had a huge impact on her school list.

3. What kind of community feeling do you prefer? These characteristics are highly subjective, and figuring out what environment they would flourish in will help applicants determine whether a particular program is a good overall fit.

Big cities provide unparalleled access to business and recreation, but rural programs offer more of an immersive environment and are typically more close knit and family friendly?.

Cost savings can also be a huge factor for many applicants in this situation. The cost of living for a family at Duke Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina, will be lower than for an MBA candidate and family at a school like New York University Stern School of Business or the Anderson School of Management at the University of California—Los Angeles.

Geographic location also matters a great deal for certain industries, such as New York for finance, the Bay Area for entrepreneurship, Los Angeles for entertainment and Texas for energy.

The location of your school will also likely determine where your post-MBA job is. Even if you intend to target companies with offices around the globe, you’ll have the highest exposure to jobs in your immediate geographic area.

4. How do you learn best? Unfortunately, this question typically doesn’t receive as much consideration as it should. Not everyone excels in the same learning environment, and it’s important for students to find out where they’d be most comfortable.

Students may prefer the case method approach to learning, a highly experiential environment; a traditional, lecture-based style; or some mixture of these. Business schools are very specific about their teaching methods, and this information is easily gleaned on their websites.

Teaching method affects not only students’ enjoyment of the program, it also affects the quality of the knowledge they walk away with, so students should only consider MBA programs where they can thrive, not merely survive. Learn as well how rigorous the workload is, which varies by school. After all, the MBA is about much more than academics.

Even students who have a pretty good idea of the MBA programs they plan to target should= know that the most well-thought-out school list is still a work in progress, with new programs added in and others dropping off as they further clarify your goals. Students only have one chance to study an MBA, and weighing all of these different elements at the outset will help them find the right fit.

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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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USC Marshall School to Offer Online MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2015, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: USC Marshall School to Offer Online MBA Program
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Starting in Fall 2015, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business will offer an online MBA program with a curriculum designed specifically for the online learning environment, the school announced last week. The program focuses on emerging online business topics such as internet analytics, social media, virtual teams, and entrepreneurial thinking.

The 21-month program will provide students with a foundation in all core areas of business, and is grounded in analytics and communications from beginning to end. Led by members of the USC Marshall faculty, online coursework will be conducted primarily in an asynchronous format, with weekly synchronous seminars conducted by faculty via webcam and a one-time, one-week on-campus event. This format offers students a flexible learning experience that features real-time interaction with faculty as well as educational content that can be viewed at any time.

The program will incorporate live action cases, interactive exercises and virtual teams. Students will have the ability to take classes in online programs at other USC schools and enroll in additional online courses from Marshall MS programs in entrepreneurship, marketing and global supply chain management. The curriculum was created specifically for the program, rather than just taking traditional in-classroom content and putting it online.

“The new online MBA will allow students from around the world, regardless of time zone and location, the opportunity to join the Marshall Trojan Family and benefit from a world-class MBA degree,” says James G. Ellis, Marshall dean.

USC Marshall has a strong record of developing successful online programs, including a Master of Business Taxation and a Master of Global Supply Chain Management. The school has invested in considerable infrastructure to develop online learning programs, recently training and supporting faculty and developing a dedicated instructional team and studio to build out the online MBA program curriculum.

John Matsusaka, USC Marshall Online MBA academic director and the Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise, notes that “Online technologies continue to rapidly reshape our world. As an innovator in higher education, our new program pushes the USC Marshall MBA into the online world, allowing us to deploy new learning technologies and to reach students across the globe.”

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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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Columbia’s Dean Hubbard on MBA Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia’s Dean Hubbard on MBA Rankings
Business school rankings are forever a hot topic, and we really liked the assessment strategies put forth by Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School in a recent essay for Fortune on whether MBA rankings really matter.

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It’s human nature to want to experience the best of anything, Hubbard points out, which explains why so many applicants flock to the business school programs that continuously top the rankings. But the dean suggests that applicants take a closer look at the students of the programs they are targeting as they come up with their shortlist of schools.

“It’s in the student network that you will find the metrics that matter for assessing any business school: inputs and outputs,” he explains. The economist that he is, Hubbard speaks of inputs as in applications—the volume of applications a school receives and whether that figure is trending up or down over time.

“It stands to reason that the marketplace of prospective students will send the most applications to the best schools, which will, in turn, have more selective admission rates,” says the dean.

