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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Few Changes in This Year’s U.S. News MBA Rankings [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Few Changes in This Year’s U.S. News MBA Rankings
U.S. News & World Report released its 2022 Best Business Schools list recently, naming the Stanford Graduate School of Business the number one MBA program for the second year in a row. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which shared the top spot with Stanford last year, is second this time around. The rest of the top ten programs include largely the same names as the 2021 rankings, with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business ranked third and such institutions as Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, and Yale School of Management rounding out the list.

Among the most notable changes since last year are the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, which rose 36 spots to 44th, and Rutgers Business School, which shares the 44th spot after being ranked 56th last year. Interestingly, Purdue Krannert announced in June 2020 that it was placing its two-year residential MBA program on hold because of a decline in applications. The school has not announced the future of its MBA program as of April 2021.

As always, we at mbaMission remind you to regard business school rankings as what they are—incredibly variable lists that depend on numerous factors and are meant to offer an interesting way of looking at MBA programs. They should not be a deciding factor in your decision-making process!
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Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Management [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Roberto Rigobon, MIT Sloan School of Management

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Roberto Rigobon from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Roberto Rigobon, the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and a professor of applied economics, specializes in international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. At an awards ceremony in 2005, Sloan students described him as someone who “epitomized the fine line between madness and genius.” Other award-related descriptions of Rigobon refer to him as “serious but hilarious,” “crazy and brilliant,” and “high energy.” He teaches the reportedly very popular “Applied Macro and International Economics” course, which is said to be often taken by up to 30% of Sloan students at a time. He has won numerous teaching awards during his time at Sloan (including the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, 2003, and 2005, and Teacher of the Year in 1999, 2002, and 2004) and is primarily recognized for his accessibility. As one second-year student blogged, “The door to his office was always open.”

For a thorough exploration of what MIT Sloan has to offer, download a free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the MIT Sloan School of Management or one of our 16 other complimentary Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Why Worry? I Volunteered! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Why Worry? I Volunteered!
Some MBA applicants mistakenly view community service as simply a prerequisite for getting into a top program and sign up for volunteer opportunities without considering whether the organization or cause they are choosing is actually a reasonable fit for them. Community service is generally something positive to highlight in your application, given that it demonstrates altruism and frequently indicates leadership skills as well—attributes that may not be revealed in your work experience. However, it is not a panacea or a mere box to be checked. As you contemplate your involvements, be aware that “hours served” are not as important as the spirit of your participation and the extent of your impact.

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

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

Whether you are already committed to an activity or are just considering becoming involved in one, carefully determine whether you have the mind-set and personal interest necessary to truly commit yourself to your chosen cause and make a difference. If putting in hours is the only commitment you can make, you will just be wasting your time.
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How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking the GMAT [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Minimize Careless Errors While Taking the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy studying, and go start figuring out how to minimize those careless mistakes!
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Innovative Opportunities at the University of California’s Business Sc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Innovative Opportunities at the University of California’s Business Schools
Thanks to its proximity to the Tech Coast, the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California (UC), Irvine, offers significant opportunities for students with an eye toward innovative business. Indeed, an emphasis on innovation and business pioneering is built directly into what Merage calls its “innovative curriculum,” supplementing conventional business disciplines with such areas as strategic innovation, information technology, analytic decision making, and collaborative execution. The school recently revamped its curriculum to “create unparalleled learning experiences with a single goal: preparing [the students] to propel [their] career[s] and lead [their] organizations to success in our digitally driven world,” as the website describes. The updates include a new concentration in Analytics in Digital Leadership and a STEM designation for the entire program.

In addition, several of Merage’s special course offerings and programs showcase the school’s commitment to putting students in contact with the rapidly shifting face of business. The “EDGE” course, for example, offers the opportunity to gain cutting-edge insight into the relationship between business trends, globalization, and technology. Through the school’s practicum Consulting Projects, students gain hands-on experience with current business practices by working directly with locally based global companies over a ten-week period. Merage students can also participate each year in the university-wide New Venture Competition, whose winners collectively claim up to $100K in funding for their proposed start-up ventures.

