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Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2015, 20:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips
The set of essays for admission to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business covers a variety of topics – from the creative to the personal to the professional. In approaching these questions and deciding between topics it will be important to remain focused on what you want to communicate to the admissions committee.

A clear understanding of your application strategy, particularly your career goals and strengths/weaknesses, is the key to putting together a cohesive application. While challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate several different aspects of your personality to the admissions committee.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA program for over a decade, contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

Essay One: If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

This is a creative and open-ended question. Take the opportunity to infuse personality into your answer and think about your favorite music and what song most represents you. Perhaps it’s a song that you grew up listening to with your family, and it reminds you where you came from. Maybe it’s a song that helps you feel optimistic about your future. Music often evokes emotion, and the essay should capture that feeling and describe why it is meaningful to you.

Essay Two: Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 word maximum)

Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

If you decide to answer this question think about the moments that have truly changed you. One way to approach this is to think through transitions. Perhaps the transition from high school to college was meaningful for you.

Traveling for the first time outside your home country may have been another transition. Transitioning from University to the work place could have exposed you to new people and a new lifestyle. If none of those transitions lead to a topic for this essay you can delve into the smaller incidents in your life. A friendship, family experience or trip could have opened your eyes to something new and changed your approach.

Once you have selected a topic for this essay you will need to explain how you were transformed. What was your attitude like before the experience and what are you like now? Was the transformation internal or did you change how you approached other people? It’s likely you learned something from this transformation and explaining your lessons learned is always a strong finish to an MBA essay.

Describe a significant accomplishment and why it makes you proud.

This essay can focus on either a personal or professional accomplishment. The most important part of any accomplishment essay is describing why this specific accomplishment has resonated with you. What did you do and how did you do it? Were you proud of the outcome or the process? Did you demonstrate leadership or integrity in a way that was important to yourself or others? Ask yourself what truly matters to you and the accomplishment that showcases your values.

Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

Difficult decisions are often a moment to reflect again upon your values. What were the stakes of your decision and why did you struggle to make a clear choice? Perhaps you were choosing between priorities in your life, family or work, where to study for university or what career path to pursue. No matter what the decision was it will be important to talk a bit about your process for making it. Why did you choose one option over another and what did you learn about yourself?

Essay Three: Tell us about your path to business school and your future plans. How will the Berkeley-Haas experience help you along this journey? (500 word maximum)

This is a short career goals essay and asks you to describe your path to business school along with your future goals. As you describe your path you don’t need to recite your resume here – rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career. Think about the cover letter you would write to obtain your desired position at this company and tailor your approach accordingly.

Describe your future goals in a succinct manner, considering what aspects of your background to explain in the “path” section that will support your goals development.

Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps. If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management.

Other goals will require specific skills gained from an MBA and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience. Make sure you have determined exactly what courses make sense for your career goals and the programs and clubs that you will participate in to reach your personal and professional goals. Thorough school research will be invaluable in approaching this question.

Optional: Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps or your quantitative abilities. (500 word maximum)

Haas recommends using this space to address any information that was not adequately covered elsewhere, specifically suggesting that any employment gaps or lack of apparent quantitative skills be covered.

A short gap between school and a secured job is not necessary to explain, but something like several months between two jobs should be addressed. If your resume has significant employment gaps you should describe what you did between jobs in this space. Ideally you can point to additional education, training, volunteering or traveling that you engaged in while unemployed.

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, it is likely unnecessary to further explain your quantitative skills. Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data. As the question specifically asks you not to focus on the grades on your transcript, use this space to describe projects at work, additional post-graduate coursework, or your plans to strengthen your quant skills before you enroll at Haas.

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Duke Fuqua Fall 2016 Essay Topics [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Duke Fuqua Fall 2016 Essay Topics
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The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has announced the MBA essay questions for the 2015-2016 application season. Three short answer questions and two essays are required from all applicants.

Required Short Answer Questions
Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

  • What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?

  • What are your long-term goals?

  • Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself
Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Second Required Essay (choose 1 of 2)
Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length, and should reflect your knowledge of the Fuqua program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

1. Why Duke: When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.

2. Team Fuqua Principles: The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

  • Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
  • Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
  • Collective Diversity:  We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
  • Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
  • Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
  • Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.
Optional Essay
If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

    • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.

    • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.

    • Limit your response to two pages.

