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The mbaMission Blog

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B-School Chart of the Week: March MBA Madness  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: March MBA Madness
Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

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

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

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New post 02 Apr 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Saras D. Sarasvathy, UVA’s Darden School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school, but the educational experience at the business school is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Saras D. Sarasvathy from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.

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

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

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

For more information about Darden and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA News: Tuck Dean Paul Danos to Step Down  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2014, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Tuck Dean Paul Danos to Step Down
After 20 years as the dean of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Paul Danos has announced in a letter that he will not seek reappointment for a sixth term in June 2015. Given his lengthy tenure—which, Bloomberg Businessweek notes, is far beyond that of the three-and-a-half year average of business school deans—it is unsurprising that Danos can lays claim to an impressive number of accomplishments and contributions to the Tuck community, including faculty expansion and launching new curricular offerings.

“The MBA program at Tuck has never been stronger, with student quality indicators, employment levels, and compensation rates for our graduates among the highest in the world,” Danos stated, adding that he looks forward to a return to the classroom. In the meantime, Dartmouth College administrators will reportedly appoint a search committee to evaluate community feedback in looking to replace Danos. We will keep you posted as soon as we hear any news about the appointment of a new Dean…
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: Winning the Golden Briefcase  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winning the Golden Briefcase
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Founded by a Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) student in 1984, Challenge for Charity (C4C) is a well-attended annual fundraiser that brings students from nine business schools across the West Coast to the Stanford campus to compete in events such as billiards, bowling and basketball to raise money for Special Olympics and a local nonprofit organization (each participating school selects a nonprofit organization in its area to support). Students earn points by winning the competitions in which their team participates and for each hour of volunteer work they completed during the year. Students who have committed a minimum of five hours of C4C service in one year are eligible to take part in the sports competitions and trivia quizzes that take place during this two-day event, held each spring, for the chance to win bragging rights and the coveted Golden Briefcase award.

A first-year student told mbaMission about the “White Party,” also a C4C fundraiser, which takes place in early March: “Everyone wears white and raises a bunch of money for charities … [over $250,000 in spring 2011]. Students offer whatever they can, and others bid, so it’s another good way for folks to interact more. Some examples that I can remember were cooking classes, a class on how to make sushi, other learning-type experiences and tickets to a baseball game. Everyone tries to participate. I’d guess that over 80% of the students here give back.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Stanford, UCLA Anderson, UC Berkeley Haas or 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, Haas School   [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Class of 2015
A first year at UC-Berkeley’s Hass School of Business provided us with some insight into the school’s MBA program and his experience as a student thus far. Having entered Haas with an engineering background, he is planning to pursue either a strategy or business development role in the technology industry after graduating, or may explore the option of working in the tech practice of a consulting firm.

mbaMission: When you were deciding where to pursue your MBA, what led you to choose UC-Berkeley Haas? And how has the school matched your expectations thus far?

Haas First Year: The school’s culture really got me hooked. It was interesting to note that Haas had articulated its values and what it seeks in students so eloquently. On top of that, everyone I met seemed to embody those qualities. What I could only infer prior to admission, I know for certain now. Everyone is super down to earth, no matter how accomplished they are. Challenging [the] status quo and being students always are also principles that can be commonly observed. The MBA program office itself constantly strives to better the student experience by collecting feedback and acting on it. There are supplements such as courses on strategic innovation and even actual coding for the MBA students.

Another important consideration for me was the strong experiential component of the program. There are endless opportunities to get involved and work with actual clients, from semester-long consulting engagements with actual clients to courses such as Cleantech to Market and [the] International Business Development [Program].

mbaMission:  I see. How do you like living in the San Francisco area? Do you feel like the school’s location has had any impact on your MBA experience?

HFY: I lived in the Bay Area prior to Haas, and this is one of the reasons I chose Haas. Being close to the city as well as the epicenter of tech is really useful when it comes to networking and job hunting and being able to get great speakers for talks and events. Of course the weather, the outdoor activities and the proximity to wine country are not bad perks, either, and Haasies make the most of it with the Redwoods@Haas and the Wine Industry Club.

mbaMission:  So how would you characterize your Haas classmates?

HFY: Supportive, collaborative and humble. As I said, most of them exemplify the Haas principles of “confidence without attitude” and “beyond yourself.”

mbaMission:  Nice. And what would  you say about the greater community as a whole?

HFY: The community itself is really tight-knit and has an intimate feel to it.

mbaMission:  Great. What resources at the school do you feel have been the most helpful or interesting to you so far, would you say?

HFY: Several events all year round, like the speaker series, and club events bring in experts and business leaders from the industry and academia, so there is never any dearth of interesting talks to go to. The clubs are all student run and really in touch with the needs of the student body. For example, there was a workshop to teach students how to write SQL queries—and that’s a skill that is needed for a lot of tech jobs.

mbaMission:  Sure. That’s pretty cool. Have you had any interaction with the dean during your time at Haas? What impression would you say students seem to have of him?

HFY: Dean [Rich] Lyons is regarded very highly here. He was the one who really captured the essence of Haas in the culture and the four principles. Students have frequent access to him at events. For example, there is a breakfast with the dean once every few months. There is also a Dean’s Scotch Tasting event in the spring with the Chatham House Rule to encourage candid discussions.

mbaMission:  That’s great. What has been your experience with the school’s alumni? Did you contact any Hass graduates before you got into the school, and have you reached out to any so far as a student?

HFY: There are several alumni mixer events held throughout the year, and alums come in all the time for recruiting events as well as club events and talks. Before I was enrolled, I got a chance to network with alums at Haas admissions events as well.

mbaMission:  Okay. What would you say are some of the best parts and perhaps less great parts of the school’s facilities?

HFY: Being part of a crowded campus means that expansion of the current facilities is an issue. Classroom availability can sometimes become a problem, and meeting space can be hard to find. Having said that, we have just gotten access to a new facility within the new Memorial Stadium known as thei-Lab [Innovation Lab]. It is open space available to students to use and meet at whenever there is no class taking place.

mbaMission:  That sounds like an important addition. What has been your favorite social event so far at Haas? Or is there one you are particularly looking forward to?

