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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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LBS Deadlines for August 2017 Intake [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2016, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: LBS Deadlines for August 2017 Intake
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The London Business School MBA Class of 2019 application will go live in early August, but until then, candidates can plan ahead with these MBA application deadlines for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle.

Round 1
Application due: September 21, 2016

Decision released: November 23, 2016

Round 2
Application due: January 4, 2017

Decision released: March 22, 2017

Round 3
Application due: February 24, 2017

Decision released: May 10, 2017

Round 4
Application due: April 21, 2017

Decision released: June 21, 2017

All application deadlines are 17:00 UK time. All Admissions Committee decisions are communicated via email and will be sent on the deadline day at approximately 10pm UK time.

For more information, please visit the LBS admissions website.

image credit: Luc Mercelis (CC BY-NC-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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Georgetown MBA Program Fall 2017 Essays [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Georgetown MBA Program Fall 2017 Essays
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The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University has updated the MBA essay requirements for the 2016-2017 admissions season and now asks applicants to respond in a video essay in addition to written prompts.

The Georgetown MBA Program says: We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

MBA Essays
  • Essay One: We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: “What matters to you? Please share an experience from your past that illustrates why this matters to you and how it will enable you to contribute during your MBA Program.” (note: this does not necessarily need to be related to your professional goals)
  • Video Essay:  The required video essay is an opportunity for you to bring life to your application. Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort in a one minute video.
  • Optional Essay One: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)
  • Optional Essay Two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)
  • Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)
For additional information on applying, please visit the Georgetown MBA program admissions website.

Image credit: Georgetown McDonough School of Business
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Georgetown MBA Program Fall 2017 Application Deadlines

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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When Applying to B-School, Be Social Media Savvy [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2016, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: When Applying to B-School, Be Social Media Savvy
We’re going to tell you something you probably already know: if you’re applying to an MBA program this year, be careful about what you post online. It’s possible that business school adcom members could do a quick search on your name before admitting you to their program, and you don’t want something written in haste to derail your chances of getting in.

But being active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms isn’t a no-no. In fact, savvy candidates could actually use these venues to boost their credibility and solidify the good impressions made through their application materials.

For example, let’s say that you’re hoping to switch careers after business school, and in one of your essays you share your intention to work for a company that develops clean-energy options in third-world countries. You could tweet links to articles or books you’re reading on the subject, you could post about a local conference you attended, or you could give your take on the most promising advancements in the field.

Or maybe your career to date has led you to become somewhat of an expert on microfinance. Reinforce that reputation through your online presence. Let people know when you were quoted in an article or asked to be on a panel.

Are you a marketing guru? It would be easy to weigh in on—or share—what some of the biggest brands are doing on social media.

The key is to keep things professional and on point. It’s absolutely fine to let your personality shine through, too—just as it should in your essays.

Remember, if you don’t consider social media to be another way to strengthen your candidacy, you may be missing out on a great opportunity that other MBA applicants will most certainly take advantage of.

Think of it this way:

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Are you signed up yet? Stacy Blackman Consulting and GMAC® are teaming up on July 28 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss and answer questions about the MBA admissions process. Register here (it’s free!).

***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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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
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Tuesday Tips: UCLA Anderson Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2016, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UCLA Anderson Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips
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UCLA Anderson School of Management is a small and close-knit school with particular focus on entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate and other major industries in Southern California. While UCLA has a dominant position in the region it is also a nationally known program that will position you well in whatever career you pursue.

Anderson is highly selective about the composition of each MBA class, therefore your fit with the values and principles of the school is of primary importance. When approaching this set of essays make sure you understand what Anderson will do for you and what you plan to bring to the community.

We have helped countless applicants achieve their UCLA Anderson dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you.

FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS—ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:

We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

This question was new last year, and UCLA Anderson Admissions Director Craig Hubbell shared his thoughts about the essay in the admissions blog. Note that he recommends watching this video.

He also elaborates on the three phrases in the video and essay question: “At UCLA Anderson, three principles form our foundation. First, we SHARE SUCCESS within our community, which is to say we collaborate to achieve our goals. While working together, we THINK FEARLESSLY to go past the obvious, to go around the obstacles — with our sights set on making a real impact. And with the opportunity for impact comes our desire to DRIVE CHANGE as a result of all that we do.”

Thorough school research will provide examples you can use to describe why these values and principles drive your goals while attending UCLA Anderson. Your career goals should be examined through the filter of Anderson’s values and how you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life.

