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The mbaMission Blog

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Real Options  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Real Options
In the late 2000s, Harvard Business School (HBS) made a change to its application essay questions that surprised many. Its previously mandatory “long- and short-term goals” essay prompt changed its focus more broadly to “career vision” and became one of four topic choices from which applicants could select two. Immediately, MBA candidates tried to read between the lines and decipher HBS’s hidden agenda behind the change. As a result, many perplexed applicants called us, asking, “Every other school asks about goals, so HBS must want to know about them, too. I need to answer the essay question option about career vision, right?”

This question, in turn, compelled us to ask rhetorically: Why would HBS make a question an option if the admissions committee expected you to answer it? If it did, why would the school not simply designate the question as mandatory, as it had been previously? We believe that in this case, HBS made the question an option because the admissions committee did not feel that applicants must have a definite career vision to be admitted. Essentially, HBS was saying, “If you have a well-defined career vision that would help us better understand who you are as a candidate, tell us about it. If not, we would love to hear something else that is interesting about you.” Note that HBS no longer poses this particular essay question, but we offer it here as a way of illustrating how candidates can sometimes overthink or misinterpret the “optional” elements of a school’s application.

Essay options are just that: options. None of HBS’s essay choices—or those of any other MBA program—are necessarily “right” or “wrong.” The admissions committees are not trying to trick you, nor does a secret answer exist that will guarantee your acceptance. The programs offer multiple essay question options because they know that each applicant is different, and they want to provide an opportunity for each candidate to tell his/her unique story. So, as you approach your essays, focus on what you want to say—not what you think the admissions committee wants to hear.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Busine  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Business
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 Margaret Neale from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

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One former GSB student described Margaret (Maggie) Neale to us at mbaMission as “somewhat intimidating” but quickly added, “I love her teaching style! She pushes each student way out of their comfort zone to make them a better negotiator using whatever style is appropriate for the situation.”

Neale’s research is based on the psychology of conflict and negotiation. She was appointed as the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management in 2012 and serves as faculty director for two of Stanford University’s executive programs—Influence and Negotiation Strategies, and Managing Teams for Innovation and Success—and as co-director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders. In 2011, she became the 13th recipient—and first woman—to be presented with the business school’s Davis Award, which is bestowed upon a faculty member for lifetime achievement. More recently, Neale was chosen as a Robert and Marilyn Jaedicke Faculty Fellow for the 2017–2018 academic year.

A first year described Neale to mbaMission as “wonderful, legendary,” and continued by saying, “She’s been around the Stanford community for a long time. She is very popular, engaging, and friendly. If you have the opportunity to take a class with her, you should. But be warned, her classes are oversubscribed.”

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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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Finding Suitable Recommendation Writers and Ensuring Their Punctuality  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2018, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Finding Suitable Recommendation Writers and Ensuring Their Punctuality
Letters of recommendation are an important part of your overall application package—they provide the only outside information the admissions committee receives about you. One of the most stressful parts of the application process can be picking your recommender. The first question you should ask is who can write a valuable letter on my behalf?

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

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

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

As application deadlines approach, many candidates find themselves immersed in stress—busy juggling multiple essays and revising their resume. Often in the midst of all this, an alarming question suddenly springs to mind: What if my recommenders do not get their letters done by the deadline?

In our opinion, the easiest way to ensure that your recommenders complete their letters on time is to present them with your own deadline—one that is a bit earlier than the school’s—when you first ask them to provide a recommendation for you. If the application to your school of choice is due on January 15, for example, tell your recommenders that you are submitting on January 8. Incidentally, submitting your application early can be good for your sanity as well. By setting this advanced deadline, you can put some additional pressure on your recommender on the 8th if he/she has not yet finished the letter, so you should still be able to submit by the school’s official deadline.

Most people work to deadlines. Alleviate unnecessary stress by setting your recommenders’ deadlines one week early, and “enjoy” the application process a little bit more.
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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A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas and Stanford GSB  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: A Sense of Community at UC Berkeley Haas and Stanford GSB
The Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, is one of the smaller top MBA programs in the United States, with an average class size of between 250 and 300 students. Despite its small size, however, Berkeley Haas offers a diverse community, both regionally and professionally. Roughly 40% of each incoming class is made up of international students, and each entering class as a whole reflects a wide array of interests and professional backgrounds. Each of Berkeley Haas’s incoming classes is divided into smaller groups, called cohorts, and students remain in their cohort for the first semester, taking all core courses together. Within the cohort, students are further divided into study groups. Study group members work together to prepare for presentations and exams as well as to study cases, and these small groups help enhance and reinforce the relationships between classmates. Noted a second-year student with whom mbaMission spoke, “With everyone trying to work out their identity at the start,” the cohort “makes everything less overwhelming.” Indeed, Haas offers a well-defined structure that supports a collaborative community.

