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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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International Opportunities at Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: International Opportunities at Wharton and Dartmouth Tuck
To think that the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania excels only in churning out investment bankers and management consultants would be a mistake. In fact, Wharton boasts a truly international program that was ranked #5 in this area in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report MBA specialty rankings.

International students constitute 30% of the school’s Class of 2021 and represent 64 countries, and 12.3% of the school’s 2019 graduates took jobs outside the United States. Students who wish to study international business at Wharton have no shortage of options for doing so, including the following:

  • Numerous students study at a partner school each year. One popular option is to leverage Wharton’s alliance with INSEAD by taking classes at one of that program’s campuses in Singapore or Fontainebleau, France. Alternatively, students can choose a semester-long international exchange at one of 20 partner schools in 17 different countries.
  • Students who wish to pursue a dual degree in business and international studies can combine a Wharton MBA with an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, a 24-month intensive program designed for those who seek to conduct high-level business in a country other than the United States. This program has been described by Bloomberg Businessweek as “arguably the single best global management experience anywhere.”
In contrast to Wharton, whose urban location in Philadelphia might seem ripe with international opportunities, the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth is located in the quaint town of Hanover, New Hampshire, which has a population of approximately 11,500 and is therefore considered a small college town. However, “Tuckies,” as the school’s students are known, have no shortage of access to global learning opportunities.

Students gain hands-on international experience through the “OnSite Global Consulting” (formerly “Tuck Global Consultancy”) course, which gives second years the chance to put their education into practice worldwide. Since 1997, students have consulted with 168 global organizations on more than 237 projects in 60 countries, according to the Tuck website. On-site consulting projects are led by small teams of students working under the supervision of Tuck professors with extensive consulting backgrounds. A large percentage of the second-year class participates in this elective, defining projects in the spring or early fall, then traveling to their assigned countries for three weeks to perform on-site research and analysis. At the end of the program, students present their findings to their clients. Past clients include such major corporations as Alcoa, British Telecom, DuPont, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, John Deere, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, and Walmart.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Wharton, Dartmouth Tuck, or one of 16 other top business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Professor Profiles: James E. Schrager, the University of Chicago Booth [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: James E. Schrager, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on James E. Schrager from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Although he has a PhD from the University of Chicago in organizational behavior and policy, James E. Schrager is not just an academic, but also a practitioner who helped take the first private American company public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and helped turn around aspects of the Pritzker family holdings, which were ultimately sold to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Students we interviewed noted that Schrager brings his high-level experiences to class but remains entirely in touch with students’ more modest perspectives, adapting his anecdotes accordingly and creating practical learning points that pertain to what students will face early in their post-MBA careers. Schrager is a three-time winner of the university’s Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching (in 2007, 2001, and 1996), and he received the Faculty Excellence Teaching Award in 2017. One second-year student told mbaMission, “He is not up in the sky, but very practical, and by the way, his class is always full.” Students’ grades in Schrager’s “New Venture Strategy” class are based in part on the success of a business idea the students present to their peers—the other students act as venture capitalists and give feedback on the idea.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Essay Analysis 20 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Essay Analysis 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/The-Ohio-State-University-Fisher-College-of-Business.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/The-Ohio-State-University-Fisher-College-of-Business-300x138.png[/img][/url]
The application essay questions for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University give candidates an opportunity to add some detail and depth to their profiles beyond the statistics and other basic data conveyed in the rest of their application. The school’s first required essay is a rather traditional career goals statement, and for the second essay, applicants must share a significant achievement from their past and explain how the experience has equipped them to be an additive member of the Fisher MBA community. If needed, a 250-word supplemental essay is also available for candidates with unusual or unclear elements in their profiles. All aspiring Fisher MBAs must complete a video interview soon after submitting their application, and although this is not technically an essay, we offer tips on preparing for it as well in our complete essay analysis, which follows.

[b]You will be required to complete two written essay responses. The essay questions give you the opportunity to present yourself more fully to our MBA Admissions Committee and to provide insight into your experiences, goals, and thought processes.[/b]

[b]ESSAY TOPIC 1: What are your short-term and long-term goals? How/why will an MBA help you achieve those goals? (Maximum words: 500)[/b]

The Fisher admissions committee is hardly breaking any new ground with this essay prompt. Like all MBA programs, Fisher is interested in hearing where you see yourself going after you graduate and how you believe a business degree will equip you to fulfill your vision. Because this essay question covers several of the main components of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b], in which we offer detailed advice on approaching these topics, along with multiple illustrative examples.

[b]ESSAY TOPIC 2: Please tell us about the accomplishment you are most proud of. How will this experience allow you to contribute a unique perspective to the Fisher community? (Maximum words: 400)[/b]

We imagine that at this point in your life, you have achieved a number of things both personal and professional that you could use as fodder for an application essay. However, your goal here is not simply to impress the admissions committee with the scale or impact of your accomplishment but to offer one that best fits the prompt. This means you will need to select one that was truly meaningful for you on a profound level and that also left with you with a belief, mind-set, or understanding that would make you a valuable member of the Fisher network. The school does not stipulate whether the achievement you discuss should be from your career or your personal life, so thoroughly consider all your possibilities to identify the one that is most appropriate for this submission. Although sharing a non-work-related accomplishment in this essay could serve as a nice complement to your discussion of your career goals in Essay 1, do not feel that this is strictly necessary. What is most important is that the story you present clearly conveys your values (why you feel most proud of this achievement in particular) and explains how your takeaways have molded you into the kind of person Fisher would want in its ranks.  

We would recommend using only the first 100–150 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 Fisher community in a substantial 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 Fisher MBA experience by outlining your takeaway(s) and drawing a connection between what you learned and what you can subsequently bring to the school as a member of its community. For example, you may have gained some useful insights you could share with your classmates in a related class or club, or maybe you now have an interesting viewpoint on commitment, determination, teamwork, or other such value. To effectively illustrate a connection between your takeaway from the experience and your expectation for applying it at Fisher, you will need to fully familiarize yourself with the program’s various resources and the characteristics of its community. Go the extra mile in learning about the school—connect with multiple students and alumni, read through recent school press releases and student blogs, peruse the [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnoUwaOD-rxstnHOc56d4sA]OSU Fisher YouTube channel[/url][/b], and, if offered, consider attending admissions events in your area (safely!). This will provide the kind of in-depth insight that will show the admissions committee you are really serious about Fisher and understand how and why you belong there.

[b]SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAY (OPTIONAL): This optional essay can be used to address any circumstances you’d like the Admissions Committee to be aware of (gaps in work history, academic performance, choice of recommenders, etc.). (Maximum words: 250)[/b]

This short essay is your opportunity—if you need it—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, of course, one of the issues Fisher lists in the prompt. If you feel you might need to submit an additional essay for such a reason, consider downloading a 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 annotated sample essays) to help mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

[b]Video Interview: Each applicant will be required to complete an online assessment comprised of pre-recorded video questions (delivered via Fisher’s Kira Talent platform). Since live interviews are by invitation only, the video interview is a way for us to virtually meet you and get a sense of your personality and potential beyond what you’ve included in your application. Shortly after submitting your application, you’ll receive an email invitation from Kira to complete your video interview.[/b]

[b]HOW IT WORKS: The process is simple—you will be asked a question, given prep time, and a set amount of time to respond. It should only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can be done on your own time. We recommend watching our “[url=https://info.fisher.osu.edu/graduate/kira-video-interview]7 Tips to Ace Your Kira Video Interview[/url]” webinar to understand how it works and to improve your application.[/b]

[b]WHAT YOU NEED: You will require an internet-connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal interview questions you only get one chance—this allows us to see your candid responses. Be yourself![/b]

We know that required videos often strike fear into the hearts of business school candidates, but let us reassure you a bit and unpack this component of the Fisher application process, in hopes of helping you relax and put your best self forward. First of all, keep in mind that these video questions are not meant to trip you up or entice you to do or say anything that would get you immediately disqualified from consideration. Video submissions most often are opportunities for the admissions committee to put a “face,” so to speak, on your written application and learn a little more about your personality, energy level, communication style, and other such intangibles. In an [b][url=https://blog.fisher.osu.edu/prepping-for-your-online-interview]admissions blog post[/url][/b] from the year the video element was first added, a Fisher representative states, “We really like to get to know all of our applicants but given the volume of applications we receive, it is not possible to meet or speak to everyone. This platform allows us to get to know you much better than anything else you’ll submit.” If you focus on being authentic and sincere, you will provide the admissions committee with exactly what it is seeking.

