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The mbaMission Blog

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Maximize Your GMAT Study Results by Boosting Your Memory  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Maximize Your GMAT Study Results by Boosting Your Memory
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.

Has this happened to you? You have ambitious plans to study a ton of things this weekend. You get tired, but you are determined to push through, so you keep studying. You begin to get a bit anxious because you feel you are not learning well (and you are not!), so you study even more. You get even more tired, and that makes it even harder to learn. By the end of the weekend, you are exhausted, frustrated, and demoralized.

Time magazine published a fascinating little article back in 2012: “To Boost Memory, Shut Your Eyes and Relax.” Go take a look at it. Do not worry; I will wait.

In a nutshell: your brain makes better memories when it is not tired.

The Time article quotes Michaela Dewar, the lead author of a research study on this topic. She notes that we are “at a very early stage of memory formation” when we first start to study new information, and “further neural processes have to occur after this stage for us to be able to remember this information at a later point in time.”

The italics are mine. Note what Ms. Dewar has said: more “stuff” has to happen in our brains after we have studied this info for us to be able to recall that information later on. In the meantime, we have to go do something else that does not involve learning other new things. Eat lunch. Take a walk or exercise. Listen to some music while cleaning the house. Get a good night’s sleep.

How can we use this in our GMAT study?

There are many ways to study, but do not plan to study for more than about two hours at a stretch. Cut yourself off earlier if you realize that you are feeling significantly mentally fatigued. If you do hit that two-hour mark, stop. You can study more today, if you want, but first take at least a one-hour brain break.

Next, if you plan to study on days that you also have work or class, see whether you have the flexibility to study before or during the class/work day. You could get up a little earlier than normal (warning: do not try this if you are a night person) or possibly arrange to get into work a bit later than normal a couple of days a week. You could study on your lunch break. These sessions might only run 20 or 30 minutes, but that is fine—you are just trying to get some studying done earlier in the day, while your brain is more fresh!
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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Sustainability MBA at Duquesne University and Social Impact MBA at Bos  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Sustainability MBA at Duquesne University and Social Impact MBA at Boston University
Appealing to professionals at all stages of their careers, Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business offers an accelerated, 12-month MBA Sustainable Business Practices program with an integrated focus on sustainability and the environment. With core course work centered on such focus areas as “Leading Strategic Change for Integrated Bottom Line Impact,” “Modern Business Theories and Models,” and “Best Practices and Tools for Efficient, Effective Organizations,” students gain exposure to the basic problems and frameworks of sustainable development beyond conventional notions of “green” business. In addition, the program includes global study trips, in which students travel to such countries as India, Japan, Iceland, and Ecuador, to examine global sustainability practices firsthand; two required sustainability consulting projects with sponsoring nonprofit or governmental organizations; and a capstone practicum course that challenges students to develop strategy and management skills.

A bit farther east, the Boston University Questrom School of Business has offered a Social Impact MBA (formerly the Public & Nonprofit MBA) since 1973, specifically designed to cultivate business management skills that can make a real difference in the world. According to the school’s website, the program gives students “the chance to learn and apply rigorous business skills in the service of positive social change.” Standing at 44th among U.S. MBA programs in the The Economist’s 2018 rankings, Questrom exposes students to a robust general management core curriculum and also offers specialized courses and resources targeting the governmental, public, and private nonprofit sectors. In addition, the program maintains partnerships with high-profile nonprofit organizations, through which scholarship opportunities, enrollment deferral, and application fee waivers are available to students interested in gaining work experience with these affiliations.
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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple   [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same Essay for Multiple Schools
You have poured your heart and soul into your business school applications and taken the time to craft the perfect essays. Now, you are eagerly looking forward to finishing up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did to produce your very first one. Encouraged by this claim, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt my Harvard ‘mistake’ essay to answer that one!” or “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an essay on that, so I can just reuse it here. It’s all so easy now!”

Not so fast. First applications usually do take longer to complete than subsequent ones. However, this is not because once you have crafted several essays for one or two schools, you can then simply cut and paste them into other applications, adjust the word count a bit, change a few names here and there, and be done.

Admissions committees spend a lot of time crafting their application questions, thinking carefully about the required word limit and about each component of the questions. Schools pose questions that they believe will draw out specific information that will help them ascertain whether the applicant would be a good fit with their program. Therefore, if you simply paste an essay you previously wrote for School A into the application for School B because you believe the schools’ questions are largely similar, you will most likely miss an important facet of what School B is really asking about. For example, consider these two past questions:

Northwestern Kellogg: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences. (600-word limit)

Dartmouth Tuck: Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (approximately 500 words)

Even though both essay prompts ask you to explore leadership experiences, they certainly do not ask the exact same question. Kellogg wants you to share more than one leadership experience as well as a forward vision of the areas you want to develop while at Kellogg. Tuck, on the other hand, asks about only one leadership experience—your most meaningful leadership experience, in particular—and wants to know what you learned about yourself as a result.

If you were to simply paste your 600-word Kellogg essay as your response to Tuck’s question and cut 75–100 words, its admissions committee would know that you did not answer the question appropriately—a “mistake” and a “failure” are not necessarily the same thing. And believe us, the schools have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of cases in which applicants clearly submitted their “failure” essay for one school in response to another program’s “mistake” question—and vice versa. Understandably, this is not the way to win over the admissions committee. Although you may use the same core story for more than one application essay, take the time to examine that story from the angle proposed by your target school’s question and respond accordingly.

One simple rule will always stand you in good stead: answer the question asked.
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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Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven with  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven with the Active Voice
When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many MBA applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it an attractive one, we encourage you to consider an alternative to showcase your more recent and thus potentially stronger accomplishments first. By taking this approach instead, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

Consider these examples: (1) a software analyst who is now a project manager managing a budget and leading a team of 20 programmers and (2) an investment banking analyst who is now in his/her third year with a company and has been sent abroad to work directly with a CFO.

