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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Mission Admission: Concerns about Background Checks [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Concerns about Background Checks
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

ROMA: Were you the guy who broke in?

GEORGE: …no.

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

GEORGE: No.

ROMA: You have nothing to hide.

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

ROMA: Yeah. You know who doesn’t?

GEORGE: No, who?

ROMA: Thieves.

-David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross (Screenplay 1992)

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

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

Rest easy…
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What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: What I Learned at…Stanford Graduate School of Business, Part 3
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 the final part of this three-part series, Sandi discusses her path from MBA to CEO, highlighting the aspects of her MBA experience that have proven the most valuable to her as an entrepreneur. (Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.)

Starting a company is an incredibly messy process, the details of which are often forgotten later. Within my first year as a CEO, I fired two team members for cause, changed the company name three times and made one complete pivot. I also launched two different products, taught myself to code well enough to launch a minimally viable product, participated in an intense three-month accelerator program called TechStars Seattle and raised over $1M from investors, including from fellow GSB alumni. All of this is normal in early-stage companies.

I used to joke that being a CEO was the easiest thing in the world—all you had to do was quit your job. In reality, one of the hardest parts of being CEO is that I am constantly changing job functions and taking on roles in which I have had very little experience, from fundraising to coding to sales.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that business comes down to relationships. The Stanford GSB excels at building those relationships among students, as well as providing the tools to strengthen those networks post-graduation.

What is particularly great about Stanford is its emphasis on experiential learning. Applying many of the principles learned in “Touchy Feely” (see Part 2 of this series) to the workplace, I learned much more about team dynamics, my own management style and how to have difficult conversations (e.g., firing) in such courses as “High Performance Leadership.” Another class that stands out in my mind is “Leadership Laboratories,” which places first-year students in small groups to role-play business scenarios, and culminates in various leadership challenges against GSB alumni during the Executive Challenge.

What I also valued about my MBA experience was the ability to gain exposure to a lot of different topics, from sales and operations to finance, marketing and more. As CEO, I switch between these functions every single day. As my company grows (as I hope it will!), I will eventually be able to delegate some of these tasks. But much of a start-up’s success in the early days is doing more with less, and even a basic grasp of the fundamentals has put me ahead of my peers.

The bottom line is that start-ups are all about rapid learning, flexibility and giving yourself an extra edge to stand out from the crowd. Personally, I believe going to Stanford GSB provided me with the best foundation to become the entrepreneur I am today.
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Professor Profiles: Nejat Seyhun, Stephen M. Ross School of [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Nejat Seyhun, Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose 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 highlight a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we profile Nejat Seyhun from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


Known for his work in breaking the story on backdating options for corporate executives in 2006, Nejat Seyhun (“Options and Futures in Corporate Decision Making”) was praised by a second-year student with whom we spoke not only for his technical expertise but also for his willingness to regularly share his thoughts on current events with students. In fact, Seyhun takes the first ten minutes of each class to engage in a dialogue on what is making news in finance and how it could affect his students—from government bailout packages to new regulations. Added the second year, these thoughts “make the class interesting and relevant.”

For more information about Michigan Ross and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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B-School Chart of the Week: How Many Kellogg MBAs Actually G [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: How Many Kellogg MBAs Actually Go into Marketing?
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 Kellogg School of Management has a long-held and unparalleled reputation as a “marketing school,” but an examination of its employment data reveals a trend that many aspiring MBAs may find surprising. The breakdown of Kellogg’s top employers and the job functions in which its graduates entered positions tells the story of a diversified school with a demonstrated strength in (surprise!) … consulting. In fact, approximately twice as many graduates entered roles with a consulting function in the last three years as entered ones with a marking function (38% versus 17% in 2013, 40% versus 20% in 2012 and 40% versus 19% in 2011). In addition, marketing was surpassed by finance in 2013, with the latter job function attracting 18% of the graduating class.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: A Family Affair at HBS [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: A Family Affair at HBS
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.

