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The mbaMission Blog

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Humor with Discretion [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Use Humor with Discretion
Although we often offer a “how to” and a “how not to” example as part of our Monday Morning Essay Tip, this week, we cannot present a simple illustration. This is because our focus is on humor, which is nuanced and can be deemed appropriate only with a full understanding of the context in which it is presented. So, we offer a strong suggestion instead of a hard rule: be very careful when using humor in your essays. The line between being funny and coming across as immature, inappropriate or even careless is a very fine one.

In our view, writers who use humor best are those who possess the skill to appear clever or witty and are not striving to portray themselves as stand-up comics. Your essays are not the proper venue in which to showcase your latest routine, though a mildly self-deprecating anecdote with humorous undertones could help reveal your personality if well executed. Remember, humor itself is not the goal of your essay but part of a broader story and message to your reader. If you have a strong voice and can use humor with subtlety, then proceed, but even then, do so with caution and ensure that you get an honest, solid critique before you submit your final draft.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Mission Admission: Finding Writers for Your Recommendation L [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Finding Writers for Your Recommendation Letters
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Letters of recommendation are an important part of your overall application package—they provide the only outside information the admissions committee receives about you. One of the most stressful parts of the application process can be picking your recommender. The first question you should ask is who can write a valuable letter?

Like many candidates, you may believe that your recommenders must have remarkable credentials and titles to impress the admissions committee. However, what is far more important is selecting individuals who can write a personal and knowledgeable letter that discusses your talents, accomplishments, personality and potential. If senior managers at your company can only describe your work in vague and general terms, they will not help your cause, but lower-level managers who directly supervise your work, on the other hand, can often offer powerful examples of the impact you have on your company. As a result, their letters can be far more effective at getting you accepted into an MBA program.

Nonetheless, not everyone who knows you and your capabilities well will make a good recommender. For starters, of course, you should be confident that your potential recommender likes you and will write a positive letter on your behalf! As you contemplate your choices, try to gather some intelligence on your potential recommenders. Have they written letters for anyone else? Are they generous with their time with regard to employee feedback and review sessions? Will they devote the effort and time necessary to write a letter that will really shine? (See also our blog post Mission Admission: Choosing “Safe” Recommenders.)

If your prospective MBA program asks for two letters of recommendation, then generally, you should approach two of your recent supervisors, with one ideally being your current supervisor. Your letters will have added credibility if they are written by individuals who are senior to you, because your recommenders are in evaluative positions and will not have anything to lose by critically appraising your candidacy.

If you are unable to ask your current supervisor (and there are a number of reasons that might be the case), do not panic! Read how to handle this situation in our blog post .
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Sanjay Sood, UCLA Anderson School of Man [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sanjay Sood, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose an MBA program to attend, but the educational experience itself is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we highlight a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we profile Sanjay Sood at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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

For more information about UCLA Anderson and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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
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mbaMission Hosts its Fifth Annual Team Conference [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Hosts its Fifth Annual Team Conference
mbaMission celebrated its fifth annual consultant conference this past weekend in New York City, flying in the entire staff from around the world for two days of intense discussions about best practices and superior client engagement techniques. We are the only MBA admissions consulting firm in the industry to host such a conference and to invest so heavily in developing a skilled, cohesive, full-time team. We hire consultants for whom MBA consulting is more than simply a job or a part-time gig—it is a professional calling. For this reason, we feel it is important to convene, share our collective expertise and find ways to grow together so that we will best serve our clients.

Highlights from this year’s conference included a number of insightful presentations and teach-ins from various members of our consultant team, such as a mock client (essay topic) brainstorming exercise, a “Think Like the AdCom” business school application review, a deep dive into the implications of an increasingly prominent GRE (with our friends from Manhattan GRE), a best practices session focusing on recommendations and a session devoted to helping candidates define their career strategies. Through these events, we affirm our commitment each year to providing superior MBA admissions guidance, led by the highest-caliber team of dedicated professionals.
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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Fuqua Partners [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Fuqua Partners
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Fuqua Partners is an organization made up of students’ wives, husbands and/or other significant others who come to Durham while the students complete the MBA program. Twenty-two percent of the students in a typical incoming class at Fuqua are married, and according to a member of the Fuqua Partners Club with whom we spoke, a large portion of students are typically in some form of a committed relationship. The Fuqua Partners group is designed “to welcome, support, and provide activities for partners and families in the Fuqua community,” explains the school’s Web site. A club officer told mbaMission that attendance at events can vary greatly, explaining that “a manicure/pedicure party may only attract ten people, whereas a barbecue may attract 100.”

