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The mbaMission Blog

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mbaMission Is Pleased to Offer In-Person Free Consultations in Houston [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2017, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Is Pleased to Offer In-Person Free Consultations in Houston, Texas!
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Melissa Blakeslee

Are you a business school applicant residing near Houston, Texas? Could you use some advice from an admissions advisor? If so, then we want to meet you for an in-person free consultation!

On June 29, mbaMission Senior Consultant Melissa Blakeslee will be delivering in-person, one-on-one free consultations in Houston.

To sign up for an in-person free consultation in Houston, please fill out the form located on our Free Consultation submission page at www.mbamission.com/consult. We will reply to you within one business day with a link to schedule your appointment!

Melissa looks forward to getting to know some of this season’s best and brightest international business school applicants!
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 Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business Scho [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business School
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We at mbaMission often receive panicked phone calls from applicants in their late 20s, asking if they are too old to get into business school. Why does this happen?

Over the past decade or so, several top schools have declared their openness to younger candidates and have even been courting them. Harvard Business School has welcomed “direct admits” (those entering immediately after completing their undergraduate degrees) and started the 2+2 Program to encourage undergraduates to consider deferred acceptance. Chicago Booth followed suit, launching the Chicago Booth Scholars Program, granting deferred admission to University of Chicago seniors, in addition to various Early Career Candidate programs to attract candidates with one to three years of experience. Although the Stanford Graduate School of Business does not publish the average age of its students, it does state that its students’ average work experience is four years. So, if you are an “older” candidate at 27, 28, 29, or—dare we even write it?—30, should you even bother applying?

First of all, we must note that not all schools are on the bandwagon to admit younger candidates. Dartmouth Tuck, for example, states that “in general,” it does not accept students with fewer than two years of work experience. The average work experience of students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is listed as two to seven years—meaning that the school typically does not accept direct admits. Michigan Ross requires that students complete their undergraduate degree before applying, meaning that seniors are ineligible.

However, if you are focused on a school that is open to younger candidates, you should still think logically about the situation: you cannot get any younger, so you can either self-select out of the application process or let the admissions committees read your applications and make their own decision. Further, applicants should not mistake an openness to younger candidates as an aversion to older candidates. If you have something special to offer, you are still in the running—no secret cutoff is in play that would immediately eliminate you from the applicant pool.

As we have written before, business schools are governed by self-interest. They want the best candidates out there! If you are among the best, your age will not be an obstacle.
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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I Studied This Part of the GMAT—I Should Know How to Do It! [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: I Studied This Part of the GMAT—I Should Know How to Do It!
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

When was the last time you thought, “I studied this! I should know how to do it!”? For me, it was sometime within the past week. I knew that this problem was not beyond my reach! Meanwhile, the clock was ticking away, and all I could focus on was the fact that I could not remember something that I should have been able to remember.

That horrible, sinking feeling is universal: we have all felt it before and—unfortunately—we are all going to feel it again. How can we deal with this?

What does the “But!” feeling really mean?

When you catch yourself thinking

  • But I studied this…
  • But I should know how to do this…
  • If I just had a little more time, I am sure I could figure it out…
  • I have already invested so much time—I do not want to give up now…
… all these really mean is I do not actually know how to do the problem right now. If I did, I would not feel any of the “But!” feelings. I would just do the problem.

Our brains are not perfect. Sometimes we are going to forget or stumble over something that we really do know. (Also, sometimes we are going to think we should know something that we really do not know as well as we thought we did.)

Change your response

We are never going to get rid of the “But!” feeling, so the remedy here is not to try to train ourselves to lose it. Rather, the remedy is to recognize that we are feeling this way and change how we respond.

When you feel the “But!” feeling, start treating the problem like one that you know you do not know how to do. Do not give into the feeling; it is trying to distract you and cause you to waste time. From now on, “But… but… but…” = I do not know what I am doing.

If I have already used up all my time, I guess randomly and move on. If I still have some time left, and I have some ideas about how I might make an educated guess, then I try to do that for about 30 seconds or so. Then, I pick and move on.

Next steps

Still struggling with the idea of cutting yourself off like this? Read my mind-set article, In It To Win It, to understand why letting go on a few problems here and there is not really a big deal. Here is another resource for time management. (We all have at least minor problems with time management on a test like 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

_________________

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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Re: The mbaMission Blog [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2017, 08:12
Hi!
Thanks for looking into my post!
I really need great advice.
I took GMAT last week and got 460 (Q:42 and V: 13 and IR:3).
And i have taken TOEFL today.
i got this score after rigorous 2.5 months hard work and risking my job side wise. :(
It is not possible for me to take Gmat again.
I really need admission in 2018 January intake in US.
However, i have strong profile:
CGPA: 8.25 ECE Engg. from reputed college in India
Work Ex: 4.5 in Capital market IT firm
Designation: Consultant and Team lead
Even worked onshore in one of the top 100 investment bank in Europe for 3 months each in last two successive years.
Hobby of painting, writing poems and beauty & fashion blogs.
I am interested in normal MBA program like general management, HR or luxury management.
Please suggest me possible colleges, any other MBA program and procedure?
I really need assistance.
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mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Debbie Choy [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2017, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Debbie Choy
At mbaMission, our consultants are more than just graduates of the world’s top MBA programs—we are also expert communicators who possess an unparalleled knowledge of the admissions process. Each week, we highlight one member of our team who has committed his/her professional life to helping you get into business school.

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Before earning her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Debbie Choy was an investment analyst with JP Morgan, and previously, a management consultant with Booz & Co. After graduating, she worked in product marketing in the medical technology industry, where she developed an expertise in the planning and execution of product launches, product line management, and marketing strategy. In addition, Debbie was actively involved in recruiting business school graduates for her employer and led an MBA recruiting program for a fast-growing health care company, focusing on the top programs. She also presented at career fairs and directly interviewed candidates. Debbie is a co-founder of ALIST Magazine, which showcases Asian American corporate leaders and success stories. In this capacity, she oversaw a team of six staff writers and produced a regular column called “Women At Work” for the publication’s Web site. Debbie graduated cum laude from Vassar College with a BA in international studies. She grew up in Singapore and speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as conversational French.