Before you begin preparing for this portion of the application, take time to watch the recommended webinar (a good rule of thumb is that whenever the admissions committee encourages you to do something in preparation for applying, do it!), which is brief, at just under six minutes, but full of helpful guidance. Fisher does not reveal exactly what candidates will be asked in the video segment, but in the school’s recommended video, a practice question appeared on the screen—“Imagine that you’ve been sent back in time to the year 1900. . . . How would you explain the internet to someone of that time period?” Just how reflective of the school’s actual questions this is we can only guess, though. In addition, the video shows (but does not overtly discuss) the option for a written response, so keep in mind that this might also be a possibility. Thankfully, Fisher’s Kira system is set up so that you can practice an unlimited number of times, so you will not have to go into this portion of the application cold. This is a valuable opportunity that we cannot encourage you enough to make the most of.

Fisher recommends using the STAR method when responding to its video questions to ensure that your answers include all the relevant information the admissions committee seeks, so be sure to do some research on what that technique entails, and make it a central part of your practice efforts. We suggest practicing in front of a mirror to exercise maintaining a natural expression as you speak and timing yourself to ensure your answers do not tend to run long. Although you can prepare as much as you want, you will have only one chance to record your response(s) when you do the official interview. If you stumble while answering or ultimately are unhappy with your answer, unfortunately, you will not be able to rerecord anything or try again another time. This may make you nervous, but we encourage you to view the situation a little differently. As we have noted, Fisher wants to get to know the real you through these video essays. If you fumble for words or lose your train of thought, just laugh or shrug and continue with your response. Accepting a mistake with a sense of humor and grace will give the admissions committee a more positive and natural impression of your personality than rigid scripting and overpreparation ever could.

For additional sample questions—albeit more traditional ones than the example in the school’s video—you can use to practice, consider downloading a free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-interview-guide]mbaMission Interview Guide[/url][/b], in which we present a list of 100 common interview queries.
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USC Marshall Essay Analysis, 2020–2021 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: USC Marshall Essay Analysis, 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/USC-Marshall.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/USC-Marshall-300x154.jpg[/img][/url]
Last year, the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business took a very traditional approach to its application essay questions (after a short foray into more creative territory), and the tactic must have delivered, because the admissions committee has made no changes to the prompts at all for 2020–2021. For the first required essay, applicants must detail their immediate short-term career goal—without much elaboration, given the 100-word limit. For the second required essay, which can be as long as 600 words, candidates are asked to write a letter to the Marshall admissions committee, though no specific requests are made beyond that, leaving applicants significant latitude. An optional essay gives candidates who feel they have an issue to explain or a particularly significant story to share the opportunity to do so, albeit succinctly. Our analysis of all USC Marshall’s essay questions for this year follows.

[b]Essay #1 (Required): What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)[/b]

Quite simply, Marshall wants to know that you have a specific intention in mind and are not just applying to business school with the expectation of figuring everything out later, once you are enrolled in the program. Many MBA applicants have a long-term vision for their career, of course, but with this prompt, Marshall is asking you to prove you have really given thought to the necessary steps in between. Your goal in this short essay is therefore to demonstrate that you do indeed have a plan, not just broad ambition. The school’s other key concern is whether its MBA program is truly the right one to help you attain your stated goal and that you have done the necessary research to discover and confirm this for yourself. Marshall has very little impetus to admit you—and you have very little to attend it—if you will not ultimately be equipped or positioned to pursue your intended goal once you graduate! For example, if you aspire to work in a field or position for which Marshall is not known to have particularly strong courses, professors, or other offerings, or if you want to work for a company that has no recruiting history with the program, it might not be the best choice to get you where you want to go right away.

At just 100 words maximum, your response needs to be fairly straightforward. Avoid any generalities and vagueness. Do your research to ensure that Marshall can indeed position you to attain what you intend, and simply spell things out. Given that this essay involves at least one key element of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b], which provides advice on effectively addressing this topic in an essay.

[b]Essay #2 (Required) – Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee.” (word limit: 600)[/b]

[b]This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application. This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. Our goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes. [/b]

As the admissions committee itself admits in the prompt, this is essentially a request for a personal statement, which typically covers (1) why the candidate feels they need an MBA, (2) why the MBA is necessary now, and (3) why they wish to attend the specific school in question. So, at the risk of sounding repetitive, we will start by encouraging you—again—to download a complimentary copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b], which is available for free and includes detailed guidance on approaching and writing such essays, along with multiple illustrative examples.

Note the admissions committee’s acknowledgement that it already has a lot of information about you from the other parts of your application, including your resume, extracurricular activities, recommendations, short-answer question responses, academic transcripts, and GMAT/GRE score. You should therefore think first about what these elements convey about who you are as an individual and candidate, so you can determine which parts of your profile would best complement this information and the image it collectively presents of you. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot touch on anything mentioned elsewhere in your application but rather that you do not want to use up valuable word count repeating anything unnecessarily. Focus on supplementing the data the school already has. And despite the somewhat stuffy intro the school provides—“Dear Admissions Committee”—keep in mind that this is an opportunity for you to present yourself as a well-rounded, dynamic individual who would be a positive addition to the Marshall community, so do your best to infuse your essay with authenticity and personality, as well as information.

[b]Optional Essay: Please provide any additional information you would like the admissions committee to consider. (word limit: 250)[/b]

In general, we believe candidates should use a school’s optional essay to explain confusing or problematic issues in their candidacy, which this prompt does indeed allow. So, if you need to, use this opportunity to address any questions the admissions committee might have about your profile—a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. Consider downloading our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url][/b], in which we offer detailed advice (and multiple annotated examples) on how best to approach the optional essay to mitigate any problem areas in your application.

That said, Marshall clearly leaves the door open for you to discuss any other information about your candidacy that you feel may be pivotal or particularly compelling—that you think the admissions committee truly needs to know to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively (and that may not have found an appropriate place in your required essay). We caution you against submitting a response to this prompt just because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you, though. Remember that with each additional essay you write, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you must make sure that added time is warranted. If you decide to use this essay to impart information that you believe would render your application incomplete if omitted, strive to keep your submission brief and on point.
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Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again and Dealing with a Low AWA [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Common GMAT Concerns: Taking the Test Again and Dealing with a Low AWA Score
When candidates who have already taken the GMAT once ask us whether they should take the test again, we always reply with this key question: “Do you think you can do better?” If the individual does indeed believe that they can improve, the next question we inevitably get is “What do business schools think of multiple scores?”

Fortunately, most MBA admissions committees do not frown on candidates taking the GMAT more than once. Many applicants feel that they must be “perfect” the first time and that any subsequent test they take—particularly if they receive a lower score on it—might be damaging to their candidacy. This is not the case. Dartmouth Tuck, for one, anticipates that applicants will take the exam more than once and openly states its willingness to “consider your highest quantitative and highest verbal scores,” if they occur on separate tests. Meanwhile, other programs have been known to call candidates and tell them that if they can increase their GMAT scores, they will be offered admission.

Accepting a candidate’s highest GMAT scores is actually in an MBA program’s best interest, because doing so can help raise the school’s GMAT average, which is then reported to rankings bodies such as Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report and could positively affect the school’s position in these surveys. So, do not be afraid to take the test two or even three times. It can only help.

