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The mbaMission Blog

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)
You are competing against thousands of other applicants, and you know none of them, so you may naturally believe that you need any edge available. Consequently, you may feel that you must provide every single detail of your life, exploiting your resume in particular to do so. Although we, of course, want you to maximize your opportunities, we also want to be sure that you do not jeopardize your application by offering too many details.

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Our experience has shown that many resumes—especially those in which every margin is thinned and every font is shrunken—present too much information. Some become so dense with text that rather than being easily scannable, which is your objective, they become entirely impenetrable and therefore easy to ignore. We often tell our clients that “less is more” and that a brief resume that will be read in full is more beneficial than a dense resume that will not get read at all. At an Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Conference, eight leading admissions officers were once asked whether they would prefer a one-page or two-page resume, and one person led all the others in declaring, “Everyone together… one page!”

But even with a one-page resume, you need to understand what to include and what to exclude. The answer to this riddle is different for everyone. You may consider jettisoning internships from years gone by, for example, or reducing the number of bullet points offered for past jobs. Eliminating entries for community involvements from long ago could be helpful. The agenda for your resume should be to create maximum impact, and sometimes that is achieved with fewer words and bullet points. You may need to make tough choices, but the time and effort will be well spent if you ultimately submit a stronger resume and thus make a more compelling statement about yourself.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1) appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part 1 of 4)
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this weekly blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

The Pep Talk

So, let me get this straight. The GMAT test writers are going to give me somewhat obscure, very dense topics with very complicated ideas and sentence structures. I am going to have about three minutes to read this passage, and then I have to start answering questions about the material. That is a completely artificial setup; it would never happen in the real world!

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Actually, yes it will. You are going to do lots of case studies in business school. You often will not be given enough time to read through every last detail carefully; instead, you will have to determine relative levels of importance and concentrate on the most crucial pieces, while putting together a framework for the main ideas and the big changes in direction or opinion.

At work, you often have to make decisions based on incomplete information. At times, you actually do have a ton of information—but not enough time to review it all before you have to take action. These situations are far from rare in the real world.

So when you find yourself a bit unmotivated because you know you have got to study boring Reading Comprehension (RC) today, remind yourself that RC will actually help you develop much-needed skills for business school and beyond!

The Disclaimers

First, this list includes only free resources, no paid ones. Second, this list is limited to my own articles simply because I am most familiar with my own material. There are a lot of good resources out there that cost some money and/or were not written by me—those resources are just not on this list!

How to Read

Before you dive into individual question types, you must know some overall processes for RC, starting with how to read! You already know how to read in general, of course, but do you know how to read RC?

You will notice that the first article, linked to in the previous paragraph, discusses not only what to read but also what not to read. When you have only a few minutes, you also need to know what you can skip or skim (and how to make that decision). For more, check out this lesson on what to read and what not to read.

If, after trying the suggestions from this article, you still find yourself really struggling with either reading speed or comprehension, here are some resources to help you improve your reading skills. This article is especially important for people who do not read regularly in English, either for work or for fun; this is particularly true if your native language is also not English and you did your undergraduate studies in another language.

Finally, one of our two main goals when first reading a passage is to find the main point. (The other main goal is to take some light notes on each paragraph to understand the organization of the information.)

When you have mastered those skills, you will be ready to learn how to tackle the questions. Check back next week to learn how!

The post GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part 1 of 4) appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Just One Famous Quote per Application [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2016, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Just One Famous Quote per Application
Sometimes, incorporating a famous quote (or perhaps a lesser-known quote by a well-known person) into one of your application essays can add a little something special to the story you are trying to tell. If the quotation truly enhances your message in a significant way, it can serve as an effective tool, making your submission that much more compelling. Consider the following examples:

Example 1:

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s words are as true today as when he spoke them. The essence of a manager is…

Example 2:

As Peter F. Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” I have found the distinction between management and leadership especially important…

However, some candidates may be tempted to use a quotation as a kind of crutch, essentially relying on someone else’s clever or poignant wordsmanship in place of their own. Think of using a quotation as a way of enriching an already interesting narrative, rather than as an easy shortcut to a more impressive essay.