The other side of the coin, the outputs, refers to what happens to MBA grads once they enter the job market. Employers want the best employees money can buy, and, says Hubbard, students will receive good job offers if the job market believes they have received a valuable education. “Schools that routinely graduate classes at full or near-full employment, with good job satisfaction, have reason to believe they’re receiving a vote of confidence from the market,” he says.

Aside from inputs and outputs, Hubbard urges future applicants to consider other, no less important, points of comparison, which we have always advocated for as well. Candidates should determine how the location of the school will affect recruiting prospects, whether it has a strong reputation for the particular career path they plan on pursuing, and what kind of alumni network will they be able to tap into.

Ultimately, it’s about finding the best business school for you, and with a fair amount of introspection, plus exhaustive research, the options will become crystal clear.

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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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What to Do if You’re Waitlisted [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What to Do if You’re Waitlisted
All MBA applicants wait anxiously to hear final decisions from the programs they’ve applied to. For some b-school prospectives, however, that date comes and goes—and they’re still waiting. They’ve been waitlisted.

If you’ve been rolled over from a Round 1 waitlist, have recently been informed that you were neither accepted nor denied at one of your Round 2 schools, or get this same news in the coming weeks from a program that hasn’t notified applicants yet, your first question might be, “Well, now what?”

Before you pick up the phone to call the admissions team, take a moment to reread the email they sent. Usually it will contain pretty explicit information and instructions about timelines and next steps. It should also be clear as to whether the program has a dedicated waitlist contact, if they’ll be following up with more information for you in the weeks ahead, and if there’s a drop-dead date by which you’ll have a final answer.

Most importantly, there should be guidance on additional actions you can (or must) take or materials they’d be willing to consider. Some schools make it very, very clear that they will not look at any more letters of recommendations or candidate updates before they make their decision, whereas other programs encourage applicants to send in additional essays, videos and words of support from colleagues and alumni.

Some people are tempted to bombard the AdCom with more information after they’ve been waitlisted, but the reality is that that probably won’t help your case. If the school has stated that they don’t want anything else from you, now might not be the best time to ignore their instructions. As frustrating as it is to feel like you’re not doing anything proactive, you need to remind yourself that you already did do everything you could to put your best foot forward in your original application.

If a school welcomes more insight into your candidacy, then give it to them. Let them know what you’ve been up to in the months since your round’s deadline. What else have you done at work? What more have you learned about their program? Have you taken any trips, had any interesting experiences or done something cool in your community?

Make your communication with them count, because even if a school does accept new information on waitlisted candidates, they’re not going to want to be contacted every single day. One solid update will likely come off better than several emails or uploads that don’t have much meat.

At some point (and that point might already be here), there’s nothing you can do but wait. Try to keep your mind off of it and hope for the best. A number of waitlisted candidates are ultimately accepted into top programs each year, so there’s reason to remain positive!

Remember:

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

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

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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

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

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HBS Launches Recruitment Program Targeting Women [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Launches Recruitment Program Targeting Women
Harvard Business School has launched a new initiative to spark interest in graduate management education among college women and recent graduates who may not have previously considered a career in business.

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According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the program—called PEEK—is aimed at women-only colleges such as Wellesely and Barnard as a way to address the under-representation of women at the business school, whose enrollment currently stands at 41 percent.

PEEK will cost $500 per participant, and the program plans to host 70 to 80 rising juniors, seniors, and recent graduates during a weekend in June to familiarize them with the MBA program, the Crimson reports.

Participants will have accommodations on campus, take part in assigned case studies, and meet with faculty, current students, and alumni, explains Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold, who calls the program a way for prospective students “to literally take a peek at what happens in an MBA program.”

The PEEK program is the latest in HBS’ series of efforts to tackle gender equity issues head-on. The school came under intense scrutiny in 2013 as it celebrated 50 years of women at HBS while still grappling with gender inequity and sexism.

In January 2014, Dean Nitin Nohria addressed the subject at an alumnae event, where he apologized to female students and professors past and present for any sexist or offensive behavior they experienced at the business school. In that speech, he said the school owed them better, and promised to make swift changes to address the inequalities that still exist.

There may still be a ways to go, but the PEEK program sounds like a great step in the right direction.

