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The mbaMission Blog

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

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New post 30 Nov 2019, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass Is 99% Empty
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/water-332107_1280.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/water-332107_1280-300x210.jpg[/img][/url]
“I was the first in my class to be promoted at McKinsey. I have a 710 GMAT score and completed Level 1 of the CFA exam, but I had a B- in calculus during my freshman year. Will that grade ruin my chances for admission?”

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

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

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

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

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

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New post 01 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Avoid Negativity and Multiple Famous Quotes in Your MBA Application Essays
Sincerity. Honesty. Candor. We encourage MBA candidates to incorporate these attributes into their applications, and when they do, successful essays tend to follow. But can an applicant go too far? The answer is “yes,” especially when candor turns to negativity. Sometimes, when MBA candidates believe they are just being candid, they are actually revealing themselves to be predisposed to pessimism. As a result, the admissions committee has difficulty identifying with their file. Such situations are unfortunate, but luckily, they are often also avoidable; an ostensibly “negative” idea can almost always be expressed in a positive and optimistic manner.

[b]Example[/b]

“In my current position, I am no longer learning and am afraid I will continue to stagnate without my MBA. I cannot achieve my objective of becoming a leader in the marketing department at my firm unless…”

Common sense would dictate that admissions committees probably do not get very excited about applicants who believe that they have stopped learning or that their career progress can be thwarted by basic obstacles.

[b]Revised Example[/b]

“As I look to the future, I recognize that with MBA training, I could dramatically increase my impact on my firm. With an eye toward a leadership position in our marketing department, I am…”

In this revised example, the candidate is expressing the exact same need for an MBA in positive terms and thereby comes across as a warmer and more engaging prospect, while still candidly stating a need for further education.

Before submitting your file, check for unnecessarily negative statements. Although we would never suggest that every line in your essays must be full of sunshine, you should certainly take steps to avoid portraying yourself as a pessimist.

Take care also to avoid relying on quotes in your essays. Sometimes, incorporating a famous quote (or perhaps a lesser-known quote by a well-known person) can add a little something special to the story you are trying to tell. If the quotation truly enhances your message in a significant way, it can serve as an effective tool, making your submission that much more compelling. Consider the following examples:

[b]Example 1[/b]

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s words are as true today as when he spoke them. The essence of a manager is…

[b]Example 2[/b]

As Peter F. Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” I have found the distinction between management and leadership especially important…

However, some candidates fall into the trap of using quotations as a kind of crutch, essentially relying on someone else’s clever or poignant wordsmanship in place of their own. Think of using a quotation as a way of enriching an already interesting narrative, rather than as an easy shortcut to a more impressive essay.

Before using a quote in your writing, ask yourself these three questions:

[list]
[*]Does the quote fit the essay’s main theme?[/*]
[*]Does the quote reflect who you are or what you believe?[/*]
[*]Does the quote truly enhance the essay?[/*]
[/list]
If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, incorporating it into your essay might be a good idea. But first make sure your story is sufficiently strong to stand on its own without the quote, and limit yourself to just one quotation per application—not per essay.
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December 2019 Event Roundup  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2019, 09:01
FROM mbaMission Blog: December 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:

  • December 3, 2019

    Writing A Standout Harvard Business School Essay (Online)

    Harvard Business School (HBS) receives more than 9,000 applications each year. An experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs learn how to ensure their essay will grab the attention of an overworked HBS admissions officer.
  • December 11, 2019 

    Assessing Your MBA Profile (Online)

    How will admissions officers weigh your MBA application? An experienced senior consultant will help prospective MBAs understand how admissions committees choose from thousands of strong candidates to fill a relatively small number of spots in their classes.
  • December 16, 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. 
To enroll in one of our free seminars, click the event title in the list above. We look forward to having you join us!

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Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Jonathan Knee from Columbia Business School (CBS).

