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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Round 1 Reactions to Chicago Booth’s New Photo Essay Question  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2015, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 1 Reactions to Chicago Booth’s New Photo Essay Question
The Chicago Booth School of Business made a dramatic departure this application season with its innovative essay question based on a series of photographs—applicants must select one picture and explain how it resonates with their own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for them.

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As Round 1 interviews get underway, associate dean of admissions Kurt Ahlm shares some insight on the Booth Insider blog about how applicants have approached the photo essay.

“The intent of the essay is to get a better feel for who you are, how you think, and the unique impact you bring to the Booth community,” Ahlm explains. “We’ve been really impressed and have seen applicants take a very personal approach with their chosen image, as well as give profound reasons for wanting to be a part of this community.”

The photo is simply a way to contextualize and personalize the response, says Ahlm.

Michael Scichili, a Booth applicant featured in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the trend of unusual MBA essay prompts, said he thought the concept was “a little weird” at first.

He ultimately chose to write about a picture of Cloud Gate, the bean-shaped sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Scichili told the WSJ his essay focused on how the sculpture “distorts reality a little bit and makes things seem as though they’re not the way they are,” a reminder that in solving business problems, “you have to make sure you’re cognizant of your own bias.”

We’ve advised clients to think strategically about this question and chose a photo which resonates most specifically with them. You have the freedom to express who you are in words, images, graphics or some combination.

If you decide to write an essay response, you have enough space to tell a story that describes something new about yourself. If you decide to prepare a PowerPoint in response to this essay question, refine your story to its key elements.

To keep a visual essay interesting and high-impact, consider how you will format. Can you use photos? Drawings? If you use words, keep them clear and focused. Take every point up a level, so you are communicating a vision rather than a thesis.

The Booth admissions dean says that, “At the end of the day, we are looking for you to bring a new element about yourself into the essay, something that you haven’t already shared in other sections of the application.”

You may also be interested in:

Chicago Booth Debuts Bold New Essay Format

Chicago Booth Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

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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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Guiding Your Business School Recommenders  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Guiding Your Business School Recommenders
As the majority of Round 2 deadlines are in early January, you should follow up with your recommenders now to ensure they are pacing themselves and won’t be crunched for time once all of the year-end craziness hits.

These contacts are doing you a huge favor, and it would be a shame if they had to take time away from their families and friends over the holidays because you hadn’t gently reminded them about their upcoming responsibility. While b-school applications might be consuming your life right now, they’re probably not top-of-mind for your recommenders.

When you do your check-in, there’s a chance your recommenders may ask you to review what they’ve written so far. Or they may just want to verbally confirm that they’re covering the right points in their letters.

This is your opportunity to remind them that the most critical thing they can do is include examples to back up any claims they’ve made about your strengths or personality traits.

Many recommenders—especially those who aren’t familiar with the MBA application process—think that if they simply sing your praises and repeat how great you are in various different ways, that will be enough. Unfortunately, it’s not. The best way for your recommenders to help you stand out from thousands of other highly qualified applicants is by painting a clear picture of who you are both professionally and personally.

Sharing details of how you contributed to projects or giving specific examples of how you interact with others or went above and beyond (including funny anecdotes or quips that give insight into your personality)—these are the things that make for a great recommendation letter.

Having said all that, if your recommenders don’t intend to share what they’ve written, don’t worry! Chances are you asked them to do this very important task because you know they’re competent people who will try their best to set you apart from the pack. But if they do ask for any advice as the deadlines near, just be sure to drive home the importance of going heavy on the examples.

And when your recommenders’ letters are in, don’t forget to do something nice to thank them!

Think of it this way:

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

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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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
MBA Interview Tips to Help You Knock It Out of the Park  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Interview Tips to Help You Knock It Out of the Park
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As you may guess, the purpose of the MBA admissions interview is twofold: it gives the AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA, and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application. Once you receive an interview invitation, your focus should be on preparation.

Research your target program thoroughly, which means tapping into all resources available to you, such as networking with alumni at admissions events or reaching out to current students. Try coming up with a list of questions and see how many of them you can answer after a simple search of the school’s website. If you can’t easily find an answer, that’s probably a good topic to discuss in your interview.

Many interviews will begin with some version of “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume.” It can be hard to know where to begin with this.  One approach is to simply ask, “Where would you like me to begin?”  As an applicant, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for further clarification, as this also makes the interview more of a conversation.

Remember that the interview is a dialog, often with someone who could soon be your peer. Don’t feel like you need to read their mind and immediately know what they are looking for. In general, you will begin this question with college and provide a brief chronology regarding decisions from there.

In addition to asking insightful questions, make sure you explain why the school you’re interviewing with is the best fit for you. What are the specific courses, programs, and professors that will help you reach your goals? It’s even better if you can highlight your need for academic offerings unique to this school.