The Project Manager:

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

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

The Investment Banker:

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

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

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

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

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

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

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

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

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

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

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Are You Maximizing the Benefits of LinkedIn?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Are You Maximizing the Benefits of LinkedIn?
In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

We all know we need to have a profile on LinkedIn that accurately represents our brand by highlighting who we are as a professionals, what we are really good at, and what motivates us. But how can we get even more value from our LinkedIn profile?

We at mbaMission recommend using LinkedIn to gain the following benefits:

  • Educate yourself on target companies and industries. Follow all target companies and key influencers in your areas of interest. Doing so will put anything those organizations post into your news feed including general information on those companies, their position in the marketplace, industry trends, and recent hiring decisions and potential openings.
  • Find job opportunities and internal company contacts. Go to the Search box at the top left and type in “hiring + [location] + [job title].” Narrow your search results to the “Content” category, and consider reaching out to the person who posted the notification to learn more about the role before applying.
  • Reinforce your brand. Like or comment on posts or articles made by your network, target companies, or key influencers. Doing this two to three times per month keeps you top of mind and helps reinforce your areas of interest with your network.
  • Attract recruiters. Use keywords from your target roles in your headline, summary statement, or previous job title; this is where they will make the biggest impact in the LinkedIn search ranking. Select “On” for your “Career Interests,” and complete the information regarding target job titles as well as location and industry preferences. You may want to check out JobScan’s complimentary LinkedIn Optimization tool.
  • Connect with alumni. Check out the alumni resource on LinkedIn to access information about where alumni from your educational institutions live and work, what they do, and what they studied. This can help you (re)connect with people with similar backgrounds who are working in your target roles.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management
Image
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Sharon Oster from the Yale School of Management.

A second-year student we interviewed at the Yale School of Management (SOM) remarked that Sharon Oster “loves teaching almost more than [she loved] being dean!” Oster, who served as dean from 2008 to 2011, is the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, and she taught “Basics of Economics,” part of the school’s first-year core curriculum, for several years. In recent years, Oster has taught the elective course “Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations,” titled after Oster’s 1995 book.

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

For more information about the Yale SOM and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our 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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B-School Insider Interview: Alumnus, Columbia Business School, Class o  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Insider Interview: Alumnus, Columbia Business School, Class of 2018
Periodically, mbaMission interviews business school students and alumni to gain insight into their experience attending top MBA programs. After earning a degree in economics and international relations from an Ivy League institution, this Columbia Business School alumnus spent several years with an investment bank in Asia. He then switched to private equity for a few years before moving to the States to pursue his MBA. (February 2019)

mbaMission: What led you to choose Columbia for your MBA?

Columbia Business School Alumnus: One factor is certainly New York. The school’s finance program, especially the Value Investing Program. I think those were the primary points: being in New York, finance focus, and really, it was the value investing principles that I was attracted to. Everything is a derivative of that. Going a little deeper, being in New York, I thought I would have a lot of access to different firms. I was in finance before, so I was very curious about working in finance in New York. Even if I didn’t get the opportunity to work here full time, at least I’d get a good sense of what it’s like in New York. Directly or indirectly, I knew this was probably the best place to do it. Secondly, in terms of the finance-focused curriculum, I liked the fact that they were not as stringent on the core requirements. I’ve heard certain schools are much more firm on core requirements. I was coming in with a good background in accounting and finance, so I did not want to spend any of my time going over the basics and wanted to really focus on what I was interested in learning, and that was definitely the case here. That was attractive.

Columbia Business School was touted as the birthplace of value investing, legendary investors like Warren Buffet, and even before that, his mentor Benjamin Graham. After that, there was Bruce Greenwald, who’s also a very well-recognized figure. And other notable alumni like Leon Cooperman, Mario Gabelli, Louis Bacon, Todd Combs. On the private equity side, there’s Henry Kravis at KKR, Lionel Pincus of Warburg Pincus, Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners. I just knew that that was the direction I wanted to head into with finance investing, and this was, to me, a perfect fit.

mbaMission: Do you feel like the school met your expectations?

CBSA: My short answer is yes. I currently work at a hedge fund as an analyst, and my goal was to transition over to public equities from private equities, so I achieved that. The reason I was able to achieve that is, first of all, I was able to do more school-year internships. This was during my spring semester. I got my feet wet in public equities in a research role. Building on that, I was able to lead into a summer internship, and with that on my resume, I could apply more and hear more from public equities in that same role. Overall, I was able to build an experience because the school-year internship was an available option.

Ultimately, at the firm I work for, the portfolio manager is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, who I met while I was his teaching assistant. I knew that Columbia has a lot of these adjunct professors who come and teach, and I took full advantage of that. So overall, I was able to transition into a public equities role. I think I was trained well to make that transition through the course work. Columbia gave me the opportunity to build that relationship, which I think would have been more difficult to do if I was outside of New York.

mbaMission: So you’d say you got from it what you were wanting to get?

CBSA: I think this is probably true for many other programs, too, which is you get out of it what you put into it and what you want to get out of it. I think I was on more of the heavy side of the workload, because I really pushed myself. I graduated with well above the 60 credits required to graduate, on top of doing internships and designing an independent study with a senior analyst at a prominent hedge fund in the city, who also was a graduate of Columbia Business School. I thought, for two years, I’m going to make the best out of it. Really, you choose two out of three, which is academics, work, and social life. I didn’t focus as much on the social bit; I focused on the other two, partly because I’m older, in the student population. I’m now 35, and I got there when I was 32 or 33, so I had a little different mentality coming in.

