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The mbaMission Blog

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use the Optional Essay to Demonstrate Respon [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2016, 08:00
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 test score or a prolonged gap in work experience—often worry that they are destined to attend a virtually unknown MBA program. When such applicants ask admissions officers how their weakness might affect their candidacy, they often hear this straightforward and common refrain: “We look at applications holistically.”

Although this may sound like a cliché, we at mbaMission 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 any kind of 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 noticeably dipped 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 find the excuses absurd, 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 applicant establishes credibility, explains the change, and infers that he/she will likewise perform well as an MBA student.

Admissions committees, like employers, do not like excuses. Avoid making them.

 

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Mission Admission: Concerns About Background Checks [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Concerns About Background Checks
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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ROMA: Were you the guy who broke in?

GEORGE: …no.

ROMA: Then don’t sweat it, George, you know why?

GEORGE: No.

ROMA: You have nothing to hide.

GEORGE: When I talk to the police, I get nervous.

ROMA: Yeah. You know who doesn’t?

GEORGE: No, who?

ROMA: Thieves.

-David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross (Screenplay, 1992)

For many applicants, the worst of the admissions process is likely over by now. But at this stage, a new anxiety looms: the background check. Should the majority of candidates be concerned about background checks? The simple answer is “No.” The admissions committees know that almost all applicants have represented themselves in an honest manner. The background checks are not designed to bring accusations against the innocent but to catch those who have willfully deceived.

What does that mean, exactly? If you indicated that you were at a job or company that never actually existed or you changed your title from analyst to vice president, you might have a reason to sweat. If you accidentally noted that you left your job in January instead of February, no one is going to rescind your offer of admission. You are certainly innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of guilt is not on the applicant who may have committed a minor error but on the one who attempted to misrepresent or defraud.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Professor Profiles: Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University’s Fuqua School o [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, 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 Gavan Fitzsimons from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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Students and administration members alike sing the praises of Fuqua’s “fun” and “engaging” marketing professor, Gavan Fitzsimons, who spearheaded the creation of the Duke/Synovate Shopper Insights Center for Leadership and Innovation in January 2011. Fitzsimons is the R. David Thomas professor of marketing and psychology at Fuqua. His work, which focuses on the ways in which consumers are subconsciously influenced, has been published and popularized in prestigious academic journals and media outlets from the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing Research to NPR, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. Fitzsimons has also served as an associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Research.

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

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In Webinar Series [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2016, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In Webinar Series
The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep —are coming together to make sure you’ll be ready for the 2016–2017 MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, five-part webinar series called “Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In.” Senior consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions issues, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT test-takers face, offering insight, advice, and more.

These live webinars are held on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately via the links below—space is limited.

  • Session 5: May 10, 2016: Questions and Answers with MBA Admissions Officers*Admissions officers on this panel include: 

    Bruce DelMonico, Yale School of Management

    Amanda Carlson, Columbia Business School

    Additional admissions officers yet to be announced!
Enroll today!

The post Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In Webinar Series appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100-Case Party at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100-Case Party at Darden
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

The celebration of the first-year class’s completion of its first 100 cases at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, appropriately called the 100-Case Party, typically takes place in mid-October at a Charlottesville club. Over the two years they spend at Darden, students will study more than 500 cases. Said one alumnus we interviewed, it is “a huge party; people go wild,” while another told us that the party is significant because “it celebrates a huge milestone.” In October 2011, a first year described the party in her blog about MBA life at Darden, saying, “I’m not sure if the plan is to drink 100 cases, but anything is fair game!”

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100-Case Party at Darden appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Innovative Opportunities at the Merage School o [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Innovative Opportunities at the Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine
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Paul Merage School of Business

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

Thanks to its proximity to the Tech Coast, the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, offers significant opportunities for students with an eye toward innovative business. “Whether it’s fashion, interactive entertainment, real estate, medical or biotech,” states the school’s site, “Orange County is where these industries flourish.” Indeed, an emphasis on innovation and business pioneering is built directly into what Merage calls its “visionary curriculum,” supplementing conventional business disciplines with three core, cross-disciplinary areas: Strategic Innovation, Information Technology, and Analytic Decision Making.