At the UC Davis Graduate School of Management—under the same university umbrella but approximately an eight-hour drive from the Merage School of Business—the full-time MBA program focuses on preparing students to become innovative leaders. Leadership is woven into the curriculum in the form of core courses, a ten-week management capstone course, and the Collaborative Leadership Program, which offers first-year students leadership training via workshops, assessment exercises, a mentorship program, a Personal Leadership Development Plan, and the option of applying to the Advanced Collaborative Leadership Program in the second year.
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How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays—and Mo [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays—and More on Being Appropriately Personal
Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a balanced rhythm or structure. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective corresponds with another adjective, and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect.

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

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

Here are a few more examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always keep in mind that in many ways, the admissions committee is meeting you for the first time via your application. So, a simple way to judge whether you are being too personal in your materials is to ask yourself, “Would I be uncomfortable if, immediately upon meeting someone, they were to share this sort of information with me?” If your answer is “yes,” you should most likely consider changing your topic.
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Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, University of Chicago Booth School o [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Kevin Murphy, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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

In 2005, Chicago Booth professor Kevin Murphy—who has a joint appointment in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he teaches PhD-level courses—became the first business school professor to win the MacArthur Genius Grant, which he received for his groundbreaking economic research. Murphy’s course “Advanced Microeconomic Analysis” is affectionately called “Turbo Micro” because of its enormous workload. One recent graduate told mbaMission that a typical Chicago Booth class is supposed to be complemented by five hours of homework per week but that Murphy’s course demands roughly 20 hours. So, why would students clamber to take the class? The alumnus with whom we spoke raved that it was taught at the PhD level and that Murphy is deserving of his “genius” title, pushing students to think about their opinions in profoundly different ways. A first year we interviewed identified Murphy’s course as the most impressive he had taken thus far, saying it offered “a very complicated but logical way to view the world.” Murphy also teaches such MBA courses as “Big Problems,” which is open to both business and law students, and “Sports Analytics,” which explores such themes as decision making, causation, and fixation through the context of sports.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Harvard Business School Is for Everyon [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Harvard Business School Is for Everyone
Harvard Business School (HBS) offers an excellent MBA program. This is largely a given, and we are not questioning that. However, what we will call into question is whether HBS (or any other school, for that matter) is right for you. Every year, we get a few calls from confused MBA aspirants who say, “I visited HBS, and I am not sure if there is a fit,” as if that indicates some sort of problem. Indeed, and this may be shocking to some, HBS is not for everyone—particularly those who do not relate well to case-based learning, those who want a lot of flexibility in their first-year curriculum, and those who would prefer a small class size (HBS’s Class of 2022 has 732 students,* while the same class at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, for example, has just 331).

We hope that applicants will use this post as a jumping-off point to critically appraise their target MBA programs and determine which schools are indeed right for them. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Would I prefer to be in a larger program, or would I feel overwhelmed by a larger program’s size?
  • Would I prefer to be in a smaller program, or would that feel claustrophobic?
  • Would I prefer to be at a school with a flexible curriculum and a consistent stream of new classmates and where I could make my own academic choices early on?
  • Would I prefer to learn in a comprehensive core curriculum where I am, for a period of time, learning the same material as my classmates and where academics would provide me with a course structure?
  • Am I best suited for the case method, lecture method, or programs with strong experiential components? And do I really understand what each entails (for example, the teamwork and public speaking that are necessary with the case method)?
  • Do my target schools match my academic objectives?
  • Do my target firms recruit at my school?
  • Are alumni well placed in my industry/post-MBA location? (Are alumni even crucial to my career?)
  • Do my target schools have facilities and an environment that appeal to me?Again, these questions are just a start. We could pose many more, but the point is that you will get far more than a brand from your MBA studies. You will gain an education and an alumni network in return for your investment of two years and thousands of dollars. You should therefore skip the rankings, determine what is important to you, and then do your research to identify a program that truly fits your personality, needs, and goals.
* Note that a typical HBS class has approximately 930 students, but some accepted students chose to defer in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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Making Progress on Your Career Goals While in Business School   [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Making Progress on Your Career Goals While in Business School  
Many MBA candidates believe that business school will offer them time to explore different careers or that an MBA program will help them gain clarity on their career goals. Unfortunately, this does not happen without a lot of targeted research and reflection by the candidate.

