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The Economist’s 2016 Ranking of the World’s Best MBA Programs [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Economist’s 2016 Ranking of the World’s Best MBA Programs
In The Economist‘s recently published ranking of the World’s Best Full-Time MBA Programs, the Chicago Booth School of Business once again comes out on top…for the sixth time in seven years.



Despite Booth’s reputation for finance and super quants, The Economist finds it to be a well-rounded MBA program, with graduates gushing about finding nearly guaranteed employment in the widest range of industries, and students believing the Chicago Booth career services, faculty, and facilities were top-notch.

While acknowledging that rankings are controversial, and that what makes a good MBA program varies for each individual, The Economist aims to look at business schools from the students’ perspective.

Their responses on how well the program delivers the things students themselves cite as most important inform the criteria The Economist measures and the weightings they apply. Four factors have consistently emerged when students assess the quality of their MBA program:

  • open new career opportunities and/or further current career (35% weighting)
  • personal development and educational experience (35%)
  • increase salary (20%)
  • networking potential (10%)
(see full methodology)

Top Ten Full-Time MBA Programs
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
  • UV Darden School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  • IESE Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • University of Queensland Business School (Australia)
There’s a fair amount of volatility to be found within this newly released ranking, with Kellogg School jumping five spots in the 2016 ranking, up from 7th place last year. Stanford GSB, meanwhile, ranked 13th in 2015, and IESE held 14th place.

More dramatically, Spain’s ESADE Business School fell 33 places to No. 54 this year, and IMD of Switzerland has also seen a precipitous decline, going from the top spot in 2008 to 23th place today.

Darden School was ranked No. 1 for educational experience for the sixth consecutive year.

While we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves. But placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.

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Advice for the Harvard Business School Admissions Essay [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice for the Harvard Business School Admissions Essay


This probably comes as no surprise to many of you, but Harvard Business School has notoriously low acceptance rates, which is why applicants to HBS must answer the required essay question both thoughtfully and strategically.

Business Insider recently shared my tips for this season’s crop of candidates, who, quite honestly, will probably have an easier time compared to last year’s simply because HBS decided to forgo the creative prompt for a simple, straightforward question.

It’s interesting to note how the essay at this top b-school has morphed over the past three years. Two seasons ago, there was an optional essay question that threw many applicants into a tailspin. Realizing applicants didn’t really want “optional,” the school posed this question for the Class of 2018 application essay:

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

Introduce yourself.

I think that the more ‘creative’ format of the introduction may have muddied some of the answers, wasting word count being cute, setting up a conversation, etc., prompting the admissions team to look toward something vastly more streamlined for this year. This is the question for the Class of 2019 application essay:

As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?

The most challenging part of this essay is remaining disciplined. With unlimited space to make your case, you may be tempted to compose a laundry list of everything interesting or impressive you have ever done.

That urge could backfire, as the essay is used to determine who isn’t a fit for HBS as much as those who deserve the chance to move into the interview round. Maturity, accomplishment, and leadership are highly valued qualities and this essay is your chance to display those qualities through the stories you choose and the voice coming through your writing.

Is Harvard Business School on your list of target schools this season? If so, follow the link above to the full article on Business Insider to read more of my HBS essay tips!

You may also be interested in:
No. 1 Trait HBS Looks for in MBA Applicants

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Ask the AdCom: What are Some Orientation Traditions? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: What are Some Orientation Traditions?
Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!


Welcoming the Class of 2018 at Johnson Graduate School of Management

Today’s question is: Do you have an activity/tradition during orientation? If so, what is it?
Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at Berkeley-Haas School of Business: Week Zero, our orientation week, includes a mix of social and academic prep activities. Some highlights include the big cohort and study team reveal, cohort Olympics, a volunteer day, and a celebratory reception atop Memorial Stadium.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD: INSEAD organises a one-day team building activity to kick off the programme. The aim is to get to know the other students as well as support local charity within the community (SPLASH programmes).

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean, MBA Admissions  at NYU Stern School of Business: Stern’s full-time MBA orientation, called Launch, includes a boat cruise to Ellis Island, chosen as a symbolic convening place that represents the welcoming of new people, ideas, and diverse cultures, and representing the start of new journeys.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions  at Yale School of Management: Each year our incoming students enjoy dinner on the beach at New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park, with its 1847 lighthouse, pavilions, boat launch, beach, and fishing pier (little known fact: both Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb played in the old grandstand/ballpark at this park!).

At this Orientation event, students ride the historic carousel and experience a true New England clambake with their classmates and partners, organized by our Academic Affairs and Student Life (AASL) staff. During Graduation week, AASL again holds a family picnic at Lighthouse Point Park for graduates and their guests, so these two experiences are the bookends to students’ two years at SOM.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business: Orientation lines up with the start of Football season and that means Boulevarding (Tailgating) at Cox. Whether students are going to the SMU football game or not, they don’t want to miss the Dean’s Tailgate on the Boulevard, which is scheduled for each home game in the fall.  Current Cox students socialize with recent grads, faculty, senior executives and CEOs in an informal and relaxed setting.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director  at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:  Section chants!  When students arrive at Fuqua, they are placed on diverse teams, and each team is assigned to a section.  Your section becomes your family at the start of the program, and Section Pride is strong!  Each section develops its own unique chant (2’s Your Daddy!), and students are loyal to their section throughout their time at Fuqua.

