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Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog

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Why U.S. Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Why U.S. Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad
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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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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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Ask the AdCom: What are the Most Popular Student Clubs? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 12:00
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?
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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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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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How to Find Your Business School Best Fit: Hear it From the Alumnae [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2016, 13:00
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.

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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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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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Guiding Your MBA Recommenders [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2016, 12:00
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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***

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

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

_________________

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

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

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Generous Gift Will Fund NYU Stern School’s New Program for Military Ve [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2016, 12:00
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.

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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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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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10 Common Mistakes Made in B-School Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2016, 12:01
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.

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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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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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Columbia Business School Announces Changes to Curriculum [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 11:00
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.

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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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Ask the AdCom: What’s a Popular Annual Activity? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: What’s a Popular Annual Activity?
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: Tell us about a popular annual activity on campus.
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Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says: National Weeks. With more than 70 nationalities represented on our campuses, everyone is a minority at INSEAD. National weeks are events that set the INSEAD MBA experience apart from other business schools; it is the celebration of diversity.

Ten times a year, students from various countries showcase their cultural traditions to the class during a week-long celebration (food, traditional costumes, music, etc.). National Weeks happen simultaneously in Fontainebleau and Singapore.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked her students to share their favorites:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Spring Formal
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: Some of our most entertaining events include Diwali, a variety show put on by the South Asian Business Club. Another is the annual Charity Auction, which raises thousands of dollars for local charities and brings out donations and bids from faculty, staff, students, and partners.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: SO MANY.  Carnivale. Holi. Slope Day and Battle of the Brands.G
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Slope Day
Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business, says: Texas MBA International NightEach year the International MBA Student Association (IMBASA) and the Texas MBA+ Leadership Program host the largest MBA event of the year, International Night.

With almost 1,000 attendees, this event gives MBAs from all over the world an opportunity to open the doors to their culture for their classmates with a night of food, dancing, traditional games and entertainment. The evening is a multicultural celebration featuring an exciting blend of representatives from more than 20 countries. The popular event gives MBAs an opportunity to take a break from their academic rigors and discover the diversity of McCombs.

Also, Texas MBA @ SXSW: Every year, McCombs hosts a booth at SXSW Interactive and our annual McCombs E-Ship Night at this great event.  This is just another way for our alumni, current students and the Austin/tech community to connect and learn more about start ups from McCombs alumni.

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

  • International Student Festival – Our MBA students host an event that celebrates the many cultures found within our student body with a day of culture, dance, and food.
  • McDonough Cup – MBA cohorts compete against one another in a weeklong series of competitions, ranging from a scavenger hunt to a cookoff to sports. The winner earns their place on the coveted McDonough Cup trophy.
  • McDonough Sippy Cup – Launched last year, this event celebrates the many families with small children within our MBA program.
Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, says: Some of the most popular events among our students include the annual Haas Gala in San Francisco, the Haas Talent Show which showcases the musical talent of our Dean (as well as the hidden talents of our students!); and the Dean’s Scotch Tasting fundraiser, which calls on our favorite faculty and staff to guest bartend for the evening for a good cause. From an admissions perspective, we always look forward to Days at Haas, when we get to meet our newly-admitted students and their partners.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business, says: Each spring, the Cox Business Leadership Center’s Nonprofit Consulting Program pairs 35 MBA students with one of four local nonprofit organizations. Student teams work over a six-week period researching and benchmarking, gathering and analyzing data, and ultimately generating plans to solve core business challenges. At the conclusion of the program, students present these plans to staff and board members at each of the organizations.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says: Student-lead Global Treks often provide social networking opportunities with students, local executives, alumni and faculty. Recent Global Trek regions include: China, Dubai, Japan, India, Israel, Peru, South Africa and Morocco.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions  at Yale School of Management, says:  At Yale SOM, we host an annual celebration of our community’s cultural diversity called International Week. During this week, students enjoy global food at International Food Fest, and participate in #OneSOM activities like Global Trivia, What Not to Do in a Business Setting, and Travel Etiquette.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, says: Each spring, Stern’s student government hosts “International Passport Day” — students share their country’s unique heritage through cuisine, costumes and performances in a festival on Gould Plaza.

