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The mbaMission Blog

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Professor Profiles: Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Rawi Abdelal, 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 profile Rawi Abdelal from Harvard Business School (HBS).

Rawi Abdelal is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management and the director of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. In addition to teaching, he serves as a faculty associate for such groups as Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.

His first book, National Purpose in the World Economy: Post-Soviet States in Comparative Perspective (Cornell University Press, 2001), won the 2002 Shulman Prize for outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision making of any former Soviet Union or Eastern European state. In 2016, Abdelal was granted the HBS One Harvard Faculty Fellowship, and in 2013, he received the Robert F. Greenhill Award, given to outstanding members of the HBS community who are making significant contributions to the school. Moreover, in 2004, he was awarded the Student Association’s Faculty Award for outstanding teaching in the required curriculum.

Abdelal is a student favorite, we were told by those we interviewed, because of his willingness to spend time with students outside the classroom (even those who are not in his section), explaining macroeconomic concepts that can be difficult to grasp. He is also known for incorporating unusual references from literature and popular culture into his class discussions. He has made allusions to Shakespeare, the movie Fight Club, and even rapper Jay-Z’s song “Blue Magic” to help explain complex topics.

For more information about HBS and 16 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

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mbaMission

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Cold Calls and Capital Management at Darden  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cold Calls and Capital Management at Darden
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MBA students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are known to work quite hard amid the rigors of the case method. Each day, they are expected to read a business case and perform their own analysis of the situation presented. Then, they must compare and reason through their analysis with a small, diverse group of fellow students—their Learning Team. Students can often spend two to four hours prepping on their own and then two to three more with their teammates to arrive at an answer (as opposed to the answer). And what might be the reward for all this work? The student may be selected for a “cold call” to start off the class.

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

Outside the Darden classroom, students can apply principles of the school’s general management program in the Darden Capital Management (DCM) club, where they evaluate equities to understand the entire firm while also specializing in asset management to further their careers in this finance industry niche. Many think that because Darden casts itself as offering a general management program, the school has no specialties. General management, however, is a philosophy that suggests that no business problem can be viewed in isolation—for example, a finance problem relates to marketing, a marketing problem relates to operations, and so on.

Through DCM, first-year students pitch long and short investment ideas to second-year student fund managers who oversee approximately $14M of Darden’s endowment, which is divided among five funds, each with its own focal area. Approximately 20 first years ultimately “graduate” and run these funds themselves for credit as second years, reporting on their investment decisions and performance to Darden’s finance board. Students who manage these funds report that they have had an advantage breaking into asset management, because this hands-on experience gives them plenty to discuss in interviews. Managing around $14M will do that…

For more information on Darden or 16 other leading MBA programs, 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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems
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.

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The quant section of the GMAT is not a math test. Really! It just looks like one on the surface. In reality, the test writers are testing us on how we think.

As such, they write many math problems in a way that hides what is really being tested or even implies a solution method that is not the best solution method. Assume nothing, and do not accept that what they give you is your best starting point!

Instead, slow down a little. First, just glance at the whole problem (before you really start reading) to see what kind of problem you have.

Next, read the problem and jot down any numbers, formulas, etc. Do not do any translation or simplification at this stage—in short, do not do any actual work yet. Just get the basics on paper, and wrap your brain around what the question is saying. You will be less likely to fall into their traps if you think before you act.

Then, reflect and organize: what have you got, and what should you consider doing with it? Do any pieces of information go together? Do you see any clues that give you an idea of how to solve the problem? Is the problem really obviously suggesting a certain path? Maybe that will work—but make a conscious decision that this really is your best path.

Most of the time, when an “obvious” path is suggested, some other path is actually faster or easier. Also, remember that your best approach might be to guess and move on, depending on how hard the question is!

Finally, if you are not going to guess, then get to it and work! You made some kind of plan during the previous step, so start working that plan!

If you get stuck at this stage, you are allowed to give yourself one chance to unstick yourself. Go back to an earlier step in your work to see whether you can find another way forward. If you find yourself still stuck, pick something and move on.

Want to see some examples of all this? Glad you asked. I have got a full two-part article for you with three different practice problems. Get to it, and let me know what you think!
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
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not   [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not Count
“I had an internship from June to August of 2014. Will the admissions committee count it as work experience?”

“I was running a lab during my Master’s program—is that part of my total number of months of work experience?”

“I ran a small business that ultimately failed—will I get credit for my time as an entrepreneur?”