In addition, several of Merage’s special course offerings and programs showcase the school’s commitment to putting students in contact with the rapidly shifting face of business. The “EDGE” course, for example, which can be taken during students’ second year of study, offers a notable opportunity to gain cutting-edge insight into the relationship between business trends, globalization, and technology. Similarly, through the school’s MBA Field Project, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with current business practices by working directly with locally based global companies. Merage students can also participate each year in the university-wide Business Plan Competition, whose winner claims $15K in funding for his/her proposed start-up venture.

The post Diamonds in the Rough: Innovative Opportunities at the Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Six Factors That Will Affect MBA Admissions in 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Six Factors That Will Affect MBA Admissions in 2016–2017
In an article recently featured on Poets and Quants and LinkedIn, mbaMission Founder/President Jeremy Shinewald lists his predictions for the upcoming MBA admissions season.

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Even though the 2015–2016 MBA application season is still in full swing, we can already anticipate the next one beginning in just a few weeks. Typically, top MBA programs start to release their essay questions on or around May 1, and that is when the proverbial starting gun is fired for a marathon with thousands of hopeful “runners” all striving to get into their dream schools. What are some of the key factors that will shape the 2016–2017 admissions race? We have identified six for this article:

1. A Larger Applicant Pool?: To an extent, MBA application volumes are linked to unemployment rates. When unemployment skyrocketed to 10% in the wake of the financial collapse, business school applications surged. Right now, unemployment is near historic lows, but confidence in the economy is also low, and the stock market has proved to be erratic. Several bulge-bracket banks—including Barclays, Citi, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs—have announced significant layoffs, mostly in sales and trading. Meanwhile, there is talk of billion-dollar start-ups at risk of failing. The prominent venture capitalist Bill Gurley has been speculating that there will be “dead unicorns” (unicorns are venture-backed companies with private valuations of $1 billion or more) as soon as this year. If some of the approximately 175 larger unicorns start to collapse (because they cannot achieve profitability or secure venture funds to extend their lives), this could result in a lot of young, well-educated people being out of work for the first time in their careers—and some will inevitably seek to reinvent themselves through an MBA. If the unicorns start falling soon, we may see the impact in the second application round, and this could quickly alter the competitiveness of the candidate pool.

2. Closer Scrutiny of Career Goals: Regardless of the volatility outlined in factor one, do you want to become an entrepreneur? Is it in your bones? Admissions officers at the top MBA programs are becoming less convinced that the ever-growing number of applicants making this claim truly mean it or could successfully break into the field. Academics at the leading schools are sounding the alarm as well, whispering “bubble.” Professor Thomas Eisenmann, faculty co-chair of Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s) Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, told the that the surge in interest in entrepreneurship among MBA students seems like “herd behavior.” And Leah Edwards, director of the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s (GSB’s) Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, expressed concern about the purpose of MBA entrepreneurs, telling the , “We don’t need another app to order food.” In short, we expect that admissions officers will start to more carefully scrutinize applicants who declare their Silicon Valley dreams, in hopes of distinguishing the true contenders from the mere pretenders. If you have neither evidence of entrepreneurial experience nor the grittiness that is frequently associated with entrepreneurial success, then you should think carefully about writing your application essay about the start-up you intend to launch post-MBA. Doing so will likely reflect negatively on you. MBA admissions committees often consult with their school’s career offices and want to be sure you have a legitimate shot at achieving your dreams. You must prove that you are indeed capable of what you claim, and that starts with goals that are not only ambitious, but also realistic.

