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Professor Profiles: Gregory B. Fairchild, University of Virginia Darde  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2020, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gregory B. Fairchild, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Gregory B. Fairchild from the University of Virginia (UVA) Darden School of Business.

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

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

For more information about Darden and 16 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Harvard Business School Announces 2020–2021 Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2020, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Harvard Business School Announces 2020–2021 Deadlines
Recently, [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/application-dates.aspx]Harvard Business School (HBS) announced[/url] its 2020[b]–[/b]2021 deadlines (for the MBA class of 2023, matriculating fall 2021):

[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HBS-Deadlines-2020-2021.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HBS-Deadlines-2020-2021.png[/img][/url]
The school’s deadlines for 2+2 applicants remains:

[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HBS-22-Deadline-2020.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HBS-22-Deadline-2020.png[/img][/url]

For more information, please visit the following page: [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/application-dates.aspx]https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/application-dates.aspx[/url]

For a complete list of 2020–2021 business school deadlines, be sure to check our [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/resources/?display=deadlines]Application Deadlines[/url][/b] page. We will be updating our list as business schools release their deadlines in the coming months.

Stay tuned to the mbaMission blog for our analysis of the 2020–2021 HBS essay question, and be sure to download our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/harvard-business-school-insider-s-guide]Insider’s Guide to Harvard Business Schoo[/url][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/harvard-business-school-insider-s-guide]l[/url][/b]!
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Harvard Business School Essay Analysis, 2020–2021  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2020, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Harvard Business School Essay Analysis, 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HBS-logo.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HBS-logo-300x88.jpg[/img][/url]
Although Harvard Business School (HBS) has not made an official announcement about its 2020–2021 application essay question, the admissions committee has verbally shared that the program will be using the same prompt it has posed for the past few seasons. Candidates have incredible leeway (with respect to both topic and length) to share what they believe is most pressing for the school’s admissions committee to know about them, beyond what is captured in the other sections of the application. As we posited last year, HBS Managing Director of MBA Admissions Chad Losee must feel this approach and query do a good job of eliciting the kind of information he and his team find valuable in evaluating potential students. Our analysis of the prompt and advice on the best way to approach it likewise remain constant. (For even more targeted guidance on approaching and writing your HBS essay, download our free admissions guide, [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/what-matters-and-what-more-a-guide-to-the-stanford-gsb-and-hbs-personal-essays]“[b]What Matters?” and “What More?”: A Guide to the Stanford GSB and HBS Personal Essays[/b][/url].)

[b]“As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA Program?” (no word limit)[/b]

Take special note of the word “more” in this straightforward question. With it, the admissions committee is acknowledging that it already has a lot of information about you that it can and will use to get to know you better, including your resume, extracurricular activities, recommendations, short-answer question responses, academic transcripts, and GMAT/GRE score. You should therefore approach this essay by first thinking about what these portions of your application convey about who you are as an individual and candidate, so you can determine which parts of your profile still need presenting or could benefit from more detail. Now, some applicants may fret that this means they absolutely cannot mention anything that is included elsewhere in their application, for fear that this will annoy the admissions committee, leading to a rejection. However, HBS is not asking only for fresh information—it is asking for more, and specifically, whatever “more” you believe the committee needs to evaluate you thoroughly and fairly. So, even though a bullet on your resume may inform the school of a certain fact, if a profoundly important story lurks behind that fact that you feel effectively expresses a key part of your personality or skill set, you should not feel hesitant to share that story. That said, we are not advocating for you to explore your resume in depth, just trying to convey that “more” here does not mean strictly “thus far unmentioned.”

Before we discuss a few approaches you might take in framing this essay, we must note that your goal in writing it is sincerity. The admissions committee is not staffed by robots, seeking to detect a certain “type” of applicant. These are human beings who are trying to get to know you and really want to end up liking you! With this essay, you essentially want to forge a meaningful connection with a complete stranger, and if you try to present yourself as something or someone you are not, you will fail.

You, like many other applicants, may worry that your sincere stories will sound clichéd. For example, if you want to write about making a difference, you may wince simply thinking those words: “making a difference.” But the power of your story does not lie in the theme you choose (if you choose to write thematically, that is) but in the manner in which you reveal your actions. If you have truly made a significant difference in the lives of others and can own that angle by offering powerful anecdotes and demonstrating a deep emotional connection to others and profound purpose in your acts, you can write on this topic. Although more than a few candidates will undoubtedly submit clichéd pieces on making a difference, if you can capture your admissions reader’s attention fully and make a strong enough impression, the cliché aspect will disappear, and he or she will be impressed by your actions and character. 