Business schools have not seriously considered a candidate’s number of months of work experience as a factor in admissions decisions for a long time. In fact, with such programs as Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business increasingly open to younger candidates, work experience on a strictly quantitative level is actually being devalued at some schools. A candidate’s quantity of work experience is just not relevant—quality is what is important. An “average” employee who has merely fulfilled expectations during a five-year stint at a Fortune 500 company could certainly be said to be at a disadvantage compared with an individual who has made the most of a three-year stint elsewhere and has been promoted ahead of schedule. Think about it—which of the two would you admit?

So, if you are asked on an application how many months of work experience you will have prior to matriculating, you should simply answer honestly. If you have any gray areas or are unsure about any aspect of your professional experience as it pertains to your application, you can always call the Admissions Office for guidance—most Admissions Offices are actually surprisingly helpful with this kind of simple technical question. Thereafter, stop worrying about the number of months you do or do not have and instead focus on revealing that—and how—you have had an impact in your professional life. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, resume, and other application elements will ultimately make a qualitative impact that will outweigh any quantitative data.
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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Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven with  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2018, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven with the Active Voice
When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many MBA applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it an attractive one, we encourage you to consider an alternative to showcase your more recent and thus potentially stronger accomplishments first. By choosing this alternate approach, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

Consider the examples of a software analyst who is now a project manager managing a budget and leading a team of 20 programmers, and of an investment banking analyst who is now in his/her third year with a company and has been sent abroad to work directly with a CFO:

The Project Manager:

Chronological: “Joining ABC Technology as a software programmer, I…”

Reverse: “Scrutinizing my plan one last time, I waited to present my team’s $3.7M proposal to our client…” 

The Investment Banker:

Chronological: “As an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank, I started…”

Reverse: “Arriving in Taipei, I was admittedly nervous to finally meet the CFO of XYZ Co. and lead my firm’s due diligence process…”

In these examples, the candidates immediately present their standout accomplishments and thrust the reader into the excitement of their stories. Although this kind of reverse introduction is not “all purpose,” it can be a feasible option in many circumstances. Still, in choosing this approach, the candidate must also be able to fluidly return to earlier moments in his/her career later in the essay—a task that requires creativity and skill.

Another task that requires skill is determining when to use the active voice. Many writers use the passive voice in their essays, but the best writers know it should be used only rarely, if ever.

The passive voice puts the verb in the “wrong” place in the sentence, thereby removing the “action.” Subjects become acted upon rather than performing actions. Sentences with the passive voice typically include verb phrases such as “was” or “has been” (e.g., “it was determined,” “the project has been completed”).

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

In this sentence, the verb (or action) is diminished because the writer says the marathon “was run.” A better way of describing the same activity is to use the active voice, as illustrated in this example:

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

Passive: “It was decided that I would be in charge of the project.”

Active: “My boss selected me to be in charge of the project.”

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.
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
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Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again, and Dealing with Low AWA   [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 10:03
FROM mbaMission Blog: Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again, and Dealing with Low AWA Scores
When candidates who have already taken the GMAT exam once ask us whether they should take the test again, we always reply with this key question: “Do you think you can do better?” If the individual does indeed believe that he/she can improve, the next question we inevitably get is “What do business schools think of multiple scores?”

Fortunately, most MBA admissions committees do not frown on candidates taking the GMAT more than once. Many applicants feel that they have to be “perfect” the first time and that any subsequent test they take—particularly if they receive a lower score on it—might be damaging to their candidacy. This is not the case. Dartmouth Tuck, for one, anticipates that applicants will take the exam more than once and openly states its willingness to “consider your highest quantitative and highest verbal scores,” if they occur on separate tests. Meanwhile, other programs have been known to call candidates and tell them that if they can increase their GMAT scores, they will be offered admission.

Accepting a candidate’s highest GMAT scores is actually in an MBA program’s best interest, because doing so will raise the school’s GMAT average, which is then reported to rankings bodies such as Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report and could positively affect the school’s position in these surveys. So, do not be afraid to take the test two or even three times. It can only help.

Now, if you took the GMAT and feel like you finally “nailed” the exam but later learn that your score on the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), the essay portion, is low, should you panic?

In short, the answer is no. Although we have always encouraged business school candidates to do the best they can on the AWA, the truth is that we have never been told by an admissions officer—nor, as far as we know, has a candidate ever been told in a feedback session—that the AWA score is a factor in a school’s decisions. Generally, the AWA is not used to evaluate candidates but to detect fraud.

If, hypothetically, you had tremendous difficulty expressing yourself via the AWA essays but wrote like a Pulitzer Prize winner in your application essays, the school would get suspicious and begin to compare the two. Not to worry—the schools are not punitive and are not acting as fraud squads. Your AWA essays are expected to be unpolished, so no one will seek out your file if you did your best in both areas. However, if an enormous discrepancy arises between the two, the AWA serves a purpose.

