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Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2016, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller 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.

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The Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech may rival MIT Sloan and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business with respect to its focus on the direct application of Internet technology to global business problems. The school’s rather small (approximately 60–80 students each year) and innovation-focused program was nevertheless ranked 23rd among full-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2015.

Situated in the heart of Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta, Scheller offers students numerous networking and innovation resources within the city’s high-tech business community, including the Advanced Technology Development Center business incubator. In addition, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, or EI2, bills itself as “the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development” on its Web site and provides students with resources for career options at the intersection of business and technology. As an indicator of the school’s overall strengths in information technology and operations management, a large portion of Scheller’s student body tends to come from science, technology, engineering, and math backgrounds (50% of the Class of 2017, for example).

The post Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College 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
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Friday Factoid: Facilities at Duke Fuqua [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Facilities at Duke Fuqua
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The Fuqua School of Business is located on Duke University’s West Campus near the intersection of Science Drive and Towerview Drive. Students often congregate in the Fox Center, a 70,000-square-foot facility that was built in 2002. Linking the main wings of the school and featuring a café, enormous windows, and a spacious indoor winter garden, the Fox Center is the hub of the school. Students can eat breakfast and lunch there, grab a coffee, conduct team meetings, or just take a breather between classes or during the 15-minute break in each class period. In August 2008, Fuqua opened the 91,000-square-foot Doug and Josie Breeden Hall, the “new front door of the School for students and visitors,” as it was described in the student newspaper, the Fuqua Bulletin. Named after former dean Douglas Breeden (2001–2006), the building boasts a three-story atrium, two auditoriums (which seat 126 and 146 people), the expanded Ford Library, three 70-seat lecture rooms, and a suite of team rooms. All told, Fuqua’s campus covers nearly 500,000 square feet, with 58 team rooms, ten classrooms, and seven seminar rooms. In 2015, the school undertook a major renovation project for the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, turning it into the JB Duke Hotel. Once completed in early 2017, the hotel will encompass the conference center as well as more than 90,000 extra square feet, including a ballroom and nearly 200 hotel guest rooms.

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

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

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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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MBA News: Ross School of Business Launches New 104,000-Square-Foot Bui [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Ross School of Business Launches New 104,000-Square-Foot Building
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Image via BusinessWire

Students and faculty at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business received a special treat recently as the school unveiled its new 104,000-square-foot building, the Jeff T. Blau Hall. The building’s namesake, who is the CEO of real estate development firm Related Companies, donated $10M toward the establishment of the hall. Students can take advantage of the nine new classrooms, while such staff departments as finance, human resources, and operations will have their home in the six-floor building.

Blau commended the effect he believes the facilities will have on the school’s reputation and sense of unity: “The construction project completes a vision of a unified business school complex,” he said at the unveiling event, continuing: “[The facilities] are specifically designed to encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation among our students and our staff—and in doing that, they help keep our school among the very best in the world.”

The post MBA News: Ross School of Business Launches New 104,000-Square-Foot Building 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
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2016, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay
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In the past, we have discussed how challenging competing against a faceless mass of fellow applicants can be and how disadvantaged a person can feel if he/she does not seize every opportunity to do so. Although we want you to make the most of every possible chance to set yourself apart, you also need to be judicious in choosing those opportunities. Some can actually work against you and thereby turn into negatives. Allow us to elaborate…

Every applicant does not have to write the optional essay, and by neglecting to write it, you are not at a disadvantage. The essay is an opportunity for you to discuss problems that the admissions committee will likely notice in your profile, and this essay can allow you to “get ahead of the scandal,” so to speak. So, if you earned an F grade, had a bad semester in college, received a low GMAT score, or have been dismissed from a position, you should write the optional essay to address the issue proactively. Similarly, if you are applying with a partner and the admissions committee may not know, you might want to use the optional essay to inform them of this relevant and potentially interesting information.

MBA candidates have many reasons for writing the optional essay, but you should absolutely not feel that you need to write it. If you have nothing to explain and have generally performed well, do not use this opportunity to submit an essay from a different school just to fill the space or write a new essay repackaging your strengths. If you have nothing new or important to share, you are in an advantageous position and should take a step back and appreciate it, not fret.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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GMAT Impact: What the GMAT Really Tests [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: What the GMAT Really Tests
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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The GMAT is not a math test. Nor is it a grammar test. Sure, you have to know something (well, a lot of things!) about these topics to get a good score, but this exam is really testing your executive reasoning skills.

The term might be unfamiliar, but you already have—and use—these skills every day. Consider:

You arrive at work in the morning and think about all of the things that you could do that day. You cannot get it all done, so which things will have to wait until this afternoon or tomorrow or next week? Which one thing should you start working on first?

You have a choice between working on Project X or Project Y. Project Y will result in about 5% more revenue to the company, but Project Y will also take 50% longer. Which do you do?

None of those decisions are easy ones (and many would likely require more information than I gave in the little scenario). This complex decision making is exactly what a good executive needs to be able to do well—and this is what the test writers and business schools actually care about.

How does that help me take the test?

A great decision maker has both expertise and experience: she has thought about how to make various kinds of decisions, and she has actually practiced and refined these decision-making processes. While the clock is ticking, she does not hesitate to make a decision and move forward, knowing that she is going to be leaving some opportunities behind.

