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The mbaMission Blog

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Show That Your Long-Term Goals Are Attainabl [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Show That Your Long-Term Goals Are Attainable
Many MBA candidates struggle to define their long-term goals. Although short-term goals should be relatively specific, long-term goals can be broad and ambitious. Regardless of what your short- and long-term aspirations actually are, what is most important is presenting a clear “cause and effect” relationship between them. The admissions committee will have difficulty buying into a long-term goal that lacks grounding. However, do not interpret this to mean that you must declare your interest in an industry and then assert that you will stay in it for your entire career. You can present any career path that excites you—again, as long as you also demonstrate a logical path to achieving your goals.

For example, many candidates discuss having ambitions in the field of management consulting. Could an individual with such aspirations justify any of the following long-term goals?

A) Climbing the ladder and becoming a partner in a consulting firm

B) Launching a boutique consulting firm

C) Leaving consulting to manage a nonprofit

D) Leaving consulting to buy a failing manufacturing firm and forge a “turnaround”

E) Entering the management ranks of a major corporation

The answer is yes! This candidate could justify any of these long-term goals (along with many others), as long as he/she connects them to experiences gained via his/her career as a consultant. With regard to your goals, do not feel constrained—just be sure to emphasize and illustrate that your career objectives are logical, achievable, and ambitious.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Show That Your Long-Term Goals Are Attainable appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Mission Admission: What Makes a Good Thank You Note? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: What Makes a Good Thank You Note?
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Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

After visiting campus or interviewing, many business school candidates choose to write thank you letters to their respective hosts. But what makes a good thank you note?

Personalization: When writing to your host/interviewer, show sincerity by personalizing your letter. By handwriting your letter and mentioning specifics about your conversation and experiences, you will continue to foster your connection with your interviewer and show that your interaction truly made an impression.

Brevity: Your letter should be no more than a few sentences long. If you write several paragraphs, you run the risk of creating the negative impression that you are trying too hard or do not respect limits (possibly even suggesting that you might carry on too long in class). By being brief and sincere, you will instead make a powerful impression that will yield results.

Speed: Ideally, send your letter within 24 hours of your visit and within 48 hours at the most. Most interviewers must submit their reports very soon after the interview, and your thank you note will have a better chance of positively influencing this report if it is received before the report is submitted. Also, after too long, your interest may logically fall into question, or your host may simply forget some of the details of your conversation that you are trying to reinforce. By writing your letter immediately, you will give the impression that you have been energized by the experience and are eager to maintain your connection.

Thank you notes are generally not a “make or break” aspect of your candidacy, but they can establish continuity and demonstrate your continued interest to your target school’s representatives. We encourage candidates to follow up with such notes because they are a low-cost way of reinforcing a positive impression and relationship.

mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our FREE Interview Primers, which are available for 15 top-ranked business schools.

The post Mission Admission: What Makes a Good Thank You Note? 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Learn How Mexicue’s Thomas Kelly Co-Founded a Successful Food Truck an [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Learn How Mexicue’s Thomas Kelly Co-Founded a Successful Food Truck and Restaurant with No Culinary Training
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Thomas Kelly, Co-Founder of Mexicue

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.

Thomas Kelly dove headfirst into the food business with no training as a chef but an immense passion for food. Along with his partner, he established Mexicue, which began as a food truck serving cuisine inspired by Mexican and barbecue food but now also has three restaurant locations. In this episode, Kelly describes his path from the difficult beginning to the profitable present, including these details:

  • How his family and friends reacted when he decided to jump out of the corporate world to start a food truck
  • Why the “stigma of food trucks” gave him a boost of inspiration and defiance
  • How the common misconception that a food truck might be easier to manage than a brick-and-mortar location is, according to Kelly, completely inaccurate
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear every gritty entrepreneurial story as it is released!

The post Learn How Mexicue’s Thomas Kelly Co-Founded a Successful Food Truck and Restaurant with No Culinary Training 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: Sanjay Sood, UCLA Anderson School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sanjay Sood, UCLA Anderson 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 focus on Sanjay Sood from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Sanjay Sood is a professor of marketing and the faculty director of UCLA Anderson’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, and Sports. Sood focuses on marketing management, brand management, advertising, and consumer behavior, and he serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, and the Journal of Consumer Research. He received his PhD in marketing from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in 1999 and was later recognized as a Marketing Science Institute Young Marketing Scholar in 2003. One second-year student we interviewed said Sood brings “a lot of practical experience to the classroom” and uses connections from his work with Procter & Gamble to enhance his classes. In 2010, Sood was selected by his fellow faculty members to receive the school’s Niedorf “Decade” Teaching Award, which is presented to professors who exhibit “exemplary teaching over a period of seven to ten years.” Five years earlier, he received a Citibank Teaching Award, which was also determined by his fellow faculty members.