For more information, please visit the Duke MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
Duke Fuqua 2015-2016 MBA Application Deadlines

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HEC Paris September 2016 MBA Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris September 2016 MBA Deadlines
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The admissions process at HEC Paris MBA program is conducted on a rolling basis throughout the year. The following are the MBA application deadlines announced by the admissions committee for the September 2016 intake:

Application deadline: August 15, 2015

Decision given: September 25, 2015

Application deadline: September 15, 2015

Decision given: October 16, 2015

Application deadline: October 15, 2015

Decision given: November 20, 2015

Application deadline: November 15, 2015

Decision given: December 18, 2015

Application deadline: December 15, 2015

Decision given: January 8, 2016

Application deadline: January 1, 2016

Decision given: February 5, 2016

Application deadline: February 1, 2016

Decision given: March 4, 2016

Application deadline: March 1, 2016

Decision given: April 8, 2016

Application deadline: April 1, 2016

Decision given: May 9, 2016

Application deadline: May 1, 2016

Decision given: June 3, 2016

Application deadline: June 1, 2016

Decision given: July 8, 2016

For more information, please visit the HEC Paris MBA admissions website.

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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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Cambridge Judge Fall 2016 Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Cambridge Judge Fall 2016 Application Deadlines
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The Judge Business School at University of Cambridge has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1 application deadline: September 18, 2015
Round 2 application deadline: October 23, 2015
Round 3 application deadline: January 8, 2016
Round 4 application deadline: March 4, 2016
Round 5 application deadline: May 6, 2016
We’ll bring you the updated MBA essay questions for Fall 2016 when they become available. Until then, please visit the Cambridge MBA admissions website for more information.

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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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Wharton Fall 2016 MBA Essays Announced [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton Fall 2016 MBA Essays Announced
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The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has confirmed the essay questions that will form a part of the Fall 2016 MBA application. The prompts remain unchanged from the 2014-2015 admissions season.

Required Essay
What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

Optional Essay
Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

Reapplicant Question
All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete this essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)

All applicants, including reapplicants, can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

For more information, please visit the Wharton MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
Wharton Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines

Survey Says Wharton Beats HBS in Satisfied MBAs

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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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Improvements Coming to GMAT Test-Taking Experience [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Improvements Coming to GMAT Test-Taking Experience
If you haven’t yet taken the GMAT, or still need to send scores to your target schools, then this news from the Graduate Management Admission Council will be of great interest. Earlier this week, GMAC announced it will make three changes in July designed to streamline and enhance the test-taking experience for applicants.

Going forward, any cancelled scores will not appear on the official score report. This means that when a test-taker cancels their score, only the test-taker will know. This feature will be applied retroactively to all previously cancelled test scores, which will be removed from all future score reports that are sent to schools. GMAC believes this move, supported by 85% of surveyed test-takers, will help deter any misinterpretations of cancelled scores in candidate profiles.

Candidates will also now be able to retake the GMAT exam after 16 days, rather than the current waiting period of 31 days. This allows candidates the flexibility to retake the exam within a shorter period of time in order to accommodate their schedules, study habits, peak performance times, and/or school deadlines. The max of five exam sittings within one 12-month period remains in effect.

Finally, test-takers will enjoy a streamlined authentication experience at the testing center with the elimination of a separate authentication code. Candidates will be able to view their Official Score Report online using their date of birth to authenticate their access.

These new features and options for test-takers are effective July 19, 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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Tips on Finalizing Your B-School List [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips on Finalizing Your B-School List
One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the MBA application process is which schools you’re going to apply to in the first place. We know—duh, right? But seriously, we can’t stress enough how important it is to put significant thought into which programs you’re going to dedicate dozens of hours to over the coming months.

Each year we see excellent candidates who want to prematurely take themselves out of the running for some of the top programs. Make no mistake: it is extremely tough to get into a highly ranked business school. Certain programs have single-digit acceptance rates, and literally thousands of more-than-qualified applicants are turned away each year. But if you don’t even give yourself a chance at admission, you may always wonder, “What if?” Is there anything worse?

That’s why we typically recommend that people ask themselves whether or not getting an MBA is most important to them—or if getting an MBA from a certain school is what really matters most. If you’d truly be at peace with never getting an MBA if you weren’t accepted to School X, then you can move forward by focusing all of your efforts solely on your dream school or schools.

However, if you want an MBA no matter what, then you’d be wise to consider five or six schools, or maybe spread your efforts across Rounds 1 and 2.

