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The mbaMission Blog

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Northwestern University (Kellogg) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2018, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Northwestern University (Kellogg) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has not changed its application essay questions this year, after making only minimal changes to its prompts last season, when mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Hyman was a admissions officer at Kellogg. So, who better to ask than Rachel for an opinion on how to approach them? In discussing Kellogg’s questions, Rachel commented, “When I was in the admissions office, we looked for authentic personal self-reflection in essays. With one question about brave leaders and the other about personal and professional growth, Kellogg provides opportunities for applicants to reveal that they have it within them to reflect and develop their skills and characters. I would encourage applicants to really ensure that they give the admissions committee an opportunity to get to know the real you, your journey [growth] so far [to become a stronger leader], and why you are a critical piece within the Kellogg mosaic. Don’t hesitate to let them know about how you will create lasting value and grow as an individual through your relationship with Kellogg.” Consider this perspective—one in which you are opening yourself up to the admissions committee and sharing not just your accomplishments but also your experiences and values—as you write your essays. Our analysis follows…

Please feel free to request a free consultation with Rachel Hyman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We estimate the video essays will take 20–25 minutes to complete—which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.  You will need an internet connected computer with a webcam, microphone and an updated version of Adobe Flash in order to complete the video essay.

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Step—Mastering Your Kellogg Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And to help you develop this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers! Download your free copy of the Northwestern Kellogg Interview Primer today.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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How to Use Anecdotes and Captivate with Experience in Your MBA Applica  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Use Anecdotes and Captivate with Experience in Your MBA Application Essays
Many business school candidates take a straightforward, historical approach in their personal statement essays. Although this can be an easy way to organize an essay, it may deprive applicants of an opportunity to deliver a more focused and gripping introduction. Nothing is fundamentally wrong with taking a historical approach, of course, but an anecdotal approach can better maintain a reader’s interest in certain circumstances. Of course, this all comes down to execution.

Example: Historical

“When I graduated from New York University with a finance degree, I eschewed Wall Street and pursued my own distinct path; I opened a flower shop in midtown New York, never imagining the challenges I would face as I strived to bring in new customers and locate products around the world. With time, I learned to advertise selectively (on billboards in local office buildings) and developed relationships with suppliers, particularly one in Peru, with whom I obtained an exclusive on Heliconia flowers. After one year, we started to specialize in foreign flowers, and with a niche identified, we developed a strong client base. My firm stabilized, and I was no longer bleeding cash to support my 11 employees; we were cash-flow neutral and contemplating a new location.”

This introduction is very direct and informative but involves almost no drama or emotion. To be more effective, the writer might instead consider positioning himself/herself as “the hero” and drawing the reader in with some anecdotal tension.

Example: Anecdotal

“My hand quivered as I signed the lease for 1,000 square feet of retail space in midtown New York. Two months later, I threw open the doors to my flower shop and was stunned when I did not make a sale until my third day. Admittedly, I began to question the wisdom of entrepreneurship and wondered if I should have joined my peers from New York University’s finance program as an analyst on Wall Street instead. However, each day, a trickle of customers came in, and more often than not, they commented on the colorful and rare flowers in my window, like the Peruvian Heliconia, exclusive to my shop. Within weeks, I had core customers picking up scheduled orders and referring friends; I bolstered this ‘word of mouth’ with select advertising on electronic billboards in the four 50-story office towers surrounding the shop. Soon, I noticed a surge of customers and was no longer bleeding cash. After one year, we were cash-flow neutral, and I was even contemplating opening another location.”

In this version, the same information is conveyed, but the tension inherent in the “quivering hand” and the empty store acts as a “hook” to draw the reader in. By taking this more personal, emotional, and indeed anecdotal approach, the writer allows the reader to identify with his/her struggle and thereby maintains the reader’s interest. Again, this is not a case of right or wrong, and each MBA candidate should decide what works best in his/her own essays.

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

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

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

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

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

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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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University of Chicago (Booth) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Chicago (Booth) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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After maintaining its somewhat unique “choose a photo” essay prompt for three years in a row, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has completely overhauled its application essays this season, transitioning from that single open-ended and creative option to two short, direct essay questions. And notably, the school has shifted from having no limits at all to having a minimum expectation with respect to word count. In some ways, the minimum sets a range that a lack of limit does not. We have often suggested 1,000 words as a guide for the unlimited Chicago Booth essay, but now, we suggest keeping responses to 500–600 words each. Approximately double the minimum seems to be a reasonable high-end target, though you will not be thrown from the applicant pool for going even higher. That said, we do think 1,000 words would be as high as one might go, and only in exceedingly rare cases.

Returning to the prompts, the school’s first essay now is a very traditional career essay, in which you will need to reveal that your MBA is a well-thought-out professional imperative and that Chicago Booth is the clear bridge to your future. In the second essay, you have an opportunity to share your “soul,” discussing your broader values in your development. With the two pieces together, you should be able to provide the admissions committee with a well-rounded picture of yourself. Our more in-depth analysis follows…

Essay 1: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250 word minimum)

If this essay prompt seems rather simplistic and straightforward, that is because it is. Chicago Booth 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 an MBA from its program 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 ideally, take the extra step of noting which of the program’s resources you believe will be most helpful to you in your pursuits. To be effective, this 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 the Chicago Booth academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics and resources, download your complimentary copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Essay 2: Chicago Booth immerses you in a choice-rich environment. How have your interests, leadership experiences, and other passions influenced the choices in your life? (250 word minimum)

Although Chicago Booth asks about your “interests, leadership experiences, and other passions,” the admissions committee does not expect you to check all of these figurative boxes. Instead of focusing on each of these aspects and trying to formulate a response that would fit one, invert your approach by taking a step back from the question and reflecting on how you have arrived at where you are today, both personally and professionally. What has led you to this point in your life and/or career? What has been your primary motivation? In considering your path to date with this mind-set, you should be able to easily identify inflection points that fall within the scope of the “interests, leadership experiences, and other passions” that have shaped you.