Jonathan Knee is the Michael T. Fries Professor of Professional Practice of Media and Technology at CBS and the co-director of the school’s Media and Technology Program. Knee is also still active in the private sector as a senior advisor (formerly a senior managing director) at the advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners. He is perhaps best known among CBS students for his book The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, we are told, brings a unique perspective into the classroom by showing where entertainment and finance cross paths. In his latest book, Class Clowns: How the Smartest Investors Lost Billions in Education (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2017), Knee explores investors’ efforts in higher education. Students reported to mbaMission that his “Mergers and Acquisitions in Media” class is intense and that the course’s final presentation—made before a guest panel of practicing investors—feels like the real deal. One alumnus who took a class with Knee said the benefits of having an active advisor as a teacher were the business insight and guest speakers the professor brought into the classroom.

For more information about CBS and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Career Opportunities at the SMU Cox School of Business and the UMN Car  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2019, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Career Opportunities at the SMU Cox School of Business and the UMN Carlson School of Management
Corporate connections are a major selling point at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Cox School of Business. Located in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the school offers its MBA students access to a large network of corporate representatives and recruiters—from the 24 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the area to a global university alumni base in excess of 126,000. One highlight of the networking resources Cox provides is its Alumni Association, which offers the Cox alumni residing in more than 80 countries a chance to stay in touch. The Economist ranked Cox’s small, collaborative program 16th for “potential to network” in 2018. In addition, Entrepreneur magazine has ranked business-friendly Dallas second among U.S. cities for entrepreneurs.

With 17 Fortune 500 companies located nearby—including UnitedHealth Group, Target, and U.S. Bancorp—the University of Minnesota (UMN) Carlson School of Management also boasts a robust network of corporate ties and high-profile recruiting opportunities. In addition, Carlson prepares its students with a pronounced hands-on approach to building leadership, management, and problem-solving skills.

Among the school’s more distinctive offerings, Carlson’s four Enterprise programs expose students to the areas of brand, consulting, funds, and ventures. The Enterprise learning experience is rather unique insofar as it operates as a full professional services firm, serving multiple clients and allowing students to work through real-world business challenges with senior management at major companies. In the Brand Enterprise program, for example, Carlson students have developed key marketing strategies for such brands as Cargill, Boston Scientific, Target, 3M, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes. Students in the Consulting Enterprise program have offered services to such companies as Best Buy, Northwest Airlines Cargo, Medtronic CRM Division, and Polaris. With approximately $35M in managed assets, the Carlson Funds Enterprise program ranks among the three largest student-managed funds in the world. Finally, the Carlson Ventures Enterprise program puts aspiring entrepreneurs in contact with experts, professionals, and investors.
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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The Dos and Don’ts of GMAT CATs, Part 2  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2019, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Dos and Don’ts of GMAT CATs, Part 2
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

What are the Dos and Don’ts to get the most out of your CATs? If you have not yet read the earlier installment of this series here, go take a look!

Most of the time, DON’T take a CAT more than once every three weeks

There are two broad modes of study: the “trying to improve” phase and the “final review” phase. Most of our study is the first phase; the final review phase kicks in for just the last couple of weeks.

During the “trying to improve” phase, taking a CAT more frequently than about every three weeks is a complete waste of time. Really! The whole point of taking the practice CAT is to figure out what needs to get better. Then, go get better! Until you have made substantial progress toward whatever issues were uncovered, taking another practice CAT is just going to tell you that you still have those same issues.

That even applies when you are trying to improve timing or stamina issues; you have other ways of addressing these issues besides taking a CAT. If quant timing is a struggle, GMAT Focus is a great “intermediate” resource from the real test makers. You can also set up longer sets of questions for yourself (in the 15- to 20-question range)—your practice sets do not have to be 37 or 41 questions for you to learn to handle the timing better. (Read this article on time management for more.)

You can practice building stamina every time you study. Figure out everything that you are going to do for the next hour or two hours. (I try to set up what I think will be three hours’ worth of work, just in case I finish faster than I think; if I do not finish, I save the rest for the next day.) Then, go for one hour without stopping—no email, no smart phone, no food, nothing. If you want to do a second hour, take a 15-minute break and go again for a second hour without stopping.

