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MirSkin Founder Dr. Tabasum Mir Shares Her Journey from Medicine to Sk [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MirSkin Founder Dr. Tabasum Mir Shares Her Journey from Medicine to Skin Care
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Dr. Tabasum Mir, Founder of MirSkin

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.

Dr. Tabasum Mir founded her skin care line, MirSkin, after practicing medicine for more than a decade. Mir is the first doctor to appear on our podcast series, in addition to being the first child prodigy profiled. Indeed, Mir enrolled in high school at the young age of 12 and has been a success story ever since. Download this episode to hear Mir discuss the following career highlights and more:

  • Why her third and fourth years of medical school made Mir realize being an internist was not for her
  • How her lack of money for packaging early on at MirSkin resulted in a packaging style well ahead of its time
  • Why not being taken seriously and listened to during her career in medicine helped Mir develop her personal brand

Subscribe to the podcast series to stay on top of the latest entrepreneurial stories!

The post MirSkin Founder Dr. Tabasum Mir Shares Her Journey from Medicine to Skin Care 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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Aim for a Descriptive Writing Style [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Aim for a Descriptive Writing Style
Many writers tend to confuse adjectives and adverbs with details. When adjectives and adverbs are used to emphasize an emotion or an emotional state, they can actually end up adding very little to the description of an experience and possibly even undermine it. However, when that emotion or emotional state is described properly, it can add real life to a story.

Consider the following example:

“With my award in hand, I felt extremely proud of my accomplishment.”

In this example, the word “extremely” does not help create or enhance the reader’s mental picture; it merely states the obvious. After all, the difference between being “extremely proud” and being “proud” is negligible, considering that pride is naturally an “extreme” emotion. This just does not effectively convey how the writer actually felt. Now consider this second example:

“Approaching the podium to receive my award, I felt faint. Even though my hands were shaking, I managed to give our company president a firm handshake when she passed me the award. As I began speaking to a crowd of my colleagues, I finally understood what being proud of myself really means.”

In this second example, the details of the story (“felt faint,” “my hands were shaking”) create an image in the reader’s mind. The reader is not relating to the simple adjectives that reinforce existing impressions, but experiencing details that bring color to the story. In the first example, the story does not change if the word “extremely” is removed, but in the second, real emotion is conveyed.

We encourage you to avoid adjectives that simply reinforce an expressed emotion and to write descriptively to capture the true spirit of the experience you are sharing.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Aim for a Descriptive Writing Style 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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Mastering Your MBA Finances – The Often-Ignored Opportunity Cost (Part [#permalink]

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Once you have been accepted to your target MBA program, things start to move very quickly, and you will need to begin planning for your transition to business school right away. Understanding the financial realities of your MBA education is an important first step, and we have created this comprehensive, five-part “Mastering Your MBA Finances” series to help you do so. In this fourth installment of the series, we examine the opportunity cost of an MBA—a very real, but often overlooked expense. (Be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series if you have not done so already.)

For individualized advice, sign up for a free, 30-minute budget planning session with an M7 Financial budgeting coach.

In the previous installment of this series, we examined a student budget provided by a top MBA program and revealed the ways in which it was too conservative for most students. We therefore annualized our budget and adjusted it upward by approximately 10% (holding tuition constant), yet we believe that some of our new assumptions may still be too modest for certain individuals. The following table shows our new budget estimates for a number of leading MBA programs in both large cities and college towns, given that the cost of living differs between the two locales.

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Note: Figures are calculated based on the original budget estimates provided by the individual schools; only living expenses were increased by 10% (not tuition).

Of course, another big cost we have not yet addressed is your 18 months of lost salary. Using data from Forbes’ September 2015 ranking of “The Best Business Schools,” we have converted the average pre-MBA salary for incoming students at these top programs into 18-month figures (not taking into account possible raises forgone). You will see in the following table that the average opportunity cost is significant, at approximately $110,250 over the course of one’s MBA program.

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We will now take our 18-month adjusted sample student budget, factor in the average lost wages figure, and calculate the total real cost of earning an MBA at a few, selected top programs. You should do this calculation in your personal budget using your own pre-MBA salary data to get a more accurate picture of the expenses you will face.

