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Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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ROI of an MBA [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: ROI of an MBA
A master’s degree in business is now the most popular graduate degree in America, according to the U.S. Department of Education. But while there is clear demand for MBAs, some experts continue to question the value of an MBA – more specifically the return on investment.

To address the debate over the ROI of an MBA, MBA@UNC, UNC Kenan Flagler Business School’s online MBA program, created an infographic that highlights the potential benefits of an MBA, including salary data, employment rates, and the top 15 schools with the best “5-Year MBA Gain.” The visualization of the top schools is compelling, as it represents the net cumulative amount the typical alumni would have earned after five years by getting their MBA versus staying in their pre-MBA career.

While the statistics are powerful, it is the student reflections on earning an MBA that have proven to be most meaningful to prospective students. According to November 2013 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) data, 96 percent of MBA graduate respondents rated the value of their degree as outstanding, excellent or good and would recommend a graduate management education to others. Three out of four said they could not have obtained their job without their graduate business education.

Explore MBA@UNC’s infographic below for more interesting facts and figures.



Brought to you by MBA@UNC: an online mba program

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Show Your School Pride and Win $1,000 with the #LookatmyMBA Video Cont [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Show Your School Pride and Win $1,000 with the #LookatmyMBA Video Contest


It takes a lot of hard work to get into a top business school, and we know that school spirit and pride run super strong, from Day One on campus to years later, as an alumni. If you’re currently at business school, earned your MBA in the past few years, or even if you’ve already gone to your ten-year business school reunion, you’re eligible to enter our #LookatmyMBA video contest—if SBC was a part of your journey in any way.

That means if you used an SBC guide, subscribed to our newsletter, read this blog or worked with one of our consultants, you can enter for a chance to win $1,000! Just shoot a 15-second video showing off your MBA pride—on or off campus, with school memorabilia, in that favorite school sweatshirt, or whatever creative way you like—and be sure to include a shout-out to SBC.

We’re awarding $1,000 to TWO entrants! The contest ends September 25th, so get thinking about how you can show your love for your school, and some love for SBC, too! Learn more here.

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Stanford GSB Tops Forbes ROI Ranking…Again [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Tops Forbes ROI Ranking…Again

Last week, Forbes released its 2015 ranking of the best business schools in the United States based on the return on investment (ROI) of the MBA Class of 2010 grads. For the second straight time, Stanford Graduate School of Business nudged out Harvard Business School for the top spot with a five-year gain of $89,100 for graduates. In fact, according to the report, the class of 2010 tripled their pre-MBA total compensation to $255,000 five years out of school.

Here’s a snapshot of the Top Ten Business Schools as crowned by Forbes:

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business (five-year MBA gain of $89,100)
  • Harvard Business School (five-year MBA gain of $83,500)
  • Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (five-year MBA gain of $72,700)
  • Columbia Business School (five-year MBA gain of $71,100)
  • Dartmouth Tuck School of Business (five-year MBA gain of $68,400)
  • Chicago Booth School of Business (five-year MBA gain of $65,000)
  • The Wharton School (five-year MBA gain of $64,900)
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (five-year MBA gain of $64,200)
  • MIT Sloan School of Management (five-year MBA gain of $63,800)
  • Cornell Johnson School of Management (five-year MBA gain of $63,500)
The MBA Class of 2010 had it pretty tough, graduating in the midst of a global financial meltdown that saw typical MBA feeder companies such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns vaporize overnight. However, despite the slow start to their post-MBA careers, the class of 2010 has rebounded well, Forbes notes.

To learn more about the methodology of the Forbes ranking, hiring trends, and the debt situation of the Class of 2010, you can read the original article on Forbes.com.

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Stanford GSB’s Dean Saloner to Step Down [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB’s Dean Saloner to Step Down

Dean Garth Saloner of the Stanford Graduate School of Business announced Monday that he plans to step down at the end of this academic year. His decision was prompted by increased media attention and scrutiny due to an ongoing lawsuit brought by a former professor at the GSB.

“As many of you know, the university and I have been vigorously defending a baseless and protracted lawsuit related to a contentious divorce between a current and former member of our faculty,” Saloner wrote in an email to faculty, staff and students. “I have become increasingly concerned that the ongoing litigation and growing media interest will distract all of you from the important work that you are doing and unfairly impact this stellar school’s deserved reputation.”