Orientation inspires a lot of noise – section chants, our Daytime dean chant (Rus-kin Mor-gan!), and the Section Olympics.  Students also enjoy the 90s party during orientation – some fashion trends are too good to see go away!

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid  at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, shares this student favorite from Sydney Chernish MBA ’16 and Najeen Riazi MBA ’17: A hallmark activity of orientation is Johnson Outdoor Experience (J.O.E.). This is a day when we participate in a low-ropes course and bond with our core teams. We also enjoy playing games and taking dips in the lake. The memories will last for years to come.

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business: We get in the Olympic spirit with our cohort games (mostly outdoor competitions between our four cohorts). Then, in Texas, BBQ is always a favorite. We introduce our incoming students to an Austin classic, Salt Lick BBQ during orientation!

******
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Show Leadership, Extracurriculars in Your UCLA Anderson Application [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Show Leadership, Extracurriculars in Your UCLA Anderson Application
If you’re applying to business schools this year, the process of pulling your materials together will consume much of your life in the coming months. Of particular focus will be planning how to best position yourself. If you’ve taken on leadership roles in volunteer organizations or have actively engaged with a nonprofit you’re passionate about, you’ll want to be sure you play up that angle in your materials.

A recent post to The MBA Insider’s Blog published by the admissions team at UCLA Anderson School of Management explained precisely why leadership and extracurricular activities are such an important part of their evaluation process.



“Your past is a good predictor for how involved you will be on Anderson’s student-run campus,” writes ad comm member Satiya Witzer. “Recruiters and employers also see your leadership in college, prior companies and Anderson as signs of your leadership interest and potential in their organizations.”

Admissions committees understand that for some applicants, it’s extremely hard to have meaningful involvement in an organization outside of work. This is often the case for those whose jobs constantly keep them on the road, or whose typical workday doesn’t even afford them the opportunity for a full night’s sleep.

But extracurriculars are vital to your application for several reasons. First, they show admissions officials that you are multi-dimensional. They demonstrate your interests, passions, and personality, which helps the committees get to know you beyond your professional goals. Extracurriculars also indicate how you might contribute to the diversity and vitality of a class and alumni network.

Having interests outside of work shows that you can balance multiple commitments, and that you are the type of person who is capable of juggling academics with clubs, conferences, recruiting, and more.

Witzer lists a variety of activities to help jog your memory of valuable experiences that make great examples of leadership for your MBA application:

University/College Activities

  • College athletics: Team captain? Most Valuable Player? Operations manager?
  • Leadership role in a campus club, non-profit organization, sorority or fraternity 
  • Writer or Editor of a campus publication
  • Mentor for high school students
  • Orientation leader or campus tour guide
  • Volunteer missions
  • Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
  • Case competitions 
  • Peer tutor
Post-College Activities

  • Leadership role in an alumni association
  • Continued involvement/role in non-profits or professional organizations
  • Workplace engagement teams
  • Volunteer team leader
  • Public speaking or teaching roles
  • Active role in political organizations or local campaigns
  • Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) role
Your extracurriculars can show admissions officials that you understand your own role as a leader and your ability to leverage your position and give back. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate qualities such as creativity, leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and initiative. These qualities are important outside of a professional setting, as well as at work.

Keep in mind that quality is far more important than quantity. Rattling off a list of 10 involvements will not help your admissions chances as much as something that truly reflects who you are and can showcase important interests and skills.

You may be surprised to find that these involvements will add a great deal to your life, which is exactly the point.

You may also be interested in:
UCLA Anderson Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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Former AdCom Officers Have Some Advice for You [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Former AdCom Officers Have Some Advice for You
You probably already know that we have a diverse group of MBAs on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team. We each bring something unique to the table that the rest of our staff (and our clients!) can benefit from. This week we thought the timing was right to highlight consultants who have previous adcom experience. We’re proud to have former admissions officers from all of the top MBA programs on our team!

In addition to directly advising our clients, our ex-adcom consultants help with Flight Test reviews for each of our All-In clients, contribute their inside knowledge of the admissions process to our internal message boards (so that our entire team can benefit from their experience), and can also weigh in on program-specific or client-specific questions when the need arises.

We asked these valuable resources on our team to share their insights with those of you gearing up to submit your materials in Round 2.

Here’s (some of) what they had to say. We’ll cover the rest in a future newsletter, so stay tuned.