One second-year student with a partner told mbaMission, “Fuqua does a really, really good job of integrating everybody,” and another noted, “Everyone’s invited to everything.” A first year we interviewed commented that the programs and the community support provided to partners were “very important” elements in his evaluation of MBA programs and that “Fuqua had the appeal that [my wife] and many others’ partners were all coming to the area for the first time, and could build a network together, as opposed to trying to contend with trying to join existing cliques.”

Another married first-year student told us, “The key thing here is the strength of the partners’ network. For example, even from Blue Devils weekend, which is a ‘sell’ weekend for admitted applicants, I signed in, and my wife signed in separately and had her own bag of goodies waiting for her. [Partners] are really interwoven here; as much as possible, they’re invited to many of the events.” He added that at Fuqua, partners “have their own activities—running clubs and book clubs.” Yet another first year told mbaMission he felt that Fuqua is “hands-down the best for partners” of all the schools he considered and that this was one of the two primary reasons he applied.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Duke Fuqua 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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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
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Diamonds in the Rough: Rice University, Jones Graduate Schoo [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Houston, Texas, home to six of the world’s “supermajor” energy companies, is perhaps an obvious choice for prospective MBA students looking to break into the energy sector. And the is arguably the leader in energy curriculum and recruiting. Offering 11 courses, including “Managing in a Carbon Constrained World,” “Geopolitics of Energy” and “International Energy Simulation,” the school’s energy concentration prepares students for successful careers in the ever-evolving industry by training them for varied functions that “meet the global challenges of the future of energy, from geopolitical, fiscal, and environmental perspectives,” claims the school. As a result of strong recruiting ties to such companies as ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, well over one-third of Rice’s MBAs have found jobs in the petroleum/energy sector in recent years. The school also has an active Energy Club that hosts various opportunities to connect with recruiters and alumni, including an Energy Speaker series, networking events and Energy Treks that give students firsthand exposure to trading floors, drilling rigs and manufacturing facilities.
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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Friday Factoid: Fuqua’s Facilities [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Fuqua’s Facilities
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 spacious indoor winter garden, the Fox Center is the hub of the school. Students can eat breakfast and lunch here, 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 now covers nearly 500,000 square feet, with 58 team rooms, 10 classrooms and 7 seminar 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.
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: mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald Comm [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald Comments on GRE in The WSJ
This week, The Wall Street Journal offers insight into the rising popularity of the GRE among business school applicants, suggesting that the exam may help business schools attract students from outside disciplines. Where the GMAT historically reigns supreme among MBA entrance exams, many schools are seeing a spike in the number of applicants who are submitting GRE scores. Although only 10% of all exam-taking MBA hopefuls sat for the GRE last year, this figure represents a 10% increase over the same period the year prior according to data from the Educational Testing Service. The jump in GRE-takers may reflect “the GMAT’s loosening stronghold on the industry” in addition to “applicants’ anxiety about that assessments’ integrated reasoning section.’”

Nonetheless, many applicants remain ambivalent toward the GRE. mbaMission’s own president and founder, Jeremy Shinewald, is cited in the article, explaining that applicants may have difficulty discerning how seriously they should take the GRE and how to size up their scores. “It’s maddening. You can say it until you’re blue in the face, and for whatever reason, some people will never believe that the GRE is equal [to the GMAT].”
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: mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald Comm [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald Comments on GRE in the WSJ
This week, the Wall Street Journal offers insight into the rising popularity of the GRE among business school applicants, suggesting that the exam may help business schools attract students from outside disciplines. While the GMAT has historically reigned supreme among MBA entrance exams, many schools are seeing a spike in the number of applicants who are submitting GRE scores. Although only 10% of all exam-taking MBA hopefuls sat for the GRE last year, this figure represents a 10% increase over the same period the year prior, according to data from the Educational Testing Service. The jump in GRE-takers may reflect “the GMAT’s loosening stronghold on the industry,” in addition to “applicants’ anxiety about that assessment’s ‘integrated reasoning’ section.’”