Located just an hour’s drive from UC Berkeley Haas, the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is similarly well known for its close-knit atmosphere, though its typical class size is a bit larger, with approximately 400 students. However, the school’s relatively small class size allows it to provide students with individualized coaching. First-year students at the GSB are assigned a dedicated Faculty Advisor who helps them create a customized plan for fulfilling their General Management Perspectives and General Management Foundations (core) requirements based on their strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and interests. Students can also take advantage of career advisors, who can offer new perspectives on life beyond the GSB, and of Leadership Fellows, who work with first-year students through lab sessions and one-on-one meetings.

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

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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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Tackling Reading Comprehension Problems in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Tackling Reading Comprehension Problems in the GMAT
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With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

We previously examined how to read Reading Comprehension (RC) passages. If you have not read our earlier article, go ahead and do so right now.

Today, I want to talk about the three primary types of questions that appear on RC: Main Idea, Specific Detail, and Inference. I also want to talk about how to analyze RC problems.

In general, we learn the most from a problem after we have finished doing it. Our review is the real learning experience. Any problem can (and should!) be analyzed using the questions discussed in this “How to Analyze a Practice Problem” article.

How would that work with a Reading Comprehension question? Glad you asked. This article contains an example of a complete RC Inference problem analysis—you will learn not only how to analyze an RC problem but also how to tackle Inference problems. (In general, Inference problems ask us to deduce something from some piece of evidence provided in the passage.)

Let us tackle Main Idea questions next. These questions focus on the main point of a passage, though we could also be asked to give the main point of just one paragraph.

Specific Detail questions ask us to address some particular detail mentioned explicitly in the passage. We could be asked what the passage says or why the author mentions a certain thing. Knowing whether you are dealing with a What question or a Why question is important. Think about the answers to these two questions: What are you studying? Why are you studying it? Completely different answers!

Those will cover most, if not all, of the RC question types you will see when you take the GMAT. You might also encounter a Strengthen or Weaken question, similar to the questions that we see in the Critical Reasoning section. These are fairly rare in RC, though—chances are good that you will not actually see one.

So go ahead and tackle those Reading Comprehension question types and remember this: when you are studying, your goal is not (just) to get the question right. Your goal is to learn something that you could apply on a different question (or questions) in the future!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

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

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is Not a Flood!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is Not a Flood!
Have you heard the following admissions myth?

When a school that has placed you on its waitlist says that it wants no more information from you, this is some kind of “test,” and you should supply additional materials anyway.

As we have discussed in the past, this is patently not true. Similarly, when programs tell their waitlisted candidates they are open to important additional communication, such applicants should not interpret this to mean constant communication. The difference is significant.

As is the case with any waitlist situation, before you do anything, carefully read the waitlist letter you received from the Admissions Office. Frequently, this will include a FAQ sheet or a hyperlink to one. If the school permits candidates to submit additional information but offers no guidance with respect to quantity, this does not mean that you should start flooding the committee with novel information and materials. If you have another potential recommender who can send a letter that highlights a new aspect of your profile, you can consider having him/her send one in, but you should not start a lobbying campaign with countless alumni and colleagues writing on your behalf.

Similarly, you could send the school an update email monthly, every six weeks, or even every two months—the key is not frequency or volume but materiality. If you have something important to tell the admissions committee that can help shape its perspective on your candidacy (e.g., a new project, a promotion, a new grade, an improved GMAT score, a campus visit), then you should share it. If you do not have such meaningful information to share, then a contrived letter with no real content will not help you. Just because you know others are sending letters, do not feel compelled to send empty correspondences for fear that your fellow candidates might be showing more interest. They just might be identifying themselves negatively via their waitlist approach.

Take a step back and imagine that you are on the admissions committee; you have one candidate who keeps you up to date with a few thoughtful correspondences and another who bombards you with empty updates, emails, and recommendations that do not offer anything substantive. Which candidate would you choose if a place opened up in your class? When you are on the waitlist, your goal is to remain in the good graces of the admissions committee. Remember, the committee members already deem you a strong enough candidate to take a place in their class, so be patient and prudent, as challenging as that may be.
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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Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Your GMAT Score  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Your GMAT Score
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With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Are you feeling overwhelmingly stressed out when you sit down to study for the GMAT? Do you find that concentrating on the task at hand is difficult?

Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara published the results of a study following 48 undergrads preparing for the GRE. Jan Hoffman details the research in a blog post at the New York Times.

The motivation for the study

“We had already found that mind-wandering underlies performance on a variety of tests, including working memory capacity and intelligence,” said Michael D. Mrazek in the NYT blog post.

We have all had this experience. We are taking a test, the clock is ticking, and we keep finding ourselves thinking about something other than the question we are supposed to be answering at that moment. Maybe we are stressing about our score. Maybe we are thinking about applications. Maybe we are even distracted by work, significant others, family, or other issues that have nothing to do with the test!

How do we stop fixating on other things and concentrate on the task at hand? This study tried to find out.

The study

First, the students were given some “baseline” tests, including one verbal reasoning section from the GRE (yes, the GRE, not the GMAT).