Nearly 30% of Harvard Business School (HBS) students have registered partners, and approximately 15% have children. Partners can register with MBA Student and Academic Services for the MBA Partner Program and/or join the Partners Club, which helps significant others integrate into life at HBS, providing opportunities to meet socially, attend HBS-sponsored partner events, join HBS clubs and enjoy campus services. HBS partners are provided with their own email accounts and identification cards and given access to the Partners’ Web site and Career Services. Crimson Kids is the portion of the Partners Club devoted to children, and it organizes activities such as play groups and seasonal parties, and also publishes a PDF each year with information on resources necessary to family life, such as hospitals, day care options, kid-friendly attractions and schools.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at HBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Environmental sustainability and social impact are becoming increasingly important components of MBA programs. The is leading the way to more ethically oriented business training, with all 20 of its required core courses and more than 140 electives involving social, ethical or environmental components. Relevant class offerings include “Ethical Leadership,” “Sustainable Enterprise,” “Ethics in Finance and Banking” and “Examination of Sustainability.” From orientation to graduation, students enjoy ample opportunities to participate in community outreach. The school has two ethics centers, a faculty whose recent research explores such topics as how carbon emissions relate to firm value and an Interterm Intensive session, during which students can immerse themselves in corporate social responsibility issues.
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Friday Factoid: A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas
The Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley is one of the smaller top MBA programs in the United States, with an average class size of only 250 (compared with more than 900 at Harvard Business School, for example). Despite its small size, however, Haas offers a very diverse community, both regionally and professionally. Roughly 30%–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 four cohorts of 60 students each, and students remain in their cohort, taking all core courses together, for the first semester. Within the cohort, students are further divided into study groups of five. 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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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoid Mentioning Rankings [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Avoid Mentioning Rankings
In their essays and interviews, business school candidates should thoroughly explain their interest in a specific program by developing and presenting arguments that center on the school’s academic and environmental attributes (e.g., research institutes, professors, experiential learning opportunities, classes, pedagogies)—but applicants should definitely not refer to the school’s position in the various MBA rankings as a reason for applying. Although applicants, administrators, students and alumni all pay tremendous attention to rankings, within a candidate’s application, the topic is entirely taboo.

Why is this? Rankings are a measure of a school’s reputation and tend to fluctuate from year to year. By citing rankings, you indicate that you could (or would) be dissatisfied by a drop in your target program’s prestige as conveyed by such rankings—a drop that would be out of the school’s control and that, from that institution’s perspective, could ostensibly put your relationship as a future student (and later as an alumnus/alumna) at risk. Further, MBA programs want to be sure that you are attracted to their various academic offerings and that you have profound professional needs that they can satisfy. Rankings, however, are superficial, and referencing them in your application materials undermines the profundity of your research and motives.
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Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentenc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

We write our title in jest, but many MBA aspirants feel that the business school admissions committees have essentially sentenced them to community service in much the same way a judge would sentence a petty criminal to perform volunteer work. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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

As you consider your options for community involvement (and we hope you have begun doing so long before now), be sure to choose a cause or group about which you are passionate and to which you can commit yourself entirely. By dedicating yourself to an organization about which you are sincerely enthusiastic (just as you would in choosing a job), you will naturally find yourself in situations that will lend themselves to quality essays and powerful recommendations.
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Forte MBA Women’s Leadership Conference [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Forte MBA Women’s Leadership Conference
We are pleased to let you know about the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, this June 20-21, 2014 on the UCLA Anderson Business School Campus. The conference is open to women at Forté Sponsor Schools and brings together current MBA students for professional development and networking. If you are a rising first year, it is a great chance to begin building a network of professionals within your school and beyond. If you are a rising second year, it is a great chance to give your full time job search a boost.

