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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Am I Too Late to Apply to Business School in Round 2? [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Am I Too Late to Apply to Business School in Round 2?
Maybe you got busy with fall activities or took the GMAT or GRE a couple extra times, and all of a sudden, here we are just a few weeks away from Round 2. You have to ask yourself, “Can I get my applications in on time, or do I have to delay my plans by a year?”

Let us reassure you, if you are committed to submitting your applications in Round 2, you can get them done in time! Doing so will require some efficiency and planning, but we at mbaMission have seen many applicants complete strong applications within a compressed time frame.

As you work to finalize your applications in this compressed time frame, you might be tempted to skip some steps, but in our experience, here are the steps that are most vital to your success:

  • Assess your candidacy. – Be realistic about your competitiveness. You will probably not be able to submit as many applications as you would if you had started the process earlier, so take some time to evaluate how you stack up against students at your chosen schools with respect to your grades, test scores, and general work and leadership experience. Then, pick one stretch school, one safer school, and one school in between.
  • Plan each application. – You might be eager to just dive in and start writing, but taking the time to thoughtfully read through all the questions in an application and brainstorm how you can use each of your responses to present a different side of your candidacy will save you from needing to do significant reworking later and make for a higher-quality application.
  • Customize your essays for each school. – The admissions committees can easily tell if you have simply copied and pasted your essays from another application. Of course, your essays for the different schools will naturally involve some degree of overlap, but you need to understand what each school is asking and address its specific questions separately.
  • Demonstrate your fit with the school. – Do not simply parrot information from the program’s website; make the time to speak with one or two students from each of your target programs so that you will be able to clearly express how you fit with each one’s culture and approach. You can also download our free Insider’s Guides to learn more about each of the top business schools.

So, given all these necessary steps, how can you make the process more efficient? Here are some techniques:

  • Use limited increments of time. – Do not save all your application work for a marathon weekend session. Instead, split your efforts up into shorter sessions throughout the day. Spend 30 minutes in the morning revising an essay. Then, over lunch, read the school’s website or have a conversation with a student. Dedicate one or two hours every night. Dividing up the work this way will ensure that you can maintain better focus and produce a higher-quality application.
  • Match the work with your energy level. – Not a morning person? Save revising your essays for a 30-minute session before work. Full of energy at night? Write your first drafts then. You will quickly figure out which materials demand more of your focus and then be able to tailor your efforts and work sessions to your abilities.
  • Begin with the school that asks the most questions. – Doing the most comprehensive application first will give you more material to leverage for the other schools.
For more tips, register for our upcoming presentation The Last Minute Application, and/or sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our MBA admissions consultants!
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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] organization 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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Re: The mbaMission Blog [#permalink]
Can anyone give me the review of MBA in international management ?
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Convey a Confident Tone and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Essa [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Convey a Confident Tone and Avoid Fawning in Your MBA Application Essays
In your MBA application essays, you must ensure that the tone you use allows the admissions committee to readily recognize your certainty and self-confidence. Being clear and direct about who you are and how you envision your future is vital. Consider these example statements:

Weak: “I now have adequate work experience and hope to pursue an MBA.”

Strong: “Through my work experience, I have gained both breadth and depth, providing me with a solid, practical foundation for pursuing my MBA.”

——

Weak: “I now want to pursue an MBA.”

Strong: “I am certain that now is the ideal time for me to pursue my MBA.”

——

Weak: “I have good quantitative skills and will succeed academically.”

Strong: “I have already mastered the quantitative skills necessary to thrive in my MBA studies.”

——

Weak: “With my MBA, I hope to establish myself as a leader.”

Strong: “I am certain that with my MBA, I will propel myself to the next levels of leadership.”

The key in all these examples is the use of language that clearly projects self-confidence. Instead of “hope,” use “will”; rather than saying you have “good” skills, show “mastery.” Although you should avoid sounding arrogant, of course, by being assertive and direct, you will inspire confidence in your reader and make a more positive impression.

Your target MBA programs certainly want to know that you identify with them. However, this does not need to be a running theme throughout your essays or application. Unless a business school explicitly requests this kind of information—for example, by asking what you are most passionate about and how that passion will positively affect the school—we generally recommend that candidates only discuss their connection with their target MBA program via their personal statements (“What are your short- and long-term goals, and how will [our school] allow you to achieve them?”).

