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The mbaMission Blog

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Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Details Sometimes Do Not [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Details Sometimes Do Not
If your supervisor is writing your business school recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that he/she is putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, a junior employee can only do so much to compel his/her supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first perceive how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay. Each letter must be personalized, and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples.

If your recommender intends to simply write a single letter and force it to “fit” the school’s questions or to attach a standard letter to the end of the school’s recommendation form (for example, including it in the question “Is there anything else that you think the committee should know about the candidate?”), then he/she could be doing you a disservice. By neglecting to put the proper time and effort into your letter, your recommender is sending a very clear message to the admissions committee: “I don’t really care about this candidate.”

If you cannot convince your recommender to write a personalized letter or to respond to your target school’s individual questions using specific examples, look elsewhere. A well-written personalized letter from an interested party is always far better than a poorly written letter from your supervisor.

In addition, although details are important in recommendation letters, remember that sometimes small points are really just that—small points. We often get asked, “Should this be a comma or a semicolon?” and want to respond, “Please trust us that the admissions committee will not say, ‘Oh, I would have accepted this applicant if she had used a comma here, but she chose a semicolon, so DING!’” That said, we are certainly not telling you to ignore the small things. Details matter—the overall impression your application makes will depend in part on your attention to typos, font consistency, and grammar, for example—but we encourage you to make smart and reasonable decisions and move on. You can be confident that your judgment on such topics will likely be sufficient.
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 Must Have Done Something Wrong [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Done Something Wrong
You have a 720 GMAT score and a 3.75 GPA. You have made solid career progress and procured glowing recommendations. You have been actively volunteering in your community for years. You worked hard on your application and landed an interview at your target school, where you felt you did well. But… you did not get in. You must have done something terribly wrong in your interview or unwittingly made a mess of your essays, right? Not necessarily.

We recently spoke with the admissions director at a top MBA program who explained that his school does not give feedback to rejected candidates because it is simply a waste of the candidate’s and admissions staff’s time. The admissions director told us that the school would need to nitpick in order to give candidates something to work on and to ensure that they filled the time during these hypothetical feedback sessions. He explained that nine times out of ten, the feedback that they offered to weaker candidates would be patently obvious and that countless strong applicants had done nothing wrong at all. In fact, most candidates create their best applications, but space is simply limited in the class.

Although this may not be comforting if you were rejected, you may just have been the victim of a competitive process during a competitive year. We suggest that you honestly assess your own candidacy and consider staying the course as you continue applying. Spending significant time revamping your applications may be a waste of time and a losing strategy. Patience may prove beneficial in the long term.
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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Understanding Number Properties on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Understanding Number Properties on the GMAT
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.

Is the GMAT topic of number properties driving you crazy? This concept covers things that we often call “basic”—topics that we learned in middle school (or earlier), such as divisibility, factors and multiples, odds and evens, positives and negatives, and so on. I assure you, though, that number properties questions on the GMAT are anything but basic.

I strongly urge you to develop a solid grounding in this topic, particularly because the test writers are so good at disguising what these problems are really testing.

You will need some kind of book or e-book that covers this topic thoroughly, but I have some resources to help you get started.

Start with this article, “Disguising—and Decoding—Quant Problems.” We talk about how the test writers disguise material that you probably do already know, and how we can learn to “decode” the problem or strip away the camouflage.

If you feel good about the concepts discussed in that article, and you are at a higher math level, try out this challenging problem next.

In the article “Patterns in Divisibility Problems,” we examine two GMATPrep problems that share some interesting characteristics. In this article, we discuss some interesting topics related to prime numbers.

Many questions address basic characteristics of numbers, such as whether they are positive or negative, odd or even, integer or fraction/decimal. These can be disguised in various ways; two of the most common are inequalities and absolute values (which we normally associate more with algebra).

Here are two that use inequalities as a disguise for number properties concepts, one in this article and another from this article, as well as a third one that plays around with absolute value. All three of these are generally hiding issues that deal with positive and negative properties of numbers.