  • The adcom will spend about 20 minutes in total reading all of your application materials.
  • During the early part of the screening process in each round, adcom members may review as many as 50 to 100 applications per day. Details and unique stories about your personal background can make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Each application is read by at least two individuals: either 2 adcom members, or the first pass is done by a contract reader, followed by an adcom member.
  • Admissions teams will often compare applicants from the same industry, the same firm, or even the same office location. Your toughest competition may be working a few cubicles away.
  • The application questionnaire is one of the most overlooked opportunities to highlight your accomplishments. Many candidates simply copy text from their resume into the application. It should instead be viewed as an opportunity to add rich details and expand on your limited resume bullet points.
  • You can take the GMAT or GRE as many times as you want. It looks good to adcom members if you keep trying to improve your score (assuming it needs improvement).
Heed this good advice when it comes to your applications (and life in general):



Ready to get serious about your MBA applications? Take advantage of a free consultation with one of our admissions experts!

***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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Michigan Ross Releasing Interview Invites Today [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Michigan Ross Releasing Interview Invites Today
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business plans to send out invitations to interview today, October 25th, and the admissions team has been absolutely swamped so far this season.



“Given the 13 percent increase in Round 1 apps (our third consecutive year of increases), we’re spending more time reviewing apps than we ever have in Round 1,” says MBA Admissions Director Soojin Kwon in an update posted on her blog. She also notes some exciting changes in the applicant pool: a big increase in apps from women, and increases from both U.S. and international applicants.


While interviews conducted at satellite locations with alums or via Skype carry the same weight as an on-campus interview, Kwon urges applicants to interview at in person at Ross if possible because it’s the only chance in Round 1 to do the Team Exercise, which gives the admissions team an additional data point with which to evaluate your ability to work on teams.

As far as preparing for the interview is concerned, the director advises applicants to know their resume backwards and forward, and to thoroughly research the school. “Interviewers are proud of their school,” she says, and “Doing your homework on Ross demonstrates interest.”

Prepare to answer common interview questions such as: “Why do you want to get an MBA? Why do you want to do that at Ross? What do you hope to pursue after getting your MBA? Why?”

Your answers should be succinct, enthusiastic, and show that you’re prepared without sounding memorized. “Be authentic,” Kwon advises, but don’t worry too much because, as she adds, “You don’t need to try to ‘impress’ us.”

A note for those who don’t receive an interview invite today: the admissions team may hold your application for further consideration and either waitlisted to revisit during Round 2, or denied.

If you suspect a low GMAT or GRE score has lead to your application being waitlisted, you have the option of retaking and submitting the higher score. Otherwise, send no further updates to the Michigan Ross admissions team.

Finally, Kwon notes that the school is working to make an additional loan program for international students available in Fall 2017, and Ross hopes to have the agreement in place by the end of the year.

Good luck to all Round 1 applicants to Michigan Ross!

You may also be interested in: 
Michigan Ross Director Calms Common Applicant Fears

Michigan Ross Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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Advice for First-Years from an HBS Alumna [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Advice for First-Years from an HBS Alumna
There’s nothing like advice that comes straight from the source, so if Harvard Business School is on your short list, you shouldn’t miss this great post published recently in the student newspaper The Harbus.



In What I Wish I’d Known This Time Last Year, Rahima Dosani (MBA ’16)  offers advice for first-year students, AKA RCs, which she wrote during her EC year.  We’ll share some excerpts here, but definitely check out her entire piece for some really helpful tips for students just getting their bearings as they settle in on campus.

You are your own worst critic. No one remembers a comment for more than 2 minutes after you make it. Sometimes not even that long. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say what you are thinking, and don’t beat yourself up afterward. Your opinions matter.

Stay in touch with your family and friends. In the craziness that is RC year, it is so easy to forget to call home and forget about your high school, college, and work friends who have been by your side for years. They may not really understand what your life is like, but keeping them close will be restorative and grounding for you in so many ways.

Quality over quantity.  Ask yourself: “Who would I want to keep in touch with or take a trip with many years after graduation?” Those are the people you should spend most of your time with. Be friendly with everyone, but don’t exhaust yourself trying to build close friendships with 95 people.

Ain’t no shame in getting a 3. Your life and career will be filled with just as much meaning, fulfillment, success, and happiness as it would be if you had gotten a 2. Guaranteed.

Professors are awesome. Share with them your concerns or thoughts about participation, class content, or just life. They value connecting with you and can be an incredible source of inspiration and comfort.

You do belong here. When you feel like you don’t fit in, can’t figure out FIN for the life of you, and don’t see things the same way as other people, just remember that’s the value you bring to the table. And other people are definitely feeling the same way – you’re not alone.

HBS doesnt need to be the best two years of your life. It’s awesome if it is. But it’s totally okay if it’s not. It just needs to be worth it for you. So “do you.” Invest in what you really enjoy or want to learn. Do what you need to do to make this time here meaningful for you.

You may also be interested in:
5 Common Interview Questions from Harvard Business School

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Ask the AdCom: What’s a Can’t-Miss Course? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: What’s a Can’t-Miss Course?
Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!