So, if you did well on the GMAT and have a low AWA score, that is unfortunate, but it will not be the difference in a school’s decision about your candidacy. Rest easy—as long as you truly did write both!
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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate School of Business  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate 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 profile Baba Shiv from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

“Baba Shiv is a legend,” said a first-year GSB student with whom we spoke. Baba Shiv, the Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing who also teaches within the executive MBA program, received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and his PhD from Duke University before joining the Stanford GSB faculty in 2005. Shiv’s research concentration is in the area of neuroeconomics, and he focuses his studies on the systems of the brain that lead individuals to like and want things and how those systems shape people’s decisions. His work explores self-control and why people make certain choices, even when logic tells them that those choices may not be in their best interest.

A GSB alumni magazine article once described Shiv as “a favorite uncle who is always interested in your life and eager to talk about new, exciting ideas,” and Dan Ariely, a colleague of Shiv’s and a professor at Duke Fuqua, noted in the same article, “Shiv’s mere presence makes everything around him seem better.” A second year and Marketing Club officer told mbaMission that Shiv “tries to be a career resource for people who want to pursue marketing careers” and is “engaging and exciting to listen to. He is one of the favorite members of the whole faculty; people love him.”

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 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

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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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Four GMAT Myths Busted  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Four GMAT Myths Busted
There’s a lot of well-meaning advice for GMAT test takers out there. Unfortunately, some of the most reasonable-sounding and frequently-repeated claims are actually false. In this article, our friends at Manhattan GMAT look at four of the most common GMAT myths, and what you should do instead.

1. I need to get 90% of the questions right to get a 700.
It’s true, somebody who got a 700 on the GMAT probably got more questions right than somebody who got a 400. However, the opposite isn’t true: just getting more questions right doesn’t increase your score. The GMAT scoring algorithm doesn’t look at how many questions you answered correctly in a section. Instead, it looks at the difficulty level you’ve reached by the end of that section. You could reach the same difficulty level by missing a lot of questions, or by only missing a few, depending on where in the test you miss them and whether you finish the section on time. Check out this article for more info on what your GMAT score really means.

2. Quant is more important than Verbal.
This is a tricky one. In part, it depends on the programs you’re applying to and the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of your profile. Some schools will want a high Quant score, while others will care more about whether you hit a particular overall number. In some situations, Quant might be very important.

However, when it comes to achieving a high overall GMAT score, Verbal is slightly more important than Quant. Getting a 90th percentile Verbal score and a 50th percentile Quant score, for example, will give you a slightly higher overall score than if they were swapped. Also, many students, especially native English speakers, find it easier, quicker, and more fun to improve Verbal than Quant. If you just want to earn a particular overall score, you might get there faster by focusing on Verbal. Don’t leave points on the table by ignoring Verbal! Even if you’re starting with a high Verbal score, an improvement of just ten percentile points can go a long way.

3. The first eight problems in each section are the most important.
Like most GMAT myths, this one has a kernel of truth to it. As you work through each section of the GMAT, the test will get harder when you answer a question correctly, and easier when you answer a question incorrectly. These difficulty changes are larger at the beginning of the section than at the end. This makes it seem as if the earlier questions are very important, while the later questions hardly matter at all.

However, that isn’t really the case. Getting the first eight questions right would cause your GMAT to rapidly increase in difficulty, up to the maximum level. However, your score isn’t based on the highest difficulty level you hit. Instead, it’s based on the difficulty level at the end of the test. A strong start is nice, but spending extra time on the early problems means having very little time to answer hard problems later on. You might even run out of time at the end, which carries a hefty score penalty. So, if you can answer all of the early questions correctly and quickly, go for it. Otherwise, work at a steady pace throughout the test, and proactively guess on hard questions that you can’t answer quickly—even at the beginning of each section.

4. If I want a 700, I should mostly study 700-800 level problems.
Don’t base the problems you study on the score you want. Instead, base your studies on your current ability level. When you take the GMAT, the difficulty of the test will change depending on your performance. In order to get the test to show you tough questions, you need to be very quick and consistent on the slightly easier questions. If you aren’t quite there yet, you won’t even see the super-hard stuff—so there’s no point in studying it just yet.

In fact, spending a lot of energy on studying hard material can be counterproductive. If you see a very hard question on test day, the best move is often to proactively guess on it: missing a hard question won’t hurt your score very much, and attempting it could waste a lot of time. However, if you’ve spent a lot of time studying really tough questions, it’ll be harder to make yourself guess on them when you need to. Instead, study the questions that will really help you on test day: the ones right at or slightly above your level, or easier questions in areas that tend to trip you up. Happy studying!