I was at a point where I didn’t really need to go to business school, but the fact that I did, I put a lot of things behind me, and I just wanted to make the best of it. If I was going to do it, I was going to really commit to focusing on the work—the schoolwork and the outside work. So I got everything I wanted to get out of the two years here. Having said that, I had a lot of friends who were done with recruiting for the internship, got their offer, and their two years became a paid vacation. That was good for them. That’s what they needed, and that’s what they wanted. In the end, they got exactly what they came for. Columbia could tolerate that.

On the other side, for people who were in the Value Investment Program, there were 40 of us—very driven, very passionate. I think there, you have 40 people who are really pushing themselves hard. So that was a unique experience. It does get competitive, I would say, but in a friendly way, pushing each other hard by bringing their A game to class every day. There’s a lot of energy; a lot of these students are living and dying these whole value investing principles. And there’s a lot of commonality between those of us who really embrace it, and we formed a very strong bond among the 40 students who were doing that program.

And I definitely stay in touch with them. And with the alumni, too, who went through the same program as us a couple years back. They appreciate it. They loved to come back and talk to us about how it was back in their day and how that experience has carried them in their careers. So it feels like if I meet a Columbia alumnus and say, “Hey, we’re both alumni of the same school,” I wouldn’t feel as deep of a connection, as opposed to saying, “Hey, I graduated from the Value Investing Program five years ago.”

I’m maybe putting it up way too much. It’s not like a frat society kind of thing, it’s not like a family thing, nobody outside of Columbia, or outside of the program, even, really understands it. This was a living hell for many of us for the last year, as second years. I was pulling all-nighters, on average two times per week, during my fall semester of second year. But people who have gone through it appreciate it and love to share their memories of it.

mbaMission: Sure. Did you have contact with anyone from the program when you were an applicant?

CBSA: There was an alumnus, class of 2009 or 2010. He worked in Hong Kong. He was a senior analyst at a very prominent hedge fund. So I met him, and I thought he was a great guy. He basically went through everything that I finally did. He said it was one of the best experiences he’d done. He was a career switcher, and he said that wouldn’t have happened without this sort of training. So I got a sense that this was where I wanted to be before coming to New York, before coming to Columbia. If I had not gotten into Columbia, I probably would not have done an MBA program at all.

mbaMission: If you didn’t need an MBA, what inspired you to get one?

CBSA: Three things. One, I wanted to explore what it’s like to work in public equities. That could be accomplished by moving directly, but secondly, I wanted to work in the U.S. I am not a citizen, and I did not see a path for me to go to New York, apart from an MBA. Because there’s the visa complication. And you know, if I’m not exposed to it, I’ll just never get the chance. The last thing was more personal. I was happy at my job. I was at a private equity firm, and I had been promoted to a post-MBA role. It was actually then, and it was very ironic, that I was thinking, “Oh, now I’m going to be doing this for the next seven to ten years. Do I really want to be here?”

While I was happy with the promotion, it just got me thinking. Do I really want to be doing this for a good part of my career, in the beginning? I had gotten married about a year before, and she was also working in finance. And both of us just said to each other, “Look, we barely spend time with each other.” I was traveling constantly, probably half my time I was spending on the road. So I needed to stop, take a break, and we’d try to spend more time together in New York. Less stress. She was a trader, a real high-intensity job. And we were kind of at a point where, you know what, let’s just step back, enjoy our lives a little bit. And considering the goals I had in mind, I thought an MBA would be the best choice.

mbaMission: How was her experience as the partner of a Columbia student?

CBSA: She was very accepting. She kind of had to stop her career in between. We always thought, okay, we can pick it up again after two years. But we had our baby in those two years, and that kind of derailed her going back to work for now. The school’s been very supportive with my wife, my better half. Obviously, there’s a big community of husbands and wives. There are a lot of events for them to attend, and the school’s very open about them joining us in class if they wish to, and attending events. Overall, it was very good for her. If there is a city your better half wishes to live in and explore while you get your MBA, New York is easily one of top three cities out there in the world. Expensive but worth the experience.

mbaMission: That’s great. Do you feel your experience was different from other students’ because you were an international student?

CBSA: International students, in the classroom, there is no difference. I think Columbia has one of the more international communities, not just in the MBA program, but overall, the whole school itself. It’s recruiting that’s tough, especially when you’re interviewing for smaller shops. If it’s a consulting, banking, or any other traditional OCR [on-campus recruiting] firm, they tend to be large enough that for them, sponsorship has never been a barrier, and they can move employees elsewhere if a U.S. visa does not work out.

As an international, I think it’s a common experience. I was targeting smaller investment firms, ones that don’t tend to have international offices. But one disadvantage is that Columbia has no concentration for your MBA. At some other schools, which I learned late, you can select different concentrations for your MBA, and certain ones qualify as a STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] degree. That means three years of OPT [Optional Practical Training] as opposed to one. And that’s 3x the number of times you can apply for the H-1B visa. That gives employers more comfort, because if you miss the first one, you have the next two years to follow up. Hopefully, within those three years, you’ll get your H-1B. I don’t know all the schools that offer something similar, but that’s a huge advantage for international students. And that doesn’t apply to Columbia. Whoever now asks me, if they’re non-U.S. citizens, I tell them about this, that they’ve got to consider that.

mbaMission: I see. How would you characterize your Columbia classmates?

CBSA: Very friendly, very inclusive. Highly energetic and cooperative. I think I have only good things to say about my fellow students. Just in general, I didn’t come across anyone who was snobby, not a team player, or any of that. I think the school puts a huge emphasis on inclusiveness, whether that’s ethnicity, sexuality, however you’re different. I think the school does a great job of communicating with the student body on inclusiveness. The first week orientation is very energetic, very different. They almost forcefully create a very light, party-like, high-energy environment that almost forces students to be friendly to each other. I felt like it was a bit too much, but I think the school was really trying to make sure students feel like they’re at a good place and having a good time.

