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Beyond the MBA Classroom: A Family Affair at HBS [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2017, 10:00
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. The partners can register with MBA Student and Academic Services for the MBA Partner Program and/or join the Partners’ Club, which helps students’ 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 given their own email accounts and identification cards as well as access to the Partners’ Web site and Career Services. The Crimson Parents Club is devoted to families with children and organizes activities such as play groups, seasonal parties, speaker series, and parenting seminars.

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

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Diamonds in the Rough: Innovative Opportunities at the Merage School o [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2017, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Innovative Opportunities at the Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine
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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Thanks to its proximity to the Tech Coast, the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, offers significant opportunities for students with an eye toward innovative business. “Whether it’s fashion, interactive entertainment, real estate, medical or biotech,” states the school’s site, “Orange County is where these industries flourish.” Indeed, an emphasis on innovation and business pioneering is built directly into what Merage calls its “visionary curriculum,” supplementing conventional business disciplines with three core, cross-disciplinary areas: Strategic Innovation, Information Technology, and Analytic Decision Making.

In addition, several of Merage’s special course offerings and programs showcase the school’s commitment to putting students in contact with the rapidly shifting face of business. The “EDGE” course, for example, offers a notable opportunity to gain cutting-edge insight into the relationship between business trends, globalization, and technology. Similarly, through the school’s MBA Applied Consulting Project, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with current business practices by working directly with locally based global companies for a ten-week period. Merage students can also participate each year in the university-wide Business Plan Competition, whose winner claims $15K in funding for his/her proposed start-up venture.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Friday Factoid: Hit the Slopes at… Kellogg? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Hit the Slopes at… Kellogg?
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When you want to hit the slopes, you probably think of the Alps or the Rockies rather than Evanston, Illinois, home to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Kellogg students may not do their skiing in Evanston proper, but a remarkable 750 or more first and second years participate in the school’s annual ski trip, which, according to students we interviewed, “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 locations as Steamboat Resort and Telluride, in Colorado, where students stayed in mountainside condos. Those 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.

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

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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 Admissions Myths Destroyed: The CFA Is a Liability [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The CFA Is a Liability
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation—a grueling, three-year financial program that hundreds of thousands of people pursue each year—covers many of the subjects included in a “typical” first-year MBA curriculum. A CFA aspirant must study basic economics, accounting, finance, and quantitative analysis—areas that echo aspects of many first-year MBA core curricula. So, could working toward the CFA designation negatively affect an MBA applicant’s candidacy by suggesting that he/she already has the tools an MBA education would provide and that additional studies would therefore be superfluous? Definitely not!

In fact, pursuing the CFA designation reflects positively on the applicant in that the effort emphasizes his/her ability to manage a rigorous MBA curriculum and establishes the candidate as a self-starter and a disciplined individual, given that CFA preparation is intense and requires several months of sustained study for each level. Furthermore, from an admissions perspective, admissions officers want to know that they are admitting individuals who are employable; the CFA charter holder has an advantage in the post-MBA recruiting world, because employers can point to the designation as a differentiator among otherwise indistinguishable applicants.

The CFA can also be a useful marketing tool for candidates to help them during the admissions process. Because the CFA narrowly focuses on financial tools, it does not cover a myriad of other subjects the MBA does address and that are useful to financial professionals, including marketing, operations, international business, human resource management, and entrepreneurship. The CFA is an independent and largely quantitative program and thus cannot provide the elements that the MBA offers through discussion, debate, and measuring qualitative information in decision making.

Together, the CFA designation and the MBA degree constitute a powerful one-two punch that can be advantageous in landing that coveted post-MBA position.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 3 [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 3
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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.

In Part 1 of this article, we talked about the five-step process to answer Sentence Correction problems, and in Part 2, we discussed some drills to build the needed skills. Make sure to read both of those before continuing with this third article in the series.



Drill Number 3: Find a Starting Point


Once again, open up your Official Guide and look at some problems you have done before. This time, do not read the original sentence. Instead, cover it up.

Compare the answers, and try to articulate all the things that the problem is testing. Note that you can tell what is being tested even if you cannot tell how to answer. For example, you might see a verb switching back and forth between singular and plural. If the subject is not underlined, then you have no idea which verb form is required, because you literally have not even seen the subject. You do, though, know that subject-verb agreement is at issue.