Manhattan Prep is one of the world’s leading test prep providers. Every one of its instructors has a 99th percentile score on the GMAT and substantial teaching experience. The result? 18 years and thousands of satisfied students. By providing an outstanding curriculum and the highest-quality instructors in the industry, it empowers students to accomplish their goals. Manhattan Prep allows you to sit in on any of its live GMAT classes—in person or online—for free! Check out a trial class 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
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Wants a “Type  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Wants a “Type”
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Many business school applicants believe that the MBA admissions committees have distilled their criteria for selecting candidates over the years and have in mind a specific “type” of individual they want. For example, within this world of stereotypes, applicants believe that Harvard Business School (HBS) is looking only for leaders, Kellogg is looking only for marketing students, Chicago Booth is looking only for finance students, and even that MIT Sloan is looking only for “eggheads.” Of course, these stereotypes—like most stereotypes—are inaccurate. Chicago Booth wants far more than one-dimensional finance students in its classes, and it provides far more than just finance to its MBA students (including, to the surprise of many, an excellent marketing program). HBS is not a school just for “generals”; among the approximately 950 students in each of its classes, HBS has a wide variety of personalities, including some excellent foot soldiers. So, at mbaMission, we constantly strive to educate MBA candidates about these misconceptions, which can sink applications if applicants pander to them.

By way of example, imagine that you have worked in operations at a widget manufacturer. You have profound experience managing and motivating dozens of different types of people, at different levels, throughout your career, in both good economic times and bad. Even though your exposure to finance has been minimal, you erroneously determine that you need to be a “finance guy” to get into NYU Stern. So you tell your best, but nonetheless weak, finance stories, and now you are competing against elite finance candidates who have far more impressive stories in comparison. What if you had told your unique operations/management stories instead and stood out from the other applicants, rather than trying to compete in the school’s most overrepresented pool?

We think that attempting to defy stereotypes and truly being yourself—trying to stand out from all others and not be easily categorized—is only natural. Of course, for those of you who are still not convinced, allow us to share a quote from Stanford’s former director and assistant dean of MBA admissions, Derrick Bolton, who wrote on his admissions Web site, “Because we want to discover who you are, resist the urge to ‘package’ yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish. We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write, and this is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams.”

Makes sense, right?
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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Heading South for an MBA: The University of Texas McCombs School of Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2018, 10:01
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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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.

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—94% of the Class of 2017 received job offers within three months of graduation and accepted positions with such major companies as Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, and Walmart.
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Dean Profiles: William Boulding, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Bus  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: William Boulding, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
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Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership often reflect an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Periodically, we profile the dean of a top-ranking program. Today, we focus on William Bouldingat Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

In the fall of 2011, William Boulding became dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Boulding began teaching at Fuqua in 1984 and served as the business program’s deputy dean before being appointed to a shortened two-year term as dean (a full term is five years) upon the previous dean’s departure. Then in early 2013, an international search committee recommended that Boulding continue his deanship for an additional five years. He has received several distinctions for his teaching in the areas of management, marketing, and strategy, including the school’s 1989 Outstanding Teacher Award and the 1997 NationsBank Faculty Award. A member of the search committee stated in a 2013 article in Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, that Boulding’s vision for the school would “address globalization with more innovation and modernization in the classrooms, while also focusing on stabilizing the school’s budget.” Another search committee member noted in the article that Boulding “has the whole package, plus he knows Fuqua and Duke intimately.”

In a 2012 Forbes interview, Boulding described the type of students who attend Fuqua by highlighting the collaborative principles encompassed by Team Fuqua, saying, “Increasingly, so called ‘leaders’ seem to fight for narrow self-interest around issues and ideas. At the same time, more than ever before, answers to problems, solutions to challenges, innovation, and the creation of value comes through collaboration and co-creation.… Our students have a burning ambition to make a difference in the lives of others.” Boulding also explained in a 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek interview the high rate of success for Fuqua graduates in finding jobs: “The reason they’re [companies are] hiring Fuqua students comes back to what we produce and who we attract, and that’s people who understand how to co-create and take advantage of a team’s potential. It’s people who are personally humble, tremendously ambitious, and have no sense of entitlement.”

For more information about Duke Fuqua and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Testing Accommodations on the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2018, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Testing Accommodations 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.

Do you qualify for testing accommodations on the GMAT? Or do you think you might?