Now, if you took the GMAT and feel like you finally “nailed” the exam but later learn that your score on the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), the essay portion, is low, should you panic?

In short, the answer is no. Although we have always encouraged business school candidates to do the best they can on the AWA, the truth is that we have never been told by an admissions officer—nor, as far as we know, has a candidate ever been told in a feedback session—that the AWA score is a factor in a school’s decisions. Generally, the AWA is not used to evaluate candidates but to detect fraud.

If, hypothetically, you had tremendous difficulty expressing yourself via the AWA essays but wrote like a Pulitzer Prize winner in your application essays, the school would get suspicious and begin to compare the two. Not to worry—the schools are not punitive and are not acting as fraud squads. Your AWA essays are expected to be unpolished, so no one will seek out your file if you did your best in both areas. However, if an enormous discrepancy arises between the two, the AWA serves a purpose.

So, if you did well on the GMAT and have a low AWA score, that is unfortunate, but it will not be the difference in a school’s decision about your candidacy. Rest easy—as long as you truly did write both!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Already Have a Good Resume [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Already Have a Good Resume
Many MBA candidates do not properly rethink and revise their resumes for their business school applications. Because they already have a resume saved on their computer, they often dismiss this important element of their profile. We are here to warn you not to underestimate the value of this document—the admissions committees actually review applicants’ resumes rather carefully, because they serve as a road map of each candidate’s career.

As we have noted in the past, your resume is not the place to “stuff” all your life experiences. Somewhere between cramming your resume with information and ignoring it altogether lies the ideal: crafting a clear, easily scannable, action-/results-oriented resume that tells a story. This kind of document will capture the attention of an admissions officer who has reviewed hundreds of similar files.

One of the most common errors candidates make is leaving their resume in an industry-specific format, filled with jargon and acronyms recognizable only to an expert in their field. Remember, the admissions committee is not hiring you for a task, but is trying to understand your progress, your accomplishments, and even your character. Each bullet point in your resume needs to highlight achievement more than positional expertise.

As you prepare your resume to be included in your application, think about your audience and recognize that your resume can be a strategic tool to reinforce certain characteristics that are important to you—characteristics that may complement information provided in other parts of your application. For example, if you aspire to a career that is international in nature, you may place more emphasis on your international experience in your resume. Or, if you come from a field that is not known for its management orientation—you were a teacher who administered a school’s $50,000 student activities budget, for example—you may use your resume to emphasize disciplines that are important to an MBA admissions audience.

Some candidates are surprised to realize that one page can communicate so much and therefore deserves a significant level of attention, but investing some time in this short but crucial document is definitely worth the effort.
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Oxford University (Saïd Business School) Essay Analysis, 2020–2021 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Oxford University (Saïd Business School) Essay Analysis, 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SBS_School_logo_Blue_1181x261.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SBS_School_logo_Blue_1181x261-300x66.jpg[/img][/url]
The Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford takes a rather minimalist approach to application essays, asking its candidates to compose only one short (250-word), traditional written submission. And the prompt gives candidates the leeway to share whatever additional information they believe the school needs to fully evaluate them, so they are not restricted by any particular topic. However, Oxford also requires applicants to complete an online assessment involving several video questions and an on-the-spot mini essay. We imagine most candidates would much prefer writing a second essay over contending with videos and spontaneous queries, but Oxford’s applicants should embrace this opportunity to showcase themselves in a more dynamic way for the admissions committee. Read on for our guidance on approaching Oxford Saïd’s single essay question and online assessment, as well as its separate prompts for 1+1 MBA candidates and reapplicants.

[b]Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)[/b]

If you are not paying close attention as you read through Oxford Saïd’s application information (though of course, you are, right?), you might accidentally interpret this question as a standard optional essay prompt. The wording may understandably give some applicants this initial impression, given that it is almost verbatim what we have seen from other schools as an add-on essay invitation, but in this case, the essay is required, so this is not a mistake you want to make. Perhaps Saïd is hoping to check candidates’ attention to detail with this query? 

If you have a notable problem or issue in your candidacy, this might be the right place to address it, given that the school does not offer a typical, separate optional essay opportunity with which to do so. However, because this is an essay that all applicants must submit, you must provide some key additional information here for the school to use in deciding whether to include you in its next incoming class, even if your profile is free of questionable components. You will therefore need to determine what is most important for the admissions committee to know to evaluate you thoroughly and fairly, whether that is the story behind a seemingly unfavorable part of your application or whether it is one about a significant learning experience or impressive accomplishment (or something else altogether). As always, take time to consider everything the admissions committee will already be able to learn about you from the other parts of your application, from your statistics and resume to your recommenders’ contributions. The goal here is to round out that information in a positive way that pushes your candidacy forward in the direction of acceptance.

Even though this piece is not optional, we still recommend downloading a free copy of our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url][/b] to help you prepare. It might help you in determining whether or not you should write this essay on a problem area/issue (or perhaps which one, if your candidacy somehow includes multiple questionable elements), and if so, the advice and many examples within will direct you in how to do so most effectively.

[b]If you are applying under the 1+1 scheme you also need to submit the following essay:[/b]

[b]Explain why you see this as particularly beneficial for you and how it fits with your career and personal development aims. (Maximum 250 words)[/b]

For this essay, Saïd provides a very straightforward prompt. Oxford has created an innovative two-year program through which you can earn two master’s degrees simultaneously. But the school has a simple request first—explain why you want/need that non-MBA master’s degree. If you hope to participate in this program, you will need to help the school understand exactly why and how it will affect your career. With a mere 250 words in which to detail precisely how the 1+1 program will contribute to your management education and where you will apply that learning, you have no room to be vague. You must clearly demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between the dual-degree program and the achievement of your goals. Your underlying message needs to be readily comprehensible: “I will complete X degree, which will benefit me by manifesting in Y part of my career.”

[b]Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words) [/b]

Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or accepted some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement. Saïd 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 Saïd 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.

[b]Online assessment: You will need to complete five questions via our online assessment platform.[/b]

[b]To virtually meet you, get a sense of your personality and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your application:[/b]

[list]
[*][b]Two motivation-based questions – all candidates will answer the same questions[/b][/*]
[/list]
[list]
[*][b]Two competency-based questions – these will be randomised[/b][/*]
[/list]
[list]
[*][b]Written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted to show us how you can think on your feet![/b][/*]
[/list]
[b]The motivation-based questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an MBA and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you. The competency-based questions let you demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership, and strong communication skills. [/b]

[b]After starting an application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. This link will appear up to 24 hours after starting your application, therefore we strongly encourage you to leave yourself enough time to practice and complete the online assessment by the deadline in which you are applying.[/b]

[b]You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses. The whole online assessment should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection.[/b]

We know that required videos often strike fear into the hearts of business school candidates, but let us reassure you a bit about this component of the Oxford application process, so you can relax and put your best self forward. First of all, keep in mind that these kinds of video questions are not intended to trip you up or entice you to do or say anything that would get you immediately disqualified from consideration. Video submissions most often are opportunities for the admissions committee to put a “face,” so to speak, on your written application and learn a little more about your personality, energy level, communication style, and other such intangibles. In reference to the video component, the school’s [b][url=https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/oxford-mba/faqs#onlineassessment]admissions FAQs page[/url][/b] even states outright, “There are no right or wrong answers, and this isn’t a test. It’s just a way for us to get a glimpse into you and your personality and help to let you stand out as the unique candidate that you are!” If you focus on being authentic and sincere, you will provide the admissions committee with exactly what it is seeking. Thankfully, the Kira platform is set up so that you can practice an unlimited number of times, so you will not have to go into this portion of the application cold. This is a valuable opportunity that we cannot encourage you enough to make the most of.