This year’s conference theme is “Build Your Career with Confidence” and we are happy to announce that our very own Angela Guido, mbaMission Senior Consultant and Co Founder of MBA Career Coaches will be leading three different sessions. Please join her at this year’s conference to learn how to build spontaneous connections that last in a networking environment and sell your successes and talk powerfully about failures in your interviews! If you would like to learn more about how an MBA Career Coach can help you advance your career and enhance your internship recruiting process, full time job search, or in-role performance, please email info@mbacareercoaches.com for a free consultation.

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Dean Profiles: Peter Henry, New York University’s Stern Scho [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: Peter Henry, New York University’s Stern School of Business
Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership is often reflective of an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Each month, we will be profiling the dean of a top-ranking program. Today, we focus on Peter Henry from the Stern School of Business.

In January 2010, Peter Henry took over as dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business (replacing Thomas Cooley). A native of Jamaica, Henry came to the school from the Stanford GSB, where he was an international economics professor and served as associate director of the GSB’s Center for Global Business and the Economy. A January 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek article on Henry’s hiring projected that the new dean would face considerable challenges at Stern in his efforts to diversify a school with such strong ties to Wall Street. The article described Henry as anxious to expand Stern’s reach beyond finance so that students would also consider careers “from those in public policy and emerging markets to more traditional roles in sectors such as marketing and media and entertainment.” Henry, whose research explores emerging economies, told Bloomberg Businessweek, “At Stern we want to create leaders who say it is a corporate imperative that we train people who are as comfortable in the Middle East as they are in Manhattan.”

Henry told Bloomberg Businessweek back in January 2010, “Let’s imagine what the possibilities are for our students and the kind of world we might create with a broad-based view … Let’s train the best people and see where the opportunities arise,” And students with whom we spoke seemed to appreciate Henry’s approach. One second-year student in particular told us, “I chose Stern because of Dean Henry’s vision to show what a business school can do to educate and prepare its students to think creatively about creating value—both for business and society—in the 21st century.”

“People like him a lot,” a first year we interviewed commented about Dean Henry. “He’s a great person, and it seems that he actually cares about the students. A good example is he takes the stairs up to the 11th floor every day. He doesn’t walk over to the elevator, pop in the elevator, and take it up and not say hi to anyone; he takes the stairs so he can talk to students on his way up to his office.” He added, “There’s a couch in his office, and he will literally talk to you about whatever you want to talk about.”

For more information about NYU Stern and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Beer Blast at NYU Stern [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Beer Blast at NYU Stern
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.

Beer Blast—a weekly party that takes place every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business—is held in the basement of the school’s Henry Kaufman Management Center (in one of the recently renovated lounge areas) and the adjacent Sosnoff Lounge. The gathering provides an opportunity for students to relax, interact and get to know one another. A second year told mbaMission that Beer Blast affords students the opportunity “to mingle once a week,” noting that “business school is about networking more than anything else.” Asserting that Beer Blast “is one of the best things about Stern,” a first year with whom we spoke explained, “It’s an opportunity for students to unwind at the end of the week and hang out with their classmates in a social setting. Fun fact: Beirut and flip cup are played.” After Beer Blast ends at 10:00 p.m., Sternies typically head to a local bar to continue the party.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at NYU Stern and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper Sc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper 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.

Students aspiring to sharpen their analytic and quantitative skills are well served at . Boasting a faculty that includes eight Nobel Prize winners, Tepper has pioneered “management science,” a supplement to traditional case studies that draws on more scientific—rather than historical—strategies to complex business decision making. Management science depends on tools such as computer modeling, organizational behavior and economic theory.

