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HBS Update on Round 2 Applications [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Update on Round 2 Applications
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The final wave of Round 2 interview invitations from Harvard Business School will go out on Wednesday, February 1st at noon EST. According to a new update by MBA admissions director Chad Losee, the online scheduler for this wave of interview invites will go live immediately.

As a reminder, whether you interview on campus, a global hub city, or via Skype, your odds of acceptance are the same as members of the admissions board conduct all HBS interviews.

The admissions team will also send out release notifications on Wednesday, and Losee takes a moment to reassure these candidates that HBS welcomes re-applicants, noting that “about 10% of each class is composed of students who didn’t get into HBS on their first try.”

If you’re planning to reapply if you don’t get accepted this year, here at SBC we recommend you treat the re-application process as a blank slate instead of reusing old essays.  It’s always a good idea to paint a new self-portrait based on the experiences you have gained during the past year.

Also, a word to future Round 1 applicants: Spring is a great time to plan a campus visit if you want to see the case method in action, as there’s limited availability for visiting a class in the early fall.

Good luck to all the Round 2 applicants out there, as well as those on the HBS waitlist.

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

 

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SC Johnson Gifts $150M to Cornell’s Business College [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: SC Johnson Gifts $150M to Cornell’s Business College
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Over the weekend, Cornell University‘s recently formed College of Business announced it has received a gift of $150 million from alumnus Fisk Johnson and SC Johnson—the largest single gift to Cornell’s Ithaca campus and the second largest gift to name a U.S. business school.

The College of Business comprises the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

In recognition of this historic gift and the Johnson family’s extraordinary, multi-generational legacy of leadership and philanthropy to Cornell, the Cornell University Board of Trustees has approved renaming the college the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

“Cornell University has been a part of my family for more than 120 years,” said Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson chairman and CEO, and a Cornell trustee emeritus. “I hope this gift will serve as a significant catalyst to help grow the reach and impact of Cornell’s College of Business. The goal is to strengthen the College of Business overall, while enhancing its three individual schools and the qualities that make each exceptional.”

Two-thirds of the gift, $100 million, will be used to create a permanent endowment to support the college’s highest ambitions.  In the near term, the endowment will provide flexibility for faculty recruitment and retention in Ithaca and New York City; increase the college’s competitiveness for top students through expanded scholarship resources; and develop and expand programs in and outside of Ithaca.

These funds will enable new interdisciplinary research initiatives in areas that leverage and enhance the college’s and Cornell’s research strengths – particularly in the areas of sustainability and technology.

The remaining $50 million of the gift will be used as a current-use challenge grant to leverage philanthropic support from others on a 1:3 basis, allowing the college to raise an additional $150 million in endowment and bring the total potential impact of the gift to $300 million. The challenge will have a special focus on faculty and student support, while also promoting innovative programs. Endowment gifts for the college’s three schools or the college broadly will be eligible for the challenge.

“This extraordinary gift will further that goal by creating more diverse and rigorous learning and research opportunities for both faculty and students across the college’s three accredited business programs,” said Soumitra Dutta, dean of the college. “It also will help enhance the unique characteristics and strengths of each and support our mission to realize the full potential of Cornell’s business programs.”

Each of the three schools maintains its distinct identity and mission, Dutta said, while collectively benefiting from these substantial new resources. Already, the college’s combined faculty from the three partner schools gives it the third-largest business faculty in the country.

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Financial Times 2017 Global MBA Ranking [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Financial Times 2017 Global MBA Ranking
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The Financial Times has once again crowned INSEAD—with campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi—as the world’s best business school. This year’s Global MBA Ranking saw strong performances from many European schools, and a surprising dip from elite US MBA programs.

Harvard Business School did not crack the top-three for the first time in nine years, and MIT Sloan School of Management fell out of the top ten for the first time in a decade. Perennial favorite London Business School fell three places to sixth—its lowest position in 14 years—giving Judge Business School in 5th place the title of top-ranked UK school for the first time ever.

This year the United States is home to five of the world’s top 10 business schools, but when the Financial Times introduced the global MBA ranking in 1999, only one non-US university, London Business School, made it into the top tier.

The Top Ten in FT’s 2017 Global MBA Ranking
  • INSEAD
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  • Harvard Business School
  • Cambridge University Judge Business School
  • London Business School
  • Columbia Business School
  • IE Business School
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • IESE Business School
The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2013 graduates. MBA programs are assessed according to the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.

A likely explanation for the surge of European schools’ popularity has to do with the growing appeal of one-year degree programs which are more common outside of the United States. Since the FT ranking is based in part on career progression, shorter programs and lower tuition get graduates back in the workplace sooner and can be viewed as a better value for the money.

Top-ranked INSEAD receives high marks for its strong international culture and extensive and diverse alumni; about 95% of its faculty and students are international.  “Insead enormously boosted our intercultural experience,” said one alumni survey respondent from Switzerland. “It is a place to learn global culture better than anywhere else.”

The wealth and depth of knowledge from around the world adds tremendous value to the course, wrote another graduate from the US, adding that “with so many cultures and experiences represented, a classroom ethics discussion about bribery is not your typical boring USA version.”

One-year MBA programs are still a growing option in the United States, but already a few top schools—Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business, Emory’s Goizueta Business School—have introduced the format to attract candidates put off by the two-year time commitment and forgone salary.

Meanwhile, this year’s ranking reveals that graduates of second-place Stanford Graduate School of Business have the highest salary on average at $195,000, as well as the best career progression. Roughly 42%  of alumni hold positions at director level or above three years after graduation, compared with 22% on average for ranked programs, the FT has found.

