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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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New Year, New Career Perspectives and Resources [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: New Year, New Career Perspectives and Resources
The new year is a time when many MBA graduates and students reflect on their careers and look for new opportunities. Check out a few relevant articles that caught the attention of mbaMission’s Career Coaches:

Self-Reflection and Skill Building

Career Development and Acceleration

Job Searching

In addition to the above articles, we recommend The WorkLife Podcast Club from Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton.

Finally, we know that working (or schooling) from home makes many people feel like they now live at work (or school)! There are consequences to this lack of separation between home and work. Check out these quick tips on How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home.
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Luxury Brand Management at the GCU British School of Fashion and Londo [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Luxury Brand Management at the GCU British School of Fashion and London Business School
In the fall of 2013, Scotland’s Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)—known as a leader in fashion education since the 19th century—inaugurated a new fashion business school in London and soon after opened a satellite campus in New York City. Rather than focusing on the design aspect of fashion, however, the GCU British School of Fashion aims to offer a specialized business education with applications to the fashion industry, as the school’s then-director, Christopher Moore, explained in a BBC article at the time the new campuses were being revealed: “The remit of the school is clear: we are about the business of fashion. And while there are other great international design schools, we are quite different. Our aim is to be a leading school for the business of fashion.”

The British School of Fashion’s MBA in Luxury Brand Management program aims to impart industry tools and skills related to such topics as consumer behavior, globalization, and strategic management. The school also professes a commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and fair trade as part of its core values. With support from a number of British fashion brands, which have included Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, AllSaints, and the Arcadia Group, the school’s faculty also features a team of honorary professors and fashion industry leaders. The program was designed “to meet the growing demand for experienced managers who really understand luxury brand management in a global context,” the school’s website states. The school also offers programs in Luxury Brand Marketing, Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing, and Fashion Business Creation.

London Business School has also taken steps to attract applicants with an interest in luxury brand management and retail. Although the school does not offer a degree on the subject, students can partake in numerous activities in the field throughout their studies. One of the most notable opportunities is the Walpole Luxury Programme, a partnership with the Walpole British Luxury brand. The program equips students with the tools necessary to enter global management positions after graduation. Students take elective courses, visit companies, participate in workshops, complete internships, and work with a mentor from Walpole throughout the program. In 2019, 16 MBA students participated in the program.

The London Core Application Practicum (LondonCAP) module, which was launched in 2017, is a hands-on learning opportunity during which students work with companies on projects related to their interests—a notable past partner is the British Fashion Council. Students can also join the Retail & Luxury Goods Club, which is one of the largest clubs on campus, with more than 4,500 members. The group welcomes industry speakers and organizes career treks to such locations as Milan and Paris, in addition to hosting an annual e-commerce conference, whose past speakers have represented such companies as Net-a-Porter, Marks & Spencer, and LVMH. The theme of the 2020 conference was “Rethinking Fashion: Sustainable Innovations and Circular Design,” and the event welcomed such speakers as the managing director of Harrod’s and the responsibility director of Burberry.
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Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essay [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Pluralize Nouns and Vary Sentence Length in Your MBA Application Essays
One way to conserve words in your MBA application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

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

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

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

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

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

Confused? Consider the following example:

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

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

Now consider this example:*

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

 

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

*Please note that this is a simplified example for illustration purposes. If this were an actual essay, we would encourage the applicant to offer greater insight into their experience launching the product.
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Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Reorient Your View on the GMAT’s Math Problems
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 Quant section of the GMAT is not a math test. Really! It just looks like one on the surface. In reality, the test writers are testing us on how we think.

As such, they write many math problems in a way that hides what is really being tested or even implies a solution method that is not the best solution method. Assume nothing, and do not accept that what they give you is your best starting point!

Instead, slow down a little. First, just glance at the whole problem (before you really start reading) to see what kind of problem you have.

Next, read the problem and jot down any numbers, formulas, etc. Do not do any translation or simplification at this stage—in short, do not do any actual work yet. Just get the basics on paper, and wrap your brain around what the question is saying. You will be less likely to fall into their traps if you think before you act.