If you know how the GMAT works, and you know what kinds of trade-offs to think about when deciding how to spend your time, then you can learn how to make the best decisions to maximize your score.

Okay, how does the GMAT work?

Glad you asked. I talk to students nearly every day who tell me that they just cannot give up on a question, or they figure that, if they “know” they can get something right, they might as well take the time to get it right, even when that means running out of time later on.

(Note: I put “know” in question marks there because… well, you do not really know. In fact, the longer we spend, the more likely we are to get stuff wrong.)

So here is what you need to do: you need to grow up.

I am not saying “Oh, grow up!” in a harsh way. I am saying that you need to graduate from school. The way that we were trained to do things in school is often not the way things work in the real world. You already know this—you learned it when you got out into the working world.

In school, you are supposed to do what the professors assign. At work, you are supposed to think for yourself.

So get yourself out of school. Graduate to the real world. Approach the GMAT as a test of your business ability and decision-making skills.

Graduation day

If you can graduate to the business mind-set, you will have a much better shot at hitting your goal score. If you stick with the “school” mind-set, then you are almost certainly not going to get the score you want.

So, first, keep reminding yourself that the GMAT is a decision-making test, not an academic test. React accordingly.

Next, the two articles In It to Win It and But I Studied This – I Should Know How to Do It! will also help you make this mental switch.

Follow those up by educating yourself on the subject of time management. Great businesspeople know how to manage their time and make trade-off decisions; great GMAT test takers have this same skill.

Finally, remember that your ability to get better hinges on your ability to analyze your own thought processes and the test questions themselves. Your goal is not academic. Your goal is to learn how to think.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Introduce Without an Introduction [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Introduce Without an Introduction
Most high school students in the United States are taught to write essays that have a formal introduction, a body that supports that introduction, and a conclusion that reinforces the main point presented in the introduction. Although this approach and structure yield easily comprehensible academic work, business school application essays are constrained by word count—so candidates often must use alternative, less lengthy openings because they do not have the luxury of “wasting” 100 words to introduce their topic.

We recommend sometimes using the “non-introduction” introduction, depending on the context and pace of your story. If you have a gripping opener that places your reader in the middle of a scenario, we suggest you launch right into your story to grab and keep the reader’s attention.

Consider this traditional introduction:

“Throughout my career, I have strived to continuously learn and develop as a manager, frequently taking enrichment courses, seizing mentorship opportunities, and seeking frank feedback from my superiors. When my firm staffed me on its $4.5M Oregon Project (our highest-profile product launch in a decade), I considered it a tremendous opportunity to deliver and never imagined that it would become the greatest test of my managerial abilities. When I arrived in Portland, I discovered a project deemed so important by our firm that it was overstaffed and wallowing in confused directives from headquarters in Chicago. I quickly surveyed the situation and began to create support for changes to…”

What if this essay, under the pressure of word limits, were to begin with a slightly modified version of the body?

“When I arrived in Portland, I discovered that my firm’s $4.5M Oregon Project—our highest-profile product launch in a decade—was overstaffed and wallowing in confused directives from headquarters in Chicago. I quickly surveyed the situation and began to create support for change…”

In this case, approximately 70 words are saved, and the reader is immediately thrust into the middle of the story, learning how the writer jumped into the project and ultimately saved the day. Although the “non-introduction” introduction should not be used for every essay, it can be a valuable tool when applied with discretion.

 

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Introduce Without an Introduction appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Ash & Anvil Co-Founder and CEO Steven Mazur’s Quest to Offer “Shorter  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Ash & Anvil Co-Founder and CEO Steven Mazur’s Quest to Offer “Shorter Guy Clothes”
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Steven Mazur, Co-Founder & CEO of Ash & Anvil

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.

Steven Mazur is a true entrepreneur at heart and has an impeccable eye for noticing disruptions in supply and demand. At the age of 14, he sold paintball supplies after coming across an online forum where players discussed having trouble finding specific accessories. For Mazur’s latest endeavor, Ash & Anvil, the “aha” moment came as his friends remarked about the lack of well-fitting clothing in stores. Mazur and his co-founder launched Ash & Anvil for men who are 5’8” tall or shorter. Tune in to the podcast episode to hear Mazur describe how everything fell into place, discussing these details and more:

  • How a “math and science nerd” became interested in men’s fashion
  • What his two-year Venture for America fellowship after college taught Mazur
  • Why many people thought he and his co-founder were crazy when the entrepreneurs initially described the idea of Ash & Anvil
Subscribe to the podcast series to hear stories like Mazur’s as they are released!

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 1
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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In recent weeks, many candidates have received a response from MBA admissions committees that can sometimes be far more frustrating than a rejection: “You have been placed on our waitlist.” What should you do when your status is uncertain? The first and most important thing is to listen to the admissions committee. If the committee tells you not to send follow-up material of any sort, then do not yield to temptation and send material that you think will bolster your case. If you misguidedly choose to do so after being specifically instructed not to, you will most definitely identify yourself in a negative way—not the type of message you want to send to the group that will decide your fate.