“Stanford GSB is both a long-term investment and a personal self-investment,” said one graduate from the class of 2013. “The results put me on a path to achieve full career satisfaction.”

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.

Conrad Chua, MBA admissions director at the 5th place Judge Business School, had this to say when the 2017 Global MBA Rankings results came in. “We know that rankings are naturally volatile, as you can see from the number of schools that have double digit changes in their rankings every year.

“It is impossible to reduce an MBA experience in whatever school to just a number. Don’t ignore the rankings but make your own judgement of a school from speaking to its staff, its alums and students and make your own decision whether that is the right school for you,” Chua writes.

So remember, keep things in perspective and make sure you’re looking at the data points that are important to your own career path when determining the value of a particular ranking.

You may also be interested in:
The Truth Behind 3 Common MBA Ranking Myths

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Prepping for Video Essays and Long-Distance Interviews [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Prepping for Video Essays and Long-Distance Interviews
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An increasing number of MBA programs are making use of online video-interview platforms, where you must record responses to one or more short-answer prompts before your application is considered complete. Why do schools add this extra step? The inclusion comes in response to applicants who wanted an additional way to present themselves to the admissions committee before the in-person interview.

The new format also strengthens the written essays by demonstrating the candidate’s verbal/visual communication skills. The adcom has seen what you have going for you on paper; a video interview can give them a better sense of your personality and help them judge whether or not the “real you” matches the impression you’ve built through your other materials.

Unfortunately, video essays can also be a source of major stress for already-anxious prospective students. But here’s some good news: the reality is that it’s unlikely you will totally bomb your answer. Sometimes, the system will allow for an extra try if you’re not thrilled with your initial response. Make sure you understand what your program’s video-interview “rules” are before you start the camera rolling.

With just a little bit of confidence and preparation, you could give a response that makes the adcom think, “We just have to meet this person!” Here are some video essay-specific 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 practice by adding some “fun” questions and responses into the mix: Review the last book you read/movie you saw/TV show you watched; What is 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.
The goal of using video essays from an admissions standpoint is simply to make better decisions about which candidates are the strongest match with the program. This component will better demonstrate communication skills, the ability to think on one’s feet, and possibly help identify those applicants who, while not quite as strong on paper, may actually be the diamonds in the rough that enrich the learning experience for all.

Tips for Your Long-Distance Interview

Video interviewing is both convenient and efficient for applicants who for logistical reasons simply cannot meet in person for their MBA interview. Even in the era of FaceTime, for many it takes practice in order to come across in a professional yet natural way. Some people are distracted by their appearance; others find themselves talking in a tone that’s altogether different from a face-to-face conversation. Make sure you conduct various practice chats and seek feedback on your performance until you’re satisfied that you’re conversing with ease.

Remember that technological glitches such as dropped audio or a frozen feed are almost par for the course, but admissions staff say how you react to the situation is what really counts. Maintaining poise and keeping your frustration in check will leave a positive impression on your interviewer. Swearing at your speakers, on the other hand, will not.

Even though you’re likely to be sitting down for the interview, 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. Also, make sure your surroundings don’t distract during the video chat. As with clothing choices, the backdrop you choose can make a negative impression if the interviewer is distracted by the messy bookcase or illuminated TV screen over your shoulder. Clean, clear, and well-lit is the way to go here.

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.

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

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

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Prepping for Video Essays and Long-Distance Interviews [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2017, 22:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Prepping for Video Essays and Long-Distance Interviews
Image
An increasing number of MBA programs are making use of online video-interview platforms, where you must record responses to one or more short-answer prompts before your application is considered complete. Why do schools add this extra step? The inclusion comes in response to applicants who wanted an additional way to present themselves to the admissions committee before the in-person interview.

The new format also strengthens the written essays by demonstrating the candidate’s verbal/visual communication skills. The adcom has seen what you have going for you on paper; a video interview can give them a better sense of your personality and help them judge whether or not the “real you” matches the impression you’ve built through your other materials.

Unfortunately, video essays can also be a source of major stress for already-anxious prospective students. But here’s some good news: the reality is that it’s unlikely you will totally bomb your answer. Sometimes, the system will allow for an extra try if you’re not thrilled with your initial response. Make sure you understand what your program’s video-interview “rules” are before you start the camera rolling.

With just a little bit of confidence and preparation, you could give a response that makes the adcom think, “We just have to meet this person!” Here are some video essay-specific 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 practice by adding some “fun” questions and responses into the mix: Review the last book you read/movie you saw/TV show you watched; What is 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.
The goal of using video essays from an admissions standpoint is simply to make better decisions about which candidates are the strongest match with the program. This component will better demonstrate communication skills, the ability to think on one’s feet, and possibly help identify those applicants who, while not quite as strong on paper, may actually be the diamonds in the rough that enrich the learning experience for all.

Tips for Your Long-Distance Interview

Video interviewing is both convenient and efficient for applicants who for logistical reasons simply cannot meet in person for their MBA interview. Even in the era of FaceTime, for many it takes practice in order to come across in a professional yet natural way. Some people are distracted by their appearance; others find themselves talking in a tone that’s altogether different from a face-to-face conversation. Make sure you conduct various practice chats and seek feedback on your performance until you’re satisfied that you’re conversing with ease.

Remember that technological glitches such as dropped audio or a frozen feed are almost par for the course, but admissions staff say how you react to the situation is what really counts. Maintaining poise and keeping your frustration in check will leave a positive impression on your interviewer. Swearing at your speakers, on the other hand, will not.