Then, reflect and organize: what have you got, and what should you consider doing with it? Do any pieces of information go together? Do you see any clues that give you an idea of how to solve the problem? Is the problem really obviously suggesting a certain path? Maybe that will work—but make a conscious decision that this really is your best path.

Most of the time, when an “obvious” path is suggested, some other path is actually faster or easier. Also, remember that your best approach might be to guess and move on, depending on how hard the question is.

Finally, if you are not going to guess, then get to it and work. You made some kind of plan during the previous step, so start working that plan!

If you get stuck at this stage, you are allowed to give yourself one chance to unstick yourself. Go back to an earlier step in your work to see whether you can find another way forward. If you find yourself still stuck, pick something and move on.

Want to see some examples of all this? Glad you asked. I have got a full two-part article for you with three different practice problems. Get to it, and let me know what you think!
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Professor Profiles: Cameron Anderson, Haas School of Business [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Cameron Anderson, Haas School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we profile Cameron Anderson from the Haas School of Business at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

Cameron Anderson, who received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2001, came to Haas from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2005. He has received the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching at Haas seven times and was also named a Bakar Faculty Fellow in 2010. Anderson is currently the Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership and Communication II as well as the Management of Organizations Group Chair.

A second year described Anderson’s “Power and Politics in Organizations” course to mbaMission as “easily one of the most sought-after classes at Haas.” Another second-year student we interviewed said the class “teaches students how to gain power and influence people without formal authority” and added that Anderson “teaches applicable skills based on academic research and case studies of great leaders from history. He uses assignments to force students to uncover their own tools of influence and develop strategies for acquiring power in our immediate careers after Haas. I think his class is popular because it’s academic, directly applicable, and introspective all at once.”

For more information on the defining characteristics of the MBA program at UC Berkeley Haas or one of 16 other top business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My High GMAT Score Will Get Me In
So, you have taken the GMAT and exceeded even your highest expectations, scoring at the very top of the scale. Congratulations! However, do not assume that earning such a high GMAT score means you can relax with respect to the other components of your application. Every year, applicants who have scored 750 or higher are rejected from their target business schools—even when their GMAT score falls within the top 10% of the schools’ range. Many of these candidates were rejected because of a fatal, but ultimately avoidable, mistake: they became overconfident and assumed their GMAT score alone would get them in.

Business schools want to learn a lot more about you than your GMAT score alone can convey. MBA admissions committees are interested in hearing about your ambitions, accomplishments, leadership skills, teamwork experience, perseverance, motivation, integrity, compassion… The list goes on and on. Fundamentally, admissions committees need to determine whether you will be a vital and contributing member of their community, and your GMAT score tells them only that you can do the work.

Heed our advice—even (or especially!) those of you with a 780 score—and commit yourself to the rest of your application with the same enthusiasm with which you approached the GMAT.
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Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Kelley School of Business and Fisher College of Business Offer MBAs in the Midwest
As the demand for business-savvy health care professionals grows, business schools are taking notice. Leading the way is the Business of Medicine Physician MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which is designed to train practicing physicians to assume management positions and face a changing health care business environment. The two-year degree program was launched in the fall of 2013 and presents a new kind of opportunity at the intersection of business management and medical practice. The degree combines the basic curriculum of Kelley’s full-time MBA with specialized health care courses supported by the school’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences. Core courses within the program include “Data Analytics for Physician Leaders,” “Leading and Managing Human Capital in Healthcare,” and “Anatomy and Physiology of the U.S. Healthcare System.”

Idie Kesner, who was interim dean at the time but has since been appointed dean, said in a Financial Times article regarding the launch of the program, “With this degree, physician leaders will emerge with the full skillset to transform individual institutions, the broad healthcare field and, most important, patient outcomes.” Part of the Business of Medicine Physician MBA program—approximately 10–14 hours a week—is taught online, drawing on Kelley’s pioneering strengths in distance learning, while the other part entails one weekend residence per month, allowing for a more flexible time commitment. (Note that during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, these details may change. As always, refer to the school’s website for the most up-to-date information.)