Saloner, who has been dean of the GSB since 2009, plans to return to his teaching and research as part of the school faculty, and made his announcement to allow time to plan for a smooth transition, according to the university’s statement.

“I thank you for your support, commitment and dedication and I will do everything I can over the next year to leave this great school in as excellent shape as it is now,” he wrote.

During  his deanship, Saloner was instrumental in creating a new MBA curriculum, the opening of the sustainable Knight Management Center campus, and the launching of entrepreneurship and leadership programs in developing nations, Stanford News reports. The Stanford Graduate School of Business has raised over $500 million in private support since he became dean.

“It is with great regret that I accept Garth’s resignation, which I know was a difficult decision,” said Stanford President John L. Hennessy. “It has been a very successful tenure. Under his leadership, the business school has been a leader in transforming management education to address the world’s economic challenges. He has expanded its international impact and he implemented an academic vision to train insightful, principled leaders who can drive global change. We are grateful to Garth for his service and his many contributions as dean, and look forward to his continued contributions to teaching and research at the GSB for many years to come.”

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The Economist Hosts Virtual MBA Fair [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Economist Hosts Virtual MBA Fair

Business school is a hefty investment in both time and dollars, so you need to arm yourself with all the information you can about the programs that interest you. After all, you can never know too much!

A great way to learn about several schools in one shot is through MBA fairs, and as luck would have it, today’s the first day of The Economist’s autumnal Virtual MBA Fair. For all of you planning to attend (you should…It’s free and online), try these three strategies for making the most of your time:

  • Maximize your chances of winning MBA scholarships (and other prizes like subscriptions to The Economist and gift cards) by attending the fair’s webinars and exhibitors’ booths. Prizes are awarded based on points accumulated from participating in the fair, and webinars and booth-visiting will get you 30 and 10 points each, respectively.

[*]Make the most of your access to expert advice. The fair’s webinars and one-on-one chats are the most popular aspect of this fair for a reason. Favorite topics include “Common Myths about the GMAT” presented by the Graduate Management Admission Council (a.k.a. the creators of the GMAT), “How to Create a Successful MBA Application” by the head of MBA recruitment at Henley, and “How to use MBA rankings” by Economist editor Bill Ridgers. View the full agenda here.[/list]

[*]Chat with admissions representatives in the exhibitors’ booths. Why? Because these are the very people who review MBA admissions applications for a living. Head over to the fair now to ask them your personal application questions (just make sure you’re registered)![/list]
See you at the fair!

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How Do You Know if You’re Ready for B-School? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Do You Know if You’re Ready for B-School?


Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an MBA? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an MBA straight out of undergrad is a no-brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years—and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

While everyone’s timing for applying to business school varies depending on their circumstances, there are a few things you should be able to clearly articulate when you’re ready to take the plunge.

This week, the MBA blog published by the UV Darden School of Business poses four questions you should ask yourself to determine whether now’s the time to start cranking out those essays and rounding up your references. The advice is spot-on, and valid no matter where you plan to apply.

  • What are my career goals?
Darden says: Not everyone knows their specific career goals when heading to business school, but as a general rule, they have a pretty good idea. Maybe you want to move up within your current industry or company. Maybe you want to switch to an entirely different industry and need to build the foundation to get the job that you want. Or maybe you’re aspiring entrepreneur who wants to learn more about business so you can start one of your own. Business school can propel you in many directions, but you can also miss out on great opportunities if you don’t know what you are looking for.

2. Do I have enough work experience?

Darden says: Most MBA programs want you to have an average of four years of work experience. At Darden, the average age of students in our full-time program is 27. Having work experience is important because it teaches you how to work with a team, practice your leadership skills and learn more about the business world, which in turn will help you lay out your career goals.

3. Do I have the basic skills necessary to thrive in business school?

Darden says: While Darden looks for students with a wide range of experiences, there are certain skill sets that will come in handy as you embark on your MBA journey. One of those is quantitative analysis, which will be useful as soon as you start to study for the GMAT or GRE, and will continue to be helpful as you prepare to lead in the business world. If you didn’t take many quantitative classes in college, it might be helpful to brush up on your skills so you are ready for the first day of b-school.

4. Do I know what I’m looking for in an MBA program?

Darden says: There are all kinds of MBA programs around the world. Some are full-time; some allow you to work while you get your degree. Some excel at finance, while others specialize in general management or consulting.  The options are endless, so it is up to you to figure out which school is right for you.