 You may also be interested in:
Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants

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

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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

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

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GMAC Releases 2015 Prospective MBA Students Report [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAC Releases 2015 Prospective MBA Students Report
Conventional wisdom holds that students considering business school give great weight, if not the greatest weight, to published school rankings as a guide to their decision.  However, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2015 mba.com Prospective Students Survey Report released earlier this week, the truth is that students place other factors above rankings in selecting a school.

The survey uncovers that students from various parts of the world display distinct differences in ascribing what factors matter most to them and the order of importance in which they consider those factors when making decisions about b-school.

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When students listed their top five consideration criteria for actually selecting a program and a study destination, rankings didn’t rank.

The study destination distinction is important as more than half of prospective students (52 percent) seek to study outside their country of citizenship, up from 40 percent in 2010 (and noticeable among Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern citizens). The top 10 preferred study destinations worldwide are the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands, and Australia.

The survey does show that published rankings have influence in candidates’ school consideration but places rankings overall as the third most consulted information resource for prospective students, finishing behind school websites and friends and family.

“Given the degree to which school rankings dominate the discussion, it is interesting that as their decision making progresses, students themselves say that rankings fall in importance,” says Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC’s director of Management Education Research. “While the survey is geared toward helping schools market to prospective students, applicants can use report insights to inform and strengthen their selection process.”

In addition to these findings, the 2015 report also explores regional and generational differences regarding prospective students’ career goals, program preferences, decision-making time lines, and top study destinations, as well as education financing choices, motivations, online/offline course delivery, the role of social media and preferences about b-school culture.

An especially interesting finding focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs, with 28 percent of survey respondents indicating that they plan to start their own businesses compared with 19 percent just five years ago. Respondents in Africa (45 percent), Latin America (44 percent) and Central and South Asia including India (43 percent) led this segment.

Highlights from the survey findings include:

  • Even as business school portfolios of master’s programs continue to diversify, the MBA remains the degree most often considered by prospective students. MBA programs are exclusively considered by half (52 percent) of prospective students, globally. Gauging the interest of prospective students across more than 25 MBA and specialized business master’s program options, 26 percent of today’s candidates are considering both degree types.
  • Sixty-five percent of prospective students pursue graduate management education to increase the job opportunities that are available to them.
  • Segmenting prospective students by career goals reveals three groups: career enhancers (34 percent of respondents), career switchers (38 percent), and aspiring entrepreneurs (28 percent).
  • The Millennial generation (those born from 1980 to 1998) dominates the distribution of today’s prospective business school students and represented 88 percent of all survey respondents. Schools have three-months, on average, to engage Millennials from when they take the GMAT exam and when they submit their first application to business school.
Nearly 12,000 registrants to GMAC’s mba.com website participated in the survey, conducted throughout 2014. With analysis of survey responses available for all world regions, including 30 specific countries, this is the largest data source of its kind.

You can download the full report here.

You may also be interested in:
Building an MBA Program Shortlist

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

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

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

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

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MIT Sloan Finance Symposium Includes MBA Application Fee Waiver [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan Finance Symposium Includes MBA Application Fee Waiver
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Are you considering an MBA and planning on pursuing a career in finance? Then you may want to look into the upcoming finance symposium hosted by MIT Sloan School of Management on Saturday, May 9th.

This day-long workshop will cover the numerous finance opportunities at MIT Sloan, including the MBA Finance Track, as well as the various conferences, electives, and student clubs available. It also offers an inside look into the admissions process and career opportunities after an MBA.

According to the announcement on the MIT Sloan MBA admissions blog, attendees will participate in MBA-level courses and round-table discussions, and have a chance to interact with faculty and current MBA students, who will join participants for lunch and chat about  the MIT Sloan experience.

Maura Herson, director of the MBA and Master of Science in Management Studies program office, said in a statement that the Focus on Finance event was created to help young professionals imagine a potential future career in finance through interacting with faculty members, current students, and MBA admissions and career staff.

“Our goal is to give early-career finance professionals an opportunity to consider how an MBA, and in particular an MBA from MIT Sloan, could help them to accelerate their trajectory in the industry or to transfer their skills into a related field,” Herson explained.

Registration for the Focus on Finance Symposium is $100, and attendees who later apply to the MIT Sloan MBA program will have their application fee waived.