To start, you will need to respond to two “motivation” questions, which will be the same for all applicants. Although the school does not present outright exactly what these questions will be, it does explain that it is interested in the “whys” behind your application and offers on its FAQs page the sample question “Why is an MBA the next step for you to further for your career?” We assume from the prompt that the other question would then naturally be some version of “Why do you want to earn your MBA from Oxford specifically?” (You might also want to be prepared to answer the query “Why is now the right time to get your MBA?” just in case.) You will be given one minute in which to prepare your answer and 90 seconds to record it. Because these topics are common elements of a traditional personal statement, we encourage you to download a free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b], which explains how best to prepare for and respond to questions related to these subjects and offers multiple illustrative examples.

You will also be required to answer two “competency” questions, which will be drawn from a group of options and will therefore vary for each candidate. Judging from the school’s proffered example—”Take a minute to tell us about a time where you’ve overcome a challenging situation, either professionally or personally. What was your approach to resolving the situation?”—these appear to be in the vein of typical interview questions. We recommend using the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method when responding to these questions to ensure that your answers include all the relevant information the admissions committee seeks. So be sure to do some research on what this technique entails, and make it a central part of your practice efforts. You will be given 45 seconds to prepare your answer to these questions and one minute in which to respond. For sample questions you can use to practice, consider downloading a free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-interview-guide]mbaMission Interview Guide[/url][/b], in which we present a list of 100 common interview queries.

We suggest practicing in front of a mirror to exercise maintaining a pleasant and natural expression as you speak and timing yourself to ensure your answers do not tend to run long. Although you can prepare as much as you want, you will have only one chance to record your response(s) when you do the official interview. If you stumble while answering or ultimately are unhappy with your answer, unfortunately, you will not be able to rerecord anything or try again another time. This may make you nervous, but we encourage you to view the situation a little differently. As we have noted, Oxford wants to get to know the real you through these video essays. If you fumble for words or lose your train of thought, just laugh or shrug and continue with your response. Accepting a mistake with a sense of humor and grace will give the admissions committee a more positive and natural impression of your personality than rigid scripting and overpreparation ever could.

The final portion of the online assessment involves a written response to a query the admissions FAQs page describes as “light-hearted,” offering as an example “Apples are more versatile than bananas. Discuss.” Because truly preparing in advance for such a casual and nonpersonal prompt is largely impossible, this is the question that will give the admissions committee the best impression of how you improvise and perform extemporaneously, as well as communicate clearly under pressure. Focus a little less on trying to write a serious treatise and more on being authentic to your personality and letting a bit of your creative side shine through—though be sure to stay on topic and actually provide an answer the question! You will be given five minutes to craft your response, which the FAQs page notes should allow you to write up to 500 words. If you want to practice for this part, ask a friend or family member to Google “silly questions,” or “funny” or “random” ones (a quick search brought up such examples as “Is cereal soup?” and “If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?”), and choose some for you. Then give yourself five minutes in which to formulate and type up a response to each. This will give you a feel for how much time five minutes really is, how much you can generally write in that period, and how well you are able to develop a mini essay that both provides a clear answer and is reflective of your personal style.

Business schools outside the United States are increasingly popular among MBA hopefuls, and we at mbaMission are proud to offer our latest publications: [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/international-program-guides][b]International Program Guides[/b][/url]. In these snapshots we discuss core curriculums, elective courses, locations, school facilities, rankings, and more. Click here to download your free copy of the [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/said-business-school-program-guide]Saïd Business School Program Guide[/url][/b].
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Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven Them [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven Them with the Active Voice
When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many MBA applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it appealing, we encourage you to consider another way of showcasing your more recent and therefore potentially stronger accomplishments first. By taking this approach instead, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

Consider these examples: (1) a software analyst who is now a project manager managing a budget and leading a team of 20 programmers and (2) an investment banking analyst now in their third year with a company who has been sent abroad to work directly with a CFO.

The Project Manager

Chronological: “Joining ABC Technology as a software programmer, I…”

Reverse: “Scrutinizing my plan one last time, I waited to present my team’s $3.7M proposal to our client…”

The Investment Banker

Chronological: “As an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank, I started…”

Reverse: “Arriving in Taipei, I was admittedly nervous to finally meet the CFO of XYZ Co. and lead my firm’s due diligence process…”

In these “reverse” examples, the candidates immediately present their standout accomplishments and thrust the reader into the excitement of their stories. Although this kind of introduction is not applicable in all cases, it can be a feasible option in many. Still, in choosing this approach, candidates must be able to fluidly return to earlier moments in their career later in the essay—a task that requires creativity and skill.

Another task that requires skill is determining when to use the active voice. Many writers use the passive voice in their essays, but the best writers know it should be used only sparingly, if ever.

The passive voice puts the verb in the “wrong” place in the sentence, thereby removing the “action.” Subjects become acted upon rather than performing actions. Sentences with the passive voice typically include verb phrases such as “was” or “has been” (e.g., “it was determined,” “the project has been completed”).

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

In this sentence, the verb (or action) is diminished because the writer says the marathon “was run.” A better way of describing the same activity is to use the active voice, as illustrated in this example:

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

Passive: “It was decided that I would be in charge of the project.”

Active: “My boss selected me to be in charge of the project.”

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.
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UNC Kenan-Flagler Essay Analysis, 2020–2021 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: UNC Kenan-Flagler Essay Analysis, 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/UNC-Kenan-Flager-Logo.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/UNC-Kenan-Flager-Logo-300x115.jpg[/img][/url]
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has made multiple tweaks to the wording of its application essay questions this year, but only the second question has been completely overhauled. Rather than giving candidates 250 words in which to respond and a choice of three different prompts, the admissions committee presents one required prompt that reflects on the concepts of “diversity, equity and inclusion” within the context of 2020’s tumult and the applicant’s personal leadership style. Although candidates are allowed a slightly longer 300-word limit for their answer, they will need to be judicious in how they use the allotted space, given that the school asks them to cover quite a lot of information. Kenan-Flagler’s first essay question remains the same (other than some wording adjustments) and requests common elements of application essays—career goals, why our school—plus a less common Plan B option. The program’s optional essay provides candidates with an outlet for explaining a problematic element of their profile or offering key clarifying information, and its re-applicant essay prompt again concerns relevant updates to the one’s candidacy. Our more in-depth analysis of the program’s 2020–2021 essay questions follows.

[b]Essay 1 is required. Your response should be no longer than 500 words and should address the following questions:[/b]

[list]
[*][b] What are your immediate career goals? [/b][/*]
[*][b] How will you benefit personally and professionally from earning an MBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler?[/b][/*]
[*][b] As the business world continues to evolve, circumstances can change and guide you in a different direction. Should your goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?[/b][/*]
[/list]
Kenan-Flagler’s career-related essay question focuses strictly on applicants’ initial post-MBA job. Business schools know only too well that students regularly change their long-term professional plans after being exposed through the MBA experience to new people, information, and options and after learning new skills and ways of looking at the world and themselves. Given that reality, asking about candidates’ long-term goals can in some ways be a waste of time, if an admissions committee is not simply doing so to see evidence that the applicant has put serious thought into their plan for attending business school. With the first part of this prompt, Kenan-Flagler wants to know that you have thoroughly considered this next step in your career and are pursuing an MBA for very clear, specific reasons—not because you feel you are supposed to or because you are following in a parent’s footsteps, and definitely not because you do not know what else to do at this juncture in your life! (Believe it or not, these are all actual reasons some people choose to earn the degree.) Kenan-Flagler, like all top programs, wants engaged, driven, and focused individuals who are ready to be an active part of its MBA experience and to do big things with the knowledge and skills they acquire from it. Although the school does not ask you to lay out your background and explain how you reached this choice, providing some basic context for your goal is a good idea (just be succinct!) to ensure the admissions committee understands that your plans are reasonable and fitting for you.

