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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Tuesday Tips: Cornell Johnson Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Cornell Johnson Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips
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Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management is a flexible MBA program housed within an Ivy League campus. Cornell Johnson offers multiple full-time options, including a one-year MBA, executive programs and a tech focused program. Cornell Johnson has multiple joint degree programs as well from a JD-MBA to MBA-MD. Whatever your goals and background Cornell has a program that can help you achieve your goals.

When approaching this set of Cornell essays it will be useful to set an application strategy. Identify the program you are most interested in and do substantial school research. Then example your background and goals to see what is most important to explain as part of your story. Finally add the layer of personal background and experiences – consider what makes you truly unique? Finally make sure you have solid academics, work experience and extracurriculars. If you identify any holes in your profile or story take the time to fill them prior to starting your application.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Applicants are now encouraged to show enhanced creativity in submission medium. For example, the essay may be delivered by video or a creative slide deck.

You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 500 words or less, please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. Think about highlighting areas you may not have been able to touch in the previous career focused essays, and demonstrate your unique personal attributes or community involvement. If you have a consistent theme of involvement in a charity or activity this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why you became involved and what you have done over the years.

When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key moments with your friends, family, hobbies or interests that led you to be the person you are today?

This essay can be delivered in any of the media specified above (video, slide presentation, website) and you should tailor the format you use to the message you want to send. Though a creative format will impress the admissions committee substance is always the most important part of the essay. Make sure you are highlighting unique, individual qualities that will make the case for admission to Cornell.

GOALS

The prompt for this essay has been simplified to help applicants hone in on their objectives in getting an MBA.

What are your short and long term goals and how do you see the Cornell MBA enabling you to achieve both? Please limit your response to 500 words or less.


This classic career goals essay is asking for a clear description of both your short and long term goals and how Cornell fits in. This career goals essay requires you to demonstrate that your Cornell MBA will be the right next step to achieve your career goals.

Since past experiences are likely indicators of your skills and future direction, you may want to briefly outline key aspects of your career history. The question does not specifically require career history, and with the limited word count you are best served by choosing key inflection points rather than an entire resume review. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.

Make sure to spend enough time on your interest in the Cornell MBA to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important. Make sure to investigate your fit with Cornell through talking with current students or alumni, visiting campus if you can, or attending information sessions.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied.

Please limit your response to 500 words or less.

This optional essay allows for either an explanation of any weaknesses in your application or additional information that may bolster your application. If you have a poor GPA or GMAT, concerns with your undergraduate record, or were unable to provide a recommendation from a current supervisor, this is the place to offer explanations, not excuses. Quickly describe the situation and what may have contributed to the issue (illness, family difficulties, etc.) without editorializing. Focus the balance of your essay on looking forward: what have you done in the recent past to demonstrate your skills and intelligence?

If you are a reapplicant this is the ideal place to explain what you have done since your last application to strengthen your case for admission. If you have a new GMAT score or took classes in calculus or statistics you have a solid case for improved academics. A promotion could signal career development and leadership. Even if you don’t have a clear cut development to describe you can use this space to explain how you have improved your thinking, career goals, or fit with Cornell.

Stuck on the Johnson Cornell essay questions? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

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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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Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in HBX Live [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in HBX Live
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HBX Live in action. (PRNewsFoto/Harvard Business School)

Harvard Business School‘s unique digital learning initiative HBX has formally announced the launch of HBX Live—a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of HBS’s famed case method in a digital environment. It enables participants from around the world to engage in a dynamic and highly interactive discussion under the direction of an HBS professor.

HBX entered the digital learning platform market just over a year ago with the introduction of HBX CORe, an online program that teaches the fundamentals of business (Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting) to college students and recent workforce hires.

More recently, HBX announced the launch of Courses, a portfolio of online learning programs targeted at more senior managers.  The first offering in that series is “Disruptive Strategy” with Professor Clayton Christensen, renowned as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. Both CORe and Courses are delivered through HBX’s innovative online platform, which was designed to create a highly interactive learning experience for online participants.

