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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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DocSend Co-Founder/CEO Russ Heddleston Shares His Ambitious Entreprene [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: DocSend Co-Founder/CEO Russ Heddleston Shares His Ambitious Entrepreneurial Journey
Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.


Russ Heddleston, Co-Founder and CEO of DocSend

DocSend aims to ease the process of distributing sales materials by enabling salespeople to send, track, control, and analyze their communications. The company is the brainchild of Russ Heddleston, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School (HBS), and his colleagues. He recently sat down with Shinewald to explain his entrepreneurial path, sharing these stories, among others:

  • Why Heddleston chose to work at a start-up instead of a “big cheque company” after graduating from Stanford
  • What he learned about entrepreneurship by working or interning at such companies as Facebook and Dropbox in their early days
  • How he managed to co-found a company during his studies at HBS
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear Heddleston’s success story and many more!

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: From Philly to Florida for Wharton’s Beach W [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: From Philly to Florida for Wharton’s Beach Week
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.


Miami Beach

Each spring, between finals and graduation, second-year students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania prepare to reenter the “real” world by retreating to South Beach in Miami, Florida, where they partake in almost a week’s worth of partying, relaxing, and beach-going. The week’s events are organized, but not funded, by the Wharton Graduate Association (student association). In recent years, more than 400 students have taken part in Beach Week. Activities offered during the 2015 Beach Week included multiple pool parties, a daytime boat cruise, and a bar crawl in South Beach.

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Luxury Brand Management at the GCU British Scho [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Luxury Brand Management at the GCU British School of Fashion
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.



In the fall of 2013, Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)—known as a leader in fashion education since the 19th century—inaugurated a new fashion business school in London and soon after opened a satellite campus in New York City. Rather than focusing on the design aspect of fashion, however, the GCU British School of Fashion instead aims to offer a specialized business education with applications to the fashion industry, as the school’s director, Christopher Moore, explained in a FashionUnited article at the time the new campuses were being revealed: “The remit of the School is clear: we are about the business of fashion. While there are other great international design schools, we are quite

different. Our aim is to be a leading School for the business of fashion.”

The British School of Fashion’s MBA in Luxury Brand Management program aims to impart industry tools and skills related to such topics as consumer behavior, globalization, and strategic management. The school also professes a commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and fair trade as part of its core values. The MBA curriculum consists of eight core modules. With support from a number of British fashion brands, which in the past have included Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, AllSaints, and the Arcadia Group, the school’s faculty also features a team of honorary professors and fashion industry leaders. Moore told the BBC, “Over the past decade, there has been a significant professionalization of the fashion sector, and there is now a need for high-quality fashion business graduates.”

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Friday Factoid: Columbia Business School’s Increasingly Flexible First [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Columbia Business School’s Increasingly Flexible First-Year Curriculum
The Columbia Business School (CBS) first-year curriculum was at one time very rigid—all first-year students took all their core courses with their cluster unless they were able to pass an exemption exam. Students complained, however, that this rigid core curriculum system meant that they could take only one elective course their first year, which could put them at a disadvantage when competing for summer internships. For example, previously, a CBS student who accepted a summer internship at a bank may have taken only one finance elective by the end of his/her first year, but that student’s counterparts on the internship from other schools may have taken two or three, thus potentially putting the CBS student at a disadvantage with regard to being considered for a full-time job at the end of the internship. So, after an intense process of research and evaluation, CBS launched a more flexible core curriculum in the fall of 2008.



Beginning in the fall of 2013, CBS implemented further changes to its core curriculum, including an increased emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking, in addition to even more flexibility. The revamped core courses also make greater use of online teaching tools in an attempt to “free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions,” as an August 2013 Poets & Quants article explains. In the second semester of the first year, students can pick three full-term electives and three half-term electives, replacing the school’s previous “flex-core” configuration and allowing students to better prepare for summer internships. In addition, students may take exemption exams in areas in which they are already proficient, thereby opting to replace core courses with electives. This revised curriculum was developed in response to student feedback that a full term was not needed to cover the “core” elements in certain courses, and the change has given students significantly more flexibility in the first year.

CBS has thereby attempted to find a middle ground, where students learn what the school considers fundamentals while having the latitude to specialize, and anecdotally, students have responded favorably.