3. HBX as a Credential: There is certainly no rule that says you must complete HBS’s Credential of Readiness (CORe) program—known as HBX—before applying to HBS. However, according to an annual report that HBS’s dean sent to the business school’s alumni, last year, 300 of HBS’s more than 900 admits took the CORe program before matriculating. In a competitive applicant pool, some people will view this as a sign that CORe is practically a requirement. In actuality, it is not, but perceptions and reality do not always align, of course. For some, HBX is indeed an opportunity to reveal their competence and fluency in the language of business. If you were a speechwriter with a liberal arts background (like the author of this piece), then the CORe could be a great way for you to establish a baseline of knowledge—much like passing Level I of the CFA exam might be. If, on the other hand, you have a business degree and have been working in consulting for a while, the CORe will not likely do much to help you establish competency, because you have actually already done so. Still, competency be damned! We expect that more and more people will enroll in HBX, merely out of fear of not having this small, figurative box “checked” in their HBS application file.

4. A New Dean of Admissions at HBS: Last year, Dee Leopold announced that she would be stepping down after more than a decade as managing director of MBA admissions at HBS. After interviewing approximately 100 candidates for the position, HBS has just chosen one of its own recent MBAs, Chad Losee, as her successor. However, Ms. Leopold will continue to work in HBS admissions, serving as program director for the 2+2 Program she initiated and which has truly reshaped the HBS class. This means Mr. Losee will have easy access to her input and advice during his transition, but he undoubtedly has opinions and plans of his own, and ultimately, the proverbial “buck” for HBS applicants will stop with him. He will surely bring some fresh ideas to the position, and the next class admitted under his purview will bear that imprint—only, no one yet knows what that imprint will be. Approximately ten thousand HBS applicants in the coming year will therefore have to deal with some level of uncertainty for part of the admissions season. For anyone concerned about what Mr. Losee’s preferences might turn out to be, we offer this word to the wise: rather than focusing on what you think he wants and trying to match that, put your efforts into conveying who you truly are as an applicant.

5. A New Day at the Stanford GSB: If we are going to consider the impact of the changing of the guard in HBS’s admissions office, we should also discuss the impact of a new dean at the Stanford GSB. Although a school’s admissions director clearly plays a central role in shaping each incoming class, he/she must still answer to the dean, who sets the tone for the school as a whole and has certain expectations of the applicants who are admitted to it. We anticipate that the scandal that recently rocked the Stanford GSB will have little to no impact on the program’s application volume or on the prestige of this vaunted institution, but the new dean will undoubtedly have opinions about the desired composition of the class and what makes an excellent manager—and this will ultimately be felt and applied in the admissions office.

6. Higher GMAT Averages: The GMAT averages at the leading MBA programs seem to rise higher and higher each year—almost impossibly so. For the classes that matriculated in the fall of 2015, the Stanford GSB’s boasted the highest average GMAT score at 733! Where can we go from here? Higher, actually, and here is why:

a. Changes in the GMAT: GMAC, the organization that administers the GMAT, has taken steps to make applicants more comfortable with the idea of taking the test multiple times and more frequently. Last year, GMAC made changes that allowed candidates to take the test every 16 days, rather than every 31 days (up to a maximum of five times per year). We assume that the goal of this change was to encourage individuals to take the test more often. Because the MBA programs include only your top score in their averages, this gives you additional incentive to take the test several times (or more!) so as to do your very best. Further, GMAC allows applicants to see and cancel any scores they do not want to appear on their score reports, thereby taking the pain out of a cancellation and increasing an applicant’s willingness to try again. The bottom line here is that more candidates taking the GMAT more times should translate into higher averages.

b. The Rise of the GRE: The GRE and the GMAT are equals in the eyes of almost every admissions officer. HBS’s Dee Leopold told me directly, “We view these tests as equal and have no preference,” a sentiment echoed by Yale School of Management’s (SOM’s) Bruce DelMonico, who added, “We wouldn’t accept the test if it were going to disadvantage people.” The Yale SOM has been a leader in accepting the GRE, with more than 20% of its applicants having taken the alternate exam. How does the increasing acceptance of the GRE increase GMAT averages? Some applicants treat the GRE as a “work-around.” If they fear doing poorly on the GMAT, they take the GRE instead, because the GRE is not yet weighed in some MBA rankings. In effect, the rise of the GRE has eliminated some weaker test takers from the applicant pool. We must note, however, that this is not a foolproof work-around; although your low GRE score may not reduce a school’s GMAT average, you will still need to prove that you are capable of managing a rigorously quantitative curriculum.