So, what approach might you take to this essay? The prompt is so open-ended that we cannot possibly capture all possible options, but here are a few:

[list]
[*][b]Thematic approach:[/b] You could write about a characteristic or attribute that has woven its way throughout your life or that you have woven into your life. Do some self-exploration and see if you can identify a thread that is common to your greatest achievements, thereby illustrating its importance in bringing you to where you are today. Simply stating that theme is not enough—you need to really guide your reader through the illustrative events in your life to show how and why this theme manifests. In the end, your values are what need to come to the fore in this essay, rather than just a series of discrete episodes. (Note that highlighting your values is necessary with any approach you take to your HBS essay.)[/*]
[*][b]Inflection points:[/b] Maybe the key events and aspects of your life cannot be neatly captured or categorized within a neat and tidy theme. People are complex, meaning that many are not able to identify a singular “force” that unifies their life experience. If this is you, do not worry—instead, consider discussing a few inflection points that were instrumental in shaping the individual you are today. This does not mean writing a very linear biography or regurgitating your resume in detail. The admissions committee does not need or want such a summary and is instead interested in your ability to reflect on the catalysts in and challenges to your world view and the manifestations thereof. Likewise, you do not need to offer a family history or an overarching explanation of your existence. Simply start with the first significant incident that shaped who you are as an adult, and again, ensure that your essay ultimately reveals your values.[/*]
[*][b]Singular anecdote:[/b] Although this is rare, you may have had a single standout experience that could serve as a microcosm of who you are and what you stand for. If this experience or moment truly defines you and strikes at the essence of your being, you can discuss it and it alone. You do not need to worry that offering just one anecdote will make your essay seem “skimpy” or present you as one-dimensional, as long as the story has inherent strength and power. You will need to delve into the narrative and let the story tell itself; if you are choosing to write a singular anecdote, the story should be sufficiently compelling on its own, without a lot of explanation.[/*]
[/list]

You may have read through these three options and thought, “What about a fourth option, in which I discuss my goals and why HBS? Certainly they want to know about that!” The HBS admissions committee is a straight-shooting group—if the school wanted candidates to write about their goals and why HBS, or wanted them not to, the prompt would come right out and say so. The reality is that most people should not use this essay to discuss their career ambitions and interest in HBS, because doing so will not reveal that much “more” about them. For example, if you are a consultant who plans to return to consulting after graduation, we cannot imagine a scenario in which addressing your goals and why an HBS MBA is critical would constitute an effective use of this essay. However, if you are a medic at a bush hospital in Uganda and are applying to HBS with the goal of commercializing low-cost technologies to fight infectious diseases, this may well be a fitting topic for your essay, as you seek to connect the dots between your unusual (in a positive sense) career path and your aspirations. In short, for most candidates, we would suggest eschewing a “Why MBA? Why HBS?” approach, but in a few rare cases, it may be appropriate and compelling.

Finally, let us talk about word limits! HBS has not stipulated any particular parameters, but keep in mind that with each word, you are making a claim on someone else’s time—so you better make sure that what you have written is worth that additional time and effort. We expect that most of our clients will use between 850 and 1,000 words, with some using as few as 600 and a small minority using as many as 1,250. We have difficulty imagining a scenario in which an applicant would truly need more than 1,250, but we certainly know of candidates who were accepted with essays that exceeded that high target. In short, take the space you need to tell your story properly and showcase your personality and experience, and then work to reduce your essay to its lowest possible word count, without sacrificing any impact or effectiveness.

[b]Have the Last Word: The Post-Interview Reflection (conditional on being interviewed)[/b]

From the admissions committee: “Following the interview, candidates are required to submit a written reflection using our online application system. This must be submitted within 24 hours following the completion of the interview. Detailed instructions will be provided to those applicants who are invited to the interview process.”

For the fourth consecutive year, HBS ask candidates who are granted an interview to complete one more written task. Within 24 hours of interviewing, you must submit some final words of reflection, addressing the question “How well did we get to know you?” As with the application essay, this post-interview reflection is open-ended; you can structure it however you wish and write about whatever you want to tell the committee. HBS urges interviewed applicants not to approach this reflection as a formal essay but instead “as an email you might write to a colleague or supervisor after a meeting.”

Some candidates may find this additional submission intimidating, but we encourage you to view it as an opportunity to reveal new aspects of your profile to the admissions committee. Because your HBS interviewer will have read your entire application before your meeting, you will likely discuss information from your resume, essays, recommendations, etc., during your interview. This post-interview reflection, then, could provide an opening for you to integrate new and different elements of your profile, thereby adding depth to your candidacy. For example, if you could not find a way to include the story of a key life experience of yours into your essays, but your interviewer touches on a similar story or something connected with this experience in your meeting, you would now have license to share that anecdote.