The students were then split into two groups. One group (group M) attended meditation classes four times a week; these students learned lessons on “mindfulness,” which focuses on breathing techniques and helps minimize distracting thoughts.

The other group (group N) attended nutrition classes, designed to teach the students healthy eating habits.

Afterward, the students did another GRE verbal section. The performance of students in group N stayed the same; the nutritional studies did not make a difference.

Group M students, however, improved their GRE scores by an average of 12 percentile points! The students also reported (subjectively) that they were better able to concentrate the second time around; they felt that their minds wandered less than they had before. Here is the best part: the study took just two weeks.

How did that happen?

The students did not become smarter or learn (much) more in that time frame. Rather, the mindfulness techniques helped the students perform closer to their true potential by reducing negative thoughts or habits that were interfering with performance. Think how much better you could do if you could turn off, or at least minimize, all those distracting thoughts that interrupt you when you are trying to concentrate!

How can I use this?

That short, two-week time frame is both good news and bad news. The good news is that you can achieve results without having to study meditation for six months. The bad news is that we do not know whether this provides only a short-term boost—the effects may fade over time.

So let’s speculate that the effects will fade unless you keep up with a regular meditation schedule. Let’s also assume that most people are not going to make meditation a regular part of their daily life; most will try it for a time and then drop it.

Here is what to do, then: Start learning some of these mindfulness techniques about eight weeks before you plan to take the test. Give yourself enough time to learn what to do, and then make these meditation sessions a part of your regular study schedule until you take the test. (If you would like to continue after that, great!)

Here is a resource to get you started: the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. They offer free meditation lessons and podcasts. They also periodically offer a six-week online course (for a small fee, less than $200 at the time of this publication); in addition to the prerecorded classes, you will be able to take advantage of live chats with an instructor. If you would rather meet with someone in person, run a Google search to find someone in your area.

Take a deep breath, exhale, and start learning how to minimize distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. 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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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Dan Ariely, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Busi  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 16:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Dan Ariely, Duke University’s Fuqua 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 Dan Ariely from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Dan Ariely’s “Behavioral Economics” class is reportedly a popular one at Fuqua. “It always has the longest waiting list,” remarked one second year we interviewed, and an alumna said of Ariely, “He was wonderful.” When mbaMission asked a first-year student about Ariely’s class, he said jokingly, “I’m pretty sure you have to snag that class within one or two seconds of it becoming available!” The course explores how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they might act if they were being completely rational. (Note: “Behavioral Economics” is not being offered in the 2017–2018 school year, according to the course listing on Fuqua’s website.)

Ariely is also author of the books Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter (Harper, 2017, with Jeff Kreisler), Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (Simon & Schuster/TED, 2016), The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves (HarperCollins, 2012), The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (HarperCollins, 2010), and Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (HarperCollins, 2008).

An alumna told mbaMission, “He got us to think about everyday things in a totally new way,” and a second-year student commented, “Everyone takes his course. Everyone. He’s our rock-star professor.” Another second year agreed, saying, “He is one of the superstar professors here. He explains more complex research in an easy-to-understand way.”

Ariely maintains a blog that can be found at http://danariely.com. He also writes an advice column for the Wall Street Journal titled “Ask Ariely,” bits of which were published in book form under the title Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles (Harper Perennial, 2015).

For more information about Duke Fuqua 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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Avoid Negativity and Multiple Famous Quotes in Your MBA Application Es  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Avoid Negativity and Multiple Famous Quotes in Your MBA Application Essays
Sincerity. Honesty. Candor. We encourage MBA candidates to incorporate these attributes into their applications, and when they do, successful essays tend to follow. Yet, can an applicant go too far? The answer is “yes,” especially when candor turns to negativity. Sometimes, when MBA candidates believe they are being candid, they are in fact revealing themselves to be predisposed to pessimism; as a result, the admissions committee has difficulty identifying with their file. Such situations are unfortunate, but luckily, they are often also avoidable; an ostensibly “negative” idea can almost always be expressed in a positive and optimistic manner.

Example:

“In my current position, I am no longer learning and am afraid I will continue to stagnate without my MBA. I cannot achieve my objective of becoming a leader in the marketing department at my firm unless…”

Common sense would say that the admissions committee would likely not be very excited about accepting an applicant who believes he/she has stopped learning or that his/her career progress can be thwarted by basic obstacles.

Revised Example:

“As I look to the future, I recognize that with MBA training, I could dramatically increase my impact on my firm. With an eye toward a leadership position in our marketing department, I am…”

In this revised example, the candidate is expressing the exact same need for an MBA in positive terms and is thus making him-/herself a more warm and engaging prospect, while still candidly stating a need for further education.

Before submitting your file, check for unnecessarily negative statements. Although we would never suggest that every line in your essays must be full of sunshine, you should certainly take steps to avoid portraying yourself as a pessimist.