Despite the size of its parent institution, the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, another Midwestern business school, boasts a relatively intimate classroom experience—with typically 100 students in each incoming full-time MBA class, although the latest incoming class was smaller with 59 students—and a close-knit community. Fisher students consequently benefit from the school’s wider university network (more than 580,000 alumni) and its proximity to major companies based both in Columbus and throughout the Midwest. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Fisher 41st in its list of top full-time U.S. MBA programs in 2019.

The Fisher curriculum consists of a core sequence spanning the first year of the program and offers a plethora of optional pathways in which students can major, including Leadership, Corporate Finance, and Supply Chain. Of the 60 credit hours required for graduation, 4.5 credits consist of experiential course work, including the Business Lab Challenge and the Social Impact Challenge. In these hands-on projects, students work with local and international businesses to apply the skills they have learned within the classroom to real-life scenarios. Nearly half (27 credit hours) of the required credit hours are dedicated to elective courses, proving that the Fisher MBA is a widely customizable program.
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Avoid Negativity and Overusing Quotes in Your MBA Application Essays [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Avoid Negativity and Overusing Quotes in Your MBA Application Essays
Sincerity. Honesty. Candor. We encourage MBA candidates to incorporate these attributes into their applications, and when they do, the result tends to be successful essays. But can an applicant go too far? The answer is “yes,” especially when candor turns to negativity. Sometimes, when MBA candidates believe they are just being candid, they are actually revealing themselves as predisposed to pessimism—which can make connecting with their profile challenging for the admissions reader. Such situations are unfortunate, but luckily, they are also avoidable; an ostensibly “negative” idea can almost always be expressed in a positive and optimistic manner.

[b]Example[/b]

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

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

[b]Revised Example[/b]

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

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

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

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

[b]Example 1[/b]

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

– Theodore Roosevelt 

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

 

[b]Example 2[/b]

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

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

Before using a quote in your application essay, ask yourself three questions:

[list]
[*]Does the quote fit the essay’s main theme?[/*]
[*]Does the quote reflect who you are or what you believe?[/*]
[*]Does the quote truly enhance the essay?[/*]
[/list]
If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, incorporating the quote into your submission might be a good idea. But first make sure your story is strong enough to stand on its own and make a positive impression without the quote, and limit yourself to just one quotation per application—not per essay.
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Four GMAT Myths Busted [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Four GMAT Myths Busted
A lot of well-intended advice for GMAT test takers can be found out there. Unfortunately, some of the most reasonable-sounding and frequently repeated claims are actually false. In this article, our friends at Manhattan Prep look at—and debunk—four of the most common GMAT-related myths.

  • [b]I need to get 90% of the questions right to get a 700.[/b]
This part is true: someone who got a 700 on the GMAT probably got more questions right than someone who got a 400. However, the opposite is not automatically true: just getting more questions right does not increase your score. The GMAT scoring algorithm does not look at how many questions you answered correctly in a section. Instead, it looks at the difficulty level you have reached by the end of that section. You could reach the same difficulty level by missing a lot of questions or by missing only a few, depending on where in the test you miss them and whether you finish the section on time. Check out this article for more info on what your GMAT score really means.

[*]Quant is more important than Verbal.[/list]
This is a tricky one. In part, it depends on the programs you are applying to and the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of your profile. Some schools want a high Quant score, while others care more about whether you hit a particular overall number. In some situations, Quant might be very important.

However, with respect to achieving a high overall GMAT score, Verbal is slightly more important than Quant. Getting a 90th percentile Verbal score and a 50th percentile Quant score, for example, will give you a slightly higher overall score than if these two scores were reversed. Also, many candidates, especially native English speakers, find improving their Verbal score easier, quicker, and more fun than improving their Quant score. If you just want to earn a particular overall score, you might get there faster by focusing on Verbal. Do not leave points on the table by ignoring Verbal! Even if you are starting with a high Verbal score, an improvement of just ten percentile points can go a long way.

[*]The first eight problems in each section are the most important.[/list]
Like most GMAT myths, this one has a kernel of truth to it. As you work through each section of the GMAT, the test will get harder when you answer a question correctly and easier when you answer a question incorrectly. These difficulty changes are larger at the beginning of the section than at the end. This creates the impression that the earlier questions are very important, while the later questions hardly matter at all.