Quick Facts:

Received MBA from: Stanford GSB

Undergraduate field of study: International studies

Fields worked in before mbaMission: Management consulting, finance, health care

Working style: Casual, creative

Five things Debbie wants her clients to know about her:

  • I grew up in Singapore and speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and a bit of French. I have conducted client calls in all three languages, although for the purposes of the essays, we still write in English!
  • My professional background is in finance, management consulting, and health care (product management). I love working with clients from these industries since I understand the work they do, the “lingo,” and the passion that drives them.
  • I especially love helping international clients translate their fascinating background into language that resonates with the admissions committee. My own international background enables me to help my clients bridge multiple cultures in their own distinct way!
  • I am always encouraging my clients to look at themselves and their experiences with a different perspective. This self-awareness will help them not only in the application process, but also in future job interviews.
  • I am constantly learning from my clients’ increasingly complex jobs. Making my clients “break it down” for me enables them to explain their jobs in an accessible way to the admissions committee!
What clients are saying about Debbie:



“I honestly don’t think I would have gotten into Stanford without the help of Debbie. I was hesitant about using a consultant at first just because of the price, but I have to say that it was worth it. For me, it kept me on track with deadlines, forced me to brainstorm and think through my experiences, and in general helped my essays be better than I ever thought that they could be. Everything exceeded all my expectations.” —Stanford GSB Admit

“I highly recommend working with Debbie Choy at mbaMission after applying to business school this past January. Debbie gave expert insight about each step of the application process and provided guidance on how to write the best essay for each school. Even with my unpredictable work schedule, Debbie was extremely patient and understanding with me and ensured that my applications were the strongest they could be.” —Business School Admit

“I did not have the best GMAT score, and I had hoped to overcome that obstacle with a strong resume and strong essays. Debbie from mbaMission helped me to write stellar essays. We worked for a couple months back and forth via emails and a couple phone calls. She helped me to get specific and concise with my experiences highlighting the stories that made a real impact. Debbie emphasized a ‘show don’t tell’ attitude in my essays. It took some time and effort, but it paid off. I ended up with multiple offers from the top schools I had applied to, each one with a scholarship or a Graduate Assistantship offer. I attribute much of my offers to the work of mbaMission and Debbie.” —Business School Admit

Read more of Debbie’s testimonials.

Watch Debbie’s video:

Do you want to speak with Debbie about your business school prospects? Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation 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

_________________

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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Heading South for an MBA: The University of Texas McCombs School of Bu [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Heading South for an MBA: The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School
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McCombs School of Business

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

For example, the school expanded its pilot program for brand management experience with Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Yoo-hoo brand. In what is now called the Marketing Labs program, teams of students learn marketing skills by working hands-on for such major firms as AT&T and Dell.

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Goizueta Business School

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

Another Southern institution, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School—named after late Coca-Cola CEO Roberto C. Goizueta—is deeply rooted in a legacy of global business leadership. Goizueta’s MBA program offers one- and two-year formats, strives to maintain an intimate learning environment, and affords its students the benefits of being located in a significant global commercial hub. One of the program’s notable advantages has been its success in attracting recruiters. The school’s recruiting strengths seem to be reflected in its latest employment report as well—95% of the Class of 2016 received job offers within three months of graduation and accepted positions with such major companies as Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, and Wells Fargo.
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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Kellogg and Duke Fuqua Announce 2017-2018 Application Deadlines and Es [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 17:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Kellogg and Duke Fuqua Announce 2017-2018 Application Deadlines and Essays
This week, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University released its 2017-2018 MBA application deadlines and essay questions.

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Essay Questions:

For 2017-2018, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

  • Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)
  • Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)
Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

  • If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University also released its 2017-2018 deadlines–along with its application essay questions.

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Essay Questions:



1. Share with us a list of “25 Random Things” about yourself.

2. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?

For a complete list of 2017-2018 business school deadlines, be sure to check our Application Deadlines page. We will be updating our list as business schools release them.

Do you plan to apply to Kellogg or Duke Fuqua this fall? Stay tuned to the mbaMission blog for our analyses of the schools’ 2017-2018 essay questions and be sure to download our free 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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Columbia Business School’s Financial Studies Program and Increasingly  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2017, 06:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Columbia Business School’s Financial Studies Program and Increasingly Flexible Curriculum
Already well known as a finance powerhouse, Columbia Business School (CBS) stepped up its finance game in 2010 with the establishment of the Program for Financial Studies. This umbrella initiative connects faculty who approach financial studies from a variety of disciplines with students, alumni, and external organizations. The program’s main goals are to support research, to enhance the CBS finance curriculum and related resources, and to create opportunities for the exchange of ideas between CBS students and faculty and members of the external finance community. Finance enthusiasts will enjoy the program’s case studies, including “The Norwegian Government Pension Fund: The Divestiture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,” written by Professor Andrew Ang, and “Don’t Be Evil: Google’s 2004 Dutch Auction Initial Public Offering,” written by the program’s founding director, Professor Laurie Simon Hodrick.

The structure of CBS’s curriculum has also evolved in recent years. The school’s first-year curriculum was at one time very rigid—all first-year students took all their core courses with their cluster unless they were able to pass an exemption exam. Students complained, however, that this rigid core curriculum system meant that they could take only one elective course their first year, which could put them at a disadvantage when competing for summer internships. For example, previously, a CBS student who accepted a summer internship at a bank may have taken only one finance elective by the end of his/her first year, but that student’s counterparts on the internship from other schools may have taken two or three—thus potentially putting the CBS student at a disadvantage with regard to being considered for a full-time job at the end of the internship. So, after an intense process of research and evaluation, CBS launched a more flexible core curriculum in 2008.