HFY: Oh, wow, several. Orientation week was a whirlwind of activities culminating in a bomb-diggity ‘80s party. We usually have themed Consumption Functions every two weeks, and the International Consumption Function as well as the Black History Month Consumption Functions were awesome events. VegHaas was another memorable event—several hundred Haasies descend on [Las] Vegas and take over several night clubs. The student treks are very popular as well. There are spring treks to Japan, Morocco, Israel and Cuba.

mbaMission:  So what is the most important thing you feel more people should know about Haas?

HFY: I think there can be a perception that Haas is just a tech school. This is absolutely not the case, and many of my classmates are looking at careers in finance, private equity, banking, energy and the social sector. The other thing that has been a pleasant surprise is how much the school cares about input from the students. Course feedback as well as identified curriculum development needs are dealt with in almost real time, something the students who are here for a short two years appreciate very much.

mbaMission:  I can imagine. To finish up, which professors have you found particularly impressive thus far? Or is there anyone you are really looking forward to taking a class with?

HFY: Sure. Well, there’s Cameron Anderson. I haven’t taken any classes with him yet, but his power and politics as well as his negotiations course are both very, very highly rated.  And I haven’t done the pricing course with Teck Ho yet, since the course was completely bid out by second years by the time first-year bidding started, but I’m looking forward to it in second year.

Terry Taylor teaches the core operations course at Haas, and I can safely say that a lot of skeptics going into ops were blown away by Terry. He uses a variety of teaching tools, from regular cases to Seinfeld videos to supply chain games. For example, there’s one where we drink beer while managing a beer supply chain. Students love Terry’s teaching style as well as his masterful handling of class case discussions.

mbaMission: Thank you so much again for taking the time to talk with us a bit. We really appreciate it.

HFY: No problem!
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: Student and Faculty Research at Tuck  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Student and Faculty Research at Tuck
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is known for its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s research-to-practice seminars complement these characteristics. An article on the school’s Tuck Today Web site explains that “International Entrepreneurship” was the first of several such seminars designed to give students insight into a real-world business issue. The seminars were conceived as a key component of the school’s strategic plan, Tuck 2012. The courses bring together 15 second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-practice seminars that were offered in recent years include the following:

  • “Deconstructing Apple”
  • “Organizational Alignment”
  • “Economics of the Credit Crisis”
  • “Time in the Consumer Mind”
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions, Alliances, and Corporate Strategy”
  • “Management and Dynamics of Multidisciplinary Teams”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Dartmouth Tuck or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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: Simple Word Replacements That Save  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Simple Word Replacements That Save Word Count
One element of MBA application essays that can be challenging for business school candidates, no matter how skilled they are as writers, is staying within the target school’s word limits. Sometimes, cutting just a few words is all that is needed to keep from exceeding the set maximum, but after looking at a draft multiple times, seeing where the opportunities are to do this can be difficult. Here are a few common phrases that can be shortened without negatively affecting a sentence’s meaning (and that in many cases may even improve the text).

1. be able to

Replacing variations of  “be able to” with simply “can” in the present tense or “will” in future tense constructions can easily save you two or three words.

          Because of my strong organizational skills, I am able to accomplish more work in less time. (16 words)

          *Because of my strong organizational skills, I can accomplish more work in less time. (14 words)

          With this latest round of funding, my venture will be able to expand into new districts. (16 words)

          *With this latest round of funding, my venture will expand into new districts.  (13 words)

2. decided to

If something you mention occurred because of a decision you or someone else made, you can bypass discussing the decision part of the process and focus exclusively on describing the resulting action. Avoid using “decided to” and make your action verb the primary verb of your statement.

          Once I saw the numbers, I decided to call a meeting.  (11 words)

          *Once I saw the numbers, I called a meeting. (9 words)

          My supervisor decided to promote me first. (7 words)

          *My supervisor promoted me first. (5 words)

3. despite the fact that

This wordy phrase can and should be replaced with simply “even though.”

          I was passed over for the promotion despite the fact that I had committed more hours to the project. (19 words)

          *I was passed over for the promotion even though I had committed more hours to the project. (17 words)

4. in order to/in order for

Very simply, “in order” adds nothing to the clarity or meaning of the phrase that follows it. Simply use “to” or “for,” as appropriate.

          We had to wake up three hours early in order to get to the site on time. (17 words)

          *We had to wake up three hours early to get to the site on time. (15 words)

          I knew that in order for my team to stay on budget, we needed to find a new distributor. (19 words)

          *I knew that for my team to stay on budget, we needed to find a new distributor. (17 words)

5. prior to/in advance of

When discussing something that occurs ahead of something else, simply use “before.” “Prior to” and “in advance of” confer no special or additional meaning and can sound affected, in addition to being wordy.

          Prior to leaving for the airport, I called to confirm my flight. (12 words)

          *Before leaving for the airport, I called to confirm my flight. (11 words)

          The club officers contacted all the contracted sponsors in advance of the conference. (13 words)

          *The club officers contacted all the contracted sponsors before the conference. (11 words)

 

These simple changes can tighten your writing and save you a few words—and sometimes, that is all you need!
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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B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, UPenn Wharto  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Insider Interview: First-Year Student, UPenn Wharton, Class of 2015
Recently, we spoke at length with a Wharton first year about his experiences at the school thus far. A finance major, this student spent several years after graduation working in an entrepreneurial fellowship before joining a high growth-tech firm. There, he was part of a leadership development program in operations, sales and marketing. He chose to pursue an MBA to see where business school could take him next.

mbaMission: How do you like being in Philadelphia for your MBA?

Wharton First Year: It’s great. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the kinds of opportunities that are in Philadelphia. I think it gets disregarded as a big city, because a lot of people are coming from New York, and there’s so much more culture, I’d say, and opportunities [there] because of the amount of people, and it’s bigger. But for me, Philadelphia is a great upsize, given I was in the Midwest prior.

mbaMission: I could see that. How do you think Philadelphia is as a setting for a business school in general?

WFY: I think it’s great for a couple of reasons. I mean, obviously it’s got a big-city vibe, so there’s a lot of people here. There’s definitely a downtown scene with culture and everything that comes with a bigger downtown in terms of art and sports, you name it. From a business school student perspective, I think being in a larger city helps because you can get more speakers to come to campus. I think that’s something that’s undervalued when you go to a smaller school or a school that’s not in a large city. It’s harder to attract big-name speakers to campus. We draw a lot of people because Philadelphia’s a major hub, but also, it’s so close to New York. It’s a quick train ride down. It’s like an hour and ten minutes on the Acela. So Philadelphia’s great, has all four seasons, if you’re interested in that, and a lot of the students live in one part of town, which is about 20 blocks from campus. And it’s definitely got more of an artsy, European feel.

mbaMission: Sure. Where do most students live?

