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What to Do If You Have Decided to Postpone the GMAT Exam for a Year  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do If You Have Decided to Postpone the GMAT Exam for a Year
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With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

In the past, we have talked about what to try if your deadlines are rapidly approaching and you do not yet have the score that you want. What if you decide to postpone the exam and possibly your B-school applications?

First, a pep talk. You made a choice; you did not “fail.” You could, for example, choose to apply this year but lower your standards in terms of where you apply. In fact, depending on your goals, this may be better than waiting a year to try to get into a “better” (or at least more highly ranked) school.

On the other hand, let us say that you are only willing to spend more than $100K if you can get into a certain “level” school, and your GMAT score is holding you back. In that case, postponing for a year may be the way to go. Any “helpful” friends or family members who say, “Hey, I thought you were applying to business school!” can be told, “It is actually a smarter career move for me to wait until next year.” They do not need to know that the GMAT had anything to do with that decision.

So how do you get that score?

There is no guarantee you will get a certain score. Now that you have given yourself some more time, though, put together a smart plan that will give you the best possible chance.

Take a break

If you are already burned out (and most people in this situation are), take a breather. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is clear your brain and ratchet down the stress levels. Come back to the GMAT with a fresh perspective in January.

Set up a plan

Whatever you were doing before was not working for some reason. You need to figure out why so that you can then figure out what kind of plan will work for you.

First, what was your broad study plan/pattern? Were you working on your own or with friends? With a class? With a tutor?

Second, what materials were you using and how were you using them? How were you actually studying/learning when you were not in class or with a tutor?

If you had/have a teacher or tutor, contact him or her for help with this step. Make sure to provide detailed information about how you were working on your own and any ideas you have about what was and was not working. Also ask other experts for advice—post on some forums, speak to other teachers or tutors, and so on.

The article Developing a GMAT Study Plan contains a number of useful resources to help you figure out next steps. Note that the article is a two-parter. I have linked to the first part here; the second half is linked at the end of the first part.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses across question types, content areas, and timing? The aforementioned part 1 of Developing a GMAT Study Plan will help you analyze your practice tests.
  • Any timing problems? (About 98% of students have timing problems!) See our past blog post for time management resources.
  • Were you analyzing problems and your work in the way described in this article? (For examples of specific problems analyzed using the MGMAT process, see this article.)
  • Know the material but make lots of careless mistakes?
I need more help

Research your options now (class? books? online materials?) and set things in motion so that you can hit the ground running when the time comes. Then, after taking a break, you can come back with a clear head, a fresh perspective, and a plan—all of which are critical if you want to have a good shot at overcoming the GMAT!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)
In your pursuit of acceptance to business school, you are competing against thousands of other applicants. Because you do not actually know these individuals, you may naturally assume that you need any and every edge available to stand out. As a result, you may feel compelled to provide every single detail of your life, exploiting your resume in particular to do so. We want you to maximize your opportunities, of course, but we also want to be sure you do not jeopardize your application by offering too much information.

Our experience has shown that many resumes—especially those in which every margin is thinned and every font is shrunken—provide a detrimental surplus of detail. Some become so dense with text that rather than being easily scannable, which is the ideal, they are entirely impenetrable and therefore easy to ignore. We often tell clients that “less is more,” explaining that a brief resume that will be read in full is more beneficial than a dense resume that will not get read at all. At an Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Conference, eight leading admissions officers were once asked whether they would prefer a one-page or two-page resume, and one person led all the others in declaring, “Everyone together… one page!”

Even with a one-page resume, however, you need to understand what is useful to include and what should be excluded. The answer to this riddle is different for everyone. You may consider jettisoning internships from years gone by, for example, or reducing the number of bullet points offered for past jobs. Eliminating entries for community involvements from long ago could be helpful. The agenda for your resume should be to create maximum impact, and sometimes that is achieved by using fewer words and bullet points. You may need to make tough choices, but the time and effort will be well spent if you ultimately submit a stronger resume and thereby make a more compelling statement about yourself.
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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Convey a Confident Tone, and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Ess  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Convey a Confident Tone, and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Essays
In your MBA application essays, you must ensure that the tone you use allows the admissions committee to readily recognize your certainty and self-confidence. Being clear and direct about who you are and how you envision your future is vital. Consider these example statements:

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

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

——

Weak: “I now want to pursue an MBA.”

