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The mbaMission Blog

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Focus on Your Story, Not Your Time [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Focus on Your Story, Not Your Time Frame
When starting an MBA application essay, many candidates default to using a comfortable and reliable device: stating the year in which the event occurred. However, in many cases, the year is irrelevant or might even be detrimental to the applicant’s case, particularly with MBA admissions committees who have an unspoken bias for younger candidates.

Example 1: “In 2006, while walking through a market in Dhaka, I found the most unusual item for my firm’s catalogue.”

In this example, is the year really important? Is this mysterious discovery not interesting enough to stand on its own, regardless of the year in which it occurred? Further, this writer may be taking an unnecessary risk by informing the reader that the experience is seven years old.

Example 2: “While walking through a market in Dhaka, I found the most unusual item for my firm’s catalogue.”

In the second example, we have a simpler opening, but one that still captures the reader’s imagination, even without disclosing when the event occurred. The only reason you may feel that that time frame is “missing” in the latter example is because it appears in the first example, so you may have half expected it to appear again, but in fact, the central story does not change at all without it. With no date mentioned, you would simply proceed through the introduction into the body of the essay, following the story line, rather than being distracted by the time frame for this hypothetical candidate. So, when writing about your experiences, consider whether disclosing the time frame is really necessary for the effectiveness or clarity of the story. If it is not, you may want to avoid mentioning the date, because it could be distracting or even a detriment.
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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Mission Admission: Considerations for a Part-Time MBA [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Considerations for a Part-Time MBA
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

This time of year, we tend to get an increasing number of questions about part-time MBA programs. So we thought we would take a look at some of the pros and cons of this option.

As for the pros, the one business school candidates cite most frequently is that the part-time MBA has a limited opportunity cost. Unlike a full-time MBA student, a part-time MBA student does not miss out on two years of salary and can still earn raises and promotions while completing his/her studies. Furthermore, firm sponsorship seems to be more prevalent for part-time MBAs, so candidates who have this option can truly come out ahead, with a free education and continued earning throughout. Beyond the financial rationale, many part-time MBA students see an academic advantage; they can learn both in the classroom and at work and can then turn theory into practice (and vice versa) in real time, on an ongoing basis. Of course, a cynic might add that another pro is that part-time MBA programs are generally less selective. So, a candidate who may have had difficulty getting accepted to a traditional two-year program may have a better chance of being admitted to a well-regarded school in its part-time program instead.

As for the cons, many part-time MBA candidates feel that the comparative lack of structure means that networking opportunities within the class are more limited. While one part-time student could complete a school’s MBA program in two years, another might complete it in five. As a result, with candidates progressing through the program at such different paces, students will not likely see each other regularly in the same classes, at the same social events, etc. In addition, in a traditional MBA environment, academics always come first; in a part-time environment, work typically comes first, and academics must come second (or even third, after family). In other words, the full-time program generally involves greater intensity with regard to the classroom experience, given that it is the sole focal point of students’ lives. Another thing to consider is that some MBA programs do not offer all their “star” faculty to part-time students (something that candidates should definitely ask about before enrolling) and offer limited access to on-grounds recruiting.

With this post, we are not trying to offer a definitive “answer” or present a bias for a particular kind of program but are simply trying to present some objective facts for candidates to consider as they make informed choices for themselves.
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
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Professor Profiles: Sankaran Venkataraman, UVA’s Darden Scho [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sankaran Venkataraman, UVA’s Darden School
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school, but the educational experience at the business school 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 Sankaran Venkataraman from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.

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Sankaran Venkataraman
(“Strategy,” “Entrepreneurship,” and “Ethics”)—known around the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) Darden School of Business Administration campus as simply “Venkat”—is an internationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship. He is the MasterCard Professor of Business Administration at Darden and the research director for entrepreneurship at the school’s Batten Institute. He edits the Journal of Business Venturing and consults to the U.S. Department of Commerce on promoting entrepreneurship globally. He is also a coauthor of The Innovation Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008) and coeditor of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Regions Around the World: Theory, Evidence and Implications (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008). Venkat earned one of Darden’s awards for most outstanding faculty in 2008 and is generally considered one of the school’s most popular professors. In January 2010, Venkat earned the Academy of Management’s Decade Award for the paper published ten years earlier that has had the greatest impact on scholarship in the fields of management and organizations.