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Prep for the GMAT with a 3-Day Scavenger Hunt [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Prep for the GMAT with a 3-Day Scavenger Hunt
The GMAT exam is a rite of passage for all MBA hopefuls. It’s normal to feel a little anxious in the days leading up to the test, and it’s also pretty common to worry about whether or not your score will be high enough to strengthen your overall candidacy.

Since you’re already going to be studying for months ahead of your test date, why not take advantage of a free way to improve your study skills and make the hours you dedicate to the exam that much more productive and efficient?

Here’s how: take part in the GMAT Prep Camp, a free, three-day global online event that starts TODAY and runs through this Thursday, April 16. Think of it as an Internet-based scavenger hunt that will help you prepare for not only your best GMAT, but also success in the classroom and in your career.

On top of all that, there’s also a chance to win some cool prizes. During the event, live chats hosted by the GMAT team and leading business schools around the world will help you plan for test day and understand why b-schools value the GMAT exam in their admissions.

Participating in GMAT Prep Camp events also makes you eligible for a drawing to win a GMAT exam voucher worth US$250, as well as other official GMAT prep materials. And during the entire three-day event, you can save 15% on all official study materials. Learn more here.

Think of it this way:

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

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MIT Sloan, Bank Negara Malaysia Collaborate to Establish Asia School o [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MIT Sloan, Bank Negara Malaysia Collaborate to Establish Asia School of Business
MIT Sloan School of Management has entered into a 10-year collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia to establish the Asia School of Business (ASB) in the English-speaking global financial center of Kuala Lumpur. The school, which is scheduled to open in September 2016, will host an inaugural class of 25 to 35 students into a two-year MBA program.

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“The distinguishing feature of the ASB will be the use of Action Learning as a core part of the educational process,” explains Charles Fine, the Chrysler Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management at MIT Sloan, who will serve as the founding president and dean of the ASB.

“Every class that we offer and every lecture that we give will be intimately connected with the companies and institutions in the region so that students emerge with a deep understanding of the business, political, and economic issues that come to play in ASEAN and beyond,” Fine says, adding that “Our intent is to create a world-class school of management in Southeast Asia.“

The ASEAN region, which is comprised of ten countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, has an economy valued at $2.4 trillion and a population of 600 million. The region is the fourth-largest export market of the U.S. and the fifth-largest overall trading partner.

The ASB’s curriculum will apply MIT Sloan’s values and approach, according to Richard Schmalensee, Co-Chair of the ASB, and the former Dean of MIT Sloan.

“Like Sloan’s, the ASB program is based on three pillars,” he says. “The first pillar is a tradition of doing rigorous, intellectual work on the important problems businesses face. The second pillar is a global perspective, with particular emphasis on Asia for the ASB. The final pillar—which is an integral part of MIT’s history and legacy and one that the ASB will also emphasize—is a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in enterprises of all sizes.”

The ASB will ultimately have its own faculty, but in the short term professors from MIT Sloan will teach at the school and provide guest lectures. In year one, classes will take place in the bank’s state-of-the-art learning center and students will live at its residential campus. Architectural plans are underway to build a new campus on nearby land.

Faculty at the ASB will also have exchange opportunities via MIT’s International Faculty Fellows program. Professors will spend time at MIT’s Cambridge campus participating in activities designed to boost teaching effectiveness, improve research, and enhance scholarship.

As part of the collaboration, the ASB students will spend four weeks on an educational exchange program at MIT Sloan learning about U.S. business. Students will visit companies in the Boston area, attend lectures from MIT Sloan faculty, and complete an Action Learning project with MIT Sloan MBA students.

These exchanges aim to increase MIT Sloan’s knowledge of ASEAN, and deepen its ties with the worldwide academic community.

“While the journey ahead for Asia has tremendous promise, businesses will need to rise to new challenges arising from the changes that are reshaping the regional and global environment. The ASB aims to advance the frontiers of business innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia and to develop future leaders,” says Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Co-Chair of the ASB Board of Governors.

Tuition to the ASB will be in the range of US$40,000 per year.

You may also be interested in:
MIT Sloan Finance Symposium Includes MBA Application Fee Waiver

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Female Leadership: Where it’s Strong, Where it Can Improve [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Female Leadership: Where it’s Strong, Where it Can Improve
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Gender issues at business school remain a hot topic in graduate management education, and just this past week, three fascinating articles on the subject have been published. The first is a Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Dean Allison Davis-Blake of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

As one of only ten female deans at the top 60 business schools, Davis-Blake tells the media outlet that she’s used to being alone at the top. She points out that the reason why the vast majority of deans are men can be traced back to the 1980s, which is when most of today’s deans were in graduate school and women made up a much smaller percentage of students pursuing advanced degrees.