Even though you’re likely to be sitting down for the interview, 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. Also, make sure your surroundings don’t distract during the video chat. As with clothing choices, the backdrop you choose can make a negative impression if the interviewer is distracted by the messy bookcase or illuminated TV screen over your shoulder. Clean, clear, and well-lit is the way to go here.

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.

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

_________________

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

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

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Six Steps to Acing Your Stanford GSB Interview [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Six Steps to Acing Your Stanford GSB Interview
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If you’ve made it to the interview stage at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), congratulations are in order. As I explained in my recent article published in Business Insider, the school has the most competitive admission stats in the world, and with only an eight percent admissions rate, receiving an invite proves that Stanford already considers you an exceptionally strong candidate.

Arguably more than any other program, Stanford looks for applicants who have formulated a worldview and understand who they are and what matters most to them. According to admissions officers, Stanford seeks out candidates who have “excelled by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

While you can never know exactly which specific questions you will encounter during your interview, you can anticipate that the types of questions will fall into one of the following categories representing the key attributes that Stanford values: intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions.

As you prepare for the interview, focus on the life experiences, anecdotes, and answers that will showcase your strengths in six specific areas. Wondering just what those areas are? Click on over to Business Insider to continue reading my article with the best GSB interview tips, and you’ll learn exactly how to successfully wow your interviewer for a shot of admission at this ultra-elite school.

You may also be interested in:
Stanford GSB Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

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NYU Stern Creates New Scholarship for Female MBA Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: NYU Stern Creates New Scholarship for Female MBA Applicants
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New York University’s Stern School of Business will establish a new merit-based scholarship called the Advancing Women in Business Scholarship for incoming full-time MBA students, the school has announced.

The scholarships will go to students who demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to advancing women in business and will cover the first year of tuition and mandatory fees.  Stern expects to award $1 million in Advancing Women in Business scholarships to students in the Class of 2019.

The Advancing Women in Business Scholarship is partially funded by alumnae and these members of the Stern School’s Board of Overseers:

  • Tania Ahuja, PhD 2001
  • Mary C. Farrell, MBA 1976
  • Nomi Ghez, GSAS 1976, ADCRT 1981
  • Judy Lee, BS 1988
  • Alison Mass, BS 1980, MBA 1981
  • Ellen J. Schapps Richman, MBA 1979
  • Chandrika Tandon
NYU Stern’s popular and active MBA student club, Stern Women in Business (SWIB), reinforces the vision behind the scholarship.  The club, whose leadership board includes four men, generates a supportive community to address topics significant to women in business and provides forums where diverse experiences, perspectives and resources can be shared.

If you are a woman planning on applying to business school in the future, we here at SBC encourage you to connect with Forte Foundation and Catalyst, two widely respected organizations dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business. Forte’s mission is to educate women on the value of an MBA degree, and holds events throughout the year to help prepare female applicants to become the best candidate possible.

You may also be interested in:

Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants

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

_________________

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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NYU Stern Creates New Scholarship Dedicated to Advancing Women in Busi [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: NYU Stern Creates New Scholarship Dedicated to Advancing Women in Business
Image
New York University’s Stern School of Business will establish a new merit-based scholarship called the Advancing Women in Business Scholarship for incoming full-time MBA students, the school has announced.

The scholarships will go to students—female or male—who demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to advancing women in business and will cover the first year of tuition and mandatory fees.  Stern expects to award $1 million in Advancing Women in Business scholarships to students in the Class of 2019.

The Advancing Women in Business Scholarship is partially funded by alumnae and these members of the Stern School’s Board of Overseers:

  • Tania Ahuja, PhD 2001
  • Mary C. Farrell, MBA 1976
  • Nomi Ghez, GSAS 1976, ADCRT 1981
  • Judy Lee, BS 1988
  • Alison Mass, BS 1980, MBA 1981
  • Ellen J. Schapps Richman, MBA 1979
  • Chandrika Tandon
NYU Stern’s popular and active MBA student club, Stern Women in Business (SWIB), reinforces the vision behind the scholarship.  The club, whose leadership board includes four men, generates a supportive community to address topics significant to women in business and provides forums where diverse experiences, perspectives and resources can be shared.

If you are a woman planning on applying to business school in the future, we here at SBC encourage you to connect with Forte Foundation and Catalyst, two widely respected organizations dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business. Forte’s mission is to educate women on the value of an MBA degree, and holds events throughout the year to help prepare female applicants to become the best candidate possible.

You may also be interested in:

Challenges and Opportunities for Female MBA Applicants

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

_________________

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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You Got into B-School…Now How Do You Pay for It? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2017, 10:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: You Got into B-School…Now How Do You Pay for It?
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If you’ve been accepted into business school, congratulations and bravo! Soon it will be time to get serious about planning for your next two years. On the financial front, people will tell you that you will find the money you need to go, but we know that thinking about all those zeros can get overwhelming and intimidating.

Luckily, there are hundreds of thousands of resources that will point you in the direction of loans, scholarships, and how to apply for all of them. But, before you become too entrenched in the micro-details attached to funding your MBA, take some time to zoom out and consider the big factors.

Most students use multiple sources

You’re unlikely to use only loans to fund your MBA. Candidates also approach family members, dip into savings, charge books to their credit cards, and feel relief when scholarships appear out of nowhere. It’s more a financing package than a single source of funding.

You can never start too soon

You should definitely enjoy an evening (or more) celebrating the success of your acceptance with friends and family. But, don’t wait too long to begin the hunt for your MBA funding.

Some sources are limited or competitive; others require lengthy processing times. There are so many reasons to start as quickly as you can, including the time it takes to crunch and splice your budget with your financing options until you can make it work.