Having said all that, I don’t want to sound too condescending, but I thought the quality of some students lacked. I guess it was just, they came, they got the job or internship they wanted, they got the cool time out of it, but some students just didn’t really care. I was used to working in an investment banking, private equity environment, and when you work around that, they’re fierce; they’re very competitive. It was shocking to me that some people lacked the drive to really push themselves. I know your focus might be different and whatnot, but I expected more from some of the students I interacted with. When I talk to people at different MBA programs, for example, these people just sound like they’re more focused. Very driven, very passionate, very reward oriented, type A kinds of people. That’s not what I felt at Columbia. So there is a trade-off. Very inclusive, very open, but less competitive, less driven.

mbaMission: Interesting. Were there any particular professors or classes you had that you were really glad you took?

CBSA: It’s unfortunate that it was my year who had the last class with him, but Bruce Greenwald is a character. He’s a forceful character. He’s brilliant on his own. You do not want to challenge him—he’ll wave his cane at you. “Millennials don’t know anything. Good luck in your life, you miserable idiot.” That kind of directness. At certain points, you’re like, “Oh my God, he’s so not politically correct!” He’s such a stubborn, angry old man, but you have to respect his brilliance. That class was brilliant, if you were not the student he was picking on. And if he was picking on you, it was because you were not prepared for his class. It’s a fascinating learning experience. I have the highest respect for him. His presence at school drew in the biggest names in value investing. During my two years at Columbia, I got to see Seth Klarman, Li Lu, Mario Gabelli, and Todd Combs come to Bruce’s class as guest lecturers. Not for a big conference, but for a class—and they are not even based out of New York City. That’s a true reflection of the level of respect these top fund managers have for Bruce.

Joel Greenblatt is another one. He’s a legendary investor when it comes to special situation investing. It’s mind-blowing that he actually teaches a whole semester. That’s part of what drives a lot of students to apply to the Value Investment Program, these professors. Joel Greenblatt’s class is reserved only for students in the Value Investment Program. At other schools, you’re lucky to catch him at one of the big lectures that he’ll come give for an hour. Here, he’s grading your papers, giving you direct feedback, open office hours. One of his students within our batch actually got seed money from him to run his own investment fund after graduating. This kind of thing is unheard of from a school. Like Bruce, he brought in legendary fund managers to meet with students, including Howard Marks and Richard Pzena.

I should note, both Bruce and Joel are no longer teaching at Columbia Business School. But there is a deep bench of quality professors at Columbia, so applicants should not feel discouraged. For example, Michael Mauboussin’s “Security Analysis” class is a must. He is currently the director of research at BlueMountain Capital Management, and before that, head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse and chief investment strategist at Legg Mason. His writing is a must-read, his class is one of the toughest to get into.

Another class was with Efrem Kamen. He’s a PM [portfolio manager] and an adjunct professor. Great class, he teaches what he does for living, which is investing in innovative companies within the health care industry. He was an open book. He would be very bluntly telling students why he is short or long on an investment. He’s very passionate about what he does, and his fund is doing extremely well. This guy is brilliant, he’s so open, and he loves to mentor students and teach. That’s what I saw in him. I thought that was an amazing class. I can go on and on.

Kent Daniel, he’s a thought leader in the behavioral finance area. He’s taught at different schools, but at one point, he was the chief investment officer [CIO] of Quantitative Investment Strategies’ equity research at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. So he’s an academic who helped marshal the CIO role at Goldman Sachs, and he’s teaching me about option theory in his “Capital Markets & Investments” class. So there’s a lot to learn from this guy.

I love the fact that a lot of the professors have real-world experience. And they’re coming back with some academic theories, marrying those concepts, understanding how those theories are put into practice, and then telling students what they should take away from it all. So you learn much better. It’s much more practical and less backed by theory, as opposed to pure theory on market issues.

mbaMission: What’s your impression of Dean [Glenn] Hubbard, and how do you feel about him stepping down from that role?

CBSA: I had very limited exposure to him, so I have very limited thoughts on him. I think he did do a lot of great things, such as fund-raising. He’s been on the job for a very long time. I think he gets a lot of blame for the school’s ranking having come down over the years, but I think it’s really unfair to put it on him, because there are a lot of job market dynamics that play into the rankings. The school doesn’t have an undergrad business school, so it doesn’t have the type of resources to pull from that some other schools do, for example. I’m sure the school’s also not getting such a great score because the campus is horrible.

mbaMission: I was going to ask about that. What are the facilities like?

CBSA: It’s really old. They’re running out of space. I walked into [UPenn Wharton’s] Huntsman Hall when it was first built in 2002 and realized that it was a real world-class business school facility. My first day in Uris Hall here, I was like, “Oh my god, there must be a different building. This can’t be it.” Now the business school is forced to share building space with the law school. The main building itself is very, very old and dodgy. There’s not enough private rooms for students to get together to work on group projects. I think a lot of that’s going to be addressed when they open the new campus. It was supposed to happen in 2016, but it keeps getting pushed and pushed. So I think the dean’s done the best he could do.

He’s taken a lot of blame for things he couldn’t deliver that I feel were out of his control. A lot of students did raise an eyebrow when he was being discussed as a Fed chair favorite under Trump. He wasn’t really top of the list, but he was definitely under consideration for it. When Trump became president, there were a lot of differences of opinion. Columbia tends to be very liberal and attracts very liberal people. And associating Dean Hubbard with Trump didn’t sit very well. I mean, that’s outside of the scope of his role as dean.

mbaMission: But it was something students were talking about?