And finally here are two more: a number line problem and one dealing with consecutive integers. The former tests positive and negative properties, as well as some others, and the latter covers a less-commonly-tested but still important number properties category.
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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Kudos [?]: 237 [0], given: 0

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Addressing Sustainability at UCLA Anderson and Thinking Social at NYU  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Addressing Sustainability at UCLA Anderson and Thinking Social at NYU Stern
Applicants to the UCLA Anderson School of Management may be well aware of the school’s strengths in media and real estate, but they might be surprised to learn that Anderson also offers a cutting-edge multidisciplinary program for students interested in environmental sustainability. The school’s Leaders in Sustainability (LiS) program is a certificate program that allows Anderson students to take courses at different graduate schools within the university network, thereby offering them opportunities to address issues of environmental sustainability in an interdisciplinary manner. Students must apply to the program, which typically has more than 190 participants from graduate programs across the university.

Students in the LiS program must take four classes, including the LiS core course and three sustainability-related elective courses—one of which must be taught outside the students’ primary graduate school. In total, the greater university offers more than 50 sustainability-related courses that Anderson students may choose from, ranging from “Business and Environment” to “Economic Analysis for Managers” to even “Water Law.” In addition to completing the program’s required four courses, LiS students must complete a project related to sustainability and may do so individually or as part of a team with students from at least two other graduate schools within the university.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business is perhaps not well known among the top MBA programs for sustainable enterprise or social entrepreneurship. However, the school in fact offers an array of resources for those interested in pursuing careers in such fields. The W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs serve as the hub of all entrepreneurial activities and events at the school, and in 2008, Stern introduced a Social Innovation and Impact specialization, thereby formalizing an academic track for students with this career path in mind.

Attending or helping to plan the “Think Social, Drink Local” marquee fundraiser is one of many options that socially conscious aspiring MBAs will find to fulfill their interests at Stern. With help from corporate sponsors such as Brooklyn Brewery and Crop Organic Vodka, the school’s Social Enterprise Association hosts the event in partnership with the Stern Luxury & Retail Club. In March 2017, the 12th annual event took place at The Prince George Ballroom and featured an open bar and the “I Heart New York” runway fashion show—a fundraiser for Stern’s Social Impact Internship Fund—in which Stern students and administrators modeled clothing by ecofriendly designers. The fashion show is a highlight of the evening each year and has raised more than $10K in past years.

Through Stern Consulting Corps, students can partner on consulting projects with New York City–based nonprofits. And for those who also have the entrepreneurial bug, Stern added a Social Venture Competition—in which participants compete for a $75K prize—to its traditional for-profit $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge.

In short, socially conscious Sternies have quite a bit to keep them busy!

For a thorough exploration of what UCLA Anderson, NYU Stern, and 14 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in the Midwest
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Indiana University’s Kelley School of Busines

As the demand for business-savvy health care professionals grows, business schools are taking notice. Leading the way is the Business of Medicine MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which is designed to train practicing physicians to assume management positions and face a changing health care business environment. As the Financial Times reports, the two-year degree program began in the fall of 2013 and presents a new kind of opportunity at the intersection of business management and medical practice.

The degree combines the basic curriculum of Kelley’s full-time MBA with specialized health care courses supported by the school’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences. The Financial Times quotes Idalene Kesner, who was interim dean at the time of the article but has since been appointed dean, as saying, “With this degree, physician leaders will emerge with the full skillset to transform individual institutions, the broad healthcare field and, most important, patient outcomes.” Part of the Business of Medicine MBA program is taught online, drawing on Kelley’s pioneering strengths in distance learning, while the other part entails one weekend residence per month, allowing for a more flexible time commitment.

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Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business

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

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

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Prepare for Your Second Year of Business School
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.