Don’t underestimate your costs

Every program provides estimated attendance totals, but you shouldn’t take those numbers at face value. Clubs and associations charge membership fees, drinks with study groups aren’t free, and there are always at least a few international treks planned.

Don’t underestimate your budget for the sake of securing the lowest possible student loan. Though you may have the option to increase your financing if you must, it’s not always easy and takes time away from your b-school experience. Find the money you need the first time around.

Schools want you to find funding

Universities haven’t put that hefty price tag on their education to keep you away. They want you there—but they also want to offer the best possible education. That makes the university’s financial aid office your new best friend.

You’ll find scholarship opportunities, as well as uncover school loan products, flexible payment terms, and trusted independent sources of financing. It’s your first and last stop as you put together your funding package.

When all’s said and done, you’ll probably realize “they” were right: finding the financing isn’t as difficult as expected, even with all those zeros.

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The Pros, Cons of Retaking the GMAT or GRE [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Pros, Cons of Retaking the GMAT or GRE
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This guest post is provided by our friends at LA Tutors 123

After working through a grueling standardized admissions test, the moment of judgement arrives when you get your scores. If you got the score you were hoping for, congratulations! You can now focus your time and energy on the rest of the MBA admissions process. If your score is much lower than you’d hoped, however, you have to decide about whether or not to retake the test.

My biggest advice is: Don’t retake the test if you haven’t done any additional preparation!

As a tutor, I’ve encountered student after student who has taken the test two or more times before seeking a tutor or doing additional practice, hoping to somehow “get lucky” on the retake. This rarely works because these tests are not lottery tickets; the only way to substantially raise your score is to master the skills and test taking strategies they require.

A well-planned retake, however, can give you the boost you need to improve your application and clear the path to the business school of your dreams.

It’s a good idea to retake the test if:
You’re willing to put in the time and effort necessary to prepare for the retake.

Use the score report from your first test to map out how much time you’ll need to improve your skills. For low-scoring students, this might require several months, or an intense effort if you have limited time. You might consider finding a tutor (or purchasing additional hours, if you had one before) to help. Then, take at least one more practice test, preferably more, before the next real test to make sure you’re making progress.

You had extenuating circumstances on your test day.

One of the only exceptions to the additional preparation rule would be extreme circumstances, such as if you became violently ill halfway through the test, accidentally deleted your entire essay ten seconds before your time was up, or your test center was invaded by aliens.

In these cases, you might score substantially higher without additional preparation. Hopefully you’ve already cancelled your scores, because it’s better to not to have a score show up on your score report if it doesn’t reflect your true abilities. Most of the time, however, the biggest factor in how you score is preparation.

You scored substantially higher on your practice tests than the real test.

If your official test performance was much lower than your practice tests, test anxiety may have been a factor, as practice can’t fully mimic the stress of the real test. There’s a chance that once you’ve had the real test-taking experience, you’ll be calmer and more clear-minded the second time around.

That said, you should still to evaluate the reason your real test scores were lower and try to address the problem. For example, did you only complete the practice test in sections instead of all at once? If that’s the case, you should complete a few full-length practice tests in one sitting before your retake. Did the questions on the test seem harder than those on the practice tests? If so, you should seek out a different brand of practice tests and work through those.

Your score is just shy of a posted requirement.

If the school to which you’re applying has posted minimum or expected scores and you are just short of those requirements, a retake might get you over the top. You should still do additional preparation, however, otherwise you’re just as likely to score lower the second time around.

You probably shouldn’t retake the test if:
You haven’t done enough additional preparation and aren’t scoring better on practice tests.

The best way to tell if you’ve improved is to take at least one more practice test and see if your score has gone up. If it hasn’t, the retake might be a waste of time and money.

You scored higher than you did on any of your practice tests and don’t have more time to prepare.

In this case, there’s a good chance you’ll score lower if you take the test again, so don’t tempt fate.

You’ve already retaken the test several times.

While one or two retakes is common, retaking the test over and over again can weaken your application, especially if your scores don’t go up. A single retake with substantial gains, however, can show the admissions committee that you worked hard to improve, or that maybe the first test didn’t reflect your true abilities.

If you do choose to retake your admissions test, make it your goal to retake it only once and get the score you need. If you didn’t seek professional help in preparing the first time around, a class or tutor might be what you need to get you over the top. A private tutor can help you evaluate your weaknesses, keep your studying on-track, and come up with the best plan to make sure you do the retake right.

Image credit: Flickr user Steven S. (CC BY 2.0)
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5 Tips for Harvard Business School Applicants [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 5 Tips for Harvard Business School Applicants
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Harvard Business School is famously difficult to get into, but don’t let low acceptance rates keep you from applying if this is truly your dream MBA program. In a recent post to the school’s MBA Voices Blog, six recent or soon-to-be graduates of HBS offer their advice for future applicants eager to learn all they can about the admissions process.

Tip 1: Be your authentic self

“Be honest and genuine. I spent time reflecting on what really motivates me and what is most important to me. It may sound straight-forward, but I think it’s really important to have clear direction on what you want to do and how the HBS experience will help you get there. Then make sure that your application really shows your personality and conveys this message of who you are and where you want to go.” Stephanie Marr, MBA 2016

We say: The admissions committee wants to get to know you as a person beyond the resume—don’t write anything just because it seems like something an admissions committee would want to hear.

The trick to fleshing out your human side in the application is to take just a couple of experiences, activities, or themes and expand upon them in a much more detailed and nuanced way. Don’t shy away from your true interests; illustrate how they have helped shape the incredibly dynamic and fascinating person that you are.

