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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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In Other News… Business Insider’s MBA Rankings, Michigan State’s New E [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… Business Insider’s MBA Rankings, Michigan State’s New Endowment, and Approval of Harvard’s Renovation Plans
The business school world is constantly buzzing with change and innovation. Each week, in addition to our regular news posts, we briefly touch on a few notable stories from this dynamic field in one roundup. Here is what caught our eye this week:

  • Business Insider released its sixth annual business school rankings recently, with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania claiming the top spot following its third-place finish last year. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business rose three spots from its 2014 ranking and came in second place, while last year’s champion Harvard Business School was ranked third. The publication looks at five factors, including average post-graduate starting salaries, reputation among employers who have interviewed MBAs for positions, and average GMAT scores at business schools.

    Al and Nancy Gambrel

  • The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University (MSU) recently received a $1M donation from MSU alumni Al and Nancy Gambrel, funding the installment of the Gambrel Family Endowed Professorship in Management. Al Gambrel, who serves as the senior vice president of human resources at food processing company TreeHouse Foods, credited one of his MSU professors, Larry Foster, as an inspiration to his career. “I’d love for [the professor endowed by the donation] to do for these students what professor Larry Foster did for me,” Gambrel said in a press release.
  • Harvard Business School’s ambitious renovation and construction plans were met with approval by the Boston Redevelopment Authority last week. The school announced its plan for two new campus buildings, estimated to cost $171M, in 2014. Klarman Hall and G2 Pavilion will replace the existing Burden Hall, which will be demolished as the project begins.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The MIT Energy Conference [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The MIT Energy Conference

When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Held each spring since 2006, the MIT Energy Conference attracts technologists, investors, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and energy professionals who are defining the world’s energy future. The conference theme in 2015 was “Global Energy Shifts: Disruption and Convergence.” The event’s numerous keynote speakers included the chairman and CEO of C3 Energy, the CEO and president of SunEdison Inc., and the chief strategy officer of Exelon Corporation. Panel sessions focused on such topics as “Energy Efficiency: Our Greatest Untapped Natural Resource,” “Unconventional Resources: Present to Future, U.S. to Global,” and “Funding Moonshots and Fostering Global Collaboration in Energy R&D.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at MIT Sloan and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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Diamonds in the Rough: Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of B [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business

MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Corporate connections are a major selling point at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Located in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the school offers its MBA students access to a large network of corporate representatives and recruiters—from the 18 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the area to a global alumni base in excess of 110,000. One highlight of the networking resources Cox provides is its Alumni Association, which has chapters in more than 20 countries.

The Economist ranked Cox’s small, collaborative program 22nd for “potential to network” in 2015. In addition, Entrepreneur magazine has ranked business-friendly Dallas second among U.S. cities for entrepreneurs.

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Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan

Pictured: The “Caribbean Ocean” Auction, via MIT Sloan

Twice a year, in the fall and the spring, MIT Sloan students organize charity auctions. Each “ocean” (the 68-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, such as lunch with a professor, a home-cooked meal by a student, and more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. All together, the auctions raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund, Children of Uganda, Pencils of Promise, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

As you submit your application to Sloan, you may want to consider what you can offer up for auction and start preparing to bid!

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at MIT Sloan or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In!

So, you have taken the GMAT and exceeded even your highest expectations, scoring at the very top of the scale. Congratulations! However, do not assume that earning such a high GMAT score means you can relax with respect to the other components of your application. Every year, applicants who have scored 750 or higher are rejected from their target business schools—even when their GMAT score falls within the top 10% of the schools’ range. And many of these candidates were rejected because of a fatal, but ultimately avoidable, mistake: they became overconfident and assumed their GMAT score alone would get them in.

Business schools want to learn a lot more about you than your GMAT score alone can convey. MBA programs are interested in hearing about your ambitions, accomplishments, leadership skills, teamwork experience, perseverance, motivation, integrity, compassion … and the list goes on. Fundamentally, admissions committees need to determine whether you will be a vital and contributing member of their community, and your GMAT score tells them only that you can do the work.