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

The post Professor Profiles: Sanjay Sood, 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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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Career News: Six Tips for Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career News: Six Tips for Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile
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In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches,click here.

Over the past several years, LinkedIn has become increasingly important in the job search process—whether for identifying target companies and/or contacts, researching skills required for specific jobs, promoting your brand, or applying to job postings.

Today, we provide six tips for drafting/updating your LinkedIn profile to ensure maximum effectiveness:

  • Focus on your target audience. Highlight your skills, attributes, and experiences that are relevant to your audience. Check out the profiles of people in your target roles to see how they have presented themselves on LinkedIn. Incorporate words from target job descriptions into your profile.
  • Complete your basic facts (e.g., college and graduate education details, professional job titles, and dates). For each job, include a few lines of detail that emphasize the impact you had in that position rather than simply listing your responsibilities.

  • Write a compelling headline. This is one of the most important aspects of your LinkedIn profile, because it is what recruiters see when they are initially reviewing names in a list. Think about including functional skills, not just your current job title.
  • Upload a professional profile photo. Use a basic headshot that focuses on your face, with minimal distracting elements.
  • Write a targeted summary. This is what you want your audience to remember about you—essentially a version of your elevator pitch. You want it to be personal, authentic, and conversational, so you should write it in the first person and ensure that the style reflects your personality. Play to your strengths and show your passion. Minimize your use of buzzwords.
  • Aim to include a minimum of ten skills in your profile.
Two final reminders… First, consider turning off activity broadcasts so that each time you make an update to your profile, it does not trigger a notification to your network. Second, be sure to present a consistent brand image across all social media sites.

Our next blog will highlight ways to use LinkedIn in your job search. Stay tuned!

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via afree 30-minute consultation!

The post MBA Career News: Six Tips for Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile 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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The HBS Show [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The HBS Show
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Image via YouTube

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.

First presented at Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1974, the HBS Show is a popular student-run comedy production that follows the tradition of Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Show and Harvard Law School’s Parody. This extremely well-attended show is a major production that pokes fun at life at HBS, incorporating joking—but good-natured—references to case protagonists, professors, administrators, and the recruiting process. A spouse of one HBS student who helped organize a past production wrote on her blog, “It was a great outlet for business school students to roast their own school—the whole performance was based on The Godfather but with a zillion HBS inside jokes thrown in.” Featured among the HBS Show film productions in 2016 was a parody of The Hunger Games books and films, titled “The HBS Games: Catching Alpha.”

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

The post Beyond the MBA Classroom: The HBS Show 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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Diamonds in the Rough: Opportunities at the University of Texas McComb [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2016, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Opportunities at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

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In 2013, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, introduced several highlights to its MBA experience that would allow students to benefit from expanded opportunities for work experience (including with nonprofits), entrepreneurship, and leadership programming.

For example, the school expanded its pilot program for brand management experience with Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Yoo-hoo brand. In what is now called the Marketing Labs program, teams of students learn marketing skills by working hands-on for major firms.

Another addition, the Texas Venture Labs Scholarship, awards MBA scholarships to winners of a start-up pitch competition, in which both admitted and prospective students can compete. In the area of nonprofit work, McCombs hosts a chapter of the Net Impact program, which affords students the chance to work on socially and environmentally responsible projects aimed at solving major societal problems. In 2014, the McCombs chapter was chosen as the Net Impact Graduate Chapter of the Year.

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

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA News: Stanford GSB Offers Notably Cheaper Tuition—on One Condition [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Stanford GSB Offers Notably Cheaper Tuition—on One Condition
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Stanford GSB

Are you interested in a largely paid-for MBA degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)? This might be your chance—that is, if you are a U.S. citizen and can prove ties to at least one Midwestern state in addition to financial need. The business school will accept applications to the inaugural Stanford USA MBA Fellowship throughout the first two rounds of the 2016–2017 application cycle. Up to three chosen applicants will receive as much as $160K toward their degree over the course of two academic years, but these fellows will be required to work in the Midwestern United States for at least two years after graduation. The requirement is intended to help boost economic development in the area—something that the GSB described in a press release as a “part of [the business school’s] mission to educate business leaders to solve society’s most pressing problems.” The applicants’ evaluation will be based on the standard GSB admission criteria, in addition to criteria specific to the fellowship.