We hope you at least give yourself a shot at the programs you’re really interested in, though. Applying to top business schools is something of a self-selecting process: most people who apply are overachievers who would be assets to any class. It’s easy to let that discourage or intimidate an applicant to the point of not even trying. You might think, “What’s the use? There are thousands of other people like me fighting for spots.”

But we’d argue: 1) no, there isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so figure out how to differentiate yourself, and 2) why would you want to make it easier for someone else to get in by taking yourself out of the mix? You deserve a shot just like everyone else.

Think of it this way:

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***

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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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UV Darden Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UV Darden Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has announced the MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1
Application deadline: October 8, 2015

Decision released: December 16, 2015

Round 2
Application deadline: January 8, 2016

Decision released: March 23, 2016

Round 3
Application deadline: April 8, 2016

Decision released: May 11, 2016

All applications are due by 12p.m. EST on the day of the deadline, and all decisions are released at 12 p.m. EST on the decision release day.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Darden MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
Tuesday Tips: UV Darden School of Business Fall 2016 Essay Tips

Darden Announces Enhancements to MBA Curriculum

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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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Tuesday Tips: Wharton MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2015, 19:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Wharton MBA Essay Tips
Wharton’s essay questions remain the same this year, with only one required prompt, an essay for reapplicants and an entirely open-ended optional question. Wharton has been experimenting with the admissions process for the last several years and seems to have landed on a productive essay question that asks applicants to reflect upon their fit with Wharton both personally and professionally.

As you consider how to approach this set of essays make sure you are conducting thorough school research. Getting to know the Wharton community through campus visits, online research and the many admissions events around the globe will help you understand the personality of the school and the alumni network to write an effective set of essays.

Required Essay: What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

This is both a standard career goals question and an inquiry into your personality and potential success in the program.

Be careful to answer the specific question in this career goals essay. Notice that you are not asked about your professional background or your key accomplishments. To answer the question asked, you will want to focus mainly on the future and what you are planning to pursue with your MBA degree. At the same time, there is certainly room to add color by using your background information where it is most relevant to your goals. Think about the key moments of your professional life that crystallized your goals for you, and focus on illuminating those decision points rather than reciting your entire resume.

Understanding exactly how you fit in will help you describe what Wharton will do for you, as well as navigate interviews and other interactions with the Wharton admissions committee. Consider including specific information from your Wharton research in this essay such as Wharton faculty you would like to study with or unique educational opportunities at Wharton.

When you address your personal goals for the MBA make sure you are making the case for Wharton specifically. Consider what living in Philadelphia might be like, the many clubs and student activities, and leadership development opportunities like traveling to Antarctica with your classmates that may address some of your personal life goals.

Optional Essay: Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

If you think that your application materials and the required essay are enough to provide a complete picture of your candidacy you may want to forgo this essay. There is no need to submit additional material just to submit something – consider whether the admissions committee will appreciate the information or think you are wasting their time.

If you do choose to answer this question note that the essay can be used for any topic that you would like. If there is something about your personal background you did not cover in the required essay and it is relevant and useful for your application, this is the place to cover it. Perhaps you didn’t have room in the required essay to describe an important accomplishment or to tell a story about your life that is relevant to your pursuit of an MBA. Anything that you think will be an asset to your application is fair game as a topic for this essay.

Reapplicant Question: All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete this essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)

All applicants, including reapplicants, can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

All reapplicants are required to provide information that supports your renewed candidacy. The most successful version of the reapplicant essay will provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes as especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

A rejection or waitlist last year is a form of feedback, and may have led to soul searching for you. When you describe your changes make sure reflect your ability to take feedback and improve. Describe how you approached the reapplication process after assessing your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate and making the appropriate efforts to improve.

If you are not a reapplicant this essay is a potential space to address any areas of concern in your application. If you have a low GPA or GMAT, gaps in your resume, disciplinary action in undergrad or anything else that you want to explain, this is where you would provide a brief explanation and any supporting evidence to show you have moved past the setback.

Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for customized advice to give you that competitive edge in your Wharton application

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

_________________

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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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CMU Tepper Appoints New Head of MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: CMU Tepper Appoints New Head of MBA Program
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The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has appointed Kathryn (Kate) Barraclough as the new head of its MBA program, the school announced Wednesday. In her new position, Barraclough will provide strategic direction for the program in alignment with the school’s mission and values, and represent the program to current and prospective students.

“Kate Barraclough brings an impressive and broad background, ranging from academia to financial services. Her achievements as a scholar, researcher and educational leader were fundamental qualities that led to her appointment,” says Robert Dammon, dean of the Tepper School.