As soon as your interview is over, jot down all the topics covered and stories you discussed. If you interview on campus, note also any observations about your time there. For example, sitting in on a class might have reminded you of a compelling past experience, or participating in the case method may have provided insight into an approach you could use in some way in the future. Maybe the people you met or a building you saw made a meaningful impression on you. Whatever these elements are, tie them to aspects of your background and profile while adding some new thoughts and information about yourself. This last part is key—simply describing your visit will not teach the admissions committee anything about you, and a flat statement like “I loved the case method” will not make you stand out. Similarly, offering a summary of everything the admissions committee already knows about you will not advance your candidacy and would constitute a lost opportunity to keep the committee learning about who you are.

HBS has offered some additional advice on the post-interview reflection that we strongly urge you to take seriously and follow:

[list]
[*]We will be much more generous in our reaction to typos and grammatical errors than we will be with pre-packaged responses. Emails that give any indication that they were produced BEFORE you had the interview will raise a flag for us.[/*]
[*]We do not expect you to solicit or receive any outside assistance with this exercise.[/*]
[/list]
As for how long this essay should be, HBS again does not offer a word limit. We have seen successful submissions ranging from 400 words to more than 1,000. We recommend aiming for approximately 500, but adjust as appropriate to thoroughly tell the admissions committee what you feel is important, while striving to be succinct.

For a thorough exploration of HBS’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the [b][url=http://shop.mbamission.com/products/harvard-business-school-2013-2014]mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Harvard Business School[/url][/b].

[b]The Next Step—Mastering Your HBS Interview: [/b]Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. Download your complimentary copy of the [b][url=http://shop.mbamission.com/products/interview-primer-harvard-business-school]Harvard Business School Interview Primer[/url][/b] today, and be sure to also check out our tailored [b][url=http://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hbs-mock-interview-and-post-interview-reflection-support]HBS Mock Interview and Post-Interview Reflection Support[/url][/b].
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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Upskilling: Invest in Online Coursework   [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Upskilling: Invest in Online Coursework 
This post was written by our resident Career Coach, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/]Elissa Harris[/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]click here[/url].

Lately, career professionals have written a lot of articles about using quarantine time to build your skills, and many people are doing just that. 

Where should you start? Although completing an internship is a great way to build skills and expose yourself to new ideas, you can also expand your knowledge through online courses. In fact, an April 2020 report from online education platform Udemy showed a 425% increase in enrollments by consumers and a 55% increase in course creation by instructors. 

Check out the low-cost or free opportunities available through the following online learning platforms:

[list]
[*][url=https://blog.coursera.org/coursera-together-free-online-learning-during-covid-19/]Coursera[/url][/*]
[*][url=https://www.classcentral.com/report/free-online-learning-coronavirus/]Class Central[/url][/*]
[*][url=https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/linkedin-learning-resources/free-linkedin-learning-resources-to-help-you-navigate-the-impact?trk=lilblog_04-01-20_6-mindfulness-resources-to-help-adapt_learning]LinkedIn Learning[/url][/*]
[*][url=https://www.udemy.com/courses/free/]Udemy[/url][/*]
[*][url=https://generalassemb.ly/blog/free-fridays/?ga_campaign=free-friday&ga_variation=butter-bar]General Assembly[/url] [/*]
[*][url=https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/]Google Analytics Academy[/url] [/*]
[*][url=https://www.aws.training/]AWS Training and Certification[/url][/*]
[/list]
Other platforms are offering certifications that may be even more relevant for your industry or function but may require more of a commitment of time and money. Additionally, many universities are offering access to their online courses—for example, [url=https://online.hbs.edu/]HBS Online[/url], [url=https://extension.berkeley.edu/]UC Berkeley Extension[/url], and [url=https://www.uclaextension.edu/]UCLA Extension[/url].