It’s no surprise that an MBA expands your skill set and your network of contacts, as well as significantly increases your long-term earning potential. Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors—and potentially an MBA application adviser—early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school.

But only you can judge when all of the necessary elements have come together to make the time right.

You may also be interested in:
Think You’re Ready for an MBA? Use This Checklist and Find Out!

Advice from an Early Career MBA

image credit: Flickr user Cam Evans (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Big Donation Further Funds Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Big Donation Further Funds Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus

Columbia Business School announced yesterday that alumnus Henry Kravis has increased his gift to the school to $125 million, up from $100 million, in celebration of  Columbia Business School’s Centennial anniversary.

The major donation further funds the new Manhattanville Campus, located between West 125th and West 133rd Streets. Together with its counterpart, the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation, the complex will boast 468,000 square feet of space, more than doubling the school’s current size.

“Manhattanville will be transformative for the Business School,” Kravis says. “Today, the way business is done is very much collaborative. Ideas come from everywhere. The Business School is being designed to take advantage of [this], as well as have the flexibility to adapt to whatever changes are going to be necessary to teach business courses in the future.”

“It’s a privilege to help the School imagine its next chapter,” Kravis adds. “Top-quality facilities are now a minimum requirement to attract the best professors and the brightest students. The new buildings will position the Business School to continue its tradition of excellence and also explore uncharted opportunities.”

You may also be interested in:
Columbia Business School Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

Columbia Business School Launches Neighborhood Small Biz Program

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4 Things to Know Before Going to Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Things to Know Before Going to Business School


This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Even though many incoming first-year MBA students think they have a pretty good idea of what awaits them, there’s always something about business school that takes them by surprise. Whether you are a member of the class of 2017, or a candidate working on your application for next fall, take a look at these tips to help better prepare you for an awesome MBA experience.

1. Don’t be intimidated by your classmates: It’s difficult to not be impressed when you see the caliber of your peers, who will all seem to be phenomenally accomplished. After all, at a top MBA program, you’re sure to be surrounded by marathon winners, Everest summiters, judo champions and probably a White House aide or two.

Instead of feeling less-than-accomplished among these type-A leaders, take the approach of learning from a diverse group of people who have experience in areas you’re not familiar with. Most business schools foster a collaborative culture, so these geniuses will more than likely be excited to share their knowledge.

While it’s human nature to gravitate toward people who are similar to you, business school is a unique opportunity to interact closely with students from other countries and backgrounds. If you make an effort to get to know those outside of your comfort zone, your experience will be greatly enriched.

And don’t forget that you, too, were accepted into the class for a reason. The school believes that you have a great deal to contribute, so make sure that you do.

2. There’s a right way to engage at recruiting events: To really maximize the job recruiting experience, your main goal should be trying to get a grasp of each company’s culture. Use this opportunity to determine how well you would enjoy working on their team. Within the same industry, most companies will provide the same types of projects or experiences, so finding out whether you connect with the people you’re speaking with will go a long way toward helping you decide which offer is most attractive.

Remember, most of the people you will be speaking with at these events were in your shoes not that long ago. Be respectful, but not daunted, by their position.

You should go into interviews and corporate presentations prepared to have a conversation and tell them about yourself. Also, don’t stress if you don’t land the dream summer internship. Summer positions are often more competitive than full-time offers, so you’ll still have a great chance at the same job after graduation.

3. What happens outside the classroom is more important: GPA may have been the be-all and end-all in your undergraduate career, but at business school, your grades really don’t count that much.

Many schools have a grade nondisclosure policy, but even if it doesn’t, no one is going to ask. Go to class to learn, but don’t study so much that you miss out on the rest of the experience.

Reap the full benefits of the MBA experience by getting involved with activities outside of the classroom. The opportunities are overwhelming, so be selective with your choices and know that you will learn as much from these activities as you will from your studies. Extracurriculars will help you with networking and provide something to talk about in your interviews.

The intense nature of the business school experience bonds students and makes it a wonderful place to make lifelong friends. As you build your network, make sure to reach out to people around you and see how you can help them as well.

Remember that your classmates and the classes above and below you are all members of this priceless network. Always keep in mind that you may network with any of these people down the line.

4. Failure is OK and even encouraged: You may be starting business school with a crystal-clear vision of your career goals, but if you’re paying upward of $60,000 a year in tuition, why not use this time to explore new options?