Today’s question is: Name a must-take course.
Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says:  The MBA’16 J class has just elected Pr. Henning Piezunka (teaching New Business Ventures) and Pr. Peter Joos (teaching Financial Accounting) for the “Best Teacher” awards. ‘The First Hundred Days’ is also very popular.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions  at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, recommends:

  • Start-Up Factory with Eric Koester
  • Understanding Entrepreneurship with Professor Jeff Reid
  • 1st-Year Core Finance with Professor Lee Pinkowitz
  • Social Enterprise with Melissa Bradley
  • Firm Analysis and Strategy with Professor Jeff Macher
Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions  at CMU Tepper School of Business, recommends Corporate Restructuring, taught by Dean Bob Dammon.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business, recommends Master Negotiation with Robin Pinkley.  Everyone should take a Negotiations course in their MBA as the skills and tactics are useful in business, buying a car, dealing with a spouse…Robin wrote THE book on Salary Negotiations (Get Paid What You’re Worth).  This may be why our students are so successful in their average post-MBA salaries.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, notes: About 65% of our students at SOM take at least one elective course outside of the School of Management at other Yale schools, and the most popular non-SOM course this academic year was Renewable Energy Project Finance at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

If you are interested in sustainability and the environment, this practicum exposes students to real-world tools of the trade and the theory underlying them, exploring what one would encounter if working for a utility project developer, project finance lender or infrastructure equity investment firm.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, shared these student recommendations:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Critical and Strategical Thinking
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: The most helpful and enjoyable class was Oral Communications. It’s a small, hands-on class where you present speeches and receive professor and peer feedback in a constructive and positive way.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: Management Cases or Macroeconomics.
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Negotiations.
******
Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom some fun student clubs.

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Interview Advice from MIT Sloan [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Interview Advice from MIT Sloan
Round 1 applicants, get ready for your interviews! Whether you’ve already received an interview invitation or are hoping to get an invite over the next few weeks, you want to make sure you’re prepared to do your best when the big day arrives.

With that in mind, Jennifer Barba, associate director of admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management, has shared a video with tips and insight regarding MBA interviews at Sloan, which she calls a critical piece of the evaluation process.

Candidates will meet with a professional member of the admissions team, not alumni, and should plan to spend 30-45 minutes discussing both data in their application as well as answering three or four behavioral questions. An example of this type of question is: “Tell me about a situation where you had a difficult interaction with a team member.”

“Interviewing candidates is my favorite part of the evaluation process,” says Barba, and she urges applicants to talk about things that are different than what you shared in the written application. When you ask questions, she adds, make sure they are more thoughtful than what you can find in the FAQs on the website.

Here at SBC, we advise clients to begin their interview prep by learning your application backwards and forwards and crystallize your professional goals and motivations. Then, ask yourself these key questions:

  • Can I clearly articulate my career plan and future goals?
  • What is my motivation to obtain an MBA?
  • How do I plan to use my MBA in my career?
  • What do I really want from my MBA experience?
  • Why is X business school the right place for me?
  • What can I bring to this MBA community?
  • Where do I see myself in 5, 10 or 15 years?
You should be prepared to mention school-specific examples of courses, clubs, and other aspects of the curriculum that fit with your career goals. In short, do your homework and refresh your memory of School X’s program before your interview!

Finally, don’t forget to send your interviewer a thank-you note or email no later than the following day.

Our parting advice: be yourself. You want the admissions committee to admit you for who you really are.

You may also be interested in:
Application Advice from MIT Sloan MBA Students

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Surviving Your First MBA Admissions ‘Ding’ [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Surviving Your First MBA Admissions ‘Ding’
A few weeks ago, Harvard Business School sent out the balance of its Round 1 interview invitations—followed by “release” notices to the majority of applicants. That means thousands of MBA hopefuls around the world recently received their first big fat DING.

While some people are able to easily shrug off this unfortunate news, others have a tough time dealing with what they see as “rejection.” If you’ve been feeling down ever since mid-October, we want to remind you why you should keep your chin up.

First off, all of the top MBA programs are notorious for being extremely selective. It may be that out of every 100 people who submit materials, only 7 to 12 are accepted. 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 thoroughly talented candidates.

As such, a past dean of HBS used to kick off his speech to new first-year students by stating that the school could’ve easily added an additional 900 candidates to the graduating class who were equally qualified. His point was that while admitted students were certainly accomplished and deserving, a little bit of luck played into their outcomes as well.

That may be hard to accept for people who have always reached every single goal they’ve ever gone after. But it’s the truth. Once you’ve pulled together a strong application and hit “submit,” 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.

The good news is that your results for a certain school are only the results for that school. They have absolutely no bearing on what you’ll hear from other programs. So there’s no need to panic or to question your approach. You should remain hopeful that positive news from another school may be right around the corner.

Remember:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

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Why U.S. Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why U.S. Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad


This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, tomorrow’s business professionals will need to develop an adaptive mindset that allows them to successfully navigate a variety of markets, languages and cultures.

We’ve seen a lot of growth lately in the range of international full-time, part-time and executive MBA courses aimed at U.S. students looking for a global business school experience, and there’s no better way to expand your horizons than by studying in another country.

While top U.S. business schools continue to dominate many rankings, programs at global universities hold their own when it comes to prestige and quality. Of the top MBA programs in the world, there are typically high-ranking programs outside of the U.S., including the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School in Spain, the Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) Paris and the University of Queensland Business School in Australia.