*****
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 who are the “must meet” professors.

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Work in Finance? Don’t Make These Common MBA Application Mistakes [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2016, 10:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Work in Finance? Don’t Make These Common MBA Application Mistakes
As an MBA applicant with a background in finance, you’re no doubt wondering how to stand out from your equally impressive peers. No matter how remarkable your pedigree, the truth is that no business school wants an entire class filled with individuals of the same profile.

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While this information may be sobering and have you wondering how in the world can you ever earn an acceptance letter, keep in mind that MBA programs welcome candidates with your background. In fact, every year the classes at top MBA programs are filled with former finance professionals.

Because applicants from finance are overrepresented in the admissions pool, your goal is to stand out as much as possible from peers with similar backgrounds. As we pointed out last month when we started this Top 10 list of common MBA application mistakes, there’s a right way and a wrong way to attract the admission committee’s attention. Let’s dive deeper into what finance professionals should avoid, and what makes for a successful MBA application.

Mistake #4:   Failing to leverage your interests outside of work

While most of your peers will have similar work examples, you are the only one with your particular hobbies, interests, friends and family. What are your passions outside of the office? You’re missing out on a critical opportunity to connect with the admissions committee if you don’t tap into your personal pursuits to add another dimension to your MBA application.

When you reflect on your life, think about the differences that can help you stand out. It can be anything from education to family to activities and interests. What do you spend your free time and money on? What values have you inherited from your family? Take those differences and create a nugget of a story to include in relevant essays to reveal more about you than your GPA or work history.

Mistake #5: Overlooking work accomplishments that fall outside the norm

Everyone in the admissions committee knows what an investment banking, hedge fund or private equity analyst actually does all day. Many of your peers are also working hard to gain admission, and thousands of applications later, your work experience may start to seem similar to all the others in the pile.

As you survey your peers, think about what you do at work that is outside your typical deal or investment focused work (and theirs). Instead of talking about the analysis you conducted or the due diligence you performed, think about the time you trained the interns or organized a community service event for your colleagues.  Maybe you created a new process or led recruiting efforts. Any of these “extra-curricular” work activities can be an asset to your application and help you stand out.

Mistake #6: Not explaining the meaning behind your career goals

Whether you are staying on your current career path or switching to something completely different, it’s important not to assume that the MBA admissions committee will understand why you are pursuing your specific career goals. Your task is to explain that you have consciously selected your future career plans through research, evaluation of your own strengths and weaknesses, and other intangible factors. In short, your career goals have to have meaning to you, and you’ll need to communicate that meaning through your application materials.

Aim to demonstrate exactly how your career goals and personal history have come together into a path with real purpose. Obviously not every candidate is planning to save the world after pursuing an MBA, but even if your career goals are not inherently altruistic it’s important to show that they have deep meaning for you personally.

Mistake #7: Not showing your collaborative side

How do you demonstrate teamwork when you are sitting solo in front of a computer screen all day? What if you work largely on your own projects for your associate, and very little with other analysts? Overall, it’s sometimes tough to feel like you are part of a team when you’re always performing tasks for senior level meetings and pitches. That’s the dilemma facing many of you as you answer questions that ask for your ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.

The most successful teams take the strengths of each person to counteract any weaknesses of others. As you enter your MBA program you’ll bring specific skills that can be an asset to any project. Taking these key strengths and applying them to your business school environment can be a great way to showcase how much you will contribute to your learning team, your cluster or cohort, and any club leadership position.

***

We’ll be back next month with the final installment addressing the common mistakes finance applicants need to avoid. Until then, please follow SBC in social media and sign up for the SBC newsletter, where you’ll receive expert advice on all aspects of the MBA application process delivered straight in your inbox each week.

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How to Stand Out in a Group Interview [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: How to Stand Out in a Group Interview
Have you been invited to a group interview—or hope you will be?

Some of the world’s top MBA programs use a team-based interview format, and we won’t be surprised if this trend grows in the future. Business schools want students who will play nice with others, and so watching how someone interacts with peers before anyone’s even admitted can be very telling.

Here’s what you don’t want to do during a group interview:

  • Dominate the conversation
  • Cut others off or dismiss someone’s idea entirely
  • Raise your voice
  • Roll your eyes, cross your arms, or display any other kind of negative body language
  • Take out your phone or any other electronic device
Those may seem like obvious tips, but in the heat of the moment you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget you’re being judged. (Once again, this is exactly why some schools like this approach!)