WFY: In this section of town called Rittenhouse Square. Like I said 25, 20 blocks east of campus, but it’s across a bridge, across the Schuylkill River. Most MBA students don’t live in University City, which is where a lot of undergrads live, but I think predominately, most of the grad school students live across the river, which again is more downtown in Center City.

mbaMission: So does that mean people typically have cars, or do they take public transportation?

WFY: Mostly public transportation and taxis. Very few students have cars. I think a lot of it’s just a parking issue, but for the most part, I’d say 95% of students live in Rittenhouse, and I’d say of that group, 2% may have cars. The ones who don’t live in Rittenhouse probably do have cars, and that’s because they’re probably in more suburban areas. Rittenhouse is also one of the more  expensive areas of Philly, so some students choose to live in much more affordable housing, but unfortunately, you forego some of the social scene, because everyone else lives in the area.

mbaMission: That makes sense. So why did you choose Wharton for your MBA?

WFY: A couple of things. I knew I wanted to go to a top business school, and so there you cut it down to I’d say ten, maybe five schools. I was looking to be in a bigger city, since I came from a smaller Midwest city, but also as an LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] student, it was important for me to have that larger city experience. So that knocked off maybe some other top schools, like Duke [Fuqua] and Dartmouth. I applied to four schools I thought were top caliber, and of the ones where I was admitted, Wharton was the best in terms of not only brand name, but [also] the opportunities it gave me. There are a lot of things that I think Wharton does really well, but also being closer to [where I grew up] was a huge plus. So again, it’s a great name, it’s obviously a top school, a huge school, which I was kind of nervous about, but actually I found to be a really good thing. I also received some scholarship money, so that was a nice icing on the cake.

mbaMission: Definitely. So did you know when you were applying to business school what you wanted to do post MBA, or were you open to different things?

WFY: I had an idea, but I definitely didn’t have anything solidified, and I think part of business school is figuring it out—you don’t know what you don’t know. I wanted to learn from my classmates, which gets to my point earlier about why a large school is helpful. You could say community is not as strong maybe as if you went to a school with a much smaller class size, in the middle of nowhere or in a much smaller city, but one of the good things is that between the two classes of 1,600 students, there is someone who has done what you might be interested in doing long term, whether that be marketing or finance or whatever, right? I was considering possibly going into strategy within the higher education space, and wouldn’t you know, one of my classmates worked in strategy for Yale University prior to coming to Wharton. So the size of the school, and the alumni by extension, really is one huge benefit.

mbaMission: That totally makes sense. So you were basically going to business school thinking you wanted to further your career but maybe not 100% sure of what that career would be, so you really just wanted to go to a good school.

WFY: Exactly. For me, I thought maybe consulting would be a good option. I knew I wasn’t going to get into banking, but I really wanted to see what other students had done, what my interests were and my skill set and kind of identify that in business school. And I think I have reaffirmed what I thought I was good at, what maybe I’d want to do long term, and can kind of match that up with career opportunities.

mbaMission: Got it. So how has Wharton met your expectations so far?

WFY: As far as academics, it’s definitely kept me challenged, especially first semester, when you’re taking a lot of core classes. There’s a reason Wharton is known for its quantitative background. There were a lot of quant-heavy classes first semester. I think some individuals applying to business school view the experience as a two-year vacation, and for some students at certain schools, it might be. But at Wharton—I can only speak to Wharton—it isn’t like that at all. Don’t get me wrong—we have more than our fair share of fun, but we also work hard.

I wanted to come here to push myself and definitely did that. The nature of the curriculum helps build community, When everyone’s experiencing so much together, it helps people bond and build relationships. Every first year is going through the same core classes. So in terms of academics, I definitely think it met, if not exceeded, my expectations. As a finance major in undergrad, I think these classes definitely exceeded the level of intensity I had hoped.

Student life, I’ve been more than impressed. I think that’s one of the big areas where Wharton might be branded incorrectly to the outside world, but student life here is much more fun than I was expecting. I think a lot of people get this idea that because Wharton is very quant focused, because it’s located in a big city, because we have off on Fridays, that there isn’t much of a community. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a huge community here, and I’ve found that it’s been a really welcoming environment, and that’s something I didn’t expect because of third party write-ups about the school.

I think people think of Wharton as this quant jock school, which sometimes misleads people to think the student body might be less social. My really good friend is going to Kellogg right now, and Kellogg’s known as this really fun, social school. I’d say Wharton probably matches Kellogg. I think a lot of the top schools do. I think Wharton helps to facilitate a positive student life and overall B-school experience.

Wharton is on par, as I expected, as far as career services, but that’s because I expected a lot from Wharton to begin with. And it’s been in the business school scene for so long, obviously as the first business school, so I think it has it down to a science in terms of the fundamentals of what individuals need for career services. And they start early, right in the pre-term.

mbaMission: Sure.

WFY: So in pre-term, you’re immediately immersed in career services, and they realize that a lot of students are career switchers, so those students might need services immediately. In undergrad, you had to be proactive, but for Wharton, they’re reaching out to you and making sure you’re on the radar, and they’re checking in with you. It’s not intrusive or like they’re babying you. It’s like, “Hey, we recognize that you want our help. You’re paying a lot of money to go here, and we want you to get a lot out of your experience.” And for many people, that’s landing a great job after school. They recognize that if you do well in your career search, you’re going to recommend Wharton to others.

mbaMission: Right. You mentioned the core curriculum, and you seemed to think that that was beneficial as far as getting everybody up to speed and providing that shared experience, but as far as laying the foundation for further learning in your elective classes, do you feel it was pretty effective? Do you feel like what you learned is going to be useful?

WFY: Yeah, so I think it was twofold. Obviously, it gives you experience in the basic fundamentals in business, but it also gets you immersed in your one class of 70 for the entire first year. It really gets you to build a community and close ties. It’s helping you academically, but it’s also helping you facilitate a social network that I think is a major part of the business school experience. The core classes seem to be—and this is not the appropriate terminology, but I’m going to say it—a necessary evil. I think students would rather take elective classes in subjects they want to actually learn more about and dive deep into a certain subject area. So not just management, but management with a specific function, or finance with a specific direction. So I think your broad classes are needed to teach all the basics, but most students prefer to take electives.