When structuring this essay consider telling one or two pivotal stories to illuminate who you are. UCLA is looking for personal expression in this essay, and to understand how you are different from other applicants. Consider the turning points or moments that triggered reflection for you.

Have you experienced a significant personal setback? What is your family background? Have you lived outside your home country? When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? What moments have called upon your need to collaborate, lead or innovate?

For the second part of the essay briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay and each section should bridge seamlessly into the next.

For the part of the essay focusing on UCLA Anderson’s part in your plans, UCLA specifically requests citing specific classes, professors and programs. To express a bit more on the personal side it will be helpful to include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the small and close-knit experience at Anderson. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

OPTIONAL ESSAY:

The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.

Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

It is important to focus on explanations rather than excuses in this essay. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor.

Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will help to solidify your answer.

RE-APPLICANTS—ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:

Reapplicants who applied for the class entering in 2015 or 2016 are required to complete the following essay:

Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)


If you are a recent re-applicant this essay gives you the opportunity to highlight improvements since your last application. You have room to add other “ways in which you have improved your candidacy” such as an improved GMAT score, academic updates or extracurricular activities. While most MBA programs are focused on quantitative improvements to your profile, keep in mind that here UCLA Anderson is expressly asking for an update on your career.

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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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Tuesday Tips: Yale School of Management Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2016, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Yale School of Management Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips
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Yale School of Management continues to have only one required essay as part of the MBA application, yet has streamlined that question this year and left the answer open ended.

Because there is only one essay question to highlight your personal qualities and leadership ability, and no specific career goals essay, make sure your resume and recommendations showcase your key accomplishments.

You may want to highlight specific projects at work that have most excited you and shaped your future goals on your resume and ask your recommenders to comment on those same projects. Strategically designing all of the application components to support your key accomplishments and showcase your best qualities will enhance your candidacy.

Keep in mind the Yale values: “Leaders for business and society think broadly about global trends and challenges, bring a sense of purpose to their work every day, and move forward with analytical rigor.”

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)

As you approach this essay remember the type of MBA student Yale is most interested in admitting. Ideally you are coming across as an intellectually curious student with a diverse background deeply interested in the integrated curriculum.

Behavioral questions like this one (the tip off is “describe”) seek to understand how you actually operate in various situations. Try to be as specific as possible about how you positively influenced the organization. What did you think or say when you were determining what to do? What did you actually do? How did you feel about the result?

Start by describing each step in detail in terms of what you did, the reaction of others and your own reaction. From there you can cut out anything that is too detailed or too superfluous to the story to maintain the 500 word maximum.

You may decide to focus on a key solo accomplishment at work, and that may be entirely appropriate since most MBA applicants are individual contributors. However, ideally you can demonstrate how you work with others as a leader. Regardless of whether you choose an individual or team accomplishment it should show a significant positive impact on the organization or people within the organization.

Contact us To learn more about designing the best Yale application possible with Stacy Blackman Consulting.

image credit: Yale School of Management
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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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IESE Fall 2017 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: IESE Fall 2017 MBA Essay Questions
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The Class of 2019 application is now live at IESE Business School, and so we bring you this preview of the essay questions for the 2016-2017 admissions season.

Required Essay
Please answer ONE (and only one) of the following two questions. (400 words)

  • Please describe a time when you had an idea that had a positive impact.
  • How do you develop yourself? What do you see as your development areas now?

Essay Question II (Optional)

I wish that the application had asked me…

This essay can be submitted either written (200 words) or as a video (max 2:00 minutes total in length). We are aware that you are not a media professional.

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

You may also be interested in:
IESE Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines

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

_________________

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

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

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London Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Questions [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2016, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: London Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Questions
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The application for the Class of 2019 at London Business School will go live in early August, but until then, applicants can start preparing for the required essays of the 2016-2017 admissions season. We were interested to note that last year’s optional essay question is now this cycle’s second required essay prompt.

  • What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)
  • Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)
For more information, please visit the London Business School MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
London Business School Deadlines for the August 2017 Intake

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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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London Business School Essay Questions for August 2017 Intake [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2016, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: London Business School Essay Questions for August 2017 Intake
Image
The application for the Class of 2019 at London Business School will go live in early August, but until then, applicants can start preparing for the required essays of the 2016-2017 admissions season. We were interested to note that last year’s optional essay question is now this cycle’s second required essay prompt.