Broadly speaking, the term “accommodations” refers to altering the testing conditions for a particular student to “level the playing field” for that student. Someone with serious vision problems, for example, may need some kind of altered test format to read the test questions. These accommodations do not make the test easier for the student; rather, they make the test possible at the same level as for a regular student.

What is the process for applying for testing accommodations, and how are the decisions made? Glad you asked. I have spent the past couple months reading everything I can find and talking to representatives from GMAC. In addition, I spoke with a psychologist who deals with various kinds of learning disabilities.

All this research culminated in our unofficial GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia! I will give you the highlights here and then link to the full article at the end.

GMAC lists five main categories of issues covered and also offers an “other” category (if you feel your particular issue does not fit into one of these five areas).

The general application process is the same for all categories, but the material required to document your condition can vary, and the full article (linked to at the end) covers these details.

What qualifies… and what does not?

No easy answer to this question exists. The overarching issue, according to both neuropsychologist Dr. Teresa Elliott and private psychologist Dr. Tova Elberg, is a condition that results in some kind of impaired functioning in daily life that meets the criteria of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the DSM-IV or DSM-V.

A diagnosis by itself is not enough, though. The condition must be shown to affect current functioning, and this impact must be documented carefully.

Everyone was very clear that a diagnosis does not necessarily mean that someone qualifies for testing accommodations. The diagnosis must result in functional impairment that has an impact on daily work and living situations in general, not just testing situations. This is precisely why the application asks you to explain how a particular issue or disability affects your current functioning across work and academic settings.

Many additional nuances must be considered, so dive into the GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia and let us know if you have any questions or comments!
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Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck
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The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has approximately 10,000 living alumni, and although that figure may sound small compared with a larger school’s alumni base, numerous students and graduates we have interviewed report that Tuck has an active and close-knit alumni community. Through their continued involvement with the school as mentors, visiting executives, recruiting contacts, and internship providers, Tuck alumni maintain an open channel between the MBA program and the business world. The Tuck students with whom we have spoken cannot say enough about the strength of student-alumni interactions, emphasizing that the vitality of Tuck’s close-knit community endures long after graduation.

One second-year student shared that he had had pretty high expectations with regard to the school’s alumni network “but still underestimated how strong the network can be.” He explained, “The connections were instant. I received same-day responses, all the time. There is a strong pay-it-forward mentality and a genuine interest in seeing people from Tuck do well. Alums go out of their way to help with networking, job preparation, anything.”

Tuck alumni also stay connected to the school through its annual fund-raising campaign. The school reportedly boasts the highest giving rate of all U.S. MBA programs. Tuck noted that its giving rate is “more than double the average giving rate of other business schools” in an August 2015 news article on the school’s Web site, and in an August 2016 article, the school boasted, “More than two-thirds of Tuck’s 9,820 alumni gave to their alma mater this year, continuing the school’s tradition of unparalleled alumni loyalty and participation.” The school raised a record $7.1 million in 2016, including a $1M joint gift from the Class of 1986.

Tuck takes pride in not only its active alumni pool, but also its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s Research-to-Practice Seminars complement these characteristics and allow incoming students to quickly get acquainted with the Tuck culture. An article on the school’s Tuck Today Web site explained that “International Entrepreneurship” was the first of several such seminars designed to give students insight into a real-world business issue. The seminars were conceived as a key component of the school’s strategic five-year plan, called Tuck 2012. The courses bring together a small group of second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-Practice Seminars that have been offered in the past include the following:

  • “Corporate Takeovers”
  • “Deconstructing Apple”
  • “Management of Investment Portfolios”
  • “Marketing Good and Evil: Consumer Moral Judgment and Well-Being”
  • “Strategy in Innovation Ecosystems”
  • “Time in the Consumer Mind”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Dartmouth Tuck or one of 16 other top business schools, please check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Will Not Noti  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2018, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Will Not Notice My Weakness(es)
Our clients frequently ask, “If I write the optional essay about my [low GMAT score, low GPA, bad semester in college, long stretch of unemployment, etc.], will it call attention to that weakness and overemphasize it?” In short, no. Writing the optional essay about a weakness will instead allow you to control the narrative and thereby better mitigate any negative effects of that weakness.

The admissions committee very likely will take note of a low GMAT score or a low GPA and will be left with unanswered questions about that weakness if you do not use the optional essay to address the issue. Rather than putting the committee in the position of having to guess at an explanation, take control of the situation and grab the opportunity to explain the details behind the weakness.