So, what parameters and process for your research and reflection will yield results without putting you into a circle of “analysis paralysis”? Consider the following points:

[b]1. Recognize that you will never have 100% perfect information[/b] to help you decide on your post-MBA career goals. Your career will be iterative and likely will include lots of twists and turns through which you will learn more about yourself and continue to find new positions offering more fulfilment.

[b]2. Set and hold yourself accountable to a timeline.[/b] Write down weekly/monthly goals and milestones, estimating the amount of time required for each, and then work backward. For example, if you plan to start school in August, then ask yourself what you need to accomplish by the end of May, June, and July, respectively.

[b]3. Conduct a 360-degree review.[/b] Ask five to seven (or more) people—managers, colleagues, direct reports, vendors, and friends—for feedback and advice. Prompt them with specific questions such as the following: What do you think are my biggest strengths? What skills do you think will be most beneficial to a long-term career? In what type of situations am I at my best? When have you seen me most engaged in something?

[b]4. Identify themes from your own experiences.[/b] Explore your previous experiences (go back to your brainstorming documents for MBA program applications). What did you like most at work (or in your extracurriculars)—why? What did you like least—why? When were you at your best? What skills were you constantly praised for demonstrating? What type of problem solving excited you? What are you most curious about?

[b]5. Narrow your options with brainstorming and research.[/b] Evaluate the best options given the marketplace realities and your interests, skills, and risk tolerance. Use insights from items 3 and 4 to build a set of criteria/priorities for your target role. Brainstorm two to three potential careers. Gather information on each pathway, noting any unanswered questions for future exploration.

[b]6. Confirm and deepen knowledge via networking.[/b] Focus your questions on areas of priority (e.g., if stability and a structured career path are important to you, ask questions on that topic). Seek to understand potential employers’ needs through questions such as these: What type of people are most successful in this role? What skills enable you to be successful in this role? What are the biggest obstacles you face on a day-to-day basis?

[b]7. Tap into your MBA program.[/b] Check and see if summer self-assessment resources are available—perhaps access to external content such as [b][url=https://www.careerleader.com/]CareerLeader[/url][/b] or internally developed exercises and industry-specific content.

Finally, while we know it is tempting to find somebody else to tell you what career to pursue, devoting an appropriate amount of time and energy to investigating and making the decision yourself will result in more successful recruiting and more satisfaction in your ultimate role.
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Studying for and Struggling with the GMAT: The Most Common Issues [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Studying for and Struggling with the GMAT: The Most Common Issues
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.

Have you been studying for the GMAT for a while now but find yourself struggling to lift your score? Perhaps you have some problems of which you are unaware, or you are studying in an inefficient or ineffective way.

This article includes links to a number of additional articles. If you see something that applies to your situation, follow the link!

First, read this short article: In It to Win It.

Time Management

Almost everyone has timing problems; many people think they do not, but they are wrong. If you have been studying for a while but your score does not seem to be changing much, then one of the culprits is probably timing. Another common sign: your practice test scores fluctuate up and down.

Next, analyze your most recent practice test to see whether you have any timing problems and, if so, what they are.

Content

You may also, of course, have content problems—maybe modifiers are driving you crazy, or combinatorics.

Not all content areas have equal value. Some areas are more commonly tested than others, and those areas are obviously worth more of your time and attention. For example, modifiers are very commonly tested, but combinatorics questions are infrequent. If you are struggling with this topic, good news! Forget about it.

How do you know which areas are more or less commonly tested? This changes over time, so ask your instructor or post the question on some GMAT forums.

The test review we discussed in the time management section will also tell you your content strengths and weaknesses. Your next task is to figure out how to study in a more effective way.

How to Study

Many people do huge quantities of problems, but we are not going to memorize all these problems. If that is what you have been doing and you are struggling or taking forever, stop now!

What we want to do instead is use the current practice problems to help us learn how to think our way through future new problems. When doing GMAT-format problems, be aware that roughly 80% of your learning comes after you have finished doing the problem. Your goal here is not to do a million questions but to do a much more modest number of questions and really analyze them to death. Here is how to review GMAT practice problems.