The road to deanship includes many required benchmarks, says Davis-Blake, from earning a PhD to landing a tenure track job as an assistant professor to eventually making tenure, and then candidates must further distinguish themselves as academic leaders. We currently find very few women at the other side of those hurdles.

While the dean had many male mentors who exposed her to leadership opportunities along the way, Davis-Blake says she hopes women coming up today have something she didn’t: more direct female role models.

Speaking of her mentors, the dean tells Bloomberg, “They might be a lot like me dimensionally, they might think a lot like me, or they might speak a lot like me, but I can’t look at them and say, ‘Oh, that person has the same issues in life that I have.’ Looking at another woman, I can say that I see myself more in that person. Having more women deans around allows people to say, ‘Yeah, I could do this’.”

***

Female numbers in MBA programs were miniscule 30 years ago, but the demographics are changing, and many top business schools have enrolled up to 40% women in the Class of 2016. Women make up 37% of the Yale School of Management Class of 2016, down 2 percentage points from last year, but there are still healthy signs of strong female leadership at the school.

A new story in the Yale Daily News  reports that earlier this month, the SOM student body elected its fourth female student body president in a row, calling this a sign of increasing female involvement and diversity at the business school.

Brittan Berry MBA ’16, who was just elected for the position, says the SOM’s dedication to diversity contributes to this continuity in female leadership, adding, ““I think the SOM is continuously moving forward in its mission to become one of the most diverse business schools.”

According to current student government president Alexa Allen MBA ’15, about half of all leadership positions at the SOM are occupied by women, and that “diversity is the norm.” Former president Caitlin Sullivan MBA ’13 concurs, noting that “although her class at the SOM was about 35 percent women, the women within the school exhibited disproportionate influence because of the leadership positions they occupied.”

If this trend at Yale SOM (and elsewhere) continues to grow, Dean Davis-Blake will be able to rest easy about having sufficient female role models for the next generation of women leaders.

***

Whereas traditional two-year MBA programs are making notable strides to achieve parity in female enrollment, a new article in Fortune reports that is far from the case at executive MBA programs offered at the country’s top business schools.

Harvard Business School’s two-year MBA program is made up of 41% women; the EMBA enrolls 24%. At MIT Sloan School of Management, the figure in their executive program is about 17%. And while the Wharton School declined to offer specifics, the school’s vice dean of executive education Monica McGrath told Fortune that although the two-year program had almost 50% female enrollment, “In executive education, it’s not even close to that. It’s a problem, for sure.”

In short, notes the article’s author Katherine Noyes, “Exec-ed programs skew male because, unfortunately, C-suite offices still skew male.”

And so it goes back to the problems Dean Allison Davis-Blake laid out above. Executive education programs are designed for professionals who have been in the workforce for ten-plus years, and that’s where the numbers for women begin their decline.

The outlook is not all doom and gloom though. With the approaching parity we’re seeing in two-year MBA programs, in another 20 years this issue of imbalance may be nothing more than a relic of the past.

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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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UV Darden Welcomes Newest Ventures to i.Lab Incubator [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2015, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UV Darden Welcomes Newest Ventures to i.Lab Incubator
Earlier this week, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced it will welcome a new and diverse cohort of ventures to the 2015 i.Lab Incubator program, a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage businesses from U.Va. and the greater Charlottesville community. The i.Lab and the incubator are operated by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The 24 ventures in the 2015 class include 10 founded by Darden students, 10 founded by U.Va. students or faculty members, and four founded by individuals unaffiliated with the University.

“This year we saw a particularly experienced group of applicants,” said Philippe Sommer, director of Darden’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “It will be an incredible asset to have entrepreneurs in the incubator with deep expertise in fields such as engineering, biomedicine and education.”

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(c) jack looney photography

The i.Lab Incubator program includes a 10-week summer accelerator, during which participants develop and refine their business ideas and participate in the community of fellow entrepreneurs. Ventures receive a $5,000 grant, office space, mentoring support, networking opportunities with local investors, and access to accounting and technological expertise. The program also includes a clinic with faculty and students from the U.Va. School of Law, who offer guidance on the legal aspects of new-venture creation.