The post MBA News: Stanford GSB Offers Notably Cheaper Tuition—on One Condition 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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Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan
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2013 Charity Auction at MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan students organize charity auctions typically twice a year. Each “ocean” (the approximately 70-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, such as lunch with a professor, a home-cooked meal by a student, and more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. All together, the auctions raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund, Children of Uganda, Pencils of Promise, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

As you submit your application to Sloan, you may want to consider what you can offer up for auction and start preparing to bid!

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at MIT Sloan or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

The post Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan 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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B-School Chart of the Week: International and Male Students Dominate t [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: International and Male Students Dominate the MBA Applicant Pool
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.

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Diversity is a virtue within business school classrooms, and incoming classes at top-ranked U.S.-based schools typically feature approximately 30% to 40% international students. Indeed, the 2016 Application Trends Survey, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), reveals that 52% of those who applied for two-year MBA programs in 2015-2016 were international (i.e., citizens of a country other than that of the school to which they are applying). The majority (63%) of applicants were male, though 54% of two-year MBA programs reported a growth in application volume from women. Nearly 900 graduate business programs from 49 countries responded to the survey, including 509 MBA programs.

The post B-School Chart of the Week: International and Male Students Dominate the MBA Applicant Pool 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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Cornell University Johnson Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2016, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cornell University Johnson Essay Analysis, 2016–2017
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Once again, applicants to the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University must contend with its rather unique “life story” essay prompt, which, despite the upside of allowing candidates to offer a well-rounded picture of themselves to the school’s admissions committee, can be a pretty challenging and daunting submission for some individuals. Last year’s essay question about applicants’ short- and long-term goals has been replaced with one about impact, so the focus seems to have shifted from where candidates want to go and what they want to do after they leave Cornell Johnson and toward how they envision their experience as a student in its MBA program. This makes sense, given that the school’s table-of-contents essay should offer ample opportunity for applicants to share not only what they feel are the most important facets of their lives to date but also, we imagine, at least some insight into where they anticipate going after business school. The impact essay essentially fills in that time period between those before-and-after phases of a candidate’s life and career, thereby creating a more complete impression of the applicant for the admissions committee. As for how to approach these essays, read on for our tips and suggestions.

Essay 1: At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you have identified through engagement with our community and describe how these interactions have influenced your decision to apply to Johnson.

Please limit your response to 500 words or fewer.

Note that in this essay prompt, the school asks specifically about your expected impact within the Cornell Johnson community. This specification conveys a very clear assumption on the school’s part that you have already been actively reaching out to and communicating with others in its community to learn more about it, so if have not yet been doing so, now (immediately) is the time to start. The wording of the prompt also lets us know that the school is not asking to hear about an impact you made at some point in the past but instead wants you to demonstrate your thorough understanding of the Cornell Johnson community by discussing the ways and areas in which you feel you can contribute to it in a meaningful way. Ideally, of course, your suggestions and ideas will match Cornell Johnson’s particular vibe and character. To ensure that they do, you truly must first engage with students, alumni, and/or other representatives of the school and fully educate yourself on what Cornell Johnson offers that directly pertains to you. A simple reading of the school’s Web site or recruiting materials will not suffice.

Once you have clearly laid out your expectations, consider supporting each of your stated intentions by briefly describing an incident from your past in which you made a similar impact in a different setting. This will show the admissions committee both that you genuinely understand what is involved in accomplishing what you claim you will do and that you possess the capacity to actually do so. Because the prompt clearly requests examples of “opportunities”—plural—be sure to identify more than just one area or endeavor. You want to convey that you are a multidimensional individual who can add value to the school’s community in more than just one way.

Essay 2: You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the Table of Contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions. Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Please limit multimedia submissions to under 5 minutes.

In the past, Cornell Johnson stipulated a character count limit for its essays, rather than a word count, leading thousands of confounded applicants to wonder whether or not that count included spaces. Mercifully, the school switched to a more straightforward limit of 500 words (or fewer) last year and has decided to maintain this approach for this application season. As for the content, this essay is a bit peculiar, because it begs for creativity while also restricting applicants to a specific structure—a table of contents—essentially giving them “limited creative expression.”