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

——

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

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

——

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

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

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

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

For example, in response to a school’s question about leadership or putting knowledge into action, you would not need to discuss how the school will help you further develop your leadership skills or how you will continue to be an active learner when you are a member of the next incoming class, even though these topics reflect core values that each school embraces. Although we cannot assert this as an absolute, we find that in most cases, such statements come across as insincere or fawning—the very opposite of the effect you want.
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Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Busine  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Margaret Neale from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

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

Neale’s research is based on the psychology of conflict and negotiation. She was appointed as the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management in 2012 and serves as faculty director for two of Stanford University’s executive programs—Influence and Negotiation Strategies, and Managing Teams for Innovation and Success—and as co-director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders. In 2011, she became the 13th recipient—and first woman—to be presented with the business school’s Davis Award, which is bestowed upon a faculty member for lifetime achievement. More recently, Neale was chosen as a Robert and Marilyn Jaedicke Faculty Fellow for the 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 academic years.

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

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Full-Time MBA Programs at Rotman School of Management and Simon Busine  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Full-Time MBA Programs at Rotman School of Management and Simon Business School
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The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was ranked first among Canadian MBA programs by the Financial Times in 2019. In addition to its finance-related strengths, Rotman offers a rather unique approach to core business pedagogy. Relying on what it terms “integrative thinking,” Rotman’s teaching model challenges the compartmentalization of traditional functional areas. Students complete a series of core courses in their first year that emphasize generalized business skills and the ability to think across functional disciplines. The Rotman Self-Developmental Lab, which offers feedback on the students’ communication style and behavioral performance via group workshops and personalized sessions with psychologists and management consultants, is also part of the first year of studies. The mission of the program, according to the school’s site, is to “develop and nurture [the students’] self-awareness and the interpersonal skills that are key to becoming an effective collaborative problem-solver.”

In their second year, Rotman MBA students are given the option to choose from 16 different major areas, including Global Management, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Funds Management, while supplementing their focus with a broader array of more than 90 elective courses.

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Simon Graduate School of Business

Meanwhile, only 170 miles away but across the border, the full-time MBA program at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester offers a broadly finance-oriented general management curriculum featuring particular strengths in analytics and accounting. Simon’s program is built on a foundation of 12 core courses, including “Managerial Economics,” “Capital Budgeting and Corporate Objectives,” and “Marketing Management.” Students complete their core with an assigned study team before exploring more specialized professional interests.

The school’s elective courses represent a variety of industries and functions, such as entrepreneurship, consulting, and real estate. Students may choose from ten career specializations, which are divided into three tracks: Finance, which includes such topics as Banking, Corporate Finance, and Asset Management; Consulting, which includes Pricing, Strategy, Technology, and Operations; and Marketing, which includes Product Management and Brand Management. Students also have six available minors, including Analytics, Global Business, and Leadership. In addition, the Simon MBA EDGE Program provides students with opportunities for personal development in such areas as problem solving, communication, and leadership through involvement in activities including clubs, advisory boards, and other groups on campus, as well as case competitions and projects with area companies. The program, which the school’s website says was “developed to focus on key competencies [that] today’s employers demand in graduate business students,” aims to complement knowledge learned in the classroom and increase students’ value to potential employers.

Simon’s Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for Pricing offer curricular and research support to supplement the specific career concentrations. Simon is also home to more than 30 professional and social student-run organizations aimed at coordinating networking events and professional development resources to assist students in advancing their careers.
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How to Analyze Your GMAT Practice Problems  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Analyze Your GMAT Practice 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.

Did you know that, on any particular problem, roughly 80% of your learning comes after you have picked the answer? Turns out, we do not learn much while in the process of doing a problem, especially when the clock is ticking. We are just trying to remember (and use!) everything that we learned before we started working on that problem.

Afterward, though, we can take all the time we want to figure out how to get better—that is where we really learn. Did I understand what they were asking? Did I know how to do the math or reasoning necessary to get to the answer? Is there a more efficient way to do that work? Did I make any mistakes or fall into any traps? If so, which ones and why? How could I make an educated guess?