So again, I think students enjoy their second semester of first year and their second year much more than their first semester, academically, because these are classes they want to take, but I imagine every business school that is set up similarly must experience the same thing to some extent.

mbaMission: I would think so. Some people get more out of the core than others, of course.

WFY: Right. So I was a finance undergrad, but if you didn’t have a business undergrad, that might be a huge learning curve. Because if I had some trouble with the quant, there might be somebody who came from a nonprofit or had a law background who might really struggle, but I think all the resources are there to make sure they’re successful. I don’t think there’s any reason a student should not be successful, and we have non-grade disclosure, which is a huge benefit to making sure you take risks and do things you may not do normally. I wasn’t really sure about that policy initially, but I can’t imagine going to a school that doesn’t have that now after going to Wharton, because it really does let you choose whatever you want to do and really take risks in classes and in clubs where maybe you would have played it safe otherwise.

mbaMission: Sure. Can you test out of any of the core classes?

WFY: You can, yeah. So for starters, you can test out in the very beginning of the semester, in August. Students can also show proof that they have either taken a class in undergrad or have some sort of skill set that meets the requirements for the class. I think 40% of students place out of at least one class. But I think they really encourage you to take the full core to make sure you understand the basics—because even though I took stats in undergrad, stats is slightly different here—but I also think to make sure you’re getting that full experience. So those individuals who only take one core class are missing a lot of that cohort component and the social component.

I think it’s a give and take. You may not want to sit in a class you’ve already taken for a year, but you get to hear feedback in class from 69 other students who you’ve never met and want to know more about. And there’s definitely allegiances toward your cohort and your larger clusters, so I think that being in class with those individuals makes you feel more part of that community, which I would argue is very important.

mbaMission: Especially at a school with 1,600 students, I would think.

WFY: Exactly.

mbaMission: So how would you characterize your classmates? What’s a typical Wharton student like?

WFY: I am far more impressed than I expected in terms of the quality of my peers and what they’ve done in the past, and their intellectual and social capabilities. So that’s probably one of the biggest pluses in terms of what I was expecting from Wharton. I’m continually impressed with my peer group. I mean, my learning team of six people—I’m not sure how familiar you are with how this works at Wharton, but you’re in a larger cluster of 210, which is divided into three cohorts of 70 students. Then from there it goes to a pod, so divided into three or four, and from there, you’re in teams of six or seven. So I was in a learning team and did all my group projects with that team for the entire first semester. And it’s an intentionally diverse learning team, in terms of background, culture, gender, race, you name it, and they’re really trying to make sure you understand that in a business setting, you’re not going to have one homogenous group that really is dominating the workforce, right? And I think that’s good, especially for someone like myself who didn’t have a really diverse background or work experience.

So on my learning team, it was me. There was a girl who worked in banking at Goldman for five years. A guy who’s half Brazilian who worked in private equity and was coming from Los Angeles. Another woman who had started and sold two companies, and she was from Turkey—both of them were e-commerce businesses. Another one was a guard for the Taiwanese president, and he ended up working at McKinsey for two years after. And the last one came from China to work at an investment bank in New York.

mbaMission: Wow.

WFY: So here I am with those five amazing people, and then me—I worked at a small tech start-up in the Midwest. [Laughs.] But my point is, again going back to my being continually impressed, we didn’t find out until a month into our discussions what all of us did—and really, you guarded the president of your country?

mbaMission: Right.

WFY: And people aren’t bragging here; they’re very humble on the whole, which is great.

mbaMission: That’s very cool. So can you help me understand what the pod system is like? I understand cohorts and clusters and learning teams, but what does a pod do?

WFY: Yeah, this is a way for second years to help mentor first years. So we have Student Life Fellows that are charged with one pod of three learning teams to make sure that everyone in that group is having a good student experience, maximizing their opportunities and ensuring no one falls through the cracks. There’s a Leadership Fellow who is also assigned to a pod to make sure that every person is pushed to develop their personal leadership skills. Basically, the pod helps create a group of 18 that hits the sweet spot for initiatives and events that are too big for groups of six but too small for groups of 70.

mbaMission: That makes sense.

WFY: Pods are definitely the least mentioned of the cluster, cohort, learning team delineations. They’ve changed student life here to a cluster format; everything’s around the cluster. So it’s pretty much like four larger groups versus 12 smaller groups. But then the pod was developed from that concept.

mbaMission: I see. Thanks for explaining that. You spoke about the career development office a little bit. What kind of resources and assistance has that office provided for you so far?

WFY: Yeah. Every day at lunch, there seems to be a different career services meeting or function of some sort, whether it’s bringing in a guest speaker to talk about an industry or an alumnus who works in an industry—really giving you breadth of the tech, consulting, banking, entrepreneurship, marketing industries and their background. A lot of these are working in conjunction with a student club. So the students lead it, but they [career services] definitely offer support. And in terms of some of the basics, especially during the very first month of school, they were there to provide those resources. They were able to meet with students one-on-one to go over individual career tracks. They do a survey at the very beginning of the year that basically takes down your personality traits and what you’re interested in learning and where you’re successful, and they kind of plot out what possible careers you might want to research further.

They’re there as much as you need them, really. I’ve never been denied for a meeting or had an individual tell me they’re not able to meet. In fact, they’re often willing to stay late. Another thing I will say is a plus is that a lot of our career services staff have experience in particular industries, which I think is huge. And for a lot of driven MBA candidates, you want to trust someone who has knowledge of the industry you’re trying to break into. And so you have these career services staff who have actually worked in banking, who have actually worked in internal strategy positions and so on. So these are people who have done some pretty big things and have had the jobs that we’re going after, so they can speak to a level of actual commitment and involvement and what it takes. It also increases their legitimacy, which I think is very unique. I’m not sure if every business school has that, but that’s a big win for Wharton.

mbaMission: I could see how that might make a difference, because you know the person who’s guiding you has actually been there.

WFY: I trust their opinion more, because some of them have held the jobs that we are initially looking to get.

mbaMission: Right. What other resources at the school do you feel have been particularly helpful or interesting?