CBSA: Yeah. He’s the leadership of the school, and this is when Trump was going through issues with women, in the beginning and all that. So there was a lot of negativity around that. I think some of that, it’s unfair to blame him for. Some people might say it’s too much focus on politics and not enough on the school. But I don’t think that has a direct implication in how he was able to steer the school.

mbaMission: I get that. Are there any good parts of Columbia’s facilities?

CBSA: They are setting up satellite office space for those interested in start-ups. There are a lot of classes that focus on start-ups now, and the school will rent out space in Manhattan and elsewhere, and whoever gets selected can use that space to develop their own start-up. So there’s some good news. But facility-wise and infrastructure-wise, it’s not… it’s old.

mbaMission: I imagine a lot of hope is being pinned on the new building.

CBSA: It’s overdue.

mbaMission: Did you participate in any extracurricular activities you really enjoyed?

CBSA: I was part of a student club that organized investment ideas among students. We would invite alumni of the school to come in and judge and provide feedback on student stock pitches and ideas. I think that was a meaningful experience. Coming from IB/PE [investment banking/private equity], I thought stock pitch would be easy. I quickly realized, it was totally different. Tools to evaluate investment opportunities are the same for private and public equities, but the approach, the analysis is not. I remember my first pitch night. I thought I nailed it, only to realize how uninteresting my idea was to public equities investors during the Q&A and feedback session. I realized the best way to learn was to become a part of the leadership team of the student-led investment ideas club [part of the Columbia Student Investment Management Association]. Participating in these club activities meant more work outside the classroom, writing investment pitches that had nothing to do with class work, but this helped me get feedback on my ideas, hone my skills early. It also allowed me to connect with judges on a regular basis, who were mostly CBS alums. This created the best networking opportunity. Building on this, I found a school-year internship at a prominent hedge fund, which led to a summer internship and eventually, a full-time opportunity post-graduation. So arguably, being part of this club sparked the chain of events that led me to where I am today.

Travel-wise, a lot of trips throughout the year, either as part of a course or just among students. I only went once, partly because I was busy with work in and outside classrooms, and my wife was pregnant, which restricted travel. But students definitely have a lot of options to travel and get course credit, where travel is part of the course work. There’s no shortage of options here, and fellow students who participated all loved their experiences.

mbaMission: What would you say to someone who might be considering Columbia for their MBA?

CBSA: I would tell them to consider the merits of living in New York City. There’s definitely value in that. It’s very warm, welcoming, and inclusive. If you can put up with some terrible facilities and focus on the learning experience, that is important. And keep an eye out for opportunities outside the classroom. Also, consider what the living experience would be for your better half or family.

More importantly, don’t get too tied down to ranking, prestige, average pay post-graduation, etc. Think bigger—think about what matters to you, not how your brand will be perceived by others. For example, if you truly believe in the value investing principle, meaning the market is inefficient and is heavily influenced by human behavior, you will probably not be happy learning about market efficient theory at [Chicago] Booth. If you want to get hands-on experience honing your stock pitch by learning from top practitioners in the field, a school that uses the case study method might not offer you the learning experience you are seeking. Every school has its strengths and weaknesses, so find the one that fits you best. Get to know the type of experience in and outside classrooms that different schools can offer you. And once there, wherever that might be, make the best out of those two years. Treat it as an investment, and take full advantage of the school, city, and free time you bought yourself to reflect on what you truly want in life. Think about what these can offer you. Columbia Business School was the right fit for me, and I have no regrets.
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Should I Consider Chicago Booth and Wharton for Marketing?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Should I Consider Chicago Booth and Wharton for Marketing?
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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

You may be surprised to learn that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is making inroads into an area that its crosstown rival (Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management) is known to dominate: marketing. Through the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing—named for the Chicago Booth alumnus who was formerly CEO of Gillette and Nabisco (and is now a partner at Centerview Partners, which he co-founded)—Chicago Booth offers students roughly ten marketing electives. In particular, the school is growing its experiential opportunities in the marketing field, with students taking part in marketing management labs (semester-long consulting projects) at companies that in the past have included Abbott Laboratories, Bank of America, and Honeywell International. Further, professors in the department saw opportunities for increased practical involvement and created “hybrid” classes such as “Marketing Research Lab” and “Lab in Developing New Products and Services” that involve a lecture component but also allow students to work on shorter-term consulting projects. In addition, students can sign up to be paired with an alumni marketing mentor or apply for Marketing Fellowships, which provide scholarship funds and a two-year mentoring relationship.

Another potentially overlooked destination for marketing-driven MBA applicants is the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which might be best known for its reputation in finance (as its original name, the “Wharton School of Finance and Commerce,” would imply). Nevertheless, the school prides itself on its breadth and depth of expertise in a multitude of business areas.

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

For instance, consider these facts about Wharton’s highly regarded marketing program:

  • Wharton has “the largest, most cited, and most published marketing faculty in the world,” according to the marketing department’s website.
  • The school’s marketing department was ranked #2 in the 2019S. News & World Report MBA rankings by specialty.
  • A Wharton marketing professor developed conjoint analysis, a tool that has helped shape 20th century marketing practices.
  • The Marketing Club’s annual conference brings together approximately 300 students, faculty members, alumni, and leading marketing experts to explore various themes central to the industry. In October 2018, the conference—themed “Leveraging Technology for Innovative Marketing”—featured keynote speeches by the co-founder and CEO of The Clear Cut, the co-founder and CEO of Red Antler, a brand director of P&G Ventures Labs, and the president of Supergoop! Panelists hailed from such companies as Anthropologie, Boxed, Comcast, and Burrow.
Indeed, to dismiss Wharton as simply a finance school would be a mistake.