Does this rule have any exceptions? Yes, actually. If you know a current student or an alumnus/alumna who can tactfully, diplomatically, and independently work on your behalf, you can have this third party write a letter to or otherwise contact the admissions committee in support of your candidacy. But again, this is acceptable only if this individual truly understands the delicate nature of the interaction. If you have no such person on your side, you will have to wait patiently, as difficult as that may be.

Next week: How to respond to admissions committees that do accept additional information.

The post Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 1 appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2016: What to Expect and How to Prepare [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2016: What to Expect and How to Prepare
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The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania plans to send out interview invitations on November 2, and once again the school is using its team-based discussion format to evaluate MBA candidates, in place of a traditional business school admissions interview. Understandably, Wharton applicants get anxious about this atypical interview, because the approach creates a very different dynamic from what one usually encounters in a one-on-one meeting—and with other applicants also in the room, one cannot help but feel less in control of the content and direction of the conversation. Yet despite the uncertainty, here are a few things that interviewees can expect:

  • You will need to arrive at the interview with an idea—a response to a challenge that will be presented in your interview invitation.
  • Having the best idea is much less important than how you interact with others in the group and communicate your thoughts. So while you should prepare an idea ahead of time, that is only part of what you will be evaluated on.
  • Your peers will have prepared their ideas as well. Chances are that ideas will be raised that you know little or nothing about. Do not worry! The admissions committee members are not measuring your topical expertise. Instead, they want to see how you add to the collective output of the team.
  • After the team-based discussion, you will have a short one-on-one session with someone representing Wharton’s admissions team. More than likely, you will be asked to reflect on how the team-based discussion went for you; this will require self-awareness on your part.

To give candidates the opportunity to undergo a realistic test run before experiencing the actual event, we created our Team-Based Discussion Simulation. Via this simulation, applicants participate anonymously with three to five other MBA candidates in an online conversation, which is moderated by two of our experienced Senior Consultants familiar with Wharton’s format and approach. All participants then receive feedback on their performance, with special focus on their interpersonal skills and communication abilities. The simulation builds confidence by highlighting your role in a team, examining how you communicate your ideas to—and within—a group of (equally talented) peers, and discovering how you react when you are thrown “in the deep end” and have to swim. Our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation allows you to test the experience so you will be ready for the real thing!

The 2016-2017 Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation schedule is as follows:

  • Group A: Saturday, November 5 at 10:00 AM ET
  • Group B: Saturday, November 5 at 12:00 PM ET
  • Group C: Sunday, November 6 at 12:00 PM ET
  • Group D: Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM ET
  • Group E: Monday, November 7 at 6:00 PM ET
  • Group F: Monday, November 7 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Group G: Tuesday, November 8 at 6:00 PM ET
  • Group H: Wednesday, November 9 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Group I: Thursday, November 10 at 6:00 PM ET
  • Group J: Friday, November 11 at 2:00 PM ET
  • Group K: Friday, November 11 at 4:00 PM ET
  • Group L: Saturday, November 12 at 10:00 AM ET
  • Group M: Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 PM ET
  • Group N: Monday, November 14 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Group O: Tuesday, November 15 at 9:00 PM ET
To learn more or sign up for a session, visit our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation page.

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

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Professor Profiles: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2016, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
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 Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School (HBS).Image

With research interests in the areas of technology management and innovation management, Clayton Christensen (MBA ’79, DBA ’92) joined the HBS faculty in 1992, after having cofounded CPS Technologies (where he was chairman and president) in 1984, working as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group (1979–1984), and serving as a White House Fellow (1982–1983). Christensen’s “Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise” course is an elective he designed that shows students how to manage a successful company using theories of strategy and innovation to better understand which tools may be effective in various business situations. Students address such questions as “How can I beat powerful competitors?” and “How can we create and sustain a motivated group of employees?”

In 2010, Christensen, who is the author of numerous books—including The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business (Harvard Business Review Press, 1997), The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (McGraw-Hill, 2008), and How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperBusiness, 2012)—received an Extraordinary Teaching Award from the HBS Class of 2010 as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. In both 2011 and 2013, Thinkers50, a ranking released every two years by the consulting group CrainerDearlove, named Christensen the World’s Most Influential Business Thinker, and in 2015, he received an Edison Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of innovation.

For more information on the 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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Georgetown McDonough Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2016, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Georgetown McDonough Essay Analysis, 2016–2017
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Some applicants may be happy to learn that Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has dropped its rather intimidating “Why you?” essay prompt that we imagine gave some candidates trouble last application season. However, that relief may be short-lived when they learn that the school has added a video essay component, not to mention that the scope of the school’s first essay question is almost as broad as last year’s. Still, we appreciate the (relative) freedom that McDonough offers candidates to really share who they are beyond the statistics and other facts presented in the rest of their application and encourage you to embrace this opportunity to stand out to the admissions committee. We offer our ideas and advice for how to accomplish this—and to respond to the school’s optional essays—in our analysis that follows.

We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

Essay One: We would like to learn more about you. Please answer the following essay question in 500 words or less: What matters to you? Please share an experience from your past that illustrates why this matters to you and how it will enable you to contribute during your MBA Program (note: this does not necessarily need to be related to your professional goals).