A second-year student we interviewed described Venkat as “very analytical, very smart, and teaching on the top edge of marketing analytics.” Added a recent alumnus, “He will help much more than you would expect a professor to help.” Another alumnus with whom we spoke recounted meeting Venkat at an Indian Affairs party only a few weeks into his first year: “He [Venkat] quickly realized that I did not know who he was and told me that he was a student in another section. I led him around, introducing him to other new students until I eventually realized that he was pulling my leg.”

For more information about Darden and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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B-School Chart of the Week: February 2014 Social Currency Ra [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2014, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: February 2014 Social Currency Ranking
Rankings come in all shapes and sizes, but can any ranking truly capture social cachet? For a different perspective on the value of an MBA, we turn to the New York Times society pages, where the editors select and profile promising couples. Each month, we dedicate one B-School Chart of the Week to tallying how alumni from top-ranked business schools are advancing their social currency ranking.

Last month saw a lull in weddings, with just 56 total announcements in the New York Times society pages—and only six mentioned MBAs. Our aggregate tally of MBA wedding announcements in the Times for the year hit 17 in February, out of a total of 107.

Wharton maintained the lead with two February mentions, raising its year-to-date total to four. Among them was the betrothal of Wharton alumnus Matthew Schwab and Harvard Business School alumna Diana Dosik. In addition, Columbia Business School added another announcement to its 2014 total, bringing its individual tally to three, with the marriage of alumna Morgan Satler, a marketing director for Lancôme, and Adam Greene, a partner at Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck.

Darden, which had only three mentions in all of 2013, has already made an appearance in two wedding announcements for 2014, including most recently that of alumnus Christopher LaVine, a portfolio manager at Rational Group, who married Kathryn McLoughlin.

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

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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: Stanford GSB Brown Bag Lunches [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2014, 07:00
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 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.”

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.
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: Managing Millions at Texas McCombs [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Managing Millions at Texas McCombs
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Many MBA programs offer their students an opportunity to manage “real” money during their two years of study. Some schools give their students a few thousand dollars to work with, while others give their students a few million in endowment funds, but none offer as much as the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, where students manage $17.1 million (yes, $17.1 million!). Through the  MBA investment fund—the first legally constituted private investment company managed by students—students manage funds contributed by more than 40 investors in the Growth Portfolio, Value Portfolio and Endowment Fund. Each year, up to 20 students are selected as portfolio managers through an application/interview process, and these students work with investment counselors on economic forecasting, risk management and pitching stock and bond ideas, and then report to an advisory committee made up of faculty from the University of Texas Department of Finance and members of the investment community. If you are interested in investment management, would you not want to be able to say, “I helped select stocks for a multi-million fund”?
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: New Wharton Dean Emphasizes “Asia-Pacific” Sensibi [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: New Wharton Dean Emphasizes “Asia-Pacific” Sensibility
This week, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced the appointment of Geoffrey Garrett as its new dean. Effective July 1, Garrett will succeed Thomas Robertson’s, when Robertson’s seven-year term comes to an end, taking the reins of the business school’s graduate and undergraduate offerings. “Geoff Garrett has a proven track record as an eminent interdisciplinary scholar and strong and collaborative strategic leader,” noted university President Amy Gutmann. “He has a deep understanding of Wharton’s distinctive mission and a compelling vision for the role of business schools in an era of rapid change and globalization.”

Currently serving as dean and professor of business at the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales, Garrett brings two decades of international administrative experience to his appointment at Wharton. In addition, Garrett has served as the dean of the Business School at the University of Sydney (where he was also the founder/CEO of the United States Studies Centre), as president of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and has held positions at several other institutions, including Wharton, UCLA, Oxford University and Stanford University.

Garrett’s vision for the school, Bloomberg reports, will entail “helping Ivy League students understand the rest of the world.” In particular, this avowed global vision for Wharton will attempt to connect MBAs to new business opportunities in parts of the world that are often overlooked due to the geographical biases of Northeast U.S. business schools. Garrett explains: “it’s the Asia-Pacific century and that’s the sensibility that I’ll bring to the Wharton job.” His international scope also aims to curb a post-recession lull in applicants to Wharton’s finance-heavy MBA program. “Finance is coming back and Wharton is too,” Garrett stated. “There are opportunities to take a big picture view of the role of finance after the financial crisis.”