WFY: There’s just so much at Wharton, right? If you can think of it, it exists, and I just never expected that. I talk to my friends who are in smaller schools, and resources are limited. There’s a club for almost everything here at Wharton. There’s even breakouts within clubs, so there’s the Consulting Club, but there’s also the Health Care Consulting Club. The opportunities are endless, and I think sometimes students spread themselves too thin because they want to get involved in everything. So you see second years kind of scale back and really take on one leadership role, whereas first years are doing a lot of different clubs and really getting immersed in the student life.

And the speaker series—I’m blown away by the level of speakers that we have that come to class, as well as individuals who just speak on the executive level, and a lot of it is because they’re Wharton alums. We have these things called Power Dinners where they bring in some pretty big-name speakers for dinner. And it’s 12 students and that individual speaker, so you get a really intimate setting with that one individual. I was in entrepreneurship class yesterday, and we had the CEO of a company that just started up in 2010, and it’s valued right now at over $100M. He was teaching our class, and it was a class with 18 people. I wouldn’t say that’s common every day, but the fact that that level of engagement exists, I think it’s pretty rare.

I think the student life office has really done a big push recently. I think the biggest thing from this interview, if you want to take something away, is that student life has changed here at Wharton, compared to three years ago, even. There’s been a really big push for culture. They’ve actually appointed a student life dean [deputy vice dean of student life] who is in charge of fully immersing himself in student life. His name is Kembrel [Jones], and he really just makes sure that every student is happy. He knows almost every student’s name and attends a large percentage of the events on campus. Each individual cluster has their own associate director who’s in charge of making sure that student life experience is up to par with Wharton’s high expectations.

And so I think in the past, you might have seen Wharton as this very transactional experience—go in, get a degree and leave. But now, they really are trying to build this cluster experience, and every individual cluster has its own cheer, its own mascot, its own colors. Throughout the year we have the Cluster Cup, which fosters friendly competition by engaging the clusters in different academic, sport and social activities.

The other thing the school did recently was it purchased a floor in a high-rise in downtown Center City, and that opened up the amount of study space immensely. So now students don’t have to walk 25 blocks to campus. They can actually walk five to ten minutes, depending on how far you live from this building, and there’s an open study space, open communal area, that everyone can walk to, which is huge. I think that helped fill in the gap of “I want to meet with my group and my learning team, but where are we going to meet?” Everyone meets at this one location that’s right in Center City, which is where most students live. That’s a big win, and that opened up in 2013. This is the first year students have experienced using it for a full year. And it opened to some great feedback.

mbaMission: Yeah. Are you involved in any specific clubs that you really like or that you feel have been really helpful?

WFY: Yeah, so I chose to be more of a depth versus breadth person here. In undergrad, I was student body president, and I got a wide variety of experiences there. At Wharton, I wanted to really focus on a few things and give myself a lot of free time to enjoy the experience and be able to add things to my calendar last minute. I’m involved with the WGA [Wharton Graduate Association] by way of being cluster president, as well as the Tech[nology] Club and the LGBT Out for Business Group.

And I’m part of the Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Committee, which advises the dean on certain things, almost like a student consulting group for the dean of the business school. Next year, I may try to stretch myself by joining the stand-up comedy club, maybe even the hockey club, which is very popular here on campus.

mbaMission: That sounds busy.

WFY: Yeah, I guess I didn’t do that great of a job at going in depth with one of two activities. [Laughs.] But I think that’s a big part of business school. If you have an hour to give, you fill it up somehow, there’s never a free hour. Right now I signed up for this interview, but there’s also two guest lectures going on concurrently that I’m missing. There’s always something on campus that you can work on or attend if you want. Which goes back again to this being a huge school, and I think that’s a huge plus.

mbaMission: Right. Well, you can always sleep after you graduate, right?

WFY: Yes, exactly, that’s what I tell myself.

mbaMission: So what kind of interaction have you had with the school’s alumni beyond what you’ve already mentioned? Did you contact anyone before you got in, or have you contacted them for your job search?

WFY: Job search, definitely, and career services encourages you to do that. You can always look through our database and find individuals who are working in the industry you’re looking at. I think a lot more of that networking happens for the less traditional paths, some of those companies that aren’t as big and don’t recruit on campus. I contacted a few alums in terms of helping me think through applying to business school, in terms of learning what Wharton was. And they were all very responsive. I mean, from my personal experience, you almost always receive a response within I’d say 24 hours or 48 hours, as long as you mention that you are a Wharton student. It all depends on their schedule and what they’re doing, but usually they’re very responsive.

mbaMission: Great. You talked about the facilities a bit, but I wanted to touch on that topic more specifically. Are there any really great parts of the facilities or any parts that the school could possibly work on?

WFY: Really, the addition of that extra study space in Center City is big, and I don’t think you really recognize what that means to the school and the student body until you come here and see the dynamic at play. Cutting the travel time by two-thirds to get to a study room everyone can meet at is pretty important.

Huntsman Hall is still relatively new, and it’s a great building, probably one of the better ones on campus. Most of the classrooms are set up with USB ports and power outlets built into the desk space. I’ve never had any issues with that. And there’s tech support on hand if you ever need any help with what they call “Whartonizing” your computer. There’s resources for that as well. If I ever have a problem with my computer, iPad or my iPhone, I just bring it to them, and they fix it.

mbaMission: That’s great. So let’s focus on the fun stuff, the social life. What can you tell me about that?

WFY: Yeah, so one of the big things I liked about Wharton was how active the LGBT community was here, and that they host the two most well-attended parties of the year. One is called the White Party, which happens in September. The other one is Wharton 54, which takes place in late March or early April. For the White Party, everyone just dresses in white, and Wharton 54 is usually ’70s themed. Every weekend, there is some event or party on Friday and Saturday, even Thursday night. So if there is an open day, you can bet that a student group is planning an event then. And it’s all over—cultural clubs, academic conferences, social clubs. There’s Dance Studio, the Charity Fashion Show, Fight Night—something that appeals to everyone.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention , too. It’s our annual show that’s student run and pokes fun at the business school experience. There’s also a ski trip that happens every year, and we went out to Breckenridge, Colorado, this past February. We usually go out west for one extended weekend, and I think Wharton sent over a thousand students. We just took over Breckenridge. Prices were high for United flights that weekend! [Laughs.]

