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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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4 Key Career Benefits From MBA Programs [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 4 Key Career Benefits From MBA Programs
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In one survey, 96 percent of employers said hiring business school graduates creates value for their companies.

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
Business school graduates benefit not only from a solid return on investment through substantial salary increases, but also by deepening the knowledge, skills and abilities they will need for future professional success.

Here are just four of the key career benefits MBA programs can offer.

1. Transferable skills: Business school gives you new skills and knowledge that will turbocharge your career. While MBA students often set their sights on a job in finance or consulting, the hard and soft skills acquired during an MBA program are transferable to myriad other roles. Today, you’ll find an increasing number of MBAs working in tech, health care, consumer goods, government and nonprofits, and many other industries.

The skills typically strengthened during an MBA – leadership, intellectual creativity, analysis and critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, even greater IT mastery – will serve you well as you find your way toward your ultimate career goal.

You may start out at a financial firm such as Morgan Stanley and learn a tremendous amount about banking and analysis before deciding that it’s not a good fit, as happened with my client, May. She built upon those skills when she eventually became involved with running a business as a gourmet food importer. Once you have a deeper understanding of the complexities of the business world, those problem-solving skills mastered during your MBA will carry over to your next position, and the one after that, too.

2. Higher employment rates: Having an MBA is a powerful tool that can increase job security with your current employer or within your current industry. When the Graduate Management Admission Council released its latest annual poll of employers, it forecasted robust 2016 hiring that reflects high demand for MBA graduates. A whopping 96 percent of responding employers agreed that hiring business school graduates creates value for their companies.

The MBA degree is also a powerful differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Recruiters have said that some of their corporate clients will not consider any candidate without an MBA, which shows just how much business leaders value this qualification. Employers believe it vets potential hires; you can safely assume an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School or the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania is going to bring considerable skills and business acumen to the job from day one.

Without a doubt, companies appreciate managers who have risen through the ranks, know the business inside and out and can get the job done. But they also like hiring MBAs for their ability to handle complex situations, be nimble and adapt in the face of a rapidly changing global environment. As outsiders, MBA hires can provide a broad or fresh perspective to see how to improve inefficiencies or come up with innovative solutions to business problems.

3. Degree specializations: Most MBA programs offer specializations or concentrations that allow you to do a deep dive into the nuances of a particular industry. These courses provide students with an opportunity to sample a few different industries or career paths to see whether it’s a good fit before taking the plunge.

Adding a concentration to an MBA is a good move for people who know exactly what they want to do with their career and who want to build a stronger skill base in that area. If you already know that you’re interested in something really specific, such as digital marketing, real estate, business analytics, social innovation, health care and so forth, earning an MBA with a concentration can make you even more marketable.

In today’s competitive job market, listing a concentration on your resume helps you stand out. However, if you are a career switcher and still testing the waters, you would be better off focusing on a general business education instead.

4. Networking opportunities: At business school, you’ll interact closely with talented individuals from all over the globe, which enhances the experience by exposing you to different business practices, cultures and points of view.

The connections you make are, for many, the single most valuable aspect of the MBA, so make sure you capitalize on the opportunities in and out of the classroom during your MBA studies. Your alumni network helps you stay connected to the university as well as to countless professional opportunities you can tap into throughout your career.

While the quality of the education at the most elite programs is guaranteed across the board, when you’re spending two years of your life and paying more than $100,000, it’s the network of contacts you build that make your MBA experience truly priceless.

Image credit: e3Learning  (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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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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Choosing Among Multiple Offers of Admission [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2016, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Choosing Among Multiple Offers of Admission
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Round Two business school decisions have come pouring in and some MBA applicants face not just two, but three or more offers of admission from their target schools.  Despite the adage, “You can never have too much of a good thing,” in reality, multiple b-school acceptances can produce a lot of anxiety in candidates.

If you find yourself with this enviable problem, consider the following when weighing multiple admissions offers. Forget about rankings and reputation and think long and hard about the other particulars of each school, such as size, academics or location

Does your desire to live in an urban setting outweigh a preference for a smaller class size? Is there a financial incentive that puts one school in the lead? Is the diversity of the student body important? Is the academic focus on case studies, or more experiential?

You might not have had a strong preference before, but you should tally up the different characteristics to see which way the wind really blows.