Super-High Score Goal

What if you are going for a super-high score (730+) and find that you are stagnating? Maybe you have hit 700 but cannot get past that mark. First, do you really need such a high score? Not many schools will reject a 700-scorer for that reason.

If you are determined to push into the stratosphere, learn the differences between a 700-scorer and a 760-scorer. A super-high scorer has certain skills and habits, and you will need to learn how to develop them. Also, recognize that you might need outside help from a class or tutor to make this leap.

My Score Dropped!

Have you experienced a big score drop (more than 70 points) on a recent practice test or an official exam? I know you are disappointed, but you are not alone. Your task now is to figure out what went wrong, so that you can take steps to get back to the pre-drop level.

Something Else?

Finally, if you just cannot figure out what is holding you back, then you likely need the advice of an expert. You can get free advice on various forums (including the Manhattan Prep forums!). You could also take a class or work with a tutor—this will cost money, of course, but if you have really been banging your head against the wall for a long time, then you might decide the investment is worth it.
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How Will the Admissions Committee View Your Profile? Subscribe to “MBA [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How Will the Admissions Committee View Your Profile? Subscribe to “MBA Watch In Focus” to Find Out! 
As we look forward to the beginning of a new MBA admissions season, you might be one of the many prospective applicants wondering how the admissions committee at your target business schools might view your profile. How will your background, goals, test scores, and work experience be interpreted by the admissions directors? Do you stand a chance of gaining admission to competitive schools in the Top 15? What can you do to improve your odds?

If you find yourself asking these questions, you are not alone! Together with Poets&Quants, we at mbaMission periodically review real candidate profiles and assess applicants’ candidacy as part of [b][url=https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxjlG8lCTV_eipSRdpgGzcs_HfpuDJ30X]MBA Watch In Focus[/url][/b], a weekly video series streaming on YouTube. During each episode, one of our admissions experts assesses the overall strength of a candidate’s profile and offers advice on how to improve their chances of gaining admission—or whether they should consider applying to other programs.

Recently, mbaMission Senior Consultants and Managing Directors reviewed the profiles of five competitive candidates from various backgrounds—aviation, consulting, construction management, and IT/energy—speaking candidly about their chances at top business schools and pinpointing how to bolster their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses in the eyes of the MBA admissions gatekeepers.

How will their profiles stack up? View the videos below to find out! [b][/b]

[b]1. Mr. Airline Captain with mbaMission Founder/President Jeremy Shinewald[/b]

In this episode, mbaMission Founder and President Jeremy Shinewald is focusing on the positives for “Mr. Airline Captain.” This MBA candidate is targeting INSEAD and has post-MBA goals of working in consulting with a large firm in the aerospace, travel, or aviation section. He has 10 years of experience as an airline captain, a 3.8 GPA from a not-well-known university in India as well as an MA degree in aviation law (talk about passion for his field!), and a 740 GMAT score. Find out what Jeremy thinks this candidate will need to focus on in his applications to succeed!

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[b]3. Ms. Nebraska with mbaMission Managing Director Jessica Shklar[/b] [b]

[/b]

In this week’s episode, mbaMission Managing Director Jessica Shklar is discussing “Ms. Nebraska,” whose long-term goal is to take her knowledge from her Harvard Business School MBA and work in consulting in order to return to Nebraska to help “prevent the ‘brain drain’ of bright young grads from the state.” This candidate was the youngest person ever at her company to be promoted to project controller on a project in excess of $100M. She is passionate about getting more women into the construction industry and developing the Nebraska economy. With a 740 GMAT score and a 3.77 GPA, does she have a chance of getting in? See what Jessica thinks!

[youtube2]span>

[b]5. Mr. Life Science Consultant with mbaMission Managing Director Devi Vallabhaneni[/b]

“Mr. Life Science Consultant” has dreams of becoming a finance executive at a life science company and thinks that Harvard Business School (HBS) can help him get there. With his two years of experience at Deloitte (and a possible sponsorship from the company), a solid GPA, and community mentorship work, this candidate is off to a strong start. In this episode of MBA Watch In Focus, mbaMission Managing Director Devi Vallabhaneni calls on her decades of experience interviewing and evaluating HBS candidates to discuss what she thinks Mr. Life Science Consultant will need to focus on to have a chance at gaining admission to this elite business school.