Nonetheless, many applicants remain ambivalent toward the GRE. mbaMission President and Founder Jeremy Shinewald is cited in the article, explaining that applicants may have difficulty discerning how seriously they should take the GRE and how to size up their scores. “It’s maddening. You can say it until you’re blue in the face, and for whatever reason, some people will never believe that the GRE is equal [to the GMAT].”
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: Be Cautious with Polarizing Issues [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Be Cautious with Polarizing Issues
Although many MBA programs are interested in hearing about your international experiences, they are fundamentally uninterested in your personal views on “hot” global political issues. Even when an admissions committee directly challenges you to discuss current events or global politics, you must take care to offer a point of view—not a scathing manifesto.

No clear rules exist as to what exactly you should discuss, but as you consider ideas, “knowing your audience” is of the utmost importance. Never take risks by discussing an economic, political, social or cultural idea that you believe an “average person” might find extreme. Of course, “extreme” is open to interpretation, and this is why choosing the issue you will discuss requires so much careful consideration. When you begin writing, keep in mind that you are not trying to win voters or recruit people to your cause—your goal is simply to show that you are engaged in the issues, can consider them in a balanced way and are able to articulate your ideas persuasively.
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: Begin with One MBA Application and Start  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Begin with One MBA Application and Start Early
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

MBA candidates often ask us whether they should complete one application before moving on to the next or whether they should attack all of their applications at once. Although this question has no definitively “right” answer, we generally advise candidates who start early to make significant progress on their first application before beginning their second or third.

Why? Simply put, business school candidates can learn a tremendous amount from the process of completing their first application, and this can prevent them from repeating some of these mistakes two or three times—and by mistakes, we mean errors not just in terms of grammar and style, but also in terms of approach. For example, once an applicant starts writing, he/she might discover that achieving the right “balance” in his/her essays is difficult or that conforming to stringent word counts is tougher than expected. In this case, the candidate would benefit from “battling” through the first few essays and using them as an opportunity to refine his/her message and approach, rather than attacking 9 to 15 essays at once. After working through these issues and having completed a full set of essays, the applicant can then move forward with the next application(s) and can do so with confidence that he/she is not making the same mistakes over and over again.

This is a simple recommendation, but if followed, it can save an applicant a tremendous amount of time, especially those candidates who intend to start early and make steady progress.
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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Professor Profiles: Nicolaj Siggelkow, The University of Pen [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Nicolaj Siggelkow, The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school to attend, but the educational experience itself is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we highlight a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we profile Nicolaj Siggelkow from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Known for being a protégé of the strategy guru Michael Porter, Nicolaj Siggelkow (“Strategy and Competitive Advantage,” “Managing Established Enterprises” and “Career Planning”) is just as well known at Wharton for pushing students to clarify their answers in his class—using buzzwords such as “added value” and “frameworks” can earn a cold-called student 30 minutes or so of additional questioning. A second year called Siggelkow simply “the best professor at Wharton for leading a case,” and another remarked, “He will whip your ass into shape, so you must prepare for class—or don’t bother coming!”

Siggelkow expects his students to come prepared to class, and students in the Wagat guide (Wharton’s ode to the Zagat guide, but for courses rather than restaurants) have said that the workload for each session of his “Strategy and Competitive Advantage” course is far heavier than the norm, to say the least. (In course evaluations from a prior academic year, the workload required for his classes was rated 3.78, whereas the average at the time was 3.13.) Still, students appear to respect him for this toughness, and he has earned six teaching awards (eight, if we include undergrad business awards) in his 16 years at Wharton.

Chair of the management department, Siggelkow received the Class of 1984 Award for being the faculty member with the highest teaching rating in 2006, was the student-selected Faculty Marshal in 2010 and even made a guest appearance in the Wharton Follies in 2006. Siggelkow is also a co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, a Wharton research center that coordinates multidisciplinary learning between business leaders, academic researchers and students.

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

_________________

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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Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100 Case Party at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: 100 Case Party at 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 celebration of the first-year class’s completion of its first 100 cases at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration, appropriately called the 100-Case Party, typically takes place in mid-October. Over the two years they spend at Darden, students will study approximately 600 cases, so this party recognizes the first sixth of that. The 100-Case Party is typically held off campus at a Charlottesville club. Said one alumnus we interviewed, it is “a huge party; people go wild,” while another told us that the party is significant because “it celebrates a huge milestone.” In October 2011, a first year wrote about the party in her blog about MBA life at Darden, saying, “I’m not sure if the plan is to drink 100 cases, but anything is fair game!”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at UVA Darden and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Thunderbird School of Global Manageme [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Thunderbird School of Global Management
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.