Go to diverse corporate presentations, take courses in unfamiliar subjects or interview with a company outside of your industry. You may be surprised at how your interests shift and grow.

The first year of an MBA program is like a learning laboratory, and an ideal time to take risks, challenge yourself and find out where your weaknesses are. You will also have the freedom to explore areas that would be impossible with a day job, as business school is a safe environment for trying out the most audacious ideas.

Failure is one of the best learning tools, so don’t be afraid to flop. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs only became so after overcoming multiple adversities. Not only will the experience make you more resilient, it will allow you to evolve and know what not to do next time.

image credit: Flickr user thetaxhaven CC By 2.0
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Harvard Business School Introduces Case Method Podcast [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Introduces Case Method Podcast


Last week, Harvard Business School announced the launch of a new online series called Cold Call, which takes the school’s legendary case method and distills it into podcast form.

The podcast takes its name from the HBS tradition of beginning each class with a “cold call,” where with no previous warning, the professor selects one student to lay out the facts of the case and begin the discussion. It’s a nerve-wracking moment that binds HBS graduates across generations.

Host and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Brian Kenny will invite an HBS professor twice a month to take listeners behind the scenes of a case he or she has written, probing what inspired the case, exploring how it relates to management practice, and delving into interesting anecdotes that come from researching the case and teaching it in the classroom.

Cold Call will feature a wide variety of cases covering world-class brands, innovative start-ups, social enterprises, and even entire nations. The series kicked off the week of September 9— Fashion Week in New York City— with a case on fashion mogul Stella McCartney and how she built a global brand that represents both luxury and sustainability.

In 10-12 minutes, Cold Call will animate HBS faculty research and bring their lessons straight to listeners. According to the announcement from the school, it should be on the playlist of prospective MBA students and seasoned business practitioners alike.

You can subscribe to Cold Call on iTunes and iTunesU or follow along on SoundCloud.

You may also be interested in:
Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in HBX Live

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GMAC Releases 2015 B-School Application Trends [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: GMAC Releases 2015 B-School Application Trends
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has released the findings of its 2015 Application Trends Survey, which show the majority of full-time MBA programs — in both two-year and one-year formats — report increases in application volume compared with last year and 10 years ago.



Among full-time two-year MBA programs, 57% report increased application volume this year. For full-time one-year programs, 2015 marks a notable improvement: 51% of programs report application volume increases, compared with just 37% that reported growth last year.

Both program formats are performing better compared with 10 years ago — 60% of full-time two-year and 53% of full-time one-year MBA programs indicate they received more applications this year than in 2005.

“This is positive news and reflects a strong full-time MBA market,” says Bob Alig, GMAC’s executive vice president for school products.

“The full-time MBA continues to be a sought after credential because graduates consistently see a high return on their investment — not only in terms of earnings, but also in job satisfaction and personal fulfillment.”

The findings from GMAC’s 16th annual Application Trends Survey show a positive turnaround in the domestic market for U.S.-based, full-time two-year MBA programs, as a majority (59%) report year-on-year domestic application growth — a level not attained since 2009. Domestic candidates still account for less than half of the applicant pool for these U.S. MBA programs — 45% in 2015.

This year’s report also reveals that the representation of women in program applicant pools has increased 3 to 8 percentage points over the last five years for all program types analyzed in the report, with the lone exception of Master of Accounting, which continues to maintain its majority level of female representation (57%).

More than half of the following program formats report growing application volume for women in 2015: full-time two-year MBA (51% of programs), full-time one-year MBA (50%), executive MBA (50%), online MBA (55%), Master in Management (55%), Master of Finance (56%), and Master of Marketing and Communications (60%).

“GMAC is pleased to see that business schools’ efforts to increase the number of applications from women seem to be succeeding,” says Alig. The report shows that targeted outreach for women candidates is conducted by 67% of full-time two-year MBA programs, 41% of part-time MBA programs, and 51% of executive MBA programs.

Data for the 2015 Application Trends Survey were collected from a total of 641 graduate business programs located at 306 universities worldwide.

To download the full survey report, please visit www.gmac.com/applicationtrends.

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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Announces Interview Invitation Plan
The admissions team at Harvard Business School is still buried in Round 1 applications, but admissions director Dee Leopold updated her blog this week to let anxious candidates know the timeline for upcoming interview invitations.