In addition to this overall “quant” emphasis in its curriculum, Tepper offers a unique joint MBA/MS degree in computational finance for students who are deeply driven by quantitative analysis. The five-semester-long Master of Computational Finance program curriculum is “specifically designed for individuals with strong quantitative backgrounds seeking leadership positions within the financial services industry,” states the school’s Web site. Students are immersed in highly focused computational analysis, examining different theories of finance, stochastic calculus modeling and statistical methodologies, in addition to the managerial skills they learn in the MBA program’s marketing, strategy, communications and operations courses. While schools such as Wharton, Chicago Booth and Columbia may garner a higher rank for careers in finance, few programs offer such uniquely intensive academic resources for a specialization in quantitative analysis.
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Friday Factoid: International Opportunities at UCLA Anderson [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: International Opportunities at UCLA Anderson
Although UCLA Anderson might not be as well known internationally as other top-ranked U.S. business schools, it has invested in the development of resources dedicated to international business. International courses include “International Business Economics,” “Business Forecasting for Foreign Economics” and “Business and Economics in Emerging Markets,” which explores market reform processes in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, paying particular attention to issues such as privatization, political and economic risk and global competitiveness.

Meanwhile, approximately 50-60 second-year Anderson MBAs spend one quarter studying abroad via an international study exchange with one of the school’s 30 partner institutions around the world. Among others, students may study at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and Wits Business School in South Africa. Most students take courses in English, though some international exchange programs offer opportunities to learn and study in other languages. UCLA Anderson students interested in improving their skills in a foreign language while on campus can take language courses in Korean, Chinese, Spanish or French.

Indeed, at Anderson, international opportunities (quietly) abound…

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at UCLA Anderson or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA News: A Philosophical Side to Business School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: A Philosophical Side to Business School
Increasingly, business education seems to be embracing a bigger picture. Alongside other discussion this week surrounding the merits of teaching Plato to plumbers, an article in The Wall Street Journal asks whether philosophy and abstract thinking may hold relevance to MBAs. The London Business School’s new “Nobel Thinking” elective, for example, invites business students to study the origins of revolutionary economic theories developed by Nobel Prize winners. At the University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration, students are supplementing case studies with anthropological insights. In a similar spirit, the Copenhagen Business School plans on growing its master of science in business administration and philosophy program to attract more international students.

This emphasis on studying ideas beyond the traditional realm of business not only allows future business leaders to draw upon more varied theoretical perspectives, but offers them a unique opportunity to ask important critical questions. “Courses like ‘Why Capitalism?’ and ‘Thinking about Thinking,’ and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context,” explains the article, adding, “Expect more abstract ideas in business schools soon.”
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MBA News: Wharton-quality Education without the Cost [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Wharton-quality Education without the Cost
The price tag and exclusivity of earning a degree from a top business school is unlikely to change any time soon. But MBA-quality education has in recent years become widely available online—tuition free. Leading the way on this front is the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, launched its first massive open online course (MOOC) in 2012 and has since set itself apart by offering “a taste of academic life at the elite institution” to more than one million participants. For a mere $49 registration fee to use the Coursera platform, anyone with access to a computer can benefit from foundational business curricula taught by Wharton faculty members.

Most other top-ranked schools have been slow to embrace the MOOC model, but Wharton will reportedly expand its online offerings to include 15 different courses by the end of the year. “Giving content away free of charge isn’t cheapening Wharton’s brand,” the school’s administrators say, adding that shifting a large portion of MBA content online “will allow for more immersive, in-person instruction that differentiates the degree program, such as lengthy global trips or independent entrepreneurship study.”
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B-School Chart of the Week: The Hidden Cost of Housing [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: The Hidden Cost of Housing
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.

With so many factors to consider when contemplating which business school is right for you, housing may present a hidden cost that can be easily overlooked when comparing programs. The cost differential between renting in a Midwestern college town and renting near Greenwich Village in New York City, for example, can be significant—more than $50,000 on a cumulative basis across two years. So how does each business school fare on the issues of affordable housing?

We spoke with students and examined market prices at a variety of top programs and identified economical one-bedroom apartments (after all, the sky is the limit in New York) in locations that are either popular among students or close to campus. Our list is thus a representative approximation of the lower end of monthly rental costs that one might encounter when attending each program. We then calculated the cumulative price differential between the cheapest housing option (at Michigan Ross) and all others, across two-year programs. As you will see in our chart, the savings can be significant!

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