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The mbaMission Blog

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass Is 99  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass Is 99% Empty
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“I was the first in my class to be promoted at McKinsey. I have a 710 GMAT score and completed Level 1 of the CFA exam, but I had a B- in calculus during my freshman year. Will that grade ruin my chances for admission?”

“My company has been under a hiring and promotion freeze for the past three years, but during that time, I have earned pay increases and survived successive rounds of layoffs. Will the admissions committee accept someone who has not been promoted?”

“I have been promoted, but my company changed names. Will the admissions committee think I am going somewhere at a sketchy company?”

Although these questions may seem somewhat silly—the individuals’ strengths are obvious and their “weaknesses” comparatively innocuous—we get asked about scenarios like these every day. In short, we can assure you that your candidacy, even at vaunted schools like Harvard and Stanford, is not rendered tenuous by such trivial “shortcomings.” The admissions officers do not consider you guilty until proven innocent, and they are not looking for little reasons to exclude you from contention.

Many candidates have mythologized the “perfect” applicant and fear that any small area of concern means that they do not measure up to this myth—and thus that their candidacy is insufficient. Rather than fixating on small details that in truth are inconsequential, you should think about the big picture with respect to your overall competitiveness.

You can take us at our word on this. Or, if you prefer, heed the words of a former admissions officer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who explained to mbaMission that “everyone has something, or more than one thing, in their application that they need to overcome.” But he added, “We read with an eye toward wanting to find all the good things about an applicant. We look for their strengths. We look for things that make them stand out, that make them unique. We look for their accomplishments. We look for positive parts of the application.”
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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Consider a Part-Time MBA—or an MBA Program in Europe!  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Consider a Part-Time MBA—or an MBA Program in Europe!
We at mbaMission often receive questions about part-time MBA programs, so we thought we should offer a look at some of the pros and cons of this option.

As for the pros, the one that business school candidates cite most frequently is that the part-time MBA involves a limited opportunity cost. Unlike a full-time MBA student, a part-time one does not miss out on two years of salary (and, in some cases, retirement savings) and can still earn raises and promotions while completing his/her studies. Furthermore, firm sponsorship seems to be more prevalent for part-time MBAs, so candidates who have this option can truly come out ahead, with a free education and continued earning throughout. Beyond the financial rationale, many part-time MBA students see an academic advantage; they can learn both in the classroom and at work and can then turn theory into practice (and vice versa) in real time, on an ongoing basis. Of course, a cynic might add that another pro is that part-time MBA programs are generally less selective. So a candidate who may have had difficulty getting accepted to a traditional two-year program may have a better chance of gaining admission to a well-regarded school in its part-time program instead.

As for the cons, many part-time MBA candidates feel that the comparative lack of structure means that networking opportunities within the class are limited. While one part-time student could complete a school’s MBA program in two years, another might complete it in five. As a result, with candidates progressing through the program at such different paces, students will not likely see each other regularly in the same classes or at social events. In addition, in a traditional MBA environment, academics always come first; in a part-time environment, work typically comes first, and academics must come second or even third, after family. In other words, the full-time program generally involves greater intensity with regard to the classroom experience, given that it is the focal point of students’ lives. Another thing to consider is that some MBA programs do not offer their “star” faculty to part-time students—something that candidates should definitely ask about before enrolling—and offer limited access to on-grounds recruiting.

Of course, we are not trying to offer a definitive “answer” or present a bias for a particular kind of program; we are simply sharing some objective facts for candidates to consider as they make informed choices for themselves.

MBA candidates looking to broaden their business school choices could also consider European programs.

Although many applicants who are competing for places at the top U.S. business schools are well aware of the strengths of the MBA programs at INSEAD and London Business School, even more options are available beyond these two, including IESEESADEOxford (Said), and Cambridge (Judge). These four schools in particular have been aggressively playing “catch-up” with their better-known brethren by raising funds and dedicating them to scholarships and to enhancing their global brands. Those who know their business schools are also aware that IMD offers a boutique MBA program with remarkable international diversity, very highly regarded academics, and a stellar reputation with international employers.