For a thorough exploration of what CBS and other top U.S. business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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MBA News: Changes at Yale Raise Concerns Among Students and Faculty [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Changes at Yale Raise Concerns Among Students and Faculty

Edward P. Evans Hall

A recent article published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) offered fascinating insight into the Yale School of Management (SOM). Applications at the school are up by 30%, yet such changes as a new, state-of-the-art campus building and a 40% increase in enrollment have raised concerns among some students and faculty members. The SOM has traditionally been a fairly small, intimate program, and recent expansions have evoked questions regarding whether the school is becoming “too corporate.”

Changes are evident in the form of Edward P. Evans Hall, the school’s new home, for example. This modern building made largely of glass is quite a contrast to the cozy, mansion-like classrooms with fireplaces to which some students had become accustomed. “A big, fancy, new, shiny, modern building attracts different students than cozy houses,” an alumnus commented to the WSJ. SOM Dean Ted Snyder approached the concerns calmly, stating “We’re not as small as we used to be and I don’t think we’re as quirky as we used to be.” He added, “Leaders are much more likely to come out of a place that is connected globally.”

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is Not a Flood! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is Not a Flood!

Have you heard the following admissions myth?

When a school that has placed you on its waitlist says that it wants no more information from you, this is some kind of “test,” and you should supply additional materials anyway.

As we have discussed in the past, this is patently not true.

Similarly, when programs tell their waitlisted candidates they are open to important additional communication, such applicants should not interpret this to mean constant communication. The difference is significant.

As is the case with any waitlist situation, before you do anything, carefully read the waitlist letter you received from the admissions office. Frequently, this will include a FAQ sheet. If the school permits candidates to submit additional information but offers no guidance with respect to quantity, this does not mean that you should start flooding the committee with novel information and materials. If you have another potential recommender who can send a letter that highlights a new aspect of your profile, you can consider having him/her send one in, but you should not start a lobbying campaign with countless alumni and colleagues writing on your behalf.

Similarly, you could send the school an update email monthly, every six weeks, or even every two months—the key is not frequency or volume but materiality. If you have something important to tell the admissions committee that can help shape its perspective on your candidacy (e.g., a new project, a promotion, a new grade, an improved GMAT score, a campus visit), then you should share it. If you do not have such meaningful information to share, then a contrived letter with no real content will not help you. Just because you know others are sending letters, do not feel compelled to send empty correspondences for fear that your fellow candidates might be showing more interest. They just might be identifying themselves negatively via their waitlist approach.

Take a step back and imagine that you are on the admissions committee; you have one candidate who keeps you up to date with a few thoughtful correspondences and another who bombards you with empty updates, emails, and recommendations that do not offer anything substantive. Which candidate would you choose if a place opened up in your class? When you are on the waitlist, your goal is to remain in the good graces of the admissions committee. Remember, the committee members already deem you a strong enough candidate to take a place in their class, so be patient and prudent, as challenging as that may be.

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Amanda Moskowitz Discusses Stacklist, Nine Naturals, and Her Serial En [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Amanda Moskowitz Discusses Stacklist, Nine Naturals, and Her Serial Entrepreneurship

Amanda Moskowitz, CEO of Stacklist and co-founder of Nine Naturals

Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

Amanda Moskowitz has been heavily involved in entrepreneurship—with “far more than one foot” in several companies, she says—since graduating from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Today, she is the founder and CEO of business app guide Stacklist and co-founder of Nine Naturals, a company developing safe and natural beauty products for expectant mothers. In this podcast episode, Moskowitz delves into these points and more:

  • Why she made the jump from working in audience analysis at ABC/Disney to becoming an entrepreneur
  • How the slowness of e-commerce manufacturing shocked her
  • What kind of role the simple act of asking a friend plays in entrepreneurship, according to Moskowitz
Subscribe today to avoid missing any episodes in this intriguing series!

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GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 1 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, 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.

Manhattan GMAT has developed a special process for Sentence Correction (SC). Some students and classes have seen it, but here we are sharing it publicly! Read on and let us know what you think.



The Five Steps for Sentence Correction

The full article on the MGMAT blog goes into more detail on each step.