Like negativity, you should also avoid relying on quotes in your MBA application essays. Sometimes, incorporating a famous quote (or perhaps a lesser-known quote by a well-known person) can add a little something special to the story you are trying to tell. If the quotation truly enhances your message in a significant way, it can serve as an effective tool, making your submission that much more compelling. Consider the following examples:

Example 1:

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s words are as true today as when he spoke them. The essence of a manager is…

Example 2:

As Peter F. Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” I have found the distinction between management and leadership especially important…

However, some candidates may be tempted to use a quotation as a kind of crutch, essentially relying on someone else’s clever or poignant wordsmanship in place of their own. Think of using a quotation as a way of enriching an already interesting narrative, rather than as an easy shortcut to a more impressive essay.

Before using a quotation in your writing, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Does the quotation fit the essay’s main theme?
  • Does the quotation reflect who you are or what you believe?
  • Does the quotation truly enhance the essay?
If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, incorporating the quotation into your essay might be a good idea. But first make sure that your story is sufficiently strong to stand on its own without the quote, and limit yourself to just one quotation per application—not per essay.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

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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Cold Calls and Capital Management at Darden  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cold Calls and Capital Management at Darden
MBA students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are known to work quite hard amid the rigors of the case method. Each day, they are expected to read a business case and perform their own analysis of the situation presented. Then, they must compare and reason through their analysis with a small, diverse group of fellow students—their Learning Team. Students can often spend two to four hours prepping on their own and then two to three more with their teammates to arrive at an answer (as opposed to the answer). And what might be the reward for all this work? The student may be selected for a “cold call” to start off the class.

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

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

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

For more information on Darden or 16 other leading MBA programs, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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August 2018 Event Roundup  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: August 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 August, the event lineup includes the following sessions:

  • August 2

    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!
  • August 6

    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.
  • August 21

    Choosing The Right B-School (Online)During this event, we will elaborate on areas that will profoundly affect both your academic life and your social life in business school, including flexibility of a program’s curriculum, breadth of core courses, different methods of instruction, and varying sizes of the cohorts. Start preparing now so you can be sure to make an educated decision when you apply!
  • August 22

    The Last-Minute MBA Application (Online)Applying to business school in a few weeks? Worried you won’t have enough time to complete your applications? During this webinar, an experienced senior consultant will review practical ways of making the most of the time you still have to complete your applications.

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

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Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson 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 profile George Geis from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

George Geis has been voted Outstanding Teacher of the Year five times while at UCLA Anderson, most recently in 2012, and currently serves as faculty director of the school’s Mergers and Acquisitions Executive Program. In the past, Geis has served as the associate dean and faculty director of the Anderson Executive MBA program. Geis also occasionally writes a mergers and acquisitions blog (http://maprofessor.blogspot.com). One alumnus described Geis to mbaMission as an experienced investor and a funny and credible guy. The graduate added that he had very much enjoyed the guest speakers Geis brought to class, as well as the strategic analysis of the board game industry, covered in a case discussion about the game Trivial Pursuit.

For more information about the UCLA Anderson School of Management and 16 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in San Francisco, Chica  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Offers Free In-Person Consultations in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Durham, Tel Aviv, New York, and Boston!
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:

  • San Francisco, California: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
  • Chicago, Illinois: Saturday, August 11, 2018; and Saturday, August 25, 2018
  • Los Angeles, California: Tuesday, August 14, 2018
  • Durham, North Carolina: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • Tel Aviv, Israel: Monday, August 27, 2018
  • New York, New York: Various Tuesdays in August 2018
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Various Wednesdays in August 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.
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Admissions Is a Science  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Admissions Is a Science
What does a 3.8 GPA + a 670 GMAT score + four years of work experience + three years of community service equal? It could equal a letter of admission or rejection. However, knowing with absolute certainty is impossible because admissions is not a science. If it were, the Admissions Office would just do away with the entire time- and resource-consuming admissions process and use a simple formula. Why not make life that much easier for everyone?

In some countries, simple tests are used to establish benchmarks—a candidate gets into a top MBA program with a score of X but not with Y. Some U.S.-based graduate programs have cutoffs for GRE scores or situations in which GMAT/LSAT scores and grades are definitive. Plainly put, no clear-cut criteria exist with top global MBA programs. Instead, the admissions committee reads a file holistically and seeks evidence of the applicant’s ability to contribute in class and perform at the highest levels post-graduation.

Although trying to reduce the MBA admissions process to a science can be tempting, doing so would be unwise. By listening to chatter on message boards or blogs about the “right GMAT score” or the “right amount of work experience”—rather than keeping in mind that the process is holistic in nature, meaning that the admissions committees evaluate all criteria with no particular scorecard—you are wasting valuable time and energy. Simply be your best candidate and present your full story, rather than focusing on stats.
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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Will I Get In? And If I Do, Will I Want to Attend After All?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Will I Get In? And If I Do, Will I Want to Attend After All?
Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we receive from MBA candidates is “Will I get in?” Of course, this is an important question to consider before applying, and we suggest that you honestly assess and understand your candidacy and risk profile within the context of your target school’s typical student body before completing or submitting an application to that school. However, once you have determined that you will in fact apply to a particular school, you should not let this question haunt you or halt your progress. Many applicants spend too much time worrying and not enough time working. Your admissions decision is ultimately out of your control, so just focus on submitting the best application you possibly can.