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As an average MBA student at a top program, you should expect a total cost of approximately $312,500 for the entirety of your MBA educational experience, when you consider both opportunity costs and direct costs. In the next installment of this series, we will create our final sample student budget, but we will not factor in the opportunity cost loss, because this component must be balanced by an increased salary over time, and we cannot predict or calculate where those increases might end. Theoretically, the benefits continue throughout your career, which may be part of why you have chosen to pursue an MBA—because you expect lifetime gains. Still, in the short term, if you plan to attend a full-time MBA program, keeping that opportunity cost in mind is financially prudent.

Check back for our final installment, when we bring revenue and expenses together to round out our sample MBA student budget.  And if you are looking for even more strategies for funding your degree and minimizing your debt burden, download the free M7 Financial Student Loan (Reduction) Primer or sign up for a free, 30-minute, one-on-one budget planning session!

The post Mastering Your MBA Finances – The Often-Ignored Opportunity Cost (Part 4) appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Mission Admission: Taking the GMAT Again [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2016, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Taking the GMAT Again
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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When candidates ask us whether they should take the GMAT again, our instinct is always to reply with this key question: “Do you think you can do better?” If the individual does indeed believe that he/she can improve, the next question we get is inevitably, “What do business schools think of multiple scores?”

Fortunately, most MBA admissions committees do not frown on candidates taking the GMAT more than once. Many applicants feel that they have to be “perfect” the first time and that any subsequent test they take—particularly if they receive a lower score—might be damaging to their candidacy. This is not the case. In fact, Dartmouth Tuck, for one, anticipates that applicants will take the exam more than once and openly states its willingness to “consider your highest quantitative and highest verbal scores,” if they occur on separate tests. Meanwhile, other programs have been known to call candidates and tell them that if they can increase their GMAT scores, they will be offered admission.

From an admissions perspective, accepting a candidate’s highest GMAT scores is in an MBA program’s best interest, because doing so will raise the school’s GMAT average, which is then reported to rankings bodies (Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report, etc.) and could positively influence the school’s position in these surveys. So, do not be afraid to take the test two or even three times. It can only help.

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

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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B-School Chart of the Week: Which School’s Class of 2015 Received the  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: Which School’s Class of 2015 Received the Highest Average Starting Salaries?
Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes simplify the many differences among the various MBA programs. This week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.Image

The graduates of top-ranked MBA programs typically receive hefty starting salaries. But which schools’ graduates captured the highest average starting pay? The numbers were largely similar among the 15 top-ranked business schools we surveyed, but the Class of 2015 at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business earned a slightly higher average salary than their peers: $130,000. At many programs, $125,000 appeared to be the magic number; such schools as the Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business reported this figure as the average MBA starting salary for their 2015 graduates.

The post B-School Chart of the Week: Which School’s Class of 2015 Received the Highest Average Starting Salaries? 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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Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program. 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 profile George Geis from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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George Geis has been voted Outstanding Teacher of the Year five times while at UCLA Anderson, most recently in 2012, and currently serves as faculty director of the school’s Executive Mergers and Acquisitions Program. Geis is also the editor of a Web site that provides analysis of mergers and acquisitions deals in technology, media, and communications (www.trivergence.com), and he writes a mergers and acquisitions blog (http://maprofessor.blogspot.com). One alumnus described Geis to mbaMission as an experienced investor and a funny and credible guy. The graduate added that he had very much enjoyed the guest speakers Geis brought to class, as well as the strategic analysis of the board game industry, covered in a case discussion about the game Trivial Pursuit.

For more information about the UCLA Anderson School of Management and 15 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Life As an International Student at Fuqua [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Life As an International Student at Fuqua
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

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International students (by citizenship) make up 40% of the typical class at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Daytime MBA program, according to the school’s Web site. The Duke International Programs Office and the Duke International House offer many resources to assist international students with issues associated with acclimating to, studying in, and working in the United States, including visa applications and processing. In addition, the International Student Bootcamp (formerly the Language Institute) at Fuqua is designed to prepare incoming international students for the MBA experience at the school. One first year mbaMission interviewed whose time at Fuqua was his first experience in the United States of longer than two weeks said, “We all bonded during the [bootcamp] and met many classmates who knew what we were all going through.”

According to the bootcamp’s site, as part of the four-phase program, which is held before the MBA curriculum begins, “Students are given opportunities to refine their skills through rigorous assignments and experiential learning. Students take part in a comprehensive program of lectures, case presentations, writing exercises, and a variety of assignments that get them ready for the rigors of the Duke MBA program. It goes beyond mere preparation; it includes weeks of monitoring students’ progress once they start school, and it offers opportunities for individualized support and learning throughout the two years of the Daytime MBA program.”