Meantime, we await word of a new admissions director, which we imagine will arrive before the admissions season kicks off in late-May.
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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Friday Factoid: Health Enterprise Management at Kellogg [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Health Enterprise Management at Kellogg
A relatively unsung program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is the school’s Health Enterprise Management program, and a “star” within this program is the Global Health Initiative (GHI)—co-founded in 2004 by Kellogg professor Daniel Diermeier, with several students in leadership and advisory roles. In this initiative, academics, students and representatives from corporations and nonprofits create products that solve medical problems around the world. One project that stood out in particular to us at mbaMission was the GHI’s receipt of a $4.9M grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006 to develop diagnostic devices capable of identifying the HIV virus.

Another impressive experiential offering is the multidisciplinary “Medical Innovation” class, which brings together industry leaders, top faculty members and students from several of Northwestern’s graduate schools (Law, Engineering, Medicine and Business). During this two-term course, students experience the “entire innovation life cycle” from multiple perspectives: scientific, legal and entrepreneurial/managerial. Students even shadow surgeons and observe clinicians to facilitate their own brainstorming sessions for an innovative product. In the end, an actual product is created and presented to potential investors. Clearly, Kellogg provides students interested in health care with an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty (and then sanitize them after, of course).

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Kellogg or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Optional Essay to Demonstr [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Optional Essay to Demonstrate Responsibility
Business school candidates who have an obvious weakness in their profile—such as a low GPA or GMAT score or a prolonged gap in work experience—often worry that they are destined to attend a virtually unknown business school. Whenever such applicants ask MBA admissions officers how their weakness might affect their candidacy, they hear this straightforward and common refrain: “We look at applications holistically.”

Although this may sound like a cliché, it is actually the truth; at mbaMission, we have seen dozens of candidates with sub-600 GMAT scores and GPAs under 3.0 find their respective ways into top-ten programs. The key to overcoming an academic weakness—or indeed any weakness—in your candidacy is to address it in the optional essay, not with excuses, but by taking responsibility:

Example 1:

“In my freshman year, I had the flu the day before my midterms and did quite badly on my first batch. As a result, my grades noticably dip in my first term. Then, in my second term, I was quite engaged in extracurricular activities with my fraternity, and again, my grades suffered. However, looking at just my grades in my major, from my second year forward, I would have a GPA of…”

Some who read this sample paragraph may laugh at the absurdity of the excuses, while others may not even notice. Although valid explanations for a candidate’s low grades certainly exist, a temporary bout of the flu and involvement in extracurricular activities are not among them.

Example 2:

“As a freshman at XYZ University, I was unable to appreciate the rather awesome educational opportunities before me, and my grades were, quite simply, lower than they should have been. However, by my second year, when I discovered my passion for English literature and chose this subject as my major, I pursued my studies with vigor and completely turned my academic performance around, earning a consistent stream of A grades in…”

In this second example, any excuses are cast aside and replaced with a candid discussion of the candidate’s experience. As a result, the candidate establishes credibility, explains the change and infers that he/she will likewise perform well as an MBA student.

Admissions committees, like corporate America, do not like excuses. Avoid making them.
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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Mission Admission: The Value of Current Community Service [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2014, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: The Value of Current Community Service
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

MBA admissions committees try to identify applicants who are constantly active, challenging themselves in all spheres of their lives. So, not only are extracurricular and community activities powerful in showing an MBA candidate’s benevolence, but they also help create the impression that the candidate is always pursuing goals and is therefore predisposed to success.

We regularly encounter candidates who say, “I have been so busy professionally that I haven’t had time to volunteer. However, I was really active during college.” In almost all cases, however, as applicants get further from their college years, their college experience becomes less and less relevant. Although having a record of consistent achievement throughout college and into a candidate’s professional life is best, MBA applicants are often evaluated on a “What have you done for me lately?” basis, meaning that contemporary community service is generally more important.