The following scenario may be hard for you to imagine when you are still in the midst of applying to business schools, but every year, we at mbaMission see clients get accepted to an MBA program only to realize it is not a place they actually want to attend after all. Alternatively, we occasionally see applicants who are not accepted to any school and realize they must remain in a job they were more than ready to leave.

So, how do some candidates end up in these kinds of situations? In both of these scenarios, the applicants chose and applied to schools without first taking an honest look at their candidacy, goals, and alternatives. We encourage all applicants to very thoroughly consider where their true tipping point lies in terms of attending business school. At what point would not going to school be better than going to X school? Some candidates feel that if they do not go to Harvard Business School, they may as well not go to business school at all. Others believe they must attend a school in the top ten. Still others think, “I really hope to go to a top ten program, but I’ll be happy to attend any top-30 school.” Having a frank discussion with yourself (or perhaps with us) on this topic may help you pinpoint where this cutoff point is for you.

Start by researching all the MBA programs at which you believe you would be competitive, and then organize them into three clusters: dream schools, reasonable schools, and safer schools. Next, further investigate the schools you deemed “reasonable” and “safer,” and as you do so, ask yourself, “Would I rather be at this school next year or not be in school at all?” Essentially, we are suggesting that you imagine your worst-case scenario—not getting into any of your dream schools—and decide what you would do in that situation.

Then, in addition to applying to your dream programs, apply only to those reasonable and safer schools for which you felt going would be preferable to not attending any MBA program at all. This way, you can avoid finding yourself in either of the situations we described at the beginning of this post and instead will be well positioned to embrace the choices you ultimately have.
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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Heading South for an MBA: The University of Texas McCombs School of Bu  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Heading South for an MBA: The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School
In 2013, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, introduced several highlights to its MBA program that would allow students to benefit from expanded opportunities for work experience (including with nonprofits), entrepreneurship, and leadership programming.

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

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

Another Southern institution, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School—named after late Coca-Cola CEO Roberto C. Goizueta—is deeply rooted in a legacy of global business leadership. Goizueta’s MBA program offers one- and two-year formats, strives to maintain an intimate learning environment, and affords its students the benefits of being located in a significant global commercial hub. One of the program’s notable advantages has been its success in attracting recruiters. The school’s recruiting strengths seem to be reflected in its latest employment report as well—94% of the Class of 2017 received job offers within three months of graduation and accepted positions with such major companies as Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, and Walmart.
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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What to Expect on GMAT Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2018, 14:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Expect on GMAT Test Day
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.

I have talked to a ton of students who were surprised by some detail of test day—and that detail affected their performance. Let’s talk about what is going to happen when you finally get in there to take the test.

When you arrive

There will be some kind of outer waiting area, an inner office containing the biometric equipment, and finally the “inner sanctum”: the testing room.

When you first arrive, you will be asked to read (and digitally sign) a bunch of legalese and will show your ID. Check the guidelines to determine what kind of ID you must bring.

But wait! You are not done with security yet. They will take a digital photo of you. You will also have the veins in your palm digitally scanned—turns out our palm veins are even more unique than fingerprints. Who knew?

Finally, before you enter the inner sanctum, you will place all of your belongings (except your ID) into a locker to which you will have the key. Everything goes in this locker: your wallet or purse, your money, your mobile phone, your keys, everything. Do not bring any study notes into the test center with you, do not use any electronic devices, and do not write anything down at any time—even on the breaks. Do not give them any reason to think you might be cheating.

Starting the test

You will be given a five-page booklet of laminated paper on which to take notes. If you use up the booklet, raise your hand, and a proctor will give you a new booklet in place of the used one.

During the test, you are allowed to request a new note booklet at any time, even if you have not finished using up the previous one. I have heard reports of some proctors refusing such requests; if this happens, ask again (politely). Tell them that you specifically asked ahead of time and that GMAC (the organization that owns the GMAT) confirmed that you do not need to use up a test booklet before requesting a new one.

You will have access to tissues and earplugs provided by the test center; you cannot bring your own. Some test centers also have headphones available (in addition to earplugs).

Officially, you are not permitted to write down notes or set up your scrap paper before the test starts. When you sit down, the proctor will start the test. You can try to jot down some timing benchmarks or a few formulas during the short pre-test instructions, but stop if the proctors tell you to stop. Do not count on being able to spend any time at all writing things down ahead of time.

Breaks

Breaks are optional, but I strongly recommend that you take them!

You have to leave the test room during the break. The break is eight minutes long—but, wait, you do not have your watch! It is in your locker. The testing center is required to have a clock on the wall in every room; check when you first arrive. If no clock is visible or the clock has stopped working, say something to the proctors right away!