With HBX Live, no matter where participants are located, they can log in concurrently and join real-time, case-based sessions with Harvard Business School faculty who teach from the HBX Live Studio, located in the Boston-based facility of public broadcaster WGBH.  In the custom-designed studio, a high-resolution video wall mimics the amphitheater-style seating of an HBS classroom, with up to 60 participants displayed on individual screens simultaneously.

In addition, others can audit sessions via an observer model.  Sessions are expertly produced using still and roaming cameras, thus creating the look and feel for participants of being in a real classroom, where they can see both the professor and fellow students.

“Everything in the HBX Live Studio was designed to recreate the magic of the Harvard Business School case method classroom,” says Professor Youngme Moon, the School’s Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation.

“We then layered on some additional features to bolster the learning model even further.  The result is a deeply immersive and engaging experience that allows participants from around the globe to interact in a highly kinetic way,” Moon adds.

Alumni from the MBA Classes of 2000, 2005, and 2010, as well as the HBS Alumni Board, were recently invited to participate in a two-session pilot on leadership.  And CORe students had the opportunity to interact in real time with the CORe faculty and their peers, including one session where there were participants from more than 30 countries.

To date, twenty HBS faculty members have taught in the HBX Live studio, and feedback has been very encouraging.  For example, ninety-six percent of the HBS alumni who took part in the initial session said they wanted to participate in HBX Live again. Participants have lauded the way the platform transcends geographical boundaries.

“The energy my faculty colleagues and I can feel in the studio from students located around the world is incredible, and the interaction with participants is seamless and impressive,” says Professor Bharat Anand, faculty chair of HBX.  “As a result, we are exploring the use of the HBX Live facility for a variety of new purposes, from case-based teaching in virtual executive programs to research activities.”

The HBX Live team also plans to connect more broadly with alumni and Executive Education and Corporate Learning participants in the near future as well as continue to explore how to best integrate Live with other HBX asynchronous offerings to add the benefit of real-time synchronous learning.

Finally, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria says, “HBX Live will help us deliver on our promise of lifelong learning by giving us a new way to engage students and alumni—not just here in Boston, but around the globe—as their professional and educational needs evolve over the course of their careers.”

You may also be interested in:
MOOCs and the Future of Management Education

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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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How to Make the Most of Your First Year of B-School [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Make the Most of Your First Year of B-School
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Are you hoping to head to b-school next fall? It’s never to early to learn from students who are currently where you want to be. This past year, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has published the viewpoints of now second-year student Rohan Rajiv as he shares the lessons learned at Kellogg that he considers most relevant to MBA applicants.

His latest post is extensive, and full of helpful tips on how to make the most of your first year in an MBA program. No matter whether Kellogg is on your short list or not, his experiences and feedback can help orient you during that first hectic year.

Rajiv covers several areas, from academics to career, to extracurriculars and social and family priorities. While veryone will have different priorities while at business school, his post is illuminating for its thorough examination of these often-competing aspects of the MBA experience.

Take a look, and do explore the links to some of the other subjects Rajiv has addressed this year. There’s sure to be something within that will be applicable to your MBA journey as well.

You may also be interested in:
10 Ways to Make the Most of Your B-School Experience

Advice for Your Time at B-School

Image credit: Flickr user Richard Foster (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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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Make the Most of Your MBA Essays [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Make the Most of Your MBA Essays
Essay-writing is a funny thing. Before you dive into your MBA applications, 400 or 500 words can seem like the equivalent of a doorstop-size Russian novel. But once you really get going on your first drafts, you quickly realize just how little space you have to work with.

We’re familiar with the pit that can form in your stomach when you’ve written the perfect essay—but it’s more than three times the word-count limit. How do you decide what stays and what goes?

First, cut out basic information that’s already established on your resume. You don’t need to explain what your firm does or rehash what your specific job responsibilities are or what city you were in at the time.

Second, look for sections where you might come off like you’re lecturing the reader. The admissions committee doesn’t need a speech about your industry or what your product does or how you think the world should work, they just need to know how you contributed to a specific project or why you want to do what you want to do post-graduation.