MBA admissions officers know that finding time to commit to external activities can be challenging for some professionals, but they still see many applicants from the most competitive fields who indeed find time to give back to others. So, if you had a rich and fulfilling college experience filled with leadership, in short, keep that trend going. You have a powerful complement to your contemporary involvements, but not a substitute.
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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B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, Cornell’s Jo [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management
We recently spoke with a student at Cornell Johnson who is entering the second half of her first year in the school’s two-year MBA program. After studying international affairs and political science as an undergraduate, she began her career by working in nonprofits and retail management before taking a position at a human resource solution provider doing business development, client management and recruiting. A decision to pursue human resources/human capital consulting led her to business school, where she has since developed an interest in the tech industry and has landed a summer internship doing human capital strategy for operations for a multinational semiconductor chip maker.

mbaMission: Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experience thus far at Cornell Johnson. What led you to choose the school for your MBA?

Johnson First Year:  For me, it was actually a no-brainer. My career goal was to work in human capital strategy or consulting, and Cornell has one of the best industrial and labor relations departments in the world. As a Johnson student, I can take advantage of classes, student clubs, libraries and recruiting events there [at Cornell]. The department’s quite large, and it brings in large numbers of corporate sponsors, which host different events, like case competitions, workshops and lunches. Being able to take advantage of great resources within the human resources field while being an MBA student makes Johnson the perfect match for me.

mbaMission: Sure. And how do you feel it’s worked out so far? Do you feel like you made the right choice for you?

JFY: Yeah, absolutely. Everything I wanted for business school, whatever I expected for Cornell, is here, and I enjoy it.

mbaMission: Where were you living before you moved to Ithaca?

JFY: I was living in New York City.

mbaMission: Okay. So how has the transition to a smaller town been?

JFY: That’s a good question. It’s definitely not New York City. It’s very different. We have, I would say, maybe less than 20 restaurants to go to, and less than eight bars. The town is very small, but this unique environment actually creates a really good sense of community for business students.

mbaMission: Sure.

JFY: I really like that part, and also, I went to undergrad in a really small town, so I’m sort of used to this kind of environment. My peer students who have never lived in a small town before seemed to have a hard time adjusting initially, but the majority of them started to feel comfortable right away. Also, if we want to go to New York City, it’s very easily done. Cornell has a bus service called Campus to Campus that goes from Ithaca to New York City every day. So I feel that I can enjoy both worlds. If I want to enjoy the city, I can go to New York City very easily, and if I stay in Ithaca, I can enjoy a small town, good community feel.

mbaMission: Sure. I could see that. So where do students typically live? Is it mostly apartments, or are there student dorms?

JFY: A lot of Johnson students live in apartments around campus. I live in one of the large apartment complexes that a lot of Johnson students live in, and this is just one year old. It’s really clean, very close to campus, and it has a gym and a shuttle service to campus. Students with family typically live a little bit outside of the town, and they commute by car. They have larger houses with yards and plenty of parks around.

mbaMission: That sounds great.

JFY: Yeah, it’s quite nice.

mbaMission: What are three words you would use to characterize your Johnson classmates?

JFY: I would say supportive, very friendly and extremely motivated. Those were very important to me when I was applying for business schools.

mbaMission: Definitely. And how would you describe the overall community or atmosphere at the school?

JFY: Definitely close-knit. We only have 273 students in my year. I think typically, Johnson takes 275 students per year, so everyone knows everyone and really cares about each other. Second-year students also want to help first-year students, and that creates a really close-knit community.

mbaMission: When you first got to the school, did you have any kind of orientation as an incoming class?

JFY: There was a two-week orientation for incoming students for the two-year program, and I think for the one-year program, there’s maybe only four or five days. It focused on learning about the program and definitely learning about each other. Orientation consisted of classes, team discussions and social events. To top it off, there was one event called Johnson Outdoor Activity. All the students went to a camping site by a lake, and that whole day, we participated in team-building activities. It was a lot of fun, and definitely, I think by the end of two weeks, a lot of us knew each other. Also, at the end of orientation, we find out who is on the same core team. Then, there was a case competition among all the core teams, sponsored by a CPG [consumer packaged goods] company.

mbaMission: That sounds great. It seems like a good idea to have everybody come together like that to connect and learn a little bit about one another before diving into classes.

JFY: Yeah, that’s true.

mbaMission: So which resources at the school would you say have been the most impressive or helpful to you so far?