Some applicants have reported being asked, “Tell me about yourself—not the resume stuff.” This is a different type of question, where you might start with where you grew up and provide more personal anecdotes about family and personal interests.

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Schools are trying to create a well-rounded class of individuals. They want to know that you’re bringing personal interests to their campus that you’ll share with other classmates. So you should tell them about your recent scuba diving trip in Belize, your role as the food and wine connoisseur among friends, your love for historical fiction, your favorite college class in evolutionary biology, and your opinions on globalization.

Interviewers should be able to imagine you as the classmate who will organize trips, plan dinners, start a book club, etc.  They don’t want to think that you are just about business and academics all of the time.

Alumni interviewers enjoy reminiscing about their experiences, and will especially like any questions about clubs or activities they were part of, while current students can provide a great perspective on what they wish they had known, or the most interesting aspect of their MBA experience.

As you prepare for your interview, one of the most important tips to remember is to sound natural—not scripted—during the exchange.  Instead of trying to remember and include every last one of your memorized bullet points, focus on succinctly answering only the question at hand.

Wrap up the interview with a sincere thank you for the interviewer’s time, and remember to ask for a business card if you haven’t already received one. Send a thank-you note or email within the week, and try to include a memorable detail from your conversation to help the interviewer remember you as well as to reiterate your interest in attending the school.

The interaction in an MBA interview speaks volumes about what kind of teammate you will be when you are in the program, so make sure the right message is coming across loud and clear.

Image credit: Flickr user thinkpanama(CC BY-NC 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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Women Entrepreneurs Thriving Worldwide  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2015, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Women Entrepreneurs Thriving Worldwide
This is Global Entrepreneurship Week, and according to the newly released Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Women’s Report, entrepreneurial activity among women has increased by seven percent across 61 economies worldwide in just two years.

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Women entrepreneurs in nearly half of the surveyed economies are now equal to, or even outpacing their male counterparts in terms of innovation – demonstrating a growing parity between men and women selling products and services that are new to consumers and not generally offered by competitors.

The report, sponsored by Babson College, Universidad Del Desarrollo, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK), and Tecnológico de Monterrey, serves as the most comprehensive research ever conducted on women’s entrepreneurship and confirms that more than 200 million women entrepreneurs are starting or running new businesses in 83 economies across the globe. An additional 128 million are running established businesses.

“Promoting women’s entrepreneurship requires more than increasing the rate in which women start businesses,” says Babson College professor and report author Donna Kelley.

“Our GEM research shows that women entrepreneurs are frequently innovative, which demonstrates the impact they can have on their societies. Supporting women’s aspirations to innovate could be an important means of creating businesses with a competitive edge, and those with novel solutions to improve people’s lives.”

Also, the more women participate in the workforce, relative to men, the more likely they are to be, or become, entrepreneurs. This conclusion derives from an analysis of total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in relation to gender gap indicators measured by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In economies with a greater proportion of women starting businesses – in teams of three or more co-founders – there is also a greater likelihood they will have job-creation ambitions.

“The 2014 GEM Women’s Report helps us better understand the diversity among women business owners and their businesses, including an important recognition of the value created by women working in teams within, and across, their businesses,” adds Babson College professor and report author Patricia Greene.

Women around the world, on average, are also pursuing opportunity-driven entrepreneurial activity proportionate to men, resulting in a smaller gender gap in the percentage of entrepreneurs with opportunity motivations in every region.

And in 10 economies, women are as or more likely to be entrepreneurs than men. They include El Salvador and Brazil in Latin America and the Caribbean; Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines in Southeast Asia; and Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ghana in Africa.

“In most economies, the prescriptions for success are based on studies of male entrepreneurs. In the past two decades, the rise of women entrepreneurs helps us to better understand the factors leading to start-up success and growth of both men and women entrepreneurs,” says Babson College Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership and report author Candida Brush. “GEM data is central to providing this information.”

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
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Kraft Foundation Donates $20M to HBS to Commercialize Science Research  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kraft Foundation Donates $20M to HBS to Commercialize Science Research
The Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation has pledged $20 million to Harvard Business School to create the Kraft Endowment for Advancing Precision Medicine, the school announced this week. The pledge, which is part of Harvard University’s $6.5 billion capital campaign, was announced at the Partners Precision Medicine Conference yesterday at Harvard Medical School, with foundation president Robert Kraft in attendance.

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(LtoR): Jonathan Kraft, Richard Hamermesh, Robert Kraft, Todd Golub, Robert Huckman
Photo: Justin Knight

The Kraft Endowment will be used to support research and other activities that advance the field of precision medicine. Precision medicine is a growing movement in patient care that allows scientists and physicians to use genomic and other information to understand a disease based on its biological mechanisms and to precisely diagnose and develop tailored treatments.

