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The mbaMission Blog

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Each February, approximately 650 MBA students from more than a dozen business schools across the country gather in Hanover, New Hampshire, to take a break from classes and recruiting and join Tuckies (students at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College) for the school’s Winter Carnival weekend. With the theme “Carnival of Thrones,” the 2014 event welcomed aspiring MBAs from 15 business schools, sending teams of 12–40 students each, to participate in the weekend events, which—in addition to the annual downhill ski races at nearby Whaleback Mountain—included an ice sculpture competition, a polar bear swim, a downhill snowshoe race, men’s and women’s squash tournaments, and a chili cook-off. Attendees also enjoyed the 38th Annual Winter Carnival Concert, which featured a jazz ensemble. In 2013), the carnival featured such activities as pond hockey, a human dogsled race, a hot-dog-eating contest, and a fashion show of ’80s skiwear. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization.

The costumes teams choose for the skiing competitions tend to be a highlight of the event. Past costumes, noted a first year with whom we spoke, have included “Hawaiian-themed clothing, business suits, and even Speedos!” One second-year student described the Winter Carnival to mbaMission as one of the more anticipated events at Tuck: “It is a big social event, to embrace the winter. On Friday, there is a big party at Occom Pond, with hot chocolate; it’s very family friendly. On Friday night, they hold a dance party. The ski races are on Saturday, followed by another party …. It’s a cool way for other schools to come and experience the winter wonderland that is Tuck.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Dartmouth Tuck and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Bu [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

The may rival MIT Sloan and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School with respect to its focus on the direct application of Internet technology to global business problems. The school’s rather small (75 students each year) and innovation-focused program was nevertheless ranked 23rd among full-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2012.

Situated in the heart of Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta, Scheller offers students numerous networking and innovation resources within the city’s high-tech business community, including the Advanced Technology Development Center business incubator. Billing itself as “the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development” on its Web site, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, or EI2, also provides students with resources for career options at the intersection of business and technology. As an indicator of the school’s overall strengths in information technology and operations management, a large portion of Scheller’s study body tends to come from engineering and computer science backgrounds (51% of the Class of 2015).
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Friday Factoid: Campus Development at MIT Sloan [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Campus Development at MIT Sloan
In 2006, MIT President Susan Hockfield announced a major campus development program that would invest approximately three-quarters of a billion dollars in new and renovated facilities on the school’s 154-acre Cambridge campus, and which included the Sloan School Expansion. This expansion added a new classroom building, E62 (address: 100 Main St.), with approximately 210,000 square feet of space that houses 205 offices, 6 classrooms, more than 30 group study rooms, a dining area, an Executive Education suite, lounge areas, and new, usable outdoor spaces. It was completed in time for the start of classes in fall 2010 and dedicated in May 2011, to coincide with MIT’s 150th anniversary.

The classroom building is described on the MIT Web site as “the ‘greenest’ building on the entire MIT campus.” A student from the Class of 2012, the first class to enter Sloan after the new building opened, described E62 as “the social hub at Sloan. It’s where students meet to socialize, eat—the cafeteria provides some of the best food in the neighborhood—and work on class projects. It’s probably one of the more significant things Sloan has done recently, as it provides the ideal networking space not only for students but also for the many professionals who come to check out the new building and recruit MBAs. The new building really adds to the Sloan experience, and I can’t imagine life before it!”

For a thorough exploration of what MIT Sloan and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Set the Tone in Your Opening Lines [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2014, 09:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Set the Tone in Your Opening Lines
As any good journalist will tell you, the key to writing a good newspaper story or opinion piece is to make sure the very first line grabs the reader’s attention. Many authors employ this tactic when writing books. Few of us may have read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, but many of us know that the novel begins with three famous words: “Call me Ishmael.” A powerful first line can stick with readers long after they have finished reading—and sometimes even when they have not read something firsthand. For example, we all likely recognize the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night,” but few of us may know that it is the opening line of a book by an obscure writer (Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton).

Although beginning an essay with a very short introduction is the norm, sometimes a punchy opening line can grab the reader’s attention in a useful way. Consider the differences between these pairs of openers. Which line in each example better captures your attention?

Example 1: A “Why MBA?” essay

A: “After I graduate with my MBA, I want to work in the wine industry.”

B: “Blood runs in the veins of all humans, but wine also runs in mine.”

Example 2: A “What are you most passionate about in life?” essay

A: “I enjoy nothing more than playing ice hockey.”