Five years later in 2013, CBS implemented further changes to its core curriculum, including an increased emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking, in addition to even more flexibility. The revamped core courses also make greater use of online teaching tools in an attempt to “free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions,” as a 2013 Poets&Quants article explains. In the second semester of the first year, students can pick three full-term electives and three half-term electives, replacing the school’s previous “flex-core” configuration and allowing students to better prepare for summer internships. In addition, students may take exemption exams in areas in which they are already proficient, thereby opting to replace core courses with electives. This revised curriculum was developed in response to student feedback that a full term was not needed to cover the “core” elements in certain courses, and the change has given students significantly more flexibility in the first year.

CBS has thereby attempted to find a middle ground where students learn what the school considers fundamentals while having the latitude to specialize, and anecdotally, students have responded favorably.

For a thorough exploration of what CBS and other top U.S. 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

_________________

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

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Adam Brandenburger, NYU Stern School of Business
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Adam Brandenburger from New York University’s (NYU’s) Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

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

For more information about NYU Stern and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017–2018 [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017–2018
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Unlike a number of the top U.S. business schools, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has made no changes at all to its application essay questions this year, meaning that it is again posing its rather unique “25 Random Things” prompt. This decision will likely make some candidates happy but dismay others. If you are among the dismayed, we encourage you to view this submission as the generous opportunity it is to provide a comprehensive picture of yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Few application essays provide such a broad platform through which to share your most meaningful values, experiences, interests, and accomplishments. Fuqua’s second required essay focuses on candidates’ expectations of their role within the school’s MBA program. You must discuss how you anticipate engaging with and being a benefit to others in the Fuqua community. The school also poses a few short-answer goal questions concerning the basic professional elements of the applicant’s profile. In our analysis, we offer our advice for approaching each of Fuqua’s prompts for this season…

Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

  • What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered?
With this trio of questions, Fuqua is essentially asking for a standard, albeit very brief, personal statement—though the third query does include a rather nonstandard component. Candidates often feel they must be totally unequivocal in their goals, but in this case, Fuqua is giving applicants room to address and speculate on other options. The admissions committee knows that sometimes the best-laid plans do not play out as expected or may even yield unintended results, and the school wants to know that you are prepared to switch gears and recommit to a different path, if necessary—and that you are fully capable of doing so. The key in answering this question is showing that your alternate goal is just as connected to your skills, interests, and ambitions as your original plan and does not come “out of left field,” so to speak. For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that your short-term goal is to work in technology consulting while your alternate goal would be to work in human resources, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills and personalities. Just be mindful that both goals you present must be plausible and achievable.

As we noted, these questions concern many of the same topics covered in a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. This complimentary guide offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these subjects, along with multiple illustrative examples. Be sure to claim your copy today.

Required Essay 1: 25 Random Things About Yourself

Present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you—beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.

Be prepared to have fun creating this list for your Fuqua application! Before you start scribbling down random things, though, stop and take some time to thoroughly brainstorm. You cannot simply draft a list of “typical” accomplishments—remember, the school is asking for a random list, and keep in mind that your reader should learn more about you as an individual with each item presented. Make sure that every new story or tidbit of information you share gives the admissions committee a different window into your personality, into what really makes you tick and makes you you. Most important is that you own all the points on your list—that your final list could apply to no one but you. For example, a statement such as “I love the movie Goodfellas and have watched it multiple times” could easily be made by many applicants—therefore, it could not be considered truly yours. However, if you were to instead write, “At least once a year, my friends and I get together to watch our favorite movie, Goodfellas, all wearing dark suits, eating fresh pasta with homemade sauce, and reciting the dialogue line-for-line,” you would present an experience that is unquestionably yours, because few—if any—other candidates would be likely to say this exact same thing.

Although Fuqua does not want you to rehash your professional and academic accomplishments in this list, and you should certainly avoid repeating facts that already appear elsewhere in your application, you can of course still touch on significant moments that occurred in these spheres. Use detail and a narrative style (keeping things brief!) to give these elements life and ensure that they are personal. For example, rather than saying that you “won a creative thinking award for implementing an innovative training solution,” you might write that you “once won an award for instructing trainees to flip their desks upside down and face what was previously the back of the room—thereby creating an exercise to introduce new hires to the concept and value of new perspectives.”

Required Essay 2: Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.

Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom? (Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.)

With this essay prompt, Fuqua clearly wants to see evidence that you have done your research on the school’s culture and community and developed a true and thorough understanding of it. Ideally, your essay will convince the admissions committee that you are eager to take advantage of opportunities to lead and contribute, that you have thoughtfully considered your place within the school’s community at length, and that as a result, you know the value of what you can offer and have a clear vision of how this will manifest when you are a Fuqua student.

For this to be possible, you really (really!) must know the school well, because if you hypothesize incorrectly about the contribution you will make—meaning that what you propose is just not possible at the school or does not align with Fuqua’s values and culture—you will definitely not get in. The question specifically mentions “student-led government, clubs, centers, and events,” so you could start your research there to find niches and opportunities that correspond with your strengths, knowledge, and experience. But if you feel you can contribute in a different area or way altogether (while still adhering to the “outside of the classroom” element of the prompt), you can certainly take that approach instead. Read student blogs, peruse discussion boards, catch up on the past year or more of press releases from the school, spend some time on Fuqua’s YouTube channel—these are all good places to start (or better, continue!) educating yourself about what life at the school is really like, beyond the course work.

Optional Essay: If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (such as unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).

  • Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
  • The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your circumstances only.
  • Limit your response to one page.
Fuqua stipulates a maximum length for its option essay of just one page. We see this, along with the other clarifying bullet points, as confirmation that the admissions committee is not interested in additional information from applicants who fear that not submitting an optional essay would somehow count against them and would like to reserve this essay exclusively for those who truly need it. So be judicious in your use of this opportunity, and submit an optional essay only if you truly believe that explaining a key element of your story or profile is necessary for Fuqua to have a complete and accurate understanding of you as a candidate. Consider downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

For a thorough exploration of Duke Fuqua’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Duke Unviersity’s Fuqua School of Business.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Duke Fuqua Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Duke Fuqua Interview Primer today.
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mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Kate Richardson [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2017, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Consultant Spotlight: Kate Richardson
At mbaMission, our consultants are more than just graduates of the world’s top MBA programs—we are also expert communicators who possess an unparalleled knowledge of the admissions process. Each week, we highlight one member of our team who has committed his/her professional life to helping you get into business school.

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Kate Richardson earned her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her BS in psychology from the University of Illinois. After completing her MBA, Kate worked for several years in management consulting at Axiom Consulting Partners, a boutique strategy execution firm. Her work at Axiom focused on ensuring that clients had the right organization and talent in place to execute their business strategies. As a principal with the firm, she also co-managed its recruiting program, including hiring MBA interns, and mentored entry-level consultants. While at Chicago Booth, Kate was actively involved in the Business Solutions Group and the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee and was also an Admissions Fellow, reading applications and conducting on-campus interviews. She has remained involved in the Chicago Booth community since graduating by serving as communications chair for the Booth Alumni Club of DC and as an alumni admissions interviewer. Before attending business school, she worked in human resources for Pepco Energy Services and KPMG. Kate’s passion for identifying and developing future business leaders is central to her work at mbaMission. Originally from the Chicago area and having spent most of her professional career in Washington, DC, Kate now lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Quick Facts:

Received MBA from: University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

Undergraduate field of study: Psychology

Fields worked in before mbaMission: Management consulting, MBA admissions, recruiting, human resources, professional services (Big Four)

Working style: Dedicated, direct, efficient, practical, thorough, supportive

Five things Kate wants her clients to know about her:

  • I successfully switched careers post-MBA to strategy consulting.
  • I am very organized and will push clients to stay on track.
  • I love helping clients become more self-aware about their goals, values, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • I am an experienced recruiter of MBA talent—resume reviewer, interviewer, and career adviser.
  • I worked as a paid member of Chicago Booth’s admissions team, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.
What clients are saying about Kate:

“I am 100% convinced that I would not have had the same successes in being admitted to top business schools if I hadn’t worked with Kate on every application. I’ve already recommended Kate to friends of mine going through the business school application process right now. Kate is such a gem for anyone applying to business school, and it was truly a pleasure to work with her.” —Yale SOM Admit (via GMAT Club)

“I’m extremely pleased with how the entire MBA application process went and how Kate helped me every step of the way, and I’m happy to recommend her MBA consultancy services to anyone who might be thinking of applying in the near future.” —UCLA Anderson Admit (via GMAT Club)

“I worked with Kate Richardson on an hourly consulting basis for my business school applications. I was initially apprehensive about utilizing an admissions consultant because I thought I knew the story I wanted to tell and had many friends who recently applied to top schools. That said, I am extremely glad that I decided to work with Kate and am sure that my application process was smoother and more successful with her help. The expertise, guidance and support she provided were invaluable throughout my application process; I now have Kate to thank for being accepted at Wharton and HBS!” —Harvard Business School, Wharton Admit (via GMAT Club)

Read more of Kate’s testimonials.

Watch Kate’s video:

Do you want to speak with Kate about your business school prospects? Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation 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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Northwestern University (Kellogg) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018 [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Northwestern University (Kellogg) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018
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The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has made minimal changes to its application essay prompts this year. The school’s required first essay has maintained its focus on leadership, but gone is the reference to teamwork, replaced by a request for evidence of “lasting value.” Kellogg also no longer stipulates that the incident candidates share be “recent,” thereby allowing applicants to plumb the full range of their history as needed to identify the most compelling or appropriate story. As for the video essays, we note that Kellogg is not stating this season that one of the questions will definitely be about a challenge, though we take this to mean merely that some applicants may receive such a question while others may not. The bottom line with Kellogg’s video questions is that they have no wrong answers and are intended to help the admissions committee get a more authentic impression of your personality (not to intimidate you!), so we hope applicants are not too concerned by that part of the application. In our analysis, we present our thoughts on how to address all the school’s prompts for 2017–2018.

Required Essay 1: Kellogg’s purpose is to educate, equip & inspire brave leaders who create lasting value.  Tell us about a time you have demonstrated leadership and created lasting value.  What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

In reality, this is a fairly straightforward essay prompt, and we recommend responding in an equally straightforward manner. Launch directly into the story of your leadership experience and detail the specific actions you took in directing others to achieve some kind of enduring result. The key here is to show you shared a valuable experience with colleagues, extracted the most from your team members, and attained a desired outcome. Although we often note that not all great leadership stories necessarily have to end in success, Kellogg’s request for evidence of “lasting value” certainly implies that the school wants to hear about a situation that had a positive, if not victorious, outcome. You will need to convey not only your role in spearheading a group to achieve what you did but also how that achievement persists to this day.

Note that Kellogg does not specify that the experience you share must be related to your workplace or career. Leadership does not need to have an official title attached to it, and it can be expressed in a community service or even family life setting just as much as in a workplace, so explore all the different areas of your life for possible stories. We recommend using a narrative approach to presenting your story, but be sure to also share the thought process and motivation(s) behind your actions. This way, the admissions committee will take away both a clear picture of what you accomplished and the aspects of your character that inspired you and helped enable your success.

That said, the school acknowledges within the prompt that even endeavors that have a positive result are rarely smooth sailing from beginning to end—hence the question about challenges faced. A mistake applicants often make in writing this kind of essay is presenting a strong narrative in which they are incredible leaders, and then near the end, making a brief (and typically disjointed) reference to a hardship or conflict encountered along the way, meant to fulfill the “challenges” element of the essay query. To be effective and believable, your ups and downs must be woven intrinsically into your narrative, rather than simply acknowledged at the end. Clearly explaining how you approached and prevailed over the challenge at hand is crucial, so go beyond simply describing the roadblock itself and ensure that you detail your response and the inner workings of your decision making at that point.