If you haven’t already visited the campus as part of your application process, now’s the time to do so. Sit in on a class, chat with students and professors, hang out on campus and generally soak up the atmosphere. This is where you’ll be spending the next two years of your life, so making sure the program is a good fit for you academically and socially is imperative.

Even if you have already toured the school, consider visiting again to attend events designed for admitted students so you can scope out your potential classmates. Fit is very important, and these people will become a part of your future network, so it makes sense to test drive your comfort level with them prior to committing. After all, if you just don’t  click with them now, how will you make those solid relationships that will serve you throughout your career?

Talking to alumni is another great way to guide your decision. Make sure the school graduates people who are working in your target industry, and who are excited about sharing their experiences and advice with current students.

The decision of where to pursue an MBA is a weighty one, so do your homework and understand the strengths and potential drawbacks of each of your options. But in the end keep in mind that there’s rarely a “wrong” choice to be made.

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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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What Does Columbia Business School Look for in Applicants? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What Does Columbia Business School Look for in Applicants?
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Just like people, each MBA program has its own unique personality — and each has its own idea of a perfect match. Knowing what a business school is looking for in potential students can help you frame your skills, experience, and personality around the qualities they most value.

I recently shared my insights with Business Insider on the six characteristics that Columbia Business School looks for in its MBA applicants. CBS is known for its intellectually driven students who come from a wide array of educational, economic, social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

While the student body is certainly diverse, students do have a number of qualities in common, including strong leadership skills, a record of achievement, and the ability to work in teams.

Follow the link above and you’ll find out exactly what are the qualities Columbia admissions committee members seek out in potential students to ensure they’re cultivating the learning community that’s unique to their top-rated MBA program.

Image credit: Columbia Business School
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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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Columbia Launches First Student-Run Portfolio Fund [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Launches First Student-Run Portfolio Fund
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Columbia Business School has launched its first student-led value investing portfolio, known as the 5x5x5 Student Value Investment Fund. The fund, named for its innovative structure, gives students the opportunity to connect value-oriented investment theories to real-world practice as they apply their classroom learning to the management of this fund.

“Five by five by five arose from my long-held belief that students ought to have an opportunity to derive deep and lasting lessons from student investment funds,” said  Thomas Russo, who has funded the gift and is also an advisory board member for the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School.

The biggest lessons occur over time. The fund is trying to get investors’ horizons stretched out beyond five minutes, five days or even five quarters. I want the 5x5x5 portfolio to succeed and underscore the message that long-term investing is actually a worthy and profitable pursuit, Russo says.

Investment ideas for the portfolio are submitted by students in the School’s Value Investing course taught by Professors Bruce Greenwald and Tano Santos, faculty directors of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing. Each year, five students will be selected to participate in the management of the fund based on the strength of their proposed investments.

Companies pitched should be capable of delivering compound returns over a five-year holding period and students must provide no more than five clearly expressed, understandable, and brief reasons for their selection. The top 15 student recommendations will be submitted to the fund’s investment board, which will vote each year on the five new investments to be included in the portfolio.

Five new investments will be added yearly and by the fifth year, the fund will be comprised of a total of 25 investments. At the end of the five-year holding period, each selected investment will be liquidated to provide capital for future 5x5x5 fund participants to invest. The monetary amount will be increased to adjust for inflation, and the remainder of any gains will be used for student scholarships.

Each student participant has been requested to make a five-year commitment to return to Columbia each year to personally interact with the new student managers. “Each new class of student investors will have the benefit of hearing from the original sponsors of earlier portfolio selections why investments have or have not performed according to expectations,” said Meredith Trivedi, administrative director of the Heilbrunn Center.

Russo’s desire to help form and nurture the next generation of value investors prompted the donation. “I wanted to respect Columbia Business School with this gift for the great education that has been offered to so many people I have revered within the value investment community over so many years.”

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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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Columbia Business School Fall 2017 Deadlines, Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Business School Fall 2017 Deadlines, Essay Questions
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Columbia Business School has announced the MBA application deadlines and essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. They are as follows:

January 2017 Entry
Final Deadline: October 5, 2016

August 2017 Entry
Early Decision: October 5, 2016

Merit Fellowship Consideration: January 4, 2017

Regular Decision: April 12, 2017

Essay Questions
Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (100-750 words)

Essay #2: Columbia Business School’s students participate in industry focused New York immersion seminars; in project based Master Classes; and in school year internships. Most importantly, they are taught by a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (100-500 Words)

Essay #3: CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (100-250 Words)

***

Columbia Business School students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. For more information, visit the Columbia Business School admissions website.