In a nutshell: if you are not spending at least as long reviewing a question as you spent doing it in the first place, then you are not maximizing your learning.

Take a look at this article: How to Analyze a Practice Problem. It contains a list of questions to ask yourself when reviewing a problem. Take note of a couple of things:

– Yes, you still ask yourself these questions even when you answer the question correctly.

– No, you do not need to ask yourself every single question for each problem you review; choose the most appropriate questions based upon how the problem went for you.

Want some examples of how to do this? Glad you asked. Below, you will find links to articles containing an analysis of a sample problem for each of the six main question types. Happy studying!

How to analyze the following:

Sentence Correction

Critical Reasoning

Reading Comprehension

Data Sufficiency

Problem Solving

Integrated Reasoning Table
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 2)
Recently, we discussed observing limits with your resume. This time, we take a similar approach with your essays—in particular, your goals essay. Many business schools ask candidates to discuss their career progress first in their classic goals essay:

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

Whereas other schools do not request any professional context:

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

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

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

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New post 22 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Get an Early Start on Your Resume and Personal Goals
We at mbaMission try to encourage business school candidates to get as much “noise” out of the way as possible before they plan to apply, even several months in advance. We want applicants to have the freedom to reflect on their experiences, formally and thoroughly brainstorm, choose ideas, prepare outlines, and then focus on crafting powerful essays. Essentially, we want them to be unfettered as they engage in what is, for many, one of the most significant creative challenges they will ever face.

Using this time to address a task such as preparing your resume—a process that often requires several rounds of revisions—will allow you to focus better on the other elements of your application later. By revising your resume now, you can dedicate the time needed to do so at a more leisurely pace, before “crunch time” hits. Further, you will lay the foundation for brainstorming for your essays later, by reminding yourself of your most significant accomplishments.

If you prepare your resume now, you will definitely thank yourself later for having completed this task early.

Note: We recognize that you may achieve additional accomplishments before applying. We nonetheless suggest that you update your resume now and then revisit and amend your most recent entry one to two weeks before your application deadlines.

A similar message applies to personal leadership—you always have time to take steps to bolster your chances of admission.

Many candidates completely ignore the personal side of their candidacy. But if you have, for example, completed a triathlon, learned a language, published an article, or simply been an inordinately dedicated neighbor/sibling/mentor in an unofficial capacity, your story can provide an interesting point of differentiation. So, if you have an activity or adventure in mind that you would otherwise complete later anyway, we recommend pursuing it now. We are not suggesting that you start writing poetry tomorrow in hopes of getting something published—but if you are a dedicated poet and have verses that you have long intended to submit, do so now. If you can run 20 miles and have always planned to run a marathon, do it now. These kinds of personal stories can help set you apart from your fellow applicants.
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: Dan Ariely, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Busi  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Dan Ariely, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Dan Ariely from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Dan Ariely’s “Behavioral Economics” class is reportedly a popular one at Fuqua. “It always has the longest waiting list,” remarked one second year we interviewed, and an alumna said of Ariely, “He was wonderful.” When mbaMission asked a first-year student about Ariely’s class, he said jokingly, “I’m pretty sure you have to snag that class within one or two seconds of it becoming available!” The course explores how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they might act if they were being completely rational. (Note: “Behavioral Economics” is not being offered in the 2018–2019 school year, according to the course listing on Fuqua’s website.)

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

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

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

For more information about Duke Fuqua and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Acclimating to the Cold at Tuck and Hitting the Slopes at Kellogg  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Acclimating to the Cold at Tuck and Hitting the Slopes at Kellogg
The thought of spending the winters in Hanover, New Hampshire—home to Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business—may send shivers down your spine. But those who tough it out and embrace the cold can discover some rewarding winter experiences, such as ice hockey and downhill skiing. Both beginners and seasoned veterans participate each year in ice hockey games organized by Tuck hockey leagues. Never played? Not to worry—teams are organized by skill level, so you can find a team of hockey players who will not care if you trip over the blueline (that is ice hockey lingo—you will learn). And those who are not quite ready to play hockey can always get in the game by cheering on their classmates!