Participants in the i.Lab Incubator can also tap into the experience of a cadre of entrepreneurs in residence, who provide one-on-one coaching and offer sessions on various aspects of the entrepreneurial process.

Eight ventures from the 2014 class will remain with the program for the coming year — the largest number of returning ventures in the program’s history. “These young companies have made great strides, figuring out their business models and how to manage risk,” continued Sommer. “We are all impressed by their desire to persevere and to continue exploring the market for their offerings.”

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Decide Whether to Pursue a Pre-MBA Internship [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Decide Whether to Pursue a Pre-MBA Internship
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
The summer before business school is traditionally a blissful time to just hang out, travel, sleep in and generally savor the brief respite between your turbocharged job and the whirlwind that awaits once you set foot on campus.

While the vast majority of incoming MBA students still do spend the months leading up to school indulging in their favorite pastimes, the pre-MBA internship has become a growing trend among the recently admitted. Let’s take a look at what it is, who it’s for and why you should think about pursuing one – maybe.

What Is a Pre-MBA Internship?

A summer internship is the hallmark of the two-year MBA program, but a pre-MBA internship is one that is specifically targeted to professionals who will be heading to business school in the fall for a full-time program. Whether you’re interested in banking, private equity, venture capital, consulting, marketing, or nonprofits, there’s probably already a niche program with this group in mind.

These internships or “camps,” as they’re sometimes called, are short, usually ranging in duration from four to six weeks. Many companies have created intensive pre-MBA programs lasting no more than a few days.

If you know the industry you would like to pursue, begin tapping your fellow future students and the alumni network for leads, and check to see if the companies on your career target list offer these opportunities. Above all else, make sure the internship environment provides you with a chance to learn, not make coffee runs.

Who is Best Suited for a Pre-MBA Internship?

This type of internship is ideal for career switchers, who make up 38 percent of incoming students, according to the latest Prospective Students Survey Report published by the Graduate Management Admission Council. If you are switching fields, this short stint before your first year is like a test drive of a new area of interest and effectively gives you two summers to do an internship.

Use the experience to try out an industry or company and see if you love it and want to return the following summer, or move on to a new and different industry instead. The pre-MBA internship is brief, but it’s usually enough to confirm your interest so that you’re not wasting your precious summer internship doing something you’re not passionate about.

Why Should You Do a Pre-MBA Internship?

The obvious reason for pursuing a pre-MBA internship is that it allows you to build skills and gain experience in a new role or industry. It often feels like the recruiting starts as soon as you set foot on campus, so students should arrive on campus with a fairly clear idea of where they want to intern.

It can be challenging to persuade recruiters that you’re serious about the field and to take a chance on you if you have zero experience in their industry and only a few weeks of case studies and lectures to back you up. Having a bit of real-world exposure under your belt makes you that much more competitive and will give you more ammunition when you interview with recruiters for a summer internship.

When Should You Avoid a Pre-MBA Internship?

As I’ve said, most incoming students don’t pursue a pre-MBA internship. You already have a lot going on between sorting out your financial aid, budget and housing as well as finalizing projects at work.

From a purely financial point of view, it’s unlikely you would make as much money in the internship as at your current full-time job, so this might be the time to save your pennies before going to school and facing that steep MBA tuition.

On the other hand, many admitted students have spent the past few years with their nose to the grindstone, with little thought or time for a rejuvenating vacation. The summer before business school could be their last chance for some carefree fun and globe-trotting, and a necessary break to recharge and refill the tank before the intensity of the MBA program hits.

Ultimately, you are already admitted to the program so this is not about gaining favor with the admissions committee. It’s a personal decision about how you want to spend your free time.

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Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2015, 05:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey
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It’s that time again, folks! We at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans. The survey poses 13 simple questions, such as “How many schools are you applying to?”, and the whole questionnaire should take less than three minutes to complete.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card. The survey is live now and will close at midnight PST on May 5, 2015. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

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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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In Business School, One Size Does Not Fit All [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: In Business School, One Size Does Not Fit All
Poets & Quants recently  published an excellent, in-depth article to help applicants figure out if your target b-schools really ‘fit’ you. There are so many factors that go into determining fit, and many b-school hopefuls focus heavily on rankings and prestige over finding an MBA program where they will truly be able to thrive.