We take for granted that most people who choose to pursue an MBA have big goals for themselves on the career front, but we also assume that such ambitious, dedicated, and focused individuals have passions that drive and inspire them outside the workplace as well. McDonough obviously does, too, and is offering candidates this prompt as a way to share this aspect of their personality, whether it is rooted in their personal life or tied directly to their career. Start brainstorming for this essay by asking yourself the school’s core question here: What does matter most to you? This might sound obvious, of course, but we have seen many applicants get flustered by the question, believing that an actual “right” answer exists that they must identify to satisfy the admissions committee. As a result, they do not take the time to truly consider what their most sincere response would be. Start by really contemplating this question in depth and identifying what you believe are the most significant moments and achievements in your life. Then, explore the psychological and philosophical motivations both behind and resulting from these moments. You will likely begin to see some kind of theme or commonality emerge. This could be the crux of your essay.

You need to accomplish three things in this essay in not a lot of space: identify what is important (e.g., a belief, issue, place, person, cause, activity), support this claim with a meaningful example, and explain how it equips you to be a valuable member of the McDonough community either inside or outside the classroom. So, once you have identified your main theme, choose which of the incidents you pinpointed during your brainstorming session best illustrates or substantiates that theme. Your presentation of this story must intrinsically convey the reason your selected topic is so significant in your life. Avoid explicitly declaring, “The reason this matters most to me is…” and instead ensure that your description of your actions, motivations, feelings, and thoughts impart that message more organically.

Do not overlook that the school also asks you to elucidate how this aspect of your character has prepared you to add value in some way to the McDonough MBA experience. To effectively address this element of the essay prompt, you must develop a thorough understanding of the program and community—well beyond what you can readily find on the school’s Web site. Connect with students and alumni, visit the campus if you can, read through blogs and news stories, and evaluate the school’s special events, offerings, and resources until you find a related opportunity or avenue that speaks to you and ignites your enthusiasm. The authenticity inherent in this portion of your submission will ensure that your essay not only has a stronger impact but is also easier to write.

Video Essay:  We ask that you prepare a one-minute video, upload it to an accessible website (such as Youtube, Vimeo, Youku, or Tudou), and submit the direct video URL into your online application. Please introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort. Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

McDonough’s new video essay is yet another opportunity for you to offer the school a glimpse into your character and personality. As the prompt says, this is a chance to “bring life to your application,” so your focus should be on ensuring that it as authentic and natural as possible. This is not a job interview, and the school specifically states that you should consider your future cohort—your fellow students—as your intended audience, which certainly implies that a less rigid and traditionally “professional” demeanor is okay, though we of course caution you to always be appropriate and inoffensive. Do not use the video as an opportunity to pitch your candidacy or to pander to the school. This is not the time to detail your career goals or express your admiration for the program. You have only one minute in which to make an impression, and even without knowing you personally, we are confident in our belief that you have more to your character than can be conveyed in a mere 60 seconds—so do not waste any of them!

Given that this is a video, you will obviously need to think beyond what you will say and consider the clothing you will wear, the setting or background of your video, your tone of voice, your language style, whether you will include music, and a host of other details. Brainstorm ways of nonverbally communicating some of your strongest attributes and key aspects of your life to help permeate your submission with as much information as possible. For example, if you are an avid biker, consider using a GoPro or similar camera to film your video while you are actively riding. If you are a dedicated guitar player, perhaps strum your guitar as you speak (or, if you are especially confident, you could even sing about yourself!). Think about what makes you who you are today, decide what you most want to share with your future classmates, and then let your creativity flow.

On a practical note, be sure to speak clearly in your video. You naturally do not want any part of your message to be lost or misunderstood, and the admissions committee may view your communication skills and style as indicators of how you might interact with your classmates and/or speak in the classroom. Spend some time practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, but do not overrehearse. You still want to come across as genuine and natural.

Optional Essay One: If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

With this question, McDonough wants to know that you are actively engaged in your life—that you are a do-er who seeks out and seizes opportunities. You do not necessarily need to be working in the traditional sense to have an effective answer to this prompt (note that the school asks about your current “activities”). Perhaps you are taking classes to gain or improve skills in an area important to you professionally or personally. You could be performing community service in your area or volunteering for a cause that is meaningful to you. Maybe you are taking advantage of the break to enjoy extra personal time with friends or family members, possibly in anticipation of how busy you will be once you are enrolled in business school or because of a medical issue. Perhaps you are traveling to improve your foreign language skills in an immersive environment or simply to better familiarize yourself with other cultures and environments. You might be arranging informational interviews, job-shadowing opportunities, and/or unpaid internships, which could help later with recruiting and job selection.

The bottom line is that you want to show the school that you are not merely sitting idle, waiting for things to come to you, and that you understand the kinds of opportunities that appeal to and/or are beneficial for you. This is a chance to demonstrate your interest in ongoing self-improvement, knowledge or experience collection, and/or giving back. Whatever your longer-term goals and plans may be, use this essay to convey how you anticipate your experience(s) to contribute to your character, enhance your skill set, and/or increase your understanding of yourself or others—all of which are valuable in business school.