For example, let us say you have a weak GPA overall because you worked full time in your first two years of college, but your GPA from your last two years is much stronger. Not writing the optional essay means that you are hoping the admissions committee will take the time to search through your transcript, note the change in the GPA, and then examine your job history to learn that you worked full time during your first two years—then make the connection between your two years of full-time work and your subsequently lower grades during those years. On the other hand, if you use the optional essay to explain exactly what happened, you no longer have to simply hope that they will put in that extra effort and will know for sure that they are evaluating you using complete information. Likewise, they will not have to guess at the reason behind your low GPA, because you will have proactively filled in the story.

The bottom line is that the admissions committee is made up of professionals whose obligation is to examine all aspects of your profile. They are not punitive, but they are also not careless and will certainly note any weaknesses like those mentioned here. At the same time, they are only human and are dealing with thousands of applications. Any way that you can save them time and effort by guiding them through the story of your application can only work to your advantage.
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Convey a Confident Tone and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Essa  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2018, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Convey a Confident Tone and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Essays
In your MBA application essays, you must ensure that the tone you use allows the admissions committee to readily recognize your certainty and self-confidence. Being clear and direct about who you are and how you envision your future is vital. Consider the following example statements:

Weak: “I now have adequate work experience and hope to pursue an MBA.”

Strong: “Through my work experience, I have gained both breadth and depth, providing me with a solid, practical foundation for pursuing my MBA.”

——

Weak: “I now want to pursue an MBA.”

Strong: “I am certain that now is the ideal time for me to pursue my MBA.”

——

Weak: “I have good quantitative skills and will succeed academically.”

Strong: “I have already mastered the quantitative skills necessary to thrive in my MBA studies.”

——

Weak: “With my MBA, I hope to establish myself as a leader.”

Strong: “I am certain that with my MBA, I will propel myself to the next levels of leadership.”

The key in all these examples is the use of language that clearly projects self-confidence. Instead of “hope,” use “will”; rather than saying you have “good” skills, show “mastery.” Although you should avoid sounding arrogant, by being assertive and direct, you will inspire confidence in your reader and ensure that you make a positive impression.

Your target MBA programs certainly want to know that you identify with them. However, this does not need to be a running theme throughout your essays or your entire application. Unless a business school explicitly requests this kind of information—for example, by asking what you are most passionate about and how that passion will positively affect the school—we generally recommend that candidates only discuss their connection with their target MBA program via their personal statements (“What are your short- and long-term goals, and how will [our school] allow you to achieve them?”).

For example, in response to a school’s question about leadership or putting knowledge into action, you would not need to discuss how the school will help you further develop your leadership skills or how you will continue to be an active learner when you are a member of the Class of 2020, even though these topics reflect core values that each school embraces. Although we cannot assert this as an absolute, we find that in most cases, such statements come across as insincere or fawning—the very opposite of the effect you want.
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Post-MBA Salaries Continue Steady Upward Trend  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Post-MBA Salaries Continue Steady Upward Trend
The post-graduation salaries of MBAs continued their steady climb in 2017, Financial Times (FT) reports based on data from the publication’s latest MBA rankings. The data, which is published in full on January 29 along with the rankings, reveals that the average post-MBA salary three years after graduation was $142,000 in 2017. This figure represents a $7,000 increase—the largest in more than 12 years. A look at the average post-MBA salaries throughout the last ten years reveals a definite general upward trend: since 2014, for example, salaries have increased by 12%. After the financial crisis of 2008, salaries increased at a more modest pace—between 2008 and 2014, the increase was 4%. According to FT, the average post-MBA salary could approach $150,000 during the current year. Of course, the salaries are not the only figure on an upward trend: FT reports that the average tuition fees for two-year MBA programs reached $117,000 in 2017. Between 2008 and 2014, tuition increased by 44% on average, despite the slower increase in post-MBA salaries due to the financial crisis.
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Professor Profiles: Sankaran Venkataraman, UVA’s Darden School of Busi  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2018, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sankaran Venkataraman, UVA’s Darden 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 Sankaran Venkataraman from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Sankaran Venkataraman—who is known around the campus of the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) Darden School of Business as simply “Venkat”—is an internationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship. He is the MasterCard Professor of Business Administration at Darden and the senior associate dean for faculty and research. He has edited the Journal of Business Venturing and consulted with the U.S. Department of Commerce on promoting entrepreneurship globally. He is also a coauthor of The Innovation Journey (Oxford University Press, 2008) and coeditor of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Regions Around the World: Theory, Evidence and Implications (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008). Venkat earned one of Darden’s awards for outstanding faculty in 2008 and is generally considered one of the school’s most popular professors. In 2010, Venkat earned the Academy of Management’s Decade Award for a paper published ten years earlier that was judged to have had the greatest impact on scholarship in the fields of management and organizations.