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

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

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

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New post 16 Jun 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal
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.

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

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

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Friday Factoid: A Focused Student Experience at Stanford GSB [#permalink]

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Stanford GSB

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is well known for its close-knit atmosphere, and the school’s small class size allows it to provide students with a unique program of individualized coaching. First-year students at the GSB are assigned a dedicated Faculty Advisor who helps them create a customized plan for fulfilling their General Management Perspectives and General Management Foundations (core) requirements based on their strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and interests. Each Faculty Advisor also teaches his/her own small seminar, which meets during the autumn quarter of the first year. These required “Critical Analytical Thinking” (CAT) seminars involve up to 18 students who learn to argue their perspectives on various management issues and develop their written and oral communication skills. This small seminar also helps the advisors and students get to know each other better before they collaborate on the students’ customized curriculum plans.

The GSB is also unique in that first-year students are assigned writing coaches in the first quarter to help with CAT’s significant writing assignments. Lastly, students are paired with both a career advisor and a student life advisor to help them identify and pursue appropriate leadership opportunities. Needless to write, if you get into the Stanford GSB, you certainly should not worry about falling between the cracks!

For more information on the Stanford GSB or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Recommender’s Grammar Will Ruin My  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Recommender’s Grammar Will Ruin My Chances
At mbaMission, we emphasize the need for effective written communication. Indeed, gaining admission to your target school involves no real “trick”—earning that coveted letter of acceptance depends on your ability to tell your story in a compelling way and in your own words. But is good grammar vital to good communication? And if so, will your recommender’s bad grammar be detrimental to your chances?

We can assure you that no MBA admissions committee will reject a candidate’s application because he/she incorrectly used a semicolon instead of a comma. The committee is seeking to learn about you as an individual to evaluate you and your potential, both as a student at the school and in the business world after graduation. What is most important in your application is that you convey your unique stories—and ideally captivate your reader—in your own voice. Of course, you should always strive to perfect your presentation, but in the end, the quality and authenticity of your content carry more weight than your verbiage and punctuation. And if you are not a native English speaker, you can certainly be forgiven for the occasional idiosyncrasy in your expression.

This is even truer for your recommender. The committee is not evaluating this individual for a spot in the school’s program, so his/her grammar is largely irrelevant to your candidacy. And again, if your recommender is not a native English speaker, the admissions committees can be even more forgiving. The school will not penalize you for having a recommender who grew up in another country or whose English skills are not very polished for any other reason. As long as your recommender can offer anecdotes about your performance that create a strong impression about you and complement the abilities and qualities you have presented elsewhere in your application, you should be just fine. The substance of the recommendation is always what matters most.

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

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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GMAT Impact: How to Minimize Careless Errors [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: How to Minimize Careless Errors
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.

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Remember those times when you were sure you got the answer right, only to find out that you got it wrong? For a moment, you even think that the answer key must have a mistake in it. Then, you take another look at the problem, check your work, and say, “I can’t believe I did that!”

By definition, a careless mistake occurs when we did actually know all of the necessary info and we did actually possess all of the necessary skills, but we committed an error anyway. We all make careless mistakes; our goal is to learn how to minimize these mistakes as much as possible.

A lot of times, careless errors are due to one of two things: (1) some bad habit that actually increases the chances that we will make a mistake or (2) our own natural weaknesses.

Here is an example of the former: they ask me to find how long Car B takes to go a certain distance, and I do everything perfectly, but I solve for Car A instead.

So, what is my bad habit here? Often, I did not write down “Car B = ?” I also noticed that I was more likely to make this mistake when I set up the problem such that I was solving for Car A first; sometimes, I would forget to finish the problem and just pick Car A’s time.

So I developed several different good habits to put in the place of my various bad habits. First, I set up a reminder for myself: I skipped several blank lines on my scrap paper and then wrote “B time = ______?”

I also built the habit of solving directly for what I wanted. Now, while I am setting up the problem, I always look first to see whether I can set it up to solve directly for Car B, not Car A.

So, what did I do here? First, I figured out what specific mistake I was making and why I was making it. Then, I instituted three new habits that would minimize my chances of making the same mistake in the future. Incidentally, one of those habits (solving directly for what is asked) also saves me time!