After that second hour, do take a substantial break (at least one hour, but ideally two) before you study any more that day. Making new memories is more mentally fatiguing than recalling memories (you only need to recall memories during a CAT), so do not do this exercise for more than about two hours in a row or your study will suffer.

Once you hit the “final review” phase, you can take a CAT once a week for the last couple of weeks; at this point, your goal is to solidify everything and develop your game plan.
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 Should Worry Because My Coworker Is   [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Worry Because My Coworker Is Also Applying
You look around your office and think to yourself: “I wish my coworker were not applying to the same school as I am. They can’t take two people who sit at the same desk. Also, his GPA is 0.15 higher!” On the surface, this reasoning may seem logical, and it can thus cause anxiety for some candidates—especially for those who are in positions for which an MBA is virtually a “must have” to move forward, such as in consulting and banking.

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

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

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application
Present Both Responsibilities and Results

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

2017–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

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

2017–Present Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio

Brand Manager

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

Demonstrate Nonquantifiable Results

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

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

Keep It Concise

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

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

138 West 25th Street

7th Floor

New York, NY 10024

646-485-8844

jeremy@mbamission.com

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

And, while we are discussing the document’s length, resist the urge to shrink your font or margins to make your resume fit on one page. Your font should be no smaller than 10-point type, and your margins should be no smaller than 1″ on either side and 0.75″ at the top and bottom. Rather than trying to squeeze too much information onto the page, commit yourself to showcasing only your most important accomplishments that tell your story best.
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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Gain Early Entry to Harvard Business School with the 2+2 Program  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Gain Early Entry to Harvard Business School with the 2+2 Program
Deferred admissions MBA programs have grown increasingly popular in the last several years, and schools are responding to the interest. In fact, just within the last 12 months, such schools as the MIT Sloan School of Management and Columbia Business School have launched programs allowing admitted applicants to delay their enrollment in order to gain work experience first. Applying to a deferred admissions program is often viewed as a “safe” and risk-free option for undergraduates who feel certain that an MBA is the right path for them.

Harvard Business School (HBS) launched the 2+2 Program, one of the first of its kind, in 2008 with 106 students in the first admitted class. Class sizes within the program have remained similar since, with 115 students in the most recent admitted class, but applicant interest has grown notably: the program received 630 applications in the year of its launch and 1,403 in 2019.

The 2+2 Program consists of, as the name suggests, a period of at least two (and up to four) years after acceptance when the student is expected to gain work experience, in addition to two years spent in the HBS full-time MBA program. Students in their last year of a bachelor’s, joint bachelor/master’s, or master’s program—as long as the applicant moved straight from the undergraduate program to the master’s and did not gain work experience in between—are eligible to apply.

The 2+2 Program application is largely the same as for the full-time program, although HBS notes on its site that slight preference is given to applicants whose paths do not typically lead to business school, such as those “planning to work in an operating company,” those “from a lower socio-economic background,” and those entering “a technically demanding role” or “pursuing entrepreneurship.” Within the class admitted in 2019, 57% were STEM undergraduate majors, 24% majored in economics/business, and 19% majored in humanities/social sciences.

Find out more about the 2+2 Program and other deferred admissions MBA programs, including those offered by such schools as the Yale School of Management, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in our free HBS 2+2 and Deferred Admissions Primer.
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Yale SOM and Emory Goizueta Receive Their Largest Donations to Date  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2019, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Yale SOM and Emory Goizueta Receive Their Largest Donations to Date
New developments are on the horizon at the Yale School of Management (SOM) and the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, after the schools recently received their largest respective donations to date.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, established by and named after the philanthropist couple, gifted Yale SOM with $100M to fund The Broad Center at the school. The Broad Center will offer a tuition-free master’s degree intended for education leaders in the early stages of their career, in addition to a tuition-free leadership training program and a research project focusing on public education leadership data. Founded in 1999, The Broad Foundation concentrates on public education, science, and the arts.