To find the right course or program for you, reflect on your goals and do your research, and then consider these criteria:

[list]
[*]Your objective: Why are you interested in enrolling? What do you want to learn? What skills do your target companies seek? Do you need a certificate of completion? Do you want to take one course or multiple courses? [/*]
[*]Industry or functional standards: Ask current and former colleagues, friends, mentors, and others for recommendations. Look at the LinkedIn profile of people in your target role to see what types of certificates and/or coursework they completed. [/*]
[*]Quality of content: What do the course reviews and ratings say? Who is the instructor, and what is their level of expertise? What are the learning outcomes? [/*]
[*]Logistics: Will you need to purchase any materials? What is the price of the course? What is the class size? What is the format of the course: asynchronistic or synchronistic? What is the duration of the class/required commitment (i.e., number of hours)? [/*]
[/list]
Finally, once you select and enroll in an online course, maximize your learning opportunity by approaching it in the following way:

[list]
[*]Treat it like a “real” course. Show up! Have the discipline and dedication to listen to classes and complete your homework. [/*]
[*]Hold yourself accountable. Set goals at the beginning of the semester, and check in with yourself weekly. Allot sufficient time to complete the required work. [/*]
[*]Create a regular study space, stay organized, and avoid distractions. [/*]
[*]Figure out how you learn best, and actively participate. [/*]
[*]When completed, add the course/certification to your resume and LinkedIn profile. [/*]
[/list]
 
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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University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Essay Analysis, 2020–2021  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2020, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Essay Analysis, 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/wharton-320x320.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/wharton-320x320-300x300.png[/img][/url]
In a recent admissions conference call, a representative from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania communicated that the program would not be changing its essay prompts for the upcoming application season.  So, even though the questions have not been officially published for 2020–2021, we are trusting the admissions representative’s word and posting our analysis (though if anything changes, we will revisit this post as needed, of course). Taken together, the school’s prompts essentially ask you to describe a kind of give-and-take with respect to your engagement with its MBA program. Question 1 asks what Wharton can do for you, and question 2 asks—via the story of a significant achievement or other experience—what you can do for Wharton. Your greatest assets in approaching both essays will be your knowledge of the school and the level of detail you infuse into your essays. Be knowledgeable, be authentic, and be thorough, and you should be well positioned to submit persuasive essays. Read on for more guidance on each question individually.

[b]Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)[/b]

In a mere 500 words, you must discuss your career goals—giving very brief context for why they are realistic for you—and illustrate how Wharton will help you pursue these goals by demonstrating a thorough understanding of what the school offers and a well-thought-out game plan for availing yourself of these offerings. To effectively do this and write a reasoned, nuanced essay, you must first familiarize yourself with Wharton’s various resources and pinpoint those that truly pertain to you and the direction in which you hope to head. Go the extra mile in learning about the school—connect with multiple students and alumni, attend admissions events in your area, and especially, visit the campus (if at all possible). This will provide the kind of in-depth insight that will show the admissions committee you are really serious about Wharton and are confident you belong there. Simply presenting a list of classes and clubs you think sound interesting will not suffice, and absolutely avoid vague statements about how great the school is. You must reveal clear connections between your aspirations, what you need to achieve them (e.g., skills, experience[s], connections, exposure), and what Wharton in particular can provide that will enable you to fill those gaps.

Note that Wharton asks you to address only the professional aspect—not the professional and personal aspect—of your business school goals. This allows you to share your career-related stories and ambitions more fully, which in turn means you can and should use the other essay(s) to discuss non-work aspects of your life and thereby provide a more complete and well-rounded picture of yourself for the admissions committee.

In many ways, this prompt is asking for a typical MBA personal statement. We therefore encourage you to download your free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b]. This complimentary guide offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these subjects, along with multiple illustrative examples. Be sure to [b][url=http://info.mbamission.com/MBA-Personal-Statement-Guide]claim your copy today[/url][/b].

[b]Essay 2: Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (400 words)[/b]

The phrase “not reflected elsewhere” will likely cause some applicants a bit of anxiety, but let us reassure you—you will not be ejected from the applicant pool for taking an experience represented in a single bullet point on your resume and exploring it here in essay form. Likewise, the school will not penalize you if one of your recommenders ends up writing about the same “impactful experience” you decide to showcase in this essay, because, most likely, you will not even know what they have written about! The key here is to focus on the “impactful experience or accomplishment” itself. As long as it is not described in depth in your resume or short answers, it should pass the “not reflected elsewhere” test.

We would recommend using only the first 200 or so words of this essay to describe your chosen experience, so that you will have sufficient leeway in which to then clearly reveal what you learned from it and how it has equipped you to contribute to the Wharton community in a meaningful way. Do your best in this limited space to “show,” or really spell out, how things unfolded—rather than just stating the accomplishment or flatly presenting the situation—to give the admissions reader some perspective on how you conduct yourself and achieve. You will then need to demonstrate both self-awareness and a thorough understanding of the Wharton MBA experience by outlining your takeaway(s) and drawing connections between what you learned and what you can subsequently bring the school as a member of its community. For example, a failed “side hustle” entrepreneurial project may have given you some valuable insights and skills you could now pass on to your classmates in a myriad of classes or clubs that revolve around entrepreneurship, or maybe it gave you an interesting new  perspective on commitment, determination, or countless other learnings. The specific knowledge you gained is not as important as conveying how you envision applying it as a student in the program.