Optional Essay Two: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

We tend to believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, and this prompt offers an opportunity to do just that. However, because McDonough does not stipulate that you can only discuss a problem area in this essay, you have some leeway to share anything you feel is that you think may be pivotal or particularly compelling. So, if you need to, this is your chance to address any questions an admissions officer might have about your profile—a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on how best to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

However, because the question can be interpreted rather broadly, it does open the door for you to discuss anything that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel is truly critical for the admissions committee to know to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively. We caution you about simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. Remember, by submitting an additional essay, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you need to make sure that time is warranted. If you are using the essay to emphasize something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, take this opportunity to write a very brief narrative that reveals this key new aspect of your candidacy.

Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

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. McDonough 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 McDonough 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.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Kellogg Ski Trip [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: The Kellogg Ski Trip
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

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True to Kellogg’s reputation for fostering a robust community, the school’s annual Ski Trip is typically attended by a remarkable 750 or more first- and second-year students. According to a second year we interviewed, “Kellogg’s ski trip was the first and remains the biggest of its kind. Like everything else at Kellogg, the trip is student run [from] logistics to marketing to sponsorship. First- and second-year students work together to make it an unforgettable weeklong adventure.” Participating students have traveled to such destinations as Whistler, Canada (2016), Park City, Utah (2015), Jackson Hole, Wyoming (2014), and Breckenridge, Colorado (2013). Students who wish to ski can avail themselves of three-, four-, or even five-day passes, while nonskiers can enjoy such activities as cooking classes, snowshoe lessons, and spa treatments (at reduced prices). The evenings feature theme parties, such as an annual ’80s party.

“The entire event is a phenomenon,” continued the second year. “It’s a great break for everyone […] as first years blow off steam from their hectic initial quarter, while second years immerse themselves in their final ski trip.” Noting that all the spaces for the trip were claimed in just 20 minutes one year, another second year provided the following advice in a personal blog post: “You have to know you want to go and sign up early before the trip sells out, which happens every year.” A first year with whom we spoke expressed how impressed she was with Kellogg’s ski club for “planning the best week of business school for 800 people!” She added that Ski Trip is simply not to be missed: “It’s all of your closest friends, taking over a ski town for one full week with amazing parties and social activities (many of which are sponsored)!”

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

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Diamonds in the Rough: Public and Nonprofit MBA at Boston University [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2016, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Public and Nonprofit MBA at Boston University
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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.

Since 1973, the Boston University Questrom School of Business (formerly the School of Management) has offered a Public & Nonprofit MBA (PNP), specifically designed to cultivate business management skills that can make a real difference in the world. Standing at 57th among U.S. MBA programs in the The Economist’s 2016 rankings, Questrom exposes PNP students to a robust general management core curriculum and also offers specialized courses and resources targeting the governmental, public, and private nonprofit sectors. In addition, the PNP program maintains partnerships with high-profile nonprofit organizations, through which scholarship opportunities, enrollment deferral, and application fee waivers are available to students interested in gaining work experience with these affiliations.

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Friday Factoid: “Doing Business in…” at NYU Stern [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: “Doing Business in…” at NYU Stern
For candidates seeking global immersion during their MBA experience, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business provides ample opportunity to study abroad, with one- or two-week trips, through its “Doing Business in…” (DBi) program. DBi trips take place between the fall and winter semesters, during spring break, and in May (after classes conclude). Each course (trip) is tailored to its specific locale and includes a mix of lectures given by Stern faculty as well as by local business practitioners and/or government representatives. Complementing the classroom learning are hands-on field experiences at corporate headquarters, factories, ports, development sites, and other such locations. DBi destinations in recent years have included Costa Rica, Spain, Brazil, Singapore, Israel, and Australia, just to name a few. Students who participate in the DBi program gain a new perspective on conducting business in a different culture while making some great memories with fellow “Sternies” along the way.

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

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MBA News: “Super Ranking” of MBA Programs Places Harvard Business Scho [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2016, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: “Super Ranking” of MBA Programs Places Harvard Business School on Top
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Business school and MBA program rankings are followed closely by both hopeful and current students, with such publications as The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and U.S. News & World Report typically considered to offer the most prestigious lists. While treading through the sea of various rankings, however, one might wonder: if the top lists were combined, which school would be number one?

Business and management education Web site Top Management Degrees did just that and examined data from the rankings of Forbes, the Financial Times, Eduniversal, and the three aforementioned publications to rank 450 U.S.-based business schools. Harvard Business School was ranked number one with a score of 99.25 out of 100. Stanford Graduate School of Business came in second with a 95.61 score, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business rounded out the top three with 95.41.

The rest of the top ten included such schools as the Yale School of Management, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Columbia Business School. Some highly prestigious institutions, however, were lower on the list—the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, for example, was ranked 15th overall. Of course, applicants should take all rankings with a grain of salt and, instead of valuing them highly in the decision-making process, approach them as what they actually are—opinions, not truths!

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2016, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools
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You have poured your heart and soul into your business school applications and taken the time to craft the perfect essays. Now, you are eagerly looking forward to finishing up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did to produce your very first one. Encouraged by this claim, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt my Harvard ‘mistake’ essay to answer that one!” or “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an essay on that, so I can just reuse it here. It’s all so easy now!”

Not so fast. First applications usually do take longer to complete than subsequent ones. However, this is not because once you have crafted several essays for one or two schools, you can then simply cut and paste them into other applications, adjust the word count a bit, change a few names here and there, and be done.