The growth of the industry is hampered by gaps that exist between scientific discoveries and the development and commercialization of medical solutions for public benefit. The rising cost of clinical trials and a lack of collaboration among scientists, the pharmaceutical industry and investors also hinder growth.

Harvard Business School will collaborate with the Broad Institute, a pioneer in precision medicine, and others in Boston, to find ways to accelerate breakthroughs and advance commercialization of precision medicine by harnessing the energy and ideas of the medical, science and entrepreneurial communities in the city.

Myra Kraft, the wife of Robert and mother of Jonathan (MBA 1990), Daniel, Joshua (EdM 1993), and David (MBA 1999), died of ovarian cancer in 2011. Through her illness,  the Kraft family came to understand firsthand the promise of precision medicine.

“At heart, many of the challenges facing the advancement of precision medicine today are business challenges,” says HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “We are honored that the Krafts, who epitomize Harvard Business School’s mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world, see the potential for HBS to work with world-class organizations like the Broad to develop innovative and integrative new models — from organizational structures to collaborative data centers — that will position Boston at the epicenter of this arena in the future. The endowment is a wonderful and fitting tribute to Myra Kraft, who throughout her life devoted herself to helping others.”

To learn more about this gift, and the upcoming initial research pilots designed to accelerate the discovery and trials process, please click here.

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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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Harvard Business School Crowned No. 1 By Poets & Quants  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Crowned No. 1 By Poets & Quants
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Poets & Quants released its 2015 MBA ranking this week, and Harvard Business School has reclaimed the title of world’s best business school after rebounding from second place last year. HBS has landed the top spot for five of the six years P&Q has published its composite ranking.

The school will continue to have a huge head start in maintaining that lead given its $3 billion endowment, which is three times the size of Stanford Graduate School of Business, its nearest competitor, notes P&Q editor John A. Byrne in Fortune. HBS has already raised more than $860 million toward the school’s $1 billion capital campaign, which still has three years remaining.

“No rival beats Harvard in the formidable resources it brings to the game: more superstar professors than any other school, the diversity of its course offerings, the stellar quality of its students, the size and scope of its campus, and the career achievements of its alumni spread all over the world,” writes Byrnes.

Top Ten U.S. MBA Programs
  • Harvard Business School

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  • Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
  • Columbia Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  • Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  • Yale School of Management
Top Ten International MBA Programs
  • INSEAD
  • London Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • IE Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • IMD
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • ESADE
  • SDA Bocconi
  • Oxford Saïd Business School
According to Poets & Quants, the lineup of the best U.S. MBA programs combines the five most influential rankings but each is weighted separately to reflect P&Q’s view of their authority: U.S. News & World Report is given a weight of 35%, Forbes 25%, Bloomberg Businessweek 15%, The Financial Times 15%, and The Economist receives a weight of 10%.

“The list is far more stable–and reliable–than most rankings published elsewhere, taking into account a massive wealth of quantitative and qualitative data captured in these major lists, from surveys of corporate recruiters, MBA graduates, deans and faculty publication records to median GPA and GMAT scores of entering students as well as the latest salary and employment statistics of alumni,” Byrne explains.

You may also be interested in:
Columbia’s Dean Hubbard on MBA Rankings

Rethinking MBA Rankings

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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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Applying to Business School With Limited Work Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2015, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Applying to Business School With Limited Work Experience
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Without an established career trajectory to highlight, younger applicants must be able to point to a stellar academic record.

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
There is no single right time to go to business school. Every MBA applicant has his or her own unique professional goals and timetable, and while the vast majority of candidates still log three to five years on the job before applying, required work experience has been trending downward over the past decade.

We’ll likely see age and work experience requirements continue to shift, as data show that test-takers under 24 have been the fastest-growing demographic for the GMAT exam.

There are, however, certain types of applicants that set their sights on an MBA right after graduation. Some applicants do so because they don’t want to have to leave the workforce and put their life on hold for two years. The opportunity cost is the largest cost component of an MBA, and that financial sacrifice is lowest in the early career stage.

Other candidates may be thinking about when to start a family, and early entrance to business school would allow many women to establish their careers before having children. Female enrollment in elite business schools lags significantly behind men and tops out at around 40 percent in this year’s incoming class?, but the number of men and women enrolling in medical and law school is fairly evenly split, partially because both of these graduate programs continue straight after university.

Those thinking of applying to business school immediately after college or those with less than three years of work experience, should make an honest assessment of their academic profile, career goals and most crucially, examples of leadership. Also, research which business schools are open to younger, less experienced applicants.? Not all are welcoming to this group, and you don’t want to waste time applying to MBA programs that really value significant work experience.