They also don’t need to be educated on their own MBA program, so watch out for sentences that read like they were ripped from a school’s website. This is an easy trap to fall into when crafting “Why School X?” responses. Stick to how a certain class or club is relevant to your goals—no need to describe what the class is about. They already know!

Sometimes the story you choose is the word-sucking culprit. For prompts that ask you to describe specific achievements, it’s best to pick an easy-to-explain example that doesn’t take eighty percent of the essay to set up. If you can’t succinctly summarize a situation that you helped to improve, you might want to find another anecdote that will let you spend most of the word count describing your contributions and successful results. Long setups don’t tell them anything about you.

Also be sure to keep this sage writing advice in mind: “show, don’t tell.” If you’ve done a good job of describing a time when you displayed leadership, then there is absolutely no need to add a sentence like this: “I really stepped up in this situation and went above and beyond to lead my team.”

Finally, you might need to bid adieu to descriptive words. As Stephen King said best, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Keep it simple!

If all else fails, take a break. Step away from the essay for a few days, and then revisit it with fresh eyes. You’re likely to find some words or sentences that aren’t critical.

On that note, remember:

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

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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2 Tactics to Help Avoid MBA Application Burnout [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 2 Tactics to Help Avoid MBA Application Burnout
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

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Applying to business school is a stressful, exhausting and arduous process no matter how brilliant or organized a person you are. A great way to reduce the risk of burnout is allowing ample time for the entire application process, which you can gauge by checking out this MBA timeline?.

Life doesn’t always follow a tidy pattern though, so when application fatigue looms, dodge the fear of MBA application failure  and try these tactics to get your MBA mojo back on track.

1. Team up with a buddy: It can be hard to stay motivated when you are faced with so many competing responsibilities, both as an applicant and from the real world. Schools often connect incoming students with a second-year buddy, so take a page from their book and pair up with a fellow MBA applicant targeting a different set of schools in order to bolster your enthusiasm.

Swap essays with each other to provide a fresh pair of eyes to catch possible grammar or punctuation mistakes and  also to see how well you have conveyed your goals, experiences and strengths to an audience outside of your industry.

When – fingers crossed – the invitations to interview start coming in, conduct mock interviews with your partner, in person if possible or via Skype, and provide each other with feedback on the exchange. Mock interviews will help crystallize your thoughts and allow you to figure out the appropriate level of detail and length of response to each question.

Never underestimate the importance of having someone you can vent to who knows exactly what it feels like in your shoes. A little nudge from your application buddy, and having a sense of support, community and accountability to another person in the MBA trenches, can go a long way toward keeping your motivation levels running high and your eye on the prize.

2. Choose your online resources wisely: The Internet is a wonderful resource for free information about applying to business school. Major news outlets cover the subject, admissions consultants like me publish MBA blogs to share the latest news and tips and test prep forums provide another popular source for information as well as camaraderie.

While nervous applicants often jump at the chance to read any and all information about the process and their dream schools, the smart thing is to pick a handful of trusted resources and filter out the rest. Not only will you arm yourself with the most accurate information out there, but you’ll also sidestep a lot of external anxiety as well as inevitable rumors constantly circulating online.

School-hosted and independent student blogs provide a valuable, up-close look at the programs, which is useful when you’re making your final selections but can also be biased. Blogs written by applicants offer a real-time glimpse into the process, with all its ups and downs, and can be a comfort to candidates going through this phase on their own.

Any advice offered through test-prep or MBA forums, or posts on student or applicant blogs, should be taken with a grain of salt. What worked for one applicant may completely backfire for another, so make sure those tips are substantiated through other credible sources. When in doubt, ask your admissions consultant or, if appropriate, contact the admissions committee at the schools where you’re applying.

The MBA application has several components, so when one area starts making your head spin – I’m looking at you, essays – then it’s time to redirect your attention elsewhere temporarily or take breaks when the demands on your time have exceeded your energy reserves. Most importantly, remember that you’re pursuing an MBA to transform your career, so do whatever it takes to revitalize your excitement and keep on keeping on.

