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The Chicago GSB Slide Show

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The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2008, 23:24
I started working on my Chicago GSB application tonight and I came across the weird "submit 4 slides" "essay question." Does anyone have any thoughts about how to approach this? Is there anyone on here who was accepted to Chicago in the past and has some insight? I'm tempted to post some artsy black and white photos of myself. Any thoughts?
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2008, 06:39
what will an artsy black and white photo of yourself add to your application? This isn't a modeling agency ha But seriously, you have such limited space to convey information so you need to do it wisely. For example put an animal on each page and describe what traits you and the animal share etc. Something that adds insight into you that you haven't showed in the other essays. Considering Chicago's essays this year, this is valuable real estate.

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2008, 06:49
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Be creative, but focus on telling them something about yourself that they wouldn't otherwise know.... do not repeat information in the essays or resume. .

The exception to that might be including info/photos that elaborate (substantially) on your extracurricular activities, if for instance, all they know otherwise is contained in a single bullet on your resume.

All too often however, the ppts I've seen have a tendency to rehash known facts. Often, they are 'clever' and creative, but the novelty of the concept wears thin within about 10 seconds - and what they really lack is meaningful content. For instance, I saw one last year where the guy used his name to spell out something like "D.A.N" = "Dedicated, Adventure...". That might be 'clever' and a bit creative, but its pretty low on the scale of actually communicating anything of consequence. There was another I saw last year where the guy turned the whole thing into a 'client presentation' (he wanted to be a consultant) about himself, complete with the regurgitation of lots of facts from his resume. It was cute that he made up a consulting company and was presenting on himself - but again, that novelty is quickly forgotten. I've seen lots of variations of this - bankers creating "mock" pitch books on themselves, marketers presenting "sales figures" on a candy bar named after themselves (hint: sales are through the roof!), , the 'pre and post MBA human capital valuation' (on themselves again, and guess what, the post MBA valuation is really high! Lets invest!) from someone wanting to do VC. Those are all cute, and you get a laugh - but they aren't particularly memorable. (In other words, odds are, you aren't the first to come up with a 'pitch book' concept). Like I said, these are all fine - intrinsically, there's nothing wrong with any of them -- but often the tendency is for the 'cute hook' to be 70% of the point of the powerpoint, with the actual content simply reinforcing the hook rather than saying something of consequence. For instance, the VC post and pre valuation investment book had a page with, basically, resume bullets before mba and resume bullets post mba. Again, very much supports the 'pre-post mba valuation' hook, but all the pre mba resume bullets were basically what was on the resume already, and the post mba ones essentially outlined his goals, which were in the essays. You didn't actually learn anything new from the slide.

So, my advice, is this: rather than get hung up coming up with something cute, figure out what you have and have not yet told the admissions committee.

The other thing I'd caution against is attempting to rehash other essays from other schools into some kind of PPT. It doesn't work. Bullet pointing your story about saving the engineering team from fudging up the doohikie doesn't lend itself to an interesting PPT.

So, include artsy photos of you? Sure, but only if you took them or if they show you doing something other than standing around looking important. Otherwise, what are you telling the adcom about yourself? You have a friend with good photography skills?

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2008, 08:45
Thanks rhyme!! That's really helpful and good to know.

I know that my current version of the PPT is pretty boring - I have a feeling that the "Who am I? what do i do?" theme is pretty blah. I'll take another pass with some of your suggestions :)

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2008, 07:25
I was actually mostly joking about the artsy b&w photos (its just sort of what naturally came to mind when I heard slide show about myself). I liked the suggestions that rhyme mentioned above.
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2008, 08:18
I should probably clarify - the examples I listed above werent intended to be examples of what to do, just examples of what people have done, and I intended to provide those with the cautionary caveat that although "cutesy", they often don't say much about the candidate, or just repeat things that were otherwise said.

It's certainly fine to go with something cute like the above, but just make sure it doesn't actually dominate the purpose or content of the ppt. I've seen some PPTs with no "theme" that actually did a great job of describing who the person is, what they enjoy, what their character and personality is like and how they would fit well the GSB. In fact, I'd even say that, in general, the ones that skip over the cheesy hook do a better job than those that don't.