I think one of the cool parts about Wharton is the amount of travel, which I really I didn’t expect before coming to Wharton. I went to Argentina over Thanksgiving break. I went to Tahiti and did a tall ship sailing leadership venture over Christmas. I went to Costa Rica for spring break, and I’m headed to Israel in May. And I think it’s pretty common for people to take a few international trips,  though it’s definitely not a requirement. And there’s also a decent amount of U.S. travel. We had a southern city tour earlier this year. They have West Coast treks. We also had a New England trek. And some of these treks are professionally focused, and some are purely social. I know a bunch of students went to New Orleans over fall break. I think some of the international students from other countries like seeing other parts of the States.

I’ve heard Wharton is above average in terms of the amount of traveling, and I’ve really enjoyed that. Obviously, it does cost money to travel, so that’s definitely adding to my loans, but there’s never been any time when I could travel with this many people. That’s the best part of the traveling—I can travel with a friend, maybe, or by myself when I’m older, but right now I have the opportunity to travel with 20 people who represent an unparalleled peer group. It seems like a no-brainer.

mbaMission: You’re definitely making the most of your experience, it sounds like. What’s been your general impression of the faculty so far?

WFY: There’s definitely no shortage of notable faculty here. I’ve been very impressed. In grad school, I’m trying to get a lot closer to my professors on a personal level, and professors are constantly willing to meet with you outside of classes. The entrepreneurship professors will talk about getting funding and how that process works. Management professors talk about possible jobs in the future and office politics and influence in the workplace. And a lot of them are really invested in their research and love to share that with you. Most of the professors—I’d say at least 70%—offer some sort of dinners or small-group lunches so you can get to know them on an outside-the-classroom level, which is great. You get to see them as real people versus just these one-dimensional individuals who come into the classroom and teach.

mbaMission: Absolutely. What do you think people more people should know about Wharton that they probably don’t?

WFY: I think the biggest thing is right now Wharton is at this crossroads where we’re a very finance-branded school, and that’s great. We do have an excellent finance program here, with top-notch faculty. But what people may not know is that we’re producing more entrepreneurs, by total number, than any other business school in the country. As at most business schools, entrepreneurship has witnessed a heavy increase in interest. I think Wharton is trying to determine the right way to balance marketing its classic finance strengths while also displaying its great resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Also, student life is much more fun—plain and simple. In a recent internal student survey, student rating of student life received its highest marks in the past 20 years. Wharton in general is more fun than it was ten years ago, at least in students’ perception. A lot of this newfound strength correlates with the resurgence of the student life office. An important part of the MBA program is not just getting education, but enjoying education while you’re here for those two years. I wish I had known just how much fun I’d be having right out of the gate at Wharton. I traveled to other business schools and did a lot of research—Wharton competes right up there with other schools in terms of the level of socialness as well as academic rigor.

mbaMission: That sounds great. Every time I talk to one of you students, it makes me want to go to business school, because it sounds so fantastic. Is there anything else you’d want to say about Wharton?

WFY: We’ve covered a lot. The leadership office is a huge win for Wharton. They actually have an entire office dedicated to leadership. I mentioned going on a Leadership Venture over the holidays, where students go to different remote locations, are placed in high-stress situations and are tasked with working on a team to achieve a goal—for example, climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking through Antarctica, facing the wilderness of Alaska. We also have individual executive coaches, which is a great new program. You get assigned an executive coach who works with you on ways to get you to become a better C-level executive in the long term. We constantly have speakers, leaders and authors coming in to talk about different works or research they’ve done. I think the leadership office is another big differentiator for Wharton.

mbaMission: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today about Wharton. You’ve given us a lot of great information.

WFY: No problem. Thank you!
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Re: The mbaMission Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2014, 00:18
helpful post..i got my answer thanks
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Mission Admission: Visit Campus … Again  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Visit Campus … Again
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

As admissions committees release decisions, many candidates suddenly find themselves with more than one option for the coming year. But how does one choose between two or more schools? If you cannot determine a definitive “winner” based on specific academic or professional criteria, you may now need to make a campus visit or, for some, another campus visit. We strongly advise those of you who have not yet had a chance to visit your target school(s) that you get to know the program(s) better before deciding where to invest two years and $100K or more in your graduate education. However, even if you have already visited your target campuses, this may be a good time for a second, more focused trip.

Many candidates go on marathon tours of business school campuses in the fall but have only a limited window in which to get to know each program they visit. After the MBA admissions committees have defined your choices and shifted the decision power back to you, you have the opportunity to really spend some time familiarizing yourself with your target schools and completing diligence that may not have been possible before. For example, as a nervous prospective student, you may not have truly pushed current students to define a program’s weaknesses, or you may not have felt that delving deeply into the recruiting situation on campus was appropriate during your initial visit. Similarly, you may not have experienced the social environment on campus, preferring to maintain a strictly professional profile. Although attending “welcome weekends” will allow you to meet and mingle with your potential future classmates, visiting campuses now—while classes are in session and the schools are operating as they will next year—will provide valuable insight that will facilitate one of the most important choices of your life.
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What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part 1
In our “What I Learned at…” series, MBAs discuss the tools and skills their business schools provided as they launched their careers.

Sandi Lin is the CEO and founder of Skilljar, which provides businesses with online course software. Before founding Skilljar, Sandi was a senior manager at Amazon.com in Seattle. She earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In Part 1 of this three-part series, Sandi reflects on the advantages of having gained experience at a “real job” before starting her own company.

Entrepreneurship is in the air at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). In 2011, 16% of the GSB class started their own companies after graduation, and many more chose to join start-ups as nonfounders. Stanford’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley, the extremely high caliber of engineering and business students on campus, and the university’s active support of start-up accelerator programs like StartX all fuel the school’s awesome entrepreneurial engine. Even the GSB’s tagline, “Change Lives, Change Organizations, Change the World,” leads students to dream big.

I arrived at Stanford knowing that I wanted to start (or work at) a tech start-up after business school. My background was in transportation consulting, so this would be a significant career change for me. Unfortunately, in 2008, the global economy collapsed—Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in September, just as I was just starting my second year at Stanford. It is hard to imagine now, but virtually all big companies declared a hiring freeze that fall and even began laying off seasoned employees.

My goal had been to join a start-up, but I also had a product management job offer from Amazon.com in Seattle, where I had interned the previous summer. Although Amazon is a very well respected company today, in 2008, most people believed that Amazon was “just a retailer” and that its era of innovation was long over. I knew differently, having just witnessed the early days of the Kindle, Amazon Web Services and Fulfillment by Amazon (all of which were very small teams with MBA interns back in the summer of 2008). Not sure what to do, I looked to the Stanford network for advice.