You should know that no specific interest, leadership experience, or passion is either “right” or “wrong.” What will make your response powerful is identifying the actual influences in your life and writing about them with sincerity. And you must go beyond simply stating an interest/experience/passion—to truly convey authenticity, you will need to present your experiences in a narrative form. By giving your essay a voice and allowing your reader to visualize how your influences manifest, you will be on the road to a sincere essay.

Although you are not restricted by a set maximum length, we nevertheless suggest skipping a long introduction and launching directly into your narrative. Immersing the admissions reader in your story right away is a good way to capture his/her attention. If you have a single, very strong core narrative, you might start by sharing the emergence of your passion in your first paragraph(s) and then describing its manifestation in the later one(s). For example, if you were a particularly outdoorsy youth and are now a leader in your position as a product developer at The North Face, this approach could reveal a clear cause and effect. If, however, you have a portfolio of formative experiences, you might strive to reveal this cause-and-effect relationship between passion and manifestation two or even three times within your essay. The permutations are many, but our point is that your best chance of standing out comes from revealing how a particular aspect of your life (or more than one) blossomed over time into something more and has helped create the person you are today.

Optional Question: Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (300 word maximum)

Chicago Booth’s optional essay prompt is a little quirky in that the admissions committee uses the word “unclear,” which to us sounds like a more direct way of saying, “Don’t share additional information just to ‘sell’ your candidacy, but use this space only to address a problem area.” So let us be especially clear: however tempted you may be, do not use this space to simply share a strong essay you wrote for another school or offer a few anecdotes you were unable to share in your required essays. This is your opportunity to address—if you need to—any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a low GMAT or GRE score, a poor grade or overall GPA, or a gap in your work experience. For more guidance, we encourage you to download your free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

Reapplicant Question: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 word maximum)

With this essay question, Chicago Booth is testing your resolve and your reasoning. We surmise that the school wants to be certain you are not just stubbornly following a path and trying to “finish what you started,” so to speak, but that you have truly reassessed your needs in the aftermath of your unfortunate rejection. We recommend that you discuss your subsequent growth and development as they pertain to additional personal and professional discovery, which validates your need for an MBA. In the interim, some of your interests or goals may have changed—that is not a bad thing, and the admissions committee will not automatically assume that you are “wishy-washy,” unless you give them good reason to do so. Just be sure that any of your goals that have changed still logically connect to your overall story and desire for an MBA. Your aspirations—new or original—need to represent a compelling progression of the growth you have achieved in the past year.  

The Next Step—Mastering Your Chicago Booth Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. To help you on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers. Download your free copy of the Chicago Booth School of Business Interview Primer today.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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: John Morgan, University of California, Berkeley, H  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: John Morgan, University of California, Berkeley, Haas 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 John Morgan from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

John Morgan has been teaching at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business since 2002. He won the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006 and was the first recipient of the Oliver E. Williamson Award in 2014. In an admissions podcast (“Game Theory and Strategy”), Morgan discussed how he has grown his “Game Theory” course, which studies how nations and industries interact strategically with each other. Morgan recommends that all Haas MBA students take the course, which is designed to cover all functions and industries, in their last semester at the school so that they apply the “mind-set to think strategically” to what they have learned in the program. Morgan expects the teams in his class to be ready to defend their strategies, but plenty of laughter is part of the course as well—as it reportedly is in all Morgan’s courses. An alumna even commented via Twitter in 2012, “Loving John Morgan’s Disruptive Technologies seminar. Great comedic timing.”
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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University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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With Dawna Clarke back at the admissions helm for the University of Virginia’s Darden School after almost a decade and a half since her previous tenure there (and a stint as an mbaMission Senior Consultant), we were not surprised to see that she has put her stamp on the application process for this season, completely revamping the essay prompts. The single question Darden has posed the past few years has been replaced with five new prompts, each requesting a short blast of an essay that together total 750 words and cover applicants’ personal, professional, and educational objectives, while subtly acknowledging Darden’s character (its learning teams and 80-country reach, in particular). Our analysis follows…

“Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you – personal, professional or both.” (100 words)

Before you start writing, we suggest you do some background work on what a learning team is and how it functions. At Darden, learning teams are carefully selected groups of five to six students, assembled with the intent of creating an eclectic mix of personalities and backgrounds. This group meets in the evenings, Sunday through Thursday, to tackle the next day’s case work together (and if you are not familiar with the case method, now is the time to do your homework on it as well!). Learning teams are a core element of the Darden experience, in part because some cases are so voluminous that students must take a divide-and-conquer approach and teach one another the material. In short, learning teams are intense and complex, requiring strong teamwork skills and contributions but capable of providing support and camaraderie as students work their way through Darden’s notoriously challenging first year. For your essay response to be successful and compelling, you will need to show that you have something to offer your future teammates.

So, in a mere 100 words, you must reveal that you have a perspective, attribute, or background that will better enable your learning team to function. We are advocates of using anecdotes to reveal this kind of information and suggest you consider focusing on a single experience that demonstrates your positive team attributes and can represent how you would function on your learning team. This does not mean that you must describe a clichéd team experience to prove you are a team player. The key is simply to show you bring something of value to the table in this context—perhaps you are a great debater and can clearly see and elucidate multiple sides to a story, or you have particular experience with and insight into geopolitics, or you are naturally intellectually curious and have amassed a broad range of basic knowledge. Within reason, the trait does not matter! Establish that you have a skill or attribute that would be advantageous to Darden’s learning team experience, and you will send a compelling message.