Here’s what you should try to accomplish:

  • Demonstrate you’ve done your research (if given a topic in advance)
  • Listen—truly listen—to the others in your group when they speak
  • Seize any opportunities to either build upon or refer to someone else’s point
  • Put the group’s goal ahead of trying to get airtime
  • Offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where the group would benefit from a quick recap
As many MBA applicants are born leaders who are used to taking charge, you’ll need to be conscious of the fact that you might be surrounded by lots of Type A personalities and adjust your style accordingly.

However, if you tend to be on the shy side, don’t let others intimidate you. If no one’s given you the chance to get a word in, you’re going to have to find an appropriate way to join the conversation before it’s too late.

Remember:

 

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***

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

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Ask the AdCom: Who are the Must-Meet Professors? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2016, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: Who are the Must-Meet Professors?
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!

Image

Today’s question is: Who are the must-meet professors?
Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management, says Janessa Shapiro is the one to meet. She has authored 30 research articles and delivered nearly 20 conference talks as she sets out to understand–and help others understand–stereotype threats and social stigmas.

Professor Shapiro’s commitment to these areas is also reflected in her university service to UCLA. She’s a member of the Anderson School’s Task Force on Faculty Gender Climate, a Faculty Sponsor for Underrepresented Graduate Students in Psychology, and a member of the Psychology department’s Diversity Issues Committee.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business, says every student will meet Dean Al Niemias he is extremely approachable and gets to know the students well.  Especially those that take his popular course:  The Evolution of American Capitalism.  It is not unusual to have guest speakers pop in on his class, including former President George W. Bush.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions  at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, says Lee Pinkowitz,Melissa Bradley, and Ken Homa are popular with Georgetown MBA students.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, points to Marvin Goodfriend, world-banking expert and professor of economics, who was voted the award for the graduating class’s favorite faculty member.

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

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business, says Melissa Graebner, a professor in our Management department, is always a favorite for her expert knowledge in Corporate Governance, e-ship and M&A.

*****
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 their various study abroad programs.

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Harvard Business School Tops Bloomberg’s 2016 US Rankings [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2016, 13:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Tops Bloomberg’s 2016 US Rankings
Bloomberg Businessweek has released its 2016 ranking of the best U.S. business schools, based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates. Harvard Business School claims the number one spot among 87 full-time U.S. MBA programs. Stanford Graduate School of Business is number two, and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is number three. This is the second year in a row that Harvard came out on top—and this time by a wider margin.

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HBS was rated No.1 by the more than 1,000 corporate recruiters, and No.3 among alumni. Its graduates left with the second highest salaries. Competition for the No.2 spot was particularly close this year, with Stanford edging out Duke-Fuqua by .08 percentage point for its highest ever Businessweek rank.

Bloomberg’s Top Ten U.S. Full-Time MBA Programs 
  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business
  • Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
“We continue last year’s focus on how well the schools channel their graduates into good jobs and, with a new survey of MBAs after graduation, offer more insight into what grads can expect from their careers,”  writes Bloomberg’s Lance Lambert.

Highlights of the 2016 ranking include:

[*]Harvard had more than a nine point lead on its nearest competitor this year, up from less than two points in 2015.[*]Indiana University received the highest score among recent graduates.[*]Rutgers University’s 2015 grads had the highest job placement rate.[*]The University of Michigan does not appear in the top ten for the first time since Businessweek started the rankings in 1988.[*]This is the first year that Rice University has ranked in the top ten.[*]Alumni, recent graduates and recruiters all gave the University of Texas at Dallas better scores, helping to propel it 13 spots.[/list]
The Bloomberg ranking methodology includes an employer survey (35% of score), alumni survey (30%), student survey (15%), job placement rate (10%), and starting salary (10%).

“Our Full-Time MBA rankings comprise five elements. So it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the park,” Lambert explains. “For example, Stanford which is the No. 2 school on our list, ranked No. 57 for job placement.”

This year’s rankings includes 15 U.S. MBA programs that weren’t ranked last year, moving the list from 74 programs in 2015 to 87 in 2016. “With so many new programs added to the list, we saw a lot of movement throughout the rankings,”  Lambert notes.