With the second part of the prompt, the school is essentially looking for an explanation of “Why Kenan-Flagler?” The admissions committee wants evidence that you have researched its MBA program thoroughly enough to have pinpointed resources and offerings that directly align with your interests and needs—and not just academically and professionally. This is the part of our essay analysis in which we once again repeat our advice about getting to know a school beyond its website and published materials. Although you likely cannot visit campus or sit in on a class right now, you can still connect with students and alumni, read recent press releases and student blogs, and peruse the [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/user/unckenanflagler]Kenan-Flagler YouTube[/url][/b] channel. Identify clubs, events, courses, initiatives, and other opportunities that speak to who you are as an individual and to who you want to be by the time you graduate and going forward in your career. Ideally, Kenan-Flagler offers one or more particular resources or experiences that you believe are vital to you in achieving your goals and are not available elsewhere. When you include this information in your essay, do not simply provide a list but explain how you will engage with these elements of the MBA program and what you expect to gain from them.

With career goals essays, candidates often feel they must be totally unequivocal in their stated aspirations, but with the third part of this essay prompt, Kenan-Flagler is inviting applicants to speculate on and discuss other options. The admissions committee knows that sometimes the best-laid plans do not play out as expected or may even yield unintended results, and the school wants to know not only that you are prepared to switch gears and recommit to a different path, if necessary, but also that you are fully capable of doing so. The key is to show that your alternate goal is just as connected to your skills, interests, and ambitions as your original plan and does not come “out of left field,” so to speak. For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that your short-term goal is to work in technology consulting while your alternate goal would be to work in human resources, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills and personalities. Just be mindful that both goals you present must be plausible and achievable.

This essay encompasses a few core elements of a traditional personal statement essay, so we encourage you to download our free [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/personal-statement-guide]mbaMission Personal Statement Guide[/url][/b] for more in-depth guidance. This complimentary publication offers detailed advice on approaching and framing these subjects, along with multiple illustrative examples.

[b]Essay 2 is required. Your response should be no longer than 300 words and should address the following question:[/b]

[b]2020 brought many defining experiences, including: a global pandemic, changes to learning and working environments, and calls for social justice and racial equity. At UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, these experiences propel us to strengthen efforts to increase the diversity in our community, to create a more equitable and inclusive learning environment and to teach our students to manage diversity, equity and inclusion. What have you learned about diversity, equity and inclusion in 2020? Please share your experience and what you learned about yourself as a leader. Tell us how you changed or would like to change your leadership style? If you were not leading a team, tell us what you learned at your level about diversity, equity and inclusion. How do you expect to continue that growth in the MBA program?[/b]

Without question, the calendar year thus far has been rife with opportunities for (and examples of) leadership of all kinds, at all levels, and in a staggering array of contexts. New rifts and dynamics have been revealed while others have been exacerbated or revived, and people have been called upon to make decisions in which ensuring fairness and appropriate inclusion has been incredibly challenging. Perhaps during this time, you yourself were called on to lead, proactively pursued a leadership position of some kind, or simply observed someone else’s leadership in a situation that involved such complications, and Kenan-Flagler wants to hear about this experience. Although the prompt does not specify that the leadership situation you discuss in your essay has to be from your workplace, this should likely be the first context you consider for your content, given that this is, after all, an essay for admittance to a business school. However, your most appropriate story for this submission might come instead from a community service experience or other organizational commitment separate from your career. The bottom line is that you should choose an example that allows you to best address the school’s core themes here of fairness and inclusivity.

To start, be sure that you understand the three highlighted concepts fully: diversity, equity, and inclusion. Of the three, equity is the most easily misinterpreted, with people often assuming it is interchangeable with equality. While equality implies same, equity implies fair—requiring not that everyone be provided for or treated identically but rather that each person be provided for or treated appropriately for their particular situation. Similarly, true inclusion goes beyond simply providing a seat at the table, so to speak, for everyone on a team and demands that each person be invited or at least allowed to contribute in a meaningful way and that those contributions be valued on par with those of other team members.

Like 2020 itself, probably, this essay prompt is asking a lot of you. You need to answer multiple (rather complex) questions and provide sufficient context in just 300 words—the core prompt itself is almost half that! You do not have room for subtlety or extended explanations, so choose your words carefully and be as straightforward and clear as possible. The admissions committee wants to know that you are capable of recognizing not only the benefits of being inclusive and equitable but also the harm caused by the unfair treatment or exclusion of certain individuals—and that what you experienced affected you in a way that subsequently influenced your beliefs about how a leader should act. Very likely, the situation’s outcome revealed what the person in power (whether you or someone else) should have done to bring about a more desired result, thereby igniting an interest in cultivating a particular leadership ability or quality.

Once you have identified an instance in which you either led a team or were an active participant and that involved one or more of the three highlighted themes, start by simply describing the experience, making sure that the associated theme(s) is (are) clear. The part of the query that then asks what you changed or hope to change about your leadership approach constitutes an invitation to demonstrate to the admissions committee your capacity for self-assessment and both your motivation and ability to identify areas for improvement. To fulfill the demands of the prompt, this highlighted aspect of your leadership style needs to relate to what you learned from the experience about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Then, explain how you anticipate (further) developing this element of your leadership approach while a student at Kenan-Flagler by connecting what you need to learn or practice with an aspect of or resource at the school that would be instrumental in helping you do so.

[b]The optional essay (for all applicants) provides an opportunity to share additional information not presented elsewhere in your application with the admissions committee. In 150 words or less, consider addressing any of the questions below:[/b]

[list]
[*][b]   If you have not completed coursework in the core business subjects (calculus, microeconomics, statistics, financial accounting), how will you prepare yourself?[/b][/*]
[*][b]   What conditions caused you to experience inconsistent academics, gaps in work, or low standardized test scores?[/b][/*]
[*][b]   How have you chosen your recommenders?[/b][/*]
[/list]
Although Kenan-Flagler begins this prompt by stating that the optional essay is “an opportunity to share additional information not presented elsewhere in your application,” it then goes on to narrow the scope quite a bit as far as the kind of additional information it is most interested in. You are not necessarily precluded from addressing a topic not listed by the school, but we would caution against doing so unless the information you feel you need to share is truly significant and essential for the admissions committee to evaluate you fairly and completely. Remember, with each additional essay you write, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you must make sure that added time is warranted. Whether you decide to submit an optional essay about one of the listed issues or to impart information that you feel would render your application incomplete if omitted, strive to keep your submission brief and on point.

Consider downloading a 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 how and when to use a school’s optional essay to mitigate problem areas in your application, along with multiple annotated examples.

[b]Re-Applicant Essay: If you are re-applying to the program, we appreciate your continued interest in UNC Kenan-Flagler. We require a complete application in addition to a brief essay (100 words or less) that describes how your application differs from your previous submission and that alerts us to new test scores, a recent promotion, or other areas that demonstrate how you have strengthened your candidacy. [/b]

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. Kenan-Flagler 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 an MBA from its program 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.
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Addressing Sustainability at UCLA Anderson and Thinking Social at NYU [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Addressing Sustainability at UCLA Anderson and Thinking Social at NYU Stern
Applicants to the UCLA Anderson School of Management may be well aware of the school’s strengths in media and real estate, but they might be surprised to learn that Anderson also offers a cutting-edge multidisciplinary program for students interested in environmental sustainability. The school’s Leaders in Sustainability (LiS) certificate program allows Anderson students to take courses at different graduate schools within the university network, thereby offering them opportunities to address issues of environmental sustainability in an interdisciplinary manner. Students must apply to the program, which typically has more than 190 participants from graduate programs across the university.