“Each year, Darden connects with over 80 countries. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to go with Darden? And why?” (50 words)

In just two or three sentences, you have an opportunity to show your adventurous or intellectual side by selecting a country that reveals something interesting about you. However, this should not be a travelogue. Just succinctly explain why and how your choice will enhance your education and others’ as well.

(Note that that paragraph is exactly 50 words long!)

“Darden strives to identify and cultivate leaders who follow their purpose. At this stage, how would you describe your evolving leadership style and please provide an example.” (200 words)

An example! Fantastic. We love requests for examples, because they all but force you to write using a compelling narrative structure. In revealing your “evolving leadership style,” you will have to choose an experience that changed your approach. For example, you might start by briefly describing a challenge: “I had never led a committee that spanned three departments before, but I found myself…” By launching into the narrative this way, you are clearly explaining the “newness” of your experience, and the idea of evolution is naturally understood. We recommend allocating approximately 125–150 words to recounting the experience and then spending the rest of your limited space reflecting on the change that occurred, and most importantly, your growth! Avoid just reiterating the thesis—“I grew by leading others across the firm, and it was meaningful!”—and instead share some insight into how the experience was meaningful, the tools you developed, and possibly even what takeaways you could apply in similar situations in the future. All in 200 words? Piece of cake!

“Please provide an example of a situation in which you have made a meaningful impact.” (200 words)

As with the previous essay, we suggest that once you have identified a compelling relevant experience, you launch directly into your narrative. In this case, Darden wants to know about “impact,” which means you have to show very clear results of your actions. Simply saying that you have experience leading is not enough here—leadership is not impact. The admissions committee needs to understand that the decisions you made and steps you took clearly paid off and that a project, company, organization, coworker, or product experienced some kind of change as a result. Although the school’s prompt does not specifically ask you to reflect on the experience, wrapping up your story with some brief thoughts about why it was significant for you might make your essay slightly more compelling, and certainly would not hurt.

“What is your short-term, post-MBA career goal and why?” (150 words)

Darden wants to know that you are approaching the MBA experience with purpose—that you have a clear and attainable goal in mind. Note that the admissions committee is asking only about your short-term goal, which is often a pretty practical one, compared with applicants’ typically more idealistic long-term goals. So, first make sure that the path you have chosen is a sensible one for you. Ask yourself, “Will a Darden MBA help me get from where I am now to where I want to be?” If, for example, you are a journalist and have dreams of working at a hedge fund after you graduate, the admissions committee will probably not respond very positively to your plan, because hedge funds tend to be the domain of math PhDs and seasoned finance professionals. The school wants to feel that you will be able to attain your aspirations after completing its program, so you want to avoid goals that could sound farfetched. Instead, as a journalist, you would need to identify a far more realistic path, but one that is true to who you are. Being ambitious is great, but the goal you present must be connected to reality, and to demonstrate that connection, you will have to spell out why your objective is a reasonable one for you. Establishing briefly that you have the skills and knowledge to enter your target field will make that logical connection for your admissions reader, reassuring them that you can be a happy and productive graduate.

One’s short-term goal is a common topic in a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. This complimentary guide offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these subjects, along with multiple illustrative examples. Be sure to claim your copy today.

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

The Next Step—Mastering Your Darden Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the UVA Darden Interview Primer today.
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Charity Auctions and the Sports “Dorkapalooza” at MIT Sloan  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Charity Auctions and the Sports “Dorkapalooza” at MIT Sloan
MIT Sloan students organize charity auctions typically twice a year. Each “ocean” (the approximately 70-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, such as lunch with a professor, a home-cooked meal by a student, and more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. All together, the auctions raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund, Children of Uganda, Pencils of Promise, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

MIT Sloan students are active in organizing conferences as well. Did you know that some of the biggest names in sports have met annually since 2007 for an event at the school that former ESPN columnist Bill Simmons once described as “dorkapalooza”? At the student-run Sports Analytics Conference, participants discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry, and students have ample opportunity to network with the elite of the sports world.

The twelfth annual conference was held over two days in February 2018 in Boston, where 3,500 attendees witnessed industry experts, leaders, and professionals participate in nearly 40 panel discussions. Among the event’s speakers was former President Barack Obama. The panels covered such topics as “NBA 2.0: New Rules to Transform the Game,” “The Beautiful Game’s Global Reach,” “Nuts and Bolts of Acquiring a Franchise,” “Inventing Modern Basketball,” and “Next Frontier in Baseball Analytics.” Other conference events included a research papers exhibition, a start-up competition, and drop-in resume reviews. A second-year EMS Club member told mbaMission, “The event is one of the largest student-organized conferences in the country and was named the third most innovative company in all of sports (behind only the NFL and MLB Advanced Media) by Fast Company [magazine].”

For a thorough exploration of what MIT Sloan and 16 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2)
Recently, we discussed observing limits with your resume. This time, we take a similar approach with your essays—in particular, your goals essay. Many business schools ask candidates to discuss their career progress first in their classic goals essay:

Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA.

Whereas other schools do not request any professional context:

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will our school help you achieve these goals?

Many applicants will seize on these broad, open-ended questions to discuss their career history in depth, offering far more than mere context for their goals. Such candidates worry about missing a crucial opportunity to present their professional accomplishments and therefore write a complete career history. In response to a question like the first one here, some candidates will mistakenly use 75% or more of the word space provided just discussing their career progression to date. Although this may seem “brief” to you, the truth is that focusing so extensively on your past minimizes your opportunity to discuss other crucial aspects of your candidacy.