Drill Number 4: Eliminate Answers


Once again, this drill involves problems you have already done. (Sensing a pattern? We learn the most when we are reviewing things we have already done!) This time, though, you are going to get to use the whole problem.

Right after you finish a problem, add the following analysis to your review:

(1) Why is the right answer right? Why is each of the four wrong answers wrong?

(2) How would you justify eliminating the right answer? What is the trap that would lead someone to cross this one off?

(3) How would you justify picking any of the wrong answers? What is the trap that would lead someone to pick a wrong answer?

You are probably already doing the first one, but most people skip the second and third steps. The first is important, but you can learn more! When you learn how you (or someone) would fall into the trap of thinking that some wrong answer looks or sounds or feels better than the right one, you will be a lot less likely to fall into that same trap yourself in the future.



Next Steps


Practice these steps until they start to feel like second nature to you. At the same time, of course, learn the grammar rules that we all need to know. Put both pieces together, and you will master sentence correction!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Captivate with Experience, Not Extreme Descr [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Captivate with Experience, Not Extreme Descriptions
This week, we discuss an oxymoron of sorts: extreme humility. One candidate could be more humble than the next, we imagine, but one could never refer to oneself as “extremely humble,” because doing so would undermine the very claim to humility.

Our philosophy at mbaMission is that candidates should let their experiences, not just their word choices, captivate the admissions committees. Sometimes we find that applicants attempt to emphasize their actions with “extreme” adjectives and adverbs—an approach we strongly discourage.

Example: “As others withdrew their support, I remained remarkably dedicated to our crucial fundraising efforts. I dramatically increased my participation in our strategic planning meetings and insisted that we push forward with a wildly creative guerrilla marketing plan, which brought forth tremendous results—$1M in ‘instant’ proceeds.”

In these two sentences, the writer uses the descriptors “remarkably,” “dramatically,” “wildly,” and “tremendous” to make his impression. We find that a more effective approach is to eliminate these “extreme” descriptions and let the experiences do the “talking.”

 Example: “As others withdrew their support, I remained dedicated to our fundraising efforts. I increased my participation in our strategic planning meetings and insisted that we push forward with a guerrilla marketing plan that brought $1M in ‘instant’ proceeds.”

In this second example, the writer does not need to say that the results were “tremendous,” because the $1M in proceeds speaks for itself; we do not need to be told that the marketing campaign was “wildly creative,” because this is implied in the nature of guerrilla marketing. In addition to truly showing a level of humility on the part of the candidate, this approach is also less wordy. Although the eight words saved in the latter example may seem inconsequential, we removed them from only two sentences. If you can remove four words from every sentence in your original draft, you could significantly but humbly augment your essay with other compelling ideas.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Determining Which Application Round Is Best [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Determining Which Application Round Is Best
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Every MBA candidate naturally wonders how to determine the best time to submit his/her business school application. Inevitably, we find that applicants typically have two main concerns:

  • If they apply in Round 1, their application will get lost and forgotten among those of all the exceptional, type-A candidates.
  • If they apply in Round 2, they will have missed their chance at making an impression and gaining admission.
For many years, MBA admissions officers repeatedly asserted that Rounds 1 and 2 were virtually equal with regard to one’s chances of gaining admission, but things now appear to have changed a bit. The recommendation today is more often that if candidates can complete their applications in time to submit them in Round 1, they should do so. Occasionally, an applicant will ask us, “Shouldn’t I apply in the second round, to avoid competing with the best and most prepared candidates who typically apply in the first round?” The simple answer to this question is no. If an applicant is prepared to do so, he/she should apply as early as possible. In Round 1, no places in the class have been offered yet, so the greatest number of opportunities still exist, and the admissions committees are still “fresh” and can likely read the incoming applications more attentively. MBA programs do not set limits on how many candidates they will accept in each round, so if a school’s Round 1 includes a large number of strong candidates, the admissions committee will simply accept more of those superior candidates—or possibly place some on its waitlist to reconsider in Round 2.

Sara Neher, the director of admissions at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, explained to us that her team follows just such an approach: “We reevaluate all the people from Round 1 that were waitlisted before we send out Round 2 decisions. So, if somebody who applied in Round 2 is similar to a waitlisted applicant from Round 1, I’d rather have the Round 1 person than the Round 2 person. That’s partly why I tell people to apply in Round 1, because you have a chance to improve your application. And the same thing happens in Round 3 and in June, when we have our second deposits, and in the summer.”