School websites typically state their preference where work experience is concerned. Additionally, the class profile may also include data on where students fall in terms of their professional background.

Without an established career trajectory to highlight, younger applicants must be able to point to a stellar academic record that includes an exceptional undergrad GPA and GMAT or GRE scores that are through the roof. Any noteworthy scholarships or awards received in college should be included as well.?

The MBA is often used as a way for people to switch careers. Since younger applicants aren’t yet on a firm path, those with little experience need to be able to clearly articulate both short and long-term professional goals, and convince the admissions committee that the degree is critical to helping them reach those goals.

MBA programs that court younger applicants do so because they know that the degree is an excellent way to accelerate the development of rising leaders. Early-career applicants may have fewer work experiences, but the admissions committee is more interested in the quality than the quantity.

Leadership examples should therefore be exceptional. Maybe you worked for the family business in a pivotal role, started your own company or have shown strong leadership in an extracurricular setting.

When we first met our client Anita, she was a college senior at Northwestern University and thought that Harvard Business School‘s 2+2 program for younger applicants was perfect for her, as she would get two years of real-world work experience before returning for a two-year MBA program.

As an economics major, Anita knew that she would be competing with other students with great stats, so she and her consultant chose to emphasize her leadership experiences instead. While in college, Anita had organized a casual group of fellow long-distance runners to raise money for charity, and after several successful runs, she joined up as a local chapter of a national charity running organization.

Anita and her consultant created a narrative of leading younger people that started with Anita’s time as a Girl Scout leader, followed by her Big Sister mentorship, and continued with her resident adviser and orientation leader positions as a college junior and senior.

By highlighting Anita’s leadership qualities and showing how Harvard’s 2+2 program would help shape Anita’s future in the business world, she and her consultant created a strong application that ultimately earned her admission at her dream program.

While younger, less experienced candidates have a tougher time landing a seat at a top business school, MBA programs are definitely becoming more open to including them in the mix. Admissions committees put much consideration into who they will admit each year, and these days, creating a rich and diverse classroom experience often means including the voices of strong early-career students as well.

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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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User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Michigan Ross MBA Director Explains ‘Holistic Review,’ Gives Advice fo  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2015, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross MBA Director Explains ‘Holistic Review,’ Gives Advice for R2
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Many business schools call their MBA admissions process holistic, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business is no exception.  We think admissions director Soojin Kwon‘s latest blog post really helps clarify that point for applicants who may be wondering what, exactly, does a holistic review mean?

In a nutshell, a holistic review means taking into account several different factors when making admissions decisions: test scores, professional achievements, essays, and fit. This provides some comfort to applicants worried their chances will get torpedoed by a low-ish GMAT, or a lack of job titles that indicate an obvious leadership position. But, Kwon cautions, holistic review doesn’t mean all of those elements are weighted equally.

“For applicants who are agonizing over the essays, let me put it into perspective,” the director writes. “Spectacular essays won’t outweigh weak competitive academics or work experience. That said, a high GMAT isn’t everything. Last year, we denied hundreds of applicants with GMAT scores higher than 700. Rest assured, we read and evaluate all pieces of your application as we’re getting to know you.”

With the Round 2 deadline just after the New Year, applicants still have time to polish their essays, have one more go at the GMAT or GRE, or tweak their MBA resumes. Kwon is known for placing heavy emphasis on the candidate’s resume, and she reiterates that fact in this post.

Go over your resume carefully and banish any industry-specific acronyms or jargon that a lay person wouldn’t recognize, and make sure to highlight the achievements that identify results and impact, Kwon advises. As for the essays, she says make sure they are clear, sound like you, and fully answer the question, leaving no doubts in the reader’s mind.

Michigan Ross plans to hold an application webinar with last-minute tips for Round 2 on Monday, December 14th at 12:30 pm EST. If you need guidance—or reassurance—mark your calendars for that valuable info session.

Round 1 decisions come out on December 18th, so good luck to those applicants still interviewing and awaiting their outcome.

You may also be interested in:
Round 1 Interview Updates from the Ross School

Michigan Ross MBA Director on the Best Time to Visit Schools

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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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Happy Thanksgiving!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Happy Thanksgiving!
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On behalf of everyone here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, today we’d like to wish our U.S.-based readers and clients a lovely Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.

In this time of gratitude, we give thanks for you, our loyal blog readers. We appreciate your confidence in our work and are grateful that you’ve chosen us as a trusted resource to help you achieve your MBA goals.