If you devote too much of your essay to detailing your past career progress, you will be unable to thoroughly address your reasons for wanting an MBA and your interest in the school. Providing context for your goals by giving an overview of your professional life to date is unquestionably important, but you must be sure to balance the different sections of your essay. Clearly conveying your goals and your reasons for choosing a particular school is crucial so that you connect with your target, rather than miss it entirely.
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Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Ess  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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Last year, we noted that the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, seemed to have begun embracing the less-is-more movement with regard to its application essays, having cut back its required submissions slightly, and this year, the program seems to have adopted that mind-set a little more (with the exception of its optional essays). It has gone from three mandatory essays down to two and changed the bulk of its career-focused question from an explanation of the past to a projection into the future. As for that aforementioned optional essay, Berkeley-Haas has broken unique ground with an elaborate questionnaire prompt that appears complicated at first but is actually rather straightforward. Overall, candidates still have a good opportunity to present a well-rounded impression of themselves to the school, from who they are today to the professional they expect to be in their projected career. Our full analysis of Berkeley-Haas’s updated essay questions follows…

Essay #1: Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life-to-date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. (300 words maximum)

Before you start hyperventilating, let us reassure you that you absolutely can convey a meaningful and compelling story in just six words. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Ernest Hemingway’s famous “six-word novel,” which reads, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In fact, entire Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr pages are dedicated to these succinct narratives, and several publications and Web sites have regular contests to see who can craft the best six-word tales. So, Berkeley-Haas may not be the first to come up with the idea, but it does appear to be the first business school to make it a part of its application!

In addition to presenting several examples for applicants on its team Web page, the Berkeley Haas admissions committee offers two key pieces of advice for this essay in a video application tip: using contractions (e.g., it’s, can’t, won’t, didn’t) is totally acceptable, and perfect grammar is not necessary. These are both important space savers. Thankfully, the school also gives you a 300-word essay in which to further elaborate on your mini story (up from 250 words last season), so you can expound on some elements of the narrative that may not be immediately understood, but take care to not use that portion of this essay response to simply retell your story in more detail.

Start by thinking carefully about how you want to present yourself as an applicant and an individual, and consider what you might say in your other essays for the program, to ensure that each piece you submit is complementary of the others and offers something different about you. You might consider this first essay the “colorful” essay and the other one  the more “serious” submission. In this one, you have a special opportunity to provide a window into your life experience and personality. Your six-word story should captivate and intrigue the admissions reader, leaving him or her wanting to learn more. (Almost by definition, the reader will be enveloped in mystery!) Then, the second, 300-word portion of the essay should unravel any mystery, illuminate your character, and clarify the significance of the core narrative in who you are today, thereby giving the admissions committee a critical sense of understanding.

Essay #2: Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goal, and discuss how it will put you on a path to a meaningful and rewarding career. (300 words maximum)

Yet again, Berkeley-Haas has reframed its career-focused essay prompt. This year, rather than asking about candidates’ “prior experiences” and the foundation/impetus those have provided, the admissions committee asks applicants to discuss how their first post-MBA position will be the initial chapter of an ultimately fulfilling professional story. The school knows only too well that many candidates change their career goals during the course of the MBA program, given their exposure to new people, ideas, and options, so focusing on an applicant’s immediate post-graduate aspiration allows the admissions committee to assess where that individual is right now in his/her thinking and development. The concept of motivation is key, so you want to demonstrate that you are a forward-thinking person who sees business school as a vital step on your professional and personal journey and truly understands how the experience fits into your vision of your future. Also, take special note of the words “meaningful and rewarding” in the school’s prompt. Berkeley-Haas wants to know that you are pursuing an MBA because you are passionate and enthusiastic about the career you envision will follow, that it appeals to you in a personal and significant way—not just as a potential path to a bigger paycheck or fancy title (or worse, that you simply feel you are supposed to get an MBA for some reason). So be sure to have that excitement and drive show in your response by being authentic and demonstrating that you have truly thought about your path and are eager to get started.

The elements this essay question demands are ones typically included in a standard personal statement essay, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which we created to help applicants write this style of essay for any school. It explains in further detail how to consider and present your career goals in essay form, with examples, so be sure to claim your complimentary copy today.

Optional Information #1: We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements.

  • What is the highest level of education completed by your parent(s) or guardian(s)?
  • Did not complete high school
  • High school diploma or equivalency (GED)
  • Associate’s degree (junior college) or vocational degree/license
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS)
  • Master’s degree (MA, MS)
  • Doctorate or professional degree (MD, JD, DDS)

[*] What is the most recent occupation of your parent(s) or guardian(s)?[/list]
  • Unemployed
  • Homemaker
  • Laborer
  • Skilled worker
  • Professional

[*] If you were raised in one of the following household types, please indicate.[/list]
  • Raised by a single parent
  • Raised by an extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)
  • Raised in a multi-generational home
  • Raised in foster care
4.What was the primary language spoken in your childhood home?

[*] If you have you ever been responsible for providing significant and continuing financial or supervisory support for someone else, please indicate.[/list]
  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Sibling
  • Parent
  • Extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)
  • Other

[*] Please elaborate on any of your above responses. Alternatively, you may use this opportunity to expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact. (300 words maximum)[/list]
Optional Information #2: This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

Although the school’s first optional essay prompt is somewhat elaborate, it is not necessarily all that complicated, and we imagine it will offer certain applicants an easy way of highlighting particular elements of their background without having to try to fit them into a different essay. The school clearly wants direct information and basic explanation(s) from this option, so simply answer the questions and succinctly provide any necessary clarifications using the allocated word count. The second optional essay prompt asks applicants to focus specifically on information they deem most “relevant,” and the lack of a word limit means candidates can fully explain whatever they feel the admissions committee truly must know to be able to evaluate them fully and fairly.  This is not, however, a blank-slate invitation to dump every bit of remaining information about yourself that you feel the school is lacking. And however difficult, avoid the temptation to simply reuse a strong essay you wrote for another program here or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to incorporate into your other Berkeley-Haas essays. Be judicious in your use of this opportunity, and submit an optional essay only if you truly believe a key element of your story or profile is needed for the school to have a complete and accurate understanding of you as a candidate. Consider downloading your free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