We know that many of you are working hard at your MBA internships right now. And even though full-time recruiting seems far away, depending on your target industry, it can begin soon after you return to campus. Therefore, we suggest that you make time to reflect and start your preparations now by taking the following actions:

Reflect

  • What are you learning in your internship? How are you contributing to your department, company, and/or client?
  • What do you like most/least about your internship? How does your internship help you achieve your career goals? Is there a good fit between you and the role/company?
  • How have you performed at your internship to date? Are there areas for improvement that you can address before your internship ends?
  • Do you plan to recruit for full-time positions with other companies? If so, why?
Prepare

  • Start reviewing and updating your resume.
    • Be strategic; focus on relevance over comprehensiveness.
    • Share the new skills you have developed during your internship and the experiences that are relevant to your post-MBA target job.
    • Focus on highlighting your impact even if the project extends beyond your internship.
  • Understand the timing of full-time recruiting for your target industries/companies.
    • Seek guidance from your career office on important resume book and job application deadlines, as well as employer events and recruiting policies.
    • Join relevant student clubs to gain access to employer events and recruiting education resources.  
  • Make a list of five to ten target companies of interest to you. Learn about their full-time hiring needs and processes.
  • Connect with classmates who are interning with your target companies. Ask them about their experiences, and express your interest in learning more about opportunities with their employer.
  • Evaluate your internship recruiting performance. What obstacles did you face, and how can you overcome them during full-time recruiting? What can you do now to make the fall recruiting process better? (Perhaps take the time to do more market research or to practice mock interviews.)
  • Think about your updated career narrative. How will you incorporate your internship into your networking pitch?
  • Write down key experiences and accomplishments from your internship. You will be able to use them as stories during upcoming full-time behavior-based interviews.
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!
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: Youngme Moon, Harvard Business School [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Youngme Moon, Harvard Business School
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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 Youngme Moon from Harvard Business School (HBS).

In addition to receiving the HBS Student Association Faculty Award from the first-year class in 2002 and the Faculty Award from the second-year class in 2005 and 2007, Youngme Moon was also the inaugural recipient of the Hellman Faculty Fellowship in 2002–2003 for distinction in research. Moon is currently the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and the senior associate dean for strategy and innovation at the school. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology, and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Moon’s 2010 book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Crown Business), is described by the publisher as showing “how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns…but exceptions rule.” Students described her to mbaMission as being extremely friendly and accessible, even going out for casual dinners with students.

For more information about HBS and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free 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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Your MBA Program Is the Sole Determina [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Your MBA Program Is the Sole Determinant of Your Future
Human nature dictates that amid a competitive application process—exaggerated by the pervasiveness of rankings and the chatter surrounding them—some MBA students will perceive that they are ahead of others because they were accepted at a top school, while others will perceive that they are behind their peers because they gained acceptance from a lower-ranked school. What is often lost amid all of this worrying is that you, not your business school, are the independent variable. You, not your school, will determine your success.

Many regard such prestigious institutions as Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business as a holy grail of sorts. Their reasoning is along the lines of, “All you have to do is get in and you are set for life!” This is undoubtedly wrong. Although tremendous opportunities exist for those who graduate from Harvard or Stanford, no graduate is simply given a free pass. When MBAs find summer or full-time positions at prestigious firms, they are still competing with others from many schools once they enter their workplaces, where (surprise!) their individual performance—not their pedigree—then determines their success.

An mbaMission consultant recalls her MBA summer internship at J.P. Morgan, wherein the firm recruited students from 17 top MBA programs. At the end of the summer, students from Wharton, Michigan Ross, UVA Darden, Texas McCombs, and NYU Stern were offered full-time positions, while students from many other schools were left out. This simple anecdote features a very small sampling from one firm and one summer, but it can be an eye-opener for an MBA applicant who assumes that a top ten school is the “ticket.”

Further, a myriad of studies suggest that lower-ranked schools offer a greater return on investment than top-ranked schools. In one study sponsored by GMAC (the collective of MBA programs that administers the GMAT), data suggests that lower-ranked schools offer lower costs and higher returns over a ten-year period (185% vs. 118%). We are not suggesting that you start applying exclusively to lower-ranked schools or that you shun Stanford or Harvard—both have excellent programs. Our point is simply that some applicants can too closely identify with their target schools and neglect to recognize that their internal motors have gotten them to a place where they can compete for acceptances. These internal motors will not be shut off during or after business school, but will continue to drive the applicants in the future.
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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While Waiting Patiently for B-School Interview Invitations, Consider W [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: While Waiting Patiently for B-School Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect
As interview invitations begin to roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the Admissions Office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if an interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent.