“Those outside our community may be surprised to see a business school dedicate a major program to public education, but this is exactly the type of issue our school has always cared about—one where leadership informed by systemic thinking, rigorous analysis, and compassion can make a real difference for communities,” Yale SOM Dean Kerwin K. Charles stated in the announcement of the donation. “We share this core vision with The Broad Foundation, and I am excited to see how the strengths of this school and the strengths of The Broad Center can combine to help us realize it,” Charles said.

Meanwhile, Goizueta Business School received a gift from a foundation with quite a familiar name: the Goizueta Foundation, established by the late former Coca-Cola CEO, Roberto C. Goizueta. The $30M donation will be used to create the Roberto C. Goizueta Global Classroom, the Roberto C. Goizueta Institute for Business and Society, and the Roberto C. Goizueta Innovation Center. Further, the gift will be allotted to the development of such learning tools as “pop-up” hologram campuses and experiential learning virtual reality simulations, and for the expansion of social responsibility programs and entrepreneurship programs at the school.

“Leveraging the support of The Goizueta Foundation and the strengths of the Goizueta Business School is the formula that allows philanthropy to be a catalyst for meaningful change,” said Joshua R. Newton, Emory’s senior vice president of advancement and alumni engagement, in the news release regarding the donation. “This gift will propel business education far beyond today’s classroom to redefine what it means for students in years to come and the ever-changing communities they will impact,” Newton added.
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Dean Profiles: David Schmittlein, MIT Sloan School of Management  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Dean Profiles: David Schmittlein, MIT Sloan School of Management
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Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership often reflect an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Today, we focus on David Schmittlein from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

David Schmittlein first came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007 after almost 30 years at Wharton, where he served as the Ira A. Lipman Professor in the school’s marketing faculty. He is the first Sloan dean to be hired from outside the ranks of MIT’s faculty and staff, thus bringing with him a wealth of new ideas and energy. Upon joining MIT, Dean Schmittlein announced his top priorities in a press release: “to enhance MIT Sloan’s visibility and engagement with leaders of the business community, regionally and globally, especially among the school’s alumni. MIT Sloan should be a wonderful focal point for the professional lives and development of Sloan alumni and others in the broader MIT community who are engaged in business and innovation.”

In addition to enhanced global visibility, a significant focus of Schmittlein’s deanship thus far, according to the school’s website, has been “to work with the faculty in creating new high-quality management education programs, to develop enhanced educational opportunities for current students, and to develop and disseminate business knowledge that has impact and that will stand the test of time.” In an interview with mbaMission, Assistant Dean of Admissions Rod Garcia remarked that one noticeable change since Schmittlein entered the position is that “the dean has placed a huge emphasis on concept-based action learning. We have our Entrepreneurship Lab, our [Sustainable Business] Lab, our China Lab, our India Lab … among others. The movement toward these labs has accelerated during the dean’s tenure as he has engaged with our alumni around the world.”

For more information about MIT Sloan and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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The Dos and Don’ts of GMAT CATs, Part 3  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Dos and Don’ts of GMAT CATs, Part 3
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

What are the Dos and Don’ts to get the most out of your CATs? If you have not yet read the earlier installments of this series here and here, go take a look!

DON’T take a practice CAT within five days of the real test

Would you run a practice marathon a few days before a real marathon? Of course not! You risk tiring yourself out or (mentally) injuring yourself (by reducing your confidence) just before the real test.

If your score is not where you want it to be, postpone the test; you are not going to change it substantially by taking a practice CAT at the last minute (or doing anything else).

DON’T go months without taking a CAT

When someone does this, the impetus is usually anxiety. You feel nervous that you will not get the results that you want, so you avoid getting any results at all. Alternatively, maybe you plan to study everything and then when you take the test, you are confident that you will get the score you want… but practicing without any CAT data is going to cause you to build bad habits (such as spending too much time on a question) and fail to build good ones (such as learning how and when to cut yourself off and guess).

If your last CAT was so long ago that you are no longer sure what your strengths and weaknesses are under testing conditions, it is time to take another CAT.



Takeaways


In short, do take a CAT pretty early on in your study process. Then analyze the results and use that analysis to inform your study plan. When you have addressed a substantial proportion of the major issues identified via that analysis, take another CAT. Most of the time, you should be able to find at least two to three weeks’ worth of issues to address after every CAT.