For more information about UVA Darden and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Recommender’s Grammar Will Ruin My   [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2018, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Recommender’s Grammar Will Ruin My Chances  
At mbaMission, we emphasize the need for effective written communication. Indeed, gaining admission to your target business school involves no real “trick”—earning that coveted letter of acceptance depends on your ability to tell your story in a compelling way and in your own words. But is good grammar vital to good communication? And if so, will your recommender’s bad grammar be detrimental to your chances?

We can assure you that no MBA admissions committee will reject a candidate’s application because he/she incorrectly used a semicolon instead of a comma. The committee is seeking to learn about you as an individual to evaluate you and your potential, both as a student at the school and in the business world after graduation. What is most important in your application is that you convey your unique stories—and ideally captivate your reader—in your own voice. Of course, you should always strive to perfect your presentation, but in the end, the quality and authenticity of your content carry more weight than your verbiage and punctuation. And if you are not a native English speaker, you can certainly be forgiven for the occasional idiosyncrasy in your expression.

This is even truer for your recommender. The committee is not evaluating this individual for a spot in the school’s program, so his/her grammar is largely irrelevant to your candidacy. And again, if your recommender is not a native English speaker, the admissions committees can be even more forgiving. The school will not penalize you for having a recommender who grew up in another country or whose English skills are not very polished for any other reason. As long as your recommender can offer anecdotes about your performance that create a strong impression about you and complement the abilities and qualities you have presented elsewhere in your application, you should be just fine. The substance of the recommendation is always what matters most.
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Why GMAT Prep Is Like Training for a Marathon  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Why GMAT Prep Is Like Training for a Marathon
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Our friends at Manhattan Prep GMAT often tell students to think of the GMAT as a long-distance race. Successful runners conquer race day through specific goals, consistent training, and mental toughness. It turns out that the same holds true for successful GMAT test takers.

Setting a Goal Pace

The best runners don’t just aim for completion; they set a goal pace. How do they arrive at a specific, measurable goal? Marathon runners test their abilities on shorter races (5K, 10K, half-marathon) to determine an achievable goal for race day. Also, many runners are looking to beat various thresholds such as completing a marathon in under four hours.

Similarly, if you’re taking the GMAT, you should have a goal score in mind. You arrive at that goal score by taking a practice test to gauge your current proficiency, and then setting a challenging but reasonable goal score. Usually that goal score also coincides with the benchmarks posted by the business schools you’re looking to attend. Having a specific goal in mind helps you develop an appropriate study plan and informs your test day strategies.

Training Consistently
The majority of a race outcome is dependent on the work you put in before you are on the race course; all of the training that your legs have endured will push you across the finish line. For runners, following a consistent training plan produces the physiological changes necessary for improving their pace; it gets their bodies ready for challenges they will face on race day. Just as runners aim to train 4-5 days a week with a couple rest days sprinkled in between, GMAT test takers should aim to do ~30 minutes of practice on most days and schedule longer (but not too long!) studying sessions for the weekends. Why?

Well, first off, spending long stretches of time away from test material will wipe away some of the “gains” you made in previous weeks. If it’s been two weeks since you’ve looked at a Critical Reasoning question, you’ll need to refresh your memory on the various types of Critical Reasoning questions and the approaches for each. Regularly exposing yourself to the material will keep you moving forward instead of having to repeat a chapter that you previously covered.

Second, consistent studying is more manageable than attempting to cram many hours of studying on the weekend. If you’re aiming to run 50 miles in a given week, trying to complete 40 of those miles over the weekend results in overtraining and perhaps even injury. Long, exhausting study sessions leave you tired and demoralized, and more importantly, it’s very difficult to master all of the content covered during those sessions because your brain is on overdrive. In fact, studies have shown that knowledge retention improves when students space out their study time. Shorter but more frequent study sessions also let you “sleep” on certain concepts and problems, and you will find that you’re able to tackle challenging problems with greater ease if you step away from them for a day or two.

Lastly, consistent training leads to incremental improvements. Runs that felt tough two weeks ago start to feel easier because you’ve been training almost every day and your body is making the appropriate physiological adjustments. It’s impossible to jump from a 500 to a 600 on the GMAT without making many small improvements along the way. Significant score improvements are achieved through a combination of incremental changes such as mastering Quant topics, using alternative problem-solving strategies, and improving time management.

So open up a calendar and set a consistent study schedule. Feel free to vary it up by studying in different locations, mixing topics, etc. You’ll feel yourself training your brain muscles and the incremental improvements in performance will sufficiently prepare you for test day.