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Image credit: Flickr user Luan Anh (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
Stacy Blackman Consulting Representative
User avatar
Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1547
Location: Los Angeles, CA
7 Podcasts to Feed Your Mind This Thanksgiving Weekend  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 7 Podcasts to Feed Your Mind This Thanksgiving Weekend
When you finally emerge from your Tryptophan coma this Thanksgiving weekend and have a hankering for some food for thought, check out these illuminating B-school podcasts that cover entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership and marketing tactics.

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Professor Dorie Clark at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business talks about what it takes to succeed in business today. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, it’s all about standing out.

From the online publication Kellogg Insight, October’s faculty podcast features two Kellogg School of Management professors and a lecturer about the power of storytelling, as well as their tips to become a better storyteller.

Wendy Huber, Assistant Dean for the Full-Time MBA Program at Darden School of Business offers tips on how to achieve success in business school.

Harvard Business School launched a podcast series this fall called Cold Call, and the episode “Dangerous Mines: Saving Lives Through Leadership” stresses safety in South Africa’s platinum mines.

Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co, discusses Inspiring Creativity with Great Content in this podcast from Entrepreneurial Thought Corner at Stanford University.

Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioral science at Chicago Booth School of Business, debunks some dangerous myths about gender differences.

This one falls under the marketing category, but it’s also just really fun and interesting for anyone headed to see “Spectre” this weekend. The Wharton School‘s Knowledge@Wharton publication offers this new podcast: The Spy Whom We Loved: The Enduring Appeal of James Bond.

We hope you enjoy this little bit of brain food and find something useful—and interesting—in each of these suggestions.

Image credit: Flickr user Patrick Breitenbach (CC By 2.0)
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Time to Thank Your MBA Supporters  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Time to Thank Your MBA Supporters
Last week was Thanksgiving in the United States, and on Thursday, millions of people took a break to reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. It’s a good time for MBA hopefuls to do the same.

If you applied to schools in Round 1, you’re getting close to learning the final results of your efforts. Before you do, you should make a point of circling back with everyone who helped you along the way. Sure, you’ll touch base with them again to let them know where you’re going to end up. But it’s nice to thank people now so it doesn’t seem like you’re only grateful for their help because you were accepted to a certain school.

Think back to when you first downloaded your applications and make a list of those who played a role in ensuring you felt confident once you hit “submit.” Your recommenders, your friends and family members who proofread your materials or gave you great advice, your co-workers who helped calm your nerves after everything was sent in—everyone who’s supported you. We’re sure they’d appreciate a quick note of thanks.

If you’re currently in the midst of interviewing, remember to shoot a short thank-you email or letter to your interviewers, too! Don’t be discouraged or worried if you don’t hear back, though; some schools have policies about interviewers responding to candidates before final decisions are out. But we know they’ll be impressed by the gesture nonetheless.

What if you’re working to hit Round 2 deadlines? It’s still appropriate to thank those who have been helping you so far—especially your recommenders, who may be taking time away from their families to work on your letters over the holidays.

Remember:

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HBS Opens Workspace for Alumni in NYC  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2015, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Opens Workspace for Alumni in NYC
Harvard Business School has announced it will open its first workspace for HBS alumni startups in New York City, which will act as both an ecosystem for high potential ventures, and a community gathering space for alumni who are part of the NYC startup culture.

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The new HBS Startup Studio will feature:

[*]3,000 square feet of subsidized co-working space for 8-10 alumni ventures[/*]
[*]Collaboration and community building with other HBS Alumni founders in NYC[/*]
[*]A director and a coordinator on staff to support you in your venture[/*]
[*]Access to programs and events for founders, investors and other entrepreneurial focused HBS alumni.[/*]
[/list]
“We look forward to the groundbreaking of HBS’s first co-working space in NYC.  With so many amazing HBS-founded companies in NYC — including Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and Blue Apron – we expect that this will help fuel growth of the HBS and Harvard entrepreneurial ecosystem in the NYC area,” say the alumni co-heading the new workspace, Diana Dowling and Jasaon E. Klein.

As part of the Harvard Business School Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, the Startup Studio will be permanently located near Union Square, but while that space is being built out, will be temporarily located at the WeWork location at 39th and Broadway.  Teams will move to the new location in Spring of 2016.

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Harvard Business School Expands Peek Program for 2016  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Expands Peek Program for 2016
Harvard Business School has announced the initial details for its2016 Peek Weekend, an educational experience designed to give current college sophomores, juniors, and seniors insight into the Harvard MBA program.

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From Friday June 10th to Sunday June 12th, Peek Weekend participants will visit the HBS campus in Boston to develop a broader understanding of the challenges leaders face, the many dimensions inherent in the business world, and the impact participants can have on their community and the world through organizational leadership.