Tip 2: Pick your recommenders carefully

“Select recommenders who know you well enough to tell a story that covers your accomplishments and the obstacles you overcame to achieve them. I chose recommenders who had seen me take on responsibility, struggle at times, and adapt to reach my goals. I think this matters much more than having recommenders with a particular job title or connection with HBS.” Sam Travers, MBA 2016

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

Tip 3: Learn more about the generous financial aid options HBS offers

“Trying to figure out how you’re going to afford your Harvard MBA can feel very scary – I definitely remember the sticker shock I felt when I read the expected student budget for the first time. Luckily, there are a lot of ways for you to get support as you decide how you want to finance your time at HBS. Many students, myself included, aren’t able to pay for business school out of their savings and instead utilize a combination of financial aid, scholarships, and loans to get themselves through the program.

HBS has an incredible need-based financial aid program; over $36 million dollars is awarded to students each year. The administration firmly believes that funding should not be a barrier for anyone to attend business school and they ensure that no student is required to take on too much debt. HBS wants everyone who is admitted to be able to come and therefore the aid is awarded solely based on financial need. Nearly 50% of the class receives HBS Fellowships with the majority of Fellowships in the $30,000-$50,000 range per year.

The average starting salary at graduation is $135,000. Most alums are able to pay back loans in considerably less time than the terms provided. HBS also offers a variety loan forgiveness programs available at graduation for those students plan to pursue a career path in a less lucrative field—for example, there are financing options for graduates heading into social enterprise or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.” Leslie Moser, MBA 2015

We say: People will tell you that you will find the money you need to go, but we know that thinking about all those zeros can get overwhelming and intimidating. Just know that most students use multiple sources; it’s never too soon to start researching your options; don’t underestimate your costs; and rest assured that schools want you to find funding and will do everything they possibly can to help accepted applicants.

Tip 4: Keep in mind HBS is reapplicant-friendly 

“I had been dinged from HBS once and wondered if it was worth applying a second time.  Although uncertain of whether or not I’d be accepted to the program, I wanted to give it another shot.  Fortunately, and likely due to some divine intervention, I was accepted to the program.  I was absolutely elated when I received the good news.” Ryan Hansen, MBA 2017

We say: Many people in b-school right now were dinged the first time they applied. Reapplying shows you are serious about your interest in the MBA program. Make sure your letters of recommendation and your GMAT or GRE scores are rock-solid, and don’t recycle essays from the first time around.

Use the additional essay question to explain what’s changed in your situation to make you a stronger candidate this time around. Make sure to address both professional and personal advancements, but show that you are realistic and self-aware. Revealing your humanity in the form of quirks, weaknesses and flaws can often help the admissions committee to like you.

Tip 5: Don’t self-select out

“When you’re lifting your finger to hit the submit button, or when you’re walking into your interview, stop thinking about your imperfections and deficiencies. In fact, stop thinking about yourself as an individual. Rather, think of yourself as a piece of something bigger – your potential HBS class. What you do have to offer? What characteristics you bring to the table that will make your section that much better? I bet there are several things about you that no one else can claim, and that’s the good stuff. Tell admissions about them.” Peter Nolan, MBA 2017

“To those thinking about applying to HBS, I encourage you to go for it. Don’t let your own self-doubt sabotage what could be one of the best experiences of your life.”   Terrance Rogers (MBA 2017)

We say: It’s hard not to feel intimidated when you read the admitted student profiles at many of the elite MBA programs, which might include Olympians, successful entrepreneurs, decorated military officers and candidates with outstanding public service experience. However, don’t get psyched out of applying just because you can’t list anything similarly noteworthy on your application.

To stand out in the eyes of the admissions committee, you just need to provide hard proof that you made a difference. Remember, it’s not about the scale of your achievements – rather, it’s the fact that you left indelible footprints.

Image credit: Flickr user Chris Han (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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Do These 4 Exercises Now to Crystallize Your Post-MBA Career Path [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Do These 4 Exercises Now to Crystallize Your Post-MBA Career Path
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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.

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

But what if you’re having trouble distilling what that goal is? Julia Zupko, Assistant Dean for Career Development at the Yale School of Management, recently tackled this very topic.

Most people don’t spend enough time proactively managing their careers, and time and again Zupko has encountered applicants whose post-college career path was greatly influenced by family or friends, campus recruiting limitations, or the heavy burden of student loan debt.

Before you launch into the MBA admissions process, take time for some serious introspection to determine what you have liked or disliked about your professional experiences thus far. What awoke your passions or bored you to tears?

To help you with this process, Zupko recommends four exercises to get you thinking deeply about your post-MBA career goals:

At My Best

The At My Best exercise focuses on peak experiences—an amazing accomplishment you’re proud of, a transformational personal experience—where you’re at your best and fully leveraging your strengths.

Available through: StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook

Job Envy

Think about jobs you have heard about and think you would enjoy. After conducting the job envy exercise, you can review your notes to identify job themes.

Available through: Discovering Your Career in Business, Tim Butler and Jim Waldroop

Letters about You

Choose at least five people who know you really well to write a letter to you. Ask them to answer questions like: What would be the ideal career for you? What are your blind spots?

Available through: Discovering Your Career in Business, Tim Butler and Jim Waldroop

StrengthsFinder

Decades of Gallup research have proved that when individuals have the opportunity to discover their natural talents and purposely develop them into strengths, the effect on individual and organizational performance is transformational.

You can take Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to discover your top five strengths. Your results will include a Signature Theme report detailing those top five strengths, what they mean, and how they are typically recognized and applied.

