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The mbaMission Blog

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Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2019, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth
How about a quick game of word association? We will start.

“Kellogg.”

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

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

The school’s Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital offers the Private Equity Lab, wherein rising second-year students intern with small businesses or private equity firms—receiving a stipend—to facilitate career transitions that would otherwise be challenging for those without experience. MBA student entrepreneurs coming from or planning to enter a family business will likely be interested to learn that Kellogg’s Center for Family Enterprises not only publishes research and cases on such businesses, but also confidentially consults with family-run companies. Indeed, this is all just the tip of the iceberg.

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

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

Further, entrepreneurially minded Chicago Booth students can apply for funding from the Hyde Park Angels (HPA), a group of former Chicago Booth Executive MBA students who make investments in start-ups—in 2019 so far, the group has invested nearly $12M. Although the HPA is an arms-length organization and does not source investments exclusively from Chicago Booth, it maintains a connection to the Polsky Center, which supports the HPA’s mission. So, students hoping to get in front of the HPA’s investment committee will have a built-in networking advantage. Also, the HPA offers students the opportunity to intern as associates and gain venture capital experience while pursuing their MBA at Chicago Booth.

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

For more information on Northwestern Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and other leading MBA programs, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Waitlist Strategies for MBA Applicants  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2019, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Waitlist Strategies for MBA Applicants
Each admissions season, many candidates receive a response from MBA admissions committees that can sometimes be far more frustrating than a rejection: “You have been placed on our waitlist.” What should you do when your status is uncertain?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New post 22 Oct 2019, 11:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College Tuck 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 Vijay Govindarajan from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Vijay Govindarajan, affectionately known by students as simply “VG,” is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck and has been cited by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and The Times as a top-ten strategy professor. His research focus includes global strategy, strategic innovation, strategy execution, and strategic controls. Govindarajan has been a consultant to several well-known companies, including Walmart, FedEx, and Microsoft, and in 2008, he served as chief innovation consultant to General Electric. In addition to his residency at Tuck, Govindarajan was named a Marvin Bower Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School in 2015 for a two-year period. He was also the 2015 recipient of the Association of Management Consulting Firms Award of Excellence.

One alumnus told mbaMission, “VG’s class is great, and the cases have been interesting. Most of the cases are about manufacturing companies; however, they are not boring at all. He’s a great speaker and great lecturer.” Another graduate described Govindarajan’s classroom style to mbaMission by saying, “VG maintains a balance between lecture and class participation. He never cold-calls because he believes that students will be prepared. He doesn’t want students to comment for the sake of commenting and wants people to say something meaningful, which might be different from the approach at other schools.” Another alumnus shared that Govindarajan often brings great speakers to class.

For more information about Dartmouth Tuck and 16 other top-ranked MBA 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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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Will Not Noti  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Will Not Notice My Weakness(es)
Our clients frequently ask, “If I write the optional essay about my [low GMAT score, low GPA, bad semester in college, long stretch of unemployment, etc.], will it call attention to that weakness and overemphasize it?” In short, no. Writing the optional essay about a weakness will instead allow you to control the narrative about that issue and thereby better mitigate any negative effects it might have.

The admissions committee very likely will take note of a low GMAT score or a low GPA and will be left with unanswered questions about that weakness if you do not use the optional essay to address it. Rather than putting the committee in the position of having to guess at an explanation, take control of the situation and grab the opportunity to explain the details behind the weakness.

For example, let us say you have a weak GPA overall because you worked full time in your first two years of college, but your GPA from your last two years is much stronger. Not writing the optional essay means that you are hoping the admissions committee will take the time to search through your transcript, note the change in the GPA, and then examine your job history—then make the connection between your two years of full-time work and your subsequently lower grades during those years. On the other hand, if you use the optional essay to explain exactly what happened, you no longer have to simply hope that they will put in that extra effort and will know for sure that they are evaluating you using complete information. Likewise, they will not have to guess at the reason behind your low GPA, because you will have proactively filled in the story.

The bottom line is that the admissions committee is made up of professionals whose obligation is to examine all aspects of your profile. They are not punitive, but they are also not careless and will certainly note any weaknesses like those mentioned here. Keep in mind that these individuals are only human and are dealing with thousands of applications. Any way that you can save them time and effort by guiding them through the story of your application can only work to your advantage.
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Understanding Number Properties on the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Understanding Number Properties on the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Is the GMAT topic of number properties driving you crazy? This concept covers things that we often call “basic”—topics that we learned in middle school (or earlier), such as divisibility, factors and multiples, odds and evens, positives and negatives, and so on. I assure you, though, that number properties questions on the GMAT are anything but basic.