As soon as you get out to the waiting room, look at the clock. Plan for about six minutes (it takes about a minute to get out of the room and another minute to get back in).

Then open up your locker and have something to eat and drink. Walk around. Stretch. Use the restroom. Do not sit down, do not start reading a magazine, and do not start thinking about the test or how you are doing on it. Try to empty your brain and think only about what you are actually doing: stretching, eating, drinking.

When you head back into the testing center, they will scan your palm again and also match you against your digital photo. This takes a minute—plan for it.

How else can I get ready?

GMAC has posted a short video showing how the test center works; I highly recommend watching it. The mba.com site also contains other resources about what to expect on test day (follow the link in the previous sentence). If you are even a little bit nervous about the test (and most of us are!), look through their resources. The more you know about what to expect, the better prepared you will be to handle your nerves on test day.
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Harvard Business School Is for Everyon  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Harvard Business School Is for Everyone
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Harvard Business School (HBS) offers an excellent MBA program—this is largely a given, and we are not questioning that. However, what we will call into question is whether HBS (or any other school, for that matter) is right for you. Every year, we get a few calls from confused MBA aspirants who say, “I visited HBS, and I am not sure if there is a fit,” as if that indicates some sort of problem. Indeed, and this may be shocking to some, HBS is not for everyone—particularly those who do not relate well to case-based learning, those who want a lot of flexibility in their first-year curriculum, and those who would prefer a small class size (HBS’s Class of 2019 has 928 students, while the same class at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, for example, has just 282).

We hope that applicants will use this post as a jumping-off point to critically appraise their target MBA programs and determine which schools are indeed right for them. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Would I prefer to be in a larger program, or would I feel overwhelmed by a larger program’s size?
  • Would I prefer to be in a smaller program, or would that feel claustrophobic?
  • Would I prefer to be at a school with a flexible curriculum and a consistent stream of new classmates and where I could make my own academic choices early on?
  • Would I prefer to learn in a comprehensive core curriculum where I am, for a period of time, learning the same material as my classmates and where academics would provide me with a course structure?
  • Am I best suited for the case method, lecture method, or programs with strong experiential components? (And do I really understand what each entails—for example, the teamwork and public speaking that is necessary within the case method?)
  • Do my target schools match my academic objectives?
  • Do my target firms recruit at my school?
  • Are alumni well placed in my industry/post-MBA location? (Are alumni even crucial to my career?)
  • Do my target schools have facilities and an environment that appeal to me?
Again, these questions are just a start—we could pose many more, but the point is that you will get far more than a brand from your MBA studies. You will gain an education and an alumni network in return for your investment of two years and thousands of dollars. You should therefore skip the rankings, determine what is important to you, and then do your homework to identify a program that truly fits your personality, needs, and goals.
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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Georgetown McDonough Essay Analysis, 2018–2019  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2018, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Georgetown McDonough Essay Analysis, 2018–2019
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We have noted in the past our appreciation for the opportunity Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business gives its candidates to share who they are beyond the statistics and other facts presented in the rest of their application, and the school’s essay prompts for this season continue to support that approach. McDonough’s required first essay now involves three options from which candidates can choose, so applicants can select the one that addresses an aspect of their candidacy they most want to highlight for the admissions committee. The school’s video essay then allows candidates to creatively showcase their individuality and personality. And any aspiring McDonough MBAs with specific concerns about or issues in their profile can use the program’s optional essay to address and mitigate them. In our analysis that follows, we give our ideas and advice for addressing all the school’s prompts for this year.

We want to hear your story. When responding to our required essays, be authentic and take time to reflect on your goals and past experiences. Craft a response that explains how these experiences led you to pursue an MBA.

Please select one of the following three essays to complete in 500 words or less and include the essay prompt and your first/last name at the top of your submission.

Essay Option One: It can be said that life begins outside your comfort zone. Describe a situation when you were asked to lead outside of your comfort zone. What leadership characteristics did you exemplify in this situation that allowed you to succeed?

Success tends to come easily when one is engaged in something he/she is already good at and does so in a familiar and comfortable setting. However, business school is not a familiar environment for most and definitely requires individuals to regularly step outside their comfort zone. It is a dynamic, rigorous, demanding, intense, and exacting experience—albeit in exciting and rewarding ways, of course—and McDonough wants to know you are truly ready for the challenge ahead and that your time in its program will extract the best from you.

With a 500-word allowance for this essay, you should have ample space in which to present a narrative-style description of the incident you choose. The school does not specify that the story must come from your professional endeavors, so consider incidents from your personal life and community work as well to ensure you select a topic that effectively addresses and provides what the school is seeking with this prompt. Note that you are being asked to share a leadership experience, not simply one in which you found yourself.

Once you have introduced the basic situation, be sure to clarify what about it made it unfamiliar or uncomfortable to you. Ideally, to better illustrate the contrast between your usual style and the one you were required to take in this specific instance, touch briefly on what you might have normally done in the situation or what approach you would have taken. Then explain how you arrived at your novel idea/attitude/approach/strategy. For example, did someone or something in particular inspire you? The admissions committee is interested in hearing your thought process and influences and in understanding how you assess new situations, digest information, and subsequently react.