Photo Credit: Paul Warchol
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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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What to Do if You Didn’t Get In Anywhere [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: What to Do if You Didn’t Get In Anywhere
While we know that lots of people are still waiting for the results of their Round 2 application efforts—or are hoping to get off of waitlists or be accepted somewhere in Round 3—we also know there are MBA hopefuls whose journey has come to a disappointing end. What should you do if you were not accepted into any program?

In general, there are five different paths forward:

  • Apply to other schools you’re interested in before Round 3 deadlines hit. If you chose this option you’ve likely already submitted additional applications, as the vast majority of Round 3 cutoffs have now past. As you probably already know, Round 3 is usually not an ideal option unless you have a strong reason for waiting so long and can communicate that reason to the AdCom. Otherwise they may view your application as a last-ditch effort to go somewhere and not believe you are genuinely interested in their program. There are, of course, some unique circumstances in which we would recommend this route, but typically it’s not the way to go.
  • Reapply at the appropriate time in the future. We work with successful re-applicants every year, so this route can definitely lead to acceptance at your dream school. However, for the most competitive programs, your odds of being admitted as a re-applicant are better if you were asked to interview during your previous attempt; it’s clear the program in question was interested in you before, but luck just wasn’t on your side. (And no, you weren’t dinged last time because you bombed your interview—trust us.) The most important thing to do as a re-applicant is to reapply at the right time. As anxious as you may be to go back to school, you really have to demonstrate growth and have something new to talk about that strengthens your candidacy. (And in case you’re wondering, a higher GMAT score alone usually wouldn’t be enough.) This might mean waiting more than one application-year cycle before you reapply, especially if you are on the younger side of the candidate pool.
  • Apply to different schools in the next application year. If you’re willing to cast a larger net, so to speak, then applying to business school again sooner rather than later is a totally acceptable plan. In fact, the process will still be fresh in your mind and you might not need to change much about your resume or data forms—you may even be able to ask your same recommenders to prepare additional letters. Just be sure you take a really objective look at what your weaknesses might have been in your previous materials so that you can tweak as necessary.
  • Apply to part-time or evening MBA programs. If you really want to get an MBA but full-time programs are not working out for you, a part-time, weekend or evening program may be the way to go. You’ll still make lifelong friends, get a top-notch education, have access to the same alumni network as the full-time program and earn the same degree in the end!
  • Forgo business school. We know you may not even be able to imagine this path right now… and we also know it’s a bit weird for MBA admissions consultants to tell anyone that getting an MBA might not be the way to go. But the reality is that a good chunk of the world’s most respected and inspiring leaders and innovators do not hold a business degree. If you really want to achieve your long-term career goals, we have no doubt that you can do so without an MBA.
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

_________________

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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Wharton Business Plan Competition’s “Great 8” Finalists [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Wharton Business Plan Competition’s “Great 8” Finalists
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The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced the “Great Eight” finalists who will compete for over $125,000 in prizes at the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals coming up on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

The Wharton Business Plan Competition “Great Eight” finalists are:

  • Barn Owl Systems For livestock ranchers who spend significant time and money monitoring resources over large areas, Barn Owl provides drone hardware and software for autonomous data gathering.
  • BioCellection Inc. BioCellection upcycles unrecyclable plastic waste into valuable compound rhamnolipid for textiles using genetically engineered bacteria. This invention has the potential to clean plastic pollution around the world, disrupt the textiles industry, and grow into a $100MM business in 5 years.
  • brEDcrumb brEDcrumb is the only college admission consulting platform that provides free, one-on-one, college mentoring online. The startup connects underserved high schoolers with undergraduates or recent graduates who have shared backgrounds.
  • Daylight OB, LLC Daylight OB, LLC is a medical device company developing technologies to improve health and safety in labor & delivery units. The firm’s first product, now in development, is a disposable obstetrics device, called Daylight, used to elevate a baby’s head to enable a safer, faster, and easier urgent cesarean section delivery.
  • Our Frontier Crowd Our Frontier Crowd is the premiere residential real estate platform dedicated to investment opportunities in Africa. The startup’s technology harnesses the insights of the crowd to connect African real estate developers and potential home buyers with foreign investors.
  • Qorum, Inc. Qorum is a mobile app providing discerning millennials a curated list of quality bars. After enjoying their final beverage, users hail a free ride home through the app.
  • QTEK The QTEK team offers Surfion, a durable, safe, and effective chemical additive that could make any surface antibacterial and antifungal. Surfion will not wash off or wear away; it will provide continuous self-decontamination protection over the lifetime of myriad products.
  • WeTrain WeTrain is a proud Veteran-owned, fitness-technology company building the “Uber of Personal Training.” Every day, 700,000 training sessions are conducted in the US. Using a specially designed application, members request trainers for affordable sessions ($17/half hour or $25/full hour) while trainers receive 30% more compensation than typical gyms.
The competition is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and is managed by Wharton Entrepreneurship. The eight finalist teams face off at the Venture Finals with 20-minute presentations to judges drawn from the business and venture capital community, who will then evaluate the persuasiveness and viability of each venture.

Venture Finals BPC judges are:

  • David Cohen (PAR’14/PAR’16/PAR’17), CEO, Chief Investment Officer and Co-founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
  • Carol Curley (WG’81), Managing Director, Golden Seeds
  • Marc Lore (Wharton alum), Founder and CEO, Jet.com
  • Richard Perlman (W’68), Founder & Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
  • Stephen Tang (WG’92), President and CEO, University City Science Center
  • Tracey Weber (WG’95), Strategic Advisor, Gilt and Hudson’s Bay Company
Previous participants in the Competition include ventures such as eyeglass phenom Warby Parker, dominant Brazilian baby e-commerce site Baby.com.br, and drug R&D company Integral Molecular.

Students will receive up to $128,500 in cash prizes and in-kind awards including the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize, which is made possible by the generosity of Ellen Hanson Perlman and Richard E. Perlman (W’68). The event annually attracts over 200 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, alumni, faculty and students.

image credit: Wharton School
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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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Stanford GSB Announces Fall 2017 MBA Admission Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Announces Fall 2017 MBA Admission Deadlines
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The Stanford Graduate School of Business has announced the MBA application deadlines for the Fall 2017 admissions season.

Round 1

Application Deadline: September 21, 2016

Notification Date: December 2016

Round 2

Application Deadline: January 10, 2017

Notification Date: March 2017

Round 3

Application Deadline: April 5, 2017

Notification Date: May 2017

Candidates should note that all materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the day of the deadline to be considered for that round. The application will go live in June. For more information, please visit the Stanford GSB admissions website.

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

_________________

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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HEC Paris Posts January 2017 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HEC Paris Posts January 2017 MBA Application Deadlines
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HEC Paris has posted the MBA application deadlines for the January 2017 intake. The admissions process at HEC Paris is conducted on a rolling basis throughout the year, and the dates listed below reflect the possibilities for Full-Time and Part-Time applicants.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2016

Decision Date: June 3, 2016

Application Deadline: June 1, 2016

Decision Date: July 8, 2016

Application Deadline: July 1, 2016

Decision Date: July 29, 2016

Application Deadline: August 15, 2016

Decision Date: September 16, 2016

Application Deadline: September 15, 2016

Decision Date: October 21, 2016

Application Deadline: October 15, 2016

Decision Date: November 18, 2016

Application Deadline: November 15, 2016

Decision Date: December 16, 2016

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

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

_________________

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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Ross MBA Admissions Director Shares Her B-School Comparison Spreadshee [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ross MBA Admissions Director Shares Her B-School Comparison Spreadsheet
Now is the time when many potential business school applicants are neck-deep in the school research phase of the MBA admissions process. With that in mind, we’d like to share this excellent video posted by Soojin Kwon, director of MBA admissions at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Kwon, who always appears so down-to-earth and approachable in her videos, celebrates the “nerdiness” of applicants who create detailed spreadsheets to compare and contrast the various business schools they are considering…and she shares her very own that you can download and start using today!



As Kwon points out, by looking at the career opportunities, learning experiences specific to each program, and culture of each school, you’ll be several steps closer to making the right choice for you when deadlines hit this fall.