Lastly, do not forget or neglect to explain what you learned from the experience—Kellogg specifically asks you to do so! And keep in mind that for your takeaways to be “meaningful,” they have to be profoundly connected to your narrative. The admissions reader should be able to easily understand the connection between the situation you describe and your subsequent learnings.

Required Essay 2: Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

How have you grown in the past? The best way to answer this question is to really take the question at face value and think about… how you have grown in the past! Kellogg has no preconceived notions of what applicants should offer in response to this query; it simply wants to learn more about who you are now and how you came to be this person. Rather than pandering to what you think Kellogg wants to hear or trying to conceive of a storyline that seems like it would sound good, truly reflect on your growth to date and focus on analyzing one or two recent experiences that effectively reveal how you have developed and matured.

You might use the first 200–250 words of your essay to share a brief anecdote or two illustrating your growth. These stories can be thematically connected, or they can present two separate circumstances in which you grew in different ways. This portion of your essay will show that you possess the capacity to grow, so in the rest of your submission, you can outline your agenda for growth at Kellogg. You can focus on academic and/or professional needs or on broader personal needs (such as intellectual growth or global exposure)—either option is fine. What is important is that you clearly show a genuine understanding of how Kellogg is the right catalyst for your anticipated development. If your connection to the school is merely superficial—based just on rankings or reputation, for example—you will reveal only that you do not truly grasp the potential inherent in your time in the program. So do your research and really learn about Kellogg in depth, and then present clear links between the program and your developmental needs, going beyond a simple listing of courses or resources and illustrating a more thorough and personalized connection between the offerings and your specific needs and interests.

This question involves many of the elements of a traditional personal statement essay, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide. This complimentary guide explains ways of approaching these topics effectively and offers several sample essays as examples. Feel free to download your copy today.

And for a thorough exploration of Kellogg’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, be sure to download the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Kellogg School of Management, which is also available free of charge.

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)

If you are applying to one of Kellogg’s dual degree programs, you should be ready to demonstrate a great deal of intentionality. After all, you are committing to a specialized path that requires additional time and cost. With a limit of just 250 words, you have no choice but to cut to the chase and specify how a dual degree is necessary for you to achieve your particular desired outcomes. After presenting your goals, you will need to tie these goals specifically to the Kellogg programs you are targeting and to their associated resources. This essay is essentially another opportunity (after Essay 2) to explain your distinct need to attend Kellogg, only here, you can focus on showcasing the non-MBA portion of your intended degree.

Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

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

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information. If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to incorporate into 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. Consider downloading our free mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, along with multiple sample essays, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

Required Video Essays: The Video Essay is one component of the application and provides you with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what you will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. You will respond to several short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

After submitting a completed application, you will be able to access the video essay through your application status page. One question will be a “get to know you” icebreaker type of question. The second question will be an opportunity to describe your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The other questions will be randomly generated questions that will be similar to interview questions.



There are practice questions you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.

We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official video essay questions. There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.

You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response.

We estimate the video essays will take 20–25 minutes to complete—which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.

Start by taking a deep breath. We understand that these video essays can make you feel like you are being put on the spot, but Kellogg is really not trying to scare you. The admissions committee simply wants a more dynamic representation of your personality than a written essay can provide. You cannot answer any of the school’s video questions incorrectly, so do not concern yourself with trying to give the “right” answer. Just respond to each query honestly, as smoothly as you can (despite any nervousness you may be feeling), and be yourself so the school can get a better sense of the unique individual you are. Thankfully, Kellogg provides some basic information about the nature of several of the questions you will encounter in the application’s video segment, so you will not be going in totally blind.

The “get to know you” question will be about a topic you know very well—you! Kellogg refers to this question as an “icebreaker,” so imagine meeting someone for the first time at a party or other event. Similar questions to what you might ask each other in the process of getting acquainted are what you can very likely expect from Kellogg. Examples we can imagine are “What is your favorite book and why?,” “If you unexpectedly had 24 work-free hours, how would you spend them?,” and (as Kellogg itself offers on its site) “If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be and why?” Although we are going to assume that you already know yourself pretty well, these types of queries sometimes require a moment or two of thought before a clear answer can be offered. So take some time to imagine these sorts of questions (you can even Google “icebreaker questions” to find lists of general examples) and practice delving into your personality in this way.  Who knows, you might even learn something new about yourself in the process!

Fortunately, Kellogg very kindly provides the school-specific question in advance: “What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?” With respect to your interest in Kellogg, you need to truly understand why you are choosing this specific program for your MBA. By that, we do not mean that you should create and memorize a laundry list of reasons. Instead, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the resources the school offers and be able to clearly and concisely express which ones are of particular importance and significance to you—and why. Then, when you are recording your video response, you will need to convey this information in a way that is sincere and compelling. That will not happen if you are listing facts you have simply committed to memory! Kellogg offers very clear advice on this: “We don’t want scripted answers—we want to get to know you and learn something new. … When you record your answer speak authentically—we can tell if you are reading notes! And, no need to memorize an answer to the Kellogg question… it might make you sound like a robot.” The research you do on the school for Essay 2 will of course be valuable here as well.

As we noted in our introduction, you cannot expect for sure that you will be asked to describe a challenge, but do not dismiss this possibility altogether. Kellogg says that some of the questions posed will be “similar to interview questions,” and queries about past challenges are most definitely common in MBA interviews! You may wish to download a free copy of the mbaMission Interview Guide, which, in addition to advice on preparing for and mastering the interview process, includes several pages of common interview questions that could be helpful in approaching your Kellogg video essays.