Next, describe the actions you took and, of course, the situation’s outcome. Be sure to pinpoint which attributes you relied on to make your contribution effective and ultimately successful—and, if applicable, how these attributes affected those you led.

Essay Option Two: “Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it’s something to be POWERED by. Failure is the high-octane fuel your life can run on. You’ve got to learn to make failure your fuel.” –Abby Wambach.

Describe a situation when failure has been your fuel. What was your failure (or when did you not succeed to your full potential), and how did you use this as motivation to move forward and be successful in a future situation?

We feel fairly confident saying that no one proceeds smoothly through life without ever encountering a failure or setback, so no doubt you have at least one story from your past that could be fitting for this essay. The key is to identify a time when you were derailed or prevented from achieving an objective and were subsequently inspired to try again or to attempt something different but equally (or even more) challenging. The admissions committee wants to know that you are the kind of individual who gets back up after being knocked down and is not easily deterred.

For this essay, start by thinking of a time when something got in the way of you attaining a goal you were pursuing in an important area of your life. This could be an internal issue or an external force. Consider incidents from your career, personal life, and community activities to find the one you feel is most compelling and reveals the most about you. For example, perhaps you miscalculated the budget on a critical work project, suffered an injury at mile 20 of your first attempt at running a marathon, or had a volunteer event you organized be shut down by inclement weather.

The way the school’s essay prompt is worded leads us to believe that McDonough is less interested in hearing the minute details of your failure story—though you will need to sufficiently explain what happened, of course—and more interested in what you took away from the experience. You will need to expound on how the defeat taught you a specific lesson of some kind and how this has influenced your subsequent actions and/or decisions. The incident you share in this essay needs to have compelled you to pursue another goal down the line.

Begin your essay by providing some narrative context that sets the stage for the significant moment or experience, showing your progress and mind-set to that point and setting the baseline as far as what you expected to do or gain. Then, describe the incident or issue that foiled your efforts and detail your reaction and thought processes. Finally, share how the experience altered who you are and/or how you view or interact with the world and later inspired you to strive for a new objective of some kind. With 500 words, you should have sufficient space to present all these facets of your story, especially if you jump directly into your narrative and avoid unnecessary preamble.

With this essay, McDonough hopes to understand how the situation has contributed to the person you are today and how you might function in similar situations in the future, whether in its MBA program or your post-MBA career. Clearly presenting this will help demonstrate your self-awareness, capacity for growth, and ambition.

Essay Option Three: Your personal brand reflects your values and beliefs, and impacts your relationships and community. Describe the personal brand that you will bring to business school using examples or experiences that support how you’ve developed it. How do you believe your personal brand will strengthen the McDonough community? As you complete your MBA program, how do you hope to see your personal brand evolve through the transformative experience of business school?

First, do not assume the phrase “personal brand” means that McDonough expects you to be the next famous business mogul or celebrity with thousands of eager Instagram followers or the like. At its core, this prompt is basically asking, “Who are you as an individual? What are some key experiences and influences in your life that have helped make you into the person you are today? How will your personality and skills contribute to the McDonough community? And how will McDonough in turn influence who you are and hope/expect to be in the future?” We hope this translation of sorts helps allay any trepidation this prompt may have initially triggered in you. At its core, this essay is largely about two key things you should already know rather well—yourself and McDonough.

We would venture that “brand” in this case encompasses personality, individual strengths and characteristics, and a sense of conviction and ownership. First, think about the aspects of your personality and profile that you believe truly define you as an individual—not just what you do and have done, but who you are—and fully explore your background, hobbies, talents, experiences, values, goals, and quirks. Brainstorm an extensive list and then eliminate any items that seem too common (e.g., a BA in finance) or basic (e.g., your hometown) until you have a collection of truly distinctive qualities you can weave into your response. Your goal is to provide a well-rounded picture of yourself that draws from multiple areas and shows that you possess characteristics and/or knowledge that would make you a positive addition to the McDonough community.

You will then need to go one step further and spell out how you came to possess these qualities. Were you influenced by someone in your family or community to learn a particular skill? Did you encounter a subject or activity in school that has since become a passion of yours? Once you have presented some of what you believe are your distinctive characteristics, describe for the admissions committee where you feel those characteristics originated.

The next element of the essay concerns how your particular personality and attributes will contribute to the community and environment at McDonough. And to know how to contribute, you must first understand the community and environment in question. So, if you have not already done so, start researching the school in depth. Ideally, this means moving beyond the school’s website, viewbook, and related marketing materials and making direct contact with students, alumni, and even school representatives. Attend an admissions event in your area, if available, and schedule a campus visit and sit in on a class. This kind of firsthand observation of what and who the McDonough program truly entails, paired with a profound knowledge of how it works, is key in identifying what is unique about you viewed against this backdrop—and will help highlight what you can bring to the mix and how.