Happy studying, and go start figuring out how to minimize those careless mistakes!

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New York University (Stern) Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: New York University (Stern) Essay Analysis, 2016–2017
We have to assume that New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business was pleased with the essays that last season’s applicants submitted, because the school has made no changes to its essay prompts this year. Stern requests that candidates answer a few key questions (within a 750-word limit) about their interest in and knowledge of the school, their reasons for wanting an MBA, and their immediate post-graduation career goals. The school then balances this essay with its very broad “personal expression” prompt, which appeals to applicants’ creative side and offers a largely blank slate with respect to the medium used. Successful candidates will use these two submissions in a complementary way to convey a well-rounded impression of themselves as individuals, professionals, and potential Stern students. Read on for our suggestions on possible ways to do so.

Essay 1: Professional Aspirations (750 words maximum)

  • Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
  • What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
  • What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?
The three points that make up Stern’s Essay 1 question basically constitute a personal statement, and because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

And for a thorough exploration of NYU Stern’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, important statistics, social life, academic environment, and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Essay 2: Personal Expression (500 words maximum if submitted as a written essay)

Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g., words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative. [See the NYU Stern site for all guidelines and restrictions for this submission.]

In NYU Stern’s famed “personal expression” essay, you have a phenomenal opportunity to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool in two distinct ways. The first is the vehicle through which you choose to reveal your persona. By using a creative and captivating format, you can grab the admissions committee’s interest and compel your “reader” to pay close attention to your content. However, be sure to consider the possible limitations of certain clever options, not just their uniqueness. For example, although a baseball card may be aesthetically pleasing, this format severely limits the amount of information you can convey because of its size and anticipated style. Instead, if you were to submit a eulogy theoretically written by your best friend—note that you can submit a written piece—the format would be sufficiently broad to allow you to touch on all that is unique about you. (Do not use this idea, however; it is a rather well-known option at this point and would very likely not be seen as very creative.)

The second way this essay prompt allows you to differentiate yourself is through your content. Ideally, you will use this opportunity to showcase a diversity of professional, personal, academic, and community accomplishments that you were not able to share in Essay 1. The personal expression piece allows you to reveal your true personality and “likeability” beyond your professional/academic competencies.

One important note: Although NYU Stern is open to accepting multimedia presentations and physical items, do not feel compelled to use one of these options if you are not comfortable with them and feel you would be better served submitting a traditional written piece. Similarly, if you do choose one of these alternate methods, do not worry about the level of your Web design, audio/video production skills, or artistic  mastery relative to that of others. For this essay, content trumps style. In fact, at an mbaMission event, we interviewed various NYU Stern admissions officers, students, and alumni who spoke of some incredibly simple “personal expression” submissions that had impressed the admissions committee—and many of these were straightforward essays!

Essay 3. Additional Information (optional)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL or any other relevant information. If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

Stern’s optional essay prompt is broader than most in that it does not demand that you discuss only problem areas in your candidacy. That said, in most cases, this is still your opportunity to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your profile—if you need to—such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. We caution you against simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And of course, however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to use in your other submissions. But if you are inclined to use this essay to emphasize or explain something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, see our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Make It Personal [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Make It Personal
Business school candidates often fixate on using professional and community-based stories in their MBA application essays. As a result, many forget or neglect to even consider personal stories as possible differentiators. Because so many candidates have similar professional experiences, their personal dimensions should be highlighted whenever possible—considering that few lives are truly similar. Stories of commitment to oneself or others can have a strong emotional impact on an admissions committee and can help distinguish you from other applicants.

What types of experiences should you discuss? This question has no easy answer. For personal stories to work in your application essays, they need to be truly distinct. An example of a unique personal story might be that of an individual who helped his/her cousin, who was adopted at birth, locate his/her birth mother; another might be one of an individual who took a six-month leave of absence to take his/her disabled grandmother on a tour of her home country. Each of us has interesting anecdotes we can share about ourselves. These are the kinds of stories that can be showcased in your essays with a little bit of thought and creativity.

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Mission Admission: Are You Employable? [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Are You Employable?
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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We believe that asking MBA candidates about their goals is plainly absurd, because so many students change their goals while they are in business school. Further, the pursuit of an MBA is supposed to be about career development and exploration, right? Regardless of how we feel regarding the subject, though, you must ensure that if a school asks about your goals in its essay questions or an interview, you have a compelling story about where you believe your MBA will take you. Several years ago, getting a banking job may have sounded compelling to you—are you really capable of making that transition today? Certainly, fewer jobs are available now in the real estate world—is this a likely next step for you during a prolonged real estate drought? Venture capital and private equity jobs are challenging to land even during the best of times—are you able to compete with the elite during a downturn?