However, that is not really the case. Getting the first eight questions right would cause your GMAT to rapidly increase in difficulty, up to the maximum level. However, your score is not based on the highest difficulty level you hit. Instead, it is based on the difficulty level at the end of the test. A strong start is nice, but spending extra time on the early problems means having very little time to answer hard problems later on. You might even run out of time at the end, which carries a hefty score penalty. So, if you can answer all the early questions correctly and quickly, go for it. Otherwise, work at a steady pace throughout the test, and proactively guess on hard questions that you cannot answer quickly—even at the beginning of each section.

[*]If I want a 700, I should mostly study 700- to 800-level problems.[/list]
Do not base the problems you study on the score you want. Instead, base your studies on your current ability level. When you take the GMAT, the difficulty of the test will change depending on your performance. To get the test to show you tough questions, you need to be very quick and consistent on the slightly easier questions. If you are not quite there yet, you will not even see the super-hard stuff—so there is no point in studying it just yet.

In fact, spending a lot of energy on studying hard material can be counterproductive. If you see a very hard question on test day, the best move is often to proactively guess on it: missing a hard question will not hurt your score very much, and attempting it could waste a lot of time. However, if you have spent a lot of time studying really tough questions, you will have a harder time making yourself guess on them when you need to. Instead, study the questions that will really help you on test day: the ones right at or slightly above your level, or easier questions in areas that tend to trip you up. Happy studying!

Manhattan Prep is one of the world’s leading test prep providers. Every one of its instructors has a 99th percentile score on the GMAT and substantial teaching experience. The result? More than 20 years and thousands of satisfied students. By providing an outstanding curriculum and the highest quality instructors in the industry, it empowers students to accomplish their goals. Manhattan Prep allows you to sit in on any of its live GMAT classes—in person or online—for free! Check out a trial class today.


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Decoding the HBS Interview: A New Webinar for HBS Applicants [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Decoding the HBS Interview: A New Webinar for HBS Applicants
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/decoding-eblast-1880x1576-1.png][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/decoding-eblast-1880x1576-1.png[/img][/url]
Your Harvard Business School (HBS) application is in. Now, the waiting game for the interview invitation begins. 

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

On [b]January 27, 2021[/b], join us for “[b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26387/]Decoding the HBS Interview[/url][/b],” a new webinar hosted by mbaMission Founder/President Jeremy Shinewald and mbaMission Managing Director/HBS Interviewer in Residence [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/who-we-are/team/devi-vallabhaneni/]Devi Vallabhaneni[/url][/b] (HBS Class of 1997, former HBS Admissions Board Candidate Interviewer).

In this 60-minute workshop, you will learn:

[list]
What makes the HBS interview so different from all the other business school interviews[/*]
The philosophy behind the HBS approach[/*]
How to prepare for the interview[/*]
[/list]
Coming out of the session, you will have a much better sense of what to expect in your HBS interview and how to prepare for it so you can approach your interview with competence and confidence. Space is limited. [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26387/]Reserve your spot today[/url][/b].

Before you attend the webinar, what do you need to know? Drawing on her six years as an interviewer at HBS, Devi Vallabhaneni shares a few helpful tips:

[b]Feeling Nervous[/b]

Feeling your nerves kick in is totally normal, but would you believe that every time I interviewed an HBS prospect, I was just as nervous? You might find that hard to imagine, but it is the truth! I felt like I owed each and every interviewee the courtesy of bringing my best to them, really getting to know them, and working just as hard as they had to arrive at the interview. So, first things first, know that the person on the other side of your HBS interview is eager and sincere in wanting to know the real you.

[b]Know Your Story Cold[/b]

Your story should be within you, right? Well, maybe you wrote about your love of Chinese cookery in the personal section of your resume, but since then, you have not given another thought to the last cooking class you took—which, by the way, was a good story two years ago! Although I was never specifically trying to find weak spots in interviewees’ stories, I would sometimes start by asking about interests and hobbies they had listed that sounded interesting, so I just might have asked you about your Chinese cooking. Before your interview, refresh your familiarity with your entire application, even the parts you think are trivial.