B: “As soon as the nearby river freezes, I wake at 6 a.m. each day and join my teammates for a prework hockey scrimmage.”

No set formula exists for opening lines. In fact, the possibilities are endless, and each opener depends on the context of the story being told. Nonetheless, our point is that you must carefully consider your opening line, because it will set the tone for your essay and determine whether your reader will want to read more.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Mission Admission: Ignore Anonymous Message Board Posts [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2014, 13:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Ignore Anonymous Message Board Posts
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

Every once in a while, a concerned business school candidate calls us and says something like, “Star491 wrote that Wharton won’t read past the 500-word limit, but IndianaHoops09 wrote that 10% over the limit is fine. Meanwhile, WannabeTuckie says….” Some of you may be laughing as you read this, but the truth is that many MBA applicants have difficulty not reading the various message boards, and some have even more difficulty not believing everything they read there. So, at the risk of stating the obvious, message boards are completely unregulated, and you should be skeptical when reading the opinions expressed by anonymous posters. For every individual who claims to know something authoritatively, you can always find another individual who claims to know that the opposite is true. Round and round we go…

Thus, our message is to ignore anonymous posters. Although this is valuable advice now, as you complete your first-round applications (ideally with your sanity intact), it will become even more valuable as the year progresses and many posters begin to make unsubstantiated claims about admissions statistics (offers given, GMAT scores of accepted candidates, etc.). If you tune out such noise now and put your energy instead into creating your best possible application(s), you will be far better off.

Of course, if you do have any questions, you can always ask us on the message boards over at Manhattan GMATBeat the GMAT, or GMAT Club. Or sign up for a free one-on-one consultation!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Professor Profiles: Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University’s Fuqu [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they select a program to attend, but the educational experience is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Gavan Fitzsimons from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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Students and administration members alike sing the praises of Fuqua’s “fun” and “engaging” marketing professor Gavan Fitzsimons (“Marketing Strategy,” “Entrepreneurial Marketing,” and “Consumer Behavior”), who spearheaded the creation of the Duke/Synovate Shopper Insights Center for Leadership and Innovation in January 2011). Fitzsimons is the R. David Thomas professor of marketing and psychology at Fuqua; his work, which focuses on the ways in which consumers are subconsciously influenced, has been published and popularized in prestigious academic journals and media outlets from the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing Research to NPR, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. Fitzsimons has also served as an associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Research.

For more information about Duke Fuqua and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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MBA Career Advice: Networking for Pre-MBAs Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Networking for Pre-MBAs Part 1
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more info or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

If you are headed to business school this fall, your life is about to change in a big way. Right now you are surrounded by professional colleagues, mentors, and champions, people who have supported you throughout your career and have helped you get to where you are. You are embedded within the network of your company. Will those connections diminish while you are in business school? You are going to be very busy and it won’t be easy to keep in touch, no matter how well-intentioned you are. But, you have an opportunity to nurture these connections now so that they persist even after you are in a different city doing different work. This is important even if you plan to transition into a different industry in a different geography. The world is round; you never know which relationships will come back around to be important.

Before you leave, seek to establish meaningful contact with everyone you have known in your job to date so that the relationships you have built will last.

Make a list of all the people who fit into one of these categories:

  • Supervisors, mentors, champions, and advocates
  • Collaborators, peers, and colleagues
  • Subordinates, people you managed
  • Important clients and external service providers
  • People you didn’t work with directly but who helped you out at some point
  • People you wish you had gotten to know better
  • Anyone else who comes to mind as someone you want to stay connected to
Give those people your personal email address and let them know how to reach you in the future. Connecting on LinkedIn is also a good idea. But these small steps are not enough. They won’t deepen the relationship. Real relationships require a personal touch.

So for the most important people on your list, schedule appointments to meet with each of them, preferably outside of the office. Why outside? Well, the professional aspect of your relationship is ending, and if you are going to keep the connection alive, you will have to create a personal connection. It will be harder to do so, if you are in a “strictly business,” setting. So, get them into a new environment.

Stay tuned for next week when we discuss what to accomplish in your coffee chats and lunches.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Career Trekking at Harvard Busines [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Career Trekking at Harvard Business School
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Career Treks are an integral part of the Harvard Business School (HBS) culture and allow groups of students to network with governmental, corporate, and nonprofit representatives in particular geographic areas. These optional trips take place during the fall and winter semesters as well as during the school’s  January break and range in length from two days to over a week. Past treks have included trips to the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, and Japan as well as the WesTrek to the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to attending alumni panels, meeting with government officials, and visiting companies, participating students take time to relax, explore, and simply enjoy their stay.