  • Take a First Glance
  • Read the Sentence
  • Find a Starting Point
  • Eliminate Answers
  • Repeat Steps 3 and 4
As with any process, you will sometimes decide to deviate for some good reason. For most questions, though, you will follow this basic process.

In this post, I briefly introduce each step, but the full article goes into more detail, so make sure to follow up by reading that.

  • Take a First Glance
The idea here is to take a “holistic” glance at the entire screen: let your eyes go slightly out of focus (do NOT read!), look at about the middle of whatever text is on the screen, and take in three things:

– the problem type (in this case, SC)

– the length of the whole sentence

– the length of the underline (or the length of the answers)

This first glance will help you formulate a plan of attack.

[*]Read the Sentence[/list]
Next, read the sentence as a complete sentence, not just a collection of potential grammar issues. Pay attention to the overall meaning that the sentence is trying to convey.

[*]Find a Starting Point[/list]

[*]Eliminate Answers[/list]
When you spot something you know is wrong, immediately cross off answer (A) on your scrap paper. Check that same issue (and only that issue!) in the remaining answer choices; eliminate any answers that repeat the error.

[*]Repeat Steps 3 and 4[/list]
SC is a bit annoying in that your initial starting point often will not allow you to cross off all four wrong answers. You usually have to find multiple starting points.

Once you have dealt with one issue, return either to the original sentence or to a comparison of the answer choices, wherever you left off.

What to Do When You Are Stuck

In general, once you get stuck, give yourself one shot to “unstick” yourself. Try comparing different answers to see whether anything new pops out at you. If not, guess and move on.

Half of the battle on the GMAT is knowing when to stop trying. Set explicit “cutoffs” for yourself—rules for when to let go—and stick to them!

Next Steps

Got all of that? Good!

In the second and third parts of this series, I will give you some drills that you can use to build the different skills needed to get through a sentence correction problem. Until then, go ahead and practice the overall process until you internalize the different steps. Good luck!

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In Other News… Highlighting Diversity at Michigan Ross, Earning an MBA [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… Highlighting Diversity at Michigan Ross, Earning an MBA with a Baby, and Taking a Look at Yale’s New Building
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:

  • The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is underlining the importance of diversity within its classrooms. Dean Alison Davis-Blake discussed the school’s approach to the issue with Times Higher Education, noting how vital diversity is to not only students, but recruiters as well. “Recruiters want a diverse workforce. All constituents [including faculty, recruiters, and students] want a diverse campus and they want diversity to be addressed in the curriculum,” Davis-Blake said, highlighting the undergraduate Identity and Diversity in Organizations program at Ross as an example of the school’s initiatives toward diversity.
  • Time management is challenging enough while attending a full-time MBA program, but adding a baby to the mix could make the situation impossible to handle. Or maybe not? Halla Koppel, who gave birth to her daughter two days after enrolling in the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford one-year MBA program, described her experience to the Financial Times as “very do-able.” Koppel explained, “The only thing that has been difficult is other people’s time. I do not have a spare 15 minutes to wait” [when fellow students or others run late for meetings], because she is breastfeeding. But she solved this problem by scheduling meetings at her home, which is close to campus, or bringing her daughter with her. Koppel aims to help make motherhood more accepted in the workplace, starting with her classmates. “It is important for people on the MBA to learn to work with mothers,” she said.

    Edward P. Evans Hall at Yale SOM

  • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently took a closer look at the Yale School of Management’s Edward P. Evans Hall, which became the school’s new home upon the building’s opening in 2014. Evans Hall, which encompasses 225,000 square feet and was designed by architect Norman Foster, appears decidedly modern in the WSJ’s photos—something that not all students have become fond of. “Students say [the building] is a different atmosphere from their previous classrooms inside mansions that featured rooms with fireplaces,” the WSJ
 

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question
dilemma: An argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent (according to Merriam-Webster)

Over the years, we have found that the essay question that many candidates find particularly challenging is the “ethical dilemma” question. Although most applicants clearly understand the difference between what is and is not ethical, the problem usually lies in the word “dilemma.” As you can tell from the definition provided at the beginning of this post, a dilemma occurs when two “equally conclusive” sides exist simultaneously—emphasis on “equally.” Here we offer two examples of responses to an “ethical dilemma” essay question. The first presents only one reasonable side, while the second offers two.