But what sets apart an international MBA? Student body diversity is one.

European business schools, for example, boast a roughly 80 percent non-national ratio, compared to 30 percent at their U.S. counterparts. Whether these programs include class trips to work in emerging economies or offer a cohort with students from numerous different countries, they compete on equal footing with the best North American schools.

Another attractive characteristic for U.S. students is that many of the highly ranked business programs in Europe are just one year. Though the shorter MBA program means a more grueling schedule, many feel it’s worth the trade-off because it translates into just one year of foregone salary and the possibility of students getting their educational investment back in less than three years.

You’ll always have the highest exposure to jobs in your geographic area, so keep that top of mind as you think about your career goals and fields of interest. If you already know that you want to work in Asia, Europe, the Middle East or Latin America, you’d be better off choosing a local school where you can network directly with employers.

Many international MBA programs are offered in English, though fluency in the local language greatly enhances your candidacy when applying. English-language MBA programs at IESE Business School and HEC Paris, for example, offer students a chance to strengthen their Spanish or French while learning how commerce works in the host countries.

In general, though, overseas MBA programs prefer applicants who can point to previous professional or study abroad experience, since this demonstrates that you already know how to work with different cultures and are more likely to enrich the experience of others in the cohort.

INSEAD Business School in France opened a second campus in Singapore in 2000, clearly a shift to specifically target Asia and the Pacific Rim. Asian universities in turn have stepped up their game when it comes to competing for students.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the region’s highly recognized graduate schools of business, has joined forces with China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to raise their visibility in North America and Europe and interest more Western candidates to Asia to earn MBA degrees. Lower program costs and Asia’s ever-increasing economic relevance, plus the use of English as the language of instruction, makes this trio particularly appealing to students in the West.

Latin America, meanwhile, is a relatively young MBA market that offers substantial growth opportunities and an affordable management education compared to its North American counterparts. According to the most recent QS Top MBA Report on the global job market, hiring is particularly insular in Latin America, and the percentage of employers who look for talent within their own region is second only to the U.S. and Canada.

The region’s rapidly growing economy – notably in Mexico, Brazil and Peru – means increased opportunities for business and trade, and MBAs who are comfortable with the local language as well as with the region’s social and cultural norms will thrive.

Some of the schools recognized throughout the world are the EGADE Business School and IPADE Business School in Mexico, the CENTRUM Católica Business School in Peru and FGV’s São Paulo School of Business Administration in Brazil.

Whether your goal is to establish yourself ahead of U.S. candidates for international jobs or simply to have a degree that carries the cachet of regional knowledge, choosing to pursue an MBA overseas give you the opportunity for a truly transformational experience, leading to a greater understanding of yourself and how business operates around the world.

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Ask the AdCom: What are the Most Popular Student Clubs? [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: What are the Most Popular Student Clubs?
Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

Today’s Question is: What are some fun student clubs?


Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says the most popular student clubs are the Culinary Club, Brewmeisters Club, Poker Club, Robber Barons, Tepper Cares, and the Soccer Club.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management: The Design & Innovation Club, one of the largest clubs at the SOM, introduces students to design frameworks, ideation strategies, and the value of rapid prototyping and experimentation. Through workshops, club members put their D&I and integrated MBA curriculum into action by completing real world, hands-on client projects for organizations like SYPartners and IDEO.

Their fun social events include drink and draw, game nights, Closing Bell (Thursday night happy hour), and #openEVANS. They also facilitate relationships and career opportunities with design organizations and design thinking leaders through job treks, Mock Madness, career coaching, and visiting speakers from Disney Imagineering, Dalberg Design Impact Group, PepsiCo, Citi Ventures, and others.

One of SOM’s longest-running traditions is the Internship Fund, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in stipends to students interning in the nonprofit and public sectors and each year subsidizes approximately 10% of the class. In 2016, 96% of the Class of 2017 supported the Internship Fund by participating in the Internship Fund Auction, Fit for Thought (a student-run Evans Hall gym), and Student Fundraising Week.

The popular, themed Internship Fund Auction is attended by over 300 students, faculty, and staff, and past auction prizes have included skydiving with a professor, a trip to a Guatemalan coffee farm and nature preserve owned by SOM alumni, a week in the Virgin Islands, cooking lessons with a professional chef, golf with Dean Snyder, and a behind the scenes look at NBA Entertainment.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: The Wine Club is a very popular student club that hosts an Around the World event every term.  Students say it’s a great way to meet and get to know other classmates through this event in which hundreds of students participate.