[b]Master the What & How[/b]

How you accomplished something is just as important, if not more than, what you actually accomplished. The how shows the real level of effort you had to expend to reach your end result. To me, the how also lets you share a deeper version of your story with your interviewer. I once interviewed an applicant who had worked on a seemingly common financial transaction. Because of the regulatory and political complexity of the transaction, she had to create more than 30 different potential scenarios to anticipate and quantify the client’s next steps. In this case, the how gave me better insight into the applicant’s depth of analysis, creativity, and experience. Without that information, this project, on its face, may not have stood out to me as something meaningful. Be sure to detail the how of your achievements for your HBS interviewer so that he or she can better understand the rigor and impact of your experience.

[b]Give Full Answers[/b]

I once asked an applicant to tell me about a growth experience he had had while studying abroad. He responded by reporting that he had learned to make his bed. I have to admit that, on the surface, this is not much of an answer. However, after a few follow-up questions, I realized that he was humbly trying to explain that he had been coddled up to that point and that he had ultimately had an awakening about independence. I wish he had proactively connected these ideas, because we ultimately spent much more time than necessary on this topic, which precluded us from fully exploring other parts of his background. Giving full answers means demonstrating the broader context of your responses and anticipating the interviewer’s potential perceptions so that you use your 30 minutes as wisely and efficiently as possible.

[b]Strive for Practiced, Not Scripted[/b]

You worked really hard on your HBS application, which is what led to this interview opportunity. But your application probably took weeks or months to complete and required multiple revisions and edits, whereas your interview is a one-shot 30 minutes. This is why practicing your answers verbally is a great idea, but practice does not mean memorization or rehearsal. I once interviewed a woman I later ran into on campus when she was a first-year student. While we were catching up, she told me how nervous she had been for our interview and how she had practiced by writing out bullet points and verbalizing them in front of a mirror. I still remember her interview to this day. She was natural, conversational, and in the moment. The way she had practiced enabled her to convey what was salient while still being fully present and engaged. In contrast, another candidate I interviewed responded to my every question with “I have three reasons…” or “I have three examples…,” and in most cases, his replies did not match my questions! He had memorized pre-made answers and simply recited them when given the chance to speak. Make sure to prepare useful points and stories and practice verbalizing them before your interview, but once you are in the meeting, pay attention to the questions being asked and call on those points and stories as appropriate.

[b]Forget About the Introvert Versus Extrovert Factor[/b]

Prospective interviewees regularly ask me, “Am I at a disadvantage if I’m an introvert?” and assume the interview is better suited to—and more beneficial for—extroverts. The truth is that I have seen both be extremely successful. Shy, quiet, low-key people can be just as compelling as those who are outgoing, animated, or gregarious. I remember an interview I had with a soft-spoken individual who had intriguing manufacturing experience in a foreign country. He really blossomed when he shared his worries about that country’s upcoming elections and how the outcome might affect his company and export potential. Your HBS interviewer is much more interested in your experiences, background, values, and interests than in your personality type—so just be thoroughly you.

[b]Anticipate the Interviewer’s Homework[/b]

I once interviewed an HBS applicant who was working at a start-up in a foreign country. I had never heard of it, so I read up on it, including its funding structure, mission, and founding team. I even found a news report that explained that one of the funding rounds had not gone smoothly. During the interview, we got on the topic of raising money, and the candidate was shocked when I asked about one of the investors. When he asked how I knew about that investor, I explained that I had researched his start-up—not to create “gotcha” questions but to better understand his work environment. Expect your HBS interviewer to go beyond just reading through the information you included in your application. The philosophy has always been (1) to meet candidates where they are and (2) that the more we know about an interviewee beforehand, the deeper and more helpful the interview will be.

[b]Be Earlier than Early[/b]

I interviewed a candidate once who was 15 minutes late. His interview was essentially over before he even (finally!) walked in the door.  Just as you would plan to arrive early for an important work meeting to make sure you are physically and mentally ready, plan to arrive for your HBS interview earlier than necessary. If you know you have a problem with timeliness, plan to arrive even earlier still. This way you can have a few peaceful moments to gather your thoughts and prepare. If you end up being so early you have extra time on your hands, you can use the opportunity to meet other applicants, walk around campus, or just sit back and enjoy the moment. Whatever you do, just never be late!