That said, a table of contents can be approached, organized, and presented in a wide variety of ways. You can be especially imaginative and start your story back in the days of the dinosaurs or perhaps leap into the future and tell a story about yourself that has yet to be written. The key is identifying the approach that will best help you tell your personal story, so do not automatically restrict yourself and think too narrowly. Your table of contents can even be thematic rather than linear! Heed the school’s words: “We value creativity.”

Take care, however, to not get too gimmicky. You must allow the admissions committee to get to know you through your table of contents. Section, chapter, subchapter (depending on your structure)—each one must contribute to your narrative and provide a fuller picture of you. This is an opportunity to tell your whole story, albeit in a brief way, so make sure you tell it! We suggest that before you start writing, you grab some paper and make an old-fashioned list of your key stories. Then, make sure that your table of contents includes as many of the items on that list as possible. If you accomplish that, you should be most of the way to an excellent essay. The rest will involve fine-tuning the language, which is not necessarily easy but becomes much more so when you are working with excellent content.

Optional/Reapplicant Essay: Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied. Please limit your response to 500 words or fewer.

If you are a Cornell Johnson reapplicant, this essay should be pretty straightforward. Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. The school wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because a Cornell Johnson MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

If you are not a reapplicant, this is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, or a gap in your work experience. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

We do not recommend that you use this essay to discuss your long- and short-term career goals. The school removed this exact essay question for a reason (whatever that may be), which to us is a clear indicator that the admissions committee is not seeking that information from you in this format. Do not worry that the school is trying to test or trick you. Be mindful and respectful of the admissions committee’s time and remember that each additional file you submit requires more resources on behalf of the admissions office, so whatever you write must be truly worthwhile and clearly reveal that you made good use of this opportunity to provide further insight into your candidacy.

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 Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and more, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT
You finally took the GMAT, and though your score was not bad, it was not what you had hoped—not your best score, but certainly not so low that you need to take the test again. With a score just below where you think you should be, should you risk it all and take the test again? The truth is that there is actually no risk in taking the GMAT a second—or even a third—time in pursuit of a better outcome.

If you feel like you do your best on the GMAT on your first try, you can rest easy and move on. However, if you do poorly or simply do not live up to your potential, go ahead and take the test again. Simply put, do not worry that if you do worse on your second try, your target school will average your score down or consider only your lower score. In fact, whether your score improves or gets worse, your target school will consider only your highest score, thereby eliminating any risk to you or your candidacy. So, if you score a 700 on your first test and a 670 on your second, you are better off than if you had scored a 690 on both.

It is worth noting that Dartmouth Tuck tacitly encourages multiple attempts at the GMAT by allowing applicants to report up to two scores. Tuck will consider an applicant’s best performance on each section of the GMAT (verbal and quantitative), even if the individual scores are from different tests.

So, relax and take the test again if you have time and—more importantly—can do better. However, unless you feel that you can improve, taking the test over and over again is pointless. You would be surprised how many people take the GMAT repeatedly without considering improvement at all.

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GMAT Impact: Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Yo [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Your GMAT Score
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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Are you feeling overwhelmingly stressed out when you sit down to study for the GMAT? Do you find that concentrating on the task at hand is difficult?

Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara published the results of a study following 48 undergrads preparing for the GRE. Jan Hoffman details the research in a blog post at the New York Times.

The motivation for the study

“We had already found that mind-wandering underlies performance on a variety of tests, including working memory capacity and intelligence,” said Michael D. Mrazek in the NYT blog post.

We have all had this experience. We are taking a test, the clock is ticking, and we keep finding ourselves thinking about something other than the question we are supposed to be answering at that moment. Maybe we are stressing about our score. Maybe we are thinking about applications. Maybe we are even distracted by work, significant others, family, or other issues that have nothing to do with the test!

How do we stop fixating on other things and concentrate on the task at hand? This study tried to find out.

The study

First, the students were given some “baseline” tests, including one verbal reasoning section from the GRE (yes, the GRE, not the GMAT).

The students were then split into two groups. One group (group M) attended meditation classes four times a week; these students learned lessons on “mindfulness,” which focuses on breathing techniques and helps minimize distracting thoughts.

The other group (group N) attended nutrition classes, designed to teach the students healthy eating habits.

Afterward, the students did another GRE verbal section. The performance of students in group N stayed the same; the nutritional studies did not make a difference.