  • What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)
  • Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (500 words)
For more information, please visit the London Business School MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
London Business School Deadlines for the August 2017 Intake

Image
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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USC Marshall Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: USC Marshall Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines
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The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business has published the following MBA application deadlines for the 2016-2017 admissions season.

Round 1
Application due: October 15, 2016

Decision released: December 31, 2016

Round 2
Application due: January 5, 2017

Decision released: March 31, 2017

Round 3
Application due: March 1, 2017

Decision released: May 15, 2017

Round 4
Application due: April 15, 2017

Decision released: June 15, 2017

Round 5 (rolling admissions)
USC Marshall will continue to accept applications after April 15, 2017. Applications received after this date will be considered on a first-come, first-served and space-available basis.

For additional information, please visit the USC Marshall 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

_________________

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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Paul Ollinger Says, “You Should Totally Get an MBA” [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2016, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Paul Ollinger Says, “You Should Totally Get an MBA”
Sometimes, applying to business school can seem like such an uphill slog that you really need to disconnect from the process from time to time in order to recharge and remember that there are other people in your life that you’ve probably been neglecting, and other interesting things you could be doing in addition to brainstorming MBA essays and filling in data forms.

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If you’re looking for something to occupy that down time, I cannot recommend highly enough the new book by Tuck School of Business grad Paul Ollinger, “You Should Totally Get an MBA: A Comedian’s Guide to Top U.S. Business Schools.”

But don’t just take my word for it. Greg Coleman, President of Buzzfeed and an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business, calls it, “A hilarious read and pretty damn solid advice for any young professional considering the MBA.”

Kerry Trainor, CEO of Vimeo, meanwhile, says “Paul’s writing is funny and sometimes bizarre, but he knows what he’s talking about. If you’re thinking about applying to business school, you have to read this book.”

Paul has generously allowed us to share excerpts from his book here on the blog, and I hope you’ll find it a welcome diversion…just don’t let the laughs totally derail your well-planned study schedule or writing sessions!

***

An MBA is the gateway to awesomeness. After you obtain this coveted degree, people who would otherwise think less of you will ask, “You have an MBA?” You will reply, “In fact I do.” They will then desire you physically, offer you a job and give you lots of money. Having—nay, being—an MBA will improve your life in ways you have never even considered.

Once you achieve MBA-ness, you will never again experience self-doubt, misunderstanding or halitosis. Young people will find you captivating. Auto mechanics will take you more seriously. Airline attendants will seat you early and bring you extra peanuts and unlimited Diet Sprites. Those lacking an MBA will view you as a sorcerer of business… not just as Master of Business Administration but as a Magical Business Animal…a Muscle-Bound Angel…a Much-Beloved Astronaut. For the MBA is not just a credential.

It is a portal to the best version of you, and without it you would be a less-complete human being. Earning an MBA is like eating every great business book ever written and living them as if they were your own flesh-and-blood. Once endowed with an MBA, you will awaken the giant within. You will be a great (not good) outlier. You will not sweat the small stuff. You will play liar’s poker with the smartest guys in the room and never fear the barbarians at the gate. And no one—NO ONE—will ever move your **** cheese. Okay, I may be exaggerating. Just a tiny, little bit.

Said more accurately, I’m lying. I’m lying through my teastained teeth. (I just lied again—they’re not stained by tea, they’re stained by coffee, cheap merlot and gas station taquitos.) But I do believe in the MBA degree and experience, which—if done right—will earn you a whole mess o’ value. So let’s be clear:

An MBA will not give you…

  • Wisdom
  • Ambition
  • Sexual prowess
  • Tact (as I have just proven)
An MBA will give you…

  • Some very solid skills / knowledge
  • A great network/ some open doors
  • A prettier resume
Business school will not only teach you about business, it will teach you how to think about business. At top programs, you’ll meet great people who will broaden your thinking and raise your standards. And once finished with your studies, you will have at your disposal super-cool tools like the 2×2 Matrix for strategy, the 4 P’s for marketing and that one for finance that I forgot right after I got out of school.

Sure, you’ve been moderately successful in your career so far, but once you are outfitted with these powerful weapons, you will be an unstoppable business super-hero.

How Did You Get Here?

So it’s come to this. You have been out of college for two or three years. Perhaps even two or three times that. Work is going okay… maybe it’s even going great. But you want more. You want a change 17 you should totally get an mba of careers. You want to be on the fast track. Or maybe you just want to learn some cool buzzwords and how to make fancy charts.

Understandably, you’re thinking that business school might be for you. Before you rush on off and sign up for the GMAT or the GRE, let’s make sure that business school is right for you.