I strongly urge you to develop a solid grounding in this topic, particularly because the test writers are so good at disguising what these problems are really testing.

You will need some kind of book or e-book that covers this topic thoroughly, but I have some resources to help you get started.

Start with this article, “Disguising—and Decoding—Quant Problems.” We talk about how the test writers disguise material that you probably do already know, and how we can learn to “decode” the problem or strip away the camouflage.

If you feel good about the concepts discussed in that article, and you are at a higher math level, try out this challenging problem next.

In the article “Patterns in Divisibility Problems,” we examine two GMATPrep problems that share some interesting characteristics. In this article, we discuss some interesting topics related to prime numbers.

Many questions address basic characteristics of numbers, such as whether they are positive or negative, odd or even, integer or fraction/decimal. These can be disguised in various ways; two of the most common are inequalities and absolute values (which we normally associate more with algebra).

Here are two that use inequalities as a disguise for number properties concepts, one in this article and another from this article, as well as a third one that plays around with absolute value. All three of these are generally hiding issues that deal with positive and negative properties of numbers.

And finally here are two more: a number line problem and one dealing with consecutive integers. The former tests positive and negative properties, as well as some others, and the latter covers a less-commonly-tested but still important number properties category.
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Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2019: What to Expect and How to Prepare  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2019: What to Expect and How to Prepare
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The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania plans to send out Round 1 interview invitations on October 29,  and once again, the school is using its team-based discussion format rather than a traditional admissions interview to evaluate its candidates. Understandably, Wharton applicants get anxious about this atypical interview, because the approach creates a very different dynamic from what one usually encounters in a one-on-one meeting—and with other applicants also in the room, one cannot help but feel less in control of the content and direction of the conversation. Yet despite the uncertainty, here are a few things that interviewees can expect:

  • You will need to arrive at the interview with an idea—a response to a challenge that will be presented in your interview invitation.
  • Having the best idea is much less important than how you interact with others in the group and communicate your thoughts. So while you should prepare an idea ahead of time, that is only part of what you will be evaluated on.
  • Your peers will have prepared their ideas as well. Chances are that ideas will be raised that you know little or nothing about. Do not worry! The admissions committee members are not measuring your topical expertise. Instead, they want to see how you add to the collective output of the team.
  • After the team-based discussion, you will have a short one-on-one session with someone representing Wharton’s admissions team. More than likely, you will be asked to reflect on how the team-based discussion went for you; this will require self-awareness on your part.
To give candidates the opportunity to undergo a realistic test run before experiencing the actual event, we created our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation. Via this simulation, applicants participate anonymously with three to five other MBA candidates in an online conversation, which is moderated by two of our experienced Senior Consultants familiar with Wharton’s format and approach. All participants then receive feedback on their performance, with special focus on their interpersonal skills and communication abilities. The simulation builds confidence by highlighting your role in a team, examining how you communicate your ideas to—and within—a group of (equally talented) peers, and discovering how you react when you are thrown “in the deep end” and have to swim. Our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation allows you to test the experience so you are ready for the real thing!

The 2019 Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation Round 1 schedule is as follows:

    • Group A: Saturday, November 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET
    • Group B: Saturday, November 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group C: Sunday, November 3  at 3:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group D:  Sunday, November 3  at 6:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group E: Monday, November 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group F: Tuesday, November 5 at 6:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group G: Wednesday, November 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group H: Thursday, November 7  at 6:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group I: Friday, November 8  at 3:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group J: Saturday, November 9 at 12:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group K: Saturday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group L: Sunday, November 10  at 12:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group M:Sunday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m. ET 
    • Group N: Monday, November 11  at 9:00 a.m. ET 
    • Group 0: Monday, November 11 at 12:00 p.m. ET
    • Group P:  Monday, November 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET 
To learn more or sign up for a session, visit our Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation page.
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While Waiting Patiently for Interview Invitations, Consider What to Ex  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: While Waiting Patiently for Interview Invitations, Consider What to Expect
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As interview invitations from business schools roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the Admissions Office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if an interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent.

Admissions Offices are increasingly transparent and should be taken at their word. If they say they are still releasing decisions, then they are in fact still doing so. If they say that the timing of your interview decision does not signify an order of preference, then it does not. Unless something has changed materially in your candidacy, all you can really do—as painful as it may be—is wait patiently and try not to think about the decision or second-guess your status.