I first talked to an alumna at a Bay Area start-up that I had my eye on. She had worked at several big companies before founding her company. Her advice was gentle but blunt—her company was always looking for talented people, but I had very little experience. In addition, well-known tech giants were laying off hundreds of experienced product managers. That was the reality of the job market I would be competing in. At the same time, she told me that work experience at Amazon was very well respected in the industry and that I could not go wrong by taking a position there.

At Stanford, I was lucky enough to take a supply chain class with Michael Marks, an amazing leader I admired both personally and professionally. When I asked him for advice, he told me, “No matter when you decide to start a company, you will need to know how a well-run company operates. And there is no better-run company in the world than Amazon.com right now.”

With their advice, I decided to put my start-up dreams on pause and take the job at Amazon, where I spent the next four years in various product management roles. Looking back now, I cannot imagine taking the entrepreneurial leap without the experience I developed during those years. Thanks to Amazon, I met my co-founders, most of my early employees and several of my future investors. I learned how to build and launch a tech product, how to hire and manage a team and how to run a business. While it may be true that nothing prepares you for a start-up like launching a start-up, I now know that my decision to work at an established company after graduation has given me the best chance of success with Skilljar.
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Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Man  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand, but the educational experience itself 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 Roberto Rigobon from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Roberto Rigobon (“Applied Macro and International Economics” and “Applied International Macroeconomics: Development and Sustainability”) specializes in international economics, monetary economics and development economics. At an awards ceremony in 2005, Sloan students described him as someone who “epitomized the fine line between madness and genius.” Other award-related descriptions of Rigobon refer to him as “serious but hilarious,” “crazy and brilliant” and “high energy.” He teaches the reportedly very popular “Applied Macro and International Economics” course, which is often taken by up to 30% of Sloan students at a time. Rigobon handles as many as four sections (six hours) back to back, three days a week. He has won numerous teaching awards during his time at Sloan (including the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, 2003 and 2005, and Teacher of the Year in 1999, 2002 and 2004) and is primarily recognized for his accessibility. As one second-year student blogged, “The door to his office was always open.”

For more information about MIT Sloan and 15 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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B-School Chart of the Week: March 2014 Social Currency Ranki  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2014, 19:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: March 2014 Social Currency Ranking
Rankings come in all shapes and sizes, but can any ranking truly capture social cachet? For a different perspective on the value of an MBA, we turn to the New York Times society pages, where the editors select and profile promising couples. Each month, we dedicate one B-School Chart of the Week to tallying how alumni from top-ranked business schools are advancing their social currency ranking.

Our year-to-date tally of MBA weddings saw a 135% increase from February to March, hitting a total of 40 mentions out of 188 weddings for 2014 (compared with 34 out of 163 mentions in 2013). With spring just around the corner, these figures will likely continue to spike in the coming weeks.

Of the 23 wedding announcements in March that included a mention of a business school student or graduate, Wharton claimed the most (seven), including that of first-year student Theodore Wiles and Elizabeth Gardner, a second-year medical student at Jefferson Medical College. Wharton was followed closely by Columbia Business School, which had six mentions for the month—including that of alumna Pamela Blechman to Harvard Business School (HBS) alumnus Alec Ellison. Only one other HBS marriage made it into March’s society pages—that of alumnus Kenneth Holmstrom to Chrystie Perry—bringing the school’s year-to-date total to three and putting it behind its 2013 figure.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Tuck Scavenger Hunt  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Tuck Scavenger Hunt
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 Tuck scavenger hunt takes place at the beginning of the academic year—after the first years’ second week of school—and is organized by second-year students for the incoming class of students. However, we learned that very little “hunting” actually takes place; in fact, one second year described the event to mbaMission as “a light hazing” of first years. The students enjoy carnival games as well as tricycle rides, three-legged races, puzzles, building a human pyramid and bobbing for apples. Students form teams, and each team dresses in costume according to a theme of its choosing. A recent graduate described her team experience to mbaMission by saying, “One team wore colors of the rainbow. Another group dressed as characters from the movie Zoolander.” Individuals earn points for each activity in which they participate, and the winning team gets to plan the event for the next year’s incoming class. One second year told mbaMission the hunt is “a great way for students to get to meet each other. It allows for lots of contact,” and another proclaimed it “one of my best memories at 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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Diamonds in the Rough: Kelley School of Business’s Kelley Ac  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Kelley School of Business’s Kelley Academies
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business believes strongly in experiential learning, with its Kelley Academies at the heart of this model. Each Kelley student can choose an academy—a practical and intensive specialization—to complement their educational experiences. Business Marketing, Consulting, Entrepreneurial Innovation, Supply Chain and Capital Markets are among the eight options. In these academies, students build personal and professional relationships with their Academy Directors, who have contacts in their industry, to facilitate greater career opportunities. Although each academy includes a slightly different “training plan,” most combine classroom curriculum with three Academy Intensive Weeks, during which students stop all other course work for a “full-immersion” experience. Most academies also meet on Fridays for guest speakers and industry discussions. According to Philip Powell, a Clinical Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Kelley, “The classes teach you the science of what you want to do; the academies will teach you the art.” That art—the hands-on experiences and real-world projects in a specialized field—ensures that the school’s MBAs graduate with the skills and experience necessary to be seen as experts worth hiring.
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Meet mbaMission’s Angela Guido in Istanbul!  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Meet mbaMission’s Angela Guido in Istanbul!
Are you interested in applying to business school? Could you use some help and advice from an admissions professional? Do you live in or near Istanbul, Turkey? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then we want to meet you!