Peruse the list of qualifiers below and check all that apply:

  • My career is stalling.
  • I want to make more money.
  • I have exhausted all honest means of making a living.
  • I want to make more money.
  • I’m looking for a spouse who knows how to use Excel.
  • I want to make more money.
  • I heard MBAs make better lovers.
  • I want to make more money.
  • I’m 25, tending bar, blowing beer burps into the face of my future career. My dad recently took me aside for a “come-to-Jesus” discussion. He promised to pay for a GMAT prep course if I could contain the partying just long enough to get through it. He also reminded me that I made decent grades at Ithaca and if he knew I was going to be this kind of a deadbeat, he would have sent me to public school. So the beast within me awoke and declared: “I will make something of my life. I will be someone. I will get—and be—an MBA!”
  • I want to make more money.
If you answered YES to any (or half) of the questions above, then you should totally go to business school! On the other hand… Just as there are very good reasons for going to business school, there are also some pretty bad reasons for going to business school.

Given the time and money required to earn an MBA from a top program, anything less than a deep-burning commitment to get an MBA will not suffice. Here are some common excuses misguided people use to consider pursuing an MBA. You will find many of these on abandoned applications and in the files of mid-year drop-outs.

Please check all that apply:

  • Just broke up with my boo and am feeling totes sad.
  • Bored / Nothing better to do.
  • Will make Mom and/or Dad proud.
  • I have no idea what to do with my career.
If you checked any of the above, you need to check that gut. Why? Feeling sad is best remedied by writing a poem, doing yoga or taking up macramé. Sadness is nowhere near the career motivator that greed is. Come on! (Caveat here is that if being single opens you up to new life experiences and re-establishing yourself as an independent entity, then you’re better off without that loser.)

Bored / Nothing better to do: applying to business school isn’t fun—it’s a GIGANTIC pain in the ass. If you’re not totally fired up about the process, the admissions folks are going to smell stink all over your turd of an application. Do better!

Similarly, “Need to make Mom/Dad proud” won’t get you through…unless they’re paying your tuition, in which case, #1—Lucky you (jerk), and #2—Go for it.

Don’t know what to do with my career: we’ll discuss this one at length in Chapter 4. For the time being, keep that to yourself.

So, really, who should apply to business school? There’s no one answer. The typical applicant to a top U.S. business school has been out of school a few years, is in her mid-to-late 20’s. Her few years since undergrad (where she made good grades and was very involved) have provided “real world” work knowledge and some life lessons, but she’s hungry to accelerate her career and/or build her skillset so she can set out on her own.

Another applicant might have been in the Peace Corps or the Army, and is now looking to optimize his entry into the corporate world with the MBA credential, knowledge and network. Others are those with undergrad majors in Chemistry, English or Sociology who want to gain a mastery of business skills so that they can climb the management ladder.

Should you decide to go to business school, your classmates will come from a multitude of professions and countries all around the world. They will include not just bankers and consultants, but PhD’s, chefs, entrepreneurs, engineers, salespeople, sky-divers, jugglers, singers and—yes—even lawyers. You might go to school with an Olympic skier from Lake Tahoe, the son of a Korean billionaire or a woman who grew up in poverty in one of the poorest areas of Mexico City.

Whatever the resume, these applicants are looking for a way to take their careers to the next level. And they know that business school can be an amazing springboard to help them get there.

***

We’ll share additional excerpts from Paul’s new book in the weeks to come, so stay tuned for more hilarity and distractions from what you should actually be working on this summer!

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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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SBC Celebrates 15 Years…See How it All Started! [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2016, 07:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SBC Celebrates 15 Years…See How it All Started!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

There’s no doubt that I’m a people-person. Since childhood, I’ve had a knack for drawing out the personal stories of people I’ve just met. SBC started in 2001, two years after I earned my MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, as a way for me to channel that talent to help other MBA applicants.

My number-one goal continues to be helping people to think strategically about their own unique stories and experiences, which is where they’ll often find the qualities that make them an asset to a top MBA program. I can’t believe 15 years have passed since I took on my first client!

To celebrate this important milestone, we’ve made a video to show who we are, what we do, and why we love doing it every day. Thanks for tuning in to watch our journey, and I wish each of you the very best as you chart an amazing career path of your own.