That said, you should not push yourself to apply early, if doing so comes at the expense of quality—submit your application only when you believe it represents your best. And do not be concerned that if applying in Round 1 is ultimately not possible for you, that you might as well wait until next year to try again. Although admissions representatives encourage early applications, they also concede that a strong candidate is a strong candidate, regardless of the round, so timing alone will not definitely exclude an applicant from serious consideration.

Soojin Kwon, the director of admissions at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, explained, “[We] get about a third of our applications in Round 1, about 55% in Round 2, and the remainder in Round 3…. We encourage people to submit their application when they feel that they offer their best possible applications…. So, if you can get everything lined up and completed and you feel really good about it by October 10, then I would encourage you to apply in Round 1. But if it takes you a bit longer, and you want to take the time to look at your application again and maybe have somebody else look at it, then Round 2 is fine, too.”

When asked whether he recommends that candidates apply in any specific round, Bruce DelMonico, admissions director at the Yale School of Management, told us, “We really don’t. We model to admit the same quality of students in each round, so it’s not as though there’s an advantage to applying in one round versus another. … Like a lot of schools, we counsel people that if they can avoid the third round, they should try to do that. That’s not because it’s inherently any more difficult, but just because it’s more variable. It depends on how many people have already been accepted into the class in the first two rounds, so you just don’t know. It could be more than we were expecting, or it could be less. It’s that uncertainty that can make it more challenging. The main piece of advice we give everybody is to apply when you have your strongest application ready. Don’t rush to get it in earlier if it’s going to be less strong. And especially between Rounds 1 and 2, as I said, we model so that the quality of people we’re admitting stays constant throughout, so there’s no advantage in applying in one round versus another.”

The reality is that gaining admission at virtually any of the top schools in Round 3 is more challenging, though it is not impossible. By the time Round 3 rolls around, most admissions committees have been inundated with applications and are probably exhausted, yet they not only continue to review new candidates, but they also still grant acceptances. Otherwise, they would just do away with Round 3 and move ahead with other business. So, if you find yourself unable to submit your application earlier than the third round, do not worry that you have missed your chance. If you feel confident in your candidacy, go ahead and apply, and see what happens.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Mission Admission: Leveraging Financial Aid [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Leveraging Financial Aid
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Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Oh, the difference a day makes. One day, you are wondering whether you will get into any of your target business schools. The next, you get a call from the admissions committee at your first-choice MBA program, and your life changes forever. Suddenly, with an acceptance letter in hand, you become more self-assured and start to contemplate whether you might receive any scholarships. Then, your second-choice school calls and offers you $10K. You now find yourself facing a tough choice: accept the offer from the second-choice school that comes with a scholarship, or accept the offer from the first-choice program, even though it does not come with any funds.

In the short term, you do not need to make this choice. With your acceptance letters in hand, you can diplomatically leverage the financial aid offer you received from your second-choice school to influence your first-choice school’s decision to also offer you some form of funding. Once you have been accepted, your first-choice school might not be prepared to let you go and could find a way to offer you some financial assistance. Of course, diplomacy is key. If you make your request in too forceful a manner, you will only alienate the financial aid office, which may then decide to not offer additional resources to encourage you to choose the other school.

So tread carefully, but with proper tact—you will not lose anything by asking for more.

Our sister firm, M7 Financial, is offering a free Student Loan Refinancing or Budget Planning Session for MBA students who want a realistic view on direct and indirect expenses, tips for avoiding common budgeting mistakes, and information on how to fund their degrees. Sign up for your free session here.
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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MBA News: INSEAD Stands Steady at Number One in the 2017 Financial Tim [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2017, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: INSEAD Stands Steady at Number One in the 2017 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking
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After claiming the top spot last year, European powerhouse INSEAD remained in first place in the recently released 2017 Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking. The top ten saw slight movement, as the Stanford Graduate School of Business rose to second place after finishing fifth last year, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was ranked third, one place higher than in 2016. One of the year’s most notable climbers was the Cambridge Judge Business School, which rose five spots from the previous year and landed in fifth place—the first time the school has ranked within the FT’s top five. IE Business School entered the top ten in eighth place, four spots higher than last year. Meanwhile, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, fell out of the top ten after finishing in ninth and seventh positions, respectively, in 2016.