Invitations and detailed procedural instructions will go out over three days—October 6th, 8th, and 14th—in order to avoid congestion in the online sign-up page, Leopold explains.  Candidates not invited to interview will be notified of their release on October 14th, thus freeing them with ample time to focus their energies on applications to other schools.

All HBS 2+2 Program applicants will receive interview or release notification on the same date, October 14th.

The director notes the interview period for Round 1 applicants will take place between October 26–November 20. In addition to on-campus interviews, HBS also plans to conduct interviews in New York City, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Santiago on select dates to be announced soon. If you cannot travel to an interview location, Leopold confirms that you may be accommodated via Skype.

In case anyone feels at a disadvantage for being unable to interview on campus, she assures applicants that, “We love having interviewees visit campus and we will have a full day of get-to-know HBS activities, but the location of your interview plays no part in the selection process.”

Good luck, Harvard Business School applicants!

You may also be interested in:
Harvard Business School Introduces Case Method Podcast

MBA Essay Advice for Harvard Business School

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New Immersive Seminars at Columbia Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New Immersive Seminars at Columbia Business School


Columbia Business School recently launched a new immersive experience for its full-time MBA students that provides students the chance to interact with C-suite executives and discuss the future of business, ongoing challenges, opportunities, and strategies at play.

The inaugural seminars, led by Columbia Business School faculty members, featured partnerships with companies across an array of industries, including data analytics, management consulting, brand experience, financial services, innovation, social media, technology disruption, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

“Our students have always enjoyed the benefits that New York City has to offer. They are just a subway ride away from tremendous career opportunities,” says Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, in a statement announcing the program’s launch. “These immersion seminars students meet with industry executives and see theories taught in the classroom being applied in real-time in the business world.”

To drive home the impact these seminars will have on Columbia Business School students, the School launched a new video featuring commentary from two of the program’s leaders, Khalid Azim, Director of Strategic Curricular Networks and Partnerships, and Barry Salzberg, who recently joined the faculty of Columbia Business School after a nearly 40-year career at Deloitte, capped by serving as the firm’s Global CEO at the end of his tenure.

In the video, Professor Salzberg says that the School’s Immersion Seminars combine “the best of academia and the business world” and that students walk away with “opportunity and access to unbelievable people, businesses, and knowledge that you can’t get elsewhere.”

Shana Gotlieb, a member of the Class of 2016, describes her immersion seminar as “the best class I’ve taken” and one that “could only happen at Columbia Business School.”

“We are so grateful to these companies and the executives who took time out of their day to impart lessons to our students. Only in New York City does a school have access to this array of industry titans,” says Azim. “We look forward to capitalizing on the extraordinary momentum spurred by our inaugural seminars and strengthening the experience for future generations of Columbia Business School students.”

You may also be interested in:
Big Donation Further Funds Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus

Columbia Business School Fall 2016 MBA Application Essay Tips

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Why Do You Need an MBA? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why Do You Need an MBA?
There’s a lot to think about when you’re pulling together your business school application materials. You’ve got to make sure your resume is in top shape, that your recommenders will have their letters uploaded on time, that your essays are compelling and position you well—the list goes on.

One thing that is ironically easy to forget in the whole process is communicating to the AdCom why you need an MBA in the first place. Have you taken some time to really think about this yet? If going back to school has always been a part of your plan, the application process could turn into something you “just have to do” in order to reach your goal. You might get so focused on trying to impress the AdCom that you fail to explain how their program could actually help you.

We’re not talking about the “Why school X?” type of responses where you show you’ve researched a program by integrating classes, professors, clubs and other parts of the curriculum into your essays. We’re talking about clearly detailing what you still need to learn and what experience you must gain in order to reach your career goals.

If—in the process of highlighting your background, achievements and future plans—you don’t say why you need an MBA, the AdCom may decide that someone else would benefit more from their program.

So don’t be afraid to point out what gaps you have and exactly how an MBA can help. The AdCom isn’t looking to put together a class of people who are already perfect and have nothing to learn from each other!

Think of it this way: if he could admit it, you can, too.



 

 

 

 

 

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Use Your Network to Help You Get Into Business School [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Use Your Network to Help You Get Into Business School


This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

While everyone agrees the network you build during business school is one of the top benefits of earning an MBA degree, the best time to start networking is long before you apply.