For example, in response to a school’s question about leadership or putting knowledge into action, you would not need to discuss how the school will help you further develop your leadership skills or how you will continue to be an active learner when you are a member of the next incoming class, even though these topics reflect core values that each school embraces. Although we cannot assert this as an absolute, we find that in most cases, such statements come across as insincere or fawning—the very opposite of the effect you want.
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All Your Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Busin [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: All Your Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business Essay Questions Answered
With Round 2 application deadlines around the corner, many of you are no doubt starting to rack your brains over the challenging Harvard Business School (HBS) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) essay questions of, respectively, “What more would you like us to know?” and “What matters most to you, and why?” These are open-ended questions that do not have a “right” answer.

To help you tackle these two behemoth essays, we at mbaMission have identified the top questions asked by those applying to these two business schools. We hope our ideas will provide food for thought and help you kick-start your HBS and Stanford GSB essays.

“Which one should I write first?”

If you are applying to both of these schools, you might be wondering whether it’s easier to write the HBS essay or the GSB essay first. The answer is that you can begin with either one. Try starting with the essay that you find more instinctive to write. Because the GSB essay question is already defined for them, many applicants find it easier to start writing this one. That said, some applicants already have a topic in mind for the HBS essay and might find that one easier to write. Whichever one you choose to begin with, the important thing is just to start writing!

“How long should the essays be?”

The GSB admissions committee suggests writing no more than 650 words for Essay A (“What matters most to you, and why?”) and no more than 400 words for Essay B (“Why Stanford?”). The total word count of both essays combined cannot be more than 1,050 words. Although some applicants are tempted to write more than 650 words for Essay A, doing so can be detrimental to Essay B. In my experience, 400 words is just long enough for you to address the Essay B prompt. Thus, I recommend sticking close to the suggested word count for each essay.

As for the HBS essay, because the admissions committee doesn’t impose a word limit, you have more leeway. We at mbaMission have seen successful HBS essays anywhere between 850 and 1,200 words. Here is the approach I recommend: First, take the space you need to tell your story cogently. Then fine-tune the essay to its lowest possible word count without sacrificing impact and personality.

“Can I use the same topic for both the HBS essay and the GSB essay?”

Yes, you can, as long as you feel your topic appropriately answers both prompts. Just be sure to tailor each essay to its prompt. So in the GSB essay, you should make clear what matters most to you. But in the HBS essay, you should highlight what more you want the reader to know about you.

“Should the essays be personal, professional, or a mix of the two?”

Yes, yes, and yes. I have seen successful essays that use a mix of personal and professional stories, as well as successful essays that use only personal or only professional stories. The admissions committee is not looking for a specific mix. They are looking to learn more about you. So whatever stories you choose, make sure that they are woven into your narrative coherently and compellingly.

“Are the GSB optional short answer questions really optional?”

The GSB application contains two optional short answer questions: “Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or to others?” and “Tell us about a time within the last three years when your background influenced your participation in a situation, interaction, or project.” You will not be penalized for skipping questions marked as “optional.” That said, these optional short answer questions provide an opportunity for you to share stories that you might not have been able to fit into your two required GSB essays. I encourage you to seize this chance to describe more of your achievements.

Although these are some of the most common questions we receive about the HBS and GSB essays, applicants undoubtedly will have many more we have not addressed today. If you would like even more targeted guidance on approaching and writing your HBS or GSB essay, along with annotated essays from actual past applicants, check out our new book “What Matters?” and “What More?”: 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked).
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Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College Tuck School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business  
[url=https://i2.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Vijay-Govindarajan.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i2.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Vijay-Govindarajan.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1[/img][/url]

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 [url=https://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/people/vg/][b]Vijay Govindarajan[/b][/url] from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

[b]Vijay Govindarajan[/b], affectionately known by students as simply “VG,” is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck and has been cited by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and The Times as a top-ten strategy professor. His research focus includes global strategy, strategic innovation, strategy execution, and strategic controls. Govindarajan has been a consultant to several well-known companies, including Walmart, FedEx, and Microsoft, and in 2008, he served as chief innovation consultant to General Electric. In addition to his residency at Tuck, Govindarajan was named a Marvin Bower Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School in 2015 for a two-year period. He was also the 2015 recipient of the Association of Management Consulting Firms Award of Excellence.

