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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Chicago Booth Debuts Bold New MBA Essay Format [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth Debuts Bold New MBA Essay Format
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The Chicago Booth School of Business is breaking ground with its Fall 2016 MBA essay prompt, which asks applicants to choose one of 16 photos depicting various aspects of Booth student life, and to write “How it resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.”

Within the variety of images, you’ll see team-building exercises, adventure treks, classroom shots, cultural events, commencement celebration, and even a captivating image of architecture at Chicago Booth.

In the latest Booth Insider blog post, Kurt Ahlm, Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions, explains that the admissions team wants to share with applicants more complete picture of what the Booth community is all about.

This new format, Ahlm writes, was conceived “In the spirit of diverse perspectives and challenging the status quo—even our own status quo,” and the team is excited about prompting applicants to think in a different way.

In the instructions, applicants are urged to select whatever format is right for them—a traditional essay, a slide presentation, or any format that best captures your response. There is no set size limit to this response, though candidates should use good judgement in how best to allocate the space.

The Fall 2016 application is now live on the website, and we’ll be bringing you tips on how to approach this exciting new essay format very soon. Until then, good luck and have fun!

 

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

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Chicago Booth Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Chicago Booth Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Chicago Booth School of Business has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: September 17, 2015

Decision released: December 10, 2015

Round 2
Application due: January 5, 2016

Decision released: March 24, 2016

Round 3
Application due: April 5, 2016

Decision released: May 19, 2016

Your application must be submitted by 5 p.m. (CST/Chicago time) on the day of the deadline in order to be considered for a particular application round. The Fall 2016 application is now live; please refer to the Chicago Booth admissions website for additional information.

You may also be interested in:

Chicago Booth Debuts Bold New MBA Essay 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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Georgetown MBA’s Fall 2016 Essay Topics [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown MBA’s Fall 2016 Essay Topics
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Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has recently revamped its admissions website, but the changes don’t extend to the MBA essays within the 2015-2016 application. Once again, the Georgetown MBA essays are:

  • Essay One: We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 750 words or less: “Why you?”
  • Optional Essay One: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)
  • Optional Essay Two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)
  • Re-Applicant Essay: How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)
The MBA admissions team urges applicants to tell their own unique story, and says when responding to the only required essay, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

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

You may also be interested in:
Georgetown MBA Program 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

Georgetown McDonough’s New Global Real Estate Center

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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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HEC Paris 2015-2016 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris 2015-2016 MBA Essay Questions
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We recently shared the September 2016 application deadlines to HEC Paris, and the following are the five required and one optional MBA essay questions found within the online application:

Essay One: Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective? (500 words)

Essay Two: What do you consider your most significant life achievement? (250 words)

Essay Three: Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words)

Essay Four: Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words)

Essay Five: Please choose from one of the following essays (250 words):

a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?

b) Certain books, movies or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyse it.

c) What figure do you most admire and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc).

Optional Essay: Is there any additional information you would like to share with us? (900 words)

For more information, please visit the HEC Paris MBA admissionswebsite.

You may also be interested in:
HEC Paris to Launch Open Online Courses

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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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Prove You’re MBA Material, Even if You’re Not a Quant Jock [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Prove You’re MBA Material, Even if You’re Not a Quant Jock
Many business school applicants worry that they don’t have a strong enough quantitative background to be accepted into a top program. If your entire career has been spent in marketing, for example, how can you convince an admissions committee that you’ll be able to handle core classes like Finance and Accounting?

The good news is that business schools aren’t looking to put together a graduating class made up of only bankers and accountants. They are well aware that a private equity analyst can learn a lot from a brand manager, and vice versa. So rest assured that AdComs are looking for qualified candidates from all industries and functions in order to make up a diverse classroom.

That being said, AdComs do not want to admit someone who gives them reason to believe they may struggle with an intense MBA curriculum. Thankfully, even if your day-to-day responsibilities don’t include building financial models or computing figures, there are still several other ways an AdCom member can assess your analytical skills.

We’d suggest asking your recommenders to highlight any analytical work you’ve done—they might even be willing to review your career to date and help you remember quantitative aspects of past projects you may have overlooked. Along those same lines, you should consider rewriting your resume so that quantifiable results of your work are included wherever possible.