Available through: www.gallupstrengthscenter.com; $15 for assessment and bestselling StrengthsFinder 2.0 e-book

“While it may seem early, now is the time to catalogue those likes and dislikes, to read and learn more about positions you see in the employment reports of business school graduates, and to think deeply about yourself—what strengths you want to leverage in the future, what values and motivators are critical to you in your next position,” Zupko writes.

“Doing so will help you stay true to yourself as you pursue—and eliminate—some of the various career opportunities that will be available to you during your time in business school.”

You may also be interested in:
Ask Yourself 4 Questions Before Applying to Business School

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Do’s and Don’ts of the MBA Group Interview [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 08:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Do’s and Don’ts of the MBA Group Interview
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This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.
Competition for a seat at a top business school has never been fiercer. With so many strong, polished applications coming across their desks, admissions committees at various MBA programs have turned to group or team interviews to help make crucial admit decisions.

On paper, you can wow your evaluator with interesting work experience, stellar GMAT or GRE scores and compelling MBA essays, but none of these criterion can demonstrate how well you work with others – a crucial component of the business school experience.

Each school conducts the group interview somewhat differently – including some being optional exercises – though the task is usually to have applicants work together and solve real-world business scenarios.

The exercise demonstrates how candidates approach and analyze specific situations and their interpersonal skills, two critical components of business schools that have a team-focused learning style. Observing how you interact with peers prior to admission gives the school important clues as to what kind of student you would be if admitted.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for standing out in a group interview. While you can’t predict the group’s unique dynamic, you can prepare for the interview and increase your comfort level when the big day arrives.

Do prepare in advance:[/b] When possible, find ways to speak out more in groups or meetings at work. Applicants to the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor’s Ross School of Business receive no advance specifics on the team-based exercise, but if you’re applying to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, you’ll receive your discussion prompt prior to the interview.

Spend an hour in advance prepping for the discussion. If possible, gather a group of three or four other people and conduct a mock discussion.

Spend time studying up on the topic so you’re ready to discuss the problem in detail during the interview but try not get too attached to your own ideas. Staying flexible is key.

Don’t dominate the conversation:[/b] During the group interview, remind yourself that this isn’t a competition against others in your group – there’s no need to try to prove you’re the most brilliant mind in the room.

Encourage fellow participants to advance the conversation and help reach a solution. That said, don’t get distressed if you find yourself in a group with weaker participants. This won’t affect your admissions outcome since the observers focus solely on how you handle yourself with diverse players.

Do show you’re an active listener:[/b] A huge part of being an active listener is being open and flexible to different points of view, especially opposing viewpoints.

Even if you think you know what another person is trying to say, don’t interrupt and try to finish the thought. This sends a subtle signal that you believe your ideas are better or more important than the speaker’s.

If a group member has a good idea, acknowledge it. Also practice the “Yes, and …” rule from improvisation and build on what the other person has shared. During the interview, seize any opportunities to do this or refer to someone else’s point.

Don’t let your body language trip you up: [/b]Effective listening also involves body language. If you roll your eyes, cross your arms or display any other kind of negative body language, you’ll come across as hostile – that’s not the type of person others want on their team.

Make eye contact with the other participants when they speak, face your body toward them and ask clarifying questions when helpful. If your preparation includes mock discussions with friends or colleagues, record the session and take note of your body language, how often you interrupt or any tendencies you have to try to control the discussion.

Often, we’re unaware of these traits until we see them for ourselves. Once you know, you can actively avoid them during the interview.

Do prioritize the group’s goal:[/b] Groups that work well together impress the admissions committee, and your group is competing against other groups of applicants.

Forgo attempts to grab extra airtime for yourself, and put the team’s goal front and center. Take notes, and help keep the group on track. You’ll only have a short amount of time – 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the school – for the task.

Since many MBA applicants are born leaders and 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 need to adjust your style accordingly. Encourage shy participants to speak up more, suggest different approaches if the group seems stuck in a dead end and offer to summarize if the conversation has reached a point where everyone would benefit from a quick recap.

Great leaders come in many forms, but they usually have one thing in common: the ability to listen and work well with others. Whether you are an introvert or the life of the party, you can succeed in a group interview. Remember these simple steps and embrace the uncertainties of the experience, keep a positive attitude and enjoy this opportunity to start building your MBA network before you’ve even been admitted.

Image credit: Flickr user SESCSP (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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6 Ways to Play the MBA Waiting Game [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2017, 12:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 6 Ways to Play the MBA Waiting Game
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After months of planning, studying for the admissions exam, writing essays, and wrangling recommenders, once you hit the submit button for your business school applications you’ve probably been wondering what to do with yourself during the MBA waiting game. Here are six tips to make the most of this period.

1. Be happy: What did you enjoy before essays and GMAT scores became the focal point of your life? Take this opportunity to relax a bit, read a book, or go for a run.

It’s likely your social life has languished on the back burner for the past few months, so spend some time reconnecting with your family and friends before every waking minute is spent job hunting and networking with your fellow MBA classmates. While accomplishing a huge goal such as gaining admission to an MBA program will feel good, friends, exercise, and relationships are the path to longer-lasting happiness.

2. Fantasize about your plan B: It’s tempting to start planning out your first few weeks on campus—the clubs you plan to join and the apartment you will hunt for—but reminding yourself that you have alternatives is healthy. You’re young, intelligent, and accomplished. If you didn’t go to business school in the fall, what career shift or huge dream might you fulfill?