The post Six Factors That Will Affect MBA Admissions in 2016–2017 appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Friday Factoid: Thinking Social at NYU Stern [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Thinking Social at NYU Stern
Although New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business is perhaps not well known among the top MBA programs for sustainable enterprise or social entrepreneurship, the school in fact offers an array of resources for those interested in pursuing careers in these fields. The W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab serves as the hub of all entrepreneurial activities and events at the school, and in 2008, Stern introduced a Social Innovation and Impact specialization, thereby formalizing an academic track for students with this career path in mind.

Attending or helping to plan the “Think Social, Drink Local” marquee fundraiser is one of many options that socially conscious aspiring MBAs will find to fulfill their interests at Stern. With help from corporate sponsors such as Brooklyn Brewery and Crop Organic Vodka, the school’s Social Enterprise Association hosts the event in partnership with the Stern Luxury & Retail Club. In March 2016, the 11th annual event took place at 404 NYC and featured an open bar and the “I Heart New York” runway fashion show—a fundraiser for Stern’s Social Impact Internship Fund—in which Stern students and administrators modeled clothing by ecofriendly designers. The fashion show is a highlight of the evening each year and has raised more than $10K in past years.

Through Stern Consulting Corps, students can partner on consulting projects with New York City–based nonprofits. And for those who also have the entrepreneurial bug, Stern added a Social Venture Competition—in which participants compete for a $50K prize—to its traditional for-profit $200K Entrepreneurs Challenge.

In short, socially conscious Sternies have quite a bit to keep them busy!

For a thorough exploration of what NYU Stern and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Interview with the Admissions C [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2016, 05:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Interview with the Admissions Committee!
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After submitting your MBA application, you endure weeks of nervous anticipation before ideally being invited to interview. You then start to prepare for the interview, ready to prove yourself to the admissions committee. You take your tour, sit in on a class, and head to the admissions office only to find—gasp!—a second-year MBA student waiting to interview you! You think, “This school must not take me seriously as a candidate. I must be in some second tier that it really does not care about!” If you encounter this situation, take a deep breath and reconsider.

What is the admissions committee’s job? Quite simply, the committee strives to find the best candidates for its program. So whether you interview with a member of the committee, an alumnus/alumna, or a student, your interview will be considered equally. Why would an admissions committee put a huge group of candidates at a disadvantage? What would be the point of interviewing an applicant if the admissions committee did not find its school’s alumni to be reliable interviewers? Why would the committee solicit the help of students if it sincerely believed those individuals were not capable of rendering an appropriate judgment?

So, if you find yourself on campus and are interviewed by someone other than an admissions committee member, do not worry, and ensure that you maintain your focus. Remember that your story and your ability to connect with your interviewer are what truly matter in your interview.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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GMAT Impact: Testing Accommodations on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Testing Accommodations on the GMAT
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.

Do you qualify for testing accommodations on the GMAT? Or do you think you might?

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Broadly speaking, the term “accommodations” refers to altering the testing conditions for a particular student to “level the playing field” for that student. Someone with serious vision problems, for example, may need some kind of altered test format to read the test questions. These accommodations do not make the test easier for the student; rather, they make the test possible at the same level as for a regular student.

What is the process for applying for testing accommodations, and how are the decisions made? Glad you asked. I have spent the past couple months reading everything I can find and talking to representatives from GMAC. In addition, I spoke with a psychologist who deals with various kinds of learning disabilities.

All this research culminated in our unofficial GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia! I will give you the highlights here and then link to the full article at the end.