AdComs will also be paying attention to your undergraduate grades (specifically courses like Statistics or Calculus) and your quantitative GMAT score. Clearly there’s nothing you can do about your college grades at this point, but you can (and should) take the GMAT a few times if you don’t do well initially. Invest a lot of time (we’re talking 100+ hours) in preparing and studying, as your score can go a long way in proving that you can handle the toughest MBA courses.

Remember:

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

_________________

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

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

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UM Ross School Receives $60M Gift for Entrepreneurship Program [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UM Ross School Receives $60M Gift for Entrepreneurship Program
The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has received a pledge of $60 million from the Zell Family Foundation to further fund entrepreneurial programs at the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

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Sam Zell Photo By Peter Ross

According to a statement released Monday announcing the news, the funds will provide endowed support to the institute for continued delivery and development of entrepreneurship programs for students and alumni. This includes $10 million dedicated to a new fund that will invest in new student business ventures, Ross dean Alison Davis-Blake says.

UM’s Ross School of Business is a pioneer in entrepreneurial education, introducing the nation’s first course on entrepreneurship in 1927, and the first student-led venture fund, The Wolverine Venture Fund, in 1997. Two years later, the Zell Lurie Institute was established as one of the country’s first full programs dedicated to entrepreneurial education.

“Our goal is to accelerate the learning curve and the opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, as well as to build a powerful alumni network,” says Sam Zell, a University of Michigan alumnus and chairman of Equity Group Investments. “Entrepreneurs have always been a primary driver of growth for this country. I believe that fostering entrepreneurial education is an investment in the future.”

Sam and Helen Zell both have been strong supporters of their alma mater. Under their leadership, the Zell Family Foundation has provided financial support to University of Michigan of more than $150 million.

For more information about this gift, please click here.

You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

Michigan Ross Dean to Step Down in 2016

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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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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2015, 12:28
In addition to (or instead of) hiring a consulting expert, you should take advantage of free resources that are available for prospective students.

For example, pymetrics provides a free career assessment test that reveals your cognitive and social traits. This is an excellent source of ideas for your weaknesses essays and information to use at interviews.

http://bit.ly/1JxEviS

Poets & Quants also has great guides. Their recent blog post "How the Admissions Game is Changing" is very helpful

http://poetsandquants.com/2015/07/11/ho ... -changing/

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Tuesday Tips: Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Northwestern Kellogg MBA Essay Tips
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Northwestern University’sKellogg School of Management is a close-knit community that values leadership and teamwork. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is important to the Kellogg admissions committee.

Do your research on the programs, activities, clubs, classes and professors at Kellogg as you approach your essays. While you are reading and conversing with students and alumni, envision how you will contribute to the community.

Kellogg has two mandatory video essays as part of the application process. After you submit your essays you will receive the questions, one of which will focus on Why Kellogg and another will be a general “getting to know you” question. The video essay is an opportunity for the admissions committee to see the person behind the accomplishments you will describe.

Prepare as if you would for an interview, drafting the topics you want to cover and practicing your presentation. The video should accurately portray your personality and demeanor, and extensive preparation will help you be comfortable and be yourself.

Video essays can be daunting, and Stacy Blackman Consulting has developed customized preparation to help you practice for this important component of the application and provide our expert feedback. Contact us to learn more about how we can prepare you for the entire Kellogg application.

Essay 1

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)

This essay focuses on leadership and teamwork using a behavioral essay framework. By seeing the details about exactly what you did and said in your leadership story, Kellogg admissions will understand how you are likely to perform in the future. When approaching this essay spend some time on set up to explain the background, and then use the majority of the space describing specifically what you did, thought, felt and how you behaved.

As the question specifically asks about challenges, it will be useful to show how you have overcome difficulty as a leader or learned from a tough situation. Don’t be nervous about showing weakness here. Every leader has to learn and develop, and willingness to be open to feedback and improve will be an asset to your profile.

Do not neglect mentioning teamwork, which is a core value of Kellogg’s culture. Your leadership experience is likely part of a team at work or in an extracurricular activity, and sensitivity to teamwork and collaboration in any leadership story demonstrates maturity and people skills.

Essay 2

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)

This essay question is a hybrid of a classic career goals essay and a personal essay. Kellogg is interested in candidates who are able to integrate their personal and professional goals and show how a Kellogg MBA will serve both sides of life.