Example 1: “While I was working at ABC firm, my boss asked me to book our second quarter revenue in advance so that we could create the appearance of a great first quarter. I firmly told him that this was unethical and refused.”

In this example, the candidate is asked to do something that is clearly unethical. However, because the argument really involves only one reasonable choice—the reader would not want to hear the story if the applicant had agreed to book revenue ahead of schedule—no ethical dilemma actually exists in this case.

Example 2: “As the marketing manager for a small pharmaceutical company, I had to set the price for our breakthrough drug. I needed to consider that on the one hand, a rock-bottom price would mean that our life-saving drug would be available to all; but on the other hand, even though a high price would serve a smaller market, it would make the drug far more profitable and would ensure that we could continue to conduct valuable research into additional life-saving compounds.”

In this second example, the candidate outlines a true dilemma. This applicant could be entirely comfortable telling the reader that he/she pursued either of the pricing strategies, as long as the applicant walks the reader through his/her rationale.

A good test to determine whether the experience you are considering discussing in your essay involves a true dilemma is fairly simple. Ask yourself, “Could I comfortably discuss the alternative to the path I chose?” If the answer is “yes,” you are clearly on the right track. If the answer is “no,” try again.

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

Oh, the difference a day makes. One day, you are wondering whether you will get into any of your target business schools. The next, you get a call from the admissions committee at your first-choice MBA program, and your life changes forever. Suddenly, with an acceptance letter in hand, you become more self-assured and start to contemplate whether you might receive any scholarships. Then, your second-choice school calls and offers you $10K. You now find yourself facing a tough choice: accept the offer from the second-choice school that comes with a scholarship, or accept the offer from the first-choice program, even though it does not come with any funds.

In the short term, you do not need to make this choice. With your acceptance letters in hand, you can diplomatically leverage the financial aid offer you received from your second-choice school to influence your first-choice school’s decision to also offer you some form of funding. Once you have been accepted, your first-choice school might not be prepared to let you go and could find a way to offer you some financial assistance. Of course, diplomacy is key. If you make your request in too forceful a manner, you will only alienate the financial aid office, which may then decide to not offer additional resources to encourage you to choose the other school.

So tread carefully, but with proper tact—you will not lose anything by asking for more.

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Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School
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 Jonathan Knee from Columbia Business School (CBS).



Jonathan Knee[b] [/b]is a professor of professional practice at CBS and the co-director of the school’s Media and Technology Program. Knee is also still active in the private sector as a senior advisor (formerly a senior managing director) at the advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners. He is perhaps best known among CBS students for his book The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, we are told, brings a unique perspective into the classroom by showing where entertainment and finance cross paths. Students reported to mbaMission that his “Mergers and Acquisitions in Media” class is intense and that the course’s final presentation—made before a guest panel of practicing investors—feels like the real deal. One alumnus who took a class with Knee said the benefits of having an active advisor as a teacher were the business insight and guest speakers the professor brought into the classroom.

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

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Stanford GSB Brown Bag Lunches [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Stanford GSB Brown Bag Lunches

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.

During Brown Bag Lunches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), company founders or experienced alumni come to chat with students, or students share information with one another about fields with which they are familiar. All the attendees bring their own lunch. One first-year student told mbaMission, “These are a great way to get exposure. In the student-run panels, students host a presentation for their classmates about an industry they have worked in. These lunches are open to all students, in all fields of interest. Because everyone knows each other well, people are much more willing to help each other out and teach each other, which is great.” Some student organizations, such as the GSB High Tech Club, host their own Brown Bag Lunches with guest speakers from different fields.

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Experiential Learning at the Carlson School of [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Experiential Learning at the Carlson School of Management
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.



With approximately 20 Fortune 500 companies located nearby—including UnitedHealth Group, Target, and U.S. Bancorp—the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management boasts a robust network of corporate ties and high-profile recruiting opportunities. In fact, the Twin Cities placed first in Forbes’s 2011 rankings of the best U.S. cities for finding employment. Carlson also prepares its students with a pronounced hands-on approach to building leadership, management, and problem-solving skills.