Group M students, however, improved their GRE scores by an average of 12 percentile points! The students also reported (subjectively) that they were better able to concentrate the second time around; they felt that their minds wandered less than they had before. Here is the best part: the study took just two weeks.

How did that happen?

The students did not become smarter or learn (much) more in that time frame. Rather, the mindfulness techniques helped the students perform closer to their true potential by reducing negative thoughts or habits that were interfering with performance. Think how much better you could do if you could turn off, or at least minimize, all those distracting thoughts that interrupt you when you are trying to concentrate!

How can I use this?

That short, two-week time frame is both good news and bad news. The good news is that you can achieve results without having to study meditation for six months. The bad news is that we do not know whether this provides only a short-term boost—the effects may fade over time.

So let’s speculate that the effects will fade unless you keep up with a regular meditation schedule. Let’s also assume that most people are not going to make meditation a regular part of their daily life; most will try it for a time and then drop it.

Here is what to do, then: Start learning some of these mindfulness techniques about eight weeks before you plan to take the test. Give yourself enough time to learn what to do, and then make these meditation sessions a part of your regular study schedule until you take the test. (If you would like to continue after that, great!)

Here is a resource to get you started: the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. They offer free meditation lessons and podcasts. They also periodically offer a six-week online course (for a small fee, less than $200 at the time of this publication); in addition to the prerecorded classes, you will be able to take advantage of live chats with an instructor. If you would rather meet with someone in person, run a Google search to find someone in your area.

Take a deep breath, exhale, and start learning how to minimize distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. Good luck!

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: How Far Back Is Too Far Back? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: How Far Back Is Too Far Back?
Because business school candidates must share examples of a variety of experiences with admissions committees, we encourage applicants to truly reflect on their lives and consider all potential stories, including academic, professional, community, extracurricular, athletic, international, and personal. However, candidates inevitably have questions about which anecdotes are truly appropriate and effective. “Can I use stories from high school and college?” “Can I use a story from four years ago?” “How far in the past is too far in the past?” Although no definitive rule exists, with the exception of questions that specifically ask about personal history or family background, schools generally want to learn about the mature you—the individual you are today. So we ask you, “How long have you been the you that you are today?”

When considering experiences that occurred long ago, ask yourself, “Would this impress an MBA admissions committee today?” If you ran a few successful bake sales six years ago when you were in college, this clearly would not stand the test of time and impress a stranger today. However, if, while you were still a student, you started a small business that grew and was ultimately sold to a local firm when you graduated, you would have a story to tell that would likely impress an admissions reader.

Inevitably, judgment is always involved in these decisions. Nonetheless, we offer this simple example as a starting point to help you decide which stories to share.

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Mission Admission: The Round 2 Application Rush [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: The Round 2 Application Rush
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

The month of November tends to signal the beginning of the rush toward second-round business school application deadlines. Many candidates who are just beginning to contemplate their MBA applications will call us and ask, “How many schools can I apply to at this stage?” or “Am I too late to start my applications for Round 2 now?” Unfortunately, no clear-cut answers to these questions exist.

First and foremost, your focus should be on quality over speed. As a candidate, you are far better off completing applications to three schools with 100% effort than applying to five schools and putting forth just 60% effort. MBA admissions offices notice sloppy mistakes and will conclude that you did not pay full attention to your application and therefore may not really care about their program.

One thing some candidates may not realize is that they do not need to commit to a specific number of schools up front. We typically suggest that candidates master one application and then apply what they have learned to the next. Submitting applications to five schools simultaneously can generally be problematic, but if you make significant progress on one school’s application and then begin work on the next, you can be confident that you will complete each one with a degree of excellence.

The ideal number of target schools varies from candidate to candidate and depends on each individual’s professional and personal schedule, written communication skills, risk profile, ambitions, and other similar factors. So approach your applications methodically, recognize what is realistic, and then work aggressively—but not haphazardly—toward your end goals.

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Professor Profiles: Adam Brandenburger, NYU Stern School of Business [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Adam Brandenburger, NYU Stern School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Adam Brandenburger from New York University’s (NYU’s) Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

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An expert on game theory and its practical application to business strategy, Adam Brandenburger was voted the NYU Stern MBA Professor of the Year in 2006, and in 2008 he received an NYU Excellence in Teaching award in recognition of his teaching and course development work. From 2011–2014, he served as vice dean for innovation at NYU Stern. His latest book—called The Language of Game Theory: Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games (World Scientific, 2014)—contains eight papers coauthored by Brandenburger and his colleagues over a period of 25 years. Students with whom mbaMission spoke reported being consistently impressed by his capacity to make the complex simple in the classroom, stating that Brandenburger is able to take the “complicated, theoretical and intangible” world of game theory and make it “easy to understand and practical.”