Heed our advice—even (or especially!) those of you with a 780 score—and commit yourself to the rest of your application with the same enthusiasm with which you approached the GMAT!

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GMAT Impact: Stop Taking So Many CATs! (Part 1) [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Stop Taking So Many CATs! (Part 1)
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

What are the Dos and Don’ts to get the most out of your CATs? Learn more in this three-part series.



Know WHY you take CATs

Practice CATs are very useful for three things:

(1) Figuring out your current scoring level (assuming you took the test under official conditions)

(2) Practicing stamina and/or timing

(3) Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses

The third item is the MOST important—this is how we actually get better at this test!

Practice CATs do not help us to improve while taking the test. If you have been training to run a marathon, you will not learn how to get better while running the marathon itself; at that stage, you are just trying to survive. Rather, you learn how to improve in between races while doing all kinds of training activities and analyzing your performance.

DO take a CAT at the beginning of your study

Many people put off taking their first CAT, often because they say that they have not studied yet, so they know they will not do well. Your goal in taking your first CAT is NOT to do “well.” Your goal is simply to get a handle on your strengths and weaknesses. Whatever they are, you want to know that right away so you can prioritize your study.

One caveat: Familiarizing yourself with the five question types before that first exam (particularly Data Sufficiency) is important, but definitely do not worry about learning all of the formulas and grammar rules. Your first test performance will tell you what you do and do not yet know.

One caution in particular here: a decent percentage of the people who put off their first CAT do so because they are feeling significant anxiety about taking the test. These are the people who do need to take that first test early—pushing off the practice tests will just exacerbate your anxiety.

DON’T take a CAT more than once a week

Have you ever had this happen? You take a CAT and you get a disappointing score. Maybe you even really mess things up—run out of time or finish 20 minutes early—and your score plummets. So, a couple of days later, you take another CAT to “prove” to yourself that the bad test was just a fluke.

If you have ever done that, you wasted your time and a practice CAT, both of which are very valuable.

That bad test was not a fluke. Something happened to cause that performance. Figure out what that thing was and fix it before you spend another 3.5 hours taking a second test.

In fact, whether you like the score or not, whenever you take a CAT, do not waste time taking another until you have addressed whatever issues popped up during your analysis of the first test. (This article will help you analyze MGMAT CATs.)

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Start with Your Strongest Accomplishments [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Start with Your Strongest Accomplishments
When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many MBA applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it an attractive one, we encourage you to consider an alternative to showcase your more recent and thus potentially stronger accomplishments first. By choosing this alternate approach, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

Consider the examples of a software analyst who is now a project manager managing a budget and leading a team of 20 programmers, and of an investment banking analyst who is now in his/her third year with a company and has been sent abroad to work directly with a CFO:

The Project Manager:

Chronological: “Joining ABC Technology as a software programmer, I…”

Reverse: “Scrutinizing my plan one last time, I waited to present my team’s $3.7M proposal to our client…”

The Investment Banker:

Chronological: “As an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank, I started…”

Reverse: “Arriving in Taipei, I was admittedly nervous to finally meet the CFO of XYZ Co. and lead my firm’s due diligence process…”

In these examples, the candidates immediately present their standout accomplishments and thrust the reader into the excitement of their stories. Although this kind of reverse introduction is not “all purpose,” it can be a feasible option in many circumstances. Still, in choosing this approach, the candidate must also be able to fluidly return to earlier moments in his/her career later in the essay—a task that requires creativity and skill.

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Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.



For many candidates, Round 3 is a time to sit back, relax, and wait for the MBA admissions committees to make their decisions. However, for others, the third round is a time to be conservative and apply to a “safety school.” But what constitutes a safety school?

Although determining exactly what a safety school is can be difficult (given that many variables are involved, and the definition can shift depending on the candidate in question), a good place to start is with scores. If a candidate’s GMAT score and GPA are significantly higher than the target school’s averages, for example, then the school is—at first glance, at least—a “safe” choice. So, for example, if you have a 750 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA and you are applying to a school with a GMAT score middle 80% range of 620–730 and an average GPA of 3.4 for the most recent entering class, you are off to a promising start.

