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The mbaMission Blog

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International Opportunities at Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: International Opportunities at Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck
To think that the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania excels only in churning out investment bankers and management consultants would be a mistake. In fact, Wharton boasts a truly international program that was ranked #3 in this area in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report MBA specialty rankings.

International students constitute 33% of the school’s Class of 2020 and represent 80 countries, and 11.7% of the school’s 2018 graduates took jobs outside the United States. Students who wish to study international business at Wharton have no shortage of options for doing so, including the following:

  • Numerous students study at a partner school each year. One popular option is to leverage Wharton’s alliance with INSEAD by taking classes at one of that program’s campuses in Singapore or Fontainebleau, France. Alternatively, students can choose a semester-long international exchange at one of 17 partner schools in 15 different countries.
  • Students who wish to pursue a dual degree in business and international studies can combine a Wharton MBA with an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, a 24-month intensive program designed for those who seek to conduct high-level business in a country other than the United States. This program has been described by Bloomberg Businessweek as “arguably the single best global management experience anywhere.”
In contrast to Wharton, whose urban location in Philadelphia might seem ripe with international opportunities, the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth is located in the quaint town of Hanover, New Hampshire, which has a population of approximately 11,400 and is thus considered a small college town. However, “Tuckies,” as the school’s students are known, have no shortage of access to global learning opportunities.

Students gain hands-on international experience through the “OnSite Global Consulting” (formerly “Tuck Global Consultancy”) course, which gives second years the chance to put their education into practice worldwide. Since 1997, students have consulted with 159 global organizations on more than 226 projects in 58 countries, according to the Tuck website. On-site consulting projects are led by small teams of students working under the supervision of Tuck professors with extensive consulting backgrounds. A large percentage of the second-year class participates in this elective, defining projects in the spring or early fall, then traveling to their assigned countries to perform on-site research and analysis. At the end of the program, students present their findings to their clients. Past clients include such major corporations as Alcoa, British Telecom, DuPont, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, John Deere, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, and Walmart.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Wharton, Dartmouth Tuck, or one of 16 other top business schools, please check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Title Trumps All  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Title Trumps All
In the past, we have addressed (and debunked!) the myth that you must personally know alumni from the top MBA programs to gain acceptance into those schools. Another admissions myth that is somewhat similar—in that it pertains to who you know instead of who you are—is that your recommendation must be written by someone with a flashy title. Each year, many candidates will persuade either someone from outside their workplace (e.g., a congressman) or an insider who does not know their work all that well (e.g., a managing director or CEO) to write a recommendation on their behalf.

Unfortunately, when you obtain a recommendation from someone because of their title and not because that person actually knows you and your work, the result is a vague endorsement. Consequently, the admissions committee will not get to know you better through this individual’s recommendation letter, and this undermines the very purpose of recommendations. Even if you can educate someone far above you in the corporate hierarchy about your achievements and that person can write a seemingly personal letter, it still will not make sense that a CEO, for example, knows what you—one of hundreds of employees—are doing on a daily basis. So the intimacy of this person’s letter just might seem absurd. Of course, if your CEO does actually know you and can write a personal letter that makes a logical connection between your position and theirs, that could be helpful.

Rather than focusing on titles when considering possible sources for your recommendations, strive to identify an individual who knows you well and can write about your strengths—and even your weaknesses—with sincerity. If your supervisor has a less than impressive title, this will not reflect negatively on you; what will matter is what they write about you. If that person can discuss your performance while providing powerful examples of standout achievements, they will help you to the fullest.
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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Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essay  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essays
One way to conserve words in your MBA application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

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

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

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

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

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

Confused? Consider the following example:

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

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

Now consider this example:*

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

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

*Please note that this is a simplified example for illustration purposes. If this were an actual essay, we would encourage the applicant to offer greater insight into their experience launching the product.
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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September and October 2019 Event Roundup  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: September and October 2019 Event Roundup
Are you applying to business school this year? If so, you can enroll in one of our free business school workshops, which are offered both online and in person in major cities across the country!