You may also be interested in:
Reputation and Rankings Trump All in B-School Selection

Tips on Finalizing Your B-School List

How to Narrow Down Your B-School Application list

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Next Steps If You’ve Been Admitted to Business School [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Next Steps If You’ve Been Admitted to Business School
If you’ll be starting business school this fall, congratulations! It may seem like years ago that you first began work on your applications, or you might feel like the whole process flew by. Either way, you now have just a few months left before you head to campus and take your first official steps toward earning your MBA. And we guarantee that those remaining weeks will go quickly.

So what you should do between now and then?

Obviously everyone’s situation is different. Some future students choose to work up until they leave for school in an effort to save up as much money as possible. Others have already given their employers notice and are off traveling the world or putting in quality time with friends and family. And still others will choose to follow the growing trend of participating in a pre-MBA internship.

You probably already know how you’re going to spend the bulk of your time before business school. But here are a few items to put on your To Do list just in case:

  • Thank your recommenders. Big time. Meaning, take them to dinner, get them a small gift, or at the very least write a heartfelt thank-you note. Don’t underestimate the role your recommenders played in helping your candidacy—their glowing praise and memorable examples of your accomplishments might have been what convinced the AdCom that they just had to have you in their program.
  • Thank the rest of your support system. You likely had someone else read over your essays or spell-check your application. You probably also had some good friends who listened patiently as you stressed out about everything from the GMAT to interviews to Notification Day. Make sure you let them know you how much their support meant to you. Even better, return the favor the next time they need help with something.
  • Get your finances in order. Even if you know where the majority of the money is coming from that will fund your MBA—be it personal savings, student loans, scholarships/grants or assistance from your family—now is the time to think about a monthly budget for your months on campus. There will be no shortage of opportunities to spend money over the next two years, and you should prioritize what’s most important to you before everything and everyone starts competing for your time. Would traveling for an industry trek be more important than going on spring break with sectionmates? Would you want to hit the slopes with your program’s Ski Club or participate in an international opportunity? If you know you won’t be able to afford it all, start thinking about what you definitely don’t want to miss out on and prioritize from there. Your savings account will thank you later.
  • Make new friends, but keep the old. Start getting to know your new classmates through your program’s intranet, message boards and local meetups. It’s a great feeling to already have a few acquaintances before you even step foot on campus. But don’t forget about the co-workers, friends and family members you’ll be saying goodbye to. Yes, there are tons of ways to stay in touch with people these days so it’s not like you’re going to totally drop off the face of the earth. Except that it kinda is—at least for a little while. Business school is intense. You’ll be mentally and physically exhausted during your first year (in a good way, we promise). So get some quality time in with those you care about now and forewarn them you may be a little less communicative than usual this fall.
Most of all, enjoy this unique period in your life. One chapter is closing and another (very exciting) one is beginning. Take some time to celebrate your huge accomplishment before classes start!

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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Kelly School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kelly School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has announced the MBA application deadlines for the 2016-17 admissions cycle. They are as follows:

Early Round
Deadline: October 15, 2016

Notification: by December 20, 2016

Priority Round
Deadline: January 5, 2017

Notification: by March 15, 2017

Third Round
Deadline: March 1, 2017

Notification: by April 30, 2017

Final Round
Deadline: April 15, 2017

Notification: by May 31, 2017

Early application is encouraged. The first two deadlines are priority deadlines for merit-based financial aid consideration. For additional information, please visit the Kelley MBA admissions website.

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

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Kelley School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2016, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kelley School Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines
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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has announced the MBA application deadlines for the 2016-17 admissions cycle. They are as follows:

Early Round
Deadline: October 15, 2016

Notification: by December 20, 2016

Priority Round
Deadline: January 5, 2017

Notification: by March 15, 2017

Third Round
Deadline: March 1, 2017

Notification: by April 30, 2017

Final Round
Deadline: April 15, 2017

Notification: by May 31, 2017

Early application is encouraged. The first two deadlines are priority deadlines for merit-based financial aid consideration. For additional information, please visit the Kelley MBA admissions website.