And for a thorough exploration of Berkeley-Haas’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, which is also available for free.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Berkeley-Haas Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. To help you on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers. Download your free copy of the Berkeley-Haas Interview Primer today!
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mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in Los Angeles, Philade  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 16:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York!
Are you a business school applicant in need of some guidance from an admissions advisor? If so, then we want to meet you for a free in-person consultation! In the coming weeks, mbaMission will be hosting FREE in-person, one-on-one consultations* in the following cities:

  • Los Angeles, California: Wednesday, June 27 and Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Thursday, July 12, 2018
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Various Wednesdays in July 2018
  • New York, New York: Various Tuesdays in July 2018
During your free in-person consultation, your admissions advisor will answer all of your most pressing MBA application questions, including the following:

  • What are my chances of being admitted?
  • How can I differentiate myself from so many other applicants?
  • What is the best way to showcase my accomplishments or mitigate my weaknesses?
To sign up for a free in-person consultation in any of these cities, please fill out the form located on our Free Consultation submission page at www.mbamission.com/consult. We will reply to you within one business day with a link to schedule your appointment.

We look forward to getting to know some of this season’s best and brightest business school applicants!

*This offer is only valid for those who have not already had an mbaMission free 30-minute consultation. Please note that all mbaMission consultant appointments are booked on Eastern Time. After booking, if you would like to confirm the local time of your appointment, please contact denise@mbamission.com.
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Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2018–2019  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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We were thrilled to learn that nothing has changed with the application essay prompts for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business this season, because that means the school’s intriguing “25 Random Things” essay is back for another round! Very few MBA programs give applicants as much room to roam and get creative with the application as Fuqua does, and we encourage any hesitant candidates out there to view this essay as the generous opportunity it is to provide a comprehensive picture of yourself as a well-rounded candidate. With such a quirky and “random” essay, we have trouble imagining any applicant not having fun with the process. So, enjoy the opportunity and get some inspiration for that and Fuqua’s other required submissions in our analysis, which follows…

Required short-answer essay questions

Instructions: Answer all three of the following questions. For each question, respond in 500 characters only (the equivalent of about 100 words).

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

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

First required essay: 25 random things about yourself

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

For context: Fuqua believes different types of people, points of view, and experiences bring out the best in everyone. And above all, we place a premium on succeeding while making a positive impact on businesses, organizations, and the world.  These ways of thinking set the Duke MBA experience apart, and this concept extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more. 

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

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

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

Second required essay: The Fuqua community and you

Instructions: Your response should be no more than two pages in length.

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

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

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

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

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

Optional essay: Tell us more

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

Please do not upload additional essays or additional recommendations in this area of the application, and limit your response to one page.

Fuqua stipulates a maximum length for its option essay of just one page. We see this, along with the other clarifying bullet points, as confirmation that the admissions committee is not interested in additional information from applicants who fear that not submitting an optional essay would somehow count against them and would like to reserve this essay exclusively for those who truly need it. So be judicious in your use of this opportunity, and submit an optional essay only if you truly believe that explaining a key element of your story or profile is necessary for Fuqua to have a complete and accurate understanding of you as a candidate. Consider downloading a free copy of our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

The Next Step—Mastering Your Duke Fuqua InterviewMany MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And to help you develop this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Duke Fuqua Interview Primer today.
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Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essay  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essays
One way to conserve words in your MBA application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA can ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (18 words)

Now consider this version, in which many of the singular nouns have been pluralized:

“Managers with MBAs can ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers without MBAs.” (13 words)

As you can see, both sentences present the same idea, but one sentence is five words shorter than the other. Given that essays can include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements and decluttering the text.

Although decluttering your essays is important, ensure that all of your sentences are not the same length. Many business school applicants use medium-length sentences (like this one) in their essays. Few use short sentences (like this one). Likewise, few use long sentences in their essays, even though long sentences (like this one) can often play a useful role in an essay’s structure and story.

Confused? Consider the following example:

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a team of 12 staff members. Included in my team were four engineers, four marketing professionals, and four market analysts. Our goal was to develop a new thingamajig within six months. We worked really hard over the six months and succeeded. The new thingamajig is now on the market and is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

All these sentences have approximately the same number of words and the same rhythm/cadence, making the paragraph fairly boring to read. Nothing changes—the structure just repeats itself over and over again, with one medium-length sentence following another medium-length sentence.

Now consider this example:*

“At XYZ Inc., I was the manager in charge of leading a thingamajig development team of 12 staff members, four of whom were engineers, four were marketing professionals, and four were market analysts. We had just six months to launch our new product. The team worked really hard and succeeded, and the new thingamajig is now on the market, where it is selling well. As a result of my efforts, I was promoted to vice president.”

The sentences in this paragraph are varied—the first is quite long, the second is very short, the third is medium-long, and the fourth is medium-short. Sentence variety makes for a much more interesting read, and one very short sentence in the middle of some longer ones can provide precisely the kind of contrast and drama that MBA application essays so often need.

*Please note that this is a simplified example for illustration purposes. If this were an actual essay, we would encourage the applicant to offer greater insight into his/her experience launching the product.
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How to Approach Lifting Your GMAT Score  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2018, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Approach Lifting Your GMAT Score
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.

How do you maximize your score on the GMAT? Sure, you have to learn to answer harder questions correctly—but that is not actually enough.

Let us stipulate a couple of things. First, whenever I say “easier” or “harder” in this post, I am referring to easier or harder for you, the reader; everything here is relative to your current scoring level and your desire to lift that level to whatever your goal score is. In other words, this works at every level and for every goal.

Second, as a general rule, you take (on average) more time to answer harder questions than you take to answer easier ones.