This September and October, the event lineup includes the following sessions:

  • September 26, 2019

    Choosing The Right B-School (Online)

    Which MBA program is right for me? How can I find the best fit? An experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs understand the differences that exist among top MBA programs.
  • October 2, 2019

    Decoding The HBS Interview (Online)

    Predicting exactly what questions you will be asked in your HBS interview is impossible, given the dynamic nature of the meeting and the school’s individualized approach, but this does not mean you cannot prepare to navigate the interaction effectively and increase your chances of leaving your desired impression. Join us for our new webinar, hosted by mbaMission HBS Interviewer in Residence Devi Vallabhaneni (HBS Class of 1997, former HBS Admissions Board Candidate Interviewer).
  • October 10, 2019

    No Stone Unturned: Your 2020/2021 MBA Application Starts Now (Online)

    By taking action now, you can dramatically improve your chances of gaining admission to a top MBA program in the coming years. Indeed, it is never too soon (and certainly not too late) to take several crucial steps to shape your MBA candidacy. 
  • August 21, 2019

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

    HBS started the 2+2/deferred admissions trend, and now every other top MBA program seems to be jumping on board or preparing to do so soon. What do you need to do to be a standout applicant for one of these programs? Because this trend is still relatively new, not enough information is available to enable us to fully characterize an ideal candidate. Nonetheless, we can offer you a sense of why some applicants tend to succeed and where others often falter. Please join us for this must-attend session prior to creating your application!
To enroll in one of our free seminars, click the event title in the list above. We look forward to having you join us!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Professor Profiles: Gautam Kaul, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ros  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gautam Kaul, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we profile Gautam Kaul from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

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Gautam Kaul
, professor of finance and the Robert G. Rodkey Collegiate Professor of Business Administration, teaches both core curriculum courses and electives. Kaul also currently serves as the Special Counsel for Digital Education and Innovator in Residence at the University of Michigan.

In addition to referencing his intellectual capabilities, students with whom mbaMission spoke described Kaul as extremely friendly and having a great sense of humor. He is also known for his willingness to help students both inside and outside the classroom. In 2005, in direct response to student interest, Kaul developed the elective course “Finance and the Sustainable Enterprise.” In return, students recognized his efforts and awarded him the Sustainability Pioneer Award and a plaque in his honor on one of the chairs in the main auditorium of the university’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Kaul has been nominated for an MBA Teaching Excellence Award (which is voted on by the student body) numerous times, and he won the award in 1996, 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2013. He is also the 2009 recipient of the Victor L. Bernard Leadership in Teaching Award from the university’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

For more information about Michigan Ross 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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Chicago Booth Tops the Forbes U.S. Business School Ranking for the Fir  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Chicago Booth Tops the Forbes U.S. Business School Ranking for the First Time
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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Forbes released its biennial business school rankings recently in the form of three lists: best business schools within the United States, best one-year international programs, and best two-year international programs. The Forbes rankings are based solely on business school graduates’ median returns on investment—in this year’s case, the Class of 2014, including 17,500 alumni representing more than 100 schools.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business claimed the top spot among U.S.-based programs for the first time in the history of the Forbes ranking. Meanwhile, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which placed first in the 2017 Forbes ranking, was ranked fifth this year. The rest of the top ten finishers among U.S.-based schools were largely similar to the previous ranking, with Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University remaining among the top ten with only minimal changes in their rankings. The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan entered the top ten in tenth place this year after its 12th-place ranking in 2017. Conversely, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, was ranked ninth in 2017 but fell to 11th place this year. Among the full list’s top risers was the Marshall School of Business at the University of South California, which was ranked 21st this year and 33rd in 2017.

The Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development, better known as IMD, was ranked first among one-year international programs for the second time in a row. Such international powerhouses as INSEAD (which was ranked first in 2015), the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, the SDA Bocconi School of Management, and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford were also ranked within the top five, largely unchanged from the previous ranking. Among two-year international business school programs, London Business School reigned supreme for the sixth time in a row. As with the one-year international program ranking, the rest of the top five finishers on the two-year list were nearly identical to the 2017 ranking, featuring such schools as HEC Paris, IESE Business School, CEIBS, and ESADE Business School.
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 Am a Simple Product  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2019, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am a Simple Product
Many candidates who approach us are concerned that they cannot get their stories out in a single sentence or worried that their personal branding is too muddled. Some candidates feel that they must have a single narrative and continuously speak to it in order to make an impression on the admissions committees. But, of course, you are not a simple product with one or two attributes—a Budweiser beer, for example, which can be represented with a straightforward slogan, “The Great American Lager.” MBA candidates are far more complex than consumer products. So, presenting yourself as one-dimensional (“I am an entrepreneur in everything I do,” “I am a finance guy”) is indeed a mistake that prevents you from revealing your depth of character and experience.

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

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

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New post 30 Sep 2019, 07:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: What NOT to Read on GMAT Reading Comprehension Passages
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.

Ironically, to do a great job on Reading Comprehension (RC) on the GMAT, we actually have to learn what NOT to read. So many people struggle with what and how to read, but a big part of the battle is knowing what you can skim or skip!

I am going to give you a quick overview of what I mean by “what NOT to read,” and then I am going to point you to some resources containing full examples of the technique.

Learn the Process

First, read the introduction entitled How To Read A Reading Comp Passage. (Hint: Take some notes! You are going to be trying this out on a real passage in a few minutes.)

Next, you are going to try a couple of examples; one contains a Manhattan Prep passage and one contains an Official Guide (OG) passage.

When you do the exercises, keep a few things in mind:

(1) Look for language clues that help distinguish between “high level” and “detail.” You want to read the “high level” information and skim or skip the “detail.” The “detail” clues tend to be more obvious: for example, for instance, one type of something, and so on.

(2) The bigger the words get, the more likely we will want to skim. They are going to use technical language, but that language will almost certainly be described in easier words at some other point—ignore the technical stuff and go look for that easier description.

(3) Despite #2, we are still expected to have a decent vocabulary. If you run across an unknown-to-you word that is not otherwise defined, then you are forewarned: learn this vocabulary word before you take the GMAT.

Test It Out!

All right, let us try some examples. I am going to have you do the Manhattan Prep example first. Once you think you have mastered that, then try the OG example.

Also, if you have access to Manhattan Prep’s OG Archer study tool, I have also posted a video discussion of the passage used in the article to which I linked. Try it yourself first (using the article), but you then might want to reinforce the lesson by watching the video.
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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Harvard Business School Interview Invites Are Out! Here Are Some Helpf  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Harvard Business School Interview Invites Are Out! Here Are Some Helpful Resources
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Harvard Business School (HBS) will send out Round 1 interview invitations today, October 1, at noon eastern standard time. Notably, HBS will send only one batch of invitation invites, along with notifications of “further consideration”—for candidates to be considered in Round 2—and “early release.” HBS’s managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, Chad Losee, addressed the impending invitations in a September 25 blog post:

In the past, we sent out interviews in waves in order to better manage the interview sign-up process. We know that was hard to wait through multiple days. So we are doing it altogether this year, and we believe that we have a good process in place to manage the interview sign-ups all at once. But, may I ask for your patience if we need to work through any unanticipated challenges? Thank you!

If you are among the candidates who receive an interview invitation today, congratulations! You will be able to sign up for interview slots tomorrow, Wednesday, October 2, at 10:00 a.m. eastern standard time. Now is the time to get ready for this crucial step in your application process. Check out these important resources created by mbaMission specifically for HBS interview candidates.

FREE “DECODING THE HBS INTERVIEW” WORKSHOP 

Predicting exactly what questions you will be asked in your HBS interview is impossible, given the dynamic nature of the meeting and the school’s individualized approach, but this does not mean you cannot prepare to navigate the interaction effectively and increase your chances of leaving your desired impression.