Maybe you would flee to Paris and take art lessons, learn Mandarin (in China), or hike the Appalachian Trail. Fantasizing about plan B is more practical than you think; when you start receiving those acceptance letters, you’ll have a head start on your summer plans!

3. Avoid discussion boards: While commiserating with strangers over the Internet may seem like an attractive outlet for your anxiety, focusing on an outcome you can no longer control will only add to stress in your life. While it’s certainly positive to network with your potential future classmates, make sure you approach any rumors or myths with a balanced perspective.

It is natural to search for certainty in an uncertain process. With admission rates hovering at 10 percent for the most competitive programs, many candidates feel anxiety about the final decisions. However, if you have put together the strongest possible application you can and worked to impact every factor under your control, it’s time to relax and wait for the results.

4. Prepare for interviews: If you absolutely must remain focused on your MBA plans, starting your interview prep is a good outlet for your energy. Working on your communication and presentation skills can be an ongoing challenge.

Practicing common interview questions with friends and family will both make you more prepared when the interview invitation arrives and minimize your anxiety.

5. Become a local, even if only for a few days: MBA candidates should remember that they will be choosing not just a school but a city or town as well. Therefore, now is an ideal time to plan that campus visit, and to explore the region you may soon call home for the next two years.

6. Stay connected: Demonstrating continued and genuine interest in your MBA program of choice is one of the best ways to show the admissions committee that you are strongly committed to attending their program. How to do this? Reach out to alumni for an insider view of the program, and perhaps some interview pointers as well.

If the school plans to hold an information session online or in a city nearby, sign up or show up. You can never have too much information about your target school. The more opportunities you create to connect with the program, the better you’ll be able to judge its culture and community to determine if it’s the right fit for you.

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NYU Stern Launches Digital Business Certificate [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: NYU Stern Launches Digital Business Certificate
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Digital technology is redefining business models and transforming industries from finance to fashion at an unprecedented pace. In response, NYU Stern School of Business is introducing a new Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) in Digital Business.

At companies leading this transformation, technical professionals find they need to understand the business implications of technology as they progress to product planning and managerial roles, and non-technical professionals need to understand the fundamentals of digital technology to advance within their organizations. Stern’s new certificate will address these unmet needs.

Working professionals with or without an MBA may apply to the APC program to take five courses alongside Stern MBA students in the School’s Langone Part-time MBA program. APC students can earn their certificate in digital business in as few as two semesters and will have up to two years to complete it.

“Most of the top digital economy companies have a home base in New York City, many in Silicon Alley just a few blocks from Stern,” said Yannis Bakos, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Faculty Director of the APC in Digital Business.

“Employees in these companies can take top-tier MBA courses during evenings or weekends, and deepen their understanding of digital technology and digital business in a short amount of time. They can better assess whether a full MBA program might be the next step for them, or they can update a degree they earned before digital business was part of the MBA curriculum,” Bakos said.

APC students without an MBA may choose to apply to Stern’s Langone Part-time MBA program while pursuing their certificate. If admitted, these students can apply their APC credits towards the Langone Part-time MBA as long as they do so prior to receiving their APC certificate.

APC in Digital Business course offerings include classes on digital strategy; data mining; business analytics; digital marketing; digital media; and statistics and data analysis. As part of the admissions process, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, two years of work experience and submit either a GMAT or GRE score, or proof of an MBA degree. Candidates may apply to start courses in the Fall or Spring semester.

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Harvard Celebrates New Venture Competition’s 20th Anniversary [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Celebrates New Venture Competition’s 20th Anniversary
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In April, Harvard Business School students and alumni will compete for $300,000 in cash prizes to fund their startup dreams in the 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition. Past competition winners and participants will also return to campus for programs and a celebratory 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition Finale on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The school is offering its biggest prizes to date, with a $75,000 Grand Prize for top winners in the Student Business, Student Social Enterprise, and Alumni competitions. Additional prizes are a $25,000 Runner-Up Prize, $5,000 Audience Award, and in-kind services. Previously the Grand Prize was $50,000 in each category.

More than 200 judges will vigorously review the new ventures in several rounds of judging. Past winners include Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and GrabTaxi.

“The New Venture Competition is critical to entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School,” says Jodi Gernon, Director of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which oversees the student and alumni business tracks of the competition. “Competition winners say it was the launching point of their businesses, helped them to attract funding, and gave them the confidence, exposure, and skills to found companies.”

Matt Segneri, Director of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative, which manages the social enterprise track, says, “The winning teams developed innovative approaches—using for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid models—to tackle society’s toughest challenges, including HIV prevention and K-12 education reform.”

171 alumni teams applied in January and are being judged in 15 regions. Four alumni teams will make it to the semifinals to present and be judged at the April Finale at HBS. More than 70 student teams on the business track and 48 social entrepreneurs have already applied in advance of the March 8 deadline.

HBS also offers workshops and other support for students. You can learn more about the New Venture Competition at hbs.edu/nvc and track Harvard Business School’s 20th Anniversary New Venture Competition on Twitter at #HBSNVC.

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

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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Dealing with Impostor Syndrome at B-School [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Dealing with Impostor Syndrome at B-School
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When you have your sights set on one of the top business schools in the world, you probably feel rather confident that your skills and experiences will sufficiently sway the admissions committee to take a closer look at your application.

However, despite that confidence, many accepted candidates go through a period of self-doubt once they start learning more about all of the amazing people they will be working alongside in class.

If you take a look at Poets & Quants‘s terrific series highlighting noteworthy members of the Class of 2018, you’ll see that the elite programs worldwide have admitted candidates from all walks of life, from skydivers, former White House employees, chess champions, Navy Seals and rocket scientists, to opera singers, cheese experts, and professional dancers.