Meanwhile, the Skiing and Boarding Club takes advantage of the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, New Hampshire, and organizes trips beyond campus as well. The club’s major event is the Tuck Winter Carnival, now in its 34th year, which draws more than 650 people from approximately 15 business schools. The 2019 event welcomed aspiring MBAs and sent teams of students to participate in the weekend events, which included downhill ski races, a 1980s fashion show, and a party featuring a DJ. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization. At Tuck, you just might be too busy working up a sweat to fret about the cold.

A bit west of New Hampshire, Evanston, Illinois, is home to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and might not seem like a popular destination for skiers. But although Kellogg students may not do their skiing in Evanston proper, nearly 1,000 first and second years and their significant others participate in the school’s annual ski trip, which, according to students we interviewed, “remains the biggest of its kind. Like everything else at Kellogg, the trip is student run … from logistics to marketing to sponsorship. … First- and second-year students work together to make it an unforgettable weeklong adventure.” Participating students have traveled to such locations as Steamboat Resort and Telluride, in Colorado, where students stayed in mountainside condos. Those who wish to ski can avail themselves of three-, four-, or even five-day passes, while nonskiers can enjoy such activities as cooking classes, snowshoe lessons, and spa treatments (at reduced prices). The evenings feature theme parties, such as an annual 1980s party. The 2018 event took place in December in Aspen, Colorado.

In a January 2018 Poets&Quants article, a second year described his experience on a past ski trip: “While we spent our days bungee jumping, dog-sledding, and snowboarding, we also deepened our relationships with other members of the Kellogg community.” A first year with whom we spoke expressed how impressed she was with Kellogg’s ski club for “planning the best week of business school for [close to 1,000] people!” She added that the Northwestern Ski Trip is simply not to be missed: “It’s all of your closest friends, taking over a ski town for one full week with amazing parties and social activities—many of which are sponsored!”

For a thorough exploration of what Tuck, Kellogg, 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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What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with 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.

If you are just getting started with the GMAT and are trying to figure out what to do, we have got several big categories of things to discuss: mind-set, devising a study plan, and learning how to study.

Mind-Set
If you do what most people do and try to prepare for this test in the same way that you prepared for tests in school, you are not going to get the best score that you could get.

If you are not sure what is tested on the GMAT or what the different question types look like, take some time to wander around this section of the official GMAT website.

Next, read this short article: “In It to Win It.” This will help you to start to adjust your mind-set so you can maximize your GMAT score. Okay, we are essentially done with the mind-set category, but I have to say one more thing. I put mind-set first for a reason: if you have the wrong mind-set, it will not matter how much you learn or practice. You still will not get the best score that you are capable of getting.

Devising a Study Plan
Get started with this article: “Developing a GMAT Study Plan.” Note: make sure to follow the instructions about taking and analyzing a practice test.

Next, read this article about time management. As you will have already learned from our discussions of mind-set and scoring, effective time management is crucial to your success on this test.

How to Study
One key GMAT skill is learning to recognize problems. “Recognize” means that we actually have a little light bulb go off in our brain—“Hey, I’ve seen something like this before, and on that other one, the best solution method was XYZ, so I’m going to try that this time, too!”

When you recognize something, you have given yourself two big advantages: you save yourself time, because recognizing is faster than figuring something out from scratch, and you are more likely to get it right because you know what worked—and what did not—the previous time. You will not be able to recognize every problem, but the more you can, the better.

Read the “How Do I Learn?” section in the second half of the “Developing a GMAT Study Plan” article. Make sure to follow the links given in that section—those links lead to the tools that will help you learn how to learn from GMAT questions.

If you want to take advantage of online forums to chat with teachers and other students (and I strongly recommend that!), learn how to make the best use of the forums.

Finally, ask for advice! So many resources are out there that it can be overwhelming, but most companies offer free advice (Manhattan Prep does here!) and you can also benefit from talking to fellow students.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Class Visits Are Not a Factor  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Class Visits Are Not a Factor
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Some business schools—Harvard Business School, for example—have gone on record stating that class visits are not a factor in their admissions decisions. But does this mean that you have nothing to gain from visiting those campuses?