JFY: That’s a good question. I would say some of the clubs are really impressive. Old Ezra [Finance Club] and the Consulting Club are very good examples. Students in those clubs meet every single week, sometimes multiple times a week, and the clubs teach you everything from how to dress for an interview, how to network, to how to do well on cases, or how to answer technical finance questions. They are very intense programs and very successful at placing students in the financial industry and consulting. So these two clubs are really helpful professional resources. Also, I’ve found the classes to be very exciting and engaging, and the professors are always there to help.

mbaMission: Have you had any interaction with Johnson alumni as part of your job search, or maybe when you were deciding on the school, before you even enrolled?

JFY: Yeah, absolutely. Actually, I had interactions with many alumni. While I was applying for school, I met a couple of alumni through events, and they were really helpful. They contacted me continuously to just check up on me to see if my application was going okay and if I got in. It was really nice to know that they actually cared. I also reached out to the Cornell Club of Japan, and I just sent an email just for inquiry, general inquiry. And the head of the Japan Club—he’s the top of 3M in Japan. He’s really busy, I know—but he took the time out of his busy day to contact me to see if I wanted to join a dinner held at the Cornell Club of Japan. I was really surprised that he decided to take his time to help me.

And after I got in, I reached out to a lot of alumni for recruiting, and they were very helpful also. A lot of them contacted me back right away, trying to help. I set up a lot of informational interviews, and even after those interviews, they were willing to help. Some of them spoke to recruiters for me and set up interviews.

mbaMission: That’s great to hear. We always like to learn who students consider the “rock star” or “must take” professors at the different schools. Have you had any professors so far that you thought were really great?

JFY: Every single person that went to Johnson would talk about this professor named Roni Michaely. He teaches a core managerial finance class. And he is very good—he’s great at teaching, but more than anything, he really, really cares about students learning the material. For example, we had TA [teaching assistant] sessions every single day after each class, and there also were special sessions for students who needed extra help.  Before the final exam, we had about 24 hours’ worth of TA sessions to review the entire class material.

mbaMission: Wow.

JFY: It’s from 9 [a.m.] to 9 p.m. for a couple days, and it’s really, really helpful. I learned so much about finance that I didn’t know before. His class was very impressive.

mbaMission: That’s great.

JFY: Yeah.

mbaMission: As far as the facilities at Johnson, what would you say are some of the strong points and maybe not so great areas that could probably be improved?

JFY: Yes. The facilities themselves—I would not say this is one of the best things at Johnson.

mbaMission: Okay.

JFY: All the classrooms are underground. So sometimes I wish that there was some sort of light or, you know, that we could see outside. I wish that, but that’s one of the things that you notice in the beginning, but then you sort of get used to it.

mbaMission: Sure.

JFY: Other than that, I do not see any disadvantages. We have a great library that is open 24 hours with great librarians. But to be honest, I visited different schools, and I would not think Johnson’s one of the top as far as facilities are concerned.

mbaMission: That’s fair. How is the wireless access across campus? Do you feel you can get your work done efficiently, no matter you need to work?

JFY: Oh yeah, absolutely.  Internet access is great, but when it comes to phones, some people do have problems getting a signal because Ithaca is such a small town.

mbaMission: Sure. How would you say social life is at the school? Have you taken part in any really fun events yet?

JFY: Yeah. Every single Thursday, we have a social event called Sage Social. The school sets up alcohol and food for us, and we all get together and enjoy each other’s company.  All the partners are welcome, so a lot of children are involved as well. And for each Sage Social, they have different themes. Like yesterday, it was the Chinese New Year, so we had Chinese food. And last year, one of the main events was called Pie in the Face. It’s a charity event where the students will nominate a couple of people that we want to see get pie in their face.

There are about 20 people who get nominated, and the nominations are presented at the atrium. So we see pictures of the people who got nominated. And then from that point, we basically pay money to each one of the nominees, and whoever gets the most money, like ten people, I think, will actually get pie in their face. That way, we raise money, and then on the day of, we do an auction for who actually gets to throw pie. Roni Michaely, the professor, was one of the guys who was nominated to get pie in the face.  The event was really fun and for a great cause.

mbaMission: That sounds pretty unique. I have heard about a lot of charity events at the different schools, but I’ve never heard of anything like that. Is it for a different charity every year, or is it always the same recipient, do you know?