So, numerous options are available, and each can be explored on its own academic merit. But is earning your MBA in Europe, in itself, a good choice for you? For many, the key issue in determining this is where they would like to be after completing their education. If you are seeking to work in Europe, then clearly, these schools offer an advantage over all but the top five or six schools in the United States—Harvard Business School, for example, can probably open as many doors in Europe as INSEAD can. However, if you are seeking to work in the States, then the European schools will not provide the pipeline of opportunities that a top-ranked American school could provide, particularly for those who hope to work in a niche industry or with a company that is not a well-known international brand.

Still, beyond the employment picture, studying abroad offers intrinsic value. Spending two years in London, Fontainebleau, or Lausanne could certainly be its own reward.

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

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Terry Taylor, UC 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 Terry Taylor from the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

After stints at Columbia Business School and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Terry Taylor joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business in 2007, where he is currently the Milton W. Terrill Chaired Professor of Business Administration. Considering that Taylor, who has a PhD from Stanford in management science and engineering, is often named in student blogs and online student chats as a favorite among the school’s aspiring MBAs, he not surprisingly won the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009 and again in 2011. He was also named the fifth most popular professor at a top U.S. business school by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011.

Taylor’s academic interests include the economics of operations management and supply chain management. His “Operations” (previously “Operations Management”) course looks at operational issues confronted by manufacturing and service companies. In addition to reportedly having a well-organized curriculum and classes—which a second year we interviewed said include “no down time”—Taylor can make technical subjects very interesting, sometimes even using references to Seinfeld episodes to illuminate concepts. A second year told mbaMission, “He’s pretty young and has a style that mixes high energy with a dry sense of humor.”

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

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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth
Let us play a quick game of word association—we will start.

“Kellogg.”

Ok, go ahead. “Entrepreneurship,” right? No? Aspiring MBAs may be surprised to learn that Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers nearly dozens of courses in this discipline and that its Entrepreneurship and Innovation major has been among its most popular areas of study—defying the stereotype that Kellogg produces only marketing MBAs.

As part of Envision Kellogg, the school’s strategic plan, the MBA program introduced four new impact initiatives in 2012, one of which is the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI). Overseen by the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, the KIEI offers numerous opportunities for students to develop their entrepreneurial acumen and currently features a total of 43 professors in its faculty. In addition to business plan competitions, the Levy Institute manages the Kellogg Entrepreneurial Internship Program Stipend and the Entrepreneur in Residence Program, an experiential learning option through which, for a day, an experienced entrepreneur hosts half-hour one-on-one sessions with students who aspire to careers in this field or are seeking advice on their already active projects.

The school’s Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital offers the Private Equity Lab, wherein rising second-year students intern with small businesses or private equity firms—receiving a stipend—to facilitate career transitions that would otherwise be challenging for those without experience.

MBA student entrepreneurs coming from or planning to enter a family business will likely be interested to learn that Kellogg’s Center for Family Enterprises not only publishes research and cases on such businesses, but also confidentially consults with family-run companies. Indeed, this is all just the tip of the iceberg.

Let us continue the guessing game: Chicago Booth is just a finance school, right? Not at all. We feel that not enough applicants are aware of Chicago Booth’s robust “hands-on” entrepreneurial offerings, which are available through its Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Where to begin?

Chicago Booth’s practical academic programs extend into the field of entrepreneurship with the school’s “New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab.” Herein, students work within a host firm or take on a dedicated project in a class designed to train those who intend to ultimately join start-ups or provide consulting services to them. In addition, the Polsky Center sponsors the annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition that awarded a $100,000 prize to its 2018 winner.

Further, entrepreneurially minded Chicago Booth students can apply for funding from the Hyde Park Angels (HPA), a group of former Chicago Booth Executive MBA students who make investments in start-ups—in 2017, for example, the group invested nearly $8M. Although the HPA is an arms-length organization and does not source investments exclusively from Chicago Booth, it maintains a connection to the Polsky Center, which supports the HPA’s mission. So, students hoping to get in front of the HPA’s investment committee will have a built-in networking advantage. Also, the HPA offers students the opportunity to intern as associates and gain venture capital experience while pursuing their MBA at Chicago Booth.

Believe it or not, we are just scratching the surface here. Again, Chicago Booth is most definitely not “just a finance school.”