One alumnus told mbaMission, “VG’s class is great, and the cases have been interesting. Most of the cases are about manufacturing companies; however, they are not boring at all. He’s a great speaker and great lecturer.” Another graduate described Govindarajan’s classroom style to mbaMission by saying, “VG maintains a balance between lecture and class participation. He never cold-calls because he believes that students will be prepared. He doesn’t want students to comment for the sake of commenting and wants people to say something meaningful, which might be different from the approach at other schools.” Another alumnus shared that Govindarajan often brings great speakers to class.

For more information about Dartmouth Tuck and 16 other top-ranked MBA schools, check out our free [url=https://mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders][b]mbaMission Insider’s Guides[/b][/url].


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The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 1 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 1
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

The Pep Talk

So, let me get this straight. The GMAT test writers are going to give me somewhat obscure, very dense topics with very complicated ideas and sentence structures. I am going to have about three minutes to read this passage, and then I have to start answering questions about the material. That is a completely artificial setup; it would never happen in the real world!

Actually, yes it will. You are going to do lots of case studies in business school. You often will not be given enough time to read through every last detail carefully; instead, you will have to determine relative levels of importance and concentrate on the most crucial pieces, while putting together a framework for the main ideas and the big changes in direction or opinion.

At work, you often have to make decisions based on incomplete information. At times, you actually do have a ton of information—but not enough time to review it all before you have to take action. These situations are far from rare in the real world.

So when you find yourself a bit unmotivated because you know you have got to study boring Reading Comprehension (RC) today, remind yourself that RC will actually help you develop much-needed skills for business school and beyond!

The Disclaimers

First, this list includes only free resources, no paid ones. Second, this list is limited to my own articles simply because I am most familiar with my own material. There are a lot of good resources out there that cost some money and/or were not written by me—those resources are just not on this list!

How to Read

Before you dive into individual question types, you must know some overall processes for RC, starting with how to read! You already know how to read in general, of course, but do you know how to read RC?

You will notice that the first article, linked to in the previous paragraph, discusses not only what to read but also what not to read. When you have only a few minutes, you also need to know what you can skip or skim (and how to make that decision). For more, check out this lesson on what not to read.

If, after trying the suggestions from this article, you still find yourself really struggling with either reading speed or comprehension, here are some resources to help you improve your reading skills. This article is especially important for people who do not read regularly in English, either for work or for fun; this is particularly true if your native language is also not English and you did your undergraduate studies in another language.

Finally, one of our two main goals when first reading a passage is to find the main point. (The other main goal is to take some light notes on each paragraph to understand the organization of the information.)

When you have mastered those skills, you will be ready to learn how to tackle the questions.
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Should I Consider Chicago Booth and Wharton for Marketing? [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Should I Consider Chicago Booth and Wharton for Marketing?
You may be surprised to learn that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is making inroads into an area that its crosstown rival (Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management) is known to dominate: marketing. Through the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing—named for the Chicago Booth alumnus who was formerly CEO of Gillette and Nabisco (and is now a partner at Centerview Partners, which he co-founded)—Chicago Booth offers students roughly a dozen marketing electives. In particular, the school is growing its experiential opportunities in the marketing field, with students taking part in marketing management labs (semester-long consulting projects) at companies that in the past have included Abbott Laboratories, Bank of America, and Honeywell International. Further, professors in the department saw opportunities for increased practical involvement and created “hybrid” classes such as “Digital Marketing Lab” and “Lab in Developing New Products and Services” that involve a lecture component but also allow students to work on shorter-term consulting projects. In addition, students can apply for Marketing Fellowships, which provide scholarship funds and a two-year mentoring relationship.

Another potentially overlooked destination for marketing-driven MBA applicants is the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which might be best known for its reputation in finance (as its original name, the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, would imply). Nevertheless, the school prides itself on the breadth and depth of its expertise in a multitude of business areas.

For instance, consider these facts about Wharton’s highly regarded marketing program:

  • Wharton has “the largest, most cited, and most published marketing faculty in the world,” according to the marketing department’s website.
  • The school’s marketing department was ranked #2 in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report MBA rankings by specialty.
  • A Wharton marketing professor developed conjoint analysis, a tool that has helped shape 20th century marketing practices.
  • The Wharton Marketing Conference brings together approximately 300 students, faculty members, alumni, and leading marketing experts to explore various themes central to the industry. The latest conference—held virtually in October 2020 with the theme “Marketing with a Mission”—featured a keynote speech by the co-founder of Honest Tea. Panel discussions included such topics as “Marketing in a Global Pandemic” and “Marketing Accessible Healthcare,” with panelists and speakers hailing from such companies as Condé Nast, Johnson & Johnson, and The H Hub.
Indeed, to dismiss Wharton as simply a finance school would be a mistake.