One minute is not very long, so run through several practice sessions—perhaps in front of a mirror—to get a sense of how quickly those 60 seconds will pass when you are in front of the camera. Although you can prepare as much as you want (the school even provides practice questions to help you do so), you get only one chance at the recording. If you stumble while answering or ultimately are unhappy with your answer, unfortunately, you cannot do anything about it. You will not be able to rerecord your responses or try again another time. This may make you nervous, but we encourage you to view the situation a little differently. Kellogg wants to get to know the authentic you through these video essays. If you fumble for words or lose your train of thought, just laugh or shrug and continue with your response. Accepting a mistake with a sense of humor and grace will give the admissions committee a more positive and natural impression of your personality than rigid scripting and overpreparation ever could.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Kellogg Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Northwestern Kellogg Interview Primer today.
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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University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018 [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018
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This application season, the University of Virginia’s Darden School is maintaining its single essay question approach, though the content of the query has changed. The school has been known to later add a few—much shorter—prompts, however, so you will need to stay alert for those, in case Darden does so again this year. In the meantime, focus your efforts on the program’s primary essay question, which prods applicants to discuss a past situation in which their opinion on a matter was changed as a result of input from and interaction with others. At first glance, we assume that with this prompt, Darden’s admissions committee is hoping to gain insight into applicants’ capacity for self-assessment and their openness and responsiveness to other viewpoints. You have only 500 words with which to convey all this, so you will need to be simultaneously thorough and concise. We offer our analysis to help you achieve this.

Essay 1: When preparing for class at Darden, students formulate an opinion on each case before meeting with their learning teams and class sections. When encountering different views and perspectives from their own, opinions frequently shift. Tell us about a time when your opinion evolved through discussions with others. (500 words maximum)

A cornerstone of the Darden MBA program is the case method of learning, in which students are presented with an actual business problem, along with all the relevant associated data, and tasked with identifying a solution to that problem. Each person analyzes the situation and information on his or her own, then discusses and debates it with the members of his or her learning team, and finally does so once again in the classroom. So having one’s ideas and opinions questioned and challenged is part and parcel of the Darden experience, which is undoubtedly why the admissions committee has chosen to pose this essay prompt. What better way to assess whether an applicant is the kind of person who would thrive in and benefit from such an interactive and intellectually stimulating environment?

Darden clearly wants evidence that you are capable of listening, reflecting, learning, and growing. If you are not able to do so, the school might assume that you simply do not have the necessary qualities to become an integral part of its next incoming class, let alone a standout manager later in your career. To craft an effective essay response to this query, focus on describing a “before and after” situation in which the information or input another person provided you served as an inflection point that triggered a dramatic change in your thinking.

In business school—as in life in general, in fact—you will encounter people who think differently from you, operate according to different values, and react differently to the same stimuli. And success in an endeavor often involves evaluating and even incorporating the views of others in one’s efforts, but it can also result from resisting opposing perspectives. With this essay prompt, Darden is hoping to learn how you act/react when faced with such differences, using the principle that past behavior is a fairly reliable predictor of future behavior. As we have explained, in the Darden MBA program, you will definitely be required to navigate and consider differing opinions in the course of analyzing case studies, as well as when completing group projects and pursuing other activities both inside and outside the classroom. Do you tend to hold firmly to your convictions, debating divergent views and attempting to persuade others to your mind-set? Or do you readily receive contrasting opinions, taking time to weigh them and consider their applicability to the situation in question? Using a narrative approach, share with the admissions committee a situation in which you faced a perspective that deviated from your own and how this difference influenced your subsequent thought processes and perhaps even your actions.  

For a thorough exploration of the UVA Darden academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, be sure to download your complimentary copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the UVA Darden School of Business Administration.

The Next Step—Mastering Your UVA Darden Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. To help you on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers. Download your free copy of the UVA Darden Interview Primer today.
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job for the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job for the GMAT
The GMAT is the sole piece of data that is truly consistent from one candidate to another. Therefore, many MBA applicants get carried away and place undue emphasis on it, when the test is only one of several important aspects of an application. In extreme cases, some applicants consider quitting their jobs to focus on the GMAT full time—not a great idea!

Why is it not ideal to quit your job to improve your GMAT score? Quite simply, it sends the message that you cannot manage what many other MBA candidates can manage quite well. In your application, you will need to account for any time off; if you honestly note that you quit your job to study for the GMAT, you will place yourself at a relative disadvantage to others who have proved that they can manage work, study, and possibly volunteer work simultaneously. By taking time off, you will send the unintended message that you cannot achieve what many do unless you have an uneven playing field. This is not the message you want to send your target academic institution, which wants to be sure that you can handle the academic course load, a job hunt, community commitments, and more.

Regardless of the admissions committees’ perceptions of taking time off, we believe a calm and methodical approach is your best bet. By furthering your career as you study, you will have a sense of balance in your life. On test day, you will have a far better chance of keeping a level head, ensuring that you will do your best—which, of course, was the point in the first place.
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Strategies for Excelling at Work [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Strategies for Excelling at Work
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In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

In our career coaching blogs, we talk a lot about how to get a job. (Click on “Career Advice” in our Blog Topics directory on the right side of the page for easy access to previous postings.) However, it is also important to focus on how to excel at work.

Excelling at work requires you to exceed role-related performance expectations, but what exactly does that mean? The following steps can help you determine ways to succeed:

  • Understand precisely how your performance will be measured and what it means to excel in your company culture (e.g., valued core competencies, cultural norms/processes, team dynamics).
  • Seek specific and ongoing feedback from your manager and colleagues.
  • Manage your brand. Avoid bragging, but know your value and your two to three key selling points. Take responsibility for any mistakes, and change your behavior to ensure you do not repeat them.
  • Look for opportunities to go the “extra mile.”
  • Be proactive. Offer solutions, not just problems.
At the same time, identify and create an action plan to achieve your professional goals (i.e., Why did you take the role? What do you want to get out of the experience?). Think about the skills you want to develop and/or enhance as well as experiences you want to gain while in the position. The following steps can help you formulate an action plan:

  • Write down your goals and set milestones to achieve them; hold yourself accountable.
  • Share your goals with your manager and mentor(s), and seek their advice. Ask for “stretch” roles and assignments.
  • Volunteer to join task forces, new initiatives, or project teams that enable you to leverage your skills and build new ones while increasing your exposure throughout your organization.
  • Seek out training opportunities—whether through internal HR offerings, professional organizations, conferences, or colleague recommendations.
And finally, build and nurture your network within (and outside of) your company by doing the following:

  • Understand who is respected and admired by the organization; identify what behavior and attributes are rewarded. Seek the opinions of those you respect.
  • Identify people in your network who can serve specific roles—for example, providing guidance based on their knowledge of the company and you, serving as an advocate who promotes you and your skills within the company, or asking clarifying questions to help you stay true to yourself.
  • Build networking into your current job activities and responsibilities. Create relationships and personal connections with those with whom you interact throughout the company.
  • Reach out and congratulate people in your network on their job promotions, big accomplishments, or awards.
  • Pay it forward; show your appreciation, share your knowledge, and help others.
  • Take advantage of any mentoring opportunities that your company offers.
All of these actions have the potential to lead to greater job satisfaction, increased job responsibilities, and accelerated career promotions. Like your job search, your journey to career success requires significant investments of time and effort—but the rewards certainly are worth it!

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!
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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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What NOT to Read on GMAT Reading Comprehension Passages [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2017, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What NOT to Read on GMAT Reading Comprehension Passages
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With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Ironically, to do a great job on Reading Comprehension (RC) on the GMAT, we actually have to learn what NOT to read. So many people struggle with what and how to read, but a big part of the battle is knowing what you can skim or skip!

I am going to give you a quick overview of what I mean by “what NOT to read,” and then I am going to point you to some resources containing full examples of the technique.

Learn the Process

First, read the introduction entitled How To Read A Reading Comp Passage. (Hint: Take some notes! You are going to be trying this out on a real passage in a few minutes.)

Next, you are going to try a couple of examples; one contains a Manhattan Prep passage and one contains an Official Guide (OG) passage.

When you do the exercises, keep a few things in mind:

(1) Look for language clues that help distinguish between “high level” and “detail.” You want to read the “high level” information and skim or skip the “detail.” The “detail” clues tend to be more obvious: for example, for instance, one type of something, and so on.

(2) The bigger the words get, the more likely we will want to skim. They are going to use technical language, but that language will almost certainly be described in easier words at some other point—ignore the technical stuff and go look for that easier description.

(3) Despite #2, we are still expected to have a decent vocabulary. If you run across an unknown-to-you word that is not otherwise defined, then you are forewarned: learn this vocabulary word before you take the GMAT.

Test It Out!

All right, let us try some examples. I am going to have you do the Manhattan Prep example first. Once you think you have mastered that, then try the OG example.

Also, if you have access to Manhattan Prep’s OG Archer study tool, I have also posted a video discussion of the passage used in the article to which I linked. Try it yourself first (using the article), but you then might want to reinforce the lesson by watching the video.
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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Use Conflict in Your Essays, but Avoid Repetitive Techniques [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2017, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Use Conflict in Your Essays, but Avoid Repetitive Techniques
When you are writing a compelling story, conflict can be a very important element. Of course, we mean conflict in the literary rather than the physical or emotional sense (no one wants to hear about how you hotheadedly instigated a confrontation). In literary terms, conflict occurs at the moment an oppositional force helps shape the central story. So, a narrative that presents you—the candidate and hero of the story—experiencing an effortless ride toward victory would not typically be as interesting or exciting as one in which you suffered some bumps and bruises along the way.

For example, most people would find the story of a rookie challenger beating an experienced marathon runner at the finish line a lot more compelling than the story of a runner who leads the race by a wide margin from beginning to end and never experiences any competition. Although you might not have an anecdote like this in your arsenal, our point is that whether you are telling the story of refining a supply chain, getting a deal done, marketing a new product, or accomplishing any other facet of business, you should identify and share the hurdles you overcame in doing so, because describing a time when you enjoyed a smooth and easy path to success may not allow you to shine as brightly.

Like conflict, structure is also an important element in your writing. Many applicants find writing to be a challenge, and some have particular difficulty changing the structure from one essay to the next. For example, a candidate might choose to use a quote at the beginning of an essay to create a sense of urgency:

“This cannot be fixed. This cannot be fixed!” I stared blankly at the broken machinery and knew that the next few hours would be crucial…

 

Using this kind of attention-grabbing technique is certainly acceptable, but you should never use the same technique more than once in an application. By starting more than one essay in the same manner, you are effectively sending the admissions reader the message that you understand how to use a gimmick but not how to tell a compelling story in your own way. This is also a quick way to lose the reader’s interest! So be sure to vary your approach with each new essay within a single application. We work with our candidates to ensure that their ideas are presented in fresh and different ways, to captivate the admissions committee with each introduction and, indeed, each 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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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Earn an MBA in Toronto at the Rotman School of Management [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2017, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Toronto at the Rotman School of Management
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One of Canada’s top-ranked business schools for finance—the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management—benefits from the leadership of a foremost figure in the nation’s financial sector. After Roger Martin stepped down as the school’s dean, Tiff Macklem, the former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, assumed the role in 2014 for a five-year term.

Rotman, ranked first among Canadian MBA programs by the Financial Times in 2017, underwent significant growth under Martin’s deanship, in both campus size and endowment. Macklem’s appointment as dean suggests a continued rise in Rotman’s academic profile and its reputation for financial education. “He has vast experience managing large institutions, translating academic research into public policy, and representing Canada on the world stage,” stated the university’s vice president and provost at the time of the appointment.

In addition to its finance-related strengths, Rotman offers a rather unique approach to core business pedagogy. Relying on what it terms “integrative thinking,” Rotman’s teaching model challenges the compartmentalization of traditional functional areas. Students complete a series of core courses in their first year that emphasize generalized business skills and the ability to think across functional disciplines. In their second year, they are given the option to choose from among 16 different major areas, while supplementing their focus with a broader array of elective courses.