mbaMission senior consultant Angela Guido will be in Istabul on Saturday, April 19, doing  free, in-person, one-on-one consultations! If you would like to meet with Angela to get a head start on your MBA applications and get your most pressing questions answered, please email [email=%20info@mbamission.com]info@mbamission.com[/email] to let us know what times you are available on the 19th, and we will get back to you with scheduling information shortly!
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Friday Factoid: Career Resources at HBS  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Career Resources at HBS
With the job market mixed for new MBAs these days, Harvard Business School (HBS) has put together an arsenal of resources to help students in their job search. Students begin by completing an online self-assessment program before they even arrive on campus. The CareerLeader tool, developed by a member of the HBS faculty, helps incoming students identify their life interests, professional skills and “work/reward” values.  When they get to school, first-year students participate in a class that helps them interpret their CareerLeader results while discussing cases on the careers of HBS alumni. Later in the semester, but before official recruiting begins, students can attend Industry Weeks, which are on-campus programs and panels that provide overviews of a variety of industries and address how to plan a successful industry-specific job search. These are taught by career coaches, alumni, Career Services staff members and company representatives. First years can also join Career Teams, which are small groups of first-year students who use exercises—facilitated by trained second-year leaders—to help identify and advance their professional goals. Students may also arrange to meet with one of 35 career coaches for one-on-one guidance or take advantage of one of the many student clubs that help prepare their members for interviews. Clearly, HBS is committed to helping its students not just find jobs, but find the “right” jobs.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at HBS or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoiding Dangling and Misplaced Mo  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoiding Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
A dangling or misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that is intended to describe one thing, but because of its placement in a sentence, it actually describes something else. Misplaced modifiers are a common mistake in MBA application essays and can be very distracting to a reader, in addition to possibly misrepresenting what the writer had intended. Although misplaced modifiers can appear anywhere in a sentence, the most common, most obvious and (thankfully) easiest to correct are those that occur at the beginning of a sentence. Consider the following examples:

As the highest-rated professor at the school, West’s academic writings are primarily analyses of recent developments in tort law.

Even after studying all night, the test was still too difficult for John to pass.

In the first sample sentence, “the highest-rated professor at the school” is meant to describe West, but it instead refers to “West’s academic writings.” In the second example, we can assume that John was the one who studied all night, but because of the way the sentence is constructed, “the test” is supposedly what did the extensive studying.

To avoid these kinds of confusing constructions, make sure that the first thing that is mentioned after a descriptive introductory phrase is what that phrase is meant to describe. To correct our examples, we could reword them as follows:

As the highest-rated professor at the school, West produces academic writings that are primarily analyses of recent developments in tort law.

Even after studying all night, John was unable to pass the test.

However, misplaced modifiers can appear anywhere within a sentence, when a phrase is juxtaposed with a different part of the sentence than is intended. Consider the following:

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I shared my dream of starting a charitable foundation with my parents.

With this wording, the writer is saying that he dreams of starting a foundation with his parents, yet we can safely assume that the writer instead meant that he shared his dream with his parents. To correct this sentence, you could move the misplaced phrase or even reword the sentence to clarify.

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I shared with my parents my dream of starting a charitable foundation.

As I became aware of what I wanted in life, I told my parents about my dream of starting a charitable foundation.

Always make sure your descriptive phrases are in proper proximity to the elements of your sentence that you want them to modify.
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What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part 2
In our “What I Learned at…” series, MBAs discuss the tools and skills their business schools provided as they launched their careers.

Sandi Lin is the CEO and founder of Skilljar, which provides businesses with online course software. Before founding Skilljar, Sandi was a senior manager at Amazon.com in Seattle. She earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In Part 2 of this three-part series, Sandi discusses some ways in which the school’s notable “Touchy Feely” course prepared her for the real-world challenges associated with founding a start-up.

Most Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) alumni will tell you that the most impactful class they took at Stanford was “Interpersonal Dynamics,” also known as “Touchy Feely.” Five years out from graduation, I can certainly tell you that “Touchy Feely” is something I use every day. I can look up the details of Porter’s five forces analysis or of the generally accepted accounting principles when I need to, but the lessons of communication are universal.

There are already several great posts on the impact of “Touchy Feely,” including a Quora thread and a facilitator’s blog post. What happens inside a T-Group [training group] is confidential, but at a high level, the groups are intense learning labs for active listening, communication and influence. It is easy to read about these topics in the abstract, but it is another matter to deeply understand how I am perceived by others, how I communicate and what my biases are.

I use “Touchy Feely” lessons in multiple ways at work. Here are three tactical examples:

“I feel [feeling word].In “Touchy Feely,” I learned that I can only know my own feelings and my interpretation of other people’s actions (for more information, see the Johari window). But I cannot know other people’s feelings or their motivations for why they took those actions. So instead of assuming, “Joe Smith is so inconsiderate. He’s always interrupting me when I’m working,” I should talk to Joe directly and say, “I feel frustrated when you drop by to ask me questions. I want to give you my full attention, but I also lose track of what I am doing. Can we figure out a strategy that will work for both of us?” The key technique I remember to use is to say, “I feel [feeling word].” Try it—it is harder than it sounds.

“Tell me more.” I learned that the word “why” is inherently challenging and puts a burden (no matter how slight) on the other person to explain themselves. Using phrases such as “tell me more” are more inviting and produce the same result.

“What I’m hearing is…” One of my biggest weaknesses in terms of communication is cutting people off and immediately jumping to solutions. I learned firsthand in “Touchy Feely” that often the most valuable part of a conversation is first acknowledging that I do hear what the other person is saying.

Most of entrepreneurship comes down to communication. As a founder, I am constantly asking investors to believe in my company, asking customers to trust our product and asking potential hires to join the team for long hours and little pay. Understanding the potential impact of my words and actions, experienced firsthand through “Touchy Feely,” has made a profound difference in both my professional and personal interactions.
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Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Tuck School of Busin  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they select a business school, but the educational experience itself 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 Vijay Govindarajan from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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Vijay Govindarajan (“Implementing Strategy: Management Control Systems,” “Managing Corporate Entrepreneurship” and “Global Strategy and Implementation”), affectionately known by students as simply “VG,” has been cited by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and The London Times as a top-ten strategy professor. His research focus includes global strategy, strategic innovation, strategy execution and strategic controls. VG has been a consultant to several well-known companies, including Walmart, FedEx and Microsoft, and in 2008, he served as chief innovation consultant to General Electric. One alumnus told mbaMission, “VG’s class is great, and the cases have been interesting. Most of the cases are about manufacturing companies; however, they are not boring at all. He’s a great speaker and great lecturer.”

A recent graduate described Govindarajan’s classroom style to mbaMission by saying, “VG maintains a balance between lecture and class participation. He never cold-calls because he believes that students will be prepared. He doesn’t want students to comment for the sake of commenting and wants people to say something meaningful, which might be different from the approach at other schools.” Another alumnus shared that VG often brings great speakers to class.

For more information about Dartmouth Tuck and 15 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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