The rankings were especially geographically diverse this year, as five of the schools in the top ten are located outside of the United States. The China Europe International Business School, based in Shanghai, also rose notably to 11th place from the previous year’s 17th, while the Hong Kong–based HKUST Business School was ranked 15th, one spot lower than the previous year. Perhaps next year will see an even more global top ten?
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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MBA Career News: Defining Your Career Goals [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2017, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career News: Defining Your Career Goals
In this new blog series, our mbaMissionCareer Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

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Often at the start of a new year, we think ahead and wonder, “Am I on the right career path?” or “What should I be doing with my life?” Whether you are applying to business school or applying to internships while in business school, or you are contemplating the next step in your career, it is important to be able to articulate where you want to go, what you want to do, and why.

Making time to think critically about where you want to be in your work life is worthwhile. The questions you need to answer are “big ones” like the following:

  • Where do I want to be in my work life in five years (seniority, compensation, location, etc.)?
  • In what kind of environment do I want to work?
  • With whom do I want to work? For what type of person do I want to work?
  • What daily activities do I want to be doing? What skills do I want to develop or refine?
  • What kind of impact do I want to have? What kind of recognition do I want to get, and from whom?

To begin answering these questions and creating your list of career goals, here are a few suggested action items:

  • Start by thinking without constraints. What do you want? What drives your satisfaction (work content, company culture, compensation, work/life balance, etc.)? Do not worry (yet!) about the reality of getting that type of job.
  • Reflect on your career to date. For each previous role (title), write down the following: why you took the role, what you liked most about it, what you liked least about it, what you learned from the experience, and why you left. Jot down any themes from this exercise.
  • Review your resume. For each bullet (both work and non-work related), write down the following: what you liked about that experience/task and what you did not like, and which experiences gave you the most satisfaction, and why.
  • Read our mbaMission Career Primers, review potential job descriptions, and talk with friends and former colleagues about their jobs. What excites you or intrigues you from what you learned?
  • Synthesize your findings into a prioritized list of six to eight desired components in your next job.
  • Begin to investigate which industries/functions would fulfill these ideal components. Learn about the qualifications (e.g., skills, experiences, and attributes) necessary for those roles.
Have you been admitted to business school and want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via afree 30-minute consultation!
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Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management
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 Sharon Oster from the Yale School of Management.

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A second-year student we interviewed at the Yale School of Management (SOM) remarked that Sharon Oster “loves teaching almost more than [she loved] being dean!” Oster, who served as the dean from 2008 to 2011, is the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, and she taught “Basics of Economics,” part of the school’s first-year core curriculum, for several years. In the fall of 2016, Oster taught the elective course “Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations.”

Oster’s expertise lies in economics and nonprofit management. She is the author of several widely used business school textbooks, including Modern Competitive Analysis, and has co-authored introductory economics texts such as Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Economics (both with Karl E. Case and Ray C. Fair). In addition, her text Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Theory and Cases is used in the Yale SOM’s “Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations” course.

For more information about the Yale SOM and other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2017, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT?
Trying to figure out when you should take the GMAT and how to fit studying into your schedule can be stressful. Manhattan Prep instructor Elaine Loh explains how to organize your study process in order to succeed.

How long do I need to study for the GMAT? When will I be ready? How much time per week do you think I need to invest?

These are the questions I get over and over and over, particularly from students who haven’t started studying yet. They’re usually trying to figure out whether or not they can manage class, and they’re on the verge of a mild freak out.

You want the quick, bullet-point answer?

OK, here ya go. We offer a nine session class (typically once a week), and we say you’ll probably want 2-3 weeks following the class to finish up studying. That’s assuming that you do all of the homework, and that’s also assuming that the homework takes you five to ten hours to complete between sessions.

Now, here’s the longer answer that you’re not going to like.

I can’t answer those questions for you. Like, at all. Everybody is different and there is no magic bullet, one-size-fits-all plan to studying for the GMAT. I can make a prediction for you based on your current life schedule and your previous academic habits. But what it really comes down to is: How much do you want it? Seriously. That’s the number one determining factor of how long it will take. If you’re not sure that you want to go to B-school and you’re just checking out your options, chances are, you’ll drop out of class. Truly. It happens all the time. And that’s okay! But why invest a lot of time, money, and effort towards something that you maybe would give a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10? If that’s you, that’s cool. Stop reading now and go grab a latte with all the money you’ll save from not taking class at the wrong time. We’ll be here for you when you’re ready.