Want to submit your profile for a chance to be featured during an MBA Watch In Focus live stream? [b][url=https://poetsandquants.com/mba-watch/]Click here to submit your details for Poets&Quants’ expert and community assessment[/url][/b]; you may just be selected to be reviewed live by one of our experts! In addition, be sure to request a [b][url=https://mbamission.com/consult]free 30-minute consultation[/url][/b] with one of mbaMission’s expert admissions consultants.
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mbaMission Publishes New Essay Guide for GSB and HBS Applicants [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: mbaMission Publishes New Essay Guide for GSB and HBS Applicants
[url=https://i1.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/wmwm-cover.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i1.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/wmwm-cover.jpg?resize=350%2C453&ssl=1[/img][/url]
We at mbaMission are proud to introduce [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/what-matters-and-what-more]“What Matters?” and “What More?”: 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked)[/url][/b] written by Jeremy Shinewald, Founder/President of mbaMission, and Liza Weale, Founder of Gatehouse Admissions, in partnership with Poets&Quants.

Having helped hundreds of candidates gain acceptance to Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Jeremy and Liza have pooled their collective experience to analyze a carefully curated collection of 50 successful essays to HBS and the GSB, breaking down why each one worked. The result is a truly essential guide to crafting essays confidently and effectively.  

“What Matters?” and “What More?”: 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked) offers the following:

[list]
Actual HBS and Stanford GSB essays, submitted by past candidates who were ultimately admitted, along with expert commentary on the strengths (and sometimes weaknesses!) of each one[/*]
Ten “pairs” of essays for HBS and the GSB, showing how the same candidate approached the two schools’ differing essay prompts[/*]
Two essays by reapplicants, highlighting useful tactics for writing these essays the second time around[/*]
Overviews and examples of four different approaches you can take to composing your essays: thematic, inflection points, single anecdote, and mosaic[/*]
Best practices for each program’s essay question, such as how to handle the prompts’ vastly different word counts and what not to include in your essays[/*]
[/list]
The guidance, samples, and critiques in “What Matters?” and “What More?” will help you find the best approach for sharing your strongest stories with these programs—and position yourself for success!

If you plan to apply to Harvard Business School or the Stanford GSB, this digital guide is a must-have resource, and it is on sale now for $60. [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/products/what-matters-and-what-more][b]Purchase your copy today[/b][/url]—and be sure to [url=https://mbamission.com/consult][b]contact us[/b][/url] if you are interested in speaking one-on-one with an mbaMission expert admissions consultant via a free 30-minute consultation. 

Looking for even more HBS and GSB advice? Join Jeremy and Liza for a free webinar in which they will break down essays from “What Matters?” and “What More?” and take your questions live! Click one of the links below to register—space is limited.

[list]
[b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26567/]April 27, 8:00 p.m. ET[/url][/b][/*]
[b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26568/]April 28, 12:00 p.m. ET[/url][/b][/*]
[/list]
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Intimate Class Sizes in the South at Scheller College of Business and [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Intimate Class Sizes in the South at Scheller College of Business and Mays Business School
The Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech might rival MIT Sloan and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business with respect to its focus on the direct application of Internet technology to global business problems. The school’s rather small (approximately 60–80 students each year) and innovation-focused program was nevertheless ranked 24th among full-time MBA programs in the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2019.

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. In addition, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, or EI2, bills itself as “the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development” on its website and 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, manufacturing/engineering was the most common pre-MBA industry among the Class of 2021, and technology was the second most popular.

Meanwhile, at the Texas A&M University Mays Business School, students follow a full-time, 49-credit MBA curriculum that can be completed in just 16 months (over an 18-month period of August to December) or customized for an extended period of time. Although the core curriculum is very rigid, with foundational management courses spanning the entirety of the program, Mays also offers the option of pursuing certificates and career specializations beyond the 16-month core.