For a thorough exploration of what Chicago Booth, UPenn Wharton, and other top business schools have to offer, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Getting the 80/80 Score on the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Getting the 80/80 Score 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.

What is the “80/80”? All schools look at your overall three-digit GMAT score (the one given on the 200–800 scale). In addition, a few of the very top business schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, look for the 80/80: an 80th percentile score or higher on the individual Quant and Verbal subsections. Essentially, if someone hits a 700 but does so by scoring 99th percentile in one subsection and only 60-something in the other, the schools might be concerned about the lower-scoring area. From their point of view, an “80/80” minimum ensures that you have got a solid base in both areas.

What if I score in the 75th percentile?

The 80/80 guidelines are just that—guidelines. The schools do not use these parameters as a hard cutoff. In other words, a score in the 70s is generally fine, as long as the overall score is also within a school’s desired target range. If, on the other hand, the overall score is a bit low, the GPA is a bit low, and one or both of the GMAT subscores are low… Well, you still might get in, but doing so just became a lot harder.

What if I score in the 60s?

Unless there is something else that is stellar in your profile and can therefore offset this lower score, the 80/80 schools will likely be concerned about a Quant or Verbal percentile in the 60s—particularly so for Quant. For Verbal, they have a whole host of other tools with which to assess your communication skills, starting with your essays. A 60s (or lower) Quant score, though, could indicate that you will have trouble handling the quantitative portions of the MBA curriculum. You might be able to offset this concern if you can demonstrate that your current job involves significant quantitative components; make sure that your recommendations highlight your quant skills. Alternatively, perhaps you excelled in quant-focused classes in school (calculus, accounting, physics, statistics), and your transcripts show A grades.

If not, then something needs to be done. Two paths are possible here, and you can follow just one or both. First, the no-brainer: take the GMAT again and get a score in the 70s (or higher!). I call that a “no-brainer” in the sense that there is no question that you should try to do this. You might not succeed, though. An alternative, then, is to take a calculus or accounting class at a local university. If you do this, you must get an A; getting a B at this stage will not inspire confidence in the admissions staff. In addition, taking such a class will involve a decent amount of lead time; these classes often run over a period of two to four months, so this is not a last-minute solution.

The big picture? Ideally, get the GMAT done well in advance of admissions season so that you have ample time to address unexpected or unwelcome surprises during the process.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have to Write the Optional Essay
In the past, we have discussed how challenging competing against a faceless mass of fellow applicants can be and how disadvantaged a person can feel if he/she does not seize every opportunity to do so. Although we want you to make the most of every possible chance to set yourself apart, you also need to be judicious in choosing those opportunities. Some can actually work against you and thereby turn into negatives. Allow us to elaborate…

Every applicant does not have to write the optional essay, and by neglecting to write it, you are not at a disadvantage. The essay is an opportunity for you to discuss problems that the admissions committee will likely notice in your profile, and this essay can allow you to “get ahead of the scandal,” so to speak. So, if you earned an F grade, had a bad semester in college, received a low GMAT score, or have been dismissed from a position, you should write the optional essay to address the issue proactively. Similarly, if you are applying with a partner and the admissions committee may not know, you might want to use the optional essay to inform them of this relevant and potentially interesting information.

MBA candidates have many reasons for writing the optional essay, but you should absolutely not feel that you need to write it. If you have nothing to explain and have generally performed well, do not use this opportunity to submit an essay from a different school just to fill the space or write a new essay repackaging your strengths. If you have nothing new or important to share, you are in an advantageous position and should take a step back and appreciate it, not fret.
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How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application
Present Both Responsibilities and Results

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

2015–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

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

2015–Present Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

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

Demonstrate Nonquantifiable Results

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

  • Persuaded management to review existing operations; currently leading Manufacturing Review Committee, which will table its final report in June 2019.
  • Established divisional continuing education series, noted on review as “crucial” and “game changing.”
  • Initiated biweekly “Tuesday at Five” team social event, resulting in enhanced workplace morale.
In each of these bullet points, the results of the writer’s actions are not measurable, but they are nonetheless important. The accomplishments, while “soft,” are conveyed as clearly positive.

Keep It Concise

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

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

138 West 25th Street

7th Floor

New York, NY 10024

646-485-8844

jeremy@mbamission.com

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

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

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Get All Your MBA Application Questions Answered in This Five-Part Online Event Series!
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Are you thinking of applying to business school this year? Perhaps you are just starting to prepare for the GMAT or GRE exam, or maybe you have not yet begun to assess your overall fit at the top business school programs. How will you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? Where will you start?

We know you have questions as you prepare to begin the application process.

The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are coming together to make sure you will be ready for the 2019–2020 MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, five-part online event series, “Maximize Your Potential: 5 Steps to Getting Your Dream MBA,” that will answer all of your MBA admissions questions—from taking the GMAT (or GRE) to assessing your MBA profile and eventually applying (and being accepted) to the school of your dreams!

During the live online series, Senior Consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions issues, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT and GRE test takers face, offering valuable insight and advice.

These live online events will be held once a week from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately via the links below. Space is limited.

  • Step 1—Wednesday, April 10, 2019:  Decisions, Decisions: How to Pick the Right B-School and the Test to Go With ItChoosing the Right B-School:

    Attending business school is a huge investment—of time, emotion, energy, and money—and the experience will undoubtedly change your life, both professionally and personally. So you owe it to yourself to dedicate the necessary effort to determine which program(s) will best fulfill your specific needs. This presentation, led by mbaMission senior consultant Rachel Beck, is designed to help you fully evaluate the relevant elements of the different MBA programs to better ensure your final choice will provide the atmosphere, training, lifestyle, resources, and support that fit your particular personality, needs, and goals.
GMAT vs. GRE:

With more and more top business schools accepting the GRE as well as the GMAT, a lot of students are asking themselves which test they should take. The tests are very different, so there’s a lot to consider when comparing the GMAT and the GRE. Manhattan Prep instructor Whitney Garner will walk through the exams’ similarities and differences to help you decide which is best for you, and mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Beck will discuss how MBA admissions committees view the two exams and your scores.