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Harvard Business School Breaks Ground on Klarman Hall [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Breaks Ground on Klarman Hall
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Late last week, Harvard Business School officially broke ground for Klarman Hall, a new convening center to be constructed on the HBS campus. Expected to open in 2018, Klarman Hall will combine elements of a large-scale conference center, a performance space, and an intimate community forum.

Harvard Business School hosts some 700 events a year in which tens of thousands of people from around the world participate in a wide variety of activities, from research conferences to symposia to cultural events. With the addition of Klarman Hall, HBS seeks to convene these key voices to discuss and address the critical issues facing our times.

The building was made possible by a donation from Seth and Beth Klarman. Seth Klarman is president and CEO of The Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment management firm. Beth Klarman is president of the Klarman Family Foundation. Both are members of the School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors.

Klarman Hall is being designed by the Boston-based firm of William Rawn and Associates as a vibrant space with an eye toward flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility

“When you bring together people with talent, vision, and ambition in a space designed specifically to facilitate connections, conversation, and debate, the potential for transformative ideas and action is limitless,” said Seth Klarman.

Image credit: Harvard Business School
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B-School Profs Offer Strategies for the Networking-Averse [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2016, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-School Profs Offer Strategies for the Networking-Averse
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Everyone knows that a huge part of the b-school experience is creating a network that you’ll be tapping into for the rest of your career. But what if you’re naturally shy, or simply hate the idea of networking because it makes you feel phony, opportunistic, or just plain “dirty”?

The majority of international students at U.S. MBA programs come from Asia, where the cultural differences related to networking are stark. Even European students often find it awkward to send introductory emails or chat up strangers at networking events. Career centers in turn worry these cultural differences put international students at a disadvantage during their internship and job searches.

In the May issue of Harvard Business Review, professors Tiziana Casciaro of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, and Marvam Kouchaki of Kellogg School of Management share strategies for making networking not only more bearable, but perhaps even enjoyable for the networking-averse among us.



The quickest way to flip the switch in your negative mindset about networking? Stop making it about you.

For example, at a networking event, take the focus off of yourself and instead focus on the other people at the event. The researchers discovered that when people focus on how they can help others — instead of how others can help them — the act of networking suddenly takes on a different tone.

“When you think more about what you can give to others than what you can get from them,” they write, “networking will seem less self-promotional and more selfless — and therefore more worthy of your time.”

The professors offer other strategies to help the reluctant among us recast networking in a more positive light, including how you can make the focus about learning, identify common interests, or assign a higher purpose to the practice. Take a look at the original article on Harvard Business Review and see if their tips alleviate some of the discomfort you’ve been feeling up til now.

You may also be interested in:
Use Your Network to help You Get Into Business School

3 Ways to Get a Head Start When Building Your B-School Network

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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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Evaluate Your Communication Skills When Applying to B-School [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2016, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Evaluate Your Communication Skills When Applying to B-School
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The so-called hard skills of financing, accounting, supply chain management are widely available at business schools across the board, but it seems the soft-set skills, such as the ability to work with and through others, need a boost.

Recruiters have noticed that even students from the best schools can’t always communicate well, or don’t know how to express their concerns in a frank but non-aggressive way during presentations.

Clear thinking and effective communication are closely linked, and a new article in the Washington Post by Joyce E.A. Russell, senior associate dean at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, discusses the importance of having those strong communication skills that employers are looking for in their new hires.

“Communication skills are fundamental in reaching an audience, influencing them, and sharing your message,” noted Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive of Marriott International, in a recent talk given at the Smith School.

“If you’re a master at running a spreadsheet or a financial model, but really don’t have the ability to understand the assumptions that are in it, or debate the assumptions in it,” Sorenson said, “then you’re not going to go as far as you could go otherwise.”

If you’re applying to business school in the fall, you’ll impress the admissions committee right out of the gate if you can demonstrate that you already possess strong communication skills. But if you need to do some work in this area, don’t fret.

There are many ways you can improve your listening, speaking, and writing skills, so take a long at the original article for Russell’s tips.  Also, reach out to mentors or supervisors whose communication skills you admire and ask for advice on how they read their audience, navigate meetings, and how they have cultivated their own interpersonal abilities for business success.

Fortunately, opportunities to communicate present themselves on a daily basis, and it’s an area we can work to improve for our entire lives.