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

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Fall 2017 MBA Essays at Cornell’s Johnson School [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2016, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Fall 2017 MBA Essays at Cornell’s Johnson School
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The application for the full-time MBA program at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is now live, and within you’ll find the essay questions for the 2016-2017 MBA admissions season. The Table of Contents essay appears again this year, as well as a new, second required essay.

Creating Impact
At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you have identified through engagement with our community and describe how these interactions have influenced your decision to apply to Johnson. (500 words or fewer)

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

Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Please limit multimedia submissions to under 5 minutes

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

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

For more information, please visit the Johnson School MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:
Fall 2017 MBA Application Deadlines at Cornell’s Johnson School

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The Email That Launched SBC [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 08:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Email That Launched SBC
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As we kick off our month-long anniversary celebration of 15 years as leaders in the MBA admissions consulting industry, I thought readers might enjoy seeing the email from 2001 that started it all.

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***

Subject: Help with Business School Applications
Consultant available to help with every aspect of the business school

application process, including:

-finding the school that best meets your needs

-writing personal statements & essays

-creating a resume

-selecting recommenders

Candid advice on presenting certain sensitive aspects of an application,

such as low GPA.

Step-by-step guidance on creating the most effective admissions package.

I can assist you with the entire process or the piece with which you most

need help.

I have a B.S. from Wharton and an MBA from Kellogg and have worked with both

admissions committees. I have assisted many individuals with their business

school application strategy and have seen tremendous results. I also have

experience working with non-native English speakers.

Rates depend on subject and needs. If you only need help with your essays, I can give you a flat rate.

I look forward to hearing from you!

***

I’m just as excited by what we’re accomplishing here every day at SBC as I was in 2001, and I can’t wait to see how we grow and continue to help others reach their highest educational and professional goals over the next 15 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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SBC’s Very First Blog Post [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SBC’s Very First Blog Post
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Exactly 11 years ago today, I launched this blog with these words:

After more than five years of private one on one consulting and larger group work in corporate settings, I have decided to disseminate my knowledge on a larger scale through the Stacy Blackman blog. I will post answers to questions that I am asked with regularity, direct attention to topics that I believe are interesting, and hope to be a valuable resource to anyone applying to business school.

Enjoy and learn!

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The blog has grown to become a vital resource for business school applicants eager to stay on top of news from the schools, important deadlines, and of course, a treasure trove of tips to help you create a winning MBA application.

Whether you need inspiration for your essays, guidance on how to chose recommenders, strategies for reapplying, advice on how to improve your candidacy, and everything in between, we’re here for every step of your application journey.

As we celebrate 15 successful years in business this month, I thank you so much for making us a top destination for your b-school research. I hope this resource continues to serve you well as you embark on what is definitely a life-changing, career-boosting journey.

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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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Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 14:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Berkeley Haas Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips
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The set of essays for admission to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business is a holistic exploration of personal to professional topics. A clear understanding of your application strategy, particularly your career goals and strengths/weaknesses, is the key to putting together a cohesive application. While challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate several different aspects of your personality to the admissions committee.

Note that Haas describes four defining principles for the community: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself. Which of these principles do you identify with? Make sure you have strong examples that illustrate how you have demonstrated these principles and use them in the following essay set.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has successfully coached applicants to the Haas MBA program for 15 years. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you set a winning application strategy.

REQUIRED ESSAYS

Essay 1: If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 words maximum)

This is a creative and open-ended question that invites you to show your personality as you open this set of essays. Take the opportunity to think about your favorite music and what song most represents you.

Perhaps it’s a song that you grew up listening to with your family, that reminds you where you came from. Maybe it’s a song that helps you feel optimistic about your future. Music often evokes emotion, and the essay should capture that feeling and describe why it is meaningful to you.

Essay 2: Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 words maximum)

All three of the potential essay prompts for Essay 2 deal with change, growth and transformation. This essay is seeking to understand how you handle challenges to your own status quo, and what you learn as a result. Flexibility, curiosity and the ability to handle change would be positive personal qualities to demonstrate with whatever example you choose.

Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

If you decide to answer this question think about the moments that have truly changed you. One approach is to think through transitions. Perhaps the transition from high school to college showed you a different way of life, or the transition to working from college exposed you to new people and new ideas.

Traveling for the first time outside your home country may have been another transition. If none of those transitions lead to a topic for this essay you can delve into the smaller incidents in your life. A friendship, family experience, or volunteer opportunity could have opened your eyes to something new about yourself and the world.

Once you have selected a topic for this essay you will need to explain how you were transformed. What was your attitude like before the experience and what are you like now? Was the transformation internal or did you change how you approached other people? Ideally you learned something from this transformation and explaining that lesson learned would be a strong finish.