These are just a few examples of questions you should honestly ask yourself. Keep in mind that not only are the admissions committees examining your story to determine what attributes you might bring to the next class, but if you are a borderline case, they may also send your profile to the career services office to help confirm whether your stated goals are realistic and if you will be difficult to place by or after graduation (i.e., whether you will hinder the school’s employment stats and thereby negatively affect its standing in the rankings). So, pay special attention to your goal statements and make sure that you can credibly stand behind them—and, as we have written in the past, even consider being prepared to discuss some alternate goals.

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Mastering Your MBA Finances – Assembling Your Student Budget (Part 5) [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mastering Your MBA Finances – Assembling Your Student Budget (Part 5)
Once you have been accepted to your target MBA program, things start to move very quickly, and you will need to begin planning for your transition to business school right away. Understanding the financial realities of your MBA education is an important first step, and we have created this comprehensive, five-part “Mastering Your MBA Finances” series to help you do so. In this fifth and final installment of the series, we bring the revenue and expense pieces together to round out our sample MBA student budget. (Be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this series if you have not done so already.)

For individualized advice, sign up for a free, 30-minute budget planning session with an M7 Financial budgeting coach.

In the earlier parts of this newsletter series, we discussed the income MBA students can generally expect to receive via their summer internship salary and signing bonus. We determined that an MBA candidate could anticipate approximately $43,000 in income during business school and that other potential income streams may also be available, which would need to be incorporated into one’s projected budget.

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Next, we broke down various expected costs and adjusted the individual programs’ budgets to come up with an average tuition and living expenses figure. The following table presents ballpark estimates for the expenses you can generally expect at a top MBA program over the course of 21 months.

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Putting this all together—though without including opportunity costs—we find that an MBA student who is not sponsored and cannot count on receiving scholarship funds could need to finance approximately $160,000 in education expenses over a 21-month period. This reinforces how helpful a scholarship can be in mitigating an average MBA student’s expenses. To be fair, we must note that the average student is not this indebted, because many are sponsored by their firm or receive scholarship funds, and some have access to personal or family resources to finance their educations in part or in full. In short, we are again being conservative in our sample budget by assuming no other sources of funding.

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The somewhat good news here is that borrowing is not terribly expensive right now, because interest rates are relatively low. For example, the interest rate on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (for which the annual borrowing limit is typically $20,500) is currently 5.84% with a 1.068% origination fee, and the interest rate on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is 6.84% with a 4.272% origination fee. Furthermore, many MBA students at top schools have found that they can access even lower interest rates with absolutely no origination fees through the private student loan market.

The interest rate you receive in the private student loan market will depend on the strength of your loan application in a process similar to that of obtaining a car loan or mortgage. The stronger your application, the more likely you are to receive a loan at a significantly lower borrowing cost than those offered by the federal loans available. Your FICO score plays a big role in this process.

To increase your likelihood of receiving the lowest possible interest rate, you could apply for a private student loan with a cosigner, such as a spouse, parent, or sibling. Although this is not required, we have seen that having a cosigner often makes a big difference—it enhances one’s chance of being approved for a loan as well as one’s eligibility for the best interest rates.

You now have the tools to construct a projected MBA student budget of your own, using your income and expenses and tailored to your target school(s). The prospect of tackling your MBA-related finances may be a little daunting, but for the vast majority of candidates, a real opportunity is waiting. These days, the average starting post-MBA salary is roughly $125,000, which should make earning your MBA a financially prudent choice.

For even more strategies for paying for your degree and minimizing your debt burden, download the free M7 Financial Student Loan (Reduction) Primer or sign up for a free, 30-minute, one-on-one budget planning session! And for more information on private student loans, including current interest rates for a number of options, check out M7 Financial’s Web site at www.m7financial.com.