For more information on Northwestern Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and 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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mbaMission

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem on the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2018, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem on the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

I want to share a four-step Critical Reasoning (CR) process with you, a process that can be used on any CR problem.

Here is the overall process:

Step 1: Identify the question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument.

Step 3: State the goal.

Step 4: Work from wrong to right.

Those steps might sound obvious to some people and very vague to others. I will explain each in more detail, but I want to say first that each step is there for a very important reason, and each step has been split off from the others for a very important reason. You can find the full article on the Manhattan Prep blog, as well as additional articles that illustrate how to use this process with each of the various CR question types. Here are a few additional details for each step:

Step 1: Identify the question. Use the question stem to identify the question. Each question type has certain characteristics; learn them.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument. Arguments can contain up to four main building blocks: premises, counter-premises, conclusions, and background. Every argument has premises, but that is the only component common to all. In addition, some arguments “contain” assumptions—that is, the assumptions are not written but can be implied based on the premises and conclusion.

Step 3: State the goal. Each question type asks us to do a certain kind of reasoning; we need to make sure we know what it is. Each question type also has common error categories; remind yourself what they are, and you will be less likely to fall for them!

Step 4: Work from wrong to right. This is just a fancy way of saying find and eliminate the wrong answers until only one answer is left. Your first focus is elimination; get rid of everything you know is wrong. Do not even ask yourself what might be the right answer until you have gone through all five answers once. Then compare any remaining, tempting answers.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: You Need a 750 to Get into Business Sc  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2018, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: You Need a 750 to Get into Business School
We often hear MBA applicants ask some form of the following question: “Do I need a 750 to get into a top MBA program?” Although a 750 on the GMAT can certainly be helpful, it is not a prerequisite. We wanted to dispel this myth and put some who believe it at ease. Here are a few simple reasons why this is just not true:

  • The average is lower. Average GMAT scores at the top MBA programs range from approximately 700 to 730. Clearly, if the high end of the GMAT average range is 730, the schools cannot expect applicants to have a 750. That would mean that every applicant would be above average, which is not possible. Still, if a candidate’s score falls below the average, this generally places a greater burden on the other components of the individual’s application—so, for example, maybe his/her work experience would need to be stronger than that of other applicants, or maybe his/her extracurriculars would need to stand out even more. The bottom line is that mathematically speaking, many people have a GMAT score below 750.
  • Too few applicants have a 750 or higher. The top MBA programs accept thousands of applicants each application season. Only approximately 2% of GMAT test takers earn scores of 750 or higher, and some are earned by people who do not ultimately apply to business school at all, do not apply to any of the leading schools, take the test only to become GMAT instructors, pursue an EMBA or part-time MBA instead, are rejected because other aspects of their profile render them uncompetitive… and the list goes on. Basically, the top MBA programs do not receive applications from enough applicants with 750s to entirely populate their incoming class, as evidenced by the schools’ mid-80% GMAT ranges, which are typically 660–760.
  • All schools accept the GRE. Applicants do not really even need to take the GMAT anymore. Of course, if you do take the GMAT, you should strive to achieve the highest score possible. However, if the GMAT is not even required, you obviously would not need to score a 750 to be accepted.
We want to be unequivocal: 750 is a great GMAT score, and anyone who earns that score should be delighted. However, if you do not fare as well on the exam, you should still be quite hopeful and keep a positive mind-set, because the admissions process is holistic.
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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How to Show Rather Than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA A  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2018, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Show Rather Than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA Application Essays
You may have heard the old journalistic maxim “Show, don’t tell,” which demands that writers truly illustrate the actions involved in an event or a story rather than simply stating the results of what happened.

Here is an example of “telling” (results oriented):

“I arrived at ABC Bank and took on a great deal of responsibility in corporate lending. I managed diverse clients in my first year and earned the recognition of my manager. Because of my hard work, initiative, and leadership, he placed me on the management track, and I knew that I would be a success in this challenging position.”

In these three sentences, the reader is told that the applicant “took on a great deal of responsibility,” “managed diverse clients,” and “earned recognition,” though none of these claims are substantiated via the story. Further, we are given no real evidence of the writer’s “hard work, initiative, and leadership.”