Keep in mind that your ideal network should include a mix of mentors, colleagues and people who can connect you to an array of professional opportunities. If you’ve laid the groundwork and have already cultivated meaningful relationships with current students and alumni, these connections can grease the wheels for your successful MBA application.

First, get in contact with current students and alumni in your MBA network and enlist their help in researching programs. Nothing compares with hearing firsthand accounts that offer a realistic view of the business school experience that go beyond the brand messages of school websites and admissions events. Have conversations about why they decided to go to business school, why they chose the program they did, what were the highlights or surprises of their experience, and what they wish they had known when starting this process.

 Ideally, you will tap into your contacts who work in the same industry you hope to upon graduating. These individuals can offer advice based on their own jobs and career paths, and explain how the MBA degree has helped advance their career goals. By talking to actual MBAs, you can get a clearer picture of whether a particular program’s culture is a good match for you, and to figure out how well the school is positioned to help you succeed.

Sometimes, these conversations will prove enlightening by steering you in a different direction from your initial top-choice school. Talking to as many students and alumni as you can will not only help you narrow down your choices of where to apply, but will provide insight you can parlay into more convincing MBA essays and use to improve your admissions interviews, especially if conducted with second-year students or alums.

When you complete your essays, it can be very helpful to have a student or alumnus give them a thorough review, as these individuals have an intimate understanding of the application process and probably answered the same questions themselves just a few years ago. Make sure they are not just reassuring you that all is well, but are actually giving you some quality feedback.

Do be aware of the danger of having too many cooks in the kitchen. Two or three people doing the reviewing is usually the right amount.

Some schools welcome informal recommendations from students. If you are friends with a student or alumnus from one of your target schools, by all means let them put in a good word for you. Just don’t overdo it.

This type of endorsement works best if it is expressed directly to someone in admissions in a very casual way, where it seems like you had no hand in it. However, if the person can truly comment on your abilities, it’s perfectly appropriate – and beneficial – to ask an alumnus from your desired school to write your required letter of recommendation.

Visiting the campus in person is one of the best ways to get a true feeling of what attending the program would be like. After going on the official tour, crash with a student friend for the weekend and really live the business school life. Going to the local pub can be just as helpful as sitting in on a class to get a flavor for the people and culture of the school, with the added benefit of giving you experiences that will help you better articulate your fit with the program in your essays and interviews.

Business schools will often say the MBA admissions process is more art than science, and the more inside information you can leverage from students and alumni, the better your chances of acceptance at the business school of your dreams.

Image credit: Flickr user Andrés García (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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5 Application Tips from Michigan Ross School of Business [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 5 Application Tips from Michigan Ross School of Business

The Round 1 deadline at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business is just days away on October 5th, and Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions and financial aid, has a few tips for candidates doing that final polish on their application, as well as for those preparing their package for Round 2.

Whether you’re applying this week or in January, make sure you follow these tips to  ensure your application is Ross-ready.

Tip One: Only apply when your application is at its strongest. While many applicants are leaning toward submitting in the first round, if your GMAT score isn’t where you’d like it to be and you think you can improve it in time for Round 2, then don’t rush for Round 1.

Says Soojin: “The best choice is to apply in the round when your application is the best it can be, including the GMAT score.”

Tip Two: The best way to approach the “What are you most proud of?” essay is by presenting an authentic story—not one you think is most impressive. Actually, the Why is more important than the What.

Says Soojin: “It should be the answer you’d share with a close friend, not with an  ‘admissions committee’.”

Tip Three: Just because other schools ask for two letters of recommendation doesn’t mean you should go ahead an submit an extra one to Ross as well. When the school asks for one recommendation letter, that’s how many they want to see.

Says Soojin: “We only want one letter…preferably from your current direct supervisor. If you can’t ask your current supervisor, ask the one just prior to the current one, and be sure to briefly explain why you didn’t ask your current supervisor.”

Tip Four: The Team Exercise may be optional, but not doing it would be a mistake. Not only will the experience help you decide whether Ross is a good fit for you; it also provides the admissions team with crucial information about your communication and interpersonal skills, the soft skills recruiters want to see in their MBA hires.

Says Soojin: “If you come to campus for your interview…You’ll meet potential classmates (even potential roommates), attend a class or conference with current MBAs, meet folks affiliated with our Centers and Institutes, and engage in an optional post-interview Q&A session with the AdComm and students.”

Tip Five: Applicants need to spend more time on their resumes. The essays aren’t the only part you have control over, and your MBA resume is an important indicator of how you present yourself.