There is also Fuqua Vision, our version of “Saturday Night Live,” which hosts a spoof show each term, and the Culinary Club, that hosts potlucks for those who like to cook.  The Latin American Student Association (LASA) is famous for its barbeque parties, and the Improv Club is cited by our international students as being a great way to break through communication barriers and learn some good jokes.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business: We have a number of industry-specific clubs that support students in their job searches. Some of our social- and community-focused clubs include Q@Haas for LGBT students and allies; the Haas Beer Club, the Wine Industry Club, and Culinary Club which take advantage of the Bay Area’s foodie community; an Investment Club & even a Golf Club. Women in Leadership offers a fantastic community, and the Haas Partners Club welcomes students with partners and families.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business: The Cox Wine club is a popular club at Cox.  It is an educational and social origination focused on increasing students’ knowledge, respect, and enthusiasm for wine, spirits & craft beers through formal tastings, education, and networking events alongside industry professionals. Most students will be involved in intramural sports as a way to de-stress on throughout the semester.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management polled students for their recommendations:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Johnson on Tap, Greater China Business Club
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: As former club president, my vote is for the Wine Club. We meet bi-weekly for education about wine production, tasting and the industry.
  • Najeen Riazi,MBA ’17: Wine Club for the Luxury Champagne tastings, Johnson on Tap for the social aspect, and Hispanic American Business Leaders (HABLA).
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Johnson on Tap
Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business: Some of our most popular social clubs include the Graduate Wine Club, The MBA Brew Club, and one that is uniquely Austin – The MBA Live Music Association!

******
It seems like most of the recommended clubs included a “spirited” theme, right? Cheers to that! Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about popular annual activities on campus.

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How to Find Your Business School Best Fit: Hear it From the Alumnae [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Find Your Business School Best Fit: Hear it From the Alumnae
If you plan to be in the New York City area on Thursday November 17th, I invite you to join us for an SBC Consulting-sponsored event, B-School: Finding an A+ Fit.



Whether you are currently in the process of applying to business school or would like to share your own experiences, the networking opportunities alone are reason to attend.

Featuring alumnae from The Wharton School, Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and The Kellogg School of Management who went on to become CEOs, founders, and leading brand representatives, this event will showcase these hand-picked, prestigious alumnae and their achievements post-graduation.

The Details
When: Thursday, November 17th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Where: WeWork, 300 Park Ave. 12th floor, New York, NY 10022

Admission: $10 | Covers refreshments and snacks

Agenda for the Evening
7:00 – 7:20pm | 20 minutes for networking, drinking & snacking

7:20 – 7:30pm | Welcome and intro of speakers

7:30 – 8:00pm | Q&A

8:00 – 8:15pm | Audience Q & A

8:15 – 8:30pm | Wrap-up & final networking (+ more drinking, snacking)

Featured Speakers
From The Unversity of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School: Lara Crystal, Co-CEO & Co-Founder of Minibar

From Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Mangement: Jodi Genshaft, Senior Brand Manager at Chobani and Kelsey Recht, CEO & Founder of VenueBook

From Stanford Graduate School of Business: Laura Holliday, Chief Marketing Officer at Zola

From Harvard Business School: Jill Applebaum and Jillian Ressler, Co-Founders of Spruce & Co

*****

Get your tickets today and come ready with questions for this intimate evening of networking and discussion!

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Guiding Your MBA Recommenders [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Guiding Your MBA Recommenders
As the majority of Round 2 deadlines are in early January, you should plan to reach out to your recommenders soon to ensure they are pacing themselves and won’t be crunched for time once all of the year-end craziness hits.

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

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

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

Many recommenders—especially those who aren’t familiar with the MBA application process—think that if they simply sing your praises and repeat how great you are in various different ways, that will be enough. Others assume their alumni status or their impressive titles will carry enough weight to make up for a generic letter.

Unfortunately, they won’t. The best way for your recommenders to help you stand out from thousands of other highly qualified applicants is by painting a clear picture of who you are both professionally and personally.

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

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

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

Think of it this way:



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

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Generous Gift Will Fund NYU Stern School’s New Program for Military Ve [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Generous Gift Will Fund NYU Stern School’s New Program for Military Veterans
New York University’s Stern School of Business has received a $15 million endowment gift from alumnus Lorenzo Fertitta (MBA ’93) and brother Frank J. Fertitta III to create a new program exclusively for U.S. military veteran and active duty students who will be entering the school’s full-time MBA program next year.


The school projects that approximately 20 incoming full-time MBA military students who are accepted into the Fertitta Veterans Program will receive scholarship support that reduces their tuition to a flat $30,000 per year. Students who qualify for veteran benefits, including Yellow Ribbon funding, will continue to be eligible to receive those benefits.

In addition to the scholarship money, the program will provide academic and professional support customized for veterans to ease the transition from the military to business school and eventually the business world.

The Fertitta Veterans Program, believed to be the only program of its kind at a U.S. business school, will begin in summer 2017 for members of the full-time MBA Class of 2019. The uniquely designed summer session will include an early start on selected coursework; career programming with access to corporations and alumni; engagement with veteran alumni mentors; and social activities.

“The Fertitta family’s vision and generosity will support distinguished military personnel who seek the tools, knowledge and networks of an MBA in their return to civilian life, while significantly minimizing their financial burden,” said Peter Henry, dean, NYU Stern. “Their gift allows the School to take a giant leap forward in the level of commitment we will be able to offer the best and brightest military talent in their future career pursuits.”

At the conclusion of the summer session, veterans will be fully integrated into the Full-time MBA program beginning with LAUNCH, Stern’s week-long MBA orientation.