We hope you will join us for our new “Decoding the HBS Interview” workshop at 8:00 pm ET on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, hosted by  mbaMission HBS Interviewer in Residence Devi Vallabhaneni (HBS Class of 1997, former HBS admissions board candidate interviewer).

In this 60-minute workshop, you will learn

  • What makes the HBS interview so different from all other business school interviews
  • The philosophy behind HBS’s approach
  • How to prepare for the interview
Coming out of the session, you will have a much better sense of what to expect in your HBS interview and steps you can take to ready yourself for it so you can approach your interview with competence and confidence. Space is limited—enroll for free today!

INTENSIVE SIMULATION

Devi Vallabhaneni, a veteran admissions interviewer with years of experience interviewing hundreds of HBS candidates and mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence, is offering  online via webcam to help applicants prepare for the real thing.

The live interview simulation includes the following components:

  • Two or more 30-minute interview experiences customized to your application. Before your first session, Devi will spend several hours reviewing your written application, following the same process she used when conducting candidate interviews for HBS. This allows her to target her questions based on what she discovers about you from your application.
  • Personalized feedback. After each interview session, Devi will provide you with targeted feedback, talking you through her impressions and offering strategic advice for improving your HBS interview skills.
  • A reflection period. You will have time between your interview sessions with Devi to internalize the feedback and adjust accordingly before trying again.
For more information and to secure your spot, please visit our HBS Intensive Interview Simulation page.

MOCK INTERVIEW AND POST-INTERVIEW REFLECTION SUPPORT

Another resource to help you prepare is our HBS Mock Interview and Post-Interview Reflection Support service. Through it, you work with an experienced mbaMission Senior Consultant who will have read your entire HBS application and prepared customized questions based on your candidacy. Via Q&A, feedback, and thorough response planning, we will help you improve the content of your answers, your time management skills, and your overall presentation.

HBS asks all interviewed applicants to write a post-interview essay and submit it within 24 hours of their interview. This essay has no word limit, and HBS suggests that candidates think of it as an email they would write to a friend or colleague, rather than as a formal essay.

As part of our targeted HBS interview package, an mbaMission Senior Consultant will help you strategize your approach to this special essay. Your consultant will also review a draft of the essay and provide feedback intended to assist you in making it stronger and more effective. Please note that because the HBS Admissions Office explicitly states that applicants are not to write anything in advance or receive outside help with this essay, your mbaMission Senior Consultant will not edit your writing but will instead offer detailed strategic direction via comments only.

To purchase your HBS mock interview preparation session, click here!

HBS INTERVIEW GUIDE

Download your complimentary copy of mbaMission’s Harvard Business School Interview Primer today.

In creating our primers, we have drawn on countless communications with MBA students, alumni, admissions officers, and applicants, in addition to our vast library of interview reports submitted by current and past clients. Our HBS Interview Primer provides the following information:

  • Insight into what the school is evaluating and hoping to gain from the interview
  • An explanation of the school’s approach to interviewing (self-scheduled or invite only, blind versus comprehensive, etc.)
  • Past applicants’ firsthand accounts of their interview experiences and multiple sample interview question sequences
  • Tips on preparing for and responding to questions that most typically vex applicants
  • Help in formulating compelling questions of your own
Good luck to all Round 1 applicants! If you believe you can benefit from one of our interview planning services—or simply would like some more information on the process—feel free to contact us anytime!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission Releases Updated Free Interview Guides for 2019–2020  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Releases Updated Free Interview Guides for 2019–2020
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Drawing on our experience in preparing countless clients for their MBA interviews, we at mbaMission are proud to release our updated series of Interview Guides, which now covers 17 individual top-ranked schools for the 2019–2020 admissions season! The guides feature valuable information about the programs’ interview processes, notoriously difficult questions, and past applicants’ experiences.