The Thunderbird School of Global Management is ranked number two in the United States for international business by U.S. News & World Report (after 18 consecutive years in the number one spot), has been named “Best in International Business” by the Financial Times for six consecutive years and was deemed second in “Internationalism of Alumni” by The Economist in 2013. Offering an MBA in global management, Thunderbird tailors its curriculum across all courses to prepare students to tackle the challenges of globalization and to develop broadly multicultural, globally oriented management skills.

With an average of 23 countries represented among its students, the program is noted for embracing diversity. Students must fulfill a secondary language requirement as part of their degree and are given ample immersive opportunities to study abroad, including six-week international modules, winter/summer interim courses, exchange student programs, international internships, language abroad programs and an emerging market lab. The school also offers an MA in global affairs, an MS in global finance, an MS in global management, several online dual degree programs in conjunction with partner institutions and a post-MBA program in global management for students looking to supplement their degree with further international emphasis.
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The 2014-2015 MBA Application Season is Underway! [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The 2014-2015 MBA Application Season is Underway!
In the last 48 hours, Columbia Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School (HBS) have all released their MBA application essay questions, kicking off a new admissions season. As HBS’s admissions director, Dee Leopold, mentioned in a blog post, she had just finished sending out some Round 3 decisions, as she made the questions for the coming year public. We imagine that several other schools will release their questions shortly – after all, no admissions director wants to give applicants the chance to start others’ applications, instead of their own.

As is our tradition, we will be releasing our essay analysis pieces shortly. Stay tuned to the mbaMission blog for our suggestions on how to approach each top business school’s essay questions. If you would like personal, one-on-one advice, sign up for a free, 30-minute consultation with one of our senior consultants!
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Friday Factoid: “Doing Business in…” NYU Stern [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: “Doing Business in…” NYU Stern
For candidates seeking global immersion during their MBA experience, New York University’s Stern School of Business provides ample opportunity to study abroad, with trips as short as one to two weeks or as long as a full semester, 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 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. Past DBi destinations have included Beijing, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Milan and Melbourne, 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 with 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.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
For the second year in a row, Columbia Business School (CBS) has kicked off the MBA application season. During an online event with mbaMission, Manhattan Prep and Poets & Quants, CBS’s director of admissions, Christina Shelby, told the audience that the school has added urgency in releasing its questions, because it has to meet the needs of its January-entry (known as J-Term) applicants, whose application deadlines come much sooner (October 8, 2014, versus April 15, 2015). Whatever its rationale for the “early” application release, CBS is basically staying the course with its essay questions, though it has again reduced the allowable character count in its “Twitter-like” goal statement; from 200 characters two years ago, it was cut to 100 last year and now stands at a mere 75. Our analysis follows…

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Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)


Examples of possible responses:

“Work in business development for a media company.”

“Join a consulting firm specializing in renewable energy.”

“Work for an investment firm that focuses on real estate.”

Offer ambitious but realistic goals. Do not try to be anything you are not.

These two sentences are 75 characters long. You can see now just how brief you need to be with CBS’s short-answer question, yet you must still demonstrate that you can convey a point within such strict limits. So, we are sticking with the advice in our example. Do not misguidedly believe that admissions officers have a preference for specific professions or industries—they do not. Think about what you truly want to do with your career and state it directly. Then be sure that the rest of your application provides evidence that this goal connects to your existing skills and profound interests, making your professed goal achievable and lending credibility to your statement. If you can do this in 75 characters—and remember that we are talking about characters, not words—you will have answered this question quite well.

Essay 1: Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (Maximum 500 words)

Because the CBS admissions committee is asking “why” you have chosen to pursue an MBA, you can justifiably delve into your professional career and explain how you identified your need for this particular advanced degree. However, take care not to overwhelm the admissions committee with an unnecessary level of detail about your career history. We cannot emphasize this strongly enough—the admissions committee does not want a recap of your entire resume—moreover, such detail would use up valuable word count. Approximately 100–150 words on your past should be enough to provide appropriate context.