For a thorough exploration of what Chicago Booth, Wharton, and other top business schools have to offer, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: My Months of Work Experience Will Not Count
“I had an internship from June to August of 2019. Will the admissions committee count it as work experience?”

“I was running a lab during my Master’s program—is that part of my total number of months of work experience?”

“I ran a small business that ultimately failed—will I get credit for my time as an entrepreneur?”

Business schools have not seriously considered a candidate’s number of months of work experience as a factor in admissions decisions for a long time. In fact, with such programs as Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business increasingly open to younger candidates, work experience on a strictly quantitative level is actually being devalued at some schools. A candidate’s quantity of work experience is just not relevant—quality is what is important. An “average” employee who has merely fulfilled expectations during a five-year stint at a Fortune 500 company could certainly be said to be at a disadvantage compared with an individual who has made the most of a three-year stint elsewhere and has been promoted ahead of schedule. Think about it—which of the two would you admit?

So, if you are asked on an application how many months of work experience you will have prior to matriculating, you should simply answer honestly. If you have any gray areas or are unsure about any aspect of your professional experience as it pertains to your application, you can always call the Admissions Office for guidance—most Admissions Offices are actually surprisingly helpful with this kind of simple technical question. Thereafter, stop worrying about the number of months of experience you do or do not have and instead focus on revealing that—and how—you have made an impact in your professional life. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, resume, and other application elements will ultimately make a qualitative impact that will outweigh any quantitative data.
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Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Jonathan Knee, Columbia Business School


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 Jonathan Knee from Columbia Business School (CBS).

Jonathan Knee is the Michael T. Fries Professor of Professional Practice of Media and Technology at CBS and the co-director of the school’s Media and Technology Program. Knee is also still active in the private sector as a senior advisor (formerly a senior managing director) at the advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners. He is perhaps best known among CBS students for his book The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street (Oxford University Press, 2006) and, we are told, brings a unique perspective into the classroom by showing where entertainment and finance cross paths. In his latest book, Class Clowns: How the Smartest Investors Lost Billions in Education (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2017), Knee explores investors’ efforts in higher education. Students reported to mbaMission that his “Mergers and Acquisitions in Media” class is intense and that the course’s final presentation—made before a guest panel of practicing investors—feels like the real deal. One alumnus who took a class with Knee said the benefits of having an active advisor as a teacher were the business insight and guest speakers the professor brought into the classroom.

For more information about CBS and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 2 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 2
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how to read Reading Comprehension (RC); if you have not yet read that post, do so now, and then continue with this post.

The RC Question Types

Do you remember the last thing I said at the end of the first post? When you have mastered the reading skills, you are then ready to tackle the questions. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can ignore the previous post and just go straight for the questions. You will be slower, and you will make more mistakes if you do that.

RC has three main question types: Main Idea, Specific Detail, and Inference. Each of those question types can have nuances or subtypes. We will tackle the first two in this post and cover Inference and the minor Why question type in the next post.

Main Idea

Most passages will include one Main Idea category question. Most commonly, you will be asked for the “primary purpose” (i.e., the main idea) of the entire passage, though a question could also ask for the primary purpose or role of just one paragraph.

If you are asked for the purpose of the entire passage, then the correct answer has to cover the overall “real estate” of the passage as a whole. Wrong answers will often be too narrow (e.g., something that applies primarily to just one paragraph) or too broad (e.g., something that includes the main idea but goes beyond it to encompass ideas that were not presented in the passage). Follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph to get some practice.

Specific Detail

This category refers to questions that ask about a particular detail in the passage. Most commonly, these questions will begin with “According to the passage….” Your task on these is to find an answer choice that matches something stated specifically in the passage.

That sounds easy—if the information is stated right there in the passage, how hard can it be?

As you already know very well, they can make it quite hard. First, the language in the passage is seriously complex; it is not always easy to understand what they are talking about. Second, right answers will often contain synonyms for words that appeared in the passage, while some wrong answers will often contain the exact language used in the passage. If you are not careful, you will be tempted to cross off that right answer because the language does not match exactly!