JFY: I actually don’t know, but I know the pie in the face is an annual thing. As far as the organization that gets the money, I don’t know. I think it changes every year.

mbaMission: Do the professors tend to go to the Sage Thursday events? And does the dean ever show up?

JFY: Yeah, sometimes I see the dean, probably once or twice a month. That’s pretty frequent. The professors definitely attend, and we get to talk to professors there. They are always willing to share their thoughts and ideas.

mbaMission: That’s cool. Is the dean pretty involved in student life? Do people have office hours with him, or is he generally visible around campus?

JFY: Yeah. He’s actually new. I think he started maybe this year or last year, I can’t remember, probably last year. [Soumitra Dutta was named dean July 1, 2012.] And he’s around a lot, walking around campus, trying to talk to people, and he’s very, very friendly. Sometimes he even invites students to come to his house for dinner. I see him at a lot of different student events. He’s very accessible, available and willing to talk to people.

mbaMission: That’s fantastic.

JFY: Yeah.

mbaMission: Is where Cornell stands in the rankings kind of a big deal on campus? Do people talk about the rankings at all?

JFY: I don’t think they care as much. Before coming here, I cared a lot about the school’s ranking. But then when I came here, people do talk about, “Oh, the new ranking is out. We are this in this magazine, this in that magazine,” but it’s not as big of a deal, I would say. You would just call us around the top 15. I don’t think people care as much as I thought.

mbaMission: That’s fair. Well, my final question is kind of an overarching one. What would you like more people to know about Cornell that they probably don’t?

JFY: Right. So I knew Cornell was going to have a close-knit community, and that’s why I chose it, but I didn’t know it was this much of a supportive community. Once you are in this community, it opens up so many different opportunities, and you get connected to impressive alumni quickly. Career-wise, I didn’t even know that the school is really that strong in investment banking and marketing. I wasn’t aware, but we really place a lot of people in investment banking and marketing. So I know that people who want banking look at Columbia or, you know, Wharton, but Cornell is a really good choice as well. And for marketing, a lot of people want to go to Kellogg, but you should definitely look at Cornell. So if you’re interested in those areas, take a look, because you might be surprised just how good the program is at Cornell.

mbaMission: That’s great. Thank you again so much.

JFY: Sure. Thank you!
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MBA News: MBAs Hold Weight in Hard Times [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: MBAs Hold Weight in Hard Times
In a weak economic climate, the return on investment on graduate school can seem uncertain. Conventional market wisdom suggests that the value of a degree wanes for those graduating during a recession. However, an article in the Harvard Business Review this week makes the case that the perceived value of an MBA in fact tends to survive downward trends in the economy.

GMAC’s 2014 survey of nearly 21,000 business school alumni shows that the self-reported overall value of an MBA was comparable among graduates in recession years to those graduating in other years. Furthermore, alumni who graduated during a recession were actually slightly more likely to rate the financial value of their degree favorably, including 79% recession-era graduates who rated their degree as “financially rewarding,” compared with the 75% of alumni who did so during non-recession years. The survey responses pointed to both financial and overall satisfaction among MBAs across the full spectrum of economic stability, suggesting “the skills, experience, and networks gained during business school yield returns regardless of the job market at graduation and may be even more valuable in a tight job market.”
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Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, The University of Chicago  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2014, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program, but the educational experience at business school 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 Kevin Murphy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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In 2005, Chicago Booth professor Kevin Murphy (“Advanced Microeconomic Policy” and “Sports Analytics”)—who has a joint appointment in the department of economics at the University of Chicago, where he teaches PhD-level courses—became the first business school professor to win the MacArthur Genius Grant, which he received for his groundbreaking economic research. Murphy’s course “Advanced Microeconomic Analysis” is affectionately called “Turbo Micro” because of its enormous workload. One recent graduate told mbaMission that a typical Chicago Booth class is supposed to be complemented by five hours of homework per week but that Murphy’s course demands roughly 20 hours. So why would students clamber to take the class? The alumnus with whom we spoke raved that it was taught at the PhD level and that Murphy is deserving of his “genius” title, pushing students to think about their opinions in profoundly different ways. A first year we interviewed identified Murphy’s course as the most impressive he had taken thus far, saying it offered “a very complicated but logical way to view the world.”