Admissions Offices are increasingly transparent and should be taken at their word. If they say they are still releasing decisions, then they are in fact still doing so. If they say that the timing of your interview decision does not signify an order of preference, then it does not. Unless something has changed materially in your candidacy, all you can really do—as painful as it may be—is wait patiently and try not to think about the decision or second-guess your status.

With the 2017–2018 MBA application season just kicking off, we thought it would be appropriate to discuss some challenging interview situations you might encounter. Most business school interviews are straightforward opportunities for an interviewer to learn more about a candidate’s personal and professional backgrounds, goals, reasons for selecting a specific school, and leadership/team experiences. Yet interviews can vary dramatically from school to school, and sometimes they include a few peculiarities. So, what constitutes a “tough” interview, and how can you best navigate one?

Stoic interviewer: Some interviewers can be unemotional, refusing to give you any indication as to whether you are making a positive impression or not. And amid the intense pressure of an interview, you may perceive this lack of clear positive response as a sign of actual disapproval. The key to managing such a situation is to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion. Focus on your answers and do your best to not be distracted by anything about the interviewer, ignoring everything except the questions he/she is posing. “Reading” the interviewer in real time can be challenging, so you should instead concentrate on showcasing your strengths.

Philosophical questions: Most candidates are ready to discuss their experiences and accomplishments, but many are not prepared to discuss their values and philosophy on life. Harvard Business School, in particular, likes to understand applicants’ motivations and will ask questions like “What is your motivation to succeed?,” “What drives you?,” and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key to answering these sorts of questions is pretty simple: expect and prepare for them in advance (after all, you are being warned right now). However, you should not assume that all the questions you will receive during your interview will be experiential.

Persistent questioning: Sometimes a tough interviewer will continuously delve deeper into a subject, such as by repeatedly asking “Can you be more specific about [the topic under discussion]?” after posing an initial question. These kinds of unusual pressure tactics can be disconcerting, but the key is to simply stay on topic. No matter how persistent he/she is, the interviewer is always essentially asking you about a subject that you know quite well—you! So again, by avoiding the distraction of the tactic and sticking to your agenda, you should be fine.

mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our FREE Interview Primers, which are available for 17 top-ranked business schools.
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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Set the Tone Early and Employ Active Verbs in Your MBA Application Ess [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Set the Tone Early and Employ Active Verbs in Your MBA Application Essays
As any good journalist will tell you, the key to writing a good newspaper story or opinion piece is to make sure the very first line grabs the reader’s attention. Many authors employ this tactic when writing books. Perhaps few of us have actually read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, but many know that the novel begins with three famous words: “Call me Ishmael.” A powerful first line can stick with readers long after they have finished reading—and sometimes even when they have not read something firsthand. For example, we all likely recognize the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night,” but few of us may know that it is the opening line of a book by an obscure writer (Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton).

Although beginning an essay with a very short introduction is the norm, sometimes a punchy opening line can grab the reader’s attention in a useful way. Consider the differences between these pairs of openers. Which line in each example better captures your attention?

Example 1: A “Why MBA?” essay

A: “After I graduate with my MBA, I want to work in the wine industry.”

B: “Blood runs in the veins of all humans, but wine also runs in mine.”

Example 2: A “What are you most passionate about in life?” essay

A: “I enjoy nothing more than playing ice hockey.”

B: “As soon as the nearby river freezes, I wake at 6 a.m. each day and join my teammates for a prework hockey scrimmage.”

No set formula exists for opening lines—the possibilities are endless, and each opener depends on the context of the story being told. Nonetheless, our point is that you must carefully consider your opening line, because it will set the tone for your essay and determine whether your reader will want to read more.