Here is an example of “showing” (action oriented):

“Almost immediately after joining ABC bank, I took a risk in asking management for the accounts left behind by a recently transferred manager. I soon expanded our lending relationships with a children’s clothing retailer, a metal recycler, and a food distributor, making decisions on loans of up to $1M. Although I had a commercial banking background, I sought the mentorship of our district manager and studied aggressively for the CFA exam (before and after 14-hour days at the office); I was encouraged when the lending officer cited my initiative and desire to learn, placing me on our management track.”

In this second example, we see evidence of the writer’s “great deal of responsibility” (client coverage, $1M lending decisions) and “diverse clients” (a children’s clothing retailer, a metal recycler, and a food distributor). Further, the candidate’s “hard work, initiative, and leadership” are clearly illustrated throughout. The second example paragraph is more interesting, rich, and humble—and more likely to captivate the reader. By showing your actions in detail, you ensure that your reader draws the desired conclusions about your skills and accomplishments, because the necessary facts are included to facilitate this. Essentially, facts become your evidence!

Similar to showing instead of telling, “connectivity” is another important element of professional writing. Simply put, an adept writer ensures that each sentence is part of a chain—each sentence depends on the previous one and necessitates the next. With this linkage in place, the central idea is constantly moving forward, giving the story a natural flow and making it easy to follow. Although you do not need to write at the same level as a professional journalist, you should still embrace this concept, because it is central to excellent essay writing. With a “connected” MBA application essay, you will grab and hold your reader’s attention.

You can test your essay’s connectivity by removing a sentence from one of your paragraphs. If the central idea in the paragraph still makes complete sense after this removal, odds are you have superfluous language, are not advancing the story effectively, and should revise your draft.

Try this exercise with a random selection from the New York Times:

“For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart. But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead. The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you. These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar).”

If you were to delete any of these sentences, you would create confusion for the reader, proving that each sentence is connected and vital.
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: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School (HBS).

With research interests in the areas of technology management and innovation management, Clayton Christensen (MBA ’79, DBA ’92) joined the HBS faculty in 1992, after having cofounded CPS Technologies (where he was chairman and president) in 1984, working as a consultant for Boston Consulting Group (1979–1984), and serving as a White House Fellow (1982–1983). He is currently the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at HBS. Christensen’s “Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise” course is an elective he designed that shows students how to manage a successful company using theories of strategy and innovation to better understand which tools may be effective in various business situations. Students address such questions as “How can I beat powerful competitors?” and “How can we create and sustain a motivated group of employees?”

Christensen is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business (Harvard Business Review Press, 1997), The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (McGraw-Hill, 2008), How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperBusiness, 2012), and Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice (HarperBusiness, 2016). He received an Extraordinary Teaching Award from the HBS Class of 2010 as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. In both 2011 and 2013, Thinkers50, a ranking released every two years by the consulting group CrainerDearlove, named Christensen the World’s Most Influential Business Thinker, and in 2015, he received an Edison Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of innovation.

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

_________________

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
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Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal   [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal College of Business
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Students aspiring to sharpen their analytic and quantitative skills are well served at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Boasting a faculty that includes multiple Nobel Prize winners, Tepper has pioneered “management science,” a supplement to traditional case studies that draws on more scientific—rather than historical—strategies for complex business decision making. Management science depends on tools such as computer modeling, organizational behavior, and economic theory.

In addition to this overall “quant” emphasis in its curriculum, Tepper offers an MBA track for Business Analytics. In the track, students are immersed in highly focused computational analysis, examining different theories of finance, stochastic calculus modeling, and statistical methodologies, in addition to the managerial skills they learn in the MBA program’s marketing, strategy, communications, and operations courses. While such schools as Chicago Booth and Columbia Business School may garner a higher rank for careers in finance, few MBA programs offer such uniquely intensive academic resources for a specialization in business analysis.

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Elsewhere in the state, Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business is perhaps best known for balancing traditional course work with immersive learning. Smeal’s modular curriculum structure includes eight modules over the course of the two-year MBA program. The program begins with “Concentration Intensive,” during which students participate in various seminars to learn more about the program’s four available main concentrations. The second course module, for example, focuses on such themes as “Marketing Management” and “Economics for Managers.” The “Communication Skills for Leaders” course runs through the entire first year and is described on the school’s website as “a signature aspect of the Penn State Smeal MBA experience.”