If, however, you know you want to make this life change, then here are some questions to help you figure out when you’ll be ready:

Do you have a full-time job?

If so, it’s going to be relatively harder for you to find time and energy. Therefore, it will take you longer to study. For example, you might study after work 2-3 times a week for an hour and a half, and once on the weekend. You MUST give yourself days off – from both work and studying – or you will burn out. You might end up needing several months after class is over to catch up on homework and feel ready.

Have you not done math since 11th grade?

If you’re out of college and you haven’t done math for a while, it will take you longer to study. You’ll need to invest a lot of time up front learning foundational math skills. What I DON’T recommend is trying to study math on your own first before enrolling in a class or getting a tutor. I’ve seen people do that a million times, and 990,000 of them end up giving up and not taking the GMAT at all. (Figure out that percentage as a quick math check!) Math is too overwhelming, and frankly, too complicated to teach yourself! You need someone to guide you EVEN MORE at the beginning. Once you have your foundation, you can work on it on your own. But that will take time. Probably more than that 5-10 hours a week I quoted you up top.

Do you have family obligations?

Kids? Friends? Relationships? Refer to question #1. Life takes time and energy, so again, it will take you longer to study. But, the good news is, these people who take your time and energy, can also GIVE you time and energy, through their love and support. Make sure you tell the right people what you’re doing and how they can help. Very often, family members and friends don’t even know what a challenge it is to go from a 560 to a 720, and so they don’t understand what you need. Spell it out for them. Set your study schedule and have them help you stick to it! And on the flip side, don’t tell those family members or friends who won’t actually support you. You know who those people are. Just be ready to side-step them for the next few months.

Now, if you don’t have a job, are independently wealthy, are a math genius, and don’t have any obligations that eat up your time — tell me how you did that because clearly I am living the wrong life!! The truth of the matter is that most of you reading this will answer yes to one (or more!) of these three questions, so take heart that you are all in the same boat. Thousands of people manage to find the time to study and do well on the test every year, and you can be one of them. Take the anxiety you feel about finding that time, and channel it into creating a study schedule that is realistic and that you can stick to. If you’re not sure how to do that, start here. Know that the road will be at least several months long, or possibly even a year long. And that’s okay. But go into it with realistic expectations. This will be hard and it will take a while. But if you really want it, it will be worth it.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Family Life at UVA Darden [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Family Life at UVA Darden
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

The Darden Partners Association (DPA) at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business sponsors social and outreach events for students’ significant others and children year-round, from game nights and wine tours to fitness classes and happy hours, with the goal of helping these members of the Darden community get to know one another and more easily acclimate themselves to their new home and lifestyle. The DPA also organizes community service projects in Charlottesville, such as blood drives and fund-raisers for the local SPCA. It maintains a job list for current and incoming partners, supports international students in their adjustment to Charlottesville, and, through its family committee, plans events for children, helps parents find babysitters, organizes family-friendly social events, and serves as a general resource for parents.

Students’ partners and families are integral parts of the Darden community because of the support they offer the students as well as the active role they have traditionally played in the Charlottesville community. Representatives from both the Office of Student Affairs and the Admissions Office told mbaMission that more than 50% of the students in Darden’s recent classes have been either married or in long-term committed relationships. Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Sara Neher speculated that the number of these students is higher at Darden than at other business schools in part because the DPA is “incredibly active, committed, and fully involved in all aspects of the student experience” and also because “Charlottesville is so easy to live in, with a welcoming community and [low] unemployment.”

One alumnus told mbaMission that he chose Darden over other schools in large part because of the school’s strong support for students’ partners, declaring, “They are welcome everywhere.” He made particular note of Family Day, a kind of open house for students’ partners, parents, and other visitors. The visitors attend and participate in class (a special case is used) and then enjoy a dean’s reception and barbecue. This allows partners to experience students’ daily life, meet their section mates, see their professors in action, and hear the dean’s views on the role of family and community at Darden.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Darden and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2017, 14:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business
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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.

Despite the size of its parent institution, the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University boasts a relatively intimate classroom experience—with approximately 90–150 students in each incoming full-time MBA class—and a close-knit community. Fisher students consequently benefit from the school’s wider university network (more than 500,000 alumni) and its proximity to major companies based both in Columbus and throughout the Midwest. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Fisher 41st in its list of top U.S. full-time MBA programs in 2016.