  • Step 2—Wednesday, April 17, 2019: How to Maximize Results from Your MBA Profile and GMAT ScoreAssessing Your MBA Profile:

    Every year, admissions officers must choose from thousands of strong candidates to fill a relatively small number of spots in their classes. How do they manage this process and effectively differentiate between applicants? Admissions officers evaluate each candidate using an array of factors, including academic abilities, leadership experience and potential, interpersonal skills, and personal fit with the program. 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!

    Maximizing ROI on the GMAT:

    You know you want to get into a great b-school and you have a high GMAT goal score in mind—but what exactly does it take to get the score? Join Manhattan Prep instructor Whitney Garner as she helps you understand the big picture when it comes to approaching the GMAT, covering key factors such as having the right mindset, understanding the scoring system, and perfecting your timing. We’ll help you maximize your learning so you can maximize your score.

  • Step 3—Wednesday, April 24, 2019:  Key Test-Taking Strategies for GMATAdvanced Quant:

    Of the four GMAT subscores, your Quant percentile typically has the greatest weight with admissions committees. Are you ready to tackle the most difficult GMAT Quant problems? Join Manhattan Prep instructor Jamie Nelson for an overview of some of the most difficult Quant problems. We’ll review various strategies, as well as guessing techniques, to maximize your chances of succeeding with these tricky questions.

    Advanced Sentence Correction:

    Do you have all of the basics down but struggle with those really long underlines? Does it drive you crazy when large chunks of the answer choices move around or change completely? Join us for a special session on how to handle the craziest of the crazy Sentence Correction problems.

  • Step 4—Wednesday, May 1, 2019: Writing Standout MBA Application Essays

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

  • Step 5—Wednesday May 8, 2019: Top MBA Admissions Directors Answer Your Questions!

    mbaMission’s Jeremy Shinewald will moderate and host this question-and-answer session featuring admissions officers from leading business schools. In addition to posing his own questions, Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, facilitating a candid dialogue between interested MBA applicants and experienced admissions professionals. This is your chance to go directly to the source to get your admissions questions answered!
Enroll today!
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Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Bruce Greenwald from Columbia Business School.

Bruce Greenwald has been a fixture at Columbia Business School (CBS) since the early 1990s, and until recent years, he taught the popular “Economics of Strategic Behavior” course in the full-time MBA program (he continues to teach this course in the school’s EMBA program). Greenwald has also taught the “Value Investing” and “Value Investing with Legends” courses in the MBA program for years. Students in CBS’s Value Investing Program, in which Greenwald serves as a faculty co-director, are primarily the ones who get to enjoy his classes, and those with whom mbaMission spoke espoused enthusiasm for Greenwald’s intense depth of knowledge and his connections to top-notch guest speakers, whom he brings to campus to address his classes. On the CBS Peer Course Review site, a former student of Greenwald’s once summed up the instructor’s popularity by stating, “Greenwald has the ability to make something complex seem simple and easy to understand.” Greenwald also serves as the director of the school’s Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing.

For more information about CBS and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Developing Your GMAT Study Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Developing Your GMAT Study Plan
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.

Help! I need to get ready for the GMAT—where do I even start?

You need to make a few major decisions at the beginning, starting with this one: do you want to study on your own, take a class, or work with a private tutor? Each path has its advantages and disadvantages; this article can help you decide.

Next, if you take a class or work with a tutor, then your teacher will give you a study plan, at least for the length of time that you are working together. If not, you will have to devise your own study plan. This will take some effort, but it is not rocket science—if you are thoughtful and thorough, you can put together a very good study plan.

I want to point out a couple of highlights from the study plan article. First, you need to know your goal and your starting point; if you do not know what level you are at right now or what score you are trying to achieve, then putting together a good study plan is impossible.

Second, you are going to need study materials that fall into three broad categories: (1) test content and methodology (what to study and how to study), (2) practice questions (best source: Official Guide and other official practice question materials), and (3) practice tests.

Finally, make sure that you know how to study/learn in an efficient and effective manner. Hint: doing 2,000 practice problems does not equal “efficient and effective.” Nor does taking a practice test every three days, or even every week. Read the article for more!
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Innovative Opportunities at the University of California’s Business Sc  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Innovative Opportunities at the University of California’s Business Schools
Thanks to its proximity to the Tech Coast, the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California (UC), Irvine, offers significant opportunities for students with an eye toward innovative business. Indeed, an emphasis on innovation and business pioneering is built directly into what Merage calls its “visionary curriculum,” supplementing conventional business disciplines with four core, cross-disciplinary areas: strategic innovation, information technology, analytic decision making, and collaborative execution.

In addition, several of Merage’s special course offerings and programs showcase the school’s commitment to putting students in contact with the rapidly shifting face of business. The “EDGE” course, for example, offers the opportunity to gain cutting-edge insight into the relationship between business trends, globalization, and technology. Similarly, through the school’s MBA Applied Consulting Project, students gain hands-on experience with current business practices by working directly with locally based global companies over a ten-week period. Merage students can also participate each year in the university-wide New Venture Competition, whose winners collectively claim more than $100K in funding for their proposed start-up ventures.