Photo credit: Blueberryz CC 2.0
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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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Which Test Should I Take – GRE or GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 06:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Which Test Should I Take – GRE or GMAT?
Guest post by LA Tutors 123
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Decisions, decisions. Now that most business schools accept either the GMAT or the GRE as part of your application, which standardized exam would be better for you to submit? Is the GRE easier? Do admissions committees like the GMAT more?

First, let’s take a look at each of the exams. There are ways that the GRE and the GMAT are alike and ways that they are different. For example, in the United States, both tests are taken on a computer and adapt to your skill level. They both have writing, quantitative, and verbal sections. Also, sitting for either the GRE or the GMAT can consume your entire morning or afternoon: the total time is almost four hours for each test, plus breaks.

However, there are differences between the exams. The GRE currently costs $195, while the GMAT fee is $250. Furthermore, the quantitative and verbal sections aren’t the same on each test, and neither is the scoring. On the GRE, in addition to a Writing score from 0 to 6, the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are each scored from 130 to 170. On the GMAT, there is also a Writing score from 0 to 6, but there is also an Integrated Reasoning score of 1 to 8, and a Total score from 200 to 800, which combines the Quantitative and Verbal results.

Confusing, isn’t it? To simplify this issue, you should take a diagnostic test or practice exam for the GRE and for the GMAT to see which one you feel more comfortable with and which you think you can perform better on.

Second, ask your schools which exams they take and which exam they prefer. Talking with the admissions officers at your business school is a good idea anyway, to let them know who you are and why you’re interested in their particular MBA programs. It will also give you insight on how they view the GRE and the GMAT, especially in regards to your application.

Which leads us to our third issue: how your exam choice and score will fit into your overall package. If you didn’t take many math classes in college, or you don’t do much quantitative analysis in your career, getting a good score on the GMAT could enhance that area of your application. On the other hand, if you think you can do considerable better on the GRE than on the GMAT, then the GRE might be your best course of action.

The truth is, your test score is only one part of your application. Plus, if you’re making a conscious decision to study for either the GMAT or the GRE, then you’re already ahead of the game. The key to success on either exam is advanced preparation. Start crafting a plan today; you’ll have more confidence about whatever choice you make, and more confidence on test day.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Do your research, and then decide. And if you need assistance, either with making a choice or getting prepared to take your exam, LA Tutors can help. For more information, click here, or call 866.60.TUTOR to be matched with your own personal instructor.

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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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Finding Balance as an MBA Student and Beyond [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Finding Balance as an MBA Student and Beyond
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The topic of work-life balance consumes a lot of air space in the media lately, particularly as Millennials try to figure out how to fulfill their professional passions while making time for their personal relationships and pleasurable downtime pursuits.

In my new post published on the Wharton Blog Network, I discuss how MBA students can find inspiration and practical advice on bringing balance to those crazy busy two years through a terrific novel called The Balance Project, by my friend and fellow Penn alum Susie Orman Schnall.

I also spoke to Schnall as a part of her interview series of the same name, which explores the idea of balance and how accomplished and inspiring women perceive and achieve the notion of having it all.  My interview is here, and it’s No. 104, so you know there’s a wealth of insight to be gleaned from the 100+ women who came before me!

I invite you to read both pieces and share with anyone you know who wants to bring a little balance to their lives but isn’t sure how.

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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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HBS Dean Nohria Discusses Value of the MBA [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Dean Nohria Discusses Value of the MBA
The debate over whether the MBA degree is overrated never seems to get old, thanks to the media’s regular stoking of the topic. We thought we’d share with you today this new Bloomberg interview with Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria, an obvious proponent of the degree who strongly feels the MBA is key toward a lifetime of impactful leadership.

Though the interview kicks off critiquing the high cost of business school, I hope cash-strapped applicants take heart when they hear the dean say, “What we’re looking for is the brightest people with great leadership potential. And I promise you, if you apply to Harvard Business School you will be able to attend irrespective of your financial needs.”

As the conversation segues into the recent shifts of popular industries for grads—finance is down but entrepreneurship and tech are way up in 2015 over 2012—the Indian-born dean shares his strong support for the US financial system and discusses how not everyone is meant to start a company in their 20s.