Before using a quotation in your writing, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Does the quotation fit the essay’s main theme?
  • Does the quotation reflect who you are or what you believe?
  • Does the quotation truly enhance the essay?
If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, incorporating the quotation into your essay might be a good idea. But first make sure that your story is sufficiently strong to stand on its own without the quote, and limit yourself to just one quotation per application—not per essay.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Just One Famous Quote per Application appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Mission Admission: I Did Well on the GMAT, but My AWA Score Is Low! [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2016, 08:36
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: I Did Well on the GMAT, but My AWA Score Is Low!
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

You completed a GMAT prep course, studied hard, and finally “nailed” the exam. However, you later learn that your score on the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), the essay portion of the GMAT, is low. Should you panic?

In short, the answer is no. Although we have always encouraged business school candidates to do the best they can on the AWA, the truth is that we have never been told by an admissions officer—nor, as far as we know, has a candidate ever been told in a feedback session—that the AWA score is a factor in a school’s decisions. Generally, the AWA is not used to evaluate candidates but to detect fraud.

If, hypothetically, you had tremendous difficulty expressing yourself via the AWA essays but wrote like a Pulitzer Prize winner in your application essays, the school would get suspicious and begin to compare the two. Not to worry—the schools are not punitive and are not acting as fraud squads. Your AWA essays are expected to be unpolished, so no one will seek out your file if you did your best in both areas. However, if an enormous discrepancy arises between the two, the AWA serves a purpose.

So, if you did well on the GMAT and have a low AWA score, that is unfortunate, but it will not be the difference in a school’s decision about your candidacy. Rest easy—as long as you truly did write both!

The post Mission Admission: I Did Well on the GMAT, but My AWA Score Is Low! appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA News: Bloomberg Businessweek Reveals Racial Discrepancies in MBA P [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Bloomberg Businessweek Reveals Racial Discrepancies in MBA Pay
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An MBA can be a remarkable salary booster—but does a business school student’s race also influence the amount of money he or she will earn post-graduation? Perhaps, new research suggests. Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed alumni of MBA programs in conjunction with its annual (formerly bi-annual) business school rankings to determine possible discrepancies in MBA pay. The findings indicate that underrepresented minorities—Hispanic, black, and American Indian students—earned an average salary of $150K right after graduating, while Asian and white graduates made an average of $172K.

The gap was most notable at such schools as Harvard Business School, where underrepresented minorities earned $97,800 less than their peers six to eight years after graduation, and Columbia Business School, where the difference was $80,400.

The post MBA News: Bloomberg Businessweek Reveals Racial Discrepancies in MBA Pay appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Professor Profiles: Julie Hennessy, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of M [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Julie Hennessy, Northwestern’s Kellogg 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 Julie Hennessy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Before students even began describing the quality of their educational experiences with Julie Hennessy to mbaMission, they noted that she “cares a lot” and “makes herself available to chat and talk about recruiting.” In addition to teaching Kellogg MBA students, Hennessy teaches executive education at leading firms, and students we interviewed reported that she draws on these experiences in class, but does not just tell stories. Instead, Hennessy challenges students and teases out the responses that facilitate learning. Students with whom we spoke also referred to her as “funny and energetic.” Not surprisingly, then, Hennessy won the school’s 2007 L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award—which is voted on by Kellogg students. In addition, she has won four student impact awards and five Chair’s Core Course Teaching Awards—with the most recent having been conferred in 2013 and in 2010–2011, respectively. The school’s Web site notes that Hennessy focuses her writing efforts on producing new cases for class discussion; she has completed cases on such brands as TiVo, Apple iPod, Invisalign Orthodontics, and (as separate cases) the antibiotics Biaxin and Zithromax.

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

The post Professor Profiles: Julie Hennessy, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Columbia Business School’s Pre-MBA World Tou [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2016, 08:02
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Columbia Business School’s Pre-MBA World Tour
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.

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Although Columbia Business School (CBS) does not offer any official pre-term trips for incoming students, the student body does organize something called the Pre-MBA World Tour. Trips run in parallel throughout June and July. Students can join any part of any of the trips, for any period of time that is convenient for them. The trips are completely the responsibility of students, though CBS encourages and supports the initiative. Past destinations have included Peru, Oman, South Africa, Israel, Hong Kong, Thailand, Costa Rica, Cuba, Turkey, France, Budapest, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Japan.

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: Columbia Business School’s Pre-MBA World Tour appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal
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Penn State Smeal 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.

Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business is known for balancing traditional coursework with immersive learning. Smeal’s “7-1-7” modular curriculum structure includes four different immersion experiences sandwiched between seven-week modules over the course of the two-year MBA program. Beginning with a “Career Immersion” week, students participate in various workshops that focus on honing career development skills. The third module focuses on such themes as “Leadership Communications” and “Managerial Accounting.” Smeal’s curriculum also includes a required international experience component during the “Global Immersion” module, which takes place in the spring of the first year. Students travel to such countries as Chile, India, and China to visit international organizations across various industries. The first year culminates in a capstone case competition, in which students work in teams to present business strategies to a panel.

The post Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Friday Factoid: Facilities at Duke Fuqua [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2016, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Facilities at Duke Fuqua
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The Fuqua School of Business is located on Duke University’s West Campus near the intersection of Science Drive and Towerview Drive. Students often congregate in the Fox Center, a 70,000 square foot facility that was built in 2002. Linking the main wings of the school and featuring a café, enormous windows, and a spacious indoor winter garden, the Fox Center is the hub of the school. Students can eat breakfast and lunch there, grab a coffee, conduct team meetings, or just take a breather between classes or during the 15-minute break in each class period. In August 2008, Fuqua opened the 91,000 square foot Doug and Josie Breeden Hall, the “new front door of the School for students and visitors,” as it was described in the student newspaper, the Fuqua Bulletin. Named after former dean Douglas Breeden (2001–2006), the building boasts a three-story atrium, two auditoriums (which seat 126 and 146 people), the expanded Ford Library, three 70-seat lecture rooms, and a suite of team rooms. All told, Fuqua’s campus covers nearly 500,000 square feet, with 58 team rooms, ten classrooms, and seven seminar rooms. In February 2015, the school undertook a major renovation project for the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center. Once completed in mid-2016, the center will add more than 90,000 extra square feet, including a 5,600 square foot ballroom.

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

The post Friday Factoid: Facilities at Duke Fuqua appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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What I Learned at…UVA’s Darden School of Business, Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What I Learned at…UVA’s Darden School of Business, Part 1
In our “What I Learned at…” series, MBAs discuss the tools and skills their business school provided as they launched their career.

Sarah Rumbaugh is the CEO and founder of RelishMBA, the marketplace for MBA hiring, which connects MBA candidates and the companies that hire them through the recruiting process. Sarah founded RelishMBA while completing her MBA at the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Darden School of Business and continued to work full-time on the venture after graduation. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Sarah discusses how Darden helped her identify a workable start-up idea while in school.

Throughout the grueling MBA application process and coming into Darden, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. For this reason, Darden was my top choice, my dream business school. I grew up in the Washington, DC, area and lived in Virginia before business school, and I wanted to be semi-close to home, which was another reason Darden was number one for me. Still, it was blatantly clear to me that Darden’s entrepreneurial resources were superior to those of many of its peer schools.

Before I go into why this is, I’ll explain why I wanted to go to B-school in the first place. Yes, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but my interest in business school went beyond my entrepreneurial ambitions. I was going to try my hand at entrepreneurship one way or another, regardless of business school. Rather, I wanted to go to B-school because I felt it was the next step in my career. I had reached a point with my work experiences where I felt that to continue to grow, I needed an advanced degree. Business school over other graduate options was an easy choice. I like the generality of “business.” You can do so many things with an expertise in “business.” It’s one of the few master’s degrees that actually expand one’s career options rather than narrowing them. And I chose a school that I felt would enable me to pursue my entrepreneurial aspirations. I recognized that Darden would offer me the resources, connections, and time that would make the probability of my entrepreneurial success higher.

Going into Darden, I knew that the i.Lab at UVA Incubator was my goal. Overseen by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the i.Lab is a one-year program that supports early-stage ventures across UVA by providing funding, mentor support, office space, legal services, and other resources.

I say that the i.Lab was my goal, because I also knew admission into its cohort of start-ups was selective. So, when I got to Darden, I wanted to hit the ground running; I had about four months from when school started to when the i.Lab application was due to put forth the best start-up idea possible. This meant coming up with a great concept. For weeks before arriving at Darden, I would ask myself, “What is it? What is the next great idea?”