Smeal’s curriculum also includes a required international experience component, the “Global Immersion,” which takes place in the second year. Students travel to such countries as Chile, India, and China to visit international organizations across various industries.
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January 2019 Event Roundup  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: January 2019 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 January, the event lineup includes the following sessions:

  • [b]January 14

    Assessing Your MBA Profile (Online)
    [/b]How will admissions officers weigh your MBA application? An experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs understand how admissions committees choose from thousands of strong candidates to fill a relatively small number of spots in their classes.

  • January  16

    Persian Gulf MBA Applicants: Overcoming Stereotypes and Finding Your Place (Online)

    Candidates from the Persian Gulf represent a unique subset of the MBA applicant pool, and MBA admissions officers are at risk of stereotyping applicants from this region. Given our track record of helping many candidates, we understand what you can do to emphasize the character traits the admissions committees want to see: hard work, openness, and a clear forward vision. Join us for this one-hour session detailing how you can stand out and earn that coveted letter of acceptance.
  • January 22

    MBA Interview Workshop (Online)

    What do you need to do to prepare for your business school interview? An experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs understand the types of questions that may be asked to best prepare for interviews.
  • January 23

    Standing Out from the 2+2 and Deferred Admissions Pack! (Online)

    HBS started the 2+2/deferred admissions trend, and now every other top MBA program seems to be jumping on board or preparing to do so soon. What do you need to do to be a standout applicant for one of these programs? Because this trend is still relatively new, not enough information is available to enable us to fully characterize an ideal candidate. Nonetheless, we can offer you a sense of why some applicants tend to succeed and where others often falter. Please join us for this must-attend session prior to creating your application!
  • January 24

    No Stone Unturned: Your 2019/2020 MBA Application Starts Now! (Online)

    Planning to apply to business school in 2019 or 2020? It is not too early to start planning! By taking action now, you can dramatically improve your chances of gaining admission to a top MBA program in the coming years. Indeed, it is never too soon (and certainly not too late) to take several crucial steps to shape your MBA candidacy.
To enroll in one of our free seminars, click the event title in the list above. We look forward to having you join us!
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First Glance Exercises for Sentence Correction in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: First Glance Exercises for Sentence Correction in the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

We have learned the four-step Sentence Correction (SC) Process in previous posts. People are excited about the opening step, the First Glance, and have asked for more exercises to help them learn how to become a First Glance Expert. For instance…

Does the length of the underline tell you anything? If so, what?

What about the very first word of the underline? Or the last word right before the underline starts?

And what about the differences among the first words of each answer choice? Does anything strike you there?

Fantastic clues often exist in these areas, but you need to learn how to translate them. As with any study we do for the GMAT, our real learning comes before the clock starts ticking. Take all the time you need to analyze already-completed questions to figure out how to spot and react to certain types of clues. Then, when the test starts, you will know what to look for, and you will be able to react immediately when you spot a useful clue!

First, read the SC Process posts. Next, grab your copy of the Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018. Finally, start trying out the exercises detailed in the article “Get the Most Out of Your First Glance.”

Plan to spend a few weeks working on this a little bit every day before you start to spot most of the types of clues that can pop out at you during your first glance at the problem. Have fun!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Worry Because My Coworker Is   [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Worry Because My Coworker Is Also Applying
You look around your office and think to yourself: “I wish my coworker were not applying to the same school as I am. They can’t take two people who sit at the same desk. Also, his GPA is 0.15 higher!” On the surface, this reasoning may seem logical, and it can thus cause anxiety for some candidates—especially for those who are in positions for which an MBA is virtually a “must have” to move forward, such as in consulting and banking.