Treks are particularly important for students looking for a job through personal connections and for those seeking employment with smaller—or foreign—organizations that may not be able to participate in traditional on-campus recruiting. Treks are organized by student clubs, often with the support of the school and corporate sponsorship of events, such as a lunch or happy hour.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at HBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Diamonds in the Rough: Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2014, 17:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Wake Forest University’s School of Business prides itself on an integrated, leadership-focused curriculum. All students complete required first-year core course work, which establishes a foundation for Wake Forest’s entrepreneurial approach to business problem solving. During the second year, students choose a narrower career concentration, but entrepreneurship remains at the forefront. For students planning to start their own business, Wake Forest provides resources through its Angell Center for Entrepreneurship. Included among these is the Babcock Demon Incubator, a program that supports growth-oriented early-stage ventures for students and faculty. The school also houses a Family Business Center to offer management training and networking resources to students involved in a family business.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Cornell University (Johnson) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015 [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Cornell University (Johnson) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
You can be forgiven for feeling a little annoyance with Johnson at Cornell University’s decision to unnecessarily complicate things this season by stipulating a character limit, rather than a word limit, for its application essays. What does 2,000 characters, “including formatting characters,” really mean in this case? A call to the Johnson admissions office clarified for us that the 2,000-character limit does not include spaces, which means that your final text would likely equal approximately 400 words. (By comparison, note that last year, Johnson’s word limit was a more straightforward 300 words for Essay 1 and 450 words for its three-part Essay 2. So this year, the school is actually giving you a bit more leeway for the first essay and then dialing it back for the second.) Give your word processor’s “word count” function a workout and constantly check it as you write to see how close you are to the limit. Why is the school going with this approach? Who knows? Maybe this is an initial test of your fortitude, as though the school is saying, “If you are so frustrated by this that you no longer want to apply to Johnson, then we don’t want you!” Our analysis of Cornell Johnson’s essay prompts follows…

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Essay 1: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2,000 characters (including formatting characters) or less, please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity.


Johnson’s admissions committee makes a point of stressing in this prompt that it “value[s] creativity and authenticity.” With that in mind, we would like to emphasize that you do not need to use a conventional table of contents like you would typically find in a biography or historical text—one that would take the reader through a chronology of your life from birth through present day. Instead, you can create a table of contents that is organized thematically, or if you do choose to adhere to a chronological approach, you can extend the time line deep into the past or far into the future. Do not be constrained by what is typical—your options are limitless! (For some potential inspiration, consider heading to your local bookstore or “leafing” through your Kindle.)

The most important thing is that you choose an approach that allows you to reveal a great deal about your life in an interesting manner. To this end, brainstorm thoroughly before you start writing and develop an inventory of the ideas you want to convey. This essay prompt is open-ended, which means that you can delve into all of the different aspects of your life, rather than focusing on one specific, narrow category. Just be certain that each thing you share continues to add to the admissions committee’s knowledge of who you are.

You may want to follow the lead of other schools, such as Harvard Business School, which asks candidates to avoid repeating information from other parts of their application in their essay(s). Rather than relaying pure facts, consider relaying “color.” For example, rather than writing a chapter heading like “Successful Product Launch: Promoted Early at My Firm,” you might hint at what was behind that promotion to make the picture more complete and interesting: “A Vested Mentor, A Crucial Project, An Unexpected Promotion.” These two titles are significantly different! In some ways, these creative chapter titles are an exercise in subtly and innuendo. You want to reveal a lot about yourself and your story but not reiterate information already provided in the other parts of your application.

Essay 2: How does your pre-MBA experience prepare you for the job that you envision post-MBA? (2,000 character limit, including formatting characters).

Because personal statements are similar from one application to the next, we have produced the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write about their goals for any school. We offer this guide to candidates free of charge. Please feel free to download your copy today.

Optional Essay: Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at the Johnson School. (2,000 character limit, including formatting characters).