The top 30 full-time U.S. MBA programs will be highlighted in the print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek on newsstands Friday, November 18, 2016.

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New Scholarship Resource Open to MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2016, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: New Scholarship Resource Open to MBA Applicants
Did you know that U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.3 trillion in 2015? Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how you will pay for it. Interestingly enough, more than 50% of business school applicants said they would attend a less desirable program if awarded a scholarship, according to SBC’s 2016 annual survey of MBA applicants.

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An MBA must be seen as a long-term investment, and fortunately, schools are committed to working with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

While MBA programs typically offer fewer scholarships and other types of “free” money than the non-professional forms of graduate education, many online resources can help you to search for a scholarship or fellowship that fits your background and needs.

MBA applicants interested in checking out a variety of potential financial aid options should take a look at ScholarshipOwl, a new platform designed to increase students’ access to scholarships and make the scholarship market more efficient.

The goal of ScholarshipOwl is to provide direct access to the scholarships and create the best opportunities to help students graduate debt-free. The company already has 450,000 users, matching each to 60-70 scholarships on average. In addition, every month the company gives out its own $1,000 scholarship.

One of the ScholarshipOwl’s main advantages is that it matches the student’s profile to the available scholarships, saving time spent sorting through the eligibility requirements. While some scholarships in their system are limited for students accepted into a B.A. program, many are open to enrolled college students and graduate students.

There are many different application processes for financial aid, from demonstrating need to demonstrating merit. Organize the deadlines and submission guidelines to make sure you have a plan to complete the applications, and carefully follow the directions of each scholarship, fellowship or loan you are applying for.

Here are a few tips for individuals planning to attend business school in the near future:

  • Get your finances in order first
  • Think about living slightly below your means before school
  • Save as much as possible
  • Avoid credit card debt
  • Scale back on things you don’t need (including big things like a car if you don’t really need one)
Starting early – about three months before applying – is also really helpful if you’re pursuing scholarships, fellowships or grants. Since scholarships are free money, competition can be fierce, and you’ll benefit from having the extra time to create strong scholarship applications and from knowing the key deadlines so that opportunities don’t pass you by.

You may also be interested in:
Show Me the Money: Top Schools for Scholarships

Pay Less for Your MBA

ROI of the MBA Strong Across Most Tiers

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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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Time to Thank Your MBA Supporters [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2016, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Time to Thank Your MBA Supporters
It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and on Thursday, millions of people will take a break to reflect on everything they have to be grateful for. It’s a good time for MBA hopefuls to do the same.

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

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

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

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

Remember:

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New post 22 Nov 2016, 09:26
Hi,

Can you help me understand if I can apply with GRE scores to top B-schools.
Wharton, Booth, Cornell, Fuqua seem to mention on their website that they do accept the scores. However, I am not sure what kind of cutoff should I be looking at.

I have scored 164 on quant and 157 on verbal and a 3.5 on analytical. Are these scores good enough to apply to these high profile colleges?

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Tips to Help You Ace Every B-School Interview Format [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2016, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips to Help You Ace Every B-School Interview Format
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. As you might suspect, the admissions interview is the place to convey your talent, drive and personality in a way no written application can match.

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By knowing what to expect, you’ll be able to relax and focus your energies on dazzling the interviewer with your professional skills and strengths. But remember, he or she also wants to get a feel for you as a person, to find out how you’d fit in with the school’s unique culture, and how you would contribute as a student if admitted.

Applicants should begin their interview prep by learning their application and resume backward and forward in order to crystallize those professional goals and motivations. 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?
Here are three common questions that come up during the one-on-one MBA interview, with some advice on how to respond succinctly and with substance:

1. Tell me about yourself.

My first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. Quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career. Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve stayed at the same company for several years, you could talk about how your responsibilities have increased over time.

2. Why do you want to go School X?

If you haven’t discussed your short- and long-term career goals yet, you could begin your response by briefly explaining what you’re hoping to do after graduation. Then you can state the specific skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in the future—and how School X can help you fill those gaps.

3. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The worst thing you could say in response to this question is “No.” Even if you’ve had an hour-long discussion that covered everything under the sun and you’re feeling confident about how things have gone, you still should take this opportunity to reiterate why you’re excited about the program and why you’d be an asset to the incoming class. And, of course, if there’s something specific about your candidacy that you feel could improve your odds and you haven’t been able to discuss it up to this point, now’s the time to do so.

Do You Play Nice with Others? The Group or Team-Based Interview

Business schools want to see how candidates interact with peers before anyone’s even admitted, which can be very telling. It’s not actually an interview, per se, because no questions will be asked of participants. Through observation of each member’s discussions and communication with the group, the admissions team hopes to glean deeper insight into each applicant’s teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Here’s what you don’t want to do during a group interview:

  • Dominate the conversation
  • Cut others off or dismiss someone’s idea entirely
  • Raise your voice
  • Roll your eyes, cross your arms, or display any other kind of negative body language
  • Take out your phone or any other electronic device
  • Here’s what you should try to accomplish:
  • Demonstrate you’ve done your research (if given a topic in advance)
  • Listen—truly listen—to the others in your group when they speak
  • Seize any opportunities to either build upon or refer to someone else’s point
  • Put the group’s goal ahead of trying to get airtime
  • Offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where the group would benefit from a quick recap
As many MBA applicants are born leaders who are used to taking charge, you’ll need to be conscious of the fact that you might be surrounded by lots of Type A personalities and adjust your style accordingly. However, if you tend to be on the shy side, don’t let others intimidate you. If no one’s given you the chance to get a word in, you’re going to have to find an appropriate way to join the conversation before it’s too late.

Ready for Your Close-Up? Prepping for the Video Interview

In an era where MBA applicants often come across as overly packaged and polished, an increasing number of MBA programs have started using online video-interview platforms in order to get a better sense of your personality. They’ve seen what you have going for you on paper; a video interview can help them judge whether or not the “real you” matches the impression you’ve built through your other materials. Here are some video-interview tips:

  • Prepare (and practice) succinct responses for all of the typical MBA-related questions: Why Program X, Why an MBA overall, Why now, What are your career goals, Summarize your career to date, and so on.
  • Then add some “fun” questions and responses into the mix: Review the last book you read/movie you saw/TV show you watched; What’s your favorite song and why; Where’s the best place you’ve gone on vacation, et cetera
  • Record yourself answering these questions. Have a trusted friend review your responses and tell you how you’re coming off. Tweak your style accordingly.
When the big moment arrives and it’s time for the real thing, remember that no one is trying to trick you into embarrassing yourself. It’s just another opportunity for you to show what an asset you’ll be to an MBA program. So if you experience technical glitches such as a frozen feed or dropped audio, remember that maintaining your poise and keeping your frustration in check will further help you make a positive impression on your interviewer. Also, dress in appropriate business attire from head to toe. If you need to stand up for any reason during the interview and have nothing but boxers on, rest assured that is an impression the interviewer won’t soon forget.

Mind Your Manners

Finally, don’t forget to send your interviewer a thank-you note or email no later than the following day. Some admission committees need to make accept and denial decisions very quickly, so you shouldn’t let more than 24 hours go by before you send your message. If you interviewed in the morning, send it before the business day is over. If your talk was in the late afternoon or evening, get your email out first thing the next morning.

A word of caution: a thank-you note is not the place to try and sell yourself any further or write another mini-essay. The point is to show that you’re excited about and thankful for the opportunity to be considered for a spot in Program X.

It may sound cliché, but remember to just be yourself, and pay attention to first impressions. The evaluation process of your fit with the program actually starts before you sit down with your interviewer, so you want to make sure that every interaction you have, including with the office staff, is courteous and further adds to a positive impression of your candidacy. If you can show you’re prepared to work well with a team, know exactly how an MBA will benefit your career, and why X school is the best fit for you, you may soon find yourself on the positive side of the highly competitive MBA interview and application process.

This article, written by SBC consultant Sherry Holland, originally appeared on Poets & Quants.

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

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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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Happy Thanksgiving! [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2016, 12:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Happy Thanksgiving!
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On behalf of the entire team here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, today we’d like to wish our U.S.-based followers and clients a lovely Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.