However—not to worry—this thinking has two significant flaws:

  • You are not the same candidate as the person at the desk beside you. He/she may have similar work experience, but you have had different interactions with team members and clients and have worked on different projects. So, you have different perspectives on your experiences and so do your recommenders. Furthermore, your work experience is only one piece of the puzzle that is your application. Even if your coworker does have a slightly higher GPA or GMAT/GRE score, you are still quite different in terms of your personal/life experiences, community/leadership activities, ability to perform during interviews, and more. Instead of worrying that the admissions committee will make an apples-to-apples comparison and cast you out, you must focus on what makes you distinct and present your best self.
  • The top schools have room for two great candidates. When we asked Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s) former admissions director whether she would accept two candidates who had worked at the same company, she quipped, “We have room for Larry and Sergei (referencing the two founders of Google).” An mbaMission consultant recalled that when she was at HBS, she had two classmates who worked on the same desk at the same private equity firm. At HBS, they ended up in the same section. Top-ranked MBA programs do not have quotas for certain firms, towns, ethnicities, etc. They just want the best candidates out there.
So, in short, as you eye that individual across the desk, try to avoid simplified comparisons. Focus on that which makes you distinct, and expect that the admissions committees will not fulfill quotas, but rather identify talent.
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Waitlist Strategies for MBA Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Waitlist Strategies for MBA Applicants
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Each admissions season, many candidates receive a response from MBA admissions committees that can sometimes be far more frustrating than a rejection: “You have been placed on our waitlist.” What should you do when your status is uncertain?

The first and most important thing is to listen to the admissions committee. If the committee tells you not to send follow-up material of any sort, then do not yield to temptation and send material that you think will bolster your case. If you misguidedly choose to do so after being specifically instructed not to, you will most definitely identify yourself in a negative way—not the type of message you want to send to the group that will decide your fate.

Does this rule have any exceptions? Yes, actually. If you know a current student or an alumnus/alumna who can tactfully, diplomatically, and independently work on your behalf, you can have this third party write a letter to or otherwise contact the admissions committee in support of your candidacy. But again, this is acceptable only if this individual truly understands the delicate nature of the interaction. If you have no such person on your side, you will have to wait patiently, as difficult as that may be.

Conversely, if the school encourages applicants to provide updates on their progress, the situation changes. In the previous scenario, the frustration candidates experience derives from a sense of helplessness. But in this scenario, candidates tend to lament the lack of time in which to have accomplished anything significant, often thinking, “What can I offer the MBA admissions committee as an update? I submitted my application only three months ago!”

First and foremost, if you have worked to target any weaknesses in your candidacy—for example, by retaking the GMAT and increasing your score, or by taking a supplemental math class and earning an A grade—the admissions committee will certainly want to hear about this. Further, if you have any concrete news regarding promotions or the assumption of additional responsibilities in the community sphere, be sure to update the admissions committee on this news as well.

Even if you do not have these sorts of quantifiable accomplishments to report, you should still have some news to share. If you have undertaken any additional networking or have completed a class visit since you submitted your application, you can discuss your continued (or increased) interest; when you are on a waitlist, the admissions committee wants to know that you are passionately committed to the school. If you have not been promoted, you could creatively reflect on a new project that you have started and identify the professional skills/exposure that this project is providing or has provided (for example, managing people off-site for the first time or executing with greater independence). Finally, the personal realm is not off-limits, so feel free to discuss any personal accomplishments—for example, anything from advancing in the study of a language, to visiting a new country, to completing a marathon.

With some thought and creativity, you should be able to draft a concise but powerful letter that conveys your continued professional and personal growth while expressing your sincere and growing interest in the school—all of which will fulfill your goal of increasing your chances of gaining admission.
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Professor Profiles: Youngme Moon, Harvard Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Youngme Moon, Harvard Business School
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Youngme Moon from Harvard Business School (HBS).

In addition to receiving the HBS Student Association Faculty Award seven times, Youngme Moon was also the inaugural recipient of the Hellman Faculty Fellowship in 2002–2003 for distinction in research. Moon is currently the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and has served as the senior associate dean for strategy and innovation and as the senior associate dean for the MBA program at the school. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology, and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Students described Moon to mbaMission as being extremely friendly and accessible, even going out for casual dinners with students.

Moon’s bestselling 2010 book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Crown Business), is described by the publisher as showing “how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns…but exceptions rule.” Moon co-hosts a weekly podcast, After Hours, which is presented by the Harvard Business Review. The podcast features Moon and two other HBS professors discussing current events “that sit at the crossroads of business and culture,” according to the podcast’s iTunes description.