Imagine that you are considering buying a $250–$500K home. Would you not want to visit it before purchasing it? Perhaps you would turn on the taps, open and close the doors and windows, and walk around the yard, making sure your planned investment would be a good one, right? Well, your business school education—when you take into account tuition, living expenses, and the opportunity costs of leaving your current job—will probably cost you somewhere in that dollar range. So, visiting your target school(s) to ensure that your potential “home” for the next two years is right for you is just as important.

We feel that visiting the campus of the school(s) to which you plan to apply is a crucial step in the application process. Doing so allows you to gain a firsthand perspective into a program’s environment, pedagogy, facilities, student body, and professors. The dollars you will spend on transportation and lodging are the MBA program equivalent of hiring an inspector when buying a home. To the extent that your budget and available vacation days allow, make the effort to visit your target schools, whether doing so will help you gain a letter of acceptance or not. It will help ensure that the school you ultimately attend is a good fit and will increase your chances of a happy future there.
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How to Approach Overrepresentation and Old Achievements in Your MBA Ap  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Approach Overrepresentation and Old Achievements in Your MBA Application Essays
Many MBA applicants worry that they are overrepresented—male investment bankers and Indian software engineers, for example. Applicants cannot change their work histories, of course, but they can change the way they introduce themselves to the admissions committee. Consider the following examples:

Example 1: “As an investment banker, I…”

Example 2: “Managing a team to code a new software product for ABC Corp., I…”

In these brief examples, each candidate introduces the very overrepresentation that he/she would like to minimize. Many applicants feel they must start their essays by presenting their titles or company names, but this approach can immediately make the reader pause and think, “Here we go again.”

Overrepresented business school candidates should therefore consider the opening lines of their essays especially carefully. Rather than stating the obvious, an applicant might instead immerse the reader in a situation or present a special aspect of his/her position:

Example 1 (launching into a story): “At 5:30 pm, I could rest easy. The deadline for all other offers had passed. At that point, I knew…”

Example 2 (stand out): “While managing a multinational team, half in Silicon Valley and half in Pakistan, I…”

In the first example here, the banker candidate avoids drab self-introduction and instead plunges the reader into the midst of a mystery that is playing out. In the second example, the software engineer candidate is introduced not as a “coder” but as a multinational manager. Of course, every applicant’s situation is different, but with some effort, your story can be told in a way that avoids the pitfalls of overrepresentation.

Another issue that aspiring MBAs should consider is the relevance of the stories they tell in their application essays. Because business school candidates must share examples of a variety of experiences with admissions committees, we encourage applicants to truly reflect on their lives and consider all potential stories, including academic, professional, community, extracurricular, athletic, international, and personal. However, candidates inevitably have questions about which anecdotes are truly appropriate and effective. “Can I use stories from high school and college?” “Can I use a story from four years ago?” “How far in the past is too far in the past?” Although no definitive rule exists, with the exception of questions that specifically ask about personal history or family background, schools generally want to learn about the mature you—the individual you are today. So we ask you, “How long have you been the you that you are today?”

When considering experiences that occurred long ago, ask yourself, “Would this impress an MBA admissions committee today?” If you ran a few successful bake sales six years ago when you were in college, this clearly would not stand the test of time and impress a stranger today. However, if, while you were still a student, you started a small business that grew and was ultimately sold to a local firm when you graduated, you would have a story to tell that would likely impress an admissions reader.

Inevitably, judgment is always involved in these decisions. Nonetheless, we offer this simple example as a starting point to help you decide which stories to share.
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Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: George Geis, UCLA Anderson School of Management
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we profile George Geis from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

George Geis has been voted Outstanding Teacher of the Year five times while at UCLA Anderson, most recently in 2012, and currently serves as faculty director of the school’s Mergers and Acquisitions Executive Program. In the past, Geis has served as the associate dean and faculty director of the Anderson Executive MBA program. Geis also occasionally writes a mergers and acquisitions blog (http://maprofessor.blogspot.com) and a biotech corporate development blog (http://biopharmatop.blogspot.com).

One alumnus described Geis to mbaMission as an experienced investor and a funny and credible guy. The graduate added that he had very much enjoyed the guest speakers Geis brought to class, as well as the strategic analysis of the board game industry, covered in a case discussion about the game Trivial Pursuit.