Describe a time when you were challenged by perspectives different from your own and how you responded.

The brainstorming process for this question can be similar to the option above. Consider the transitions in life when you have been in a new environment or culture that didn’t quite fit with your past experiences.

Those could be the moments when you were exposed to new perspectives and were forced to respond. Another possible scenario would be a new person introduced to your school or workplace, one who brought a new perspective or culture.

While it is normal to be taken aback or threatened by new perspectives, ideally you were open minded and tried to understand and learn through this experience. Describe the experience, your initial reaction, and then use a significant portion of the essay to describe what you learned and how you changed as a result.

Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

Difficult decisions are often a moment to reflect again upon your values. What were the stakes of your decision and why did you struggle to make a clear choice? Perhaps you were choosing between priorities in your life, family or work, where to study for university or what career path to pursue. No matter what the decision was it will be important to talk a bit about your process for making it. Why did you choose one option over another and what did you learn about yourself?

Essay 3: Tell us about your career plans. How have your past experiences prepared you to achieve these goals? How will Berkeley-Haas help you? (500 words maximum)

This is a short career goals essay and asks you to describe your path to business school along with your future goals. As you describe your path you don’t need to recite your resume here – rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career. Think about the cover letter you would write to explain your background for a desired next job, and tailor your approach accordingly.

Describe your future goals in a succinct manner, considering what aspects of your background to explain in the “path” section that will support your goals development.

Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps.

If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management.

Other goals will require specific skills gained from an MBA and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience.

Make sure you have determined exactly what courses make sense for your career goals and the programs and clubs that you will participate in to reach your personal and professional goals. Thorough school research will be invaluable in approaching this question.

OPTIONAL ESSAY

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

Explanation of employment gaps or academic aberrations

Quantitative abilities

For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy

Haas recommends using this space to address any information that was not adequately covered elsewhere, specifically suggesting that any employment gaps or lack of apparent quantitative skills be covered.

A short gap between school and a secured job is not necessary to explain, but an unexplained gap of several months between two jobs should be addressed. If your resume has significant employment gaps you should describe what you did between jobs in this space. Ideally you can point to additional education, training, volunteering or traveling that you engaged in while unemployed.

If you have a strong quantitative background like an engineering or hard sciences degree, or you work in a quantitative field like finance, it is likely unnecessary to further explain your quantitative skills.

Otherwise, you may want to take one or two examples to demonstrate that you have an analytical mind and can take a quantitative approach to problem solving and evaluating data. As the question specifically asks you not to focus on the grades on your transcript, use this space to describe projects at work, additional post-graduate coursework, or your plans to strengthen your quant skills before you enroll at Haas.

Reapplicants can describe hard improvements to your candidacy such as an improved GMAT score, new grades from quantitative classes, or a promotion. Other improvements might include refined career goals and additional leadership responsibilities at work or within a volunteer activity.

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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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Tuesday Tips: Northwestern Kellogg 2017 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2016, 16:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: Northwestern Kellogg 2017 MBA Essay Tips
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Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is a close-knit community that values a diverse community and philanthropy. At the same time, diversity in experience, background and thought is important to the Kellogg admissions committee.

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

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

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

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

REQUIRED ESSAYS

Essay 1: Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

This essay focuses on leadership and teamwork using a behavioral essay framework. By seeing the details about exactly what you did and said in your leadership story, Kellogg admissions will understand how you are likely to perform in the future.

When approaching this essay spend some time on set up to explain the background, and then use the majority of the space describing specifically what you did, thought, felt and how you behaved.

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

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

Essay 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

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

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

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

You could also focus on a passion outside of work that has developed over time and led to personal growth.

Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)

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

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

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

Re-Applicants Only: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

In answering this question make sure you provide tangible evidence that you have improved the overall package you are submitting this year. Some of the most tangible improvements are a stronger GMAT score or grades from new quantitative classes you attended since the last time you applied.

Other steps that you can describe include a promotion at work, new volunteer activities, or increased responsibility at work or in your activities. If you don’t have something tangible and external to report, it’s reasonable to discuss how your career goals have changed or your personal aspirations have been refined as you revamped your applications.

Additional Information (Optional)

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

If there are any areas of concern, this is the correct place to address them. Strike an upbeat tone here and avoid excuses. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue. For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since.