Barraclough will work in conjunction with the Dean’s Office and the faculty responsible for the development and delivery of the MBA curriculum. She also will maintain direct responsibility for the various operating units of the program that oversee admissions, financial aid, student services, and career planning and employment.

“It is a privilege to be able to serve as the next head of the MBA program at the Tepper School,” says Barraclough. “With its dedicated faculty and enthusiastic, high-performing students, I believe that the Tepper School has shown a high level of excellence and powerful potential for continuing its legacy of pioneering ideas and new practices within the management education arena.”

Barraclough earned her Ph.D. and bachelor’s degrees in economics and commerce from the Australian National University, where she graduated with first class honors.

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Oxford Saïd Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines, Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2015, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Oxford Saïd Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines, Essay Questions
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University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School has announced the application deadlines and essay questions for the MBA class entering in Fall 2016.

Stage 1

Application due: September 11, 2015

Decision released: October 16, 2015

Stage 2

Application due: October 30, 2015

Decision released: December 11, 2015

Stage 3

Application due: January 8, 2016

Decision released: March 4, 2016

Stage 4

Application due: March 18, 2016

Decision released: April 29, 2016

Stage 5

Application due: May 6, 2016

Decision released: June 10, 2016

Stage 6

Application due: June 10, 2016

Decision released: July 8, 2016

Applicants should note that you can apply in any of these six application stages. However, you are advised to apply as early as possible. If your college choice and college accommodation is important to you, Oxford Saïd recommends that you apply in the early stages (1-3).

Essay Questions
  • How do you fit with Oxford Saïd’s mission? (Maximum 500 words)
  • Is there anything not covered in the application form which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you? (Maximum 250 words)
If you are applying under the 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:

  •  Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your careers and personal development aims (Maximum 250 words)
Re-applicants will need to complete the essays mentioned above and another essay on the topic:

  • What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)
When reviewing your essays the Admissions Committee will be looking for evidence of the following: Good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, fit within the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

For more information, please visit the Oxford MBA admissions website.

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Essay Advice from the Texas MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Essay Advice from the Texas MBA Program
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The Texas MBA Insider blog at UT McCombs School of Business recently posted tips for applicants wondering what is the best way to approach this year’s updated MBA essay prompts. Although the advice is specific to the questions asked at McCombs, we feel that these suggestions will work for you no matter where you’re applying.

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of things the Texas MBA program suggests you think about before starting on your application essays:

  • First impressions are important in person and are equally important in an admissions application.
  • What makes you interesting and unique are both your personal and professional interests and attributes. Give a rounded mix, so that AdCom better understands who you are in a more complete sense.
  • Convey your passion, excitement, personality, and experience, while also addressing how that experience relates to your MBA and career goals.
  • Meditate on “how do I love McCombs, let me count the ways,” and write a list of your top reasons why McCombs is total MBA perfection.
  • Clearly connect how McCombs will help you achieve your career objectives and personal goals.  Create a 5 and 10 year plan for yourself, then see what classes, organizations, and experiential opportunities specifically relate to this career plan.
  • In what ways will you contribute?  How will you give back while you are there? How can you leverage the program offerings and combine it with your skill set to propel the entire program forward.
  • In any submission, just be yourself have fun with it.
  • And last but not least, don’t reuse essays from other schools (the McCombs’s admission team says they can totally tell)!
Remember, avoid any attempt to manufacture a memorable impression. Simply by allowing your individual personality to shine through, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool. Good luck!

You may also be interested in:
UT McCombs 2015-2016 MBA Application Essays

UT McCombs 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

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Which MBA Essays Should You Work on First? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Which MBA Essays Should You Work on First?
While not all Class of 2018 MBA applications have been posted yet, several programs have listed their essay requirements online so that applicants can get going on their drafts. But how should you pick which school to start with?

Some people prefer to start with the essay set that’s due first—which is totally fine—but that might not be the best strategy for other b-school hopefuls. It might simply come down to what you feel most motivated to work on right now, because we all know that if you’re dreading something, you’ll find reasons to keep putting it off.

Since you have two or three months before the majority of Round 1 deadlines, another tactic is to start with the school you want to get into the most. You will inevitably end up circling back and revising those essays as the due date nears, but it may help lower your stress level to know that you’re giving yourself the absolute most time possible to work on your dream school.

Another option is to review the essays for all of the schools you’re interested in and then pick the most extensive set to begin drafting. That way, you may be able to leverage some content—such as your short- and long-term career goals—for your remaining applications.