For more information about the UCLA Anderson School of Management and 16 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Earn an MBA in Canada at the Rotman School of Management or Ivey Busin  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2019, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Canada at the Rotman School of Management or Ivey Business School
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Rotman School of Management

One of Canada’s top-ranked business schools for finance—the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management—benefits from the leadership of a foremost figure in the nation’s financial sector. After Roger Martin stepped down as the school’s dean, Tiff Macklem, the former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, assumed the role in 2014 for a five-year term and was reappointed for a second term, beginning in July 2019.

Rotman, which was ranked first among Canadian MBA programs by the Financial Times in 2019 and 22nd among programs outside the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2017, underwent significant growth under Martin’s deanship, in both campus size and endowment. Macklem’s appointment as dean suggested a continued rise in Rotman’s academic profile and its reputation for financial education.

In addition to its finance-related strengths, Rotman offers a rather unique approach to core business pedagogy. Relying on what it terms “integrative thinking,” Rotman’s teaching model challenges the compartmentalization of traditional functional areas. Students complete a series of core courses in their first year that emphasize generalized business skills and the ability to think across functional disciplines. The Rotman Self-Developmental Lab, which offers feedback on the students’ communication style and behavioral performance via group workshops and personalized sessions with psychologists and management consultants, is also part of the first year of studies. The mission of the lab program, according to the school’s site, is to “develop and nurture [the students’] self-awareness and the interpersonal skills that are key to becoming an effective collaborative problem-solver.”

In their second year, students are given the option to choose from among 16 different major areas, including Global Management, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Funds Management, while supplementing their focus with a broader array of more than 90 elective courses.

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Ivey Business School

Approximately 125 miles from Rotman, at the University of Western Ontario, stands Ivey Business School, which the Financial Times ranked as the third-best Canadian MBA program in 2019. The Ivey MBA program runs over the course of one year and is, according to the school’s website, designed for “high-achieving leaders who are ready to accelerate their career success.”

At Ivey, MBA students take part in real-world projects and can benefit from optional global learning opportunities and career management guidance, in addition to taking such core courses as “Leveraging Information Technology,” “Managing Financial Resources,” and “Communicating Effectively.” Study trips are available to Asia and South America during the electives period, while the Ivey Field Project allows students to form teams and work with real companies to find a solution for an issue or an opportunity before presenting their findings to the company. Students also have the option of developing an idea for a New Venture Ivey Field Project, creating a business plan for the idea, and presenting the pitch to a panel of external reviewers.
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How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking 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.

Remember those times when you were sure you got the answer right, only to find out that you got it wrong? For a moment, you even think that the answer key must have a mistake in it. Then, you take another look at the problem, check your work, and say, “I can’t believe I did that!”

By definition, a careless mistake occurs when we did actually know all of the necessary info and we did actually possess all of the necessary skills, but we committed an error anyway. We all make careless mistakes; our goal is to learn how to minimize these mistakes as much as possible.

A lot of times, careless errors are due to one of two things: (1) some bad habit that actually increases the chances that we will make a mistake or (2) our own natural weaknesses.

Here is an example of the former: they ask me to find how long Car B takes to go a certain distance, and I do everything perfectly, but I solve for Car A instead. So, what is my bad habit here? Often, I did not write down “Car B = ?” I also noticed that I was more likely to make this mistake when I set up the problem such that I was solving for Car A first; sometimes, I would forget to finish the problem and just pick Car A’s time.

So I developed several different good habits to put in the place of my various bad habits. First, I set up a reminder for myself: I skipped several blank lines on my scrap paper and then wrote “B time = ______?”

I also built the habit of solving directly for what I wanted. Now, while I am setting up the problem, I always look first to see whether I can set it up to solve directly for Car B, not Car A.

So, what did I do here? First, I figured out what specific mistake I was making and why I was making it. Then, I instituted three new habits that would minimize my chances of making the same mistake in the future. Incidentally, one of those habits (solving directly for what is asked) also saves me time!