You may also be interested in:
Recruiters Seek Specialist MBAs with Soft Skills

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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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Leave Yourself Time in Round 1 [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Leave Yourself Time in Round 1
In high school or college—or maybe even recently on an important project at work—you might have been able to wait until the last minute to do something and still come out looking like a champ. But we can assure you that won’t be the case for anything having to do with your MBA application efforts. Procrastinating is a sure-fire way to weaken your materials.

Early in any candidate’s MBA journey comes preparation for the GMAT or GRE. If you believe you can wing this critical piece of the process, think again. Studying for these tests usually requires months of effort—as well as leaving enough time for a “do-over” if your first attempt doesn’t go so well.

Same thing applies for your resume, essays and data forms. You can’t just throw these things together as the clock ticks down. They require a lot of upfront thought and several rounds of edits in order to ensure your unique voice is coming through.

While this comes much later in the process, preparing for an interview is similar: if you don’t practice at all until the night before, you’re bound to realize you aren’t quite as smooth as you hoped you’d be. Then you’re either going to stay up late to work on your responses or not be able to sleep because you’ll be so worried about your upcoming performance. Neither helps put you in the best frame of mind when it’s “go time.”

And if you don’t do thorough research on two or more programs you’ve been accepted to and make your final decision on a whim or gut feeling . . . well, that could be a multi-thousand-dollar mistake. Enough said!

So if you are going to apply to business school this application year, do yourself a favor and ensure you have ample time to complete each part of the process. Daily progress—no matter how minimal—is much better than attempting to do everything right before the deadlines hit.

Think of it this way:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** 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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3 Reasons for Rejection From a Dream MBA Program [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Reasons for Rejection From a Dream MBA Program
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This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
If you’ve been feeling down since receiving a rejection letter from your dream business school, I want to offer some insight into why it happened, and remind you why you should keep your chin up.

First off, all of the top MBA programs are notoriously selective. It may be that out of every 100 people who submit materials, only seven to 12 are accepted. Harvard Business School – ranked No. 1 among MBA programs by U.S. News – rejected more than 8,000 applicants for its class of 2017. In other words, it’s very much a numbers game when you’re applying to such competitive programs. There are only so many spots for an overwhelming number of extremely talented candidates.

That may be hard to accept for people who have reached every goal they’ve ever gone after. So, here are three possible reasons why your target b-schools did not offer you admission.

• Overrepresented demographic:[/b] Each program strives to put together a diverse class of impressive people. However, no one knows the magic formula that any given admissions committee uses to fill open spots.

The very elements that typically make up a strong candidate for business school – solid academic background, stellar test scores, work experience in investment banking, engineering or consulting – may not have strengthened your case because too many other candidates shared those exact same characteristics in this application cycle.

Everything from your gender to your industry to your nationality to your career aspirations, community service and personality comes into play when an admissions committee attempts to build a graduating class.

While you can’t do anything to change your basic profile, if you do apply again try to hone in on elements of your background, interests and experiences that set you apart. Even the most typical MBA candidate can find something that will enhance the experience of fellow classmates.

Lack of self-awareness: [/b]They say high self-awareness is the strongest predictor of overall success. [/b]Business schools love to admit applicants who appear dedicated to their personal development, which is why the “tell us about your greatest weakness” question is so popular in both essays and interviews.

There’s no such thing as a perfect MBA applicant, however. Everyone has weaknesses, and if you don’t acknowledge them, the admissions committee will make a judgement on how introspective and self-aware you are.

If your essays or interviews contain any excuses-making, passive-aggressive comments, outright bragging or rambling answers, they will question your maturity and fitness for their program. Any doubts will likely lead to a hard pass, so answer those questions honestly, but always with a positive tone focused on continual improvement and reflection.

• Low stats with no explanation: [/b]I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard members of the admissions committee express dismay over applicants who don’t make use of the optional essay to explain the common red flag of low quantitative stats or proof of quantitative proficiency. This isn’t the time to cross your fingers and hope for the best, no matter how many stories you’ve heard of applicants getting into the Stanford University Graduate School of Business with a 650 GMAT score.

If you plan on reapplying, you have a few options. The surest route is dedicating more time to studying so you can strengthen your score; then it won’t be an issue next time. If your stats still hover below the median at your target programs, take a college-level course in statistics or accounting and prove to the admissions committee that you know your way around a spreadsheet.