Admissions committees spend a lot of time crafting their application questions, thinking carefully about the required word limit and about each component of the questions. Schools pose questions that they believe will draw out specific information that will help them ascertain whether the applicant would be a good fit with their program. Therefore, if you simply paste an essay you previously wrote for School A into the application for School B because you believe the schools’ questions are largely similar, you will most likely miss an important facet of what School B is really asking about. For example, consider these two past questions:

Northwestern Kellogg: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600-word limit)

Dartmouth Tuck: Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (approximately 500 words)

Even though both essay prompts ask you to explore leadership experiences, they certainly do not ask the exact same question. Kellogg wants you to share more than one leadership experience as well as a forward vision of the areas you want to develop while at Kellogg. Tuck, on the other hand, asks about only one leadership experience—your most meaningful leadership experience, in particular—and wants to know what you learned about yourself as a result.

If you were to simply paste your 600-word Kellogg essay as your response to Tuck’s question and cut 75–100 words, its admissions committee would know that you did not answer the question appropriately—a “mistake” and a “failure” are not necessarily the same thing. And believe us, the schools have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in which applicants clearly submitted their “failure” essay for one school in response to another program’s “mistake” question—and vice versa. Understandably, this is not the way to win over the admissions committee. Although you may use the same core story for more than one application essay, take the time to examine that story from the angle proposed by your target school’s question and respond accordingly.

One simple rule will always stand you in good stead: answer the question asked.

The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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GMAT Impact: All About Critical Reasoning, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: All About Critical Reasoning, Part 2
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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In Part 1 of this article, we talked about the overall process for solving Critical Reasoning (CR) problems and reviewed the four major CR question types (the ones that show up the most often on the test).

Now let’s take a look at the five minor types.

The Assumption Family

Assumption Family questions always involve a conclusion. This group consists of five subtypes, two of which are minor types:

FlawThis is the “flip” of Find the Assumption. The author assumes something, but that thing might not be true. What is the flaw in the author’s reasoning?

Evaluate the Argument: What information would help to determine whether the conclusion is more or less likely to be valid?

The Evidence Family

Evidence Family questions really do not have conclusions (never “big” conclusions, like the Assumption arguments, and usually no conclusions at all). This group consists of two subtypes overall, but only one of these is a minor type:

Explain a Discrepancy: The argument contains some surprising information or outcome. Which answer choice provides some new information that clears up this surprising situation?

The Structure Family

Like Assumption questions, Structure questions do involve conclusions. The answer choices are usually in more “abstract” form, discussing characteristics of pieces of the argument. Both question types here are minor types.

Describe the Role: These are also known as boldface. The boldface portion plays what kind of role in the overall argument?

Describe the Argument: These are a variant of the boldface question, and they are so rare that I do not have an article for you. If you are really worried about these, you can take a look at our CR Strategy guide—but my best advice for you is not to worry about these.

Now what? Soon, we will talk about overall CR study strategies based on your scoring goals.

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Information That Is School Specific [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2016, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Information That Is School Specific
In business school application essays, some candidates unintentionally describe their personal experience with a specific MBA program in a vague and general manner. Because they are writing from memory and discussing their authentic experience, they do not realize that they are not being specific enough. Consider the following example:

“During my visit to Cornell Johnson, I was struck by the easygoing classroom discussion, the warmth of the professors, and the time spent by the first-year student who not only toured the facilities with me but also took me out for coffee and asked several of his colleagues to join us.”

Although these statements may in fact be true, the text contains no Cornell-specific language. If the Yale School of Management, Michigan Ross, or the name of any other school were substituted for Cornell Johnson here, the statement would not otherwise change at all, resulting in a weak and generic essay.

In contrast, the following statement could refer only to UVA Darden:

“While on Grounds, I was impressed by Professor Robert Carraway’s easygoing and humorous style as he facilitated a fast-paced discussion of the ‘George’s T-Shirts’ case. Although I admittedly felt dizzied by the class’s pace, I was comforted when I encountered several students reviewing the finer points of the case later at First Coffee. I was impressed when my first-year guide stopped mid-tour to check in with her learning teammate and reinforce the case’s central point. It was then I recognized that this was the right environment for me.”

If you were to substitute the Darden name and even the professor’s name with those of another school and professor, the paragraph would no longer work. Including the Darden-specific information regarding the day’s case, First Coffee, and learning teams ensures that these sentences have a sincere and personal feel and shows that the candidate truly understands what the school is about. This is necessary to craft a compelling personal statement that will catch the admissions committee’s attention.

The post Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Information That Is School Specific appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Texas McCombs Essay Analysis, 2016–2017 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2016, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Texas McCombs Essay Analysis, 2016–2017
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Each year, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin tweaks the wording of its application essay questions just a bit, though the core of what the program hopes to learn from its applicants seems to stay largely the same. For its first essay, McCombs has continued to narrow the scope of the implied intended audience, shifting from one’s entire class (in 2013 and 2014) to one’s cohort of approximately 65 students (in 2015) to one’s study group of four to six classmates. For its second essay, the school has also simplified the query but thankfully retained the essay’s 500-word length. If needed, applicants also have an opportunity to submit an additional essay to share key information not included elsewhere or to explain any sticky issues in their profile. Altogether, candidates should be able to create a multidimensional impression of themselves for the McCombs admissions committee, and with our analysis, we hope to make doing so just a little easier.