For more information about HBS and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Hands-On Finance Opportunities at Michigan Ross and UCLA Anderson  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Hands-On Finance Opportunities at Michigan Ross and UCLA Anderson
You may not realize that students at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan do not have to travel all that far to get hands-on Wall Street experience. Through the John R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center (known as simply the Tozzi Center), students can find themselves “on” Wall Street without ever having to leave Ann Arbor. Housed in a 5,800-square-foot facility on campus, the Tozzi Center boasts a state-of-the-art mock trading floor as well as a flexible and wireless electronic classroom and an e-lab seminar room. The latest financial tools—including live news wires, trading systems, and data and research services—can be found at the center. The space has been designed to look and feel like the real thing, so do not be surprised if you hear “Sell, Sell, Sell!” when you walk by students in action.

Many acknowledge UCLA Anderson’s unique connections to the media and entertainment industry. However, far fewer MBA aspirants are aware of the tremendous opportunities Anderson provides to students interested in investment management. Established in 1987, the Anderson Student Asset Management (ASAM) program (formerly the Student Investment Fund) is a fellowship that provides up to 20 students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they have learned thus far about investment theory. Students must apply for the opportunity to manage the portfolio, currently worth approximately $1M, for five academic quarters. ASAM Fellows engage in investment strategy, asset allocation, and security analysis, and they explore both value and growth approaches to investment as well as fixed income investments. Fellows get together weekly during the academic year and visit investment professionals throughout the fellowship to learn about different investment philosophies. Those interested in a career in investment management should give UCLA Anderson a closer look.

For more information on Michigan Ross, UCLA Anderson, or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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mbaMission Offers a New Primer and an Online Event for Deferred Admiss  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Offers a New Primer and an Online Event for Deferred Admissions Program Candidates
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A new year is upon us, and we at mbaMission are proud to announce our first new publication of the year: the HBS 2+2 and Deferred Admissions Primer!

In deferred admissions programs, undergraduate students can be accepted to an MBA program during their last year of studies and enroll after gaining a pre-determined amount of work experience. These programs have increasingly attracted interest following the 2008 launch of the 2+2 Program at Harvard Business School—one of the first top business schools to do so. Since then, several other high-ranking schools have launched similar programs, and many more have expressed an interest in creating one in the future.

Because the idea of applying to an MBA program while still pursuing an undergraduate degree is fairly new, many candidates have questions regarding such basics as who is eligible to apply, which schools offer these programs, and what the programs entail. Our new HBS 2+2 and Deferred Admissions Primer answers all of these questions and many more, in addition to providing insight regarding the interview process and what kinds of applicants have been successful in the past as well as quotes from former students. Download the free primer here!

While you are at it, be sure to take part in the free upcoming online event about deferred admissions programs presented by Manhattan Prep and hosted by mbaMission’s founder and president, Jeremy Shinewald. This session takes place at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 23, and offers insider insight on how to make your application stand out from the thousands that admissions committees see each year. Enroll in the session here to ensure your spot!
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Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to see some examples of all this? Glad you asked. I have got a full two-part article for you with three different practice problems. Get to it, and let me know what you think!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am a Simple Product  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am a Simple Product
Many candidates who approach us are concerned that they cannot get their stories out in a single sentence or worried that their personal branding is too muddled. Some candidates feel that they must have a single narrative and continuously speak to it in order to make an impression on the admissions committees. But, of course, you are not a simple product with one or two attributes—a Budweiser beer, for example, which can be represented with a straightforward slogan, “The Great American Lager.” MBA candidates are far more complex than consumer products. So, presenting yourself as one-dimensional (“I am an entrepreneur in everything I do,” “I am a finance guy”) is indeed a mistake that prevents you from revealing your depth of character and experience.

Let us consider a basic example: Jon built a lawn care business from a single truck into ten trucks, and he also coached Little League baseball, becoming a de facto “big brother” to one of the kids on the team. Why should Jon only show his entrepreneurial side and ignore his empathetic and altruistic treatment of this young baseball player? Why would not Jon instead reveal his depth and versatility, telling each story and revealing distinct but complementary strengths?