Says Soojin: “It’s the first thing we look at when we open an app, so it’s the ‘first-impression-maker.’ It’s your opportunity to tell us where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve made an impact and what you’re interested in.”

Best of luck to all Round 1 applicants to Michigan Ross!

You may also be interested in:
Michigan Ross Reports Record GMAT Scores for Class of 2017

Michigan Ross Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

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Aspen Institute Lauds 2015 B-School Faculty Pioneers [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Aspen Institute Lauds 2015 B-School Faculty Pioneers


Four professors who are leading the way in prompting business school students to think about how firms can act in the face of growing economic inequality have been named winners of this year’s Aspen Faculty Pioneer Awards. The honorees, announced this week by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, are:

[*]David Besanko, IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practices at the Kellogg School of Management.[/*]
[*]Shawn Cole, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration in the Finance Unit at the Harvard Business School.[/*]
[*]Dima Jamali, Kamal Shair Chair in Responsible Leadership and Professor at the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut.[/*]
[*]Thomas Kochan, George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at the MIT Sloan School of Management; and Co-Director of the Institute for Work and Employment Research at MIT.[/*]
[/list]
The Faculty Pioneer Awards were established in 1999 to celebrate educators who demonstrate leadership and risk-taking — and blaze a trail toward curriculum that deeply examines the relationships between capital markets, firms, and the public good.

The focus of this year’s call for nominations was to recognize and honor faculty who are teaching about inequality in their MBA classrooms, says Claire Preisser, who manages the Faculty Pioneer selection process as associate director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program.

“When thinking about remedies to inequality, people naturally reach into the policy sphere for solutions,” Preisser explains. “Policy interventions are very important, but historically business has been a key actor in building and sustaining a middle class. We believe that today’s business students need to be prompted more often to think about how the everyday choices in firms can build shared prosperity—or work against it. The faculty members we honor this year are doing just that.”

The fact that some faculty at top-ranked MBA programs are addressing inequality in the classroom is especially encouraging, says Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program.

“We are very encouraged that these classroom discussions are happening, and happening at top-ranked schools—and are eager to see more faculty follow suit,” Samuelson says. “This year’s Faculty Pioneers are bringing inequality out of the ethics classroom and into the classes that really matter in the MBA curriculum.”

The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program will recognize the Faculty Pioneer Award Winners at Business and Inequality: A Dialogue on Business and Business Education in New York on Thursday, October 15. The event will focus on how business schools can most effectively prepare students to lead companies in ways that produce a vibrant economy that works for all.

You may also be interested in:
Interested in Sustainability? The Top 16 Green MBA Programs

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Other MBA Applicants [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stop Comparing Yourself to Other MBA Applicants
When you’re working on business school applications, it’s only human to want to compare your qualifications to others you know who’ve already graduated from—or are currently attending—a top program. You might think that their undergraduate schools, GPAs, GMAT scores and career paths may provide insight into what AdComs are looking for, and to some extent that’s true. Alumni of or current students at prestigious business schools do represent what those programs were looking for… in the year they applied.

The problem with comparing yourself to those who applied before you is that it’s truly like comparing apples to oranges. No two years are the same. The candidate pool last year is going to be different from this year’s. And you’ll only be directly competing for a spot against a slice of that pool anyway. What will ultimately determine whether or not you get acceptance letters or dings is how the AdCom views your qualifications versus those of candidates who are in similar demographic and industry/role categories. This year. Right now. Which is something no one has any insight into but the AdComs at each school.

Another problem with comparing yourself to MBA students or fellow MBA hopefuls is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Meaning, there is much more to a person than what school they went to, their past grades, their test scores and the company they work for. You might not even be aware of their extensive community service involvement over the past several years or the volunteer hours they’ve dedicated to a cause that was deeply personal. They may have never shared the private stories they wrote about in their essays. You’ll also never have any idea what their recommenders said about them.

We know that it would be nice to get a better sense of your “odds of admission” by comparing yourself to others. But unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way, because no two people are exactly the same. On the bright side, you shouldn’t let yourself get discouraged if someone with the same “on-paper” qualifications as you didn’t get into their dream school in the past. You’re not them, so their outcome truly has no bearing on what will happen to you!

So when you feel the urge to start lining up your stats against someone else, remember this:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Other MBA Applicants [#permalink]
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