Essay 1: The University of Texas at Austin values unique perspectives and cultivates a collaborative environment of distinct individual contributions. It is the first day of orientation. You are meeting your study group, comprised of five of your classmates from various backgrounds. Please introduce yourself to your new team, highlighting what drives you in your personal and professional life. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

Write an essay (250 words) OR  Share a video introduction (one minute)

One of the things that stands out immediately to us when we read this prompt is that McCombs no longer offers the option of submitting an about.me profile as a response, as it has done for at least the past three application seasons. We could find no explanation from the school as to why, though we suspect that the about.me submissions—while no doubt interesting and dynamic in many cases—were not providing the admissions committee with the same level or kind of information it was getting from the other two options, which likely offer more opportunity to cover multiple aspects of a person’s profile within the MBA context. At first glance, the prompt seems to be a simple invitation to “introduce yourself,” but a closer inspection reveals some leading phrases not included in previous years’ questions and that you should definitely consider as you brainstorm for and plan your response:  “collaborative environment,” “distinct individual contributions,” and “classmates from various backgrounds.” To us, these variations indicate the admissions committee’s interest in learning what is distinct or special about you that you believe will enable you to assist your fellow students and enhance the McCombs MBA experience for all. So, you need to convey not only your personality and motivations in just 250 words, but also the value you can bring. But do not be intimidated! You can absolutely accomplish this.

First, determine the format that is more compatible with your personality. If you are the quiet, thoughtful type, an essay may be the better choice; if you are typically the life of the party or a better speaker than writer, you should probably select the video option. Next, start identifying the kind of information you might share by thinking about what you would like to know about your future study group members and would find interesting, helpful, or intriguing. For example, would you consider a classmate’s age or undergraduate institution particularly important or compelling? Probably not, so you should skip mentioning such facts in your own introduction. More likely, you are curious about what your future fellow students do in their spare time, what skills they bring to the table, whether they are approachable/funny/hyperorganized/a risk taker/etc., whether they have extensive experience in a certain area or a more wide-ranging background, and so on.

So think about the aspects of your personality and profile that you believe truly define you as an individual—not just what you do and have done, but who you are—and fully explore your background, hobbies, talents, experiences, values, goals, and quirks. Brainstorm an extensive list and then eliminate any items that seem too common (e.g., a BA in finance) or basic (e.g., your hometown) until you have a collection of truly distinctive qualities you can weave into your response. Your goal is to provide a well-rounded picture of yourself that draws from multiple areas and shows that you possess characteristics and/or knowledge that would make you a positive addition to McCombs’ diverse community.

Remember to bring energy and enthusiasm to your submission. You are not filling out a job application—you are trying to connect with others, so charisma is key, and a less rigid and traditionally “professional” demeanor is okay. Truly imagine yourself in the situation described. If you were meeting a small group of peers, how would you start that conversation? Forego any fancy essay-writing or dramatic tactics (e.g., starting with a quotation, launching into an anecdote) and just be as natural and authentic as possible. Do not pitch your candidacy, detail your career goals, or express your admiration for the program. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so dedicate the time and work necessary to ensure that your introduction is engaging, substantive, and true to who you are.

If you choose to submit a video, think beyond what you will say and also consider the clothing you will wear, the setting or background of your video, your tone of voice, your language style, whether you will include music, and other similar details. Brainstorm ways of nonverbally communicating some of your strongest attributes and key aspects of your life to help permeate your submission with as much information as possible. For example, if you are an avid biker, consider filming your video while you are actively riding. If you are a dedicated musician, perhaps incorporate your instrument into your message by playing it while you speak (if you are especially confident, you might even sing about yourself!). Think about what makes you who you are today, decide what you most want to share with your future classmates, and then let your creativity flow.

On a practical note, be sure to speak clearly in your video. You naturally do not want any part of your message to be lost or misunderstood, and the admissions committee may view your communication skills and style as indicators of how you might interact with your classmates and/or speak in the classroom. Spend some time practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, but do not overrehearse. And definitely do not try to read from an off-camera script or notes (trust us—they will be able to tell!). You want to come across as genuine and natural.

Essay 2: Based on your post-MBA goals and what drives you in your personal and professional life, why is the Texas MBA the ideal program for you and how do you plan to engage in our community? (500 words) [in 2013–2014: In the Texas MBA program we value our tight-knit and highly collaborative culture. Outside of your professional goals, please discuss why you are a good fit with the Texas MBA program and how you intend to impact the Texas MBA community? (250 words)] [2014–2015: In the Texas MBA program, we promote a diverse and collaborative community by providing opportunities for growth in an academically rigorous environment.  Please discuss why McCombs is the right program for you, what you hope to gain from your time in the Texas MBA Program both personally and professionally, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experiences. (500 words)] [2015–2016: The McCombs School of Business is where leadership is earned.  We have an inclusive environment where our dynamic and driven students take an active role in the Texas MBA community.  Please discuss why the Texas MBA is the ideal program for you, what you hope to achieve, and how you will contribute to your classmates’ experience. (500 words)]

McCombs has actually streamlined this essay question a bit from the versions seen in recent years, which is a good thing, in that this might give candidates a little more room in which to present their messages. Still, this prompt includes some implied questions that you will need to address in addition to the overt queries of “why McCombs?” and “how will you engage with our community?,” namely, “what are your post-MBA goals?” and “what drives you in your personal and professional life?”