Editor John A Byrne takes a look at class size, and how a large or small class can affect both your relationships during school and your alumni network. He also shares which schools are known for having collaborative or competitive cultures. Learning styles, cost of living, caliber of professors and geographic and weather considerations should also be weighed when making this expensive, life-changing decision.

For some applicants, there may be a clear winner after looking at the quantitative and qualitative data. Or, after researching all of these elements, you may still feel pulled in different directions. But at least you have a head start in finding the program(s) that fit you best.

Read the full story now on Poets & Quants.

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Reputation and Rankings Trump All in B-School Selection

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B-Schools Showcase Green Business Practices [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 17:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-Schools Showcase Green Business Practices
Today’s global economy has two faces: one of exponential growth in developing countries, and the flip side—a voracious ravaging of resources by developed nations. While some business leaders continue to march in step to the “more is better” mantra, others are realizing that business as usual is not sustainable for our planet.

Earth Day may be commemorated officially on only one day of the year, but business schools around the country are using the occasion to show their dedication to tackling issues of climate change and sustainability that are at the core of doing green business.

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Here’s what’s going on this week at some of the top MBA programs:
Business Takes the Lead: How Innovation Will Drive Our Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change 2015 Conference, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Fight Less, Collaborate More: How to Solve the World’s Greatest Environmental Challenges, Thursday April 23, 2015, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business


UCLA Anderson School of Management is on day two of its annual Social Innovation Week, which runs April 20-23, 2015. Panelists and speakers will discuss social entrepreneurship, social impact in media and entertainment, corporate social impact and one-for-one models.

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business announced yesterday that the team from the full-time MBA program took first place in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, at Morgan Stanley’s London Headquarters on April 17. The winning team’s investment thesis was about drought mitigation innovation.

University of Michigan Ross School of Business announced today that influential Indian business leader, GV Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman GVK, will be the keynote speaker for Commencement on May 1st, 2015. At the event, he will share his views on the power of positive business, and how it creates a social impact on society.

And finally, Columbia Business School deserves a ‘shout out’ for its great article on the business case for going green.

This is just a sampling of the activities currently taking place on business school campuses, where sustainability and good stewardship are more than just buzz words—they are the very key to long-term economic growth and a better planet for future generations.

Earth image courtesy of Flickr user woodleywonderworks, CC 2.0

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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 Introvert’s Guide to Thriving at B-School [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Introvert’s Guide to Thriving at B-School
I finally got around to a book that’s been on my reading list for a while: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. The book examines how extroversion came to be so highly prized in Western culture and how this tendency may be causing harm to not only introverted individuals but to our society at large.

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As I was reading the book—which I highly recommend for extroverts and introverts alike—I kept thinking of the many people I know who were accepted into top MBA programs. Some of these candidates fit the extrovert personality profile to a T: gregarious risk-takers who had no trouble expressing their ideas and selling themselves to the admissions committee. But a surprising number of these successful applicants were clearly introverts, individuals who needed time to think through their ideas before expressing them, who were naturally more reserved and regarded the prospect of a group interview with nothing short of dread.

Students in countless MBA programs will see the truth in this statement. So where does this leave those who are more inwardly focused and need time away from friends and colleagues to recharge their batteries? The good news is that introverts can thrive in extrovert-driven environments—they might just have to work differently to do so…

This article originally appeared on The Wharton Blog Network. Please follow the link to learn a few things for the introverted b-school student to keep in mind.

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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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Columbia Business School 2015-2016 MBA Essays, Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2015, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Business School 2015-2016 MBA Essays, Deadlines
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Columbia Business School has posted the deadlines and tweaked the essay questions for the 2015-2016 MBA application cycle. For those interested in the school’s January entry option, that application is now available.

January 2016 Entry
Deadline: October 7, 2015

August 2016 Entry
Early Decision: October 7, 2015

Merit Fellowship Consideration: January 6, 2016

Regular Decision: April 13, 2016

Essay Questions
Applicants must complete one short answer question and three essays.

Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Essay 1:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (Maximum 500 words)

Essay 2:
Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars, and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

Essay 3:
CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Optional Essay:
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

***

Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. For more information, visit the Columbia Business School admissions website.

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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey
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It’s that time again, folks! We at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans. The survey poses 13 simple questions, such as “How many schools are you applying to?”, and the whole questionnaire should take less than three minutes to complete.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card. The survey is live now and will close at midnight PST on May 5, 2015. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

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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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Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2015, 12:00

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