What really stands out about the Mays program, however, is its dedication to maintaining a strong sense of community. Similar to Scheller, the relatively small class size—the 2020 incoming class, for example, featured 86 students—facilitates an intimate classroom setting and personalized attention from faculty and staff at Mays.
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Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven Them [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Begin Your Essays with Your Strongest Accomplishments and Enliven Them with the Active Voice
When preparing personal statements that require significant information about career progress, many MBA applicants choose to discuss their accomplishments in chronological order. Although the simplicity of this approach makes it appealing, we encourage you to consider another way of showcasing your more recent and therefore potentially stronger accomplishments first. By taking this approach instead, you may capture your reader’s imagination more quickly and reduce the risk of being lost amid similar candidates.

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

The Project Manager

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

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

The Investment Banker

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

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

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

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

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

Consider this example of the passive voice:

“The marathon was run despite my injury.”

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

“I ran the marathon despite my injury.”

Here are two more examples:

Passive: “The contract was awarded to us.”

Active: “We won the contract.”

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

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

Remember—you are the center and subject of your essays. The best way to tell your stories and explain your accomplishments is to make sure that you are the catalyst of the stories you tell. Using the active voice ensures that the admissions committee(s) will see you as an active person who makes things happen.
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Professor Profiles: Julie Hennessy, Northwestern University Kellogg Sc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Julie Hennessy, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Julie Hennessy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Before students even began describing the quality of their educational experiences with Julie Hennessy to mbaMission, they noted that she “cares a lot” and “makes herself available to chat and talk about recruiting.” In addition to teaching Kellogg MBA students as a clinical professor of marketing and serving as associate chair of the Marketing Department, Hennessy teaches executive education at leading firms. Students we interviewed reported that she draws on these experiences in class but does not just tell stories. Instead, Hennessy challenges students and teases out the responses that facilitate learning. Students with whom we spoke also referred to her as “funny and energetic.”

Not surprisingly, then, Hennessy won the school’s L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award—which is voted on by Kellogg students—in both 2007 and 2017. In addition, she has won seven student impact awards and five Chair’s Core Course Teaching Awards—most recently in 2018 and 2010–2011, respectively. And in 2016, Hennessy received the school’s Certificate for Impact Teaching Award.

Kellogg’s website notes that Hennessy focuses her writing on producing new cases for class discussion; she has completed cases on such brands as TiVo, Apple iPod, Invisalign Orthodontics, and (as separate cases) the antibiotics Biaxin and Zithromax. Her recent cases have focused on such topics as “Stella Artois in South Africa: Cause Marketing and the Building of a Global Brand” and “With a Little Help from ‘Nuestros Amigos’: Hispanics and Kidney Transplants.”

For more information about Northwestern Kellogg and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with the GMAT [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: What to Do If You Are Just Getting Started with the GMAT
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, ask for advice! So many resources are out there that it can be overwhelming, but most companies offer free advice (Manhattan Prep does here!), and you can also benefit from talking to fellow students.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The CFA Is a Liability [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The CFA Is a Liability
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation—a grueling, three-part financial program that hundreds of thousands of people pursue each year—covers many of the subjects included in a “typical” first-year MBA curriculum. A CFA aspirant must study basic economics, accounting, finance, and quantitative analysis, areas that echo aspects of many first-year MBA core curricula. So, could working toward the CFA designation negatively affect an MBA applicant’s candidacy by suggesting that they already have the tools an MBA education would provide and that additional studies would therefore be superfluous? Definitely not!

In fact, pursuing the CFA designation reflects positively on an applicant in that the effort emphasizes their ability to manage a rigorous MBA curriculum and establishes the candidate as a self-starter and a disciplined individual, given that CFA exam preparation is intense and requires several months of sustained and extensive study for each level. Furthermore, from an admissions perspective, admissions officers want to know that they are admitting individuals who are employable; the CFA charter holder has an advantage in the post-MBA recruiting world, because employers can point to the designation as a differentiator among otherwise comparable applicants.

The CFA exam/program can also be a useful marketing tool for candidates to help them during the admissions process. Because the CFA narrowly focuses on financial tools, it does not cover a myriad of other subjects the MBA does address and that are useful to financial professionals, including marketing, operations, international business, human resource management, and entrepreneurship. The CFA is an independent and largely quantitative program and thus cannot provide the elements a business school program offers through discussion, debate, and measuring qualitative information in decision making.

Together, the CFA designation and the MBA degree constitute a powerful one-two punch that can be advantageous in landing that coveted post-MBA position.
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