The post Mastering Your MBA Finances – Assembling Your Student Budget (Part 5) appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management
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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 profile Robert Pindyck from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Robert Pindyck has won multiple teaching awards going back more than 20 years, including an MIT Sloan Outstanding Teaching Award in both 1995 and 2005, the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002, and the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. Students and alumni with whom we spoke made note of his intense passion, which inspires his students to involve themselves ever more deeply into the material they are studying. An alumnus described Pindyck’s “tremendous authority,” which the professor balanced with “immense accessibility,” and a second-year teaching assistant in Pindyck’s “Industrial Economics [for Strategic Decisions]” course noted in a 2012 MIT Sloan Students Speak blog post that working with him was “a great learning experience.”

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

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck
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The 2015 Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck; Photo via dartmouth.edu

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.

Each February, more than 650 MBA students from over a dozen business schools across the country gather in Hanover, New Hampshire, to take a break from classes and recruiting and join Tuckies (students at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College) for the school’s Winter Carnival weekend. The 2016 event welcomed aspiring MBAs from business schools and sent teams of students to participate in the weekend events, which—in addition to the annual downhill ski races at nearby Ragged Mountain—included a 1980s fashion show, a hot dog eating contest, sledding, and a raffle. Attendees also enjoyed live music at the end of the weekend. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization.

The costumes teams choose for the skiing competitions tend to be a highlight of the event. Past costumes, noted a first year with whom we spoke, have included “Hawaiian-themed clothing, business suits, and even Speedos!” One second-year student described the Winter Carnival to mbaMission as one of the more anticipated events at Tuck: “It is a big social event, to embrace the winter…. It’s a cool way for other schools to come and experience the winter wonderland that is Tuck.”

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

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University of Chicago (Booth) Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2016, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Chicago (Booth) Essay Analysis, 2016–2017
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Last year, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business introduced an “essay” question like no other—one that we imagine gave some applicants serious pause. Candidates were presented with 16 photos depicting life in the Chicago Booth MBA program and asked to choose the one that best correlated with their opinion of why the school was right for them. Chicago Booth has chosen to maintain this photo-inspiration approach this year, but with some key tweaks. First, applicants have ten pictures from which to select, rather than 16. Although the school does not offer a reason for this scale-down, we can posit several theories. Perhaps several of the photos inspired very similar essays, so the only one such picture was needed this year. Or maybe some images were chosen by a very small number of candidates, so Chicago Booth felt they would be superfluous this time and streamlined the options by cutting them. The school may also have wanted to focus applicants on specific aspects of the Chicago Booth experience and therefore did away with any pictures not related to those elements. A second big change is that this year’s photos include captions describing the depicted scene. This could add a layer of complexity in that an individual may be strongly drawn to one particular scene, but the associated caption in some way alters his/her initial interpretation of it. Third, and most importantly, the school now asks applicants to select the picture that “best resonates with you” (italics ours) rather than with the candidate’s belief that Chicago Booth is the “right fit.” By broadening the prompt’s scope this way, the school is allowing applicants to select from a wider range of possible themes and present a more rounded picture of who they are as individuals. Do not let this unorthodox question intimidate you—our analysis will help you navigate these potentially challenging waters.

View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why.

  • Choose the format that works for you. Want to illustrate your response visually? Submit a slide presentation. Like to express yourself with words? Write a traditional essay. Use the format that you feel best captures your response, the Admissions Committee has no preference.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
Technical Guidelines

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.
In a June 16 post on the Chicago Booth Admissions blog, the school’s director of operations and evaluation says of this rather unusual essay prompt, “The exercise is about showing us something we cannot learn elsewhere in the application. There is no wrong way to approach this. The question and moments are yours to answer and yours to interpret.” If you are feeling nervous about this essay, we hope this quote helps calm you a bit. Every MBA program’s essay questions share a common purpose—to help the admissions committee learn about you—and this is just a very pure and creative way of approaching the issue. Chicago Booth is not testing to see whether you will choose the photo that it deems “right” or “best.” It is offering a rather unique way of starting the conversation about something you feel is fundamental about you, something you want the school to know about who you are, where you have been, and/or where you want to go in the future. The photos provided are very malleable, so do not get too hung up on which one to choose. And with ten picture options, you should be able to find one to which you feel a genuine connection.