[b]Enjoy the Moment[/b]

I used to begin my HBS interviews by briefly introducing myself and then enthusiastically asking, “Ready to have some fun?” The candidates would look at me like I was crazy, clearly incapable of thinking the interview could possibly be fun, but by the end of our conversation, they understood what I had meant. Your interview is an opportunity to talk about yourself, your background, your goals, and your experiences—and to let your personality and style shine through. Try to loosen up and enjoy it! The 30 minutes go by really fast. By the time the interview starts, you cannot do anything more to prepare, so try to push through any nervousness you may be feeling and make the most of the experience! The HBS interview is an extremely human process for both the interviewer and interviewee. Embrace the opportunity to engage with the school on this next level and show your readiness for its unique MBA experience.

Devi Vallabhaneni, an HBS graduate and former HBS MBA interviewer, is mbaMission’s HBS Interviewer in Residence, and will be conducting [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hbs-in-person-intensive-interview-simulation]HBS Intensive Interview Simulations[/url] [/b]for a select number of interview candidates this winter. Email [email=info@mbamission.com]info@mbamission.com[/email] to inquire about being added to the HBS Intensive Interview waitlist.
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Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate School of Busine [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Margaret Neale, Stanford Graduate 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 Margaret Neale from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

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

Neale’s research is based on the psychology of conflict and negotiation. She was appointed the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management in 2012 and serves as faculty director for two of Stanford University’s executive programs—Influence and Negotiation Strategies, and Managing Teams for Innovation and Success—and as co-director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders. In 2011, she became the 13th recipient—and first woman—to be presented with the business school’s Davis Award, which is bestowed upon a faculty member for lifetime achievement. More recently, Neale was chosen as a Robert and Marilyn Jaedicke Faculty Fellow for the 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 academic years. Neale has been a professor emerita since 2019 but continues to teach at the school—during the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 academic years, she has taught the “Managing Groups and Teams” course.

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

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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HBS Interview Invitations Will Go Out on February 3: How to Prepare [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: HBS Interview Invitations Will Go Out on February 3: How to Prepare
[img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/HBS-campus-300x169.jpg[/img]
Harvard Business School

In a [url=https://www.hbs.edu/mba/admissions/Pages/from-the-admissions-director.aspx?showall=1][b]January 28 blog post[/b][/url],  Harvard Business School announced that Round 2 interview invitations will go out on [b]Wednesday, February 3, 2021,  at noon eastern time[/b]. HBS will send interview updates via the [b][url=https://apply.hbs.edu/account/login]application status page[/url][/b] of the program’s MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Portal. All interviews will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Those who are not invited to interview will be released from the process.

Now is the time to get ready for this crucial step in your application process! Check out these important resources created by mbaMission specifically for HBS interview candidates.

[b]INTENSIVE SIMULATION[/b]

[img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/devi-vallabhaneni-225x300.jpg[/img]
Prepare for Your HBS Interview with a Former HBS Interviewer: Devi Vallabhaneni, mbaMission

[b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=team&name=devi-vallabhaneni]Devi Vallabhaneni[/url][/b], a veteran admissions interviewer with years of experience interviewing hundreds of HBS candidates and who now serves as mbaMission’s Managing Director/HBS Interviewer in Residence, is offering sessions online via webcam to help applicants prepare for the real thing. The live interview simulation includes the following components:

[list]
[b]Two or more 30-minute interview experiences customized to your application:[/b] Before your first session, Devi will spend several hours reviewing your written application, following the same process she used when conducting candidate interviews for HBS. This allows her to target her questions based on what she discovers about you from your application.[/*]
[b]Personalized feedback:[/b] After each interview session, Devi will provide you with targeted feedback, talking you through her impressions and offering strategic advice for improving your HBS interview skills.[/*]
[b]A reflection period:[/b] You will have time between your interview sessions with Devi to internalize the feedback and adjust accordingly before trying again.[/*]
[b]Post-interview reflection support:[/b] Intensive simulation clients who are not already working with an mbaMission consultant can have Devi provide targeted support on the post-interview reflection.[/*]
[/list]
For more information, please visit our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hbs-in-person-intensive-interview-simulation]HBS Intensive Interview Simulation page[/url][/b]. To be added to the HBS Intensive Interview Simulation waitlist, please email [email=katrina@mbamission.com][b]katrina@mbamission.com[/b][/email]; you will receive an email containing instructions to sign up after HBS releases interview invitations.