With all of these impressive backgrounds, anyone might feel intimidated or experience self-doubt about whether you’re acceptance was…maybe…a mistake? That’s why we think this post from the INSEAD MBA Experience blog is an important read for both applicants and the newly admitted.

Everywhere I turn at INSEAD, I see bright, talented, young people, with rich life experiences, careers spanning several countries and incredible stories. And when I hear all that, I quietly think to myself: “What am I doing here? These people are so amazing, have such incredible career successes, they sound extraordinary compared to my puny engineering background… how did I ever get in?”

Yann Parer, MBA ’17D, writes frankly about impostor syndrome: “A psychological condition in which the subject, usually a high achiever, is convinced that they are not deserving of their success.”

When you’re used to being the smartest person in the room, it’s very unnerving to suddenly find yourself completely surrounded by gifted individuals.  “In the face of such talent and success you feel like your own personal achievements are trivial,” he explains.

Take a look at Parer’s post and see what conclusions he has arrived at regarding impostor syndrome now that he’s six weeks into the INSEAD program. We promise, you’ll feel much better about your own possible affliction!

You may also be interested in:
CBS Professor Offers 5 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence

4 Bad Reasons to Skip Applying for B-School 

Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams

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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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3 Signs You Shouldn’t Apply to Business School in Round 3 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2017, 11:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: 3 Signs You Shouldn’t Apply to Business School in Round 3
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This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.
Everyone has an opinion about submitting an MBA application in round three, and a lot of the conversation circles around how competitive it is. If you tried your best but you just couldn’t pull together all of your business school materials before round two deadlines hit, you might wonder whether round three is the answer.

By the time the final admission round starts, admissions committees have seen thousands of qualified applicants in the first two rounds, have a fairly good idea of what the incoming class will look like and also compiled a waitlist of additional qualified candidates.

Before round three closes out, a certain percentage of people admitted in the first two rounds will have already committed to a program. In short, precious few spots remain when the admissions committees finally turn their attention to final-round applications.

As such, deciding whether to apply in the final round requires serious reflection and sound reasoning. Consider these three signs that you should not apply to business school in round three.

1. You had no luck with earlier round applications. [/b]This is a guaranteed red flag that your MBA application needs more work, and applying in the final round will likely yield the same results.

It’s a huge mistake to think that fewer applicants in round three means less competition and better chances of admission. As we’ve mentioned before, successful round three applications offer the schools something that has truly not appeared in applicants from the previous rounds.

The admissions committees know what they need to round out the class. They have become good at estimating numbers and evaluating and accepting applicants who fit their criteria.

Only the strongest, most compelling candidates make the cut, so if your applications didn’t generate sufficient interest in earlier rounds, they certainly won’t amid the exceptional candidates at the end of the season. Instead, you should regroup, restrategize and apply again next year.

2. Your test scores are middling and you’ve only tested once. [/b]The majority of applicants plan to take the GMAT or GRE a second time if their initial test scores aren’t in the 80-percent range for their target MBA programs. Like it or not, test scores greatly influence admissions decisions. As we’ve discussed in prior posts, preparing early and adequately for the entrance exam is critical.

While each year we hear of that miracle case where someone gets into Harvard Business School with a 650 on the GMAT, it’s likely that the person’s profile was so extraordinary in every other way that it offset the low score. Devote ample time to test prep this spring and bring that crucial application component in line with what the admissions committee expects to see from successful candidates.

3. You’re rushing to get all of your materials together.[/b] The golden rule in MBA admissions is apply only when your application is as strong as possible – and not a moment before.

Maybe projects at work have kept you ultra-busy these past few months. Perhaps one of your recommenders seems less enthusiastic about your b-school plans and you need to find a new one. Or maybe you just haven’t devoted as much time as you’d like to those important extracurricular interests that the admissions committee loves to see.

Think of every part of the MBA application as precious real estate. If you’re rushing any one component just to get everything submitted on deadline, the quality will suffer.

Take a breather, get your materials together in a thoughtful manner and wait for round one deadlines. This extra time will allow you to approach the application more strategically, and will certainly yield a more positive outcome than a sloppy last-round application will.

Finally, if you do decide to throw your hat in the ring, be sure to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. Developing resilience is incredibly important if you need to reapply, but it’s also essential in life.

Even when you put your best out there, you might still fail. However, to be successful, you need to learn how to bounce back and try again.

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

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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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Tips for 3 Common MBA Interview Questions [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Tips for 3 Common MBA Interview Questions
Round 2 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.

Here are tips for three common MBA interview questions:

Tell me about yourself.
Our first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. It’s easy to do when you’ve been asked such an open-ended question, so make sure you practice your response out loud a few times. There’s no need to recite your life’s story—talking about where you were born, your family, or your childhood is not what they’re looking for here.

We recommend approaching this question as if they’d asked you to walk them through your resume: 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.

Why do you want to go School X?
If you haven’t discussed your short- and long-term career goals by the time you are asked this question, 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.

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!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The worst thing you could say in response to this question is “Nope, we’re good.” 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.

Our parting advice: be yourself. You want the adcom to admit you for who you really are, right?

Finally, you might want to jot this down the morning of your interview:

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Nervous about upcoming interviews? Take advantage of Stacy Blackman’s prep services—from one-on-one mock interviews to live group-practice sessions that are designed for candidates interviewing with Wharton and Ross. Learn more about all of our interview-prep resources here.

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

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

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

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

Tips for 3 Common MBA Interview Questions   [#permalink] 21 Feb 2017, 09:01

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