Now, let us examine the role of active verbs in your essays. Anyone who has ever written an email that has been misunderstood—let alone an MBA application essay—is no doubt aware of the subtleties of language and the nuances that can change a message’s meaning. Indeed, you can enliven a basic sentence simply by choosing more active verbs.

For example, consider the verb “earn.” By using “earn” rather than a more passive verb in the following examples, we can alter the meaning and impact of each sentence. Suddenly, you are in control. Suddenly, you worked hard and, as a result, accomplished great things.

Passive/poor example: “I was promoted from junior to senior analyst.”

Active/good example: “I earned a promotion from junior to senior analyst.”

Passive/poor example: “After being awarded my MBA, I will be able to…”

Active/good example: “After earning my MBA, I will be able to…”

Once you have finished your application essays, review them to see how often you can replace certain words with “earn” or a similar verb—such as “achieve,” “gain,” and “attain”—that denotes action on your part.
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Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School
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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 Jonathan Knee from Columbia Business School (CBS).

Jonathan Knee is a professor of professional practice at CBS and the co-director of the school’s Media and Technology Program. Knee is also still active in the private sector as a senior advisor (formerly a senior managing director) at the advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners. He is perhaps best known among CBS students for his book The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, we are told, brings a unique perspective into the classroom by showing where entertainment and finance cross paths. In his latest book, Class Clowns: How the Smartest Investors Lost Billions in Education (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2017), Knee explores investors’ efforts in higher education. Students reported to mbaMission that his “Mergers and Acquisitions in Media” class is intense and that the course’s final presentation—made before a guest panel of practicing investors—feels like the real deal. One alumnus who took a class with Knee said the benefits of having an active advisor as a teacher were the business insight and guest speakers the professor brought into the classroom.

For more information about CBS and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out our FREE mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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August 2017 Event Roundup [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: August 2017 Event Roundup
Are you applying to business school this fall? If so, you can enroll in one of our free business school workshops, which are offered both online and in person in major cities across the country!

This month, we invite you to join us in Boston; NYC; and online! The event lineup includes the following sessions:

  • AUGUST 2:

    Essay Writing Workshop (Boston) https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/20769/How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? In this session, we will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point to a workshop for prospective business school applicants. Attendees will walk through a series of exercises that challenge them to uncover their personal and nuanced stories, craft compelling opening statements, develop meaningful goal statements, connect their goals to their target school’s resources, and more. 
  • AUGUST 9

    Essay Writing Workshop (NYC)How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? In this session, we will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point to a workshop for prospective business school applicants. Attendees will walk through a series of exercises that challenge them to uncover their personal and nuanced stories, craft compelling opening statements, develop meaningful goal statements, connect their goals to their target school’s resources, and more. 
  • AUGUST 9:

    Writing a Standout HBS Essay (Online)In our presentation, “Writing a Standout HBS Application Essay,” we will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute them so that your experiences truly stand out. 
  • AUGUST 22

    The Last Minute MBA Application (Online) https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/20772/In this session, we will review practical ways of making the most of the time you still have and provides concrete strategies for completing your applications on time—and with the quality you want.
To enroll in one of our free seminars, click the event title in the list above. We look forward to having you join us!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT
You finally took the GMAT, and though your score was not bad, it was not what you had hoped—not your best score, but certainly not so low that you need to take the test again. With a score just below where you think you should be, should you risk it all and take the test again? The truth is that there is actually no risk in taking the GMAT a second—or even a third—time in pursuit of a better outcome.

If you feel like you do your best on the GMAT on your first try, you can rest easy and move on. However, if you do poorly or simply do not live up to your potential, go ahead and take the test again. Simply put, do not worry that if you do worse on your second try, your target school will average your score down or consider only your lower score. In fact, whether your score improves or gets worse, your target school will consider only your highest score, thereby eliminating any risk to you or your candidacy. So, if you score a 700 on your first test and a 670 on your second, you are better off than if you had scored a 690 on both.