To better familiarize yourself with the Wharton program and get an insider’s perspective on its academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, be sure to download a complimentary copy of the [b][url=http://shop.mbamission.com/products/wharton-school-of-the-university-of-pennsylvania-insider-s-guide]mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania[/url][/b].

[b]Additional Essay:  Required for all reapplicants. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)[/b]

[b]First-time applicants may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)[/b]

If you are a Wharton reapplicant, this essay is pretty straightforward. Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Wharton wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, and that you have seized opportunities during the previous year to do so, because a Wharton MBA is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

However, if you are not a Wharton reapplicant, pay special attention to the last line of this prompt: First-time applicants may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances.  Here is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GRE or GMAT score, or a gap in your work experience. If you feel you may need to submit an additional essay for such a reason, consider downloading your free copy of our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url][/b], in which we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (along with multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

[b]The Next Step—Mastering Your Wharton Interview: [/b]Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our [b][url=http://shop.mbamission.com/collections/interview-primers]free Interview Primers[/url][/b] to spur you along! Download your free copy of [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/interview-primer-the-wharton-school-of-the-university-of-pennsylvania]The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Interview Primer[/url][/b] today.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have a Recommendation from My S  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2020, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have a Recommendation from My Supervisor
MBA admissions committees often say they understand if an applicant does not have a recommendation from a supervisor, but do they really mean it? Even if they insist this is true, if every other applicant has a recommendation from a supervisor, not having one would put you at a disadvantage, right? Not necessarily!

We at mbaMission estimate that one of every five applicants has an issue with one of their current supervisors that prevents them from asking for a recommendation. Common issues include the following:

  • The applicant has had only a brief tenure with their current firm.
  • Disclosing one’s plans to attend business school could compromise potential promotions, bonuses, or salary increases.
  • The supervisor is “too busy” to help and either refuses the request or tells the applicant to write the recommendation for the supervisor, which the applicant is unprepared to do.
  • The supervisor does not believe in the MBA degree and would not be supportive of the applicant’s path.
  • The supervisor is a poor manager and refuses to assist junior staff.
  • The candidate is an entrepreneur or works in a family business and thus lacks a credibly objective supervisor.
We have explained before that admissions offices have no reason to disadvantage candidates who cannot ask their supervisors to be recommenders over those who have secured recommendations from supervisors. What incentive would they have to “disqualify” approximately 20% of applicants for reasons beyond those candidates’ control?

Therefore, if you cannot ask your supervisor for their assistance, do not worry about your situation, but seek to remedy it. Start by considering your alternatives—a mentor, past employer, supplier, client, legal counsel, representative from an industry association, or anyone else who knows your work particularly well. Then, once you have made your alternate selection, briefly explain the nature of your situation and your relationship with this recommender in your optional essay. As long as you explain your choice, the admissions committee will understand your situation.
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What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, ask for advice! So many resources are out there that it can be overwhelming, but most companies offer free advice (Manhattan Prep does here!), and you can also benefit from talking to fellow students.
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Ask CBS, Darden, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM Admissions Officers   [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Ask CBS, Darden, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Yale SOM Admissions Officers Your Application Questions on May 21!
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Are you applying to Columbia Business School (CBS), Darden School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, or Yale School of Management (SOM)? If so, you will not want to miss this chance to learn from the schools’ very own admissions officers! On Thursday, May 21, 2020, mbaMission’s founder/president, Jeremy Shinewald, will facilitate a webinar for the final installment of our five-part series: “Your Dream MBA.” From 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. EDT, Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, while admissions officers from these top business school institutions offer invaluable insight and advice.

Admissions officers for this panel include:

  • Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Columbia Business School
  • Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Yale School of Management
  • Dawna Clarke, Executive Director of Admissions at Darden School of Business
  • Dawna Levenson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg School of Management
We hope you will join us for this special series. Please reserve your spot by signing up here.
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Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Busine  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Margaret Neale from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

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

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

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

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal   [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2020, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Earn an MBA in Pennsylvania at the Tepper School of Business or Smeal College of Business
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Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business

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

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

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Penn State Smeal College of Business

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

Smeal’s curriculum also includes a required international experience component, the “Global Immersion,” which takes place in the second year. Students travel to such countries as Chile, India, and China to visit international organizations across various industries.
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How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy studying, and go start figuring out how to minimize those careless mistakes!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is a Flood  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2020, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist Is a Flood
Have you heard the following admissions myth?