When you describe professional and personal growth in the past, make sure it is relevant to your plans to pursue an MBA at Kellogg. The story you tell in this essay should provide insight into your decision to pursue an MBA and allude to your future goals. Because this isn’t a question about your entire career thus far you can choose just one or two main experiences to share.

The topic of this essay should also be an experience that did show growth over time. Something like starting in an entry level position at work and progressing into a management role comes to mind easily, but also consider something like developing leadership skills over time and personal investment in your career. You could also focus on a passion outside of work that has developed over time and led to personal growth.

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)

Doing your research on Kellogg MBA’s academics and resources will help you answer the question about why you need a dual degree to achieve your goals. If you are applying to the MMM program, you’ll have to show how the degree will prepare you more effectively for your career goals than the MBA alone.

Be able to articulate what is different about the Kellogg MMM program as compared to the MBA and other joint degrees. Know the classes you want to take, the professors you hope to work for, and how the MMM experience will be an asset in your future career.

Similarly, the JD-MBA at Kellogg is a highly competitive admissions process and will require a very clear explanation of what you will do with both degrees after school. Consider the unique attributes of the Kellogg JD-MBA program as compared to others, and also why you specifically need both a JD and an MBA.

Re-Applicants Only

Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

In answering this question make sure you provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Improvements like GMAT score or new quantitative classes are especially tangible, but a promotion, increase in responsibility at work, a job change or even a change of goals and mission can apply.

Additional Information (Optional)

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)



If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. 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.

Low GPA issues should be explained here, and if there is a grade of C or below on your transcript the admissions committee will want to know why and feel comfortable it is an outlier in your overall academic record. For academic questions make sure you emphasize your improved performance either later in your college career or in subsequent work or classes since college.

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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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CMU Tepper 2015-2016 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: CMU Tepper 2015-2016 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University has posted the following application deadlines for the Fall 2016 MBA admissions season:

Round 1
Application due: October 5, 2015

Decision notification: December 15, 2015

Round 2
Application due: January 4, 2016

Decision notification: March 23, 2016

Round 3
Application due: March 15, 2016

Decision notification: May 16, 2016

Round 4
Application due: May 1, 2016

Decision notification: June 1, 2016

Candidates should note that Round 4 is reserved exclusively for applicants to the part-time MBA program online or on-campus. No full-time MBA applications are accepted after Round 3.

For more information, please visit the CMU Tepper admissions website.

 You may also be interested in:
CMU Tepper Appoints New Head of MBA Program

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

_________________

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

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

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UNC Kenan-Flagler Fall 2016 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UNC Kenan-Flagler Fall 2016 MBA Essay Questions
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The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina has posted the MBA essay questions for the 2015-2016 application season. Although the questions remain unchanged from last year, essay two is no longer required.

  • Essay One (Required)

    Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how your professional experience has shaped these goals, why this career option appeals to you, and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree. (500 words maximum)
  • Essay Two (Optional)

    What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler? (300 words maximum)
  • Essay Three (Optional)

    If your standardized test scores are low, or if you have not had coursework in core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), please tell us how you plan to prepare yourself for the quantitative rigor of the MBA curriculum. (300 words maximum)
  • Essay Four (Optional)

    Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)
For more information, please visit the UNC Kenan-Flagler admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
UNC Kenan-Flagler 2015-2016 Application Deadlines

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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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Texas MBA Gives Admissions Perspective on GMAT vs GRE [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Texas MBA Gives Admissions Perspective on GMAT vs GRE
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A great many MBA programs now accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT as an entrance requirement, but applicants may still wonder whether business schools truly view both equally. If you find yourself on the fence about which exam to take, the recent post, Which Test is Best?, on the Texas MBA Insider blog at UT McCombs School of Business should be required reading.

Kimberly Jones, author of the article, makes a strong case for making the choice between the GMAT and GRE based on your career and degree goals,  as well as your more personal perception of both tests’ reputations.

For instance, consulting and investment banking companies use the GMAT score as a baseline qualifier for the recruiting process, Jones explains.

“If Consulting or I-Banking are in your sights, this means that the GMAT is the best choice because you could take it once and use your score for both your Admissions application as well as your career recruitment profile.”