Specific Detail Rule: Use the question wording to figure out where to go in the passage. Then reread that detail carefully. Do NOT rely on your memory!

Why not? I was once taking a standardized test (not the GMAT, but similar), and I was about to pick an RC answer. Then I remembered that I should check the proof in the passage first, so—even though I was sure I was right!—I made myself find the proof.

The passage was about some mammals, one of which was the kangaroo rat. I looked at the passage, glanced back at my answer… and suddenly realized that the answer said kangaroo not kangaroo rat! I would have been really mad to get a question wrong for that reason!

The moral of the story: find the proof in the passage. Every single time.

Try this specific detail question to get started. Want another? Here you go.
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Hands-On Finance Opportunities at Michigan Ross and UCLA Anderson [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Hands-On Finance Opportunities at Michigan Ross and UCLA Anderson
You may not realize that students at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan do not have to travel all that far to get hands-on Wall Street experience. Through the John R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center (known as simply the Tozzi Center), students can find themselves on Wall Street without ever having to leave Ann Arbor. Housed in a 5,800-square-foot facility on campus, the Tozzi Center boasts a state-of-the-art mock trading floor as well as an electronic modular classroom and an e-lab seminar room. The latest financial tools—including live news wires, trading systems, and data and research services—can be found at the center. The space has been designed to look and feel like the real thing, so do not be surprised if you hear “Sell, Sell, Sell!” when you walk by students in action.

Many acknowledge UCLA Anderson’s unique connections to the media and entertainment industry. However, far fewer MBA aspirants are aware of the tremendous opportunities Anderson provides to students interested in investment management. Established in 1987, the Anderson Student Asset Management (ASAM) program (formerly the Student Investment Fund) is a fellowship that provides up to 20 students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they have learned thus far about investment theory. Students must apply for the opportunity to manage the portfolio, currently worth approximately $1M, for five academic quarters. ASAM Fellows engage in investment strategy, asset allocation, and security analysis, and they explore both value and growth approaches to investment as well as fixed income investments. Fellows get together weekly during the academic year and visit investment professionals throughout the fellowship to learn about different investment philosophies. Those interested in a career in investment management should give UCLA Anderson a closer look.

For more information on Michigan Ross, UCLA Anderson, or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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MBA Application Advice for Military Applicants [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Application Advice for Military Applicants
Military applicants are extremely well regarded by MBA programs because of their leadership experience, discipline, ability to work with a team, and commitment to goals. Admissions committees also know that recruiters view military applicants very positively. But to make your application as compelling as possible, you should be aware of some important factors. Note that military applicants are usually compared to other military applicants, and many schools have admissions readers who specialize in that demographic, so you need to make sure you stand out from others with similar backgrounds, not just from the general applicant pool.

Watch Out for Jargon

Military resumes are often replete with acronyms and code words that only other military personnel will understand. Keep in mind that even if an admissions reader specializes in military applicants, this does not necessarily mean that they have served in the military themselves. Schools will review all your application materials to get a sense of how you will communicate in a classroom of civilians, and resumes or essays that are too full of jargon send a message that you might not be able to participate effectively in such a setting. Check out our blog post on building the ideal resume for your MBA application.

Be Thoughtful about Your Career Goals

Much of what you have done in the military might not translate directly into private sector career goals. After all, investment banking does not require expertise in diffusing (literal) bombs. Rather than thinking about how your subject matter expertise translates to a career goal, think about how your skills translate. Have you excelled at strategic planning? What about at motivating and turning around lackluster teams? Have you learned to be calm in a crisis or to navigate ambiguity? Have you made an impact in a leadership role? These skills are applicable to many private sector careers. For tips on how to showcase your capabilities in your personal statement, download our free Personal Statement Guide.

Reach Out to Veterans’ Associations on Campus

Most business schools have a vibrant veterans’ association that can provide you with tremendously detailed information about the school and the transition from military service to an MBA program. We at mbaMission strongly urge you to connect with representatives from those clubs. We hear from our clients that those conversations are some of the most generous, detailed, and helpful they have in their entire MBA application process.