Peek, which began in 2015 focusing on candidates from women’s colleges, will expand its applicant pool this year. The 2016 Weekend will include three cohorts, with each cohort having its own specific curriculum in addition to joint sessions for all Peek participants. Students should be in the Class of 2016, 2017 or 2018 and meet one of the following criteria to attend the Weekend:

  • Be enrolled at a women’s college
  • Be majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (the so-called STEM subjects)
  • Come from a family-owned business background
“These groups can be underrepresented in business school applicant pools,” says Dee Leopold, managing director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at HBS. “We want to do all we can to ensure that our admissions process reaches as many qualified students as possible and help them understand the many different options and opportunities a Harvard MBA can lead to in a graduate’s life.”

Peek participants will learn from faculty members who teach MBA courses at Harvard Business School during the academic year. Using the case method of instruction that HBS pioneered in the teaching of management and leadership, professors will lead participant-based class discussions on current management challenges and opportunities.

Peek students will spend their evenings preparing for class by analyzing cases based on real companies and situations. In the mornings before class, they will form small study groups to discuss their ideas before joining the rest of their classmates. The Weekend experience will also include sessions with staff as well as current and former HBS students.

The 2016 Peek Weekend costs $500, which includes case materials, weekend accommodations in the school’s on-campus dormitories, and all meals. A limited number of need-based fellowships will be available. Students will learn about available financial aid awards after their acceptance to attend the Weekend. Applicants are encouraged to inquire about the possibility of additional funding from their own college or university.

The application for Peek 2016 goes live online at the beginning of March and will require eligible students to supply a resume, an undergraduate transcript, and an essay on a topic to be announced at a later date.

Materials will be due no later than noon on Thursday, April 21. There is no application fee. Decisions will be released at noon on Thursday, May 5.

Interested students can receive updates on the Weekend by joining the Peek mailing list: https://apply.hbs.edu/register/PeekInquiryForm

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Michigan Ross Demystifies Team Exercise with New Video  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross Demystifies Team Exercise with New Video
Feeling nervous about what to expect during the team exercise at Michigan Ross School of Business? Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions at the Ross School, has just posted this new video, where she answers some of the many questions pouring in from applicants wondering what the experience will be like, and how to prepare for it. Take a look!



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UV Darden Tops Forbes List of Most Satisfied MBAs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UV Darden Tops Forbes List of Most Satisfied MBAs
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Wondering which MBA grads feel the most love for their alma mater? According to Forbes‘s list of business schools with the most satisfied MBA graduates, it’s not directly related with the programs that the magazine ranked highest for return on investment back in September.

“Grads from Harvard, Columbia and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School had three of the four highest salaries among U.S. schools five years after graduation (only Stanford grads banked more). However, alumni from all three schools rank their job satisfaction among the bottom half of the 50 schools in our universe despite paychecks north of $200,000 on average,” reveals Forbes‘s reporter Kurt Badenhausen.

To come up with the list, Forbes explains that it looks at salary data from the ROI ranking published earlier this fall, and also asks alumni to comment on their satisfaction with their education, and how well  they feel the degree prepared them relative to other MBAs and their current jobs.

Top Ten Business Schools with the Happiest Graduates:
  • Darden School of Business
  • Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
  • USC Marshall School of Business
  • Michigan State Eli Broad College of Business
  • Emory University Goitzueta Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Northwestern Kellogg School of Management
“Some MBA rankings measure satisfaction of students at graduation, but we look at satisfaction five years out of school when students have had time to reflect on their educational experience and how they compare to other MBAs in the labor force,” writes Badenhausen. “Overall students gave their educations very high marks and less so for their current employment situation.”

To learn more about what makes each of these business schools so special in the eyes of their alumni, read thecomplete article on Forbes.

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

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Make the Most of Each MBA Application Component  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Make the Most of Each MBA Application Component
As you pull together your MBA application materials for Round 2, try to think of each component as an opportunity to tell the AdCom something new about yourself.

What we mean is, don’t simply copy and paste bullet points from your resume into your data forms. Offer up new details when you supply responses for fields such as “role responsibilities,” “key accomplishments” or “biggest challenge.”

Similarly, if you focused on your volunteer work in one of your essays, highlight a different extracurricular activity in your data forms or resume. And don’t have your recommenders tout the exact same “significant achievement” in their letters that you already covered elsewhere.

Certain aspects of your package, such as your GMAT/GRE score and your undergraduate GPA, are truly data points in the most literal sense of the word. But everything else should be viewed as complementary chapters of an interesting story—a story about you.

After the AdCom is finished reviewing all of your materials, they should have an understanding of your personality, what you’ve achieved, what your goals are, and what you could offer their program.

Your test scores, transcripts and GPA will tell them something about your capacity to handle their curriculum. Your resume shows your career progression, increased responsibilities and demonstrated results. Depending on the school, some data forms offer a chance to add color to personal and professional achievements.