Or you could take the exact opposite approach: start with the school whose essays seem the least daunting. It’ll be that much easier for the words and thoughts to start flowing if you already have ideas about what to write. This process is about creating momentum to carry yourself through the coming weeks, and getting one school crossed off your list sooner rather than later can be a huge motivator.

So if a voice in the back of your head is telling you to start with School X, listen to that voice and get going!

Think of it this way:

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***

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Berkeley Haas Fall 2016 Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 15:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Berkeley Haas Fall 2016 Application Deadlines
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The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley has posted the MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: October 1, 2015

Decision released: December 17, 2015

Round 2
Application due: January 7, 2016

Decision released: March 24, 2016

Round 3
Application due: March 31, 2016

Decision released: May 12, 2016

For more information, please visit the Berkeley MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips

UC Berkeley Haas to Study Crowdfunding

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3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
With the availability of the Internet and social media, it’s possible to get a head start on developing your business school network as early as the application phase.

That network can help you research schools, decide where to apply and support you throughout your candidacy. As most incoming MBA students know, the network you cultivate during business school is likely the most valuable part of the experience. In addition to making those two years a whole lot of fun, these relationships will become a lasting set of connections that have the potential to change the course of your professional life forever.

Here are three ways to build your business school network before you even set foot on campus.

1. Be social media savvy: Business schools want to expand their follower base in order to share school news, application deadlines and admissions events with prospective students. Follow your target MBA programs on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and through school-sponsored student blogs, such as the first-rate blog Booth Experience blog from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Use these online vehicles to learn about the school and to personally connect. Friend people who can be your peers – it’s an easy way to stay in touch once you’re admitted and can take all of this social networking one step further. Don’t attempt to friend any of the admissions folks on Facebook, but do feel free to follow them on Twitter, engage by asking thoughtful questions about the admissions process and learn all you can from them.

Another way to get on the admissions team’s radar is by keeping them apprised of your progress with a tweet. For example, you could write something like: “Submitted my Round 1 application to @MichiganRoss? ?today. Super excited for a chance to participate in the team-based interview.”

If you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

2. Ask to be introduced to current students who share your interests: Visit campus and go out of your way to meet specific students in person whenever possible. If you’re interested in finance, ask someone to introduce you to the head of the finance club. Find out who is running the women’s association if you’re a female candidate targeting that school.

Call the admissions office and ask to be connected to a student who is doing something you want to do, such as pursuing your dream entrepreneurial goals, focusing on a mix of statistics and management? or concentrating on green business practices?. Admissions should be able to hook you up with like-minded individuals who can help you understand how the school can serve your goals.

Once you’ve made contact, these are great people to stay loosely in touch with as you make up your final list of schools. Sometimes, you can even name drop a bit in your essays? to show you have really done personal research and gotten to know the program and its student body.

Now is also a great time to reach out to alumni and current students that you already know. Reinvest in those relationships and talk to them about their experiences and how an MBA degree has enhanced their careers.

3. Work MBA admissions events to your advantage: Go to as many business school admissions events as you possibly can. This is a great way to decide if a certain program is legitimately the right place for you by hearing students and alums speak, and by sizing up the way a school markets itself.

As a ?bonus, attending an event shows you are interested and have done your homework. It makes a school feel loved. Everyone likes to feel loved, even admissions committee members.

While it can be hard to stand out at these events swarming with people hoping to make a good impression, sometimes you will have that meaningful conversation that can make a world of difference. Business schools often recruit local alumni to attend these events and help sell their program to prospective students, and you may encounter people working in the same industry you hope to after earning an MBA degree.

Try to find two or three people who match up with your experience and goals, and learn how their business school experience transformed them personally or professionally. If you establish a rapport and the person is willing to continue speaking with you outside of the event, ask for an informational interview over coffee or even email to learn more about how he or she successfully transitioned to their current career.

It truly is the people, not the brochure bullet points, that bring a school to life, so the more person-to-person contact you have the more informed you will be when it comes time to apply – and when you finally set foot on campus.

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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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Tuesday Tips: INSEAD MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: INSEAD MBA Essay Tips
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INSEAD, “the business school of the world” is a dynamic, diverse and highly international MBA option. INSEAD was recently ranked the #1 most diverse MBA program by Business Insider. Along with the basic MBA questions most other schools ask, INSEAD is looking for significant exploration of your career goals and background. Along with career aspirations and leadership experience, an international focus is important to INSEAD.