When I got to Darden, I hadn’t yet thought of what I would consider a great idea. And in my first couple weeks of meeting with the entrepreneurship faculty and staff (which, by the way, is crucial for getting into the i.Lab; they want to know you’re actively pursuing something and talking to the right people), I learned that having a good idea isn’t as important as you would think. Good ideas don’t make successful businesses; successful execution to solve a problem that affects enough people that are willing to pay to fix that problem is what makes a successful business.

The first thing I learned at Darden in pursing entrepreneurship is that it’s easier to come up with a worthwhile business opportunity by asking yourself, “What’s a big problem?” rather than asking, “What’s a good idea?” The reason for this is simple: successful businesses focus first on solving a problem, rather than developing a solution. So when you’re trying to think of the next big business idea, why not start at the beginning, with a problem? Whatever your idea to solve that problem becomes—“the solution”—you can’t truly know what that is unless you understand the problem. Having learned this, I’d even argue that it’s not even necessary to know what your idea/solution is until many months after pursing the problem.

Once I realized that I would come up with the business idea that would get me into the i.Lab by first figuring out the problem I wanted to solve, I started looking around for problems that affected my daily life or that of the people around me. I also learned from talking to a Darden faculty member that it’s a heck of a lot easier to start a business in a subject area you know well, have experience with, and for which you have people around with applicable experience that can help.

This is when I came up with RelishMBA—or rather, identified the problem that RelishMBA would ultimately solve. Within the first few weeks of business school, I learned that MBA recruiting (the process of landing an internship for first-year students) began pretty much the same time school started (if not before), and it took up just as much time as your academics (if not more). And I found that there wasn’t an online platform that did a good job of complementing this time-consuming process, which was surprising. The problem was that MBA recruiting was inefficient and stressful for students and inefficient and expensive for recruiters (the MBA employers). I landed on the name RelishMBA because I wanted to help MBA students discover the career they would “relish.”

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2) [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2)
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Last week, we discussed observing limits with your resume. This week, we take a similar approach with your essays—in particular, your goals essay. Many business schools ask candidates to discuss their career progress first in their classic goals essay:

Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA.

Whereas other schools do not request any professional context:

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will our school help you achieve these goals?

Many applicants will seize on these broad, open-ended questions to discuss their career history in depth, offering far more than mere context for their goals. Such candidates worry about missing a crucial opportunity to present their professional accomplishments and therefore write a complete career history. In response to a question like the first one here, some candidates will mistakenly use 75% or more of the word space provided just discussing their career progression to date. Although this may seem “brief” to the applicant, the truth is that focusing so extensively on your past minimizes your opportunity to discuss other crucial aspects of your candidacy.

If you devote too much of your essay to detailing your past career progress, you will be unable to thoroughly address your reasons for wanting an MBA and your interest in the school. Providing context for your goals by giving an overview of your career to date is unquestionably important, but you must be sure to balance the different sections of your essay. Clearly conveying your goals and your reasons for choosing a particular school is crucial so that you connect with your target, rather than miss it entirely.

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GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2016, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Master Resource List for Reading Comprehension (Part 2 of 4)
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.

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how to read Reading Comprehension (RC); if you have not yet read that post, do so now and then continue with this post.

The RC Question TypesImage


Do you remember the last thing I said at the end of the first post? When you have mastered the reading skills, you are then ready to tackle the questions. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can ignore the previous post and just go straight for the questions. You will be slower, and you will make more mistakes if you do that.

RC has three main question types: Main Idea, Specific Detail, and Inference. Each of those question types can have nuances or subtypes. We will tackle the first two in this post and cover Inference and the minor Why question type in next week’s post.

Main Idea

Most passages will include one Main Idea category question. Most commonly, you will be asked for the “primary purpose” (i.e., the main idea) of the entire passage, though a question could also ask for the primary purpose or role of just one paragraph.

If you are asked for the purpose of the entire passage, then the correct answer has to cover the overall “real estate” of the passage as a whole. Wrong answers will often be too narrow (e.g., something that applies primarily to just one paragraph) or too broad (e.g., something that includes the main idea but goes beyond it to encompass ideas that were not presented in the passage). Follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph to get some practice.

Specific Detail

This category refers to questions that ask about a particular detail in the passage. Most commonly, these questions will begin with “According to the passage…” Your task on these is to find an answer choice that matches something stated specifically in the passage.