However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity, if needed, to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer may have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, or a gap in your work experience. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
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Friday Factoid: Hit the Slopes at…Kellogg? [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Hit the Slopes at…Kellogg?
When you think “skiing,” you probably think of the Alps or the Rockies rather than Evanston, Illinois, home to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Kellogg students may not do their skiing in Evanston proper, but a remarkable 750 or more first and second years participate in the school’s annual ski trip, which, according to students we interviewed, “remains the biggest of its kind. Like everything else at Kellogg, the trip is student run … from logistics to marketing to sponsorship. … First- and second-year students work together to make it an unforgettable weeklong adventure.” Participating students have traveled to such locations as Steamboat Resort and Telluride, in Colorado, where students stayed in mountainside condos. Those who wish to ski can avail themselves of three-, four-, or even five-day passes, while nonskiers can enjoy activities such as cooking classes, snowshoe lessons, and spa treatments (at reduced prices). The evenings feature theme parties, such as an annual ’80s party.

A first year with whom we spoke expressed how impressed she was with Kellogg’s ski club for “planning the best week of business school for 800 people!” She added that Ski Trip is simply not to be missed: “It’s all of your closest friends, taking over a ski town for one full week with amazing parties and social activities—many of which are sponsored!”

For a thorough exploration of what Kellogg and 15 other top business schools have to offer, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Employ Active Verbs [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Employ Active Verbs
Anyone who has ever written an email that has been misunderstood—let alone an MBA application essay—is no doubt aware of the subtleties of language and the simple nuances that can change a message’s meaning. Indeed, you can enliven a simple sentence by simply choosing a more active verb.

For example, consider the verb “earn.” By using “earn” rather than a more passive verb in the following examples, we can alter the meaning and impact of each sentence. Suddenly, you are in control—suddenly you worked hard and, as a result, accomplished great things.

Passive/Bad:  “I was promoted from junior to senior analyst.”

Active/Good:  “I earned a promotion from junior to senior analyst.”

Passive/Bad:  “After being awarded my MBA, I will be able to….”

Active/Good:  “After earning my MBA, I will be able to….”

Once you have finished your application essays, review them to see how often you can replace certain words with “earn” or a similar verb—such as “achieve,” “gain,” “attain”—that denotes action on your part.
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University of California Los Angeles (Anderson) Essay Analys [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2014, 14:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: University of California Los Angeles (Anderson) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015
The UCLA Anderson School of Management was once at the forefront of the “keep it simple” application essay scene. The school whittled its required number of essays down to just one several years ago. Now, that one essay has a 750-word limit, and given that so few other schools request essays longer than 500 words, Anderson’s individual essay actually seems monstrous. Despite its comparative length, however, you will have only that one essay with which to paint a rounded picture of yourself for the admissions committee. This means you will need to pay extra close attention to your resume, recommendations, short answers, and interview to ensure that you cover all your most compelling accomplishments and traits in the full suite of materials. (Of course, this is true for all schools to which you plan to apply, but in this case, it is especially so.) Our analysis of Anderson’s sole essay prompt follows…

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Essay 1: UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words maximum)


The presentation of Anderson’s defining principles—“share success, think fearlessly, drive change”—at the beginning of this prompt is a bit of a red herring, or diversionary tactic, if you will. The school requests that you examine and share your defining principles, but do not take this to mean that yours must directly align with any or all of Anderson’s stated tenets. We recommend that you select two, possibly three, principles that have “defined” your life and pre-MBA career and back each one up with clear and powerful examples of the role they have played in your professional and/or personal life. By choosing these principles to highlight in your application essay, you are saying that they have helped define who you are today, so you had better be able to substantiate them. You do not necessarily have to craft a story that leads directly to b-school—the principles you share can simply lead to interesting places in your life—but in many cases, you should naturally be able to apply the principles to your career goals, which leads us to the second part of Anderson’s query.

Before you can explore how Anderson’s principles and environment will affect your life after graduation, you will need to describe your goals and expectations for that time. And to ensure that your response is effective and compelling, you must show that you truly understand your anticipated post-MBA environment and your role within in. Fortunately, the principles that Anderson stands for are sufficiently broad that, for example, a would-be hedge fund manager could argue that she will think fearlessly in developing a portfolio, share success in rewarding those who come up with good ideas, and drive change by allocating capital to sectors of the economy that need it. Similarly, a product manager could think fearlessly in creating innovative features, share success in… well, you get the point. What is important here is that you demonstrate a nuanced understanding of where your career is going. Exactly which principles you highlight is less relevant than conveying a genuine awareness of the field you are targeting.