It is worth noting that Dartmouth Tuck tacitly encourages multiple attempts at the GMAT by allowing applicants to report up to two scores. Tuck will consider an applicant’s best performance on each section of the GMAT (verbal and quantitative), even if the individual scores are from different tests.

So, relax and take the test again if you have time and—more importantly—can do better. However, unless you feel that you can improve, taking the test over and over again is pointless. You would be surprised how many people take the GMAT repeatedly without considering improvement at all.
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Dartmouth College (Tuck) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018 [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dartmouth College (Tuck) Essay Analysis, 2017–2018
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The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has remained largely constant with its first essay question this year, making just a slight change in wording that does not appear to affect the content requested—the candidate’s career goals, why an MBA is needed to achieve them, and his or her reasons for targeting Tuck. The school’s second required essay prompt has changed notably, however. Applicants are now asked to share the story of a difficult time and to explain how they responded and how the incident altered their understanding of themselves. An optional essay is also available to allow those who truly need to to address any weaknesses in their candidacy. Although none of the essays should exceed 500 words (approximately three times the length of this introductory paragraph), we feel that together, they give candidates sufficient opportunity to provide the admissions committee with a multifaceted impression of themselves for evaluation. Read on for more in-depth analysis of each of Tuck’s prompts for this season…

Essay 1: What are your short- and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)

If this essay prompt seems rather simplistic and straightforward, that is because it is. Tuck is requesting very fundamental—yet incredibly important—information and really just wants you to provide it so the school can understand your motivation for pursuing a Tuck MBA and where you expect to go in your career afterward. Be as specific as possible in your description of where you see yourself after graduation and several years down the line, from the industry and role to any additional details about which you currently feel confident (perhaps specific companies or responsibilities that appeal to you in particular). Explain what has brought you to this point in your professional life, not only your career progression to date but also what has inspired you to earn an advanced degree as a vital tool in moving forward. And absolutely do not gloss over the third part of the school’s question, which requests that you note which of the program’s resources you believe will be most helpful to you in your pursuits. This last portion needs to be more than a passing mention, so do your research on the school and draw a clear picture for your admissions reader as to how and why the particular offerings you have identified relate directly to your needs and how you intend to apply them.

This essay includes many of the most elemental components of a traditional personal statement essay. We therefore encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, in which we provide much more in-depth guidance on how to consider and respond to these sorts of questions, along with numerous illustrative examples. Please feel free to download your complimentary copy today.

And for a thorough exploration of Dartmouth Tuck’s academic program, unique resources, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, standout professors, and other key features, consider downloading a copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Tuck School of Business, which is also available for free.

Essay 2: Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.

With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:

  • received tough feedback,
  • experienced failure, or
  • disappointed yourself or others.
How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)

To start, let us point out that the school does not specify from which realm of your life—professional, personal, or community related—the story you choose to share here must come. This means you can plumb the entirety of your experiences for the one you believe best fulfills what the school wants to see—“personal accountability and action,” as it states in a Tuck 360 blog post about this season’s essays—and about which you feel most strongly. Likewise, whether you choose the feedback, failure, or disappointment option is not what is important here (no one of these is “right” while any other is “wrong”). The admissions committee wants to know that the incident you are showcasing was truly significant for you and had a meaningful impact, so let that be your guide.

Tuck also wants evidence that you are capable of reflecting, learning, and growing. If you are not able to do this, the school might assume that you simply do not have the necessary qualities to be a strong, contributing member of its next incoming class, let alone a standout manager later in your life. Strive to describe a kind of “before and after” situation in which the input you received, the setback you encountered, or the chagrin you experienced served as an inflection point that triggered a dramatic change in you. One way to approach this is by crafting a narrative that involves momentum in one direction that is suddenly derailed when you hit the stumbling block in question and are ultimately changed.