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

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MBA Career News: Leveraging LinkedIn to Network and Research Your Targ [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career News: Leveraging LinkedIn to Network and Research Your Target Companies
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In this new blog series, our mbaMissionCareer Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

Once you have a strong LinkedIn profile that represents your personal brand in a positive way, you are ready to use LinkedIn in your job search. This powerful resource can help you both conduct research on your target companies and network with professionals who can help you advance your career.

Research

  • If you know your long-term career goal but are not certain what steps to take to achieve it, search the LinkedIn profiles of people who have your ideal role today. Look at their backgrounds, skills, and educational experiences, and try to identify trends.
  • If you are trying to understand the key skills required for a specific position, check out the LinkedIn profiles of people in that role and examine their skills section. You can also review job postings in LinkedIn to discover opportunities of interest to which you can apply as well as to learn more about the qualifications that your target firms seek.

  • If you are looking for companies to add to your list of potential employers, search for people who have worked at one of your target firms and see where they worked before or after that company (use the advanced search features).
  • “Follow” your target companies on LinkedIn. This will allow you to read news articles about each firm, gather information about how it represents its brand online, and view the company’s job postings.
Network

  • Tap into the alumni network of your educational institutions (look under the Connections tab → Find Alumni). You can search alumni by keyword and can also see the cities and companies where they work as well as what their job functions are.
  • Identify first- and second-level connections who work at your target firms (or in your target area of interest). Request informational conversations; specify your connection, and explain that you saw their profile, are seeking to make a transition, and would appreciate their advice (15 to 20 minutes of their time). Offer to reciprocate; perhaps you can connect them to somebody in your network.
  • It is not about how big your network is but how strong it is. Review your current LinkedIn connections. Is there anybody with whom you have not connected in a long time? Reconnect with people who work in your areas of interest to learn about their career or with those you think you could help with their career.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via afree 30-minute consultation!

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Take to the Catwalk for Charity at UCLA Ande [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Take to the Catwalk for Charity at UCLA Anderson
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Anderson’s Retail Management Association

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.

In March 2016, UCLA Anderson’s Retail Business Association student club presented the 15th annual Anderson Charity Fashion Show—called “AnderGlam”—with the theme “Black and White.” The show, which was originally created to showcase the “distinct style of Los Angeles,” has grown in popularity and attracts international designers and as many as 400 audience members each year. MBA students (and professors!) take to the catwalk as models, and reportedly, even Dean Olian participates in the event. In recent years, the fashion show has featured such designers as LaRok, Shoshanna, Tadashi, and David Meister, raising thousands of dollars for several nonprofit organizations, including the Special Olympics. The 2016 show gathered funds for Challenge 4 Charity, the school’s largest charity, while the 2014 and 2015 events benefitted Dress for Success Los Angeles, a nonprofit that provides professional attire to disadvantaged women.

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of B [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

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Corporate connections are a major selling point at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Located in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the school offers its MBA students access to a large network of corporate representatives and recruiters—from the 21 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the area to a global university alumni base in excess of 110,000. One highlight of the networking resources Cox provides is its Alumni Association, which has chapters in more than 20 countries.

The Economist ranked Cox’s small, collaborative program 22nd for “potential to network” in 2015. In addition, Entrepreneur magazine has ranked business-friendly Dallas second among U.S. cities for entrepreneurs.

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Friday Factoid: A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2016, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas
The Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, is one of the smaller top MBA programs in the United States, with an average class size of approximately 250. Despite its relatively small size, however, Haas offers a very diverse community, both regionally and professionally. Roughly 40% of each incoming class is made up of international students, and each entering class as a whole reflects a wide array of interests and professional backgrounds. Each of Haas’s incoming classes is divided into smaller groups, called cohorts, and students remain in their cohort for the first semester, taking all core courses together. Within the cohort, students are further divided into study groups. Study group members work together to prepare for presentations and exams as well as to study cases, and these small groups help enhance and reinforce the relationships between classmates. Noted a second-year student with whom mbaMission spoke, “With everyone trying to work out their identity at the start,” the cohort “makes everything less overwhelming.” Indeed, Haas offers a well-defined structure that supports a collaborative community.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at UC Berkeley Haas or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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mbaMission

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