Okay, so what does that mean? Most people do not spend much time studying the things that they generally already know how to do; they do not analyze questions that they answered correctly unless there was some other issue (such as spending too much time).

That is a mistake—and not just because we can still learn things from questions that we answer correctly. More importantly, if you want to lift your score, then the questions that you find of medium difficulty today need to turn into questions that you find easier in the future.

Think about how the test works: if you are scoring in the 80th percentile, then 65th percentile questions are generally fairly easy for you, the 75th to 85th range is medium, and 90th percentile questions are too hard. If you want to lift your score to 90th percentile, sure, you have to learn how to tackle those harder questions. At the same time, the 75th to 80th percentile questions have to become your “easier” question pool—“medium” level will no longer be good enough!

Remember when I said that we generally take more time to answer the harder questions? That is okay, within reason (say, up to 30 seconds beyond the average for that question type). To have that extra time, though, you have got to be saving time on the easier questions. Those questions that are medium for you right now—you have actually got to be able to do them more quickly for them to turn into easier questions in the future.

Beyond all of that, there is yet another benefit. Shortcuts or alternate solution methods that you figure out for those easier and medium questions can often be used on harder questions as well. You will actually learn how to tackle some of the harder stuff by getting even better at the easier and medium stuff.

If you are going for a really high score (720+), then I will leave you with a couple of “challenge” exercises. Answer this math question and this Critical Reasoning question in one minute (or less). Good luck!
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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Boosting Your Academic Profile with Supplemental Courses  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Boosting Your Academic Profile with Supplemental Courses
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If you are seeking to boost your academic profile before you apply to business school—either because of a low GPA, low test score, nontraditional background, or other potentially limiting factor—you should consider taking one or more supplemental courses. These courses are a great way to prove your academic abilities and demonstrate how serious you are about earning your MBA. In our experience, taking two to three classes is ideal, but even completing just one can be helpful.

You have many options from which to choose, and we recommend pinpointing courses that best address the gaps in your background and fit your career goals. Did you get a D in “Statistics” in college? Retake “Statistics” (and this time, get an A)! Are you hoping to transition from consulting to investment banking after you graduate? Take a finance course (and be sure to get an A)! Did we mention that getting an A in these courses is important? Aside from statistics and finance, we also recommend other quantitative-based subjects, including accounting, economics, calculus (or other advanced math). Depending on your needs, you might also consider a course in Excel, financial modeling, or business writing/communications.

Our past clients at mbaMission have had success with taking supplemental courses through such programs as HBX CORe, UCLA Extension, UC Berkeley Extension, and MBA Math.

Finally, aim to complete your supplemental courses before you need to submit your application, so you can provide the additional transcripts at the same time.
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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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 12:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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MIT Sloan’s prompts make for an unusual set! First, you will have to write MIT Sloan’s unique cover letter. Then, you will be the star of your own short video. Finally, only if you receive an interview, you will write a traditional, but brief essay. While in aggregate these essays are unorthodox, they are nonetheless applicant friendly in that the cover letter allows you to reveal a formative experience, the video gives you room to reveal your personality and the final essay (should you be fortunate to be granted one!) enables you to connect your values to Sloan. Plenty of opportunity… our analysis follows!

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO STATEMENT: Please introduce yourself to your future classmates via a brief 60 second video statement.  (This video will be used for application purposes only and will not be shared.) Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. We recommend using an application such as QuickTime or iMovie to record yourself.

Upload the video file according to the detailed instructions within the application. We support the following file formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv

Should you experience difficulties uploading your file, please ensure that you’re using a modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on the fastest wired Internet connection available. An intermittent or slow Internet connection can cause uploads to timeout.

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

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

Given that this is a video, you will want to pay some extra attention to the clothing you will wear, your tone of voice, your language style, and other such details. In the end, your message is what is most important, so no fancy bells or whistles are needed, but if you are a more creative type, you might consider ways of nonverbally communicating some of your strongest attributes and key aspects of your life to help permeate your submission with as much information as possible. For example, if you are an avid baker, consider filming your video while standing in a kitchen, perhaps wearing an apron (if you typically do so) and surrounded by the ingredients and tools you need to create one of your favorite recipes. If you are a dedicated guitar player, perhaps strum your guitar as you speak. If you are especially confident, you could even sing about yourself! Think about what makes you who you are today, decide what you most want to share with your future classmates, and then let your creativity flow.

On a practical note, be sure to speak clearly. You naturally do not want any part of your message to be lost or misunderstood, and the admissions committee may view your communication skills and style as indicators of how you might interact with your classmates and/or speak in the classroom. Although we recommend spending some time practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, do not over rehearse. You still want to come across as genuine and natural.

Those invited to interview will be asked to answer the following question: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. We believe that a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and well-being is a key component of both principled leadership and sound management practice. In 250 words or less, please describe how you, as a member of the MIT Sloan community, would work to create a campus that is welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse. Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation.

In business school—as in life in general—you will encounter people who think differently from you, operate according to different values, and react differently to the same stimuli. And success in an endeavor often involves evaluating and incorporating the views of others in one’s efforts. Via this essay, MIT Sloan hopes to learn how you view and approach such differences. Once enrolled in the school’s MBA program, you will be surrounded every day by individuals who are unlike you in a multitude of ways, and you will need to work in tandem with and alongside these individuals when analyzing case studies, completing group projects, and participating in other activities both inside and outside the classroom. Note that the school’s prompt does not ask about simply being part of a “welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse” community but about actually helping to cultivate one. The admissions committee wants to know that you are comfortable within such a dynamic, of course, but in this case, it is especially interested in hearing what skills and mind-set you have that could be beneficial in bringing various people together in a harmonious and productive way.