Pay special attention to aspects and areas that speak to you personally in some way, and consider social events/clubs and professional development opportunities along with course work and academic offerings. Business school is meant to be a comprehensive environment and experience that enriches students in ways not just related directly to business, and perhaps your best potential for contribution lies in one of these areas. If you have years of experience teaching, for example, you could perhaps help facilitate discussions among the students in your study group or on team projects. If you have a depth of knowledge or years of experience in a particular area, whether through your job or in a personal capacity (such as being a dedicated wine aficionado), you could serve as a kind of subject matter expert for those around you in the program or even a valuable component in someone’s recruiting network. If you are particularly funny, creative, or athletic, you may be the ideal fit to lead an extracurricular group or play a significant role in a nonacademic project or event.

Lastly, you need to explain how you see the McDonough experience contributing to who you are and who you want to be by graduation and going forward. In a sense, you need to spell out “Why McDonough?” The assumption is that something you have learned about the program leads you to believe the school is the right fit for you and where you want to go in the future. So what makes you feel this way? The admissions committee wants to know that you are are truly excited to be a part of the community and expect to benefit from your learning experience there. Demonstrating your authentic interest in the program by outlining a clear connection between who you want to be and what the school offers is key to crafting a compelling essay response.

Video Essay:  We ask that you introduce yourself to your cohort in one minute or less. The Admissions Committee would like for you to appear in person during part of your video, and we strongly encourage you to speak outside of the experiences we can read on your resume. Use this video as an opportunity to bring life to your application. For more instructions, view our Video Essay Guide.

  • You may use your phone, computer, or other means to record the video, but please ensure all audio and visual components are clear. We recommend a well-lit room and minimal noise distraction.
  • Upload your video to an accessible website (such as Youtube, Vimeo, Youku, or Tudou), and submit the direct video URL into your online application.
  • [b]Please note that all videos must remain active and accessible to the admissions committee online for a minimum of five years for record retention purposes.[/b] 
  • For your privacy: Do not include your name in the title of your video. You may submit “unlisted” videos via YouTube or password protected videos through Vimeo. If using a password, please include immediately after your link in the text box below. [Ex: www.youtube.com/123, password: Hoyas]
McDonough’s video essay is another opportunity for you to offer the school a glimpse into your character and personality. As the prompt says, this is a chance to “bring life to your application,” so your focus should be on ensuring that it as authentic and natural as possible. This is not a job interview, and the school specifically states that you should consider your future cohort—your fellow students—as your intended audience, which certainly implies that a less rigid and traditionally “professional” demeanor is okay, though we of course caution you to always be appropriate and inoffensive. Do not use the video as an opportunity to pitch your candidacy or to pander to the school, and avoid repeating any information that is already clearly conveyed in your resume. (When an admissions committee tells you so specifically what to do [or not do] in an essay prompt, pay attention!) This is also 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 in our belief that you have more to your character than can be conveyed in a mere 60 seconds—so do not waste any of them!

Given that this is a video, you will obviously need to think beyond what you will say and consider the clothing you will wear, the setting or background of your video, your tone of voice, your language style, whether you will include music, and a host of other details. Brainstorm 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 biker, consider using a GoPro or similar camera to film your video while you are actively riding. If you are a dedicated guitar player, perhaps strum your guitar as you speak (or, 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 in your video. 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. Spend some time practicing in front of a mirror or a friend, but do not overrehearse. You still want to come across as genuine and natural.

Optional Essay: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

We tend to believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, and this prompt offers an opportunity to do just that. However, because McDonough does not stipulate that you can only discuss a problem area in this essay, you have some leeway to share anything you feel is that you think may be pivotal or particularly compelling. So, if you need to, this is your chance to address any questions an admissions officer might have about your profile—a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on how best to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

However, because the question can be interpreted rather broadly, it does open the door for you to discuss anything that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel is truly critical for the admissions committee to know to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively. We caution you about simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. Remember, by submitting an additional essay, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you need to make sure that time is warranted. If you are using the essay to emphasize something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, take this opportunity to write a very brief narrative that reveals this key new aspect of your candidacy.

Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

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. McDonough 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 McDonough 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.
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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Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan 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 profile Robert Pindyck from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Robert Pindyck, who is the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd Professor in Finance and Economics and a professor of applied economics at MIT Sloan, has won multiple teaching awards going back more than 20 years, including an MIT Sloan Outstanding Teaching Award in both 1995 and 2005, the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002, and the school’s Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. Students and alumni with whom we spoke made note of his intense passion, which inspires his students to involve themselves ever more deeply into the material they are studying. An alumnus described Pindyck’s “tremendous authority,” which the professor balanced with “immense accessibility,” and a second-year teaching assistant in Pindyck’s “Industrial Economics [for Strategic Decisions]” course noted in a 2012 MIT Sloan Students Speak blog post that working with him was “a great learning experience.”

For more information about the MIT Sloan School of Management and 16 other top-ranked MBA 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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