Next, you might consider your work experience relative to the target program. For example, many Goldman Sachs investment banking “alums” apply and are admitted to the so-called M7 schools (Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Columbia, and MIT Sloan). If you happen to be such a candidate, choosing a school outside this tier could certainly make you more competitive.

Finally, you might consider the program’s general selectivity. If you consider yourself a competitive candidate at a program that accepts approximately 18% of its applicants, applying to one with an acceptance rate closer to 30% may be a safe option.

Before you start applying to any safety schools, however, ask yourself this relatively simple question: “Would I actually go if I got in?” Spending time applying to an MBA program that you would not be willing to actually attend is pointless. If you choose to apply to such a school (as some do) anyway, you will—rather ironically—find yourself with no “safety” net at all.

To explore potential safety schools typically ranked outside the top 15, check out our Diamonds in the Rough blog series.

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Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Choosing a Safety School
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.



For many candidates, Round 3 is a time to sit back, relax, and wait for the MBA admissions committees to make their decisions. However, for others, the third round is a time to be conservative and apply to a “safety school.” But what constitutes a safety school?

Although determining exactly what a safety school is can be difficult (given that many variables are involved, and the definition can shift depending on the candidate in question), a good place to start is with scores. If a candidate’s GMAT score and GPA are significantly higher than the target school’s averages, for example, then the school is—at first glance, at least—a “safe” choice. So, for example, if you have a 750 GMAT and a 3.8 GPA and you are applying to a school with a GMAT score middle 80% range of 620–730 and an average GPA of 3.4 for the most recent entering class, you are off to a promising start.

Next, you might consider your work experience relative to the target program. For example, many Goldman Sachs investment banking “alums” apply and are admitted to the so-called M7 schools (Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Columbia, and MIT Sloan). If you happen to be such a candidate, choosing a school outside this tier could certainly make you more competitive.

Finally, you might consider the program’s general selectivity. If you consider yourself a competitive candidate at a program that accepts approximately 18% of its applicants, applying to one with an acceptance rate closer to 30% may be a safe option.

Before you start applying to any safety schools, however, ask yourself this relatively simple question: “Would I actually go if I got in?” Spending time applying to an MBA program that you would not be willing to actually attend is pointless. If you choose to apply to such a school (as some do) anyway, you will—rather ironically—find yourself with no “safety” net at all.

To explore potential safety schools typically ranked outside the top 15, check out our Diamonds in the Rough blog series.

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MBA Career Advice: Lead With Your Best [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Lead With Your Best
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

A couple of months ago, we tried to dissuade you from starting a cover letter with the incredibly banal “My name is Bob and I am applying for the position of…” in a post quite logically entitled, “My Name Is…” But, instead of just focusing on the minimalistic “what not to do,” let’s focus on the maximalistic “what to do”!



Even the cover letters for great applicants are often discarded unless something captures the hiring manager’s attention immediately. So, your job is to… quickly capture the reader’s attention! Before you start writing a cover letter, ask yourself a simple question: what is most compelling about me as an applicant? If you can’t answer that question, then maybe you should not be applying for the job! If you can answer that question, you should think carefully about how you can relate your own compelling experience to your target field—for example, investment banking.

Do you have direct and relevant experience in investment banking? Great! Start with that: “After completing a two-year analyst program at Morgan Stanley, I am returning to the field post-MBA…” No direct banking experience? Then think about the traits they look for: attributes such as drive, stamina, analytical skills, and attention to detail.

In your cover letter, then, share your experiences that relate to those attributes and explain them in a way that will make sense to someone in banking. Here are a few examples:

  • Drive: “At University ABC, we didn’t even have a finance club—so I started one.”
  • Stamina: “After having 2,000 doors slammed in my face one summer as I sold knives door-to-door, I learned one thing—I am indefatigable.”
  • Analytical skills and attention to detail: “As a research associate for an economics professor, I was tasked with running complex models with a non-existent margin of error.”
Now, you may be saying, “But I was not a research associate, a door-to-door salesperson, or a student at a college that did not have a finance club.” That’s ok. Your job is to find the ways in which you have demonstrated these broad traits and highlight your best experiences in the context of the job for which you are applying. So, showcase your best right off the bat to increase your odds of capturing the hiring manager’s attention and ensuring that he/she reads on.