Do Not Neglect Extracurriculars

When you are deployed or your life is consumed by a demanding job that makes a big difference in the world, you can easily gloss over the experiences you have outside work. Admissions committees, though, care about who you are, not just what you do for your job. If you have not had time to participate in formal extracurricular activities, think about anything you have done at work that went above and beyond your job description. For example, have you coached your enlisted soldiers to help them get their GEDs or taught them basic financial management skills? These types of activities, when mentioned in essays, can showcase skills beyond the ones you display in your job and give the admissions committee a more well-rounded view of your candidacy.
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How to Introduce Without an Introduction and Own Your Story in MBA App [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Introduce Without an Introduction and Own Your Story in MBA Application Essays
Most high school students in the United States are taught to write essays that have a formal introduction, a body that supports that introduction, and a conclusion that reinforces the main point presented in the introduction. Although this approach and structure yield easily comprehensible academic work, business school application essays are constrained by word count—so candidates often must use alternative, less lengthy openings because they do not have the luxury of “wasting” 100 words to introduce their topic.

We recommend sometimes using the “non-introduction” introduction, depending on the context and pace of your story. If you have a gripping opener that places your reader in the middle of a scenario, we suggest you launch right into your story to grab and keep the reader’s attention.

Consider this traditional introduction:



“Throughout my career, I have strived to continuously learn and develop as a manager, frequently taking enrichment courses, seizing mentorship opportunities, and seeking frank feedback from my superiors. When my firm staffed me on its $4.5M Oregon Project (our highest profile product launch in a decade), I considered it a tremendous opportunity to deliver and never imagined that it would become the greatest test of my managerial abilities. When I arrived in Portland, I discovered a project deemed so important by our firm that it was overstaffed and wallowing in confused directives from headquarters in Chicago. I quickly surveyed the situation and began to create support for changes to…”

What if this essay, under the pressure of word limits, were to begin with a slightly modified version of the body?



“When I arrived in Portland, I discovered that my firm’s $4.5M Oregon Project—our highest profile product launch in a decade—was overstaffed and wallowing in confused directives from headquarters in Chicago. I quickly surveyed the situation and began to create support for change…”

In this case, approximately 70 words are saved, and the reader is immediately thrust into the middle of the story, learning how the writer jumped into the project and ultimately saved the day. Although the “non-introduction” introduction should not be used for every essay, it can be a valuable tool when applied with discretion.



In addition, applicants should consider how to assert a sense of ownership in their essays. Many business school candidates unwittingly begin with platitudes—obvious or trite remarks written as though they were original. For example, when responding to the essay question, “Tell us about a time when you made a difficult decision,” an applicant might mistakenly write the following:

“Managers constantly face difficult decisions. Still, everyone hates indecision.”

The applicant does not “own” this idea and cannot lay claim to this statement. A simple alternative would be to insert their personal experience and viewpoint into the sentence:

“I found myself back in the boardroom with Steve, anticipating that yet again, he would change his mind on the mbaMission file.”

By discussing your personal and unique experiences, you demonstrate ownership of your story while engaging your reader. Avoiding platitudes and generalities—and ensuring that you are sharing your experience, rather than one that could belong to anyone else—is a simple but often overlooked step in creating a compelling message.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Wants a “Type [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Admissions Committee Wants a “Type”
Many business school applicants believe that MBA admissions committees have distilled their criteria for selecting candidates over the years and have in mind a specific “type” of individual they want. For example, within this world of stereotypes, applicants believe that Harvard Business School (HBS) is looking only for leaders, Kellogg is looking only for marketing students, Chicago Booth is looking only for finance students, and even that MIT Sloan is looking only for “eggheads.” Of course, these stereotypes—like most stereotypes—are inaccurate. Chicago Booth wants far more than one-dimensional finance students in its classes, and it provides far more than just finance to its MBA students (including, to the surprise of many, an excellent marketing program). HBS is not a school just for “generals”; among the approximately 950 students in each of its classes, HBS has a wide variety of personalities, including some excellent foot soldiers. So, at mbaMission, we constantly strive to educate MBA candidates about these misconceptions, which can sink applications if applicants pander to them.

By way of example, imagine that you have worked in operations at a widget manufacturer. You have profound experience managing and motivating dozens of different types of people, at different levels, throughout your career, in both good economic times and bad. Even though your exposure to finance has been minimal, you erroneously determine that you need to be a “finance guy” to get into NYU Stern. So, you tell your best, but nonetheless weak, finance stories, and now you are competing against elite finance candidates who have far more impressive stories in comparison. What if you had told your unique operations/management stories instead and stood out from the other applicants, rather than trying to compete in the school’s most overrepresented pool?