At the UC Davis Graduate School of Management—under the same university umbrella but approximately an eight-hour drive from the Merage School of Business—the full-time MBA program focuses on preparing students to become innovative leaders. Leadership is woven into the curriculum in the form of core courses, a ten-week management capstone course, and the Leadership Fellows Program, which, in partnership with recruiting firm Korn Ferry, offers students leadership assessment using the UC Davis MBA Leadership Competency Model, coaching, and a Personal Leadership Development Plan.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In
So, you have taken the GMAT and exceeded even your highest expectations, scoring at the very top of the scale. Congratulations! However, do not assume that earning such a high GMAT score means you can relax with respect to the other components of your application. Every year, applicants who have scored 750 or higher are rejected from their target business schools—even when their GMAT score falls within the top 10% of the schools’ range. Many of these candidates were rejected because of a fatal, but ultimately avoidable, mistake: they became overconfident and assumed their GMAT score alone would get them in.

Business schools want to learn a lot more about you than your GMAT score alone can convey. MBA admissions committees are interested in hearing about your ambitions, accomplishments, leadership skills, teamwork experience, perseverance, motivation, integrity, compassion… The list goes on and on. Fundamentally, admissions committees need to determine whether you will be a vital and contributing member of their community, and your GMAT score tells them only that you can do the work.

Heed our advice—even (or especially!) those of you with a 780 score—and commit yourself to the rest of your application with the same enthusiasm with which you approached the GMAT.
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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 08 Apr 2019, 08:00
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.
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Professor Profiles: Gregory B. Fairchild, University of Virginia Darde  [#permalink]

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

As an academic director for Darden’s Institute for Business in Society, Gregory B. Fairchild (MBA ’92) is charged with promoting ways in which business leadership can connect to broader societal issues. Fairchild, who is the Isidore Horween Research Professor of Business Administration, also serves as an academic director of public policy and entrepreneurship and the associate dean for Washington, DC–area initiatives. In May 2018, the University of Virginia named Fairchild the director of operations in Northern Virginia. He specializes in entrepreneurship, business strategies, and business ethics, and he researches ways to create value in underserved areas. In 2011, Virginia Business magazine included Fairchild in its “Top 25: People to Watch” feature, and in 2012, both CNN/Fortune and Poets&Quants named him one of the best business school professors in the world.

Fairchild has received a number of teaching excellence awards at Darden, including recognition as an outstanding faculty member in 2008. One alumna we interviewed called Fairchild’s classes “exhilarating” and noted that he reviews his students’ resumes and can tie someone’s background to the topic of the day. She added that he is “scarily good” at cold calls and “won’t let go until he has dug all of the facts out of you.”
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Making Your Start-Up Job Search More Effective  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Making Your Start-Up Job Search More Effective
In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

Looking for a job (or an internship) at a start-up? Many more MBAs are seeking these positions—in fact, 9% of the Harvard Business School Class of 2018 joined a start-up, and more than 40% of the Wharton MBA Class of 2019 is interested in entrepreneurship. But finding these positions will likely require more than waiting for a job posting to appear on your school’s job board. Achieving success in this type of job search—which can result in amazing job opportunities—does require resilience, scrappiness, patience, humility, and passion.

Tips for Positioning Yourself:

  • Understand your target audience and their needs. Be thoughtful about your approach and demonstrate that you can adjust to the start-up culture.
  • Be passionate and knowledgeable about the company—not because it is the new “it” company, but because you believe in its mission, business model, and leadership.
  • Show how you can add value to the organization, but do not over-promote your MBA; it is about what you know and the impact you can make, not your degree.
  • Be willing to do anything; it is usually all hands on deck.
Start-ups are all different, but they typically seek candidates with a high risk tolerance, a match with the firm’s culture, and relevant functional, execution, and soft skills. For more specific suggestions, check out this recent article from The Muse and make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your desired positioning.

Tips for the Job Search:

  • Find alums or “warm contacts” for informational conversations. When you reach out to request a phone call, focus on common ground or your passion for the company’s sector and product—do not ask for a job.
  • Have a point of view. Be a user of the company’s products and understand their value in the marketplace.
  • Networking conversations can shift to feel like interviews, so be prepared.
  • Expect that “homework” can be part of the interview process—perhaps data analysis or pitching a new idea or suggesting a new way to position the company in the market.
  • Read relevant trade publications, industry resources, or websites—such as TechCrunch, VentureBeat, CB Insights, Crunchbase, Startup Digest, VentureLoop, Startup Grind, and Built In (various cities)—to gain insights on industries, potential target companies, and upcoming events.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Addressing Sustainability at UCLA Anderson and Thinking Social at NYU Stern
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UCLA Anderson School of Management

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

Students in the LiS program must take four classes, including the LiS core course and three sustainability-related elective courses—at least one of which must be taught outside the students’ primary graduate school. In total, the greater university offers more than 50 sustainability-related courses that Anderson students may choose from, ranging from “Business and Environment” to “Economic Analysis for Managers” to even “Marine Ecology.” In addition to completing the program’s required four courses, LiS students must complete a leadership project related to sustainability.

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

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New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business

Attending or helping to plan the “Stern Struts” (formerly “Think Social, Drink Local”) marquee fundraiser is one of many options that socially conscious aspiring MBAs will find to fulfill their interests at Stern. The school’s Luxury & Retail Club hosts the event with help from corporate sponsors, which in the past have included Brooklyn Brewery and Crop Organic Vodka. In April 2018, the event took place at the 1 OAK NYC nightclub and featured an open bar and a “Style Icons” runway fashion show, in which Stern students modeled clothing from designers. The fashion show is a highlight of the evening each year and has raised more than $10K in past years.

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

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

For a thorough exploration of what UCLA Anderson, NYU Stern, and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out our 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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