[b]MOCK INTERVIEW AND POST-INTERVIEW REFLECTION SUPPORT[/b]

Another resource to help you prepare is our [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hbs-mock-interview-and-post-interview-reflection-support]HBS Mock Interview and Post-Interview Reflection Support[/url][/b] service. Through it, you work with an experienced mbaMission Senior Consultant or Managing Director who will have read your entire HBS application and prepared customized questions based on your candidacy. Via Q&A, feedback, and thorough response planning, we will help you improve the content of your answers, your time management skills, and your overall presentation.

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

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

To purchase your HBS mock interview preparation session, [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/services/products/hbs-mock-interview-and-post-interview-reflection-support]click here[/url][/b]!

[b]HBS INTERVIEW GUIDE[/b]

Download your complimentary copy of mbaMission’s [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/harvard-business-school-interview-guide]Harvard Business School Interview Guide[/url][/b] today.

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

[list]
Insight into what the school is evaluating and hoping to gain from the interview[/*]
An explanation of the school’s approach to interviewing (e.g., self-scheduled or invite only, blind versus comprehensive)[/*]
Past applicants’ firsthand accounts of their interview experiences and multiple sample interview question sequences[/*]
Tips on preparing for and responding to questions that most often vex applicants[/*]
Help in formulating compelling questions of your own[/*]
[/list]
[b]FREE INTERVIEW WORKSHOP[/b]

Find out exactly what you need to do to prepare for your interview during our free [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26440/]“MBA Interview Workshop” webinar [/url][/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26440/]on February 18, 2021[/url]. Led by mbaMission Senior Consultant Nisha Trivedi, the webinar will cover the following topics:

[list]
Best practices to help you prepare for and succeed in your business school interviews[/*]
The different types of interviews you may encounter[/*]
What admissions committees are looking for[/*]
Tips for time management[/*]
[/list]
[b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26440/]Enroll for free today[/url][/b]!

Good luck to all Round 2 applicants! If you believe you can benefit from one of our interview planning services—or would simply like more information on the process—feel free to [b][url=https://www.mbamission.com/about/?display=contact]contact us[/url][/b] anytime!
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Done Something Wrong [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Done Something Wrong
You have a 720 GMAT score and a 3.75 GPA. You have made solid career progress and procured glowing recommendations. You have been actively volunteering in your community for years. You worked hard on your application and landed an interview at your target school, where you felt you did well. But you still did not get in. You must have done something terribly wrong in your interview or unwittingly made a mess of your essays, right? Not necessarily.

We once spoke with the admissions director at a top MBA program who explained that his school does not give feedback to rejected candidates because doing so is simply a waste of the candidate’s and admissions staff’s time. The admissions director told us that the school would need to nitpick to give candidates something to work on and to fill the time during these hypothetical feedback sessions. He explained that nine times out of ten, the feedback offered to weaker candidates would be patently obvious and that countless strong applicants had done nothing wrong at all. In fact, most candidates create their best applications, but space in the class is simply limited.

Although this may not be comforting if you were rejected, you may just have been the victim of a competitive process during a competitive year. We suggest that you honestly assess your candidacy and simply stay the course as you continue applying. Spending significant time revamping your applications may be a waste of time and a losing strategy. Patience may prove beneficial in the long term.
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Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Entrepreneurship at Northwestern Kellogg and Chicago Booth
How about a quick game of word association? We will start.

“Kellogg.”

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

As part of Envision Kellogg, the school’s strategic plan at the time, the MBA program introduced four new impact initiatives in 2012, one of which is the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI). Overseen by the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, the KIEI offers numerous opportunities for students to develop their entrepreneurial acumen and currently features a total of 50 professors in its faculty. In addition to business plan competitions, the Levy Institute manages the Kellogg Entrepreneurial Internship Program Stipend and the Entrepreneur in Residence Program, an experiential learning option through which, for a day, an experienced entrepreneur hosts half-hour one-on-one sessions with students who aspire to careers in this field or are seeking advice on their already active projects.