We at mbaMission encourage candidates to brainstorm thoroughly and consider each of their stories from as many different perspectives as possible. There is no simple formula for presenting yourself to the admissions committee. In fact, it is quite important for you to show that you are a multi-talented and sophisticated person. After all, admissions committees are on the hunt for the next great business leaders, and the true legends of international business cannot be summed up in three or four words.
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How to Lead with and Contextualize Your Goals in MBA Application Essay  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Lead with and Contextualize Your Goals in MBA Application Essays
When business school candidates read an essay prompt, they often interpret it quite literally. For example, when a school asks applicants a multipart question such as “What will you contribute to our school’s community, and how will being part of it help you extend your professional vision?,” many applicants assume they must answer the subquestions in the exact order in which they are asked. However, this is not true. Such questions are actually quite flexible, and sometimes, you can better engage your reader by pursuing your own structure.

We have found that for overrepresented candidates with unique professional goals, one strategy that can be quite helpful is leading with goals instead of professional history. After all, “typical” experience is not as captivating as unusual (but realistic!) ambitions. So, the technologist who plans to open a boutique hotel or the investment banker who aspires to start a competitive windsurfing circuit can use these bold goals to stand out from the start.

We must emphasize, however, that such candidates need to have and portray a compelling connection to their goals, and we do not suggest that overrepresented candidates strive to imagine or create “wild” goals just to catch an admissions committee’s attention. However, if you have a profound connection to an uncommon aspiration, then responding to a school’s questions in a different order and ensuring that your goals are front and center could make a difference.

Another trend we have noticed is that when tailoring their essays to specific schools, many candidates do not go far enough to demonstrate a clear and understandable connection between themselves and their target programs. Offering school-specific information is good, but you must go beyond merely mentioning the particular resource(s) that appeal to you—you must add context for your claims.

What is the difference between a mere mention and providing context?

Mention:

“With a focus on entrepreneurship, I will participate in Columbia’s Entrepreneurial Sounding Board process. Further, I am attracted to classes such as ‘Small Business Finance,’ ‘Real Estate Marketing,’ and ‘Introduction to Mergers.’ I also plan to join the…”

Context:

“With clear plans to launch my start-up immediately after graduating from Columbia Business School, I look forward to testing my ideas through the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board; I find this opportunity to meet with faculty and gain critical feedback and mentoring invaluable as I strive to refine my business plan and learn more about how to source investments…”

In the first example, the candidate shows an awareness of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board but does not provide the context necessary for the reader to fully understand how he/she will use this resource; therefore, the mention is entirely superficial. As a result, it is unconvincing, impersonal, and easily forgettable. The applicant has seemingly not taken the time to reflect on this resource and how he/she would use it to progress toward his/her stated goals. The candidate then goes on to list the classes he/she plans to take and essentially succeeds in little more than cataloging resources rather than offering a reasoned consideration of how the school’s offerings are necessary.

The second example better explains exactly how the candidate will use the resource mentioned; the applicant has clearly done the necessary research on the school and truly grasps how Columbia Business School will satisfy his/her academic and professional needs. Because the latter example is more informed and serious minded, the admissions reader can be certain that the candidate has a set path and a clear plan to achieve specific goals.
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Harvard Business School Rebrands Online Program in Hopes of Reaching M  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Harvard Business School Rebrands Online Program in Hopes of Reaching More Students
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Harvard Business School (HBS) recently announced that its online learning platform, previously titled “HBX,” has been renamed “Harvard Business School Online.” More than 40,000 individuals have completed a course with the program since its launch in 2014. Patrick J. Mullane, the program’s executive director, told The Harvard Crimson that the rebranding was driven by the school’s hope of attracting more students, including those who may not have previously realized that the online program was an HBS offering. “It wasn’t really clear to a lot of people when we had the name HBX that we were necessarily directly affiliated with the Harvard Business School,” Mullane commented to the Crimson.

Mullane emphasized that adding the prestigious Harvard name to the title of the program was a thoroughly thought-out decision that was in development for nearly a year, and he explained that the change is indeed intended to help the school reach more online students and continue its mission to “educate leaders who make a difference in the world.” Harvard Business School Online courses for 2018–2019 include “Scaling Ventures,” “Entrepreneurship Essentials,” “Disruptive Strategy,” and “Financial Accounting.”
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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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