Your recommendation letters can offer even more proof of your leadership potential. And your essays can give them a sense of your “voice,” as well as provide insight into what makes you tick or what you’re passionate about.

It’s a good thing that the AdCom will be judging you on your entire package, though, right? We’re all so much more than just our jobs, our grades, or our volunteer experience.

Think of it this way:

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***

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

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Develop a Smart Social Media Strategy for MBA Applications  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2015, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Develop a Smart Social Media Strategy for MBA Applications
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Being active on LinkedIn is especially critical to anyone embarking on an MBA career.

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
When applying to business school, your MBA essays and interviews are the primary way to market yourself and generate positive attention from the admissions committee. But the way you present your personal brand on social media should also be a part of the equation. Your social profile needs to match the persona you will present to the admissions team, so start thinking of it as an opportunity to better tell the story of you.

Every applicant should have a baseline social presence to reinforce and enhance their candidacy. Some admissions committee members proactively search for information about applicants online, so you’ll want to link to your social profiles within the application to make it easy for them to have another touch point by which to assess you.

Define Your Shareable Story

This application strategy involves fine-tuning a story that you can leverage through social media. This is a clear and purposeful narrative of how you want people to talk about you. The articles and thoughts you share, the comments you make and the professional affiliations you display will provide schools with a multidimensional view of who you are, as well as support your expertise and passion for a particular industry or activity.

Some examples of shareable stories might be:

• “I am a driven finance professional with a passion for improving education systems. Through lobbying, recruiting and fundraising, I have affected thousands of children by improving their educational experience.”

• “My passion for people extends beyond U.S. borders. My love of travel has connected me with individuals around the world. I nurture and maintain these relationships and learn and grow through these connections.”

• “In my free time I eat. And cook. And entertain. I love bringing people together over a great meal. Exploring unusual recipes, experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my culinary successes is an important hobby of mine.”

Weave Your Story Into Social Media Platforms 

I recommend students initially focus on three key platforms. Most of us are on Facebook, so this is one area to clean up, make sure your privacy settings are in order  and develop a content strategy that positively reflects your personal interests. LinkedIn is also a must-have, as it is the professional social network. Twitter is a great option to start if you haven’t already since you can use it to expand and build your brand.

For Facebook, choose a cover photo that represents your shareable story. For example, the avid traveler would highlight a photo from a recent trip. A candidate who is passionate about mentoring disadvantaged children should select a photo that highlights those efforts. Then, make sure the things you like reflect the personal and professional interests you have shared in your essays.

LinkedIn is critical as you embark on your MBA career and is an excellent place to network, gather information and build your brand by communicating details that support your shareable story. Follow influencers who interest you and share their content, too. What you update on LinkedIn helps to reinforce your brand, and actively developing a strategy now can help tell your story now and later.

Twitter is a great platform to stay up to date and engage with people who share similar interests. Make sure your bio is filled in with information that reflects your shareable story. A profile photo is a must, and the background photo should also support some element of your story.

Follow relevant users, publications or brands on Twitter based on how you want to present yourself. Look at their followers to discover more people with similar interests. You can express your story through original and curated content by sharing articles, adding commentary and tweeting your thoughts on the topics that appeal to you. Make sure to follow the business schools you are interested in as well.

Social media is a time investment. You can blog, tweet and post all day long, but you will get lost in the jungle of the Internet if you do not reach out and link and connect with others. Make sure that you work to forge connections, on and offline.

Build your content and your audience based on your passions and you will attract an audience of like-minded people. They will inspire you with questions and theories and unique points of view that will spawn completely new thoughts of your own. This in turn becomes the idea factory that will help you consistently generate lots of great, share-worthy content.

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FT Reveals 2015 Ranking of Best B-Schools in Europe  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2015, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: FT Reveals 2015 Ranking of Best B-Schools in Europe
The Financial Times has published its 2015 ranking of thebest business schools in Europe, and London Business School takes the top spot for the second year in a row.

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According to the FT, the methodology for creating this ranking is based on the combined performance of Europe’s 85 leading schools across the main rankings published by the FT in 2015: MBA, executive MBA, masters in management and non-degree executive education programs.

Both quality and quantity are required to reach the top. Schools must take part in all four rankings to be eligible for a full score, the media outlet explains, so a school that took part in only one ranking is eligible for one-quarter of the total score, and so on.

The Top Ten Business Schools in Europe
  • London Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • INSEAD
  • University of St Gallen
  • IE Business School
  • ESADE Business School
  • Universitá Bocconi
  • IESE Business School
  • IMD
  • Oxford’s Saïd Business School
London Business School, it should be noted, rose from third to first in 2014 by participating in all four rankings for the first time. Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, dean of London Business School, says, “Taking the top spot in this year’s FT ranking of European schools is a great end to an exciting year.”