As the 2019–2020 MBA application season approaches Round 2, we thought now would be a good time to discuss some challenging interview situations you might encounter. Most business school interviews are straightforward opportunities for an interviewer to learn more about a candidate’s personal and professional background, goals, reasons for selecting a specific school, and leadership/team experiences. Yet interviews can vary dramatically from school to school, and they sometimes include a few peculiarities. So, what constitutes a “tough” interview, and how can you best navigate one?

Stoic interviewer: Some interviewers can be unemotional, refusing to give you any indication as to whether you are making a positive impression or not. And amid the intense pressure of an interview, you may perceive this lack of clear positive response as a sign of disapproval. The key to managing such a situation is to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion. Focus on your answers and do your best to not be distracted by anything about the interviewer, ignoring everything except the questions they are posing. “Reading” the interviewer in real time can be challenging, so concentrate instead on showcasing your strengths.

Philosophical questions: Most candidates are ready to discuss their experiences and accomplishments, but many are not prepared to discuss their values and philosophy on life. Harvard Business School, in particular, likes to understand applicants’ motivations and will ask questions like “What is your motivation to succeed?,” “What drives you?,” and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key to answering these sorts of questions is pretty simple: expect and prepare for them in advance (after all, you are being warned right now). Do not assume that all the questions you will receive during your interview will be experiential.

Persistent questioning: Sometimes a tough interviewer will continuously delve deeper into a subject, such as by repeatedly asking, “Can you be more specific about [the topic under discussion]?” after posing an initial question. These kinds of unusual pressure tactics can be disconcerting, but the key is to simply stay on topic. No matter how persistent they are, interviewers are always essentially asking you about a subject you know quite well—you! So again, by avoiding the distraction of the tactic and sticking to your agenda, you should be fine.

mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our free Interview Primers, which are available for 17 top-ranked business schools.
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Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2019, 13:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in the Midwest
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Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

As the demand for business-savvy health care professionals grows, business schools are taking notice. Leading the way is the Business of Medicine Physician MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which is designed to train practicing physicians to assume management positions and face a changing health care business environment. The two-year degree program was launched in the fall of 2013 and presents a new kind of opportunity at the intersection of business management and medical practice.

The degree combines the basic curriculum of Kelley’s full-time MBA with specialized health care courses supported by the school’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences. Idalene (Idie) Kesner, who was interim dean at the time but has since been appointed dean, said in a Financial Times article regarding the launch of the program, “With this degree, physician leaders will emerge with the full skillset to transform individual institutions, the broad healthcare field and, most important, patient outcomes.” Part of the Business of Medicine Physician MBA program—approximately 10–14 hours a week—is taught online, drawing on Kelley’s pioneering strengths in distance learning, while the other part entails one weekend residence per month, allowing for a more flexible time commitment.

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Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business

Despite the size of its parent institution, the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, another Midwestern business school, boasts a relatively intimate classroom experience—with approximately 100 students in each incoming full-time MBA class—and a close-knit community. Fisher students consequently benefit from the school’s wider university network (more than 550,000 alumni) and its proximity to major companies based both in Columbus and throughout the Midwest. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Fisher 53rd in its list of top U.S. full-time MBA programs in 2018.

The Fisher curriculum consists of a core sequence spanning the first year of the program and offers a plethora of optional pathways in which students can major, including Corporate Finance, Brand Management, and Supply Chain. Of the 60 credit hours required for graduation, 7.5 credits consist of experiential coursework, including Business Lab Projects and the Core Capstone Experience. In these hands-on projects, students work with local and international businesses to apply the skills they have learned within the classroom to real-life scenarios. Nearly half (27 credit hours) of the required credit hours are dedicated to elective courses, proving that the Fisher MBA is a widely customizable program.
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Professor Profiles: Adam Brandenburger, NYU Stern School of Business  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Adam Brandenburger, NYU Stern 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 Adam Brandenburger from New York University’s (NYU’s) Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

An expert on game theory and its practical application to business strategy, Adam Brandenburger was voted the NYU Stern MBA Professor of the Year in 2006, and in 2008 he received an NYU Excellence in Teaching award in recognition of his teaching and course development work. From 2011–2014, he served as vice dean for innovation at NYU Stern, and he is now the J.P. Valles Professor at the school. His latest book—called The Language of Game Theory: Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games (World Scientific, 2014)—contains eight papers coauthored by Brandenburger and his colleagues over a period of 25 years. Students with whom mbaMission spoke reported being consistently impressed by his capacity to make the complex simple in the classroom, stating that Brandenburger is able to take the “complicated, theoretical and intangible” world of game theory and make it “easy to understand and practical.” Brandenburger holds additional appointments at NYU as global network professor, distinguished professor at the Tandon School of Engineering, and faculty director of the university’s Shanghai Program on Creativity and Innovation.