You might pick an image that connects with or recalls an important event from your past that had a significant impact on you and colors the person you are today. You could instead opt for a photo that relates to your aspirations as a Chicago Booth student or in your career. Another option is to select a picture that elicits a more emotional response from you and correlates with one or more of your core values or beliefs. In the end, letting the photos decide for you might be the best approach. With this essay—as with all application essays, of course—being sincere is crucial, so you will likely be able to craft your most compelling response when you feel a genuine attraction to the photo you choose. And do not merely identify an attribute in a photo and riff for a thousand words on what you feel are your most impressive accomplishments; instead, really get to the heart of how and why the image speaks to you personally. If you truly own your experiences and provide sufficient detail in showcasing them, your message will come across as authentic.

You can choose from multiple format options beyond the traditional essay for your submission, which no doubt adds to this prompt’s intimidation factor for some applicants. We offer no recommendation with respect to whether a written essay, a PowerPoint presentation, or any other format is “best” in this case. Opportunities are certainly available in both traditional and creative approaches, depending on where your strengths lie. We do, however, recommend that if you choose to write an essay, you limit yourself to no more than a thousand words.

Optional Essay: Is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Chicago Booth’s optional essay prompt is rather open-ended in that it does not specify that you discuss only problem areas in your candidacy, though it does restrict you to just 300 words. Nevertheless, this is still your opportunity to address—if you need to—any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a low GMAT or GRE score, a poor grade or overall GPA, a gap in your work experience, etc. Do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to share in your required essay. But if you truly feel that you must emphasize or explain something that would render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, see our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

Reapplicant Essay: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

With this essay question, Chicago Booth is testing your resolve and your reasoning. We surmise that the school wants to be certain you are not just stubbornly following a path and trying to “finish what you started,” so to speak, but that you have truly reassessed your needs in the aftermath of your unfortunate rejection. We recommend that you discuss your subsequent growth and development as they pertain to additional personal and professional discovery, which validates your need for an MBA. In the interim, some of your interests or goals may have changed—that is not a bad thing, and the admissions committee will not automatically assume that you are “wishy-washy,” unless you give them good reason to do so. Just be sure that any of your goals that have changed still logically connect to your overall story and desire for an MBA. Your aspirations—new or original—need to represent a compelling progression of the growth you have achieved in the past year.

And for a thorough exploration of the Chicago Booth academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and other key elements, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The post University of Chicago (Booth) Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Core Values at Boston College’s Carroll School  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Core Values at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management
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Boston College’s Carroll School of Management

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

First years at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management begin their MBA experience within a cohort of close to 100 students, enjoying a close-knit classroom environment in which they gain exposure to broad management skills, with a particular emphasis on business ethics. Both the curriculum and the student community at the school engender a set of core values: “honesty and integrity,” “mutual respect,” “pursuit of excellence,” and “personal accountability.” In addition to taking a class on public speaking and a structure, analysis, and integration workshop, students at the Carroll School must complete at least 20 hours of community service, which the school requires to help instill an appreciation for and a spirit of community service in its MBAs.

These values are also reflected in the school’s core “Management Practice” course sequence, in which students learn to think critically about the challenges involved in business leadership. As one graduate commented in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2012 profile of the Carroll School, “In the background of your core classes, and many electives, is a strong consideration on the moral and ethical dilemmas that often arise in the business world. I never felt that ‘morality’ was being pushed on us, but the consequences of each decision we make were always placed in front of us and we were left to make up our own mind.”

The post Diamonds in the Rough: Core Values at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Friday Factoid: Manage a $2M Student Investment Fund at UCLA Anderson [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Manage a $2M Student Investment Fund at UCLA Anderson
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Many acknowledge UCLA Anderson’s unique connections to the media and entertainment industry. However, far fewer MBA aspirants are aware of the tremendous opportunities Anderson provides to students interested in investment management. Established in 1987, the Student Investment Fund (SIF) at Anderson is a fellowship that provides a limited number of students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they have learned thus far about investment theory. Students must apply for the opportunity to manage the portfolio, as one of the ten SIF Fellows, by participating in the four-round application process that includes panel interviews and essays. SIF Fellows engage in investment strategy, asset allocation, and security analysis for more than 18 months and explore both value and growth approaches to investment as well as fixed income investments. Fellows get together weekly during the academic year, meet once a month with the Faculty Oversight Committee, and visit at least 30 investment professionals throughout the fellowship to learn about different investment philosophies. Fellows also receive assistance in securing summer internships in the investment management industry. Those interested in a career in investment management should give UCLA Anderson a closer look.

For more information on UCLA Anderson or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Friday Factoid: Manage a $2M Student Investment Fund at UCLA Anderson appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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