For instance, though most surveys look at where alumni are and how much they are earning five years after graduation, the dean says one of the least-known facts about Harvard Business School is that, “Ten to 20 years after they graduate, 50% of alumni become entrepreneurs.” Interesting, no?

Check out the video, see where Dean Nohria’s head is at on the numbers of women in corporate America, the role online learning will play in the future of education, and why the intimate and immersive experience at HBS will never be replaced by the virtual world.

You may also be interested in:
MBA Value More than Financial, Says GMAC Survey

video source: Bloomberg News
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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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Attention MBA Applicants: Beware of Friendly Advice! [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Attention MBA Applicants: Beware of Friendly Advice!
As Round 1 deadlines near, you’ll probably think about asking a trusted friend or family member to review your materials. There are obvious benefits to having a fresh set of eyes on your work, but there can also be a few drawbacks.

The upside to someone new looking at your essays and data forms is that they may be more likely to spot a typo, missing word or extra period at the end of a sentence. At some point you’ll have read your responses so many times that errors will no longer jump out at you. This is where a friend or family member’s assistance is undoubtedly valuable.

However, it’s really tough for someone to read through your materials and not also want to give “advice.” Human beings are full of opinions, after all, and anyone close to you would just be trying to help. But the issue is that if you’ve already planned out your application strategy—especially if you’ve worked on that strategy with an admissions consultant—it would be a shame to derail your progress just because a well-meaning friend made you doubt yourself.

If someone who has an MBA reviews your materials, they may be under the incorrect assumption that since they were accepted to a program, the way they approached certain essay questions is the only guaranteed path to admission. Or maybe your parents attended business school decades ago and want to give you advice. That can be problematic because the programs themselves—not to mention the qualities AdComs are looking for in candidates—have changed pretty dramatically over the years.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if someone who’s completely unfamiliar with the business school application process reviews your documents, they may be confused if you included personal stories or otherwise let your personality come through in your essays. There’s a stereotype that MBAs need to be all business, all the time, and this leads to an expectation of essays filled with lists of achievements, not-so-subtle bragging and loads of buzzwords.

That’s why you should consider: 1) limiting the people you involve to no more than two, and 2) telling those reviewers up front that they would be helping you most if they could focus solely on spelling, grammar, or other obvious mistakes when they do their read-through.

They’ll probably still give you unsolicited advice, and you can always listen politely and share any concerns you may have with your admissions consultant. Just keep in mind that it’s hardly ever a good idea to switch things up at the last minute after putting significant effort into your positioning.

Remember:

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MBA Essay Advice for Harvard Business School [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Essay Advice for Harvard Business School
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Today’s the Round 1 deadline at Harvard Business School, but if you’re still planning on applying in Rounds 2 or 3, you’ll want to take a look at some of the essay advice I shared in a recent Business Insider article.

Unlike last season, when the essay question was completely open-ended—and optional—this year the school has taken a different tack to see if they can really get to know their applicants.

It now asks:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting. Introduce yourself.

The goal of this essay is to know yourself, know HBS, and know how to match the two to demonstrate your fit for the school as you introduce yourself to your classmates. I invite you to read the rest on the article on the Business Insider site for several more important tips on how to successfully market your candidacy for this ultra-elite school.

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ROI of an MBA [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2015, 07:00
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.

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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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New post 14 Sep 2015, 06:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Show Your School Pride and Win $1,000 with the #LookatmyMBA Video Contest
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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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New post 14 Sep 2015, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Tops Forbes ROI Ranking…Again
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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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New post 15 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB’s Dean Saloner to Step Down
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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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New post 16 Sep 2015, 04:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Economist Hosts Virtual MBA Fair
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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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New post 17 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How Do You Know if You’re Ready for B-School?
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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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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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Big Donation Further Funds Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2015, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Big Donation Further Funds Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus
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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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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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4 Things to Know Before Going to Business School [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Things to Know Before Going to Business School
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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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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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Harvard Business School Introduces Case Method Podcast [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Introduces Case Method Podcast
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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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New post 23 Sep 2015, 06:00
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.

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

_________________

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

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

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

GMAC Releases 2015 B-School Application Trends   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2015, 06:00

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