The school is seeking to understand on several levels why you have selected the McCombs programs in particular. Why is it the most appropriate school for your goals, and why/how does it fit you personally? The assumption is that something you have learned about McCombs makes you feel that the school could provide the experience, knowledge, skills, exposure, and/or other element you feel you need for your long-term aspirations and chosen career. Likewise, something you have discovered leads you to believe that you would fit into the McCombs environment and be comfortable there, that you would be able to be and express the “real” you. So what are those things? All the top MBA programs want to know that the candidates they admit have not applied to them simply because of reputation or ranking; they want to be confident that the applicant is truly excited to be a part of their community and to benefit from their specific learning experience. McCombs is not just looking for warm bodies to fill seats in its classrooms; it is striving to add to a long history of effective global business leaders and a network of alumni dedicated to the school and each other. Demonstrating your authentic interest in the program by offering concrete examples and drawing clear connections between what it offers, what you need, and who you are is key to crafting a compelling essay response here.

If you have targeted McCombs because you feel it is the right program for you, you likely already have an idea of why that is true and how you would function as part of its community. If you do not yet have a handle on these points, you definitely need to start researching the school thoroughly, including interacting directly with students and/or alumni. Identify at least one (ideally more) resource, offering, or quality that McCombs offers that is unique or that it excels in that directly relates to what you need to attain your goals. And you cannot simply offer a list—you must explain how the identified element(s) will fulfill particular needs for you.

At the same time, you must show how you will give back, based on your experience, knowledge, and passion (either professional or personal). Recognize that the school asks why it is “the ideal program for you” rather than the other way around, so your approach should put the focus on the school first and yourself second. By this we mean that rather than saying  “With almost 18 years of experience both on and behind the stage for school and community drama productions, I could bring a real depth of experience to McCombs’s Drama Club that would enhance the group’s offerings,” you should frame the sentiment more like “The Drama Club is appealing to me because I have been working both on and behind the stage since I was 7 years old.”

In some ways, the content for this essay could overlap the content for Essay 1—especially given that the school uses the exact same phrasing of  “what drives you in your personal and professional life” in both prompts—so take care to not cannibalize your message there and repeat any information. We suggest making a plan for Essay 1 and Essay 2 before you move ahead with either one to make sure you have your messages clear for both and that they complement each other effectively.

Optional Statement: Please provide any additional information you believe is important and/or address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, or extenuating personal circumstances). (250 words)

We tend to believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, and this prompt offers an opportunity to do just that. However, because McCombs does not stipulate that you can only discuss a problem area in this essay, you have some leeway to share anything you think may be pivotal or particularly compelling. So, if you need to, this is your chance to address any questions an admissions officer might have about your profile—a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on how best to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

Because the question can be interpreted rather broadly, however, the door is technically open for you to discuss anything that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel is truly critical for the admissions committee to know to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively. We caution you against trying to fill this space simply because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. Remember, by submitting an additional essay, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you need to make sure that time is warranted. If you are using the essay to emphasize something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, take this opportunity to write a very brief narrative that reveals this key new aspect of your candidacy.

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

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

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Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2016, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 2
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

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Last week, we focused on how waitlisted MBA candidates should respond when their target school asks them to not send any follow-up information. This week, we examine waitlist situations in which the school encourages applicants to provide updates on their progress. In the first scenario, the frustration candidates experience derives from a sense of helplessness, but in the second, candidates tend to lament the lack of time in which to have accomplished anything significant, often thinking, “What can I offer the MBA admissions committee as an update? I submitted my application only three months ago!”

First and foremost, if you have worked to target any weaknesses in your candidacy—for example, by retaking the GMAT and increasing your score, or by taking a supplemental math class and earning an A grade—the admissions committee will certainly want to hear about this. Further, if you have any concrete news regarding promotions or the assumption of additional responsibilities in the community sphere, be sure to update the admissions committee on this news as well.

Even if you do not have these sorts of quantifiable accomplishments to report, you should still have some news to share. If you have undertaken any additional networking or have completed a class visit since you submitted your application, you can discuss your continued (or increased) interest; when you are on a waitlist, the admissions committee wants to know that you are passionately committed to the school. If you have not been promoted, you could creatively reflect on a new project that you have started and identify the professional skills/exposure that this project is providing or has provided (for example, managing people off-site for the first time or executing with greater independence). Finally, the personal realm is not off-limits, so feel free to discuss any personal accomplishments—for example, anything from advancing in the study of a language, to visiting a new country, to completing a marathon.

With some thought and creativity, you should be able to draft a concise but powerful letter that conveys your continued professional and personal growth while expressing your sincere and growing interest in the school—all of which will fulfill your goal of increasing your chances of gaining admission.

The post Mission Admission: Waitlist Strategies, Part 2 appeared first on mbaMission - MBA Admissions Consulting.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Kudos [?]: 243 [0], given: 0

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