Given that you have just 500 words with which to set the scene and discuss the three components the school requests—a description of your selected experience, your response to it, and what you ultimately discovered about yourself—we suggest that you forego any kind of general introduction and launch directly into your story, immediately placing your reader in the middle of the action. Similarly, avoid mentioning several different experiences (perhaps for fear of offering the “wrong” one) and focus just on one that you describe in detail. Let the narrative unfold naturally, making sure that the basics of the feedback, failure, or disappointment are clearly presented. Then, explicitly address the feelings and thoughts you had as a result and any subsequent actions you took.

The other crucial element of this essay is demonstrating that you learned from the experience—do not gloss over this part or offer a trite or clichéd statement as a kind of afterthought. And specifically, you must share that you learned something about yourself. So, claiming that you gained a new skill, for example, would not constitute an appropriate response. You will need to delve more deeply into how your understanding of yourself differed after the situation and clearly explain what the experience brought out in you that you had not known about yourself before. Your unique thoughts on this point can differentiate you from other applicants, and showing that you recognize how the incident changed you demonstrates your self-awareness and capacity for growth. The school does not want to know only that you have faced and overcome a challenge but also how it has contributed to the person you are today.

Optional Essay: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere and may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

You may be tempted to take advantage of this optional essay as an opportunity to share an additional compelling story or to highlight a part of your profile that you fear might be overlooked or undervalued, but we strongly encourage you to resist this temptation. Submit an optional essay here only if your candidacy truly needs it. Consider what the school says about this essay from the aforementioned Tuck 360 blog post: “If you give us an extra five paragraphs to read and it’s not necessary, we will question your judgment or your ability to express yourself succinctly elsewhere.” You really cannot get much clearer than that! So again, only if your profile has a noticeable gap of some kind or an issue that would might raise a red flag or elicit questions on the part of an admissions officer—such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT/GRE score, a gap in your work experience, an arrest, etc.—should you take this opportunity to provide additional information. Download a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on deciding whether to take advantage of the optional essay as well as on how to do so effectively (with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

Reapplicant Essay: (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

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. Tuck 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 Tuck MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.
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MBAs for Professionals at Villanova School of Business and Krannert Sc [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBAs for Professionals at Villanova School of Business and Krannert School of Management
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Villanova School of Business

In 2013, the Villanova School of Business (VSB) received a $50M gift from alumnus James C. Davis, founder of Allegis Group, and his wife, Kim. The donation—part of a $600M capital campaign—was the largest in the school’s history and was reportedly “earmarked to improve academic and career advising, increase internship and study abroad opportunities, perform technology upgrades, and provide scholarships,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. VSB also planned to use a portion of the funds to “beef up its faculty roster to include more professors focused on teaching as opposed to research.”

With a satellite campus in Center City, Philadelphia, VSB specializes in part-time programs for working professionals, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a full-time curriculum without leaving their job. In this vein, the school offers an accelerated, two-year, part-time Fast Track degree option, which meets twice a week, as well as the more customizable Flex Track degree option, which typically takes three years to complete and accommodates varying course loads.

One advantage of the accelerated option is the opportunity to partake in the school’s two-part consulting practicum project, which includes the “Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum” and the “Global Practicum” capstone courses—each lasting 14 weeks. In the former practicum, students work with local nonprofit organizations to identify strategies in such areas as branding, funding, and membership retention. Alternatively, the latter practicum entails working with a multinational corporation to gain firsthand experience analyzing market issues. VSB also hosts a variety of elective international immersion courses, through which students may travel abroad over winter break or during the summer.

Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management

Another MBA for professionals—in this case, specifically those with a background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—is available at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. As technical knowledge becomes increasingly relevant across diverse industries, many MBA programs seem to be vying to dominate the intersection of science and management education.

Supplementing its global focus, Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management launched a one-year, full-time MBA program for STEM professionals in 2014, which was designed to bring management education to applicants who possess at least four years of work experience in a technical field.

The specialized STEM program reflects, as Bloomberg Businessweek suggests, the growing role of STEM professionals in entrepreneurship, consulting, and managerial positions. The program’s curriculum entails five modules, including a summer session, that combine a business core and a wide selection of electives with STEM-related case studies and learning projects.
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The Role of Exercise in Your GMAT Preparation [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Role of Exercise in Your GMAT Preparation
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.