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

Image credit: Mike Willis (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
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Writing About Your Post-MBA Career Goals [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2016, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Writing About Your Post-MBA Career Goals
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

You were probably asked this question all of the time as a little kid. Thanks to your business school applications, you’ll have to answer it again. Only now you must envision where you’ll be in your career ten to twenty years out—after you’re armed with an MBA. You’ll also have to detail the path you intend to take to get there.

But how do you go about explaining your short- and long-term career goals if you’re not really sure what you want to be doing in the first place? Maybe you’re pursuing an MBA in hopes that the classes and people you’re exposed to will help that light bulb go on in your head.

That’s perfectly fine, and you’re certainly not alone. Here’s a little secret: the adcom doesn’t expect you to know exactly what you want to be doing decades from now. And no one’s going to hold you to what you write in your essay.

However, your answer to the career goals question is still important. If an applicant doesn’t appear to have given any serious thought to his or her own future, that could be a red flag.

If you already know how you’d like your career to progress, that’s wonderful. But if you aren’t sure about what you want to do, our advice is to spend some significant time thinking about what kind of career would make you happy.

More importantly, consider whether or not your dream career is realistic based on your skills and past achievements (combined with what you’ll learn at business school).

If your goal is something general like “running a company,” you need to keep working. Vague responses such as “starting a firm,” “being a CEO” or “launching a nonprofit” won’t differentiate you from other applicants.

Think about (and include in your essay!) exactly what kind of company you want to run/launch, WHY you want to do what you want to do, and how you’ll get there; those details are more likely to set you apart.

We’ll leave you with this bit of career-related inspiration:

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

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

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
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Avoid Choosing the Wrong MBA Recommenders [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2016, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Avoid Choosing the Wrong MBA Recommenders
As part of our month-long anniversary celebration, I’m highlighting some of my favorite blog posts from along the way that I think will really resonate with applicants who are gearing up for submission this fall. 
Enjoy!
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You probably already know not to ask the CEO of your company to write your business school letter of recommendation – unless of course he or she is  someone you work closely with and who knows you very well.

Below are three more potential pitfalls when it comes to selecting a recommender. Avoid these mistakes or you may find your chances of admission crushed despite having an overall compelling application.

• Don’t select someone who can’t answer the questions: In other words, you may feel tempted to choose someone who knows you inside and out, but not in a professional setting. He or she can speak to your love of soccer, your compassion and your integrity, which are all great attributes. But this person cannot answer the specific career questions recommenders must address.

Business schools typically ask recommenders to evaluate how the candidate’s potential, performance or personal qualities stack up against those of other individuals in a similar role.

We worked with one client, Mike, when he was applying straight out of college. He had done a few short internships during college, but had no full-time work experience to draw from or a supervisor to tap for a traditional recommendation.

Mike had a stellar academic record, but a choosing a professor is rarely a good choice for a business school reference, no matter how cordial the teacher-student relationship. However, once we learned that Mike had worked as a teaching assistant for one of his professors, we knew we’d found someone who could better speak to the types of questions asked. Though unconventional, the recommendation from a professor became the right choice for Mike.

• Don’t select someone who is not an advocate for you going to business school. This may sound strange, but plenty of successful and well-positioned professionals won’t understand why you would want to go to business school. They may even be actively against it. Maybe they don’t want to lose you as an employee for two years, or maybe they aren’t really your biggest fan.

Our client Todd worked in finance in an office that didn’t require the MBA degree for promotion, and many higher-ups scoffed at its value. While his boss agreed to write the recommendation and had plenty of good things to say about Todd, he sort of laughed it off and clearly would not act as a true advocate for him going to business school.

Todd worried about what might happen if one of his target schools called his boss to discuss the reference, and that uncertainty was just too stressful. He decided instead to choose his supervisor from a prior position, someone with whom he had kept in touch and discussed his graduate school plans with quite a bit.

Choose people who like you, who care about your success and who think you’re good at what you do. Choose capable writers who can express their opinions clearly. If a potential reference seems less than enthusiastic in any way, keep looking. That person’s ambivalence will likely come through in the letter.

• Don’t select a person who doesn’t know who you are and where you stand now: If you worked with someone four years ago and have not done a good job of staying in touch, that person really cannot comment on your progress and skills today.

We worked with one client, Guillaume, who was reapplying to business school after receiving a series of setbacks the previous season. Upon reviewing all of the components of his previous application, it quickly became apparent that a feeble recommendation letter had likely weakened his otherwise strong candidacy.