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

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

Chicago Booth’s practical academic programs extend into the field of entrepreneurship with the school’s “New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab.” Herein, students work within a host firm or take on a dedicated project in a class designed to train those who intend to ultimately join start-ups or provide consulting services to them. Other courses offered by the Polsky Center include “Lab to Launch,” “Building the New Venture,” and “Entrepreneurial Selling.” In addition, the Polsky Center sponsors the annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition that awarded a $60,000 prize to its 2019 winner.

Further, entrepreneurially minded Chicago Booth students can apply for funding from the Hyde Park Angels (HPA), a group of former Chicago Booth Executive MBA students who make investments in start-ups—in 2019, the group invested more than $17M. Although the HPA is an arms-length organization and does not source investments exclusively from Chicago Booth, it maintains a connection to the Polsky Center, which supports the HPA’s mission. So, students hoping to get in front of the HPA’s investment committee will have a built-in networking advantage. Also, the HPA offers students the opportunity to apply for the Hyde Park Angels Venture Capital Award, which is only available to Chicago Booth students.

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

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

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

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

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

Then, in addition to applying to your dream programs, apply only to those reasonable and safer schools for which you felt going would be preferable to not attending any MBA program at all. This way, you can avoid finding yourself in either of the situations we described at the beginning of this post and instead will be well positioned to embrace the choices you ultimately have.
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The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem on the GMAT [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem on the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

I want to share a four-step Critical Reasoning (CR) process with you, a process that can be used on any CR problem.

Here is the overall process:

Step 1: Identify the question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument.

Step 3: State the goal.

Step 4: Work from wrong to right.

Those steps might sound obvious to some people and very vague to others. I will explain each in more detail, but I want to say first that each step is there for a very important reason, and each step has been split off from the others for a very important reason. You can find the full article on the Manhattan Prep blog, as well as additional articles that illustrate how to use this process with each of the various CR question types. Here are a few additional details for each step:

Step 1: Identify the question. Use the question stem to identify the question. Each question type has certain characteristics; learn them.

Step 2: Deconstruct the argument. Arguments can contain up to four main building blocks: premises, counter-premises, conclusions, and background. Every argument has premises, but that is the only component common to all. In addition, some arguments “contain” assumptions—that is, the assumptions are not written but can be implied based on the premises and conclusion.

Step 3: State the goal. Each question type asks us to do a certain kind of reasoning; we need to make sure we know what it is. Each question type also has common error categories; remind yourself what they are, and you will be less likely to fall for them!

Step 4: Work from wrong to right. This is just a fancy way of saying find and eliminate the wrong answers until only one answer is left. Your first focus is elimination; get rid of everything you know is wrong. Do not even ask yourself what might be the right answer until you have gone through all five answers once. Then compare any remaining, tempting answers.
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Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate School of Business [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Baba Shiv, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we profile Baba Shiv from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

“Baba Shiv is a legend,” said a first-year GSB student with whom we spoke. Baba Shiv, the Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing who also teaches in the executive MBA program, received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and his PhD from Duke University before joining the Stanford GSB faculty in 2005. Shiv is also the Amman Mineral Faculty Fellow for the 2020–2021 academic year. Shiv’s research concentration is in the area of neuroeconomics, and he focuses his studies on the systems of the brain that lead individuals to like and want things and how those systems shape people’s decisions. His work explores self-control and why people make certain choices, even when logic tells them that those choices may not be in their best interest. During the 2020–2021 academic year, Shiv is teaching the elective course “Designing Solutions by Leveraging the Frinky Science of the Human Mind.”

A GSB alumni magazine article once described Shiv as “a favorite uncle who is always interested in your life and eager to talk about new, exciting ideas,” and Dan Ariely, a colleague of Shiv’s and a professor at Duke Fuqua, noted in the same article, “Shiv’s mere presence makes everything around him seem better.” A second year and Marketing Club officer told mbaMission that Shiv “tries to be a career resource for people who want to pursue marketing careers” and is “engaging and exciting to listen to. He is one of the favorite members of the whole faculty; people love him.”

For more information about the Stanford GSB and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out the free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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