In this time of gratitude, we give enormous thanks for our 15 amazing years in the MBA admissions consulting business, and for you, our loyal blog readers. We appreciate your confidence in our work and are grateful that you’ve chosen us as a trusted resource to help you achieve your MBA goals.

Warmest wishes,

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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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Ask the AdCom: Opportunities to Study Abroad [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2016, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Ask the AdCom: Opportunities to Study Abroad
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!

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Today’s Question is: What study abroad options can MBA program students explore?
Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management, points to The Global Immersion Program includes classes at UCLA Anderson and one week immersion in-country for a blend of classroom lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, company visits and cultural activities.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions  at Berkeley-Haas School of Business, says: Berkeley MBA students may embark on an international exchange program in the fall semester of their second year. International exchange programs are offered at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra, Barcelona, L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Jouy-en-Josas, and London Business School.

Students can also do an exchange with Columbia Business School in New York. Students interested in international exposure without the semester exchange often participate in International Business Development(IBD), our global consulting course that sends student teams all over the world to complete a three-week consulting project.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid  at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked students to share their experience with Johnson’s study abroad options:

  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: We have programs where students can attend schools across the world. For shorter periods, there are opportunities to attend two week international treks to receive elective credit.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: There is incredible diversity of study abroad programs.  I participated in programs in South Africa/Zanzibar and Israel and both were life-changing.
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Yes – either semester abroad or week long excursions known as Johnson Treks.
Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says: In addition to our three campuses (Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau & Singapore), we have alliances and partnerships with Kellogg, Wharton, SAIS John Hopkins and CEIBS in the US and China.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, says: We have semester exchange programs with ESADE, HEC, and BiMBA at Peking University. We also require all MBAs to complete the Global Business Experience course, which asks them to consult for a company abroad then travel to that company to present their recommendations to executives.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business, says: While we have traditional Study Abroad programs, all students will go abroad to either Asia, South America or Europe as a part of the Global Leadership Program at Cox at the end of their first year.

As one of the first leading business schools to mandate global immersion for our students, the Cox School has built deep and extensive relationships with the leaders of today’s greatest international companies. As a result, students don’t just tour countries and visit headquarter locations; you hear and learn from the C-level executives who lead their global organizations on a daily basis.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, says: In addition to our Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) courses, where students study an area of the world for a term and then go to visit, we offer more than 30 international exchange partners from Denmark, to China, to South Africa, to Argentina, and more.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, says: Yes, including our popular 1-2 week in-country, intensive courses called Doing Business in… (DBis) to explore how business is conducted in other countries in Central America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia & Pacific.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says: Transitional Economies Study Abroad in EU is an option for those looking for a formal exchange program. Global Treks also play a role internationally.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, says: Global engagement is a daily occurrence at Yale SOM…Our curriculum not only incorporates global perspectives into course work and cases but also requires significant global experience and includes a unique class on working in global virtual teams.

Yale SOM was the first major MBA program to require students to study abroad, with the introduction of our International Experience trips in 2006. Students now choose from a menu of Global Studies options, which include leveraging the Global Network for Advanced Management through Global Network Weeks and Courses, semester-long study abroad, International Experience trips, and real-world consulting experience with mission-driven entrepreneurs in the Global Social Entrepreneurship elective. Students also participate in an innovative Global Virtual Teams course, in which they partnered this year with Global Network peers at EGADE Business School in Mexico and HEC Paris in France on a virtual operations management project.

******

Get your passport ready, because it seems international travel is all but guaranteed when you pursue an MBA degree at one of the top b-schools anywhere in the world!  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 the entrepreneurship resources available at their programs.

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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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Using an MBA to Change Careers [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2016, 11:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Using an MBA to Change Careers
These days, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who stays with one company or even one industry throughout his or her entire professional life. If you’re looking for the fast track to gain the skills and network to launch your career in a new direction, a popular way to do so is through an MBA program. In fact, by some estimates, two-thirds or more of graduating MBAs use the degree as a means of switching careers.

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While students often set their sights on a job in finance or consulting, the skills typically strengthened during business school—leadership, intellectual creativity, analysis and critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, even greater IT mastery—will serve you well as you find your way toward your ultimate career goal.