The Fisher curriculum consists of a core sequence spanning the first year of the program and offers 11 disciplines in which students can major (including a “Make Your Own Major” option). A particularly noteworthy highlight of Fisher’s MBA curriculum is its experiential Leadership Development program, which spans the full two years. The first program of its kind to be offered at a business school, Leadership Development begins with a compulsory two-week pre-term immersion course, in which students attend workshops, bond with teammates, perform mock interviews, and formulate their professional development goals. During the course of the academic year, the program organizes various workshops and assessments—in addition to connecting students with corporate mentors who offer career guidance and networking opportunities. Also among the offerings is a speaker series that has welcomed such business leaders as the chairman of Harley-Davidson and the founder and CEO of KRUEGER+CO Consulting, Inc.
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Friday Factoid: Preparing for Cold Calls at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Preparing for Cold Calls at Darden
MBA students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are known to work quite hard amid the rigors of the case method. Each day, they are expected to read a business case and perform their own analysis of the situation presented. Then, they must compare and reason through their analysis with a small, diverse group of fellow students—their Learning Team. Students can often spend two to four hours prepping on their own and then two to three more with their teammates to arrive at an answer (as opposed to the answer). And what might be the reward for all this work? The student may be selected for a “cold call” to start off the class.

At Darden, most first-year and some second-year classes begin with a professor randomly selecting a student to lead the day’s discussion by presenting his/her case analysis. This student can be subjected to anywhere from five to 20 minutes of questioning, as the professor teases out key points of discussion for the broader class to explore. Many a student has sweated through a cold call, only to gain the applause of his/her peers at the end. (Others, of course, may not do as well.) These cold calls can be daunting, but they force students to prepare thoroughly and think on their feet—a key feature of the Darden learning experience.

For more information on Darden and any of 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA News: Harvard Business School Expresses Concern over President Tru [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2017, 14:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Harvard Business School Expresses Concern over President Trump’s Travel Ban
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Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria

After days of global protests and heated discussion surrounding President Trump’s decision to restrict travel from various countries to the United States, Harvard Business School (HBS) took a stand on Monday in the form of a community-wide email to express concern over the travel ban. The four-part letter began with a note to alumni from Dean Nitin Nohria and Das Narayandas, the senior associate dean of external relations and Harvard Business Publishing. “[University President] Drew Faust, speaking for all of Harvard, has joined the Association of American Universities in issuing a statement outlining deep concern about the new executive order,” the first part of the letter read. Nohria discussed the ban in a more personal manner in the second part of the letter, which he solely signed and in which he referred to himself as “a first generation-immigrant to America.” Nohria assured the HBS community that the school is working to understand the effects of President Trump’s order and respond to the “fluid and rapidly evolving” situation.

The email also featured notes from the Harvard International Office and Harvard Global Support Services, both of which offered resources for concerned students and recommended that foreign students hailing from countries listed in the order carefully consider the risk of traveling outside of the United States. “For all of those in the Harvard community from all parts of the world who have long demonstrated their dedication to educational advancement and the pursuit of knowledge, we share your concerns about the executive order on immigration, and we’re here to support you,” the Harvard Global Support Services note stated. The HBS Class of 2018 features 329 international students who constitute 35% of the class.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Interview with the Admissions C [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Interview with the Admissions Committee!
After submitting your MBA application, you endure weeks of nervous anticipation before ideally being invited to interview. You then start to prepare for the interview, ready to prove yourself to the admissions committee. You take your tour, sit in on a class, and head to the Admissions Office only to find—gasp!—a second-year MBA student waiting to interview you! You think, “This school must not take me seriously as a candidate. I must be in some second tier that it really does not care about!” If you encounter this situation, take a deep breath and reconsider.

What is the admissions committee’s job? Quite simply, the committee strives to find the best candidates for its program. So whether you interview with a member of the committee, an alumnus/alumna, or a student, your interview will be considered equally. Why would an admissions committee put a huge group of candidates at a disadvantage? What would be the point of interviewing an applicant if the admissions committee did not consider its school’s alumni reliable interviewers? Why would the committee solicit the help of students if it sincerely believed those individuals were not capable of rendering an appropriate judgment?