GMAC lists five main categories of issues covered and also offers an “other” category (if you feel your particular issue does not fit into one of these five areas).

The general application process is the same for all categories, but the material required to document your condition can vary, and the full article (linked to at the end) covers these details.

What qualifies… and what does not?

No easy answer to this question exists. The overarching issue, according to both Dr. Teresa Elliott of GMAC and private psychologist Dr. Tova Elberg, is a condition that results in some kind of impaired functioning in daily life that meets the criteria of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the DSM-IV or DSM-V.

A diagnosis by itself is not enough, though. The condition must be shown to affect current functioning, and this impact must be documented carefully.

Everyone was very clear that a diagnosis does not necessarily mean that someone qualifies for testing accommodations. The diagnosis must result in functional impairment that has an impact on daily work and living situations in general, not just testing situations. This is precisely why the application asks you to explain how a particular issue or disability affects your current functioning across work and academic settings.

Many additional nuances must be considered, so dive into our GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia and let us know if you have any questions or comments!

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: The Optional Mistake [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2016, 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. Our title for this week’s 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.

Many candidates feel compelled to write an optional essay because they are concerned that not doing so will imply that they have no additional fascinating stories to share. The truth is that in virtually all cases, the admissions committee has offered the optional essay (or additional information space) to allow you to discuss possible unique circumstances in your candidacy, not so you can submit another 500 words about 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.

If you do decide to write an optional essay, be as brief and direct as possible. By submitting one, you are essentially asking the (likely overloaded) admissions officer to read yet another essay 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 an arrest for drunk driving. 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 should write one), see our Optional Essay Guide.

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From Finance to Food: ChowNow Co-Founder Chris Webb Shares His Entrepr [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: From Finance to Food: ChowNow Co-Founder Chris Webb Shares His Entrepreneurial Story
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Chris Webb, Co-Founder of ChowNow

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.

Chris Webb began his career when he was only 19 by accepting a full-time position at former investment bank Bear Stearns. Following a decade-long career in finance, a surprising source introduced Webb to the food business, and—after making a few detours—he co-founded online ordering system ChowNow in 2010. Tune in to the podcast to hear about Webb’s progress throughout the years as he discusses these details and more:

  • Why a gap in the food market caught Webb’s interest despite his background in a completely different field
  • How he and co-founder Eric Jaffe created a fictional prototype of what eventually became ChowNow to test the client waters…
  • …and how many restaurateurs were instantly interested (hint: dozens!)
This entrepreneurial story is only one of more than 40 available in our podcast series. to catch them all!

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Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.Image

We write our title in jest, but many MBA aspirants feel that admissions committees have essentially sentenced them to community service in much the same way a judge would sentence a criminal to perform volunteer work. This is far from the truth.

If you are slogging through your time as a volunteer, you are certainly not helping yourself or your candidacy. “Time served” is not the most important factor of your community work in the eyes of the MBA admissions committees—what is meaningful and revealing is the impact you have on others. Indeed, the spirit with which you have served your community is what will impress the committees.

As you consider your options for community involvement (and we hope you began doing so long before now), be sure to choose a cause or group about which you are passionate and to which you can commit yourself entirely. By dedicating yourself to an organization about which you are sincerely enthusiastic (just as you would in choosing a job), you will naturally find yourself in situations that will lend themselves to quality essays and powerful recommendations.

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Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School o [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, 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 Lubos Pastor from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Despite his relatively young age, Lubos Pastor has already received considerable recognition for his research on the stock market and asset management and has been featured among “The Best 40 B-School Profs Under the Age of 40” by Poets & Quants. Pastor’s work has been influential, earning him such high-profile accolades as the NASDAQ Award, the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Prize, and the Barclays Global Investors Prize, as well as the McKinsey Award for Excellence and Teaching, and two of Chicago Booth’s own Faculty Excellence Awards for MBA Teaching. One student quoted in the Poets & Quants article said “his witty style elevates classroom conversations and facilitates retention of core concepts.”