Stumped by the INSEAD application? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to see how we can help.

JOB DESCRIPTION ESSAYS

Essay 1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved.

This question should focus entirely on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you will want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the essay to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

When you are composing this essay make sure you focus on what you uniquely have contributed to the role, rather than reciting the job description. What have you done that is above and beyond?

Essay 2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position?

This is essentially a walk-through of your resume using the essay format to allow you to provide a unifying thread through the narrative. INSEAD is seeking to understand your career trajectory and how you have grown and progressed through your career. Think about the choices you have made in your career, and how your past experiences have combined to provide you with your current skill set. If you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take the opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position.

The second part of the question also needs to be answered. Think about the next step at your job, and where you might land if you did not leave to pursue an MBA. While this is a straightforward question, you may need to demonstrate that you can’t get where you want to go from your pre-MBA career role and that you will need an MBA to achieve your goals.

Essay 3. If you are currently not working, what are you doing and what do you plan to do until you start the MBA programme if applicable? (250 words maximum)

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

For example, perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry. If you are out of work only briefly, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.

ESSAYS

Essay 1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (600 words max.)

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications. This is a great opportunity to highlight some of your skills and attributes that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success. Demonstrating self-awareness and the ability to assess your own performance will be impressive. While examples aren’t required, consider that the admissions committee is reading a vast number of essays and that concrete examples are both easy to understand, and may help you stand out from the crowd.

When describing weaknesses you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths. Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Essay 2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great, but you will want to pay equal attention to explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you. If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment. If you don’t have an achievement that you think is incredibly impressive on its face, consider an example that demonstrates the activities you value. Remember, not everyone has sold a company or won an Olympic medal prior to business school!

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow. Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted the others around you and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how you have impacted other people through your actions. Most obviously a success led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Note that your application to INSEAD ideally covers both the personal and professional. This essay could be an opportunity in this essay set to bring in a new angle on your profile through describing one of your most substantial accomplishments outside of work.

Essay 3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

This essay should demonstrate your awareness of the world outside your own ethnic or cultural identity. INSEAD is a highly international program and seeks candidates that both demonstrate and value diversity. This could be an opportunity to highlight any international or cross culture exposure you have had such as traveling outside your home country, or when experiencing diversity within your home country.

When you describe the experience and judge it to be either positive or negative it will be important to provide some individual context. Every applicant from INSEAD is coming from a unique background and from many different countries. Your perception of positive or negative cultural diversity will be a view into how you interact with the world.

For example, you could view the lack of diversity in a workplace or school environment as a significant negative, or perhaps you had an experience of being the only “diverse” person in a work or personal situation. On the positive side perhaps you learned more about others through a new cultural experience or through team building with a group of people different from yourself. Where you are coming from will be the deciding factor in terms of what experiences are ultimately positive or negative.

At all times consider the environment at INSEAD and what your essay is saying about your ability to fit in among a highly diverse group of people.

Essay 4. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)



Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the admissions committee? (300 words max.)

This essay is 300 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other five essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional). If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.

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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
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Tuesday Tips: Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips
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Duke Fuqua’s website tells applicants to “Be a leader who demonstrates competence, character, and purpose—a thinker and a doer who can maneuver the complexities of interdependent issues.” With the right application strategy you can use this set of essays to demonstrate you are the kind of leader the admissions committee is looking for.

Don’t forget the personal – in this essay set you have the opportunity to add 25 new facts to round out your profile. As always, it is important to demonstrate that you know Duke Fuqua well and are a strong fit with the program. Starting your research and personal networking now will put you in a solid position to prepare the most specific and effective essays.

Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you prepare a compelling, individualized strategy to approach your Duke Fuqua application this year, contact usto learn more.

REQUIRED SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?

2. What are your long-term goals?

3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

This career goals essay asks for your plan in three parts. First, you should describe what you plan to do immediately after your MBA. Then you’ll explain the long-term vision for your career. Finally, Duke admits that many career paths are forged through circumstance, and asks you for your Plan B.

Think big picture and focus on the overall story trajectory. What would be the most logical (and interesting) progression from your current skill set and MBA education? How will your next step flow from the combination of those experiences? And your alternative path ideally isn’t a massive departure, but simply shows the areas you could see yourself exploring if your primary plan doesn’t materialize.