All this is to say that if you find yourself on campus and being interviewed by someone other than an admissions committee member, do not worry. Maintain your focus, and remember that your story and your ability to connect with your interviewer are what truly matter in your interview.
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GMAT Impact: The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2017, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem
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.

I want to share a four-step Critical Reasoning (CR) process with you, a process that can be used on any CR problem.

Here is the overall process:

Step 1: Identify the question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument.

Step 3: State the goal.

Step 4: Work from wrong to right.

Those steps might sound obvious to some people and very vague to others. I will explain each in more detail, but I want to say first that each step is there for a very important reason, and each step has been split off from the others for a very important reason. You can find the full article on the Manhattan Prep blog, as well as additional articles that illustrate how to use this process with each of the various CR question types. Here are a few additional details for each step:

Step 1: Identify the question. Use the question stem to identify the question. Each question type has certain characteristics; learn them.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument. Arguments can contain up to four main building blocks: premises, counter-premises, conclusions, and background. Every argument has premises, but that is the only component common to all. In addition, some arguments “contain” assumptions—that is, the assumptions are not written but can be implied based on the premises and conclusion.

Step 3: State the goal. Each question type asks us to do a certain kind of reasoning; we need to make sure we know what it is. Each question type also has common error categories; remind yourself what they are, and you will be less likely to fall for them!

Step 4: Work from wrong to right. This is just a fancy way of saying find and eliminate the wrong answers until only one answer is left. Your first focus is elimination; get rid of everything you know is wrong. Do not even ask yourself what might be the right answer until you have gone through all five answers once. Then compare any remaining, tempting answers.
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MBA News: Cornell Renames College of Business Following a $150M Donati [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2017, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Cornell Renames College of Business Following a $150M Donation
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The Cornell College of Business—which was established in July 2016 and encompasses the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management—recently received a $150M donation from H. Fisk Johnson, the chairman and CEO of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., and his company. The gift, which is the largest in the history of the school’s Ithaca campus and the second largest to a U.S.-based business school to date, resulted in the renaming of the college as the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. H. Fisk Johnson holds a record five degrees from Cornell, including an MBA from 1984, and the Johnson family has a notable history of philanthropy toward Cornell dating back multiple generations—the business school was renamed in 1984 following a donation from the family.

The $150M gift will be allocated in two parts; $100M will go toward a permanent endowment for the college, while $50M will be used to leverage further philanthropy—which could increase the original gift’s value to $300M, according to the school. “Cornell University has been a part of my family for more than 120 years,” H. Fisk Johnson commented to the Cornell Chronicle. “I hope this gift will serve as a significant catalyst to help grow the reach and impact of Cornell’s College of Business,” he added.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Answering the Ethical Dilemma Essay Question
dilemma: An argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent (according to Merriam-Webster)

Over the years, we have discovered that the essay question that many candidates find particularly challenging is the “ethical dilemma” question. Although most applicants clearly understand the difference between what is and is not ethical, the problem usually lies in the word “dilemma.” As you can tell from the definition provided at the beginning of this post, a dilemma occurs when two “equally conclusive” sides exist simultaneously—emphasis on “equally.” Here we offer two examples of responses to an “ethical dilemma” essay question. The first presents only one reasonable side, while the second offers two.

Example 1: “While I was working at ABC firm, my boss asked me to book our second quarter revenue in advance so that we could create the appearance of a great first quarter. I firmly told him that this was unethical and refused.”

In this example, the candidate is asked to do something that is clearly unethical. However, because the argument really involves only one reasonable choice—the reader would not want to hear the story if the applicant had agreed to book revenue ahead of schedule—no ethical dilemma actually exists in this case.

Example 2: “As the marketing manager for a small pharmaceutical company, I had to set the price for our breakthrough drug. I needed to consider that on the one hand, a rock-bottom price would mean that our life-saving drug would be available to all; but on the other hand, even though a high price would serve a smaller market, it would make the drug far more profitable and would ensure that we could continue to conduct valuable research into additional life-saving compounds.”

In this second example, the candidate outlines a true dilemma. This applicant could be entirely comfortable telling the reader that he/she pursued either of the pricing strategies, as long as the applicant walks the reader through his/her rationale.

A good test to determine whether the experience you are considering discussing in your essay involves a true dilemma is fairly simple. Ask yourself, “Could I comfortably discuss the alternative to the path I chose?” If the answer is “yes,” you are clearly on the right track. If the answer is “no,” try again.
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