To help you understand what to expect in an interview with your target school and prepare accordingly, each mbaMission Interview Guide provides the following useful details:

  • Insight into what the school is evaluating and hoping to gain from the interview
  • An explanation of the school’s approach to interviewing (self-scheduled or invite only, blind versus comprehensive, etc.)
  • Lists of the school’s most common questions and themes
  • Past applicants’ firsthand accounts of their interview experiences
  • Tips on preparing for and responding to common question types
  • Help in formulating compelling questions of your own
  • Advice on managing the entire interview process, from scheduling to thank you notes
Download the guides free of charge to ensure you are ready to rock your interview! 

And for even more targeted interview prep, try our Individual Mock Interview Sessions (starting at $650), including our one-of-a-kind offering, the HBS Mock Interview and Post-Interview Reflection Support ($850). For even more targeted interview prep, learn more about our HBS Intensive Interview Simulation (starting at $2,500) with veteran HBS interviewer Devi Vallabhaneni, and our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulations ($525).

Last but not least, don’t miss our “Interview Workshop” webinar at 8:00 pm ET on Monday, October 28, 2019, hosted by mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Beck. During the session, Rachel will help prospective MBAs understand the types of questions that may be asked to best prepare for interviews. Space is limited–register for free today!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Common Worries About the HBS Admissions Interview  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Common Worries About the HBS Admissions Interview
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Devi Vallabhaneni, mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence

Devi Vallabhaneni, an HBS graduate and former HBS MBA interviewer, is mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence, conducting HBS Intensive Interview Simulations.

Being invited to interview with Harvard Business School (HBS) is unquestionably exciting and a positive step in your admissions journey, but it can also trigger a lot of concerns and questions. Here, I draw on my six years as an HBS interviewer to address some of the most common worries applicants have about the school’s interview, in hopes of easing any apprehension you may be feeling about your upcoming meeting.

“I don’t know what to expect.”

The HBS interview is unlike any other business school interview or even a job interview. It is designed to meet the interviewee where they are, meaning that it conforms to the applicant’s style rather than following a preconceived format set by the school. It is dynamic, extremely personal, and tailored to the specific individual. The interviewer will read your entire application before your interview and will base their questions on that information. As a result, no two interviews are the same because no two applicants are the same. Do not let what you read online or have heard about someone else’s interview worry you. Those stories most likely do not apply to you.

“I have limited presentation or public-speaking experience.”

The HBS interview is not a speech or a typical work presentation but more like a conversation between two business professionals. You do not need to prepare anything formal in advance, and having extensive presentation experience is certainly not required to have a successful interview. What is imperative is knowing yourself and your story extremely well. The interviewer will be focused on you as an individual, your potential contributions as an MBA student, and your career goals. Your personal communication style is less important.

“I work in a very technical and complex field.”

HBS has interviewed candidates from all backgrounds, including science, technology, engineering, and medicine. Your interviewer’s goal is not to understand the technical details of your job but rather how you work and communicate, who you are as a person, how you think about your career, and what your values are. Think of your HBS interview as similar to a discussion you might have about your job with your company’s CEO, which would be a higher-level conversation, beyond the nuts and bolts.

“I have a nontraditional background.”

This does not put you at a disadvantage. Whether you work at a start-up of just three people or with your parents and siblings in a family business, your HBS interview will unfold the same way it would for someone who works at IBM, Goldman Sachs, Google, or McKinsey & Company. You should feel confident in communicating your unique professional challenges and accomplishments. Your preparation for your HBS interview should be no different from that of someone who works at a larger or more conventional company.

“I’m an international applicant.”

HBS is a global community and understands that some candidates might feel less comfortable with their ability to speak English. If you feel your English could use some polishing, that is a personal decision, and you should do what will make you most comfortable for your interview. You will not be penalized for verbal errors or accents because of the high-stress nature of the interview. Practice and prepare the same way you would for an important business meeting in English.