When a school that has placed you on its waitlist says that it wants no more information from you, this is some kind of “test,” and you should supply additional materials anyway.

As we have discussed in the past, this is patently not true. Similarly, when programs tell their waitlisted candidates they are open to important additional communication, such applicants should not interpret this to mean constant communication. The difference is significant.

As is the case with any waitlist situation, before you do anything, carefully read the waitlist letter you received from the Admissions Office. Frequently, this will include a FAQ sheet or a hyperlink to one. If the school permits candidates to submit additional information but offers no guidance with respect to quantity, this does not mean that you should start flooding the committee with novel information and materials. If you have another potential recommender who can send a letter that highlights a new aspect of your profile, you can consider having them send one in, but you should not start a lobbying campaign with countless alumni and colleagues writing on your behalf.

Similarly, you could send the school an update email monthly, every six weeks, or even every two months—the key is not frequency or volume but materiality. If you have something important to tell the admissions committee that can help shape its perspective on your candidacy (e.g., a new project, a promotion, a new grade, an improved GMAT score, a campus visit), then you should share it. If you do not have such meaningful information to share, then a contrived letter with no real content will not help you. Just because you know others are sending letters, do not feel compelled to send empty correspondences for fear that your fellow candidates might be showing more interest. They just might be identifying themselves negatively via their waitlist approach.

Take a step back and imagine that you are on the admissions committee; you have one candidate who keeps you up to date with a few thoughtful correspondences and another who bombards you with empty updates, emails, and recommendations that do not offer anything substantive. Which candidate would you choose if a place opened up in your class? When you are on the waitlist, your goal is to remain in the good graces of the admissions committee. Remember, the committee members already deem you a strong enough candidate to take a place in their class, so be patient and prudent, as challenging as that may be.
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How to Build the Ideal Resume for Your MBA Application  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2020, 08:00
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 2020.
  • 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:
mbaMission

138 West 25th Street

7th Floor

New York, NY 10024

646-485-8844

info@mbamission.com

You just wasted five 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 ten-point type, and your margins should be no smaller than 1″ on either side and 0.75″ at the top and bottom. Rather than trying to squeeze too much information onto the page, commit yourself to showcasing only your most important accomplishments that tell your story best.
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mbaMission Admissions Director Panel: The Season Is Now Wide Open!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2020, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Admissions Director Panel: The Season Is Now Wide Open!
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Your-Dream-MBA-Webinar-Series-2020.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Your-Dream-MBA-Webinar-Series-2020-300x157.png[/img][/url]
On Thursday, May 21, mbaMission joined forces with [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/]Manhattan Prep[/url][/b] to host an online Q&A session with admissions directors from five leading business schools: Columbia Business School (CBS), the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, the Yale School of Management, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. During the discussion, each of the directors announced that [b]application deadlines and essay questions will remain virtually unchanged[/b] for the coming (2020–2021) admissions season. Yale, Darden, MIT, and Kellogg leadership explained that they are content with the essay prompts from the past year and anticipate no major changes, encouraging applicants to get started. However, the assistant dean of admissions at CBS stated that she expected her school’s essays to be similar but noted that she may change the school’s third essay, encouraging applicants to get started on the first two.

We recommend that you watch the full recording of the webinar below or on our [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igB17wELvKk]YouTube channel[/url][/b] to get the inside scoop on everything the admissions directors shared.



Although essays and deadlines dominated the early part of the session, the admissions officers inevitably discussed hot topics including [b]deferrals, fall 2020 matriculation, and the expectations for online GMAT GRE testing. [/b]Here are a few highlights and revelations:

[list]
[*]In response to the question, “What will the fall term look like?,” there was a consensus among the admissions directors that both [b]in-person and hybrid options[/b] will be offered in an effort to provide flexibility to those who will not be able to attend classes in person.[/*]
[*]Accepted candidates who may wish to defer their matriculation to the following year (2021–2022) were reminded that each institution will make [b]deferral decisions on a case-by-case basis[/b] and were encouraged to contact the Admissions Office for more information on the various options in place for them.[/*]
[*]A popular question from the event’s participants addressed the waiving of GMAT/GRE testing requirements during the current Round 3 Extended cycle and whether next year’s applicants can expect this waiver to remain in place. In short, the directors explained that though each institution will offer flexible options for test takers (such as taking the exam from home), there are [b]no definite plans to continue waiving the testing requirements, as test centers are expected to reopen with time[/b].[/*]
[/list]
Each and every one of our panelists sounded an optimistic tone, encouraging strong candidates to continue to apply. Our thanks go out to these experienced officers who led a very exciting and insightful discussion!