“We are proud that we are able to launch this program. Our veterans are a greatly valued group among the faculty, their fellow students and employers. We are delighted to be taking an important step towards addressing affordability, an issue on which NYU has placed great emphasis,” said Raghu Sundaram, vice dean of MBA programs.

This endowment builds on a strong foundation of current support offered to military students at Stern through both scholarships and community. Stern’s Military Veterans Club is an active and tight-knit community of MBA student support. This fall Stern enrolled the highest number of incoming military students to its full-time MBA program on record.

The Fertitta family’s support for the military also extends to a variety of local and national military charities personally, and through their ownership of Station Casinos and their former ownership of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Military-based charities that have benefited include: Veterans Village, housing and services for homeless veterans; the Fisher House Foundation; Nevada Military Support Alliance; the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund; and the Wounded Warriors Project.

“My brother Frank and I have always been committed to assisting those who have proudly served our country and hope our gift encourages many of our military veterans to earn their MBA from my alma mater,” said Lorenzo Fertitta.

You may also be interested in:
Overcome 3 MBA Application Challenges Facing Military Veterans

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10 Common Mistakes Made in B-School Essays  [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 10 Common Mistakes Made in B-School Essays 
If you’re looking to create a winning MBA application, the absolute best place to shine a spotlight on your goals and accomplishments is in the required essay questions. After all, life provides ample source material—innovations, successes, ethical dilemmas, workplace conflicts–that you can mine for essay inspiration.



However, all too often b-school hopefuls make mistakes, some big and some seemingly minor, that end up torpedoing their chances at admission before they’ve even had a chance to interview. Take a look at the following 10 most common blunders that we’ve seen applicants make—and make sure you steer clear of them in your own essays.

Mistake #1: Writing what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. If you tailor your essays in an attempt to make yourself into the so-called perfect MBA applicant, you’ve totally missed the point of the essay in the first place. The goal is to show what an introspective and interesting candidate you are.

While many applicants have similar credentials, the beauty of the MBA application process is that it allows candidates a chance for self-reflection, and to discover that they are more unique than they first imagine. So be yourself, and write in a way that allows the admissions team to genuinely get to know you.

Mistake #2: Neglecting to answer the question.  Before you start writing, make sure you really grasp the intent of the essay prompt. Otherwise, you risk going off track and neglecting the underlying theme. Applicants often become so determined to drive home a particular point, or worse, drift off into a tangent, that they fail to succinctly answer the question being asked. For instance, if the prompt asks how you’ll contribute to the culture of the school, don’t use that space to lay out your reasons for targeting that program.

In other words, don’t answer with “what” when the question asks “how?” or “why?” Business schools dedicate a lot of time to coming up with essay prompts with the goal of finding out how you fit their program, and not answering the question immediately indicates poor fit. A good strategy is to have a friend or colleague read your essay without knowing the question, and then ask them to say what they think you’re trying to answer.  Their response will let you know whether you’re on the right course.

Mistake #3: Cutting and pasting in essays you’ve written for other business schools. This one seems like a no-brainer, but according to numerous admissions officers, it happens every season and more times than they can count. At best, you’re not answering the precise question the school is asking, and at worst, you risk accidentally leaving in the name of the other school and receiving an automatic rejection. Several schools have decided to get creative with their questions in recent years in large part to avoid this situation of recycled essays.

Mistake #4: Not filling in the “White Spaces.” You are more than just your resume; you are what I like to call the “white spaces” in between. What keeps you awake at night? When you look back at your life, what will you admire and regret about your choices?  All applicants have a story to tell, an opportunity to go beyond their GMAT score and other stats.

Prospective students often shy away from sharing small but important details about themselves that can help them stand out from the crowd. They think, “Admissions committees don’t want to hear about that side of me,” or “Business schools don’t want people who are interested in that.” But you never know if those years on the college water polo team, the minor in game design, or those articles you published in the school newspaper are just the ticket to creating a standout application.

Mistake #5: Using industry jargon or pretentious language. Never assume the admissions committee member reviewing your application is intimately familiar with your particular industry. Technical language, while appropriate in a resume, can really interfere with the story you’re trying to tell. Also, unless your friends always refer to you as Mr. or Ms. Dictionary, avoid flowery or stuffy language – use familiar words instead to rephrase your accomplishments so that anyone could understand them.

Though seemingly minor, the issue of poor word choice can really distract your reader from the points you’re trying to convey. With hundreds of applications on their desks, the admissions staff has only a few minutes to review each essay, so it should be immediately digestible.

Mistake #6: Not owning up to past mistakes. Nobody likes drawing attention to their past mistakes, academic or otherwise, particularly when applying for a seat at an uber-competitive business school. But believe it or not, being up front about your foibles can go a long way toward minimizing the damage and can actually boost your chances for admissions. Failing to address obvious weaknesses, such as a low GPA or employment gaps, does more harm than good in the end.

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.