“I work in consulting [or banking] and don’t know how to stand out.”

Your HBS interview is not about standing out per se. It is about viewing your background in the context of what you could contribute to the HBS community. This could include a particular high-impact project, a leadership position outside of work, or a post-MBA career goal that builds on your past professional experience. If you look at yourself as strictly “a consultant applicant” or “a banking applicant,” you will likely be limiting yourself in your self-perception. Instead, take your entire life story and career path into consideration when determining how to communicate who you are.

The bottom line is that everyone feels as though they have some kind of disadvantage in the interview process. This is the human condition. Preparation, self-reflection, and, most importantly, the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly are all key in mastering your HBS interview.

The admissions interview is an art, not a science—one with no hard and fast rules. I wish such rules did exist so that applicants would not worry so much. Imagine the application process as a relay race: your interviewer will pick up where your application left off and will strive to continue learning about you as a candidate. The interview is the next step after your written application and builds on what you have already shared with the HBS Admissions Board.

Practicing speaking about yourself and your accomplishments is important. Find a friend or family member to ask you questions so that you become more comfortable responding to personal queries and get better at delivering your most compelling information easily. Just as you did not write your final, polished application in a single sitting and draft, you will likely need to complete multiple “verbal drafts” before you feel ready for your HBS interview, and this—like the other issues I have covered here—is nothing to worry about.

I can assure you that your HBS interview is intended to help the school get to know you as a person, not just an applicant. You are more than the contents of your file, your work experience, and your primary accomplishments. HBS strives to admit each person as the individual they are, so let your genuine personality shine through in the most authentic way possible.

To learn more about mbaMission’s interview prep options for Harvard Business School applicants, click here. If you believe you can benefit from one of our interview planning services—or simply would like some more information on the process—feel free to contact us anytime!
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Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal   [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal College of Business
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Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business

Students aspiring to sharpen their analytic and quantitative skills are well served at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Boasting a faculty that includes multiple Nobel Prize winners, Tepper has pioneered “management science,” a supplement to traditional case studies that draws on more scientific—rather than historical—strategies for complex business decision making. Management science depends on tools such as computer modeling, organizational behavior, and economic theory.

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

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Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business

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

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

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New post 06 Oct 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Antonio Fatas, INSEAD
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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 Antonio Fatas from INSEAD.

The Portuguese Council Chaired Professor of European Studies, Antonio Fatas teaches macroeconomics on INSEAD’s Singapore campus. Fatas has served as a consultant for numerous international financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the OECD, and the European Commission, as well as for the U.S. Federal Reserve and even the government of the United Kingdom. A recognized global expert on fiscal policy, business cycles, and the economics of European integration, Fatas has published pieces in the Journal of Economic Growth, Credit and Banking, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Money, the Journal of Public Economics, and the European Economic Review, among other outlets, and has been featured regularly on CNBC and BBC World News as well as in the Financial Times, Forbes, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, and The Economist. One student we interviewed who had taken Fatas’s macroeconomics class observed, “It was an incredible learning experience, and I enjoyed the course a lot. It’s one of those courses where you say, okay, the fee is worth this course, because I got so much from it that I feel very well rewarded.” And another student with whom we spoke described class with Fatas as “actually amazing.”

For more information about INSEAD and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not   [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not Count
“I had an internship from June to August of 2018. Will the admissions committee count it as work experience?”

“I was running a lab during my Master’s program—is that part of my total number of months of work experience?”

“I ran a small business that ultimately failed—will I get credit for my time as an entrepreneur?”

Business schools have not seriously considered a candidate’s number of months of work experience as a factor in admissions decisions for a long time. In fact, with such programs as Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business increasingly open to younger candidates, work experience on a strictly quantitative level is actually being devalued at some schools. A candidate’s quantity of work experience is just not relevant—quality is what is important. An “average” employee who has merely fulfilled expectations during a five-year stint at a Fortune 500 company could certainly be said to be at a disadvantage compared with an individual who has made the most of a three-year stint elsewhere and has been promoted ahead of schedule. Think about it—which of the two would you admit?