Students in the LiS program must take four classes, including the LiS core course and three sustainability-related elective courses—at least one of which must be taught outside the students’ primary graduate school. In total, the greater university offers more than 50 sustainability-related courses that Anderson students may choose from, ranging from “Business and Environment” to “Economic Analysis for Managers” to even “Marine Ecology” and “Oceanology.” In addition to completing the program’s required four courses, LiS students must complete a leadership project related to sustainability.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, New York University’s (NYU’s) Stern School of Business is perhaps not well known among the top MBA programs for sustainable enterprise or social entrepreneurship. However, the school in fact offers an array of resources for those interested in pursuing careers in such fields. The W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs serve as the hub of all entrepreneurial activities and events at the school, and in 2008, Stern introduced a Sustainable Business and Innovation (formerly Social Innovation and Impact) specialization, thereby formalizing an academic track for students with this career path in mind. Courses available within the specialization include “Driving Market Solutions for Clean Energy,” “Investing for Environmental and Social Impact,” and “Strategy: A Social Purpose.”

Attending or helping to plan the “Stern Struts” (formerly “Think Social, Drink Local”) marquee fundraiser is one of many options that socially conscious aspiring MBAs will find to fulfill their interests at Stern. The school’s Luxury & Retail Club hosts the event with help from corporate sponsors, which in the past have included Brooklyn Brewery and Crop Organic Vodka. The April 2018 event (the most recent we could find information on) took place at the 1 OAK NYC nightclub and featured an open bar and a “Style Icons” runway fashion show, in which Stern students modeled clothing from designers. The fashion show is a highlight of the evening and has raised more than $10K in past years.

Through the Stern Consulting Corps program, students can partner on consulting projects with New York City–based nonprofits. And for those who also have the entrepreneurial bug, Stern added a Social Venture Competition—in which participants compete for a $75K prize—to its traditional for-profit $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge.

In short, socially conscious Sternies have quite a bit to keep them busy!

For a thorough exploration of what UCLA Anderson, NYU Stern, and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Dealing with Long Underlines in GMAT Sentence Correction Questions [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Dealing with Long Underlines in GMAT Sentence Correction Questions
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.

Many of the more “standard” (and lower-level) Sentence Correction (SC) questions have easier-to-identify “splits,” or differences in the answer choices. For instance, answers A and B might use the word “have,” while C, D, and E use the word “has,” indicating a relatively easy-to-spot singular versus plural issue.

Sentences with longer underlines, however, are more likely to be testing such global issues as Structure, Meaning, Modifiers, and Parallelism. In these questions, large chunks of the sentence move around, the fundamental sentence structure changes, and so on. In one GMATPrep problem, for example, answer A includes the text “the brain growing in mice when placed” while answer B says “mice whose brains grow when they are placed.” This is not just a simple switch of a single word—something more complicated is happening. Take a look at this article for the full example.

To have a chance at answering these correctly, we may need to modify our standard approach to SC. In GMATPrep’s Lake Baikal problem, the entire sentence is underlined, and the answers seem to be changing completely around. Where do we even start? Click the link to try the problem and learn more about how to tackle these types of SCs. Here is another one discussing an organization called Project SETI.

When you are done with this, try this third one: FCC rates. Here, only about two-thirds of the sentence is underlined, but the sentence is unusually long.

When you are starting to feel more comfortable with those, I have an exercise for you. Pull up some long-underline Official Guide questions that you have previously completed. Cover up the original sentence and look only at the answers (in other words, if the entire sentence is not underlined, then you are going to do this exercise without actually reading the full sentence!).

Based on the differences that you see, try to articulate all of the issues that are being tested and eliminate as many answers as you can. (Note: You will not always be able to eliminate all four wrong answers; sometimes the non-underlined portion of the sentence contains some crucial information!) When you are done, look at the full thing and review the explanation to see how close you got and whether you missed anything.
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Professor Profiles: Gary B. Gorton, Yale School of Management [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gary B. Gorton, Yale School of Management

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 Gary B. Gorton from the Yale School of Management.

Gary B. Gorton has been the Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Management and Finance at the Yale School of Management (SOM) since 2008, before which he taught at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Gorton was formerly a director of the research program on banks and the economy for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and a senior economist at the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia, and his research focuses on such topics as the role of stock markets, banks, and bank regulation. His books Fighting Financial Crises: Learning from the Past (University of Chicago Press, USA, 2018; co-written with E. W. Tallman), Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming (Oxford University Press, USA, 2012), and Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007 (Oxford University Press, USA, 2010) offer in-depth analysis and discussion of the recent financial crisis. Gorton, who wrote his PhD dissertation on bank crises while studying at the University of Rochester in 1983, notes on his website, “When I wrote it, I never dreamed I would live through one.”

The “Capital Markets” course Gorton teaches likewise focuses on the 2007 financial crisis, particularly as it related to capital markets. In it, he uses a mixture of case studies and lectures that touch on current financial events, and he expects students to keep up with the latest developments on the finance scene by reading the business sections of the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

For more information about the Yale SOM and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Understanding the MBA Job Market: Fall 2020 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Understanding the MBA Job Market: Fall 2020
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].

With the start of job recruiting for full-time MBAs, many students are pondering questions such as the following:

[list]
[*]How competitive is the job market?[/*]
[*]Who is hiring? What types of opportunities are available right now?[/*]
[*]How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the job market? [/*]
[*]How can I position myself for success?[/*]
[/list]
While we know that recruiting will be conducted remotely, there are no simple answers to the above questions. Gain perspective on the depth of the job search challenges ahead of you by evaluating the following factors: 

[list]
[*][b]Career interests:[/b] What are your career goals? Are you making a big career change? Which organizations are you targeting? [/*]
[*][b]Experience:[/b] What functional and industry expertise do you have? What are your strongest skills?[/*]
[*][b]Job search knowledge:[/b] How well can you connect the dots between your experiences and your desired position? What is your network’s size, strength, and relevance? How comfortable are you with reaching out and building new relationships?[/*]
[*][b]School support:[/b] Does your MBA program have strong relationships with desired employers and its alumni? How is your MBA program generating new job opportunities for students? What type of career coaching support exists?[/*]
[*][b]Marketplace realities:[/b] What are the business trends in your target industry? What challenges are facing your target companies? What are your target companies’ recruiting processes? [/*]
[/list]
You can gather more on the state of the job market by talking with people currently employed in your target area, listening to lectures, and/or reading trade publications and business news. Recently, the Wall Street Journal published two articles on this topic that we think are worth reading: 

[list]
[*][b]“[url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/m-b-a-s-are-usually-swimming-in-job-offers-by-now-not-this-year-11598866200]M.B.A.s Are Usually Swimming in Job Offers by Now. Not This Year[/url][/b][b].”[/b] reports that many traditional MBA hirers are relying on their intern pools to fill their full-time needs or are taking a wait-and-see approach versus recruiting now to extend additional offers to second-year MBA students. The article further states, “A recent survey of more than 1,000 employers found that companies across an array of industries planned to hire nearly 60% fewer management positions this year, shrinking the number of landing spots for newly minted M.B.A.s along with other white-collar workers….”[/*]
[*][b]“[url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-rules-for-landing-a-job-in-the-covid-era-11599039000?st=iqnn6ro5oej97bq&reflink=article_copyURL_share]The New Rules for Landing a Job in the Covid Era[/url][/b][b]”[/b] argues that job search success will come from clear and realistic career goals and target firms, extensive networking, and comfort with a fully virtual recruitment process. Figure out how to bring the best version of yourself to the process. Kyle Ewing, Google’s director of talent and outreach programs, suggests, “There’s an opportunity to bring more of a human connection, even in a virtual environment.” [/*]
[/list]
As you dig deeper into answering the four questions at the beginning of this post, you should focus less on the competitiveness of the market and more on your ability to take advantage of the opportunities available to you. For additional advice on executing an effective job search during the pandemic, check out a few of our recent blog posts:

[list]
[*][b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/05/28/four-key-qualities-of-a-successful-job-seeker/]Four Key Qualities of a Successful Job Seeker[/url] [/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/06/20/setting-realistic-and-reasonable-career-goals/]Setting Realistic and Reasonable Career Goals[/url][/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/08/07/the-importance-of-self-assessment-in-the-covid-19-job-market/]The Importance of Self-Assessment in the COVID-19 Job Market[/url] [/b][/*]
[*][b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/08/26/storytelling-talking-about-yourself-to-potential-employers/]Storytelling: Talking About Yourself to Potential Employers[/url] [/b][/*]
[/list]
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Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Essay Analysis 2020–2021 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Essay Analysis 2020–2021
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Georgia-Tech-Scheller-College-of-Business.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Georgia-Tech-Scheller-College-of-Business-300x51.jpg[/img][/url]
Applicants to the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business (learn a little more about the program [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/2020/08/01/intimate-class-sizes-in-the-south-at-scheller-college-of-business-and-mays-business-school-4/]here[/url][/b]) must submit two required essays, the first of which constitutes, in many ways, a traditional personal statement. The second, shorter essay takes a more creative and personal spin, inviting candidates to present a list of facts about themselves that they would like to share with their future Sheller classmates. Interestingly, unlike the other MBA programs we feature in our essay analyses, Scheller measures essay length in characters rather than words, with the maximum of 4,000 characters (including spaces) for its first essay equaling roughly four to five paragraphs, and 1,000 for the second representing just one or two. The program also offers applicants the opportunity to write an optional essay about either a potential issue in their profile that they would like to explain or a facet of their candidacy they believe the admissions committee should be aware of to be able to evaluate them fully. Together, Scheller’s suite of application essays appears to give candidates room to present a nicely rounded image of themselves for consideration. Read on for our full analyses of the school’s essay prompts for this season.

[b]Required Essay: Why an MBA and why Georgia Tech?

Describe how your experiences, both professional and personal, have led you to the decision to pursue an MBA at Georgia Tech. Discuss your short- and long-term career goals and how Georgia Tech is best suited to help you achieve your goals.  4,000 character maximum (including spaces).[/b]

With this rather straightforward essay prompt, Scheller is requesting very fundamental—yet incredibly important—information that will help the school understand your motivation for pursuing an MBA from its program and where you expect to go in your career afterward. Be as specific as possible in your description of where you see yourself after graduation and several years down the line, from the industry and role to any additional details about which you currently feel confident (perhaps even specific companies or responsibilities that appeal to you in particular). Explain what has brought you to this point in your professional life, not only your career progression to date but also what has inspired you to earn an advanced degree as a vital tool in moving forward.

In addition to outlining your career goals—including context for how you arrived at them and why they are realistic for you—you must illustrate how Scheller 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 Scheller’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. This is where we would normally encourage you to visit campus and sit in on a class, and/or at least attend an admissions event in your area, but the ongoing pandemic precludes such options at this time. Instead, connect directly with students and alumni (online or via phone, Skype, Zoom, etc.), read student blogs and the program’s recent press releases, and peruse [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/user/georgiatechbsch]Scheller’s YouTube channel[/url][/b]. This will provide the kind of in-depth insight that will show the admissions committee you are serious about the school 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, pandering 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 Scheller in particular can provide that will enable you to fill those gaps.

This prompt covers several basic elements of 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.

[b]Required Essay: Ten Facts

List 10 facts about yourself that will help your future classmates get to know you. 1,000 character maximum (including spaces).[/b]

The Scheller admissions committee offers basically no clarifying text before its straightforward request for ten introductory facts. As a result, you have a largely blank slate from which to begin here, but because the purported audience for your list is your “future classmates” (though the true audience is of course the admissions committee), you should likely steer away from basic aspects of your story covered in your resume, transcript, and recommendations. In our experience, the less guidance a program provides with its essay prompts, the more panic is generated in the hearts of hopeful applicants, but do not let yourself be intimidated. Some patience, self-reflection, brainstorming, and authenticity—with a dash of creativity—and you should be on the road to a standout submission. 

To start identifying the kind of information you could share in your list, think about what you would like to know about a person you are first meeting and that you would find interesting, helpful, or intriguing. For example, would you consider someone’s age or undergraduate institution particularly important or compelling? Probably not, so you should skip including such facts. (Remember, again, that your actual audience will be a member of the admissions committee, who will already know such basic information about you from the rest of your application.) You would likely be more curious about what someone does in their spare time, what interesting or exceptional skills they have, whether they are approachable/funny/hyperorganized/a risk taker/etc., whether they have extensive experience in a certain area or a more wide-ranging background, what unique or rare accomplishments they can claim, and so on.

So consider the aspects of your personality and profile that you believe truly define you as an individual—not just what you do and have done, but who you are—and fully explore your background, hobbies, talents, experiences, values, goals, and quirks. Brainstorm an extensive list and then eliminate any items that seem too common (e.g., a BA in finance) or basic (e.g., your hometown) until you have a collection of truly distinctive qualities you can use in your response. Your goal is to provide a well-rounded picture of yourself that draws from multiple areas and shows that you possess characteristics and/or knowledge that would make you a positive addition to the Scheller community.

Remember to bring personality and life to your submission. You are not filling out a job application—you are trying to connect with others, so charisma is welcome, and a less rigid and traditionally “professional” approach is okay. Be as natural and authentic as possible, and strive to ensure that each new fact you offer gives the admissions committee a different window into your personality, into what really makes you you. Do not pitch your candidacy, outline your career goals, or express your love for the program. As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so dedicate the time and effort necessary to ensure that your list is engaging, substantive, and true to who you are.

[b]Optional Essay: The Admissions Committee believes that the required essays address issues that help us learn about you and understand your candidacy for the MBA program; however, you may provide us with any additional information pertinent to your admission that has not been previously covered in the rest of the application. Feel free to discuss any unique aspects of your candidacy or any perceived weaknesses.  4,000 character maximum (including spaces).[/b]

We tend to believe that the best use of the optional essay is to explain confusing or problematic issues in your candidacy, and this prompt offers an opportunity to do just that. But Scheller does not stipulate that you can only discuss a problem area in this essay, so you have some leeway to share anything you feel is that you think may be pivotal or particularly compelling. So, if you need to, this is your chance to address any questions an admissions officer might have about your profile—a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/mbamission-optional-essays-guide]mbaMission Optional Essays Guide[/url][/b], we offer detailed advice on how best to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your application.

However, because the question can be interpreted rather broadly, it does open the door for you to discuss anything that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and that you feel is truly critical for the admissions committee to know to be able to evaluate you fully and effectively. We caution you about simply trying to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. Remember, by submitting an additional essay, you are asking the admissions committee to do extra work on your behalf, so you need to make sure that time is warranted. If you are using the essay to emphasize something that if omitted would render your application incomplete, take this opportunity to write a very brief narrative that reveals this key new aspect of your candidacy.
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How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays—and Mo [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays—and More on Being Appropriately Personal
Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a balanced rhythm or structure. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective corresponds with another adjective, and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect.

Consider the example of Hamlet’s words “To be or not to be”—some of the most famous in the English language. Shakespeare wrote this short sentence in perfect parallel form; “to be” is matched perfectly with its corresponding negative “not to be” and is separated only by the necessary word “or.” Another short example of parallel construction from history is “I came, I saw, I conquered.” With these words, Julius Caesar spoke in perfect parallel construction—a pronoun (here the word “I”) followed by a verb in the past tense (“came,” “saw,” “conquered”).

If we were to change that second famous phrase just a touch, the powerful quality it now has would be lost, and the phrase would become unremarkable. For example, if Caesar had said, “I came, I saw, and I became the conqueror,” he would likely not be quoted today because the rhythm would have been destroyed. Keep this rule in mind for everything that you write, especially for longer sentences.

Here are a few more examples:

Bad: We are successful for three key reasons: we understand our client, we try harder than our competition, and teamwork.

Good: We are successful for three key reasons: understanding our client, trying harder than our competition, and working as a team. (In this example, gerunds [the words ending in “ing”] parallel each other, unlike in the previous, “bad” example.)

Bad: We are in the forestry business. We sell wood to hardware stores and paper to stationery stores.

Good: We are in the forestry business. We sell wood and paper.