The methodology used by the Financial Times is unique and rather complicated, so do study the ranking more closely if you’re interested in seeing how each school’s final score is generated.

You may also be interested in:

4 Factors to Consider About European MBA Programs

Getting a European MBA: A Unique Experience

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Survey Reveals the Study Habits of Top Standardized Test Takers  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2015, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Survey Reveals the Study Habits of Top Standardized Test Takers
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What does it take to get a top score on a standardized exam? The test prep experts at Magoosh surveyed more than 400 students who scored in the top 10% for the GRE, GMAT, SAT and ACT, and have shared those results with us so that our readers and clients put their best foot forward when it comes to preparing for this important component of the MBA application.

Here are the biggest takeaways from what they learned about the way top scorers prepare for test day:

  • Top scorers prefer to study alone. 98% of students said they chose to study alone instead of with friends or a group.
  • They don’t break the bank. 88% of respondents said they spent only $300 or less on their test prep. A majority also reported that they performed better on the exam than they thought they would.
  • They study for at least a month. 84% of respondents studied for a month or longer.
  • They don’t cram. 71% of respondents said they gave themselves a break the day before the exam instead of studying to the last minute.
  • They don’t listen to music while studying. 63% of students said they chose to study in complete silence, while only a few chose to listen to classical music or white noise.
  • They have a regular workout routine. 68% of respondents said they hit the gym or exercised at least 1-2 times a week while studying.
  • They aim to take the test once. 68% nailed their top scores the first time they took the exam.
Most Common Advice From Top Scorers:
Develop a routine and stick it to it. Many students from the survey said you should work a strict study schedule into your daily routine. Give yourself 3-6 months to study so you can spread out your prep time. Studying more than that might wear you out, while studying less might inadequately prepare you for test day. You can keep yourself from burning out by limiting yourself to no more than four hours of study in a single day.

It’s not the number of questions you practice, but how much you learn from each question that counts. Top scorers from the survey said that while studying, you should be mindful of the mistakes you make. Take time to learn from every question, and don’t rush through them. Several top scorers from the survey also mentioned that they kept a log of their errors to help them learn and move on from each mistake.

Focus on your weak spots. Do a diagnostic test, review your answers and determine the types of questions you struggle with. Make it a point during your studies to focus on those weaknesses, then practice those question types until approaching and solving them feels automatic.

And finally…

Pay attention to timing. It’s not enough to just know how to approach a question; you need to be able to complete it accurately under time constraints. At the beginning of your studies, you should work through questions slowly and develop your technique, but as you near the end you should start timing yourself to prepare for the realities of test day.

You may also be interested in:
5 Test Prep Steps from UM Ross Admissions Director

Exam Lifehacks for a Higher Test Score

Image credit: Flickr user Steven S. (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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MBA Debt Hurts Women More Than Men, Bloomberg Finds  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2015, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Debt Hurts Women More Than Men, Bloomberg Finds
Earlier this week, Bloomberg took a look at the gender pay gap among MBA graduates and found that it will take women an average of one year longer than men to pay back their student loans.

According to an analysis of data from its annual ranking of MBA programs, the men and women surveyed borrowed a median of $75,000 to finance their MBA degree. At graduation, MBA debt made up 56% of the take-home pay for men and 62% of women’s compensation.

However, in the video above, Bloomberg‘s Francesca Levy notes that six to eight years out, women are earning an average of $140,000 while men earn $175,000 annually. Employers, either consciously or unconsciously, are paying women 80% of what men with the same degree take home.

“As the gender pay gap widens, the loans begin to weigh more heavily on women than on men. The typical woman would repay the debt seven years after getting her MBA, a year after the typical man who went to business school,” Bloomberg researchers found.

Four years after graduating, student debt takes up 25% of women’s earnings but only 14% of men’s.

One of the things driving the disparity is bonuses—that extra income that many people depend on as a huge chunk of their salary, says Levy. “Bosses are making decisions about individual people and it’s trending in this one direction where probably equally qualified men and women are getting really different outcomes, and the difference just grows and grows year after year.”

Ultimately, women who pursue an MBA at one of the world’s elite business schools are making a safe bet that their eventual return on investment far outweighs the heavy debt they will initially incur.

“Most of them end up earning six figures and get rid of their loans relatively quickly,” Bloomberg researchers have found. “They just arrive at that promised goal later than men.”

You may also be interested in:
Study Examines Male-Female Wage Gap, Post-MBA

Enrollment Flags for Women Pursuing the MBA

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MBA Debt Hurts Women More Than Men, Bloomberg Finds   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2015, 12:01

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