That sounds easy—if the information is stated right there in the passage, how hard can it be?

As you already know very well, they can make it quite hard. First, the language in the passage is seriously complex; it is not always easy to understand what they are talking about. Second, right answers will often contain synonyms for words that appeared in the passage, while some wrong answers will often contain the exact language used in the passage. If you are not careful, you will be tempted to cross off that right answer because the language does not match exactly!

Specific Detail Rule: Use the question wording to figure out where to go in the passage. Then reread that detail carefully. Do NOT rely on your memory!

Why not? I was once taking a standardized test (not the GMAT, but similar), and I was about to pick an RC answer. Then I remembered that I should check the proof in the passage first, so—even though I was sure I was right!—I made myself find the proof.

The passage was about some mammals, one of which was the kangaroo rat. I looked at the passage, glanced back at my answer…and suddenly realized that the answer said kangaroo not kangaroo rat! I would have been really mad to get a question wrong for that reason!

The moral of the story: find the proof in the passage. Every single time.

Try this specific detail question to get started. Want another? Here you go.

Join us next week, when we will discuss the third major category, Inference, as well as the minor Why question type.

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In Other News… A Boost in Real Estate, an Alternative Business School, [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… A Boost in Real Estate, an Alternative Business School, and the New Harvard Business School Startup Studio
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:

  • Real estate is gaining popularity among business school students, the Financial Times reports. After a recent boost in the real estate market, MBA candidates are showing increased interest in the field at the expense of more traditional industries, such as banking. “[Students are] fleeing banking,” Nancy Wallace, a real estate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business commented in the article, describing a “huge” recent interest in real estate among students.

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  • Alternative education is not exactly a new idea, but what about an alternative business school? Presidio Graduate School, a small business school based in San Francisco, portrays itself as such. Students can pursue an MBA in sustainable management, focusing on creating a diverse and just business field to work in after graduation. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, approximately 90% of the school’s graduates are currently employed in sustainability positions.
  • Harvard Business School (HBS) has launched a new facility in New York City to support its alumni who are entrepreneurs, the school announced recently. The HBS Startup Studio is the first of its kind for HBS, as graduates have not previously had an off-campus space to practice entrepreneurship. Start-up teams that are interested in taking advantage of the studio’s offerings must include at least one HBS alum, but have fewer than seven employees, and must apply to gain admission. Such start-ups as Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and Oscar have been launched by HBS alumni in the past.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Contextualize Your Educational Objectives [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2016, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Contextualize Your Educational Objectives
When tailoring their essays to specific schools, many MBA candidates do not go far enough to demonstrate a clear and understandable connection between themselves and their target programs. Offering school-specific information is good, but you must go beyond merely mentioning the particular resource(s) that appeal to you—you must add context for your claims.

What is the difference between a mere mention and providing context?

Mention:

“With a focus on entrepreneurship, I will participate in Columbia’s Entrepreneurial Sounding Board process. Further, I am attracted to classes such as ‘Small Business Finance,’ ‘Real Estate Marketing,’ and “Introduction to Mergers.’ I also plan to join the…”

Context:

“With clear plans to launch my start-up immediately after graduating from Columbia Business School, I look forward to testing my ideas through the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board; I find this opportunity to meet with faculty and gain critical feedback and mentoring invaluable as I strive to refine my business plan and learn more about how to source investments…”

In the first example, the candidate shows an awareness of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board but does not provide the context necessary for the reader to fully understand how he/she will use this resource; therefore, the mention is entirely superficial. As a result, it is easily forgettable, unconvincing, and impersonal. The applicant has seemingly not taken the time to reflect on this resource and how he/she would use it to progress toward his/her stated goals. The candidate then goes on to list the classes he/she plans to take and essentially succeeds in little more than cataloging resources rather than offering a reasoned consideration of how the school’s offerings are necessary.

The second example better explains exactly how the candidate will use the resource mentioned; the applicant has clearly done the necessary homework on the school and truly grasps how Columbia Business School will satisfy his/her academic and professional needs. Because the latter example is more informed and serious minded, the reader can be certain that the candidate has a set path and a clear plan to achieve specific goals.