However, there are many cases where applicants, particularly those targeting a dual degree, coming from a humanities background, or applying to both business school and other graduate programs, will benefit from going with the GRE instead.

For MBA candidates with career aspirations outside of banking and consulting, the choice may boil down to perception. As Jones points out, companies that hire MBAs are very familiar with the score scale of the GMAT but may need clarification regarding how GRE scores compare.

“MBA Admissions Officers are also new to the GRE setting,” Jones says. “However, many of us have worked with the test and have recruited amazing candidates to our programs since we started accepting it a few years ago and are more comfortable assessing verbal and quantitative skill sets based on those scores.”

As MBA admissions consultants, we generally advise clients to go for the GMAT exam. After all, the GMAT has long been considered the gold standard for the specific academic skills needed in graduate business school, and therefore the admissions committees’ level of familiarity with it compared to the GRE is still nowhere near equal.

If you are a great test-taker and it’s all the same to you, I would stick with GMAT for now. It’s more of a known entity and “tried and true” for the schools—no questions asked about why you chose it.

You may also be interested in:
Applicants Overwhelming Favor GMAT Over GRE, Kaplan Survey Reveals

HBS Admissions Director Talks GMAT/GRE Scores

GRE vs. GMAT, Which Test is Right for You?

 

 

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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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The Importance of Picking the Right Recommenders [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Importance of Picking the Right Recommenders
Although most Round 1 applications aren’t due until the fall, it’s definitely not too early to start thinking about who’s going to support you as you pull together your materials. Your recommenders in particular will play a critical role in the process. So how do you ensure you ask the right people to write letters on your behalf?

The majority of programs require two recommendation letters and usually prefer one of those to be from a direct manager. However, almost all schools will waive that requirement if you think your position (or bonus) would be adversely affected by informing your employer of your intention to go back to school. If that’s the situation you’re in, simply note it in the “Additional Information” or “Optional Essay” space.

You also may be in a position where you don’t have just one direct manager. In that case you have an option of who to approach. In both this scenario and when considering who will write your second letter, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of asking the most appropriate people.

Adcomms greatly prefer to hear from managers and co-workers who know you well, both personally and professionally. They’re looking for more insight into what makes you tick, how you perform in groups, and what your potential is for the future. They are rarely impressed or swayed by a recommender’s title or alumni status—what they care about is whether or not you will be an asset to the program because of what you’ve achieved to date.

One of the biggest mistakes we see applicants make is asking their company’s CEO—who they barely know or may have never even met in person—to write their recommendation letter. If your recommender cannot go into specifics about your accomplishments or provide detailed anecdotes that highlight your positive personality traits, you’ve just missed a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.

We suggest taking some time to list out all of the people you could ask to write a letter of support for your MBA applications. Who are your biggest cheerleaders at work? Who would jump at the chance to help you get into your dream school? Who would feel like they, too, got in to Program X if you were accepted? Those are the people to focus in on, because they will go above and beyond to write a stellar—and most importantly, memorable—reference.

Remember:

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Focus on Career Progression, Results for a Successful MBA Resume [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Focus on Career Progression, Results for a Successful MBA Resume
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
While most business school applicants might readily accept the need to spend weeks or months on test prep and MBA essays, many wrongly assume they can simply tweak their current professional resumes and hit submit along with the rest of the required data forms.

In doing so, they have missed a tremendous opportunity to create a powerful first impression on both the admissions committee and, fingers crossed, their future MBA interviewer.

The MBA resume is quite different from a traditional business resume in that it should focus heavily on MBA skills and traits such as leadership, teamwork and international work experience. Admissions committee members often view the resume as one of the most important parts of an application, so think of it as a marketing and branding tool and make it shine while keeping it simple.

Imagine someone scanning an MBA application resume for the first time on the 30-second walk down the hall to the interview. That person should be able to get a clear picture of the candidate – and that quickly.

You do want to provide a snapshot of your functional skills, but the admissions committee will be more interested in the fact that you led a cross-functional team to develop a new version of your product than the fact that you coded in three computer languages to develop the new version.

To the extent possible, illustrate career progression through the resume. Highlight a promotion or show how skills were cultivated after switching to a new job.