For more information about Rotman and nine other top-ranked international business schools, check out the mbaMission B-School Primers.
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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mbaMission Is Pleased to Offer In-Person Free Consultations in London [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Is Pleased to Offer In-Person Free Consultations in London
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mbaMission Senior Consultant Krista Nannery

Are you a business school applicant residing near London? Could you use some advice from an admissions advisor? If so, then we want to meet you for an in-person free consultation!

mbaMission senior consultant Krista Nannery will be offering free, in-person, one-on-one consultations in London on Saturday, July 15, 2017.

If you would like to meet with Krista to get a head start on your MBA applications and get your most pressing questions answered, please provide some basic information about your candidacy via the submission form at www.mbamission.com/consult. In the form, when asked if you have connected with an mbaMission consultant, please write “Schedule in London.” We will follow up with you within one business day to schedule your in-person, 30-minute consultation with Krista!

Krista looks forward to getting to know some of this season’s best and brightest international business school applicants!
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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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2017 [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2017, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018
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After giving applicants in 2013–2014 a welcome hiatus from its dreaded “cover letter” essay prompt, the MIT Sloan School of Management reinstated the query last year and has maintained it for this application season as well, though with a slighted augmented word limit (300 versus 250) and additional context as to the kind of content the admissions committee wants to see. Candidates must craft a self-introduction letter to Sloan’s longstanding senior director of admissions, explaining and illustrating their fit with and expectations for participation in the school’s MBA program and community. Applicants must then shift their focus to their future classmates and introduce themselves a second time with this new audience in mind and using a different medium: a 60-second video. Although MIT Sloan has removed the choice of format for this essay and prescribed a specific topic, it is still rather open-ended and, as such, offers a valuable opportunity to provide an interesting new angle (or several angles) on your candidacy and personality. We offer our thoughts on MIT Sloan’s application essays in the following analysis to help you navigate your options…

Cover Letter: MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

We strongly advise that you avoid starting your letter with a rote opening like “My name is Bob, and I am seeking a place in the MIT Sloan Class of 2020.” Your admissions reader will likely be asleep before he or she even finishes the sentence! Such information is obvious—we can assure you that the admissions reader is well aware of your desire to be admitted to the MIT Sloan program—and is therefore a waste of precious word count, not to mention that it is hardly the kind of gripping opening that will grab and hold someone’s attention.

The broad scope of this essay prompt allows you a great amount of freedom to choose and share the information you believe is most important for your candidacy. The 300-word maximum is equal to roughly three short paragraphs with which you can make an impression. Informal guidance provided by MIT Sloan’s admissions committee after the release of this same essay question last year indicated that applicants should focus on sharing their personal experiences, accomplishments, values, viewpoints, and/or skills to demonstrate (1) what they can contribute to the school’s greater community as a result and (2) why Sloan’s MBA program in particular is the best one for them. The school does not ask you to outline your post-MBA goals, but if doing so allows you to better substantiate your need or desire for a Sloan MBA specifically, a (very) brief explanation of your aspirations could be appropriate and useful.

After discussing your accomplishments—being careful not to brag!—along with any other elements of your profile that you feel make you a great fit with the school, strive to relate these achievements and qualities to the MIT Sloan experience. Citing specific courses, experiential opportunities, or other relevant resources can help you make a compelling case for your spot in the next incoming class.   

VIDEO STATEMENT: Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief video statement.

You will need to use an internet-connected computer, with a webcam and microphone.  As part of the application review, the Admission Committee will evaluate your response to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. The simple, open-ended question is designed to help us get to know you better.

  • Once the video statement question is viewed you will have 60 seconds to prepare, and then 60 seconds to record your answer.   
  • You will only have one attempt to record your response.
Before you do anything else, stop and take a deep, cleansing breath. We know video essays can be scary, but MIT Sloan is not trying to stress you out. The admissions committee simply wants a more dynamic representation of your personality than a written essay can provide. As the prompt says, the school wants “to see how you express yourself,” so focus on being as authentic and natural as possible. This is not a job interview, and you are instructed to consider your fellow students your intended audience, which certainly implies that a less rigid and traditionally “professional” demeanor is okay, though you should never be inappropriate or offensive. Do not concern yourself with trying to say the “right” things in your video. The topic here is one you know very well—you! A good brainstorming tactic is to imagine meeting someone for the first time at a party or other event and to think about the kinds of questions you might ask one another in the process of getting acquainted. What kind of information would you want to know about this person, and what facts about yourself would you be most eager to share, as a way of conveying who you are and making a connection? (You can even Google “icebreaker questions” to find examples of these sorts of questions.) Take some time to delve into your personality in this way.

Keep in mind that even though in the scenario the school presents, you are supposed to be addressing your fellow students, your actual audience will be the admissions committee, so put some thought into what the school will already have learned about you from your cover letter essay and the other portions of your application. You do not want to repeat any of that information unless the impression you are trying to create would be truly lacking without it. Do not use the video as an opportunity to pitch your candidacy or to pander to the school. This is not the time to detail your career goals or express your admiration for the program. You have only one minute in which to make an impression, and even without knowing you personally, we are confident that you have more to your character than can be conveyed in a mere 60 seconds—so do not waste any of them!

Given that this is a video, you will obviously need to also give thought to dressing properly and what will be around and behind you while you record your video (i.e., the background). Be sure to remove anything that might be distracting or inappropriate before connecting with the school’s Web site to record your response. Also, be sure to speak clearly. You naturally do not want any part of your message to be lost or misunderstood, and the admissions committee may view your communication skills and style as indicators of how you might interact with your classmates and/or speak in the classroom. Although we recommend spending some time practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, do not overrehearse. You still want to come across as genuine and natural.

For a thorough exploration of the MIT Sloan academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, be sure to download your complimentary copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The Next Step—Mastering Your MIT Sloan Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. We therefore offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the MIT Sloan School of Management Interview Primer today.
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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