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: MIT Sloan Charity Auctions [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: MIT Sloan Charity Auctions
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Pictured: The “Caribbean Ocean” Auction, via MIT Sloan

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.

Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, students at the MIT Sloan School of Management organize charity auctions. Each “ocean” (the roughly 70-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, ranging from lunch with a professor to a home-cooked meal by a student to more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. The oceans have raised notable figures in recent years—in 2014, for example, more than $48,000, and in 2013, more than $70,000. Over the years, the events have benefited such organizations as Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Heifer International, Curing Kids Cancer, the Cancer Research Institute, Pencils of Promise, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Items up for bid have included a personal White House tour, a weekend tour of Napa Valley, and a week at a Costa Rican beach house.

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business
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Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business

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

Despite the size of its parent institution, the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University boasts a relatively intimate classroom experience—with approximately 110–150 students in each incoming full-time MBA class—and a close-knit community. Fisher students consequently benefit from the school’s wider university network (more than 500,000 alumni in more than 150 countries) and its proximity to major companies based both in Columbus and throughout the Midwest. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Fisher 39th in its list of top MBA programs in 2015.

The Fisher curriculum consists of a core sequence spanning the first year of the program and offers eight disciplines in which students can major (including a “Make Your Own Major” option). A particularly noteworthy highlight of Fisher’s MBA curriculum is its experiential Leadership and Professional Development (LPD) program, which spans the full two years. The first program of its kind to be offered at a business school, LPD begins with a compulsory two-week pre-term immersion course, in which students attend workshops, bond with teammates, perform mock interviews, and formulate their professional development goals. During the course of the academic year, the LPD program organizes various workshops and assessments—in addition to connecting students with corporate mentors who offer career guidance and networking opportunities. Also among the LPD offerings is a speaker series that has welcomed such business leaders as the chairman of Harley-Davidson and the founder and CEO of KRUEGER+CO Consulting, Inc.

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Friday Factoid: MIT Sloan’s Sports “Dorkapalooza” [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: MIT Sloan’s Sports “Dorkapalooza”
Did you know that some of the biggest names in sports have met annually since 2007 for an event at the MIT Sloan School of Management that ESPN columnist Bill Simmons once described as “dorkapalooza”? At the student-run Sports Analytics Conference, participants discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry, and students have ample opportunity to network with the elite of the sports world.

The tenth annual conference was held over two days in March 2016, where more than 120 industry experts, leaders, and professionals participated in more than 30 panel discussions, among them representatives from ESPN, NBC Sports, the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Rams, StubHub, and the Chicago Cubs. The panels covered such topics as “Modern Sports Finance,” “Out of the Ice Age: Analytics in the NHL,” “The Next Wave of Sports Entrepreneurship,” “Evolution of Sports Journalism,” and “Business of Sports.” Other conference events included drop-in resume reviews, career conversations, and a cocktail reception. A second-year EMS Club member told mbaMission, “The event is one of the largest student-organized conferences in the country and was named the third most innovative company in all of sports (behind only the NFL and MLB Advanced Media) by Fast Company [magazine].”

For a thorough exploration of what MIT Sloan and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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In Other News… Gender Imbalance in Case Studies, Columbia’s New Studen [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: In Other News… Gender Imbalance in Case Studies, Columbia’s New Student-Run Fund, and a New Admissions Director at Harvard
The business school world is constantly buzzing with change and innovation. In addition to our regular news posts, we briefly touch on a few notable stories from this dynamic field in one roundup.