For example, if you have worked for the same company for five years but were promoted twice, you should highlight all three job titles, with separate dates of employment and separate descriptions. The descriptions should reflect your increasing levels of responsibility.

Business schools in general today aren’t as strict as they used to be regarding years of work experience, and some programs regularly admit students right out of college.

Whether you have five years on the job or one, don’t go so far back as to list high school jobs on your resume – they are just not relevant anymore.? In some cases, even part-time college positions aren’t worthy of more than a mention, so focus on highlighting your most recent roles.

Admissions committees like to see results-oriented phrases in resumes, so for every bullet point, try to quantify results in dollar amounts or percentages whenever possible. It is much more powerful to write that you “created a marketing plan that resulted in a 30 percent increase in leads,” as opposed to noting that you simply “created a marketing plan.”

Business school applicants often find it helpful to frame their accomplishments using the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action and result. For each employment position listed on your resume, think of a project, initiative or transaction where you made a meaningful contribution. Then describe the situation, your task, the actions you undertook and the results.

For example, one client who had worked as a summer associate at McKinsey & Co. noted on her resume that she “isolated regional sales performance weaknesses and designed a plan to recover $50 million in revenue.”

We see that the situation involved regional sales performance, the task was to isolate weaknesses and the action included designing a plan that resulted in recovering $50 million in revenue. The description was clear, brief and powerful.

?The last couple lines of the MBA resume can highlight various interests and skills such as computer proficiency, second languages spoken or a love of travel. This is also an opportunity for a personal touch by adding something fun that shows a bit of personality and can become an icebreaker during interviews.

My resume included that I collect Pez dispensers, and that was always the first thing that the interviewer touched on that warmed things up and made the exchange more conversational.

Finally, for applicants with a noticeable gap in employment history, the best place to address this is in the optional essay, ?not the resume. Candidates want to fully explain any anomalies to the admissions committee so that no one jumps to an incorrect conclusion, and there’s simply not enough space to do so in a one-page resume.

The MBA resume may only receive a few minutes of attention from the admissions committee and MBA interviewer, but applicants should do all they can to make this first impression as powerful, compelling? and concise as possible.

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Tuesday Tips: Chicago Booth Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2015, 15:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Chicago Booth Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips
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Chicago Booth School of Business is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community. This application is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to handle the Chicago curriculum, contribute to the community, and grow in their careers. This year Chicago has asked an entirely new essay question, focused specifically on the Chicago Booth community and your fit within it.

Academic ability will largely be communicated through your GPA/GMAT, transcripts and other fixed data points, though intellectual curiosity can be demonstrated in the essays and the interview. Along with academics, Chicago will be looking for demonstrated leadership, team building skills and community involvement, as well as your fit with Chicago Booth and the perspective you will share with your classmates.

Consider how to work in leadership and work accomplishments into your application. Certainly you can use the essay to discuss both in the context of community, or you may be able to use your resume and certainly the interview.

Essay Prompt

Chicago Booth values individuality because of what we can learn from the diverse experiences and perspectives of others. This mutual respect creates an open-minded community that supports curiosity, inspires us to think more broadly, take risks, and challenge assumptions. At Booth, community is about collaborative thinking and tapping into each other’s different viewpoints to cultivate new ideas and realize breakthrough moments every day.

Using one of the photos below, tell us how it resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.

Essay Guidelines

Choose the format that works for you. Feel free to submit a traditional essay, slide presentation or any format that you feel best captures your response. Please use the format you feel most comfortable with, the Admissions Committee has no preference.

Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

The new Chicago Booth essay question gives you a set of photos depicting a range of student activities at Booth – from the classroom to experiencing the city of Chicago – and asks you to choose one that illustrates why Chicago Booth is the right community for you.

Your first step is to do as much school research as possible on Chicago. Visit campus. Attend events. Speak to alumni. Read the admissions blog. Whatever you are capable of doing to experience the community for yourself before starting your application will be invaluable as you set pen to paper.

Chicago Booth’s open-ended essay format may be daunting. Whether you choose to write an essay or prepare a presentation, take a step back from the unique format and think about the question strategically. The format’s agnostic setup simply gives you the freedom to express who you are in words, images, graphics or some combination.