On another note, we have previously discussed the importance of thoroughly exploring and accessing your personal stories when writing your application essays. Of course, having too much of a good thing is always a risk as well—admissions committees can be put off by candidates who go too far and become too personal.

Some stories are particularly challenging for admissions committees. For example, we strongly discourage candidates from writing about divorce as a moment of failure. If an individual were to take responsibility in an essay for a failed marriage, they would likely end up revealing intensely personal issues, rather than portraying themselves as having learned from a constructive professional or personal challenge.

Always keep in mind that in many ways, the admissions committee is meeting you for the first time via your application. So, a simple way to judge whether you are being too personal in your materials is to ask yourself, “Would I be uncomfortable if, immediately upon meeting someone, they were to share this sort of information with me?” If your answer is “yes,” you should most likely consider changing your topic.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass Is 99 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee’s Glass Is 99% Empty

“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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To Keep or Cancel Your GMAT Scores? [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: To Keep or Cancel Your GMAT Scores?
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.

The GMAT offers various kinds of flexibility around your decision to keep or cancel your GMAT scores—but also some restrictions. It is important to understand your options so that you make the best decision for you!

How Does It Work?

At the end of the test, you will be shown your scores (for everything except the essay), and you will then be asked whether you want to keep or cancel your GMAT scores. If you keep them, they will go on your official record. If you cancel them, they will not; the schools will not see those scores, nor will the schools even know that you took the test that day.

Right at that moment, you will have two minutes to decide whether to keep or cancel your GMAT scores. Later, you can change your mind—but you will have to pay a fee to change the status of your scores. So let us first talk about how to make the best decision during those first two minutes.

In short, you need to have an idea of what you would want to do before you even walk into the testing room.

What Do Your Schools Want to See?



First, what kind of program do you want? MBA programs generally care only about your highest score. Other kinds of programs, such as PhD programs, may look at all your scores. So it is important to find out how your schools are going to use the data.

If you are applying to an MBA program, you can assume that they do not care if you take the test multiple times. They are just going to use your best score, and that is that. If you are applying to a PhD program or another type of master’s program, ask the schools directly whether they care about multiple tests and, if so, how they use the multiple data points.

(By the way, for any school communication, I highly recommend attending one or more of the various MBA tours that travel around the country, giving you an opportunity to meet representatives from different schools. There are a bunch of different ones, some of which are tied to specific groups of people, such as women or other underrepresented groups. Ask your questions directly, make some connections, and get the ball rolling!)

What Is Your Goal Score?



Based on where you want to apply and how those schools use GMAT scores, you will come up with a goal score for yourself. Broadly speaking, you can classify the programs into one of three categories:

—Safety. I am almost certain to be accepted to this school.

—Regular. I have a good chance to get in, but it is not a certainty.

—Reach. This school is a stretch, but hey, if I do not even apply, I definitely will not make it, right? So I will give it a shot.

Your GMAT goal should be above the average for your safety schools and at least at the average for your regular schools. You may not be above average for the reach schools, but you would still ideally be within that school’s general range.

For the purposes of this discussion, let us say that your goal score is a 650.

What Is Your Minimum Acceptable Score?

Your ideal goal is 650, but let us say that (based on your research) your minimum score is really a 620. You would still feel comfortable applying to your schools with that score.

So, first, if you do hit a 620 or higher, you are not even going to think about canceling. You are good to go!

What if you score a 610? Close enough. Keep it.

600?

580?

560…?

See where I am going with this? At some point, the decision will switch to, “Nope, I am going to cancel this one.” Where is that point?

Consider the Worst Possible Scenario



Your ideal goal is 650. Your minimum is 620. But what if you just cannot score above 590? You do not want to take the test and score 590 and cancel, and then sign up again and get another 590 and cancel again, and then take it a third time and get a 550 because you are so stressed out… and now you have taken the test three times, and you have no score on your record at all.

This scenario is even more likely for those who have really high goals. If someone really wants a 730 and keeps canceling 690 scores… that person might never make it to 730.

(You can reinstate your canceled scores at a later date—but you are going to have to pay to do so. Let us minimize your expenditure here.)

Know (More) about What the Schools Want

Remember how I said that MBA programs do not really care if you take the test multiple times? For those programs, then, you do not actually have to cancel anything. They do not care. Just keep all your scores.

I know most students will not be totally comfortable with this. I am going to try to change your mind, though.

Anecdotally, we have heard that MBA programs, if anything, consider it a positive to see that you tried again. Let us say that a school’s average is 650. You first score was a little under 650—say, 620 to 640. That is probably good enough, but you decide to go for it again because you want to hit that average, if possible. This could play out in a couple of ways:

—You score 650+. Yay! You are at/above the average for that school! Your hard work paid off.

—You increase your score a little but not all the way to the average. You are closer now, and you have signaled to the school that you were willing to try hard to succeed. They like to see that.

—You drop below your initial score. You still keep the score to signal to the school that you were willing to keep trying. Yeah, it did drop, but so what; you still have your original (higher) score locked in.

I would definitely keep the score in the first two scenarios. I also think it is worth it to keep the score in the third scenario, but I would understand if a student did not feel comfortable doing so (particularly if you knew you would take the test a third time).

Final Advice: To Keep or Cancel Your GMAT Scores?

So all of this leads me to this:

—If you are applying for an MBA and you are okay with my recommendation just to keep everything, then keep your score no matter what.

—If that idea makes you uneasy, then keep any score that is within 100 points of your minimum goal score. If you want a minimum score of 650, keep any score of 550 or higher. (If your ideal score is 650 but your minimum is 620, keep anything at 520 or higher.)

Caveat: if your goal score is crazy high (e.g., you want a 780), keep anything within 150 points of your goal. I know, I know, a 630 is not anywhere near a 780. But less than 1% of the testing population hits a 780! That is super ambitious. Be really happy if you get there, but do not assume that anyone who just “studies enough” will get there.

I Canceled, but Now I Am Thinking I Should Reinstate the Score… (or Vice Versa)

As of this writing, here are the details for canceling or reinstating a score after you leave the testing center. (Note that any details, especially pricing, could change in the future—so check mba.com to make sure that nothing has changed.)

If you keep your scores in the testing center but later decide that you want to cancel them, you have 72 hours to do so; after that, you cannot cancel your scores. You will have to pay a $25 fee.

If you cancel in the testing center but later decide that you want to reinstate your scores, you can do so as long as the scores are still valid (they expire after five years). This will cost you $50.

It costs less to cancel after the fact, but you have a time limit of 72 hours. If you are just not sure what to do in the testing center, I would recommend keeping the scores, then using the next day or two to think about what to do (and ask others that you trust for their opinion). Then, if you do decide to cancel, you will only have to pay $25 to do so.

One Unusual Circumstance in Which You Actually Should Cancel



This last bit will not apply to 99.9% of people taking the test, but just in case this happens to you, read on.

If you become ill or otherwise feel that you cannot finish while you are at the testing center, then a weird thing happens if you leave the test before getting to that “keep or cancel” screen at the very end. You will not have any reported scores (since you did not finish), but the fact that you showed up to take the test that day will still show up on your official score report. It is sort of an in-between case with an odd outcome.

So, if this happens to you, here is what I recommend you do. If you have to leave the testing room (maybe you feel queasy and have to go to the bathroom), do so. Just let the test keep running. If you decide, when you get back, that you cannot keep going, then click through all of the remaining questions randomly to get yourself to the end of the test. On the Keep or Cancel screen, cancel your scores.

In Sum

Know what your goal scores (ideal and minimum) are.

Know what you want to do before you get into the testing room. (For example, tell yourself, “If I score 530 or higher, I am keeping my score. If I score 520 or lower, I am canceling.”)

If you just cannot decide at the end, keep the scores. Know that you will have 72 hours to change your mind and cancel instead. Get out of the testing room, clear your mind, decide what to do, and move ahead.
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