If you have any questions about your MBA candidacy in Round 3 or the upcoming application season, be sure to sign up for a [url=http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--Rve_dngeNaByfE7POTwu08ZPvXy_MIZxeUosQ_HMuLUtBb9ymJhPxFgudCZrcXbVdD1wW][b]free 30-minute consultation[/b][/url] to get personalized advice from one of mbaMission’s admissions experts!
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The Wharton School Announces 2020–2021 Deadlines and Essays  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2020, 07:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: The Wharton School Announces 2020–2021 Deadlines and Essays
Recently, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania announced its 20202021 deadlines (for the MBA class of 2023, matriculating fall 2021):

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While Wharton’s first required essay has not changed, the school’s second required essay has been updated:

Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

Essay 2: Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

Click here to view our analysis of Wharton’s 2020-2021 prompts.

For more information, please visit the following page: https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/mba-admissions/2020-2021-application-deadlines-essay-updates/

For a complete list of 2020–2021 business school deadlines, be sure to check our Application Deadlines page. We will be updating our list as business schools release their deadlines in the coming months.

How will you ensure that your essays will grab the attention of an overworked Wharton admissions officer? Join us on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, for Writing a Standout MBA Application Essay, a free webinar during which an mbaMission Senior Consultant will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute them, so that your experiences truly stand out!

Stay tuned to the mbaMission blog for our analysis of the 2020–2021 HBS essay question, and be sure to download our free Insider’s Guide to The Wharton School!
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Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2020, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker
This post was written by our resident Career Coach, [url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/elissa-harris/]Elissa Harris[/url]. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please [url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/career-coaching/]click here[/url].

We have all been reading a lot about how different the world looks now under COVID-19 restrictions—and while that is true, it is also important to recognize what is the same. The key principles of job searching remain the same even though you may need to expend more energy on the job search and apply these principles in a more creative way.

Below, we at mbaMission share our guidance on how to leverage four key qualities of a successful job seeker in any job market:

[b]Generosity[/b] (definition: the quality of being kind) In a job search, generosity means focusing on giving back to others, building genuine relationships, and expressing sincere appreciation for help.

[list]
[*]Take the call. When an alum from your undergraduate or graduate institution reaches out for advice or guidance, respond. Offer feedback on skills required to land a specific job, make introductions, and share the alum’s resume with a hiring manager. [/*]
[*]End every networking call with your appreciation. Ask a question like “Is there anything I can do to help you?” or extend an offer such as “If you think anyone in your network would benefit from my areas of expertise, please feel free to make an introduction.” Write a thank-you email after each call. [/*]
[*]Offer assistance on LinkedIn. Post your willingness to help, share open positions within your company (using the keywords “I’m hiring” or “We are hiring”), and/or join groups and answer questions posed to those groups.[/*]
[*]Keep your network updated. Thank your contacts for their introductions and connections. Let them know what actions you took based on their advice. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Resilience[/b] (definition: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness) In this economy, believing in yourself is more important than ever. You will likely get a lot of “no” answers before you get a “yes.” Show employers that you do not view hurdles as insurmountable; overcoming failures develops your adaptability, grit, and persistence.

[list]
[*]Learn from each interaction. Track feedback on what you can do better, and find ways to improve. Rejections do not mean you are not qualified or you will not find another opportunity of interest.[/*]
[*]Focus on your transferable skills and functional expertise, not just your industry knowledge. Consider a pivot that will help you secure a role in the short term but keeps you on your target career trajectory.[/*]
[*]Demonstrate comfort with ambiguity. Companies and hiring managers may not have answers to all your questions as they are adapting in real time to the changing environment. Hiring processes may be slow. Remember that even though this is your number-one priority, your hiring manager may have more pressing priorities. [/*]
[*]Give yourself time to be frustrated when an opportunity of interest does not come to fruition. Self-care is important; reenergize and celebrate mini-milestones. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Curiosity[/b] (definition: a strong desire to know or learn something) Learning does not stop when you graduate from school. Read about [b][url=https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/05/15/the-growth-mindset-spurring-a-more-skilled-engaged-and-innovative-workforce/#23e344be59ec]Carol Dweck’s perspective on the growth mindset[/url][/b] and its impact on work. 