The best essays will be simple, evocative and expressive. Remember, content is far more important than visual drama of presentation. Stacy Blackman Consulting has significant experience coaching applicants through the Chicago creative essay. Contact us to learn more about our strategic approach.

As your one opportunity to showcase why Chicago Booth is the right place for you to pursue an MBA, consider the photo that resonates most specifically with you. If it’s a classroom photo, make sure you cover additional elements that may not be obvious at first like the interaction between students depicted, along with the professor and learning aspects.

Keep in mind what Chicago Booth represents in whatever option you choose. Booth is a school with a tradition of intellectual rigor, non-conformity, and innovation. When you introduce yourself to Chicago Booth you can share anything from any context, from work to home to extracurricular activities.

If you decide to write an essay response, you have enough space to tell a story that describes something new about yourself. If you decide to prepare a PowerPoint in response to this essay question, refine your story to its key elements. To keep a visual essay interesting and high-impact, consider how you will format. Can you use photos? Drawings? If you use words, keep them clear and focused. Take every point up a level, so you are communicating a vision rather than a thesis.

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CMU Tepper Fall 2016 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: CMU Tepper Fall 2016 MBA Essay Questions
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Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business has updated the two required essay questions for the 2015-2016 MBA application season.

Essay 1    (Maximum 300 words)

Describe a defining moment in your life. How has it shaped you professionally?

Essay 2    (Maximum 300 words)  

Based on your research and interactions, describe how your strengths contribute to the Tepper School community. How will you benefit from being a member of the Tepper School MBA program?

Tepper School also offers an optional essay if there is additional information you wish to share about your candidacy. For more information, please visit the Tepper MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
CMU Tepper School Fall 2016 Deadlines

CMU Tepper Appoints New Head of MBA Program

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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How to Make a Positive Impression on HBS Admissions Team [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2015, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Make a Positive Impression on HBS Admissions Team
Round one application deadlines are less than two months away at most top MBA programs, and that means many candidates are currently hustling to put together an application package that will make a powerful impression on the admissions committee at their dream school.

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If Harvard Business School is on your shortlist, take a look at two new articles published by Business Insider that share my experiences with the interview questions asked by HBS, as well as the ten qualities Harvard looks for in applicants.

While everyone knows HBS is looking to admit the leaders of tomorrow, you may not realize that the program also places a high priority on candidates with self-awareness and a commitment to service.

For those fortunate to receive an invitation to interview at HBS, you’ll want to know the best ways to answer some of the questions about past experiences, present attributes, and future goals that will surely come your way.

Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities at Harvard Business School, so make sure you know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school.

You may also be interested in:
2015 Harvard Business School MBA Application Essay Tips

HBS Admissions Director Talks GMAT/GRE Scores

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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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London Business School 2015-2016 Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: London Business School 2015-2016 Application Deadlines
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London Business School has posted the MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Stage  1

Application deadline: September 25, 2015

Interview decision: October 21, 2015

Admission decision: December 2, 2015

Stage  2

Application deadline: January 5, 2016

Interview decision: February 3, 2016

Admission decision: March 23, 2016

Stage  3

Application deadline: February 25, 2016

Interview decision: March 30, 2016

Admission decision: May 11, 2016

Stage  4

Application deadline: April 21, 2016

Interview decision: May 18, 2016

Admission decision: June 22, 2016

All application deadlines are 17:00 GMT. All decisions are communicated via email and may go out at different times on the decision dates, often in the evening.

For more information, please visit the LBS 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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Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School
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The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has posted the following MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1

Application deadline: October 1, 2015

Decision notification: December 15, 2015

Round 2

Application deadline: November 17, 2015

Decision notification: February 15, 2016

Round 3

Application deadline: January 15, 2016

Decision notification: March 15, 2016

Round 4*

Application deadline: March 17, 2016

Decision notification: April 15, 2016

*After Round 4, applications will be received and reviewed on a space available basis. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline to be considered in that round.

You may also be interested in:
Cornell’s Johnson School Bolsters Admissions Team

New MBA Curriculum at Cornell’s Johnson School

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MBA Your Resume [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Your Resume
First, the (kinda) bad news: it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use the current version of your resume for your business school applications. In fact, you’re probably going to want to spend a significant amount of time on a complete resume overhaul. But the good news is that your resume is a very important part of your materials, and the extra work you put into revising it could be what makes the difference between a ding and an interview offer.