You could perhaps offer an anecdote that reveals an academic or experiential void on your part, or explain that now is the right time for you because you have just completed a lengthy assignment and are ready to transition to the next phase of your career. A number of good reasons exist for wanting to earn your MBA now—just make sure that in your essay, the story of your progression is clear and you demonstrate the momentum and advancement that have brought you to this point. You will then need to explain how and why an MBA will serve as a bridge to the next level of your career. Notice that the school very specifically asks why you wish to earn a “Columbia MBA,” so you absolutely must incorporate into your essay elements of the CBS experience that are pertinent to your candidacy. Do not just list classes, but give a reasoned argument that explains how your goals, timing and CBS all intersect to make this the right time and the right experience for you.

Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

For a thorough exploration of CBS’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School. We also suggest that you visit the campus (a must if you live anywhere near New York) and use your network to connect with students to gain a firsthand understanding of the CBS experience.

Essay 2: Please view the video. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)

This question may seem challenging, but the key here is not to consider what New York City offers in general, but to instead focus on what you need from your educational experience and then address how this will be fulfilled or enhanced by the school’s location. We strongly encourage you to develop your core ideas before you watch the video the school has provided as context for this question. Watching the video first might lead you to deliver a canned or clichéd response rather than honestly contemplating your needs and New York City’s ability to respond to them.

If you find that your sincere reasons for wanting to study in New York City are ones that others can also claim—such as proximity to Wall Street—you will need to do your homework and take your research a step further. Offering proximity to Wall Street alone would constitute a clichéd response, but taking your essay to a more granular level and discussing how specific experiential opportunities speak directly to your niche interests will allow you to “own” those resources and really personalize this brief, 250-word essay.

Essay 3: What will the people in your Cluster be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)

Stop now and consider what the admissions officers will already know about you at this point from the other elements of your application they have reviewed thus far. They will probably have read your resume and thus gotten a sense of your career path to date. Your other essays should have provided an understanding of your goals and why you want to be at CBS and in New York City. The admissions committee may have had some brief glimpses into your personality through these avenues, but this essay is your overt opportunity—albeit brief—to give a sense of your true character.

The key words in this question are “pleasantly surprised.” Although you certainly want to offer something surprising, you obviously do not want that surprise to be unpleasant. “Surprise” does not need to be understood as “shocked.” Do not think you need to totally revolutionize their understanding of you in a mere 250 words (though if you can, that is fine).

Our point is that you should not worry if you have not climbed Mount Everest or launched a $50M venture capital–backed start-up. You are not expected to have spectacular achievement to share—CBS just wants to get to know you better by learning about an interesting aspect of your life. Whether you spent a month volunteering in Peru, helped put your sister through school or are passionate about flamenco dancing, these are all suitable stories, and one is not necessarily better than the other. What is important is that you show how what you do is manifest. You must offer a narrative that engages the reader in your actions and emphasizes how you conduct yourself.

We should note that you do not need to answer a question that was not asked. So in this case, you do not need to tie your response to CBS and explain how this aspect of your life will allow you to contribute to the school or your cluster. Not only is this unnecessary, but such attempts are also often transparent and cloying. If the school wanted you to include such information, it would have asked for it.

Optional Essay: An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity, if needed, to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer may have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

 

Be sure to join us on Thursday, June 19 for a free, live webinar, “Writing Standout Columbia Business School Application Essays,” where we will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out! Register 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–20 [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2014, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) became the second top MBA program to release its essay questions this year, and the school follows a trend in application essays—“less is more.” Stanford has dropped its third essay question this season and stuck with two standbys, which we can abbreviate as “What matters most to you?” and “Why our school?” The GSB’s choice to stick with the “Why our school?” question is an interesting one, considering how selective the program is (the Princeton Review ranks it number one for Toughest to Get Into). Maybe one reason the school is so strong is that it still focuses on fit and does not take its desirability for granted (?).

Another big change in the Stanford application this year is that the number of recommendations required has dropped from three to two, leaving the candidate to make the vexing choice between a professional recommender or a peer for that second recommendation. Our guess is that most people will choose the far more straightforward professional recommendation option, because candidates who do so can be more confident that they have made the “right” choice of recommenders.