We assume that you have already researched the school well by now in the process of deciding to apply to MIT Sloan in the first place and also in crafting your application. We therefore hope that along the way, you have been able to identify certain areas and opportunities at the school that speak to or connect with you personally, places where you can bring your enthusiasm or know-how to the table for the benefit of others. We realize you have limited space with which to work for this essay, but you must go beyond simply listing the campus organizations/events/resources through which you would engage and make your contribution and clearly communicate the why and how behind your intentions. For example, perhaps you plan to join the Sloan Jewish Students Organization and have always really enjoyed your family’s annual Seder. You might then state that you aspire to organize and lead the first Passover Seder on the MIT Sloan campus, thereby introducing others to an important element of your religion and creating an opportunity to experience this traditional custom alongside your Jewish classmates. Or, if you expect to join the MIT Sloan Entrepreneurship & Innovation Club, perhaps you would discuss how daunting entrepreneurial lingo can be. Then you could explain how you would establish and run a workshop to help those with limited exposure to the field understand and develop a familiarity with the vernacular, which could serve as an important part of their foundational knowledge base. Of course, these are just examples, and the contributions you make need not be exclusive to clubs but must simply be personal to you.

To add a level of credibility to your claim and increase the admissions committee’s  confidence that you will actually follow through on your stated intentions, include a brief reference to a time in the past when you did something similar. You want to assure the school that you are not simply offering a nice-sounding idea but one you truly aim to—and can—fulfill. So, for example, if you were to suggest the campus-wide Seder idea, you might describe the time you invited your entire community-league soccer team to your family’s celebration and how you walked your fellow players through the various stages of the tradition. This kind of reference to a related past situation will illustrate that you have some firsthand understanding of how to facilitate such an endeavor and that you must have seen some benefit from the undertaking, given your interest in revisiting the idea.

Be assured that like all other application essay questions, this one has no “right” answer, so do not try to guess and deliver what you think the school wants to hear. Authenticity and enthusiasm are the keys to your success here.

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

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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (OPTIONAL)

Please provide any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to know that may be helpful in evaluating your candidacy (i.e. choice of recommenders, areas of concern in your academic record, other extenuating circumstances, etc.). This information should be provided in a written format; (200 words or less).

Ultimately, this is your opportunity to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your profile—if you feel you need to. We caution you against simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And of course, however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer a few anecdotes you were unable to use in your other submissions. But if you are inclined to use this essay to emphasize or explain something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. For more guidance, download our free mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.
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MBA Hiring in Slight Decline, New GMAC Survey Shows  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Hiring in Slight Decline, New GMAC Survey Shows
The newly graduated MBA Class of 2018 is stepping into a slightly less robust job market than other recent graduates did, according to the 17th annual Corporate Recruiters Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The recently released survey, which features responses from more than 1,000 employers in 42 countries, reveals that 81% of companies worldwide plan to hire MBAs in 2018. This number has hovered in the 80% range for the past several years—86% in 2017, 88% in 2016, 84% in 2015, and 80% in 2014. Demand in 2018 is particularly high in the Asia Pacific region, where 90% of responding companies reported plans to hire at least one MBA this year. This figure was 85% within the United States, slightly lower than the 91% reported last year.

Median starting salaries followed a similar trend by declining slightly but remaining strong. The median base salary for MBAs within the United States was $105K, down from $110K in 2017. Consulting firms offered the highest median base salaries at $125K, followed by finance/accounting ($120K) and technology ($115K). For those hoping for a hefty bonus, the United States might be your best bet: 56% of U.S.-based companies offered signing bonuses, in comparison to 36% in Asia Pacific, 30% in Latin America, and 20% in Europe.
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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July 2018 Event Roundup  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: July 2018 Event Roundup
Are you applying to business school this year? 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 July, the event lineup includes the following sessions:

  • July 9

    Writing a Standout Harvard Business School Essay (Online)Harvard Business School (HBS) receives more than 9,000 applications each year. During this live webinar, an experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs learn how to ensure their essay will grab the attention of an overworked HBS admissions officer.
  • July 12

    Essay Writing (Online)How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? An experienced senior consultant will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point to a workshop for prospective business school applicants.
  • July 15

    MBA Tour – San FranciscoAre you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!
  • July 17

    MBA Tour – HoustonAre you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!
  • July 18

    Assessing Your MBA Profile (Online)In this session, learn to assess the quantitative and qualitative factors you bring to the table to better anticipate how you might be viewed by the admissions committee at the school of your dreams…and what you can do to improve that assessment!
  • July 21

    MBA Tour – New York CityAre you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!
  • July 23

    MBA Tour – ChicagoAre you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!
  • July 25

    MBA Tour – Washington, D.C.Are you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!
  • July 26

    MBA Tour – BostonAre you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!

To enroll in one of our free seminars, click the event title in the list above. We look forward to having you join us!
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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mbaMission Releases Updated Insider’s Guides for 2018-2019  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Releases Updated Insider’s Guides for 2018-2019
We at mbaMission are proud to release our new Insider’s Guides, which includes 17 individual top-ranked business school titles, for the 2018-2019 MBA admissions season!

Informed by firsthand insight from students, alumni, program representatives, and admissions officers, the Insider’s Guides offer detailed and up-to-date descriptions of the following:

  • Defining characteristics of the business school’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni base/involvement, and rankings
  • Courses, experiential opportunities, faculty, and clubs related to MBAs’ most common career areas (consulting, finance, entrepreneurship, etc.)
  • The admissions committee’s stance on GMAT/GRE/TOEFL scores, recommendations, the waitlist, layoffs/unemployment, and other application elements
  • Notable professors and social/community events
  • Special year-over-year tables of rankings, class profile statistics, and top industries for each MBA program
We created our b-school-specific Insider’s Guides to help inform today’s MBA hopefuls with a comprehensive picture of the resources, environments, activities, and communities at each school, so they can choose the program that is truly best for them. Download your free copy of each of our comprehensive Insider’s Guides 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

_________________

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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Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA App  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA Application Essays
Many business schools use their essay questions as an opportunity to ask about the unique contributions you will make to their particular program.