A resume gives you one whole page (and, in some special cases—mainly if you’re in your 30s or have military experience—two pages) to tell the AdCom why you’d be an asset to their program. From this document, they should be able to clearly understand what sort of work stories you’d be talking about in class, or what sorts of “lessons learned” you’ll be able to speak to from either your professional or community-service experiences.

We recommend:

    • Reworking your resume so that it functions more as a narrative about your career and outside interests (versus a dry list of responsibilities and achievements).
    • Getting rid of acronyms and industry jargon, and then rephrasing your accomplishments so that anyone could understand them.
    • Doing away with any bullet points (or sub-headlines) that only list general, vague or high-level responsibilities for a given role.
    • Deleting unnecessary company or casework/deal descriptions (which are especially popular on consultants’ and bankers’ resumes). You’ll be able to include this information on the school’s application, so no need to repeat it here.
    • Using the space you have to explain exactly what YOU did on a project, showcase specific achievements and results, and highlight your skill progression and increased responsibilities over time.
Since admissions committees and alumni interviewers are looking for people who others will enjoy being around both inside and outside of class, it’s also a great idea to include at least some brief mention of your interests and hobbies at the bottom of the document. A lot of times it’s this information that interviewers use to “break the ice” when they first meet you.

Here’s a little inspiration as you begin to revise your resume so that it will catch the AdCom’s attention:

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Tuesday Tips: Columbia Business School MBA Application Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Columbia Business School MBA Application Essay Tips
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Columbia Business School is highly concerned about fit and your knowledge of the program. New York City is another aspect of the school that pervades its culture and defines some of the unique opportunities of the program. Thorough school research is crucial to your preparation for this application. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to review the personal elements you will want to discuss.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

Short Answer Question:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

This is a simple question, but may require you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. Columbia presents several examples on their website, all of which have some unique aspect. Rather than a generic statement like: “Work in finance” the goal is to infuse some specificity. Something like: “Work in real estate finance within a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals. Note that the limited character count is intended to get you to the point quickly and that all of the examples Columbia has provided are concise and lack any elaboration.

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)

Remember that this essay has two purposes: demonstrate that you know why you are interested in Columbia, and showcase why you are an excellent fit for the program. Both goals should be kept in mind as you answer the question.

This question is entirely future focused and specifically asks you to get away from a recitation of your resume. Spend the majority of the space describing your career goals and what you envision you will learn and experience at Columbia to help you achieve your goals. As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals.

For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. You might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start up to round out your experience and start on your general management path. Make sure your goals are both achievable and aspirational and that you have specifics about Columbia to support your assertion that it is the right place for you.

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)

As you decide how to approach this question make sure that your individual goals for learning and career are impacting how you answer. You should consider the industry you plan to enter, and either the key adjunct professors from that industry at Columbia or the access to major companies from that industry in New York City. Consider your personal interests and how you might pursue them in the diversity of such an international city, and also the ways that Columbia’s alumni network can provide opportunities within the metropolitan area.

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions.

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)

If you watch the linked video, you’ll see that CBS Matters is a part of the Columbia cluster experience that centers around a personal presentation. This essay is entirely about your life story and how you will be perceived by your peers at Columbia. If you did not cover anything personal in the prior two essays this is your opportunity to stand out from the pack of other applicants.

This essay is somewhat about what matters most to you, and what you would share if asked who you really are. Dig deep into your passions and background and find the aspects that resonate emotionally with you and seem to convey a truth about who you really are. If you are stumped by this essay prompt you may want to ask friends, family members or colleagues what they view as interesting and unique about you.

Once you have ideas about how to approach this question make sure that you are describing something about yourself that will be interesting both to your peers and to the admissions committee. Something that is a passion point for you and that demonstrates a bit more about your background and motivations will likely be interesting both your clustermates and the admissions committee.

Optional Essay:

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

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. 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.

If you do not have a weakness to address here, it’s an ideal opportunity to provide any information that you were unable to work into the other three essays. If you have an unusual background, hobby or extracurricular experience, this may be an opportunity to showcase your unique profile.

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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: Columbia Business School MBA Application Essay Tips   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2015, 09:01

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