Mistake #7: Not thinking through your career goals. The career goals essay is probably the most important question you must answer in your MBA application. The admissions committee expects that you have given enough serious thought to your own future that you can clearly articulate your short- and long-term plans. More importantly, they want to hear about why you have those goals.

Fortunately, 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, if an applicant doesn’t appear to have given any serious thought to his or her own future, that could be a red flag.

Mistake #8: Not proofreading your essays. Don’t forget to proofread, spell-check, and proofread some more. Some admissions officers liken submitting an essay riddled with grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes to wearing pajamas to your admissions interview! Errors like these reflect poorly on your candidacy and can overshadow other impressive qualities like your high GMAT score or interesting work experience.

Have a fresh pair of eyes read through your essay to catch any of those pesky punctuation errors or grammatical mistakes that we often miss ourselves after re-reading and editing along the way.

Mistake #9: Failing to make the case for why X program is right for you. Although many top schools seem similar on the surface, each prides themselves on the characteristics that make them different from their peers. Whatever your own personal reasons for seeking an MBA may be, make sure you can point out specific aspects of the skill set required for your future career that will be augmented by attending that school.

The admissions committee wants to know why your particular aspirations will be uniquely satisfied by their program, so use the essays (and later, the interview) to show you have done your research.

Mistake #10: Disregarding the school’s explicit instructions. If the MBA program you’re targeting has listed a specific word count for the required essays, or a preference in font or font size, please follow their requests. The last thing you want to do is annoy your reader by using an eye-straining font, or disregarding the stipulated word count limits.

My advice on word count is to forget about it while you’re writing the essay. Focus on getting your content together and making sure that it’s very strong. Once your content is there, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to cut words. The general rule of thumb is to stay within 10%. Don’t worry if you go a bit over, but much more than that and you are simply not following directions.

The MBA essays are your platform to show what makes you a dynamic, multidimensional person that any program would want to have. As you pull all of your materials together, really scrutinize each aspect to see if there’s anything there that can weaken your message.

Write concisely, and show the admissions team that you’ve done your research and know exactly how they can help you. If you can avoid inadvertently committing these 10 common essay mistakes, the odds of creating a positive impression on the admissions committee are strongly in your favor.

This article originally appeared as a guest post for our test prep friends at examPAL.
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Columbia Business School Announces Changes to Curriculum [#permalink]
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Columbia Business School Announces Changes to Curriculum
During Columbia Business School’s Start-Ups Week held earlier this month, the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship kicked off the event by announcing they are reorganizing its entrepreneurship curriculum to help students better choose their areas of interest and plan their future career paths.


For the uninitiated, Start-Ups Week is a four-day celebration of entrepreneurship that allows CBS students to network and build relationships with New York City’s fastest growing companies. The new curriculum changes focus on four categories:  where students are encouraged to think, start, scale, and invest and focus on different aspects of entrepreneurship.

CBS’s New Entrepreneurship Curriculum 
Roadmaps for the curriculum in entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School have recently been reorganized to enable students to quickly and easily understand what’s being offered and choose their areas of interest.  They are divided into the following categories:

[*]THINK – this a curriculum  track for any student who would like to adopt an entrepreneurial way of thinking, problem solving and business growth and recognizes the value and importance of entrepreneurial thinking in today’s economy.[/*]
[*]START – a curriculum track for students planning to start their own business during or after business school and these students are likely to be founders, CEO’s or hold some type of leadership role in that organization.[/*]
[*]SCALE – a curriculum track for students interested in taking an existing business to the next stage, either growing their own business or a business founded by someone else or perhaps a family business that they will eventually control.[/*]
[*]INVEST – a curriculum track for students looking to understand what is involved in investing in entrepreneurial companies and what it takes to become an angel investor.[/*]
[/list]
 Students interested in entrepreneurship can also take advantage of the following programs at Columbia:

[*]Lang Scholars – Structured as a semester-long independent study, in both the spring and fall, the Lang Scholars program pairs chosen students with teams selected to one of NYC’s top accelerator programs including Techstars, ERA and Dreamit. This semester 17 Columbia Business School students are paired with the 17 teams in the  Dreamit, accelerator.  Students benefit by experiencing entrepreneurship in a live setting, gaining exposure to the network and resources Dreamit brings while Dreamit companies benefit by gaining access to the world-class business knowledge, experience and talent of Columbia Business School MBA’s.[/*]
[*]Fall Venture Fair – The Annual Fall Venture Fair provides students with the opportunity to practice their pitch and receive critical feedback from successful entrepreneurs and other knowledgeable practitioners from the Columbia Business School entrepreneurial community.[/*]
[/list]
“We want students to understand the realities of entrepreneurship as early in their business school life cycle as possible so they can make the most informed choice about which career path to pursue,” says Vince Ponzo, Executive Director of the Lang Center. “We have created a unique, goal-oriented framework for the curriculum and programs designed to meet the long-term career objectives of our students.”

You may also be interested in:
What Does Columbia Business School Look for In Applicants?

Columbia Business School Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

Columbia Launches First Student-Run Investment Fund

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Columbia Business School Announces Changes to Curriculum [#permalink]
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