For example, perhaps you are focused on becoming a marketing executive at a CPG company. If you don’t find the suitable position after Duke, maybe you would consider marketing for a retailer as your alternate career path because marketing is still the core function you are interested in. Alternatively, you may have two disparate interests and want to consider both of them. Perhaps your Plan A is to join a consulting firm after graduation, but if you don’t receive a spot among your top choices you would think about being in management for a start up as another possible path. Think about your range of interests and go from there.

Because you have limited space, you’ll have to boil your plans down in a clear statement of what you plan to do, but ideally any plans are supported by the information provided in your resume, recommendations, and other essays.

FIRST REQUIRED ESSAY: 25 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF

Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

This essay is entirely open ended and you can cover topics spanning your personal background, work experiences, values or extracurriculars. If you have a particularly interesting story in any of those areas, this is the place to tell that story. Whatever areas you choose to highlight, make sure you are following the admissions committee’s advice to share what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

Coming up with 25 random things to list in this essay may seem daunting at first. To jumpstart your creative process you may want to brainstorm with friends and family about what is most interesting and memorable about you. Or keep a notebook with you to record thoughts as you go about work and personal activities.

When you have decided what the 25 random things about you are you’ll likely be wondering how to set up the list. There’s a few possible ways to structure the list: chronologically, chunking the list into themes, or even alphabetically. Structuring the list to make it easy to read and follow will be appreciated, but resist the urge to package the list too perfectly. Remember that the primary purpose of this essay/list is to show Duke your multi-faceted life and interests.

SECOND REQUIRED ESSAY (CHOOSE 1 OF 2)

Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length, and should reflect your knowledge of the Fuqua program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

Both of these essay question options are entirely focused on why the Duke MBA program is the right place for you specifically. This may be another opportunity to demonstrate your multi-dimensional personality as you explain which classes, clubs, and community activities most resonate with you.

Option 1: Why Duke: When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.

The best essays will be both specific and personal. While everyone benefits from a diverse alumni network, what specifically do you want to give and receive from your classmates? If you describe clubs and classes you are attracted to, also offer specific examples from your past experiences to show your consistent personal or professional passions.

While the focus of the essay is the Duke MBA program, you are also being asked why these aspects are most meaningful. Your fit with the program is crucial, and therefore you must exhibit the qualities Duke is seeking as well. The Duke MBA program is especially interested in your role within the community, and will place significant weight on this factor. If you research thoroughly and are specific, you should be able to clearly demonstrate why you are going to be strong contributor and teammate.

This essay can also be a place to talk about how the Duke MBA fits into your career goals. What do you know now that will be enhanced through your MBA education? And what crucial aspects of the skill set required for your future career will be augmented by attending Duke?

Option 2: Team Fuqua Principles: The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.

2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.

3. Collective Diversity: We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.

4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.

5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.

6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.

This option for the “Why Duke” essay requires as much introspection as the previous option, but more explicitly asks for research into the community and the aspects you identify with most. In some ways this a more structured question to answer and it may be a reasonable place to start whether you choose to answer this option or the previous option.

Choosing one of the six principles certainly doesn’t mean the other five are not relevant. While you will want to choose the one you think resonates most with your personality and values, it will enhance your application to touch upon the others that are particularly meaningful to you.

As in the prior option you can use this essay to also communicate a bit about your career goals at Duke, particularly if you focus on Supportive Ambition or Impactful Stewardship and factors of how the community will impact your future career and how you plan to give back to others or what kind of leader you will be. However, the main focus should be your community involvement and how you plan to improve the experience of others at Duke both in and outside the classroom.

Optional Essay

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.

The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.

Limit your response to two pages.

As with most optional essays, the Duke MBA asks that you use this space only to explain extenuating circumstances. If you have a low GPA, lack a recommendation from your current supervisor or gaps in work history this is the correct place to address those issues. If you do not have any of those areas to explain, it’s best to skip this question and focus only on the previous three essays.

When approaching any concerns about your background in the optional essay it’s important to focus on recent performance, whether academic or professional, and what such performance demonstrates about your ability. Your goal is to remove questions from your application and to address in a factual manner any information the admissions committee needs to know to fairly evaluate your application. The essay should convey, in a positive manner, that you know there could be questions about your background but you have thoroughly improved in any areas necessary.

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3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
With the availability of the Internet and social media, it’s possible to get a head start on developing your business school network as early as the application phase.

That network can help you research schools, decide where to apply and support you throughout your candidacy. As most incoming MBA students know, the network you cultivate during business school is likely the most valuable part of the experience. In addition to making those two years a whole lot of fun, these relationships will become a lasting set of connections that have the potential to change the course of your professional life forever.