For more information about Chicago Booth and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Underground Poker at the Indian Sc [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2014, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Underground Poker at the Indian School of Business
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

According to several students we interviewed at the Indian School of Business (ISB), the underground poker club is the talk of the campus, with some students claiming that the club is their favorite pastime at the school. Staying up into the wee hours of the night and playing for real money, participants devote several hours a week outside class to the club and reportedly form deep relationships with their classmates who share a passion for the game.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at the ISB and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Friday Factoid: Career Change Mentoring at NYU Stern [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Career Change Mentoring at NYU Stern
We all know that some aspiring MBAs view their time in business school as a platform through which they can execute a career change. Recognizing that these “career switchers” can benefit from as much exposure as possible to their desired new industry, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business offers its Industry Mentoring Initiative (IMI). The IMI provides students who are committed to changing their career path with a chance to immerse themselves in their new targeted industry. Specifically, Stern partners with major corporations in New York City whose employees agree to mentor students who wish to make a career shift. Students thereby gain access to industry-specific mock interviews, networking opportunities and Q&A sessions with their mentors. In recent years, five IMI tracks were offered: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking, Consulting, Marketing and Entertainment and Media. All first-year students can apply to participate in the IMI, and each year, approximately 8–15 students are selected for each career track.

If you are looking to make a career switch, you may want to look to Stern and immerse yourself in IMI!

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at NYU Stern or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: The Optional Mistake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: The Optional Mistake
Last week, we discussed taking responsibility for blips in your personal, academic and/or career history via the optional essay. This week, we follow up with a broader discussion about the optional essay. Our title for this post, “The Optional Mistake,” is a double entendre in that candidates often make the mistake of writing an optional essay when they perhaps should not and then make mistakes within the essay as well.

1. Choosing to submit an optional essay: Many candidates feel compelled to write an optional essay, concerned that neglecting to do so will send the message “I am out of additional fascinating stories.” The truth is that the admissions committee (in virtually all cases) has offered the optional essay (or additional information space) to allow you to discuss unique circumstances in your candidacy—if needed—not to submit another 500 words on your career or an interesting personal accomplishment. Unless you have something vital in your candidacy that must be discussed, you should approach the idea of submitting an additional essay with caution.

2. Writing an optional essay: If you feel you need to write an optional essay, be as brief and direct as possible. By submitting one, you are essentially asking the admissions officer to read yet another essay—basically, to do even more work—and are thus demanding more of this person’s valuable time. The key to writing an effective optional essay is therefore to respect this individual’s time and be as concise as possible, while still conveying all the necessary information. Thus, a discussion of your academic problems need not begin with a detailing of the excellent grades you earned in high school; a gap in your work experience need not begin with a chronology of how consistently you worked before the gap occurred. We have seen candidates overcome any number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, from a very low GMAT score to drunk driving arrests. We always encourage applicants to address such issues in a “short and sweet” manner (completing any optional essays well within word limits), and time has proven that this strategy can yield results.

For more assistance with writing an optional essay (or even just deciding whether you need to write one), see our Optional Essay Guide.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Be Mindful of Arrogance [#permalink]

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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Be Mindful of Arrogance
Business school candidates often fret about striking the right balance between confidence and arrogance in their MBA application essays. For example, you might have difficulty choosing the better choice from between the following statements:

Example 1: “At the Stanford GSB, I will take advantage of the newly designed curriculum to…”

Example 2: “At the Stanford GSB, I would take advantage of the newly designed curriculum to…”

Or between these statements:

Example 1: “After completing my MBA at Harvard Business School, I will pursue a career in…”

Example 2: “After completing my MBA at Harvard Business School, I would aspire to a career in…”

In each set of examples, the choice is really between certainty (“I will”) and diplomacy (“I would”). You might ask yourself whether the first option in each set of examples is too presumptuous or the second one too weak. In fact, neither is definitively “right”; each candidate must choose an approach that is consistent with his/her personality. However, what is important is maintaining consistency. Choose one approach and carry it throughout your essay(s)—mixing the two styles is distracting to the reader and can seem sloppy.
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Mission Admission: Should I Seek a New Position Before Apply [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Should I Seek a New Position Before Applying?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

With approximately six months to go before first-round deadlines for the 2014–2015 MBA admissions season, many business school aspirants are considering ways they might enhance their candidacy. While candidates can take a variety of steps to accomplish this—from boosting their community and personal profiles, to pursuing additional classes, to reinvigorating relationships with potential recommenders—some even consider seeking a new position with a different firm or industry. Is this a good idea?