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Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Management [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school, but the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Roberto Rigobon from the MIT Sloan School of Management.



Roberto Rigobon, the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor and Management and a professor of applied economics, specializes in international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. At an awards ceremony in 2005, Sloan students described him as someone who “epitomized the fine line between madness and genius.” Other award-related descriptions of Rigobon refer to him as “serious but hilarious,” “crazy and brilliant,” and “high energy.” He teaches the reportedly very popular “Applied Macro and International Economics” course, which is often taken by up to 30% of Sloan students at a time. He has won numerous teaching awards during his time at Sloan (including the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, 2003, and 2005, and Teacher of the Year in 1999, 2002, and 2004) and is primarily recognized for his accessibility. As one second-year student blogged, “The door to his office was always open.”

For more information about MIT Sloan and 15 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Worldly Cuisine at Darden [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Worldly Cuisine at Darden
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.



For the International Food Festival at the University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business, students arrange themselves into teams according to their home country or culture. On the night of the festival, which is sponsored by the International Business Society and typically involves more than 150 students and their partners, the teams set up tables with decorations representing their home countries and cultures and present home-cooked, authentic cuisine; in addition, the students often dress in their region or culture’s traditional clothing. A showcase at the end of the evening allows participating groups to show off their region’s music and dancing. An alumna told mbaMission, “It is fascinating to see all of your classmates whipping up their own culinary decadence. Everyone makes a point to eat light the day before, and they gear up to taste foods from 30 different countries and regions—from Korea to Greece to Texas.” Most of the student body and their partners attend this event, as do many professors and alumni.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at UVA Darden and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.



The Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech may rival MIT Sloan and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business with respect to its focus on the direct application of Internet technology to global business problems. The school’s rather small (approximately 60–70 students each year) and innovation-focused program was nevertheless ranked 23rd among full-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2015.

Situated in the heart of Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta, Scheller offers students numerous networking and innovation resources within the city’s high-tech business community, including the Advanced Technology Development Center business incubator. Billing itself as “the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development” on its Web site, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, or EI2, also provides students with resources for career options at the intersection of business and technology. As an indicator of the school’s overall strengths in information technology and operations management, a large portion of Scheller’s student body tends to come from science, technology, engineering, and math backgrounds (50% of the Class of 2017).

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Friday Factoid: Research-to-Practice at Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Research-to-Practice at Tuck
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is known for its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s research-to-practice seminars complement these characteristics. An article on the school’s Tuck Today Web site explained that “International Entrepreneurship” was the first of several such seminars designed to give students insight into a real-world business issue. The seminars were conceived as a key component of the school’s strategic five-year plan, called Tuck 2012. The courses bring together 15 second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-practice seminars that were offered in 2014–2015 include the following:

  • “Corporate Takeovers”
  • “Deconstructing Apple”
  • “Management of Investment Portfolios”
  • “Marketing Good and Evil: Consumer Moral Judgment and Well-Being”
  • “Strategy in Innovation Ecosystems”
  • “Time in the Consumer Mind”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Dartmouth Tuck or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools

You have poured your heart and soul into your business school applications and taken the time to craft the perfect essays. Now, you are eagerly looking forward to finishing up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did to produce your very first one. Encouraged by this claim, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt my Harvard ‘mistake’ essay to answer that one!” or “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an essay on that, so I can just reuse it here. It’s all so easy now!”

Not so fast.

First applications usually do take longer to complete than subsequent ones. However, this is not because once you have crafted several essays for one or two schools, you can then simply cut and paste them into other applications, adjust the word count a bit, change a few names here and there, and be done.