Back in 2013, the New York Times’ Well blog featured a fascinating post. Exercise has a whole host of good benefits, including benefits associated with memory. Two studies delved even deeper into how this works.

How does exercise help memory?

In the blog post, New York Times journalist Gretchen Reynolds details two studies—one conducted on humans and the other conducted on rats.

In the human study, elderly women who already had some mild cognitive impairment were split into three groups. One group lifted weights, the second group engaged in moderate aerobic exercise, and the third group did yoga-like activities.

The participants were tested at the beginning and end of the six-month exercise period, and the results were striking. First, bear in mind that, in general, we would expect elderly people who are already experiencing mental decline to continue down that path over time. Indeed, after six months, the yoga group (the “control” group) showed a mild decline in several aspects of verbal memory.

The weight-training and aerobic groups, by contrast, actually improved their performance on several tests (remember, this was six months later!). The women were better at both making new memories and remembering/retrieving old ones!

Another group of researchers conducted a similar study, only this time, rats were getting some cardio in or lifting weights. (The rats ran on wheels for the cardio exercise and, get this, for the weight lifting, the researchers tied little weights to the rats’ tails and had them climb tiny ladders!)

At the end of six weeks, the running rats showed increased levels of a brain protein that helps create new brain cells. The tail-weight-trainers had higher levels of a different protein that helps new neurons survive.

How can I use this? Get up and MOVE!

Reading this study has made me want to exercise more—and not even for the GMAT! I would like to stave off mental decline in my old age.

The women in the study were performing fairly mild exercises only twice a week (remember, they were elderly), so we do not suddenly have to become fitness fiends. We do not know, of course, exactly how the study results might translate to younger people, but the general trend is clear: exercise can help us make and retain memories. That is crucially important when studying for the GMAT—every last bit will help!

Get a little bit of both weight training and cardio in every week. You do not have to become a gym rat (pun intended). Engaging in some moderate activity every few days is probably enough. Look for ways to incorporate mild exercise into your daily routine. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I carry a basket around on my arm rather than push a cart (unless I really have to buy a lot). I will fill that basket right up to the brim—often, I end up having to use both hands to continue carrying the thing. I figure that every time I do that, it has to be worth at least 10 to 15 minutes of pumping iron!

Studying for the GMAT is tiring, so use this news as an excuse to take a brain break. Get up and walk around the block for 15 minutes, or turn on some music and dance or run the vacuum cleaner (vigorously!). Then sit back down and enjoy the brain fruits of your physical labors.

 
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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Ending Your MBA Internship on the Right Foot [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Ending Your MBA Internship on the Right Foot
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.

With many MBA internships winding down in the next week or two, we wanted to offer a few pieces of advice on how to end your experience on a positive note:

  • Perform at 100% until the last day of your internship. Continue to show the firm that you are a valuable asset who can contribute to the organization and who is passionate about the business. Along with your manager, determine who will take over your work, and then ensure the transition goes smoothly by setting up meetings and documenting your work to date.
  • Seek final feedback on your performance. Understand your strengths and areas for improvement as well as where things stand regarding your chances of receiving a full-time job offer. (Note: Not all companies plan to extend full-time offers at the end of internships, but you should know how the firm evaluated your performance and any next steps for keeping in touch about the potential for future opportunities.)
  • Thank your co-workers, manager, MBA recruiter, and any key advocates for supporting you throughout your internship. If people went out of their way to help you acclimate to your new role, you may even want to express your appreciation to them via email or by leaving a handwritten note on their desk.
  • Consider inviting your colleagues to connect on LinkedIn. Of course, before you do so, ensure you have updated your LinkedIn profile with your internship details. (You can find tips on creating a strong LinkedIn profile here.)
We hope that your internship was enjoyable—or at least that it helped you gain new skills and informed your thinking on your full-time career goals. As you prepare to return to campus and potentially engage in full-time recruiting, consider reaching out to see how an mbaMission Career Coach can help.

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!
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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