So, if you are asked on an application how many months of work experience you will have prior to matriculating, you should simply answer honestly. If you have any gray areas or are unsure about any aspect of your professional experience as it pertains to your application, you can always call the Admissions Office for guidance—most Admissions Offices are actually surprisingly helpful with this kind of simple technical question. Thereafter, stop worrying about the number of months of experience you do or do not have and instead focus on revealing that—and how—you have made an impact in your professional life. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, resume, and other application elements will ultimately make a qualitative impact that will outweigh any quantitative data.
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Convey a Confident Tone, and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Ess  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2019, 09:01
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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The Role of Confusion in Your GMAT Prep  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2019, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Role of Confusion in Your GMAT Prep
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.

That seems like it should be a typo. Maybe I meant Confucius, the Chinese teacher and philosopher? No, I really do mean confusion. Journalist Annie Murphy Paul contributed a post to NPR’s Mind/Shift blog: Why Confusion Can Be a Good Thing.

Why Is Confusion Good?

Murphy Paul supports her thesis with an important point: When we do not know the “right” way to do something, we open up our minds to many potential paths—and sometimes an alternate potential path is better than the “official” path.

When a test like the GMAT is concerned, the discomfort inherent in figuring out that best path allows us to determine why a certain approach is preferable. That knowledge, in turn, helps us to know when we can reuse a certain line of thinking or solution process on a different (but similar) question in the future.

How Can I Use Confusion to Help My Prep?

Murphy Paul offers three suggestions (the following quotes are from the article; the rest is just me):

(1) “Expose yourself to confusing material.”

On the GMAT, you have no choice: you are going to be exposing yourself to confusing material every day. So I will tweak Murphy Paul’s suggestion slightly: embrace the confusion. Rather than feeling annoyed or frustrated when that feeling of confusion creeps in, tell yourself: okay, I am on track here. I am going to figure this out—and, when I do, I am going to remember it, because my current confusion is actually going to help me remember better once I do know what I am doing!

(2) “Withhold the answers from yourself.”

Sometimes looking at the answer immediately is appropriate. If you are doing drill sets and you want to make sure that you learn from one problem before trying the next, then check the solution immediately.

Other times, though, you are not doing yourself a favor by jumping right to the answer. In particular, when you know that you do not know… then do not look at the answer right away! Struggle with it for a while first.

Look stuff up in your strategy guides/books. Ask a friend or search a forum. Spend as much time as you want, then pick an answer—even if it is just a guess—and have a rationale for why you eliminated the answers that you eliminated. If possible, also have a rationale for why you chose the answer that you did.

Got that? Okay, now go look at the answer. But wait! Do not read the solution yet—just look at the answer first. Maybe you will want to go look at the problem again because

  • you were sure you got it right, but you did not; can you find the mistake?
  • you guessed and got lucky; was that pure dumb luck or were you actually able to increase your odds via a strong educated guess? Alternatively, maybe you knew more than you thought you did!
  • you did get it wrong, but your knowledge of the correct answer prompts an idea about how to do or think about the problem.
(3) “Test yourself before you learn.”

This approach lets us know what we know and, more importantly, what we do not know going into our study of that lesson or chapter, and that can actually help us to learn more effectively.

I suggest starting a new chapter with a few of the problems listed as practice or drills at the end of the chapter. If those go well, then try a lower-numbered Official Guide problem. Keep going until you hit a couple of substantial roadblocks. Then dive into the chapter with a serious curiosity to figure out how to get around those roadblocks!
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Stanford’s GSB MSx Program Offers an Accelerated Master’s Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Stanford’s GSB MSx Program Offers an Accelerated Master’s Experience
Are you interested in a business-related master’s program but questioning whether an MBA is the best option for you? An accelerated master’s degree program might be a good fit. The one-year Master of Science in Management (MSx) program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) is best suited for professionals with a minimum of eight years of work experience.