Preparing for the Big Day
Before race day, runners spend approximately one week “tapering.” Tapering involves reducing training volume to give your body rest, giving you that “fresh legs” feeling on race day. Staying up late the night before your test is a bad idea. Instead of frantically taking practice tests and completing problem sets during the week leading up to test day, try to taper the amount of studying so that you’re well-rested and “mentally fresh.”

On the big day, all runners are nervous. The runners who hit their goals manage their nerves and exhibit mental toughness. They are optimistic because they know that they have set appropriate goals and trained consistently toward those goals, and they don’t let the challenges of race day get in their heads, focusing instead on producing the best outcome possible. Also, they are ready for the long haul. Instead of gassing themselves out by running too fast for the first half of the race, they conserve their energy to maintain the pace required to hit their desired finish time.

How does that translate into strategies for test day? On test day, you’ll be nervous and that’s expected. Stay optimistic, gather confidence from all of the hard work you’ve put into studying, trust yourself, and stay mentally resilient in the face of challenging problems. Oh, and if you manage to also have fun on test day, I’m confident that you’ll deliver your best performance.

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How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application
Present Both Responsibilities and Results

In your MBA resume, be sure to showcase your accomplishments, rather than merely stating the responsibilities of your position. When your responsibilities are presented with no accompanying results, the reader has no understanding of whether you were effective in the role you are describing. For example, consider the following entry, in which only responsibilities are offered:

2012–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

  • Responsible for managing a $10M media campaign, supervising a staff of five junior brand managers, monitoring daily sales volumes, and ensuring the consistent supply of product from five production facilities in three countries.
The reader is left wondering, “Was the media campaign successful? Did the staff of five progress? Did sales volumes increase? Did the supply of products reach its destination?” When this one long bullet point is instead broken down into individual bulleted entries that elaborate on each task and show clear results, the reader learns not just about the candidate’s responsibilities, but also about that person’s ultimate effectiveness and successes.

2012–Present Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

  • Initiated $10M television/Internet “Island Vacation” promotion introducing new Shine brand detergent, surpassing first-year sales targets within three months.
  • Mentored and supervised five junior brand managers, each of whom was promoted to brand manager (company traditionally promotes 25%).
  • Analyzed daily sales volumes and identified opportunity to increase price point in Midwest, resulting in 26% margin improvement and $35M in new profits.
  • Secured “safety supply” of vital chemicals from alternate suppliers, ensuring 99% order fulfillment.
By comparing the first entry with the second, you can see how much more effective an accomplishment-driven resume is than one that simply lists responsibilities.

Demonstrate Nonquantifiable Results

Presenting quantifiable results in your resume is preferred, because such results clearly convey your success in the actions you undertook. However, in some instances, you simply cannot quantify your success. In such cases, you can instead demonstrate nonquantifiable or even potential results. Consider the following examples:

  • Persuaded management to review existing operations; currently leading Manufacturing Review Committee, which will table its final report in June 2016.
  • Established divisional continuing education series, noted on review as “crucial” and “game changing.”
  • Initiated biweekly “Tuesday at Five” team social event, resulting in enhanced workplace morale.
In each of these bullet points, the results of the writer’s actions are not measurable, but they are nonetheless important. The accomplishments, while “soft,” are conveyed as clearly positive.

Keep It Concise

Ideally, your resume should be only one page long; admissions committees generally expect and appreciate the conciseness of this format. If you choose to submit a resume consisting of two pages or more, your reader may have difficulty scanning it and identifying (and remembering) important facts. With these space constraints in mind, we offer two fairly straightforward “space saver” ideas:

  • Do not include a mission statement at the beginning of your resume.Your mission in this case is to get into the MBA program to which you are applying—and, of course, the admissions committee already knows this! A mission statement will take up precious space that can be used more effectively for other purposes.
  • Your address should take up no more than one line of your resume.Many applicants will “stack” their address, using four, five, or even six lines, as if they were writing an address on an envelope. Consider how much space an address occupies when presented in the following format:
Jeremy Shinewald

138 West 25th Street

7th Floor

New York, NY 10024

646-485-8844

jeremy@mbamission.com

You just wasted six lines of real estate! To help whittle your resume down to one page, try putting your address on just one line so you can save five others for valuable bullets.

And, while we are discussing the document’s length, resist the urge to shrink your font or margins to make your resume fit on one page. Your font should be no smaller than 10-point type, and your margins should be no smaller than 1″ on either side and 0.75″ at the top and bottom. Rather than trying to squeeze too much information onto the page, commit yourself to showcasing only your most important accomplishments that tell your story best.
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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