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2008, 08:44
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I don't think you have to look very far to find an artsy black and white photo of yourself. Thanks to your self-promoting logo, I have one of you too.

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2008, 06:05
AZCFA wrote:
I don't think you have to look very far to find an artsy black and white photo of yourself. Thanks to your self-promoting logo, I have one of you too.


You black and whited my avatar image? That's kind of creepy.
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2008, 15:43
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I got accepted at Chicago, and I think that my presentation made a difference. I think Rhyme hit the nail on the head when he said that the worst thing you could do is repeat info that people already know. I think it's the most important advice one could give you. Just put yourself in the reviewer's shoes: he / she'll be bored to death if you tell him for the 15th time that you were captain of your curling team. Also, it doesn't have to be technically perfect (pitch book style), people don't really care (unless it's a mess, then it's bad), the message is essential.

My approach was the following: I determined the points and affirmations that I wanted to get through, and based on that I allocated these messages in different essays. One example: I travelled a lot in my life (not as a tourist); that was one of the key messages I wanted to transmit. I used one of the slides to show on a world map all the place I had been to. I also used photos to show my passions - classic music, soccer, food & wine among others. I didn't mention this at all in the other essays.

Once you know what you want to transmit as a message, it becomes really fun to make! It was by far my most enjoyable moment in the whole process - that and getting accepted obviously :-D

PS: one last comment: I heard that a lot of presentations were frowned upon because of "inappropriate content" (drunk photos trying to demonstrate that you're a cool, social guy for example). I don't know if it's an American thing (people in general are more conservative on certain jokes and aspects of life), but definitively keep that in mind.

PPS: you made me want to check my presentation again; when I look at it it was by far my best "essay" for any school that I applied for. If you do this right it could make a big difference, especially considering the fact that I get the impression that a lot of people blow the presentation.
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2008, 15:46
Leverandon wrote:
AZCFA wrote:
I don't think you have to look very far to find an artsy black and white photo of yourself. Thanks to your self-promoting logo, I have one of you too.


You black and whited my avatar image? That's kind of creepy.


Haha!

However, one could also argue that putting a poseur photo of you on a public forum is pretty silly too :-D
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2008, 20:26
Audio is right, I've heard many times that some people sent inappropriate content such as people really drunk, sometimes photos of people on a beach with bathing suit (really that a BUSINESS SCHOOL, hehehe), etc. No wonder why some people got dings.

They showed us some of the Presentations and I could see a little bit everything: from very simple ones but with powerful content, to extremely elaborated. I believe that they are not kidding with applicants when they say that they are not looking for Power Point skills, though I believe that in a tie, they would get the best visual one.

Follow rhymes advice and don't repeat what you already told them on other essays, I did repeat a little though, but went deeper on what I wanted to tell them.
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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2008, 00:39
jlola21 wrote:
Do you have a hobby? I based my presentation on demonstrating to them my hobby and how it represents who I am - things that can't be shown through my work or academic experience, but WHO I am as a person aside from awards, promotions, grades. Think about what makes you tick, what drives you.


What if your hobbies are somewhat inane? As an example, I used to collect sneakers. You know, like the stereotypical Air Jordan fan. Does stuff like this look stupid? Or is the humorous angle interesting?

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2008, 08:09
Sorry, but that strikes me as a bit too unconventional. That might work if you tied it in with your most memorable experiences of growing up in the 80's, and how the Air Jordans eventually turned out to have an iconic standing in 80's fashion or something like that. That might make it more interesting, and personal.

But I don't know, didn't someone here point out recently that Rose said something along the lines of the slideshow still being a part of an MBA application, and applicants who went overboard with their creativity (and didn't talk about themselves enough) were doing themselves no favour.

Tarmac wrote:
What if your hobbies are somewhat inane? As an example, I used to collect sneakers. You know, like the stereotypical Air Jordan fan. Does stuff like this look stupid? Or is the humorous angle interesting?

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Re: The Chicago GSB Slide Show   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2008, 08:09
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