The Stanford MSx is part of the larger Sloan Fellows program, which was established in 1930 at the MIT Sloan School of Management and expanded to include the GSB in 1957. The first incoming Sloan Fellows class at the GSB consisted of only 12 students, and the program has since grown to include approximately 100 students in each class. The Class of 2018 included 104 students representing 35 sub-industries, with an average of approximately 13 years of work experience among them.

The MSx program takes place from July to June in four terms and is described on the GSB website as “rigorous” and highly “customizable”—in fact, more than half of the curriculum consists of elective courses. Sloan Fellows begin their studies with such fundamental core courses as “Ethics,” “Organizational Design,” and “Economics,” and students can begin to customize their academic experience in the second term by choosing three electives, in addition to taking the core courses “Finance,” “Strategy,” and “Strategy Beyond Markets.” The third term features the final two core courses of the program, “Marketing” and “Operations,” and four electives, while the fourth term consists solely of elective courses. Such leadership and career planning activities as one-on-one coaching and leadership assessment reviews continue throughout the program, and students also have the option of taking study trips to selected global cities. The first term culminates in a mandatory study trip to New York City and Washington, DC, to visit companies and network.

The GSB website describes the MSx program as being “uniquely focused on ambitious, global leaders with a demonstrated record of accomplishment and intellectual curiosity.” Indeed, GSB Sloan Fellows have held such positions as the chairman and CEO of Pfizer, the director of the London School of Economics, the president and CEO of Kimberly-Clark, and the CEO of Yves Saint Laurent.

For applicants interested in both of the GSB’s business-related master’s degrees, the school offers a combined application process for its MSx and MBA programs. However, applicants who gain admission to both programs can only enroll in one of them.

If you are considering applying to a master’s business program, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our Senior Consultants to get valuable information on starting your journey.
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Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, the University of Chicago Booth Scho  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, 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 Kevin Murphy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

In 2005, Chicago Booth professor Kevin Murphy—who has a joint appointment in the department of economics at the University of Chicago, where he teaches PhD-level courses—became the first business school professor to win the MacArthur Genius Grant, which he received for his groundbreaking economic research. Murphy’s course “Advanced Microeconomic Analysis” is affectionately called “Turbo Micro” because of its enormous workload. One recent graduate told mbaMission that a typical Chicago Booth class is supposed to be complemented by five hours of homework per week but that Murphy’s course demands roughly 20 hours. So why would students clamber to take the class? The alumnus with whom we spoke raved that it was taught at the PhD level and that Murphy is deserving of his “genius” title, pushing students to think about their opinions in profoundly different ways. A first year we interviewed identified Murphy’s course as the most impressive he had taken thus far, saying it offered “a very complicated but logical way to view the world.” Murphy also teaches such MBA courses as “Big Problems,” which is open to both business and law students, and “Sports Analytics,” which explores such themes as decision making, causation, and fixation through the context of sports.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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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 15 Oct 2019, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Will I Get In? And If I Do, Will I Want to Attend After All?
Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we receive from MBA candidates is “Will I get in?” Of course, this is an important question to consider before applying, and we suggest that you honestly assess and understand your candidacy and risk profile within the context of your target school’s typical student body before completing or submitting an application to that school. However, once you have determined that you will in fact apply to a particular school, you should not let this question haunt you or halt your progress. Many applicants spend too much time worrying and not enough time working. Your admissions decision is ultimately out of your control, so just focus on submitting the best application you possibly can.

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

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

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

Then, in addition to applying to your dream programs, apply only to those reasonable and safer schools for which you felt going would be preferable to not attending any MBA program at all. This way, you can avoid finding yourself in either of the situations we described at the beginning of this post and instead will be well positioned to embrace the choices you ultimately have.
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How to Approach Lifting Your GMAT Score  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Approach Lifting Your GMAT Score
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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