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What I Learned at…UVA’s Darden School of Business, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What I Learned at…UVA’s Darden School of Business, Part 2
In our “What I Learned at…” series, MBAs discuss the tools and skills their business school provided as they launched their career.

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Sarah Rumbaugh, CEO and founder of RelishMBA.

Sarah Rumbaugh is the CEO and founder of RelishMBA, the marketplace for MBA hiring, which connects MBA candidates and the companies that hire them through the recruiting process. Sarah founded RelishMBA while completing her MBA at the Darden School of Business and continued to work full-time on the venture after graduation. In Part 2 of this three-part series, Sarah discusses how Darden helped her prepare to launch her venture while in school.

Once I had identified the problem I wanted my venture to solve, the next step was figuring out how to use this information to help me get into the i.Lab at UVA Incubator. I had about two months in which to figure this out. Continuing to seek guidance from Darden’s entrepreneurship faculty and staff, I decided the answer was to gather data to support my claim that this problem existed for MBA students and recruiters and to talk to people who had started businesses in similar areas. For the first part, I conducted a few focus groups and surveys with MBA students and recruiters (both of which were easily accessible; I just had to get them to say yes). I later learned in a marketing course that focus groups and surveys can be pretty difficult to do and could result in unreliable data if not done correctly. In any case, I collected the data that I believed supported the notion that the problem I had identified was worth solving.

For the second task, I took a look at the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at the i.Lab (experienced entrepreneurs volunteering to mentor i.Lab members pursuing start-ups). [Editor’s note: These individuals are now known simply as Mentors.]  I found a few who had experience with B2B [business-to-business] software or marketplace businesses and met with them to learn what obstacles I may face in solving the problem I had set out to fix. These mentors have continued to be instrumental to my venture’s success; they truly provide invaluable insight on the day-to-day operations of start-up life.

At this point, I had one month until the i.Lab application drop, so I started writing my business plan. It felt pretty funny that when I was writing my plan, I still didn’t really know what my exact solution/idea would be. For me, this is one of the reasons the lean start-up concept has gained so much traction. If you Google “lean start-up,” you’ll learn what I’m talking about. It just doesn’t make sense to write a lengthy business plan about an idea before actually starting the business, because chances are, you’re not going to know the best idea until you’re many months into solving the problem. So I put forth the best idea I had at the time to solve the problem and supported all the work I had done to prove that the problem was worth solving and that I could solve it. You should know that the latter part of that sentence is what gets you into the i.Lab—showing that you’re already doing the work to start the business.

Then it was time to wait and see if I got in. But rather than doing nothing while I waited, I continued to work on the venture, because at that point, I had decided to pursue the opportunity regardless. If I got in, I would be in a yearlong cohort of start-ups, starting at the end of May, with a ten-week accelerator program between my first and second year at Darden. By the end of the following April, the plan was to be in a position to pursue RelishMBA full-time after graduation.

I got in! As you can probably guess, it was a big deal for me—in retrospect, a bigger deal than I thought at the time. It still feels like the biggest milestone I’ve hit with the business. It actually felt more rewarding than landing our first customer or first investor. It was that initial acceptance of “we like your business, and we’re going to help you launch it” that was so rewarding.

Now it was time to get an MVP, a minimum viable product—a product/service that would prove whether the business had legs. At its core, MVP is the bare-bones product/service that enables you to collect significant customer data with minimal effort/cost to validate that your product/service is worthwhile. I decided to do what I wouldn’t recommend that most people do at this stage: I invested financially. I invested my own cash to create pretty cheap software (but with great Web developers) to create an MVP. The plan was to launch that MVP in the i.Lab’s ten-week accelerator program and at the end of those ten weeks decide, based on the data the MVP brought in, if I should continue to pursue the business.

Fortunately, going into the i.Lab, I was able to bring on an intern, a Darden classmate who later became my cofounder and COO. Bringing on Zach (Zach Mayo, a Darden alumnus) was the best decision I’ve ever made for the company. Starting a business is hard. Starting a business alone is harder. That said, starting a business with someone with whom you don’t work well is probably harder than starting a business alone. This makes picking the right cofounder(s) one of the first of many really hard decisions you must make when building a company.