  • A recent Harvard Business Review article highlights gender imbalance in a perhaps surprising area: case studies. According to the article, a mere 11% of cases used at various business schools between 2009 and 2015 featured a female protagonist. Business school deans targeted the issue during a meeting at the White House last year; displaying diversity in case studies was among the best practices agreed upon by the leaders of 45 schools to advance gender balance in business schools and, ultimately, the workplace.
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    Chad Losee, Director of Admissions at Harvard Business School

  • Columbia Business School has launched its first student-run portfolio fund, the 5x5x5 Student Value Investment Fund, the school announced recently. A gift by a partner at investment management firm Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC enabled the fund. Five students will be chosen each year to manage the fund, which will include five new investments annually.
  • The search for a new managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School (HBS) has come to an end. The school surprised some by choosing one of its own—a member of the HBS Class of 2013, Chad Losee—to direct admissions after Dee Leopold, who has worked at the school for nearly a decade, steps down in May. Losee will leave behind a management position at Bain & Company in Dallas. “The decision [to hire Losee] boiled down to a couple of things,” the executive director of HBS’s MBA program, Jana P. Kierstead, said in an article in The Harvard Crimson. “One is Chad’s incredible interpersonal skills—people meet him and feel at once comfortable and confident in him. The other was that his analytic and strategic skills are extraordinary.”
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have a Gap! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have a Gap!
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There is no perfect MBA applicant. However, there is a perception of the perfect applicant—an individual who is scaling greater and greater personal, community, and professional peaks, unabated until he or she finally applies. So, those who take time off at any point perceive themselves as disadvantaged. They worry that the admissions committees will see their gaps and dismiss them outright. After all, there are probably more determined individuals to admit, right?

Time off can be destructive, true. If you spend a year on your couch watching reality TV, you are likely in trouble. If you have a strong professional history and spend one month between jobs sitting on your couch watching reality TV, your record should still speak for itself. But, even if you do take an extended leave, as long as you are productive during this time and you grow personally, you should still be just fine. In fact, an adventure may even add to your story and help you differentiate yourself.

If you spend six months or a year traveling before you start your professional career, you are certainly still eligible for a top MBA program. If you take a personal leave to care for a family member, do charity work, or even pursue a personal passion—an art form, for example—as long as you can show purpose and reveal a broad record of competency, an admissions officer should still see your merits.

Admissions officers are—and this may be surprising to some—human beings. They understand that applicants are not robots and that they have interests, passions, and personal lives. If you make good use of your time, they will not condemn you. They just might envy you.

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GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: “Complete the Passage” Critical Reasoning Arguments
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.

Have you run across any “fill in the blank” Critical Reasoning (CR) questions yet? These arguments end with a long, straight line, and we are supposed to pick an answer choice that fills in that blank.

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Try this example from the free question set that comes with GMATPrep:

Which of the following best completes the passage below?

People buy prestige when they buy a premium product. They want to be associated with something special. Mass-marketing techniques and price reduction strategies should not be used because ________________.

(A) affluent purchasers currently represent a shrinking portion of the population of all purchasers

(B) continued sales depend directly on the maintenance of an aura of exclusivity

(C) purchasers of premium products are concerned with the quality as well as with the price of the products

(D) expansion of the market niche to include a broader spectrum of consumers will increase profits

(E) manufacturing a premium brand is not necessarily more costly than manufacturing a standard brand of the same product

Officially, these are called “Complete the Passage” arguments. The interesting tidbit: they are NOT a separate question type! These questions fall into one of the same categories you have been studying all along; the format is just presented in this “fill in the blank” format.

Most of the time, these are actually Strengthen questions. Every now and then, you will encounter a Find the Assumption question in this format.

The real trick here is to determine the question type. If the word right before the underline is because or since (or something equivalent), then the question you are dealing with is a Strengthen question. If the argument is set up to ask you to insert a piece of information that would support the conclusion of the argument, that is a Strengthen question.

The only real variation I have seen is when the sentence leading up to the blank asks what must be true or what must be shown. In those cases, you probably have a Find the Assumption question.

Want to know how to do the GMATPrep question presented earlier in this post? I am so glad you asked! Take a look at this full article that explains how to do the question and takes you through the standard four-step process for all CR questions. The article on the Manhattan Prep blog is the first in a three-part series on CR; click the link at the end to read the second part, and so on.

GMATPrep questions are used courtesy of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Use of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

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mbaMission

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