So-called career switchers look upon the degree as a way to expand international job opportunities, develop the right connections for future employment, and establish the potential for long-term income and financial stability. I personally went to business school because I wanted to transition from finance to marketing.  While I did achieve this, I also found that the MBA experience in and of itself opened up my mind to an array of new possibilities. I ended up in a career with a marketing focus, but it unfolded in a way I never would have considered pre-MBA.

Since application season is in full swing, I have a few words of advice for those applying to an MBA program now or in the near future. Business school demands a huge investment of your time, energy and finances, so make an airtight case to the admissions committee for why you want to go into this new field. Show that you know what the industry requires, the challenges you expect to face, and convey all previous experiences that demonstrate you have the transferable skills to make this switch.

One former SBC client, Sheila, worked as a real estate attorney focused on commercial transactions when she decided that she found working with the financial details more interesting than the legal intricacies. She passed the first level of the Certified Financial Analyst exam, but had a very limited understanding of other areas of business management. Though the CFA program is a tremendous resource, she had enough experience to know that she needed to develop the skills best provided by earning an MBA. Going to business school became the next logical step toward Sheila’s objective of working in real estate banking at a Wall Street firm.

If your undergraduate degree or work experience falls into the non-traditional category, make sure you clearly convey your long-term career goals within your application and essays, and explain in detail how you arrived at the conclusion that an MBA would help you further your professional aspirations. Know that the elite business schools welcome applicants from the humanities, but, unlike their business major peers, these candidates will need to prove to the admissions committee that their relatively minimal academic experience in quantitative subjects won’t be a hindrance once they hit those core courses.

Your GMAT or GRE score is the first and most obvious piece of the puzzle that indicates your ability to handle MBA-level course work, so allow yourself plenty of time to study for the exam. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT, the average amount of study needed to achieve a score between 600 and 690 is 92 hours, and getting above that brass ring score of 700 is 102 hours. If you find your score has settled at the lower end of the spectrum, find other ways to demonstrate your quantitative competence, such as taking a college-level calculus class with a score of a B-plus or better.

Once you’re in b-school, opportunities abound to try out that new industry through coursework, student groups, internships, or networking with alumni. Self-reflection and exploration are key components of the MBA experience, giving students a chance to sample various fields and functions without making any firm commitments.

Embarking on a new career path with a freshly-minted MBA tucked under your arm isn’t just about new knowledge acquired in the classroom. It’s about leveraging your existing experience with enhanced skills, and even more so, it’s about making the most of personal relationships. All of the people, classes, activities, etc. in an MBA program catapult you into a whole new sphere, and you may come out with completely new ideas which help facilitate career change in ways you would not have thought of before. For me, this is the best part and the real opportunity business school provides.

The article originally appeared as a guest post for our partners at MBA Insight.
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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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Former Adcom Officers Have Some (More) Advice for You [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2016, 09:00
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Former Adcom Officers Have Some (More) Advice for You
A few weeks ago we talked about how Stacy Blackman Consulting has former admissions officers from all of the top MBA programs on our team, and how these ex-adcom consultants help with Flight Test reviews for each of our All-In clients, contribute their insiders’ knowledge to our internal message boards, and assist with program-specific questions.

We asked these valuable team members if they had any advice for our readers who are applying in Round 2. Here’s what they had to say:

  • For some schools (such as CBS), fit and knowledge of the school can be equally as important as qualifications. You still have to have the qualifications, but if you have them and don’t have the knowledge of the school, it can be a reason for rejection. Know where and why you are applying!
  • Schools like to see a mention of you attending their events or speaking with their students (or both!) in your essays.
  • Programs have a lot more to offer visiting prospective students on campus during the school year versus over the summer, so plan your campus visits accordingly.
  • It is a good idea to have items and examples to discuss in your interview that are not on your resume.
  • For some schools (such as Kellogg), interviews are truly blind; your interviewer will have only seen your resume.
  • Connected alums can email admissions directly on your behalf without counting as one of your formal recommenders. (Tip: use this very sparingly!)
  • In a group interview situation (such as at Wharton), highlighting the ideas of others or effectively drawing out quieter members of the group is seen as a plus.
Remember:
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***

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

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

_________________

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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Former Adcom Officers Have Some (More) Advice for You   [#permalink] 29 Nov 2016, 09:00

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