Happy studying, and go start figuring out how to minimize those careless mistakes!
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Ask CBS, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM Admissions Officers Your App  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Ask CBS, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM Admissions Officers Your Application Questions on May 8!
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Are you applying to Columbia Business School (CBS), Kellogg School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, or Yale School of Management (SOM)? If so, you will not want to miss this chance to learn from the schools’ very own admissions officers! On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, mbaMission’s founder/president, Jeremy Shinewald, will facilitate a one-hour webinar for the final installment of our five-part series: “Maximize Your Potential: 5 Steps to Getting Your Dream MBA.” From 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT, Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, while admissions officers from these top business school institutions offer invaluable insight and advice.

Admissions officers for this panel include:

  • Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Yale School of Management
  • Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Columbia Business School
  • Dawna Levenson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg School of Management
We hope you will join us for this special series. Please reserve your spot by signing up here.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Botched the Interview  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Botched the Interview
Maybe you are among the unlucky applicants who were/are on the outside looking in this year, shaking your head trying to understand why you did not get into an MBA program. As you look back and assess where you went wrong, you may narrow your focus and re-examine your interviews. After all, you were invited to interview but were rejected thereafter, so there must be a cause-and-effect relationship, right? Your rejection must mean that everything was at stake during those 30 to 60 minutes and that your interviewer just did not feel that you are of the caliber preferred by your target school, right? Not at all.

Bruce DelMonico, the Yale School of Management (SOM) assistant dean for admissions, explained to mbaMission that the school uses a “consensus decision-making model [in which] we all need to agree on an outcome for an applicant [to be accepted].” Each file is read multiple times. With the need for a consensus, we can safely conclude that the committee is not waiting on the interview as the determinant. There is no post-interview snap judgment but rather serious thought and reflection by the admissions officers.

Although we have discussed this topic before, it is worth repeating that no simple formula exists for MBA admissions and that the evaluation process is thorough and not instinctive/reactive. Yes, a disastrous interview can certainly hurt you—but if you felt positively about your experience, you should not worry that you botched it and that this was the determinant of the admissions committee’s decision.

mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our free Interview Primers, which are available for 17 top-ranked business schools.
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Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Some Details May Not  [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Some Details May Not
If your supervisor is writing your business school recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that they are putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, junior employees can only do so much to compel their supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first determine how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay. Each letter must be personalized, and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples.

If your recommender intends to simply write a single letter and force it to “fit” the school’s questions or to attach a standard letter to the end of the school’s recommendation form (for example, including it in the question “Is there anything else that you think the committee should know about the candidate?”), then they could be doing you a disservice. By neglecting to put the proper time and effort into your letter, your recommender is sending a very clear message to the admissions committee: “I don’t really care about this candidate.”

If you cannot convince your recommender to write a personalized letter or to respond to your target school’s individual questions using specific examples, look elsewhere. A well-written personalized letter from an interested party is always far better than a poorly written letter from your supervisor.

In addition, although details are important in recommendation letters, remember that sometimes small points in MBA applications are really just that—small points. We often get asked, “Should this be a comma or a semicolon?” and want to respond, “Please trust us that the admissions committee will not say, ‘Oh, I would have accepted this applicant if she had used a comma here, but she chose a semicolon, so DING!’” That said, we are certainly not telling you to ignore the small things. Details matter—the overall impression your application makes will depend in part on your attention to typos, font consistency, and grammar, for example—but we encourage you to make smart and reasonable decisions and move on. You can be confident that your judgment on such topics will likely be sufficient.
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Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth Sc  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth 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 Luigi Zingales from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Luigi Zingales is known on the Chicago Booth campus for his charm, sense of humor, and humility. But students with whom mbaMission spoke also call him an innovator, citing as evidence his perspective on the discount rates used to evaluate the future cash flows of new and risky ventures (i.e., his ability to mathematically explain why some firms deserve a 30%–50% discount rate). Zingales’s novel approach to solving the mortgage crisis has been profiled in The Economist, and Bruce Bartlett of the National Review Online called his book Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity (coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan; Crown Business, 2003) “one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written.”

Zingales is currently the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Chicago Booth, as well as a Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow. In addition, he became faculty director of the school’s Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State in 2015. His students call him an “emerging finance superstar”—significant praise, considering the company he keeps at Chicago Booth.

For more information about Chicago Booth 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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