We think that attempting to defy stereotypes and truly being yourself—trying to stand out from all others and not be easily categorized—is only natural. Of course, for those of you who are still not convinced, allow us to share a quote from Stanford’s former director and assistant dean of MBA admissions, Derrick Bolton, who wrote on the school’s admissions website, “Because we want to discover who you are, resist the urge to ‘package’ yourself in order to come across in a way you think Stanford wants. Such attempts simply blur our understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish. We want to hear your genuine voice throughout the essays that you write, and this is the time to think carefully about your values, your passions, your hopes and dreams.”

Makes sense, right?
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Professor Profiles: Gary B. Gorton, Yale School of Management [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Gary B. Gorton, Yale School of Management
[url=https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Gary-B-Gorton-Yale-SOM.jpg?ssl=1][img]https://i0.wp.com/www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Gary-B-Gorton-Yale-SOM.jpg?resize=196%2C300&ssl=1[/img][/url]

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 [url=https://som.yale.edu/faculty/gary-b-gorton][b]Gary B. Gorton [/b][/url]from the Yale School of Management.

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

The “Capital Markets” course Gorton teaches likewise focuses on the 2007–2008 financial crisis, particularly as it related to capital markets. In it, he uses a mixture of case studies and lectures that touch on current financial events, and he expects students to keep up with the latest developments on the finance scene by reading the business section of the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. During the 2020–2021 academic year, Gorton also taught a course titled “The Digitalization of Money.”

For more information about the Yale SOM and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/insider-s-guides][b]mbaMission Insider’s Guides[/b][/url][b].[/b]


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The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 3 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: The Master Resource List for GMAT Reading Comprehension, Part 3
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.

Part 1 of this series covered how to read Reading Comprehension (RC), and Part 2 introduced the first two major question types: Main Idea and Specific Detail. Start with those posts and then continue with this post.

Inference



In this section, we are going to talk about two big things: how to handle Inference questions and how to analyze RC problems in general (you can then use these techniques on any question type).

Inference questions ask about specific details in the passage, but they add a twist: we have to deduce something that must be true, given certain facts from the passage.

For example, if I tell you that my favorite type of book to read is biography, what could you deduce?

Watch out for the trap: do not use your “real world” conclusion-drawing skills. In the real world, you might conclude that I like reading books in general or perhaps that I am interested in history or maybe that I am a nerd. (Really? Biographies are my favorite?) These things do not have to be true, though.

What has to be true? I do not like fiction as much as I like biographies. I have read at least one book in a nonbiography category (otherwise, I would not be able to tell that I prefer biographies, which implies a comparison).

What is the difference? GMAT deductions are usually things that would cause us to say “Duh!” in the real world.

“My favorite category of book is biography.”

“Oh, so you must not like fiction as much as you like biographies.”

“Uh… well, yeah, that’s what ‘favorite’ means. I don’t like anything else better.”

A GMAT deduction should feel like a “duh” deduction—something totally boring that must be true, given the information in the passage.

Why Questions

Specific questions can come in one other (not as common) flavor: the Why question. Why questions are sort of a cross between Specific Detail and Inference questions: you need to review some specific information in the passage, but the answer to the question is not literally right in the passage. You have to figure out the most reasonable explanation for why the author chose to include a particular piece of information.

Timing

As I mentioned earlier, we really do not have much time to read RC passages. Aim for approximately two to two and a half minutes on shorter passages and closer to three minutes for longer ones. Of course, you cannot possibly read everything closely and carefully in such a short time frame—but that is not your goal! The goal is to get the big picture on that first read-through.

Aim to answer main idea questions in roughly one minute. You can spend up to two minutes on the more specific questions. In particular, if you run across an Except question, expect to spend pretty close to two minutes; Except questions nearly always take a while.

As always, be aware of your overall time. If you find that you are running behind, skip one question entirely; do not try to save 30 seconds each on a bunch of questions. Also, if RC is your weakest verbal area, and you also struggle with speed, consider guessing immediately on one question per passage and spreading your time over the remaining questions.

Great, I Have Mastered RC!

Let us test that theory, shall we? Your next step is to implement all these techniques on your next practice test while also managing your timing well. Good luck!
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