Yet another route requires more of that self-reflection I mentioned earlier. Make sure you’re targeting programs that line up well with your stats. Look at programs outside the top 15 and see if there’s a better fit with higher acceptance rates that will get you where you need to go, career-wise.

Once you’ve pulled together a strong application and submitted it, the process is out of your hands. You will never be able to do anything about who (or how many people) you were truly competing against for a spot, who read your application or what kind of mood they were in that day.

Developing resilience is incredibly important if you need to reapply, but it’s also essential in life. Even when you put your best out there, you might still fail. However, to be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.

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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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B-Schools and Big Data [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2016, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-Schools and Big Data
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Just what is Big Data? And how is it used to make real business decisions? Anyone interested in the burgeoning field of business analytics should check out this story in the Wall Street Journal on how the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania is expanding its offerings in this area and will now offer an MBA major in the subject.

The move comes as fewer students head to b-school with a career in finance in mind after graduation. According to the WSJ, 306 students in Wharton’s 2008 MBA class entered the financial-services industry right after graduation; last year, the school reports that number was 219.

While many professionals understand the technical side of business analytics, they don’t know precisely how to frame their business strategy. Companies need people who can also understand the business side and offer data-based solutions.

Wharton Professor Adam Grant tells WSJ that the strengthened focus on analytics will train students in rigorous thinking and decision-making based on large data sets, rather than the isolated scenarios students encounter in a case study.

“We want to create a hub where evidence-based management is the norm rather than the exception,” says Grant.

But Wharton isn’t the only elite business school upping its Big Data game. NYU Stern School of Business and USC Marshall School of Business also offer specialist masters courses in business analytics.

In March, MIT Sloan School of Management announced the launch of a new, specialized Master of Business Analytics program designed to prepare students for careers in business analytics. The inaugural class will enter MIT Sloan in fall 2016.

“The professional opportunities for our graduates will be extensive,” says MIT Sloan Professor Dimitris Bertsimas, the co-director of the MIT Operations Research Center. “Companies from IBM to Dell to Amazon to Google are collectively investing billions of dollars in data collection to build models that help them make better, more informed decisions. This is a transformational moment in business and management science.”

Wharton administrators, meanwhile, have said the school has no plans to create a separate degree program, and aims instead to further integrate analytics content into its full-time MBA program.

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Motherhood and the MBA [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Motherhood and the MBA
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While it’s true that going to business school with children in tow is no cake walk, many MBA moms are finding more resources and support on campus than ever before. With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to share this post on being a student mom recently published on the MBA Voices blog at Harvard Business School.

Elena Rodighiero started at HBS in August 2014 with a three-month-old son, and is graduating this spring with a second child, a baby girl this time, who is just a few months old.

The need to prioritize is paramount for MBA moms, and what I found inspiring about her post was how she took an existing student association at HBS and expanded it to better meet her specific needs and to give back to future mothers pursuing the degree.

She and other moms created a new group within the Women Student Association called moMBAs, and she says the group focuses on building community and improving the HBS experience for student-moms, moms-to-be, and everyone who is interested in parenthood.

“My classmates and I wanted to institutionalize motherhood at HBS.”

“If we could collect and curate our combined experiences (including tips and tricks on things like childcare and lactation rooms on campus) we could help future generations of moms at HBS,” Rodighiero writes.

The group also worked with HBS’s Career and Professional Development Office to create a list of coaches able to help students structure a career path that considers their family’s needs as well, Rodighiero explains.

MoMBAs at HBS also has a speaker series planned for Fall 2016, and Rodighiero shares how she has integrated her interest in the topic of motherhood into her studies.  Together with classmate Carina Rutgers, she created an independent project on motherhood that “hinged on the consideration that in our professional careers we will all deal with parenthood, as managers or coworkers, even if parenthood is not part of our own personal lives. This is an important message for students at a business school, who will encounter this issue throughout their lives.”

Pursuing an MBA as a mother has its unique challenges and requirements, but it’s definitely feasible. Every woman interested in forging a new career path should know that business school, career advancement and having children are not mutually exclusive. I invite you to read the complete post on the MBA Voices blog to learn more about experiencing Harvard Business School from this unique point of view.

Image credit: Sal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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Motherhood and the MBA   [#permalink] 06 May 2016, 07:00

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