Admissions committees spend a lot of time crafting their application questions, thinking carefully about the required word limit and about each component of the questions. Schools pose questions that they believe will draw out specific information that will help them ascertain whether the applicant would be a good fit with their program. Therefore, if you simply paste an essay you previously wrote for School A into the application for School B because you believe the schools’ questions are largely similar, you will most likely miss an important facet of what School B is really asking about. For example, consider these two past questions:

Northwestern Kellogg: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600-word limit)

Dartmouth Tuck: Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (approximately 500 words)

Even though both essay prompts ask you to explore leadership experiences, they certainly do not ask the exact same question. Kellogg wants you to share more than one leadership experience as well as a forward vision of the areas you want to develop while at Kellogg. Tuck, on the other hand, asks about only one leadership experience—your most meaningful leadership experience, in particular—and wants to know what you learned about yourself as a result.

If you were to simply paste your 600-word Kellogg essay as your response to Tuck’s question and cut 75–100 words, its admissions committee would know that you did not answer the question appropriately—a “mistake” and a “failure” are not necessarily the same thing. And believe us, the schools have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in which applicants clearly submitted their “failure” essay for one school in response to another program’s “mistake” question—and vice versa. Understandably, this is not the way to win over the admissions committee. Although you may use the same core story for more than one application essay, take the time to examine that story from the angle proposed by your target school’s question and respond accordingly.

One simple rule will always stand you in good stead: answer the question asked.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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GMAT Impact: Stop Taking So Many CATs! (Part 2) [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Stop Taking So Many CATs! (Part 2)
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

What are the Dos and Don’ts to get the most out of your CATs? If you have not yet read the first installment of this three-part series, take a look!

Most of the time, DON’T take a CAT more than once every three weeks

There are two broad modes of study: the “trying to improve” phase and the “final review” phase. Most of our study is the first phase; the final review phase kicks in for just the last couple of weeks.

During the “trying to improve” phase, taking a CAT more frequently than about every three weeks is a complete waste of time. Really! The whole point of taking the practice CAT is to figure out what needs to get better. Then, go get better! Until you have made substantial progress toward whatever issues were uncovered, taking another practice CAT is just going to tell you that you still have those same issues.

That even applies when you are trying to improve timing or stamina issues; you have other ways of addressing these issues besides taking a CAT. If quant timing is a struggle, GMAT Focus is a great “intermediate” resource from the real test makers. You can also set up longer sets of questions for yourself (in the 15- to 20-question range)—your practice sets do not have to be 37 or 41 questions for you to learn to handle the timing better. (Read this article on time management for more.)

You can practice building stamina every time you study. Figure out everything that you are going to do for the next hour or two hours. (I try to set up what I think will be three hours’ worth of work, just in case I finish faster than I think; if I do not finish, I save the rest for the next day.) Then, go for one hour without stopping—no email, no smart phone, no food, nothing. If you want to do a second hour, take a 15-minute break and go again for a second hour without stopping.

After that second hour, do take a substantial break (at least one hour, but ideally two) before you study any more that day. Making new memories is more mentally fatiguing than recalling memories (you only need to recall memories during a CAT), so do not do this exercise for more than about two hours in a row or your study will suffer.

Once you hit the “final review” phase, you can take a CAT once a week for the last couple of weeks; at this point, your goal is to solidify everything and develop your game plan.

The post GMAT Impact: Stop Taking So Many CATs! (Part 2) appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Active Voice to Enliven Your Writing [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Active Voice to Enliven Your Writing
Many writers use the passive voice in their essays, but the best writers know it should be used only rarely, if ever.

The passive voice puts the verb in the “wrong” place in the sentence, thereby removing the “action.” Subjects become acted upon rather than performing actions. Sentences with the passive voice typically include verb phrases such as “was” or “has been” (e.g., “it was determined,” “the project has been completed”).

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

In this sentence, the verb (or action) is diminished because the writer says the marathon “was run.” A better way of describing the same activity is to use the active voice, as illustrated in this example:

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

Passive: “It was decided that I would be in charge of the project.”

Active: “My boss selected me to be in charge of the project.”

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Active Voice to Enliven Your Writing appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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