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Mission Admission: Do I Need to Know Alumni? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Do I Need to Know Alumni?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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We find that because the overall pool of MBA candidates is so anonymous, many applicants believe that even the tiniest negative difference that exists between them and other candidates could represent a huge disadvantage. For example, an applicant who has no alumni connection to his/her target school may become anxious that he/she is already “behind” at the starting line. We can assure you that if you are a strong candidate, you will not be “dinged” by a program just because you do not have a relationship with any of the school’s graduates. In fact, the vast majority of applicants do not have direct connections with alumni from their target business schools.

The bottom line is that in some cases, if you know a powerful alumnus or alumna, he/she may be able to help you in your candidacy. However, a standout candidate who does not have such a connection will generally still succeed, and a weak candidate with an alumni connection will likely still fail. So focus on crafting your best application possible, and do not worry about minor perceived weaknesses. You can succeed on your own, regardless of who you know—or do not know.

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MBA News: MBAs Are in High Demand at Companies, New GMAC Survey Shows [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: MBAs Are in High Demand at Companies, New GMAC Survey Shows
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Three out of four companies plan to hire MBAs this year, the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC’s) annual Year-End Poll of Employers report reveals. The recently released results show that 96% of the 179 surveyed recruiters from 159 employers believe hiring MBAs will create value for the company, while 69% view recruiting business school graduates as a priority in the firm’s hiring plans. “We are expanding our MBA hiring because the company needs to fill the leadership pipeline,” one U.S. manufacturing recruiter commented in the report.

The trend is not new: 85% of respondents said they plan to hire as many or more MBAs than they did last year. Employers in the United States are more inclined to take on business school graduates than their European counterparts—82% of U.S. employers are reportedly likely to hire MBAs, while the number of European companies was lower at 63%. In any case, employment perspectives look fairly bright, as a U.S. health care/pharmaceutical employer notes in the survey: “The job market continues to improve at a faster rate for MBAs.”

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MBA News: INSEAD Claims the Top Spot in the 2016 Financial Times MBA R [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: INSEAD Claims the Top Spot in the 2016 Financial Times MBA Rankings
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The Financial Times (FT) released its 2016 Global MBA rankings over the weekend, with a few surprises at the top of the list. International powerhouse INSEAD, which shared the number four spot with Stanford Graduate School of Business last year, was named the best MBA program in the world. Last year’s number one program, Harvard Business School, dropped to second place, while London Business School also fell one spot and landed in third place. The latest rankings mark the first time INSEAD has been ranked number one by FT.

Despite some changes in positions, the top ten is largely similar to last year’s list, with only Spain’s IESE Business School dropping out to land in 16th place, making space for Cambridge Judge Business School at number ten. Seven of this year’s top ten schools are located within the United States, two in the United Kingdom, and one has campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.

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Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
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 Terry Taylor from the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

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After stints at Columbia Business School and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Terry Taylor joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business in 2007. Considering that Taylor, who has a PhD from Stanford in management science and engineering, is often named in student blogs and online student chats as a favorite among the school’s aspiring MBAs, he not surprisingly won the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 and again in 2011. He was also named the fifth most popular professor at a top U.S. business school by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011.

Taylor’s academic interests include the economics of operations management and supply chain management. His core “Operations” (previously “Operations Management”) course looks at operational issues confronted by manufacturing and service companies. In addition to reportedly having a well-organized curriculum and classes—which a second year we interviewed said include “no down time”—Taylor can make technical subjects very interesting, sometimes even using references to Seinfeld episodes to illuminate concepts. A second year told mbaMission, “He’s pretty young and has a style that mixes high energy with a dry sense of humor.”

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

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Lounging at Yale’s Gryphon’s Pub [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Lounging at Yale’s Gryphon’s Pub
[img]http://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Gryphon’s-Pub-Yale-300x200.jpg[/img]
Gryphon’s Pub at GPSCY

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.

Located in a Gothic-style building on York Street in the heart of Yale University’s Old Campus, Gryphon’s Pub has been run by the Graduate and Professional Student Center at Yale (known more commonly as simply GPSCY) since the early 1970s. This members-only club is managed by Yale graduate students and features several lounges, a big-screen TV, pool tables, and regular drink specials. Membership dues ($20) are considered a bargain, given the $2–$5 cover charge (which members are not required to pay) and the frequency with which students tend to find themselves at Gryphon’s!

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: Lounging at Yale’s Gryphon’s Pub appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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