As we noted earlier, do not get sucked into believing that Anderson only wants candidates whose principles directly match its own, but if one of your does, you should be able to clearly make that connection and explain how Anderson’s environment will help you support and further cultivate that belief while you are preparing to enter your post-graduate career. If, on the other hand, your principles differ from those of the school, look instead for ways in which Anderson’s beliefs would complement your own, helping make you more well-rounded or effective in your life after business school.

 OPTIONAL ESSAY: The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.

  • Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
However tempted you might be, this is not the place to paste in a strong essay from another school or to offer a few anecdotes that you were unable to use in any of your other essays. Instead, this is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc. In our mbaMission Optional Statement Guide, available through our online store, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay (including multiple sample essays) to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.
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Mission Admission: Use the MBA Admissions Office [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2014, 10:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Use the MBA Admissions Office
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

“Do I need to take the TOEFL if I attended an English-language undergraduate institution outside the United States?”

“Do I need to provide a separate transcript from the institution where I studied abroad for my junior year, even though these grades show up on my ‘home’ university’s transcript?”

“I completed military service before my undergraduate education. Can I still count these years in my ‘full-time work experience since graduation’ total?”

These are just a few of the technical questions that can arise as you complete the short-answer portion of your application (depending on the nature of your candidacy). The reason these and many other questions can be so bewildering is that often, no clear answer can be found in the school’s application materials, and tremendous variation exists from one MBA application to the other.

Generally, candidates tend to think of the MBA Admissions Office as an impenetrable black box, but the truth is that these offices are open and available to applicants, and admissions representatives indeed want to clarify these kinds of small technical issues that candidates may encounter. Although you should take care to not be a pest and avoid repeatedly calling the Admissions Office, if you have a small question or two with no clear-cut, obvious answers, do not be afraid to reach out. Why not take the guesswork out of the equation and be certain of what the admissions committee expects?
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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MBA Career Advice: Networking for Pre-MBAs Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Networking for Pre-MBAs Part 2
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more info or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

Once you have culled your most important contacts and scheduled meetings with them, there are a few important things you will want to accomplish in your final conversation.

Say Thank You

Thank them for whatever they have done for you; Dig deep and be honest and specific. “Thanks for all your help this year,” is vague. “Of all the things you’ve done for me, you might be surprised to learn that the constructive feedback you gave me on my presentation style has had the greatest impact on me,” is vivid and real. Specific and honest acknowledgement is a great gift to the receiver.

Tell Them Your Plans

Let them know what you have planned for your future: Tell them what you are excited or nervous about as you look forward to Bschool. Let them know what you plan to do for your internship. Even if you are considering a few different options, talk it through with them. They will appreciate you sharing your plans with them in a frank and open way.

Give the Connection a Future

The easiest way to give the connection a future is to ask them for something. When you give someone the chance to contribute to you, it deepens the relationship. It’s important not to force this, but try for example:

  • “Do you know anyone who is doing Management Consulting right now that you think I should speak with to learn more about it before my internship?”
  • “I’d love it if you’d continue to forward me any great articles you come across, and I will do the same.”
  • “Would it be alright if I ping you when I am preparing for internship interviews to ask you a few questions or perhaps have you serve as a reference?”
  • “If I meet anyone at BSchool interested in working for our firm, would it be alright for me to introduce you?”
As with all things, don’t force the conversation. Do what comes naturally to you when you are speaking with someone you know and like. It is fine not to cover all the points we recommend; trust yourself.

One final tip: As we have discussed in several other posts, the more interconnected your network is, the more useful it will be for you. Give your colleagues a chance to connect you with their colleagues. Ask: “Is there anyone else you think I should meet or talk to before I go to business school?” Ask this question in the context of your future career plans – even if your plans are still undefined and you want to do more research. In our next post, we will talk about how to make use of these second degree connections before your MBA.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
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Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School o [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Lubos Pastor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose which business school to attend, but the educational experience itself is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Lubos Pastor from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

ImageStill relatively young, Lubos Pastor (“Investments” and “Portfolio Management”) has already received considerable recognition for his research on the stock market and asset management and is featured among “The Best 40 B-School Profs Under the Age of 40” by Poets & Quants. Pastor’s work has been influential, earning him such high-profile accolades as the NASDAQ Award, the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Prize, and the Barclay’s Global Investors Prize, as well as Chicago Booth’s own Faculty Excellence Award for MBA Teaching in both 2009 and 2010. One student quoted in the Poets & Quants article said that “his witty style elevates classroom conversations and facilitates retention of core concepts.”