For more information about NYU Stern and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Your GMAT Score  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2019, 15:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Stressed Out? Meditate to Lower Your Anxiety and Boost Your GMAT Score
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With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

The motivation for the study

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

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

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

The study

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

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

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

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

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

How did that happen?

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

How can I use this?

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

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

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

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

Take a deep breath, exhale, and start learning how to minimize distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. Good luck!
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Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA App  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2019, 10:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA Application Essays
Many business schools use their essay questions as an opportunity to ask about the unique contributions you will make to their particular program. Unfortunately, candidates often make the mistake of thinking that a bland summary statement like “I will bring my leadership skills to XYZ School” will sufficiently express their intended contribution. One reason we prefer to work with business school candidates “from start to finish” is so we can prevent such problems. Simply relating a story about a past experience and then repeating the main point does not demonstrate that you can or will make a meaningful contribution to the school. Ideally, you want to go further, explaining how you would apply and use your experience and skills while at the school in a way that would offer some benefit to others, thereby demonstrating a true understanding of your fit with that particular program.

Example 1:

“My experience as a stand-up comedian will allow me to bring humor to the Kellogg environment.”

With this statement, the MBA admissions committee is left wondering, “How exactly will this applicant bring humor to the environment? Does this person really know what our environment is about?” In contrast, consider our next example.

Example 2:

“My experience as a stand-up comic will prove particularly useful at Kellogg, a dynamic environment where I will be constantly joining new and energetic study teams. I anticipate using my sense of humor to create more relaxed team environments, helping everyone feel comfortable contributing, though I will use my humor judiciously, such as to diffuse tense moments during late-night study sessions, rather than as a distraction. I believe my skills and experience being funny on stage will also allow me to play an important role in the Kellogg Follies.”

In this example, the writer has applied their personal experience and intended contribution directly to the Kellogg experience and has thereby shown a clear connection with the school, proving that the candidate truly identifies with it and accurately understands its nature.

At times, candidates also tend to unintentionally describe their personal experience with a specific MBA program in a vague and general manner. Because they are writing from memory and discussing their authentic experience, they do not realize that they are not being specific enough. Consider the following example:

“During my visit to Cornell Johnson, I was struck by the easygoing classroom discussion, the warmth of the professors, and the time spent by the first-year student who not only toured the facilities with me but also took me out for coffee and asked several of his colleagues to join us.”

Although these statements may in fact be true, the text contains no Cornell-specific language. If the Yale School of Management, Michigan Ross, or the name of any other school were substituted for Cornell Johnson here, the statement would not otherwise change at all, resulting in a weak and generic essay.

In contrast, the following statement could refer only to UVA Darden:

“While on Grounds, I was impressed by Professor Robert Carraway’s easygoing and humorous style as he facilitated a fast-paced discussion of the ‘George’s T-Shirts’ case. Although I admittedly felt dizzied by the class’s pace, I was comforted when I encountered several students reviewing the finer points of the case later at First Coffee. I was impressed when my first-year guide stopped mid-tour to check in with her learning teammate and reinforce the case’s central point. It was then I recognized that this was the right environment for me.”

If you were to substitute the Darden name and even the professor’s name with those of another school and professor, the paragraph would no longer work. Including the Darden-specific information regarding the day’s case, First Coffee, and learning teams ensures that these sentences have a sincere and personal feel and shows that the candidate truly understands what the school is about. This is necessary to craft a compelling personal statement that will catch the admissions committee’s attention.
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HEC Paris Enters the Top Five in The Economist’s MBA Ranking  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2019, 08:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: HEC Paris Enters the Top Five in The Economist’s MBA Ranking
The Economist released its 2019 full-time MBA ranking last week with a familiar name in first place: the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Although the number-one program was unchanged from the 2018 ranking and many schools in the top ten—including Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—were the same, this year’s ranking also featured something notable: for the first time since 2015, a European school landed in the top five. HEC Paris, which was ranked 13th last year, was third this time—its highest position since The Economist started publishing its rankings. Another European institution, IESE Business School, came in tenth, down four spots from the previous year, while Italian powerhouse SDA Bocconi School of Management took a notable leap from last year’s 24th position, landing in 13th place this year.

Among the most notable U.S.-based risers in the top 20 were the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, which was in 11th place last year but seventh this time, and Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, which gained six places and was ranked 14th. Conversely, Columbia Business School was tenth in 2018 but 15th this year, and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia was ninth last year but 16th this time.
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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