He had gone to a supervisor from a previous position, and while he left on good terms personally and professionally, Guillaume had never felt fully comfortable at the firm, which was why he resigned to find a job he felt more passionate about. Unfortunately, it appeared Guillaume’s supervisor had also perceived his lack of enthusiasm for his job.

Having few years of distance from Guillaume’s work, the former supervisor wrote a recommendation that would appear polite and generally positive upon hurried review, but a closer read revealed some deliberate omissions and even a few veiled criticisms. In this case, the recommender’s letter was actually damning with faint praise. 

When considering potential references, ask yourself whether the person has worked closely with you, thinks favorably of you, and will put in the time to write a thoughtful, detailed endorsement of your candidacy. If you can’t answer yes to these three requirements, move on until you find the person who fits the bill perfectly. Your chances of admission to the school of your dreams may well depend on it.

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Think Like the MBA Admissions Committee [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2016, 07:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Think Like the MBA Admissions Committee
When you’re hard at work on your MBA applications, it’s easy to get caught up in what sounds great to you, or what seems impressive to your friends, co-workers or parents. But what you really need to be doing is considering your materials from the admissions committee’s point of view.

Granted, it can be tough to form a truly objective opinion of your own candidacy. For example, some candidates think that if they have a high undergraduate GPA, aced the GMAT and have been successful in their career so far, their admission is all but guaranteed to the top programs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The majority of candidates who apply to the leading business schools are bright, personable overachievers who would be an asset to any program. Adcoms see literally thousands of deserving profiles come across their desks each year.

That’s why you need to think beyond your obvious achievements and differentiate yourself through your essays and interviews by picking stories and experiences that are memorable and unique.

This becomes even more critical if you’re in an industry that typically makes up a bigger portion of the applicant pool, such as investment banking or consulting.

Having said all of that, if you’re so down about your shot at getting into a certain school that you’re considering not even applying there in the first place, take heart. While the process is extremely competitive, you shouldn’t count yourself out before the game even begins. Chances are your humility is a trait the adcom would appreciate.

Focus on highlighting what you can share with your classmates that would be valuable to them—experience or knowledge that others can learn and benefit from. Look at your application from the viewpoint of the people who are charged with putting together a diverse group of outgoing students. How will you enlighten your classmates over the next two years?

Here’s one way to think about it:

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

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

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

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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2016, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips
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While answering only one essay question for your Darden MBA application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions committee in one short essay. Writing a successful essay with such limited space requires you to focus only on your most compelling attributes.

Think about the other areas of your application and what they cover. Your academic potential should be highlighted through GMAT or GRE scores and your academic transcripts, leadership and professional accomplishments should come through clearly from your recommendations, and finally your essay is a chance to outline your personal qualities.

When considering which personal qualities to highlight in this essay, consider that leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Your ability to work well within a team of peers is also important to Darden, a school with a small, tight-knit community.

Darden, similar to HBS, is devoted to the case method of teaching business subjects. Learn more about the school by visiting the Darden website, attending events and speaking with current students and alumni.

MBA Application Essay Question:

Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback. (500 words)

In this question Darden is seeking to understand how you take feedback and how you process and learn from feedback. Feedback is often the first stage to grow and develop as a professional and as a leader. Learning to take all feedback – both positive and critical – and examining and incorporating the lessons from that feedback into your development is a sign of maturity.

As you describe the professional feedback you will want to set the stage for the feedback by describing your relationship with the person who gave you the feedback and any background facts. Take the time to describe how you felt while receiving the feedback, and don’t be afraid to talk about having uncomfortable feelings about it.

It’s a normal reaction to feel threatened by criticism, which is often what professional feedback is perceived as. If the feedback was positive make sure you can use the story to demonstrate development and growth.

If you can’t think of the most important moment of feedback you have received, think about working backwards from a professional accomplishment you are proud of. As you think about the areas where you have excelled you may find that the trigger was a piece of important advice or feedback from a manager, peer or customer.

Make sure your feedback story enhances the overall package of your application. This essay is one of your few opportunities to show how you think, what your leadership approach is, and how you improve as a result of input from other people. Think about the situations that showcased your best performance at work, or that taught you something about your interests or future career goals.

Because you have only one essay question to present yourself, make sure you have a trusted reader to tell you if you are effectively communicating why you are going to be a strong leader who deserves a spot in the UVA Darden MBA class.

Looking for perspective in your approach to your Darden MBA application? Contact us to discuss how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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

_________________

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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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2016, 10:01

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