Once you have your score where you want it to be, start your final review. During this phase (which typically lasts a couple of weeks), plan to take one CAT two weeks before and another CAT one week before your real test date. Read the article “The Last 14 Days: Building Your Game Plan” to learn what to do with this data.

Good luck and happy studying!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Reapplicants Should Not Reapply  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Reapplicants Should Not Reapply
You applied to business schools once and did not get in. It took a lot of effort and caused a lot of heartache. Now what do you do? You cannot apply to those schools again, can you? What would be the point? They already rejected you once, so they will definitely do the same thing next time, right? Not quite so.

Remember, MBA admissions committees are governed by self-interest. Simply put, the schools want the best candidates out there. If you are among the best candidates, why would any admissions director think, “Well, this is an outstanding candidate who can add something special to our school and has unique potential going forward, but he applied last year, so we’ll just forget about him.” Indeed, the reapplication process is not a practical joke or a disingenuous olive branch to those permanently on the outside. If the schools were not willing to admit reapplicants, they would not waste time and resources reviewing their applications.

Although many candidates fret about being reapplicants, some admissions officers actually see a reapplication as a positive—a new opportunity. Soojin Kwon, the managing director of full-time MBA admissions and student experience at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, told mbaMission, “They are certainly not ‘damaged goods.’ We have had many successful reapplicants join our program after they’ve spent a year strengthening their candidacies.”

Meanwhile, the Yale School of Management’s assistant dean and director of admissions, Bruce DelMonico, noted, “I can certainly bust [that] myth. Our admit rate for reapplicants is actually the same as it is for first-time applicants. It’s important, though, for reapplicants to explain to us how their candidacy has improved from the previous time they applied. Reapplicants need to make sure they enhance their application, rather than just resubmitting the same application.”

In short, reapplicants, you have no reason to believe that you only have one chance. Like any competitive MBA applicant, continue to strive and achieve; if things do not work out this time, they just might the next time.
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Get an Early Start on Your Resume and Personal Goals  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Get an Early Start on Your Resume and Personal Goals
Not applying to any schools this admissions season? Only looking at Round 3? No problem, but keep in mind that you still have your work cut out for you. We at mbaMission try to encourage business school candidates to get as much “noise” out of the way as possible before they begin working on their official application(s) and essays, even several months in advance. We want applicants to have the freedom to reflect on their experiences, formally and thoroughly brainstorm, choose ideas, prepare outlines, and then focus on crafting powerful essays. Essentially, we want them to be unfettered as they engage in what is, for many, one of the most significant creative challenges they will ever face.

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

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

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

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

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

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New post 17 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Read Our Ten Favorite mbaMission Career-Related Blog Posts!
In this blog series, our mbaMission [url=https://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team]Career Coaches[/url] offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/?display=career-coaching]click here[/url].

As the year (and the decade!) comes to an end, we at mbaMission encourage you to take the opportunity to reflect and set some new professional goals for yourself. Whether your 2020 career goals are to clarify your career interests, secure a new job, or advance your career, our blog posts provide overarching advice and key action steps.

Below are our ten favorite mbaMission career blog posts from the past five years:

10. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2019/05/15/position-yourself-for-success-at-work/][b]Position Yourself for Success at Work:[/b][/url] Getting ahead at work requires more than just excelling at the duties of your job. Learn the key questions to ask yourself in order to assess the likelihood of career progression.

9. [b][/b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2014/12/02/mba-career-advice-interviews-are-not-a-test/][b]Interviews Are Not a Test:[/b][/url] Your mind-set impacts your success! Read more about how to create (or reframe) your mind-set to excel in interviews.

8. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2015/12/08/mba-career-advice-three-tests-for-your-resume-weak-to-wow/][b]Three Tests for Your Resume: Weak to Wow!:[/b][/url] Your resume has the potential to make a lasting impression. Follow our simple principles to craft bullet points that stand out on your resume. 

7. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2016/12/14/mba-career-news-answering-the-dreaded-failure-question/][b]Answering the Dreaded “Failure” Question:[/b][/url] Having a clear strategy and structure for answering tough interview questions increases your likelihood of impressing a hiring manager.

6. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2017/01/31/mba-career-news-defining-your-career-goals/][b]Defining Your Career Goals:[/b][/url] It is easy to become overwhelmed trying to answer the question “What should I do with my life?” Check out our step-by-step approach to gaining clarity on this important question. 

5. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2015/03/24/mba-career-advice-the-awesome-email-introduction/][b]The Awesome Email Introduction:[/b][/url] Build and maintain your network by making meaningful connections. Thoughtfully introducing people in your network benefits both parties and will eventually come back to benefit you as well!

4. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2015/05/19/mba-career-advice-awesome-informational-interviews/][b]Awesome Informational Interviews:[/b][/url] Your greatest tool for gaining advice about a new industry, ensuring your resume is read, preparing for an interview, and securing a new job is the informational (networking) meeting.

3. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2018/10/04/crafting-or-updating-your-pitch/][b]Crafting (or Updating) Your Pitch:[/b][/url] Any time you meet somebody new—whether in a personal or professional context—that person will create an impression of you. Ensure you are prepared to make it a positive one!

2. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2017/02/21/mba-career-news-strategies-for-keeping-on-track/][b]Strategies for Keeping on Track:[/b][/url] Many of you probably plan to make New Year’s resolutions—and some are likely career related. Read our tips for holding yourself accountable to them.

1. [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2014/09/23/mba-career-advice-assess-your-performance/][b]Assess Your Performance:[/b][/url] The beginning of a new year is the ideal time to establish good career management habits. Schedule time each week to reflect on your performance and identify ways you can continue to improve.

On the [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/]mbaMission blog[/url][/b], we share more advice on all these topics and more (including writing cover letters and building target lists of companies). Search our blog using the keywords “[b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/category/career-advice/]Career Advice[/url][/b]” or “[b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/category/news/mba-career-news/]Career News[/url][/b].” We invite you to let us know which are your favorite posts and to share blog topic suggestions for our 2020 career posts!

For more details and advice specific to your personal situation, schedule a [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]complimentary 30-minute career consultation[/url][/b] with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/?display=career-coaching]free 30-minute consultation[/url]!
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Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2019, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck
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The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has approximately 10,500 living alumni. Although that figure may sound small compared with a larger school’s alumni base, numerous students and graduates we have interviewed report that Tuck has an active and close-knit alumni community. Through their continued involvement with the school as mentors, visiting executives, recruiting contacts, and internship providers, Tuck alumni maintain an open channel between the MBA program and the business world. The Tuck students with whom we have spoken cannot say enough about the strength of student-alumni interactions, emphasizing that the vitality of Tuck’s close-knit community endures long after graduation.

One second-year student shared that he had had pretty high expectations with regard to the school’s alumni network “but still underestimated how strong the network can be.” He explained, “The connections were instant. I received same-day responses, all the time. There is a strong pay-it-forward mentality and a genuine interest in seeing people from Tuck do well. Alums go out of their way to help with networking, job preparation, anything.”

Tuck alumni also stay connected to the school through its annual fund-raising campaign. The school reportedly boasts the highest giving rate of all U.S. MBA programs. In 2017, for the 11th year in a row, more than two-thirds of the Tuck alumni pool donated to the school. In 2018, Tuck set a new record when it raised $51.3M from its alumni, and in 2019, donations reached $43.4M. In April 2018, the school launched a new capital campaign titled “The Tuck Difference: The Campaign for Tomorrow’s Wise Leaders.” The fundraiser is part of the larger university’s $3B campaign, for which Tuck has set an investment target of $250M.