Here are three ways to build your business school network before you even set foot on campus.

1. Be social media savvy: Business schools want to expand their follower base in order to share school news, application deadlines and admissions events with prospective students. Follow your target MBA programs on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and through school-sponsored student blogs, such as the first-rate blog Booth Experience blog from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Use these online vehicles to learn about the school and to personally connect. Friend people who can be your peers – it’s an easy way to stay in touch once you’re admitted and can take all of this social networking one step further. Don’t attempt to friend any of the admissions folks on Facebook, but do feel free to follow them on Twitter, engage by asking thoughtful questions about the admissions process and learn all you can from them.

Another way to get on the admissions team’s radar is by keeping them apprised of your progress with a tweet. For example, you could write something like: “Submitted my Round 1 application to @MichiganRoss? ?today. Super excited for a chance to participate in the team-based interview.”

If you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

2. Ask to be introduced to current students who share your interests: Visit campus and go out of your way to meet specific students in person whenever possible. If you’re interested in finance, ask someone to introduce you to the head of the finance club. Find out who is running the women’s association if you’re a female candidate targeting that school.

Call the admissions office and ask to be connected to a student who is doing something you want to do, such as pursuing your dream entrepreneurial goals, focusing on a mix of statistics and management? or concentrating on green business practices?. Admissions should be able to hook you up with like-minded individuals who can help you understand how the school can serve your goals.

Once you’ve made contact, these are great people to stay loosely in touch with as you make up your final list of schools. Sometimes, you can even name drop a bit in your essays? to show you have really done personal research and gotten to know the program and its student body.

Now is also a great time to reach out to alumni and current students that you already know. Reinvest in those relationships and talk to them about their experiences and how an MBA degree has enhanced their careers.

3. Work MBA admissions events to your advantage: Go to as many business school admissions events as you possibly can. This is a great way to decide if a certain program is legitimately the right place for you by hearing students and alums speak, and by sizing up the way a school markets itself.

As a ?bonus, attending an event shows you are interested and have done your homework. It makes a school feel loved. Everyone likes to feel loved, even admissions committee members.

While it can be hard to stand out at these events swarming with people hoping to make a good impression, sometimes you will have that meaningful conversation that can make a world of difference. Business schools often recruit local alumni to attend these events and help sell their program to prospective students, and you may encounter people working in the same industry you hope to after earning an MBA degree.

Try to find two or three people who match up with your experience and goals, and learn how their business school experience transformed them personally or professionally. If you establish a rapport and the person is willing to continue speaking with you outside of the event, ask for an informational interview over coffee or even email to learn more about how he or she successfully transitioned to their current career.

It truly is the people, not the brochure bullet points, that bring a school to life, so the more person-to-person contact you have the more informed you will be when it comes time to apply – and when you finally set foot on campus.

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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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IESE 2015-2016 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: IESE 2015-2016 MBA Application Deadlines
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IESE Business School has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1

Application deadline: October 6, 2015

Decision notification: December 11, 2015

Round 2

Application deadline: January 5, 2016

Decision notification: March 11, 2016

Round 3

Application deadline: February 23, 2016

Decision notification: May 6, 2016

Round 4

Application deadline: April 26, 2016

Decision notification: July 17, 2016

IESE will be moving to a new application platform starting from July 20th, 2015. If you are interested in applying for the MBA starting in September 2016, please check back after this date.

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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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Kellogg School Posts Fall 2016 Deadlines, Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg School Posts Fall 2016 Deadlines, Essay Questions
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The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has announced the application deadlines and essay topics for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Deadlines
Round 1

Application due: September 22, 2015

Decision released: December 16, 2015

Round 2

Application due: January 6, 2016

Decision released: March 23, 2016

Round 3

Application due: April 6, 2016

Decision released: May 11, 2016

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. CT on the application deadline date. All applicants are considered equally; however, the earlier you apply, the greater chance of accommodating your interview preference. If you’re an international applicant, Kellogg encourages you to apply in Round 1 or 2 to allow time for your visa application.

MBA Essay Questions
  •  Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)
  • Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)
Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

  • If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.

Please look over the instructions on the Kellogg MBA admissions website for detailed information on how to practice for this format.

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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 [?]: 127 [0], given: 0

Kellogg School Posts Fall 2016 Deadlines, Essay Questions   [#permalink] 08 Jul 2015, 12:00

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