Among the school’s more distinctive offerings, Carlson’s four Enterprise programs expose students to the areas of brand, consulting, funds, and ventures. The Enterprise learning experience is rather unique insofar as it operates as a full professional services firm, serving multiple clients and allowing students to work through real-world business challenges with senior management at major companies. In the Brand Enterprise program, for example, Carlson students have developed key marketing strategies for such brands as Cargill, Boston Scientific, Target, 3M, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes. Students in the Consulting Enterprise program have offered services to such companies as Best Buy, Northwest Airlines Cargo, Medtronic CRM Division, and Polaris. With approximately $35M in managed assets, the Carlson Funds Enterprise program ranks among the three largest student-managed funds in the world. Finally, the Carlson Ventures Enterprise program puts aspiring entrepreneurs in contact with experts, professionals, and investors.

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Friday Factoid: Alumni Generosity at Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Alumni Generosity at Dartmouth Tuck

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has roughly 9,500 living alumni, and although that figure may sound small compared with a larger school’s alumni base, numerous students and graduates we have interviewed report that Tuck has an active and close-knit alumni community. Through their continued involvement with the school as mentors, visiting executives, recruiting contacts, and internship providers, Tuck alumni maintain an open channel between the MBA program and the business world. Tuck students with whom we spoke could not say enough about the strength of student-alumni interactions, emphasizing that the vitality of Tuck’s close-knit community endures long after graduation.

One second-year student shared that he had had pretty high expectations with regard to the school’s alumni network “but still underestimated how strong the network can be.” He explained, “The connections were instant. I received same-day responses, all the time. There is a strong pay-it-forward mentality and a genuine interest in seeing people from Tuck do well. Alums go out of their way to help with networking, job preparation, anything.”

Tuck alumni also stay connected to the school through its annual fund-raising campaign. The school reportedly boasts the highest giving rate of all U.S. MBA programs. Tuck notes that its giving rate is “more than double the average giving rate of other business schools” in an August 2015 news article on the school’s Web site and boasts, “In addition to raising a record $6.4 million for Tuck Annual Giving, 2015’s effort marked an unprecedented fifth consecutive year where greater than 70 percent of alumni participated.”

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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Learn How a Friendly Bet Led David Greenberg to Found Updater [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Learn How a Friendly Bet Led David Greenberg to Found Updater

David Greenberg

Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

Almost anyone who has moved is familiar with the hassle of sharing their new address with friends and family, utility companies, and other businesses. Updater, a tool designed to make this task easier, has grown rapidly from a business-to-consumer start-up to a business-to-business firm worth $15M. The man behind it all, David Greenberg, explained to Shinewald how he pulled it off. This podcast episode features these highlights and more:

  • How Greenberg—a practicing lawyer at the time—came up with the idea of Updater
  • How a friend’s bet got the company’s concept off the ground
  • What made Greenberg and his team realize that Updater might work best as a business-to-business model
today to hear the fascinating success stories of Greenberg and many other ambitious entrepreneurs!

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Admissions Is a Science! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Admissions Is a Science!

What does a 3.8 GPA + a 670 GMAT score + four years of work experience + three years of community service equal? It could equal a letter of admission or rejection. However, knowing with absolute certainty is impossible because admissions is not a science. If it were, the Admissions Office would just do away with the entire time- and resource-consuming admissions process and use a simple formula. Why not make life that much easier for everyone?

In some countries, simple tests are used to establish benchmarks—a candidate gets into a top MBA program with a score of X but not with Y. In the United States, some graduate programs have cutoffs for GRE scores or situations in which GMAT/LSAT scores and grades are definitive. Plainly put, no clear-cut criteria exist with top global MBA programs. Instead, the admissions committee reads a file holistically and seeks evidence of the applicant’s ability to contribute in class and perform at the highest levels post-graduation.

Although trying to reduce the MBA admissions process to a science can be tempting, doing so would be unwise. By listening to chatter on message boards or blogs about the “right GMAT score” or the “right amount of work experience”—rather than keeping in mind that the process is holistic in nature, meaning that the admissions committees evaluate all criteria with no particular scorecard—you are wasting valuable time and energy. Simply be your best candidate and present your full story, rather than focusing on stats.

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