Unfortunately, candidates often make the mistake of thinking that a bland summary statement like “I will bring my leadership skills to XYZ School” will sufficiently express their intended contribution. One reason we prefer to work with business school candidates “from start to finish” is so we can prevent such problems. Simply relating a story about a past experience and then repeating the main point does not demonstrate that you can or will make a meaningful contribution to the school. Ideally, you want to go further, explaining how you would apply and use your experience and skills while at the school in a way that would offer some benefit to others, thereby demonstrating a true understanding of your fit with that particular program.

Example 1:

“My experience as a stand-up comedian will allow me to bring humor to the Kellogg environment.”

With this statement, the MBA admissions committee is left wondering, “How exactly will this applicant bring humor to the environment? Does this person really know what our environment is about?” In contrast, consider our next example.

Example 2:

“My experience as a stand-up comic will prove particularly useful at Kellogg, a dynamic environment where I will be constantly joining new and energetic study teams. I anticipate using my sense of humor to create more relaxed team environments, helping everyone feel comfortable contributing, though I will use my humor judiciously, such as to diffuse tense moments during late-night study sessions, rather than as a distraction. I believe my skills and experience being funny on stage will also allow me to play an important role in the Kellogg Follies.”

In this example, the writer has applied his/her personal experience and intended contribution directly to the Kellogg experience and has thereby shown a clear connection with the school, proving that the candidate truly identifies with it and accurately understands its nature.

At times, candidates also tend to unintentionally describe their personal experience with a specific MBA program in a vague and general manner. Because they are writing from memory and discussing their authentic experience, they do not realize that they are not being specific enough. Consider the following example:

“During my visit to Cornell Johnson, I was struck by the easygoing classroom discussion, the warmth of the professors, and the time spent by the first-year student who not only toured the facilities with me but also took me out for coffee and asked several of his colleagues to join us.”

Although these statements may in fact be true, the text contains no Cornell-specific language. If the Yale School of Management, Michigan Ross, or the name of any other school were substituted for Cornell Johnson here, the statement would not otherwise change at all, resulting in a weak and generic essay.

In contrast, the following statement could refer only to UVA Darden:

“While on Grounds, I was impressed by Professor Robert Carraway’s easygoing and humorous style as he facilitated a fast-paced discussion of the ‘George’s T-Shirts’ case. Although I admittedly felt dizzied by the class’s pace, I was comforted when I encountered several students reviewing the finer points of the case later at First Coffee. I was impressed when my first-year guide stopped mid-tour to check in with her learning teammate and reinforce the case’s central point. It was then I recognized that this was the right environment for me.”

If you were to substitute the Darden name and even the professor’s name with those of another school and professor, the paragraph would no longer work. Including the Darden-specific information regarding the day’s case, First Coffee, and learning teams ensures that these sentences have a sincere and personal feel and shows that the candidate truly understands what the school is about. This is necessary to craft a compelling personal statement that will catch the admissions committee’s attention.
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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Come Meet Us at The MBA Tour in the United States!  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Come Meet Us at The MBA Tour in the United States!
Are you ready for your MBA? This summer, we at mbaMission are pleased to be attending The MBA Tour – US, where applicants from all over the country will meet with prospective MBA students, top business school admissions representatives, alumni, and other like-minded education enthusiasts to begin (or continue) their MBA journey!

During the tour, mbaMission will offer free, live consultations* with one of our full-time admissions consultants. This is your opportunity to ask your most pressing admissions questions and get personalized advice from an expert. Be sure to sign up for your session here and indicate which tour stop you will attend!

Join us in a city near you:

What is The MBA Tour?

Founded in 1993, The MBA Tour is an independent and high-quality information source regarding MBA admissions. The MBA Tour aims to provide potential MBA students an opportunity to meet with top business schools from around the world. In each city, schools host panel sessions and alumni seminars and are available to engage in discussions with prospective MBA students throughout the event. For more information, visit www.thembatour.com/aboutus/ourstory.html.

Why should you attend The MBA Tour?

The MBA Tour gathers the world’s top business schools all in one place.

Stand out from the competition and meet with admissions directors from top domestic and international business schools. Connect in person to ask your MBA questions, learn about program offerings, and discover how a graduate business degree can help you boost your career. The MBA Tour gives you the opportunity to participate in the following events:

  • Small group meetings
  • Admissions panels
  • GMAT strategy sessions
  • School presentations
  • Networking fair
  • and much more!

Who will you meet?

Connect with admissions decision makers:

  • You will have the unique opportunity to meet with admissions decision makers to increase your chances of acceptance.
  • Learn in-depth program information and ask your MBA questions during MeetUp discussions (invite-only, small-group meetings).
  • Discover admissions tips from industry leaders.
  • Network with the people who matter when it comes to getting accepted to your dream school.
How should you prepare?

Complete your online profile to be matched with top schools:

  • Provide helpful information during registration to let schools learn about you and your goals—and potentially be invited to meet with them during MeetUps or school presentations.
  • Use The MBA Tour’s Research Schools platform to learn more about program offerings and options.
  • Log into The MBA Tour’s online portal to easily confirm MeetUps and build your schedule to make the most of your event.
  • Sign up for your free mbaMission 30-minute consultation by filling out the form on this page—and be sure to indicate which city’s event you will attend.
Ready to sign up?

Register for free today to reserve your spot. Space is limited! And do not forget to stop by the mbaMission table while you are there to receive your free in-person consultation with one of our admissions experts. We look forward to meeting you!

*This offer is only valid for those who have not already had an mbaMission 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: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management
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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 Sharon Oster from the Yale School of Management.

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

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

For more information about the Yale SOM 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

_________________

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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