If you are contemplating such a move, the first thing to consider is your tenure at your current firm. If you have been with the company for less than one year, changing positions is generally unwise. MBA admissions committees tend to appreciate consistency and frown on what they perceive as opportunism. So, if you have had several positions in the past that you have held for approximately one year or less, staying put now and proving your commitment may be a good idea. If, however, you are a long-serving employee and want to embark on a new path, a move may bolster your profile.

The next question is whether you are considering a horizontal or a vertical move. If you would be gaining an increase in salary and responsibility, you would almost certainly be making a wise choice and would also be insulated from concerns about tenure. MBA admissions committees want to know that you are a rising star. So, if you can obtain a new role that involves greater responsibility in the next nine months, you should grab that opportunity. As we often tell candidates, “What is good for your career is almost always good for your MBA candidacy.”

However, before you move on, you may also want to consider whether you will be burning bridges at your existing firm. Maintaining your references is important, because you will need them in the short term for your application(s). Further, you may want to ask yourself whether you have enough time to achieve something impressive at the new firm. If nine months is sufficient time to add to your professional or personal narrative, then a new position may be worth pursuing. However, if you are joining an organization that has a one-year sales cycle, for example, you may not have much to offer by application time and may want to think twice about moving.

Finally, we advise candidates to not pander to MBA admissions committees. If you think that a consulting or banking position will impress the admissions committee, but such a position is not part of your intended career path, shifting into one of these areas would be pointless. Your potential move should be consistent with your personal goals, not with what you think an admissions committee wants—the committees want authenticity and differentiated candidates, not a cookie-cutter “type” of candidate from a specific field.
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B-School Chart of the Week: March MBA Madness [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: March MBA Madness
Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

The NCAA championship game may still be a week away, but the tournament is already over for men’s basketball teams from schools that happen to be home to a top-ranked MBA program. Among these institutions, Harvard, Duke, and Texas fell out of the running early on. Business students at UVA Darden, UCLA Anderson, and Stanford GSB, however, undoubtedly watched with excitement as their home university teams advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before getting crossed off of the bracket. Ultimately, Michigan came out ahead, claiming the most wins on behalf of top-MBA universities and making it all the way to the Elite Eight before losing by a close margin to Kentucky during Sunday’s game.

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Professor Profiles: Saras D. Sarasvathy, UVA’s Darden School [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Saras D. Sarasvathy, UVA’s Darden School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school, but the educational experience at the business school 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 Saras D. Sarasvathy from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.

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Saras D. Sarasvathy (“Entrepreneurial Thinking,” “Starting New Ventures,” “Markets in Human Hope” and “Ethics”) wrote her dissertation at Carnegie Mellon on entrepreneurial expertise and has parlayed that into a specialization in the area of “effectuation,” which examines the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. Her book Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) examines the way entrepreneurs think. In addition to serving on the editorial boards of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and the Journal of Business Venturing, she acts as an advisor to education programs on entrepreneurship in Asia and Europe. In December 2010, Darden awarded Sarasvathy a Wachovia award for excellence in research development. Earlier, in September 2007, Fortune Small Business magazine named Sarasvathy one of 18 top professors in the field of entrepreneurship.

Students we interviewed feel that Sarasvathy, who has been an associate professor at Darden since 2004, is one of the up-and-coming scholars of entrepreneurship in the world. One alumnus described her to mbaMission as “very encouraging, supportive. She allows people to share ideas rather than looking for the right answer.” Another told us that he found himself in her “Starting New Ventures” class by mistake; he had lingered too long in the classroom after his previous class had ended and was still there when Sarasvathy’s class began. He was so impressed by her teaching that he added her course to his schedule, even though he was already overloaded. He found even at that first lesson that she “challenged conventional beliefs,” and he was “impressed at her insights and the way that she articulated basic assumptions to bring out the less obvious, deeper levels.”

For some interesting perspectives on entrepreneurship and business, see Sarasvathy’s presentations on BigThink at http://bigthink.com/sarassarasvathy.

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