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Essay 1: “What matters most to you and why?” (750 words)


When candidates ask us, “What should I write for what matters most to me?,” we offer a pretty simple tip: start brainstorming for this essay by asking yourself that very question: “What matters most to me?” This might seem like obvious advice, of course, but many applicants get flustered by the question—often believing that an actual “right” answer exists that they must identify—and never pause to actually consider their sincere responses, which are typically the most compelling.

So, we advise that you brainstorm in depth and push yourself to explore the psychological and philosophical motivations behind your goals and achievements—behind who you are today. We cannot emphasize this enough: do not make a snap decision about the content of this essay. Once you have identified what you believe is an appropriate theme, discuss your idea(s) with those with whom you are closest and whose input you respect. Doing so can help validate deeply personal and authentic themes, leading to an essay that truly stands out.

Once you have fully examined your options and identified your main themes, do not simply provide a handful of supporting anecdotes—or worse, recycle the stories you used in a similar essay for another school. A strong essay response to this question will involve a true exploration of the themes you have chosen and reveal a thorough analysis of decisions, motives and successes/failures, with a constant emphasis on how you conduct yourself. If you are merely telling stories and trying to tie in your preconceived conclusions, you are most likely forcing a theme on your reader rather than analyzing your experiences, and this will be transparent to any experienced admissions reader. In short, be sure to fully consider and develop your most sincere answer(s), outline your essay accordingly and then infuse your writing with your personality, thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Essay 2:“Why Stanford?” (350 words)

One of our favorite admissions quotes is from Stanford’s assistant dean for MBA admissions, Derrick Bolton: “Resist the urge to ‘package’ yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants” (emphasis added). What the admissions committee really wants is to know what and/or who you want to be. The school does not have a preferred job or industry in mind and expect to hear that you plan to fill that space—the admissions committee wants to understand your true vision and understand why you feel Stanford is necessary in facilitating this vision. If you try to present yourself as someone or something you are not, you will ultimately undermine your candidacy. Trust the admissions committee on this one!

Because Personal Statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

And for a thorough exploration of the Stanford GSB’s academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment and more, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Support Conclusions with Examples [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Support Conclusions with Examples
At mbaMission, we always encourage candidates to show their experiences rather than tell the reader conclusions. For example, a candidate may mistakenly choose to tell the reader, “I performed exceptionally well in my job and was promoted.” In this case, the reader is left wondering, “What exactly did he/she do so well to earn that promotion?” The reader needs to understand the whole story for the conclusion to be “proven.”

We find that candidates occasionally think they are providing the whole story when they are in fact offering only a single data point:

Example 1: “For me, as an avid paraglider, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life.”

In this case, the conclusion—that the candidate “lives” for extreme sports—is not substantiated. One data point is not enough to “prove” this conclusion.

Example 2: “For me, as an avid paraglider and budding heli-skier, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life.”

With the addition of the mention of a second activity, the applicant’s case becomes more compelling.

Example 3: “For me, as an avid paraglider, budding heli-skier and experienced cliff diver, extreme sports are not just a hobby but a way of life.”

This series of three examples makes the candidate’s passion for extreme sports undeniable.

Of course, we have used a simplified example here and would suggest that a candidate put his/her experience into action and show the passion via experience—“Leaping from a ten-meter cliff, I…”—depending on the context of the essay.
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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The NYT Asks mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald A [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The NYT Asks mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald About MBA Travel Budgets
Highlighting the “shadow budget” of additional travel expenses that can often accompany an already expensive business degree, the New York Times asked mbaMission President/Founder Jeremy Shinewald just how much MBA students should expect to invest in “lifestyle experiences.” Bonding with classmates on international excursions and keeping active with the seemingly limitless social functions of MBA student life have become increasingly vital to one’s induction into the business school network. Many students say that socioeconomics can play a decisive role in how much time they spend with one another.

“My father went to business school a generation ago as a married 25-year-old, and I can assure you he has no stories of jetting off to Vegas for the weekend,” says Shinewald in the article, noting that bars, parties and trips now occupy a significant portion of the average MBA student’s schedule. “I would say that $5,000 total for two years is a low to moderate budget, but is one that would still allow a student to experience significant social and academic opportunities.” The high-end budget for such expenses, Shinewald explains, can run as much as $20,000 to $30,000 for two years. Still, many students see the investment in social and travel opportunities as part and parcel of buying into an invaluable business network.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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