[list]
[*]Develop and share your perspective on an industry of interest—including products, business models, innovations, and disruptions—and use it as a basis for networking conversations. Post it to your LinkedIn newsfeed. [/*]
[*]Be a scholar of business. Consider how different industries and senior leaders are adjusting to the changing market. Evaluate how leaders are communicating with their employees and consumers; read a recent letter from [b][url=https://news.airbnb.com/a-message-from-co-founder-and-ceo-brian-chesky/]Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky[/url][/b] or watch a video from [b][url=https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/marriotts-ceo-shared-a-video-with-his-team-its-a-powerful-lesson-in-leading-during-a-crisis.html]Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson[/url][/b]. [/*]
[*]Take online courses to build skills or learn the latest on specific topics of interest. Read our [url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/05/14/upskilling-invest-in-online-coursework/]blog post on upskilling[/url]. Follow target companies on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. [/*]
[*]Tap into your networks to ask for help. Brainstorm questions to ask in networking that solicit robust conversations and show the depth of your passion. [/*]
[/list]
[b]Preparation[/b] (definition: the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration) There are more candidates in the job market than in the recent past, so find ways to stand out. 

[list]
[*]Set realistic expectations. Have a Plan A and a Plan B (and even a Plan C). Craft a larger than usual target company list (~25 organizations). Double (or even triple) your efforts. Do not settle for one or two networking calls a week; aim to conduct three to five every week. [/*]
[*]Know your pitch. Clarify your value proposition for specific opportunities, and practice articulating your experiences. Find partners for mock interviews. [/*]
[*]Update your resume and optimize your LinkedIn profile. Ensure they align with your key messaging and include relevant keywords. [/*]
[/list]
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Columbia Business School and Stanford GSB Announce 2020–2021 Deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2020, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Columbia Business School and Stanford GSB Announce 2020–2021 Deadlines and Essay Questions
In an email to the school’s community, Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson announced Columbia Business School’s 20202021 deadlines (for the MBA class of 2023, matriculating fall 2021):

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The email also detailed Columbia’s application essay questions:

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 Words)

Essay #2: Why do you feel that Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 Words)

Essay #3: Tell us about your favorite book, movie or song and why it resonates with you. (250 Words)

Applying to CBS? Join us on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, for Writing a Standout CBS Essay, a free webinar during which an mbaMission Senior Consultant will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute them, so that your experiences truly stand out!

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) also announced their application deadlines for the 20202021 season:

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For a complete list of 2020–2021 business school deadlines, be sure to check our Application Deadlines page. We will be updating our list as business schools release their deadlines in the coming months.

Stay tuned to the mbaMission blog for our analyses of the 2020–2021 essay questions, and be sure to download our free Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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

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New post 30 May 2020, 21:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do If You Have Decided to Postpone the GMAT Exam for a Year
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

So how do you get that score?

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

Take a break

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

Set up a plan

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

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

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

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

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

Questions to ask yourself

I need more help

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

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New post 31 May 2020, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Why Worry? I Volunteered!
Some MBA applicants mistakenly view community service as simply a prerequisite for getting into a top program and sign up for volunteer opportunities without considering whether the organization or cause they are choosing is actually a reasonable fit for them. Community service is generally something positive to highlight in your application, given that it demonstrates altruism and frequently indicates leadership skills as well—attributes that may not be revealed in your work experience. However, it is not a panacea or a mere box to be checked. As you contemplate your involvements, be aware that “hours served” are not as important as the spirit of your participation and the extent of your impact.

We encourage all MBA candidates to carefully consider their community experiences in the same way they would examine and evaluate their professional or entrepreneurial opportunities. Although people can sometimes make mistakes in their career path, most gravitate toward areas where they can excel, justifiably to further their own interests. So, for example, if you do not enjoy one-on-one interactions, you likely would not consider a position in sales, because you could never thrive in such a position. In contrast, if working in sales were to bring out the best in you, you just might earn promotions, think of new sales techniques, train others, etc. Success stories develop as a by-product of performance.

This reasoning also applies to community service. For example, if you have always enjoyed a particularly close relationship with your grandmother and want to share this kind of positive experience with others, you might decide to volunteer at a retirement home, spending time with seniors. If you became quite passionate about your work there, you might then get others involved, expand the volunteer program at the home, take greater leadership in the program, and demonstrate your initiative and enthusiasm in other ways. However, if you are not that passionate about spending time with the elderly, but you happen to live near a retirement home, volunteering there just for convenience would probably be a mistake. In such a situation, you would lack the spirit of commitment/adventure necessary to ensure that you make an impact—and therefore have a story worth telling the admissions committees.

Whether you are already committed to an activity or are just considering becoming involved in one, carefully determine whether you have the mind-set and personal interest necessary to truly commit yourself to your chosen cause and make a difference. If putting in hours is the only commitment you can make, you will just be wasting your time.
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Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA App  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2020, 08:00
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.
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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