Tuck takes pride in not only its active alumni pool, but also its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s Research-to-Practice Seminars complement these characteristics and allow incoming students to quickly get acquainted with the Tuck culture. An article on the school’s Tuck Today website explained that “International Entrepreneurship” was the first of several such seminars designed to give students insight into a real-world business issue. The seminars were conceived as a key component of the school’s strategic five-year plan, called “Tuck 2012.” The courses bring together a small group of second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-Practice Seminars that have been offered in the past include the following:

  • “Corporate Takeovers”
  • “Deconstructing Apple”
  • “Management of Investment Portfolios”
  • “Marketing Good and Evil: Consumer Moral Judgment and Well-Being”
  • “Strategy in Innovation Ecosystems”
  • “Time in the Consumer Mind”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Dartmouth Tuck or one of 16 other top business schools, please check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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Professor Profiles: Lourdes S. Casanova, Cornell Johnson  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Lourdes S. Casanova, Cornell Johnson
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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 Lourdes S. Casanovafrom the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Now a senior lecturer at Cornell Johnson, Lourdes S. Casanova joined the school in 2012 following a lengthy international career. Casanova taught at INSEAD in France for nearly 25 years and served as a visiting professor at such schools as ESADE, the University of Oxford, and the University of Zurich. At Johnson, she is also the director of the school’s Emerging Markets Institute.

Casanova teaches such courses as “Leaders in Emerging Markets,” which brings executives from companies in emerging markets to speak on campus, and “Experience in International Management,” which combines classroom sessions with international trips where students meet with local companies, government officials, and business school students. She has been chosen as one of the most influential Iberoamerican women by Esglobal three times, most recently in 2017.

For more information about Cornell Johnson and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business Scho  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business School
We at mbaMission often receive panicked phone calls from applicants in their late 20s, asking if they are too old to get into business school. Why do so many candidates have this concern?

Over the past decade or so, several top schools have declared their openness to younger candidates and have even been courting them. Harvard Business School has welcomed “direct admits” (those entering immediately after completing their undergraduate degrees) and started the 2+2 Program to encourage undergraduates to consider deferred acceptance. Chicago Booth followed suit and launched the Chicago Booth Scholars Program, which grants deferred admission to undergraduate seniors from all schools, in addition to various Early Career Candidate programs to attract candidates with one to three years of experience. Although the Stanford Graduate School of Business does not publish the average age of its students, it does state that its students have an average of approximately four years of work experience. So, if you are an “older” candidate at 27, 28, 29, or—dare we even write it?—30, should you even bother applying?

First of all, we must note that not all schools have jumped on the bandwagon with admitting younger candidates. Dartmouth Tuck, for example, states on its Admissions FAQ page that “in general,” it does not accept applicants with fewer than two years of work experience. The average work experience of students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is listed as four years—meaning that the school typically does not accept direct admits, although the school notes on its website that it does not have an official minimum work experience requirement. Michigan Ross requires that students complete their undergraduate degree before applying, meaning that seniors are ineligible.

However, if you are focused on a school that is open to younger candidates, you should still think logically about the situation: you cannot get any younger, so you can either self-select out of the application process or let the admissions committee read your application and make its own decision. Further, applicants should not confuse an openness to younger candidates with an aversion to older candidates. If you have something special to offer, you are still in the running—no secret cutoff is in play that would immediately eliminate you from the applicant pool.

As we have written before, business schools are governed by self-interest. They want the best candidates out there! If you are among the best, your age will not be an obstacle.
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Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Some Details May Not  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Why Personalized Recommendations Matter, but Some Details May Not
If your supervisor is writing your business school recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that they are putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, junior employees can only do so much to compel their supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first determine how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay. Each letter must be personalized, and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples.

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

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

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

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New post 24 Dec 2019, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Canada at the Rotman School of Management or Ivey Business School
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Rotman School of Management

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

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

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

In their second year, students are given the option to choose from among 16 different major areas, including Global Management, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Funds Management, while supplementing their focus with a broader array of more than 100 elective courses.

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Ivey Business School

Approximately 125 miles from Rotman, at the University of Western Ontario, stands Ivey Business School, which Bloomberg Businessweek ranked as the best Canadian MBA program in 2018. The Ivey MBA program runs over the course of one year and is, according to the school’s website, designed for “high-achieving leaders who are ready to accelerate their career success.”

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