For more information about Chicago Booth and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Duke Fuqua’s MBA Games and Auction [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 11:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Duke Fuqua’s MBA Games and Auction
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

MBA Games is a collection of events that take place throughout the academic year and culminate in a weekend of competition each spring among MBA students from 12–16 North American business schools. The purpose of MBA Games is to support Special Olympics North Carolina, which students do by volunteering for events each month with athletes from the organization (e.g., tailgating, skating, bowling) and by participating in various fundraising events (e.g., sports tournaments, organized races, parties) and auctions. The MBA Games site proclaims that since the event’s founding in 1989, it has helped raise more than $1.8M for Special Olympics North Carolina.

Each year, Fuqua Partners puts on a fundraising auction for the MBA Games—which is reportedly Fuqua’s largest annual philanthropy event. One alumnus recalled how he bid on and won the opportunity to sumo wrestle one of the core professors, with both of them wearing humongous padded suits. The auction takes place during a Fuqua Friday in mid-February. Students and professors bid on dozens of items donated by corporate sponsors and members of the Fuqua community. Donations have been as varied as dinners/lunches with several professors and Duke University President Richard Brodhead, a VIP table at the Black Eyed Peas afterparty, a three-night golf vacation on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, a UNC/Duke beer-pong table, and a one-on-one basketball game with former NBA player Pat Garrity. The auction has both a silent component and a live, called component.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Fuqua and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 15:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Immersion Weeks at Penn State Smeal
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business is known for balancing traditional coursework with immersive learning. Smeal’s “7-1-7” modular curriculum structure includes four different immersion experiences sandwiched between seven-week modules over the course of the two-year MBA program. Beginning with a “Career Immersion” week, students participate in various workshops that focus on honing career development skills. Smeal’s curriculum also includes a required international experience component during the “Global Immersion” module, which takes place in the spring of the first year. Students travel to such countries as Chile, India, and China to visit international organizations across various industries. The third immersion module, focusing on “Negotiation, Theory, and Skill,” requires students to practice negotiation skills by conducting group exercises and receiving feedback from their peers. Finally, students complete a “Service Experience” project in the spring of their second year. These projects, which range from local to global in scale, serve as an opportunity to give back to the community. Past projects have included working with Penn State’s own THON, a dance marathon fundraiser benefiting cancer research, in addition to partnering with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and LIVESTRONG.

 
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Friday Factoid: Preparing for Cold Calls at Darden [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2014, 12:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Preparing for Cold Calls at Darden
MBA students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are known to work quite hard amid the rigors of the case method. Each day, they are expected to read and complete their own analysis of a case (a narrative that details a business problem) and then compare and reason through their analysis with a small, diverse group of fellow students (in the form of their Learning Team). Often, students can spend two to four hours prepping on their own and then two to three more with their teammates to arrive at an answer (as opposed to the answer). And, what can be the reward for all of this? You may just be selected for a “cold call” to start off the class.

At Darden, most first-year classes and some second-year classes begin with a professor randomly selecting a student to lead the day’s discussion with his/her case analysis. This student can be subjected to anywhere from five to 20 minutes of questioning, as the professor teases out key points of discussion for the broader class to explore. Many a student has sweated through a cold call, only to gain the applause of his/her peers at the end. (Others, of course, may not do as well.) The cold call can be daunting, but it forces students to prepare thoroughly and think on their feet—a key feature of the Darden learning experience.

For more information on Darden and any of 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Consider the Optional Essay for Extraordinar [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2014, 08:00
FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Consider the Optional Essay for Extraordinary Achievements
In the past, we have advised MBA candidates to exercise caution in choosing to write the optional essay. (See our Monday Morning Essay Tip: The Optional Mistake.) Our philosophy has not changed on this point, but we do want to make MBA candidates aware of certain circumstances, other than discussing a problem area, that may merit writing an optional essay.

For example, if you have achieved something absolutely extraordinary that is relevant to your candidacy—something that truly strikes at the essence of who you are—but that will simply not fit as an answer to any of the school’s essay questions, then you should consider writing the optional essay to illuminate the experience and its importance to you. We would advise making this exception only in the most unique of circumstances and remind applicants that they should still be quite conservative in their use of this space. Again, this is not the place for a 500-word “extra” essay, but a few sentences illustrating your extraordinary experience and its significance would be appropriate. Such an experience should be able to stand on its own, however, so take care not to belabor the point and agitate the admissions committee with a long essay detailing a variety of themes and accomplishments.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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